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PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 7:18 pm 
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Hello! I have issues with my back which lead me to seek pain management: 2 ruptured and leaking lumbar discs, an arachnoidal cyst growing ON my spinal cord causing severe cord compression, AND disease in my cervical, neck, landing me with Hoffmann's symptoms, where my hands might be numb when I wake up and they might not be. I drop things a lot also. So anyhow, I had legit reasons to start taking pain meds.

I ended up taking six, maybe some days seven, 10 mg Lortabs along with three or four 30mg morphine pills, the extended release kind that you are not supposed to chew up. My pain on the pain scale of 1 - 10 could easily be around a 7 or 8 on a typical day, or if it's a day of shopping for groceries, easily shoots up to a 9 or 10. Crying, howling, sobbing, animal noises ensued from me at this point. The pain was a monster in me, the pain meds were the monkey on my back. I ended up abusing the morphine by chewing them up. I also started eating up my valiums nearly as soon as I got them, sometimes putting four of them under my tongue (nasty!) and never felt a thing. I also ate up all of my sleep meds, Sonata, pretty quickly too. I knew I had a problem. I ended up in a psychiatric hospital in the middle of August and they took away my lortabs and upped my morphine from 90mg a day to 150 a day and said that when I would be released they wanted me to start on a new medicine called Suboxone which they said would really help with my pain and help me stop taking all of those other pills. I said Great!!

I went home and had about 4 days before I'd meet with my new pain management doctor, so I went on a pill binge and took everything I had left in 2 days. I know I had to start detoxing from the opiates so the Suboxone would work well. I went through about 32 hours of no pills and the 2 night I had the most restless legs ever. By the morning I was set to start the Suboxone, I was pretty well into withdrawels and acting like I was geeking out really good in the reception waiting room.

The doctor, that angel, gave me half of an 8mg tablet to start me off. After a half hour, he saw I was ok, and he gave me the other half. He wrote me a prescription for three 8mg sublingual tablets a day. I actually LIKE the tablets, I LIKE the taste of them. (And I find if I eat a spoonfull or two of sherbet after it melts and it's gone that it helps with the taste).


The only side effect I've noticed is I'm pooping less. My pain level has indeed shot down to about a 1 or a 2! I am practically pain free after so many years! It is a miracle, I said. That's what mom said too. Mom has her own back problems and is using the fentanyl patch now for years and is jealous that I'm so pain free and she isn't, LOL.

When you guys say you have bad CRAVINGS for the opiates you used to take, what exactly do you mean? Because for me, it was all about taking a couple of lortabs and a morphine and then getting online and feeling really happy. *I don't work because I am disabled, btw. I frind I miss the routine of how I took them. If I went outside and did some yard work, I'd reward myself when I came back in with a few pills. I'd wake up looking forward especially, to that first morning handfull, to get my day going. It sometimes took me up to 2, maybe 3 hours to get going, the pain was so bad. the pills were not working and doing their job anymore. In fact, I'd read and been told by several doctors this month that taking more opiates can cause more pain. So how do YOU crave your pills? I've never shot up anything, or smoked, just took them orally. Now I break my 3 Suboxones in half and that way I have 6 'treats' for the day, even though I don't feel a damn thing when I take them. But boy, they sure have helped with the pain!!


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 9:14 am 
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Hi there. Thanks for sharing your story with us. One thing I wanted to say was watch out eating right after you dose. You need to wait 10-15 minutes before eating or drinking. There will be remaining sub that will still absorb and it will be wasted if you eat/drink too soon.

Also, with dosing for pain (I also take sub for pain, too), you should be fine with 2-3 doses per day. You do not need SIX doses. You're just feeding your addictive behavior doing it that way. So please be careful with that. You need to learn new coping skills and unlearn all those bad habits you picked up during active addiction - like popping a pill whenever you feel you "need" or "deserve" one.

When we discuss cravings, it's when we have this obsession to find our DOC and use. (I think this is what you're asking - not sure.) Let me know what you mean if I'm way off.

Lastly, I'm glad it's helping your pain. Oh BTW, sub's pain properties last about 4-6 hours.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 10:42 am 
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Hi Hatmaker!

On thing you really hit upon for me was when you said taking 6 half tablets was feeding the old behaviors of my addiction, and yes, I see what you mean! You are SO right!! I need to stop doing that and just take one pill at a time. I didn't realize I was sort of enabling myself there.

About the cravings--- I have no way to get any of the drugs I used to take, since they were all legal and prescribed and now that my doctors know I'm on Sub, no more lortabs or morphine for me, and anywyas, what good would they do, right? Even if I could get my DOC, and take them, there would be no effect, true? It would be a waste.

