Have you ever taken Suboxone before? Those slick new strips they’ve put out, to curb abuse and misuse and whatnot? For something that eases the misery, both physically and mentally, it’s not a lot of fun. Fun, perhaps, in the same sense that cutting yourself or beating the shit out of a dog is fun. That is: not fun for most people… the artificial orange “flavor”, the SHEER AMOUNT OF MINUTES IT TAKES TO INGEST…
Woah. Sorry. That was the desperation and hate causing me to get ahead of myself. Well, for those who haven’t sampled the life of a terminal junky, I’ll explain how this works. At your worst, your sickest, your lowest, when if given the chance you’d undoubtedly rob your mother and, well, your entire family tree for a shot of god’s finest, instead, driven by utter desperation, you take this foul smelling, foul tasting strip of medicine and place it carefully on one of the two veins beneath your tongue (i.e. sublingually) and wait twenty minutes for it to dissolve. Not so bad, eh? Only this is probably not your first rodeo, so you associate Suboxone with the pure nausea and sickness that accompanies opiate withdrawal, thus exacerbating said nausea and sickness, then you slide a shit flavored Listerine strip that takes 20 feverish minutes to dissolve into your sick junky mouth.
And then you wait. Wait? Yep. Instantaneous, intravenous relief, no longer. This is a hard sharp reintroduction to sober life. There will no longer be instantaneous gratification unless you count ice cream treats, cigarettes, others misery, or you are so lucky as to find someone nice, pitying, or stupid enough to have sex with your, chances are, wrecked-ass body and face. After overcoming all odds and somehow touching another persons genitals with your own, if you are a guy you will probably cum before your penis is fully engorged.
Ugh. God damn it. I seem to have lost the point. The point. The point is: you’ll wait another agonizing twenty minutes, scared (so scared…) that it is not working, before you no longer feel like a hunted animal, your stomach quits punching itself, your eyes quit gushing rivers of shame, you stop sneezing in spasms, your body finally decides that it is EITHER fucking hot or it is cold, and your bone marrow stops making itself known. Now that you’ve got the sick off of you, you’ll probably feel good enough to go steal that scrap or turn that receipt hustle and score the smack that you wanted all along. But, nope, this is a modern miracle of a drug. Not only does Suboxone contain buprenorphine to ease the withdrawals, but also nalaxone an opiate blocker. Bummer, eh? Well, depending on how low you’ve gotten, you may or may not know that there IS still a possibility of getting high.
The naloxone is a barrier to only so much dope, so if you can get your dirty, shamed hands on 3-4 times your usual dosage, well, then you are in business. But now this is inching dangerously close to overdose territory which is no real problem if you’ve got a nice closet or bathroom with a reinforced steel door to nod out in, but if you have company, company will most likely equal the arrival of an ambulance and subsequent medical attention and seeing your track marks, rolled back eyes, shallow breathing, blue lips, or the needle hanging out of your arm/leg/neck, they WILL administer a full dose of Narcan whose active ingredient my friends is, cruel cruel irony, naloxone. You will live. They will have SAVED you. That naloxone, though, was of a much stronger dose (no longer an opiate blocker but an opiate antagonist) and you will be SICK. You will find yourself in a real predicament. And unless you talk slick when you’re sick or can outrun healthy, in-shape real people while vomiting, well then you’re not going anywhere for the time being. You do not want this to be. So, just take your medicine and quit being such a goddamn junky.
(Drugs and Culture)
(Editor’s note: this “essay” was written by the author, when he was still struggling with a habit, as a sort of pep talk to remind himself to do the right thing. He claims to have written it with a Suboxone strip under his tongue. I decided to publish it “as is” for “artistic” and entertainment reasons. He is uneasy about advertising Suboxone as a miracle drug. He now recognizes it as a pharmaceutical with high potential for abuse except when used as a taper during the first week or so of withdrawal. In regard to long-term use he believes it should only be prescribed [as the lesser of two evils] to junkies who have shown a complete inability to function without opiates, thereby providing a chance to live a life free of the constant disruption of relapse and subsequent physical addiction and inevitable decline into criminality. That being said, he claims there are better herbal alternatives if one is so inclined. He knows. I believe him. Also, the author wishes it to be known that long-term use of Suboxone WILL lead to its own physical addiction and that its extremely long half-life can lead to a withdrawal that can last much longer than detoxing from heroin. Remember: no action is without consequence and pharmaceutical companies often lie. -Gordon Miller [Editor in Chief])