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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2016 7:58 pm 
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Hey everyone!

I have been a heroin addict for 10 years (from 15-25) and I am now 9 months sober which is the longest I have gotten in the entire 10 years I have an addict.

Everyone is always pushing rehab and lots and lots of meetings. I have tried out patient, nope continued to use the entire time and I have tried to go to meetings and never left there feeling better only worse (and no it wasn't the wrong meeting, or the wrong group, no I didn't need to give it more time, etc. etc.).

When I finally had had enough I decided this time I was doing it MY way if I was going to make a life change I had to be the one living the life so I couldn't be miserable going to meetings I hated. Instead, I got a Suboxone doctor, I got a full psych evaluation by an addiction specialist, and I found a substance abuse counselor. I finally got properly diagnosed bipolar type 2 disorder and got on the proper medication for it. In the beginning I went to the Suboxone doctor every 2 weeks, went to the psychiatrist every 2 weeks to monitor my new bipolar medicines, and went to counseling three times a week. The longer I was sober the less and less I have to go so now I go to the Suboxone doctor once a month, the counselor once or twice a month, and the psychiatrist every 3 months.

I also changed my phone number, deleted my google contacts so I couldn't just reload them, I deleted facebook, and gave my car to a family member so that I didn't have ready transportation to a drug dealer, cancelled all credit cards and gave my mom my debit card. I basically tried to put as many boundaries as possible up for myself to make it harder to in a week moment use. I also made sure I took my Suboxone every morning as soon as I woke up so that it would hinder any feelings of getting high even if I did spend hours trying to.

I also "came out" to EVERYONE in my family that mattered in my life. I told grandparents, aunts, uncles, counsins, siblings, parents, etc etc. that I was a heroin addict and that I was ready to finally help myself. I told them never to give me money and that all I wanted was emotional support if they were willing to give it. I started going to yoga, I started volunteering, I practice meditation, and have been immersing myself into religion because I find it helps me and I find solace in it.

I have basically changed every aspect of my life and I am for the first time in a very very long time actually genuinely happy. I am grateful EVERY day that I finally stepped up and helped myself. I haven't decided how long I am going to stay on Suboxone, but I am consistently lowering my dose so that even if I choose to always stay on it, the dose I will be on will be as low as possible and therefore have less side affects.

Thank you for reading!


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2016 8:27 pm 
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Hello Adeline rose. Sounds to me like you are doing a great job working on your recovery your way!! I see everything you wrote here as very positive actions towards becoming a healthy happy recovering addict. I think that's really what matters. I am not saying meetings are not good but I agree with you that they just don't "fit" right for some people. I think it's great that you have figured out what works and what doesn't work for YOU. Then you took action to put the things that do wok into place and are following through! That's huge in my opinion. Thank you for coming here and sharing that with the forum :D .

Willow


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2016 9:43 pm 
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Hey AR welcome!

I couldn't agree with u more! I'm a huge believer in each person's recovery is different and their own and what works for one may not work for the other...it's a personal journey and I have zero judgements on how someone wants to get clean. Wouldn't it be wonderful if the rest of the world thought like that?

I too tried meetings, didn't help me whatsoever. I tried rehab, didn't help me whatsoever either. Heck, I went to inpatient detox twice and the day I got out I went straight and got an oxy. I did it the way that everyone said "would work" but it didn't work for me sadly. I know it can for some, but not all right? I finally went to my sub clinic, my dr is a psychiatrist, see an addiction counselor, and go to suboxone based meetings. Been clean as a whistle for 4 yrs. I did it my way, like u, and I'm so very happy that I did. Great post, thanks for sharing ur strory :)

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2016 8:09 pm 
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I agree 100%. There are more and more regulations calling for all patients to go through the same cookie-cutter approach. At some point in the past 20 years, doctors started allowing insurers and politicians to control treatment plans. Now we have doctors telling patients 'I know this is not the right treatment for you, but I am afraid I will get in trouble if I don't require you to do it.'

I am proud to have attended med school under some of the most courageous docs out there-- thank you, Timothy Quill MD et al.! How sad that the future of medicine, and future medical decisions, will rest in the hands of political science majors instead of physician scientists! The end of doctor-driven medicine was secured when Obama said 'some docs give the green pill and some give the blue pill.... we need to tell the doctors that the green pill works better, so they have to stop using the blue pill (sic)'

So now the government says 'if you take buprenorphine, you need counseling and meetings.'

What a bunch of crappy-crap-crap....


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 2:56 pm 
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I think that is awesome on how you created your own recovery program. You are correct, not all people require the same treatment plan.

About once a year I post a link for all the programs available so far. Again, this is only information and an addict must choose which is best for their particular situation. As long as it works, who cares?

