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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 9:26 am 
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Hello,
I have been on Suboxone for 9 weeks now, I am currently being prescribed 24 mgs a day. My problem is that I am taking more than prescribed. I keep reading posts from follks who say they are so thrilled that they no longer have to count pills and worry about running out and I don't seem to be at that point yet. I feel like I am thinking about the subs the same way I thought about the percs/vicodan/fentanyl! Not really the same way, but somewhat the same way. AGH.....

I seem to be taking up to 32 mgs in a day. Yesterday was definitely 32 mgs..... I have taken 16 mgs so far this morning and am going to save the last 8mg for this afternoon. Basically, I am going to make an effort to not go over my prescribed amount today! Any other people have this problem?

Thanks so much! Donna


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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 9:43 am 
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Hi FAD/Donna and welcome to the forum.

I think what you're experiencing isn't that unusual. A lot of us tried to do that in the beginning, only to realize we got nothing out of it! You shouldn't feel any difference in taking 16 mg or 32 mg, because of the ceiling effect.

It's really good that you see this as a problem and are trying to keep with your prescribed dose. Remember, it's only been 9 weeks - you're just starting out. Try to cut yourself some slack. You're still adjusting to not taking pills to deal with life.
I predict that soon you'll realize that taking more than prescribed does nothing except leave you short on pills. Then you can move on to the task of learning to deal with life on life's terms, as they say.

Are you doing anything else for your recovery, such as therapy or support groups or meetings? Many of us go to therapy if only to learn new coping skills so we don't want to keep reaching for pills. We also use this forum as a support to our recovery. The fact that you found us and reached out for help is a really good sign that you're serious about your recovery. Be proud of yourself for that!

Hang in there and keep posting - we'll glad you're here.

_________________
-As I have grown older, I've learned that pleasing everyone is impossible, but pissing everyone off is a piece of cake.

-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 11:13 am 
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Thanks very much for the post. It makes me feel better to know that I am not alone. I am so very happy on the subs, just wish I could get this dosing issue finalized. It is kind of driving me a bit nuts. As far as counseling goes -- I am seeing a therapist and NEED to look for a group. Nancy sent me some links for groups -- I have just been too busy to look into them. I find it daunting to go to group. I have my psychiatrist once a month, and a therapist once a week PLUS kids, work, home, etc. (just like everyone else!) But I could be using all of that as an excuse for not going to group :) Who knows.

I will say that I have never felt this great! I mean, it is truly amazing how much this drug has changed my life. I just feel so normal and happy! Except for some weight gain, the subs are a miracle.......

Thanks!


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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 12:15 pm 
Hi Donna and welcome. I'm glad you have gotten yourself the help that so many of us need who have become addicted to opiates.....Suboxone. As you know and will continue to learn as you go along, the drug is not the cure for this disease. It takes so much more than just dissoving this orange tablet under the tongue every day! But what a blessing it is to have it to help us along the way! I know you've got to be feeling so much better just to have gotten to this point.
It sounds like you are still really battling the obsession to use drugs.....it's just that it's now buprenorphine instead of full agonists. Don't get me wrong....in my opinion, that's a big improvement! It's a lot less harmful to say 'misuse' bupe than it is to misuse the other drugs. However, it is still a problem....as you seem to be acknowledging. The nice thing is that overusing bupe doesn't provide any euphoria or anything 'good' really, therefore there's nothing to really reinforce the behavior of overusing it. It's just that you've gotten used to popping a pill or something multiple times throughout the day in order to get through the day! As addicts, something happens to us that makes us ridiculously sensitive to every little feeling or emotion or somatic complaint that comes along. We can't tolerate anything anymore! Sound familiar? We just want every little uncomfortable thing to be dulled out.....That's what we've been doing to cope for years! All that stuff has to change. Suboxone calms a lot of that down, as far as the cravings and the obsession to use, but it doesn't obliterate it completely. So what has to happen, is that we have to gradually recondition ourselves and begin to realize that many times there is no instant remedy to whatever is bothering us. Eventually we start to 'get it' that we can survive and we can deal with things that come up throughout the day without medicating ourselves.
As you seem to be aware, at the 24mg/day of Suboxone you are prescribed....your opiate receptors are so completely saturated that there is just no way that you could be truly in withdrawal. Nor should you be experiencing any 'real' cravings. Anything you're feeling is almost 100% certainly not because you need more medication. I really believe that if you can accept the fact that taking more than 16mg/day (or sometimes even less than that,) is truly unneccessary and not doing you any good, you might be able to break this habit of taking more than you're prescribed. Dr. Junig is a proponent of once a day dosing as well. And I completely agree......it's just one more way to break the old behaviors and do away with that compulsion to take multiple doses of drug every day. If you can do this for several days in a row (dose once a day and only take the amount prescribed) I think you'll see that you'll feel fine, maybe even better and you'll have gotten rid of some of the addict behavior that got you in trouble to begin with. If you find that really hard to do, maybe you could have a loved one hold your meds and give you your once/daily dose for a little while. Just until you've proven to yourself that you'll be fine dosing this way.
I'm glad you're in counseling too and working on everything in conjunction with taking Suboxone. You've done a good thing by starting treatment and nothing changes overnight. You are certainly not the only one who's fallen into the habit of taking more Sub than you need. For a lot of us, it's just part of the process. And it will get better. This forum has helped me so much in understanding how this drug works. And the support here is great. So I hope you'll keep coming back. Try real hard to stick with your Rx dose and see if you don't feel better over the coming days. I really think you'll do just fine!


