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Stimulants Just How Cruelly Does the Government Treat Sick Tweakers in Australia

Perforated

Moderator: SLR, DC
Staff member
Joined
Sep 28, 2019
Messages
9,006
I’ve recently come off a month long meth binge while I was smoking at least 1 g of cleaned crystal every day while putting myself to bed every 48 hours with seroquel. With a few week or month long breaks along the way I’ve been doing this for about 18 months. My meth use was out of my ability to control it for more than a few weeks and was seriously damaging my ability to work. After trying myself to resolve this onngoing on again off again use pattern I had tried NA and willpower as well as burning all my contacts and changing my address and phone number. It never worked;

It did not occur to me that the government was my best option for help.

On day 4 after I quit the last time I was starting to become psychotic with anxiety and depression as well as having developed Parkinson’s like symptoms and being constantly weak and dizzy. An ex girlffriend of mine thought I was just having a mental health crisis (not involving drugs) so called the state Mental Health Hotline (a free 1-800 number). The person who answered (immediately) triajed me and I answered honestly about my meth use but advised that I had comorbid existing mental health problems - namely ADHD and Bipolar I. They asked me what drugs I had in the house and when I said I had prescribed benzos and seroquel they advised me to take them but to go immediately to the emergency room if I felt unsafe or a danger to myself or others. There was a whole bunch of questions to ascertain this and apparently I presented like a sane but totally strung out person having a very bad comedown.

The bottom line was if I came to the ER they’d just give me benzos and seroquel, so I might as well use my own supply in the comfort of my own home if I could handle being alone. I could.

However, they asked me if I wanted my case elevated to the 24/7 critical care team for long term management. This was because of the extensive duration of meth use and the comorbid psychiatric diagnosis. I said yes and several hours later I got a call from a fully qualified psychiatrist with 20 years drug and alcohol experience. When I told him I was very worried about the combination of meth with antipsychotics and was too afraid to take the seroquel or other prescribed drugs, he gave me a very basic but very helpful explanation of the dopamine receptor system and the effects of combining agonists and antagonists and why he’d believed I would be best served by abstaining from meth but staying on anti—psychotics for at least 7 weeks until the mid-term effects of meth abuse at my level had ceased.

This psychiatrist spoke to me for close to an hour on the phone and entertained every possible question I could come up with about what meth and the various other drugs I was taking was doing to my brain. In the end he recommended dosage changes (increases) to 2 scripted drugs I was taking and totally ceasing one other (a stimulant). We had a long discussion about the possible benefits of using my prescribed stimulant to wean off the meth. But in the end he convinced me that going cold turkey with meth was the better option and that I could possibly restart my prescribed stimulants after being abstinent from meth for at least 7 weeks. He also seriously questioned whether I had bipolar disorder and made some recommendations for getting a fresh diagnosis once the meth was out of my system (again 7 weeks according to him). He explained in detail why he thought I might be misdiagnosed.

Just talking to these two specialists lowered my anxiety and panic immensely and nearly removed the stress of coming down so hard.They were very careful to make sure I understood that I was in a position that thousands of AUstralians find themselves in and that there was no shame attached to my predicament. It was purely a medical issue.

After working out a medication regime using my existing meds for 7 weeks they also arranged for me to have 20 bulk-billed (i.e. free) sessions with a clinical psychologist in my area. This is 10 more than normally available under the government’s program but because I had been elevated to a critical case, they authorised the extra 10 on the spot. They even found me a psychologist with a no-gap policy that would not charge any extras. The argument was that I needed to learn my triggers for using and how to cope with them. They recommended a kind of therapy called DBT (Dialectical Behavioural Therapy)

Most importantly to me they asked my permission before contacting my existing psychiatrist or GP. They recommended that it was best practice (and they had the contact details). But because of my professional standing with these practitioners, the fact that they are willing to prescribe me stims and benzos, and some insurance arrangements I asked that they not be informed. This was accepted and my file was ‘locked’ out of the medical records system, so that only this critical care team had access should I need future help. So full confidentiality.

I’m just writing this because, before this experience I never would have thought you could get such good care from the public health system with a major meth problem. If you are seriously fucked up like I was, give consideration to calling your local Mental Heath Hotline - it could lead you to a very helpful place or at least get you through a tough period.

