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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 6:52 pm 
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My Dr. is a addiction specialist and understands ( I hope so! ) that taking a prescribed medication, for a legitimate condition, does not make anyone " clean" or " dirty", it makes them a person trying to get better. He does not get into semantics when discussing addiction. Steve


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PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 1:08 am 
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This is a killer hard topic, leave it to Hatmaker to ask a question like this. :lol:

Well, here's my 2 cents....when I was on Suboxone, I didn't consider myself dirty. I knew I was on an opiate, but I certainly didn't think I was dirty.

Now that I'm off Suboxone, I still don't think that I was dirty while I was taking Suboxone. I don't consider any of you on Suboxone to be dirty.

That's me. Not all people in this world are as enlightened or devastatingly handsome as I am though, poor bastards!! :lol:

I know I can certainly understand why some people would consider being on Suboxone to be dirty though, they see the word opiate and that's all they need to hear. From there on out they're gonna consider you dirty. Personally, it didn't really bother me all too much if someone called me dirty while taking Suboxone......that's their opinion and everyone is entitled to their opinion, even if they're wrong.

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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 2:04 pm 
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Before my relapse on heroin I had 7 years clean and sober in AA. I considered myself to not be clean when I went on Suboxone and I had a lot of shame around being on a maintenance program. Like I was somehow not truly sober or I was weak for using suboxone.
I'd still prefer to not be on any meds and the side effects of suboxone, occasional headaches, low sex drive, depression suck but I've just accepted that I'm dependent on this mediation at this point in my life and I'm not going to try to taper myself off until my doctor says it's a good time.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 9:56 pm 
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God I hate how those NA and AA assholes try to make people who are on opiate replacement feel like shit. "clean" is just a term, it depends on what you think is "clean" is that being completely free from opiates and other drugs? then do it, if you are fine with being On suboxone then by all means do it. Like many people here have said it';s about changing your behavior to reflect how you want to live. I get alot of shit from people because I smoke pot. I also take suboxone. I consider myself clean as a whistle, because noithing I'm doing is hindering my life, or my health. I plan to taper off my suboxone eventually because thats what i want to do. I was on mehtadone for a few years too, but I considered it not in my best interests because of the fact it's a full agonist, and it does get you high. Suboxone i find, to the opiate tolorant person, is not going to get you high, and has a celing effect. But thats me, not eveyone. Everyone has their own definition of clean.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 11:26 am 
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I think all angles have been covered pretty well in this thread, and I wasn't going to add anything, but I can't help thinking about what Jim said about his doctor. My doc takes my insurance and my Sub is covered under my prescription plan. Add to that the fact that I talked about going on Sub with my minister and he was all for it. In a sense all that gives "legitimacy" to my treatment. But I guess if my doc buzzed me up, made me pay cash and sold Sub out of his office, I'd feel like I was doing something wrong, in a way.
Also, as pissed as I have been reading some of the AA/NA stories here, in the 2 weeks I was off Sub I went to NA, and the first thing I did was ask what the opinion was on Suboxone. The first girl i asked didn't know anything about it, so she went and got the "grandmother" of the group, who I guess sponsors a lot of women. Her answer was, "you have to talk to your doctor about that."
So, like the say set and setting affect how we experience a drug, I think it also affects how we experience recovery. Everything in my experience (except sometimes my husband) has said my recovery is acceptable. Others havent been so fortunate.
One more thought, I cant believe they wouldn't want recovering anesthesiologists to be on Sub. I would consider it tobe a safety net for someone who has to face drugs in front of them all day.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:09 pm 
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I became a member here only a few minutes ago so I have not read a lot of this site. But I already know the controversy on this subject in my own community. I have come to the idea that you can't say what is right for another person. I was on suboxone for about 6 months ending about a year ago and now I am back on it again. In my first experience with suboxone I remember my first dose I had been calling and look all morning and into the afternoon looking for opiates and was having no luck and a friend offered me some suboxone. At the time I had no idea what it really was or what it was for but I took it just because I needed some relief. But the most important thing is that I remember just feeling at peace. I put my phone down and quit "hunting" and just enjoyed the rest of my day. It was not very long after that, I looked into what it was and what it was for, and decided to get the needles out of my arm and put the subs under my tongue instead. The best way I could describe my "peace" is that I did not feel "high", it was better than "high", I finally felt healthy. It was so good to stop running around looking for stuff, stop living in fear of running out of stuff, stop worrying about when I come down do I have enough to get by. It was just so nice to go from thinking about medicine all day every day to thinking about medicine for 5 seconds twice a day and free up the rest of my time to live like a human. In retrospect this was clean living. But at the time I had the desire to stop suboxone and prove to everyone around me that I could "live clean". It was a big mistake for me. I did good for a while, but I became depressed and I fantasized about drugs until I couldn't handle it anymore and messed up all over again. I knew nothing about getting support and therapy. So it was very easy for me to relapse on the opiates. Now I believe with the right attitude and the right support I will one day get back off the suboxone but not right now. But the most important thing in my opinion is to take what knowledge I can from other peoples experiences but ultimately I am the final editor who decides what is true for me and what is not.

