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PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 3:51 am 
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Hey Gemna, I'm glad that you're set to be more proactive on the low T! I think that all of the medical professionals that frequent this forum agree that long term opiate use DOES, in fact, cause low T.

My sub doctor says that when I'm ready to come off sub he's going to put me on Wellbutrin for a couple/few months to help with the crippling depression from withdrawal. Maybe that's something you could consider too?

It bodes well that you're open to listening to different ideas and suggestions. Don't mistake us. We may disagree that it's time to taper. We may scrutinize your choices to make sure they are the best ones for you. But once you make your decision to taper off, for example, you will get a lot of support here. We always pull for folks going through hard times because we've been there too. :)

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 10:03 am 
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I think it's great that Dr. J. shares his experiences with us, it's just when he gets to calling people fool's, that crosses the line, IMO. He could have easily written what he did above leaving out the word fools. No?

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 10:37 am 
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Gemma,
These are the 2 questions I would ask myself if I were in your position:

1. Was the quality of your life better during the 12 years you were in 12 step recovery or during the time you have been on Suboxone?

2. Do you want to continue to take a strong opiate (bupe) long term for what you described as a "small, short opiate habit"?

Only you can answer those questions. From your original post it sounded like you we not asking for advice on whether or not to get off, but on HOW to get off sucessfully. You stated that you were actually on 0.25. You might want to try dividing it into two 0.125 doses for now.

Also, Tramadol does act on th mu opiate receptor, so using it is just another substitution that you will eventually have to stop. I would strongly suggest staying away from it.

Whatever you decide to do, I'm willing to help. Feel fre to PM me if you want. I've gone off Sub maintenance twice, once by tapering down to 0.25 and once cold turkey. If you decide to stay on maintenance, I have a lot of experience with that, too. Either way, you're gonna be ok. So try not to stress too much.
Lilly


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 1:50 pm 
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Lilly,

1. I was def happier in my 12 years then now, absolutely no comparison. Life was still life with ups and downs, but I was actually in it.

2. Yes I want to discontinue the suboxone. I have about 15 people in my life all in or around the program calling me everyday, asking if I took my last dose yet? I just want off it! I don't want to use any other opiate!!

I like the split .125 am and pm, I actually accidentally did that yesterday and it faired well for me.

I get the point with the tramadol, Ill dill that idea!

Thank you so much


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 11:02 pm 
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Update:

I will be jumping at my .25 on Thursday. My wife is sick of this and has had enough. I can't blame her or can't disagree, I'm sick of it too. I'm loaded with support and it's a perfect time. I'll be packing a bag and staying with a friend for 4 days. He's an addictions counselor and his wife happens to be my doctor(gp) not sub doc. I'm scared and not looking forward to that aweful feeling, restless legs and insomnia but I'm just going to keep telling myself it will end. I have klonodine, klonopin, and seraquel for a week. I'll will keep you all updated day to day.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2014 8:37 pm 
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I would never presume to speak for Dr. J but the way I interpreted his statements the "fool" he was referring to was "sick of suboxone" According to a popular online dictionary fool is defined in part as:

1. One who is deficient in judgment, sense, or understanding
2. One who acts unwisely on a given occasion

I'd say that, as usual, Dr. J was dead on. In fact I could think of many many far more damning terms to describe "sick..." After reading her 5th grade level post - deficient of judgement, sense, or understanding on this given occasion - was actually being kind and most certainly accurate.

Perhaps it could have been written more clearly, again my take was stopping Bup within the first year is indeed very foolish simply based on the statistics. Potentially stopping after multiple years and real life change is more possible and far less foolish. Again that seems to be bore out here as those stopping Bup after multiple years of serious recovery and meaningful change has been successful for multiple people.

If the term fits...


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:21 pm 
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Romeo wrote:
I think it's great that Dr. J. shares his experiences with us, it's just when he gets to calling people fool's, that crosses the line, IMO. He could have easily written what he did above leaving out the word fools. No?



Romeo, u know I got nothing but love for you but are u for real? The guy is relating his actual experiences of patients who have relapsed and died or ended up in jail! The post he was replying to was kind of nonsense and I bet her husband isn't going to just magically snap back to "normal" if he gets off subs.

He also goes on to say how patients that did a few years on bupe and worked on themselves, made big changes in how they live and think we're able to get off and not relapse, die or go to jail. He is just trying to drive in a point after witnessing insanity over and over again. I'm glad he does, for me I can get the perspective I need since I've been on sub nearly 5 years now and tapered in the last 2 years down to .09mg/ will be jumping soon and I would like to live to tell about it :)


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:33 pm 
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I just take offense to calling addicts fools. Hollywood and society in general label us with enough degrading names and stereotypes. We don't need more of it from our own.

