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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:11 am 
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I’m sure I’m going to catch hell for what I’m about to say, or quote I guess, and I may be taking the following quote COMPLETELY wrong. But either way, I feel that this statement that Suboxowned made, makes more realistic/real world sense than anything I've read thus far....

*DISCLAIMER* - I have absolutely NOTHING against Sub be it short or long term use, I myself am an addict, used along with a multitude of other things, Methadone and Suboxone and had/have ZERO qualms taking my sub every day..I personally stopped taking my sub 6 or so days ago, but please rest assured that is not my motivation behind the following:

In describing the 2 types of opiate users, he explained the second of the 2 as follows (anything in () is my ad lib, not Suboxoned the original and complete thread can be found here: http://suboxforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=3214

"2) people with everyday types of pain (or addition) that everyone deals with in life that are nothing but recreational users who like to act as if they are any better (or if nothing else more justified) than a junkie and cry "oh but my pain (addiction) my pain I need these meds" and those people piss me off greatly. This is not a shot at anyone here with legitimate pain but I can’t stand the fakers who sit up on some high horse when in reality they have no more pain (or addiction issues than the ones that have successfully stopped due to sheer willpower and proper planning....stop the laziness guys, strategize..man/woman up!) than any other average person."

Someone please tell me how/why the above statement doesn’t apply to Sub. And let me add a lil sumthin' here, I was on 100+mgs of Methadone which I had NO business being on for longer than a few months. So I’m definitely not on a high horse here, just asking for some HONEST responses.

Are the majority staying on the sub because its "comfortable" and "change/potential WD is scary"? Or are then on it for 100% legit reasons....if so, I would like to hear those reasons for my education and clarification. I’m not referring to months of Sub use to get off opiates, but rather Bupe maintenance.

IM going to cap this, not because I’m yelling, but just so it doesn’t go unnoticed because this question/scenario has been bothering me personally for a LONG time and I'd like to get everyone's thoughts....(HYPOTHETICAL SITUATION) WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF 1 MONTH FROM TODAY EVERY AND ALL OPIATE BASED DRUGS WERE REMOVED FROM THIS PLANET? YOU WOULD NO LONGER HAVE A CHOICE TO STAY ON OR GET OFF....YOUR CHOICE LEFT WITH THE OPIATES THAT DISSAPEARED 29 DAYS FROM NOW..

Suboxoned - if this post in any way offends you or was taken out of context from your OP, please PM me and I will remove it immediately.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 1:18 am 
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Are the majority staying on the sub because its "comfortable" and "change/potential WD is scary"? Or are then on it for 100% legit reasons....if so, I would like to hear those reasons for my education and clarification. I’m not referring to months of Sub use to get off opiates, but rather Bupe maintenance.


I'm not totally sure that I'm clear on what you are asking, but I will take a shot at it anyway. I'm responding more to the quote that I've pulled out above than to the quote you posted from Suboxowned because I'm not sure I really understand that part.

Obviously, I can't speak for the "majority"...I can only speak for myself. I have a chronic pain condition, and after failing to get adequate help for my pain from the medical establishment, I chose to treat my pain with opiate pain meds that I acquired illicitly. This worked for me for a long time and I was easily able to control my use. After a couple of years, I had a kind of "perfect storm" situation where I had almost unlimited access to very cheap dilaudid combined with serious life-stress and I greatly accelerated my usage and lost control. During this time I used very heavily for about 3 or 4 months.

At the end of that period, I found I was no longer able to stop using on my own and still function in my day to day life. I quit many times, got through the acute withdrawals and then was absolutely crushed by PAWS. My depression, pain and fatigue was so bad that I could not get out of bed, go to work, go to school, or care for my family. So I would use again, enough to get me back to "well" and I limped along like that for a while. Obviously, this was unsustainable.

Suboxone was a great option for me. My cravings were gone, my depression lifted, and my pain was managed well enough that I could function. Sure, I wasn't a long-time hard-core opiate addict and maybe I could have done a quick taper and tried to power through whatever situation that would have left me in.

Instead, I chose to stay on Suboxone for close to 2 years. During that time I worked my ass off to fix my life. I went to therapy, I went to the gym, I did yoga, I read and practiced SMART Recovery tools. I learned my triggers for using and developed ways to deal with them. I fixed my relationships, went back to school, got new hobbies and made friends who weren't drug abusers. I learned new ways to cope with my pain and manage the condition that causes my pain.