Here is the link:

http://www.addictionrecoveryguide.org/resources/recovery/rational_and_secular

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 11:48 am 
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This is a very interesting thread, thanks for starting it Adelinerose. Jennjenn, 4 years, that is wonderful, I pray I"ll be where you are in 3 and a half more years. I too have tried some of the same treatments that you have, just to fall flat on my face. Thank you so much Rule62 for posting the addiction recovery guide. I had no idea there were so many different options. Some very good stuff there. I scanned over it quickly but will be referring back to it through out my recovery. Have a good one. We are getting some wind from Hurricane Matthew today, but that is it. It feels really good outside actually. Ready for fall :D


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 7:31 pm 
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I think that every buprenorphine clinic or doctor's office should hire an addiction professional to run bupe related groups and provide individual therapy for his/her patients. That way it would be an easier for the patients to receive support and knowledge.

Plus, it would help doctors to keep track of who was receiving therapy if it becomes mandatory in the future. Just my opinion.

Amy

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 11:17 pm 
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Well if the government keeps going after Suboxone and treatment with Suboxone, they will make it, treatment that is, a cookie cutter approach and make meetings mandatory and God only knows what else mandatory. Thank God there are options. Other than 12 step meetings. I hope we get to keep the freedom to pick and choose our own recovery plans. If I would have HAD to go to meetings and an addictions specialist when I first started Suboxone, I'm not sure I would have taken that rout. Thank God I didn't have to deal with that. I see where an addiction specialist would be wonderful now I'm 6 months clean, but that would have turned me off from the get go.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 12:09 am 
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12 step groups and buprenorphine use have little common ground. No sub patient should ever be forced to go to NA or AA, where they teach you that you are not truly in recovery. It's BS.

Amy

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 11:00 am 
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My clinic is exactly what u described Amy. When I first started I was attending one meeting each week at my clinic then after 3 months it went to a meeting once every 2 weeks then after 3 months a meeting each month....or however many u want, u can attend more. And these are all suboxone based meetings, talking treatment, recovery and just sharing.

I do believe that, in the beginning, it should be required to attend suboxone based meetings, definitely not NA. But imo I think you'd see the ppl that's really there for the long haul stick around no matter what they had to do, and the ppl that has not so good intentions stop. So, in a way, it'd be like seeing who's committed to doing whatever they had to do for this treatment. Honestly it shouldn't be easy breezy. I do disagree with doctors that require us to go to NA meetings. When I reached my very first appointment, I would have done whatever they asked me to do without thought because I just wanted recovery so bad.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 12:50 pm 
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I see the point your making Jennjenn, and all these are good things, really when it comes down to recovery. My situation is a little different than most bc I was not looking for recovery at the time I went to my suboxone clinic. I had been "in recovery" via treatment centers, outpatient programs, required NA/AA/12 step meetings, you name it... But Now, Now that I have been clean, off pills for 6 and a half month as of today :D , I'm willing to look into going to some recovery meetings, getting some skills to stay clean, and what have you. Who knew there were any other kind of meeting other than NA for people like me? I didn't and never would have had I not went to the Dr. that I went to and got on Suboxone and thenfound this forum. You all are where I'm finding all this good information from in the first place. And I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. Got some good news from my Dr. visit about taking Suboxone long term for my pain management today. Will start a new thread in the appropriate section. Please Amy don't think I'm trying to be difficult with you about the meetings and all. Meetings are wonderful, and I am glad they are here for us addicts to keep us in mind that we have a disease and have to work on this for the rest of our lives. They absolutely play a huge roll in recovery as they are all we know but times are changing, and I welcome this and I think Suboxone has and will continue to open even more doors in the future. Thanks for listening, Angie


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 7:15 pm 
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Bamagurl, you have a right to your own opinion and frankly, you know yourself better than anyone else does. :) (I hope someone has brought up SMART Recovery meetings to you though. They empower the addict and help us to think about our decisions in a constructive way. Very good stuff and absolutely no shaming.)

My perspective comes from a few different places. First, it would have been extremely helpful to me to have a suboxone support group when I first started. I may have avoided some pitfalls like the online shopping if I had been in such a group.

Also, I keep up with governmental regulations and there is a bunch of noise about requiring bupe patients to be engaged in groups or therapy. Some people may not need one on one therapy, but they could still use some group support. I would like the addiction community to be part of the conversation about what types of therapy are recommended, rather than having politicians mandate policy we have to follow.

Lastly, as a grad student in addiction studies, I am seeing more and more evidence that addicts do need help when they start out on sub. Starting the recovery process is SO hard, and everyone could use support and a place to share their accomplishments and disappointments.

This isn't an easy topic. I have a feeling that there will be a whole bunch of opinions on what should be done to help opiate addicts.

