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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:28 am 
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Hi everyone. I am a new posted but have been lurking these forums for a few weeks while I was trying to make my Suboxone or not decision. I started treatment 4 days ago. Now I am questioning that decision and could really use some answers and support. I have seen what a wonderful support system you all are to each other here and would really appreciate and respect some advice.

First, a little bit about me and how I got here. I am a 30something mother of 3 children. I am a college graduate with two masters degrees. I have a professional career as a high school teacher. HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?!?! Drug addicts are high school drop outs who grew up in foster homes and joined a street gang (or something like that). NOT people like US! (I hope you all understand what I mean by saying this. I certainly didn't mean to imply that I am better than anyone here. I was just saying the same thoughts I know almost all of you had when you first recognized that the was a problem).

So, I have a different variation of the same story I have read over and over here. It all began the day after I gave birth to my third child via c-section. From that day on, I was suddenly and almost constantly in severe pain. I was experiencing intense burning pains all over my body and was having extremely painful muscle spasms in my back and thighs. A few days after
leaving the hospital with my newborn, i went to my doctor because the pain never stopped. I left with a prescription for 20 5mg percocet. I only used then as prescribed and when absolutely needed. The pain continued as did the refills. After a few months, my doctor said this condition appears to be chronic and referred me to pain management. I still don't have answers as to what caused the pain but several doctors suspect that I have nerve damage from the placement of the spinal from the
surgery and severe fibromyalgia most likely caused by the trauma to my nervous system.

After approximately a year on the medication, I noticed it stopped taking away the pain. So, I took an extra pill here and the on the bad pain days. It didn't take me long to notice that an extra pill made me feel great. The stress of my job, keeping up with my house and kids, and finances suddenly didn't bother me so much. Also, I was suffering from severe fatigue with the fibro and all of a sudden I had this burst of energy that I hadn't had in a long time. I was finally able to live and enjoy life again. At the time, these pills were a miracle. You know how the rest of this story goes. Soon i needed more and more and more to feel as great. Within months, I was eating my entire prescription (which was 180 30mg oxyIR a month by this time) within 2 weeks. I somehow made a few "connections" at my brothers work place to buy more. Somehow it never crossed my mind that this was crazy and a sign of a huge problem. All I thought was how great I felt, how my depression disappeared, how my stress didn't matter, and how much energy I had. I seriously convinced myself that I somehow was a better parent because of these pills because I was able to do more. I was never dysfunctional on these pills. Within the last few months, I was eating 300 mg at a time every morning in order to go about my day. My house was always clean and I did a lot with my kids that I couldn't do before.

Unfortunately, this "wonder" me kept needing more and more and I had to buy from the streets as no doctor would ever prescribe me the amount I needed at this point. It was a FAST downward spiral. Within months, I was spending several thousand a month to buy these pills just to go about my daily life. I drained all the savings, was putting my family in debt, and even started selling our possessions. A day came a few weeks ago when my kids asked to go to the park a few miles away. I actually had to tell them no and made them spend a beautiful summer day stuck in the house because my gas tank was empty and I was maxed out on all my credit cards and my bank account was overdrawn by over $1000 and I wasn't getting paid for another week. I couldn't even scrape up $5 to put gas in the car. All of a sudden I notice we have almost no food in the house, the washing machine had been broken for weeks, the cable TV service was interrupted, and i never planned my sons birthday party because i had absolutely NO money! It actually took getting to this point and me and finally realizing what I was doing to my children before I figured out there was a real problem!

So, I began researching my options. Of course i tried cold turkey but it was impossible with work and taking care of the kids. I only made it 3 days. Inpatient detox wasn't an option because of the kids. I then learned about Suboxone. I didn't quite think it was the best option but it seemed like the only feasible option considering my personal situation. After doing some research on the medication, I had my doubts but I felt as if I had no other choice. After many phone calls, I was finally referred to a doctor who had no waiting list. I called last Thursday and I was scheduled for Saturday morning.