What Suboxone bought me was stability and time. Instead of having to do all that work while simultaneously going through the emotional, mental and physical hell of PAWS, I did it with my training wheels on. When I first started Suboxone, I thought I would stay on it for a really long time. Hell yes, the idea of stopping scared the crap out of me. I didn't want to go back to the hell I'd been living and I didn't want to lose any more time from my life than I already had.

Somewhere along the line, that feeling of fear went away. As I got stronger and healthier, I realized that I would be able to taper off at some point. And that is exactly what I did. I made a taper plan...and I completed it. I documented the process as a way of helping myself and hopefully to help others. This was the right decision for me, done at the right time for me, and in a way I was comfortable doing it.

I have been off of Suboxone for 19 months now...and recovery is still a challenge. Recently I had to deal with major cravings set off by the fact that I got a fat tax return. I have a lot of practice now NOT turning to opiates...but my brain still goes there sometimes. Those connections that I laid down in my brain are like super-higways and I will likely spend the better part of my life undoing that shit. It is a task that is difficult at best and for many addicts borders on impossible.

Suboxone gave me a way out of my addiction and let me save what was good in my life and fix the rest of it. That is why I stayed on it for a long time.

The way that I see it, anyone's reason for staying on Sub long term can be "legit." That's not for me to judge. Fear of withdrawal is a very legit reason to stay on Sub...since withdrawal is HUGE relapse trigger. Being comfortable in your life on Suboxone is not a problem. If you're comfortable and you're doing well and you see no reason to change that...more power to you. Abstinence is a good choice for some, not so good for others. People gotta do what works for them.

As for what would happen if suddenly there were no opiates on the planet...well, a lot of people would get really sick. It would be enforced cold-turkey for all addicts and everyone who is just dependent. I'm sure a percentage of people would make it through ok, but for others there would be a long, drawn out process of getting through PAWS while trying to hold down a job, function in society, etc. I'm sure many addicts would switch to a new DOC if they couldn't get opiates any longer: benzos, alcohol, whatever.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 2:32 am 
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Holy Crap DOAQ, you hit the nail on the head like 14 times with that reply!!

I have to reiterate, everyone comes into and through recovery in their own way! There is no Master Plan for Suboxone recovery. There is no 'one size fits all' approach to recovery. Recovery is uniquely individual to each and every one of us.

Another thing I've noticed time and again, people fresh off Suboxone seem to get this idea that everyone should be off Suboxone. I guess the reason I notice it is because I did the exact same thing when I came off Suboxone!! It must be part of the wd process??

I'm not taking a shot at you wickd, I'm saying I experienced exactly what you're experiencing when I quit Suboxone. Honestly, I was pissed at anyone and everyone who was still on Suboxone because I had made the choice to stop taking it. What kind of warped thinking was that on my part? That's why I'm starting to wonder if it's part of the wd process?


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 10:54 am 
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I'm on suboxone long term because it works. I don't need to justify it, nor do I need to rationalize it. It works. I am a 47 year old addict with chronic, advanced Hepatitis C and suboxone -for the first time in 30 years- gave me the ability to quit taking drugs. It helped me stop the cycle of dangerous, destructive and often illegal behavior that was slowly, but surely killing me.

I don't fear withdrawal. I've gong through withdrawal more times (probably) that the majority of the people reading this. I've done it -literally- hundreds of times. Are you kidding me? 30 years as a dope fiend, and I spent 20 of those years trying my best to quit. I'd use for two months, then sweat it out and stop for a week, then relapse and use for three months, and stop again, then pickup, then stop, then pickup, then stop, over and over and over again and again and again.....it was horrific. But I don't use suboxone to avoid withdrawal, I use it because it prevents me from relapsing.

And right now I have no intention of stopping my treatment with suboxone and why would I? All of the evidence I have in front of me suggests that I am a text-book case of someone who requires indefinite opiate replacement therapy.

I'm fine with that.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:46 pm 
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1wickd6, you should be able to ask a question and not catch hell, IMO.

I've stayed on Sub because I am afraid of w/d. That's the honest truth. I did try to taper off a couple time and it was so scary to me that I gave up. I'd never been through opiate w/d before, and that obviously made it much, much scarier. I didn't know what things were normal or not.

I eventually got up the courage to really go through with it, and I'm still on course, and I hope eventually I will be totally off. DOAQ's thread really impacted me. Suboxone seemed impossible to get off once I realized how potent those little 2-mg tabs were. When I read the liquid taper thread, I saw a way out.

