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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 12:15 am 
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Hey there. New to this forum and am seeking advice on some medical issues that usually have caused me to relapse in the past. First a real quick history. I started using heroin in 1999 after tearing my ACL. I was already hooked on the pain meds by the time a friend introduced me to it. I already had a history of addiction so it's not as much naive babe in the woods as it might sound. I was 20 and had about 6 yrs of drug/alcohol abuse only becoming dependent on alcohol up until then. Anyway, until 2002 I managed to avoid being sidelined by any major withdrawals by not using too many days in a row which was just some sort of weird coincidence. By summer of 2002 I was day in day out. I got on methadone march 2003 and without any sort of program, I was up to 320 mg/day and popping up to 6 bars of xanax to try to simulate that smack high. There was a good year of my 2 yrs on methadone that gave new definition to comatose. By the second yr on methadone, I discovered injecting cocaine was almost like a speed ball at that dose, and any self perpetuating lies that I was "recovering" were out the window. Somehow, I managed to graduate college in there(art student) and was blind detoxed by the methadone nazis and sent on my way with their lies about "mild withdrawal" bouncing off the inner sanctuary walls of my skull. Brutal suffering was more accurate and it was only a fluke that I stayed clean for 4 months until the needle made it's way back into my life. That was 2006. By 2008 I was living in a homeless shelter facing criminal charges in multiple different counties. It's been a long road up from there and let's just say during that time it was the local detox that left the light on for me, not motel 6.from 2008 until 2013 I worked a program, got a sponsor, and was like the 3 month, 6 month, 9 month guy. Relapses were almost always set in motion by pain from previous injuries to my knee and back. I believe i was about 11 months clean at the last relapse. I got on suboxone for the second time in feb of 2013. I took a final 2 mg dose over 36 hrs ago after a really brief taper. Thats the longest period of time I've gone with out using opiates since I started and during that time I've been able to experience living a life I never knew existed. I am currently a self employed artist and teacher living with an amazing gf who is also an artist. Money and jobs are lined up through next year, we don't struggle and she has never seen the addict side of me in action. So for the first time in my life I can say I have a life worth living that I enjoy waking up to. I try to make self examination a regular thing but I don't go to meetings anymore and don't really want to. I don't feel like using and so far not feeling that bad as far as withdrawals go. Where I am going with this not so brief personal history is that I'm worried about the residual pain from these previous injuries becoming an issue again. Suboxone worked wonders even at a low dose but my doctor said it's not really meant to be used that way. Ultram and Ib profen along with elec stim and intermittent exercise but still had issues. I feel my mind frame has gotten more stable in the last 16 months and the desperation and anxiety is gone. At least I'd like to think so or am I being naive because I've been on subs for that whole time? Whatever the case, at this point I can spot the red flags. I'm curious if anyone else out there has found alternative ways to treating pain post suboxone that have really worked as opposed to being "as good as it gets" . I'd like to have strategies in place if at all possible. Thanks for anyone offering sound advice.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 8:05 am 
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Hey! Welcome! I don't have any suggestions as to what to use for help with pain. I have a bum ankle thats filled with titanium and left me with a slight limp and I herniated discs in my back a few years ago. Once in awhile I have a stiff back or achy ankle and aleve works well for me. I actually had more aches and pains wheni was on subs (37 days clean of subs). I also started working out and lifting weights which will help prevent any future injuries to the weak areas by making them stronger.

its great that you can recognize your red flags now. Being aware of yourself heading into a bad place will help you prevent a relapse. It sounds like you have agreat life now and messing it up by going back to drugs would be tragic.

this forum is amazing and there is a member here named romeo who can most likely give you alot of insight annd share his wisdom.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 8:10 am 
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Ps. He has 4 yrs of sobriety, been through hell and back and knows his shit. He posts frequently on newcomers threads to answer questions so I am sure he will be along shortly.

he is a no bullshit kinda guy and says it like it is. Which is what we all need from time to time. :)


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 10:51 am 
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I'm curious why you don't stay on a low dose of Suboxone if it seems to work pretty well for you? I'm not sure from reading your story if your doctor pushed you off Suboxone or if it was your choice?