Complain as much as you want about the government. This treatment was well worth my taxes. And a lot less judgy than what I would have expected going through my GP.
 
Last edited:

cripkeeper

Bluelighter
Joined
Oct 24, 2008
Messages
374
Location
Midwest, United States
That sounds awsome! What a great program to have access to. That sounds like doing things right.
Like in the U.S. there are so many numbers to call, programs... whatever... but there is usually so much red tape and polotics its insane, it doesnt work then people wonder why people cant get help.

That process you were able to reach out to and get immediate attention to your real emergancy should be mandatory for every developed nation.
 

f1mula0ne

Bluelighter
Joined
Nov 20, 2020
Messages
47
I’ve recently come off a month long meth binge while I was smoking at least 1 g of cleaned crystal every day while putting myself to bed every 48 hours with seroquel. With a few week or month long breaks along the way I’ve been doing this for about 18 months. My meth use was out of my ability to control it for more than a few weeks and was seriously damaging my ability to work. After trying myself to resolve this onngoing on again off again use pattern I had tried NA and willpower as well as burning all my contacts and changing my address and phone number. It never worked;

It did not occur to me that the government was my best option for help.

On day 4 after I quit the last time I was starting to become psychotic with anxiety and depression as well as having developed Parkinson’s like symptoms and being constantly weak and dizzy. An ex girlffriend of mine thought I was just having a mental health crisis (not involving drugs) so called the state Mental Health Hotline (a free 1-800 number). The person who answered (immediately) triajed me and I answered honestly about my meth use but advised that I had comorbid existing mental health problems - namely ADHD and Bipolar I. They asked me what drugs I had in the house and when I said I had prescribed benzos and seroquel they advised me to take them but to go immediately to the emergency room if I felt unsafe or a danger to myself or others. There was a whole bunch of questions to ascertain this and apparently I presented like a sane but totally strung out person having a very bad comedown.

The bottom line was if I came to the ER they’d just give me benzos and seroquel, so I might as well use my own supply in the comfort of my own home if I could handle being alone. I could.

However, they asked me if I wanted my case elevated to the 24/7 critical care team for long term management. This was because of the extensive duration of meth use and the comorbid psychiatric diagnosis. I said yes and several hours later I got a call from a fully qualified psychiatrist with 20 years drug and alcohol experience. When I told him I was very worried about the combination of meth with antipsychotics and was too afraid to take the seroquel or other prescribed drugs, he gave me a very basic but very helpful explanation of the dopamine receptor system and the effects of combining agonists and antagonists and why he’d believed I would be best served by abstaining from meth but staying on anti—psychotics for at least 7 weeks until the mid-term effects of meth abuse at my level had ceased.

This psychiatrist spoke to me for close to an hour on the phone and entertained every possible question I could come up with about what meth and the various other drugs I was taking was doing to my brain. In the end he recommended dosage changes (increases) to 2 scripted drugs I was taking and totally ceasing one other (a stimulant). We had a long discussion about the possible benefits of using my prescribed stimulant to wean off the meth. But in the end he convinced me that going cold turkey with meth was the better option and that I could possibly restart my prescribed stimulants after being abstinent from meth for at least 7 weeks. He also seriously questioned whether I had bipolar disorder and made some recommendations for getting a fresh diagnosis once the meth was out of my system (again 7 weeks according to him). He explained in detail why he thought I might be misdiagnosed.

Just talking to these two specialists lowered my anxiety and panic immensely and nearly removed the stress of coming down so hard.They were very careful to make sure I understood that I was in a position that thousands of AUstralians find themselves in and that there was no shame attached to my predicament. It was purely a medical issue.

After working out a medication regime using my existing meds for 7 weeks they also arranged for me to have 20 bulk-billed (i.e. free) sessions with a clinical psychologist in my area. This is 10 more than normally available under the government’s program but because I had been elevated to a critical case, they authorised the extra 10 on the spot. They even found me a psychologist with a no-gap policy that would not charge any extras. The argument was that I needed to learn my triggers for using and how to cope with them. They recommended a kind of therapy called DBT (Dialectical Behavioural Therapy)

Most importantly to me they asked my permission before contacting my existing psychiatrist or GP. They recommended that it was best practice (and they had the contact details). But because of my professional standing with these practitioners, the fact that they are willing to prescribe me stims and benzos, and some insurance arrangements I asked that they not be informed. This was accepted and my file was ‘locked’ out of the medical records system, so that only this critical care team had access should I need future help. So full confidentiality.

