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PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 12:36 am 
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Two and a half years ago, I found the love of my life. At this time, he had been an addict since he was sixteen due to a car accident. He was nineteen at the time I met him, and very much into drugs. He was constantly snorting oxycontin, taking handfuls of vicodin, etc. Nothing phased him, only finding drugs. I was sixteen at the time. After a few months, I noticed he was spending less and less time with his two year old daughter and more time out looking for drugs. My boyfriend & I decided he needed help. He had gotten the suboxone off the street and a "friend," had told him it was prescribed to him for his opiate addiction. My boyfriend took the suboxone, liked the effects & especially the fact it was legal.

A month or so later, my boyfriend decided he needed to find a suboxone doctor. He started the suboxone (not too sure about his initial dose) but, he started to change. He started an overnight job. Somewhere between the start of the suboxone and the overnight job he had completely transformed into a new person. He started to fall asleep while driving. He would fall asleep standing up. He started to get obsessive hobbies. The hobbies then overtook his life for a short while. I talked to him again and told him he needed to start spending more time with his family. He initially blamed everything on me being jealous.

My boyfriend quit his obsessive hobbies and started to sleep, and sleep, and sleep. No matter how much sleep he got, he never felt rested. In the beginning of this time, my boyfriend would go to work at 10 pm, return home at 6 am, stay up until about 8 am and sleep until 5. After he woke up, he would then fall asleep standing up, sitting down, on the toilet, etc. A few months later, he started to sleep more than he was before. At the time he would not be up unless I woke him up and kept him awake. I told my boyfriend he needed to go back to his doctor and find out what is wrong. He went to the doctor and the doctor first said it was depression. My boyfriend was put on Celexa. The Celexa seemed to change nothing and my boyfriend kept saying he wasn't depressed. My boyfriend then had a monthly appointment for the suboxone and he mentioned the Celexa and the outcome. He was then placed on a stimulant, so he would stay awake when he was supposed to be awake. Again, no change.

Three days ago, I decided my boyfriend has a serious problem. I decided I would not wake him up anymore and he should have enough motivation to wake up to see myself and his daughter. Night one, I woke him up, a few minutes before work. He was very upset, but pushed the blame off onto me. Night two, he was again upset and said he would wake up tomorrow. Well, tomorrow is today. I went to my boyfriend's house an hour before he was to start work. He was still sleeping at 9 pm from 9 am in the morning. He started to scream when I woke him up. He was so upset with himself. I called his Mom, because she had asked me to call her and tell her how the wake up went. Then, his Mom called him and I could hear my boyfriend crying. He was finally admitting he had a serious problem. I then went upstairs to see my boyfriend, and I asked him.. what happened to you? He looked at me and said, I need help. He got into the shower and I found this discussion board. I have noticed there are many suboxone users who have had this overwhelming sleepiness that has totally overtaken their life. Tonight, after two years, my boyfriend admitted to me what his problem was. He told me he has replaced one addiction with another. & That he needs to get off of the suboxone.

I'm not sure how to help. He says he needs to get off of them, but he's so scared. He's deathly afraid of the withdrawal. How can I help him? What should he do?


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 7:48 am 
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With a post like that you must know how much Suboxone this person is taking daily,I think better Dr. patient communication is needed and welcome by the way


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 7:52 am 
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First of all I would like to say very nicely, but in all seriousness that taking suboxone is not replacing one addiction for another. Not even close. I've been on this forum for over a year and a half and although some people here have had some sleepiness in the beginning of their treatment, I don't recall any of them having the problem(s) you're describing. In other words, it's not a "common" problem. Not in the least. With that said, without knowing what dose he's on, it sounds to me like said dose might simply be way too high for him. Can you clarify how long he's been on it and tell us what dose he is on?

There is another possibility...He could be in that small percentage of people that have a negative reaction to suboxone. Everyone is different and everyone responds to medications (any medication) differently. There could be a second possibility, too, and that is that he might have a totally unrelated sleep disorder.


I understand your concern for your boyfriend. I really do. I also understand the knee-jerk reaction to paint in broad strokes and make sweeping generalizations about suboxone. But the bottom line is the huge majority of people are changed for the better by going on suboxone and stopping their active addiction.

I hope he can find the cause of his problems, be it suboxone or otherwise, and that regardless of the outcome he can stay out of active addiction. That's really the most important thing. If you're able, please find out his dosage and how often he doses and let us know how long he's been taking it. Maybe we will have more to offer with more details.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 10:06 am 
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If I were you I would listen to all the advice above and seek the help of a certified addiction counselor. The counselor will definetly be able to help him work through his 'issues' and would probably be able to provide some insight into his sleep problem. They may not have the exact answer, but I bet they could steer you in the right direction.