BTW, I get what Dr. J. is saying. It's just that term "poor fool" that I could do without.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 7:28 am 
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Clearly a few of you even the good ole doc. did not read what I said. My experience with Suboxone is not very good. It has nothing to do with coach purses, and shopping sprees. I started USING DRUGS at 9! So what kind of life do you think I had? Prison, jails, fields with knives being stabbed at me. I know about ADDICTION like all of you. Its not just my husband. I have had numerous friends, co-workers, family members. I have had friends overdosed on all opiates. I thought this was a placed to come and understand the drug to find help to my awful experience with it. For me all I had was my addiction. She kept me company many many nites. And today I thank God that I don't have to call her to come sit with me. So for all who felt attacked by my true feelings long post. Honestly you must still feel some shame and guilt. I hope you all get thru it and stand strong.

For I keep failing!!Why! I truly do apologize for being so harsh with you not my intentions. I do hope you succeed in your tapering. You know when your ready just keep pushing on. You will make it.

And for my husband it has been another month with no subs.
thanks to a few of the constructive criticism. I always need it


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 9:58 pm 
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Romeo..... I'm not sure what rule you think I violated. I shared my experience. 'Sick of Sub', and you, are free to share YOUR experiences. My comments about what I've seen were much less strident than the silly 'wishes' of 'sick of sub'.

To whoever it was who said 'good for me, I've been off Sub for a year....'

That would be great, if most people lived for 30 years or so. But as I've mentioned many times, my own relapse came after 7 years. Anyone who attends meetings and gets to know the nature of opioid dependence knows that relapses after 10 or 20 years are common. I'm happy for you, that you made it a whole 12 months.... but I'm not impressed. I did a year too. I did a year 7 times. Big deal.

Any person out there who is taking buprenorphine, who has a spouse/partner who 'isn't happy' that you take it--- I encourage you to dump the spouse, and find a true life partner who will accept you as you are. What will that spouse do when you develop some other chronic illness? 'You have MS-- either get sensation in your feet back, or I'm OUT of here!'... Those people deserve to find their own living Hell, and get dumped for having it.... and just maybe then they will develop some insight into where one life stops, and another life starts.

I appreciate those of you who speak up for me, as I don't come here every day-- and as the person who started the forum, I tend to get a bit more attention than others. I'm not perfect-- and I sit here are read some outrageous comments at a forum that I put together. Sometimes I become angry, and speak my mind. If the moderators banned every person who 'violated' the spirit of the rules, there would be nobody left here-- including you, Romeo.

I never, ever, referred to addicts as 'fools'. I am an addict. There is no more shame in that than there is in having diabetes or hypertension. The 'fools', in my opinion, are the people who bite the hand that fed them. The people who struggled, for years, and then found relief from their suffering... but then instead of taking responsibility for their own issues, decided to blame their problems on the medication that saved them. To them, I suggest, just go back to heroin. Go back to oxycodone. If the people who complain about being 'stuck' on buprenorphine could be denied buprenorphine, maybe then they would see things a bit more clearly. Comments like 'I wish the drug were never invented'... or the silly comments by 'sick of sub', wishing they would stop making it... her partner would be DEAD if not for the medication. If that attitude doesn't show a fool, I don't know what does.

The world today is so full of people who are looking for others to blame. Those who can't be grateful-- even for something that saved them from a Hellish life.... who is more foolish than that?


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 11:45 pm 
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Sometimes I become angry and speak my mind, too.

When I read your post that, in part, said, "Out of the 800 people I've treated, the poor fools who insisted on stopping are mostly using....", I became angry that you were refering to those who stopped Suboxone as fools. Perhaps I read it wrong?

Either way, I shouldn't have posted while spun up. I usually try to refrain from posting while I'm angry, but I didn't do such a good job with that original post. Sigh, live and learn, eh?

