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PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 5:07 pm 
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I have been thinking about this for a while now well 2 years and coming, but can long term Suboxone/Methadone treatment for addictions become a crutch? I mean the blind rule that is never enforced about Drs only being allowed to see a patient for 2 years might not really be a bad idea. Because these medications were not intended to be lifelong drugs but both are turning into that more and more and is that a healthy recovery? I mean it cannot be too safe to take opiates forever whether partial or full they are still opiates. And when it comes down to it the point of these drugs are to overcome the withdrawal and cravings of our DOC but once the WDs are gone and if treated in drug counseling or whatever else setting the cravings can be beat as well so why take the drug past that point is what I am getting at? All we are doing in a sense by taking these longer and longer are just making our bodies the more dependent on it which in turn will only make trying to get off it that much harder. And when you really think about that you are in turn starting a new addiction and we all know the longer the worst it gets so I am asking all of you what do you personally think about this?



And I am asking you all to really think about this and be dead honest with yourself and all of the members as well. It can be hard to think about it but are we in for a big surprise by taking these mediations for to long!


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 8:45 pm 
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Oh wow how can I for get to answerer my own question! I can’t touch the methadone side because I just started it but. BUT DO I THINK I USED SUBOXONE AS A CRUTCH? Yes I did very much so because it did not work for my pain what so ever after the first few months, it did not work for my cravings period and the DOC WDs were gone after a month so why did I continue to take a medication for so long that did nothing hence a crutch or a fallback instead of really facing the truth. And looking back at how I went about things upsets me very much and I really need to bring this up to my counselor to talk about this because it is really bugging me now that I did that for so long.

What it really comes down to is used my pain for a excuse to continue to get suboxone so it was a combination of pain/suboxone as my crutch wow i can't believe this is just coming to me.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 10:06 pm 
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Anything can be a crutch to anybody, not just the typical things that come to mind, such as opiates. I'm curious, what makes you think that there is a time limit to using suboxone in a healthy manner? And what is this "blind rule" you speak of about doctors only supposed to see patients for two years? I've never heard of that. There is no such rule that I'm aware of. Other than the special DATA 2000 waiver, there are no special "rules" for suboxone.

Anyway, I happen to agree with Dr. Junig on this one. Opiate addiction is a life-long, relapsing disease that can be fatal. Suboxone is a medication to treat this chronic, recurring condition. There's absolutely no reason to arbitrarily pick a point in time and say, "well, cross this line and you've been on sub too long and now it's a crutch". If the rest of their life is in order and they are making improvements and are not backsliding into addictive behavior, what's the problem with continuing to take it? It's perfectly safe; the active ingredient, buprenorphine, has been around a very long time. People can use all sorts of things as crutches. Just because someone stays on suboxone longer than someone else thinks they should doesn't mean they are using it as a crutch. That's determined by their behavior and reasons that probably outsiders can't see and aren't even aware of.

I believe this all goes back - AGAIN - to the notion that it's not one-size fits all. We are all unique individuals and therefore have our own unique needs. What might be crutch for you, I might be using in a perfectly healthy manner.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 10:54 pm 
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When my husband broke his ankle, absolutely no one gave him any static about using crutches. He used them after his surgery, all through his physical therapy and beyond.

Unfortunately for him, the surgery to fix his shattered joint wasn't totally successful. So today, four long years later, he has to bust out the crutch from time to time to get around.

No one says shit about it though, because his injury is physical. He can point to his scar; it's on the outside of his body.


When I broke my brain with opiate addiction, I felt like I had to hide my treatment from everyone. I found a medication that made all of the symptoms of my illness go away; but because of the stigma and misunderstanding about addiction there was always pressure for me to "get off Suboxone."

Because I might have been using it as a "crutch."

What the hell does that even MEAN?

A crutch is just a tool that you use, hopefully until you don't need it any more.

Some of us will heal more fully than others. Some of us will need Suboxone longer than others. What I say is that it would be a great idea if people would lay off the judgement regarding how other people manage their addiction recovery.

Bboy, I think it's great that you are thinking deep thoughts about your experiences with Suboxone and now Methadone. I would just caution you from generalizing your experience to everyone else's experience.

Frankly, it's none of any of our business if some other person is "using Suboxone as a crutch" (however you might define that horribly imprecise phrase). Maybe they NEED a crutch to get through this point of life. Maybe they will be like my husband and always need one from time to time...until some better option comes along. Maybe they are stuck in what you consider to be some in-between place, neither active addiction or recovery. Big deal. That is between that person and their doctor and it has nothing to do with anyone else. Maybe they are happy there. Maybe they feel better than they have in the past 20 years. You don't know.

