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 Post subject: New Guy to this site
PostPosted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 3:47 pm 
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Hi All. I'm a 59 year old addict. Although I'm probably older than just about everyone on this site, our stories are all very similar. I started using drugs in high school. Shocking, I know. In those days it was mostly marijuana and alcohol, and occassionally whatever else happened to be around. A lot of experimentation. The pot and alcohol use stayed with me for the rest of my life until 18 months ago, when I got clean. Narcotics use was a close third, and of course it was narcotics that nearly destroyed my life and it's the reason I seeked treatment in February 2009. Narcotics were always my favorite, but fortunately it was also the hardest to get, most of the time. At 19 I started using drugs intravenously, and at 21 I came down with hepatitis. This was long before AIDS, so I wasn't careful at all. I got so sick that I was hospitalized for several weeks. On the plus side I was now clean, and I stayed clean for about 15 years. I still smoked pot and drank like a fish, but I stopped everything else.

I finished college, went to graduate school, got married, had 2 kids, and became a successful researcher for an international diagnostics and pharma company. One day I was walking down the hall at work and I had this strange feeling that something was missing. There was something that I needed to make things right, to make me feel right. Was it an antidepressant I needed, or maybe an anxiolytic? I'd been on each of these before at different periods of my life. It finally struck me that it was narcotics that I wanted. I hadn't thought about that euphoric feeling that narcotics gives you in years, but here it was out of nowhere. I didn't act on this urge right away. It wasn't like I just had to have it, but I knew that I would love it if I ever did have it again. So I just waited for the opportunity. On New Year's Eve I stepped out my back door, slipped on some ice, and fell landing on my side and back. It was a freak fall, and I ended up breaking 2 ribs. I was in such pain I could barely move. The emergency room treated me as best they could, and gave me a prescription for oxycodone. I was in love. It was like seeing an old high school sweet heart and falling in love all over again. I really was in a lot of pain, though, and I seeked out more drugs to kill the pain for weeks. Eventually I had to give it up, and then there was the withdrawal stage. Something we all go through. But to me, at the time, it was worth it.

I started having headaches not long after that, and I was always going to my doctor for treatment of them. We went through all types of remedies since it was difficult to diagnose what the cause was (if there was a cause), but I always talked him into treating the symptom as well. Hydrocodone and oxycodone became my drugs of choice I didn't even remember Vicodin from my younger days. We use to drink cough syrup with codeine back in the day, which I guess is similar. Like alot of others with narcotics addictions, I started going to other doctors and clinics besides my doctor for treatment of headaches, backaches, painful cough, anything I could think of to get narcotics.

One of my sisters was also a narcotics addict. She was a terminal patient with acute pancreatitis, so she was on all kinds of pain meds. She had bottles of Darvocet, hydrocodone, methadone, fentanyl suckers, and fentanyl patches. She didn't really care for the hydrocodone and methadone so she would often give those to me. During those few years before she died I would get addicted to them, and then have to kick several times. Then she would get a new supply. The methadone was actually harder to kick than the vicodin. When I would get down to the end of my supply I would break off smaller and smaller pieces. She passed away about 5 years ago, and started looking elsewhere for my drugs.

My doctor and immediate care centers were still good for occassional prescriptions, but there had to be a better way. This is the stage where it becomes a full time job. Planning how to get the drugs, scraping together the money, copping, using, storing. Never wanted to be somewhere and not have it handy. I got very creative. I'm not proud of it, but everything else took a back seat to me and my drugs. Work, family, friends, everything. Everyday at lunch I would go to the diviest bars I could find in the city where I lived. I was sure this way I wouldn't run into anyone from work. One bar I went to had a clientele that seemed suspiciously drug oriented. Sometimes you can just tell. After being away from heroin for 35 years I came across it again. It wasn't even that hard. Shortly after this slide down hill it was very obvious to my family that I had to seek help.

My wife told me that she was over it. She had actually helped me kick presciption drugs more than once. She would dole them out to me, lowerinig the dose every day until I could just walk away from it. But not anymore. I went to a drug treatment center on February 17, 2009. I started taking Suboxone a day or two after that, so Ive been taking it for 18 months. I'm certain that this saved my life. I couldn't have kept going the way I was. I've already lived longer than I was supposed to using drugs for 40 years, and being a pretty hard core addict off and on for the last several years.

