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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 6:28 pm 
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Hi all! This is the first time ive actually reached out to talk to other people about my addiction and listen to other peoples stories. I've been on suboxone for alittle over 3 years now and im just now to the point of admitting its gotten the best of me. I was addicted to loratabs for almost 2 years right before i got on suboxone. I was taking amost 20 10mg lortabs a day right at the end. My suboxone doctor put me on 3, 8mg suboxones a day. Its been 3 years since then, and he now has me on 2 and a 1/2 8mgs a day. Is that normal?? It has definately broken me finacially and i dont know what to do anymore. I feel alone and depressed the majority of the time and im always searching for what my purpose is in this life..self help books only go so far. If anyone would like to give me their advice, i would greatly appreciate it.
thanks for listening!
Helena


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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 7:03 pm 
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Welcome to the forum. We are always excited to have new people arrive here and share with the rest of us. As far as what is "normal", that really can depend on the individual person. You then have to add to that the fact that different doctors have different ideas about how to treat opiate addiction with Suboxone. Some think it should not be used for more than a year, some think is should only be for detox and others are fine with keeping a patient on it for life. Again, all of these approaches may actually be very good - but it depends on the individual patient. Keeping someone on for life that only had a short stint abusing narcotics (say a month or two) may be over excessive. Then again, treating a 10-year abuser with only three months of Suboxone and then stopping it, often just leads to relapse.

As for your specific situation, I can tell you that from all that I have read, it appears that the current best practices limit the daily dose to no more than 16mg. In most cases this is more than enough Suboxone to work effectively. I can also tell you both from what I have read and from direct personal experience, that there is often very little between 16mg and say 8mg as far as how the patient feels. Many people report that they decrease their dose from 16mg to 12mg without really feeling any different. I have done down to 10mg and am about to drop to 8mg and I can assure you that I have not felt any different than I did when I was at 16mg. No withdrawals, no cravings, none of it. I can also tell you that some people report actually feeling better at lower doses than they do at higher doses.

Based on what I have just laid out, I would have to think that you might very well be able to look at reducing your dose without having any negative results. You may also want to consider what you long term plan is. Are you planning on staying on Suboxone for the rest of your life? Are you completing other treatment besides Suboxone? Do you go to meetings? Do you see a councilor? Depending on where you are at in your recovery, you very well may be ready to start tapering. Even if you do not think you are ready to stop your Suboxone entirely, it is very likely that you could taper down to a lower dose over time. I can certainly relate with the expense. While my insurance now covers my Suboxone for $40/month, at first I was paying about $350/month. Reducing my dose by half would have saved me $175 month.

I hope that gets you started. I would imagine others will be along to comment as well. You may also want to provide some additional information about yourself, your history, your current situation, etc.

Good luck as you keep moving forward.


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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 9:08 pm 
Welcome! I'm glad you reached out for support. Donh has already given you pretty much the exact reply that I would have given you, so I'll not repeat everything he just said. I have little to add actually. What I will say is that, unless you are on the Suboxone for pain control, there really is little or no scientific basis for remaining on as much as 20mg/day of Suboxone for 3 years. I just can't see a reason for it. Especially given that you had a 2 year hydrocodone habit, not a 20 year heroin habit.
Personally, I am one of the ones that donh referred to who actually felt better with a maintenence dose of ~8mg/day. For most anyone, that is a sufficient dose to keep the addiction in remission.
Having said that, I am NOT a doctor or an expert. There may well be a very good reason why your doctor has you on this dose. And everyone is different. So far be it from me to tell you what you should or shouldn't do with your treatment program. However, you are entitled to question your physician about your dose. Especially if you would like to eventually be medication free. I hope you'll discuss your concerns with your doctor and be able to work towards the goals you have in your recovery....whatever those may be. If it is Suboxone for life.....that's fine and good, but I can't see the need for you to have to spend big dollars for 2 1/2 tablets each day, when you could probably get by with 1 tablet each day....again, unless you're on it for pain control.
Hope you'll keep posting! And keep up the good work. I'm sorry you're feeling depressed too. Maybe a decrease in your dose would help with that, maybe not. In any case.....don't let those feelings persist indefinitely as there is help available. Perhaps counselling or an antidepressant would help. I hope it gets better for you. I really do.


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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 1:16 pm 
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Hello Helmartini,

Glad you found this place and all the support and experience that is available. I found some parallels in what you wrote and my own situation. I have a great doctor and am working on my addiction with him confidently. Your intake in the end was similar to my own and when I began my Suboxone program, the initial dose was 24 mg per day. I have been taking the drug for right at a year now and am comfortably down to 16 mg per day and hope to step down to 8 soon. I'm not trying to rush anything but I found that 24 mg per day was too much. Probably never heard an addict say that before but it was. I felt lethargic and spaced out and as the dose goes down, I feel better and better. I envision being on a small dose of this product for years to come. I am certainly not trying to give you medical advise but maybe you should try stepping down on the dose as it worked for me. Hope you get your life back. That's what we're all looking for here.


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