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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 12:49 am 
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Hi everyone

Im new to Sub and just wanted to join to get some support and info on the topic.
I have been abusing oxy and benzos for 2 years since my sister overdosed and died from all sorts of drugs. Prior to that I was a major pot head for 20 yrs and was on H about 17 yrs ago for a couple of years. I am 37 yrs old now and have not lived a straight life since I was a teenager. Stopped smoking pot nearly 2 yrs ago because I drive 2 hrs a day to and from work and was worried I would lose my license if stopped by a drug/booze bus.
In January I stopped drinking, as I am an alcoholic who was finding it very hard to maintain my job, family and life in general. Since then I have not had one alcoholic drink but the drug use went crazy.
I attend NA, since jan 2015 and have been trying to stop the drugs but only ever got up a couple of weeks clean. I had a sponsor and she ditched me because I kept busting. She was into speed before she became clean for 15 yrs and I think she didn't know enough about benzo and opiate abuse to know what advice to give. She told me to simply just stop. I have now learnt through professionals that can be dangerous due to the amount of my benzo intake daily.

Anyway I got myself into an AOD service which has been helpful. I cant do rehab or detox as I work full time and do uni part time and couldnt afford to stop my mortgage payments.
I have had a dual diagnosis from a psychiatrist (drug buse disorder ad bipolar), an assessment with an addiction specialist, I see a psychologist once a week and an AOD counsellor once a week also. They have finally convinced me I am at high risk of OD because (im high functioning for now) I didn't see the big deal about my usage and the risky cocktail of pills, until I was taking too many days off work and unable to pay bills and mortgage payments etc.

I started suboxone 3 days ago. I am so happy with the results so far. My $400 a week habit is now only costing me $25 for sub and I have already started getting my life back.
I have read heaps of negative stuff on the internet about suboxone but for me its actually saving my life already. My doc also has me on slow reduction of diazepam for safety reasons.
Im hoping to get support here with my treatment choice, unlike I do in NA where they say suboxone is cheating. Im just happy my safety is more levelled out as I wouldn't want to put my family through another OD. Its like im seeing life through a new lens.
Thanks


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 1:14 am 
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Congratulations on starting your recovery. I am so sorry for how hard it has been for you, I can't imagine everything you have been through. Just know that you made a great step forward and your life will continue to improve with recovery. I am very happy for you and hope that this forum helps you as I know it has helped me for quite some time.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 2:47 am 
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Welcome Mel,
You are among friends here and we are glad you found us!
It sounds like you have walked a difficult path for some time but I'm happy you are feeling good about starting suboxone. I have been on sub for 4 years and started at the same age you are now. I tried methadone, NA, DA counselling and collectively none of these came close to remedy my 24+ yrs of addiction. I jumped off methadone thinking I didn't need it anymore. After a protracted and painful WD, I relapsed months later. Desperate, I decided the implant was my only option but of course I pissed the 1000 it cost on h. Defeated, I realised I had one last hope. Subs turned my life of addiction,homelessness and prostitution into a healthy stable drug free reality.
The last 3 yrs I have worked FT in community care and I owe everything I have now to suboxone.
Start imagining what you want your life to look like because it actually can happen!
X


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 12:15 pm 
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Welcome Mel!!!!

Suboxone has saved my life and gave me life too. It's a lifesaver and I'm so so glad that ur already feeling better about urself. Even though ur only on day 3, isn't it great that ur not having to worry about being sick anymore and all the horrible stuff that comes along with using? At my clinic, we call it "the honeymoon phase" because ur just so happy that something actually works and ur not thinking about using 24/7. It's been years for me and I think I'm still in the honeymoon phase lol and probably will stay that way. The peace of mind that u get is priceless. I pretty much lost everything during my active addiction days. I was definitely what they call a non-functioning addict. It took over my whole existence. Today, I have a great life, with new relationships and ppl who trust me again. I tried everything imaginable trying to get clean and the only thing that worked for me is suboxone.

Congrats on making that choice and we're so glad ur here. This forum has been one of the best support systems I could have ever asked for.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 3:02 pm 
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Hi Mel78 and welcome to the forum!

You found the right place for support while taking Suboxone. Most of us here feel strongly about the recovery effect of Sub vs the negative crap you read online. Pull up a chair and consider yourself at home.

