It is currently Sat Aug 19, 2017 8:57 pm



All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Our Sponsors





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: So far - So good
PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2009 4:31 pm 
Hello all! I am new to this (sub and the forum) so please be patient with me as I begin to share. I have been reading a lot on this site for about a week now and it seems wonderful! Dr. Junig's story is inspirational and his opinions and comments seem right on. I'll be as brief as I can regarding my history. I am in my mid-forties. No history of alcohol or drug abuse my entire life until my "trigger" was "tripped" by hydrocodone about 4-5 years ago following a minor back/sciatic nerve pain issue. Slipped into my addiction gradually at first - the usual tolerance building deal, liking the meds even when the "pain" was gone. You all know the drill! Started by taking 1/2 of a 5mg Lortab and feeling fabulous on it for hours and hours, ended up swallowing 6 10mg at a time topped off with a couple of Somas and felt great for a only a few hours, and repeat..... You all know the way it goes! For me, however, it did not stop there. I was a Registered Nurse (18 years of solid, top performance experience in a specialized field). Actually highly regarded not only by my peers, but by the physicians I worked with all through the years. Never even so much as a "write up" of any kind by patients, peers or physicians. Anyhow, forgive that brief boast (it's all I've got left after the guilt, shame, remorse and self-battering I have done over the past 10 months or so). After 3 years or so of abusing pills, all the while working 12 hour night shifts on a busy and stressful unit, maintining a marriage, family, household, life in general, I made the monumentally stupid decision to try using some "bigger gun" drugs obtained at work. I never withheld meds from patients, "just" used wasted drugs at first, eventually becoming so sick that I just took my drugs of choice right out of the hospital stock supply, which of course pretty quickly got me caught and in a whole whole lot of trouble to say the least. I am trying to keep it brief and apologize if I am boring anyone. Long story short - I immediately resigned fully expecting to be fired anyway, and was basically strong-armed into a Peer Assistance Program. Per their requirement, I quit all these drugs cold-turkey, went through an intensive outpatient program (which, I'm sorry, was a joke at 4hours/day, 4days/week, for 4 weeks - barely enough time to gain any ground at all), attended NA meetings till I wanted to scream, submitted to random drug screens, did paperwork like crazy, and whatever else they asked, except maintain complete sobriety. I am so sick! I could never stay "clean" - white knuckled my way through about a month of sobriety while in the outpatient program, but quickly found myself using hydrocodone or oxycodone and Soma after I would submit my clean urine sample for the month, or using on Fridays hoping my urine would be clean again by Monday in case I got called to test. It was craziness. I was absolutely miserable the entire time, never stopped craving the drugs, and was in a vicious cycle of more or less bingeing on pills for a day or two then stopping again for a week or two. This went on for 6 long months. I knew I was eventually going to be caught. I knew I was nowhere near well enough to consider going back to work as a nurse (as required to complete the Peer Assistance Program). I knew what I was doing was not working but I could not stop. I just couldn't. So I withdrew from the program and voluntarily surrendered my license to practice as a nurse. That was 3 months ago. At that time, I suffered from the dilusion that perhaps I could control my drug use. You know - take a few hydros or oxys here or there and at least have a good day a couple/three times a week. Well, it wasn't long before I was back to using almost daily and feeling horrible when I didn't have anything to take. Actually I felt horrible all the time. I was stealing meds from family members, lying to obtain Rx from my doctor, lying to my husband and friends about my drug use, etc. As most of you can relate, basically just not being the decent, honest person that I know I truly am. I got so sick and tired of the whole mess! So tired of hating myself for not being in control of my behavior. I knew I had to find another way to be delivered from this hell. Obviously, even with all the loss my drug use had caused - I could not simply stop through will power, prayer, 12-step meetings or any of the other measures I had tried thus far. Hence, my decision was made - I would try the Suboxone route. I made my appointment and went about 36 hours into withdrawal. How I hate withdrawals! By the time I arrived at my appointment, I was into the classic restless oh-so-painful legs, the runny nose, shakes, cold sweats, goosebumps, etc. The physician and all the staff I encountered were very kind and respectful and within an hour or so of arriving at the clinic, my Suboxone induction was started. Within another hour, I was feeling much better and was sent on my way with Rx and thorough instructions in hand. I am now on day 3 and doing remarkably well. I do have some problems with occassional mild headaches and I am unable to sleep for more than a few hours at night so far. BUT, I have had hardly any cravings at all - a total miracle for me! And hardly any withdrawal symptoms. I also just feel so much more like "myself" than I have in years! So far, Suboxone is so good! I now feel like I will be able to focus on the things I needed to be focusing on in my recovery all along but couldn't because I was so miserable and had suffered from such low motivation to do anything (even get off the couch) Obviously, I don't know how I will do long-term. But for the first time, I at least have hope! Hope that I can eventually be completely drug-free; hope that I may regain some self respect; hope that I can stop being the thief and liar that I had become; hope that maybe just maybe someday I will have the opportunity to return to my career or perhaps begin a new career path altogether; hope that I can get back to being the wife, mother, daughter and friend that my loved ones deserve. I am just so very hopeful and so grateful right now. I wish I had been more honest with the therapists about how sick I really was when I first went through IOP. Then perhaps someone would have suggested Suboxone sooner. I wish that in general, the medical community was more accepting of medication-assisted recovery. Then perhaps when I first got "in trouble" with the Board of Nursing, they would have offered Suboxone therapy as an option. I guarantee I would have jumped on it had I known. I want it to be clear that I am in no way speaking against the Board of Nursing or their Peer Assistance Program. I am grateful that they are willing to give us addicts a chance to keep our license and practice again and in all honesty their requirements are not unreasonable given the circumstances. I just wish I had been given more info on other available pathways to recovery. But I have come to see that is MY responsibility and I am glad to be trying this new pathway.
All that to say - So far, so good!
Thanks for reading to those who had the patience to get through this long post! Even if no one got through the whole post - thanks anyway, because I feel better having shared!
I look forward to communicating with all who are on this journey with me.


