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 Post subject: Mr. Brownstone Effect
PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 1:59 am 
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I know Mr. Brownstone is a song about heroin, and while I never tried that particular substance, I'm on Zubsolv (another brand with the same ingredients as Suboxone) I'm having trouble with what I call the Mr. Brownstone effect. As in, I used to do a little but a little wouldn't do it so the little got more and more. I started out my induction two years ago on two 1.4mg Zubsolv a day, with the doctor wanting to ween me off after two months. I switched doctors but not doses and found I would run out as much as two weeks before my next scheduled appointment and fill. This led to some serious trouble at home. We made it through, and I switched doctor's again which got me a much larger dose of two 5.7mg tablets a day. And it still doesn't seem like enough. This time I've run out almost a week early. I'm supposed to take one in the morning, and one in the evening, but I find by mid day it feels like the effects are wearing thin and I take an extra to carry me to the evening dose. I'm kind of afraid to tell my doctor what's going on. They do UA, and I always pass. I'm not doing anything else on the side, and I don't want to run out. I guess I'm asking if I should tell the doctor what's up before my next appointment and hope they understand and bail me out, or just (literally) sweat it out the six days to my next appointment and tell them then? Any advice or similar experience would be greatly appreciated. Thanks very much in advance.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:29 am 
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Hello bunsonbyner welcome!!

Well I do think being honest with ur doctor is best if ur doctor is a good caring doctor. The doctor knows ur an addict and relapse or running out early can happen (not saying u relapsed just mentioning some of the things addicts go through). I would bet ur not his first patient to run out a week early so he's probably had this situation before.... what he/she does in those situations is unknown though, so u use ur best judgement because it's either that or sticking it out until ur next appointment. It could possibly show in ur drug screen at ur next appointment that u haven't taken anything in a week and ur doctor will find out anyway. If it were me I would try to see him/her and explain that I've been having this issue for awhile now with running out early.

Is the reason ur running out early because u start feeling bad a bit after ur dose? U could be having an absorption issue or something like that. Ur doctor is the person who can help u figure that stuff out. I hope whatever u decide everything turns out ok :)

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:54 am 
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Hi jennjenn,

Thanks for the kind response! I haven't relapsed in the sense that I've gone back to taking my previous drug of choice, however, it has gotten me acting like my old addict self, which I consider just as bad. All the secrecy, sneaking around and hitting up strange sources for more.

I'm feeling a bit more confident about contacting my doc. He is definitely more understanding than my last two, by a long shot. I'm going to have to call. I can't keep doing this, and I think the consensus of people on Suboxone maintenance would agree, I can't live without it. I hadn't considered it being an absorption issue, but there are times where I wonder if I didn't just swallow most of it by accident. Mostly, it's been hard day's full of stresses and factors that make me want to use, and dose in the middle followed by one at night creates a far better and more comfortable balance than dosing just twice a day. I'm just hoping this won't mean weekly or biweekly visits because that isn't something I can financially afford right now, even with insurance. Thank you again!


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 12:20 pm 
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I have a reliably unreliable source who has helped me get Suboxone in the past when I've run out, usually at the last minute and just as panic is starting to set in. In this case, it's tertiary diversion as I believe he gets them through direct diversion rather than from a doctor. It makes me feel icky inside, but at the same time, it gets me what I'm craving, so in that Machiavellian mindset in which I believe most users live and operate, the end justifies the means. All the same, I'd rather not do this anymore. Personally, I'm way too dependent on my medication to let so much as a single one go through diversion. I don't know how others do, apart from not being serious about their recovery, or just not caring what the more harmful substances are doing to them long term.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 10:53 am 
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There has been many threads here where ppl run out of their medicine early and have issues with taking too much, so don't feel alone. I can only imagine how difficult that cycle would be to run out and try to find more just to get u to ur appointment again. It's a circle that just keeps repeating itself. One thing I've seen Dr Junig say to ppl is when u feel urself reaching for more, do something to deter ur attention for 15-20 minutes. It can be walking or cleaning or anything, but it will make that moment pass to take more. It works.

One of my biggest triggers has always been stress. Gosh, stress to an addict is hell because we're so used to numbing things. Seeing an addiction counselor or any type of recovery meetings will help u tremendously I promise, do u do any of that? My clinic has meetings for the suboxone patients, there's 6 meetings a week that we can go to. Talking with these other patients has really helped me throughout my recovery. I see ppl from just starting to being there for years. When u see and talk to others that's dealing with the some of the same things u are, u get a whole new perspective.