Abstinence is not the be-all-end-all of recovery. If they ever invent a pill that blocks opiate cravings without causing tolerance and withdrawals, I'd be all over it like white on rice. In fact, I look forward to more and more pharma-based treatments for addiction to be developed in the future. I look forward to addiction recovery moving away from the "spirituality based" 12-step paradigm that has had a chokehold on recovery for the past 75 years. In my utopia, all addictive behavior will be cured by a pill; and there will be crutches for everyone who wants them.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 11:17 pm 
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DoaQ, I have OFTEN thought the same thing about physical injuries versus mental injuries. When I busted the ever loving shit out of my ankles, I was in a wheelchair for 3 months, no one said shit to me about getting out of my wheel chair and walking around......the massive casts on both my legs were pretty good indicators that I couldn't get up and walk around. Physical injuries are treated with "respect" (not quite the right word I'm looking for, but it'll have to do for now), while any mental injury is treated with dis-respect. I like how you said you broke your brain with opiate addiction, I did too.

So, onto Suboxone, over the 3 years I was on it, did I use it as a crutch, fucking right I did......and you know what, I don't give a hoot......BECAUSE I was broken mentally, I needed a crutch until I could "think" and act properly on my own. It took me 3 years to get to the point where I was comfortable with putting my crutches down and "walking" on my own two feet.

Now to the kind of crutch that I think Bboy is talking about, like a "cheating" crutch. Well, I did that too with my Suboxone, I used it to try and get high as often as I could, but you know what, here I am, 1 year and 2 months off of Suboxone......in my opinion, I used Suboxone as it was intended to be used AND I used it as it was NOT intended to be used.....that was MY path to recovery.

Bottom line, we each have our own path to recovery. It comes with no concrete timeline, there is no perfect path to recovery, only an individual path to recovery.

Lastly, DoaQ said this, "If they ever invent a pill that blocks opiate cravings without causing tolerance and withdrawals, I'd be all over it like white on rice." Hell Yeah, I'd be second in line behind you for that pill!!!

Bboy, would a pill that blocks opiate cravings without causing tolerance and wd be a crutch?? Or is it because Suboxone is an opiate that it's a crutch??

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 11:19 pm 
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Bboy, I think I sense what you are getting at. I always get very angry when people say we are trading one drug for another, and worse, that Suboxone is just a legal high. I'm quick to point out that Sub doesn't get opiate tolerant people high, and in fact, it BLOCKS the drugs that get us high. But now that I'm trying to taper off I'm really getting honest with myself. For ME, I got that buzz that people talk about when they first start Sub for MUCH longer than the first week or two, even though I was well above the ceiling. Now I'm at the point that I no longer feel that, but I do get a bit of a burst of energy an hour or so after dosing and I do often time my dose to when I have to be somewhere or do a difficult task. The past few days I have tried to stay at 2mg, but I find myself reaching for that extra "little piece" when things get busy or stressful. So, I think that I am using Sub as a crutch in the sense that I think you mean.
I totally understand what the above posters are saying in terms of not referring to a necessary medication that people need to treat a disease as a crutch. But I do feel that at least for me I'm not really using the medication in the way it was intended, to ease withdrawal and prevent cravings. Sometimes I feel like I'm using it as my "mother's little helper" to get through the day, which is how I ended ip abusing pain pills. So it is a concern for me.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 11:34 pm 
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I don't get the whole "burst of energy" thing. I hear people talk about it, but I've never experienced it. I usually take between 12-16 mg per day, mostly 16 (on REALLY bad days, 24, but that's rare), which some consider a high dose, and I feel NOTHING when I take it. Nothing. I never have. I was hospitalized when I went on it and I barely remember that first week, so I can't speak to that.

Anyway, I hear what you're saying, Lilly. And what I want to say right off and very loud and clear is how very impressed I am. I must commend you for saying that "out loud", so to speak, and coming out and talking about what's been going on. It's not an easy thing to talk about. Like you said, it's indicative of active addiction. So I understand that it concerns you. Have you ever considered an addiction counselor? If that's not an option, there are great addition workbooks out there. I have two of them and you learn about triggers and how to deal with them as well as cravings. Since they're workbooks, they are sort of "hands-on". I found them very helpful and informative, especially with regard to triggers and learning to adjust my behavior to overcome them. I highly recommend them to everyone in addiction remission. Especially now for you, Lilly, as you're doing a rather sudden taper off.

Have you considered starting a thread just for this very subject?

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2011 8:36 pm 
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hatmaker510 wrote:
Anything can be a crutch to anybody, not just the typical things that come to mind, such as opiates. I'm curious, what makes you think that there is a time limit to using suboxone in a healthy manner? And what is this "blind rule" you speak of about doctors only supposed to see patients for two years? I've never heard of that. There is no such rule that I'm aware of. Other than the special DATA 2000 waiver, there are no special "rules" for suboxone.