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 3:38 pm 
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trainer14 wrote:
Hey! Welcome! I don't have any suggestions as to what to use for help with pain. I have a bum ankle thats filled with titanium and left me with a slight limp and I herniated discs in my back a few years ago. Once in awhile I have a stiff back or achy ankle and aleve works well for me. I actually had more aches and pains wheni was on subs (37 days clean of subs). I also started working out and lifting weights which will help prevent any future injuries to the weak areas by making them stronger.

its great that you can recognize your red flags now. Being aware of yourself heading into a bad place will help you prevent a relapse. It sounds like you have agreat life now and messing it up by going back to drugs would be tragic.

this forum is amazing and there is a member here named romeo who can most likely give you alot of insight annd share his wisdom.



I was just reminded about something tangentially related. Calcium is pushed a lot as being a great thing (to sell milk, etc), that can prevent osteoporosis, but I heard an alternative take on that, in that exercise is the key. Its not just muscles that benefit from exercise, but bones, and its the best way to prevent osteoporosis, rather than overdosing on calcium.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 3:44 pm 
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no_boop_shoo_be_doop wrote:
trainer14 wrote:
Hey! Welcome! I don't have any suggestions as to what to use for help with pain. I have a bum ankle thats filled with titanium and left me with a slight limp and I herniated discs in my back a few years ago. Once in awhile I have a stiff back or achy ankle and aleve works well for me. I actually had more aches and pains wheni was on subs (37 days clean of subs). I also started working out and lifting weights which will help prevent any future injuries to the weak areas by making them stronger.

its great that you can recognize your red flags now. Being aware of yourself heading into a bad place will help you prevent a relapse. It sounds like you have agreat life now and messing it up by going back to drugs would be tragic.

this forum is amazing and there is a member here named romeo who can most likely give you alot of insight annd share his wisdom.



I was just reminded about something tangentially related. Calcium is pushed a lot as being a great thing (to sell milk, etc), that can prevent osteoporosis, but I heard an alternative take on that, in that exercise is the key. Its not just muscles that benefit from exercise, but bones, and its the best way to prevent osteoporosis, rather than overdosing on calcium.



Yep, weight baring exercise in younger years makes bones denser and significantly reduces the chances of osteo (brittle bones with "holes") in old age.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 4:23 pm 
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Pain management is an issue a couple-few of us are dealing with on here or facing soon (Mama79 going in under knife for surgery for example). I had nasty bone break in a hot spot (ball at end of humerus bone, inside of rotater cuff), that was too much to deal with, especially with heightened pain sensitivity after a little less than a month off sub. I took the time awhile back to self study logic and critical thinking to help deal with a mood disorder (bipolar), to try to override crazy urges, and it helps to some degree with trying to get through using pain medication. Its really a strain at times, but it helps me to reason through the urge for instant gratification knowing it will at very least make things worse (more pain with tolerance increase at very least, or full blown addiction activation). Its very controversial no matter which way you cut it, whether or not to use narcotics when injured and/or ill, and I have to always balance the equation of "I don't need to be a martyr and endure pain unnecessarily, I live alone and need to be able to semi-function with only a left arm when I'm right handed, without agony", with, acceptance of living with a certain amount of discomfort and not going for totally numb. Which logic helps with again in another way, as if I move my arm in way that aggravates the injury, a pain signal is needed to tell me to "STOP THAT"! (lol, semi non sequitur: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90OJkSFkrP4)

It can't be completely immobilized cuz of injury location (short of something like an full upper body cast that left arm sticks out of), so is in a sling. Plus they want to me to start moving it around a bit (physical therapy), in a couple weeks, so it mends with (hopefully) full mobility.

