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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:37 am 
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Breezy_Ann wrote:
I get what he is saying. Now this is just my take on what he is trying to say and i could have misinterpreted it. I think he is saying that addicts have delusions about there use, what it is really doing to their lives, etc. I do think when in active addiction we do not live in reality. We become obsessed with our doc. I don't think he meant to imply that a true psychotic break and addiction are in the same league just that addicts in active addiction do have a break from reality. I know for me I was not living in the real world.

My take on his post is just that there are some similarities to an addicts way of thinking as someone suffering a true break from reality but not near as severe as a true psychotic break. Like I said I could have interpreted it wrong.


Couldn't have said it better myself (and obviously I didn't)!

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 1:15 pm 
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Breezy_Ann wrote:
I also wanted to add that the severity of an addicts delusional way of thinking can be in varying degrees depending on the person, their doc, length of use, severity of use, etc. Some drugs can cause delusions, take crystal meth for example. I have seen meth users that have extreme breaks from reality. Perhaps a better way to put it is that addicts can have a delusional way of thinking.


I was never a huge stimulant used. I liked E for quite awhile, but I was usually very responsible with it and didn't use it often. Towards the end of my using I got a little bit into cocaine though. I was starting to convince myself that I should just become a professional sports gambler lol. Take off to vegas and all that. :lol:

I like placing a bet here and there, and am okay.... but nowhere near being able to do it as a profession.

Anyways, denial comes in all sorts of forms and effects people in many different ways.


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 Post subject: Ummm
PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2013 10:43 am 
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The consensus among most professionals and recovering addicts is that “clean”, when used in the context of recovery, means drug-free. Having all mood-altering substances out of our systems is necessary before the changes that addiction creates in our brains can be repaired. As long as drugs that modify the reward system (which includes all recreational drugs) are in our bodies, repair and normalization cannot begin. When we are on Suboxone or methadone maintenance, we are still addicted¹, and our brains are essentially in the same condition as when we were actively using other opioid drugs. It would seem to be pushing things to call us clean.


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PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2013 4:49 pm 
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Then I would say the same thing about taking my antidepressant every day. Lexapro. Because, I would go into withdraws without it and it does alter my mood. So I guess I don't focus so much on semantics. I know that while I take antidepressant every day for my depression and I take a suboxone every day for my addiction, I am NO LONGER using my full agonist drug of choice Oxy's or Vicodin. My life has improved so much with the use of medicine that I don't see why I should get off of everything so I can say I'm CLEAN by definition. It is what is working great for me and I have no problem remembering to take my medication every day so I can lead a normal life.


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PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2013 7:43 pm 
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I agree raudy.

It's all in how you treat it and think about it. Nobody else can determine how clean you are but you. You know how you feel, how you think, what you do, and if you take your suboxone correctly.

In the past I just took suboxone and did nothing else for my recovery. This is what I consider being "dirty" on suboxone. If you just take it and don't go to meetings, counseling, or basically try to change your behaviors /life.

The only argument I hear alot that I don't like at all is when folks say it's like a diabetic taking insulin or something. It isn't. It is still a very powerful opiate. Not an m&m.

You just have to remember what you are taking and more importantly why you are taking it.

This disease is not a game. It's nothing to joke about. It WILL kill you if you aren't careful.

That's why we need to do everything we can to get better and STAY better.

Opiate addicts have the bleakest outlooks of all addicts. That's why many say it's impossible to stay clean especially more than a year.

So. Keep your mind in an atmosphere of recovery, keep taking the right amount of suboxone, and prove those people wrong!

;-)

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PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 11:21 am 
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Antidepressants do not modify your reward system it builds your serotonin gradually over a span of weeks. And its non narcotic. Antidepressants would not be considered a relapse by any means. Just my opinion, any narcotic you take including methadone suboxone or subutex would make you not clean. In my eyes. Just mine.


