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 Post subject: Feel myself slipping
PostPosted: Fri Dec 25, 2015 8:02 am 
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I apologise if this doesn't make much sense or turns into an essay; I just need to get some stuff out.

I am new here, have been on subs for a bit over 2 years from memory, currently on 32mg a day. Since I fell ill and had to leave full time work a couple of months ago, I can feel myself slipping into just wanting to sleep my days away. Im not using but I think about H constantly, im not taking my sunoxone properly....I am on weekly pickup and was at the stage where I would have nearly half my weekly dose left over as I just wasn't using it, but now I'm sometimes taking 48mg a day just strip after strip.:.::which is ridiculous I know!

I can't use, I have too much to lose (5 gorgeous children, husband, life) but I can't keep going like this. As I mentioned in another post i really want to go back to NA and I will, im just afraid of the whole NA/suboxone issue. Im super sensitive and already beleive the world hates me so if I cop any negative stuff at meetings im not sure what I will do.

Would methadone be a better option? I know something needs to change.

Thanks, sorry if this seems pointless, it's hard to explain how im feeling.


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 Post subject: Re: Feel myself slipping
PostPosted: Fri Dec 25, 2015 9:10 am 
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I hear ya French

Perhaps this isn't a drug issue. Sounds like it's more due to a lack of structure in your life at the moment. I know that when I have long periods with a lack of purpose, I can feel lost. And using becomes an option, or a way to allay the boredom, fill the day and give purpose.

If you weren't on Suboxone, I'd definitely recommend NA, because meetings definitely give you something to do. And SMART (at least in Melbourne) doesn't yet offer the same kind of time-fill that NA does. But going to NA on Suboxone is, in my opinion, dangerous. If everybody around you considers you to be using because you're on Suboxone, it's not long before you'll start believing it yourself. And if you already believe you're using, well you might-as well use a real drug. At least that's what happened to me when I did NA on Suboxone. I'd either use, or jump off Suboxone prematurely because I wanted to be clean like everyone else, and then use.

The other options for support groups are SMART, New Life, and SHARC also run Peer Support groups at a few venues. They're all much more open-minded to medication assisted recovery than 12-step fellowships.

Otherwise you could do volunteer work. I volunteer at Ozanam House, the same crisis accom that I stayed at when I was homeless in addiction. I only do a couple of hours a week, but it feels good to give back to a charity that helped me out so much.

I really believe you'd regret switching to methadone. At first you might prefer it, but after a while you'll feel even more trapped on it than you did on Suboxone. And it's a difficult switch back to Suboxone. It's also a lot easier to lapse and use other opiates on methadone. I really think your quality of life will be better on the Subby, mainly for that reason.

Good luck and merry Christmas.


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 Post subject: Re: Feel myself slipping
PostPosted: Fri Dec 25, 2015 9:35 am 
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Hi French, I really do think I know how you are feeling. There was a time when I would reach for another sub strip to help me feel more normal. It did not work. I just felt guilty for using subs in the same way as my doc. Less suboxone really is more. You may start to feel a bit better if you cut back. Try cutting your strips in half. This way when you reach for them you will be taking less. Others may not agree with this idea but it might help to make you feel like you have a little more control. Please continue to keep us informed as to how you are! Merry Christmas!


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 Post subject: Re: Feel myself slipping
PostPosted: Fri Dec 25, 2015 6:21 pm 
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Hello French, ..
Such a tricky subject. NA and sub. Tell them?, dont tell them?, honesty being the first thing 12 step recovery requires, but if we do some will judge. Some wont, at least for awhile. I know.

But Ive come to realize that the best thing thoses group can give is a socal support. Friends. Helpfulness. If you find the right folks who will be accepting. And this can be the hard part.

For some time now some of us ha e told you to cut your dose, I know I did. This can make you feel better,lighter,and with less side effects. But I also know that negative things happen with the extras. Maybe your not ready to drop, atleast by yourself. I saw on another thread that you used that extra in a negative manor. 48mgs one day? That is Not helping your overall health French, I know you know this.

I agree with TEE JAY that being more active in your recovery is a must. For me, at the top of the list is helping others in some way. I wish I knew what I could say to help ya aloug. These are just my opinions. But I do know and believe that the highest of doses of Buprenorphine cant be a good thing.
Bring it down With your drs help. You ll feel better and think better. The na rooms will feel more inviting to you, hopefully.
Leap of Faith time ..

