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PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 6:37 pm 
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 10:41 pm 
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OMG THAT IS SO TRIGGERING!!!!!!

lol :D

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 Post subject: Its All Good!! Love NA!
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 7:15 pm 
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aubreyz:

I posted a quote from a NA IP that states that they do not have any opinion on medication. Its really up to you, your sponsor and your higher power. They are not doctors. I am lucky I Have an very understanding fellowship. They all new I was on sub, both times and did not mind.

I love NA and if you like it too don't let anyone make you feel bad about that!! I think it is wonderful and do not know hwere I would be without it.

NA has come a long way about medications and know that it is unrealistic to say "nothing no matter what" anymore. They realize that they are not doctors and that there are times we need to take something.

Everyone new I was on sub and it was fine... I hope you find some peace and comfort from this post. :D


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 5:18 pm 
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I have been on suboxone for 2 years now and also attend NA meetings. I have come across a few "old timers" who really aren't educated about suboxone and don't consider people on suboxone as being clean. I don't attend NA for those people. I go to get what I need out of the meetings and leave the rest there. I don't always agree with everything that is said in the meetings and I also have to understand that the people that have been clean are just human they are not super heros and are no better than me. I used to look up to those With numerous years of clean time but now see that they can fail as quick as I can. I think the steps are good and everybody could learn a little more about themselves and how to live by using them that goes for the addict and non addict. I dont attend meetings to socialize (even though I do have friends) I go to learn a little more for the day and I go on with my life. NA works for me and if it doesn't thats ok too. To each his own.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 12:04 pm 
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What a tough topic-- even in an atmosphere where we share so much in common, the topic is divisive. My life was saved twice by the steps so I certainly see the value and attractiveness of recovery. I JUST DON'T THINK IT PRODUCES LASTING RECOVERY FROM OPIATES. I can hear the old timers saying that 'it works if you work it'-- the problem is that the vast majority of people cannot keep 'working it'. That nice recovery feeling is, in my opinion, an artificial state of it's own-- at least as 'artificial' as taking buprenorphine. Any 12 stepper will admit that if you stop meetings, your chance for staying clean drops like a stone. That shows me that all of the learning and work of living the steps is not enough to keep me a person clean-- they need the meetings to 'hold them' in an artificial personality state where their responses to the world are a bit 'muted'. As we learn more about the brain, behavior becomes chemicals and chemicals become behavior-- I read a study the other day that showed that by PET scan, researchers can tell the specific numeral that a person is thinking about, based on the firing pattern in the brain. Going to meetings and reciting the readings over and over, plus feeling the support and peer pressure of others there, put a person in a different frame of mind-- and in the process change brain chemicals and firing patterns.

So in my opinion, both Suboxone and NA change the chemistry of the brain-- one by eating a pill, the other by reading and being immersed with others who are in the same frame of mind. In both cases the addict is held in a mental/chemical state where he or she can avoid using. Both wear off, and when either is gone the addict usually resumes using.

For many people, it is easier to change their state of mind by taking a medication than by attending meetings. But in both cases you are not getting a 'natural' brain-- but then, everything changes us so the distinction is irrelevant.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 1:07 pm 
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I am very sorry to bump this thread but I couldn't stop myself.
I too am a recovering addict with the help of Suboxone and the 12 steps I've became a contributing citizen rather than a pest to society. I have also been around the program for nearly 3 years and I can tell the recovering addict a simple fact. From at least the 500 people I've seen coming to NA maybe 5 of them to this day are still clean, and out of the 100 people I've seen implement the step work and suboxone EACH and EVERY one is fairly successful (at least for an addict's definition) they more often than not hold down a regular job, carry on functional relationships and also some have returned back to school including myself.
I can see one of the cut and dry NA Guru's a mile away. Ego is inflated, and most of the time they make each subject philosophical and become so immeresed in their step-work that they are dependant on it (which is better than drugs of course). Yet at the same time it's a "substitution program" and suboxone is what? A substitution program (if looked at in a philosophical view). Alot of people seem to be jealous that people are fortunate enough to enter a suboxone program due to how expensive it is, and that's a VERY negatice aspect of the treatment I will AGREE. Affordability is a problem, so alot of people aren't fortunate enough to obtain treatment, and I do think about those people often and pray that they can make it, somehow or some way.
NA does not claim to have knowledge greater than the medical profession and they always tell the addict to follow the advice of their Dr. I've known many a conversations between addicts whilst discussing anti-depression meds such as zoloft, paxil, and such and the end commonality always being, "I'm not going to tell someone something that could kill them." They should also keep that in mind when talking about suboxone. What is the difference between one medication or another if TAKEN properly? The problem with us wasn't taking a bunch of medications properly it was how we took them improperly and without the conscent of a DR. for the most part. I know that I cannot take opiods such as heroin, oxycontin, and many others properly, however, I can take suboxone properly and that's the determining factor when identifying and addiction isn't it?
I know a many an addict that has changed routes to work or home to dodge the dope dealer's house, but not many suboxone patients have even the second thought of stopping by to buy their drug so you tell me which is more successful? A person who thinks about drugs ALL day long everyday and strives for just that one day or the suboxone patient that looks forward to life, becomes successful and educated even if it is assisted?

