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PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2015 6:56 pm 
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Hi

My husband and I got married a month ago. When we met 5 years ago, he was
loving and sweet but sometimes got moody and depressed. I noticed his
pupils were really small. So I asked him about drugs. He explained that he
was on a methadone maintenance program as the injuries he suffered 10 years
prior led to an oxy addiction. He was married then with children and did
not want to lose time from work, so the doctors suggested methadone.

I was shocked that any doctor would keep a person on methadone that long. I
questioned him and got him to another doctor, who got him off the methadone
and on suboxone. Big difference. no more mood swings, just his wonderful
self all the time.

The doctor said he would give him about a year on suboxone while weaning
him down.

At the time he was working so hard and not taking care of his health that
he got diabetes.

I said for him to take a leave of absence and eat properly and rest. His
doctor said this would be a good time to stop the subs as he was going to
stop working for a while.

It gave him a month til the wedding. It was nervewracking because he wanted
to give me a wonderful wedding. so he pushed through.

We got married and it was terrific. But I know he is still not feeling too
well. Lack of sleep, depression, not feeling motivated and he is feeling
the pain of his injuries.

He told me he does not feel any craving for drugs.

But he said he feels the suboxone helped regulate the pain and made him
emotionally feel happier.

He has gotten the diabetes in better control with diet, and is back to
work. He said if he does not feel better in a month he wants to consider
going back on suboxone.

He said he is 50 and does not want to lead a life where he feels depressed.

He admitted that he felt better on Suboxone than even prior to the accident
when he was never on anything.

I do not know what to say. To me it seems like he finally broke free from
meds and if he is not craving medication why go back on a drug for that??

I am really confused. I love him and want him to be happy but want him to
give his body a chance to heal.

Any thoughts or advice? I am really concerned.
thanks!


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2015 9:40 am 
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Hi katow and welcome. Did your husband get to have a year on Suboxone, or did he go off earlier because of the opportunity to be home from work? Also, how long has he been off now? Wasn't sure exactly from your story. Those variables are very important in a decision like this.

It's a really tough call. No one here can tell you what would be right, and even if we could, you can't really make the decision for him.

For me, I felt great the first year on Subs and didn't start to have unmanageable side effects until the second year, so if I had only stayed on Sub a year or less I would have said how great it was. I went on Sub a second time (for me it was because of drug craving and relapsing). I regretted going back on it, and found it harder to go off the second time. But that's just me and everyone is different. (And I'm a big baby).

Others, that I'm sure will respond soon, have been on Sub for years, feel great, don't have troubling side effects, and some use it to manage their pain. It could work that way for your husband, and if so, he wouldn't have to face the prospect of going back on painkillers I'd his pain flares up.

Another thing that stood out to me from your account was that he pushed through getting off, and was able to do what he needed to do while going through it. He also got off long term methadone, which is a VERY tough transition. That suggests to me that if he DOES go back on, and after a period of time decides it wasn't the right decision, he will be able to taper back off.

It sounds like he wants to go back on, although if he has only been off a short period of time he may be going through PAWS, which would explain why he's feeling shitty. IMO, it's easier than methadone (and from what I've heard, easier to get off), It's certainly better than getting back on painkillers, it's better than being in pain - and it's not all or nothing. He can change his mind later. Many of us have to face the prospect of being on a med for the rest of our lives - for various conditions. So that's definitely shouldn't be the deciding factor.

He sounds like a good man. I wish you both well. I'm sure others will reply - it's been a little slow around here lately.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2015 10:14 am 
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Thank you for your response. He had been on suboxone a little over a year after having been on methadone about ten years.

He has been off everything for about 2 months. I think he just needs more time to adjust..learn to sleep better, get used to being chemical free etc.

I am just hoping he lets his body work to heal itself.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2015 10:49 am 
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Not having cravings is a big plus when someone goes off suboxone, cause that can definitely be an issue, so he's good in that area. What concerns me, like Lilly said, is that he also used it to help control his pain and he's still having pain. You'd definitely not want him in so much pain that he goes bk to pain medication, suboxone would be a much better alternative than that. I think it's pretty normal though for him to still be feeling kinda bad, that part will get better it just takes time and everyone is different.