I know there are other people like me who stay on because we are (legitimately) afraid to taper off. It's HARD, after all. Then there are people like Junkie, who I do think is making a good choice to stay on Sub forever. (BTW, I cannot imagine going through detox that many times....OMG!!). Fear of w/d is not a good enough reason to stay on Sub, but knowing you are going to die of addiction if you don't is a perfect reason, IMO.

I think if all opiates were taken away, it would be a mixed bag. That scenario involves forced taper and w/d, and I don't think that typically leads to good results. Some people would get off Sub and have no other opiate to go to, so I guess some people who get off everything and stay off. I think a lot more people would switch to other drugs. And I think a lot of people would drive off a bridge/shoot themselves.

laddertipper

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 1:01 pm 
There is so much wisdom in the replies of DOQ, Romeo, and Junkie! It is so awesome to read their take/s on this....The first two replies from people who were on Sub a good while then successfully got off and have stayed off and the last from a member who has little to no doubt that he is exactly where he belongs by staying on bupe maintenence for the rest of his life.
I recently took a shot at getting off after about a year and a half on Sub and ended up learning that I wasn't ready. I still don't plan on being on it forever, but for now, it beats the almost-certain alternative of recurrent relapse.
So what constitutes "legit" reasons for long-term or permanent bupe maintenence? In my opinion, Junkie's situation and those similar to his, are as "legit" as it gets! But, really, that is a very personal judgment call we all have to make for ourselves.
Excluding those with histories similar to Junkie's, I feel that in a perfect world, all of us opiate addicts would do what DOQ, Romeo and many others have done.....use Suboxone as only one tool to end the madness of opiate addiction, and ultimately come to the place of tapering and getting off of it. But that is HARD! And a lot of people aren't able or willing to do that work. It's just easier to stay on Sub and let it do all the work. And I'm not 'slamming' anyone who chooses to do that. It is far better than the alternative. There are just too many variables involved to judge anyone's personal approach when it comes to whether or not their choice to stay on Sub for life is "legit."
As to the question about all opiates vanishing, I agree 100% with DOQ......a great deal of people would simply turn to another substance.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 3:36 pm 
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I for one have just hit the two year mark on suboxone. I have tapered down to 6mg which I feel as helped me with some of the side effects I did not like about the medicine. I have no doubt that if I had not gone on suboxone I am not sure where I would be today.

The bottom line is I love opiates.....they made everything in my life better. They gave me energy and that warm feeling it gave me was better than anything in my life including relationships or sex. I have had so many dreams about opiates and being in a doctor's office and even helping him write the prescription. The doctor shopping became an obession and I think I even became addicted to the whole process of checking into an ER and going through the whole examination and finally getting what I came for. It was like a performance for me. I traveled alot with my job and I would choose my hotel to close proximity of a hospital or urgent care. It was out of control and I knew it was only a matter of time before I was going to get caught........so what did I do I hooked up with my real family (I am adopted) and I was so lucky to have a family that was a mixture of alcholics and drug addicts. Before I knew it my real dad was my dealer and I would drive 2 hours one way every other day to get my Loratabs. Of course my dad loved it as he stopped selling pills here and there he saved them all up for me. What a great family ......huh.

Pretty soon he wasn't able to get as much as I needed so my sister turned me on to her dealer and then it got worse and pretty soon I was buying enough to last a week. This guy was very resourceful and expensive. Finally one day his girlfriend said you sure buy alot of Loratabs have you ever heard of suboxone. That was it.... she wrote down the name for me and I went home and started chewing my loratabs and reading about suboxone and found this website. Within a week I found a doctor 2 hours away and my new life started.

Things went well for a long time and I suddenly was able to get out of my house....go to work, but most importantly I could drive by a hospital or an urgent care and not feel the urge to pull in and conduct one of my performances to get opiates. Life got better I picked up my meetings in AA and then I had a deal where someone stole 4 days worth of my suboxone when I left it in my hotel room on a business trip. The wd was worse than I ever had in my life......suddenly I was so scared and was having thoughts I could not control...I wanted to hurt myself....I wanted to die. I somehow made it to my doctor and got a new script. I didn't want to tell him what happened for fear I would be looked at as the junkie I know I am. Once I took my suboxone within 45 minutes I was better and life turned back to normal for me.

