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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 4:55 pm 
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I am not looking to either condone or condemn Suboxone use. All I want is a little insight. My fiance completed a rehab program in October 2010 (was abusing opioids) and was placed in the Suboxone treatment program. However, he is now "abusing" Suboxone. From what I have read, there is a "ceiling" to Suboxone and that is supposed to prevent abuse, so I don't get what he is doing here. He gets a prescription of 90 (takes three 8 mg a day) to last a month. The first two weeks after his doctor's appointment, things are wonderful, he is back to his old self, and life is good for him and everyone around him. Toward the last two weeks of the month, though, life is terrible. He is moody, irritable, nauseous, and won't get out of bed or off the couch. The last time he received his refill, his staying in my house with me was conditional on the fact that he gave me 30 Suboxone to "hide" in order that if he ran out, I would have enough to at least dose him 2 a day until his next appointment. Needless to say, he found them and now they are gone and he is going to be close to two weeks without any Suboxone at all. I really do not know what to do about this aside from asking him to move out and stopping contact. He has burned every single bridge with his family and has no one but me. He has stolen from me before, pawning things with intention of getting money back, to buy Suboxone off the street when he would run out of his own prescription. I am trying my best to be patient and understanding, but I don't want to be an enabler. Any insight into this situation would be greatly appreciated.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 5:38 pm 
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Hi lizabethjay. I'm sorry you're both going through this. I will start by saying he's not the first person to take too much suboxone, even though it doesn't accomplish anything - physically, that is, because of the ceiling effect. But addiction is psychologically very powerful as are the triggers and the really strong, bad habits and lousy coping skills. None of which suboxone does anything for. Suboxone alone is only a tool, but at the moment he isn't even using that correctly.

So, in summary, the way I see it, he's not able to handle daily life without taking something (the addict in him), even if it's a suboxone that "only" fills a psychological need. And you can see for yourself just how strong the psychological component alone is, because it is what is leading to the last two weeks of every month: the physical component of opiate addiction.

This is obviously just my own personal theory. I don't know him and I could be way off base, so keep that in mind. I wish you the very best. We're here for you both if you need anything or have any questions.

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 Post subject: Thank you....
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 6:30 pm 
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I appreciate your reply. After being in the Suboxone program for over a year, he just yesterday had an appointment for therapy to deal with issues. I went with him as I know he is out of Suboxone and probably scheduled the appointment to get "travel pay" to buy 2-3 strips off the street. I was stuck to him like glue, but he still managed to slip away to try to get travel pay and told me they weren't giving cash anymore and it had to be direct deposit. When I confronted him on this, he went irate and was yelling and cursing so much that security asked him to leave the building. I was afraid to even get in the car with him, so I went back up to where he was supposed to have his therapy appointment (he had canceled it out of anger) and spoke with the nurse. After cooling down, he returned and they allowed us to talk with the psychiatrist where I finally got to voice how I felt the entire Suboxone program was just a "band-aid on a stab wound" situation for him. Yes, it helps with the physical addiction, but everything that brought him to his addiction was not addressed and he has so much to work through. Fortunately, the doctor was able to diffuse the situation and convinced him that I really do care for him and that is why I am so concerned and wanting him to get help. Suboxone is a great thing if used properly and I know addiction is a disease and doesn't magically go away, it is lifelong, but I am still willing to stand by him and support him. It's just that I'm not sure how much strength I have left, having to try to stay one step ahead of him, constantly question whether he is telling me the truth, and help him function with his job (self-employed in construction).

He has pending charges of grand larceny from where we were together last year and he stole from me to buy Suboxone when he ran out. At that point in time, I had enough and pressed charges. The case is pending as they bumped it to circuit court and the last time we talked they were going to give him 2 years' advisement where he has to report to a probation officer with confirmation he is taking meds as prescribed, working or getting a job, and going to counseling, which he hasn't done thus far.

Our entire reconciliation was based on the fact that he was "off" Suboxone, going through withdrawal in jail, and he was in therapy and dealing with his issues. Then come to find out he was back on Suboxone and abusing it as soon as he was out of jail.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 8:23 am 
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It's really getting bad, isn't it? How are YOU holding up? I know how hard it is to deal with someone in active addiction, no matter how they manage to do it. But remember, you still have to take care of YOU. No one, NO ONE, can force an addict to be ready to fix his life. He must be ready and wiling to do it on his own. And if he's not, chances are, any treatment he's in may won't stick until he's ready to take part in it. So right now my concern is YOU and that you take care of your needs as well.