Choice is yours and it's at this point we either go down the same road or our paths will divide...


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 Post subject: They can jive
PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 4:28 pm 
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After reading these post I was really caught off guard. I have been going to NA meetings for a week at the urging of my Doctor. He put me on Suboxone last week and said he wanted me to go to a meeting NA or AA every day until I see him again in a month.

So I called my Uncle, my favorite addict =), and he directed me to the meetings in my area. He even had some members call me so I wouldnt feel I was walking in with strangers.

They embraced me and made me feel I was among my native people. It was really nice. I like their message too. So when I read this thread I was really taken aback. Was I unknowingly being dishonest with my NA group? Would they lynch me if they knew I was on subs? Do I have to hide something from the very people that I'm not suppose to hide anything from? Well, NOBODY, puts baby in the corner!

I called my uncle again and told him how I had read that I wasn't suppose to share and the others in NA would look down on me if they knew. BS!! He proclaimed! He called his Sponsor who I guess is pretty well versed in NA and very active. They said anyone who thinks NA doesn't allow members to use subs and participate needs to read these brochures, found in each NA meeting place, the first one being "In Times of Illness" the second "More Will be Revealed".

He then reasured me that the group would not treat me badly if I chose to disclose that I was taking subs. I am so releived because I really like the NA meetings.

The moral of my rambling is that not all NA groups are so self rightous. (sorry I'm not the best spell checker)


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 Post subject: not at my meeting
PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2010 4:18 am 
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I go to 4 meetings a week, with one of them being strictly 12 step NA, and at least once every meeting one of the home members will take a crack at suboxone patients. Call them robots, out of touch with reality, too lazy to clean, and ignorant of their own surroundings. It's hard to sit through that without busting someone's head. It asks plainly of everyone in the basic literature that if you've USED which means if you've taken suboxone please DO NOT SHARE and talk to someone after the meeting!


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2010 1:08 pm 
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God, I would "share" in every meeting just to yank their chains.

Maybe I'm not very mature... :roll:

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 Post subject: My two cents
PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 10:20 pm 
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Hello Everyone,

I just finished reading all the posts in this thread and see there is some good discussion on the controversial topics as far as NA is concerned. I would like to add my experiences in recovery from addiction. To start, when i first realized I needed help for my opiate addiction, suboxone was not available in my area, and maybe even in the US. I started an MMT (Methadone Maintenance Treatment) program in fall of 2003. I took Methadone daily until spring of 2008 then switched to subutex, then suboxone, then a 30 day rehab in Nov 2008 where i detoxed and became "Clean." While in the treatment center H&I (Hospitals and Institutions subcommittee of Narcotics Anonymous) members came in and shared with us their experience in NA. This was really the first time I heard the "Message" of NA. So being completely off everything except cigarettes I began attending meetings when I was released from treatment.

