It is currently Wed Aug 16, 2017 9:37 pm



All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Our Sponsors





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 11 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 9:18 pm 
Offline
Average Poster
Average Poster

Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:11 pm
Posts: 5
Hi all,

I have read this forum for a fairly long time and have found it to be an excellent source of information. I've been reflecting on my own suboxone treatment lately, and have been thinking that it might finally be time for me to jump in and share some of my own experiences.

Since I've never posted before, I thought I'd begin with a brief summary of my addiction (I hope this is in an appropriate forum section - my apologies if it is not!). I'm 22, and first used opiates, along with a myriad of other drugs, in high school. My first opiate experience was actually sort of a mistake: I asked my dealer what he had at the time and he replied "oxy," but I missed the first syllable and assumed he said "E" (ecstasy), which I was very much into at the time. When he gave me the three little pills, I realized that they were definitely NOT ecstasy, but decided to try them anyway after looking them up online and seeing that they were opioids. I took three 5mg pills and had the blissful, I've-just-met-someone-I've-been-missing-all-my-life-without-realizing-it type of experience that often portends serious opiate addiction. I went on to try a variety of other painkillers, including heroin, which I immediately recognized as the true emperor of drugs in its class. Surprisingly, my drug interests stayed fairly diverse (and contained) throughout high school, and I graduated salutatorian of my small suburban high school and moved on to nearby Cornell University.

Throughout my freshman year of college, I continued to study hard and party hard, but confined my substance use to drinking, which I indulged in liberally, but only on the weekends. It was sophomore year of college, when a friend from a student group introduced me to one of the biggest pill / heroin / coke dealers in town, that things began to spiral downward. My drug use progressed, following the classic pattern: Initially, I was using heroin once or twice a month, on the weekends only, then every weekend, then sometimes during the week, and on and on until I was using daily by the end of my junior year. Of course, money became harder and harder to find as I used more frequently and in greater quantity, and I began doing some fairly embarrassing things to secure funds. "Luckily," my dealer had a fairly steady supply of suboxone, and when the money ran out I would switch to the suboxone, using 4-8mg daily, often for weeks at a time. Amazingly, I was able to maintain my A-/A GPA through the end of my junior year. [I love what I study (physiology, especially immunology) and my academic achievements are a huge source of pride for me. Though I am far from an expert, I have taken many bio-med courses (including organic chemistry, endocrinology, immunology, infectious diseases, and upper-level physiology labs where we operate on rabbits) and I hope to put some of this knowledge to use on this forum. As we speak, I am preparing for my May 29 graduation by applying to a variety of 1- and 2-yr research jobs in labs focusing on immunology.]

Back to my story - sorry! Everything came to a head fall semester of my senior year, when I began missing ~40% of my classes, sleeping erratically, using constantly, spending huge amounts of time (and cash) at my dealer's house, and doing despicable things to get money. By the end of the semester, I felt like a shell of a person, having lost touch with many of the amazing people I had befriended during my freshman and sophomore years, as well as having lost touch with all of the better parts of my self. Immediately after finals, my dealer was arrested with >$100,000 worth of heroin, which I didn't find out about for several days because my parents took my phone away after my hospitalization on the same day for a heroin / benzo OD. This OD was not life-threatening, but enough to really scare my parents - and me - about the extent of my addiction. I detoxed cold turkey at home and two weeks later entered an outpatient treatment program in my college town.

The Dr. in this outpatient program started me on 16 mg suboxone a day, which provided some incredibly welcome relief from severe PAWS (in all forms of opiate withdrawal I've experienced to date, the lack of sleep due to PAWS has always been the straw that broke the camel's back). For a few weeks, I was content to live a simplified and comfortable life, though I found the treatment sessions rather slow-placed and boring. Although the suboxone did a marvelous job of killing my opiate cravings, I found myself wanting things I had never craved before (e.g. coke and benzos). These alternative cravings culminated in my taking a large quantity of Xanax, which I had a BS prescription for, and again being hospitalized. I was discharged from my outpatient program, which gave me the option of going to inpatient (which I refused to do because I wouldn't have been able to graduate on time) or leaving their program. The Dr. at this program was extremely nice; she said she wished they had given me more of a chance, that she was still hopeful for me, and that she would give me a final prescription for enough suboxone to wean myself off comfortably. I did a fairly rapid taper and suffered through some exceedingly mild withdrawal, but again, the PAWS ended up killing me. I found myself unable to sleep for more than 4 hours continuously and, after a month of this, decided to find a suboxone Dr. in my home town, as I realized I was NOT ready to go off suboxone maintenance yet - I was on the road to relapse for sure!