It's hard to break the cycle ur in but u can definitely do it. U just have to learn some tools that will work for u. I believe u will get bk to not taking extra. It may be baby steps but u will get there :)

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2017 8:34 am 
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bunsonbyrner: you should read my story in dosing discussion, there is some god advice on there.

I was in/am in the same boat.

I am doing much better and I can relate to running out, there is nothing worse than running out and feeling ok while you know what is coming in a couple of days.

I have made one 8mg strip last 6 days shooting it up to get the most out of the bio-availability.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2017 10:23 am 
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bunson byrner Welcome. Just wanted to chime in here. Buprenorphine is a very long lasting drug. You might be surprised at how long you could go without dosing before you experience genuine withdrawal symptoms. I know that everyone is different, but I forgot to bring my suboxone with me when I went out of town for four days over Thanksgiving and made it through with no problems. This happened before I found this forum so I went through a great deal of anxiety, needlessly. My suggestion is that you divide what you have left by the days until you can get a refill. If you are totally out and have more than a few days until you can refill, you will probably have to contact your doctor. Some doctors will allow one early refill.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:15 am 
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Thanks, everyone, for the responses. Ultimately, I know I need to break this cycle and just learn to overcome those urges. It isn't the case, I think, that I medically require more than I'm being prescribed. I believe I was under dosed from my first intake, but have since had that dose adjusted. Sometimes it helps to remind myself that I was originally prescribed a quarter of what I'm currently prescribed to take. But stress is a huge factor in my life. A huge one. This is perhaps TMI, but for a while now, I've been sole bread winner for my family of three. My wife has overcome a lot of obstacles including cancer, pregnancy, and an addict husband over the past three years, and I've been there for her in every aspect but the addiction part, save from what I did to get help. The upshot of it is, I'm living with a person who has as much stress as I do, but who physically can't cope with it. I'm in the same boat, but my inability to cope is based on chemical availability. I try to be the easy going one, but often at the cost of not appearing concerned about finances or this or that. I am concerned. I have had a refill since my last post, but the cycle has repeated. It isn't that I can't stretch what I have now, but I know myself--and hate myself for knowing what I will likely do to paint myself back into the same corner. Merely surviving month to month under the constant pressure of my stressors: I hate my job and feel trapped in it, school, bills, the ever changing needs of my young son, it's a lot for two people to handle, notwithstanding the mutually exclusive issues my wife and I both have, physically and emotionally. It feels good to articulate all of this, and perhaps that's the key right there is actually turning these abstracts into objective words and phrases. I'm already feeling clearer than when I began this decidedly lengthy post. Again, thank you all for your kind responses!


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 11:41 am 
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Hey bunsonbyrner.

I can feel the stress in ur post. I get it. I've been under some stress lately too.

Stress to an addict in recovery can become so overwhelming at times. I have to see my doctor soon and I'm going to make an appointment with the addiction counselor one on one because I need it right now. I think u could definitely benefit from that too.

There's something so eye opening when ur able to speak about everything and lay it all out in front of urself and someone else who's only interest at that time is helping u. I have this habit of bottling everything up and looking like I'm calm cool and collected on the outside. Inside I'm trying to distract myself and only think about one problem to conquer at a time, then my other stresses pop in and out & it can become chaos. That's what happens with me when I've got several things going on that I'm worrying about. It helps so much to talk to someone and put everything out there and try to find ways to better cope with it. It does help.

Taking extra is just gonna be yet another worry and stress on u because it's going to be on ur mind constantly that ur going to run out early. I understand why ur taking extra, it's because ur trying to make urself feel better at the time. It's just an ongoing circle. Talking with someone, I believe, will help u with that. It's something for u to think about. I hope it gets better :)

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:13 pm 
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Jennjenn, thank you. Thank you, thank you. I think you've nailed it exactly. Your response felt like looking into an emotional mirror. I am going to look into getting a counselor. My fear--and yeah, I guess it's another stress--is telling my wife, as it will mean admitting that my trouble is still there. I feel like I've broken her beyond the point of reasonable understanding. She's not an addict, and doesn't get it. More, she knows she doesn't get it, but her reactions in the past have been both extreme and noncommittal to any immediate action. We have a son together who has really united us as a couple. It's been great to see her as a mom, given the fear and despair that she felt when facing up to the truth that the deck was stacked against our ever having children at all. And she's often commented on how well I'm doing as a father, which is encouraging. Trying to change for her, for my son though has proven ineffective, even impossible. And I have felt better in those times in recovery where I could just lay it all out and talk about it without it being a game of socio-emptional Russian Roulette. Oddly enough, I ran into my old grief counselor today. I may hit her up and see if there's an ongoing counselor she might recommend. Thank you again!


