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PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 4:00 am 
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I have been thinking about this ever since my doctor told me last week that for me to live a descent life as an addict I will pretty much have to attend meetings for the rest of my life if I'm not on a drug like suboxone or naltrexone/vivotrol. I actually enjoy going to meetings and certainly don't plan on not going for any reason, which is not what this is about.

This doesn't really has an impact on me in the near future but rather me realizing and putting into perspective the fact that I will never be able to escape the bad choices I made years ago. My doctor was describing to me the effect that my drug use has had on my brain which in unlike that of a non-user in the sense that I naturally respond to drugs at first thought. Seeing as though this is the case, my opinion on staying on suboxone for life has somewhat altered.

Looking at the issue simply by judging the drug itself, and not price related, I'm not sure if the alternative is that bad. Although as I grow older, the side effects of suboxone will likely have a greater significance and overall quality of life. Any input?


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 6:01 am 
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You're certainly not the only one who plans to stay on Suboxone for life. Some people live wonderful lives on it, and don't feel they can be strong enough without it. Some people, like me, lived a dull existence on it. For me, it was a miracle in the sense of helping me to get my life back on track, growing a beautiful baby, saving money, and in general getting away from drugs. But, it numbed me and made my life zombie-like. I didn't have a great feeling while on it.

I think your doctor is very wrong, and obviously is not an addict himself. Nobody who has not been an active addict can say what you should do with your life. I certainly don't agree that all addicts have to attend meetings, even in the beginning. There are several different forms of counseling that can help an addict stay clean. You also don't need to go to meetings for the rest of your life! I mean, if you'd like to, go for it. But, what would the point be? To continuously remind you of the mistakes you've made, and never move on from them? To sit in a pity party for yourself & all of the mistakes you've made? To only ever meet fellow addicts who also pity themselves for what they've done?

I'm not against meetings. Some people find them very helpful. I also do believe that we need to continuously remind ourselves of why we do not want to go back to using drugs. It's important that each individual realize what they need in order to live a sober life, for the rest of their lives. If you WANT meetings, then do them. However, some doctor is not going to sit and tell me that I have to go and sit in a meeting once, twice, three times a week for the next 60 years in order to stay clean.

I can ramble all day. But my point is, I think your doctor is extremely wrong. If it were me, I'd of told him where to stick it.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 10:41 am 
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To answer the question in your thread title; no, I don't believe recovery ever ends. I do believe there are different ways to work on your recovery, tho. I think meetings and maintenance drugs are the most successful and common, but I don't believe them to be the only way. So are you considering staying on Suboxone or are you pondering the question in general?

I think any form of recovery that keeps one away from using is a good choice, no matter what it is.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 12:24 pm 
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You know I think this is more on an individualized base. Some people find meetings as there saving grace and it works wonders for them. For others they dont need that and can find a sence of "no way ive been down that road and never again." Even with subs, meetings, or counseling you can still fall off the boat, I think thats what he is saying to you. I sure its because more people in meetings who stay in meetings or on subs or any kind of program they have statistics on. They to can fall off and some do fall of the wagon, but people who say the above quote and stay clean they dont have statistical data on, they are just susceptible to failure its just not on the books. Some stay clean and never look back, some dont. We have triggers like all poeple just are more at risk. We are creatures of habit I believe, you can make a habbit of any thing good or bad. I had an aunt who was so addicted to cleaning she would straighten shoes you took off, She just could not stop. The whole process to this is in your head, but do remember you will always be at risk category just like me. I dont have room for failure any more. So this is my mind set, I will not surrond myself with negative poeple who would attempt to ruin this for me. BUT EVERYONE IS DIFFRENT! So do what works for you.


Last edited by dirtyblonde on Sun Nov 03, 2013 7:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 1:09 pm 
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What an addict needs to stay clean will vary from person to person. If you are a chronic relapser like me, recovery might be a life long pursuit. If you're able to stop the opiates, move on and forget about that chapter of your life then that's great. Many of us can't do that, especially in the beginning. I go to meetings because I have tried counseling, rehab, my own plan, etc. and always go back to drugs. I don't worry about possibly being in meetings for the rest of my life because that's a silly thing to worry about. If I find myself in a very good place down the road and I decide to stop going than I can do that. I am accountable to no one. But if I like meetings and feel that going, even just once a week, keeps my head in a good place, than I will continue. Staying on suboxone for life wasn't even an option for me. That option would make ME feel in active addiction for the rest of my life because of the side effects it gave me(numb to emotions, lethargic, constipated, depressed, etc.). Going to meetings for an hour a day a few times a week definitely beats suboxone side effects 24 hours a day.

