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The dexamphetamine treatment program in NSW

championsmoka

Greenlighter
Joined
Apr 20, 2020
Messages
21
The dex program was fucking fantastic and should never have been discontinued.

So let me set the stage. I have been a regular ice user for more than 20 years. For the first decade at least this was a curse I tried repeatedly to be rid of. I tried EVERYTHING. 12 step. Inpatient detox / rehab etc. but nothing worked. I felt powerless and like I was not in the driver's seat of my own life.

Enter the dexamphetamine substituion pharmocotherapy program administered by the Stimulant Treatment Program at St. Vicent's hospital Drug & Alcohol Service. I began a daily supervised dose of 80mg of dex. The effect was incredible and immediate. For the first time in my life I felt I had power over meth and did not use it again for 6 weeks. I did not quit meth entirely but I would go months without using it. Admittedly if I did use meth it would typically result in a "lapse" that would last a few weeks.

However because I had the dex to rely on such lapses did not affect my ability to be functional and maintain personal and professional commitments. Whereas before dex when I'd had a meth bender I would be in bed all week stuck in agony and suicidal ideation. I lost jobs because of this.

In short dex changed my life in an amazing way. I discovered self esteem for the first time in my life. I was reliable in my personal and work life. I was healthy. I suffered no adverse physiological effects from the dex. I slept well. I was basically happy and content for the first time in my life.

After 6 years the dex program was abruptly discontinued because it "didn't work". As a means to increase the likelihood of permanent abstinence no it probably does not but as a means to reduce harm and effect positive outcomes in many facets of life for an addict it was incredibly effective.

I was devastated and now completely stimulant dependent (admittedly more so now as a result of daily dex use yes) I resorted to almost daily meth use. I mange my using pretty well. On work days I consume it orally and perhaps every other day but I still enjoy smoking it though when I do consume it that way it more often than not gets way from me.
Now if you're reading this and tempted to advise me abstinence is the only way please GGF. If I were to abruptly discontinue stimulant use I would endure endless agony and depression. I do not bounce back after a few weeks like most people. I've tried going months without and it is endless suffering. It would take my brain many years to approach anything even remotely resembling normal functionality during which time the best years of my professional life would slip away from me. My dopamine system is completely changed in an irreversible way.

Read my lips: I am completely stimulant dependent.

I have come to accept this and manage it as best I can. However ice being an illicit substance the quality and availability vary so much it is in no way like having a reliable pharmaceutical grade stimulant to depend on.

The bottom line is my life is so much worse now the dex program is not available. IMHO it has been prematurely written off as a viable treatment to ice addiction simply because the expectation of society that drugs are bad mmmm k. To those that suggest this - stop drinking and never have another alcoholic beverage again I dare you.

I see my situation as no different to someone with heart disease who is now dependent on statins etc.

Seriously what is the harm in allowing someone like me access to regulated medication that improves my life so much?

The OTP (Opiode Treatment Program) has successfully improved the lives of heroin addicts with methadone for decades yet a similar substitute for ice is too "controversial"


From the AMA website:

"Greater examination of pharmacotherapies, such as lisdexamfetamine, dexamphetamine, modafinil, bupropion, oral naltrexone and N-acetylcysteine is essential "
 
Last edited:

Atelier3

Bluelighter
Joined
Sep 28, 2019
Messages
1,611
That is a bummer that they stopped the program. I researched it a bit and called them up to see what’s what but they never called me back. Was at beginning of corona time so kind of understandable.

I knew St Vincents had a good stim program but I had no idea that it was a dex substitution program until I read the OP and a few things clicked.

Perhaps luckily I have endless supply of dex (30 mg a day) - maybe if I took it more often I might get some benefits re quitting meth although it sounds like the required dosage is a fair bit higher.

I suspect it had closed because it was a trial and the grant money has run out.
 

championsmoka

Greenlighter
Joined
Apr 20, 2020
Messages
21
That is a bummer that they stopped the program. I researched it a bit and called them up to see what’s what but they never called me back. Was at beginning of corona time so kind of understandable.