I’m just writing this because, before this experience I never would have thought you could get such good care from the public health system with a major meth problem. If you are seriously fucked up like I was, give consideration to calling your local Mental Heath Hotline - it could lead you to a very helpful place or at least get you through a tough period.

Complain as much as you want about the government. This treatment was well worth my taxes. And a lot less judgy than what I would have expected going through my GP.
Good stuff! My outpatient psychiatrist discharged me upon learning of my (then) not too excessive meth use. I re-engaged with a new psychiatrist who told me to get out. I've had a really good run with my GP who is monitoring me and soon I too shall be starting DBT! So good stuff, and good on you for following through. I called ATT one time (triage and assessment team) who then called my mother, and said that I am a "drug addict". I don't think 2p or so a week qualifies as that but maybe I just pissed ATT off. Anyway, here's to the future :)
 

f1mula0ne

Bluelighter
Joined
Nov 20, 2020
Messages
47
I saw my GP who referred me to a psychiatrist trained in addictive psychiatry but man I have to learn some impulse control. Still haven't found the right counsellor for DBT. I wasted a year down the rabbit hole. But it's funny sometimes you have to want to get help and you actually get it. I still have to actually take my meds, but I'm glad my GP wasn't too judgy. Or at least realized how badly I needed help.
 

Perforated

Moderator: SLR, DC
Staff member
Joined
Sep 28, 2019
Messages
9,006
I saw my GP who referred me to a psychiatrist trained in addictive psychiatry but man I have to learn some impulse control. Still haven't found the right counsellor for DBT. I wasted a year down the rabbit hole. But it's funny sometimes you have to want to get help and you actually get it. I still have to actually take my meds, but I'm glad my GP wasn't too judgy. Or at least realized how badly I needed help.
The DBT guy I was referred to is not taking new patients so I ran into a dead end there even though I had the referral for 20 sessions. I haven’t been able to find anyone else yet. It seems psychologists are all overworked with people coping with Covid and lockdowns.

What meds are you supposed to be taking? I only recently learned that the drug (Abilify) that my psych prescribed partly for controlling mania often has side effects of hypersexuality and gambling that I’d count as manic once I get going. He’s a nong who never discusses side effects or coming off the drugs he puts me on.

Therapy is probably the best for impulse control but it depends a bit on what drives it. If it ADHD then stimulants might help. I know I had a lot more self-control when I started on dex. But if it’s impulsive use of drugs recent research points to the potential of glutaminergic drugs (but I think it depends on what type of addiction you have)
 

f1mula0ne

Bluelighter
Joined
Nov 20, 2020
Messages
47
I'm taking sodium valproate and olanzapine. I hate olanzapine but my doc put me back on it after I went through a freakishly long amphetamine binge. I was on aripiprazole and had some good results, I think the dosage may have been way too high but it did keep me a lot more stable. Going to try and re-engage with my psychiatrist, and see a counsellor ASAP.
 

f1mula0ne

Bluelighter
Joined
Nov 20, 2020
Messages
47
So you were right...I've got early onset dementia as my psychiatrist pointed out during my clinical session yesterday. Glutaminergic drugs will help but fuck me I wish someone had pointed it out earlier. He quizzed me about my past claims of my mother having dementia and was pretty spot on....hoping there's some medication available on pbs that my doc can prescribe to help. I literally would leave my keys in my fridge or lose something, panic, get all angsty and struggle in any sort of gaming/functional activity. Hope it's not too late for me :(
 

f1mula0ne

Bluelighter
Joined
Nov 20, 2020
Messages
47
So you were right...I've got early onset dementia as my psychiatrist pointed out during my clinical session yesterday. Glutaminergic drugs will help but fuck me I wish someone had pointed it out earlier. He quizzed me about my past claims of my mother having dementia and was pretty spot on....hoping there's some medication available on pbs that my doc can prescribe to help. I literally would leave my keys in my fridge or lose something, panic, get all angsty and struggle in any sort of gaming/functional activity. Hope it's not too late for me :(
I haven't exactly been smoking half-weights every day, just points every now and then with good breaks between them. But I spoke to a nurse who said it's highly unlikely that I have early onset dementia but this doc may have been onto something. Going to get neurological testing done which my GP can follow up on. Life Is Strange.
 
