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 Post subject: Hello to everyone
PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:00 pm 
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First off I want to say thank you to all the people that have taken the time to post their knowledge and experiences on these forums. I have been reading as much as possible for about a year and have learned so much from all of you. Now that I have finally found my maintenance "sweet spot," so to speak, I want to help and give back any way I can.

Quick background. I am a 36 year old male and have been using opiates of all kinds on and off since I started having mental illness around 18 years old. Those issues are bipolar, anxiety disorders, and PTSD. Opiates have always helped my mental illness so I was a weekend user for quite a while. They gave me a few days relief before starting another week of work in hell. Not that my job was bad, it was the mental issues that made working so difficult.

At one point I injured my back while helping my parents take out their pool in the backyard. Of course you all know the story from here, I was scripted vicodin and went from weekend to daily use. I actually took less then prescribed never being one to chase a high (not that I am judging anyone that did, I totally understand that, the euphoria is quite nice) I just wanted to not have the crushing highs and lows of bipolar or the agoraphobia my anxiety caused as well as the constant lower back pain from my injury.

Fast forward to a year ago my vicodin script had long ago been stopped and my poppy pod habit had become too hard to maintain so I went and found a wonderful addiction specialist and began Suboxone. What a miracle this medicine is. Its given me the ability to regain some sort of normalcy in my life while also addressing my physical and mental pain. I started at the usual amount and have slowly gotten down to 1mg twice a day where I currently am. I have no plans on stopping as I have not felt this "normal" since my teenage years.

I do want to note Suboxone is not a "cure all." I still need to take 25mg Lamictal and 0.5mg xanax xr daily. However without the Suboxone these two meds would be higher in dose and most likely accompanied by one or two more medications to accomplish what the Suboxone addresses. So I am extremely grateful for it to say the least.

Well, thats about it. Thanks to anyone who made it through all that. My apologies for the length of my intro. If anyone ever has a question that I may be of help answering please dont hesitate to ask. I look forward to being a part of the community. Thanks.
-Steffen


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 Post subject: Re: Hello to everyone
PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:34 pm 
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Welcome Steffen,
Thank you for posting your story . Your success will surely be an incredible lift
to thoses out there reading .
Suboxone is turely a miracle for so many. Glad it is working for . Ive been on it for almost 7 years . Life changed
the day I began.

Hope you continue to post and read Steffen. Sorry so short, im at work but want to welcome your sir. Keep up the good work!!!

Razor


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 Post subject: Re: Hello to everyone
PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 5:17 pm 
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Hi Steffen & welcome to posting on the Forum. I too read many many stories here before I signed up & finally made my Introduction. Your story reads similar to mine except that mine was a botched surgery followed by another surgery to fix the first that didn't work. Ugh.

This all started around 50 and I'm now 58. I've only been on Suboxone since April 14, 2017. I'm down from 16 mg to 4.5 mg now. After I got below 5 it started to get much more difficult for me. I'm so thrilled for you to be so low now. It took me 1.5 months to drop from 5 to 4.5. That's pretty slow, but it's my understanding that low & slow wins the race.

I'm so glad that you're doing so well on such a low dose and that your life is really looking up for you!

Just wanted to say "hi" and welcome you to the Forum. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Hello to everyone
PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 11:36 pm 
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Welcome to the forum Steffen. There are some people here, including myself, that have been suffering from Bipolar and anxiety for many years with varied amounts of sustained success. So I think it's pretty remarkable that your suboxone is taking care of your cravings for opioids as well as providing some possible mood stabilization and even anxiety control. That's a lot of therapeutic benefit from a single pill. I understand you're also taking Lamictal and Xanax, but even you admit it's a lower dose.

Is it really the suboxone that's making all the difference? I think the medical community is still trying to figure that out in a clinical setting. Well let them. I think we already know the answer to that. But it is very interesting to keep up on the latest research news as it becomes available. I'm glad that you've found a combination that works for you here and now. Thanks for the introduction!!

- OM

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 Post subject: Re: Hello to everyone
PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:22 am 
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Hello Steffen welcome!