I too am an alcoholic and get very angry when AA members spout out about something they know nothing about. Isn't there a little saying in the Big Book about "We know very little", and "science may one day accomplish this but it hasn't done so yet"? In the case of opiate abuse science has found a way to stop the insane behavior and cravings of the addict. It just isn't alcohol we're talking about. Members at AA meetings do not want addicts to talk about other drugs they took. Tough! If you're an alkie like me and most of us, we had dual addictions with alcohol being my 1st drug of choice. My biggest fear when I sobered up many years ago was that I'd run into my old heroin dealer. His method of saying hello was to always put a spoon of junk under my nose and then convince me to feed his habit for the day or week. Luckily I never bumped into him in my first year of sobriety. Alcohol and opiates go hand in hand when it comes to the part of the brain that signals pleasure. I love them both. (past tense)

My suggestion is for you to go to AA and not mention you're on opiate replacement therapy. (ORT) At least not until they understand the importance of using it as a recovery tool. I hate to think of where I'd be if not for Suboxone. My body was very sick at the end and people were whispering about my health.

Find another meeting where no one knows you and go from there. It's a good support system and will help in your recovery. And keep coming here too. This forum is a recovery program in itself.

Welcome again to our support forum,

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 5:47 am 
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Thanks to all of you for making me feel very welcome and supported.
This forum is very helpful because apart from 2 close friends, my dealer (who is a family member) and my professional team, no one else knows about my struggle. I have not even told my partner. We have been together 9 years and I just think it would be no benefit to tell her at this stage. As my life is on track, we are happier than ever.
The suboxone is helping soooo much. I read people saying how it saved their lives but until I tried it, I was somewhat sceptical. I am still disliking the daily chemist visits but was really lucky to have such a great AOD nurse who explained my situation to the GP. My working hours don't fit in well with any chemist open hours so I am lucky to already be allowed 2 take aways a week.
The third day on sub I was not feeling covered enough so my GP put me up to 12mg. He also has me on Mirtazapine to help with sleeping and lamotrogine for mood disorder. I am really happy so far and don't even think much about getting high. I used to use to get the comatose effect but don't feel the need as much. Im now looking at dealing with my issues that have been covered for all these years with drugs. I know I have a long way to go but its a good start.
Its my sisters anniversary on Saturday and I would usually get myself so fucked up, I couldn't be sure to wake up the next morning. Nor did I really care. Well I cared enough to not want to put my family through another OD death. She passed 2 years ago and I feel confident that on sat I wont feel the need to fuck myself up, with the help of suboxone. I have made a decision to stay clean for my sisters sake and honour. If she were alive today, she would be so unhappy if she knew what I was doing to myself.
I live in Australia and reading about the cost of sub in America really gets me down, for you guys. How dare they make you pay so much for life saving medication. Here, whether you have insurance or not, we don't need to pay anything for GP appointments and my suboxone costs $25 per week. That's how it should be. How can you recover from active addiction paying so much money when you are trying to rebuild your life. Most of us have gotten into so much debt and trouble, the price of medication should be helpful, not a turn off.
Thanks for listening. It makes me feel less alone in this struggle of addiction recovery :)


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 6:28 am 
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Mel78,

Welcome! It's great to have you join us and I hope you'll stay for a long time. I began Suboxone treatment back in February. I was initially taking 20mg, but have reduced that to 10mg. The "pink cloud" tends to wane after a few months, and then you just begin living your life as normal.

I'm glad you have access to Suboxone at such a minimum cost. It must be approaching Spring in your area. I always got a lift in my mood and spirit at that time of year, and I hope you will as well. Again, please stick around and keep us updated on your progress.

Thanks,
Morphing


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 6:39 am 
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hey
Yes its spring here right now.
I live on the beach and soon the tourists will be coming in droves. The atmosphere in summer is fantastic but this will be the first summer clean. Sober from grog for nearly 9 months now and happy about that but the summer life here in Aus is all about dinking. I attend AA and NA and hope I can stay strong and on the wagon.
Suboxone here is not looked upon kindly. To me, its a matter of harm reduction and that's what matters at this point in time. I do worry about how long I will need to be on it tho. My GP says at least months but i have read heaps of people saying its harder t get off the longer ur on it.
Does anyone know if this is true? I know I will need at least 6 months to get out of the using habit but don't want to be reliant on it for years. The addiction disease makes me think long term use may just have to be the way of life. Any thoughts?