I knew St Vincents had a good stim program but I had no idea that it was a dex substitution program until I read the OP and a few things clicked.

Perhaps luckily I have endless supply of dex (30 mg a day) - maybe if I took it more often I might get some benefits re quitting meth although it sounds like the required dosage is a fair bit higher.

I suspect it had closed because it was a trial and the grant money has run out.
Lucky you re the dex but yeah 30mg a day probably isn't enough to be effective in quitting meth.

No they didn't run out of money they just concluded that because people on the program didn't quit for good it was not effective.
 

Atelier3

Bluelighter
Joined
Sep 28, 2019
Messages
1,611
Lucky you re the dex but yeah 30mg a day probably isn't enough to be effective in quitting meth.

No they didn't run out of money they just concluded that because people on the program didn't quit for good it was not effective.
The total abstinence mindset is so damaging when people’s lives could be vastly improved with some help learning to be moderate and adopting harm minimisation techniques.
 

championsmoka

Greenlighter
Joined
Apr 20, 2020
Messages
21
The total abstinence mindset is so damaging when people’s lives could be vastly improved with some help learning to be moderate and adopting harm minimisation techniques.
Amen to that but while Australia boozes itself into oblivion I see no respite from the view of illicit substances
 

Atelier3

Bluelighter
Joined
Sep 28, 2019
Messages
1,611
Amen to that but while Australia boozes itself into oblivion I see no respite from the view of illicit substances
Canberra’s basically legalised weed - its the thin end of the wedge. Once the Law and Order Liberals are out and Labor has to do deals with the drug loving Greens we will see more changes in different states.
 

championsmoka

Greenlighter
Joined
Apr 20, 2020
Messages
21
That is a bummer that they stopped the program. I researched it a bit and called them up to see what’s what but they never called me back. Was at beginning of corona time so kind of understandable.

I knew St Vincents had a good stim program but I had no idea that it was a dex substitution program until I read the OP and a few things clicked.

Perhaps luckily I have endless supply of dex (30 mg a day) - maybe if I took it more often I might get some benefits re quitting meth although it sounds like the required dosage is a fair bit higher.

I suspect it had closed because it was a trial and the grant money has run out.
P.s. Though as discussed 30mg a day would probably not be that great but it might be better than nothing - I've tried seeing shrinks to get a dex prescription but as soon as they hear my case history they're like too hot to handle please move along lol. one of them told me to move to Victoria as the law there is more lax. Gee is that what my $400 buys?
 

championsmoka

Greenlighter
Joined
Apr 20, 2020
Messages
21
Canberra’s basically legalised weed - its the thin end of the wedge. Once the Law and Order Liberals are out and Labor has to do deals with the drug loving Greens we will see more changes in different states.
I hope you are right but it will all be too late for me :(
 

Atelier3

Bluelighter
Joined
Sep 28, 2019
Messages
1,611
P.s. Though as discussed 30mg a day would probably not be that great but it might be better than nothing - I've tried seeing shrinks to get a dex prescription but as soon as they hear my case history they're like too hot to handle please move along lol. one of them told me to move to Victoria as the law there is more lax. Gee is that what my $400 buys?
That’s interesting I got diagnosed ADHD and prescribed dex in NSW despite being open about long history of stim abuse - including meth.

I discussed it with my psych and he said self-medication / substance abuse is actually one of the symptoms of adult ADHD so it only increased his belief I needed dexies.

Then again I think he would probably prescribe dexies for a broken leg - he is a true believer in their value.
 

MindlessBilly

Bluelighter
Joined
Dec 21, 2008
Messages
133
Location
Australia
It's really shit they stopped the study after 6 months. I full t believe itnimproved the quality of your life. I had been a heavy smoker for a couple of years "self medicating? When I came across a psych who took adult ADHD seriously, after years of trying as an adult and getting no where.

Once i got a dex script my meth use practically over ningt stopped. Honestly I had to lie about my past drug use as I've found in the past telling the truth usually results in bullshit like SSRIs
 
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