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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 6:15 pm 
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I've been on Suboxone for almost a week now, and have quickly tapered down from 4mg/day to 2mg/day currently. I plan to stop taking it entirely in two days.

I know that all the patient information and experts say not to drink alcohol, but honestly, at this low of a dose, is one beer okay? I have a social event this evening and will want to have a beverage.

Thoughts? Thanks, this is my first time posting here!


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 6:32 pm 
Welcome epicurean! I hope you'll come back and tell us more about you.....about your addiction and recovery and your experiences with Suboxone. You'll find a lot of information here on the forum....plenty of discussion about short-term treatment with Sub, pro and con.
I won't go into that now, I'll just answer your question to the best of my ability.
I'm not a doctor or an expert and if your doctor has told you not to have any alcohol, then I wouldn't go against that.
I've been on Suboxone for about 7 months. I have never and do not have any issues with alcohol, and I don't drink it too often. I have had a glass or two of wine two or three times since I've been on Sub. It caused me no problems at all. I think I was on 8mg/day the first time or two, and was on around 4mg/day the last time I had a glass of wine. I have a pretty low tolerance to alcohol. I felt zero difference in the way I've ever felt when I drank a glass of wine. It didn't make me sick or make me feel bad in any way. I have heard others say that drinking while on Sub did make them feel bad, but not me.

Please come back and read some more about stopping Suboxone. It may be more difficult than you expect if you plan on jumping off at 2mg/day. Best of luck to you and hope you have fun at your event this evening.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 6:42 pm 
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Thanks, setmefree. That is good information from your personal experience! I'll keep my drinking to just the one beer.

As far as stopping the Suboxone, I guess I just thought that 2mg is a pretty low dosage, considering. So, is it your opinion that I should not jump off so quickly? Should I taper down to 1mg for a few days, then stop?

BTW, and I'm sure you don't want to hear this, but this is something I'm doing on my own. I have a friend who is prescribed the medication, and although I had a habit (~80-100mg oxycodone IR, sometimes 'contin) and definitely experienced withdrawal, my habit [in comparison to many others I know / have read about] has not been very long-term. I was on and off (of course, to chase my high, I ended up taking more and more) for about three months before I decided it was time to put and end to it.

So, he gave me four 8mg Suboxone pills, and have been self-medicating. Not the best choice, I know, professional help is a better option, but for my situation it will have to be that way for now. Better to stop than continue using, eh? That's at least what I think ;)

Sorry, this is probably getting off-topic for this (Side Effects) discussion thread area, so if you want to move/copy it to another area that would be fine.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 7:33 pm 
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I'm not a Dr... I'd keep a little suboxone in case w/ds start.. 3-4 days you'll know for sure, Or make sure your friend has some extra you can borrow until you can hook-up with a Dr. that can prescribe Suboxone, only certain Dr,s can prescribe it, You seem to know you have a problem with pain pills, I never respected the idea of being an addict, boy, I wish I had.. Getting below 2mg is when this gets tough, Good Luck and get to a Dr.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 7:41 pm 
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Glad to have you here and thanks for your honesty. Here are my thoughts, for what they are worth. I personally am not as concerned about you not having a prescribing physician as I am with you trying to stay away from opiates on your own. You will likely hear from many others and also read all over the place that stopping your opiate use is not necessarily the hard part. Staying stopped is where the challenge really comes in. There certainly are those individuals who are able to stop their drug abuse on their own, stay stopped, and lead a healthy and productive life. Unfortunately this is not at all the norm - not even close. Suboxone may help to some degree with the withdrawals. That really is going to depend on a whole bunch of factors including how long you have been using, how much you have been using, what drugs, etc. Plus you'll have to factor in your unique physical make-up. Most of this has to do with the physical withdrawal effects. Let's say you are able to stop and make it past the withdrawals. What then? What will happen in two or three weeks (or days for that matter) when you start to mentally crave the drugs again? Will you be able to keep from using without any help? That's going to be the real challenge in all of this.

Most people find that they need some counseling, group support, peer support and in many cases, a maintenance dose of Subuxone. The first items I mentioned may be needed for a long, long time - perhaps life. The Suboxone is the same way. You may need it for months, years, or life. You are about to go down a well-traveled road that many of us here continue to navigate. You'll soon find out whether or not you are able to stay stopped or not. I guess the biggest point here is if you find you cannot keep from relapsing back to drugs, the strong suggestion then will be to find a physician who is able to prescribe Suboxone to you and place you on a honest to goodness program for your addiction.

We all want to think that if 10% of the population can quit on their own, that we are part of that 10%. Unfortunately, that's often not how it goes. For me, I tried many times to stop on my own and simply could not. Suboxone has been the only thing that has kept me off of "real" opiates. At some point I certainly hope to taper and stop taking Suboxone. I have no idea when that will be. It likely won't be this year. Perhaps in 2011? Perhaps in 2012? Perhaps never? I really don't know. What I do know, if there is a person who does what he says he is going to do and accomplishes pretty much everything he puts his mind to, it is me. And I failed miserably at trying to stop my opiate abuse on my own. I also failed to come to terms with just how bad my drug abuse/addiction had become. I had very little clue, until I got help.