To sum it up. I believe (on meds, off meds, these meds those meds) there is a line between clean and dirty but people see it to the wrong place. I became clean when I made the first step to becoming a better person and I became dirty every time I stepped backwards. And I am the true judge who knows if I am getting better or worse. I can't do it alone but I know what is right and wrong.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:18 pm 
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Hi Whiteboy and welcome. It sounds like you have some good perspective on Sub and on recovery in general. Keep posting. I think you will find a lot of like minded people here.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 3:16 am 
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Yeah hey thats awesme whiteboy, good stuff. It's great when you first stop, and you feel that relife of not having to go crazy finding a way to get money for your dope. Life is good! :)

Also, I would just like to cite a passage from an article on medical marijuana I was recently reading, I foundit very interesting. I reads:

"Injections of THC eliminate dependence on opiates in stressed rats, according to a research team at the Laboratory for Physiopathology of Diseases of the Central Nervous System (France) in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology.[70] Deprived of their mothers at birth, rats become hypersensitive to the rewarding effect of morphine and heroin (substances belonging to the opiate family), and rapidly become dependent. When these rats were administered THC, they no longer developed typical morphine-dependent behavior. In the striatum, a region of the brain involved in drug dependence, the production of endogenous enkephalins was restored under THC, whereas it diminished in rats stressed from birth which had not received THC. Researchers believe the findings could lead to therapeutic alternatives to existing substitution treatments.[70]

In humans, drug treatment subjects who use cannabis intermittently are found to be more likely to adhere to treatment for opioid dependence.[71] Historically, similar findings were reported by Edward Birch, who, in 1889, reported success in treating opiate and chloral addiction with cannabis.[72]"


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 8:25 am 
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Cutty, that's really interesting! Thanks for sharing. Do you have the link to that study so that I can read the rest of it? Thanks.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 4:06 pm 
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Who gives a fuck if your labled clean or dirty?Why would you care if I think your clean or dirty or anyone else for that matter? Define Clean? Define Dirty? You have to make the best decision for yourself and I firmly believe that we were not meant to live taking opiates everyday and the sooner you can learn to live without them the quality of your life will improve, it hard as fuck getting off this shit and I can almost say after 73 days my life is almost as good if not better than it was when I was taking suboxone(tired all the time,nodding,shitting every 3-4 days,sex drive cut in half,shit ton of cavities,and thx to the new strips cold sores in my mouth,and just an overall numbness to everything) This is serious shit and my heart goes out to anyone with our problem, this is some mid-evil shit, but I think we can learn to live without taking suboxone, then your next phone call to the Dr. can be FUCK YOU! YOU MONEY HUNGRY FUCKING ASSHOLE and fuck your condescending receptionists while ur at it. FUCK YOU SUBOXONE! P>S this is coming from a newbie to getting off this shit, so take with a grain of salt. Much Love to ALL. I feel ya!


