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 Post subject: Am I impaired on subs?
PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2016 9:49 pm 
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Hi guys. I am a 29 year old male who has been on bupe for about a year now. I am on 4 mgs 2x a day, and it has saved my life. It has helped me with so many things like depression, w/d, and in just helping me to rebuild my life. But sometimes I wonder if I look impaired or messed up to other people. I mean usually I feel normal and not high, but every now and then I do get a buzz. I am just worried that people think I look high. Is this something that I am just imagining or has anyone else ever wondered this?


Last edited by jayfromjersey on Sat May 21, 2016 10:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2016 10:07 pm 
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I haven't heard an account like yours from any of the 700-plus people I've treated with buprenorphine over the past 11 years. And why would anyone report such an effect? The opioid effect of buprenorphine is far lower than the tolerance of most opioid users, save people who were taking a few Vicodin per day... and the partial agonism of buprenorphine (AKA the ceiling effect) prevents any greater effect at mu receptors, even if your blood level of buprenorphine went up for some reason (which by itself would be unusual).

In other words, I wonder where your 'good buzz' is coming from?! Be sure to check your carbon monoxide detectors!!


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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2016 11:34 pm 
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I bet Jay is just "high on life"!

I never feel "high" or impaired on my medication. If I did I would have a very difficult time with my grad school classes.

I've never had anyone tell me I look high.

Amy

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PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2016 7:53 am 
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It absolutely does not make me look high or anyone else that I've been around that's on suboxone either lol. And if you've been taking suboxone for a year, what kind of high can u get off sub that you'd consider a "good high"? Can u honestly compare it to a full opiate high like u had before, if u can then ur tolerance was pretty low to start sub treatment. I just don't like the message being put out there that we're all walking around with a big ole buzz on suboxone because it's simply not the case with me.

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PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2016 8:16 am 
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I agree with you guys. No buzz here either! Now I will say the other day I had way too much caffeine and had a horrible jittery caffeine buzz. Maybe that's what he is talking about. If so I would not even compare that to any kind of opiate high ! :lol: . It was terrible. Lol . I don't even like the word high used in the same conversation as bupe. It is just not the way it works and people easily get the wrong idea!! We have enough stigma and bad press with bupe. We don't need anyone claiming to get high from our medication.

Willow


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PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2016 8:58 am 
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Your pupils definitely get a little bit pinned on bupe because it is still an opiate. And I noticed that I laughed a lot less on bupe than I do now. So yes if I know the person well, I can tell whether they are on it or not. But to the stranger on the street, no they probably can't tell.


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PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2016 10:29 pm 
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No buzz, but slightly pinned pupils. Only those who know what to look for can pick it though. Ie, people at an NA meeting, my prescribing doctor, and (unfortunately) some switched on police, which has led to some forum members getting into trouble when pulled over.


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PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2016 11:39 pm 
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I remember no buzz and grateful for none bc it set me apart and away from abusing days and needing to chase the buzz/high.

Nice to hear from you TeeJay!! I was thinking about checking in on you given your gray season there and your recent thread.

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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2016 5:59 am 
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Hi Jay from Jersey, Can you explain with a little more detail exactly what you mean? I do get a feeling but it is not buzzed or high. It is just a normal, comfortable feeling that my life is back and in my control. That is the best way for me to explain it. Sometimes, I am sleepy but not anything a cup of coffee or 10 minute walk can't handle! And, sorry to be so detailed, however, the week leading up to "that time of the month" I am spacey,clumsy, and grouchy but that has been going on long before suboxone! Maybe, if you talk about it a little more, we will understand what you are feeling. Have a wonderful day!


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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2016 5:10 pm 
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Well first off I have to say I am pleased by all the responses on here, that was a suprise. I was not expecting so much feedback. But anyway I think the issue I am having is the question of "what do other people think of me in genera?l" and "do other people know about my past issues with drugs?"
I am in a training program for work and the issue of drug tests are going to eventually become a reality and I am just not sure what I should do about it. My instructor actually asked me last week if I was on any prescription drugs or If I have ever taken drugs in the past and I just pretty much lied. Also I do kind of wonder about the pupils. And I don't really ever get a buzz or feel high from bupe, to be honest its not something I enjoy taking very much, although it has saved my ass. I just know that there is a stigma out there and I am not sure if I can get away with not telling them, or if they will find it in my system. I don't feel as though I should disclose that to my employer. Does anyone have any experiences with this issue?