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 12:06 pm 
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Hi Mel, Welcome! I too have had the same feelings about wanting to be done with suboxone and weaning myself off as fast as possible. I decided to let go of that thinking and just focus on today. I have been in and out of the rooms of AA/NA/DT/OA/ACOA since I was a kid. My Mom is in recovery and would drag us to meetings. I love the 12 steps and feel that the philosophy is a good way to live life. So, I do try to take things one minute at a time! lol I hope you stick around! Its nice having a voice from "down under" Just a ps, I live at the "Jersey Shore" our summer season has just ended and we are back to normal!


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 6:26 pm 
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Thanks Michelle
You just reminded me that I should just take it one day t a time. I think too much and then stress about everything. Today im clean and that's all that matters.
Im guessing you have members from all over the world on this site? I just havnt found one in Aus that's really good yet. But im happy because we are ll in the same boat when it comes to ddiction.
Have good day/night, whatever time it is where u are :)
I going to AA tonight and NA 3 times a week. Everyone is right in saying to not mention sub, its none of their business!!!

Thanks


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2015 3:22 am 
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Hi Mel,
I'm really sorry to read about your sister, I can't imagine how hard that must be for you. If you ever want to talk about it, we are here.
I'm in oz too, so I understand what you mean with chemist visits. The good news is, (providing you tick the boxes) you will be eligible for 6 TA's. I visit the chemist once a week and pay 30 bucks a week. Small price to pay for stability. Never has my prescriber asked me for urine test and he is happy for me to stay on for good.
Hope things are going well for you!!


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2015 7:31 am 
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Hey Katipo

Things are going well but since yesterday I have an annoying dull headache. Im not taking anything for it as I know from others, it is a side effect of sub. Any advice on what could help with that?
Im in Melb, where are you?

Im feeling a bit crap tonight as im getting emotional about this weekend. I usually spend the anniversary with my sisters kids and try to help them get through this tough time of year. The good news is that this will be the first time I visit them CLEAN!!
Have a good night


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2015 8:10 am 
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Mel,

One suggestion I heard for avoiding the headaches as your body adjusts to the Suboxone (but heard too late for me to try) was to hold the saliva in your mouth until the dose had absorbed, but then spit out all the saliva. It is thought that the naloxone, which does not get absorbed sublingually as the buprenorphine does, is what causes the headaches, and spitting it out helps to avoid them. You might want to give this a try and let us know if it prevents the headaches.

Thanks,
Morphing


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2015 6:00 pm 
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Hi Morphing
I will try your suggestion today. But wont I lose some of the bupe when I spit spit put the saliva??

Thanks


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2015 9:44 pm 
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You will spit out any remaining bupe with the saliva, but you will lose that last little bit of the medication by swallowing it too. Any bupe that is swallowed is destroyed by stomach acid. So go ahead and try spitting when you would usually swallow the saliva. :)

Amy

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2015 5:03 am 
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Hiya Mel,
How are you feeling today? Given the significance of this weekend, I really hope you feel supported.
Please feel free to talk to us if it will help.
Any improvement with the headaches? I'm not sure this is a side I ever experienced but I really hope you find some relief.
I'm in Melbourne too!
I mentioned I have an excellent DR and also amazing pharmacy who allow me to take all my subs home so I never have to dose in the chemist.
My previous pharmacy was in Preston and the pharmacist was a complete asshole.
He routinely made me wait unnecessarily, even when I was the only customer.
He would see me enter and then turn on a vacuum and Hoover for up to ten minutes.
He would then eventually ask me to take my subs( which were in pill form then )and sit and wait five - ten mins until dissolved and I would have to open my mouth and poke my tongue out before I was permitted to leave. Prick.
When I started sub I was inducted on 3 mg and my Dr at the time told me it was protocol to start low.
I had to beg and plead for an increase.
My current DR has me on 16mg and while it's predominantly for addiction, that dose works well treating my pain issues.
Take care Mel and let us know how you're doing.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2015 2:31 am 
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Hey Katipo

Well I tried the spitting out saliva once the film had dissolved but still had the headaches. I'm not too concerned as I read that its a very common side effect. What makes me laugh is that sub is a pain killer and yet it doesn't deal with headache pin lol. I looed up what OTC painkillers I can use and found Ibuprofen so took some and headache gone.

