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PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2016 7:08 pm 
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TL/DR: questions numbered below for ease of reading

back story:

I am debating jumping after experiencing a "moment of clarity" while withdrawling from sub (i think) somehow without ever missing a dose. i basically went through withdrawl for 3 days for seemingly no reason and found some deep seated emotions i have been blocking out. ive had the lack of motivation for a while just did not care until i saw through the suboxone i think. it saved my life but 4 years may be enough as i am having these side effects. i planned on being a lifer until now. i have made a post of my side effects and got thrown in to an emotional rollercoaster and questioning my ability to remain on maitenance. Im doing this all solo as well, on my own terms, good and bad but i can do whatever i need to make things comfortable.


i started sub 4 years ago, started a business and had tons of motivation, recently i lost that drive (along iwth many otehr side effects, not just this) and i know it may not be the suboxone, it could be a side effect of a side effect (low T) or unrealted but ill assume its the suboxone for arguments sake and my research, and that i cant fix the issue as i am trying to do by altering dosage.

I have been LONG away from drugs, no recovery (Although i went through rehabs, 12 step, etc... before suboxone, all failed and the lifestyle kept me too close to addiction). dope was my DOC. i only was using about 4 years though before sub, im still pretty young, 20-25.

I have no fear of relapsing, i have a lot i want to accomplish in life. my fear is what will make me happier long term. i have not been sober as long as i can remember back in life.


Questions:

1.) Can anybody tell me what it was like on sub vs off? did you find things you thought the suboxone caused were or were not caused by the suboxone? i can wait 6 months of agony to get back to who i am, im not afraid of that. im afraid it will be for nothing.

2.) if anybody here can explain some things that they wish they would have known before jumping i would REALLY appreciate it. I know many relapse but i feel it seems to be people who have made different lifestyle choices from myself. i know many on sub that still live the same life they used to, im far away from all of that but if somebody else was aswell and did relapse id LOVE to hear about it.

3.) also can i work from home while experiencing withdrawls after about a week or 2? will family notice?

4.) what do you feel like 100% off the sub? do you feel like you were numbed while you were on it? i know nobody likes to talk about this because of how many lives it truly does save, but i really need some honest answers.

5.) finally, i was thinking of taking low dose vicodin through the withdrawals for up to 1 month then jumping off the vicodin. i was an iv heroin user, the last time i used i hated it so much i feel i would have stopped cold turkey if it was not for subs. i am truely disgusted by using drugs. my fear is the month long withdrawls, not the intensity but the length. being im not a pain patient and assuming i am honest about having no desire to use in over 3 years is this an option or absolutely stupid? i think maybe a bit of both.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2016 10:31 pm 
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Hey robby,

Yes, this is all hard and addiction sucks so let me say that first. I've been of bup far longer than your requirement and initially decided not to post - I did not know what to say bc your questions/statements are so concerning - some examples -- "I have no fear of relapsing" and "finally, i was thinking of taking low dose vicodin through the withdrawals for up to 1 month", "no recovery", but then decided to comment.

FYI, I am verbally generous and kind in real life but with the written word, something seriously gets lost between my brain and typing and I fail to provide in writing the empathy that we all need and deserve.

My biggest weapon against relapse is an incredibly healthy fear of relapse, a nice medical word for going back out into that miserably hard world of active addiction. and if it wasn't that way for you - then it will be next time. And, you exemplified that you aren't afraid of relapse when you state your openness to go back on vikes to help w wds. So yes, I see you have no fear of relapse bc that's exactly what will happen when you use vikes to wd. This says to me - when life gets real and normal life stuff happens, you'll reach for pain pills for comfort...

I got my life back on bup and never knew the difference on or off except I had/have to continue to learning mental and emotional strengthening. I watch out for every and any danger zone that could get me in trouble. I'm relaxing some after 5 yrs off but am still careful and selfish. I only have healthy people places and things in my life, any hint of non-healthy and it's cut cut cut. Its the way it has to be. Wishing you my best, P

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Did well on Suboxone. Stopped May 2011.
Stopping went well -- its the staying stopped -- where the real work begins.
Coming here 'keeps recovery green'.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2016 12:33 am 
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I've posted this dozens of times over the years. I've treated over 800 people with buprenorphine over 10 years; I've treated probably twice as many who were in 'abstinent recovery' while med director of a 50-bed residential treatment program. I'm now director of a methadone program that has about 300 people, a sober residential program that treats 14 people at a time for 60-90 days each, and a buprenorphine program that has about 100 long-term patients.

I left the large residential program because they would not use buprenorphine, and I became tired of seeing obituaries of former success stories. NOBODY believes he/she will die after spending a month or two in 'successful' residential treatment. People should read that sentence twice, because SO MANY of those people die-- some within a day of leaving.

Likewise, nobody who tapers off buprenorphine thinks he/she will die. They all say the same thing. 'I'll be fine, doc! I know what I'm doing. I don't even THINK of using!' The 6-8 former patients of mine who died a couple years after stopping Suboxone were all young, in their 20's-- and most were being told by family, or by themselves, that 'they were missing something'-- that they weren't REALLY clean.

Weill, they are missing pretty much everything at this point. To their parents, I say 'great call!' Insensitiviy, yes-- but frankly they deserve it. They had the facts about relapse-- and they had me arguing with them every chance I had. But a couple of them even accused me of having a 'vested interest in Suboxone'. I explained, I have a LONG list of patients asking for treatment. I make MORE money when people leave treatment and I take someone new. I had a 'vested interest' in STOPPING treatment. But those people used their bias and ignorance to push their kids to their deaths. They may have well have talked them into walking a wire across the Grand Canyon without a net.

