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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 10:42 pm 
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I just heard about a drug called Vivitrol (Naltrexone). They have been using it to treat alcoholism for awhile now but it has just recently been approved in the treatment of opiate addiction. It is a once a month shot that they claim is not addicting like Suboxone is but it is also an opiate antagonist? How can it not be addicting?

I am just kind of curious...I am done searching for my sons cure, he will need to search that out on his own. Just wondering what everyones take on this is?


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 11:07 pm 
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Naltrexone blocks opiate receptors so you can't get high if you use opiates. It is an antagonist, so it just blocks the receptors, it doesn't stimulate them. While Naltrexone blocks your ability to get high, it does NOT decrease mental or physical cravings for opiates and it does not help with opiate withdrawal symptoms. If you take Naltrexone while you have opiates in your bloodstream, you will go into withdrawal.

Buprenorphine, the active ingredient in Suboxone is a partial-agonist, so it partially stimulates the opiate receptors. This partial-stimulation is what allows buprenorphine to eliminate physical withdrawal symptoms and supress physical and mental cravings. Buprenorphine has a very high affinity for the opiate receptor so if a person is on a high enough dose of buprenorphine it will also effectively block their ability to get high should they try to use other opiates.

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 Post subject: Interesting
PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 11:11 pm 
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This is the first time I heard of this so I Googled it. Actually, it's very interesting because it can be used to treat both alcoholism and opiate addiction. I don't thoroughly understand all the science behind it, but you know how Suboxone has two parts: the Bup and the Naloxone? Well, the Naltrexone is related to Naloxone but it is given without the Bup, which is why it isn't addictive/habit-forming. You can stop taking it without going through withdrawal. However, you have to be off of opiates completely and (for some reason) not in withdrawal either when you start it. If you are in w/d, it won't do anything to stop the w/d. It is given every four weeks as a shot in your butt. It will be interesting to hear what people who have tried this med say about their experiences. Thanks for posting this!

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 11:38 pm 
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I didn't check, but you may have it backwards in that Naltrexone has been used to block opiates and treat addiction for a lot longer than it has been used for alcohol. In fact I'm pretty sure of that. It was more recently approved for alcoholics as it has been shown to reduce cravings. One of the downsides is it "may" block some natural endorphins as well. It also may prolong PAWS from someone recently coming off of opiates. They have used naltrexone as part of the rapid detox protocols since they came up with that program. After they did/do the rapid detox they start the patient on an oral formulation or place an implant under the skin that will slowly emit a small dose of the drug for up to three months - perhaps six??? It may very well be that they just approved the injection version of this and that is what you heard about. Again, I didn't look it up. I'm working here just from memory so anyone who wants to know more should check it out. I just don't know that the drug itself is nothing new. I really just think it's the longer lasting injection form that is new.

I actually plan to look into this a lot more should I decide to stop Suboxone sometime in the future. It may be a good safety net. The thing is, it does nothing to block the mental and physical cravings. It just prevents opiates from working in the body of anyone taking it. That is part of why it is not addicting. Then again, Suboxone is not addicting either - it just creates or extends physical dependence. Those are two entirely different things.

Hope that at least provides a bit more info for you.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 11:40 pm 
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Diary of a Quitter wrote:
Naltrexone blocks opiate receptors so you can't get high if you use opiates. It is an antagonist, so it just blocks the receptors, it doesn't stimulate them. While Naltrexone blocks your ability to get high, it does NOT decrease mental or physical cravings for opiates and it does not help with opiate withdrawal symptoms. If you take Naltrexone while you have opiates in your bloodstream, you will go into withdrawal.

Buprenorphine, the active ingredient in Suboxone is a partial-agonist, so it partially stimulates the opiate receptors. This partial-stimulation is what allows buprenorphine to eliminate physical withdrawal symptoms and supress physical and mental cravings. Buprenorphine has a very high affinity for the opiate receptor so if a person is on a high enough dose of buprenorphine it will also effectively block their ability to get high should they try to use other opiates.