This scared me....alot. What have I done? I began to hate suboxone and started thinking I made the wrong decision. I became very jaded in my thinking. I started to think I traded my addiction for opiates for suboxone and began being very negative about the drug and even people that took it. I wanted to get off but I was too afraid of the wd that I might have to deal with. I started coming up with every reason not to be on it. Constantly having to keep my eye on my bottle, hiding it and depending on it for everything. I started to believe that I had to plan my life around suboxone and my appointments. I wanted out and thought maybe I could go to treatment and get off sub.

For some people who have already decided that they plan to be on sub for life would irritate me because I felt they thought if you want to get off that your thinking was screwed up and I was determined to hold resentments against them because they spouted off that anyone wanting to get off......didn't have a good plan or they were destined to relapse and I started thinking how do they know they don't have any plans to get off sub so why do they feel they need to push their plan on others.

I guess for me is after two years of being on sub I am not ready to get off. Is it because I am afraid of wd?.......Sure who wants that but for me I absolutely know that I am not ready. When I can sit and still fantasize about using or just one script of opiates won't hurt me I know I am not ready. I find no shame in that at all. I am also an alcoholic.......for me I was very lucky that the obsession to drink was taken from me at 4 mos being sober.......but the opiates I thought I could control but my love affair with them was just too much.

I think each person has their own choice to do what they think is best for them.....not someone else. It is odd that I can abstain from alcohol with out medication maintenance but I can't with opiates. I feel like I am now at a good dose and I applaud those that have sucessfully gotten off suboxone and are doing well. This gives me hope. I think it is like alcohol....I will know when I am ready to be done. I don't run around broadcasting to the world that I am on suboxone but I know that for this addict that suboxone is going to continue to be a part of my recovery. As far as manning up........I have done just that...I found a medication that will keep me from dying, losing everything I worked so hard for, psych wards or jail. Everyone should be allowed to have a choice in how they do their own recovery and I support that.

As far as opiates suddenly not available........not a reality in my book. Just like alcohol someone will find a way to make it themselves or do like they do with meth labs. We addicts are resourceful people......there will always be a way for someone to find a way to get what they need.

I wish you luck on your attempt to stop suboxone and hope it works for you. At some point I may decide that I too need to stop taking it but I made a list of all the pros and cons of being on suboxone versus not and at this point in my life I am going to choose to continue taking it as a part of my recovery. Good Luck

Jim


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 3:57 pm 
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I've been on suboxone for over two years. Like Junkie, I'm a 45 year old addict and I accept that relapse can and might kill me. So I'll remain on suboxone. Plus I have two chronic pain conditions and taking sub to help is WAY better than going off it and being left with, again, the huge possibility of relapse. Untreated pain puts an addict in danger and there's no way in hell I could ever take full agonist opiates to treat said pain again. My options, simply put, are quite limited.

I also happen to view sub the same as my other meds - something I need for my health that actually IMPROVES my life. Just like my beta blocker or my antidepressant or my humira. What if those were suddenly gone? Someone could easily say the same things about antidepressants. Should people be on them long term? Do they just not want to taper off for fear of the very real withdrawals that can occur with them as well?

To me, if a prescribed medication improves my quality of life, why think twice about it?

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 4:44 pm 
Laddertipper......You and I must have been posting about the same time. Your reply was awesome as well. I'm impressed with your honesty about your fear of w/d holding you back. I have a good feeling that if you just stay on the path you're on, you will reach your goal of coming off without much difficulty at all. Just hang in there!
ReRaise....I'm so glad you have come to the place you are right now. I think you and I have gone through some of the same 'phases' (for lack of a better word) regarding Suboxone....staying on, getting off, etc...
I'm thinking for both of us, that staying in the here and now is probably the smartest thing we can do. I know, as you seem to, that right now, were I to go off Suboxone, the potential for relapse is too high. Heck, I proved it a couple months ago to myself! I'm glad you've gotten yourself to a comfortable dose and that you've been able to discern what is best for you and not let the fact that for now it's to stay on Sub, bother you in any way. For me, it just "is what it is" and I have to accept that there is a reason that it is.
Anyway, I'm glad you're feeling well and have made some peace with the fact that for now, staying on Sub is the best option. That's exactly where I am. I still feel very confident that my time to stop will come. For me, that's where my higher power (God) comes in. I know that He will guide me and I will know on a deeper level, that it's time, as opposed to what I did a couple of months ago, when it was just my own will and desire to be off the Sub that led me to try to quit. I now know that I can't do it just yet. Along the lines of what you said, my love affair with opiates was just too strong and as long as I have lingering positive memories and thoughts of using....no way can I afford to go it alone!


