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 Post subject: Bupe For Life Questions
PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 12:00 am 
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To Preface.. I'm what you would call a moderate 'offender'. Meaning I'm 28 and I've abused off and on for 3 years now (but probably only 1 year if you add up the time I was actually 'high'). So in that light, I'm not your typical Bupe for Life candidate.

However, after going clean for a year, I still never got back to feeling 'normal'. There was no 'spark' in my life. And then when I went back to opiates this past year it's like I was introduced to the 'old' 21 year old me who was the life of the party and enjoying every second of life.

So in that light, bupe for life sounds excellent. But what scares me is having to rely on something EVERYDAY for the rest of my life.

1) What if for some reason I cannot get my script refilled?
2) What if the drug is banned?
3) What if my tolerance for Bupe goes up and up until the point where I'm back to square one?
4) What if the changes in my brain really can be repaired over the long-term? Wouldn't taking another opiate just damage it even more?

There are a lot of things I don't know. Hell, I don't even know if I would feel myself on Bupe.

I have 2 2mg strips and I'm itching to try them out to see if I do feel normal. But I'm clean. And for all intensive purposes, I'd like to stay clean (without bupe).

But if I'm NEVER going to feel like my old self again.. maybe this is an option.

Rambling, I know.

But I don't know where to turn.. please help.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 9:20 pm 
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Any person who can 'stay clean from opioids' without buprenorphine doesn't need buprenorphine-- and shouldn't take it. Any benefits-- like mood elevation-- will likely be short lived.

But most of the people who 'think' that they can stay clean from opioids, in reality CANNOT stay clean from opioids. To those people, I encourage that they consider staying on buprenorphine for life, and avoiding the damage that comes with active opioid dependence.

Some of your questions cannot be answered-- except for using probabilities. It is unlikely, in my opinion, that buprenorphine will ever be banned. But it is quite possible that idiots in state legislative bodies will add enough regulations to chase most docs out of the profession-- causing difficulty in finding legitimate prescriptions of the medication.

Your third question is not an issue. Tolerance does not go up, because of the mechanism of action and the ceiling effect. It is hard to explain the science in a few sentences.. but once you are tolerant to a dose at the ceiling effect-- usually 4-8 mg or more-- your tolerance cannot go higher. The science predicts that to be the case-- and I've seen the science supported in a number of patients who have been on buprenorphine for 7 years or more.

There IS risk of ending up with a malignant, sadistic doc who creates burdens on you for keeping a script of Suboxone. But if that were to happen, you could stop Suboxone and be better off than you probably are now. To explain--- on Suboxone, your tolerance is held at the same tolerance of someone on 40 mg of methadone per day-- well below the tolerance of the average opioid addict. So you are not WORSE off on Suboxone, than you are if you are using; you are better off. If you couldn't get Suboxone, you could always go back to your drug of choice--- and your tolerance would probably be lower than if you had been on that drug the entire time. In other words, Suboxone doesn't make the situation worse--- but it doesn't guarantee that you will never have a problem.

Despite hundreds or years of experience with opioids, there is no evidence for permanent changes to the brain from opioid use-- unless that use causes overdose and hypoxia, and brain damage from the hypoxia. Buprenorphine has been in use for more than 30 years; there are no known toxic effects from buprenorphine on the brain (similar to other opioids, EXCEPT for Demerol or meperidine, which DOES have toxic metabolites).

Everyone who gets addicted to opioids would like to get back to 'normal', whatever that was.... but most people are not successful in doing that, unless they change their personality with AA, and keep going to meetings to KEEP the personality changed. Buprenorphine is a way to block cravings, without requiring personality change. I have a hard time deciding which is more 'invasive'--- step work or buprenorphine. But buprenorphine is clearly more reliable.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 9:01 am 
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Admin 1,

I REALLY appreciate your response.

I can't tell you how great it is to be able to have dialogue with someone after keeping so many friends/family in the dark about my 'dark' past.

I understand all of your points and agree whole-heartedly. There is only one point that I just can't wrap my 'head' around (no pun intended)--The lasting effects on the brain.

To say that these drugs leave no lasting effects on the brain goes against everything we know about them.

We know addiction is a disease for many reasons. However, one of the major reasons is because these opiates create more 'opiate receptors' in our brain during their use. Once we stop using, we don't have enough proteins to fill those extra receptors (forgive me my science, is not 100%) and this is what we call withdraw. Now after withdraw, our brain starts to return to normal 'homeostasis' in which we decrease the # of our opiate receptors, as our brain starts to realize that we simply aren't filling our brains up with 'fake' happiness via opiates.