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 1:13 am 
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Romeo, I agree with you bud. Its not very encouraging to hear a Dr. basically promise us we will relapse in a matter of time without suboxone. That is not a very helpful thought to be in the back of my mind as I work hard day to day in my recovery and try to live free of suboxone and other drugs. I am in a great place right now with a strong AA support system and hearing that I am wasting my time because without suboxone I will likely lose the battle makes me upset as well. Maybe I am different than the patients he has seen. I understand that he is offering his professional opinion but he seems very intent on selling the suboxone idea and not very open to anything else.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 1:33 am 
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And furthermore, I think it takes courage to stop suboxone, not stupidity. I would rather take the chance and live the life I am living today off everything than live the life I was living on suboxone. I am not saying that should go for everyone else, that's just what works for me. Suboxone kept me in active addiction. I was on it for 4 years and abused it like any other opiate. Someone like me can't be on anything. It's either all or nothing with me. So what do you suggest someone like me do Dr. junig? I'd personally rather take the chance, even if the odds are stacked against me, to live a life free from dependence.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 7:15 am 
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l i v i n wrote:
Romeo, I agree with you bud. Its not very encouraging to hear a Dr. basically promise us we will relapse in a matter of time without suboxone. That is not a very helpful thought to be in the back of my mind as I work hard day to day in my recovery and try to live free of suboxone and other drugs. I am in a great place right now with a strong AA support system and hearing that I am wasting my time because without suboxone I will likely lose the battle makes me upset as well. Maybe I am different than the patients he has seen. I understand that he is offering his professional opinion but he seems very intent on selling the suboxone idea and not very open to anything else.



What is the difference between Dr. Junig "basically promis(ing)" that addicts will relapse in a matter of time without suboxone and the statistic that 95% of addicts will relapse after they go off suboxone? The statistics are daunting whether or not they are stated by Dr. Junig or read in a research paper. But you are also mischaracterizing what Dr. Junig actually says about stopping suboxone. He talks about the difference between capriciously stopping suboxone because outside influences dictate that you should, and working hard to make your life in recovery completely unrecognizable from your active addiction days. The outcome of stopping suboxone can be very different in these two scenarios, according to what Dr. Junig has observed in his practice. So he's not saying that people are wasting their time by stopping suboxone. He is just saying that success is much more attainable if you've been on suboxone long enough to make important changes.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 3:38 pm 
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P.S. I was using Dr. Junig's 95% number. When I researched it myself I came up with this article about a Harvard Medical School study. The study followed suboxone patients who only stayed on suboxone for 12 weeks, and it looks like they came up with a percentage of relapse over 90%.

http://www.choosehelp.com/news/addictio ... -skyrocket

Here is another article from the same site that highlights Dr. Junig's expertise to advise people how long to stay on suboxone. His opinion is important in the suboxone community.

http://www.choosehelp.com/topics/suboxo ... boxone-doc

Here is a link to a blog that echoes the 95% relapse rates after suboxone discontinuation. I could not find the study the blog referenced, but I wasn't looking as hard as I could have either.

http://mattsub.blogspot.com/2011/03/mor ... ction.html

Anyway, I just wanted to throw out what I found with little effort on Google.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 5:00 pm 
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Amy,

I'm so glad you cited those articles. Before I started my treatment and was researching Suboxone, namely short term vs long term treatment, these were some of the articles I read that helped me make up my mind about using bupe long term in my recovery. I have referred several people to that second one you cited when confronted with that annoying question about how long I'll be taking Suboxone. great links!


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 12:50 pm 
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I have to say I really wish I never read these posts. It seems to be very counter productive to ones recovery process. So there is a 90-95% rate of relapse. It's not a 100% rate. That means it is possible to stop taking bupe and never go back to it again, right?

I agree that you should not stop taking it until you have changed your lifestyle. If you are still around the same people, places and things you will definitely relapse. I'm at 29 days clean now and I know that my struggle will never be over. I know this because I relapsed a 3 months before when I thought I had it beat. But it was my own fault. There was no reason that I needed to go back. I was over the sickness and feeling good. I'm realizing now that you must change the way you think about addiction. You have to force yourself not to give in. You need to put into place ways to stop yourself from relapsing. You need a support group. But most of all you need to stop yourself.

Some people have to stop. I want to become a truck driver and one of the requirements is that you can't be on an opioid maintenance program. So I have a choice, I can stay on bupe and never do what I want to do with my life or I can stop this insanity that only I am putting myself through. Besides would you want the truck driver next to you on bupe? I wouldn't. Anything in this world is possible. Don't ever let anyone tell you that you can't do something. Just look at all the rock stars from the 60's that have kicked their heroin habits. James Taylor is one of the reasons I decided to quit. He had a bad heroin addiction, was in and out of mental institutions, went through a few wives but look at him now. He my not have much hair left but when you see him on stage now he always has a smile on his face. You can tell he came a long way and I think most of the reason he is so happy now is because he is off the drugs. Tell the rolling stones or Aerosmith that this disease can't be beat. They all did it and didn't even have the pleasure of a drug like bupe.

There are a lot of good reasons to stop taking bupe. And no one will ever convince me that there are no health risks with taking it. When I was on it I couldn't poop and most of the times I had a lot of sexual dysfunction. And anything that puts you through all the pain you go through during withdrawal can't be good for you. Not to mention the fog I was always in from it and lack of emotion.

