STP: GETTING THE RESULT I WANT - JACOB'S STORY
I came to the STP as a poly drug user and it saved my life. I had the desire to change but I just didn’t have the tools to do it. The STP has given me time out and a way of learning about myself.
When you first come to the STP you usually have to spend 6 weeks or so doing counselling at the drop-in clinic, I was fast tracked into detox because I had a K dependency on top of my ice dependency and was drinking alcohol as well. K withdrawals are very similar to alcohol withdrawals - you get tremors and need a medicated detox. In fact alcohol can stop the K tremors long enough so you can get a shot away - one of the main reasons I drank every day.
After my K detox, I got allocated a regular counsellor and put on dex for my ice use. Things have really changed for me. I am using K rarely and only a quarter of the ice I used to use. I am not drinking alcohol at all. I have even had abstinent days. That is huge for me.
You ask me if I would recommend the STP. Of course I would. This is the only thing out there for people on ice. I know, I’ve looked. Even if you don’t go on dex, the counselling part is great.
I feel really lucky to be one of the few people on dex. It isn’t a high but it takes the edge off, takes the craving away and does block ice if you use it. I had tried Modafinal but it didn’t work for me. But I do know people it has worked for, so I think it needs to be available as an option for people. We are not all alike and we need lots of different tools to help us make changes to our drug use.
I pick up my dex in the late mornings. The doctor told me to try and not use before I get my dex and I have been pretty good at sticking to that. If I am going to use I will do it in the evenings, after the dex has worn off. To not use, I try and go to bed really early. That works for me some days. It would be great if I could have another dose of dex in the early evenings though.
It can be hard work, picking up the dose every day when you have no energy, but it’s worth it. If I worked I couldn’t do it. I do think they need to work out how to make the STP right for people who are working. Being able to go to a chemist would make a lot of difference. I think most chemists who do methadone would probably be willing to take on dex.
I still haven’t worked out what I am confronting in myself or what I use the drugs to mask. I have a mental health diagnosis and that muddies the waters a bit but the STP staff are great - they say no rush, it will all come. What I do know is that I have the desire to change. I don’t want to be using. And with the STP I am getting the result I want.