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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 4:06 pm 
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Hi,

I've been on this forum for about a month know pretty regularly. It's awesome! There is a wealth of info on here and some very helpful people.

I've been thinking about this a lot the past few days. I spent the weekend with my sister and she is a therapist at the eating disorder ward in her hospital. She is obviously concerned about me dealing with the underlying issues that have led me towards substance abuse over the past ten years. I'm interest in seeing how therapy might help, but to be honest I feel like it is very hard to change just by talking about stuff. I know a therapist can help you identify the source of your issues, but I feel like I have a pretty good grasp on why I act the way I do and what issues have made me who I am today. It does help me feel better when I talk about whats going on in my life. That seems to only provide temporary relief though. I know there are things I need to work on to get to be where I want to be. Which leads me to my question.

When and why should I ever get off Suboxone?

I've only been on it for a month and I'm happier and more motivated than to work on who I am than I have been in a very long time. I mean I was very happy in my last relationship, but I was on drugs and I know I treated my ex like drug in many ways. So, I don't really count that. I'm alone now and I'm functioning well. I'm getting my life back together. Suboxone has been very helpful in treating the kind of mild depression and apathy I have been dealing with since I was in high school. I'm 25 by the way. I want to continue to feel this way. I don't care if I have to take a pill to be who I want to be. It's like my Dad used to say "Why work hard when you can work smart?". Why go through the pain of withdrawal and deal with the depression while I search to find peace with myself without Suboxone when I have all those things with it. That's the impression I get from reading some of your Suboxone withdrawal stories. It sounds like that even when you feel you are ready and you get off this stuff your real battle is still ahead of you. The battle to find yourself as an unmedicated individual.

I know a lot of you have the ultimate goal of getting off this stuff and you have all been on it for much longer than I have. Is there something I'm missing here? Does this stuff wear on you after a while? I have read some place's that there is a "honeymoon" phase and at some point all my underlying issues will surface again even with the Suboxone. Is there any truth to that?

Thanks for listening!


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 4:24 pm 
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I think that is a question everyone has to answer for themselves. You sound happy for now so it sounds like your decision is to stay on it for now. Given you haven't been on it that long, I would continue to give yourself a break and keep taking it.

One of my failures was NOT to continue in therapy while I was on suboxone. I always thought there would be time for that if I felt like I needed it. But having come off of it, I realize I needed the therapy. Even if I know why I do the things I do, I am pretty sure I don't know how to fix or change that on my own. It is good to have the insight of someone else with my best interest in mind. So here I am now trying to get "caught up" so I don't screw up. Not real smart and real difficult. Why work harder when you can work smarter right? I have my own set of issues though and none of that may apply to you.

I don't recall a honeymoon stage. I do think that while on it, things were so easy for me that I lost some of that natural struggle people have that makes them look inward and look to improve. Hindsight is 20/20 and I would do a lot of things differently now. Although the way I did things is not the best way, I am also glad I went off of it because it did open my eyes to the fact that I have a few issues to deal with. It has really made me look myself in the mirror.

In trying to decide if I wanted to go back on suboxone or not, I researched all over the internet trying to find some good reason not to. I asked my husband. I asked people on here. I really couldn't find any long term side effects or any reasons that would suggest to me it was a bad idea. In doing that research I also learned a lot.

Now for some there are side effects that aren't tolerable and unfortunately for men I think the lowered testosterone levels could be one of them. But I think you can do hormone replacement therapy too.

At least you are really thinking about these things which is good. I know I was all too ready to listen to anyone telling me I really didn't have to do anything but take the little orange pill. I am not sure life is so simple...unless you are planning on taking it for the rest of your life. Then maybe it is.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 5:01 pm 
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I guess I didn't make it clear in ramblng about therapy that I intend to start seeing a therapist. I do like talking things out and I am starting to feel guilty for constantly bringing my issues to family and close friends. I do feel really good about how I'm able to respond to life on Suboxone, but I'm not saying I'm content with who I am at all. I want to continue trying to improve myself and if therapy can to that I'm all for it. I just don't see know why I would ever get off of it and I would definately not get off of it because I felt I needed to live life without a pill. There would have to be some kind of long term side affect like you are talking about. If I started to slowly turn into a women then I would probably want to get off of it...lol!