Anyway, I happen to agree with Dr. Junig on this one. Opiate addiction is a life-long, relapsing disease that can be fatal. Suboxone is a medication to treat this chronic, recurring condition. There's absolutely no reason to arbitrarily pick a point in time and say, "well, cross this line and you've been on sub too long and now it's a crutch". If the rest of their life is in order and they are making improvements and are not backsliding into addictive behavior, what's the problem with continuing to take it? It's perfectly safe; the active ingredient, buprenorphine, has been around a very long time. People can use all sorts of things as crutches. Just because someone stays on suboxone longer than someone else thinks they should doesn't mean they are using it as a crutch. That's determined by their behavior and reasons that probably outsiders can't see and aren't even aware of.

I believe this all goes back - AGAIN - to the notion that it's not one-size fits all. We are all unique individuals and therefore have our own unique needs. What might be crutch for you, I might be using in a perfectly healthy manner.



I will try and read everyones post tommorow and respond got get going sunday baseball is on;) This was told to me 6 years ago at my very 1st Sub induction that when suboxone first came out that it was intended to only be used no longer than 2 years and a Dr can no longer prescibe you Sub at the 2 year mark. And i have also read on this forum a couple members being told this by there Dr.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 1:45 am 
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my medical dr said last week". now johnboy" your addicted to suboxone. i said' no. i'm afraid of the W/D's. i do wounder about methadone "now'. i do have pain mixed wth emotion and the subs are not working like thay use to. ya methadone would work for maybe a year or so". but then i'm right back in the hole again. i just woke up feeling withdralws again. nobody can say no. i took 2mg and i am a litle better . opiots are danger's". but suboxone is safer. methadone is a more free weel. with out that blocker. but its still all the same stuff" and were all going to feel back to were we were in the first place. so methadone may kill the pain just a little time. and i don't see it around much longer than suboxone. so we better stick with what hatmaker's saying. i think its the best point of all of it? i'm saying that hat and subdoc are too the rout of the hole thing. i do like being on this talkzone'. i dont feel so bad. i just left my sub doc 3 horrible message's. but at least he won't send me to the nut house , couse there is no more of them all most! were we all go now". if we push the limit" is the jail nut house. :shock:
ya this is a hell of ah topic.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 4:20 pm 
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Lilly really hit the head on the nail of what I am trying to say. I am not really going to get into the debate going in this thread because I don’t want to offend anyone. I just think after reading some of the post by certain members are pretty much proving my point as how these meds can easily be used as a crutch.

And while I was reading my book earlier today I saw this sentence and did not know were else to post this so I will post it here.

“You can look at it how you want, but when someone stops doing one thing every day and starts doing another thing every day, that seems like a replacement addiction to me”

So can recovery become a addiction?


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 9:47 pm 
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Has anyone noticed that over the past few years what used to be called "psychiatric care" is now called "behavioral health"? I thought it was a little weird at first, but ultimately behavioral health is what it's all about. It doesn't matter what the diagnosis is, or what medications are used, because ultimately the goal is to change a person's behavior in a way that s/he can function in society. So if people can lead a happy, productive life, be able work and to relate appropriately to family and friends, and isn't an emotional wreck or a danger to himself or others, isnt' that good behavioral health? Does it matter if s/he takes a pill or a strip every day?


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 1:49 am 
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must be speaking for the better health of people ". you can't teach a person to walk with no legs. but you can use a crutch is long as the person has fake legs. i don't see why my doc can't up my subs from 16mgs up to at least 24. i had to do it again, and the anxiety , jitterness sweating confusion and all stoped!! i feel normal now but only for a short time. i hope he ups my dose tomarrow". other wise i'm screwed. it's not all in my head! it's W/D at 16 mgs. like i said i took 27 mgs again today and the severe sweating pain shaking came to a halt. sorry this is not all to do with this post but it's true.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 9:43 pm 
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I don't believe so. I do not use it to get high, I feel no effects from it. I am in a slow taper and the only time I notice it is the first week after I drop a milligram off. I hardly ever get cravings, almost never for opiates. Often, I just think "a beer would be nice" but I know I cannot have on right now and thats about it. I am not even sure if that qualifies for a craving.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:47 pm 
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Sure. It'd be a lot better, in my opinion, to be clean and entirely abstinent and free of withdrawals and cravings. But using a crutch is a lot better than ruining your life.

If abstinence is a realistic option for you (or anyone) I'd pick it first. But I wouldn't stay in an opiate lifestyle because being on sub isn't as "pure" as being med-free.

Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.


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