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PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 12:53 pm 
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I must have an addictive personality.

I'm 40. Smoked from 1986 to 2003 when I stopped and then just used skoal instead of smoking. Never cared much for marijuana or alcohol.

In 1990, my mother gave me a darvacet, it seemed to turn me into superman & I've been mentally hooked ever since. I took every one she offered when I had an ache or a pain, even some she didn't.

Changed jobs, got married in 1993, quit the darvacet & put it behind me until Mom died in 2003, when I inherited her supply - a big bottle of them. Of course, I took them to deal with her passing & they seemed to last most of the summer. Again, I felt I could handle anything on them & I quit when they ran out.

In 2005, my 12 yr old little doggie died. She was still like a puppy to me.

Then my father died in 2006. I turned into a monster - very difficult to live with, angry, resentful, mad at God, mad with everyone in my life, angry at the world. Two months later (Sept. 2006) I experienced lower abdominal pains and after a few days of that, it was intense enough to check myself into emergency. Diagnosed with diverticulitis - at age 36(!). I was given vicidin. I loved it. Again, I could deal with my father's passing, my anger against the world. Lucky for me - the diverticulitis got worse and I was given more pills. After passing straight blood, I was told I needed surgery to remove that part of my intestine. Got a 2nd opinion and then had the surgery (Dec. 2006). Wonderful! I'm repaired, get time off work, AND more pain pills for the next 10 weeks! Good stuff, too - the 750 vic's!

Naturally, I ran out of pills after healing up, pushed my luck getting more from the doc before finally resigning myself to enough was enough. I maintained a positive attitude, told myself I hated them. That worked for a year. Wife & I were arguing, I developed more pain & post-surgical problems & in March 2008 I had another surgery to remove adhesions & repair a hernia.

Yep, you got it - more time off & more happy pills. In June of 2008, I complained enough about abdominal and back pain (earlier diagnosed with spondilitis - lower spine) so I was refered to a pain specialist. At the urging of my wife, he immediately put me on oxymorphone. It didn't seem to do anything for me. I went back, he upped it. Didn't really seem to address my issues so he upped it again. By the time he was done upp'ing the oxymorphone, I was taking 160 mg/day - prescribed dose. I fell in love with the stuff. The problem was, as with all meds like that, more is all I needed. I started taking too much, creatively scheduling appts a few days earlier. Then even when I wanted to take them as prescribed, I'd feel WD's.

I researched the oxymorphone & learned it was actually prefered over heroine by many users/abusers. I learned about bio-availability and also learned that I could get the same effect with less if I crushed it up and snorted it. Great, I thought - snorting it will get me thru till my next script with what little I had left. It did - no problem. But I never went back to swallowing the pills, I snorted from then on. I figured out from those abuser boards/forums that NOBODY was taking more than I was and that snorting a 40 at one time would kill even the most seasoned abuser. I did that once - snorted an entire 40 after my wife & I were arguing one time. I was emotional. Then a 40 at one time became the norm.

I became a zombie, didn't care about anything in life. I was throwing up after dosing, falling asleep everywhere. I'd lost over 30 lbs. I went to the doc & told him I wanted off. It was like he ignored me. The next month, the same. My beautiful wife of 16 years said she didn't love me anymore and wanted out. I wanted my wife back and my life back, so I set out to quit. I tried tapering, no way in hell was that ever going to work. I was on way too much and the WD's were way too intense. Figure - I was exceeding my prescribed 160 mg/day and ALL of it was going up my nose. Unlike darvocet or preferably, vicidin, I wasn't superman on oxymorphone.

Memorial Day weekend 2009 - May 21 to be exact, I quit. I decided to flush what I had & lock myself up in a room for the entire 6 days I had off. My wife took the kids and headed out of town, I was all alone, but determined to beat it alone, too. Needless to say, as I think most of you would understand, it was the most intense feeling of hell I could imagine. I just wanted to die. After 6 days, I called my pain doc ready to go back on oxymorphone & asking if he could give me methadone or something to alleviate the WD's. He prescribed me clonidine and refered me to a methadone doc about 20 miles away. I miraculously drove to get the clonidine, still super weak, uncoordinated, ill, throwing up, shakey, diarreha, & hadn't slept in almost a week. I took one and a half & then later wondered why I almost passed out - blood pressure was 86/50 - from the clonidine. So, I learned to only take a half. It helped only a little. I got on the internet and found out about suboxone and looked up a different treatment doc - not trusting my pain doc or anyone he'd refer me to.