This weekend has been a bit rough but I think the suboxone has helped emotionally. I read another thread about subs making you lose emotions and even from the first day of taking it I felt quite numb emotionally. I have rapid cycling bipolar and am always bouncing off the walls (mostly in a good way). Its the type where i'm more up than down, which i'm happy for as depression is terrible. Anyway, my moods have levelled out and I think this is what normal people must feel like. I do feel that the sub is dulling my emotions which is good because i'm a massive crier and this time of year I think of my sister and start balling my eyes out. This did not happen. I had one small cry yesterday after talking to my mum and that was all.

I have had massive support from my friends and friends from NA. They are really supportive and even when I try to hide away, they make sure to be in contact. Its great. This forum is also. My family don't know about this whole sub situation so they were just supportive of the time of year for me. As for my dealer, she tried to (without being direct) see if I needed anything to get me bye and I kindly told here what im doing now and she was supportive of this. That surprised me.
I went to see my GP today as im still on weekly visits.
So I started on 8mg on 10 sep, then he bumped me up to 12mg on the 13 sep as 8 was not holding me. Today I explained my cravings and their frequency and he put me on 18mg. This is not a concern for me as my AOD nurse and he are in regular contact and they both know how impulsive I can be and my cocktail of usage is very dangerous. They are both wonderful and I am putting all my trust and faith in their opinions. (last night I felt like getting totally written off, as I usually do when im upset about my sister but it was nice to know I couldn't use opiates and didn't try to score anything else). Its such a relief that im not having to find money I don't have and chase for pills.
I asked him today how long until I can get more take always and he said soon. He understands that I work full time and live an hour away from work - hence, the chemist hours are difficult for me to fit in with.
Your old chemist and pharmacist sounds like a total prick! Mine are nice but I do get a slight feeling off one of them that im a second rate customer because of my sub and diazepam scripts. (My GP has me on slow reduction of benzos for safety reasons, as my habit was quite high).
The weather is lovely this weekend but unfortunately I have essays to write for uni so im mainly indoors. Im about to take my dog to the beach which will be a nice break. I live on the peninsula and so if she doesn't get her daily beach run, im not her favourite for the day :)
How long have u been on sub and what do you think of it?

Thanks so much for checking in on me, I appreciate it.
Mel


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2015 5:31 am 
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Hi Mel,
I hope the headaches resolve, While most likely unrelated, I would also make sure you stay well hydrated.
I'm really pleased you have noticed some early benefits to stabilising your mood. I'm not sure I'm aware of any emotional numbing but I do reap the benefits of subs anti depressant properties!
On top of that, there is absolute happiness attached to not being in addictive addiction.
The last four yrs I have struggled to gain weight and (men cover your eyes now please!....and period was absent for 2 yrs) I was sure it was the subs. I had hep c for ten yrs from my using days and went through peg interferon last yr for 48 wks, thankfully I have cleared the virus. I have a cirrhotic liver from hep c and now attribute my previous weight/ hormonal issues to liver fibrosis.
Since clearing the virus and stopping smoking I'm now a healthy weight and menstruating (really sorry)
I would definantly encourage Past IV users to test for hep.
I just know it's easy to attribute anything deemed out of the ordinary on subs.
Sorry, for going on about me me me!
Mel, Its excellent you have a wide support network and really important so early on in recovery.
I'm glad that you acknowledged and honoured the memory of your sis without getting shit faced.
You should be really proud of yourself!
I absolutely adore animals so it always makes me happy hearing about others pets having a good ol time.
Have a great night!


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2015 7:39 am 
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Wow, sounds like you have been through a lot of shit with your health, so sorry to hear. Any irreparable damage?

Thank you, im pretty proud of myself too. Its the first time in my life not getting shit faced at any hard to deal with situation. I just have to get used to this new life sub is offering me, and not screw it up.
As I mentioned earlier, my GP upped my dose today and I have not had as much of a headache....maybe its that. I will definitely drink more water and try to eat healthier. That's part of my recovery plan, to eat healthier and go to the gym more than twice year lol.

Talking of pets, mine are harassing me daily as they have me well trained. I have 1 dog, 1 cat, 3 cockatiels, and about 14 fish. I don't have kids but they are my substitute for sure. I love animals way more than people. Funny, as Im a youth worker. Around people all day(which I do love my job absolutely) but coming home to the greetings I get from fur babies is priceless.

Have a good week yourself and thanks for the support.


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