I recently started weaning off. Went from 8mg to 6mg the first month and barely noticed any negative side effects. The next month I went from 6 to 4, and I didn't feel good for a couple of days, but it didn't last long. But in August I went from 4 to 2mg and that step has been difficult. I break a 2mg pill in half and take 1mg in the morning and 1 in the evening. Most of the time I feel like I need more still. A few days ago I though I might as well just step off right now. I mean 2mg is hardly anthing. Today was the third day without any Suboxone, and I couldn't do it. I went ahead and took 1 mg a couple hours ago, and I feel so much better now.

I'm curious to hear how others are handling this last step. I've read a few stories with mixed experiences and opinions, and I look forward to further dialogue. I don't care if it takes me a year to get off subox, it was worth it.

So we all have alot in common even thought our stories are different. The most important thing that we have in common though is that we are all alive.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 4:36 pm 
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Hello CW and a warm welcome to you! I'm so glad you found us and posted your story, thanks for sharing it. Before saying anything else, I just want to assure you that there are plenty of people close to or the same age as you here. So please don't feel that your age makes you in any way different from us. OK, now that that is out of the way...

I'm happy to hear that suboxone has served you well. I'm still on suboxone and probably will be for a very long time, but I've learned so much about it in the last 21 months. 2 mg is still a large dose to stop at. If you can spend the next few months tapering down as low as possible, I think you will be pleased with the results. (Check out the liquefied taper thread.)

During your sub treatment what else have you done/learned/changed to make you ready for life without sub? I think many people benefit from hearing about the various ways different people have turned their lives around.

Again, welcome. I hope you stick around and keep us updated on how you're doing.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 8:53 pm 
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Hey CW...

Like you, I am new here. I started on 2 8mg pills a day and dropped 2 mgs a week each week with no problem. That was until I went from 4 mg to 2mgs. I really noticed the drop. I was sweating profusely. More then most normal people sweat. And I got bad stomach cramps. That all went away after a few days. I was really wanting to drop down to 1.5 then 1.0 then .5 and then nothing. But it doesn't look like it will happen that way. And after reading various postings here, I realize that it is ok. I will get off it in due time.

So, not losing track of where this posting all began....4 mgs to 2mgs was hard for me and according to my doc, is a problematic drop for many.


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 Post subject: New Guy
PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 4:22 pm 
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Hi,
I am new myself and have been reading posts for the last week. I am curious as to why you want to get off of the suboxone. It seems that many people are trying to get off of it or plan to in the future. I am still trying to get my dose right and see if this is going to work for me but I am hopeful. If it does I can't imagine stopping. I have tried so many ways to obtain remission that if this works for me I will gladly take it for the rest of my life.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 5:08 pm 
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Hi jbyoungblood - I just wanted to welcome you to the forum, I'm glad you found us. I've been on sub for coming up on a 2 years soon and I feel the same way about it that you do. Although I acknowledge that some people simply don't want to be dependent on any kind of "pill", I'm not one of those people. I'm happy with my treatment and happy in remission. Why take chances (besides - I take it for pain, too). Again, welcome!

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-As I have grown older, I've learned that pleasing everyone is impossible, but pissing everyone off is a piece of cake.

-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 9:46 am 
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Wow, CW in IN, what a story! Thanks for sharing and welcome! And welcome to you too, jbyoungblood!

Hmm, well, CW, I think you've tried to jump off at a very, very high dose. I've been on suboxone almost exactly as long as Hatmaker (just shy of two years) and given that I have chronic advanced Hepatitis C that has not responded to treatment, I have no plans of coming off it any time soon, maybe not ever. I'm not quite as old as you, but I am also in the "older" category at the age of 46....I can definitely relate to your entire story.

Anyway, back to your desire to stop taking suboxone, I guess the question is: Why stop? If it's given you back a good quality of life, and you're not suffering any debilitating side effects, is there any particular reason why you wouldn't consider just staying on a relatively low dose for maintenance? Say, around 4mg? That's my ultimate goal, to get down to the lowest effective dose possible and just stay there...for ME, the reason why I want the lowest effective dose is because every couple of years I have to have a liver biopsy to check the progression of my disease. I go under general anesthesia for the procedure itself, but it's nice to have some pain management afterward, so if I am on a fairly low dose, I can stop taking the suboxone a few days before the procedure, then, if they give me enough pain meds to knock a elephant on its ass, it takes the edge off :lol: Then I just get back on the subs afterward.....

I don't know, for me, my life has been a never-ending series of relapses on opiates.....I just got to a point where, when I found suboxone, and realized how incredibly good it was at making me literally forget about and not care about getting and using drugs, I decided there was really no good reason for me to ever stop taking it, unless some medical reason compels me to stop at some point.

Glad you found us!


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