Last edited:

✿Dai₷y✿

Bluelighter
Joined
Jul 26, 2019
Messages
3,570
Location
Your dads face
I’ve recently come off a month long meth binge while I was smoking at least 1 g of cleaned crystal every day while putting myself to bed every 48 hours with seroquel. With a few week or month long breaks along the way I’ve been doing this for about 18 months. My meth use was out of my ability to control it for more than a few weeks and was seriously damaging my ability to work. After trying myself to resolve this onngoing on again off again use pattern I had tried NA and willpower as well as burning all my contacts and changing my address and phone number. It never worked;

It did not occur to me that the government was my best option for help.

On day 4 after I quit the last time I was starting to become psychotic with anxiety and depression as well as having developed Parkinson’s like symptoms and being constantly weak and dizzy. An ex girlffriend of mine thought I was just having a mental health crisis (not involving drugs) so called the state Mental Health Hotline (a free 1-800 number). The person who answered (immediately) triajed me and I answered honestly about my meth use but advised that I had comorbid existing mental health problems - namely ADHD and Bipolar I. They asked me what drugs I had in the house and when I said I had prescribed benzos and seroquel they advised me to take them but to go immediately to the emergency room if I felt unsafe or a danger to myself or others. There was a whole bunch of questions to ascertain this and apparently I presented like a sane but totally strung out person having a very bad comedown.

The bottom line was if I came to the ER they’d just give me benzos and seroquel, so I might as well use my own supply in the comfort of my own home if I could handle being alone. I could.

However, they asked me if I wanted my case elevated to the 24/7 critical care team for long term management. This was because of the extensive duration of meth use and the comorbid psychiatric diagnosis. I said yes and several hours later I got a call from a fully qualified psychiatrist with 20 years drug and alcohol experience. When I told him I was very worried about the combination of meth with antipsychotics and was too afraid to take the seroquel or other prescribed drugs, he gave me a very basic but very helpful explanation of the dopamine receptor system and the effects of combining agonists and antagonists and why he’d believed I would be best served by abstaining from meth but staying on anti—psychotics for at least 7 weeks until the mid-term effects of meth abuse at my level had ceased.

This psychiatrist spoke to me for close to an hour on the phone and entertained every possible question I could come up with about what meth and the various other drugs I was taking was doing to my brain. In the end he recommended dosage changes (increases) to 2 scripted drugs I was taking and totally ceasing one other (a stimulant). We had a long discussion about the possible benefits of using my prescribed stimulant to wean off the meth. But in the end he convinced me that going cold turkey with meth was the better option and that I could possibly restart my prescribed stimulants after being abstinent from meth for at least 7 weeks. He also seriously questioned whether I had bipolar disorder and made some recommendations for getting a fresh diagnosis once the meth was out of my system (again 7 weeks according to him). He explained in detail why he thought I might be misdiagnosed.

Just talking to these two specialists lowered my anxiety and panic immensely and nearly removed the stress of coming down so hard.They were very careful to make sure I understood that I was in a position that thousands of AUstralians find themselves in and that there was no shame attached to my predicament. It was purely a medical issue.

After working out a medication regime using my existing meds for 7 weeks they also arranged for me to have 20 bulk-billed (i.e. free) sessions with a clinical psychologist in my area. This is 10 more than normally available under the government’s program but because I had been elevated to a critical case, they authorised the extra 10 on the spot. They even found me a psychologist with a no-gap policy that would not charge any extras. The argument was that I needed to learn my triggers for using and how to cope with them. They recommended a kind of therapy called DBT (Dialectical Behavioural Therapy)

Most importantly to me they asked my permission before contacting my existing psychiatrist or GP. They recommended that it was best practice (and they had the contact details). But because of my professional standing with these practitioners, the fact that they are willing to prescribe me stims and benzos, and some insurance arrangements I asked that they not be informed. This was accepted and my file was ‘locked’ out of the medical records system, so that only this critical care team had access should I need future help. So full confidentiality.

