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PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 3:58 pm 
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I was a regular on here three summers ago when I began and completed my slow, 30-day tapper. I weaned down to like 1/20th of a 2mg strip if I remember correctly and had no acute withdrawal; I only experienced some RLS and sleep trouble for a few weeks. I felt amazing off subs for that whole summer, but three months in I began to feel depressed, tired and unmotivated. I now know this was just a stage in PAWS that would have likely passed. Unfortunately, I didn't know that at the time and relapsed hard on oxy. I went back on suboxone and before i knew it i was right back in the chains of addiction for another three years. It is truly amazing how fast you can transition back into physical dependence and active addiction.
Forty days ago I decided I had enough and was ready to, not only get off subs and Xanax, but to get into a recovery program, something I had never considered seriously in the past. So I entered a detox in mid June and weaned from 8mg to 2mg in 3 days, then stopped. They gave me trazadone for sleep, clonodine, vistirol for anxiety and klonopin for Xanax withdrawal. I didn't start feeling uncomfortable until day 3 off subs, but it was still mild. I was able to sleep well with trazadone(150mg), and felt only mild withdrawals with the help of clonodine. I really think coming off in a few days instead of a long drawn out tapper was better for me. I honestly think when we wean down to very low doses(like my 1/20th x 2mg last time) it is more of a mental dependence than physical. It's my theory that our minds are convinced we will have withdrawal and so we display physical symptoms when we are at such a low dose that the subs really have now effect. However, this is only a theory.
I did have a few days in the first 10 or so days that were tough but manageable because I was around people(in rehab), had good support(counselors, other addicts), and stayed active. I am glad I went through a little pain because now I appreciate being clean more then I ever did before. I stayed in rehab for 30 days and just got out last Friday. I have had cravings but going to meetings and getting a sponsor has truly helped. I never imagined I would actually do the whole recovery "thing" because I was my own doctor, therapist, etc. BUt it truly does help and I always feel better after a meeting. I think the biggest problem I had when I relapsed three years ago was that I forgot how bad I was. Going to meetings helps me remember and appreciate sobriety. I am also getting the naltrexone shot just to be safe. It will block my ability to get high for one month. I start med school in one week so I can't afford to go back to my old ways ever again. If anyone would like any advice, help or support I would be happy to help. Helping other addicts helps me.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 4:49 pm 
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Welcome back, livin!

Congrats on working through the lapse and figuring out what needed to change this time around. I wish you nothing but success this time around! Push through moments of depression, for me, that's what they've been.. "moments." It's easier said than done, I know. Maybe you can continue to check in here as part of your therapy, too?


Good luck to you.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 11:11 pm 
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This is not Mr T my chance? anyways I heard this is all to common with some people. They feel fantastic for for 3 to 4 months then comes the hard part, I think this is the case because you have mentally psyched yourself to be free of subs and you feel good not chained to any drug, but then you tend to realize subs linger on the receptors for a while yet and only comes back to bite us. These kind of cases are not too encouraging but truth has to be told or shall I say an individuals own truth. I have been told by more then 1 person that depression will not lift ever after stopping the subs, whether that is actually true or not it's worth debating. Who knows what a substance can do to the receptors? who knows if some subs get stuck in the receptors, probably all the way through our life? who knows if subs touch something in the brain that triggers depression, which can stay there for God knows how long. There are too many reports of these symptoms for it to be dismissed, surely further investigation needs to be done. There are too many stories of people not leaving their house for a whole year, too many stories of long term sub users unable to recover to the point of complete happiness, too many reports of these PAWS ever lasting or coming on 10 months to a year later. Surely this has to be debated.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 8:22 pm 
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Depression after opioid dependence, or any addiction, whether it's methadone, Sub, Oxy, heroin, cocaine, benzos or whatever, is quite common. It's a symptom of PAWS. Go to any drug & alcohol rehab and there's always a number of people struggling with psych issues. Whether it's transient and will go away with time as they get more recovery, or part of more lasting damage left over from addiction, it's still something many people gotta deal with and learn to stay clean through.

I just want to make it clear that this problem is not isolated to buprenorphine. It's a symptom of early recovery from all drugs of addiction. Opioids especially directly target the brain's mood centers, that's why we loved them. After a period of use the brain's mood centers gotta go through a period of recovery and it can be real hard work sometimes. Experiencing mood problems is more the rule than the exception. But as long as you stay clean, it does get better.

Also people with pre-existing mental health issues are more likely to get sucked into addiction, usually because they see the drug as the answer to their problem. Often it's hard to tell what came first, the mood problems or the substance abuse, but many people in recovery can identify that there were struggles prior to discovering their drug-of-choice.

Addiction is a really complex issue, and it's easy to pin all the blame for the damage it causes on Suboxone. Maybe it's because Sub is for many people the last drug they use before they get off all opioids? Maybe the stability that comes with Sub treatment makes people finally awaken to the realisation that there's been some damage done, and then they blame it all on the one drug that's left? I dunno.

All I know is Suboxone doesn't cause hypoxic brain damage like the full-agonists (heroin / Oxy / morphine etc) are capable of. In active addiction, people stop breathing for periods of time that starve the brain of oxygen. Staying clean on bupe doesn't do that, and even allows the brain to recover from the damage caused by active addiction.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 11:39 pm 
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Hey l i v i n,

I'm sorry to hear about your relapse, but I'm glad you came back here. I hope you dive into recovery and I hope you nail it this time.

TeeJay, well said. Well said. I don't know where people get the idea that Suboxone (buprenorphine) is the only drug out there that may cause long lasting effects after discontinuation. As you said, any drug, with the right addict, has the potential to cause long lasting effects.

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