If none of that works, keep going to diferent Dr.'s until the problem is resolved. Dr.'s are just human beings who sometimes miss things, they are not superhuman. He HAS to be HONEST with the Dr. as to his addiciton/medication or it will be a complete waste of time.

Good luck, I hope y'all find the answer you're looking for.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 5:50 pm 
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I have to say I've never, ever heard of anything like what you are describing in 5 years of reading Sub stories. I does make some people sleepy to a point but sleeping all the time sounds like there is something totally different wrong.

One thing that occurred to me is that he started a night job when all this sleepiness happened. I know night jobs can be impossible for some people. It's hard to ever actually sleep well during the day. It throws many people off completely.

I just think there is a huge piece of the puzzle missing that you don't know. He's struggled with addiction and then got on Sub through a 'friend' and not a doctor. It's weird to me that he would have been this miserable and not called up his new Sub doc to ask what could be going on. It's also weird that he told you he liked the effects of Suboxone when he started it. It's unlikely an opiate addict would get high or happy from taking Sub and that the feeling would be so pleasurable that it would make him want to start taking it. I'm wondering what dose he's on and if he's trying to abuse it or is actually taking something else now altogether but just feels like he cannot tell anyone.

I know you are concerned, but just try to keep in mind that no matter how badly you want to help him, if he doesn't want to come clean, at least with a doc, about what he's doing, he's not going to. Addicts are very convincing and very resourceful. It's the nature of the illness. It's weird to hear that someone finally 'came clean' about having a Sub addiction. It doesn't work like that. Suboxone isn't replacing one drug with another.. It's part of the process of getting sober. Switching from Oxy to Heroin is replacing one drug for another. That's when someone would feel the need to 'come clean' about their problem. I think he's sure lucky to have you, but there's something in his story that sends alarm bells off in my head. Good luck!

laddertipper


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 7:38 pm 
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Your story is very interesting to me because I get insomnia with subs. But, eventually I do sleep. My doctor said it could be a side effrect of subs and also because he feels I am suffering from depression.

I have learned from the people in this forum that subs effects sleep. Some get sleepy a lot, some stay awake a lot. But what from you describe about your boyfriend might be something else. He could have what's called sleep apnea. It is a disorder where people fall asleep a lot at any time. Or as much as we hope not, he may be taking something elese. Why don't you have him see his doctor right away. Please let me offer this advice. Let him go into the doctor's office alone, in case he wants to tell the doctor some things about his feelings or problems. No disrespect to you but some people prefer to talk to their doctor alone. I know I do. I sincerely hope things turn out good. You are a caring, sensitive and loving person and he is lucky to have you in his life.

Concentrate on a happy ending. Don't give up. Keep helping him. He needs you now.

Love & hope, queenie


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 9:12 pm 
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I hate to have to be the guy that makes corrections again, and honestly I don't do so to point and say Nah Nah, you're wrong. I honestly don't get any pleasure from this, but in the interest of keeping this board accurate, "sleep apnea" most certainly is not when someone "falls asleep a lot at anytime." I think you might be thinking of narcolepsy. Sleep apnea is actually when someone frequently stops breathing while they are sleeping - causing them to wake up dozens, sometimes hundreds, of times throughout the night. Apnea is a medical term that means "absence of breathing". The treatment is often a CPAP machine used while sleeping. What is being described here is not sleep apnea.

Anyhow, as laddertipper very eloquently stated, something is just not adding up with this story. Suboxone does not make people fall asleep while they are standing up or driving a car. That just does not happen - not even in high doses. That is because of the ceiling effect with Suboxone. I don't know how a normal, healthy, adult could ever take enough Suboxone to make them actually fall asleep while they are standing up on their feet or driving a car. In fact, fellow addicts, what does that sound like? As current or former drug addict myself, it sounds very much to me like someone who is "nodding off" which often comes from too much opiates in the system. Sleeping pills or benzos could also do this. Frankly, quite a few things could - but Suboxone is not at all likely.

I wholly agree with laddertipper that something else is very likely going on here. The rage-like reactions also are concerning. We can speculate all day long about what is happening here, but I have to really think that the more important thing for jessimacka is the situation she currently finds herself in. Unfortunately, history tells me that people who come here and make a single post often don't return. I really hope that jessimacka does because I really think that she needs to take control of her own life. The only person that she has any control over is herself. She can't control her boyfriend. She can't control how he acts or what he does. She can only control what she does.

We don't know much about this boyfriend. But let's look at what we do know.

- He has been addicted to drugs since he was 16-years-old.
- He has fathered a child in his teens.
- When you met him he was totally into drugs. (your words)
- When you met him nothing "phased him" only getting drugs. (again, your words)
- He has obsessive hobbies and ignores his family.
- He gets upset if you wake him up.
- He is displaying very abnormal behavior.

