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PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2010 7:23 pm 
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I am trying to figure out how to state this without it becoming a pro-con debate as the rule states. ok I'll just come out with it. I was considering suboxone. Found this forum. Read it without joining and it convinced me to just kick cold turkey after 5 years of almost daily using. The "Getting Off Suboxone" forum seems horrifying. I went through 5 days of hell but I am on day 7 and not happy and chipper but close to normal again. I got energy. My appetite has came back with a vengence. I woke up with an erection for the first time in years yesterday.

Now I just have to deal with the obsession to use. It is there and it is strong. However a second, a minute, a day at a time I just don't do it. From what I read from other's experience getting off suboxone seems to go on for months and months. I was a hardcore opiate user. I mean I have done 25-30 30mg roxis in a day before and shot grams of heroin. Amounts that would kill most people. Nothing beats a made up mind. I made my mind up no matter what happens I won't put it in me again. I had no idea what I was in for but I did it.

Buprenorphine is a narcotic that is unique because it is also a kappa receptor antagonist which is one of the reason the withdrawal is so drawn out. IMO suboxone is just a replacement therapy like methadone. It isn't clean. It is an opiate. Do you guys consider youselves clean and do you fear the day when the doctor says well time to come off and you know you have months of lethargy and depression ahead?


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2010 8:21 pm 
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Hello, Dace, and welcome to the forum. You said, "It (suboxone) isn't clean." I have to say, in my book, that's coming really close to not showing respect for the decisions of others. Your opinions and experiences are always welcome here, but please recognize that those opinions are not fact, and telling people that they are "not clean" is not what this forum is for. This forum is "for people who have made their choice whether it be for Suboxone, for Methadone, or for meetings and no meds". I don't think it's right for you to use your opinions and judge people and to put them in a position of having to defend their use of sub to you. And I think that's what you're doing. Enough said.

That being said, I will, however, answer your question. YES, I do consider myself "clean". I'm out of active addiction. Addiction is not defined by what substance is in one's body, but by the behaviors of the addicted person. There is a big difference between being dependent and being addicted. I'm dependent on Suboxone, but I'm absolutely not addicted to it. I don't lie, cheat, or steal to get it. I live a normal, productive life, especially as compared to when I was in active addiction. So for those reasons, yes, I consider myself to be "clean" (actually I prefer addiction remission). People have withdrawals from certain antidepressants - are they addicted to them as well?

Finally, I don't know what threads you read about suboxone withdrawals, but if done correctly (with a long, slow taper) the w/d can be minimal. Additionally, I know of people who jumped off from as high a dose as 12 mgs and still only missed half a day of work. That's nothing compared to the bedridden withdrawals of full agonists.