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 1:01 am 
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ya". indeed i feel the same way!! how i no the condescending receptionist :lol:


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 1:53 pm 
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Yeah thats about the jist of it CBK. But you know, there are doctors that aren't in it simply for the omney, and obviously suboxone does help people, it's helped me and obviously you. But the reality is that taking opiates everyday isn't right, it's not normal, and it's not doing anything good for your body. Speaking of that, I'm down to 4mgs a day guys. Went from 3 a

day two months ago,m to half a day now, with not a withdrawl in sight, it's simply mental discaplin, or basically putting it out

of my mind. It's no longer an everyday struggle, because being, and staying sober is what i want. Alot of people want to make you belive that you will be an addict for the rest of your life and you will struggle with it every single one of those

days, thats simply not true if you don't want it to be. We all have the potential to get off this shit without going through

unbearable pain. Like I say, the mind is very very powerful, and can be the deterimining factor in how much physical pain you go through while withdrawling, or tapering.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 4:05 pm 
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It seems there are so many opinions about Sub I'm afraid a new person seeking help would get the wrong idea and continue using for fear of taking Sub. That's the only reason for this post and it's been said again and again.

Most of us agree that Sub is a very strong medication. For me, there was no way I could stop opiates on my own. Rehab wasn't going to happen and the thought of withdrawals scared the crap out of me. So Suboxone it was after a lot of research and talking to others who take it.

Yes, I know how strong it is and suffer the same side effects, but now after a year of recovery, I can clearly make the decision to finally taper and go through the withdrawal process. It is on MY time, not the frantic thinking of an active pain pill popper. I am an adult and know the consequences of my actions. When it's time to pay the piper, pay I will.

So I thank those who developed Suboxone as it allowed me to stop my active addiction and put my life back in order. It's my firm belief that Sub is the lesser of the evils in opiate addiction. Powerful, yes. Can I get off it? Yes. Could I have stopped my doc back in active addiction? NO

Thank you for letting me rant and rave.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 8:29 am 
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I think there will always be a debate about whether or not someone who is on Opiate Replacement Therapy (a.k.a. "maintenance") like suboxone or methadone is actually "clean." But I think it's counterproductive to the ideal of recovery to for addicts who choose a path of maintenance to castigate themselves or others as "not clean" (certainly a negative connotation to that phrase, right?) just because they have chosen maintenance.

Yes, of course, the fact is when you take suboxone you are taking an opioid medication. And in technical terms if you are taking an opioid medication, then you are not "abstinent" but isn't "clean" a relative term?

Here's what I know about my life prior to getting on suboxone: I did all kinds of crazy stuff to get drugs. I broke the law with alarming frequency, and I actually ended up in prison for the better part of 16 years. And even after all that time in prison, when the opportunity came to use again, I used. Think about the insanity of that!

Here's what I know about my life since getting on suboxone: I have it pretty good now. No more crimes, no more bullshit. I have a stable job, I'm a good husband and I generally do the right thing in life.


Am I clean? In all honesty, I don't care if anyone thinks I'm clean. I care about living the best life I can live and suboxone, in part, makes that possible.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 1:40 pm 
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Excellent opinion. Like many others have said, I do consider myself "clean" (whatever that means) while on Suboxone. I am not engaging in active addiction behaviors. I haven't used anything besides prescribed medication in close to 10 months. I tried 12 step programs and eventually found they were not for me. I did a 90 in 90, started the steps, everything. However, I became more and more uncomfortable with the process, plus I would not admit to take Suboxone. I still will go to a meeting, about once a week, but I just listen. I find SMART recovery and Suboxone to be far more effective. Without Suboxone, I don't think I would have made it this far. I doubt I would have used Opiates, but I would have found a substitute (most likely Alcohol). I have promised myself that I will go at least a year without using anything and that I will never use a narcotic or other hard drug again. I don't know if I will never have a beer or two at some point, but right now I have goals to reach and being "clean" is in my best interests.