I completely understand why u want him to wait longer and give himself more time. I've been on suboxone for yrs and stopping isn't something I'm ready for or may never be ready, everyone is different. If for some reason he does decide to start taking it again, just know that it's not a sign of weakness and addiction is a life long disease, it never goes away. U can stay in recovery but he's always gonna be an addict. Lot's of ppl go off sub and realized they needed to be bk on it, then there's ppl who stayed off. I think ur supportive of ur husband 100% or u wouldn't have came here seeking answers. It's tough being the spouse of an addict, in recovery or not. Whatever choice he makes will be what he thinks is best for him, you'd never want to see him fall bk into addictive behavior because his pain was too much to handle.

Good luck, and ur hubby is lucky to have someone who cares enough to go searching for answers.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2015 4:27 pm 
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He has been taking opiates for a loug loug time. His brain is screeming for it.
The fact is Buprenorphine isn t vreat for pain but better than to go on full agonst. Imo.

We do know that studies have been done, and a new antidepressant containing Buprenorphine is being developed
for the depressed.

If he feels happier on sub than off, if it helps his overall attitude, imo after all this time on meds, then back on bupe is a good way to live.

It would be wonderful if we could all live drugfree, be happy, but many people need help. My hope
is that he does what is best for him...


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2015 7:23 pm 
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Thanks for the post!
After years of addiction, our brains change and have been "rewired" differently now. I am in my 50's and I don't know if I will ever be off Subs. I just take it like my BP meds and go on with day. It is no embarrassment to have to stay on Subs.
Hang in there
Happy


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2015 8:12 pm 
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thank you all so much. Helps me put things in perspective. He is an amazing man and works really hard to make me happy. I just want him to feel happy again. But I want him to make the right decision for his long term health. You hear stories about Suboxone having long term issues and you just do not know what to believe!
thank you again!


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2015 8:13 pm 
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I think that most people who do not know much about opiate addiction are under the impression that it is always possible and always preferable to have an abstinent-based recovery. This was the only way that recovery was approached for a very long time. You know how you've heard plenty of stories about people relapsing, then ODing on opiates? That's because abstinence-based recovery has about a 95% relapse rate. When opiate addicts are on suboxone that number falls to about 33%.

It's great that your fiance doesn't have cravings right now, but unfortunately, that doesn't mean he will never develop them. Opiate addiction changes the pleasure/reward circuits in your brain and the changes are permanent. He will always be an addict, like JennJenn said.

And yes, if he has chronic pain issues the suboxone will help him and let him live without pain. It seems as though he does well on suboxone. I've been on for four years without any major side effects and I often need it for pain relief as well. It has very good analgesic properties if taken every 6 hours or so. Whenever I'm having migraine, neck pain, or even a bad sore throat I switch from taking my suboxone once a day and split my dose to 3 or 4 times a day.

Amy

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2015 8:17 pm 
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katow wrote:
thank you all so much. Helps me put things in perspective. He is an amazing man and works really hard to make me happy. I just want him to feel happy again. But I want him to make the right decision for his long term health. You hear stories about Suboxone having long term issues and you just do not know what to believe!
thank you again!


I definitely understand you wanting the best for him. The only long term affects that have been proven (I think) is that opiates can cause lowered testosterone. Some of our male members have gone on prescription testosterone to combat this side effect. And it's true that some people do not do well on long term suboxone, but it seems that your guy does do well. Like Lily I also think that if he needed to get off of it at a later time, he has the fortitude to do it. :)

Amy

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2015 9:58 pm 
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A bunch of great comments! My thought after reading the original post was 'how would you feel about him taking medication for blood pressure for the rest of his life?'

As several people said, living 'free of chemicals' is an ideal to some people. But in this modern world, almost all of us rely on 'chemicals' in one way or another. Some people take vitamin supplements-- which are concoctions of 'chemicals' that the body uses for certain chemical processes. Some people take 'chemicals' that block the normal release of acid by the cells lining the stomach-- chemicals like omeprazole-- so that the acid doesn't burn holes in the lining of the stomach. Some people take chemicals that bind to receptors on the muscle cells lining small arteries, making those muscles relax, which causes the blood vessels to widen and lower blood pressure. Some people take chemicals that block the pathways that turn fats into complex substances called 'cholesterol', so that those substances don't accumulate in the lining of blood vessels in the heart.