The doctor was kind enough and took a lot of time with me to answer my questions and to reassure me that I wasn't a complete failure. He was extremely kind and compassionate but I suspect he hasn't had much experience with this treatment yet. I was given a prescription and directions to take 3 8mg films a day. That is 24mg a day! I followed his instructions that first day and used all 3 and felt absolutely horrible. All I wanted to do was sleep all day and I was extremely sick to my stomach. Because my addiction and now treatment is a huge secret to everyone (not one friend or family member had any clue), I had to tell my mother I was coming down with an illness and needed help with the kids. After sleeping just about all day on the day I began treatment, I did some research on side effects. I couldn't understand why I felt so awful when I was told I would feel better than ever by the doctor. I determined that I was on way too high of a dose. Over the last 3 days, I tapered down to 4mg and feel pretty good so far.

So finally, to the reason I am here and the questions I have....

I am absolutely FED UP with all of this! I just want this whole nightmare over and behind me. After beginning treatment, I learned how addicting the Suboxone is and how long and bad the withdrawals can be. I had no idea there were withdrawals when stopping this medication. I thought you just took it for a few weeks, tapered down, and stopped. Of course I learned better after reading more about others experiences. I also now better understand that Suboxone is a tool to basically buy you time to get your life back in order and change your habits and your environment. Once you have done that, you still have to "pay up" and suffer the withdrawals. This may not be the right way to think about it and this is where I can use advice but I just don't think I need that extra time this medication offers. I never was surrounded by others that use. I don't know dealers on every corner, just two older ladies that used to work with my brother and have since left there and I have no way to contact. Now that my doctor knows of the situation, there really is nowhere for me to even get pills again even if I wanted to. Lastly, this was a relatively short term addiction. All of this considered makes me think the faster the better off of this education. I am absolutely sure I have the will power as I am DONE. My children are my WORLD and I would never, ever hurt them again. I am just so frustrated and angry that I am in this position to begin with! I was actually holding my sleeping toddler in my arms earlier today and thinking to myself that bringing him into this world is what started this madness. I almost for a moment regretted my child. Can you believe how sick and selfish of me to have such a thought?!?! I did quickly remind myself how blessed I was to have him and told myself that I would do it over again if I had to in order to have my son but this has just been absolute hell!!!

Should I taper fast and get the hell off this stuff? I know you will suggest discussing it with my doctor, but as I said, I think he is new to this and a bit uninformed and has already recommended at least a year of treatment. Some advice or experience with a fast taper would be very appreciated. Would it be unrealistic to expect to be off of this within the next 3 weeks at most? If I do taper fast ( I'm thinking dropping 1mg every 2 days and then skipping days for the last week or so), how will I most likely feel considering I just started the medication? Any better suggestions to get me off this within 3 weeks? Anyone feel I may be making a bad choice here?

Any suggestions, advice, and support would be greatly appreciated. I have absolutely nobody in my personal life to talk to or
to turn to for support. I am hoping I will get to know some of the amazing people here who would mind becoming my support group. :)

I'm sorry for such a long post but guess I needed to vent a bit to people who truly understand the awful things I have done to my children and myself and who (hopefully) won't judge me by my unfathomable actions. Thank you in advance to anyone willing to respond to my post. You really are my only option for support (although i did make a counseling appointment for next week) and I really appreciate the knowledge and experience of those of you here who have walked a mile in my shoes.

Thank you!!!


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 2:12 am 
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First off I am really sorry what you are going through. I remember when I first went on subs. It wasn't fun for the first week or two but kept getting better after that for the most part. I didn't want to go on it, but at that point needed to hold my job and it seemed it was my only option. I too read all the horror stories and wanted off asap. Well its been over 13 months since then. I still have my job and have completely turned my life around due to subs. Don't let the horror stories fool you. Most of the time suboxone is not the problem, it is the way people chose to go about getting off of them. That is a pretty common theme amongst all the negative stories, and you'll notice the success stories out there are due to people weaning off properly without much of a problem at all. I have spent almost the whole time I ve been on suboxone fretting about how the hell I am going to get off. Well I tapered all the way down without much of a problem and am on my way to being off. Its hardly been painful, just a little tedious. My advice to you would be to start on a low dose, 4mg or less. If you need more to begin with just make sure to taper down low as soon as your ready. I only started on 1.5 mg but most people start a little higher. Don't let some idiot Doc overprescribe you. Id say 75% of them don't even know what the hell they are doing with this drug.. Hope this helped. Good luck to you


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 7:18 am 
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When it comes to having withdrawals getting off suboxone, I think of it this way: We were already addicted to opiates when we started on suboxone. We couldn't quit cold turkey nor could we taper off those full agonists. With suboxone, however, we ARE able to taper off. PLUS - it's not like suboxone is supposed to save us from the withdrawals that we already have coming to us. That's how I see it. When we stop suboxone, we were due to have those withdrawals from having been addicted to opiates in the first place.