As long as you are with him, have you considered attending any meetings for family of addicts (Al-anon/Narc-anon)? What about therapy for you? Or even relationship counseling for both of you? If you choose to stay in the relationship there are ways you two can work together and of course that's for you to decide.

Please just know we're here for you. Whether it be to answer questions about suboxone and/or addiction or to help support you while you go through this very difficult time.

I'm very sorry to hear this is so hard on you. Hang in there and remember to think of yourself, too.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 10:50 pm 
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I'm sorry to hear what you're going through lisbeth. Addiction is a bitch and it hurts everyone connected to the 'addict' in some way.

It's pretty clear you're at your wits end. It also sounds like Suboxone isn't at all therapeutic for your husband. From a harm minimisation standpoint - sure, he has less chance of doing himself physical harm on Suboxone than other opioids. Other than that, it sounds like his abuse of suboxone undermines his recovery just as much as if he were abusing an agonist. Unfortunately, the longer Suboxone is a drug-of-abuse for an addict, the harder it can be to turn it back into a drug-of-recovery.

Has he considered methadone? Perhaps he's not quite ready for a partial-agonist like suboxone, and he still needs an agonist as maintenance like methadone to keep his addiction at bay? It has the benefit of keeping his ORT completely "above board", as dosing is supervised, and it becomes virtually impossible for a person to abuse their dose / take more than they need. Even with take-homes the supply is limited. There will also be the option of switching back to buprenorphine down the road.

There are downsides to methadone though. If he's under a blockade dose (around 100mg), he will have more room to abuse other opioids. And it doesn't matter how much methadone holds his cravings, if he wants to remain an addict, he will.

Considering you're at your wits end, I don't see how much worse can come of trialing methadone?


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:02 am 
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Right now at this very moment, I am seriously considering packing my belongings and bailing. I'm a strong-willed person and optimistic to a fault, but over the years I have garnered enough wisdom to realize that when I cannot change a person or have a positive impact on a situation, it is time to remove myself from them/it. I have been lied to one too many times and it is bringing me down so far that I don't recognize myself.

After the recent incident where he was trying to get travel pay in order to buy more Suboxone, he managed to get his regular work pay and, of course, things are just wonderful. He was apologetic, said he understood my concern, and assured me from this point on I can go to all his doctor's appointments with him and we would go to counseling, professing his undying love, etc. On Friday,he received a voicemail message that he needed to call his doctor ASAP and I'm sure it was regarding the outburst earlier in the week. He chose not to call, stating he would take care of it this week.

However, all day yesterday he didn't get out of bed, sleeping for at least 12-18 hours, and I'm left wondering what the heck. He works nights and should leave around 1:00 a.m. in order to finish both contract jobs. It was 3:00 a.m. and he had no left, so of course I'm telling him, hey, it's 3:00, shouldn't you be going (I usually go with him, but was just too tired). He finally left around 3:30. Then about half an hour ago I get a call from him stating that he is in "group" as he had decided to go on into group and see his doctor. Now I feel like I have been deceived once again as he had promised we were going to do this together so I can A) garner insight into addiction issues, B) have a voice regarding his Suboxone use/abuse. Also, he doesn't own a car. He is in my only car and it feels like he disregards everything about me. I know that is petty, but right now every little thing is reason for doubt and upset when it comes to him.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:13 am 
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First of all, none of what you just said sounds at all PETTY. It sounds like it would be the last straw for me, too. He made you promises and AGAIN, he's not following through. You're ready to throw in the towel because of it...what is petty about that? Nothing. YOU haven't done a thing wrong here, so get those thoughts out of your head right now.

If I were in your shoes, I might have one more conversation with him explaining why I'm ready to split and what he's done wrong. But that's entirely up to you. You know how many times you've gone over this with him, I don't.