I'm learning so much from this forum. I'm trying my best, and I'll keep taking my 3 pills a day as they should be--in 3 doses. Break that old habit of feeling like I need to reward myself. I need to reward myself in some other way, but I have to find a way first. Food usually comes to mind, but like you also said, avoid eating or drinking 10 - 15 minutes after a pill. I also didn't realize this. Thanks so much. That spoonfull of sherbet will just have to wait!! So food is NOT a good reward either, since I'm trying to lose weight. I'll figure something out.

Thanks for teaching me these things. I appreciate it so much!! ~Molly


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 11:28 am 
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Hey Molly,

Welcome to the forum!!

Wow, what a success story AND you're gettting pain management from Suboxone!!! Fantastic!!!

I noticed your addictive tendencies are still very much intact as well. Those suckers are hard to break, we tend to jump from one addiction to another. Many of us work with some kind of counselor, personally, I prefer an addiction counselor, that's where I got most of my knowledge of my addictive behaviors and how to counter them. I would suggest you try getting in with an addiction counselor. While Suboxone is a great medication for keeping us off of opiates, on its own, it's not enough to address and correct our addictive behaviors.

You asked about getting your drug of choice and whether it would be effective while you're on Suboxone, the short answer is no. Suboxone has a much higher affinity for the mu receptor than Lortab or morphine, the Suboxone binds so tightly to the mu receptor that the Lortab and morphine won't be able to attach and therefore, they won't be able to get you high.

I'm glad you're learning a lot from this forum, there certainly is a wealth of information here and there are some very knowledgeable people here too. Keep surfing the forum and asking questions.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 12:40 pm 
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Hatmaker & Romeo, any thoughts/info on dosing for addiction only? I'm still at 2x/day, and i think the afternoon dose is a continuation for me of that old behavior. Should i just be dosing once/day? REally having a hard time with the idea of letting the 2nd dose go, which says it all. I'm new here & have seen you both on other threads... I'm tapering now. Was at 28 mgs/day (a more recent, stupid increase), but i've gotten down to 20-24 pretty quickly. Was thinking of gradually eliminating the second dose, until all can be consolidated into 1 (dose) per day. Is this better for addicts without pain issues? I think i'm stacked to my eyeballs at the moment... Need to clean up.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 1:24 pm 
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Hey bander -

Yes, the best idea is to dose only once per day (unless dosing for pain). With sub's long half life there's simply no need for anything more than once daily dosing. We need to break those old habits of thinking we need to take a pill whenever we "feel" the need for something or when we "feel" something goes wrong, etc etc. Once we can get to dosing only once per day, then you can just take your morning sub and just forget about it until the next morning.

At the high dose you are on, you should be able to very easily get down to 16 mg or even down to 12 or 8 if you wanted to. You could first try dropping to 16 mg for a few days, then to 12 for another few days and so on. Those doses are quite comfortably above the ceiling so you shouldn't even feel those drops. Most people don't feel it until they get down to around 4 mg or so. But still, do drop a bit slowly every few days anyway.

Since you want to cut out your second dose in the PM AND decrease your dose, why not just decrease your PM dose and leave your AM dose alone? Then eventually you can cut out the PM dose altogether.

I hope this helps. Don't push yourself to make all these changes too fast. You're doing fine and you have a really good plan. Execute it at a slow but steady rate and I predict you will be just fine. And like most people, you will probably feel even better at a lower dose. Keep us posted. :)

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


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 5:11 pm 
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I agree with Hatmaker completley on this one Bandersnatch.

Just to reiterate, go slowly!! If you rush this, you'll end up getting burned.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 5:44 pm 
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Thanks hatmaker, that's what i've been doing - chipping away at the pm dose. Once it gets low enough, i'd like to try once/day. Interestingly, when i tapered to 16 last winter, i found myself sometimes forgetting to take the second dose. (I was still doing 12 am, then 4 pm.) I was also doing acupuncture at the time - for general health, not addiction - but i think it contributed.
Yes, i've been aware for quite some time that i basically just subbed one opiate for another, behaviorally at least. I've been nursing some guilt about that... That's why it feels good to be talking with others about this. It is giving me the juice i need to move forward. I tried NA, but i felt like an alien there, and did not like the feeling of hiding my use of meds in a place that should be about healing. It was just too weird. And i didn't want to get into arguing the pros & cons of meds vs clean & sober with folks who might object to my method. I mean no disrespect to the program. I know it helps a lot of people, and have been involved one way or another (from Alateen to Alanon, AA & NA...) on & off since i was 10. But it didn't feel like the right place for me as a medicated addict. This forum is the first place i've felt an "aha" in community with others. Thanks for the encouragement... 20mgs today, for second day. :D

Curious why you say it's easier to decrease from a higher dose, and what is "the ceiling"?


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 6:10 pm 
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Hey, something you wrote on a different thread pretty much answered this for me... Thanks! Such awesome, juicy info here!!! :D


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