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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 1:54 pm 
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Hi everyone. I want to share my situation with you and hopefully get some advice. I hope I don't seem judgemental because I know that I don't understand everything but I do need to consider what is best for me in all of this. I am 23 years old and my boyfriend is 24. We both have steady jobs but I pretty much support myself as far as financially. I have been dating my boyfriend for almost a year now. When we met unexpectedly through mutual friends, there was an instant connection. He ended up messaging me on facebook and asking me to let him take me on a date and we have been inseperable ever since. One night at dinner (probably our second or third time out together) he told me that he had been in trouble a few years back while in college and had been addicted to opiates for a short period of time. Basically when he moved into his new house in college his roommate brought a bag of pills and in he said two weeks later he was addicted for the remainder of that school semester until he got arrested and came home... But he had been clean for a couple years now. He explained how far how he has come and I was so appreciative of his honesty that I never really worried about it again. Looking at him you would never know such a handsome, intelligent clean cut guy to have been an addict. I know now that is an ignorant way to think because anyone can struggle with addiction. A couple months of frequent sleepovers at my house and two crazy ex-roommates later we decide we might as well live together. I knew he would go to the doctor once a month to get his vyvanse refilled which I thought was weird but never really got freaked out until I found a suboxone strip in one of his shoes while cleaning up the closet. I did some research online first and calmly confronted him about it one night before bed. He explained that he used them while he was recovering and had them everywhere and not to worry that he wasn't hiding anything from me. So I let it go. One night one of his buddies came over and mentioned Suboxone and my boyfriend replied that he didn't "mess with that stuff." Well.. about a month ago I was sitting at the kitchen counter and opened up his wallet just to look at his picture on his ID. I was not snooping or expecting to find anything just bored. About 6 strips fall out. I'm not going to lie, I freaked out, threw the wallet at him and walked out because I know the wallet was new and that what he told me before was a lie. He went to his parents for the night and his mom, who is a nurse, texted me explaining how embarassing it was for him to admit that he was still taking them but she also said she thought he was using them as a "crutch." The next morning he showed up at my door and smoothed things over. My boyfriend is so sweet and good with words it almost scares me because everytime I have doubts or get upset he knows exactly what to say to make me forget about it for the moment. (I have anxiety). I've been battling my feelings for weeks now because although he thinks things are smoothed over I still have concerns because he lied to me about the suboxone and if he would have originally told me he was still in recovery I may have not entered such a serious relationship so soon. If he was comfortable telling me about his past to begin with why didn't he go ahead and tell me about the suboxone? I also am concerned that it's been three years since he has done a pill but is still on suboxone. It scares me to think that he relies on something so much and it worries me that I don't if know if things I notice like low sex drive or low weight and just being tired are side effects or just him. I'm also worried because there have been other small things he hasn't been honest with me about and I don't know if those are little obstacles every couple goes through or characteristics of being an addict. He says that his suboxone dosage is so low that it doesn't effect him like that and he is weaning himself off but I know that he has called and asked his doctor for more strips a couple of times recently. I also want to know if marijuana may affect someone on suboxone treatment differently. I have been to see his psychiatrist with him and she told me a lot about suboxone treatment and why it is most effective and even suggested me controlling his usage but that is something I don't think I'm comfortable with. His strips say 8 mg / 2 mg I'm not sure what that means and I don't know when he takes them or if I know if I can gauge that off of when I think he is acting "off". I care about him and I fully trust he has had nothing to do with opiates now but I am scared these are all red flags and I have already invested so much into this relationship. I guess I want to have an idea of what the road ahead looks like when I know I eventually want to have a kids. From what I've read the withdrawal symptoms if you get off suboxone are just as bad as taking regular opiates. Any guidance or advice is greatly appreciated.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 2:52 pm 
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Hey rmr :)

I totally get that this is all new to u & ur not very familiar with addicts just yet, however it's pretty obvious that ur bf is an addict. If he's taking suboxone and legitimately has a script, then he's in recovery and that's not a bad thing in my eyes. I've been on suboxone for almost four yrs, and it's completely changed my life and is a huge blessing. Most of us on sub doesn't exactly see it as a "crutch" and more and more ppl are using it for as long as it takes until ur ready to live life maintenance free. There's even ppl who feel that it could even be a life long choice (I'm possibly one of those ppl also). There's no shame in taking subs, but maybe ur bf felt like u wouldn't understand since u aren't an addict and that's understandable honestly.

Suboxone does NOT get u high, and u can function like normal on it. Ur bf could take double his prescribed dose and it wouldn't do him a bit of good because it has a ceiling effect that keeps u from getting him high. So great news for u....he's not getting high from his sub. If he's over taking it and needs extra called in from his Dr, it's not cause he's getting high but sometimes mentally us addicts think we need more more more. It's safe and keeping his addiction in remission. It does effect some ppls sex drive but not always. Coming off of suboxone can be tough but if he tapered slowly and was truly ready, it'd be ok.