Keep posting French, we re here for you. .


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 Post subject: Re: Feel myself slipping
PostPosted: Fri Dec 25, 2015 11:37 pm 
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Hey guys. Im just about our of battery and have a few things to do but I just wanted to acknowledge the replies. Thank you. I will reply properly shortly.

Have I been a member here prior? You say 'for some time now?' I've been on a few forums but I don't think this was one of them; I only signed up a couple of days ago but maybe I have another account? Sorry if that's the case!


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 Post subject: Re: Feel myself slipping
PostPosted: Sat Dec 26, 2015 11:55 am 
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Ah...the "some time now" was about dosages, not time spent on this forum...


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 Post subject: Re: Feel myself slipping
PostPosted: Sat Dec 26, 2015 10:42 pm 
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Yeah but the 'we've been telling you for some time now' when I only joined a few days ago is what confused me lol


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 Post subject: Re: Feel myself slipping
PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2015 1:45 pm 
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French I think razor's comment meant that several different posts have gave u their opinions of cutting bk on such a high dose, not meaning weeks or months for a long period of time....just several different posts that's been posted from different ppl to give u some advice. That was my take on that anyway, nothing negative in any way, just ppl trying to help u feel better :)

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 Post subject: Re: Feel myself slipping
PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2015 11:09 pm 
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I agree with everyone here. Your dose is extremely high! IMO 4mg should be the max dose. This is powerful stuff! And you can't keep jumping all over with it. Not to mention your way over the ceiling effect. Your just dumping unnecessary (edit by Amy: medication) into your body. When I was on suboxone the less I took the better I felt as I started to taper. Keeping yourself busy in recovery is essential. Find a new job or hobby asap.

Sounds like your not quite ready to kick just yet, but please do it sooner than later. I took suboxone for 12 years and it was the biggest mistake of my life. I was numb for 12 years of my life. The time on it and the high dose only makes the WDs that much worse when it comes time kick. (Edit by Amy: There is no scientific proof to back up this statement, just James's opinion.) When your ready reach out to me and I can offer many ways to combat acute WDs. Don't let them scare you. (Edit by Amy: This forum is not here to scare anyone. If one wants to get off suboxone we offer support. There are many people here who have given advice on tapering down and stepping off suboxone if that is your intent. One of the best tapering techniques is to slowly and steadily taper down, taking your time so any withdrawal symptoms are minimized. We have a number of stopping stories that describe this. There is no reason to panic.)

Hang in there, we're all in this together! Your not alone!

James


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 Post subject: Re: Feel myself slipping
PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2015 10:05 pm 
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Just be mindful that we're not doctors, and Frenchy's doctor knows her a lot better than us. There may be some reason he/she has her on that high dose. I agree that in most cases a dose like that isn't necessary, but in some cases it may be required. Also in Australia it's not as easy as just cutting your dose. Because doses are mostly pharmacy dispensed you can't just adjust what dose you take.

It'd be a good idea to request your doctor to reduce your dose Frenchy if that's what you want to do.


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 Post subject: Re: Feel myself slipping
PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2015 11:14 pm 
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James I don't understand how taking sub could be the biggest mistake of ur life. U said after u started sub treatment, u finished college and ect. Every post I've read of urs is recommending ppl to get off sub as soon as possible. I really wish u would stop doing that.

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 Post subject: Re: Feel myself slipping
PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2015 7:53 am 
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Hey French,
Im glad you joined this forum. I have found it quite informative and vey hepful.
Im glad certain members have not overly expressed their opinion, that 32mg is way too high a dose and that its petty much useless after 16mg and the need for higher dose could be too extreme. I was informed by many that my dose of 32mg was really excessive and not beneficial. So due to that advice I chose to drop to 16mg over night. It worked for few days but then I felt crappy so I had an extra 4mg that day. Then I tried 16mg for another few days and started craving benzo's, big time. That's when I had to go up to 20mg and stay there for while.. This time of year im not safe and really feeling cravings still but that could be old mind game habits as Iv only been on sub for about 4 months now. Plus im a cronic laser as I have mentioned in other threads. I think im almost starting to subconsciously plan a relapse so I need to se my psych ASAP.

Anyway, I attend NA as it teaches me so much about how to cope living clean and how to deal with life on lifes terms. Also how to deal with feeling emotions for the first time in 20 years, without just covering them with drugs.

