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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 9:04 pm 
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Imagine you started your Suboxone program and were given a fixed time-limit to stay on it.

When you start your treatment, you are told "You will have only a 24 week program, the first 16 weeks you will be stabilised, then you will be reduced over 8 weeks".

You are not given the choice to remain on Suboxone until you feel comfortable to reduce, and you are not given any freedom in the rate of your reduction. This is dictated and set at the start of your program.

You are discouraged from seeking your own help and support, counselling or groups, other than those specified to you by your doctor.

If the set program is not working for you, or you want to delay your taper until you are comfortable ... your results will not be included in the study.


You probably see where I'm going with this.

These relapse rate figures come from studies that are poor representations of the kinds of taper that are the norm here on Suboxforum. We tell people that their decision to taper and when to do it is theirs alone, as only they know when is the right time. People are supported here to take all the time they need, to slow their taper, or increase their dose if need be. And most people here now know that the most effective tapers happen over months and years, not weeks. And people are (most of the time) encouraged to get whatever extra help they need.

You know how sometimes we see people come here freaking out, saying "My doctor wants me off Suboxone in 2 months, and i'm FREAKING OUT!" I do feel for those people a bit, because we don't often see them come back. Now imagine how some of the people in these studies are feeling. And if they choose to leave the set program and increase their chances of success, their outcome isn't included in the study. Hmmm.

Quote:
49% of patients reduced their use of other opiates during the 12 week course of Suboxone treatment

Those study subjects who received concurrent substance abuse or mental health counseling did not have better outcomes than those who received no such counseling

After the Suboxone was discontinued at 12 weeks, study subjects began having high rates of relapse. The longer a person was off Suboxone the more likely they were to relapse. Eventually, just 8.9% of the study subjects maintained opiate abstinence


12 weeks? 8.9% is a REALLY good result for 12 weeks.

Most studies I've read were either 12 weeks or 24 weeks, which as we all know are dangerously short programs. The longest I believe was 6 months, which is also a dangerously short program. Studies are always of a limited time frame. The doctors are busy and need results, as do those that fund the studies, and the payoff comes sooner for the short duration studies.

Fact is, EVERY study I have read that people quote these disheartening figures from, don't reflect the way we here work our programs and tapers. In fact, they're a poor representation of how most people, suboxforum or otherwise, are having treatment these days. I'd even go as far as saying - I feel sorry for those people who have to go through these studies, when their chances would have been so much better had they made their own choices.

If I were a betting man, I'd bet all my savings ($3.50) that the people here have a much better chance at success than these studies claim.


Last edited by tearj3rker on Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:25 pm 
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I agree, quoting relapse rates after having been on Suboxone for a matter of only weeks is misleading.

The other thing I find misleading, as I have stated before, is the notion that a relapse seems to imply the addict goes back to drugs forever and never cleans up again. BUT, you also have to weigh the fact that ONE relapse can mean death for many addicts. How do we get the term "relapse" to really mean something??

Truthfully, I hate the term relapse. It's definition, as applied to any ORT replacement therapy, is basically useless, as far as I'm concerned. A relapse could mean the addict used for 1 day or for 10 years or they relapsed and OD'd. If the facts stated that 16 weeks on Suboxone meant a 90% chance of relapse and a relapse was 1 days use, then I'd be like, "hell ya, that's awesome." Obviously, if a relapse meant 10 years of using, I wouldn't be so enthusiastic.

The term relapse is WAY too broad in its meaning to be of any use, IMO.

A long term study of ORT with detailed results broken out would be fantastic, but who's going to sink all that money into learning about a bunch of addicts? Let's be real here, that's how the vast majority of the population sees us.....just a bunch of addicts.....and that's a crying shame.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:30 pm 
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I had a friend in a study. It was a paid study. It was for suboxone implant. When they were done w/ the study & the implant had ran out of potency, she was in SERIOUS withdrawl for 2 weeks before she finally realised what was going on with her. She went to an Urgent care where there was a doctor that could perscribe sub. They basically left her high and dry. No wonder the succes rate is low. I understand the need for these studies, however in my opinion many times their findings are whatever they choose to find. It can often be poorly structured. She is now drug free and back on a stable dose of suboxone, thank goodness. Well thats my 2 cents worth..


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 11:37 pm 
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i think it also depends on the treatment and how sevier the patient and doc makes the recovery and the meaning of an acute treatment. they are not thinking so much about the pain that limits the rellaps. but the patients interest in an acute matter. addiction to them is like having canser or sickle cell or somthing. so why worry about how much the patient suffers
and the long term out come, when they think the patient is strongly thinking about life or death. :?

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:31 pm 
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The pharma funded clinical trials are biased for sure in comparison to privately funded clinical trials. I just watched a documentary about this. You really can not believe most of what you read. I'd say these forums are truly as close as we are going to get to reciving real & correct information.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 9:36 pm 
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What blows me away is:

"49% of patients reduced their use of other opiates during the 12 week course of Suboxone treatment"

So....am I reading this wrong? Even with Suboxone, the majority of people (51%) did not even reduce their use of other opiates? I wonder what the percentage of people who actually eliminated their use of other opiates was, and to me, wording it like that comes off as an attempt to cloak the important figure, which is the rate of abstinence from other opiates while on Sub. 49% of people reducing their use of other opiates is just not as successful as I'd expect. Wow....

LT

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