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 Post subject: clean or sober?
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 10:16 pm 
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I have been on subs for 14 months. I was 3 days in my inpatient rehab and I had a girl ask me (she was an alcoholic and and used pills some, once she realized she replaced alcohol with pills she sought help) anyways she said "how can you consider yourself clean on Subs?" She was asking in a non-judgemental way. So I replied with little thought, "I can't really say I am clean, but I am sober."

That is my opinion, and while to some clean and sober are the same. I guess in my eyes they are not. While on pills, my life revolved around them. With Suboxone my life revolves around itself. So not to offend any, I have found that this reply usually stuns most non-addict or anti-suboxone people. I don't have to justify the means, just the end result. :P

Again this is my opinion.

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PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2013 2:12 pm 
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here's a good write up from the subox-doc, I was too lazy to look back thru the pages to see If I already posted it....

http://www.suboxonetalkzone.com/bupreno ... r-defects/

AND.....(love the last line of this article)
and my apologies, if I've already posted these two things in this thread.....


http://www.thefix.com/content/stigma-ma ... atment9216

The Truth About Suboxone

Studies show that maintenance therapy is the most effective treatment for opiate addiction. So why are abstinence fundamentalists so bitterly against it?


By Maia Szalavitz

12/02/11


The Great Suboxone Debate
Moderation vs. Abstinence: What's More Effective?
What are the negative side effects of Suboxone?
Suboxone Helps Oxy Addicts Kick the Habit


While reading Joshua Lyon’s recent account in "Jagged Little Pill Head" of recovering from opioid addiction, I was enraged by his characterization of buprenorphine (Subutex, Suboxone) as a “chemical crutch” and “the very drug that was keeping me from doing other drugs.” This outdated and stigmatizing attitude towards maintenance treatment can—and frequently does—kill hundreds of struggling addicts who depend on these meds to stay off the streets. Lyon is typical of a large contingent of so-called recovery experts—from Dr. Drew to many 12-step participants—who continue to publicly push this perspective, despite decades of evidence to the contrary.

That's why it was pleasantly surprising that the issue got a public airing on, of all places, late-night TV. Kristen Johnston, star of the '90s TV hit 3rd Rock From the Sun, was a guest on The David Letterman Show on Monday, discussing her new addiction and recovery memoir Guts, including a pull-no-punches account of how her daily Vicodin–cum–wine consumption ate a hole in her stomach and caused her guts to explode—a life-threatening moment that led her to get clean. Letterman asked her if she used any "pharmacological medications" to help her recover from her opiate addiction, and Johnston said that she sure as hell did and the drug was called Suboxone and it was very effective and anyone who had a problem with that could shove it. Well, that was her tone if not her exact words. Johnston's admission is undoubtedly a first for a celebrity on the recovery circuit.

Even the Betty Ford Center agrees that people taking daily methadone or buprenorphine should be considered every bit as "in recovery" as those who just “don’t drink and go to meetings.” A 2007 consensus panel to define recovery convened by that august facility put it plainly: "To be explicit, formerly opioid-dependent individuals who take naltrexone, buprenorphine or methadone as prescribed and are abstinent from alcohol and all other non-prescribed drugs would meet this consensus definition of sobriety."

So why do even people like Lyon—who benefited from bupe himself—continue to see maintenance as “cheating” and as some kind of limbo between the hell of active drug addiction and the heaven of abstinence-based recovery?

There are several reasons, but they all mostly boil down to the mistaken notion that people on maintenance are somehow “always high” or not “emotionally” sober. This misunderstanding rests on an ignorance of basic pharmacology. With most psychoactive drugs, the pattern of use has an enormous impact on the drug experience. This is abundantly clear with opioids. Take them irregularly in varying doses and you will relatively reliably experience a robust high. But take the same exact drug on a regular schedule at the same exact dose and you will develop a tolerance that makes getting high virtually impossible.


Some in abstinence-based recovery feel compelled to proselytize about the dangers of the substances they once could not live without. This “drug-free” rhetoric helps them avoid temptation. It also gives the added buzz of self-righteousness that comes from feeling superior to others.