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2011 10:52 am 
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I have no problem at all having to be on Sub. I do not struggle with any kind of moral issue around addiction. And that includes needing medication to remain in remission from it. I also have no issue with decisions to remain on it for life, long term, or to taper off. Everyone needs to gather all the information they can and when in a clean and sober and stable state of mind make a decision for themselves.

Being on Sub has allowed my brain to get to a place where I CAN make a rational decision about what to do. As I talked about yesterday, I still wonder, though....am I rational? Is my brain getting stabilized? Some days you could beam yourself into my living room and say "Yeah, not so much there...." My thinking really can be off at times. And as I said, I didn't recognize it completely when on Methadone...so when I say I am making a rational decision I guess there is a chance I might not be.

Yet, I am fairly certain I'm doing the right things for me now, overall. I do believe in sub. I have NO cravings whatsoever for opiates and I am now at a maintenance dose of 8mg and am going to try to get to 6mg and see what happens there. I do not think about opiates, I am not even having using dreams....I don't think twice when driving by an urgent care any more and when I am in the pharmacy and they call my name I am not paranoid wondering if the feds are there waiting for me....It's funny now, but I'm serious...that life is NOT what I want. Unlike ReRaise, i didn't get addicted to the process of going to Er's or Urgent cares....I was always so afraid...but when I did fentanyl I did get addicted to the entire process of shooting up. Sick stuff.

I feel stable on Sub based on the fact that my obsession for opiates is gone. That is such a relief. I KNOW that using one vicodin is not an option for me. I remember when I first started trying to get off of fentanyl, before treatment when I'd go to NA meetings...Initially I thought no way do I belong here...but then I heard that line, "One is too many, a thousand never enough" and I knew I belonged. Never will I be able to use opiates the way they are meant to be taken.

I guess what I hope is that Sub will help other obsessive thoughts. I'm not OCD or anything, but I'm talking about addict obsessiveness stuff. I over think.... alot...I want my mind to slow down...and I've come to realize that the only way I can get comfortable finding the silence and the quiet that I want/need is to do other work in my recovery. It's not just taking Sub for me. I'm starting to see myself slowing down more but in a good way. I'm able to think through things with a clearer head. Make better decisions. Be less impulsive.

As far as no opiates available ever? Won't happen. Like Laddertipper said, I do think if it did happen there would be a line at the bridge to jump off...but more like what ReRaise said is that we'd find a way to make what we need. There is always a way to get what we want....and that is why, for me, doing all I am in recovery is necessary...I know that my addict thinking can come up quickly behind me and mess with me.

I think we all deserve to make whatever choice fits for us. An informed decision with our dr and our recovery is no one's business but ours. I can barely make the right decisions for myself....I have NO idea what someone else needs. Even tho at times I might think I do!


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:45 pm 
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I've been reading thru some old threads lately and wanted to bump this old one. all the responses to the original post are great. Quality reading. I wanted to especially quote this part of Romeo's post, it hit me good.

-gb

Romeo wrote:

I have to reiterate, everyone comes into and through recovery in their own way! There is no Master Plan for Suboxone recovery. There is no 'one size fits all' approach to recovery. Recovery is uniquely individual to each and every one of us.

Another thing I've noticed time and again, people fresh off Suboxone seem to get this idea that everyone should be off Suboxone. I guess the reason I notice it is because I did the exact same thing when I came off Suboxone!! It must be part of the wd process??



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 10:37 pm 
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iwickd6'. what is addiction to you?

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 10:38 pm 
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oop's

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oop's where am i

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:37 pm 
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This is a great thread. Thanks for bumping it. I learned a lot from some of these posts, especially Diary of a Quitter's. That definitely helps me understand the importance of drawing up a game plan before doing anything else.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 4:37 am 
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junkie781 wrote:
I don't fear withdrawal. I've gong through withdrawal more times (probably) that the majority of the people reading this. I've done it -literally- hundreds of times. Are you kidding me? 30 years as a dope fiend, and I spent 20 of those years trying my best to quit. I'd use for two months, then sweat it out and stop for a week, then relapse and use for three months, and stop again, then pickup, then stop, then pickup, then stop, over and over and over again and again and again.....it was horrific. But I don't use suboxone to avoid withdrawal, I use it because it prevents me from relapsing.


Divide the time frames by three and that's me in a nutshell.


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