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PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 1:04 pm 
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Before describing what I am going through now I first need to provide some background. I've had chronic back pain for about 15 years. I have gone on and off various pain meds over the years, had cervical fusion, and lost count of the number of spinal blocks/epidurals I've endured. I was always at the mercy of a doctor and when he pulled the drugs I stopped, never getting really addicted. I transferred to another state about 8 years ago and found a doctor who pretty much would give me anything I wanted anytime I wanted it. I was on fentanyl plus vicodin for breakthrough pain for a couple of years until I wound up in the hospital, and about 6 years ago went on four drugs: methadone, vicodin, soma, and xanax. I was prescribed as many as I needed and was religious about taking them as prescribed. I never once ran out, saw the doc every 90 days and he would write 3 scripts for the meth, and 2 refills on the other stuff, I always had some in case of emergencies. My life wasn't normal, but as normal as one can be while taking drugs all day every day. I did manage to go to work every day and was even successful at fooling my boss into believing I was doing a good job, although I wasn't really. The only person I couldn't fool was my wife. In the spring of this year my doc got into trouble with the DEA, then the medical board, closed down his practice and left the state.

I had three months or more of methadone saved up, and almost as much of everything else.I was determined to get off of everything. I stopped the vicodin first, then soma, while tapering from 30 mg a day of methadone all the way to 2.5mg. At that point I stopped the methadone. I made it 19 days off methadone, but after about a week I started taking the vicodin and soma occasionally, convincing myself I would just use it for the w/d pain. As my stash of vicodin starting getting low I began to plan for obtaining more. I still had plenty of methadone. The day I realized I was planning to take methadone when the vicodin ran out I started looking for a suboxone doctor. I had heard about sub only recently on the methadone forum, and while most of the folks there aren't sold on sub, I read enough to know I had to at least try it.

Everything about my suboxone treatment has been great. I had a few sleep issues during the first week, but the doc was great. He gave me 90 8mgs the first day I saw him and I started the induction the next morning. I went from 3 pills a day down to two 1/2 pills a day in about two weeks. Everything was looking great. I had a new outlook convinced suboxone was a life saver, and felt like I was on my way to either sobriety or at the very least a normal existence on a fairly small amount of sub. That brings me current. Over the last three months while detoxing and then moving to subs I have pretty much stayed home, done almost nothing and have had zero stressors. Last week I went back to the real world and caught myself taking more sub. The first time it was just 1/2 extra when I had to be somewhere. The next day I took another extra 1/2 and before I knew it I had gone from 8 mg a day to 16 mg a day. Now I am thinking about taking the sub every few hours. I don't get high off of it, but it does give me a sense of well being I think.

I don't know if this is something other people experience on sub or not. i have read pretty much every post on this forum over the last few weeks and I haven't run across the same experience with taking sub. I am worried this will lead back to full agonist use. I still have a boatload of methadone and enough vicodin and soma to make me feel good for while. I am still taking some xanax, but I have tapered down to .5 mg a day following the docs recommendations to eventually stopping that too. My doc hasn't even talked to me about stopping sub yet. He believes I need to be on it for awhile and stabilize before even coming up with a plan. As an aside and I think this bothers me more than anything; I have somehow lost the determination to get off drugs. That sustained me during the 19 days of methadone withdrawals, and once I went on sub it was like I became satisfied with my situation. Now that I am having cravings, although right now it is just sub cravings, I feel like I have lost my will

I'm sorry for the long winded explanation, all to just ask the questions....is this feeling normal? how have others dealt with the urge to take more sub than you really need to, if I understand the way it works correctly? I had been at 8 mg a day for about two weeks with no issues at all. Is that long enough to determine 8 mg was enough? All thoughts are welcome. I can't tell you how much this forum has helped me already, although I have been mostly a lurker.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 1:52 pm 
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I'm really surprised you haven't found any of the many posts on this very subject. What you are describing is very, VERY normal (normal in that it's not unusual). Many of us, at least in the beginning of our sub treatment, tried taking more sub than prescribed and/or taking it in multiple doses during the day. It's the addict's brain wanting to take something when we feel the least bit uncomfortable or unwell. It's just a matter of learning that it doesn't do anything (unless you're paying cash for your scripts - then it's just wasting money). Try not to be so hard on yourself. This is the very reason that it's standard for people to dose only once daily. We need to stop the habit of taking a pill when we feel bad.