I digress...

Younger people pay more attention to how they 'feel' than us older folks. People usually learn that how you 'feel' is a poor predictor of how you are doing, or of your abilities. People accomplish all sorts of things when they 'don't feel motivated'. I always think of the people who took Iraq during the second war there-- how none of them felt like gearing up in 110 degree heat and clearing IEDs. I bet they got up, after a few crappy hours of sleep, and dreaded the job. Movies never show those images-- but that's what you hear from the people who were there. What makes them courageous and heroic is that they acted, even when they felt as bad as they have ever 'felt'.

Another digression... people who accomplish things in the world are never given the credit they deserve; they are even resented for their successes. I think that is because of a useful incorrect assumption that it was somehow easier for them. People often say "I would have done such and such if I felt better". What they miss is that the people who accomplished things didn't FEEL any better. They just learned to ignore 'feelings'-- or at least learn to never let them get in the way of what they needed to do.

I think you can guess at my answer. I do not hear any differences in complaints from people with different treatments. Yes, some methadone patients are dosed too high, something I try my hardest to avoid at the place I've been working. But I see people on methadone for several years making their 3rd shift jobs in hot factories, dosing at the clinic, then going home to raise their kids. Some methadone patients focus on how they feel-- sweaty, tired, etc-- don't excercise, and don't work. I also see people on buprenorphine do the same-- i.e. some work, and some don't because they 'feel' too anxious or unmotivated. Then I have the abstinent addicts, and also the non-addicted psych patients. And guess what? Some of them are hard workers. And some of them aren't-- because they don't 'feel' good. So often I hear patients say, 'but doc, I just don't feel like I can get out of bed some mornings.' I'll say, if the room was on fire, could you get out of bed? And of course they could. Then I tell them the truth-- that most of the time, I don't feel like getting out of bed in the morning! They usually say something about how I don't understand, how they REALLY don't want to, and I must want to more than they want to.

Whatever you do, stop thinking about how you feel. Just stop making it something important enough to think about, or to notice. Pretend like it doesn't matter-- because it really doesn't HAVE to matter.

If you taper off buprenorphine, you'll feel a thrill for a few months. That happens after a person does ANYTHING that they put effort into. You may even convince yourself that you 'feel' better a year after stopping. But I see people from all groups-- and there is just no difference. If you want to stop buprenorphine, stop it. You will be sujecting youself to risk, so be smart about it. Using hydrocodone to reduce withdrawal is simply nonsense.... I assume you couldn't control agonists before, so you missed a chapter somewhere if you think you can control them now!!


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2016 9:03 pm 
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Reading this I can't help but comment on how useful Subdoc's advice is here.

To answer some of your questions. In my personal experience, I found I was able to do productive things much earlier than I thought I would. Subdoc's comments remind me of the dread I felt returning to work, with no motivation, passion or energy. However I had to, and the funny thing was, once I was in the familiar environment, mental muscle memory kicked in and I was perfectly functional. I didn't enjoy it, but I could cope. It took a long time to fully recover, but unlike full agonists, it wasn't physically debilitating during that time.

I was on Sub for 10 years, and prior to that was using H for 10 years, culminating with a habit so severe I was hospitalized when I stopped with heart palpatations and siezures.

At the time of jumping sub, I thought I was a fool for staying on it so long. I had planned to jump so many times but had put it off due to work. Now on reflection I am glad, staying stable for 10 years built a strong foundation where there had previously been none. Only on a solid foundation, of good behaviours and healthy routine, can you ever succeed on the 'tight-rope'. Let's face it, we used drugs because of our difficult lives and our inability to cope with it's ever increasing harsh blows. Using drugs provided a much needed crutch, but at the same time made us less able to cope without them.

Do I feel jumping from sub solved all my problems? No. Not being able to count on motivation after a pill made my life more difficult afterwards, not easier. However it was the next logical stepping stone in healing and building emotional resilience and strength without drugs.

Is it a huge weight off ny shoulders not to have to rely on it? Absolutely, reflecting now, I remember the dread of wondering if I would be in a car accident and need surgery, or if I was forced to be without my medication for some reason at a crucial time. It's great to be on the other side and truly stable. However I look around and my kin are far and few between, heed the warning in Subdoc's words.

On building strength, and my crutch analogy, for anyone who's interested. Something I have found is that all of the experiences that I had no skills to cope with, I got better at by subjecting myself in short doses. For instance, social anxiety - something that would have me running from sobriety in the past, I started to try and absorb like it was an acquired taste. I would think to myself 'god this is intense!' and smile and laugh to myself at the absurdity of the experience, almost like I had searched it out for a twisted sense of enjoyment. Whilst I thought going to the opposite extreme - learning to enjoy social anxiety, was going to be a new lifelong experience, I actually found I got a lot better at it over time and now I can be in a room full of strangers and feel calm and relaxed, and sober!

Drug addiction is a symptom, not a cause. Sub allows you to put the addiction on hold whilst you treat the underlying cause. Sub itself is not going to heal you and build strength, but it will help support you and get you walking so one day you might have the strength to let go and walk on your own.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2016 2:40 am 
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Patiamplius,

Agree agree agree w your quote:

"Sub allows you to put the addiction on hold whilst you treat the underlying cause. Sub itself is not going to heal you and build strength, but it will help support you and get you walking so one day you might have the strength to let go and walk on your own".

Glad you popped in w your detailed and helpful comments! Hope to hear more from you, Peli

_________________
Did well on Suboxone. Stopped May 2011.
Stopping went well -- its the staying stopped -- where the real work begins.
Coming here 'keeps recovery green'.


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