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 4:10 am 
Offline
One Month or More
One Month or More
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2009 5:32 am
Posts: 35
Welcome set! I really hope your therapy goes well.

Just a piece of helpful advice... hit that Enter/Return key from time to time in your posts and it won't all be such a big block of text, which can be kinda hard to read thru.

Again, welcome and good luck!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 11:06 am 
Offline
Long Time Member
Long Time Member
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2009 2:11 am
Posts: 427
Location: Fishers, Indiana
Thanks for sharing and welcome!

I too tried very dilligently to make abstinence based recovery work. This last time after going inpatient I made it about 4.5 months totally clean but having to do so many thing daily in order to stay clean it was eventually taking up almost as much time as using was before! I'm not saying anything bad about abstinence based recovery programs but they just didn't seem a good fit for this opiate addict (and aren't for most opiate addicts). I too felt like I was still in withdrawals most of the time or PAWs at least. I just never felt physically good enough to enjoy being clean. I eventually started Suboxone and have felt normal (or at least what I think I remember normal feeling like lol) ever since. I would like to encourage you to take your time while on Suboxone and to really look at your options now carefully. If it is working for you there is NO reason to stop. To my knowledge alot of states require those who wish to continue nursing be off Suboxone but without staying clean it's going to be hard to hold down any job let alone a stressfull, usually life and death type job in medicine. I've even talked to a handful of former nurses who've decided to change career paths after getting clean with Suboxone and none have sounded dissapointed about their decision. If your current doctor doesn't believe in long term maintenance you can almost always find another that does. If you decide to eventually taper off that's fine too :) It's certainly just a matter of personal preference no one treatment is going to work for everyone. I will encourage you though to taper very slowly (over the course of months or a year or so) and to have strong plans for staying clean afterwords, whether that means N.A., SMART recovery, or personal counceling again it's personal preference but I'm yet to talk to anyone who upon stopping Suboxone was cured of opiate addiction. Also if you decide to eventually taper off please read through the forum and Dr. Junig's blog Suboxonetalkzone.com about some of the basics of understanding how buprenorphine works and the importance of dropping very slowly in dosage adjustments after getting below the 4mg ceiling (perhaps you already have a solid understanding given your backround in medicine) many that have had problems tapering off did not realize how high a dose 2mgs and expected to not have withdrawals when jumping off. The people who have had an easier time typically get to a much lower dose say .5 or .25mgs or lower using various methods one of which being a water taper method Diary of a Quitter is currently using.

