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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 6:48 pm 
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My doctor perscribed me Suboxone to help me with my addiction to Percocets. He prescribed 8mg, 3 times a day, so total 24mg/day. First couple days I felt high as a kite, but by the end of the first week I was feeling great with all the benefits that had been assured to me by the doc. I had tons of motivation, energy, and was able to focus on tasks at work wonderfully, but most of all, I had an over all feeling of well-being! NOT HIGH, just content. I was so happy. THEN...by the end of 2nd week, I was noticing that all the those great feelings, especially the motivation and energy, were dwindilling and I had no idea why. I had taken all of my doses faithfully and on time. Now, its the end of the 3rd week and I am feeling absolutley no benifits from the suboxone at all, and I am devestated and confused as to why this happended. I see a pretty crappy doc because I dont have insurance, and he just assumes that I'm saying I want to be high. After reading around on the net a bit, I noticed that people say less is more with suboxone, so I decided to be my own advocate and lowered my dose to to 16mg. I have been at that does for a couple days, but still no change. I feel like I am taking no medication at all. Now I am wondering if I have to get completly off for the nerons to get unblocked so that I can somehow start over at the right dose. If anyone has any idea about what I am describing here, please help. I am desperate to get that motivation, energy and feelings of well being back-that's what will keep my sober. I still have a teeny bit of hope that the suboxone can end up being a great med for me, if I can just figure out what dose is best and how to hold on to the effects. HELP!!!
Brooke
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 9:59 pm 
Hi Brooke. I can kind of relate! I've been on Sub a little over 2 months. Doctor prescribed 24mg/day (8mg X 3/day), but said I could kind of play with it a bit - to take more or less depending on how my symptoms were doing. I found that I didn't need all three doses within the first 4-5 days so had been taking 12-16mg/day for the first two-three weeks. Since that time I have taken as little as 8mg/day and on some days (maybe every 3rd or 4th day) I'll take an extra 4-8mg if I had some cravings or leg pain (a major withdrawal symptom for me).
Anyway, that seemed to be working out great until a couple of weeks ago. Since then, like you, I have noticed a decrease in my energy/motivation level and just an overall decline in my general mood. Which in turn, brings on some cravings for that old euphoric/energized feeling that opiates used to give me. I hate it! While I did not notice a 'high' feeling when I first started Suboxone, I did notice a tremendous increase in energy/motivation. So I am not missing anything that Suboxone first did for me. Rather I am just not enjoying my 'normal' life as much. Don't know if that makes a lick of sense to anyone at all. I'm just trying to sort it out.
At this point, I have decided to quit adjusting my doses for a while, leave myself at straight 8mg/day and see if things level out. From everything I've read, 8mg/day is generally enough to be effective. Also, with the extremely long half life of Sub, we shouldn't really be able to notice any differences in our dosing for about three days. The other thing I'm thinking (and maybe this will hold some truth for you too) is that - Hey, this is just life! We have good weeks and not so good weeks sometimes. I feel that Suboxone has allowed me the chance to look at my life and begin to acknowledge the consequences that my addiction has caused in my life. Well, that is a bit depressing and discouraging to deal with.
In other words, I'm not gonna blame Suboxone because I know the mess I was in before I started it. I think I just have to learn how to deal with my feelings again, deal with some bad days again, like I could before I got addicted to opiates. I know it aint gonna be easy, but we've gotta try!
Hope I helped some if only to say "I understand what you're saying"


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2009 12:51 am 
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I strongly suggest getting involved with an education support group for Suboxone online or get some support with peer led meetings because from what you are describing- you are expecting Suboxone to be the only thing you need to remain off of opiates.It takes more than that, a pill is not the answer to your addiction- it is merely a tool of recovery and you need more than one tool to battle your addiction. I know we all wish it was as easy as just relying on Suboxone alone, but it isn't.
When I first started taking Suboxone, I went through an Intensive Outpatient Program.I learned new,healthy alternative ways to handle my stress,pain, and anxiety.Without what I learned- I would have relapsed by now.
24mg is very high- I think you got off to a bad start with such a high dose.Sadly, many doctors that prescribe Suboxone are not in it for the compassion, so many people have to be their own advocates in treatment.The best choice you made was coming here to get more information.We do care and want to see you succeed. Try to start over with a smaller dose, like 4mg, and adding 4mg at a time.Your target dose is the smallest dose that alleviates physical withdrawal. The mental side is another story.You have to learn about your addiction and learn a new way to live.It takes time and effort, but if you really want to have a better quality of life- you will.
If you need anymore info or have questions, just ask.