I agree that suboxone isn't a 'cure all' because we still have to do the work. It's a definite lifesaver but doing counseling and even support groups is key. There's a lot of addicts out there that do start suboxone that relapse and don't return to their treatment.

I've saw so many ppl come and be gone within a month or 3 months or 6 months, it happens. In my suboxone meetings, there's a routine I've noticed over the years, there's always about 12-15 ppl in a meeting and I know about 5 or so. It's like half of them don't return. I always wonder where these ppl have gone to or what has happened to them because they were pretty committed last I saw them. I can only guess that some of them are bk to active addiction..... not all but some. Maybe some weren't ready to change, maybe some couldn't fight the temptation or maybe some couldn't afford it which is so unfair. My point is (before I got off rambling) is suboxone is a lifesaving medicine but we still got to do our part and I agree with u on that. I can only imagine how hard it must be to deal with emotional issues on top of everything else. It has to be tough. So glad ur here!!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Hello to everyone
PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:24 pm 
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Welcome to our forum Steffen! Your story is similar to mine with the exception of me being an addict and trying hard not to take too many for years. Shoulder, neck, and then my back went out all in a 7 year period. Being a recovering alcoholic, my main worry was getting addicted to those nice little Vicodins. Man, did they make me feel wonderful back then! And I did keep them at 3 pills per day for about 4+ years until the vampire on my shoulder finally took charge of the addiction.

So like you I don't function real well w/o my daily Buprenorphine dose. I'm a lifer for sure unless my brain changes and I try to stop. No plans in the near future so I just keep getting my script and taking it as prescribed. It is a wonderful drug as you say. My wife says this is the best "me" she's seen, at least in those 7 years that is.

Stick around and post freely. We love having a large membership who's goal is to educate and help those who are just starting to find the freedom of taking Suboxone.

Life is great when it's normal.

rule

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 Post subject: Re: Hello to everyone
PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 1:35 pm 
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rule62 wrote:
Welcome to our forum Steffen! Your story is similar to mine with the exception of me being an addict and trying hard not to take too many for years. Shoulder, neck, and then my back went out all in a 7 year period. Being a recovering alcoholic, my main worry was getting addicted to those nice little Vicodins. Man, did they make me feel wonderful back then! And I did keep them at 3 pills per day for about 4+ years until the vampire on my shoulder finally took charge of the addiction.

So like you I don't function real well w/o my daily Buprenorphine dose. I'm a lifer for sure unless my brain changes and I try to stop. No plans in the near future so I just keep getting my script and taking it as prescribed. It is a wonderful drug as you say. My wife says this is the best "me" she's seen, at least in those 7 years that is.

Stick around and post freely. We love having a large membership who's goal is to educate and help those who are just starting to find the freedom of taking Suboxone.

Life is great when it's normal.

rule


I agree with your wife. :)

Welcome, Steffen! So glad to have you here! You are joining the host of us whose lives have been majorly improved by buprenorphine. Thank you for introducing yourself!

Amy

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 Post subject: Re: Hello to everyone
PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 6:28 pm 
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Hi Steffen, poppy pod habit? Wow Now that is interesting. Boy we get all kinds here but we all have one thing in common. Suboxone has changed our lives for the better. I was on pain pills and antidepressants lol and antianxiety pills to boot. Now, just Subs and I'm a much more pleasant person without much anxiety and hardly any depression it speak of. I certainly don't have to take the meds anymore and for that I am forever grateful. Welcome to the forum Steffen, and please, post away. We want to learn from you as well. Sincerely, Angie


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 Post subject: Re: Hello to everyone
PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 7:26 pm 
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Wow, thanks to all who welcomed me. My anxiety self figured no one would reply, which is obviously not the right mind set at all. Its so nice to hear that I am not alone in this struggle we all face.

razor55-Your right about this miracle changing your life on the first day. I felt the exact same thing. Its like my body said "you found what you have been searching for this entire time!" So happy to hear its been working for you for 7 years. My fear was of it stopping to work, like all other opiates. Yet my doctor says its the opposite where your actually healing your brain and your tolerance reverses. And thats exactly what has happened. Amazing really. I wish you continued success!