Amy

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 8:29 pm 
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Grad student in addiction studies... I'll go find a new forum now. No really, you make some terrific points I must admit. Yes I would have been spared had cross addiction been pointed out sooner. Smart recovery, well I ran across a thread that had some meetings posted last night as a matter of fact, but no one has mentioned Smart recovery to me here in Alabama. I wish they would have. BTW, IS there a way the addiction community can be part of the conversation about the therapy that is needed?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 8:44 pm 
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LOL, it was THIS thread where I found addiction recovery guide. org etc. But no, I get a little pushy when someone mentions meetings because the only meetings I know of are NA, AA, and that of. I am going to spend some time looking over that site that was posted above to see what I can find out about SMART recovery and anything else in recovery I'm not aware of. Thanks for bringing me to the light Amy I would end up in a debate with the da gum addiction studies GRAD STUDENT!!!! Lawd! sorry :oops:


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 10:11 pm 
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Don't be silly, Bama! I'm not some big expert just because I'm getting my masters. My opinion is no more valuable than yours. :)

Here's a link that can lead you to a SMART meeting in your area: https://www.smartrecovery.org/local/

Here is some more information on SMART:

Q. How is SMART Recovery different from Twelve Step programs?

A. SMART Recovery has a scientific foundation, not a spiritual one. SMART Recovery teaches increasing self-reliance, rather than powerlessness. SMART Recovery meetings are discussion meetings in which individuals talk with one another, rather than to one another. SMART Recover encourages attendance for months to years, but probably not a lifetime. There are no sponsors in SMART Recovery. SMART Recovery discourages use of labels such as "alcoholic" or "addict".

Our approach for addiction and alcohol abuse Our Approach

• Teaches self-empowerment and self-reliance.
• Provides meetings that are educational, supportive and include open discussions.
• Encourages individuals to recover from addiction and alcohol abuse and live satisfying lives.
• Teaches techniques for self-directed change.
Supports the scientifically informed use of psychological treatments and legally prescribed psychiatric and addiction medication.
• Works on substance abuse, alcohol abuse, addiction and drug abuse as complex maladaptive behaviors with possible physiological factors.
• Evolves as scientific knowledge in addiction recovery evolves.
• Differs from Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and other 12-step programs.

I am taking a Public Policy class right now and I am learning the processes needed to affect change via policy. I'm hoping someday to be very involved in helping to make policy that aids addicts on MAT. It's a passion of mine, but I am also looking forward to helping individual clients in counseling.

Amy

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 11:19 pm 
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Thank you Amy. I've never heard of any meetings like this. Wow, I love the sound of this. You sent me the kind of information I need. I rely on everyone but self. The 26 years of addiction have left me in a mess. A whole so deep I don't know where to start to dig myself out of. Girl like you would not believe. And every one is so used to the way I have been living they just have come to accept it. Girl I am crying right now...I feel so stuck. I don't drive. I've had so many car accidents due to taking pills and driving that I quit driving when my son was born. He is 12 now. I've lost everything and when I was on drugs, it didn't matter most of the time and when it did, I'd use more. Now that I'm clean, I'm very unhappy with my life. I can see clearly now but don't know where to begin to get myself back on my feet. Sorry to bust out with all of this on a Friday night. I hope there are SMART meetings around here. They sound like just EXACKLY what could help me help myself back on my feet again. Thank you Amy. Dang, I'm an emotional mess right now. ttyl,ok


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 11:26 pm 
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There aren't any meeting within a 50 mile radius but there are online meetings? I thought Auburn, Alabama would have something like that, being a pretty big collage town and all. Can you find out if Auburn has any smart meetings?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 11:33 pm 
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Oh dang man, there are no meetings within 50 miles of Auburn? I just punched in Auburn Alabama in the search bar on the link you gave me. :cry:


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 11:38 pm 
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I'm going to check out the link Rule left everyone but it may be tomorrow. I feel emotional as all get out right now. My goodness what the heck is wrong with me. I haven't opened up like that earlier post in a long time and I am absolutely crying my eyes out right now.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2016 12:24 am 
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You are allowed to be emotional here! We are here to support each other!

I remember feeling very stuck too. One of the things that really helped me was to start volunteering a couple days a week. I love babies, so I volunteered in a day care for kids with addicted moms going through treatment. For the longest time I've had trouble with wanting to leave my home. This is my safe space. But once I started forcing myself to do things it got a lot easier. Do you live close enough to a town to volunteer at a church, youth center, or a shelter? Hospitals are another place that need lots of volunteers.

It's really easy to sit at home and feel sorry for ourselves or feel stuck, so it can be really helpful to try to help those who are even slightly less fortunate.

I think an online meeting would be your best bet. SMART has a workbook for addicts with a lot of great information. And who knows? Maybe someday you will be in a position to start a group in your town! You can find the handbook at this link: https://www.smartrecovery.org/shop/prod ... ticipants/

We will try to be here for you Angie. Maybe others can talk about how they got motivated the first year after starting suboxone.

Angie needs a little help from us, gang. Let's give her our support!

Amy

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