I'm going to look into getting something to eat now but I'm always so excited to hear about someone getting their life back. It always brings me alot of happiness to hear of another opiate addict who's made it out of the hell of active addiction. I was just so blown away by how it felt to feel normal :) To wake up in the mornings and not be sick, to get more than an hour of sleep at a time because of withdrawals, or to just enjoy the little things in life like going to the park (I know that sounds cheesy but it's the truth). Please continue to keep us posted on how you're doing we can always use more active members on the forum to share their experiences. Also keep in mind the side effects of Suboxone at least in my experience went away within a week of taking the same prescribed amount of Sub a day. I'm still just so thrilled to be feeling like a halfway normal human being again and I'm sure you can relate :)
Have a great day,
Matt

_________________
"If you're going through hell, ....keep going!"
-Winston Churchill


Top
 Profile  
 
Our Sponsors
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 4:55 pm 
Matt2,
Thanks so much for your encouragement and insight! I couldn't agree with you more regarding your thoughts on returning to nursing. That would be a long way down the line for me and it may never happen. I may never desire to go back.
The important thing is that I can actually see a future now! As far as I know, you are right about Nursing Boards' not
being okay with Suboxone. Right, wrong, or indifferent - their opinion is the only one that counts since they hold the key as to whether a recovering addict gets to practice or not! I do think it's a shame though. I can't help but feel a touch
of resentment when I think about how much further I would probably be in my recovery if I had started Sub 10 months ago.
It was never presented to me as an option. Complete abstinence was the only way and as you and I both discovered,
it doesn't always work!

Enough about the past for now I guess. I am on day 4. I'm having some pretty bad headaches and still not sleeping, but
I'll take that over all the horrors of using/withdrawing any day of the week! My doctor seems great so far. He has
expressed a pretty flexible attitude regarding long-term use of Suboxone. He openly discussed the fact that he is
an opiate addict in recovery and had fairly recently weaned off his Sub after many years of being on it. So I think
I hit the jackpot in the doctor department! Sure wish I could hit a different kind of jackpot ($$$) to pay for all this!
To tell you the truth that is my biggest concern about being on Sub for years and years. Man, it is expensive - the meds and the doctor visits are all out-of-pocket for me. Doctor started me on what I assume is a common "loading" regimen -
over the course of these first 4-5 days I am to go from smaller frequent dosing to three times a day dosing of 24mg/day.
So far, I have needed 20mg/day. Do you find that 24mg/day is common or do a lot of people require less than that?
I know it varies greatly. As silly as it sounds and it may be unadvisable to be thinking this way (please let me know),
but I am hoping to only need 16mg a day (8mg a.m. and 8mg p.m.) or even less. Is it at all related to how much of your drug of choice you were taking prior to Sub?

Any thoughts are greatly appreciated!


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 6:39 pm 
Offline
Long Time Member
Long Time Member
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2009 2:11 am
Posts: 427
Location: Fishers, Indiana
I was kind of in a hurry earlier this morning when I wrote my response and just like me I forgot the more important things I wanted to share. One of the tricks that I've heard others using to help reduce the headaches has been spitting out what's left after the tablets have been allowed to dissolve. The naloxone has a high first pass metabolism (so does bupe so not swallowing isn't going to alter the effects of the medication if allowed a fair amount of time to absorb orally/subling) and extremely low bioavailability orally as I'm sure you're already aware but apparently some who are sensitive to it have had success with stopping the headaches not swallowing after dosing. Of course you could continue swallowing and more than likely the headaches would go away in time as well. I had some minor headaches the first week or so and my sleep patterns very quickly returned to normal (exercise did seem to help quite a bit) that quickly went away so the choice is yours :) Also I'll try and find the exact post for you but if you take a look around through some of the previous threads there should be one where Dr. Junig suggests a way to improve oral absorbtion which can make dosing less time consuming and allow for those having to pay for their Sub out of pocket to get away with taking less medication. I was originally on a higher dose and after some practice I'm down to 8mgs a day now and have been for over 2 years. I've also heard the suggestion both from my Sub doc and Dr. Junig that dosing once per day is prefferable in that it helps to stamp out old addictive behaviors typically in the morning if at all possible. So you might consider it but I'd obviously suggest sticking with what your Dr. instructs you to do.

Now to move on to my spiel about how wrong I think the anti-Sub attitude is that mainstream medicine seems to have. I would personally prefer for my doctor, pilot, nurse, etc to be on Sub if they were a recovering opiate addict. The time I spent clean but not on Sub I was constantly thinking about either wanting to use or how badly I needed to get to a meeting. Even when I first started Sub I'm yet to experience feeling impaired in any way shape or form. I'm also actually able to concentrate now on what I'm doing instead of worrying about wanting to use or how I'm ever going to stay clean. So it really is upsetting that many choose to see Suboxone as being intoxicating or mind altering. Also you'd think that people in medicine would understand how opiate tolerance works for goodness sakes! Ah well maybe someday they'll become more enlightened and choose to start treating us like people until then at least we don't have to keep using anymore and like you said that's more than enough for me.