I hope this answers your questions.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2010 8:40 pm 
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I try not to have opinions about things that I have no experience with. I don't have an opinion on rapid detox because I have never tried it. I've read alot about it but no first hand experience. Just like I would not tell a mother to be what it's like giving birth. No offence but if you've never been on sub than you have no first hand experience and your opinion was formed from reading peoples experiences on a forum. All the people I know on sub personally, about 90% have great things to say. Most people that are cruising along on sub with no adverse reactions are not usually going to seek out a forum and say how great it is. I am convinced that the bitching you hear about sub is a small percentage. Not saying at all that you made the wrong choice, but you made your choice by reading a forum. No offense to this forum but it's no comparison to talking to a competent doctor. As far as not being sober, I get ZERO lift or buzz of any kind from sub. I've been on methadone and it's not the same at all IMO. Another thing the size of your habit has nothing to do with your recovery, I know dozens with habits twice the size of yours and I personally used to slam a brick a day. Sorry if this sounds harsh, your post just rubbed me the wrong way.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2010 11:13 pm 
Hello Dace. Congrats on making 7 days without opiates. That's an accomplishment! I know because I have done it.
I have always disliked some of the terminology associated with addiction and recovery, especially the use of the term "clean" when referring to being off our drug(s) of choice. I can see why the term is used.....it's a simple, easy way to reference whether one is on or off drugs. If you're speaking purely scientifically, then I guess "clean" does a pretty good job of defining that state.....one's bloodstream, urine, etc is 'clean' of those substances. However, recovery from drug addiction encompasses so much more than that. It truly has a lot less to do with the scientific state than the psychological state. It's that side of things that drive addiction as much or more than the physical. So, if I am "clean" (drug-free) am I therefore psychologically free from addiction? In my opinion, not by a long shot. My mind, my psyche, the part of me (outside the physical realm) that drives my addiction may not be "clean" at all. My thinking is still skewed, I still crave the drugs, miss the feeling they brought me, and still may act in many of the same ways I did when using drugs. I think that where the term "dry drunk" came from. Anyway, although I understand your point, the whole 'clean'/'dirty' thing has never set well with me. Bottom line, they're just words, not nearly descriptive enough to cover the gamut of addiction and recovery......if only it were that simple!
You mentioned the horror stories you have read about withdrawal from Suboxone. I cannot speak to that personally....yet. I have tapered to ~1mg/day with plans to continue tapering and be off Suboxone completely over the next 3-6 months. I will follow the path of many others who have posted here who have tapered slowly and 'stepped' off Suboxone painlessly. I know that it can be done and I will do it as well. By doing so, I expect to not suffer with the "months of depression and lethargy" that you mentioned in your post.
As I mentioned in the beginning of my reply......I have been exactly where you are. Well, pretty much. I realize that we all have our differences in prior drug history and so forth, but I was taking a lot of opiates......oral hydrocodone, oxycodone, Soma as well as mainlining high doses of Fentanyl and Demerol and occasionally Morphine and Hydromorphone (Dilaudid), the latter two not being my favorites. And I'm not talking about crushed up pills, I'm talking the real pure straight stuff IV. So a pretty hefty amount of drugs to detox from. I detoxed at home, on my own with no comfort meds of any kind. I say all that really just so you know that when I say I've been where you are.....I mean it. I got that 7 days that you have and I felt the same way, "Never again will I put any of that crap into my body ever again. I will never go through this again." I assumed the worst was over. And it was, at least the acute physical side of it was. Little did I know the mental part was just beginning. The cravings, the obsession to use that you described will not likely abate for a very long time. The months of depression and lethargy that you fear from Suboxone, is no less after withdrawing from full agonists. It lasted for me, months and months and months. Sure, there were some good days thrown in there from time to time. But those sypmtoms and an extreme lack of motivation even after so much time had passed since my last drug use, is what led me to relapse and then to seek treatment with Suboxone. My relapse was not huge, not at all. I just knew that it would get worse and I knew that I had to find relief from PAWS. I needed time to feel good enough mentally to really get to work on my recovery and Suboxone has done that for me.
Whether I am truly "clean" matters very little to me. What matters is that the destruction of my life in active addiction has ceased. I have been able to work on myself and the issues that led to my addiction in the first place, in large part, because of Suboxone.
Now, obviously, your choice is exactly that.....yours! And I sincerely wish you the best. Just please know that this is not so simple as to just getting off the drugs.....getting 'clean.' That, my friend, is only the beginning of the war. The success rates for staying 'clean' after even just one year by tradtitional methods (NA/AA, abstinence-based recovery) are exceedingly low. There is a good reason for that. And I'm afraid you'll see why as you go along over the coming weeks and months. I truly hope you are one of the less than 5% or so who make it. But please don't rule out Suboxone as a viable option if you find yourself in a bad place. This drug is working for many of us. Some choose to stay on it forever and I find no fault with that. But there are many others of us who do hope to eventually come off the medication. And I believe the studies are beginning to play out that the success rates of long-term sobriety with medication-assisted recovery are looking better than the traditional routes. So don't rule it out completely just because of a few horror stories you've read online.
Again, I'm happy for you that you've made the decision to get into recovery and I hope you're ready to work a strong program. This is by far the hardest thing I've come up against and I think most would agree, it's a process and it takes a lot of work and support. Keep studying and keep learning and I hope you'll keep posting about how it goes for you.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2010 11:32 pm 
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Stemefree I wish I had your elagance and compassion when writing comments. Very well said


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2010 4:05 pm 
Well, Thank you Smoothy......your words are most appreciated! Sometimes I wonder if I'm making a difference or sometimes even making any sense!! We all need to realize that our participation here matters, and I have wondered on several occasions myself. So I appreciate your taking the time to say something nice to/about what I have written. It means a lot to me. And I want you to know that I enjoy reading your posts as well....you are nice addition here and I hope you stay around!


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 Post subject: For setmefree
PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2010 5:40 pm 
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I know that this is off topic entirely, but I just wanted to let you know that YES your words DO matter, a whole lot, especially to someone like me who was considering treatment and lurking this forum before I decided to actually seek help. You do word your posts eloquently, and with obvious good intentions, and I have found many, many of your posts to be helpful. You and a lot of other people here have helped me more than you can imagine, so I thought I would let you know that. You have definitely made a difference in my life, as have a lot of others here, and the help that you have given me (whether or not it was directly aimed at ME) has been absolutely invaluable. You are making a huge difference for a lot of people. If I didn't join this forum, then I would still feel this way and you and all of the others would not know it. There are probably plenty of other people like me who have not joined themselves, and feel the same:) Thank you for taking the time to help people; it means a lot:)

As for making sense- yes, you make a lot of sense. Your posts/ thoughts are organized and worded very well. I wish I had that ability, haha:)


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 Post subject: I am finally clean
PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 5:35 am 
Dace,

To answer your question, I too believe I am "clean." I have been on Suboxone for a little over three months. And honestly, this is the first time I have ever felt "clean" since I have been 11 years old. I am now 38.