Lyon’s claims about getting high on Suboxone are almost certainly related to taking it irregularly or in varying doses. Like any opioids, Suboxone and methadone can cause highs when taken this way.

Tolerance is why addicted people escalate the amount of drugs they take and often feel that they are always chasing—but rarely achieving—that elusive ecstasy they experienced early on. It is also why people on opioid maintenance, including heroin itself, can function without being cognitively, emotionally or physically impaired. Even car-driving performance has been found to be safe in reviews of the data on opioid-tolerant patients. Nonetheless abstinence proponents like Dr. Drew and addict authors like Lyons not only portray these medications as inferior, but implicitly or explicitly push addicts to stop taking them, even when the meds are working.

That can be deadly—as it apparently was for two of the patients Dr. Drew detoxed from maintenance, Mike Starr, the former bassist in Alice in Chains, and film and TV actor Jeff Conaway. Both victims of Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew died of overdose or related issues, the risk of which is very far reduced by maintenance treatment. Research repeatedly finds that when access to maintenance is reduced or eliminated, deaths from drug overdose rise, as do rates of infection with HIV, hepatitis C and other blood-borne diseases. In fact, patients on maintenance treatment have a death rate three to four times lower than those who leave it.

It is clear that maintenance saves lives.

Another misconception that fuels the stigma of maintenance in the recovery community is that the use of opioids is inherently “numbing” and therefore people on these drugs are emotionally deadened or at least diminished. There are two problems with this argument. First, tolerance to opioid effects often includes tolerance to this emotional distancing as well. Second, different people respond to opiate effects in different ways. Those who are highly emotionally sensitive may actually benefit from taking a chill pill; methadone or buprenorphine can allow them to react normally instead of overreacting to everyday experience. Paradoxically, being less oversensitive to their own emotions may make their behavior toward others more sensitive.

Because individual responses to opioids are extremely variable—opioid-receptor genes are among the brain's most heterogeneous—maintenance can be numbing for some people and not for others. You may find methadone uncomfortably distancing but buprenorphine effective, while I may find the opposite. The bottom line is that a drug that makes one person miserable can be magnificently beneficial for another.

Beyond the issues of pharmacology and individual variance, one final factor also comes into play in the widespread disdain of maintenance. This is the need of a certain type of person in recovery to demonize the drugs to which they were previously addicted in service of their own abstinence. Because they rightly fear relapse, some who favor abstinence-based recovery feel compelled to proselytize about the dangers of the substances they once felt they could not live without—and often continue to crave. This “anti-drug” or “drug-free” rhetoric helps them avoid temptation. It also gives the added buzz of self-righteousness that comes from feeling superior to others.

I certainly understand this small-minded, mean-spirited attitude; I’ve been guilty of it myself. However, the self-aware—and adult—approach is to distinguish what works for you and your own recovery from what may work for others.

It’s not necessary for maintenance to be bad to make abstinence good. Such black-and-white thinking about methadone and buprenorphine is both divisive and dangerous. Recovery requires acceptance—and that includes acceptance of a diverse range of recovery methods and experiences.

And if acceptance is beyond your reach, then the least you can do is keep your opinions to yourself.

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PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2013 2:20 pm 
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Suboxone is a mood altering substance.......not everything is black white.....


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 Post subject: Abstinence
PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2013 8:54 pm 
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I think part of the problem is for years the only help an addict or alcoholic had was AA, or rehab to quit. And their way to quit is cold turykey, never do it again. It rarely succeds. I think years in the future, unfortunately not now, Suboxone will be the accepted practice. The abstinence approach has been the only way for a long time. Just because something is around for a long time doesn't make it right, or wrong. My issue is, and I don't mean to offend anyone, is that we are all adults, in a country with so many freedoms, why do we have so many other people telling us what to do? I, like many others, have made a decision on how to handle my addiction. It is my business and my choice.