You get the idea I'm sure...

Realize also that as recently as the early 1800's, the average lifespan was about 40(!) Life is hard. And being addicted to opioids makes life harder-- and increases the risk of death. There is now a medication that reduces that risk. Beyond that, I can't even imagine how difficult life must be for those who wake with significant pain every day. If ingesting a chemical once or twice per day makes life more enjoyable, I have a hard time seeing the downside.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2015 11:55 am 
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Hi Katow, First, congratulations! Marriage is a wonderful thing! My husband and I just celebrated our 7th anniversary! Your husband is so lucky to have you in his corner! What stands out in all you said, to me, is the depression. It is a dark life to have to live with the symptoms of depression every day! If you think he is experiencing the depression as a symptom of withdrawl from the suboxone than that will get better and change with time. But, if he has suffered from depression in the past, and in fact, the suboxone helped treat the depression, then, imo, he should stay on the suboxone. Suboxone has helped me three-fold! 1. Addiction, 2. Pain from osteoarthritis, and 3. Depression associated with menopause. If the suboxone is helping to treat his depression, he is way ahead of the game! Depression meds take weeks to get working at a level where the depression starts to lift and most people need to experiment with several different meds before they find what works best for them. So, I say take the suboxone! Please, keep us informed as to how he is doing and welcome to this forum! There is a wealth of information here!


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2015 3:28 pm 
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Could he maybe try and get a temporary Prozac prescription from his Physician in order to fight his depression? You're right, the Suboxone was a band-aid for a period of time but he recovered and that was the whole goal.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2015 4:08 pm 
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Katow, I don't want to be combative in the least, but I'm trying to understand what you mean by this: "I am just hoping he lets his body work to heal itself." What do you think that would look like? If he had uncontrolled high cholesterol would you suggest that he avoid medication and let his body work to heal itself?

Sometimes it seems to be important to spouses that their partner make them look good. I went through this myself! We've been married over 18 years now and it was very hard for me at first to get over the fact that my husbands grammar is old school native Colorado. "It don't mean anything." or "That care will go a hundred mile an hour." It would embarrass me when meeting new people or my family members that his grammar was incorrect. It took a few years of me putting my head down and shutting up (because I wasn't going to lecture him) to realize that new people love my husband! He is more popular at my family gatherings than I am! Once I saw him through their eyes it was easier for me to know that the grammar didn't matter. What mattered is that he is a hard worker and a loyal family man. He makes me and other people laugh. He is fun to play games with. He may sometimes be a grouch at home, but people notice that he's always smiling and friendly when he is out. He can fix just about anything and he's a good father.

Katow, what I'm trying to say is that maybe you feel a little embarrassed by the fact that your husband may have a better recovery if he is on this opiate based medication. It's easier to tell people that he has been abstinent since (whenever) than that he is on a medication to help him stay in recovery. Number one, it's nobody's business besides your husband. Number two, your husband is in recovery with sub just like he's in recovery with abstinence. No one ends up winning a prize at the end of their life for living an abstinent based recovery versus a non-abstinent recovery. The win is in the fact that your husband behaves like a non-addict. He isn't stealing, lying, cheating, scamming to get drugs. He is picking his sub up once a month and taking it daily as prescribed.

Many 50 year olds are dependent on medication because something has gone wrong with their bodies. As I've said, it is scientifically proven that addiction causes changes in the brain. The changes make it more likely that your husband will relapse. It doesn't make a person bad to be dependent on a medication they need to live a full life.

I hope for your husband's sake and yours that you accept his desire to get back on a medication that takes away his pain and keeps him from relapsing. I think you need to accept his assessment of the situation and not worry about whether his recovery is based in abstinence or suboxone. I urge you to check out the many facets of this website: https://www.drugabuse.gov/ It's the website for the National Institute on Drug Abuse. There is so much research happening in the field of addiction. NIDA is at the forefront of the research into the brain on drugs or alcohol. There is so much good information there.

Amy

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2015 4:21 pm 
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wmann5 wrote:
Could he maybe try and get a temporary Prozac prescription from his Physician in order to fight his depression? You're right, the Suboxone was a band-aid for a period of time but he recovered and that was the whole goal.


