Citation: ErichZann. "A Reprieve from Withdrawal: An Experience with MDMA & Buprenorphine (Subutex) (exp107955)". Erowid.org. Feb 16, 2016. erowid.org/exp/107955
This is a report about the use of MDMA during opiate withdrawals.
--A quick history--
In my teens I started with prescription opioids; primarily Oxycodone. By my early twenties moved onto Heroin and quickly was a regular IV heroin user. By Twenty-seven I was driven to serious attempts at getting clean by the normal difficulties that an opiated lifestyle eventually furnishes a person with. Looking back I see now that I took some suggestions from “The Program” [Narcotics Anonymous]. I did what they repeatedly suggest you don't do. I found my own way to make it work. Though in the moment it wasn't all that calculated. I just did what seemed logical to me. I disconnected from the people I knew that still used opiates and stopped using my drug of choice and instead went the way of Buprenorphine (Subutex).
Over four years I used only Bupe and occasionally Cannabis along with very rare and sporadic use of DMT and Mescaline. In that time I noticed that I had changed a good deal. I had stabilized and with that realization I decided to try to kick the Bupe as well.
Fortunately for me my work provides me with November, December and January off. So I had ample time to ween and finally kick without having to deal with the stress of work.
Beginning in December of 2014 I began working my way down from 4mgs twice a day with the goal of arriving at 0mgs daily by the end of the month. In hind sight I wish I had given myself two months to ween down.
In hind sight I wish I had given myself two months to ween down.
The final week of December I was down to roughly 1mg twice a day and was able to get to this point with surprisingly few withdrawal symptoms. I then took 4mgs and crushed it into powder and over the last three or four days of December I would take a scoop of the powder every 4 hours or so. The “scoop” being the last quarter inch of the tip of a pair of tweezers.
I dropped the last scoop under my tongue around noon on December 31st. Wasn't my intention to take my last dose on new years eve but that is just when I happened to run out.
As can be expected with Buprenorphine I didn't actually experience withdrawal symptoms for a few days. In fact I clearly remember waking up on Jan. 3rd feeling amazing. One of those rare days when you wake up from a night's rest without any feelings of being groggy. Instead felt full of energy. Part of me thought “oh maybe I'll be lucky and have no withdrawal symptoms this time”. Apparently this does occasionally happen to people though I have never had such luck. In fact that night (day 3) I could clearly feel the physical changes slowly creeping in as the buprenorphine began to depart at a snail's pace leaving my brain chemistry in disarray.
By Jan. 8th (Day 8) I was experiencing the worst of it and would continue to feel this way until the 20th. Not the worst WD's you'll ever experience as far as intensity but the duration is no simple matter. Buprenorphine goes for quantity over quality. That much is certain.
On Jan. 15th (day 15) I was beginning to grow very agitated with the withdrawals. They were lasting so much longer than I had anticipated and were made worse by the fact that I was only sleeping 4 hours every 36-48 hours. My nerves were shot and while I had no desire to use Heroin or any other similar opiate the thought did cross my mind to call it quits and jump back on Buprenorphine with the hopes that I could try again next year. I didn't do this.
Instead I decided to do an experiment of sorts. I decided that night I would take one of the two capsules of MDMA that had been sitting on my nightstand in a baggie. They had been staring at me for the last few weeks. That night around 10pm I took one of the capsules that contained 125mgs of MDMA that I personally ran reagent tests on for my own satisfaction.
-I can't post a time line for the effects as any notes I took were lost in a recent move. So I can just recap the experience as a whole-
My most frustrating withdrawal symptom is restless legs. By far. And it was my hope that by taking the MDMA I would at least be granted a 3-4 hour reprieve from that one symptom. Once the MDMA kicked in it became clear that all withdrawal symptoms were entirely alleviated. With my new found energy I decided to shower as a shower was desperately needed at that point and warm water on my skin was no longer such a terrifying idea. I was tempted to start cleaning my house as it was falling apart but realized that I would much rather simply lie down and be still. This stillness was more refreshing and invigorating that I can begin to describe. I sank into the couch without a thought for my legs. At that moment they didn't even exist. No longer was my body a torture chamber. So I rested. And I would breathe deeply and sigh. A good kind of sigh… over and over. Knowing full well what awaited me in just a few hours. But I paid the near future no mind and instead used this brief escape to reinvigorate myself. To further brace myself against the slings and arrows to come as it were.
Coming down was, as expected, extra unpleasant. Quite horrible actually. Difficult to describe. One odd thing that happened just at the end of the experience. It was prior to withdrawal symptoms returning but also after the positive effects of the MDMA had worn off. It was during this very brief window that I got the most intense “electrical” sensation covering my entire scalp and running down my spine. Paresthesia is what they call it I suppose but while this is normally a pleasant feeling this time it was not. It started fairly normally but quickly (within a few seconds) that electricity was turned up very high and eventually turned into burning hot pokers and intense pressure. This took place over roughly 20 seconds and the pain only increased over that time until finally the pain just dissolved away. Was quite an alarming thing to go through and marked a quick descent over the next five minutes back into the withdrawal state.
Many times in various rehab's/detox's I've had the thought that it would surely be of great assistance to the kicking junky to simply get a break from the withdrawal symptoms. Even if it were only for a few minutes. Were this achievable without the use of opiates so as to avoid re-fucking those receptors and thus only extending the withdrawal, how wonderful would that be? Is that what I got with this MDMA experience?
I don't know.
But I'm one year, two months and 12 days clean. And that night with MDMA certainly helped and therefore MDMA deserves some of the credit. That much I do know.
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