Remember this is my opinion, not meant to offend, but I really feel strongly that it is my decision to make, Suboxone or no Suboxone. I understand the need to debate and discuss things, but it should be done with keeping in mind that everyone is entitled to their own thoughts and opinions. I have never said to anyone, "you're stupid, why aren't you on Suboxone/Methadone?". We have a freedom to choose, but not the freedom to make other people do things how we want them to. Thank you for listening to my ramble.

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 Post subject: Re: Abstinence
PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2013 11:12 pm 
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honeybun wrote:
I think part of the problem is for years the only help an addict or alcoholic had was AA, or rehab to quit. And their way to quit is cold turykey, never do it again. It rarely succeds. .



I happen to think you are on to something here........

and I do NOT blame those who did it this way,,, I don't blame them for being at least a little pissy that

"you got it easy" "just take the meds and your okay,,, there was no MAGIC pill when I QUIT"

you know,,, can't blame them..... right?

I like how romeo calls it "white knuckling"
that's EXACTLY what it is, and while that may carry you for awhile the outlook ain't so great....

anyways,
just wanted to say, i agree, and the best quote I've heard, or read is.....

"I'll keep my garden and you keep yours"

pretty much sums it up.......

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anyone can give up,
its the easiest thing in the world to do, but to
hold it together, when everyone would understand if you fell apart
That's TRUE STRENGTH
http://almostoneyearclean.blogspot.com/


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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 12:46 am 
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I don't think it matters whether we are clean or whether we are not. It's just semantics, politics, bullshit. What matters is that we have chosen to point our feet in the direction of living rather than dieing. As long as we do that, our feet are pointed in the right direction ... the rest is just buttfluff.

ps whatever tearj3rker said was gold.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 11:00 am 
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I know this is an old thread, but...

If using suboxone therapy properly, including not abusing it or any other substance, then one is in remission. That's a word that should be used, rather than clean. Words like clean or dirty only perpetuate stigmas and stereotypes. Words like active addiction and remission should be used, as they are far more accurate. But in the general use of the word, if you're following treatment properly, properly being as described above, then you're in remission, and thus you are clean. Just like other meds help put other diseases into remission. I go to NA, but I don't share that I'm on suboxone with anybody unless I really trust them. This is because many in the program have a very misguided and misinformed perception of what suboxone is. If you're sponsor or anybody else in NA or AA is telling you you are not clean because you take suboxone, then they clearly are misinformed and don't know what they are talking about, they just going with the general view that many have in NA, which again, is based on misinformation, and if they're telling you to get off suboxone, well they aren't you're doctor and they clearly don't have your best interests in mind, even though they may be convinced they do. You should consult your doctor, and if they're the type to make you feel dirty, as someone said, and run a shady practice, find another, if possible. This isn't always an option, sadly, but there is still factual information out there, if you know how to identify reliable sources and wade through the BS of misinformation, such as drugs.com and soberrecovery.com, as Junig pointed out in a blog post. Try the NAABT for info on how addiction is a disease, based on how it alters your brain, which it does, and how using suboxone doesn't mean you're dirty or not sober. There's a difference between being chemically dependent in a life saving medication and being in active addiction. Many legit medications (which, suboxone is one) for legitimate diseases and illnesses (which addiction is one) cause varying degrees of chemical dependency. This isn't me defending a medication just to justify my use of it, just trying to dispel some of the potentially very harmful myths surrounding remission/clean vs active addiction/dirty and suboxone use as treatment for a serious, fatal if untreated disease. It's interesting to me how much I hear, in NA at every meeting that addiction is a chronic, fatal illness and all this other stuff about it being a disease, yet unlike most diseases, they find it equivalent to active addiction to treat a disease with medicine that exists for that purpose, because they don't understand it, or whatever. It's frustrating when I hear someone bring it up in a meeting about how they want off or recently got off it and how terrible it was, because I hear them simply repeating the EXACT same rhetoric that everybody else in the groups says against suboxone, even the ones who never even took it. Anybody in NA with clean time will tell you they don't know everything, well most anybody, so don't assume they know what they're talking about with suboxone treatment either. It's just their own opinions, but it's not fact. If you have a good doctor, go talk to him about your concerns, or check out the NAABT, or do some research of actual studies.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:36 am 
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Thanks for the topic. I know I'm six years past when you posted it. I've been on Suboxone for about a year for a Tramadol addiction (which I was put on after being cut off of Oxycodone). I'm grateful for the Suboxone for the time I had it because it helped bridge the gap for me to get away from the cravings and euphoria and prolong withdrawal, a day I knew would have to come for this journey to be at an end. Today I am almost detoxed from Suboxone...I'm down to 0.25 mg a day. This has been a very long, very painful process. I'm not going to lie. Everyone's body is different, and the side effects of the Suboxone on my body prompted me to begin a rapid titration out of complete frustration when nothing else was working. I retained water as if I was in kidney failure and craved sugar and blew up like a balloon...gained 25 pounds in ten months and could not lose a pound in spite of starving myself and doing excessive exercise. I felt so awful all the time, it was no longer worth it.

