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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 5:52 pm 
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I have a question and I guess it could relate to the celling effect that you are talking about here. I have been on Sub’s since July of 11; I started out at 16 mg’s and am now at 8 once a day. I take my dose around ten in the morning. I have been on 8 mg’s for about six of those months and had been feeling fantastic, until the past couple few weeks. I have been having small little cravings/ thoughts creeping back into my head. I really do not know if it is just psychological, or if it is really something, I should worry about.

Up until now I have had no issues, I go about my day and have been feeling more like myself then ever but then I started feeling like the sub’s were not working and now this. Please help!

Am I just having a mental thing and do I just need to get busier in life or dose this happen where the sub tolerance goes up? I did not think it could as explained about the celling effect but I am confused with myself. LOL

I also did something stupid and it is not helping. My husband and I sometimes forget that we are not kids anymore and last night we got into a food fight, lol yeah I know juvenile but we had fun. Except that during our fun I slipped and fell, HARD and hit my head and landed on my back even harder. I have always had issues with my back and now today it feels like someone took a bat to my back. My hubby is so scared that I will use this to get pills. Which I will not deny it did go through my mind. That I could tell the doctor that I am on sub’s but still get something to do the whole, go on and off thing. IT ONLY CROSSED MY MIND A MILLAMEATER OF A SECOND, but I know just as well as any addict sometimes that’s all it takes.

Any comments are very much appreciated and no worries I don’t get offended very easy if anyone thinks I’m just nuts, lol


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 10:40 pm 
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Hey Smith.

I think everyone who goes on opioid replacement therapy faces this problem at some time - the eventual return of cravings. I don't think it's "just a mental thing". For me, cravings are the first sign that my brain wants more opioids than i'm already giving it, and it comes long before any physical symptoms surface. As you said, the return of these thoughts / cravings / urges are a result of your mind and body gradually becoming more tolerant to the dose of Suboxone you are on. Essentially the addictive brain is getting a bit greedy, and saying "I want more now". On Sub the process is a lot more gradual than methadone, but still there, especially on doses under the ceiling effect. It's the reason that people's doses on ORT can keep climbing if they don't find other ways to manage their cravings.

When this time came for me, I had a choice. To increase my dose to make myself comfortable and craving free again, or manage my cravings on my own without resorting to more drugs. Ultimately, if I kept making the same decision, one of those choices would end up in me eventually getting off Suboxone. The other would end up with me maxed out on 32mg, or back on methadone, or using.

I'd take the return of these using thoughts as an opportunity to learn how to deal with cravings on your own. Find the techniques that help you the most - distraction, exercise, talking about it, meetings, scrubbing tiles with a toothbrush / whatever. Once you feel comfortable enough in your own ability to deal with any cravings that surface, you might one day feel ready to see how you'll go on 6mg? Then slowly the training wheels get raised until, MAYBE, one day you can ride the bike on your own.

But one thing at a time I spose.

I totally understand the fear of craving. I had it myself for a long time. I think every addict new to Suboxone / methadone fears cravings, mainly because, without the tools, cravings would always mean using. So once cravings started to bubble up again, fear of relapse kicks in hard.

For me, the trick is to not try to fight or fear cravings. Just to acknowledge them and shift my thoughts to something else - like studying / music / life / job / my-dream wife / whatever. Something positive that I couldn't do while using. And if that's not enough, I then DO something like swimming, studying, call a friend and have a yarn about nothing, even come on Suboxforum. If I get a thought about using in any form, even if I'm just thinking about my using past, I recognise it and shift myself to a more constructive train of thought as soon as I can. If you can move your thoughts away from dangerous ideas / memories within half a second, you can stop a lot of cravings before they even begin.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:07 am 
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My opinion is that you're experiencing psychological cravings that have nothing to do with suboxone whatsoever. You're an addict and you've been accustomed to taking pills for..what..how long? You may have experienced certain circumstances that reminded you of using - a trigger - that caused the craving. Usually if you distract yourself the craving will pass. Many people feel that such cravings could come and go for the rest of an addict's life and it's just a matter of how you deal with the triggers and what coping skills you learn to deal with them. If you learn to deal with them properly, they could easily become just like a tiny blip on a radar screen. That's IF they even continue to occur over time.

I've been on suboxone over 3 years now and my cravings have consistently gone down, not up. You are still SOOOO early in your treatment and so new to remission. Give yourself time still to get used to living without drugs and for you to make more progress. Are you in counseling or addiction therapy? It's what I always recommend for people new to "recovery/remission". It's not necessary for everyone - it just depends on the individual, but I think it's never a waste of time. This is how you will learn new coping skills.

Also, there are addiction workbooks out there that can help you work on your own triggers and cravings. You can get them on Amazon or any large bookstore. They are quite beneficial, especially if you're doing this on your own.

I wouldn't freak out and start thinking the sub isn't working though. At least not in my opinion. I think you're right where you are supposed to be at. Suboxone won't do everything for you.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:15 pm 
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Thank you so much for your response. I am so grateful for this forum and to be able to get help from people such as the both of you. I had not responded as of yet because I have been busy with my daughter and her car problems. Also I worry about my husband and whenever he sees me on here he gets worried and he thinks there is something wrong. He just has a hard time understanding, not that he does not try. Anywho,

I agree with both of you about keeping busy and all. I also felt that if I were to raise my dose that, that would seem to me like going backwards but I also do not want to just sit around and wait for things to get so bad that I end up doing something stupid. In the past, I could go from being ok to using in .05 seconds, lol or less.

I have been doing well after my fall, I only had the one thought, and it did quickly leave. I did do as the both of you suggested and just keep myself busy. I also know that deep down I can handle a little pain and that it is not that bad. It is just those old habits of knowing that I can blow it way up, make a mountain out of a molehill, and con some doctor to get what I want.

I do not feel very ready to jump from 8 to 6 at this point but I feel like I have come to a bridge in my recovery where I can look at the situation and analyze it. Knowing that I can MENTALY deal with it.

As I said, I am so thankful for everyone here who gives their honest opinion and have others best interest at heart. It just feels good to know I can come here when I am feeling like this and to talk about it.


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