DeeKay-Im sorry to hear about your botched surgery and then having to go through another surgery just to fix the first one. Jeez. I can only imagine the frustration and anger you had from that experience. Congrats on your significant drop from 16mg to 4.5mg. Thats a lot. You deserve to pat yourself on the back for that. I would agree that once below the 5mg mark it starts getting harder. I too was able to make large drops in the begining only to find the lower I got the harder it got. Even at the "no more then 25% reduction rule" its not easy to say the least. I will say that if your using for pain still that I found below 2mg my pain came back. My lowest of 1mg a day (0.5mg 2xday) left my back feeling like I wasnt taking anything so that, along with it not helping as much for the mental aspects was a contributing factor to why I went back up to taking 1mg twice a day for a total of 2mg. Keep up the good work!

OpenMind-Could almost guess from your name that you have dealt with the good ol' mental issues. We are in the same boat it seems with the bipolar and anxiety. Lucky us :D! Yes I really am amazed as well that suboxone has made such a difference. It did take a lot of med combo trials to get here. SSRI's, SNRIS, Mood Stabilizers, Anti-Psychotics, Benzos, it was and still is a constant juggling act. Im super med sensitive too so I think that is why I can get by on low doses of most meds including suboxone. I would like to have a little more mood and anxiety control but sadly higher doses of lamictal equals more anxiety and more xanax equals more sedation. If you ever want to talk about head meds I am always willing to discuss what I have tried. And I would love to hear what has and hasnt worked for you. Contact me anytime.

jennjenn-Fully agree with you about the fact that WE still have to do the work. The suboxone is just a tool to help us along. As everyone can probably agree it takes ridiculous willpower to make this whole thing work. This is my first step into a "support" like group. I know I need to go to some local support groups just to get out more and maybe meet some like minded people. The warm welcome here has been encouraging. In regards to the people coming and going in your support groups every 3 to 6 months I see the same thing but at my doctors office and I have only been going for a year. A constant turnover of new patients and very few regulars. Its particularly evident with the younger crowd, I dont think they have hit "rock bottom" for lack of a better term. Not that that is necessary for everyone. It was for me. And obviously there are still a good amount of older people who for one reason or another just arent ready to stop. As you mentioned there are so many factors that play into it. We all have our own reasons to why we do what we do which is why its so hard to help everyone.

rule62-Shoulder, neck and then back going out! Thats brutal. Any person would have a problem pulling through all that and then to add on top of it previous alcohol addiction issues, you had no chance it seems in avoiding the pitfalls of vicodin. I hear you about the vampire on your back, or as others say the monkey. The euphoria tempted me a lot. Lukily I dont have the addiction problem. But I didnt make it easier on myself when I learned I could actually grow my own medicine in my backyard! That was not a good discovery. Those poppy flowers are sinister in their beauty. Your mentioning the alcohol did make me wonder if you found suboxone to have made you crave the alcohol less? Or did you already have that pretty much under control? For me surprisingly I pretty much lost all interest in drinking after starting treatment, which was a huge bonus as I had my own issues with drinking. My family heritage has a long line of hard drinkers. Mostly to quell the anxiety and depression but some just where raised on it. My grandma remembers getting beer in the military hospitals as the doctors at the time said it was good for you! Something about the hops. Not quite sure.

Amy-Work In Progress-Great name. That sums it up pretty well. Everyday is a "work in progress" it seems. Im happy to hear you too have had your life improved by buprenorphine. I am incredibly grateful that I found it as who knows what would have been my next option. Hopefully with forums like this more people can be shown a way out. I appreciate your welcoming me.

Bamagurl22-Yep, as you probably read in my response to "rule62" I eventually took my care into my own hands and starting growing my own poppy pods when the internet stopped selling them. There was a huge black market at one point. This older gentlemen from Oregon told me that the end was near for the open market, which existed on ebay of all places, and he kindly sent me some seeds with which I began my own gardern. He too had depression and anxiety so he understood my need for them even though we both knew it was a dead end road. And eventually like all other opiates, besides suboxone, my tolerance grew and grew. Not to mention I also got increasingly paranoid that my neighbors where so "interested" in my flowers that they had never seen before in their lives. It was geting out of control. So you say you too used to take antidepressants and antianxiety meds? Do you have to take any head meds at all anymore? That would be something to be able to stop all of them and just take suboxone. Good for you. Thats great! Its amazing so many are finding that this works for them.