_________________
"If you're going through hell, ....keep going!"
-Winston Churchill


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 6:43 pm 
Offline
Power Poster
Power Poster

Joined: Fri May 29, 2009 12:38 pm
Posts: 41
I have a question kinda relating to the above. I'm not by any means a nurse, but I am an nursing asst. I have never told anybody of authority of my addiction or my getting clean. Does anybody know if there is any kinda rule that pertains to me? I know I don't have the responsibility of a nurse, but even though I have known alot of aides prescribed to narcotics due to work related accidents they weren't allowed to be "under the influence" at work. If anyone would happen to know if there about nurse aides and suboxone please let me know. I plan to be on suboxone for however long it takes for me to feel comfortable. I have also planned on going to nursing school one day. I guess that's out. Thanks in advance if anyone knows.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 9:14 pm 
Matt2,
Thank you for your suggestions. I actually tried the spitting thing with my last dose to help with the headaches. So far no headache. Perhaps that's the answer - easy enough! I also did come across a suggestion regarding the better
absorption by something like crushing the tab with your two front teeth and kind of rubbing all around inside the mouth with your tongue. Was that what you were talking about? I guess it would make sense - the medication should be absorbed
well that way. I have only done two doses thus far of a full 8mg at a time, but I am finding that the pill
melts real fast for me. I've read a lot people saying it takes 10 min or longer. Mine is gone in probably 2-3 minutes. I guess that's okay.?? I was kind of obsessing about it briefly yesterday. I had to laugh at myself. I thought "you are such
a dork - it's obviously working or you would feel like you wanted to die right now being your 3rd day without hydro or oxy!!"
I am telling you, these past few days have been fantastic! When you wrote earlier about enjoying the simple things like
going to the park - I sure know what you mean. The sun seems brighter, the music sounds better, my food tastes better, even my little puppy dog feels softer! The other thing I am noticing is that you are so right about now being able to really
work on my recovery (aspects other than just making it through the day without using). All through IOP, NA, nurse support groups, etc I remember trying to identify "triggers" to my using. I had so much trouble with that - I remember thinking
"what do you mean trigger? LIFE is my trigger!" Already with the Sub I am actually able to begin to identify some
triggers. I feel like I will progress so much better now. As far as the dosage and dosing schedule issues - yes I will
adhere to my doctor's instructions. I guess the idea is to get through this first week or two and then see how things
line out for the longer term. Thank you again!

slm3,
Hope you're doing well. I can't tell you anything for sure about any legal issues regarding nurse aides/assistants. I know
for RNs the rules vary some from state to state. Bottom line difference between the RN/LPN and the assistant - the RN/LPN is licensed and the organization that issues that license governs your practice. They have a lot of power, as they should.
They are there "to protect the public". I don't know if as an aide you are required to report a history of addiction/treatment or not. I guess it would be up to your employer. Most healthcare facilities ask for that info and require a drug test
before they will hire you. As far as working while taking any type of mind-altering Rx - ethically speaking, I think it
would be wrong for anyone involved in patient care to work while under the influence of any mind-altering substance. Unfortunately, that's not to say I never did it. But it was ethically, legally, morally just wrong and I am ashamed I did it.
Like Matt2 said - I don't believe Suboxone is mind or mood altering at all.
As far as nursing school goes. If that is something you feel you need to do, I wouldn't give up on your dreams. I would, however, do some research on it. Some states will not allow you to take your NCLEX (test to get your license) if you
have a history of DUI, or addiction treatment history or various other things in your past. You might be required to
show proof of sobriety, stability in recovery, etc before they would let you get your license and go to work. By the time you are ready, maybe they will have come around and be okay with Suboxone therapy. Who knows?! Again, I am know
expert, but maybe that helps a little.


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 12:07 am 
Offline
Power Poster
Power Poster

Joined: Fri May 29, 2009 12:38 pm
Posts: 41
Thanks so much for your reply. I have been required to take drug tests, but not report history. When I was using it wasn't something I thought to ask about obviously, but after the fact I guess I was wondering how many more rules I had broken. Maybe in the future things will work out if not then I'll just figure out something else to do. Things always work themselves out one way or another. Thanks again for the reply and good luck in your journey.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Our Sponsors
Suboxone Forum latest topics RSS feed Subscribe to the entire forum
 

 

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

  • Board Certified Psychiatrist
  • Asst Clinical Professor, Medical College of Wisconsin

Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group