Great explanation...I totally get it. Thank you! I don't think it will be nearly as attractive or maybe I should say effective to a recovering addict as Suboxone is but I guess it is an alternative to those who do not want to try anything else addictive.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 1:39 pm 
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donh wrote:
I didn't check, but you may have it backwards in that Naltrexone has been used to block opiates and treat addiction for a lot longer than it has been used for alcohol. In fact I'm pretty sure of that. It was more recently approved for alcoholics as it has been shown to reduce cravings. One of the downsides is it "may" block some natural endorphins as well. It also may prolong PAWS from someone recently coming off of opiates. They have used naltrexone as part of the rapid detox protocols since they came up with that program. After they did/do the rapid detox they start the patient on an oral formulation or place an implant under the skin that will slowly emit a small dose of the drug for up to three months - perhaps six??? It may very well be that they just approved the injection version of this and that is what you heard about. Again, I didn't look it up. I'm working here just from memory so anyone who wants to know more should check it out. I just don't know that the drug itself is nothing new. I really just think it's the longer lasting injection form that is new.

I actually plan to look into this a lot more should I decide to stop Suboxone sometime in the future. It may be a good safety net. The thing is, it does nothing to block the mental and physical cravings. It just prevents opiates from working in the body of anyone taking it. That is part of why it is not addicting. Then again, Suboxone is not addicting either - it just creates or extends physical dependence. Those are two entirely different things.

Well this is the website www. vivitrol . com ...and in the top right corner it says NEW and NOW Approved for relapse prevention of opioid dependence. I guess Vivitrol has been around for awhile but not for the use of opiate dependency prevention. Or maybe doctors have been using it for opiate addiction but it has just now been approved.

I am also not really sure I understand the difference between physical dependence and addicted. Is it just semantics or is there an actual physical difference? I understand Suboxone is a miracle drug for some, I believe in it!...I have seen it in action and I know it can work but when you stop you taking it you withdrawal or am I missing an important component to this?



Hope that at least provides a bit more info for you.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 2:31 pm 
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It isn't new, they simply have changed the form. Naltrexone has been available as a tablet (Revia) for at least 15yrs. I tried it awhile in the mid-90's and found it to be pretty worthless.


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 Post subject: this is what I read
PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:28 pm 
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donh wrote:
I didn't check, but you may have it backwards in that Naltrexone has been used to block opiates and treat addiction for a lot longer than it has been used for alcohol. In fact I'm pretty sure of that. It was more recently approved for alcoholics as it has been shown to reduce cravings. One of the downsides is it "may" block some natural endorphins as well. It also may prolong PAWS from someone recently coming off of opiates. They have used naltrexone as part of the rapid detox protocols since they came up with that program. After they did/do the rapid detox they start the patient on an oral formulation or place an implant under the skin that will slowly emit a small dose of the drug for up to three months - perhaps six??? It may very well be that they just approved the injection version of this and that is what you heard about. Again, I didn't look it up. I'm working here just from memory so anyone who wants to know more should check it out. I just don't know that the drug itself is nothing new. I really just think it's the longer lasting injection form that is new.

I actually plan to look into this a lot more should I decide to stop Suboxone sometime in the future. It may be a good safety net. The thing is, it does nothing to block the mental and physical cravings. It just prevents opiates from working in the body of anyone taking it. That is part of why it is not addicting. Then again, Suboxone is not addicting either - it just creates or extends physical dependence. Those are two entirely different things.

Hope that at least provides a bit more info for you.