I’m just writing this because, before this experience I never would have thought you could get such good care from the public health system with a major meth problem. If you are seriously fucked up like I was, give consideration to calling your local Mental Heath Hotline - it could lead you to a very helpful place or at least get you through a tough period.

Complain as much as you want about the government. This treatment was well worth my taxes. And a lot less judgy than what I would have expected going through my GP.


What if you don't have any mental health pre existing conditions, meds etc, no seroquel or benzos ? Like my good buddy, I'm so pissed off at him.

What about hypothetical people who are peachy keen to promise anything for their alleged friends hard earned money only to fuck off into the blue yonder not a thought to tell their friends they won't turn up as promised and respond with a pity party woe as me vague drama, or their friend that's dumb enough to lose track of owed moneys abd footing bills for emergency accommodation?

Id suggest going for treatment but 'no one helps me" thing will be the response.

Then it will be me being another cunt friend that turned on him in his time of need (forgetting I'm there for him when he's down but not invited when he's magically on top, where are his hangers on when he's fucked up?)


People who want to just keep going and want to keep sponging without getting better are the ones most in need of help, the most impossible to get through to and dont really seem deserved of help.

Its a shit drug, more than occasional use and no more, .

Proud of you, Atelier, I hope you'll be okay snd will be fine I'm sure.

My mate hasn't got his shit together and helping him out hasn't worked, I'm done.
 

Nightrider19

Moderator: AADD
Joined
Aug 8, 2019
Messages
373
Location
Syd
I’ve recently come off a month long meth binge while I was smoking at least 1 g of cleaned crystal every day while putting myself to bed every 48 hours with seroquel. With a few week or month long breaks along the way I’ve been doing this for about 18 months. My meth use was out of my ability to control it for more than a few weeks and was seriously damaging my ability to work. After trying myself to resolve this onngoing on again off again use pattern I had tried NA and willpower as well as burning all my contacts and changing my address and phone number. It never worked;

It did not occur to me that the government was my best option for help.

On day 4 after I quit the last time I was starting to become psychotic with anxiety and depression as well as having developed Parkinson’s like symptoms and being constantly weak and dizzy. An ex girlffriend of mine thought I was just having a mental health crisis (not involving drugs) so called the state Mental Health Hotline (a free 1-800 number). The person who answered (immediately) triajed me and I answered honestly about my meth use but advised that I had comorbid existing mental health problems - namely ADHD and Bipolar I. They asked me what drugs I had in the house and when I said I had prescribed benzos and seroquel they advised me to take them but to go immediately to the emergency room if I felt unsafe or a danger to myself or others. There was a whole bunch of questions to ascertain this and apparently I presented like a sane but totally strung out person having a very bad comedown.

The bottom line was if I came to the ER they’d just give me benzos and seroquel, so I might as well use my own supply in the comfort of my own home if I could handle being alone. I could.

However, they asked me if I wanted my case elevated to the 24/7 critical care team for long term management. This was because of the extensive duration of meth use and the comorbid psychiatric diagnosis. I said yes and several hours later I got a call from a fully qualified psychiatrist with 20 years drug and alcohol experience. When I told him I was very worried about the combination of meth with antipsychotics and was too afraid to take the seroquel or other prescribed drugs, he gave me a very basic but very helpful explanation of the dopamine receptor system and the effects of combining agonists and antagonists and why he’d believed I would be best served by abstaining from meth but staying on anti—psychotics for at least 7 weeks until the mid-term effects of meth abuse at my level had ceased.

This psychiatrist spoke to me for close to an hour on the phone and entertained every possible question I could come up with about what meth and the various other drugs I was taking was doing to my brain. In the end he recommended dosage changes (increases) to 2 scripted drugs I was taking and totally ceasing one other (a stimulant). We had a long discussion about the possible benefits of using my prescribed stimulant to wean off the meth. But in the end he convinced me that going cold turkey with meth was the better option and that I could possibly restart my prescribed stimulants after being abstinent from meth for at least 7 weeks. He also seriously questioned whether I had bipolar disorder and made some recommendations for getting a fresh diagnosis once the meth was out of my system (again 7 weeks according to him). He explained in detail why he thought I might be misdiagnosed.