AS far as telling them at NA ABOUT SUB I JUST DONT MENTION IT. its a medicine prescribed to you by your doctor because you obviously need it. They say in NA THAT any mind or mood altering drug is not allowed. That makes me laugh because at my group, at least half admit to being on mood stabilisers, anti depressants, anti psychotics etc which contradicts what they are initially saying. I SAY ITS REALLY worth going, to learn how to live life clean and have a good support network. I love NA but simply don't mention im on suboxone. Its no one else's business apart from you and your doctor.
Do you have family and friend support?

My advice on changing to methadone would be a big no. You can use on top of that stuff. I could not trust myself on methadone as I would use on top for sure.
Good luck and please keep us informed
Mel


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 Post subject: Re: Feel myself slipping
PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2015 12:35 pm 
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Hi French! Well it's really good you're reaching out. I just had really similar feelings going on in my life and made the mistake of holding it all in and ended up on a 9 day heroin run as a result but I'm back on track now. I'm really against giving anyone advice that should come from ones own doctor but 32mg does seem excessive. All the research of Buprenorphine states that there is no increased benefit over 24mg so there is that to think about. In my personal opinion I think we often give Suboxone too much power in our life and how we're feeling. What I mean is we often hear a person talk about how depressed they are because of Suboxone but when you question the person their life consists of sitting on the couch and watching Netflix. Or people complain about how Suboxone has taken all their energy but upon further questioning they state they get zero exercise. When we first start Suboxone treatment most of us feel so normal, so happy without drugs for the first time in our life that when that honeymoon phase wears off we start feeling a little down and begin questioning if the Suboxone is still working. There is so much more to life than our medication. If we feel listless and unfulfilled with life we need to follow our bliss and find those things which make us happy. If there is absolutely nothing which will give us pleasure than maybe it's time to see a psychologist and work on any deeper issues which may be lurking under the surface. Personally I'm a huge advocate for mental health treatment for persons with substance use disorders. I don't mean a alcohol and drug counselor or a community mental health coach but real psychotherapy. Most of us have some deep set issues which need to be addressed and can't always do it alone. As for Methadone I would speak to your doctor. Maybe you do need the effect of a full agonist, especially since you're on such a high dose of Suboxone. For me personally I had to experiment a bit with my doctors permission to find the optimal dose of Suboxone so maybe try that first. I'm a medication assisted treatment advocate so I believe in Buprenorphine and Methadone equally, both have their pros and cons. That being said, one of the cons of Methadone, as another member mentioned above, is that you can shoot through it. I was an IV heroin user so I use that lingo but what I mean to say is that Methadone doesn't have the same narcotic blockade power of Buprenorphine, especially in lower doses. It does create a narcotic blockade in high doses and even in low doses makes it harder to get high on other opiates. There have been people on Methadone who overdosed because they needed to do such a massive amount of their opiate of choice to get high. If you're really interested in Methadone treatment speak with your doctor and check out methadone.org for reliable information methadone maintenance.


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 Post subject: Re: Feel myself slipping
PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2015 4:50 pm 
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This thread got me thinking about dosages, and I know the prescribing information for Suboxone changes every few years, so for what it's worth, I looked up what it says currently:

"After treatment induction and stabilization, the maintenance dose of SUBOXONE sublingual film is generally in the range of 4 mg/1 mg buprenorphine/naloxone to 24 mg/6 mg buprenorphine/naloxone per day depending on the individual patient and clinical response. The recommended target dosage of SUBOXONE sublingual film during maintenance is 16 mg/4 mg buprenorphine/naloxone/day as a single daily dose. Dosages higher than 24 mg/6 mg daily have not been demonstrated to provide a clinical advantage."

Also, just my 2¢ on the NA thing. I strongly disagree that it's "dangerous" for someone on Suboxone go to NA. I don't think French is going to let people in NA convince her that she's using, especially with the support she has on this forum.

I've been fortunate in that even when I was on a high dose of Sub no one in NA gave me a hard time about it. But I know that in less progressive regions people have been given a hard time (usually it's by someone with a big mouth and little information). I know you said in another thread that it's important for you to be totally honest. I would go to several different groups in your area, get to know a few people, and then decide who to tell and when.

Please reach out and get some support. If you're sleeping a lot, thinking about using and trying to get relief by taking extra Sub you're definitely not in a good place. There is help out there - let someone know what you're going through. A lot of addicts, myself included, have been in the exact same spot.