The fact that you have all those other drugs around and at your disposal would make me very nervous. I know I couldn't be trusted to NOT take them...especially if a crisis were to occur. But that's just mean. I don't need the temptation around making me crazy.

I don't know if this is what you were looking for, but I hope it helps to at least know that you're not the first person (and won't be the last) to take extra suboxone.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 2:13 pm 
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Thanks HM. I didn 't mean I couldn't find any other posts about taking more. I meant the feeling like I had lost my will to stop once I started the sub. I was determined before and now I'm just not anymore. I thought I could use the sub to help me get past the w/d, and it has in fact done that. But now I can't even think about tapering off sub at this point. I may not have been off methadone long enough for there to be much difference in the w/d symptoms anyway. I had been through much of the worse part, but didn't have the constitution to keep going. I had almost convinced myself I can be well and take sub, but that doesn't necessarily fly with family members I've learned. What you say about taking a pill makes sense and that is what's happening I guess, and the likely reason for my feeling like a failure.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 2:28 pm 
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I'm sorry I misunderstood you. So let me see if I have this right this time: You had a strong will to stop taking pills, but now that you're on sub, you feel as though you've lost that edge? Is that right?

Okay, first things first - you are NOT a failure! You have what could be a fatal illness and you're struggling with the beginning of treatment for it. Please don't be so damn hard on yourself. Cut yourself some slack. Some people seem to experience different phases after starting suboxone. Some people refer to the beginning as a sort of honeymoon phase. Once getting past that, some of us have trouble getting motivated. For me this is where individual therapy and marriage counseling became so important. Suboxone is just one of many tools. We need to learn to live and deal with the normal every day ups and downs of life. Once we start progressing with healthy habits and coping skills I think the need to dose when we don't need it will begin to subside.

I'm not sure if I'm still misunderstanding you or if I'm just way off base. Sometimes I need to be told to shut up...Maybe this is one of those times. :lol: :lol: :lol:

Hang in there and take a cue from me: Try to laugh often.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 2:39 pm 
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No you've got it right. I can understand that intellectually. It's just hard to accept it accept it. I guess I thought I was close but I was really just fooling myself. I dealt with the physical w/d, but balked at the underlying reasons and I don't mean the pain issues. I have only had one really bad bout with pain in the last couple of years and solved that particular bout with steroids.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 4:32 pm 
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Hello NewSub,

I would first like to stress the fact the you are not a failure at all!!! As far as the taking extra subs from time to time I think many if not all of us have done it or still do it, were addicts thats what we do :? I may have missed it but how long have you been on subs?

As far as losing the drive to get off pills, I battle with it all the time. Somedays I am doing great and believe I just might make it through this hell I created and other days I am ready to just throw in the towel. I have to agree with hatmaker thats where therapy, Na, and other support groups come in. I thought Subs were going to make me all better, and boy was I wrong :lol:

I just wanted to let you know your not alone and thank you for sharing some of your story with us! I Look forward to learning more about you!!


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 8:05 pm 
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Thanks Hancal. I've been on subs for a month. When I say that I realize how little time that is, but I've been going through detox all summer right up until I went to the sub doc.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 7:30 am 
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You aren't alone in this at all. While on full agonists, you know what you are doing is wrong. You also know you have to take it or you will get sick. You are generally lying to someone, cheating someone, and possibly stealing. That is a horrible feeling. Your life isn't very functional. You are stressed out. For many of us we went through withdrawal off and on when we couldn't get it. These things create a desire to do something different.

Then comes in sub and none of those things exist. You now aren't lying to anyone. Your life is normal. You feel normal. It is entirely natural not to want that to go away. The desperate feeling fades and you feel pretty good. What you have on sub is a sense of certainty. The thought of going off sub creates uncertainty. No one likes that. We question it which is good and smart.