I also want to touch on the statement you made about suboxone being "addictive". Think of it this way: Full agonist opiates are addictive - they screw with our lives and change our behaviors. We end up destroying our lives and relationships with self-destructive behaviors all because of our addictions. But once on suboxone, those behaviors will normally cease. We don't go chasing around to get suboxone. And while on suboxone, we actually can start repairing all that we destroyed during our active addiction. Suboxone helps us to live a "normal" life again. Yes, we'll have to wean ourselves off. But that makes us dependent on the medication, not addicted to it. I think of that as a very big difference.

Perhaps think about giving yourself some time to stay on suboxone. It will allow you some time to learn to live without popping pills all day long. And when you're ready you can start to taper off. And like I said,it's not like we didn't already have those withdrawals coming to us anyway.

Good luck and I hope this at least gives you a different perspective.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 9:45 am 
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motherof3,

I also am a mother of 3. My three boys are grown (the last having graduated high school this year). Like you, I am not one of THOSE kinds of addicts (not on the outside, anyway. I've gone to enough recovery meetings to hear how much my insides are like the majority of them). :wink:

As far as feeling awful through the induction, you could have been prescribed too much or it could be that you respond poorly to the induction. I think that some of us don't react to inductions as well as others do. I want to warn you that the 4mg that you are taking on the third day include all the milligrams left from the half-lives of the doses that you've taken the previous days (the first day being 24mg). So, 4mg in another five days will not be what it is today. Hopefully, you can work this out with your doctor to find a good maintenance dose if you don't taper.

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So finally, to the reason I am here and the questions I have....I am absolutely FED UP with all of this! I just want this whole nightmare over and behind me.


So many addicts feel this way. I know that I did. Unfortunately, addiction doesn't work that way. At NA we say, "We didn't become addicted in one day." Recovery takes time, even recovery with Suboxone.

Like you, I don't have street connections. I've told my doctors and my father (who had my main supply). I've even told my boss. I've burned all kinds of bridges that needed to be burned. But, I also know that my addiction can take me places where I've never gone, placed that will completely destroy my family, if I don't take the time to treat it.

As you mentioned, some addicts need the time that Suboxone affords to get their lives back together. Some of us are fortunate enough not to have lost everything. I still had my job and my family, my car and my house. What I didn't have was the sane mind that I had before the addiction took control. My coping skills disappeared. My coping depended upon popping a pill. My emotions came to rule over my reason. I would wake thinking about using and that would be the prevailing thought of the day. That's what addiction does ... it takes who we are as free individuals and makes us a slave to the drug. It takes time to gain that freedom back. For me, it has taken two years, even though my active addiction period was extremely short. (Don't let a short duration of active addiction fool you as to how powerful your disease can be. Just as some cancers can grow faster in people, addiction is a very, very personalized disease. After my first use, I was hooked. I couldn't think of NOT having the drug. That was after keeping my disease in check for many years.)


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I did quickly remind myself how blessed I was to have him and told myself that I would do it over again if I had to in order to have my son but this has just been absolute hell!!!


That is beautiful to read. Many times, I have told God that I would have accepted almost anything if I didn't have to go through the hell of addiction. I would remind myself that I haven't had to endure the loss of a child (my eldest son is in the military). That is the only thing that I wouldn't choose to trade for not being an addict. I'm trying very hard to understand that being an addict can be a blessing in as much as what I can learn from it and be able to offer to others because of it. Of course, I have a long way to go before I can truly appreciate that.

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Should I taper fast and get the hell off this stuff?


My advice would be: No. I tried that and relapsed. Then, I quit cold turkey and relapsed. Currently, I'm tapering off after two years of treatment. I agree that for most addicts (those who are merely dependent are another matter) at least one year of treatment is advisable. I can't speak for you. Only you know where your head is at. I do know that if you start to taper and you start having cravings or if your mind is still preoccupied with using, a quick taper very well may lead to a relapse.

I wish you the best. Please feel free to pm me.

Hugs,
Christin


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