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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 4:18 am 
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Hi-My daughter has a long history of drug abuse, with periods of recovery,a two year relapse after two years sober this last time. She tried to kick with methadone, but was the worst I have ever seen her. About 3 mos ago she began suboxone, got off methadone, and is doing much better. She has been attending meetings almost daily. However, she is getting a lot of negative comments in NA and is being told she should not take chips. They are telling her it is a "mood-altering substance." Is this a common response in NA meetings? I told my dau that anti-depressants are also mood-altering, and surely many at meetings are taking them. I don't know how to feel-I hate spending the money for suboxone. I hate her having to take a drug, even a legal one. She has hep C and I worry about possible side effects on the liver, though more about relapse. My hope is that she will be able to cut back the dosage, but maybe not stop, at least right away. The other problem I have is what to expect of her. She seems incredibly groggy in the morning and unable to care for her 3 yr old, so that I have to. I wonder if this is due to the suboxone, or due to her late hours and fouled up sleep cycle. She complains of difficulty sleeping. She complains of being incapable of waking until she has the suboxone. I have started bringing a little yogurt for her to eat and the pill, but she still is extremely lethargic. Is it too early to expect her to find work or begin school? Is it unreasonable to expect her to get to sleep earlier and do more with her child? I try to say very little and expect very little, but it is hard to be patient. I really want to understand and help, but not enable.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 9:45 am 
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Hi Mom,
I think it's great that you are part of your daughters Recovery. She is lucky to have you for sure. I can not speak about the rules & regs. of N/A as I have never been! But I can speak a little about Suboxone. I have been on Subox. for a year now and feel like it has saved my life.. I do know that it is frowned upon at N/A but for me there is no question that its more important to be clean the BEST way I can than to worry about how I am looked at from the N/A point of view!! They do some great work with the steps etc. in N/A but for this addict Suboxone is the better route! Maybe your daughter can continue with N/A and just keep her Suboxone use to herself?? Don't know if this would work just a suggestion? I am also a recovering Alcoholic and do attend AA meetings so I am aware of the twelve steps. I'm not sure how they would feel in AA about my Subox use but, I just keep it to myself.
Anyways I wish you the best with your daughter keep looking around this forum. You will find all kinds of info / advice that can help you find the best thing for your daughter and Grand daughter... Keep up the good work & keep us posted here as to her progress. Best of Luck

God Bless
TW


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 10:49 am 
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I can only speak from personal experience but I will try to answer your questions the best I can. The first NA meeting I went to I was up front about my suboxone use ( I didn't know any better) and was pulled aside and told that "they don't like that here", so I know what she goes through. I agree with twinply, she may choose to keep her suboxone use to herself if she feels better about that and still participate in the discussion. It can be a tricky situation...one she needs to decide how she feels herself.

As far as the lethargy goes, after 3 months of suboxone she should be stabilized, and most of us on suboxone lead normal lives. She should be able to function to attend school, work, take care of her child etc. I don't have any trouble sleeping while taking my suboxone but I have read other accounts on here that seem to have that issue. She may need to discuss her difficulty sleeping and grogginess with her doctor so that they can make sure there aren't other underlying issues and address the problems. She should be able to feel good and go about her daily life while on suboxone. Keep in touch.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 10:54 am 
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Hi Mom also, and welcome!

TW gave you the advice I was thinking about N/A. Unfortunately, some people don't understand the disease / medical treatment route of Suboxone. Many here attend N/A meetings and keep it their little secret. Shame is powerful - please help her remember that she is not weak or shameful because of suboxone.

I do have some questions though for you. It's about your knowledge of suboxone. You said a couple of things that made me want to double check.

She can't sleep well. I take a little yogurt with her pill to her.

So, here I go. You can search through the forum a bit, on recommended methods to take suboxone, sleep, etc.

First and foremost - suboxone works through absorption through the mouth (most commonly under the tongue). DO NOT SWALLOW THE PILL. Many of us have a once daily routine with suboxone for taking it. Personally, I start with a dry mouth as possible and put the pill under my tongue for about 5 minutes or so. Then, I carefully crush up the pill with my teeth and using my tongue wipe the reside around my mouth - all over - the cheeks, under tongue, roof of mouth - this creates saliva which I do not swallow - just let it sit there or swish around some. After a full 15 minutes like that, then I personally spit out the rest. Sorry if that sounds gross. I have less constipation, and zero headaches and feel I have given my body the best chance to absorb the medication. After that, I usually do something that involves nothing orally to drink or eat for at least 15 minutes. That lets any remainder in my mouth absorb. Many here, have slightly different routines, but the results are the same - absorb into your body suboxone. Then for me, that's it! I'm off for a 'normal' day.

No sleep is less frequently a side effect of suboxone (taken properly) - not swallowed . It is typically a side effect (especially for me) - of either too low of a dose of suboxone - or withdrawal from an opiate (like oxycodone, hydrocodone, heroin, etc.).

I hope this makes sense. If she is not sleeping well, and it's really true that she CAN'T sleep - it might be a good thing to bring up with the doctor. Opiates supress / mess with the Central Nervous System - and sleep center is part of that.