Enter Suboxone

On day 9, I drove myself in to the sub doc. I didn't know where to get drugs off the street so he told me I didn't qualify for suboxone or fit the bill as an abuser. Then again, my physical symptoms exceeded everything else on the scorecard so I started on 8mg/day and steadily tapered to roughly .5/day.

I know you've heard it before, but it basically saved my life.

My wife left in mid-July. The next day I found out she'd been having an affair with a coworker of hers. I found the sex pics they'd been sending each other in her email. Some of them were exchanged while I was going thru those first few days of WD. I tried my best to heal my marriage, but that didn't work. She filed for divorce last Nov.

Fast-Fwd to today - I took my last .5 +/- yesterday. I did not use the liquid method. I just cut them precisely with an exacto blade. Been on this est. .5 or maybe alittle bit less than .5 amount for roughly 2 months. The cool thing was that once I adjusted to that - my sex drive came back - completely, or pretty darn close. Trouble is now, I'm emotional with lots of lows.

I have got a custody battle, now. She's done many a hateful thing - including wrongfully accusing me of child abuse - she's just doing anything to get an edge in custody, that's all. Still, I haven't seen my two young boys in 111 days - nor have I heard from them. I pretty much got no one left except for two of my childhood best friends who live 100 miles away. Got a good job & surprisingly never lost that. I enjoy it & get along with my coworkers, for the most part. My closest family is an older sister, who knew about my wife's affair 10 months before I did. Said she didn't want to violate my wife's trust in her or her confidentiality and instead of telling me after she found out, called to tell me I should take her out to dinner.... pathetic. So, I've written her off, as she doesn't know what she did wrong. Even more pathetic.

So, here I am - shaky, yawning & teary-eyed, weak, irritable, sweaty, sleeping very little & I catch myself moving my feet and legs. I'm 8 lbs lighter than last week mainly because the last pieces were smaller & smaller. Yesterday's dose was basically powder left at the bottom of the bottle.

It's still nowhere near as bad as the initial WD off the oxymorphone or the one or two times I've gone 4-5 days without sub (I tried to quit before & ended up going back to the doc). The doc doesn't believe what's in this forum. Seems to think that taking half of a 2mg sub every other day should do it and it's all in my head, which, I'm sure, some of it is. But not all of it.

I got angry earlier, kept it to myself, but actually felt pretty good, like I can do this. I think I just need that same mind-set I had during that initial oxymorphone WD this time last year and just suffer it out for the next month or so.

I know, I know, it's day one. The half-life of previous doses are still going in me & it'll get worse in a day or two or three. We'll see how bad it gets.

Well, that's me, this is where I am. Watching some Nikki Sixx videos on youtube actually helped encourage me to go thru this. He wrote a book called the Heroine Diaries - pretty encouraging to me so far to watch & hear him speak about addiction and getting to the root of the issue.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 2:08 pm 
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Welcome to the forum chesster. I know you'll find a lot of support and advice here. I know I have.

That's quite a ride you've had. First, congratulations on getting off the oxymorph and on the subs. Second, congratulations for tapering down so low. Third congratulations on resolving yourself to quit. You've sure come a long way and we all admire you for that.

You mention that you don't have a lot of support in your hometown. Have you given any thought on how you'll stay clean? Getting over the physical part of addiction is just part of the equation. Being able to digest life's heapin' helpin's of stress is another. Could you maybe get in to a group or some counseling in addition to using online resources to help you work through all the crap on your plate right now?

I wish you the best of luck and please let us know how your detox goes. We're all here for you.


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 Post subject: Counseling
PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 2:50 pm 
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I enjoyed the marriage counselling. I continued on well after she quit going. I'm starting again with another counsellor here within the next week or so. The state is paying for this one... I'm so looking forward to it.

Thanks for the welcome. I feel at home here & can certainly relate to most every post I've read on these forums...