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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 2:19 pm 
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I'm glad you posted about this. I have certainly done it and don't think it is that uncommon. I ultimately had to do a few things in order to stop that. First, I realized this is really my ONLY good option and I HAVE to make this work. Second, I realized that a little bit of discomfort isn't going to kill me and it is that thing called LIFE. So sometimes, I have to just remember that if I am always trying to dull everything out, I am not really LIVING and I am wasting this opportunity. I also had to develop new coping skills. Working out, keeping busy at the end of the day when I want to take more, meditation. This isn't to say that I have it all figured out because last week I was complaining that I had just done the same thing and overtook my sub because I was overwhelmed. Did me no good but every once in a while I go right back to those old behaviors. I am very grateful that today that means taking an extra sub which literally has no negative impact on my life versus actually getting high which does. Once per day dosing was the MAIN factor in me learning to take my dose as prescribed. It was a mental thing to a great extent. I take it once in the morning. The rest of the day I have to learn to just deal with whatever comes my way and taking an extra sub isn't an option. MOST of the time, this is not a problem. MOST days I am ok with this and do very well. I have certainly stopping thinking and obsessing about taking the suboxone so it has gotten easier and easier for me. I have also gained a tremendous amount of confidence because I have gotten through several situations WITHOUT taking an extra sub or an evening dose of sub. I am learning that I CAN do it and it will be ok. I will be ok. I am retraining my mind to be more like someone who is not addicted to substances. It isn't easy, but if you want it and keep trying you can do it.

Cherie


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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 2:24 pm 
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Thanks Set Me Free ~
Everything that you said makes perfect, absolute sense and is not offensive in the least. It is actually right on track with how I feel and what I am going through! How funny. I have been saying -- since I started the subs that for me I have just traded one addiction for another. Now I realize that we all have -- but for me -- it is more apparent.

As an aside -- I quit smoking about 5 years ago with the help of the Commit's -- the Nicotene Lozenges -- only to become seriously addicted. It became such a problem -- I was spending almost $120.00 a week for the lozenges! AGH.... I joked with my husband -- leave it to me to become addicted to the lozenges that were supposed to be the way off the smokes! I was addicted to the lozenges for 2 years! I sucked down way more lozenges than I ever did with smoking -- meaning that the equivalent was not accurate! That addiction landed me in the hospital with a serious colon infection which is how I finally quit!

Now I am concerned that the subs are my next big thing! It's 2:20 p.m. on Sunday and I am going to try like mad to not tak any more subs..... I have taken 16 mgs so far today..... I guess I really want to be at the point where I don't even think about it anymore. And I do like the dosing once a day idea. I was taking my DOC as a result of a back injury so I somewhat of a pain patient with the dosing. I am sure I will figure it out soon..... Thanks! Donna


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Fond Du Lac Psychiatry
Dr. Jeffrey Junig, M.D., Ph.D.

  • Board Certified Psychiatrist
  • Asst Clinical Professor, Medical College of Wisconsin

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