That said, logic can't cure true addiction (as opposed to an abuse phase some people grow out of after some consequences), it can only be put into remission through abstinence, but can help through trying times like illness and injury, along with supportive people who remind us what we are (addicts), and if one lives with an understanding companion, they can lock up (literally, like by a small brinks safe, haha) and dole out the medication, to help as well. I know likely have trouble as well, if I wasn't hanging out on places like this board, talking to my sponsor on phone (he knows I'm on the meds and understands the severity of the injury so hasn't given me any lectures, but tells me to "watch it" and "get to meetings", etc.), but was instead around people drinking and/or getting high? Shiiiiiiit. Plus they might try to steal my pain meds if I was caught off-guard somehow, and who needs to be around people when they are like that anyway, under any circumstances?


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 4:33 pm 
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no_boop_shoo_be_doop wrote:
I know likely have trouble as well, if I wasn't hanging out on places like this board

So glad you are "hanging out" with us again...keep coming back!! :D

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 7:12 pm 
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don't know if you have ever been placed on them, but I feel high level Neurontin is very effective. when I came off pain meds and multiple back surgery's that's all they would give me. I was on 600mg 3x a day. It worked for me and worked quite well, but as you said I had that taste in my mouth and wanted more. :twisted:


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 9:46 pm 
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Just a FYI, we will all end up in painful situations as we go through life. Whether you're on Suboxone, completely clean, whatever. Fact is, as we age our bodies wear out and we find ourselves needing some pain relief. I too use Ultram with Aleve when my neck and back are acting up. Gabapentin (neurontin) for nerve pain. And then of course I still have my Sub to fall back on. Whether or not this will be enough as I age, no one can say.

My advice? Don't get old.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 3:08 am 
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Thanks everyone for your time, kind words and insight. I really want to avoid any use of opiates or pills in general. I was on neurontin for quite a while but it didn't seem to work. Maybe if I need to I can give it another try. I believe our minds are much more powerful and capable than we realize sometimes and once acute withdrawal is over, staying in tune and making some healthy lifestyle changes as far as diet and exercise go, I believe I'll fine. I know where the meetings are if I need to go back and my sponsor is still available when needed. To answer the question of why I got off subs was loss of insurance combined with 16 months seemed long enough and it feels right to get off the meds and live life as it comes feeling everything as it is supposed to be felt. Going into 4 days no subs and it's hit or miss. Some waves of sweat/hot/cold flashes but the lack of motivation has hit at the busiest time of my life. If absolute need be, I can get back on suboxone.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 10:16 am 
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Hi Huey,

I've been meaning to respond to your thread for a few days, but every time I start I get pulled away. Anyway, what I wanted to say is, you never know how your pain will react to being off subs, and I am living proof of that. I had a spinal fusion for rapidly progressing scoliosis 22 years ago. I did great for the first 15 years, then started having nasty chronic pain in graduate school. I went on pain management and ended up on huge amounts of oxy and fentanyl for years. Switched to sub, stayed on sub for 3 years, and just recently stopped it (33 days ago today). My back was KILLING me the first three days off the sub, but after that my pain leveled out to something very manageable with heat, stretching, and the occasional Aleve. Ironically, my pain increased like five-fold while I was on the narcotics. It felt better on sub but I think that was due to the fact that my pain pill levels weren't fluctuating up and down like with the Oxys.

Moral of the story - everyone's pain is different as are their underlying issues, but have hope! You might just be pleasantly surprised.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 2:17 am 
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Thank you. I feel like shit. I might need to get back on the subs at the lowest dose because the withdrawals are affecting all the jobs I have on the table right now. My motivation is gone, I'm depressed, I know these issues are fleeting but I also know it's a short trip back to the madness. I don't feel like getting high though. I just don't have the luxury of time to deal with the suffering. I'm just being stubborn and trying to push through but it's hard.


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