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PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 10:11 am 
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Hello everyone. I have been looking around at this forum and I'm impressed with the community so I thought I would join up and offer what I can. Perhaps I can get some help from the forum as well.

I'm 29 years old, I've been on suboxone for over 2 years. I started at 24mg, and I take less than 1mg now. When I started I had the idea that I would be on it for about 9 months at the most, but I slowly changed my mind as I watched what happened to many people who stopped taking it that early.

I was using IV heroin from the age of 22 to 27. Stopped pretty abruptly when I started my suboxone treatment, although my first month was rocky. I kept using, and then went to jail for a week, came back out and was in rehab for about a month. That's when they increased my dose to 24mg (3 strips) for a couple weeks. Then down to 16mg. I don't exactly remember how I tapered from there, but I was down to 8mg pretty quickly. I continued to decrease my dose every month or two. I've been at my current dose of .75mg per day for at least 6 months now I think.

I have been experimenting with lowering my dose down to .5mg but it's a little rough going. Right now I'm alternating between .75mg and .5mg every day. I have 2mg strips which I break into eight pieces. I don't have a time table for it, but my plan is to eventually get down to .25mg before stopping my dose entirely.

The reason I joined the forum doesn't really have anything to do with my own tapering though. There is someone that I love who is suffering from heroin addiction. I'm hoping to be able to help find her some relief somehow. Although she suffers from the same problem as I do, she is very different from me. I'm not sure if she is going to be getting on suboxone or not.

She's in jail at the moment, but she'll be getting out soon, and might be living with me for a few weeks. She's got an interest in joining some kind of rehab program, but she isn't sure where she's going. She has a lot of people that are trying to tell her what to do.

I'm not sure if suboxone would even be a good idea for the woman I'm talking about. She has gotten clean a few times on her own, once for over a year with abstinence. When she has taken suboxone in the past it hasn't really seemed like it helped her, but she's never actually had a prescription.

I went to my first alanon meeting a couple days ago, and I go to other meetings for myself on a regular basis. Meetings and suboxone are how I continued my recovery after treatment. But like I said, this woman is not like me. I want to help her so much, but I know that I really can't do anything to help her come to that decision to quit hurting herself.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 2:20 pm 
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Hi Urata, and welcome to the forum!

From what you posted it seems like you are doing quite well with your Suboxone dose. I too found it very easy to get down to 1 mg within the first year of taking it. That's as far as I got because I needed some surgery and that messed up my whole plan of getting off of it.

It's just as well. Unlike you, I didn't have a good recovery plan in place for when I was to be opiate free. Going back onto Hydrocodone and Oxycodone for pain got out of control within three weeks meaning I would have failed if I had attempted to get off Suboxone by myself with no support people around.

You will know when it's time to stop. We'll help here as much as an internet forum can.

Welcome here,

rule

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 5:23 pm 
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Hi Urata,

You should know this first hand.. there is not much you can do to help a fellow heroin addict. It has to come from within. You can give her the info, about suboxone and what it has done for you, but that's as far as it goes. She'll need to get so sick of the lifestyle that she's willing to but in a little blood, sweat and tears to get back on track.

Also, I would strongly advise you not to hang out (or live) with an active using addict. I know that's hard when emotions are on the line, but please just be careful.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 10:02 am 
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As Tiny alluded to, I would suggest you put your recovery first.

I understand how bad you want to help your friend, I think many of us have been there, but I would also say several of us had lost our recovery while trying desperately to help someone else into recovery.

Please be careful.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2013 12:52 am 
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I appreciate the feedback. Yes I know that I can't make the decision for her. I don't exactly think that nothing I do will have an effect though.

I understand the concern that people have about me allowing a drug addict to stay in my house, although I can't say for sure that I'm going to follow that advice. I'm honestly not afraid that I'll use. I understand that I do have that problem, and I know I'm never going to be rid of it, but I'm not talking about having a person over that I know is going to have drugs. It's a person who has a drug problem, but who is going to have at least some days of sobriety. I am around those kinds of people every day.

She's going to be in longer than I thought, and by the time she gets out she'll be almost a month off of opiates. If she makes the wrong choice I'm going to know pretty much immediately. I won't let her stay if she uses, which I know is quite likely. I'm going to be watching for the signs. There is a chance that she won't use though. That is what I hope.

At the moment her plan is to get into outpatient, which I personally don't think is going to be enough for her, but it's her choice. I'm writing to her, and letting her know what my experience was like. That's all I can really do at the moment.

I understand that the choice I'm making is probably naive, and that a lot of people will consider it an unnecessary risk. There are other people who've been down this road trying to help her before and they've been hurt by her problem. Now it's my turn, but I have hope.