Step back and take a look at this picture jessimacka. Is this the type of person you want as the "love of your life?" What would you tell your best friend if this was a guy she wanted to be involved with? If you were my daughter (and I do have a daughter about your age) this is not who I would hope she would chose as a boyfriend. My entire point here is that I think the best advice we can provide for you and the most help we can provide for you is to suggest that you talk with someone - perhaps a councilor - about all of this. Addiction is a pretty involved disease that can be difficult to treat. Codependency is also an involved disease that can be just as difficult and it often hits people who are involved with addicts. While it is certainly great that you are willing to help your boyfriend, I really think that you must first help yourself. In fact, unless you are healthy and grounded yourself, you won't be able to help anyone else.

You can't fix this jessimacka and you most certainly can't fix your boyfriend. The best you can do is find out more about you and if you are to stay with this boyfriend, find out what you really can do in order to help him and be with him. You are just starting your adult life. You will have many loves and many relationships ahead of you in life. I'm not suggesting you abandoned him immediately. I just think that your focus may need to change a bit. You have to do what is the best for you. You deserve better than this. You should not be settling for anyone with a list of traits like the one above. Ideally that would be best decided right after meeting someone. However, it is never too late for a list of "must haves" and "deal breakers". Perhaps this relationship will be a great learning expierence for the future.

I hope you will return and tell us more. There are many people here that can likely provide you with some solid direction for dealing with the situation you find yourself in.


Last edited by donh on Tue Nov 16, 2010 9:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 9:14 pm 
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He has 8 mg tablets and is to take 1 and a half daily.

He keeps saying he wants to taper down. I don't think I can stand him acting like this any longer. I don't know what to do. I guess I really don't understand his addiction.

I read about an addiction counselor in someone's post. How do we go about finding one? How much are they? He has no insurance & the suboxone are already running us a crazy amount of money.

Also, anyone know about any insurance programs that accept suboxone or well, cover the suboxone?


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 10:12 pm 
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Hey Jessi,

I am kinda agreeing with the others for one if he is only taking suboxone, which to me it sounds like he might be taking benzos as well, I believe he may be taking to high of a dose. Although I read that he's only on 12mgs daily, but to many that dose is huge. When I 1st got on subs I was on 24mgs daily and was sleepy all the time. Maybe not falling asleep standing up but very close. I lowered my dose a great deal and found the dose that worked best for me which at the time was 8mgs and things changed totally around.

I would have your boyfriend 1st talk with his Dr. and see what he say's and have him suggest a addiction counseller or therapy. Are you sure he is not on other drugs? Honestly his symtoms are showing there is something really wrong and need to be taken care of asap.

As far as the money issues try the needy meds program and maybe heretohelp they can point you in the right direction. Please take care of yourself first and then your boyfriend. The others are right only he can want help! I wish the best for you both please let us know if there is anything else we can do!!!!


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 9:23 am 
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I just wanted to add something about sleep apnea. For a person who has it and is not being treated, i.e., doesn't use a CPAP machine, they actually DO fall asleep many times throughout the day. Not to the point of falling asleep standing up, but they do have issues with falling asleep while driving and while at work as well as not being able to wake up in the morning. The reason behind this is that because of their breathing problems while trying to sleep, they simply are not getting even close to enough sleep. All of this is based on personal experience - people close to me who actually have sleep apnea.

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-As I have grown older, I've learned that pleasing everyone is impossible, but pissing everyone off is a piece of cake.

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


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 10:20 am 
I have to jump in here and say I am one of the people who has experienced extreme sleepiness on Sub, and I know I'm not alone. There have been times i could sleep 10-12 hours a day. And, yes, I almost fell asleep at the wheel a few times when I was on 12mg/day.
That being said, I don't think going OFF of Suboxone is the answer. First of all, there are other factors: the overnight job, possible depression and "unknown" causes of obsessive behavior (either psychological or chemical).

If your boyfriend goes off of Sub, what is the alternative? Going back to opiates? Many, many people are able to stay out of withdrawal and not experience cravings at doses around 4mg/day. Any doctor worth is salt would at least try a dose reduction rather than take him off of Sub completely. And if there are other drugs involved (like benzos) he's going to have to come clean about it to his doctor.

But like others here have said, you can't control that. You've been supportive in helping him get into recovery. You can support that recovery (which is going to involve a lot more than medication) and maybe even help him find a new doctor, if necessary. But that's about it. It sounds like his illness has already taken a big toll on your life. You're just starting out yourself. What are your goals and ambitions? I'm guessing taking care of another adult who already has a baby to take care of himself isn't one of them. I'm sorry if I'm being harsh - I just want you to do what's best for YOU. I wish both of you the best,
Lilly


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