Please consider getting some "official" help if you find that you can't do it on your own, with a buddy’s supply of Suboxone. The odds are just not at all on your side. I wish you all of the best. Please stay with us, continue to post and let us know how things are going.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 8:01 pm 
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Well put donh... and WELCOME epicurean

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Promise me you will always remember...You are braver than you believe, you are stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think!

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 8:55 pm 
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Thanks everyone for your support!

I am aware of the multi-faceted problems associated with an addiction to opiates. The mental as well as physical cravings are certainly a huge part of it. Using again is always there in my mind.

Of course, I always say to myself "you'd better not go there" and hopefully I won't. I'll do my best to. If it does happen again, I definitely will need to step it up and at the very least go to meetings. I'm very strong, and have good willpower, so hopefully with that on my side, I can do this.

You're most certainly right about stopping for good. I'll do my BEST.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 2:31 am 
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Hi and welcome. Being strong and having will power will do nothing for this disease or drug addiction. You are powerless. just wondering are u trying to stay sober for life? Cause I know a lot of people who won't use any alcohol or drugs cause that defeats the purpose of getting clean. Like when I hear one of my friends say I'm gonna go out and drink cause I don't have a problem with alcohol just heroin i get sick to my stomach and Get pissed at him and say ohhh I'm gonna go out and smoke some crystal meth cause I'm not a meth addict. Its just a vicious circle so be carefull out there and good luck!!!


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 1:05 pm 
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To answer RonnieSr79's question about being sober for life:

There are many answers to this question. Of course, as far as opiate usage goes, it is definitely my goal to stay clean from them for life. As for other drugs, yes to everything with the exception of alcohol.

I'm an avid homebrewer (beer), and while I have no problem with alcohol addiction, I know how easy it is to go down that road, especially as a crutch to stay away from other substances. That said, I do enjoy beer and am not willing to give my hobby up! It is my belief in myself that I can control my alcohol consumption. I am 28 years old, have a business of my own, a loving wife and a wonderful family. I'm not giving those up!

I can understand your thoughts on addiction in general, although I do think your statement about crystal methamphetamine is a little harsh; it's much different to have a couple of beers than to smoke meth ;)

As for the vicious circle, you're right - things lead to other things. And, I suppose this is how I wound up in my current predicament. Cigarettes, pot, I've done cocaine (hell of a drug, never going there again), but thankfully have never been introduced to "harder" substances such as crystal meth or heroin.

I used to think people that did that stuff were all junkies, but really, they're addicts above anything else. I am also an addict and I have to say my drugs of choice are analgesics.

I have a few great friends that I talk to regularly about my addiction, and that helps a lot. Thanks for all the encouragement.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 1:30 pm 
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Yeah maybe a little harsh but alcohol kills people just like any drug. That's how I sink it in my friends head that's all. for me I know if I drink I will want to do everything.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 11:43 pm 
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Hey Epicurean - First of all I've drinkin on suboxone a few times and been fine. You probably had your social event and probably already figured out you'll be fine. I'm with you. I'll be drinking here and there once I'm off suboxone. I really think it's fine.

As for your case....i just poste dthis somewhere else but your usage has been short (opiates and sub) so I think you'll be able to come off of it all right. So Im 30, have a really good job, great family, college degree, played football in college, etc.... I am just now going to counseling for the first time. Started opiates when i was 25.... All I'm saying is don't rule it out. If I'd of listened ot the message boards 5 years ago maybe I'd be off of this stuff by now. Just make sure you know what your mind is capable of. Sounds like you are taking it seriously which is good. Let me know if I can help.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2010 11:06 am 
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i honestly have no problem with you trying to detox on your own, really its a good learning experience b/c i can almost guarantee that in less than a week and a half you will be using again. im not trying to be mean or anything its just that ive already been threw what your going threw. i have tried everything you are trying. detoxing on your own without the help of a medical proffesional never works. by what youre typing and how youre typing its pretty easy for me to tell what stage of addiction you are in and let me tell you its a very dangerous one. i know you think your going to get the suboxone from your friend, taper down, and never ever touch a single pill for the rest of your life ever again and truly its not going to happen like that. unless you do something now your in for a long ride ahead of you consisting of using, being broke, withdrawing, feeeling like shit in general, trying to detox yourself, going into hospital detox's for a week, using again, trying rehab, using again, drug counseling, arrests, probation, untill finally you realize that YOU CANT DO THIS ON YOUR OWN AND YOU DEFINETLY CANT DETOX ON YOUR OWN. if i were you i would find a doctor, get some suboxone, and follow his directions to the T. if i come off mean or an asshole im kinda trying to because im trying to make you realize that its next to impossible to do this the way you think your gunna. i hope that my words of wisdom have instilled something in you. sorry for coming off as an ass im really not