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 4:16 pm 
Welcome Chesster! I think you've found a terrific place for information and support here. I was lucky in that I ran across this site just as I was starting my treatment with Suboxone last July. The only thing that would have been better would be to have run across it perhaps a year prior to that, before my opiate addiction stole many precious things from my life. The past is what it is, though, and I don't get a do-over. So I'll take what I've got now, what I have managed to hold onto despite my addiction and be grateful. Had I not found Suboxone, I likely would literally have nothing left right now.
I read your story with interest and you did a fantastic job of sharing it. Thank you for that! We all have such stories to tell, don't we? Some more colorful than others, some full of much more pain and loss than others, but stories, nonetheless, of what our addictions cost us.....what we've been through in trying to get our lives back. You have really had your share. I admire you for hanging in there and sticking with your recovery despite being thrown some real painful blows. Divorce is never easy and is made all the more painful and difficult when the children you love so very much are involved. I'm sorry you're going through that.
It sounds like you've done a good job of tapering yourself down to a pretty nice dose of Sub, although the "easiest" jumps off that I've read about occurred with doses even less than the 0.5mg/day that you got down to. That's not to say that you'll have a hard time. There's certainly a good possibility that it won't be bad at all. You survived that hellacious oxymorphone w/d, I have no doubt you'll survive the acute phase of bupe w/d as well. The bigger question is handling PAWS sypmtoms and preventing relapse over the long haul. My worry for you really, is more about your timing here. With a divorce and custody issues yet to be resolved and the emotional pain of not having seen your kids and all....I am concerned that this might not be the best time to go ahead with stopping Suboxone. You may have very clear reasons why you must do this right now, and if so, so be it......you have to do what you have to do. It just occurred to me as I was reading your story, "Why not hold off...stay on a tiny dose just a bit longer, until your life is a little more settled?" I am down to ~1mg/day now with plans to very slowly taper on down, perhaps stopping completely sometime over the next few months. I have, however, given myself 'permission' to take as long as I need, pulling back on tapering if at any time it gets tough or I just feel the time isn't right. I realize that approach may not work well for everyone. We're all different and some personality types just do better with a firmer plan in place. There are so many reasons and so many issues that come into play with all this. Whatever the case with you, I certainly wish you the very best with it. I hope you'll be back often and post how the coming days and weeks go for you. I'd be glad to help in any way I can.
Again, welcome....thanks for posting your story!


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 9:14 pm 
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Welcome! I think you are doing great and you should be proud of where you are at now. I'll be praying for you that you get to see your children. Stick with this forum. It's wonderful!

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Of course there's such a thing as angels. Only sometimes they don't have wings... and we call them mothers. -Unknown


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:19 pm 
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Thanks, setmefree, deemanchu, & RTLmom! Great work on getting to 1mg! Allowing yourself that flexibility is so important. It worked for me getting to this point.

That's pretty much the way I'm trying to see it - my addiction stole everything. It's too easy to get down about loss. I was spared dealing with difficult loss for most of my life until just a few years ago & it seems like I'm being hammered all at once, now. I like your attitude.

Yep, everyone on here and everyone viewing these pages has a story and we all can relate in one way or another. That's why just being here, reading and sharing is so comforting to me. It let's us know we're not alone in this pain & struggle. Provides hope, great advice & optimism for those struggling with the hell of addiction.

For the entire time I'd been on suboxone, I've stayed steadily committed to tapering and finishing this off with very few exceptions where I would knowingly dose a little larger chunk for whatever reason. Rarely, tho.

Looking back, I thought cutting the doses in half was rough. 50% each reduction is a lot. But I didn't really notice it was so bad until around 2mg & under. I didn't like reducing because I feared symptoms, naturally - a lot of that was mental for me. When symptoms occurred, I'd sometimes take just a little extra to ease them & before I knew it, I was settled perfectly on the lower dosage.

I didn't jump quite at .5, I'd say it was a little less than that - I tried cutting them to .25. I attempted to jump off after being on .5 for just over a month and lasted 5 days. Actually 4 - I found a crumb that saved me till the doc reluctantly refilled, then discharged me. lol He just couldn't bring himself to believe I was still experiencing debilitating WD's. He also told me no one's ever completed the program and stayed clean/sober, either. Hmmm... I wonder why. :-/

So that last script I did my best to cut them to .25. I was too lazy to do the liquid taper I'd read about on here & took my chances with the exacto blade.

I'm feeling better than I was earlier today, as far as symptoms go. Clonidine really helps when WD's are this mild. I feel like I can function to a decent capacity - maybe 75% or 80%, maybe a little more. I took a nap just after work - a deep sleep but only lasted 45 min. then I was wide awake & wirey, happy. I should be getting sleepy now. Gonna take a Tylenol PM.