I would like to comment on some of the discussion about what is clean and what is not. It appears that different areas and groups of NA may be more strict or relaxed when it comes to suboxone. I am not even going to attempt to say that being on Methadone is considered clean. For me it was just a place to go and get my fix for 4 years. However I did function quite well and actually earned my BS degree in computer science while on MMT. As far as Narcotics Anonymous is concerned the program is one of TOTAL ABSTINENCE period. This is what their entire philosophy is based on. That and the 12 steps which is basically the Beatitudes from the Sermon On The Mount. It means that the use of ANY mood or mind altering substance is considered using. Now individual opinion may vary in regard to how TOTALLY ABSTINENT one wants to be and it is up to the individual to decide weather they are clean or not. I have been to meetings all over the Southeast, NA conventions, and would have to say that the majority of the people would say that if you are on suboxone you are not clean and as far as NA as a whole is concerned and in my area and the areas in proximity of 100 miles in any direction from here is that if you are on any type of maintenance opioid program you are not clean. Please understand that this is not my personal opinion. My opinion doesn't really matter. I believe the person who mentioned the pamphlet "In Times of Illness" saying that it covered suboxone substitution is a bit confused. "In Times of Illness" does state that "Clean time is an issue for each of us to resolve individually with our sponsor and our Higher Power" but seriously lets use some common sense here. This pamphlet is pretty much speaking for those emergency cases where surgery or a very short term limited use of medications is medically necessary. No one is going to have triple by-pass surgery with no pain med's. If I lived in California and had a rx for pot or went to a pain clinic and received OC's for pain am I really going to try and convince myself that I'm clean from all mood or mind altering substances? Now I know you may be asking the same questions I did. Well what about anti-depressants? Or What about Nicotine? Anyone who has been to an NA meeting knows almost everyone smokes. Are they not drugs? Don't they alter your mood? I would have to say yes. But, I cant remember ever pawning all of my stuff to go get more anti depressants or a pack of cigs. I think we have to look at substances that have potential for abuse, dependency, and other harmful factors. See right now I'm at a cross roads with NA. I spent over a year totally abstinent from everything except cigs and ended up in the hospital with a kidney stone at about 16 months clean. I was so determined to not use that I was curled into a fetal position sweating bullets from pain because I was afraid that if I went to the hospital they would give me a narcotic. Well finally I gave in and spent 4 days in the hospital getting morphine and then had surgery and took percocets for 2 weeks after. Well needless to say my addiction was back in full force. I was so afraid of being judged by the people who were supposed to be there for me "No matter what" that I let myself isolate and go further down the spiral. Guess what drug saved my ass again and let me get my life back on track...Yep you got it...suboxone. For me this drug is a miracle drug. In the 16months being totally abstinent I felt awful 75% of the time. I was not happy, joyous, and free. I was depressed, anxious, tired, fearful, and even suicidal. So currently I take 4mg of suboxone a day and plan to stay there. My quality of life is so much better on suboxone. But i want to get something straight. I do not consider myself clean as far as NA is concerned for right now because my area and the surrounding areas and myself are of the mind that suboxone is just another drug, bottom line. A substitution for another drug. How can we say its not? It is a much safer drug than what I used to use and I don't feel the need to abuse it. Its strange how that works because I always abused pain pills. Does it get me "High" no not really but there is definitely a big difference in the way I feel with it and without it. And for those of you who have yet to try to ween yourselves down to nothing, you may be in for a big surprise. Coming off of even a very small amount of suboxone that one has been on for an extended period of time is no picnic. I know because Ive done it. I just don't see how anyone can consider themselves "Clean" while on it. I am not saying that it doesn't improve peoples lives, that it isn't a huge step from doing massive amounts of pain pills all the time because it is. When it comes to sharing in a meeting my take on it is that they cant tell when Im on subs or if Ive taken one that day. Ill share something if I want to. I live in America and no one is going to tell me that I cant speak when I want to. But for the most part I do more listening anyway.