-Steffen


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 Post subject: Re: Hello to everyone
PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 1:01 am 
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Steffen36, that really is an amazing reply. Take it from someone who has a tendency to write extra long posts... okay, I'm a little chatty. I know it takes a lot of time and concentration to write back to each person in detail like you have here. It's the content that I think is important. I really enjoy connecting with people here and it all starts out with effective communication skills, including little things like breaking down long posts into shorter chunks with paragraphs. It's easier on the eyes and makes learning about someone a little easier for me, so thank you. And welcome again, glad to have you here!!

- OM

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 Post subject: Re: Hello to everyone
PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 11:36 am 
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Ur right Steffen, at my clinic it does tend to be a larger turnover with the younger patients. Just like my nephew (bless him) he did well at a neighbor clinic for about 6 months and just stopped. He was 21-22 at the time. Well I say did well for 6 months but in all honesty he was selling his medication I think. So it probably just took that long to get discharged.

Good stuff Steffen, hope u stick around!

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 Post subject: Re: Hello to everyone
PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 1:26 pm 
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You know, Steffen, we are a pretty amiable bunch here and also pretty active here on the forum. Of course we would greet you and welcome you with open arms! Unless someone comes here to bash suboxone we are pretty friendly. What always surprises me is when people come here thinking that we are all about helping people get off our medication and assuming that we are against buprenorphine. While we do provide support and help to folks who want to taper off, that is secondary to our first aim, which is to provide accurate information to and encourage the people who are on suboxone.

Your story echoes the experience that so many of us have. I wish that everyone had the experience of feeling a night and day difference the first day they start buprenorphine! For some it takes a bit longer though because of the medication they are transitioning from, or because they don't wait long enough before starting suboxone and experience precipitated withdrawal. But, my experience was just like yours in that the new medication felt miraculous from the get go.

I hope you stick around here for a long time! There are always folks who need reassurance that they are following the right path. Stories like yours help them make better decisions!

Amy

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 Post subject: Re: Hello to everyone
PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 10:11 pm 
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OpenMind-Extra long posts...haha...you too huh? I tend to type, and type and then I look at my wall of text and realize "whoa I need to condense this, I wrote a friggin book!" Connecting with others is my goal here too. People that have been through the same highs and lows, we all share a common bond of sorts. Thanks again for the welcome.

jennjenn-At 21-22 years old the whole mindset is so different right? You think you have all the time in the world at that age. Which in reality you kind of do. There is always more time to kinda screw around and mess up. And of course being that young you also feel that invincibility like you can get away with almost anything. I do hope your nephew comes around eventually. If you cannot help him in particular its great that you can help so many others through these forums.

Amy-Work In Progress-It is greatly appreciated the greetings and warm welcoming. I've read all the negative stuff already in regards to suboxone. My doctor who does lectures on buprenorphine is incredibly knowledgable and we often talk about how misunderstood this medicine is. So much misinformation and outright hysteria by some. I have seen some of the people who have come on here trolling. The fact that someone even devoted a whole website to bashing suboxone is disturbing. In reality any drug can be vilified. Hell I could probably create a whole website bashing SSRI's like Paxil, Zoloft, etc, but just because it wasnt the right fit for me or certain side effects where troublesome doesnt mean no one else should get a shot of being helped by them. It just seems so selfish of a lot of people on that other site to jump on the band wagon and lump all their ills on this one drug. At worst its dangerous as who knows how many people have been scared away by the websites postings before even giving it a shot. They could have found their miracle. For me personally this has been the least side effect inducing drug I have ever taken. My only problem is constipation! Thats a cake-walk compared to a lot of the stuff out there. Anyways, I look forward to helping spread the word that there are success stories out there. Probably more then we know.


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