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 5:07 pm 
The original post here by WhoDat and the reply by Jackcrack are fantastic!
One the first things that came to my mind for all who read this thread is to read a couple of posts in the "Stopping Suboxone" section - Diary of a Quitter's post called "positive things about stopping Suboxone" and MWFlorida's post called "Who, Why and Then What." Those are just a couple of the many wonderful posts on this forum about going off Suboxone/Subutex.
It's a tough question and indeed one that must be asked and answered individually. I think most all of us grapple with the question to some degree.
WhoDat, for you, right now is not probably your time to even be thinking much about it. I know for me, the first couple of months on Suboxone were what I would refer to as a honeymoon phase. I just remember feeling so free and so normal, the best I had felt in a long, long time. So for now, just enjoy your new found freedom from the obsession to use opiates and then begin to pursue other methods of getting better. There are so many options to consider - therapy being one of the possibilities which may help you immensely.
I think there are so many things that play into this.....your personal history, your substance abuse issues, your over all health (physical and psychological), just so many variables that it almost seems imperative that we have help from a professional in navigating our way through it all.
Something that I have thought a lot about is whether our age when we began abusing substances plays much of a role in whether or not we might be successful in coming off bupe and doing okay long term. There are a lot of people who began using substances as a coping method while still in their teens or early twenties. If that is the case......what is the likliehood that those individuals ever acquired healthy coping skills at all? Has substance abuse done its damage to the point that it will be more difficult for those individuals to maintain sobriety without medication or a lifetime of recovery-centered living? I would love to know the answer to that.
I, on the other hand, had zero substance abuse issues until I was over 40 years old. Nor did I have any mental health issues. My life was about as "normal" as it could get. That being the case, I've spent a lot of time looking back in an effort to figure out where it all went so wrong with my opiate addiction. Does the fact that I spent the great majority of my life in this "normal" state make any difference at all when it comes to my recovery from addiction? Again, I would love to know.
What I have come to conclude thus far in terms of how long I will remain on Suboxone is that I don't know......it takes as long as it takes. I've been on the medication for almost 8 months now and am now taking 3-4mg/day. Some days I feel confident in tapering and proceeding off the medication at some point and on other days, I'm not sure at all. I'm definitely out of the honeymoon phase but I still feel I need the medication. I need the reassurance that I can't use full-agonist opiates to feel "good." I definitely am in not in the position to deal with withdrawal. I just know myself well enough to know that now is not my time to be off the medication. What I have decided to do for now is.......not to decide! My doctor and I believe Dr. Junig and others have said that we are definitely NOT ready to go off bupe if we still think about it much. To me, that means that until Suboxone is something that is not my first (or even second or third) thought at the beginning of my day nor at the end of my day, I am not ready to quit taking it. I think I will have to be at a point in my life where all the issues have been dealt with and I no longer think about Sub or other meds much at all, before I even consider trying life without it.
So....it isn't today and it's not going to be tomorrow either! I just have to take it one day at a time. My goal is not to get off Sub as quickly as I can. Rather it's to live my life as best I can, substance free except for my Suboxone. When I start getting wrapped up in much else, I get into trouble!!
Anyway.....again, great question! We all have to answer it for ourselves. Great to be able to come here and talk about it!


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 Post subject: Another thought
PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 5:38 pm 
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Jack, SMF, thanks so much for you thoughts on this topic.

I have some more food for thought. I've spent my teens and early twenties trying to escape. I also feel like I was self medicating in alot of ways particularly when I finally started to use opiates. Like everyone else here I fell in love with the way I felt on opiates. I felt like I was better in all social situations and the depression disappeared. I feel much of the same way on Suboxone. The onlything different is I don't get high. I saw something resently about clinical studies using Suboxone to treat depression. I wonder why opiates haven't been developed more towards treating depression. Obviously, I know nothing about pharmisuticals. Or how to spell it...lol. I can't help thinking they are perfect for treating depression. They make you feel good. IDK. I would love to hear a professional opinion on this.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 9:01 pm 
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WhoDatNOLA - your 2nd post made me laugh my ass off. If I slowly started to turn into a man I would probably consider it too, but not until after I had the opportunity to experience the male orgasm. Just sayin' :lol:


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 9:45 pm 
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Yeah. I don't think your missing thing. From my experience y'all have better ones than us anyway. :wink:


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