NOW.. some say they return to normal after their initial withdraw. But it's plainly obvious that most do not. That is the reason for relapse. And in some scientific studies I have read as of late, it states that the reason for this maybe indeed be because opiates have changed our reward pathways AKA opiate receptors forever. Not to say you can't ever live a normal life again.. but it is going to be MUCH harder to obtain the same 'high' we got from regular activities that we used to get pre-opiates.

For this reason, I have to believe there are permanent changes that mid to long-term opiate use have on the brain. It's the only explanation to me why addicts who have been clean for 30 years can revert back to their drug of choice.

Segway this into suboxone treatment and how it actually works.. it actually 'fills' those opiate receptors so we feel 'normal' again. In essence, it's like being ourselves again pre-opiate use without getting the opiate high. And that's GREAT. But in my mind, how can our brains be healing if we're keeping them in this opiate state for life?

This is my only worry. If it weren't for this I would have laid out the $$ for suboxone induction already. But I'm young and I value my body and my brain.

Don't get me wrong, I've heard great stories, but I've also heard horror stories as well from people on suboxone long-term. Anywhere from 'it's a life saver' to 'I cannot have a loving relationship with another human being after being on suboxone for 6 years. It's like my brain has changed permanently.'

And the fact that people who 'jump off' at .5 and FEEL withdraw pain for sometimes up to a year tells me that it's indeed doing something to our brains.

Don't take this as a bupe for life vs. not bupe for life argument. Because it isn't! It's just a discussion around the effects long-term of bupe and ALL opiates in general.

I really wish the medical community knew more about what long-term use of opiates really does. Because it's obviously doing something.

Thanks


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PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 8:42 am 
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Wow whatdoyaknow, a newcomer skeptic with an open mind! Always nice to see that. All I can tell you is that I've been on it for over 2 years now, and it beats active addiction by a long shot, my life and my energies have a greater degree of stability. I can hold a job, a relationship, and friendships. I still feel enough like my true self to pursue creative endeavors. As far as the fear of day-to-day dependency, it gets less scary when you are settled with a good doctor and pharmacy, I'd recommend finding a non-big chain pharm and being consistent with that one. If you do choose sub maintenance, do your best to create a good situation in terms of reliable doctors and pharmacists, they can be a huge help. It made me capable of taking care of myself again and doing what I needed to to live a real life. Good luck


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PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 10:57 am 
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Welcome rman! I would just like to say that I think it's GREAT that before you try you are doing as much research as possible... I think if you are clean now I would not do it.. Maybe look into some antidepressnts or something to help lift the levels of seratonin to feel more normal.. That is the much better route in my opinion. I had a dr. who was not honest with me, I will say that YES I was able to get my life on track with suboxone and I'm thankful for the tool because I was in active addiction. BUT now I am tapering and let me tell you... It's not AS horrible as opiate but you hit humps and bumps and I have been stuck on the same dose for a couple weeks.. It's aggravating. Also, I know that someone is going to say "There is no proven side effects from suboxone" but I will tell you what side effects I had after two years on, Also I have read many people have the same thing.. HORRIBLE social anxiety, depression, lack of energy, my body telling me I need to sleep 12 plus hours, migraines and I am sure there are others.. I have ALWAYS been an extrovert.. I was the person who talked to any and everyone.. Not anymore. I just started taking an antideprssant called Celexa. It seems to be helping. I am hoping that when I jump I won't be as depressed because I have that helping me along with clonodine. I see my brother (who is also on it) closing himself off to the world also.. He doesn't want to do a damn thing. Yes he works and then he goes home.. He will be 25 this sunday and he has no kids. Should be living it up! Nope.. He is a hermit and I know that it's the subs.. I think it's good to know all the facts but at the same time considering they don't have tons of studies on this med about long term effects and such you may just need to read other people's experience and chose from there. I agree with you, the bupe cannot be "Good" for your brain so of course it's doing some type of damage. Do I think it's permanant? No maybe not.. I think for me when I jump everything after time will go back to the way it was.. But Idk for people who have been on longer than three years.. I mean after ten years on a drug does someone even know what it even FEELS like to be "Normal"? I'm not sure I would.. Well anyways, I really hope you find some answers that you are looking for. I also hope that you continue on your sobriety and good job too!!!


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PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 3:31 pm 
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I got 6 years on..and I'm not some cold-hearted, lonely hermit living a life of solitude. Too many people are willing to blame sub with problems that were created long before they ever took bupe...

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October 8, 2013

RIP little brother. Gone, but not forgotten.


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PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 3:42 pm 
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Ya....what he said.....

So tired I not even going to...



razor


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