How long to stay on it is a question everyone battles with at some point. Therapy can help with this. This site can help with this. Your doctor can help with this. Then I think you have to make a balanced decision about what is best for you. Not what you WANT but what is best. That might be staying on it long term. THEN, you have to work with your family so they can learn to accept whatever choice you make even if they don't approve. I went through this as I decided to stay on sub. You may decide different, but if you don't, you will have to work on them a little.

I would just take things slow for now. You just got on it and you were on pain killers for quite some time. I am not sure you have had enough time on the sub to change behaviors and whatnot.

Cherie

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 10:38 am 
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Thanks Cherie. It does help to listen to everyone's comments and share my own. I am typically one of those closed up never talk about anything sort, but over the course of this summer I have started opening up some, albeit anonymously on forums thus far. Hopefully this can lead to more positive behavior.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 2:29 pm 
It seems like many people (myself included) begin to worry about when they will get off of Sub almost as soon as they get stable on it, even after years of drug use/abuse. Two different doctors (not to mention Dr. J) recommended that I stay on Sub for at least a year before I should even think about going off. To me that sounded like a long time, and I have spent a lot of time obsessing about when I should go off - and I even DID go off of it for a short time. But the funny thing is, now I'm beginning to see wisdom in staying on it for a decent amount of time. We do so much damage to ourselves physically, mentally and emotionally while using that it takes time to get our bearings and heal.
Try not to fight it. Soon you will be at a steady state (and may even want to increase you dose a little) so that you won't get any reward from taking extra. Take that time to get your life and your health in order - and don't beat yourself up for it, even if others don't support your treatment. I hope I don't sound like I'm lecturing. I guess I'm just trying to say that you're taking a medication to treat a disease. Try to accept that for now. Best of luck to you - and keep posting.
Lilly


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 Post subject: How are you?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2010 6:09 am 
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I am going thru one of my insomnia bouts and I was just going thru the forum, reading posts to try to keep sane. I wonder how you are feeling and what you decided to do. Just curious because I had my issues with subs but I think it's the best place for me right now. Love & hope, queenie


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 12:39 am 
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Thanks for asking I am coming to terms with accepting I need to be on subs for awhile. I'm just going to roll with it. My doc takes my insurance and the pills cost me nearly nothing, at least for the rest of this year. Just being a worry wart anyway I think. I haven't flushed my old pills though. My wife had to go out of town to take care of her mom and I didn't want to bother her yesterday. We have a 2 week vacation coming up and I am finally looking forward to it a little. I've been dreading the trip for months. We're going to Germany and I was worried about taking enough drugs to get by, and what if I lost them, yada yada yada. Now that I'm on sub I just have to worry about one and the doc gave me extra so there is really nothing to worry about.

How about you Queenie? I just read some of your posts and it looks like you've had a bad go at least until today anyway. Don't feel bad about your age. Opiate addiction has no age requirement. I'm not 60 yet but I am getting there. I have started sleeping more and more but I didn't sleep hardly at all for three months or more. Hopefully I am just catching up because I am having a heck of a time getting up in the morning, but here I sit after midnight typing :)


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 Post subject: Great!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 7:42 am 
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Can't tell you how happy I was to read your post this morning.

You are going to go on your vacation and you won't be sick. Your wife will be happy because she will notice the difference in you. Put your Sub under your tongue and enjoy your day in Germany without thinking "am I gonna get sick?" "What if, what if, what if" You know how it goes. You're gonna do just fine. I know your fears. I had all of them. I didn't know much about Subs. My doctor wasn't very informative. But trust me, this stuff works!! Don't rush it. take your time. Like I said , what's the rush? I learned so much here in a little time. I'm sure you are noticing all the stories relate to all of us. We think we are the only one with our problem. I just couldn't phantom taking one pill under the tongue and be fine all day. I spent so much time worrying about pills, I'm surprised I had time for anything else and I was miserable. No more high just had to do it to feel normal and I wasn't doing anything to get better.

Remember what Out of the Woods says. Our problem is a disease. A diabetic wouldn't be denied Insulin. This is an illness and we are trying to get well.

Thanks for your lovely words to me. They mean so much. I am going to do this. I refuse to look back. That life is over. If you feel you are slipping. Write to me or anyone here. They are all super great people and they want to help others.

Love & hope, queenie


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