Bless the poor guys' heart who said the stuff about the NA basic text being a bible. You should really learn something about something before you speak on it. It is obvious from your post that you might have spent 5 min in an NA meeting and have read little if any of the book. That book is the collective experiences of THOUSANDS of addicts just like you. Who have seen people try this way and that way to get off drugs and simply wrote down what worked for the majority. Suggestions like changing your old using friends. I don't know about anyone else but I had plenty of buddies and hardly any friends. When all my dope was gone, they were gone. A good addict friend will steal your dope then help you look for it. I know that if I would have not changed my group of friends that I would have never been able to stay clean or even just stay on sub's. Maybe not the first or second time I get around a few 8 balls but more than likely if I hang out with people using drugs I'm going to use drugs. Plain and Simple. How about not using Just for Today? Or not using for an hour at a time? That's how I got 16 months of "Clean Time." I don't agree with everything that is in that book. For example "It doesn't matter what or how much you used" is a bunch of BS. My DOC was opiates not crack. A crack smoker and an opiate user are very different. The damage to our brains is different. The withdrawals are different. They didn't have to make a drug for someone to come off crack like they had to make for opiate addicts. Thank goodness we have it. Many of the people in NA are very uneducated and believe firmly and purely NA philosophy. For some of them it works, but for most it doesn't and neither does suboxone if you were to look at it statistically comparing those on it that never use any other substances.

Also, to comment on what the doctor said about meetings being a substitution. C'mon man yes it does provide some type of substitution and some members are truly obsessed with it, but its not putting something in your body. That's about as weak as saying people who go watch movies or go on dates or focus on their jobs or go to counseling to overcome addiction are substituting. Lets just call it what it is. In closing, all i know is that I learned some very valuable ideals for living a good life and being a better person from NA and at the current time I am pleased with my life. I still attend meetings pretty regularly because I get a lot out of them and have met some really great friends there, but you wont see me picking up "Clean Time" in a total abstinence program while I'm taking sub's. It just doesn't feel right for some reason and that is MY opinion. Please, whoever reads this, note that my tone is very calm and I just like to take part in a discussion. I by no means intended to insult your viewpoint or say anyone is right or wrong, with a few exceptions. Just trying to get across what the vast majority of people in NA are going to act like in regard to suboxone and clean time. I wish you all the best in your pursuit of recovery and leading fulfilling lives no matter what path you choose and whether you say you are clean or dirty or somewhere in the middle. So check out some meetings. Don't worry about whether you are clean or not in their eyes. Fact is if you don't make some serious changes in your behavior and lifestyle and the way you interact with society, more than likely you will continue to use and stay stuck in the cycle of addiction cause when some serious shit hits the fan your first instinct is going to be to find something to get high on and cover it up or not feel it.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 10:41 pm 
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TN addict - thanks for sharing your opinions and experiences.

You said: "Many of the people in NA are very uneducated and believe firmly and purely NA philosophy. For some of them it works, but for most it doesn't and neither does suboxone if you were to look at it statistically comparing those on it that never use any other substances. "

Could you elaborate on that statement? Are you saying that NA's relapses rate is similar or equal to Suboxone's relapse rate? I'm just not sure how to take that statement without further clarification.

Thanks.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 1:51 am 
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hatmaker510 wrote:
TN addict - thanks for sharing your opinions and experiences.

You said: "Many of the people in NA are very uneducated and believe firmly and purely NA philosophy. For some of them it works, but for most it doesn't and neither does suboxone if you were to look at it statistically comparing those on it that never use any other substances. "

Could you elaborate on that statement? Are you saying that NA's relapses rate is similar or equal to Suboxone's relapse rate? I'm just not sure how to take that statement without further clarification.

Thanks.


Hatmaker -

Yes, I would be glad to try and elaborate a little bit on that statement. I will start with clarification on the education statement. I live in Northeast Tennessee. We have a fairly small NA recovery population here. Our NA area consists of about 13 home groups spread out over 5 or 6 small cities. I would estimate that there are anywhere from 150-300 people attending in our area. The majority of our members have anywhere from 0-5 years clean or 15+ years clean. There are probably 30 people who are very active with 1 or more years. Of these people I believe there are 3 or 4 college graduates. Most of the people in this group are over 40 years old with 2-5 years clean. From hearing their stories and looking at ages and clean time it tells me that they spent the majority of their lives in severe active addiction and pretty much all hit "Rock Bottom." Much of the time when you wind up in NA it is the last option left. Even in larger areas there are very few educated professionals. My reasoning behind the statement is that so many of NA members are of a mind set that TOTAL ABSTINENCE is the ONLY way to recover from addiction. They say the three most indispensable spiritual principles are Honesty, Open-mindedness, and Willingness. I see very little Open-mindedness in regard to people on suboxone which is really a new drug in the grand scheme of things. Who is to say that one cannot take a maintenance does of suboxone or a taper down dose and get everything the NA program has to offer? Its to the extent that if you are not clean that you don't even have anything valuable to say or share which is absurd. This is all coming from people with very little educational background and is simply off base. 12 step recovery is really Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT which I firmly believe can change any behavior problem one has if practiced. Through the 12 steps of NA I have been able to pretty much eliminate my road rage problems that I had when I came into the program which is just one example, but really struggled to stay clean. It was a daily challenge to not use. Manifestations of obsessive compulsive behavior presented themselves in my life when I was clean.

