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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 6:17 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2015 5:07 pm
Posts: 1
Hello everyone,

I am a long time reader of the Suboxone Forum and Suboxone Talk Zone. I have been clean with the help of buprenorphine combination drugs for more than 6 years now. I got addicted to prescription painkillers fresh out of college at the age of 23 back in 2009. I then started seeing a buprenorphine prescriber towards the end of 2009, who started me on the original Suboxone tablets back when they were still manufactured. I was seeing the pain doctor for a bulging disc between my L3/L4, sciatica and arthritis. This involved by month six gobs and gobs of all kinds of strong opiates. I first realized I was beginning to have problems about 3 months in and started to run out of my medication early and experience withdrawals for the first time. The first time it happened, I didn't even know I was sick due to withdrawals. I thought I had a cold. When it happened the second time, I did some research and found out I was suffering withdrawals. I continued running out early on a monthly basis until I finally started visiting the ER, which a great doctor there very quickly called a spade a spade and informed my pain doctor what was going on and I was subsequently booted from the program (of course, with no direction of where to go to get help for my suffering (pain + withdrawals = one hellish nightmare).

After some research on recovery options, I opted for Buprenorphine treatment, and as I said was started on the tabs. I started out at 3 8 mg/2 mg Suboxone tablets per day (which my insurance paid (and still does) for visits and the prescriptions with a $25 and $35 copay respectfully ... I know I am lucky to have a doc who is willing to accept my insurance and two insurance companies over the years (switched jobs) that have been willing to pay for my visits and medicine for so long ...). I quickly learned I didn't need anywhere near that much and stabilized at one 8 mg/2 mg per day. I've been between 2 mgs and 8 mgs ever since, except for two brief months during which I successfully tapered off of my films only to be overcome by cravings and worried that I might do something stupid, which led me back to buprenorphine treatment (at least I didn't relapse).

I should make it clear here, I have no problem with people who decide to use buprenorphine indefinitely as a maintenance medication for their medical issue. I am prone to think it is the smarter choice for me, but I haven't completely ruled out trying a taper again one day. I'm all about harm reduction and definitely don't falsely believe that every person is able to handle their medical condition without the assistance of this fine medication. Notice that I also said "medical condition," which is what I've come to understand addiction is. It's not a problem with self control or something you can just "get over" any more than depression or diabetes is. I love the comparison of addiction with diabetes, since they are lifelong "chronic" illnesses. I do have a big problem with certain drug counselors and organizations out there that push the "chemical-free is the only way to be clean" philosophy. I find it not only offending, but more importantly dangerous to make such claims, as someone who isn't being helped by this medication and relapses are in danger of overdosing and dying or committing criminal acts again to support their habit. I'm not religious. I trust in good science, and I've read a ton about addiction and buprenorphine for opiate/opioid addiction over the past several years.

My professional background is as follows: After graduating from a well-known university in Tennessee with a BS in Journalism, I worked as an investigative reporter and staff writer covering public safety (crime, courts, cops, death, destruction, corruption, etc.) for Gannett Tennessee, with my articles regularly appearing in USA Today, including, and two other Gannett sites in Tennessee, including The Tennessean. After getting my fill of death and destruction over five years, I changed my line of work. I am now working as development director (fancy word for fundraiser, public relations manager, Web designer, print designer, promotional material creator, whatever else my director asks me to do) for a large nonprofit organization, helping another undeserved and largely ignored population. Because I don't want to be identified (no one knows about my treatment except myself and my doctor, literally) I will not say which population.

I do have a family that includes a wife and a child. My home life isn't great, but it isn't terrible. My wife and I are constantly hot and cold, but we both know that we love one another and are committed to one another. My daughter is my motivation in life. She's my number one reason for being. I work to serve as a good example for her in all aspects of our public and private lives. I work hard to provide for my family so my wife does not have to work or handle finances, and instead can focus on being home with our little one.

Just a bit more basic info and then I'll shut up here. I promise! haha. Right now, I am taking Bunavail 4.2 mg per day (allowed to take up to two per day if needed per (equivalent to 8 mg Suboxone). I just started it today, actually. I like it a lot better than the Suboxone filmstrips. It is just as effective, as far as I can tell, due to the higher bioavailability. The best thing is that I'll be able to talk while my medication dissolves, due to the buccal delivery system. I much prefer the taste of these, as well. They are a mild lemon-citrus flavor.

I haven't seen much written about Bunavail anywhere on the net so I thought I'd join and start participating in the forums here. I can answer any questions anyone making the switch might have.