And mamatomonkey, I had a similar opinion as you before I went to meetings. I thought it was a pity party but now I know that is certainly not the case. Meetings are a way for other addicts to support each other. The ones with more time and experience help the newcomers. It's almost exactly what you are doing on this forum. Not only that, but it gives you tools to stay sober and deal with everyday life. I think 12 step programs would benefit anyone, even non-addicts. I always feel great when I leave a meeting, better than I did before I arrived. They are inspiring, uplifting, and give me hope that I can stay sober. Definitely the furthest thing from a pity party.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 8:07 pm 
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l i v i n wrote:
What an addict needs to stay clean will vary from person to person. If you are a chronic relapser like me, recovery might be a life long pursuit. If you're able to stop the opiates, move on and forget about that chapter of your life then that's great. Many of us can't do that, especially in the beginning. I go to meetings because I have tried counseling, rehab, my own plan, etc. and always go back to drugs. I don't worry about possibly being in meetings for the rest of my life because that's a silly thing to worry about. If I find myself in a very good place down the road and I decide to stop going than I can do that. I am accountable to no one. But if I like meetings and feel that going, even just once a week, keeps my head in a good place, than I will continue. Staying on suboxone for life wasn't even an option for me. That option would make ME feel in active addiction for the rest of my life because of the side effects it gave me(numb to emotions, lethargic, constipated, depressed, etc.). Going to meetings for an hour a day a few times a week definitely beats suboxone side effects 24 hours a day.

And mamatomonkey, I had a similar opinion as you before I went to meetings. I thought it was a pity party but now I know that is certainly not the case. Meetings are a way for other addicts to support each other. The ones with more time and experience help the newcomers. It's almost exactly what you are doing on this forum. Not only that, but it gives you tools to stay sober and deal with everyday life. I think 12 step programs would benefit anyone, even non-addicts. I always feel great when I leave a meeting, better than I did before I arrived. They are inspiring, uplifting, and give me hope that I can stay sober. Definitely the furthest thing from a pity party.


I do think livin has a great point, he phrased it better than me. I totally agree that going to a meeting is a much better scenario for me too vrs the alternate of remaining on subs my whole life. I do not feel either are a poor choice or one is better than the other, or if you need both, its just what works best for you in your life. you must decide what its going to take to keep you clean and don't over think it. I also enjoy meetings, I don't go daily but I do find much comfort in those rooms. Some do turn into a pity party but if you find the right one you will find this is not the case. I find it to be just like we are on here, support, someone to listen to you when you need, you can read not respond or respond. Its a lot like a meeting.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 12:52 am 
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I'm sorry if I offended you. I think that NA can work great for some people. I wasn't meaning to say that if you do NA, you're a bad person, or pitying yourself. I just meant that I don't think this doctor has an accurate determination of drug addiction. I do not think someone needs NA for the rest of their lives in order to stay clean. But no, I don't think our recovery is ever over.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 12:07 pm 
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Hey fireman,

That's a very interesting question you brought up. I remember asking myself that same question a while back. IMO, there is no finish line when it comes to recovery. In saying that, I don't mean you have to attend meetings everyday or continue adding new things to your recovery, you just have to find what recovery principles work for you, then work them.

I know if I let myself slide with some of the recovery techniques I use, I edge back towards drugs. For me, my natural tendencies seem to gravitate towards drug use, so I have to stay on top of those thoughts and live in an environment that is NOT conducive to drug use.

I think I understand what you were saying when you said you respond to drugs at first thought. In the early stages of my recovery, if I thought about drug's, my brain basically went from 0 to 60mph in a fraction of a second and I'd quickly become obsessed with thoughts of drugs. If I didn't catch myself quickly, I would then start to get some cravings. As time went on and I learned to recognize my thought processes and behaviors, I was able to think about drugs without being triggered so hard and so fast.

I also understand your concern about not being able to escape the bad choices you made years ago. There is no escape, the deed has been done, now you have to learn to forgive yourself and live with the choices you made. At some point you'll accept things and allow yourself to move on.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 2:46 pm 
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I was not offended by what you said so don't worry about it. We all have different opinions on here and I respect all of them. I just wanted to point out that I felt just like you when my therapist said I had to go to meetings, but after attending AA, I have changed my opinion.


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