I re-started treatment at 8 mg a day and am doing very well now! As I mentioned above, I am finishing my final weeks of classes and getting ready for the next stage of my life, which I hope will be much, much better than the last. I know that Dr. Junig references a "remission" model of opiate addiction during suboxone treatment, and I completely understand the concept, but there is one thing I have realized since re-starting suboxone therapy: At least for me, a positive attitude goes a long way toward promoting this remission. I don't consider my first round of suboxone therapy to have really led to disease remission - I was still very much the active addict, frequently thinking about getting high, WANTING to give in and get high. On the other hand, in the beginning of my second round of suboxone therapy, I still had the benzo / other drug cravings that had led me to relapse before, but because of the more positive attitude I've been cultivating and my realization that I really do want to be "clean" - off of everything, forever- I was able to quash these cravings, which have largely subsided. I try to remind myself every day of how fortunate I am to have this life-saving, happiness-restoring treatment available to me, and to make the most of it by avoiding the obsessive thoughts and behavioral patterns that plagued me during my active addiction. Has anyone else, especially any one who has done two or more rounds of sub therapy, found that attitude influences the success of their sub treatment?

Finally, since side effects seem to be a major topic on this forum, I thought that I would mention one subtle change I've noticed in myself while on suboxone. It's hard to describe, but all opiates / opioids gave me the feeling that my intellect was slightly dampened; When using these substances, including buprenorphine, I found that I would, e.g., have to re-read especially challenging passages in a book, or that I would have to spend more time on complex physics or physiology problems (especially ones involving calculus or other abstract, complicated math). It's not so much a lack of focus as a slight "fuzziness" - does anyone else know what I'm talking about here? Originally, I thought that it might have been because A) my lifestyle overall was so horrible during my active addiction or B) It was a full-agonist-only effect, and I was hopeful that as I improved my nutrition, got a good amount of sleep, and became fully tolerant to buprenorphine's effects, it would go away. However, this feeling has persisted, albeit at a lower level than that induced by full agonists. At any rate, this is my only significant side effect; I still function very well academically, and this would not be NEARLY enough to persuade me to end my suboxone treatment again.

I look forward to continuing to learn from all of you and getting to know some of you via this forum. Sorry for the length of this post! It feels good to finally tell the basics of my story to a bunch of people who will be able to identify!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 10:12 pm 
Offline
Long Time Member
Long Time Member
User avatar

Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2010 10:39 am
Posts: 4028
Location: Sitting at my computer
Hi breg44,

Welcome to the forum!! I'm glad you decided to post and tell us your story.

I have to say I TOTALLY hear ya on having a positive attitude towards Suboxone!! Before I found Suboxone, I desperately wanted to quit taking pain pills, but I just couldn't. I had hurt my wife emotionally and spiritually so many times and I wanted to quit so bad, but I never was able to do it.

Then I found Suboxone. With the help of Suboxone and a good addiction counselor I was able to end my active addiction and understand WHY I acted the way I did. In my case, Suboxone and an addiction counselor were my keys to success. Of course, having the support of an amazing wife and child were as important as anything else in this journey of mine.

I understand what you're talking about when you mentioned your "intellect being slightly dampened." To me, it felt like I had some issues with being able to concentrate properly.

Anyway, good to hear your story!

_________________
Be kind to yourself. Our character defects do NOT define who we are!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:24 am 
Offline
Long Time Member
Long Time Member
User avatar

Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 12:55 pm
Posts: 4933
Location: Leesburg, FL
Thanks for sharing your story. I'm happy to hear you're in a much better place this time around. I've been on sub now for about 2.5 years and don't have too many issues (if any at all) with side effects. My mind is still as sharp as it's always been (and I'm on a pretty high dose). Depending on how comfortable you are at 8 mg, you might get some relief from that side effect you mentioned by trying to reduce your dose, maybe even by only 2 mg. It might be worth discussing with your doctor. Just a thought...Of course if going down to 6 mg causes your cravings to return then obviously it's not worth it. Like I said, it's just a thought. Good luck and welcome to the forum.

_________________
-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.


Top
 Profile  
 
Our Sponsors
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 11:19 pm 
Offline
New Poster
New Poster
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2011 9:43 pm
Posts: 1
Location: Vermont
Hi- I just got here too. i wrote up a long intro myself and then lost it or posted it someplace I don't know where. I've been at this two hours so I'll just say hello from Vermont and introduce my self when I find out how to use this site. Not friendly to this user so far.

