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PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2009 7:34 am 
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I was a horrific opioid addict for a few years. At my worst, I was doing 4 to 5 80mg Oxys AT A TIME. Towards the end, I had brought it down to two to three a day, but I woke one day to realize I was living a day by day search to catch a buzz, and was disgusted with myself. So I outpatient detoxed with Suboxone.

After a year on Suboxone (dr subscribed 8mg 2x day, but i never took more then 4mgs daily and was down to 2 mg daily until two weeks ago) I decided to quit. I tapered, as one should do. Not much withdrawals experienced, but things are just off a bit. Like reality is a copy, of a copy. Heres my issues:

1 - I cant sleep more then a few hours, if im lucky, per night. Nothing helps. Ive tried everything my doc perscribed.... ambien, Lunesta, somas, even xanax - which worked for a week or two and then stopped - and some natural remedies as well.

2 - Very vivid and complex dreams. Not a bad thing, as I have started to write them down when I wake and am amazed at the complexity and length of them.

3 - I have a live in girlfriend of two years, she knows about my previous opioid addiction and subsequent Suboxone treatment. On Suboxone, the sexual side effects would keep me from "finishing" 9 out of 10 times. Now that im off the drug, I last about as long as it takes to make some toast.

4 - I feel bloated still sometimes (which was a normal side effect when I was on the medication), and have slight digestive issues still.

Case in point. Opioids and Suboxone both are notorious for screwing with the GI track and messing with the chemicals in the brain that produce the drugs needed to be stable. I get this. Ive done some damage, and its going to take some time to get myself back to normal.

My question is simply how long is it going to take until im myself again? I doubt there is a concrete answer, but feedback would be appreciated.

One more thing, I refused to take SSRIs or similar medications as I just want to be normal and not dependent on drugs any longer. That is my desire, and I will suffer through the current daily issues gladly, as im no longer an addict, and feel better and better every day.

Thanx. And hang in there troops....


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 11:35 pm 
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i want to know that too


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 2:11 am 
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Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months or longer in severe cases. Symptoms usually fluctuate in severity and can by cyclical in nature.

I have been off Suboxone for about 6 weeks now and the sleep issue is resolving itself. I am able to sleep 6-8 hours a night without a sleep aid most nights and the vivid dreams are not as frequent or as intense. I wonder if being on Sub supresses dreaming and that's why dreams seem so crazy vivid upon stopping...just a thought.

One thing that's helped with my sleep is that I wake up at the same (early) time every day. I go to bed when I am tired and I don't sleep in even if I got to bed late. This sucked for a couple of weeks, but now I'm asleep by midnight and up at 7am every day.

GI issues resovled for me when I started drinking Kombucha tea. Tastes like crap but is strangely addictive and it fixed my digestive system. Also helps with energy and supports liver function.

If you have any unresolved mental health issues you will need to address them in some way before you'll feel like yourself again. You don't want to take SSRIs, which is totally understandable, but there are many other treatment modalities that you can look into. What works for me - yoga, meditation, accupuncture, writing, funny movies, spicy food- may not work for you. Part of the fun is figuring out what combo of things will get you where you want to be.

Anything that helps your brain produce endorphins is going to help you feel better faster. For me, having a goal that I'm working toward (starting back to school) and making taking care of myself a routine practice has helped a lot. Having fun is really important - and it does get easier.

Remember that what you're going through is temporary, but you do have to go through it. When it gets hard I remind myself that it's a process of self-discovery, as opposed to addiction which was a way I obscured myself. As long as you keep trying things, you'll figure out what works and you'll be good.

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You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.

-Jack Kornfield


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 4:28 pm 
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If my eyes are still dilated 9 weeks after stopping suboxone, is that acute withdrawal or PAWS???


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 2:01 pm 
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Dear NETTSQUID,

You sound like you're almost off the suboxone and at the end of your message you said you are feeling better day by day. That is excellent progress!! I am going to detox, not because I'm an addict but I've been on the Duragesic patches for about 7 years and the doctors want to see me off the patches so they can assess my real pain!

horselver


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 2:38 am 
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Nettsquid, I relate to your position, and it's hard to say what to do about a few of them. I like to take Immodium for bowel issues, and the sex thing really does suck, and I can only suggest one thing, (im being serious) if you know you're going to have to perform, rub one out prior to the time you need to perform (don't forget about refractory period). I had a hard time keeping it up when I was using opiates or suboxone... and withdrawals remind me of the Andy Samberg video "Jizz in my pants" (google it)

hiljebe wrote:
If my eyes are still dilated 9 weeks after stopping suboxone, is that acute withdrawal or PAWS???


This made me laugh, because are they dialated? or just normal? When I quit in January (before I started suboxone in february) i used to stare for litterally 20-30 minutes daily or so in amazement, because I had not seen my eyes look like that in as long as I could remember.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 11:59 pm 
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I have spent a number of years in sober recovery-- first got clean in '93, completely clean from substances until my relapse in 2000, then clean (totally- no suboxone) for over 7 years... during that time I attended meetings with addicts many, many times. I have met hundreds of opiate addicts over 16 years-- people who were not taking Suboxone. And I hate to say it, but nobody feels 'normal'. They aren't normal-- they have conditioned their brains to associate emotions with using, and worse, they have become much more focused on how their body feels-- more 'somatic'-- than 'normal' people. These things are NOT from brain damage; they are from the same process as all learning. I like to explain it as similar to riding a bike-- we learn a number of automatic postural adjustments that we don't even realize we are doing-- all as part of a learning process. And you cannot 'forget' how to ride a bike.

This issue is an area that in my opinion many people have wrong about Suboxone and opiates in general. There is no evidence for long term changes to the brain after chronic heroin use-- the receptor density, endorphin levels, etc are 'normal' by about six months out. But addiction does things to people. ADDICTION does it. Addiction causes a loss of intimacy, the development of a 'fake', second self that never goes away-- the ability to split yourself into 'this part' and 'that part' mentally, something that non-addicts don't tend to do.

You all are aware of the fact that there are meetings everywhere for addicts and alcoholics-- what do you think keeps the people coming back for years? They come back because they no longer feel 'normal'-- they cannot find happiness in life. This is due more to personality changes than to receptor changes.

Many of us know alcoholics and addicts who have been clean for twenty years. When you talk to them, you can see the difference in how they see life. I think it is almost PTSD; addicts go through things that most people don't. It is like being kidnapped for a few years-- would anyone expect such a person to ever be 'normal'? Or a cancer survivor-- would that person ever be 'normal' again?

The other thing is that even non-addicts struggle to find happiness throughout life. People who become addicts in their teens, when life is still fun and games, expect that fun feeling to return, and when it doesn't they blame Suboxone or endorphin levels. But look around you at the non-addicts, not on TV but in real life as they go to a job they fear losing. Life is NOT generally filled with happiness--- if you have happy moments, you are blessed.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2015 10:35 am 
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Dear SubDoc,
Would you be able to elaborate a bit on what happens in the brain, and receptors at six months post Suboxone?


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