Thank you so very much for your kind words, your sympathy, thoughts, advice, and encouragement.

I worry about the same thing - with all my current issues, now sure as heck doesn't seem like a good time to jump. My (former) sub doc said, "If you can do this with all that going on, you can do anything." I didn't care to hear that. Kinda scarey. Remember - If it were up to me, I would still be on them had the doc not cut me off & discharged me. I never abused them, he just didn't believe me when I still had bad WD's jumping off after taking 1 mg every other day. That was around April 15 or so.

I called another sub doc earlier today, when I was feeling WD's and wanted to at least be a patient just in case I couldn't handle it. Got some red tape to go thru (copy of records, etc) & that will take a couple of days. I plan on being honest about everything. I just hope that doc isn't a misunderstanding quack like my last one. If I do end up back on subs, I will definitely do the liquid taper method starting at .25 no matter what.

For now, I'm feeling pretty darn good, considering. Mentally clear, etc. Your concerns are spot-on, setmefree, and I thank you for all of them. Just to assure you, I am pursuing that "safety net" just in case. I'll keep posting on here daily, as much as I can - at least an update of symptoms.

I sure appreciate prayers...


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 7:53 am 
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Chesster,

It is really tough to quit when it is someone else's idea or when they are in control over it. You sound like you do want to taper and have done extremely well with it. Your last sub doc is nuts. If he thinks he knows more than a whole bunch of people who have tried it then he is nuts. The bottom line is that you are likely to do much better when YOU have control of it as it sounds like ultimately you want to do it anyways. I'm sorry your sub doc doesn't get it and hopefully the new one does. Even if the withdrawal of day one is mental, it is just as real for the person as if it were physical and until THEY are the ones to decide it is mental and they can get past it, likely it may present an issue.

I'm also sorry you are going through all this stuff with your ex. Sounds pretty crappy and definitely not helpful that you are absent a support system. Hopefully you will stick around here to get what these people have to offer. I know I have found it to be extremely helpful.

Cherie


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 3:30 pm 
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I just wan to welcome you and thank you for pouring your heart and soul out like that. It takes some real courage to do something like that, even though we have some level of anonymity here. Your story is not unlike many others. They all seem to end the same way, don't they?

We get sick and tired of being sick and tired and we either do something about it, or we just continue to suffer.

When you consider the fact that only about 5% (or less) of drug addicts ever get their act together, whether it be with Opiate Replacement Therapy, 12 stepping, therapy, religion, or a combination of those, it's pretty amazing that WE are all here, isn't it?

Congratulations on a monumental achievement, Chesster. Don't take it for granted. I've relapsed more times than I care to admit (several dozen, at least) and it's gotten worse each time.

Hang in there and keep doing the right thing.

It's definitely worth it.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 10:01 pm 
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Cherie, you are so right & especially about when quitting is someone else's idea. I wasn't comfortable about it one bit. Still ain't. I've managed, tho, so far. Oddly, it hasn't been extremely difficult. ...yet.

I didn't sleep much last night. It was late when I took a Tylenol PM. Crashed after midnight. I was wired, happy. Today, not so much. I am racing inside. Jittery. Weaker than yesterday. My mind is moving almost as fast. Just an overall uneasy feeling and a sense that something is not right, but nothing beyond managable so far. It's almost like a chaotic energy that I'm afraid to expend. Out of control maybe? I dunno. It's hard to explain. I got to work this morning & realized I forgot to bring some clonidine. That has helped A LOT with that jitteryness and everything else it seems. So at lunchtime, I ran home, took a half & was better after that. Clonidine just minimizes everything somewhat.

Oh, check this out - I haven't had much of an appetite & I rarely ever eat fast food, but I was starving. I got one of those thick steak burger meals from burger king and I ate so fast, as if it was some kind of eating competition. I must've looked like some crazy guy who hadn't eaten in a week. I couldn't get it down fast enough. Way out of character for me. I regretted it after I felt so miserably stuffed but the rest of the day at work went well, I just couldn't wait to get outta there.

Within 5 minutes of walking in the door, I crashed for two hours after I got home - waking up to the alarm & I have been reasonably functional since.