If you are ready to be done, then YOU are ready. And we're behind you. Sometimes you simply have to draw a line and put yourself first. I hear where you're coming from. You said you normally see things optimistically, yet the way he's living his life and the way it's affecting you is changing YOUR life. That's unacceptable and I can see why. You have to take care of YOU FIRST. And if that means leaving him to do that, then so be it.

Feel free to vent and post here as often as you need to. I'm really, really sorry that you're going through all this. :(

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-As I have grown older, I've learned that pleasing everyone is impossible, but pissing everyone off is a piece of cake.

-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


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 Post subject: This Is It....
PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 3:54 pm 
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I'm sorry to be on here venting again. This whole rollercoaster of addiction is taking its toll on me almost as bad as if I were the one using. How many chances do you give a person? I find myself turning more and more into someone I don't even recognize every single day. I never imagined I would be in this situation....to want someone out of my life so badly, yet heart broken if and when they leave. Does that make sense?

After receiving his paycheck and promising that we would work together and do counseling, etc., everything was good. Then he went to group and the doctor basically told him "tough" and gave him palliative medication to help with opiate withdrawal until his next appointment which was a week out. Needless to say, $200 of his paycheck mysteriously "disappeared" and we were left broke without gas money for him to get to his job. The "promise" necklace he bought me as a token of reconciliation had to be returned to get the money back for gas, groceries. Today, while he was sleeping (as he always does lately), he received a message on his cell phone and I checked it. One of his old "contacts". On looking at his messages, outgoing, as soon as he returned my necklace he messaged one of his "contacts" that he had money was going to buy one of those "things" and wanted to check with him first. I literally feel ill and like I am losing it. When I confronted him about it and asked him to move out, he has agreed, but only after telling me I'm crazy and I am the reason he has to use up all his Suboxone, etc. Where do I draw the line and how do I move on?? I never did doubt myself until living with him....and now I am a shadow of the person I was.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 4:48 pm 
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lizabeth - That sucks that you have to deal with that. I have read your other posts too. Your relationship sounds like one I was in a long time ago. I totally relate when you said that he blames his drug use on you and turns it around to make it look like YOU are the crazy one. You are not the crazy one. But it eventually WILL make you crazy having to defend youself! Especially when you know that he is the one who is acting crazy, not you. It's soooo frustrating. It seems like it will never end. The only thing I could do is finally leave.

It does make total sense that you want out, but would be heartbroken when he is gone. You are the only one who can change the situation. It does take time to get over that, but the longer you stay in that situation, the more damage it will do to you...mentally and emotionally. Maybe you will stay so long that you really don't have any feelings left at all for him? Or maybe you will get out now and be heartbroken for a while, but be able to lead a healthier life without him. Only you can answer that.

If you do decide to separate now, if for nothing else then for you own peace of mind, it doesn't mean it has to be forever. You still have a lot of life to live, and maybe if he does get his life together, you can work on a relationship in the future. Or maybe once you get away and get some distance, you will wonder how you stayed so long in the first place. It is all a learning process and if you've had enough and feel like the relationship is doing more harm than good, then you might have to make the decision sooner rather than later.

I hope you can find a way to deal with this that will give you some peace. You post as much as you need to on this forum. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has been in your position, and it might help to talk to others who have dealt with this before.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 4:59 pm 
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whatever you do, dont lose yourself. you will eventually get over the pain of him being gone, but you cant live one day out of your life without your own identity, that is not fair at all. i left my first husband after trying to help with his cocaine addiction, and the second to alcohol. i think of all the time money and frustration wasted. and i am an addict saying that! like the saying goes, you cant help someone that doesnt want to be helped. he is looking for an enabler, seems to me. this is your life.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 5:38 pm 
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You can vent all you want here. Please remember that.

Let me get this right, so now he's saying directly that you're to blame for his addiction? That's pretty ballsy of him. And so clearly wrong. You really need to take care of yourself now. I'm sorry to say that he's obviously nowhere near ready for recovery, at least the way I see it. But it's not for me to say. It's YOUR life and YOUR decision and you must live with the consequences. Like was said above, whatever you decide, it's not forever.

I'll say one more thing that took me years to learn. Listen to your instincts. They are usually right. Please take care of yourself. And again, vent all you want. It's what we're here for.

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-As I have grown older, I've learned that pleasing everyone is impossible, but pissing everyone off is a piece of cake.

-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


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