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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 8:34 pm 
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I will leave others to comment and stand by my earlier remark. I just don't see it... I work on the side at a methadone clinic (I think this is the first time I've disclosed that fact-- I started several months ago) and even there, where people are on an agonist, effects on pupils are hard to find. The constriction of pupils by opioids is subject to tolerance, just like the other effects of opioids. As part of the intake process I examine patients, looking at pupil diameter under typical office lighting (flourescent light bulbs), and also while shining a flashlight into the eyes. For the vast majority of patients, pupil diameter is the same from one person to the other, regardless of time since last dose. Yes, people with slurred speech have 'pinned' pupils... and people in severe withdrawal have dilated pupils. But I would bet that nobody can tell whether a person is on buprenorphine based on pupil size-- or based on any other metric, for that matter.

I've heard people describe feeling a subtle sense of relaxation after taking buprenorphine. Maybe those people were at the edge of withdrawal, and then felt better. But that is a far cry from getting 'buzzed' from buprenorphine. And yes, I get a bit defensive about the issue-- because there are many people out there, in law enforcement and AODA treatment and elsewhere, who claim people on buprenorphine are not really 'clean.' When that BS argument wins, people die.... so we need to be careful when we describe what happens on or off the medication.


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PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2016 3:20 am 
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jayfromjersey wrote:
Hi guys. I am a 29 year old male who has been on bupe for about a year now. I am on 4 mgs 2x a day, and it has saved my life. It has helped me with so many things like depression, w/d, and in just helping me to rebuild my life. But sometimes I wonder if I look impaired or messed up to other people. I mean usually I feel normal and not high, but every now and then I do get a good buzz. I am just worried that people think I look high. Is this something that I am just imagining or has anyone else ever wondered this?


Yes. And that is very interesting. When I first started taking Suboxone, I got all these weird side effects. And still experience most of them. And by reading these forums, I've realized that what I'm experiencing is very unique to me, since no one else had experienced what I was going through when I first started. I found that to be quite disconcerting. Also, there were some symptoms that other people experienced that I didn't. I chalked that up to a person's individual body chemistry. But surely I figured there has to be someone somewhere that has experienced or is experiencing what I'm going through. And this sensation that you mention, IIRC, has only been mentioned once or twice. What I find amazing is that not a lot of people are experiencing it. It's a nice, pleasant sensation. One of the good side effects! lol


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PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2016 8:06 am 
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Hello, I do get that nice pleasant sensation but I don't know that it is a result of suboxone. It is a feeling that I have had at different times in my life, when all feels ok with the world and that there are things to look forward to! That is the feeling....peace. I relate that to the work I have done on myself or my spiritual connection with God....and that is who I thank for this! Enjoy today!


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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2016 6:27 pm 
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On the right dose, suboxone will not impair you or make you feel high. If anything my judgement is better on suboxone vs no treatment. I take 8mg a day and if gives me a feeling of well being and a warm glow but that's it. When I took 12mg a day I felt more impaired so I lowered the dose.


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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 8:06 pm 
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For me, I noticed my reaction times and thought processes were slowed down a bit. It was tough to concentrate on technical things and stay really focused. Maybe that was a slight impairment, but it was never a buzz or high feeling. Also my wife says she could always tell when I took my dose. She said my facial expression and eyes looked different. Everyone is different and unique though so others may have more pronounced effects or none at all.


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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2016 1:50 pm 
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I was on Suboxone maintenance for a total of about 2 1/2 years, and my daughter, who was in grade school at the time, asked me on a regular basis why my pupils were so small. I wouldn't say I felt "buzzed" on bupe, but I didn't feel perfectly normal either - and the people who were the very closest to me, like my husband, said I "came back" after I got off of it.

I know most people say they feel perfectly normal on bupe, and I believe them. But I've talked to dozens of people over the years, on this forum and in the real world, and more than a few report that they looked or felt impaired to some extent, even on a standard long term dose. I think those people, like myself, are in the minority, be we deserve to be believed, too.

I understand that being accused of not "being clean" is a big issue. And those of you who know me know I've fought that battle myself and for others on more than one occasion. I have been and will continue to be an advocate for MAT and harm reduction.

I also am just starting a job as a counselor in a methadone clinic. I know that the majority of the patients are fully tolerant to their dose and don't feel high. I've also seen people nodding and have heard people say they felt high on methadone. Maybe they're on too high of a dose, or maybe they're sneaking some benzos...but we have to let people's truth be their truth.


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