As far as the statistics go, just from spending around two years in the program and talking with others who have been there longer literally thousands of people come in and out of the rooms. I once heard somewhere that NA had a 95% fail rate. That less than 2% would be able to make it to a year clean. I have not studied any actual statistic on suboxone treatment alone but would also imagine that relapse rates are extremely high. I know many people who have tried to use just suboxone with no other "Program" and always end up using other drugs. I think I know one or two people who use suboxone as a maintenance drug and nothing else. The problem as I see it is that opiate addicts all feel that the reason they cannot stop using is because of the physical withdraw symptoms from opiate addiction. Well suboxone solves that until you try and get off it. It certainly makes it easier if you do a taper down but most seem to be on it daily for at least six months to a year. So after that year when you taper down you still have to go from 1 or 2 mg's to 0 which is not a cakewalk, especially if you do not have some type of recovery program in place to help deal with all the other issues addicts have. I agree with NA's statement that the drugs are just a symptom of the disease of addiction. So you finally take away the drugs whether slowly or cold turkey you are still left with the same main problem. How does one "reprogram" their brain to not want to use? It doesn't just happen like snapping your fingers when you stop taking the medicine. I believe that the percentage of people who taper down and eventually relapse is going to be much higher than those that taper off and don't use anything ever again. Thus it would also be considered a failure statistically. DRT (Drug Replacement Therapy) really just postpones the inevitable for opiate addicts. Becoming totally abstinent or a maintenance dose. Those who think they will taper off and be able to drink socially or smoke pot occasionally will usually end up using their DOC (Drug Of Choice) eventually. There will be a select few who taper down successfully and stay clean but this group is definitely the minority in my opinion and personal experience. However by utilizing some type of 12 step fellowship or counseling based approach that teaches skills to change our thinking combined with suboxone treatment for a taper would be much more successful, but the problem lies in the philosophy of NA's TOTAL ABSTINENCE that people on suboxone are mostly judged, outcasted, and made to feel not a part of because they are not "clean." For me I have chosen to continue on a low dose of suboxone maintenance and NA meetings. I also know that I could try again with total abstinence if I ever needed to. I feel those that do not do something in addition to their DRT will have a very low chance of recovery. So to actually answer your question I don't know if one is higher than the other or equal too but neither option by themselves appears to be very successful statistically speaking.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 8:13 am 
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This is a very interesting discussion and I hope people don't mind me jumping in here. I quit attending NA for these exact reasons about a year ago. I met many great people there and miss some of them very much. There is such little acceptance of suboxone and I felt the mentality was unhealthy for me. I decided that although I had gotten a lot out of attending, it wasn't really the best use of my time or the best treatment for me since I have decided to stay on suboxone.

I can understand how those in NA would be hesitant to change their philosophy on "total abstinence" and allow suboxone to be considered clean time. I do agree that for the most part, the members of NA are less education because they have spent their lives using. This isn't to say they aren't intelligent, just less educated for the most part. I was not one of those as I managed to get a degree despite my using. If they start allowing one substance, which most people as a whole know very little about, then where would the line be drawn? For those who were crack or cocaine or meth addicts, if they are taking an over the counter medication to feel jazzed up such as sudafed or someone taking cough syrup to get a euphoric effect is using the medication to create a mind altering state. This is why it is considered between the addict and the sponsor to determine "clean" time. Sometimes these medications are necessary. Suboxone does create a mind altering state in that it increases my function, decreases my depression, increases my energy. I don't personally agree that I am not "clean" on it, but I understand where they are coming from and for addicts in a total abstinence program it is those very fine lines between life and death. When people hit those fine lines and don't recognize them, this is when they start to fall back into their old ways and stop attending and start using. It can lead to relapse. I do NOT agree that suboxone is a fine line for me. It is the opposite.