Just talking to these two specialists lowered my anxiety and panic immensely and nearly removed the stress of coming down so hard.They were very careful to make sure I understood that I was in a position that thousands of AUstralians find themselves in and that there was no shame attached to my predicament. It was purely a medical issue.

After working out a medication regime using my existing meds for 7 weeks they also arranged for me to have 20 bulk-billed (i.e. free) sessions with a clinical psychologist in my area. This is 10 more than normally available under the government’s program but because I had been elevated to a critical case, they authorised the extra 10 on the spot. They even found me a psychologist with a no-gap policy that would not charge any extras. The argument was that I needed to learn my triggers for using and how to cope with them. They recommended a kind of therapy called DBT (Dialectical Behavioural Therapy)

Most importantly to me they asked my permission before contacting my existing psychiatrist or GP. They recommended that it was best practice (and they had the contact details). But because of my professional standing with these practitioners, the fact that they are willing to prescribe me stims and benzos, and some insurance arrangements I asked that they not be informed. This was accepted and my file was ‘locked’ out of the medical records system, so that only this critical care team had access should I need future help. So full confidentiality.

I’m just writing this because, before this experience I never would have thought you could get such good care from the public health system with a major meth problem. If you are seriously fucked up like I was, give consideration to calling your local Mental Heath Hotline - it could lead you to a very helpful place or at least get you through a tough period.

Complain as much as you want about the government. This treatment was well worth my taxes. And a lot less judgy than what I would have expected going through my GP.

I have just been through this! Im not ready to talk about it but i will in due time.
How good is it to feel supported and feel like something works.

How are you today?
 

Perforated

Moderator: SLR, DC
Staff member
Joined
Sep 28, 2019
Messages
9,006
I have just been through this! Im not ready to talk about it but i will in due time.
How good is it to feel supported and feel like something works.

How are you today?
I'm excellent thanks. I did relapse after the events in that post but only for a week or two maybe. Now I've been clean for 5 weeks and don't feel any interest in meth or have any cravings. It feels like a distant memory at the moment. It hope it stays that way.
 

Pumpkin2021

Moderator: TDS
Staff member
Joined
Feb 25, 2021
Messages
1,964
Location
Michigan
I'm excellent thanks. I did relapse after the events in that post but only for a week or two maybe. Now I've been clean for 5 weeks and don't feel any interest in meth or have any cravings. It feels like a distant memory at the moment. It hope it stays that way.
Good for you. :cheer: To what do you attribute the not having interest in it anymore and no cravings?

Sounds like whatever happened 5 weeks ago , and is continuing to happen, has been a really good thing.
 

ageingpartyfiend

Bluelighter
Joined
Mar 5, 2011
Messages
3,315
Shocked at how awesome the initial support OP received sounded, you were even treated like an actual human being!

You'd get nothing anywhere even approaching that from the UK nhs (national health service)
 

Perforated

Moderator: SLR, DC
Staff member
Joined
Sep 28, 2019
Messages
9,006
Good for you. :cheer: To what do you attribute the not having interest in it anymore and no cravings?

Sounds like whatever happened 5 weeks ago , and is continuing to happen, has been a really good thing.
Regular gentle exercise daily exercise with my dog, a weekly tennis lesson with my young daughter, a re-invigorated commitment to my thesis and daily writing, modest amounts of MDMA and ketamine once a week, a couple of acid blotters whenever cravings seem uncontrollable which is around once every 4 days but because of tolerance I don’t actually trip. Just feel better.
 

CFC

Bluelight Crew
Joined
Mar 9, 2013
Messages
15,222
Location
The Shire
Shocked at how awesome the initial support OP received sounded, you were even treated like an actual human being!

You'd get nothing anywhere even approaching that from the UK nhs (national health service)

Yeah I've had some truly appalling support from staff in the NHS, but it really does depend on the person. Some have actual empathy and can be really good. Many others seem immune from caring or kinda sociopathic, maybe due to seeing difficult people day in day out and no longer giving a fuck. But not just in mental health care either, all kinds of medical professionals dealing with all kinds of health issues.

The reality is that many people who go in for healthcare-type jobs aren't doing it because they care about, like, or are good with people, but because the jobs are perceived to be high status or high paying :confused:
 
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