Many of us have a goal to taper either to a low enough dose that we maintain sobriety, or potentially learn life skills, and behaviors and taper to zero. Either is fine, as sobriety is a term that is abused. If your daughter is not "actively Using" her Drug Of Choice (DOC), and using suboxone and N/A / therapy - then she is in remission. I applaud you for asking and looking here. There are youtube video's by suboxdoc, a book, and lots of good information. He is #1 in my books for understanding suboxone and addiction.

We have had people post here who had similar 'can't sleep - lethargyic' issues - only to find out the patient did not know how to take the pills properly and get apprpriate absorption. We have had lots who have headaches, and other side effects, where a dose change, and the 'spit it out' method seems to help also.

Hope somewhere in these ramblings, there is something to help, and PLEASE POST US BACK with any input or feedback you have. Also, love to have your daughter here on the forum if you think that's a good idea - great support here.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 6:35 pm 
Hi 2bblessed! I want to join the others in welcoming you to the forum. I've been out of town for several days so I missed your post. I'm trying to get caught up with everyone!! I'm so glad to have you here! I think you'll find that you can get lots of help if you'll spend some time here on the forum. Please encourage your daughter to get online and read around on here. I cannot say strongly enough how blessed I feel to have found this place! I hadn't been on Suboxone for very long before I found it and I literally love it! My doctor is great and touched the high points in educating me about my medication, but it wasn't until I found this forum that I really got educated about it. Plus the support here is just incredible. So really, please introduce your daughter to us.
As far as NA....It's great that she's going to meetings. Any and all support and reinforcement she can get in her recovery gives her that much more of a chance at success. However, if they are discouraging her strongly to stop doing something in her recovery (taking Sub) that is obviously helping her stay on the right path, that is flat out WRONG in my opinion! I attended NA for many months at least 3 times a week and have done some step work, had a sponsor and the whole thing. There were things about it that I liked and things about it that I didn't care much for. I was not on Suboxone at the time, so that part wasn't an issue, but I know that almost all NA groups discourage the use of medication-assisted recovery. If you'll take some time to read around the forum, you will find some discussion about this very thing. Apparently the belief is that if you're taking meds to help you, you are somehow not "as clean" as those who are not. I personally strongly disagree because Suboxone is not mind or mood altering to the opiate addict. There are some who will disagree with that statement but my experience has been that it in NO way alters my mind or mood. The thing is, what a tragedy it would be if your daughter (or anyone else for that matter) had been stable on Sub, was getting their life together and went to NA for support and friendship, only to be told they were not clean and needed to get off their medication......then did so and relapsed and died. Sadly, the odds are that a relapse would happen. Especially given the fact that your poor daughter has been fighting this for so long and has had multiple relapses already. In my opinion it would be very foolish for her to even entertain the thought of getting off Sub. As the others suggested, she probably needs to just keep the fact that she's on Sub to herself, find another meeting group, or perhaps seek support somewhere other than NA. Just my opinion.
As far as what you should expect from her....probably more than you're getting from the sounds of it. Most of us who have been on Suboxone for more than a month or so are able to work full time, go to school full time, be full time mothers or fathers and/or combinations of all the above! Her mood should be relatively stable and her sleep schedule should be relatively stable. Now that is provided that she has no other physical or psychological diagnosis going on. Is she under the care of a doctor? Has she been worked up thoroughly for medical problems? Or for psychological issues? There are a few I've heard complain of the sleepiness...some quite profound, so it wouldn't be unheard of for the sleepiness to be due to the Suboxone. If so, sometimes it can be helped a lot by a dose adjustment. The other thing I would wonder about is whether she may be using or abusing some other type of drug.....maybe benzos or alcohol, anything else that might make her so tired all the time. It may just be that she's depressed. Now that she's thinking clearly and off drugs, she may be feeling a lot of guilt, shame, embarrassment over what she's done and the fact that she's not accomplishing anything in her life. I don't know...just some thoughts.
Above all, she has to want her life to be different. She has to want to be a good mother, want to participate in her life, and want better for herself and her child, before things will get much better. You can't do it for her....I'm sure you know that. Make sure she is well to the best of your ability....that she's evaluated by a doctor, that she's eating well, maybe get her on vitamins, go to the gym with her, take walks, etc. It sounds like you're doing what you can to help....you're to be commended for that, especially looking after the baby. The baby shouldn't have to suffer because mom is so sick.
Anyway, I'll wrap this up....I'm rambling again! lol!! You're right to be on the lookout regarding enabling her as that will not ultimately help her. If it were my child...I'd like to think that I would be willing to do anything I could for her as long as she is doing the right thing. I would not wait much longer before I'd put my foot down (if everything checks out medically) and say "Hey you've got to take care of your kid yourself and go to school or get a job" It really will benefit her in her recovery if she stays busy and feels she's accomplishing something. Lying around all day and having no accountability is definitely NOT going to help her get better.
Again...glad you're here and encourage your girl to come join us!


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