I get that u feel betrayed because of the secrecy and lying, I would too. But if this is someone u want to marry someday, ur gonna have to make him explain things and educate u on this. There's a lot of ppl out there that aren't educated on sub and think it's just another drug, it isn't. Don't listen to those ppl. Suboxone saved my life and still is every single day. Good luck, let us know what happens :)

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 3:41 pm 
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I skipped part of your message and Jenn's reply because I wanted to answer you right away. Your boyfriend is absolutely doing the right thing!! Of course, not the lying part, but the treatment part.

Opiate addiction is a deadly disorder that permanently changes the brain. The pleasure reward pathways in your boyfriend's brain are forever linked to opiates now. The other thing about opiate addicts' brains is that when they are in the middle of their addiction, the part of the brain that typically inhibits bad behavior is in a state of dysfunction. Addicts have less of a choice the longer they are addicts.

Treating opiate addiction with buprenorphine (the active ingredient in sub) has put your boyfriend's addiction in remission. When I started suboxone in 2011 I couldn't believe how much sub changed my outlook, my behavior, and my ability to live a normal life! My son was 13 at the time and I didn't want to leave him and my husband for 3 months to go to an expensive rehab where I would go to several 12 step meetings a week. The 12 steps are not bad, and they can be very helpful, but statistically, the success rate for abstinent opiate addicts is about 5%. Or said another way, the 12 steps and abstinence has a 95% fail rate.

Philip Seymour Hoffman might still be alive if the rehab he went to promoted maintenance medication like sub.

So, let me sum up (I'm trying not to quote The Princess Bride right now. He he!) Your boyfriend is treating his opiate addiction with a maintenance drug that makes his obsession with opiates stop. He can live a normal life with his addiction in remission while he works on the things that made him vulnerable to opiates in the first place. He would be able to do this better and more in the open if his mother didn't think he was using sub as a crutch, and if his girlfriend didn't run out on him.

Now, he did lie, and he needs to do better by you, but you also have to accept that your boyfriend has a life long condition that he treating.

There is no prize for being abstinent from all medications! I believe that staying alive is the prize. He is capable of a normal life as long as he takes his meds and works on himself, as we all should.

Or to put it bluntly, better a living boyfriend on a maintenance medication than a dead boyfriend you find after he OD'd.

Amy

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2015 2:27 pm 
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Thank you both for your feedback. I understand why suboxone is successful in treating addiction. I'm just really struggling with the realization that this is a lifelong condition. I feel betrayed and frustrated because he wasn't upfront with me. I wouldn't "run out on him" but I think educating someone you live with and plan on starting a family with is more than reasonable. I felt completely blindsided because when he told me about his past at the beginning of our relationship he made it seem like his problems with opiates in the past would in no way affect our future and based on the information you've just given me, it will. His mom doesn't actively voice to him that she views it as crutch and is very supportive of him so I don't want you to think he isn't in a stable environment. I think it was unfair to mention or question if I would rather have him dead or alive being treated on suboxone. I just want to know what to expect and how to be supportive while also maintaining my own reasonable expectations for a healthy relationship. For example, not hiding you are on a medication that basically keeps you alive. Also, I'm just sad that his former decisions will affect him/ us forever. I question if because he was addicted to opiates he may have other addictive tendencies. He has said with 100% certainty that he will marry me one day. I know he has said similar things to his "crazy" ex-girlfriend before me so it makes me question if he just says that so I will be with him. When I brought that up to him he said he was In a place during that time ( after he had already started treatment ) when he started dating her where he felt alone and didn't have anyone else because most of his friends abandoned him. I can understand that but I don't want to invest everything into a person I can't fully trust. Because he hid the suboxone from me I have started to question everything. Sorry for venting about all my insecurities, I just really want this relationship to work.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2015 5:28 pm 
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I do understand your concern as I can not imagine keeping my suboxone usage a secret from my husband. That being said, my life has always been an open book and yet only my husband and one of my closest friends knows. I think this is a situation that can make your relationship stronger. So many face the disease of addiction in their relationships. I think you are ahead of the game by it now being known. You can support him in his recovery and move forward and build a life together. I wish you luck in whatever you decide is best.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2015 11:55 pm 
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It might not have been fair that I questioned whether or not you'd rather have a living boyfriend. It was over the top, admittedly. However, it is important for you to know that your boyfriend is in a life and death struggle. It would be like discovering that your boyfriend had an incurable cancer, MS, ALS, or Huntington's Disease. I'm glad that you found this out before getting married and having children with this man! Now you can research and ask questions (maybe go with him to his next appt.). Make an educated decision then either stay or go. You and he both deserve to go on with your lives.

Amy

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2015 11:55 pm 
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It might not have been fair that I questioned whether or not you'd rather have a living boyfriend. It was over the top, admittedly. However, it is important for you to know that your boyfriend is in a life and death struggle. It would be like discovering that your boyfriend had an incurable cancer, MS, ALS, or Huntington's Disease. I'm glad that you found this out before getting married and having children with this man! Now you can research and ask questions (maybe go with him to his next appt.). Make an educated decision then either stay or go. You and he both deserve to go on with your lives.

Amy

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