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PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 4:31 pm 
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My roomate has been on this for over 2 years now.....He also drinks every night......6 - 8 mixed drinks.......at some point during the night he just seems to black out and not remember anything he does or says....


If i mention to him about not drinking on suboxone he just gets pissed and says he is doing better than when he was on pills........

Should he be off the suboxone by now and what side effects will the drinking cause with it?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 5:02 pm 
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Hi Jodybro and welcome to the forum,

May I ask, is your roommate prescribed the suboxone under a doctor's care or does he get it elsewhere? I'm not a doctor so I can't say how dangerous it is to drink like that while taking it, and you seem to already know it's not advised.

Now, Your description of his response when you pointed it out to him rang very familiar. It sounded just like me when I was making excuses for my actions.

Do you know if he's doing anything for his recovery other than just the suboxone? Most of us pair it with group support, therapy, out-patient treatment, etc. It's not a one-size fits all, but just taking the suboxone won't fix everything by itself either. I think I recall a while back a thread about drinking on sub, and if I recall most of us don't drink very much or very often. But everyone's different and I'm not in a position to comment more than that.

I don't know if any of this will help you at all. It sounds like you care for you roommate and I'm sorry that you're worrying about him now. For me, nothing that no one said made me stop using until I was ready.

Good luck,

Melissa


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 5:15 pm 
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Hi JodyBro,

Hatmaker/Melissa gave good advise, and questions.

A simple answer to your question about 'time' of suboxone - and should he be off it - is all dependent upon his doctor and his action plan. Some people are short time - taper faster, others are longer time - perhaps even lifetime maintenance people.

Other than that - Hatmaker gave solid advice about the response you get.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 5:30 pm 
Hi Jodybro! I'm sorry for what you're going through with your roommate...he is lucky to have someone who cares enough about him to give a crap about what he's doing.
I agree with what hatmaker has said and I have the same questions as she does.
In addition to being an opiate addict, it sounds like your roommate has a significant problem with alcohol as well.
I'm not a doctor or an expert, so I can't answer your questions as to what sort of damage he may be doing by mixing Suboxone and alcohol on a regular basis. I would think at a minimum, his doctor should know what he's up to and he probably needs to have his liver enzymes checked with some blood work. Alcohol certainly affects the liver and most medications are metabolized by the liver, so I would have some concerns in that regard.
In my opinion, drinking that much alcohol every single day, with or without the Suboxone on board, is excessive. He needs more help than just dissolving an orange pill under his tongue every day. He needs much more help from the sounds of it. Unfortunately, as hatmaker suggested, he has to want that help for himself.
If this is someone who is important in your life, especially if it goes beyond just being a roommate, I might suggest that you seek some help for yourself....perhaps AlAnon or some private counseling. It's confusing and painful to live with someone who is an alcoholic and/or an addict and it's difficult to know what to do for or about them without enabling them in their addiction.
Feel free to participate here and we'll be happy to help/support you in any way we can. Encourage your roommate to join us as well.
Best of luck to you....hope he gets the help he obviously needs.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 6:41 pm 
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Sorry I could not give more info in my first post.


Me and this guy work together and are roomates during the week. We have been for 7 years. He got real bad on lortabs about 3 1/2 years ago while I had taken another job and when I came back to this job he started on Suboxone.

He is going to a doctor 1 time every 28 days to get his scrip and talk to the doctor about his problems. The only thing that bothers me about his doctor is last year he put him on antidepresents while he was on suboxone. I finally had to call his family because he would stagger around the apartment screaming and would not remember anything he did that night. He finally stopped taking the anti depresents and seemed to be doing better.

But now he drinks every night and does not remember anything he talks about or anyone he calls.....I have noticed that he really has bad slurred speach during the day now.

Should I call his doctor and tell him what is going on or would his doctor even talk to me about it?

Thank you for all of your answers....I have really needed someone to talk to about all of this that can help me.

I do not know what the dosage is that he takes either.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 7:03 pm 
Hmmmm........something just isn't adding up here Jodybro. First of all, I know of NO antidepressants that make you behave the way your roomie behaved. They don't give you slurred speech or make you rant and rave and have amnesia...at least no antidepressant I've ever heard of does that. What could do it is...mmmm.....alcohol perhaps. Or benzos (xanax, valium or such.) Some sleep meds (Ambien) are pretty notorious for their potential to cause amnesia.
I don't know....something just doesn't smell right about this situation.
As far as talking to his doctor....probably the doc won't talk to you unless your friend is willing to sign a release form that says he can, because of patient confidentiality laws. Maybe you could ask if you could go along with him for his next appointment and discuss things with the doctor in your friend's presence.
Have you simply said something like: "Friend, I'm concerned about you....I care about you a lot and I'm seeing some behavior in you that just doesn't make sense.....are you really okay? I want to help in any way I can.....I really feel you need some help....what's wrong?" You know, nonconfrontational, kind, caring, what the heck is going on with you type questions.
I don't know.....I'm worried for your friend and I know you are worried too. I'm not a doctor and have no real psych experience or anything like that. I'm just an addict who kind of knows how "we" act and who know how much trouble we can be in before we even know what hit us...
That's all I'm coming up with for now. Just my thoughts.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:19 am 
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Hi again Jodybro,
Setmefree is correct that the doctor won't give you any information about your roommate. However, there is nothing to keep you from telling him what you have observed. You could call and speak to a nurse and stress your concerns to him/her.

