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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 12:52 pm 
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It's good to be here with people who understand suboxone. Most of the world's never heard of it.

I started taking suboxone just after it was approved in the US. I had 13 years clean and relapsed hard; put together another 5 years and went down again. My doctors (MD, psychiatrist and therapist) have told me for a long time that the benefits of suboxone maintenance far outweighed any possible risks. (My therapist, who specialized in addiction, told me that I was one of 3 clients she believed should stay on suboxone.)

I got out of rehab #4 in late September. I went because I couldn't function. I was talking to a (sober) friend about the problems I was having and when I told him I was on bupe, he suggested that was the problem: that I was an opiate addict taking opiates. He asked me if I'd be willing to go to rehab, and my initial response was hella no. I was unemployed and homeless, more or less -- I've been staying with my cousin for the last few months. I'd tapered down to 4mg a day, but I couldn't get the dose any lower. (I was also taking other psych meds -- wellbutrin, lamictal, adderall and klonopin. It wasn't just the suboxone that was messing me up.)

It was refusing to go to treatment that got me surrendered. There was absolutely no reason for me not to go and my life was sucking, yet I wouldn't even consider it. A week after that conversation, I was in rehab.

I stopped the other meds the first day I arrived. I didn't get off the suboxone for a week. I tapered from 4mg to 2 to 1 to .50 and stopped.

First: the suboxone kick is much less intense than a heroin kick. If it's worse, it's because the symptoms are more subtle. Dopesickness destroyed me; the suboxone withdrawal wasn't awful enough for me to feel like I should just stay in bed. I convinced myself to do more than I should have, and pushing myself physically was a mistake.

To be sure, suboxone withdrawal's a bitch. But it's manageable. That's not to say I was enjoying the leg aches, the stomach problems, the insomnia, the lethargy, the gooseflesh, the chills and the yawning. The worst part was emotional -- anxiety so intense it was physical. I'd find myself moaning in a way I didn't know I was capable of.

The only way I was able to get through the depression and anxiety was to go to a lot of meetings. Since I was in rehab, I was able to focus solely on my recovery -- I had two process groups every day in addition to meetings, one-on-one counseling, and a lot of support from the staff and other clients.

It's now been almost sixty days. I still have insomnia and some days the anxiety is miserable. I'm convinced that suboxone destroyed my teeth. But for the most part, I'm fine. The good days are way more frequent than the bad.

I'm grateful to have had suboxone as an option. I know that there's no way I would have stayed clean if I hadn't been on it. And I'm convinced that I won't stay clean if I don't work a serious program of recovery. I go to meetings once or twice a day and most of my friends are sober.

I'm also convinced that I've been flatlining since I started on bupe. It's not science - it's just me -- but I think that the parking spots in my brain meant for happiness, sadness and everything in between were occupied by the suboxone. I've been walking around in an emotional monotone for a long time.

If getting off a full agonist is like having pneumonia, getting off suboxone for me was like having a cold. I'm happy I made the decision. But if I find myself heading towards a relapse, I'll hit the suboxone again. It's the lesser evil, for sure, and so far so good.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:41 pm 
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Hi SuchUnfortunates and welcome to the forum. Thanks for sharing your story with us.

Wow, you sure did a fast taper! No wonder you had such severe withdrawals. It's not recommended to stop so rapidly-almost cold turkey. But that's behind you now and you made it through to the other side.

I think you're wise to have a back-up plan. May I ask, while you were on suboxone, did you spend time identifying triggers and how to deal with cravings, etc? And since you were working with a therapist, you must have some great tools by now! Those will serve you well.

I wish you the best with your abstinence based recovery. Again, welcome to the forum.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2011 1:31 am 
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I'm also convinced that I've been flatlining since I started on bupe. It's not science - it's just me -- but I think that the parking spots in my brain meant for happiness, sadness and everything in between were occupied by the suboxone. I've been walking around in an emotional monotone for a long time.


I'm with you there. I've found that all opioids narrow our emotional spectrum a bit. I spose that's one of the reasons we used them.

My experience with Suboxone withdrawal was a bit more intense than yours. But I was foolish, and didn't taper at all, jumping straight off my maintenance dose. It wasn't pleasant.!

Anyway, it's fantastic to see you taper and have strength. And to see you post realistically of your experience, without melodrama like I see sometimes. It sounds like you were a seasoned opioid addict, so I'm sure you've done all this before. You know all the tools and what to do. You just gotta examine what it is that brings you unstuck. By 5 years clean, our brains have pretty much recovered as much as they ever will. By all accounts, at this stage cravings are just little ripples. Did something happen in your life to "throw you" and your recovery off? Something that made you stop valuing your life? Or was it more incidental?


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2011 2:13 pm 
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hatmaker510 wrote:
Hi SuchUnfortunates and welcome to the forum. Thanks for sharing your story with us.

Wow, you sure did a fast taper! No wonder you had such severe withdrawals. It's not recommended to stop so rapidly-almost cold turkey. But that's behind you now and you made it through to the other side.

I think you're wise to have a back-up plan. May I ask, while you were on suboxone, did you spend time identifying triggers and how to deal with cravings, etc? And since you were working with a therapist, you must have some great tools by now! Those will serve you well.

I wish you the best with your abstinence based recovery. Again, welcome to the forum.


Hello, and thanks for the welcome and the support. I'm glad to be here. I'm glad there's a place where we can share our experience.

But I may have exaggerated - I didn't mean to suggest that the withdrawal was severe. It wasn't. It was like a low-grade fever or a sprained ankle. It still is. (Maybe that's what's severe - that it continues still.) It also didn't feel like I stopped all that rapidly.

My triggers are everything. Any feeling. Hungry angry lonely tired. Happy, sad, bored, frustrated, ecstatic, stressed, overly serene. I don't have any feelings I don't want to change.

I've done a lot of therapy. I spent 25 years trying to get an intellectual handle on my substance abuse problems. I don't understand it any better now than I did the first time I kicked. Out of necessity, my program is based on just not using no matter what. Which means meetings, sponsor, service and esteemable acts. I guess.

(Having a bad day. I probably shouldn't be posting.)

Thank you again.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 1:17 pm 
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unfortunetly" we need to suffer some, to keep us on are toes. addiction is a killer, and all ways feeling
good or happy is very dangerous, for that can change our minds, and deprive self discepline. i just feel
being happy can make the addict want more. for there satisfaction is all ways incomplete.


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