Hey wingman, who said anything about the suboxone being a band-aid for a period of time? I couldn't find that phrase anywhere in the OP's original post.

I want to let members know about something. So I'm speaking to everyone but wmann5.

Sometimes when a member like tomhunter discredits himself in front of the entire forum, like he did yesterday in Q & A with an attempt to dig at Dr. Junig, that member will decide to create a new persona right away that is going to support his original agenda, but try to fly under the radar for a while. Many people who disagree with a suboxone based recovery will come here in different forms and try to undermine the idea of medication assisted therapy (MAT). Typically the reason is because a form of MAT didn't work for them or a loved one, or they have it in their heads that abstinence-based recovery is the only true recovery, and it upsets their sensibilities to have a website that is telling people that MAT is legitimate recovery. Like it takes away from their abstinence-based recovery that others have a different kind. A bit snobby, I think. Anyway, I just wanted our members to realize that if a member leaves with a grudge, they often come back like the next day with a new name.

wmann5, I apologize for making that public service announcement in my reply to your post, especially since I'm sure that you are here to be a productive, helpful member. Not at all like I was mentioning above. So, sorry for the intrusion and welcome to the forum! :)

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2015 3:23 am 
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Welcome Katow,
It's very clear your post is written out of a deep and beautiful love you share with your husband.
Your concern that he may return to ORT is a typical response by someone unfamiliar with addiction. I'm glad you have found us because it will benefit you to better understand the permanency of addiction. Understandably, it sounds like the stigma of ORT is the driving force of your concerns. Like DR junig highlighted, most wouldnt agonise over taking " chemicals " to relieve a medical issue. Addiction is classified as chronic brain disorder.
Given your husband has chronic pain and unrelenting depression? (maybe associated with WD)suboxone would be the safest option to treat all three? chronic issues.
Ultimately it is his choice but it sounds like he needs your your support to make this happen.
I jumped off methadone because I believed I no longer needed to treat my addiction. I suffered many months of suicidal type depression that was only relieved by relapsing on opiates and later on being stable on suboxone.
If you can get your head around a drug that puts cravings into remission and can effectively treat pain and depression, your husband might just get the relief he is hoping for,
Take care Katow and please stay in touch!


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2015 10:30 am 
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Hi All, a temporary prozac prescription? This advice makes me nervous on so many levels! First, depression is never treated temporarily. Second, prozac and most antidepressants take a while before you begin to feel some relief from the depression. To suggest that someone just jump on prozac temporarily does not really work. And, if you make this suggestion just based on your negative feelings about suboxone, do you really think prozac is an easier way to go? There are many reports about people being on prozac and becoming increasingly agitated and/or suicidal. I am not anti prozac, just pointing out that it too has side effects as does almost any pharmaceutical.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2015 6:14 pm 
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Hi .. This is my first post in this forum . I may help you with a little insight . And I will say there were some good posts above mine. I was on methadone like your husband for 10 years maybe a little more. I briefly jumped off at the 5 year mark only to struggle and within a month started using street drugs. Although we are not sure but at that time we believe I contracted HCV , But more on that another time. When I finally got off the methadone my life was a very lonely place despite being married with three kids. I felt a lot like your husband. Not quite right and I also have some neck injuries which led to my second relapse post Methadone Treatment.

I don't think you realize the fact that your husband could fall into the Opiate trap door that could take his life with a OD or a disease that can be hard or impossible to cure. The depression that comes with long time opiate use is real and in my experience can only be relieved by taking a opiate . Let your husband live a quality life. I have been on Suboxone for 5 years .. The best fie years of my life. I can do all things I used to do . I am married and a father .. I have been cured of my HCV and I have no noticeable pain from my injuries . There is nothing wrong with the medication . People take it every day to get through their lives in a tolerable way. From the first time I took opiates as a 17 year old kid (I am 48 now) I have never been right. The Methadone worked well but to tightly regulated for my lifestyle . The suboxone will get your husband out of his funk and will let him enjoy your company on a more level playing field and will only befit the both of you !


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2015 6:57 pm 
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Great post steelslayer!!! Welcome.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2015 11:28 pm 
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Hi there please let us know how things are going for you guys. As you can see there is a wealth of information and support on this forum.


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