I'm not clear on how Suboxone is considered to not be addicting. Addicting just means that a substance is likely to cause someone to become addicted. Addicted means "physically and mentally dependent on a particular substance and unable to stop taking it without incurring adverse effects." The definition of addictive is 'habit-forming'. I guess I feel like it's important to make this point because when someone new to Suboxone hears that it's not addicting, I think it's likely they are assuming it's not habit-forming and not creating a physical dependence. I know I am addicted to Suboxone if I use this definition because I'm both physically and mentally dependent on it and the adverse side effects also apply. If I heard that Suboxone was not addicting and then it caused withdrawal symptoms as severe as the ones I've experienced when tapering too quickly or discontinued, I'd feel like I'd been misinformed. So, please explain the difference if you wouldn't mind. I'm thinking that maybe you're saying it's not addicting because it doesn't create the need to increase you dose more and more over time?

From what I read, you're absolutely right that it was used for opiate dependence first. Here's what the encyclopedia of mental disorders says:

"The drug naltrexone is an opiate antagonist. This means that it blocks and reverses the physical effects of drugs such as morphine, hydromorphone, oxymorphone, heroin, meperidine, codeine, hydrocodone, oxycodone and other drugs classified as narcotics. When given to patients who have been successfully treated for opiate addiction , it not only decreases craving for these types of drugs, it also prevents patients who use opiates while taking naltrexone from experiencing the euphoria associated with their use. In these two ways, naltrexone helps prevent re-addiction to opiates.

Chemically, naltrexone is not an alcohol antagonist. However, when it is used in combination with behavior modification in the recovering alcoholic, naltrexone decreases the craving for alcohol. This helps to prevent a return to alcohol use, or it decreases the severity of relapse by reducing the amount of alcohol consumed during the relapse or decreasing the length of the relapse."

However, you're saying that Naltrexone does not do anything for opiate cravings. Is this information incorrect? Perhaps so. Seems important information to clarify, especially for those on this forum who are going or have gone off of Sub, especially those struggling with cravings.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 4:09 pm 
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The major problem with the oral form has been, the addict simply stops taking the drug and then they can use again within a few days. That's why the implant and now the shot may work better because it can't as easily be undone. I have heard reports of addicts actually digging out the implant that is just under the skin (sort of like removing a huge ass sliver) but I don't know how the new injection could be undone or overcome.

As for the whole "new" thing, I have to wonder if its not once again pharmaceutical marketing. Perhaps Dr. J will catch this and comment on how Naltrexone fits into addiction prevention. But either way, I'm more and more sure, especially after hearing that someone was on it 15 years ago, and the information that Ladder provided, that the drug is not at all new, nor is its use for opiate addiction new - its just the long-term injection form that is "new".

I don't know if it does anything to help with cravings or not. I know that part of the "hype" and sales pitch has been that it does, but I'm not sure that in the real world it helps all that much. I have seen several studies that show pretty well that it does help with alcohol abuse and does a pretty good job with it. I can also tell you that several years ago I wrote an article about Narcan - which is a close cousin of Naltrexone - for a national magazine and found and cited a study that gave Naltrexone to people who loved chocolate. They then gave them the chocolate and documented that they didn't get the same "response" from eating it. It really was pretty interesting. I mean, I'm not one of them but you hear about these people who are "addicted" to chocolate or at least really love it and seem to get a response from it. They don't get what we got from oxy but they get "something" from it. Anyhow, while on Naltrexone, that too stopped. So it would certainly seem that there is something in the brain's reward center that Naltrexone blocks these pleasure responses from more than opiates - including alcohol and even chocolate! But will it help with cravings???? I guess that is the bigger question.

As for the addicted or dependent thing, there have been and are other threads that better explain and debate this so I really don't want to take the time to recap what's already been said. I just want to say that there is a really huge difference between addiction and dependence. There are all sorts of differences. It is also pretty well accepted that Suboxone does not cause, enhance or continue addiction. IT TREATS IT! That's the whole point of the drug - TO TREAT ADDICTION. However, it most certainly prolongs and continues the dependence that opiate addicts already have when they start the drug. The Suboxone does not start or create that dependence, it is already part of the addict when he or she starts the Suboxone treatment. It does remove (for many or most addicts) the addiction component. It is generally accepted that patients are dependant on Suboxone but not addicted to it. Again, for all of the huge differences, check out one of the many other threads here that have dealt with it. There are many, many examples of the differences.


