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PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:29 pm 
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Hey all. Wonder if I could get some feedback on some dosing and other issues that I am dealing with.

My doctor has had me on a daily dose of 6-12mg of Suboxone film for 5 months now; he lets me dose at my discretion and suggests dosing every 8 hours. Being an addict, I originally started at 12 mg. I had been using poppy tea for several months and really did not need a lot for withdrawal, but I felt good on 12 mg with no craving. I have had constant relapses for the past 8 years- Oxycontin and other pills mostly.

When I started doing some reading and found out how hard it can be to quit Suboxone, I weaned myself down to 3 mg. At that dose I felt like I was always looking at the clock, waiting for the next dose. I was also craving, so I went ahead and made the decision to use the prescribed dose and get off the fence about it. I was able to squirrel away a good supply of sub during my low dosing, which alleviated my fears of some event occurring such that I would run out and have to withdraw cold turkey.

I am taking 8 mg/day now and feeling pretty good. I am happy and my bipolar seems pretty stable. Things are good. However, I still seem prone to some occasional addict behavior at this dose. I went so far as to load up a dose in a syringe, just to see what it would be like, but bailed when I saw how viscous the solution was after filtering (please no lectures on the dangers of IV use- I have the know how and equipment to minimize risks, and also know that there are risks nevertheless). No plans to repeat that. I have taken up to 24 mg a day in order to get a little buzz- enjoyed that but was able to skip my dose with no desire for sub the next day and get back to my usual dose the day after that. A few times I have had a 5 mg Valium subliminally with my sub and chased it with a beer- but no desire for more V or alcohol than that.

On the Suboxone, I can now sit down on a Friday night and have literally " a drink or two" with my wife- get mellow, cozy up on the couch for a movie. I have never been a big drinker. I am in AA, so feel like a hypocrite about that, but compared to my usual usage I feel pretty sober. I still practice things I learned in 12 step meetings- do a lot of prayer and meditation, am less selfish, and generally have a completely different outlook on life. I am losing my enthusiasm for the meetings at this point though. I enjoy the company, but am in a fairly small town and have not found any real close friends there; have not had good luck with sponsors- they seem to always either move, die, start dealing drugs or turn out to be crazy.

Sorry, this post has gotten a lot longer than planned. Here's the main question: I feel even less likely to use or engage in bad behavior at higher (12 mg+) dose. In fact, I seem to have this conscious desire to always do the right thing beyond just staying clean when on that dose. Should I use the higher dose? I feel like to some extent I am "using" by taking that high of a dose- I enjoy the feeling of relaxation when it hits me, the fluttery feeling of my eyelids- little things that remind me of being high on my DOC. On the other hand, on the 8 mg dose I have done a little using as I have described. Also, what are opinions here about minor drug/alcohol use? Part of me wants to keep working for total sobriety, and part of me wants to just live a normal life, take my Suboxone and not worry about it.

If you read through all of this, thanks for your patience!


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:51 am 
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You might very well be much more stable at the higher dose. The main reason is that it will/can curb your cravings better than a low dose. But you should not be feeling anything remotely like your DOC. I'd say that you are feeling it because your dose is all over the place - you're not stable and your opiate receptors are not STAYING saturated.

Also, there is no need whatsoever to dose more than once per day (unless you take it for pain). By dosing multiple times a day you're just staying in the habit of taking something or popping a pill when you "need" it or feel bad.

No disrespect, but from the sounds of it, you don't sound very stable on sub. You're still looking for it to make you high. I would suggest that you choose the dose that's right for you and stick with it. Take it every day at the same time and just forget about it. The average half-life of sub is 37 hours, so you can easily get by taking it once daily without any signs of withdrawal. I would say right now that you're not really in remission. (Again, no disrespect intended.) You have behaviors that we see in active addiction, such as chasing a high. Suboxone is a great tool, but in order for it to help us in our remission/recovery it should be used as it is intended. Please consider this and ask yourself if you're on a slippery slope by using the suboxone they way you are currently.

I don't mean to be harsh and I hope it didn't come out that way. I just want to be honest with you instead of just saying what I think you want to hear or what won't upset you. Please be careful and take care.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 12:30 pm 
Hi,

I would really listen to what hatmaker is saying. You have a doc scripting you a regular supply so there is no need to be moving all over the place with dosing. I have been doing that also but has been due my ignorance of the workings of sub and my irregular supply.

