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PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 3:51 am 
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Hi,
I am very concerned because my fiance was addicted to Methadone for
10 years. She was placed on Suboxone to detox from methadone. She has reached the point where no one wants to prescribe suboxone they only want to hurry and get her off of it. She does fine on it, doesn't abuse it, and it helps her greatly. When they took her off of it things went down hill extremely fast. I was completely losing her. We have a 2 year old boy and are trying to be good parents, but from what I have seen, she simply can't function without the suboxone and it just got worse and worse. I've done a lot of research and Dr. J is the only person that sees it like I have experienced. She is an addict and always will be, but is fine as long as she has suboxone. I am scared when they take her off it completely again that she will fall apart completely or relapse.
We live in Utah and have went to a few doctors and they all want to get her off of it within a month. It just isn't working.
My main question is whether there are others, particularly here in utah, that have the same attitude about suboxone as Dr Jeff. From my experience with her I truly believe she needs it as a long term medication to keep her from relapsing and basically losing her mind. I can't find anyone that sees it that way. They all just want to get her off as soon as possible. They gave her naltrexone and that made things WAY worse.
Any guidance you have in this situation would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks so much for your help.

Clint


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 5:21 am 
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Clint I'm really sorry to hear what you and your fiance are going through.

I'm shocked that so many doctors that you have seen have a lack of belief in Suboxone maintenance. The reason I'm shocked is my experience has been quite the opposite. Most doctors would rather keeps patients on treatment for the long term. It seems to me that you have both has a string of bad luck with your doctors.

To stay clean with the assistance of naltrexone takes a lot of motivation, which is why naltrexone treatment is in the most part recommended to those addicts who work with narcotics in their job. It is, to a degree, a "punitive" treatment, and basically "closes the door" on the option to use. I've always been of the opinion that for a person to stay off opiates long term, the option to use must be open, and they must learn to overcome their desire. This is why I'm no longer a believer in naltrexone.

Can I just clarify. When your fiance stops using Suboxone, how is it that she finds it hard to function? Does she use other opiates? How long is the longest period she has spent without opiates?

My advice would be to find another doctor. I'm unsure of where you're at, and how many doctors there are in your area. But I can assure you that you will find a doctor that believes in long term maintenance sooner rather than later.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 7:02 am 
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Clint - FYI - I responded to your post that you put in the INDUCTION section. I also saw that you put it here and in the STOPPING SUB section as well. It's sufficient to put it in one section only. Otherwise you'll end up having responses in three different places. In this case I deleted the one in the STOPPING SUB section. It's now left in two different places, which I left up because there are now responses in both places. Again, just FYI.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 2:48 pm 
I would use a Suboxone physician finder, contact all doctors that seem within a reasonable driving distance, and the first question I would ask them is if they "are advocates of long term to indefinate suboxone maintenence?" If the answer is anything other than positive about long term maintenence, call the next doctor.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2011 4:42 pm 
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Hi, thanks for the help and suggestions. We are new to the forum so I didn't realize I only had to post one place.

I completely agree that the option has to be there to use or it is impossible. I myself had smoked for 20 years and recently quit. If I had a pack in my car and knew I could have one, I didn't crave it. But as soon as they were gone and there was no option I would freak out and tear my car apart looking for one I dropped. So yeah, I agree completely. The Naltrexone was bad stuff. Mainly just the side effects. It seemed to make the cravings and withdrawals worse.

To clarify, my fiance hasn't used any other opiates besides suboxone since she became pregnant with our son about 2 and 1/2 years ago. So far she has never relapsed. The problem I ran into was that the doctors decided it was time to come off. She made peace with that and was going through the withdrawal period. I took time off to be with her and our son went to stay with his grandparents so he didn't have to be around the nervous people :) She had gone about a week and a half. It appeared the physical withdrawals were going away. However, mentally she was falling off a cliff. Her brother had just passed away, we moved, she started a new job, so she was under severe stress.
After about a week I could tell I was just losing her. By that I mean she withdrew inside, was confused and foggy, didn't seem to care about anything, couldn't crack a smile even for a second. Mentally she just started losing it. She was like an empty shell. I truly just felt I was alone in the house even when she was sitting by me. I could tell she was having debilitating depression. It was just getting horrible. She still never used other opiates but started to drink heavily and almost became an alcoholic over the whole thing.
With this going on I hurried and called around and just went to the first doctor that could prescribe sub. He said he would give her some but he upped her dosage and said she had a month to be off it. Crazy in my opinion. She was down to 2 mg a day and he bumped her back to 8 mg and said to start a fast taper and then he was going to give her the naltrexone. As soon as she was on sub again I had my fiance and my son's mom back. She was back to normal. She didn't even up the dosage as we thought that was a bad idea, she just returned to her maintenance dosage and she was absolutely fine.
Well, then the stop sub and take naltrexone day came. That was horrible. She stopped for 3 days as instructed by the doc and then took a naltrexone. Wow, it made her withdrawals insane and way worse. I've never seen a pill mess someone up so bad.
So she stopped that and had one sub film left. She went back to a small dosage and is ok again but now here we are. When that is gone we are back where we started. So I guess the longest she was off of it was about 2 weeks. The physical does seem to get better but mentally I know I will lose her if she has to stop that sudden. I know she will relapse or become an alcoholic.
I am going to take the advice and start calling every doctor in the area and see if any believe in long term maintenance. We are in Utah (I mean absolutely no offense to anyone's beliefs) but in this state it seems extra hard to find people that will accept this as a disease or life long problem. But I will continue the search.

Thanks so much for all the help and any advice or experiences. My fiance knows about the forum and we are doing this together. She is also going to log in and use the forum with me so any advice anyone has for her I would really appreciate.

Thanks again to everyone and good luck on all of your experiences :)


C and A


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