I find it very disturbing that some 12 step members/meetings push people off of maintenance medication. I think it is dangerous and you cannot tell me that it hasn't led to some people dying. Evidence continues to mount that maintenance use/opiate replacement therapy is a very good option for many people. The people "in the rooms" are not qualified to make this assessment. I knew a guy who had to give a print out of all his medication to his "sponsor", that seems absurd! Many will often say that "it is not the only way to get clean" but than suggest that their 12 step sobriety is superior and people not in the program are "dry addicts". Don't get me wrong, I have seen it work for some people and I am in no way saying that all 12 step members are like this. I have meet some very good people at meetings. Its like any other group, there are going to be good people and their are going to be jerks. I suggest that everyone give it an honest shot, it may work for you!

So basically, I really don't care what others think. I am doing what I need to do. I am happy with myself but am far from perfect. For all I know, I have always had a deficiency in my brain and Suboxone is making me "normal".


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 8:34 pm 
For those of you who feel clean, that is really nice.

However, NA does not agree with you.

WORLD SERVICE BOARD OF TRUSTEES BULLETIN #29

Regarding Methadone and Other
Drug Replacement Programs

This bulletin was written by the World Service Board of Trustees in 1996. It represents the views of the board at the time of writing.

Not all of us come to our first NA meeting drug free. Some of us were uncertain about whether recovery was possible for us and initially came to meetings while still using.

Others came to their first meetings on drug replacement programs such as methadone and found it frightening to consider becoming abstinent.

One of the first things we heard was that NA is a program of complete abstinence and "The only requirement for membership is the desire to stop using." Some of us, upon hearing these statements, may have felt that we were not welcome at NA meetings until we were clean. But NA members reassured us that this was not the case and we were encouraged to "keep coming back." We were told that through listening to the experience, strength, and hope of other recovering addicts that we too could find freedom from active addiction if we did what they did.

Many of our members, however, have expressed concern about individuals on drug replacement programs. Questions come up regarding such individuals' membership status, ability to share at meetings, lead meetings, or become trusted servants on any level. "Are these members clean?" they ask. "Can one really be a 'member' and still be using?"

Perhaps by answering the most important question first—the issue of membership—we can establish a context by which to approach this issue. Tradition Three says that the only requirement for NA membership is a desire to stop using. There are no exceptions to this. Desire itself establishes membership; nothing else matters, not even abstinence. It is up to the individual, no one else, to determine membership. Therefore, someone who is using and who has a desire to stop using, can be a member of NA.

Members on drug replacement programs such as methadone are encouraged to attend NA meetings. But, this raises the question: "Does NA have the right to limit members participation in meetings?" We believe so. While some groups choose to allow such members to share, it is also a common practice for NA groups to encourage these members (or any other addict who is still using), to participate only by listening and by talking with members after the meeting or during the break. This is not meant to alienate or embarrass; this is meant only to preserve an atmosphere of recovery in our meetings.
Our Fifth Tradition defines our groups' purpose: to carry the message that any addict can stop using and find a new way to live. We carry that message at our recovery meetings, where those who have some experience with NA recovery can share about it, and those who need to hear about NA recovery can listen. When an individual under the influence of a drug attempts to speak on recovery in Narcotics Anonymous, it is our experience that a mixed, or confused message may be given to a newcomer (or any member, for that matter) For this reason, many groups believe it is inappropriate for these members to share at meetings of Narcotics Anonymous.

It may be argued that a group's autonomy, as described in our Fourth Tradition, allows them to decide who may share at their meetings. However, while this is true, we believe that group autonomy does not justify allowing someone who is using to lead a meeting, be a speaker, or serve as a trusted servant. Group autonomy stands only until it affects other groups or NA as a whole. We believe it affects other groups and NA as a whole when we allow members who are not clean to be a speaker, chair a meeting, or be a trusted servant for NA.