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 5:08 pm 
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Hey Bunson,

I have a good memory and now I know why your writing and story sounded familiar!! You were here as Grovellst and we corresponded. Thx for the reminder. You are a good writer and its easy to read along and understand. I really hope you continue to contribute here as your posts are most helpful - your posts to others and those on yourself.

You were never on enough bup after your 250mg/day Norco and then you switched Dr's last spring and got on 2 5.7mg Zubzolv (11.4mg) or 16mg Suboxone equivalent. You might want to check your plan to see if it covers more. Some are starting to restrict dose and quantity after a set time period to 11.7mg Zub/day or 16 mg Sub/day. Or could require a PA. Or you to private pay for quantty aboive their cap like happened w AmyMike

So far seems like you have not asked to be tested as a rapid metabolizer? a simple blood test. the links have some good general info.
http://www.questdiagnostics.com/home/ph ... ic-testing
http://www.questdiagnostics.com/testcen ... mt_3A4_3A5
Any lab associated w your plan does this test. Given all you've been thru on your journey on bup, I'd for sure get it if it were me.
Are you taking any other meds that could reduce bup's effect? You said you were bipolar so wondering if any drug to drug interactions where bup is suppressed by another? What other meds do you take? Some meds inhibit metabolism and some induce it...
Are you maximizing absorption each dose?
Any interest in Celebrate Recovery? It offers talking and feelings expression. Real friendships form.
Wishing you my best bc this is all so hard. Pel

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Stopping went well -- its the staying stopped -- where the real work begins.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 6:34 pm 
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Hi Pelican!

You, I remember. Wasn't trying to be sneaky with the new username so much as I couldn't, for the life of me, get myself signed in with the old one. Oh well.

As far as the dose and my absorption, I haven't had that tested, but it has crossed my mind and wouldn't surprise me. I metabolized my Norco pretty fast when I was on that kick. I take one Zubsolv in the morning, feel great an hour later, which lasts two to three hours before the only thing I can think about with any clarity is that next dose. If I know one is coming, I can sometimes use the anticipation as a holdout, but lately, things have been so stressful I take the second dose mid afternoon and don't look back. Then I take the third usually right after work, because Home has been as stressful as work on many occasions lately, then the next day, same thing. I don't know if my insurance will cap it or not. And if they don't, I'm willing to do what I have to to split doses, which is what I end up doing toward the end of the month anyway. I carrry an X-Acto knife with me pretty much everywhere. In fact, I'm getting ready to split out my afternoon dose right now. It's a Sunday, I'm at work in the retail sector, and this is the grain of salt that helps me process the droves of humanity flooding through our doors.

I'll look into Celebrate Recovery. I'm familiar, but not that familiar, if you know what I mean. And thanks for the links! I'm going to run that by my doctor, hopefully, if and when I see them this week. I'm calling first thing tomorrow to follow up on my email and let them know what happened. Good to hear from you again, and thanks, as always!

The Artist Formerly Known as Grovelist


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 8:28 pm 
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Forgot to address a couple things in that last reply. Firstly, Pelican, thanks very much for the kind words about my words. Writing is a habit of mine that I indulge daily. Basically I set a warm pan of chicken blood on the floor under my desk, put my feet in it and write until the blood goes cold. Kidding. But I do write a lot. Also, as for other meds, my bipolar stuff is currently not medicated. I dislike or distrust--probably both--psychiatrists in general. Talk and sleep have been far more effective. My mother, who is very bipolar, was turned into a medication zombie in my youth, and I've no desire to follow that example. I'd rather have the highs and lows over the old lithium flatline, any day. The only other drug I take is gabapentin, and to be perfectly honest and shame the devil, I have a tendency to abuse those two, so it's usually better I'm not in the same room with them. I was popping up to 60 of the 300mg caps in a day to stave off opiate withdrawals for a while. Chipotle class diarrhea, all the way. Unpleasant. But that's really about it. I took a look at one of the links you posted, and assuming all goes well in calling the doctor tomorrow--and I'm legitimately terrified, but don't think I need to be--I'm going to see if we can run it. I run high risk of prostate cancer, so I need some panels done anyway. If my back doc won't do it, I'll schedule it with my on again off again GP. Well, that's about enough out of me. Thank you again!


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