I also have not heard of any anti-depressants that would cause a person to behave in such a way. I do recall a few years back I went on a new one myself and it caused me to sleepwalk.

It does sound like something else is going on - perhaps a mental illness? I'm neither a doctor nor a therapist, so I'm just throwing that out there. But alcoholism can do some odd things.

Keep us posted. Take care.

Melissa


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:33 pm 
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It's not at all uncommon for addicts to call pills like Xanex, valium, Ativan, etc. "anti-depressants" even though they are not. It sounds so much "nicer" and won't raise any red flags. I obviously have no way of knowing what your friend was really taking but very much agree that the typical anti-depressant won't provoke that behavior - while the typical benzo may. It clearly looks like this friend badly needs additional help. But we all know how difficult that can be in a situation like this. While Suboxone taken by itself, as directed, is really a pretty safe drug, there are many reports of death following the ingestion of Suboxone AND a benzodiazepine, alcohol or other drugs together. He certainly has an increased risk when taking other sedating medications with his Suboxone. How much that risk is increased depends on all sorts of things.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 4:04 pm 
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Hey Jodybro -

Setmefree is spot on. There are 'caveats' in all of this. That is when he becomes a danger to other people, or himself. Is he there? Is it threatening to you or others?

Unfortunately, if this is 'college age' it is also a time where classically many psychiatric conditions manifest themselves. For example, it was thought, that Manic/Depression only happened to people this age (in another words - not in adolescents, or children). That thinking has since been changed.

Still, this behavior could be serious. People ranting and raving - walking around like a lunatic and then not remembering is not normal. I have a boss, who's child who went away - across country to college. Her child went off the deep end, not too far from what you are saying. The only way by boss found out was from a visit from her sister, and a total shutdown of her child. There were all sorts of bizarre behaviors found, and without someone (like you are doing) - who took the time to help - it could have been a disaster.

Please look out for your own safety, and your roommates safety. Consider getting help - either from his parents (maybe or maybe not) - or some authority - or his doctor.

It is my understanding that you could tell (and in some cases people are required by law) to inform someone if they are a danger to themselves or to someone else. Be careful.

I suspect this is not just 'suboxone'... of all the attributes I have seen applied to suboxone - psychosis (ranting and raving - and not remembering) is not freqently one of them.

Please keep us posted.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 4:31 pm 
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Don and lathedude bring up some excellent points. Before starting suboxone a year ago, I was taking ALL sorts of pills, including extremely high doses of xanax, sleep meds, anti-depressants, you name it I took it. That led to a full-blown psychotic break because of the pills, according to all the docs at the hospital. (It makes sense because I was out of control and I've never had such a thing happen before or since.) When I say psychotic break, I mean out of touch with reality and at the end I remembered very little.

I'm not trying to scare you and that's just my personal experience, but I stand as a shining example that it CAN happen.

Let us know how you and he are doing.

Melissa


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 4:50 pm 
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Hi jodybro1234,
First welcome to the forum. Your roomate has a very caring friend in YOU!! I can tell you from experience that anyone who has 6 - 8 drinks a night whether or not on Suboxone is an ALCOHOLIC period! I say this with respect and do not mean to look down on anyone for sure... I am talking about it because I am an Alcoholic in Recovery... I had the very same symptoms, not remembering who I called or what I talked about with them, Not remembering where I was or Who I was with, etc. etc.... They are called Blackouts!!! I had them quite often so I am familiar with them!!! I was actively drinking the first 4 - 5 months that I was on Suboxone. I dont think it made the effects of the alcohol any worse. Probably because before the Suboxone I was taking a hefty amount of Oxycodone while drinking. Either way I would drink till I passed out anyway... Again I mean no disrespect by saying this I only hope my Sad story might help someone else?? I would suggest that your friend NEEDs help with the Alcoholism as well as the opiate addiction?? I can tell you that living "Clean & Sober" for the last 8 months has been a great feeling. One that I hope I can keep for a lifetime , BUT only time will tell if I can keep the Demons at bay???? I hope my little rant is of some help to you?? Best of luck with your friend and please keep us posted on your progress.... Thanks!

God Bless
TW


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 12:13 am 
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I'm sorry to hear that, but in recent Suboxone news, they have approved the drug for Alcoholism. Turns out it blocks the effects in that too, so I would have to also wonder if there isn't more to his story....hmmm.

I hope things turn out okay, and he's lucky to have a friend that cares. That's a huge key, to getting and staying clean. Support. :D

Take Care, Amber


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