Nervousness, that's what it is. That's what I'm hating - feeling nervous at work, around other people. Almost as if I've lost my confidence. An uneasy nervousness from the inside - out.

Still, it was great to wake up and walk out the door & not worry about fixing myself with a pill. For the most part, aside from the above mentioned issues, I feel I've turned the corner. Could I live another month like this? I might change my mind later, but, yes, I believe so right now at this moment. Not with out the clonidine, tho. lol ...for now.

Thank you for the kind words and encouragement, junkie781. Everybody - thank you. I feel good here. Blessed and surrounded by a bunch of winners who know what it's like to have lost and gone down similar roads I have. Caring and compassionate. You guys are the best!


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 7:08 am 
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What you describe is SO familiar to me! I wish they would have given me more clonidine to help with withdrawal but they gave me about 5 days worth and it wasn't enough. The clonidine does minimize everything somewhat. Awesome drug for withdrawal.

I too recall feeling as though I had lost my confidence at work. I was very anxious. I was almost paranoid and felt like everyone knew or something. It was so rough. Usually I am in a good mood at work and time flys by. When I got off sub, every hour took four hours to go by. I have never looked at a clock so many times in five minutes in my entire life. I dreaded the phone and didn't want to talk to clients. Talking to the staff was....ok....but I still avoided it.

It is good you finally had an appetite. Very good sign.

Don't be surprised if you are pretty moody and indecisive about getting back on sub versus staying off. Under the circumstances I think that would be pretty normal. Keep posting.

Cherie


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 1:33 am 
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Yesterday (Thursday) was a rough, rough, day. I managed to do some work on the car. It seemed so strenuous and too labor=intensive for what it was. I was so weak I felt like I couldn't hardly stay upright & walk. I was able to sleep no problem because I took a benadryl and a tylenol PM and a clonidine and that did the trick. My biggest complaint was weakness.

Today (Friday) was much better. I had today off & drove out to spend time with my best buddy, had lunch with an old girlfriend, then drove back to an attorney appointment. It's almost 2 am and I'm still awake. Yawning, occassionally sneezing, I tried to sleep but can't. I'm too fidgety, like a mild RLS. Not as weak as yesterday, tho. I have been sweating at night quit a bit, too. I wake up, change my shirt & go back to bed.

No creepy-crawly feelings like the full opiate WD. Just weak and uncoordinated. Still pressing on, tho. There was a hang up getting the other doc to accept me. I'm still working on that & it'll just be a minor delay of a couple of days, which, I hope doesn't seem like an eternity.

I've had a major headache most of the day. Appetite is hit & miss. Still have a nervous-inside feeling, too. Just not quite as intense. That's about all I have to report. Hopefully the days will keep getting better. I'm optimistic about tomorrow. I plan on staying busy around the house.

Cherie, are you off subs or no?


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 1:45 pm 
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Feeling good today. Just a little tired, lethargic. Sneezing quite a few times and I'm clammy all over. Still got the inside uneasiness but that's come a long way, too.

I can do this.

One day at a time, that's all.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2010 6:10 pm 
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Sunday was awesome. I had energy, I felt my strength had come back. Today, not so much. But not all that bad, either. It's day 6 of no sub, no taking any pills - nothing. Just a headache. Probably from blood pressure. My heart still races. Otherwise, sleep is okay. Slight stomach pain, appetite is hit & miss. I've dropped 11 lbs in the last two weeks.

Yesterday I was super-happy and couldn't slow down.

Today, I'm emotional.

I really hope this stuff levels out soon. I've come a long ways. Sorry, these posts should probably be somewhere else, now, huh?


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 8:17 am 
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Chesster-

Welcome to the site. So sorry to hear about what has happened to you- we never have control over another person's behavior and often are hurt by their choices. It is important for you to stay with your counseling and I commend you for having the courage to realize it is necessary. Welcome again and take care!

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2010 8:25 pm 
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Thanks, Shelwoy.

I know why people who quit subs rarely come back here to this forum. Every time I thought about it, it reminded me of the painful discomfort, the painful memories of WD.

Being so much better than I was (as it regards symptoms), I really don't care to remember the details and instead, embrace my new life away from subs, pills, or anything else I leaned on.

Still, it's so super-important to never forget the hell I was in and the difficult path it took to get here (sub-free 12 days thus far) so I never go back to an opiate or a drug again.

Chesster ...out


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