The thing is I remember being in jail, and I remember changing my mind about what I was going to do when I got out maybe three or four times a day. At one point I remember thinking that whoever answered the phone to give me a ride home was going to basically decide my future. I was lucky that the person who picked me up didn't end up being my choice. My PO drove me straight from jail to residential treatment, and I've been clean ever since.

I know that she's probably going to be dying to fix when she gets out, but hopefully she can have some kind of experience that will change her mind. I want to do whatever is in my power, in that critical time when she gets out of jail, to put her on the right track.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2013 9:10 am 
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Hi Urata,

I totally understand you wanting to help someone you care about. Especially since you have been where she is. Nobody here is going to jump on you for doing that, we just wanted to be sure you were aware of the risks you are taking. Just remember to take care of you first! It's not worth it to lose your sobriety while you are trying to help someone else find thier way to their own.

It sounds like you are a very caring and supportive friend. I hope that you can help her, and get her started down the right path. But, we all know how hard it is to get ourselves to the point where we want help. It usually takes a huge consequence to get us their. Maybe this jail time has been it for her, and you can be there to lead her in the right direction when she gets out. Just be careful not to get sucked in to her BS ok?

Good luck!

Q

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2013 9:06 pm 
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Thanks.

I know that at the moment I am indeed putting too much of myself into this. Especially considering that the result is likely to be disappointing. I just got done reading a 9 page letter that she wrote me from jail, and it takes an emotional toll on me.

It's true that I need to take care of myself first and I have been doing some good things for myself lately too. This situation is really strange... it feels so weird being on the other side of this thing. I'm in this place now that is just like the place that I put my family in for years. Only I think I know more about what is going on in her head than the average person does. Still, I can never be sure if she's actually ready.

In her letter she spoke a lot about recovery, but she didn't mention anything about suboxone. Before I read her letter I sent her a letter, and in that letter I brought up suboxone, and the fact that I had been posting on a forum. I feel slightly bad in a way for bringing up something that she wasn't even thinking about. I don't think I would be considering suboxone after being in jail that long either. Or at least I wouldn't have back when I was using. It sounds ridiculous to a lot of people, after detoxing for that long, to start up taking something.

I wonder what other people here think about that. Would any of you have thought it was a good idea to get on suboxone after let's say 28 days of being in jail with no opiates?


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2013 9:51 pm 
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Hi Urata,

It's doubtful that she'll really consider maintenance after having been sober for that length of time. Hopefully she does, though, and here's why I say that. I've never been to jail, but I have quite of few old friends that have, as well as distant relatives who've fucked up along the way, and I can tell you that not one of them stayed clean very long after jail. Not one. Same goes for rehab. I don't know anyone who's ever stayed sober after rehab and I know a lot of people who've been in rehab. 30 days in jail is not much. Not a whole lot of real change goes on there or during that time, despite what people inside think. There is a desperation that goes on when you're in jail, that leads people to make grand plans and lot's of promises.. but there is not a lot of real substance to back up the very real changes that need to occur in one's life and their personality, to follow though with those plans.

I don't know this girl and anything is possible, but it's more likely that she'll have to relapse again before choosing maintenance if she's not open to it right out of the gate. A few days of being back in the world and stumbling into some triggers...? Most people don't make it past that first challenge but I wish the best for her. It's great that you care so much about her and hope, for your sake, she has a real grasp on what she's up against.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 7:15 pm 
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I talked to her about this yesterday when I visited her in jail. I think that she does actually consider it an option. But when I've talked to her about it she discounts it because she thinks it's too difficult to get started on the program and it's too expensive.

I'm not much of an expert on getting started on the program because I was given a free start through the drug court program in my area. But I have a list of doctors in the area with addresses and a map. She has two kinds of insurance so she might actually be able to get started on it.

I'm not sure how much her family will support the idea though, and for various reasons she is dependent on them. It's a pretty complicated situation for her I think. I know that if she just finds her way to getting clean everything will get better, whether she gets there cold turkey or with suboxone. I just don't see the cold turkey way as being very likely. Like you said tiny, addicts tend to trip on the first obstacle.

I think of suboxone as being something that helps you get to the point of being ready to stop. Because on some level I had been ready for probably a couple years before I quit. The problem though was that at that point it was actually easier to keep using. Easier to give in to a craving than to fight off every one of them. Easier to steal money than to try to sleep through withdrawals.

So if suboxone can help her not be under constant attack from the "gorilla on her back" than I am all for it. If it actually works and she can function as a human being, then I don't care if she has to take it for 10 years or the rest of her life. I just want her to be able to live her life, instead of living for a drug.


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