My name is Tiare and I am a grateful recovering opiate addict. I'm writing this letter for the simple fact that I want the person reading this to know the Waismann Method changed my life. I am 27 years old and the mother of the beautiful children you see with me in the picture. I want to give you a little history because if you’re an opiate addict. I have been in the situation you are in and my heart goes out to you. You wouldn’t know from looking at this picture that just a couple of years ago I was strong out on heroin, pregnant with my son and having the drug dealers look at me and say “your about to have a baby and I really don’t want to deal to you anymore”. I never seriously thought about those words until a couple of months ago.
My journey thru hell started at the age of 19 with a toothache and I got a prescription for Vicodin. Let’s just say that within 3 months I was taking up to 60 Loratab, Lorcet, Oxycontin or Norco a day. I became a doctor shopper of the worst kind and would do anything for those pastel colored pills that I drooled over. When I was on them I could do everything, get anything accomplished and felt like the queen of the world. As you know, when you run out you’re screwed. The worms crawling underneath your skin, the sweats, the chills, no appetite, stomach cramping, no sleep, moaning in pain, panic attacks, and at times thoughts of suicide. I tried every hospital detox all over the state of California. By the young age of 23 I had been to 7 treatment centers from the farthest north to the farthest south of California. Nothing I mean nothing was working. I would pick up again as soon as I got released from rehabilitation. I almost lost my children, but my mother and husband were my rocks. In July of 2002, I was desperate and out of doctors. I had gone through the phone books in six different counties and had been black balled from every pharmacy in a 300 mile radius. I was out of options and 6 months pregnant. I hid my addiction from my husband and managed to get my prescriptions for the phentanyl lollypops from my neurologist, claiming migraine headaches. They thought they knew had bad I was but they really had no clue. With my prescribed eight Norco and eight 1000 mg Actiq lollypops per day, my body and my son sucked it up so fast I needed an even stronger fix to keep me, “well” as I called it. I remember the pharmacist saying to me, “you know your baby is going to be born addicted to opiates and you realize we have to special order those lollypops for you because, not even dying cancer patients take 400 mg Actiq phentanyl lollypops a day and especially not with Norco’s.” I still was unphased when this was told to me. My addiction was alive and so much stronger then me but I had no comprehension of it till now. I do not regret what the doctors did because they did no want me going into premature labor for withdrawal. The place I was taken to next was a whole new level. Shooting heroin was my next best friend. It took me to the filthiest, horrifying houses and dangerous neighborhoods and places you could ever imagine, all while very pregnant and toting around my 1 year old daughter. The places I took her to make me want to vomit now. Till the day I die I will not forget what I did to her. I hid my track marks very well and although 7 months pregnant I weighed 97 pounds. Every bone in my body jutted out from my neck bone to my spine. I was a skeleton. My neurologist, OBGYN and my drug addiction specialist came up with a plan that after my son was born they would detox me. Keep in mind they had no idea I was on heroin. I got off heroin 2 weeks before my son was born. That was the day I found out his lungs were developed 25% of what they should be, he was under weight, and would immediately after birth have to go into the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. On October 25, 2002 my son was born with 3 respitory therapists surrounding me, the head doctor of the NIC unit, my OBGYN and an uncountable amount of nurses. The incubator was sitting right there next to me and I remember at that point saying to myself, “what have I done”. Someone much more powerful was watching out for my son that day because he came out pink, screaming and completely healthy. My neurologist came and visited me in the hospital that day and said we were kind of hoping he would have some minor problems to wake you up to what you are doing to yourself, your family and especially with innocent baby boy. Of course that detox didn’t work I was back on heroin after a week and couldn’t take my home from the hospital. He was kept on a withdrawal watch in the nursery and given Phenobarbital to combat his withdrawal symptoms. I had been told about Methadone over and over again. I knew I had hit bottom when I was arrested with my daughter in a pharmacy for 5 counts of felony prescription drug fraud for calling in my own scripts. I spent the night in jail detoxing with my mother taking care of my 5 week old and 1 year old. My bail was $10,000.00 and I managed to post that night. That was the end. It was time to do that horrible thing called methadone which they said I could live a normal life as a pretty much maintained junkie. I did it and I thought it was heaven at first. It completely consumed each and every day of my life. After a year on it I was tired of driving back and forth everyday just to get a fix that didn’t get me high but I was able to maintain some normalcy. For two years I tried dosing down but even at 180 mg of Methadone I was irritable angry and extremely overweight. (It tends to make women gain weight)
The changing point in my life came in June 2005 when I realized I was going to be a, “lifer” as they call it with Methadone. Going in the clinic, carrying my little metal lockbox, standing in line with a bunch of other junkies several times a week and never being able to leave my hometown unless they had a place for me to courtesy dose. On top of all this I realized looking at the people who had been on Methadone for 20 years or more that my life would never amount to anything. My mother had heard about rapid detox and I called every place in North America. I was numb and had extreme emotional pain and scared like I was never been in my life but I knew that that was no way to live. I had two toddlers a husband and for god sakes I was only 26 years old. I took a sigh of relief when in June I spoke with a woman named Deborah from the Waismann Method. She actually cared, she wanted to help me and I trusted her when I had never really trusted anybody else. The other rapid detox facilities had death rates, were done in clinics and had horror stories that reminded me of the kind of fear I had when I was at the heroin dealer’s house. The Waismann Method was done in a hospital, and the actual procedure took place in the I.C.U. They had 24 hour a day care before and after your treatment and allowed you to stay in the hospital if you lied for a day or two afterward instead of the other places which immediately sent you on a plane home. They helped make my travel arrangements for me and met me immediately at the gate of the airport. They were also very confidential. I am not going to lie; it was a lot of money but what was more important, a years worth of rent, a new car, or MY LIFE. I chose my life, for myself and so my children can grow up knowing their mother didn’t die from a Tylenol overdose from taking to many pills or to much heroin in her veins, or falling asleep driving while on Methadone.
On September 13, 2005 I went into their hospital and was met by a very chirpy, confident doctor while I didn’t like very much at that point because I was so miserable and had no soul in my being left. I now love Dr. Bernstein and have had the opportunity to go to Los Angeles and thank him from the bottom of my heart for what he did for me. He and Dr. Lowenstein save my life. I’m not going to say I felt fabulous when I woke up, but I didn’t have the worms under my skin and the withdrawal symptoms were minimal. Keep in mind my opiate addiction had been non-stop since 1998 and I had been on 180 mg of Methadone for almost three years. The success rate is 1-2% of people who try and dose down on their own at the methadone clinics and who stay clean. In my opinion I would have never come off Methadone if it wasn’t for the Waismann Method. I remember vividly being in the hospital the day after my procedure and Dr. Lowenstein came to see me. I remember him saying he was on his way to his daughter’s gymnastics competition and I thought to myself I want to have a smile on my face like he does. I want to be clean and free from addiction or the devil as I sometimes refer to it as. I want to be involved in my children’s lives and enjoy them growing up and get the simple pleasures out of life. I could go on and on about little things that broke the sun and daylight in to my heart that made me know I never had to be part of the ball and chain of opiate addiction again.
I wrote this letter because all of you suffering out there like I was need to see a face with a story to know this happens to upper class, middle class, and all around the board people. If you are really serious and want to speak with me about what a wonderful life you can have Deborah will give me your number and I can call you. I owe my life to Waismann Method and want everyone who is addicted to be free of addiction like me. From one opiate addict to another my prayers are with you.