As I'm tapering off, although I feel like shit, I also am seeing signs of my old self and it's this fact that makes me realize I was not clean on Suboxone. Minus the cravings and euphoria, my brain was still in use mode. I know that now, because the interests, passions, emotions, libido, etc. that I had that made me a whole person are returning now that I'm almost Suboxone free. While I consider my opioid sobriety date to be the day I started Suboxone (although I've been sober from alcohol 11 years), I actually am beginning to feel like the sober person I once was now that I'm almost detoxed from it.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:44 pm 
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Hello hager,

I have said this before on this site. The people who don't like the way their body feels on Suboxone tend to do the BEST at getting off of it. and staying off it. I mean, who wants to be on a medication that makes them gain weight or feel bad?

While many people on this forum, myself included, never had any negative side effects from Subs. I will be on it for life. I also consider myself Clean enough on it. I am having no cravings and feel so much better while taking this medication.

But.. in your case, the side effects were not good to you. i THINK if i were you I would at least try to get off of it to see how i did without anything.

Plus maybe in the future there will be more options for addicts to use different types of medications. So if Subs don't work, you can try this or.... that. For now, there is not much of a choice except for methadone or other formulations of bup. (that i know of).

I wish you the best tapering off and I hope it is as painless as possible. I would look into some comfort meds to help ease the withdraws. And ...when you are off of Bup, make sure to listen to your body. If you feel a relapse coming on , I would get back on the subs or methadone so you are back in the "safety net" . Good luck and if you need anything, the people on this forum are Knowledgeable and Nice . :D


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 11:36 pm 
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Sorry that suboxone didn't work out for you Hager. This is how I've judged for myself whether or not I'm clean on buprenorphine. I think of the things I was unable to do while in active addiction. These things include taking care of my family, working, leaving my house, spending time with friends or other family, staying awake during important events, being able to drive my son places because I was too high, and really thinking of anything else except for my next pill, my next high.

However, when I went on suboxone I was immediately able to think past my own selfish desires and work on what my son needed. Within a day's time I realized that I was no longer obsessed with the pills and it was liberating. Since that time I've been in graduate school, worked part time jobs, planned a family reunion, and made friends and extended family a priority again. I have a full range of emotions, crying many many times over the loss of my best friend, but laughing at memories of our good times. If I felt my emotions any more clearly it would almost be unbearable.

Obviously my experience has been very different than yours and that's fine. We support everyone's journey here.

Amy

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 11:52 pm 
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Hi Hager,

Thank you for stating the fact that Suboxone affects everyone differently. We try hard to let the members know but there will always be a Suboxone basher every once in a while to come here spewing their so called "facts" as just their personal experience. You know better because you've been on it for some time and did your homework.

Sorry it didn't work out for you but like Raudy said, you'll probably do well once you're successfully off it.

