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PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2013 4:45 pm 
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Hi everybody,
After an 11 or 12 year old struggle with prescription pain medication addiction, I have been on Suboxone for nine days. It has been wonderful. It took about a week for me to become stable on my dose (16mg, which I think might be a tad too high for me, but that is for my doctor to assess); but, it is amazing to be able to sleep without sleeping pills, to not have the psychological hell of withdrawals, to have eliminated the physical aspect of withdrawal, and to feel "normal".

Normal brings me to my next point - I realize this will be an interesting journey, as I no longer know what "normal" is for me. I no longer know myself. But, I do know that I don't like the person who I became using opiates. Of course, there were times of abstinence, as there were times of minimal usage, and there were times when there weren't enough opiates to keep me satisfied. But, the last time I remember feeling "normal" was when I was last on Suboxone for an extended period of time in another country (the medication is only now starting to be used in the country in which I now live, and many doctors are completely unaware of it). I am fearful that I will no longer be the strong and independent woman I once was. I hear of damage that can be done to one's receptors, and fear that I may have permanently damaged myself.

There are two other things I would like to discuss. First off, I cannot adequately express my appreciation to Dr. Junig for bringing his websites to fruition. The information he offers is invaluable. Moreover, as a recovering addict himself, he is in a very rare position of being able to fully empathize with his patients, and being able to call his patients on their crap. I envy those who are fortunate enough to be treated by him. I really value his posts, which offer and are based upon actual scientific information as to the workings of buprenorphine and other opiates, and their effects on the human body and society as a whole. So, THANK YOU DR. JUNIG!!!

Next, I find myself very frustrated with not only the clinic where I am prescribed Suboxone, but also the pharmacy at which I MUST take my Suboxone (the pharmacist has to witness me taking the Suboxone as part of the program). For example, I have been often warned, by both my physician and pharmacist, of the dangers of mixing the Naloxone in the Suboxone with other opiates. I want to tell them to read up on the bio-availability of Naloxone when taken sublingually, but don't want them to think that I am taking other opiates, so choose to keep my mouth shut. I have also been told that five to ten minutes of the tablet in my mouth is more than adequate, and that if this does not suffice, they could increase my dose. The tablets don't even dissolve in my mouth in ten minutes, much less break down to a state where the medication can be absorbed into the bloodstream. I realize that, for physicians to prescribe buprenorphine for opiate addiction, they must take an eight-hour course, and I wish more physicians would take this course so that the medication was more available to addicts. But, I also wish that there was ongoing training - even optional training - available to physicians and pharmacists. Even a monthly "newsletter" of sorts would benefit the medical community, and thereby society at large. It's just very frustrating when you know you are being provided inaccurate information. Fortunately, I have the benefit of being able to research what I am taking. However, there are many patients who do not have the luxury of Internet access, or perhaps are not of the nature to question what they are told by medical professionals. Sorry for my rant, but I very frustrated by this. In fact, my physician was not aware that Suboxone can be used as an analgesic.

Anyway, I am grateful for this board, and, again, grateful for Dr. Junig. I look forward to learning more about what everybody has to say about their recovery journeys. Fortunately, mine has begun.

SFF


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 1:18 am 
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Hello SFF and welcome to the forum!

I completely understand your story and how it is for you as it was also my story, well some of it anyway. I would use, use, use, take some time off (very little time actually), and then right back at it. Tried quitting so many times I could never count half of them, and continued to relapse, after relapse, after relapse. And the pills I went through would fill any pharmacy several times over. Then finally Suboxone entered into my life and that was all it took for me to realize that I could actually feel "normal" again, and on a drug of all things. And it was/is a very strong and powerful opiate, but for some reason my cravings and withdrawals went away. I found that amazing! I continued to live and did anything I wanted to do and all I had to do was take my dose at the time, and I was good to go.

But there came a time I knew was MY time to get off the drug. It had done it's job, and done it perfectly, but my time to end Suboxone therapy was here. This was about 3 years later and I no longer wanted to even THINK about using drugs again let alone go back to old ways of obtaining drugs, and I certainly had no desires to ever use again. I just simply got tired of the game and knew my life was worth way more than being high on drugs all the time. Suboxone did this for me, and helped me to try once again to live life drug-free. I'm just a little over 5+ weeks Suboxone free, but so far everything is going perfectly. I hope you journey can be as great as mine has been on Suboxone therapy!