Good luck on your "I just won't do it" plan.

I tried that plan too....a few times.

For me, my brain SCREAMING for drugs was just too much for the "I just won't do it" voice.

Good job on 7 days....and good luck. For me, the longest period on the "I just won't do it" method lasted 4 years.

Yes....I could only last 4 years because I craved drugs EVERY SINGLE DAY of those 4 years. I lived with no joy. I could not get off the couch. I had no motivation. I cried. I felt like the most fucked up person on earth. Life without drugs was WORSE than life on drugs.

After a while, I realized life on drugs=depression, possibly instituitons, jail, or death. Life off drugs was sure way to death. Just death by suicide.

So now, I am on Suboxone. I rarely have a craving. If I do, it is gone in seconds. I can THINK, I can FEEL, I can LEARN, I can GROW. I am working an AA program. I am seeing a therapist. For the first time, I do not have to think about drugs every day.

So yeah.....I AM "clean." My mind is CLEAN from the OBSESSION of using. I have never felt this normal and clean in my life. EVER.

And Setmefree, you are a truly awesome person. What you wrote needs to get printed out and distributed......Thank you.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 7:57 pm 
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Setmefree I couldn't agree more with Smoothy and Melsie. I really have gotten alot out of your posts and I'm truly grateful to have you as part of our community :)

Anywho I felt I should just let everyone know what I've learned about myself and opiods. I've realized I simply cannot think rationally when it comes to any opiate. I realize and know how much my opiate use has stolen from me, the utter physical and mental hell and anguish, and the destruction of relationships with others important to me that are all the result of my drug use and yet I've still time and time again used after stopping for extended periods of time. I believe that the "need" to use opiates has been so strongly reinforced for so many years that learning to not use without the constant help of a treatment program whether that is medication assisted recovery or a 12step or other abstinence based program is essentially the same as it would be for me to learn to never eat or breath again. The extreme gratification of my first several experiences of opiate use were so profound that unfortunately I'm simply unable to forget them and as long as I know what opiates can do for me (or how complete they make me feel) then I can't just tell myself I'm not ever going to use again by just my willpower. I cannot help but conclude that from many other EXTREMELY disciplined individuals who I know that have not been able to stop using opiates with just some "self discipline" or telling themselves they will never use again that it's very unlikely that any opiate addicts can simply stop using for good with their own willpower. That has just been my experience though. I will always wish the best possible outcome for all opiate addicts who try to get clean but I just chose to go with the methods that yielded higher success rates. Hang in there and I will truly be hoping for the best Dace. The only final thing I'd like to add is that I have been taking Suboxone for going on 4 years and it has been by far the most stable period of my life since I started abusing opiates when I was just a teenager. I would happily make the decision again but I recognize it is not the right choice for every opiate addict. I also do consider myself clean as my life is a polar opposite now as it was when I was using.

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 Post subject: Sorry Dace
PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 3:07 am 
Hey Dace,

I just reread my post and I can't believe how angry and crappy I sounded.

I am having a really bad time right now. I am having trouble with my sons....They are 14 and 15 and have made some really bad decisions this summer. My greatest fear is that my kids will end up with an addiction problem like me and live a life of misery.

I believe God helped me decide to get sober three months ago.... so I will be prepared to be a good wife and parent to 2 boys who need a sober mom in their life. Not to mention to be a good mother to my 18 year old daughter who is begining her second year in college and needs me more than ever right now.

I think I would not be sober today without Suboxone, I believe it is saving my life. I think wondering if your are "clean" on suboxone is a valid concern since many people will tell you that you are not clean. I just strongly disagree with that belief. Who is to tell me my recovery and my experience is "wrong" or "not clean" or "not real."

I have just had such a great experience with suboxone so far! I am also learning other ways to manage my fear and anger and to change my addict way of thinking. Part of that change includes me owning up to when I am wrong. And Dace, the way I jumped on you was wrong.

So Dace, I am truly sorry for sounding like a bitch. I think it is awesome that you are at the point where you want to stop using opiates and change your way of life. I respect your decision to do this without suboxone. I wish you the absolute best as you begin the journey of recovery.

