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How do I tell my new girlfriend of 2 months about my sub use

Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:46 pm

I've been dating this girl for 2 months and really like her alot. I've been taking sub for about 4 years at least...it works well for me I've found. I usually tell girls before this time but she asked if I was addicted before and I said I'd been addicted to pills many years ago...which is true...just didn't know how to explain the subs yet. I'm sure she doesn't know much about them but she made a pretty big deal about addiction so I'm kinda nervous to see how she's going to react. I considered quitting instead of telling her...which I've considered before but now I'm thinking telling her should come first. Any ideas on whether I should tell her or how to explain would greatly be appreciated. I have a job that's very physically punishing so they help dull the pain instead of using painkillers and I'm more productive with subs. I have no side effects and take less than 1mg a day at night. She could easily never find out but I don't like to have secrets is all. Thank you, were going out this weekend so I'm looking forward to any good ideas, thanks Kurt

Re: How do I tell my new girlfriend of 2 months about my sub

Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:00 pm

Hi Kurt and welcome!

I understand why it's hard to explain to a new person in your life about addiction and what you are doing to stay in recovery.

One thing I would make understood is that you didn't become addicted to pain pills because you are a bad or immoral person. If you were, you wouldn't have told her about your addiction in the first place, because you know how judgmental people can be about addiction. I would give her information about addiction. I would let her know that certain people are genetically pre-disposed to addiction given certain circumstances. Then, when you use opioids for even legitimate purposes, the pleasure/reward circuits in your brain are changed by the drug. Once your brain is changed by addiction, it never goes away, so it needs to be managed.

I would tell her that you are one of the lucky ones because there is now a medication prescribed by doctors that puts your addiction into a remission of sorts. It's called buprenorphine, and what it does is it occupies the opiate receptors in your brain so that you can't feel the cravings for more opiates, which is what you would otherwise have to deal with. Because buprenorphine blocks those receptors, you could even shoot up heroin and it would affect you because the medication is so strong at blocking opiates.

She may ask how long you will be on this medication. You can tell her that you and your doctor have had discussions about this. Your doctor has said that since addiction to opiates is a lifelong condition, you should continue taking it, just like a diabetic will continue to take insulin. It's a chronic condition that requires that you take an active role in managing it.

I would then tell her that one of the reasons that you started taking pain pills was because you have problems with chronic pain. Your physical job causes stress on your (low back, neck, joints whatever you have pain from) and causes chronic pain in those areas. The great thing about buprenorphine is that it not only blocks powerful opiates that can cause an overdose, but it also provides some relief from chronic pain. Between buprenorphine and advil, your chronic pain is taken care of. Therefore your doctor wants you to stay on buprenorphine for the time being. And since the medication doesn't impair your mind or cause side effects, you are a good candidate to stay on buprenorphine for now.

You can also explain that there are people who work in the addiction treatment industry who badmouth suboxone/buprenorphine online and in articles, because when people are on an effective medication like buprenorphine, they don't need to go to 30 to 90 day residential rehabs which often cost upwards of 30K a month. This segment of the treatment industry is so afraid of losing revenue that they will say negative things about this medication that works much better than residential treatment. It's a fact that 90% or more of addicts undergoing abstinence based treatment will relapse on their drug of choice quickly after they graduate from the treatment program. And since the tolerance of these opiate addicts is way down after 30 days of abstinence, many relapse on their regular dose and die because that amount is now too much for them.

You might want to have her look up the NIDA website www.drugabuse.gov This site is filled with scientific information about addiction. There are now many scientific studies that prove the efficacy of buprenorphine for opiate addicts. NIDA has done a ton of research on how addiction changes the brain and what addicted people are up against. I find it to be a valuable website for people who don't have a great understanding on how addiction works.

I hope that anything I am suggesting ends up being helpful to you. It is the truth as I have studied it for graduate school.


Re: How do I tell my new girlfriend of 2 months about my sub

Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:48 pm

Wow, ok that was so helpful Amy...you put it down exactly how I feel. I really appreciate your time, this is my first post I just signed on today as i wanted to make sure she understood exactly why I'm taking this medication. I may just tell her I asked a question on this forum on how to explain to her and read your response to her...seeing that you have studied it and are a well informed source of real information, once again thank you so much, I'll tell how it goes, Kurt

Re: How do I tell my new girlfriend of 2 months about my sub

Sat Mar 10, 2018 5:52 am

You're welcome, Kurt. I hope it goes well and definitely let us know.


Re: How do I tell my new girlfriend of 2 months about my sub

Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:16 pm

So I stayed the night with her last night and while laying in bed in a natural bliss...lol yes after we did that, I reached for my nightly sliver of sub paper. I couldn't find it so I told her I'm looking for my medicine I take nightly. She asked what's that...so I told her like you said it occupies my receptors instead of getting me high it stabilizes them while also keeping them from crying when I'm in pain. She seemed to be relieved when I said it doesn't get me high...which I forgot to mention till the end . Anyways, she seemed to understand and we went on yapping about other things...she woke me up with a kiss and hasn't mentioned it again so hopefully it won't ever be an issue even if I decide to stay on it for life. Time will tell, but thank you so much for giving me the info and nudge I needed...you seem like an angel honestly...I wish you the best and I'll be around, thank you so much, Kurt

Re: How do I tell my new girlfriend of 2 months about my sub

Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:07 am

I'm sure there are plenty around here that don't consider me to be an angel. Lol. But thank you for using such a kind term about me.

The thing is that I do have an empathetic heart for those who are struggling and I'm a very strong advocate for this medication that turned my life around so completely. I believe that it gives us back our potential where once stood a brick wall. It is imperative to me that we spread the word that this is a viable and valuable way to manage our addiction. Not everyone is in the position to be "out" about suboxone, but, fortunately, I am. So I do what I can.

Your girlfriend may have more questions about suboxone. I think having the attitude of "this is what I think, but let's research it together," can alleviate worry on her part and make you more of a team. Your attitude of openness and honesty will be what proves to her that you are managing your addiction well.

You are always welcome here if you have additional questions, Kurt. :)


Re: How do I tell my new girlfriend of 2 months about my sub

Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:26 am

Ok good thought Amy, I will definitely have that attitude then, I agree completely that would sound best and I hope we can be a team. I'm also overly empathetic and sensitive...I like to be totally honest in relationships so and keep no secrets so I'm happy I have none now at least. Thanks again, you're the best I don't care what anyone says;) Kurt