Many groups have developed guidelines to ensure that an atmosphere of recovery is
maintained in their meetings. The following points are usually included:

Suggesting that those who have used any drug within the last twenty-four hours refrain from sharing, but encouraging them to get together with members during the break or after the meeting.
Abiding by our fellowship's suggested clean time requirements for service positions.
Seeking meeting leaders, chairpersons, or speakers who help further our primary purpose of carrying the message to the addict who still suffers.
We make a distinction between drugs used by drug replacement programs and other prescribed drugs because such drugs are prescribed specifically as addiction treatment. Our program approaches recovery from addiction through abstinence, cautioning against the substitution of one drug for another. That's our program; it's what we offer the addict who still suffers. However, we have absolutely no opinion on methadone maintenance or any other program aimed at treating addiction. Our only purpose in addressing drug replacement and its use by our members is to define abstinence for ourselves.
Our fellowship must be mindful of what kind of message we are carrying if a still-using addict leads a meeting, or becomes a trusted servant. We believe that under these circumstances we would not be carrying the Narcotics Anonymous message of recovery. Permissiveness in this area is not consistent with our traditions. We believe our position on this issue reinforces our recovery, protects our meetings, and supports addicts in striving for total abstinence.
Note: This bulletin addresses the use of methadone maintenance as a drug replacement strategy. It is not addressing the medicinal use of methadone as a pain killer. We encourage those who have concerns about the use of methadone in pain management to refer to Narcotics Anonymous pamphlet, In Times of Illness.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 12:23 am 
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Hooray for Narcotics Anonymous I guess?

I think the intention of this thread was for people to talk about their personal thoughts and feelings on the clean/not clean matter. I sincerely hope that everyone takes NA's "official position" on the matter of opiate-replacement therapy with a giant grain of salt as they are hardly the last word in addiction recovery. In fact, many of their ideas are pretty antiquated and will only become moreso as addiction medicine progresses. Just my 2 cents.

Carry on.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 12:45 am 
Diary of a Quitter wrote:
Hooray for Narcotics Anonymous I guess?

I think the intention of this thread was for people to talk about their personal thoughts and feelings on the clean/not clean matter. I sincerely hope that everyone takes NA's "official position" on the matter of opiate-replacement therapy with a giant grain of salt as they are hardly the last word in addiction recovery. In fact, many of their ideas are pretty antiquated and will only become moreso as addiction medicine progresses. Just my 2 cents.

Carry on.


You don't have to tell me, I am hardly pro NA. This thread is certainly talking about "clean" in NA speak, so I think the official position is appropriate


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 12:27 pm 
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When I say "clean" I do not mean it in an NA sense. Its just a word that many use to describe a life that is free from dependence/use. It varies for lots of people. But basically, I feel as if I am living a life free of chemical dependence and addictive use/behavior. That is enough for me and is working for me.

I was actually thinking about going to a 12 step meeting today or tomorrow. I haven't been to one in awhile.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 4:51 pm 
stephent wrote:
When I say "clean" I do not mean it in an NA sense. Its just a word that many use to describe a life that is free from dependence/use. It varies for lots of people. But basically, I feel as if I am living a life free of chemical dependence and addictive use/behavior. That is enough for me and is working for me.

I was actually thinking about going to a 12 step meeting today or tomorrow. I haven't been to one in awhile.


I think you SHOULD go! I went to an NA meeting for the first time in a long time last week, and what I saw there convinced me that I definitely did not need that as a part of my life. I actually left the meeting feeling worse than when I walked in. It was rather depressing, IMO.

The fact that they tell you that you need to go to meetings for the rest of your life or you'll relapse..that is one of the things that helped me make my decision. IMO (only my opinion), it makes it sound like a cult.


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