Last edited by donh on Mon Jan 31, 2011 4:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 4:17 pm 
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An old friend of mine gets the shot in the butt every month. It makes it so he can't get high if he uses. He's managed to stay off of oxycontin for quite a while but no, does nothing to reduce cravings.


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 Post subject: Re: this is what I read
PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:06 pm 
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laddertipper wrote:
donh wrote:
I didn't check, but you may have it backwards in that Naltrexone has been used to block opiates and treat addiction for a lot longer than it has been used for alcohol. In fact I'm pretty sure of that. It was more recently approved for alcoholics as it has been shown to reduce cravings. One of the downsides is it "may" block some natural endorphins as well. It also may prolong PAWS from someone recently coming off of opiates. They have used naltrexone as part of the rapid detox protocols since they came up with that program. After they did/do the rapid detox they start the patient on an oral formulation or place an implant under the skin that will slowly emit a small dose of the drug for up to three months - perhaps six??? It may very well be that they just approved the injection version of this and that is what you heard about. Again, I didn't look it up. I'm working here just from memory so anyone who wants to know more should check it out. I just don't know that the drug itself is nothing new. I really just think it's the longer lasting injection form that is new.

I actually plan to look into this a lot more should I decide to stop Suboxone sometime in the future. It may be a good safety net. The thing is, it does nothing to block the mental and physical cravings. It just prevents opiates from working in the body of anyone taking it. That is part of why it is not addicting. Then again, Suboxone is not addicting either - it just creates or extends physical dependence. Those are two entirely different things.

Hope that at least provides a bit more info for you.


I'm not clear on how Suboxone is considered to not be addicting. Addicting just means that a substance is likely to cause someone to become addicted. Addicted means "physically and mentally dependent on a particular substance and unable to stop taking it without incurring adverse effects." The definition of addictive is 'habit-forming'. I guess I feel like it's important to make this point because when someone new to Suboxone hears that it's not addicting, I think it's likely they are assuming it's not habit-forming and not creating a physical dependence. I know I am addicted to Suboxone if I use this definition because I'm both physically and mentally dependent on it and the adverse side effects also apply. If I heard that Suboxone was not addicting and then it caused withdrawal symptoms as severe as the ones I've experienced when tapering too quickly or discontinued, I'd feel like I'd been misinformed. So, please explain the difference if you wouldn't mind. I'm thinking that maybe you're saying it's not addicting because it doesn't create the need to increase you dose more and more over time? I totally agree with this. I think for some it is a miracle drug but being informed of the addictive nature/physical dependence of this drug is important and umm ethical. Thank you to all that responded I learned a lot of information. All of you were very clear and that's not always an easy thing to do with science!

From what I read, you're absolutely right that it was used for opiate dependence first. Here's what the encyclopedia of mental disorders says:

"The drug naltrexone is an opiate antagonist. This means that it blocks and reverses the physical effects of drugs such as morphine, hydromorphone, oxymorphone, heroin, meperidine, codeine, hydrocodone, oxycodone and other drugs classified as narcotics. When given to patients who have been successfully treated for opiate addiction , it not only decreases craving for these types of drugs, it also prevents patients who use opiates while taking naltrexone from experiencing the euphoria associated with their use. In these two ways, naltrexone helps prevent re-addiction to opiates.

Chemically, naltrexone is not an alcohol antagonist. However, when it is used in combination with behavior modification in the recovering alcoholic, naltrexone decreases the craving for alcohol. This helps to prevent a return to alcohol use, or it decreases the severity of relapse by reducing the amount of alcohol consumed during the relapse or decreasing the length of the relapse."