I can only speak for myself but the medication for me has never dulled my emotions or made me less sensitive to my feelings. Just got back from a very good fishing trip and felt like I got a large shot of mood lifting endorphin's. It was like an adrenaline rush and it felt really good. Many times I get teary eyed just thinking how fortunate I was to find Suboxone and get my life back. A flood of gratitude that is hardly dulled. But like you said, not all people have felt the emotions I have. Hopefully, the ones who say it dulls their senses are in the minority. We can't say they're not telling the truth as we know as well as you that it does affect people different.

Good luck getting off it and keep us updated on your progress. Congrats on getting down to such a low dose. Life will get better as time goes by.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:06 am 
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Raudy I agree with u 100%! Those ppl who had more negative side effects and weren't really happy with how buprenorphine made them feel.... I do think they'd possibly have an easier time deciding to taper off and stop their bupe treatment. I am like the others, I haven't had the negative side effects and my life on buprenorphine is no doubt a hundred times better now.

My emotions have came full circle bk to how I used to be before active addiction. I'm definitely a different person now because addiction changed me. I don't think I'll ever be the person I was pre addiction (I didn't become addicted until early 30's) but I'm happy with who I am today. Buprenorphine hasn't brought anything negative to my life, and I feel like it saved my life and my life with my family.

My whole take on the 'clean' issue is that it's each individuals perspective. I think I'm clean on suboxone because of how my life was before. There's no comparison. I remember inpatient rehab and how miserable I was during that time and the months after. I was totally clean during that time but I was miserable. Now that I'm on this treatment, I couldn't be happier or amazed at how life can truly be again. So for me this is recovery, this is clean for me. But I understand someone else may not feel that way and that's ok too. It's just an individual choice.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 12:58 pm 
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Hello all, I was addicted for almost 10 yrs on pain meds and am now 6.5 yrs off bup. The longer I'm off bup, and the more I read of the worsening opioid crisis, the luckier I feel and have even more gratitude for bup. So, I'm not able to grasp any value to the 'not' clean thinking as regards bup for opiate addiction treatment.

Focusing or believing I was not clean would have kept me from the healthy productive real work I did do while on bup and work any of us need to do to stay off opiates of any kind. I believe I was clean when on bup. But TRULY, there are so many way more important challenges to be addressed to stay off bup / not going back to full opiates, that imo, the not clean on bup thinking imo isn't worthy to make a list of concerns.

My hope is what matters is what do we do when life stressors happen or pain issues kick up or down days hit or we're presented w opiates in any way? I promise you - all these will happen - maybe all at the same time? Then what? That's what I see as most important to manage... it can be tough out here guys - so be prepared. Pel

Edited for clarity.

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Last edited by Pelican on Thu Sep 21, 2017 6:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 1:10 pm 
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Hello Hager,

If I recall, you're around 50 and now 11+ yrs sober from alcohol. Congrats! A few yrs ago, a history of headaches ended w you ordering tramadol online from India, unable to stop on your own leading to suboxone treatment which did help your headaches. You had 20lb weight gain on 3 yrs of tramadol and now 25lb gain on 10 mos bup. And you did a recent painful rapid bup taper to .25mg out of complete frustration when nothing else was working.

We are listening and do care. Imo focus your needed energy on your painful rapid taper and how you're preparing to stay off. I'm a bit concerned on the rapid taper. Maybe start a new taper thread w your background use and then we can help you there! Add in your bup dose history and how much you dropped over what time. And what your goals are - I assume you'd like to lose the weight, get back to exercising and maybe a job change? Not sure how much you've read ? but there's a lot to learn here on tapering and how to handle it. Even from .25 mg. Lots of taper ups and downs happen and maybe a down is exactly what you are experiencing now, ya know? Hate to mention the dreaded D word but depression can be a part of tapering and when stopped. Imo, helps to prepare...

I'll say to you what I believe - wishing you my very best because this can be so hard. Let us here from YOU! Pelican

_________________
Did well on Suboxone. Stopped May 2011.
Stopping went well -- its the staying stopped -- where the real work begins.
Coming here 'keeps recovery green'.


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Fond Du Lac Psychiatry
Dr. Jeffrey Junig, M.D., Ph.D.

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