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 7:26 pm 
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Now thats not being very supportive.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 4:37 am 
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He is being very supportive by tellng the the truth of what's gonna happen. Tough for some people to accept the truth until there experience It for themselves.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 11:14 am 
Sometimes the truth is hard to hear. JiggetyJordan probably is right.....there is unfortunately a pretty low likliehood that Epicurean's detox will stick for very long. That's not to say it's impossible by any means. I sincerely hope that it works and that he's able to stay off the opiates forever. It just isn't likely. The reason we 'know' this is because we've lived it....we've tried it....we've not been successful. And epicurean is no better than we are....no different than we are. This disease is what it is. It doesn't play favorites....it doesn't go away easier for one than for another. We come from all walks of life, us opiate addicts....it doesn't matter what your IQ is....it doesn't matter how tough you are, how strong your will is....it doesn't matter what you've been through and survived before....it doesn't matter how determined you are....it doesn't matter what you stand to lose. None of us is special where addiction is concerned. It's out to kick every one of our asses....and it will. Unless we determine fully and commit fully to kick its ass harder. Unless we realize that we're in for the fight of our lives, we won't be successful with these quick fixes. Sure it'll work for a little while, but ultimately we'll be right back where we started. It just aint that simple...how I wish it were. We would've all walked away a long time ago if it were that easy.
So yeah...the truth is hard to hear. We wish the best for Epicurean and we are supportive. But part of that includes being honest...as we see it and as we have lived it. I think we want Epicurean to know that...hey if this plan of yours doesn't work, no shame....it's not your fault....try again....do it differently next time. That's all.
I hope it does work....maybe you'll be one of the lucky few who can walk away. I sure hope you let us know either way.
As far as the whole drinking thing.....Ronnie, I see where you're coming from. I'm not a big fan of alcohol either. It is responsible for taking way too many lives and destroying way too many others. Alcoholism is horrible, no doubt. As addicts, you're probably right, it would be optimal for us all to stay away from all mind or mood altering substances. But that's not likely to happen. For me, I'm 45 years old....I've been able to take or leave etoh my whole life....have been drunk maybe twice in my whole life. I might have a/one glass of wine or mixed drink 2-3 times a year. I'm pretty sure I'm safe to continue that if I choose. Trouble is....there are a lot of people who can't do that....they're not as 'old' as me and they don't know if they'll ultimately have a problem with alcohol and they shouldn't take that chance especially early in their sobriety. So, to me, the alcohol issue is kind of a tough one. If you're just drinking in an effort to "feel" different, then you're just substituting one drug for another...and that aint cool, or smart. We could debate this issue and the marijuana issue for days and not get anywhere. You feel about it the way you feel about and it's not likely to change. But I can see where Ronnie's coming from. I think we just need to be respectful in the way we express our opinions.
How's it going Epicurean? Hope you'll let us know. We are all pulling for you!


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 12:35 pm 
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I would just like to add my best wishes to epicurean in the battle of addiction!! I couldn't agree more with " setmefree" your post was dead on ( IMHO ) and very well written... This addict was allways doing the old " once I get thru ......? I'll stop taking ......?" I would allways make a bench mark for myself and ALLWAYS get to the bench mark and wasn't able to stop on my own... Again I just speak for this addict but from all I have read my story is pretty much the "Norm" and not the exception! I also have the good / bad fortune of being an Alcoholic ( in recovery). I feel that if I pick up a drink then the pills won't be very far behind!! I actually got CLEAN and on Suboxone in Feb.'09 and didn't get SOBER until June '09 so I was drinking pretty hard for 4 months while on the Suboxone. I didn't notice any additional problems while drinking and on Suboxone, just the usual stuff!!! ( Blackout's, Memory loss, shakes, tremors, sick all the time etc...) But all that is because of my Alcoholism not my opiate addiction!! I don't think a glass of wine or a beer would cause a " social drinker" any problems?? Anyways I wish epicurean and ALL of us out here the best of luck in this battle of addiction... Keep up the good fight!!!!

God Bless
TW


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 12:58 pm 
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I am so happy to read setmefree's reply. although this issue started out with a simple 'have a beer' question, it morphed. Anyway - I adopted a saying years ago regarding people's challenges (addiction, employment, personal health, etc.)

It goes along the lines of 'well of course we all want the best outcome, nobody is rooting for failure!'

So, I'm rooting for epicurean. I hope you understand the hurdles - and the honest truth people are offering to you, but 'I am not rooting for your failure!' I hope, as setmefree said, that you are able to return to your 'previous state' without opiates. I personally want that 'magic wand' for me too - but I tried it only to find out my 'magic wand' is broken.

It's not only broken for fixing my addiction quick and fast, it's broken for fixing other people's problems, and other people' health problems, etc. I wish you well, and please let us know how it goes!


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