_________________
Keeper

" I have lived my entire life for this moment right now, yes this one, there may b something here now that can change everything"


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 11:32 pm 
Offline
Long Time Member
Long Time Member
User avatar

Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 12:55 pm
Posts: 4933
Location: Leesburg, FL
Hey Keeper! Welcome. I'm sorry you're having trouble with the site. If you have continued problems, you can always send me or one of the other moderators a private message and we'll try to help you out. Again, welcome.

_________________
-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.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: johnboy good morning
PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 5:59 am 
Offline
Long Time Member
Long Time Member

Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2011 9:45 pm
Posts: 833
good morning hat! well you said to me to take a med ,becouse i had nothing to lose anyway.
well the prozac seems to be working a little! i'm at least feeling better ! :o
:o so thanks for the help. AA+NA are telling me that i'm not sober being on soboxone.
and so does my sponser. but i no that if i did not start the soboxone,i would have never
went to N.A or A.A in the first place. so being on subs made me a big part of the
better part of life. thats a big plus for suboxone!!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Attitude on Suboxone
PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 6:40 am 
Offline
Power Poster
Power Poster
User avatar

Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2011 10:49 pm
Posts: 61
Location: Louisiana
[b][i]

Johnboy, I had the same problem with NA/AA when I was on Suboxone several yrs ago. I was told constantly I wasn't clean and that I should not pick up a chip. I was also told I would relapse and may other negative things.
I stopped going b/c I didn't like the negativity. I needed positive in my life and I was even told at a meeting that I should not share b/c i wasn't clean.
I would love to see meeting for those of us who have choosen Suboxone. I've tried to get clean before without the suboxone and failed.
This time go round I'm hoping therapy and hanging out with all you good ppl will help me to suceed.
Please let me be clear that i think NA/AA is a great program. I learned alot from it,alot. For me at this time I pray to make it.
Now,if I can only get my Ins. to work with me.

Marie


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 12:36 pm 
Offline
Average Poster
Average Poster

Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:11 pm
Posts: 5
Romeo, Hat, and Keeper: Thank you so much for your welcome messages! I had serious doubts about whether anyone was going to make it all the way through my lengthy (and hopefully not too dull) post, and your comments put me at ease.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: sorry for jumping in!
PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2011 4:00 am 
Offline
Long Time Member
Long Time Member

Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2011 9:45 pm
Posts: 833
breg44 i got alot from your post!! thank you,and thanks on the AA.NA marie.
keeper i'm from vermont.hat /ladder/romeo/birdie.are very helpfull to me too!


Top
 Profile  
 
   
 Post subject: ominous
PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 12:42 am 
Offline
Power Poster
Power Poster
User avatar

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2010 12:54 am
Posts: 47
Location: NY NY
Hey,

My hat off to you for having a positive attitude about treatment and pursuing a better life. I also did embarrasing things to get my pills, I sold my body. As you probably know from whatever you did, it is really hard to forgive yourself. The things we do to get our DOC, from simple lying and stealing to major illegal and morally reprehensable actions, change us for good. Sometimes I think how people say it's a "choice" to continue using during addiction, and consider what I did and how much I felt despicable yet found neccesary and acceptable to get the drugs I needed. No one would do these things if it was a choice.

It is very clear that you are an exceptionally smart person. I must tell you that I also feel that buprenorphine affects my intellect. Specifically, I have had ADHD symptoms ever since beginning Suboxone. I cannot sit and read a book or watch a film without being desperate for more stimulation after a few minutes. I also was Salutatorian of my high school and went on to do well initally in university. Eventually the need for drugs superceded my need for good grades, and I dropped out in my junior year of undergrad. Now, at age 28 I'm beginning to complete my degree. Suboxone gave me my life back. And it was basically instant. After a decade of unsuccesful attemps to leave opioids behind, Suboxone accomplished this in days. I plan on staying on Sub for life, as it is my opinion (and only an opinion :) that opioid addiction/dependence is a lifelong illness such as diabetes or mental health conditions. I am bipolar as well, which similarly requires lifelong treatment. Isn't modern medicine a miracle? I often ponder the lives of those suffering from addiction in past time periods. Basically before the revolution in treatment brought on by Alcoholics Anonomous and followed much later from medicine, addicts of the past lived terrible lives. Not to say many unrecovering do not live abhorent lives presently, but at least the option of effective treatment is available.

On another note, Not knocking on you at all, it scares me when dealers have Suboxone. If you look up drug busts on the DEA website, in virtually all the big busts they are finding Suboxone and Subutex. This scares the piss out of me - the more they think it's being traded and abused, the more they will begin to think about building roadblocks on obtaining Sub. I wonder if eventually they will require people to go to "Sub clinics", much like the Methadone model. I also bet it will become Schedule II if it keeps showing up on the black market like Methadone. However, I'll be the first to admit that Methadone is sold illegaly everywhere like crazy and it hasn't been banned. Is anyone else concerned about this? Maybe I'm paranoid.