However, you're saying that Naltrexone does not do anything for opiate cravings. Is this information incorrect? Perhaps so. Seems important information to clarify, especially for those on this forum who are going or have gone off of Sub, especially those struggling with cravings.

laddertipper


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:17 pm 
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"I have heard reports of addicts actually digging out the implant that is just under the skin (sort of like removing a huge ass sliver) but I don't know how the new injection could be undone or overcome." That is a horrible picture!!! Obviously, if someone is willing to do this, then they are not having their cravings controlled. :shock: I now have two friends who are thinking this med may help them with life after Sub, so I hope the doctor will respond and explain what the available information shows.

I do kind of understand the addiction versus dependent thing. I guess my issue is that when I started Sub, the doctor told me it would control my pain, it was under-the-tongue so no throwing it up, and it was NOT addictive. I took that the wrong way I guess. I took that to mean I would be able to discontinue it in the future (if that was feasible) and not suffer withdrawals. I mean, that was the whole point in starting Suboxone...to avoid addiction, which in my mind included physical dependence. He did say I'd have to wean on and off it, but I had to wean on and off of seizure medication (Lamictal, etc.) and that was no big deal at all. I think it's really important when people start Sub for them to be adequately educated about the physical dependence issue. If I'd had a 'better' doctor to begin with, I think I still would have chosen to start Suboxone. The difference is that when I first tried coming off it and got really sick, I wouldn't have been so terrified and shocked at the symptoms. They are a lot scarier when you aren't expecting them.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:53 pm 
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One of the other participants here, Romeo, has another thread going about Naltrexone as well. He too is now considering giving it a try since he is no longer taking Suboxone daily and has had what he calls a few "close calls". Hopefully Dr. Junig will see this and comment. Not wanting to repeat myself but Naltrexone has been part of my long term plan and thoughts since starting Suboxone. I just think it may be a great next step for anyone who stops Suboxone. Now that an injection is available, it's even better as pills are too easy to stop taking, unless you enlist the help of someone to monitor you each day and make certain you take your pill. And even though it's minor, it still is a surgical procedure to have the implant placed. No it's not surgery, but you do sign the same type of consent and have some risk of infection, etc. The shot sounds like a great way to go.

As to the addiction/dependence thing, I very strongly believe that many Sub docs way underestimate having to stop Bup. My doc first told me I could stop at 2 mg and pretty much poo poo'd any problems as well. I'm not at the point of stopping but I have started providing him with what I'm hearing and seeing out here in the real world and have let him know that 2 mg is way, way higher than he (and many other docs) think it is. I think many patients have been told it won't be hard to come off of Suboxone. Now, in truth, it certainly is not like coming off of methadone or heroin or oxy. It is much easier than those drugs are to stop. But it also is not as easy as some docs think it is. I don't think they are doing a sales job or covering up the truth or even embellishing the truth. I really think they have been told and believe that it is as easy as some of them claim it is. You are very correct Ladder in that it is much harder. My only point is, that you are suffering from physical withdrawals. The components and behaviors of addiction are much different - including being destructive. Addiction causes people to do all sorts of things that they otherwise would not do. Suboxone, just does not do that. You don't need higher doses, you don't need more, you can keep a full bottle of it for months and not use it all up in a week (try that with a bottle of Oxycontin) and on and on. That's just a portion of the differences between addiction and dependence. There are all sorts of people who have been and are able to stop daily Suboxone. The problem is, not all of them are able to stay stopped. Their underlying addiction on opiates sometimes activates and they find themselves back abusing again.

It is a complicated and difficult disease.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 7:03 pm 
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Are you freaking kidding me!! Naltrexone would block my chocolate from doing whatever it does to me? Well, so much for Naltrexone. I just love my chocolate too much! I'm dead serious.

Man oh man, I just can't win.

I guess I could try a low dose of Naltrexone and see how that goes? Before I got on Suboxone, I was told that it would block any other opiate and for my three years on Suboxone I never even thought about opiates again because I knew it would be a huge waste of time. Seriously, I had no cravings, no nothing. I was so convinced that sub was going to block the other opiates I completely stopped thinking about them.