Hang in there,
Lilly


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 Post subject: Re: Feel myself slipping
PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2015 7:37 pm 
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Hey Lilly,

I don't disagree with you about the possibility of NA being really helpful for those in more progressive areas. However, I don't think that TJ is wrong to mention the possibility of it being dangerous in some circumstances. He has the experience in NA to justify his point of view. As helpful as NA is for some, for a person newly on MAT or someone who is easily swayed, an overly negative view from a room full of people can influence a person to go off their medication. That is dangerous.

I think of Razor's experience, where every person at his suboxone clinic is required to attend 12 step meetings where they are told that they are not really in recovery. TJ was off MAT for many months because he had been convinced in NA that he should go off suboxone. I remember his posts during that time and he sounded understandably ambivalent. It would be great if 12 step meetings could indicate whether or not they are MAT friendly, so that we know whether we have to lie to be accepted or not. But that's a crappy situation to put us in.

Anyway, that's just my opinion on it. If I had made that claim I think you would be right to question me because I have never attended. But TJ has spent many years in the rooms in a different part of the world. I have always thought that working steps is a valuable endeavor, because we all need to work on ourselves. But some caution is, I think, warranted. Please understand, Lilly, that I completely respect your point of view and your experience.

Amy

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 Post subject: Re: Feel myself slipping
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 9:28 am 
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jennjenn wrote:
James I don't understand how taking sub could be the biggest mistake of ur life. U said after u started sub treatment, u finished college and ect. Every post I've read of urs is recommending ppl to get off sub as soon as possible. I really wish u would stop doing that.


I also need to disagree with the statement that Suboxone caused you to be numb or in a mental fog. It has restored clarity and cognitive abilities that were missing during years of opioid use. It has been like waking from a stupor.


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 Post subject: Re: Feel myself slipping
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 12:41 pm 
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That is true, Morphing. It would be impossible for me to succeed in my classes if I were in some sort of fog and lacked mental clarity. Still, I can believe that some people feel like their emotions are dulled on the med. I think James was overstating a bit. I've messaged with him, though, and he seems like a good guy who wants to be of help to people who choose to stop sub.

Amy

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 Post subject: Re: Feel myself slipping
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 3:48 pm 
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Sorry to be going off topic, but I just read this in a satirical article in "The Fix" on AA vs. NA:

"NA membership now means that you used to take a lot of pills and now you’re on Suboxone, an antidepressant, and something to counteract the antidepressant’s side effects."

We're truly in changing times in the area of recovery. Hazelden, the bastion of abstinence based recovery, is now using Suboxone, not just for detox, but maintenance. And opinions on NA range from "maintenance drugs are not allowed in NA" to "everyone in NA is on Suboxone" - both of which have some truth depending on where you are.


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 Post subject: Re: Feel myself slipping
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 7:45 pm 
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I support people trying NA, and finding whatever works for their recovery. If attending NA has a positive effect on your recovery, then for higher power's sake DO IT. I do feel however that people who find 12-step groups have a negative effect on their recovery should definitely leave the rooms and try something else. It is definitely NOT true that people who leave the rooms all die. It is NOT true that people who aren't doing the 12-steps are all "dry addicts" and are "white knuckling". Don't fall prey to the brainwashing. Keep a keen critical head on your shoulders, and take what you need and leave the rest. Questioning the program is not a symptom of your disease. Especially do not fall prey to the belief that you are not clean because you're on Suboxone. Identify as clean if that's what you believe. Being "clean" is a personal thing, and more about quality of life than what medications you are on (in my opinion).

Just to clarify, the last period of my life when I was doing NA, I didn't go off Suboxone because of pressure from NA. I went off Suboxone because I had an epic relapse on heroin while on Suboxone, and went to an abstinence baserd rehab (non-12 step) where they weened me off. But there have been numerous times when I was younger where I was doing NA, and jumped off high doses of Suboxone because I just wanted to be "clean" like everyone else in the rooms.

I fully support people trying different approaches to recovery and discovering what works for them. Recovery is a very personal thing, is not one size-fits-all, and different things works for different people. Try NA, try SMART, try SOS, try New-Life, go to an ashram in India, do some Freudian psychoanalysis. Whatever. Just don't fall prey to anyone who claims that their approach to recovery is the ONLY way.


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