Again, I'm not saying anything about you using Subs when you were out of heroin, myself and most people would have also. I'm just bringing up the subject I think your experience raises. Again, congrats to you that you are addressing your addiction with a positive additude and openness to treatment options.

James

_________________
"Never tease a weasel/The weasel will not like it/ And teasing isn’t nice!”


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: re: creel1950
PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 2:14 pm 
Offline
Average Poster
Average Poster

Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:11 pm
Posts: 5
James,

Thank you so much for your post - I got a lot out of it! More than once, I have talked to non-addicts who dispute the disease model of addiction and used the same argument that you employed in your first paragraph, namely, that the terrible corollaries of addiction are SO horrible, and the feelings of guilt, shame, and worthlessness that these corollaries create in the addict are SO potent, that no one in their right mind would ever "choose" to become an addict. (By corollaries of addiction, I mean loss of important relationships, deterioration of mental and physical well-being, and commission of morally and criminally wrong acts, among others). If non-addicts could really understand and meditate on the consequences of addiction, I believe that it would become clear to them that the "decision" to become and stay an addict is impossible.

Some of the non-addicts I mentioned above have pointed out that, for some addicts, including me, there may have been bad decisions in the beginning of the addiction (e.g. trying new drugs, allowing oneself to take more medication than prescribed, etc.). I agree with this, but must point out that the VAST majority of people who make these initial bad decisions, being free of the genetic and environmental predispositions to addiction, go on to lead normal, healthy lives unaffected by addiction. It is because of their genetic and environmental backgrounds that the future addicts become chained to the consequences of these early, reckless decisions, and the addiction that follows cannot in any way be considered their "fault."

I was so happy to hear you express this view, and was impressed by how clearly and simply you articulated it. I was also extremely comforted by your understanding regarding the bad things I have done to obtain money; every day since I have stopped using, I think back to these moments and cringe with the embarrassment and guilt of them. As I just said, it means a lot to me to hear a former addict assure me that you, too, did bad things to get money, and to show understanding of my state of mind when I made them.

I completely understand where you're coming from in your comments on dealers selling suboxone. When I initially entered treatment, I was afraid of telling the Dr. that I had used suboxone for relatively long periods of time during my active addiction; I was worried she would conclude that, since the suboxone hadn't put a stop to my active addiction before, it wouldn't then, either. Luckily, she appreciated my honesty, and in time I came to realize that the patient's own motivation / perspective regarding suboxone treatment have a huge effect on its efficacy. I understand your concerns about dealers having suboxone, and I share your worry that some day regulations may stiffen and we, like methadone patients, will have to go to a pharmacy or clinic for our suboxone.

However, I should also point out that I think it would have been much more likely that I would be dead or in prison had I not had sub available to me (even from illegal sources). When I ran out of money, sub allowed me a relatively painless switch from heroin, without which I would have undoubtedly committed even more desperate, dangerous acts to avoid cold-turkey withdrawal. (Considering some of the things I did to get money even when I wasn't on the verge of withdrawal, this is frightening indeed). Sub gave me brief periods of stability, during which I was able to begin to fix some of the damage I had caused in virtually every area of my life; these periods of stability put breaks on my descent into "final stage" active addiction, without which I might not be here today. I hope that street use of suboxone is combatted not just by punitive increases in regulation, but also by increasing the availability of sub to addicts who need and want it; the single suboxone provider in my college town has a very long waiting list, and she only treats patients who are enrolled in an extensive outpatient program as well. Perhaps if there were more sub-providing Drs., the problem of sub diversion would be partly mitigated, and sub could be kept out of the hands of those using it recreationally. Finally, I'd like to note that if more Drs. used some simple anti-diversion measures - such as random pill counts and random drug testing - diversion could be effectively decreased; my current Dr. does not do pill counts and drug tests only once a month, during a scheduled visit, so any of her patients could easily be using their opiate/oid of choice for, say, two weeks during the month, possibly selling their sub to fund this use.

Again, I really appreciated your post. I would love to talk to you more in the future, so PM me if you ever get a chance!

Brian

p.s. Congrats on finishing up your degree! That is awesome! What are you studying?


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 11 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Our Sponsors
Suboxone Forum latest topics RSS feed Subscribe to the entire forum
 

 

 
Fond Du Lac Psychiatry
Dr. Jeffrey Junig, M.D., Ph.D.

  • Board Certified Psychiatrist
  • Asst Clinical Professor, Medical College of Wisconsin

Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group