Come back and post any questions you may have and tell us how you are doing! I will be looking for you! Take care, Kire


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 1:26 pm 
Hey Kire.....Thanks for your nice words to me! And for the record....I don't think you came off really "bitchy" at all. When we feel passionately about something or just know something to be true (even if it may just be 'true' based upon our own experience) we tend to be quite vocal about it. In my opinion, there's nothing really wrong with that. You didn't personally bash anyone or disrespect anyone, so as far as I'm concerned, you didn't do anything wrong. On the other hand, it speaks highly of your character that you care enough to be concerned about offending someone. If only we were all so sensitive!!
Anyway....Kire, I feel the same as you....that finding out about and starting Suboxone was truly a Godsend. I was at my wits end! Like you mentioned in your earlier post.....every day of my stint with abstinence-based recovery (and I was working a serious program, mind you) my body, my entire being screamed for opiates.....every second of every day! It was a miserable existence, even on the 'better' days! I too have a husband and kids who need me.....need me sober and thinking clearly. I was going to lose everything! I had already ruined my career and my reputation, just royally screwed my life coming and going because of my addiction. I was in Hell and Hell was going to get hotter if I didn't find some relief from the obsession to use drugs. So I thank God for Suboxone and I do feel strongly about it. Over time, I have begun to see how it can, in a way, lose its 'magic' and can understand how people do begin to feel differently about it. But it has far less to do with the drug than it does the other aspects of one's recovery. You've got to be working on every other aspect of your life if you expect to get better. The drug is not going to do it for you.
The whole "clean" thing.....frankly, it's just a word. If someone wants to tell me I'm not really 'clean' because I take Suboxone every day. Whatever......I'm friggin clean! Dirty is taking drugs off the street. Dirty is stealing to get drugs. Dirty is lying to everyone around you about what you're really up to. Dirty is crushing up pills and sticking them up your nose. Dirty is crushing up pills, drawing them up in a syringe and shooting them in your veins. Dirty is obsessing about drugs constantly. Dirty is putting drugs above all else in one's life. Dirty is not being able to get out of bed without using. Dirty is gambling everything that means anything to you to get high. Dirty is stealing drugs from your employer, sitting in a bathroom stall and shooting Fentanyl and Demerol into your veins and hoping you don't get caught. Dirty is getting caught. Dirty is losing your job because you did these things that you would never do. Dirty is wanting to die because living is too painful. Dirty is drug abuse!
I am definitely not dirty anymore. Thank God!


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 3:40 pm 
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Dace wrote:
I made my mind up no matter what happens I won't put it in me again.


Yeah, I can dig that. I made up my mind the same way, in July of '79, and in February of '80, and June of '80, and September of '80, and August of '81, then in March of '82, then in May of '82, then in November of '83.....then I went to prison, for 16 years and guess what? I relapsed again when I got out. Amazing, ain't it? And I relapsed time and time and time again and again and again...but I was absolutely convinced that I'd never put that stuff in me again, yessiree! :roll:

Dace wrote:

Buprenorphine is a narcotic that is unique because it is also a kappa receptor antagonist which is one of the reason the withdrawal is so drawn out. IMO suboxone is just a replacement therapy like methadone. It isn't clean. It is an opiate. Do you guys consider youselves clean and do you fear the day when the doctor says well time to come off and you know you have months of lethargy and depression ahead?


I can only speak for myself here, but I'm an almost 50 year old drug addict who has been abusing opiates longer than a lot of the people reading this have been alive. I also have HepC, which I've had for almost 25 years now. The damage to my liver is bad enough that treatment at this point is not indicated, I am pretty much playing a waiting game, with biopsies every 9 months to determine when I go on the liver transplant list. Suboxone likely saved my life, and it is giving me a quality of life that I have not experienced since I was a kid.

Do I consider myself clean? Yes, I do. It's as clean as I'm gonna get, and I really, honestly, could not possibly care less if anyone else doesn't think I'm clean. As for coming off suboxone, I have to do that once every 9 months to have my liver biopsy, so I know all about withdrawals from suboxone, and frankly, they are NOTHING compared to the withdrawals I've gone through from Heroin and Oxycontin.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 11:30 pm 
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Subs have saved my life for three years now. I'm clean and sober,happy, and still married.
Life is wonderful! Stop whining,blaming, and labeling and start working on your recovery or
helping other addicts/alcoholics! God Bless.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:44 am 
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i dont really feel like hardcore debating right now.......i have anger issues and will type something really obnoxious and regret it. i actually just entered the Why so angry? section and now i know why i avoided it; because i hate gettting worked up.

basically im going to respond to the "clean" issue. I def had this question when i went from pills to subs. I asked my therapist who has been through this all and he said , "clean is when you are not buying off the street or off your friends, clean is when you are taking something that is prescribed to you adn not abusing it. If you are clean you are taking your meds as perscribed and going to therapy or meetings or both". this satisfied me because i have friends on methadone and when i was using and they were going to the clinic i would say to my using friends "well they think they are clean but they are really replacing one drug for another". Now that I am in different shoes I look back and realize that I am clean now. Clean for me is (as stated above), not abusing medication or buying it from a dealer. The list could go on but i think i got my point across


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