This is all I was really hoping for with Naltrexone, maybe I can get on a low enough dose where I still enjoy my chocolate bars and whatnot, but knowing how strong Naltrexone is, I won't think about opiates.

Why does everything have to be so damn complicated? :x


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:21 pm 
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What also surprises me is that not only did my doctor back in 2005 say that Suboxone could be discontinued at 2 mg without symptoms, but my doctor NOW says that. I think there have been plenty of years worth of people with experiences saying the contrary, so it's weird to me that this is still generally accepted by many doctors. And 'poo-poo'd' is a great way to describe the reaction. My doctor says that he's had many patients stop at 2; however, out of all the people he's had stop at any dose, guess how many he's still seeing as patients? ONE! I mentioned to him that perhaps the fact that the people disappeared out of his general family practice into oblivion when he launched them at 2 mg wasn't the best sign that jumping at 2 mg is a great way to go. He's a general doc, so in theory, people should be able to keep seeing him after their Sub treatment is done for other stuff: infections, flue shots, etc. I did direct him to various sites, including this one, but last I asked he hadn't followed up on that. So, I think I'm going to actually print stuff out to give him, which I also done. I sure hope he's read it.

I do see the difference as far as true addiction goes. I never abused my Sub. I never felt the need to increase my dose. All those things are true. And now that I am tapering, I do not crave it either, which I was afraid of. I was afraid I'd crave SUB!!! I don't. I feel sick and I know it will make me feel better, but it's not a craving the way alcohol was or sugar is.

Amen to the chocolate thing!!! :D I'm hopelessly addicted to all sugar. That's alcohol recovery for you.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:27 pm 
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I would not let this simple study detour you, Romeo. Give it a shot. At least try the pills at a standard dose and see what happens. It's not like the chocolate will taste any different. You "MAY" just not get as much of a warm and fuzzy feeling when eating it. LOL I thought this was more of a "chick" thing. LOL Plus now you'll have it in your head and think you're "chocolate receptors" are really being blocked. I almost wish I would not have said anything. I just found it all really interesting. Anyhow, I'd still try the pills and see what happens. Then if all is well, go for the shot. And if you're a good boy and don't cry we'll give you a piece of chocolate after the shot.

Your doctor and mine sound a lot alike, although mine is not family medicine. I too wonder how many he really followed up on. I'll be asking at my next appointment. I actually started a document with bits of info for him. Hopefully he takes the time to read it - and more so agrees with it. I wonder if BR (the maker of Sub) told these docs this? I'm pretty sure they have no "official" protocol for stopping Bup. I just really wonder. To begin with, the stats just seem to fly in the face of the majority of patients stopping at 2 MG and just doing fine. Even those who taper often relapse. I mean, in theory, that's what is supposed to happen. You go on Suboxone for a year or two, taper off, and then magically live the rest of your life free of opiate addiction. That just doesn't seem to be what really happens.

I guess the more interesting thing for me is that more and more of all of these "addiction" things all seem to be related - whether it's booze, pills, opiates, food, or even sex.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 9:17 pm 
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Yeah, thanks for reminding me that chocolate is a girl thing!! First you burst my bubble as far as Naltrexone goes, then you call me a girl, then you tell me if I'm a good boy and don't cry that I'll get a piece of chocolate! If I wasn't laughing so damn hard I'd smack you or something!! HAHAHA lol. BTW, I'm not crying, WHERE'S MY CHOCOLATE?

donh, thanks for the laugh, I needed that. My freaking cheeks hurt now!

If you'll notice my avatar, that's Cornholio (Beavis) from Beavis and Butthead. Whenever Beavis would eat candy or chocolate he would turn into the great Cornholio. He would walk around saying "Are you threatening me?" then steal the little kiddies candy. He's the dude who started "TP for my bung hole" too. Yep, my kind of guy! My wife thinks he's the stupidest thing ever, so I know he must be uber cool because she hates everything like that!