But this is where we get into the statistics of how effective NA/AA is versus suboxone therapy. I agree that there must be some combination for most people on suboxone and some other form of treatment and it increases the chance of success, i.e. remaining on the therapy (suboxone). One of the main issues with NA/AA is that people stop attending and relapse which is a huge part of its failure rate. Suboxone has a much higher success rate in keeping people in remission from active addiction for longer periods of time because it is easier for them to stay on the suboxone. If they were less pressured to get off of it, I think most people could remain in remission for a lifetime. One could say the same about NA/AA and that if someone continues to attend the "therapy" they have great chances at remission for a lifetime, BUT most people do not remain in the therapy on a continuous basis. MANY people attend regularly and STILL have a relapse. It is much harder to live the NA way and truly integrate the steps into your life. Suboxone actually has a FAR higher success rate than NA/AA.

It became bothersome to me watching people come in and out of the doors of NA struggling for their lives and knowing that they might have a greater chance at life if they tried suboxone. It became difficult because to pull that person aside and mention this as an option at a meeting could be to jeopardize their "recovery" and "clean" time as NA views it and it would NOT be appropriate. My beliefs on what is most important which is remission from active addiction versus "clean" time became the reason I left NA.

I am not sure if NA and the suboxone community will ever be able to co-exist. I am also not certain if for those on suboxone, NA is the most appropriate form of therapy to use in conjunction with the suboxone. I think it is one of those things where we will have to begin researching what DOES work for those on suboxone in helping them stay on the drug, how to help those who want to get off and prevent them from relapse (could be NA), and helping people get back on if they could not be successful in a total remission program. Many people want/need to try going off suboxone at least once. My concern is for those who don't make it back to any therapy and land back in active addiction never finding their way back to NA, treatment, or suboxone.

Meg


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 12:02 pm 
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TN Addict: Much of what you are claiming is likely true. A lot of people who stop Suboxone will go back to relapse. From what I can see, you are laying out some of the many reasons why more and more addiction professionals are either considering or already have gone on to advocate that Subxone be taken for life. Obviously, not everyone who supports Suboxone suggests this. Obviously not every addict needs to do this. However, if you are correct about your claims of what may often happen when Suboxone is discontinued, it seems to point to exactly why Dr. J and others are now saying replacement needs to be a long-term and perhaps life-long treatment.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 1:06 pm 
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Thanks, TN, for the clarification. I agree that using Suboxone alone with nothing else such as therapy (in whatever form that person decides best) is not the way to go. Nothing will be solved. Suboxone gives us the time and ability to work on things. And depending on other forms of therapy, when one stops suboxone, yes their relapse rate is probably high as well.

Which is why I believe long-term or life-time therapy with suboxone is often indicated. It's what I plan for myself.

Again, I thank you very much for your perspective on NA in general and in your personal experience. It's never a bad thing to have additional information on a subject such as this.

Mel

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I have read this entire thread and found it very interesting. I have been in and out of AA/NA for 26 years, having long periods of sobriety only to use again. I would always run back to a 12-step program, not knowing what else to do. I have been on subxone for nine days, and I will be returning to NA. I feel I should keep quiet about the sub, but also wondering how I will feel about this. I have always practiced 'rigorous honesty' to the best of my ability in the group. I am wondering how I am going to get close to the other members, how much I am really going to feel a part of the group. I know I need something besides the suboxone.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2010 2:05 pm 
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Hi monsterkitty and WELCOME! Congratulations on your recovery. How are things going on the suboxone so far? I don't have alot of experience with NA, at least not recently, but perhaps you'll be able to find a group that accepts suboxone as a legitimate tool? I've heard such groups are possible and do exist.

If you're up to it, we'd love to hear your introduction. We're glad you're here. I'm confident you'll find this a very supportive and empathetic place. Hope you stay and post often.

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 Post subject: I Can Identify
PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 10:52 pm 
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I've read most all of this thread and get the gist of what everyone is saying. I'm not going to enter the fray, only share my experience.

I've been taking suboxone for a long time, maybe longer than many people who read and post here. Right now, I'm at 6 years, 3 months, and counting. I usually take 12mgs a day. Some days I forget the last half tab and end up taking only 8 mgs for that day. That seems to happen more and more.