One more matter of concern (I know, long post). I live in Tennessee. The legislator passed a law last year, which goes into effect on July 1 of this year outlawing the use of buprenophine non-combination products (Subutex and it's generic equivalents) for the treatment of pain. The claim was that some unscrupulous doctors who weren't authorized under DATA 2000 were getting around the federal law by prescribing Buprenorphine sublingual formulations as a treatment for pain. Buprenorphine sublingual forumulations not containing naloxone can no longer, as of July 1, be prescribed for any non-pregnant women nor anyone without a documented allergy to naloxone. The unintended effect of course is that this means one of the cheapest options for buprenorphine treatment has now been eliminated in Tennessee for men without allergies to Naloxone or non-pregnant women without allergies to Naloxone. Luckily, their is a generic Buprenorphine/Naloxone combination product offered these days, which is only $5 with insurance and fairly cheap compared to all other name-brand forumlations of Suboxone.

With these kind of developments, I worry that one day my state legislators will move to limit Buprenorphine treatment clinics even more, and perhaps create smaller patient caps or even limit the maximum amount of Buprenorphine to be prescribed at any given time or (my biggest fear) try to limit the amount of time a person can receive Buprenorphine, which would be a big blow to the recovery community and patients everywhere. Should the day come where something like this is even discussed, I have teamed up with a local representative who understands the positives of buprenorphine as a long term treatment. Since I've never been arrested and am an upstanding citizen with good credit, he believes I could be the voice for people like me in my area. I would hate coming out to the world about my utilization of this medication (because I know some people would judge and I also worry that my daughter might end up one day being looked at differently by her friends), but if threatened I would do it for ones out there who are afraid to tell people about their medical condition. Addicts really need a voice. It's just so hard for us to stand up for ourselves because of the general mores and values, as well as specific attitudes and beliefs about addiction, that most mainstream Americans subscribe to. Addicts are worse in most bigoted people's eyes than gays (go Supreme Court by the way on ruling Gay Marriage a legal right). We really need to be assembling and fighting for our own rights in so many ways. Maybe we can get something started here. Who knows?

Anyway. I'm glad to be among you all here on the forums now. I plan to post more regularly and to be involved as much as possible. Thank you to all who stuck through and read my entire post here. You are awesome, and why this community is so awesome! Everyone out there struggling with an addiction of any kind who may be reading this -- I love you and understand you and wish you nothing but the best as you try to move forward out of active addiction into recovery! You can get clean, whatever your definition of clean might be!

Sorry for any typos, misspellings or other grammatical errors. I am writing from a Note 4 right now. :)


Tennessee, USA

PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2015 2:50 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:42 am
Posts: 4313
NMF!! Welcome to posting on our forum, and when I say "our forum" I am including you!

I definitely read through your entire post. It's obvious that you're a good writer and that you know the power of using paragraphs! Lol! I identified with many parts of your story, including feeling a desire to advocate for our people. I have not experienced much of a backlash from being "out" as an addict, although I was fired from a nannying position recently that was, in part, because of my addiction. I actually sent them an email about a week after they fired me, not to chastise them, but to exhort them to do better at their next opportunity dealing with an addict.

Now that I am in school to become an addiction professional I am on the cusp of becoming someone who can make a difference in individual lives and someday exert influence through writing or advising legislation. I'm excited at the thought of making a difference. It's fantastic that you have the potential to be influential in your state if it should come to that. Have you thought of writing more articles under a pen name? Is it possible to be anonymous anymore? If it's possible, please give it some thought!

I'm sorry to hear that your home life isn't as good as it could be. Marriage definitely has its ups and downs. I definitely believe in making marriage work despite imperfection, especially after you bring children into the picture. My husband and I aren't perfect either, but we've managed to raise up an amazing boy to the age of 17 (so far) :) . And I also believe that love won last Friday with the SCOTUS decision. I have several LGTB people in my circle of friends and family. Anyone who is willing to take on the ups and downs of marriage should be able to obtain federal marital benefits and be recognized as married in all states.

Speaking of Bunavail, we have an active thread on the drug and someone just asked a question. Could you do a search for Bunavail and see if you can find it? If you can't I'll look it up for you.

You are just a little bit younger than my step kids. I married an older guy and am closer in age to my stepkids than to my husband. Fringe benefit? I have 5 adorable grandchildren; 4 girls and a 3.5 month old boy. I want to visit the ones who are a few towns away, so I'm going to stop writing here.

I appreciate that you're willing to send love out to us, just because of our common struggle. Right back atcha, buddy!


Done is better than perfect!

PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2015 8:00 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2013 4:49 pm
Posts: 517
Welcome to our forum (ditto Amy lol). I only have time to address 1 thing in your post but I did read it all!

One of the big game changers, imo, will be when people realize how many "regular" people got caught up in opiate addiction and now take some version of bupe. Those judgmental attitudes may drop a notch or two.

Out of 3 recent doctor visits only the urgent care doc had any idea what bupe is and was kind enough not to change his attitude towards me. Education in the medical community is lacking! I saw a specialist yesterday & shortly after I told him he stepped out of the room to check "something"

Can I step up and "out" myself to educate? Not sure

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