Bupe saved my life. I would be dead or in jail right now if it were not for it. This site has helped me a lot too. I came on here and saw that other people were able to quit and stay clean for a long time and it made their lives better. I have no problem with people that want to do life long maintenance. That is your choice. And at a low dose I believe it's a good one. But for me I believe it's time to stop this. Bupe has saved me but I feel like I have traded one demon for a lesser one. But that's just for me.

I just hate to see negativity towards people who are trying to better themselves. Addicts have been hearing for years that they will never make it out of their addiction. I thought this was a place where some positivity could finally be spread. And it made the knife stab even a little deeper hearing it come from the founder of this site. Even though I still have great respect for him and what he is doing. We are a fragile society. I think that positivity in any way that someone decides to better their lives is the best policy for this forum. To hear that we will probably fail should not be an option. Even if it is the truth.

I think now I'll stick to the bupe in the rearview thread where I have found nothing but positivity in my journey. Because I think that's what we all really need to get through this.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 1:47 pm 
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well said rizob, well said...


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 6:55 pm 
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I think those studies need to be taken with a grain of salt. To the best of my knowledge, none of those studies measure how ready a person is to be off Suboxone. Like rizob said, have they made any major life changes, have they dumped their drug buddies, have they learned to live with triggers, etc, etc.

Also, if we were to take the word of the first study, it appears to say only 49% of people who go on Suboxone stop using opiates. We often hear about the 90% relapse rate, but seldom, if ever hear about this study indicating a 50-50 shot at staying clean even while on Suboxone.

As with all studies, there's more to it than meets the eye.

In my experience, a lot of the people I've met on this forum who were ready for a change and got on Suboxone did fantastically well on it, but there certainly are those who failed to stay on it and went straight back to drugs. Also, I keep up with several people who have quit Suboxone. Most of them quit when they were ready, except a few. By far, most who quit are still doing well, although a couple did go back to using.

DoaQ, mg113, rainraingoaway, aquasun, cbk1014, tinydancer, subzero and two others who I can't remember their screen names have been off Suboxone between a year and 5 years and continue to do well. My drug counselor, previously a raging heroin addict, has over 20 years clean.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 8:38 pm 
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You know, it's a hard line to walk on this forum. Everyone has an opinion, and usually it's related to where you are on your addiction journey. The people who are now off suboxone don't want to hear anything discouraging about people who go off suboxone. The people who are still on suboxone don't want to hear anything discouraging about being on suboxone.

This forum was started by Dr. Junig, a pro-suboxone doctor who has used suboxone in the treatment of his addiction. He has been an MD almost his whole adult life, first as an anesthesiologist, then as a psychiatrist. Does that mean he is omniscient? Of course not. As a suboxone prescribing psychiatrist, however, he has studied addiction and reads current scientific literature about addiction.

This forum was started by Dr. J as a place to disseminate correct, pro-suboxone information in an internet full of falsehoods. Over time, as he has felt that correct information has reached more of the population, he has made this forum a place where people can chart their progress getting off suboxone and be supported during those times. In other words, people are supported here when thinking about starting sub, inducting on sub, long-term use of sub, life-long use of sub, tapering off sub and beyond.

On tapering threads you will notice that 99% of the posts are supportive and helpful. On this specific thread the OP was trying to gain some insight on why coming off sub is difficult. Dr. J addressed that question to the best of his knowledge and experience. What I came away with from what he said is that it's extremely difficult to stay off opiates without the help of suboxone. I also understand from what he said (and what others have said) that the people who succeed getting off sub and staying off all opiates have to be very ready to get off. They have to have made significant changes in their lives, they have to be ready to work a program of some kind.

The people who have successfully come off sub on this forum have had to battle their addiction every day. I celebrate them! No one who is an addict wants to hear about another addict having trouble! I believe that the statistic that Dr. J is talking about (90-95% relapse rate) includes both the folks who relapse and the folks who slip up for a few days here and there while they are learning to be off suboxone. Of our members here who are living life off suboxone, I would wager that a lot of them have had a slip up or two along the way. So I don't read that statistic as being hopeless. I see the possibilities in individual people that are hampered by the reality of addiction, but have hope in their future.

To rizob: I'm sorry that this particular thread was upsetting to you. You are at a difficult point in your quest to leave suboxone behind. Perhaps you should, indeed, consider staying away from threads that have "failure" in the titles. I hope you get what you need from many of our tapering threads. However, this forum would be doing a disservice to addicts if we portrayed the battle to stay off opiates to be doable if they haven't made significant changes from when they were active abusers.

Amy

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