If, on 8mg, you get urges to do things like load a pin up with sub, but on 12mg you feel fine it would seem to me that you should stay on 12mg.

In my experience, increasing the dose just holds you longer, it doesn't get you high so don't feel bad about taking 12 rather than 8. Your experience of taking 24mg to get a buzz does contradict what I have experienced, maybe it depends on metabolism but I have not read anything on here about that. With me

Although I know it is possible to get high from sub if you have never used strong opiates, It's just gonna confuse things when you trying to use it as a medical tool.

I do understand the desire to look for a buzz elsewhere though. I've done it. I think this is down to dosing too low, my dosing has been up and down, and I sure its always when my sub levels are too low that my inner addict tries to take over a seek out an alternative high.


I'm hoping, once I'm stable on the right dose, I will start to seek out highs that come from achievement and hard work. Although that is easy to write :)

Homer


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:48 pm 
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I was also told to dose once a day by my doctor. That worked just fine until I got down to lower doses. There is a spike effect with me and Sub. Don't know about anyone else, but with me, about two - three hours after taking my dose, I'll get really sleepy. So the nurse suggested splitting my dose up. I was taking 12mgs then so I took 8mgs at 10am then the other 4 at 4pm. It still makes me sleepy so today I'm tapering down to 8mgs, half in the morning and the other half later. We'll see how that works.

Now another question comes up regarding taking enough Sub to stop cravings. It's my belief that you need enough to stop the desire for at least the first six months. Then, if you are working some kind of recovery program, start to slowly taper to a maintenance dose. I started on 24mgs last May and now am at 8.

But wasn't there another post about Sub not working after so many years? That concerns me. If you keep taking a large amount for years I wonder if it just stops doing what its supposed to do. The post was only one person so we don't know enough yet. Just something I was thinking about and hope that I won't be in that boat years from now.

Thanks for letting me have my 2¢ worth.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:17 pm 
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There is no evidence that I'm aware of to suggest that suboxone stops working for some people. I've been on it for over 2 years and it works the same as it always has, as are others who have been on it for even longer.

As for starting out high and getting to a lower maintenance dose...Yes, most people start out higher and once stable, try to get to the lowest necessary dose to address their cravings. For some people that might be 6-8 mg, but for others that might be 16 mg. My thought is if you're going to take it, why not make sure that the cravings are addressed. That said, it is best to be on the lowest possible dose to achieve that goal.

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-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 7:04 pm 
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rule62,

I think the post you're referring to was about Suboxone and pain relief. The poster had been using Suboxone for a good while and his pain is not being relieved successfully anymore. Suboxone is NOT known to be a great pain reliever, so it's not completely surprising that the other poster is not getting adequate pain relief.

As far as Suboxone losing it's ability to control cravings and the like, I haven't seen or read any evidence of that. I took sub for three years and it curbed cravings for the enitre time.

So, I wouldn't worry too much if I were you.

BTW, Congratulations on going from 24mg to 8mg!


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:07 am 
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Aero, I'm a poppy tea addict too, there are never many of us. When I say what my DOC is people are always like "WHAT???" I don't have any answers, but I just wanted to say "hi" and it nice to know I'm not the only one who had to get treatment for a tea problem.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 9:44 am 
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hatmaker510 wrote:
There is no evidence that I'm aware of to suggest that suboxone stops working for some people. I've been on it for over 2 years and it works the same as it always has, as are others who have been on it for even longer.

As for starting out high and getting to a lower maintenance dose...Yes, most people start out higher and once stable, try to get to the lowest necessary dose to address their cravings. For some people that might be 6-8 mg, but for others that might be 16 mg. My thought is if you're going to take it, why not make sure that the cravings are addressed. That said, it is best to be on the lowest possible dose to achieve that goal.


As is often the case, hatmaker510 and I are in complete agreement. I have also been on suboxone now for over two years. 27 months in fact. And it works just fine to address my cravings. I seem to have landed at a dose of 6mg, although I plan to attempt a reduction to 4mg because I want less side effects from it than I am currently feeling.

Anyway, what I was agreeing with is the idea that if you are going to take suboxone, then take an adequate dose to address cravings and other "dope fiend" behavior. Clearly, if you are loading up syringes with suboxone, you have some issues to address which may not be addressed by suboxone alone, but at the very least you should be regularly taking a dose that helps to suppress that kind of behavior.


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