Below are links to help you:

National Alliance of Advocates for Buprenorphine Treatment

Addiction Survivors

Turn to Help (Suboxone Treatment Support)

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"It is never too late to be what you might have been!" - George Eliot


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 9:27 pm 
So Shelwoy - Am I understanding you correctly when you say the "ideal" dose of Suboxone is the lowest dose that alleviates the "physical" symptoms of withdrawal only? Are you saying that Suboxone is not designed to help us in any way "mentally"? What about cravings? Would you consider that "mental" more than "physical" or not?
I too, went through an intensive outpatient program. I also attended lots of support groups, did step-work, had a great sponsor, etc. While I had positive experiences with those modalities and took away some wonderful recovery tools, it wasn't until I started Suboxone that I could go for more than 5 minutes without overwhelming cravings.Of course, over time, my physical withdrawal symptoms abated tremendously, but the cravings and the low motivation levels (mental aspects) were just killing me.
Suboxone treated those issues very well for me. As I stated in my previous post, I have noticed that as I've continued on Sub, I have had a bit of a decrease in my motivation and general mood. But nothing I can't handle.
I think it's difficult to know what the ideal dose is for each individual. Maybe less is generally better.
I hope to find stability at 8mg/day, but if it turns out to be 12mg or 16mg, that's okay too. I do not struggle with physical withdrawal symptoms at all when I have taken 8mg/day, but I think it's important that our mental withdrawal symptoms are treated as well because what led me back to opiates more than anything else after achieving a little clean time was always the cravings and the low motivation.
I agree with you completely about your advice to seek other treatment modalities along with Suboxone. It is not the answer for opiate addiction. And I'm sure a lot of people out there have other mental health diagnoses along with their addiction. Those absolutely have to be acknowledged and addressed as well.
For me, having had no prior history of depression, anxiety, or other disorders, I think I can safely say that any issues I have with mood/motivation are related to my addiction and recovery. And Suboxone seems to help.
I've also wondered if the age at which our substance abuse issues began has anything at all to do with how well we progress in recovery.
I would imagine that those who began abusing substances/self-medicating at an earlier age would not be as well equipped to manage stress, etc than those who had led substance free adult lives for many years prior to their addiction. In other words, the later-in-life addict probably had developed some healthy coping mechanisms that they are then able to fall back on once they're in recovery. I don't know, just a thought. For me, Suboxone has enabled me to get past the cravings and the nearly debilitating dysphoria, so that I can now imagine going back to becoming the person I was before opiates got a hold on me.
I am curious to know what everyone's opinion is on this. Do you think Suboxone treats the 'mental' aspects of withdrawal or just the 'physical'?
Thanks to everyone who posts! I learn something nearly every day by participating in this wonderful forum!


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 3:06 am 
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To the original poster: I sense that (and correct me if I am wrong) it seems you expect this pill (suboxone) to do something for you. Taking percs makes you FEEL good. It gives you energy, happiness, and whatever else you desire. The goal of suboxone is (in my non-medical professional opinion) not to give you "feelings". Getting high, or even catching a buzz are not the intended results. It is intended to relieve physical withdrawal symptoms, as well as decrease the urge to use, or take away the cravings to use.

I am concerned that your expectations of subs may be a bit off (i know mine were). You mentioned after 3 weeks of use you were "feeling absolutely no benefits." What were you expecting? The motivation and energy you first felt, is explainable, but after that I don't think you should be FEELING any BENEFITS.

I will tell you MY benefits of use (none that I "feel" when I take the drug:

I have not: Lied, stolen, worried about juggling stories, felt withdrawals because the damn dealer won't answer, waited HOURS in a parking lot for a dealer, worried about what my UA would look like, worried about what was in my car incase I got pulled over, etc.

There are benefits. I hope you find some in your life, or find what works for you, because opiate addiction kills people, LOTS of them, and I have lost too many 'friends' and don't want to lose any more.

*****Important***** the chances for success with addiction by using suboxone, are in my opinion 80% higher if accompanied by face to face treatment and association with fellow addicts and therapists-in-recovery*****


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