On a serious note, when I was in full blown opiate addiction, I had to time my chocolate eating very carefully. If I ate my chocolate within a couple hours of taking an OC, the chocolate would kill my buzz right quick. Nobody believed me? I knew it to be true though. So, I would eat chocolate exactly 1.5 hours BEFORE I would take my next OC. This seemed to eliminate the buzz kill. After reading what you said about chocolate, I have to wonder if this is in the same vein?

I'm still going to look into the Naltrexone, but I will be bummed out if it interferes with my chocolate fix. Y'all really think I'm kidding, but I am serious as a heart attack! I am struggling with this. I can only imagine how completely stupid I sound, but here I am seriously considering if potentially giving up chocolate and it's super awesome taste and it's cool effects are worth getting on Naltrexone. I've erased and retyped this paragraph 3 times because I know how utterly cuckoo it sounds, I wasn't going to send this paragraph with this reply, but here it is.

All I can do is try the Naltrexone and pray to the Lord above that it doesn't interfere with my sweet tooth.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 10:46 pm 
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OK, just gonna put this out there, for what it's worth. I've been on suboxone now for a little over 2 years and have developed a very, very good relationship with my doctor. He and I, at one time, were talking about the possibility of me transitioning to Naltrexone for the long haul. Unfortunately, it's an exercise in futility since it does NOTHING to stop cravings/urges/desires, etc. Nothing, nada, zilch, zero. The *ONLY* thing it will do is prevent you from getting high if you do use.

I couldn't even get under 1mg of suboxone without coming extremely close to using. Unfortunately, I've just been an addict for too long, and have probably changed my body chemistry permanently. It is what it is. And now I've gotta deal with the hand I've dealt myself.

Naltrexone for maintenance? It's not really much of a plan and I would urge anyone who has had some "close calls" to very carefully consider your options.

I don't claim to be an authority on much of anything, but on THIS topic, I know what I'm talking about and relapse is real, it happens and it's nothing to take any chances with.

Don't think so?

Ask my dead sister-in-law what she thinks....oh, yeah, that's right, she's dead so you can't ask her.

Why is she dead? you might ask.

She's dead because she relapsed with opiates one too many times, took too much between her "break outs" and overdosed on Oxycontin.

Her 17 year old daughter found her dead as a doornail on the kitchen floor.

If you're thinking Naltrexone is going to stop you from using, think again. It won't. And yeah, it's got a pretty long half-life, but it's not permanent.

Please think about it


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 11:10 pm 
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Hi Junkie,

Thanks for sharing your story. I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my sister to a drunk driver when I was 16. She was 18.

Say I did get on Naltrexone and say I did have a relapse, it would prevent me from getting high. Is this correct?

If it prevented me from getting high, didn't it do it's job?

The part where I am really unclear though is this, could I still overdose even though I was on Naltrexone?

I understand how Naltrexone does not eliminate cravings, the desire to use and urges. But, I would think if I did relapse and got nothing out of it, I would eventually just quit relapsing.

Again, when I was on sub, because I was totally convinced that no other opiate would be strong enough to "break through" it, I never tried any other opiates. For me, I think Naltrexone would work in the same manner.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 7:44 pm 
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So sorry about writing inside quotes...so annoying. Great thread I learned a lot. I do not think Vivitrol will be as effective or appealing as Suboxone is. Not controlling the cravings will be its huge downfall...to me that is the miracle part of Suboxone not just that it saves the addict from withdrawal/pain but it gets rid of the addictive behaviors. Achieving normalcy...no easy task.

Well I am not an addict, I just have a son who is and these are just my observations. If you read my blog you know my son has obviously relapsed. BUT I was amazed that he was able to wean himself off Subs and remain sober for an extended period of time. Ultimately he relapsed but he would have if he was on Subs too...he wasn't ready. Hopefully he will get there really soon because his options are running out. If he felt Suboxone was the right choice for him again ...I would support him.


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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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