I've been going to meetings regularly since 1988. Mostly AA, but since my last relapse involved opiates and benzos, I've had an NA home group for the past five years. I chair meetings. I share nearly every meeting. I'm both the treasurer and the secretary of the group. In my past life in AA I had held numerous service positions, even some at the Area level. So service is important to me. I've mentioned my taking suboxone a few times. I've had a sponsor or two express their concerns. But no one has ever told me face to face that I wasn't clean. And if they ever did, I would simply ignore them. I'm going to do what my doctor and I agree is best for me.

I take suboxone because it is the surest way I'm aware of, and that my doctor believes in, that will keep me from relapsing. I participate in the two fellowships because I need people: their experiences, their love and their friendship. As an addict I have a tendency to isolate. The fellowships help me overcome being a social retard. I happen to also be a Christian whose faith was originally rekindled, fed and strengthened by the concepts I learned in AA, and later, NA. Both fellowships encourage participants to enlarge their spiritual lives.

So suboxone provides me stability and a safety net. The fellowships give me a structured program of recovery, give me much-needed human interaction and fellowship, and foster my spiritual growth. It may not be for everyone, but for me the two seem to be a pretty well-rounded way to heal and recover.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 11:07 pm 
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Thanks for sharing, spider. It's nice to hear about someone who hasn't been challenged on their suboxone use by NA/AA. It sounds like your recovery is, as you said, very well rounded. I'm glad it's working out for you. Like you said, though, it isn't for everyone. I tried NA/AA many years ago and because of my atheism it just isn't a good fit. I simply couldn't make it work. So I work my recovery in other areas, including friends, family, psychiatrist, and therapist.

I think this is a perfect example of why this forum is great. As addicts we have much in common, but in the end we do things differently and by talking about our individual experiences like this we are helping and welcoming other members.

Keep up the good work, Spider.

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-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 8:59 am 
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I always appreciate when this thread gets bumped because it is a good topic and also because many doctors require their patients to attend NA/AA under some very false assumptions. First of all, many doctors aren't aware that the success rate of NA/AA is in fact only about 95% and is no greater than any other method including cold turkey, therapy, etc. The ONLY method I am aware of that actually has a greater success rate is suboxone while it is being taken. As I re-read the posts in this thread, it just reminds me that from experience, I know I have the ability to get off suboxone and stay "clean" but my quality of life isn't nearly as high as when I am not on suboxone. NA/AA is something I would attend if I was considering getting off suboxone. I am not currently considering this and since statistically it won't generate any benefit for me and because therapy has worked well, I will stick with this method. But even then, I have done so much therapy that I don't really feel the need to go ALL the time anymore. Both myself and the therapist would be bored out of our minds.

What I KNOW for ME about NA is that when I am totally drug free including suboxone, I like going because I like being around people in the same boat as me. I like that people just know what I am going through. I like it that it gives me something to distract myself with. There are definitely some religious issues for me because I don't believe in God and I don't think a coffee cup or star wars can be a higher power which ultimately means it is a poor fit. But I would if I had to. ON suboxone, I don't find that I have a damn thing in common with NA people. I don't need distraction and NA is an unwelcome distraction away from the other things I can be doing to improve my life. The suboxone prevents me from being totally immersed in the program. It becomes pointless. For me.

I don't have a single issue with relapse while on suboxone. I have zero interest in narcotics and there is literally ZERO struggle. I love the IDEA of being totally drug free, but the reality is that I have one life to live and with narcotic addiction, they don't even really know if people will ever be totally free from the brain damage that has been caused. Why should I spend two or three years figuring that out when I don't have to? Why should I struggle so hard for so long and risk my life with the only hope being NA which is statistically a total failure? Why do doctors keep recommending this or mandating it? For that matter, why mandate therapy AFTER three frigging years of suboxone use. My choices are limited. I have chronic pain. I can either stay on sub or try to figure out how to take narcotics like normal people. What would you choose? I am choosing the former and I don't need a therapist to help me figure this out and I certainly don't need NA or my doctor condemning it.

Just my thoughts. I would love to hear from the doctors why they keep recommending it when it doesn't work.

Cherie

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