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PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 10:27 pm 
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Hello everybody! I'm new here, actually found this site by watching a youtube video that the Doc made. So, I'll get to the nitty gritty of it all. I had an awful addiction to Vicodin for about 6 months (taking up to around 165mg hydrocodone a day), until I was told by a Doc during an ER visit when my liver was failing that if I didn't stop, I would not live to see 30 (I'm 28 now.) From that point on, I was dedicated to getting off of it; I did a ton of research and considered all options. I, like most people, was quite put off at the notion of being locked away at an inpatient program (I have been to the psych ward 3 times so I know how hard it is, for me at least.)

With the help of some VA substance Abuse consolers (I am a veteran), as well as advice from other previous opiate addicts, I came across Suboxone. At this time I was scared to death of going through withdrawls, I'm sure you all know what I mean. Anyway, the VA told me that they couldn't get an appointment with their Suboxone qualified doc until March 31.

With great luck, I managed to find a civilian Suboxone Psychiatrist and got in to see him on March 18th. After a thorough history review, urine test, and the like, he finally perscribed me suboxone and set it at 4mg/day. It was a miracle. All of my withdrawl symptoms were gone! When I first started taking it, it was almost overbearing, like it would make me sort of 'stoned', very drowsy, and I would just stare at something for a long time, not to mention I had trouble sleeping. But that stopped after a few days. After that few days we agreed that since I tend to feel 'sqirrley' in the evening that I would start taking 4mg in the morning and 4mg in the evening.

It is now March 30th, 12 days now sober from Vicodin (with next to nothing cravings), and have discovered an added benefit to Suboxone. It has noticably helped with my depression! I have had major depression for about 7 years now and have had every SSRI, SNRI, tricyclic, and even anti-psychotic medications out there, with no success. I stayed on Celexa since that had no side effects for me, and at least when I first started it, it helped with my social anxiety problem, just a bit. So, needless to say, I am THRILLED about getting on Suboxone!

In regards to side effects of 8mg/day Suboxone, I do have constipation with it (much like I had with Vicodin), it does make me drowsy if I sit around for a while (but get lots of energy when I'm up and about for some reason), and there is some sexual dysfunction. Nothing to big really.

So here are those 'fears' I spoke of in the subject line, I am very new to this drug so bare with me.

-Right now, what I am most afraid of, is tomorrow, when I start seeing the new VA Suboxone doc. I'm so worried that he might make me get off the drug! I don't want to face withdrawls now, and yes I do know Suboxone does have withdrawls if not tapered properly.

-I'm also worried that he will want to taper me off of it eventually. From my point of view, I would really like to stay on Suboxone, indefinitely or at least until my depression is fully under control. I say this simply because it actually helps my depression.... alot! And personally I see no difference between taking Suboxone 8mg/day for depression and taking Celexa 60mg/day for depression (except that Suboxone actually works, and Celexa does not!)

-I'm worried about the withdrawls if he does actually want me to get off of it. Granted, I've only been on it for a little less than 2 weeks, but you never know with these VA doctors, always wanting to save a buck. I'm worried that he will hear me talking about how it helps me so much with my depression and think that somehow I'm getting a 'high' off of it and want to abuse it. (which is NOT the case, I have never felt high with Suboxone). What is the average time a doctor would keep you on suboxone? In my case? How often do patients stay 'indefinitely' on Suboxone?

-I feel like I've cheated, or 'got off too easy' with the Suboxone detox. I feel like it is too good to be true, like there is something in my future that is going to make me pay hard for my Vicodin abuse eventually

Well, I think that's all my fears for now. I'm just nervous about tomorrow. I so hope he understands. I want to know what I should tell him.... to convey to him my intentions of keeping me on it while I work on my substance abuse issues (my goal is to 'enjoy life without the use of drugs or alcohol'), and then continue on using Suboxone as a replacement for Celexa for my depression. Oh, and another bonus with this medication is that those little aches and pains (that got me using Vicodin in the first place) are gone, maybe because those aches and pains were part of depression, and the depression is getting better so the pains are fading, but hey, 3 birds with 1 stone! God I hope he understands.

One final question: Is there any evidence that suggest that prolonged use of suboxone is in some way hazardous to your health?

Thanks for reading folks!
-Matt

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"Remember in the depth and even the agony of despondency, that very shortly you are to feel well again"-Abraham Lincoln


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 11:08 pm 
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Matt,

Hey! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! You just described the typical successful suboxone induction and I am VERY happy for you that you are doing well. I too have found that suboxone helps with my aches and pains (I have 2 chronic pain syndromes) and it also helps with my depression as well. A depression that has been around since the beginning for me (like age 5 per my mother).

A word of caution about the depression though. Suboxone worked GREAT in the beginning for me but the depression creeped back in slowly. It was so slow and I was still doing so well on sub I didn't really notice it. I just got really lazy and lacked motivation to get up. Watch for this. The difference for me with suboxone is that once I realized I was depressed again, I have (very recently as I went off and just got back on sub) been able to make a plan to manage the depression. I have started working out ever day. I have started to take care of my health. I am planning meals and making myself at least do the activities of daily living without allowing my husband to do it all. The behavioral changes are really helping the depression and I am starting to feel better. Just watch because when you are prone to depression, it is very easy on sub to stay in and watch movies and sleep. For me, before I knew it, I had stayed in and watched movies for 7-8 months with only small breaks in between. (I went to the grocery store this weekend and actually got anxiety because I hadn't been in one in so long :shock: ).

In terms of your fears...they are very valid. It all seems to easy and too good to be true. The VA is a strange thing and I don't know a whole lot about it even though my husband is retired army. I think you will have to be honest with the doc. I highly doubt he will want to take you off it right now, but you never know. If he does, and wants you to taper, ask why. Tell him you are uncomfortable with that at this time. Then, come back here and tell us what he said and I am sure people can help you from there. So my advice is to take this in really small chunks and just see what happens. If he is dead set on you going off of it right away (I highly doubt it) then there won't be anything you can do about it anyways. But you should have enough time to find another doc, change his mind, or something. Just get through the appointment and ask a lot of questions about what his plan is for you and WHY.

Again...I am SO happy for you. It is always great to see a newcomer here and see them post. There are a lot of really intelligent, helpful, and kind people here. Stick around and you can find an answer to just about any question you could possibly think of.

Cherie


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 11:15 pm 
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Hi Blumac.

Welcome to the forum and to your recovery. I'm one of those people who plan on being on suboxone indefinitely. I've been on it for 15+ months now after about a 4+ addiction to pain meds (depends on who's counting). I take suboxone for my addiction as well as for chronic pain relief.

You're not the first person to say that Suboxone has helped their depression, although I've not heard of anyone staying on it long term JUST for the depression - but that doesn't mean there aren't any.

Suboxone is a great tool for addiction recovery/remission as it gives us time to work on our issues and why we got addicted in the first place. And for people like me with chronic pain issues, it also gives us SOMETHING for the pain, as once we're addicts, traditional pain meds just aren't an option any more. (Aside from acute needs from injuries/accidents.) Lately, more and more people are staying on it long-term for maintenance.

As for your VA doctor, I'd just tell her/him that you're pleased with your short progress on it and would like to stay on it. The relapse rate for sub users is much lower than that of abstinence programs. So in addition to your depression benefits, perhaps think about staying on suboxone to help keep you in addiction "remission". Just until you know your new VA sub doctor, I wouldn't overstate the depression-relieving aspects of it, especially if you're concerned he'll think you're getting high from it.

Again, welcome to the forum. You'll find lots of terrific and very smart people here. Keep us posted on your progress, too.

Melissa

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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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