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 Post subject: Long Term Effects Of Sub
PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 5:51 pm 
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I was on Subutex for something like seven years. I haven't used any other opiates of note except for a one month doctor prescribed supply of Vicodin. I started because of severe depression. At 45 and after years and years of failed attempts to treat this depression and noticing how dramatically my mood changed on the Vicodin a Sub doctor agreed to try Subutex. It worked, I felt normal for the most part. I started to enjoy things again and was able to try and improve my life. There were some tough side effects like extreme sweating, constipation, no sex drive, needed more sleep, but it brought me out of the pit I was in.

Maybe I am wrong about this but it seemed over time I became more continent with my growing isolation and lack of development in trying to improve my life. I no longer sought out friends as much as I used to. I was content just to work and go home.
My question and concern is that: Do opiates in the long run change the course of your life so that you no longer struggle to try and grow and develop you life.

If opiates make most everything OK, whether that be physical or emotional pain is not that pain trying to make you change things in your life and without it out we lose motivation to grow and make needed changes?

In the beginning opiates helped clear the emotional and some physical pain so that I could see clearly and enjoy what was available to me but over time all of those things started to dull and I ended up being content while still being in a deep hole.

Some of you who have only been doing this for a year may not see this but I am wondering if others who have been on Sub for many years like 5-10 see this happening in their lives?

We all know this is mostly true for long term Heroin addicts. That after a number of years they just feel crappy all of the time and do Heroin to avoid withdrawals but an opiate is an opiate and isn't that effect present in all of them on some level? Even with pain patients?

I felt faced with the choice of suicide or opiates and I would make the same choice again but I wonder if that in the long term use you just end up way worse of then where you started.

It has only been a month off of Sub so it is too early to tell where I will end up but I only quit because Sub was causing extreme headaches. After a few weeks off I started to realize I didn't like how my life seemed to not being going anywhere over the past years of Sub use and how I should have been making more efforts to develop a more balanced and full life. Maybe without the Sub I might be in the same place but it has got me thinking.

Perhaps we may not fully comprehend long term sub use until after twenty years or more of experience with it, and I do realize they have had Bup for use for many years but not as a treatment for addiction at the level they do now.

Like with Benzo's, they thought they were the answer until they saw bad patterns developing after twenty plus years of use. Now most doctors won't prescribe long term Benzo use because of addiction.

What do people think? Am I just looking for reasons not to use Sub or is there some truth to this?


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Fond Du Lac Psychiatry
Dr. Jeffrey Junig, M.D., Ph.D.

  • Board Certified Psychiatrist
  • Asst Clinical Professor, Medical College of Wisconsin

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