You mentioned the time it took for the pills to dissolve and I was wondering if you couldn't maybe cut them into either halves, or better yet quarters to help with absorption? I realize the pharmacist has to witness you taking the pills, but would they allow you to cut them up so they would dissolve quicker? Just a thought as that is what I did sometimes when in a hurry, and when I was on the pills. I personally found the film to dissolve much quicker for me..

Anyway you have found a great site here with caring, knowledgeable, and experienced members all willing to help as you will see. I wish you the very best as you continue with the Suboxone. I suggest journaling your progress here on your thread as it's very nice to see how far you've come later down the road.

Again welcome to the forum and we look forward to hearing more from you!

Karen xoxo


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 8:24 am 
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Hi Searching,

Welcome to the forum!

I really enjoyed reading your post, and can empathise with your concerns. You actually put forth some great ideas about how to better educate the providers of suboxone therapy. I too would love to see some kind of education for the doctors and pharmacists who "think" they have all the answers. It can be very frustrating when you know that you are more knowledgeable than your doctors about the drug they claim to be an expert on. I'm not saying that in an arrogant way, It really isn't hard to obtain this information, but they are happy to rely on the 8 hour course and the info they get from the RB reps. It's quite sad that most of them don't care to find the answers to the problems their patients have.

I wish you the best of luck with your treatment. I just wanted to give you a welcome and tell you we are glad to have you as a member!

Q

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 1:49 am 
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Thank you so much for the responses; your support and welcoming attitudes are really appreciated!

I am on day 15 of Suboxone treatment (16 mg), and saw my Suboxone physician for the 3rd time this morning. I am feeling much better, and each day, it seems as though I am "getting my brain back". It's reassuring.

Physically, there have been a couple of things going on: first off, I have started getting post-nasal drip in the mornings, as one does when in early opiate withdrawal, which resolves when I go to the pharmacy and take my dose; and, second, I have found myself exceptionally tired the last few days. I don't know if the tiredness is simply my body trying to make up for all of the rest I lost when I was on full agonists (opiates kept me awake - especially if I had taken too much). Before the Suboxone treatment commenced, I was on Valium 10 mg three times per day and Restoril 30 mg at bedtime, and still couldn't sleep. Now, I fear taking Valium because I am already so sleepy, so restrict it for severe anxiety attacks only, and don't bother with the Restoril. Is tiredness normal? What about the post-nasal drip in the mornings?

I do have another question. When I had tried Methadone, I gained 30 pounds in nine months. I have since lost it. But, I am wondering if other Suboxone patients have experienced weight gain since starting treatment. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

Again, thank you for the warm reception. It was really heart-warming.

Sincerely,
SFF


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 12:05 pm 
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Being tired while on Suboxone is fairly common, but it can also be an indicator of your dose being too high. 16mg of Suboxone is a pretty hefty dose. Most doctors have been trained, I think, to get their patients in and around 16mg, but IMO, 16mg is rarely necessary. Many of our forum members have found that they feel much better on Suboxone as their dose is lowered.

Do you mind if I ask your opiate history? How many mg's of pain meds were you taking a day? What meds were they?

As for not knowing what normal is anymore, welcome to the club!! :wink:

For many of us, our time on opiates screwed us up fairly significantly. Our addiction progressed unabated, our behaviors and thinking got pretty out of whack, but the good news is we can recover....it just takes time and work.

Oh Yeah, welcome to the forum!!

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 4:58 pm 
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searchingforfreedom wrote:
I do have another question. When I had tried Methadone, I gained 30 pounds in nine months. I have since lost it. But, I am wondering if other Suboxone patients have experienced weight gain since starting treatment. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!


I can't offer any experience as to gaining weight on suboxone. But, I can relate to your experience of gaining a ton of weight on methadone and then losing it all rapidly, once on suboxone. I remained with the weight off for the 6 years of my sub maintenance.


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Fond Du Lac Psychiatry
Dr. Jeffrey Junig, M.D., Ph.D.

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