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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 11:35 pm 
It seems like I keep hearing this assertion which goes like this: the Suboxone is a wonderful crutch, but eventually I'll have to face life without it, so I have to have a higher power and a step-based or spiritual recovery program to fall back on or else I won't make it in the long term. Huh? I just don't know where this idea is coming from. As Dr. Junig has repeatedly told us, studies (along with anecdotal observation) have confirmed that opioid-dependent people who have months and months of quality drug treatment have exactly the same relapse rates as those who do not. I've seen multiple people with 5, 10 or more years of "clean and sober" time in NA/AA relapse, overdose, and die within months. So no matter how much a person may think or feel they have been "cured" by therapy or treatment or meetings or whatever, you're safer taking your Suboxone. I don't understand at all why so many people keep saying they have to go off of it. It's really a rather insane idea, unless you didn't really have a serious addiction in the first place. I mean, my addiction was life-threatening, freedom-restricting, and relationship-destroying. Therefore, I don't look at the only effective treatment (Suboxone) as just some temporary "crutch" or "band-aid." The real "crutch" is being sold the false belief that you can be morally/spiritually cured of a MEDICAL illness. One of the false ideas I had to let go of with therapy that had really dragged me down was that being a drug addict was morally wrong. That is a false belief. Being a drug addict means you have a brain disease which is chronic, predictable, and medically treatable. Specific medicine designed to affect specific receptors in the brain will treat the disease. One thing is for sure: opioid dependence is incurable, only treatable, so it must be treated indefinately. This means, if Suboxone works for you after everything else fails, the only reason you are likely to go off of it is that you have been lulled into a very unfortunate false sense of security resulting from the stability and contentment produced by the Suboxone treatment. Think about it.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2009 10:37 am 
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I am not sure that everyone reacts to the medicine in the same way. I am very recently completely off of everything after being on 120mg methadone maintenance where I held that dose for something like 7 or 8 months. Its probably close to two years ago now that I decided one day to begin tapering. I never knew whether I would make it, I did not have the patience to drop 1 or 2 mg at at time I consistently dropped 5 or 6 milligrams every two weeks all the way down to 44 where I hit the wall. None of the symptoms really changed I just had to drop 2 mg at a time and take a 3rd or 4th week to stabilize occasionally. They don't let methadone patients that have a dose of over 24mg take suboxone at my clinic, I made it down to 14mg and dropping 2 mg then became a much larger deal than I was willing to do. I decided to try the last leg on suboxone and switched to 8 mg after taking a 72 hour hiatus from the methadone. I guess what I'm really getting at is I was never able to get over having to wake up sick, and take some nasty tasting medicine and wait for it to kick in before I can start my day and thats downplaying the fact that some mornings are a sprint to the bathroom to go evacuate whatever bile you might have, I'm sure I've burned all the enamel off of the back of my teeth by now.. No one wants to hold that in their mouth when their stomach is turning over either, suboxone is no better I thought taking it sublingually was stupid of the people who made it that way.

I was never satisfied with waking up sick every morning, I felt like at the higher doses it affected how I walked, how I spoke in conversation, my general attitude towards life. I've been telling myself that I was almost there since I got below 70mg. Thats the only way I kept myself sick this long. Suboxone in my opinion might have a slightly milder kick, but its more drawn out... thats what I've taken from the experience anyway. I know what I am I'm not an idiot. Doesn't mean I have to play into it, I havent laughed like I have in the last few days since the last time I was in rehab. Seems like thats a consistent symptom to being un zombi'fied. Not trying to sound like the high almighty I'm no saint I'm the first to admit my flaws and I'm the first to find humor in it, even when other people don't find it funny. If your naive enough to say you didn't have fun while you were at it... maybe I shouldn't even go there. No one grows out of instantaneous gratification, you can only keep it in check.


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 Post subject: To clarify
PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2009 10:44 pm 
Ok,
I need to clarify because I certainly was not trying to crack on twelve-step programs like NA/AA because I know many people have found help through those programs. And yes I did have some fun using, at the very first, but I'm not sure what you meant by that. I was not trying to invalidate anyone's faith-based recovery or abstinance-based recovery. I was simply expressing my frustration with being told my treatment with Suboxone isn't a "real" enough or "complete" enough recovery and that I need to do something extra. I do not think this is true. I guess maybe it's just because Suboxone treatment is still such a new thinkg. Anyway, thanks.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 11:54 am 
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Fortunately I had my fill of the AA/NA programs early in my addiction. I went along with it three times, and about the same number of separate detox only clinics. Nothing really stuck, my addictions changed throughout the years. In the past I tended to rant towards these kinds of forums, its just me blowing off steam..most of it I just need to get out so I can feel like I have an opinion about something. I guess that's part of recovering .. Coming back and reading things that I've wrote while I'm kicking has been somewhat surprising. Things always seem to read differently the next day. All I can say is that it took me almost two years to undo the damage I did in two weeks.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 12:12 pm 
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I have come to believe that there is no and will be no solid "cure" for what I have, the pros and cons are extremely heavy on both sides. However, something very primal tells me that I'm better off without it in the long run. That's what it boils down to. Now or later.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 10:48 pm 
I can definately respect that. Only you can know what is best for yourself. And I definately agree with you that there are many pro's and con's on both sides....and I don't think that NA/AA or Suboxone or a combination of the two are really a "cure."
Now that I've been clean for a little over a year, I'm really struggling with all these intense feelings - it's like I always thought being clean would be all peaceful and easy (whatever), and in reality it's a hell of a struggle every day. I'm always mad at people in my past and I'm really struggling with being judgemental. And to tell you the truth, it's really easy to get on the computer at the end of a long day and vent on this forum. I'm finding that I just have to deal with "me" day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute. Literally. I mean, I've always been somewhat of a loner, I started using drugs as a teenager, and I have a really hard time with close relationships. So NA meetings are especially hard for me and people like me. I think that is another reason that Suboxone has been so appealing to me. It's not a sponsor or a friend, it's a pill that doesn't argue or criticize. And I can see that is a flaw - a pill can't tell you when you are dangerously close to a relapse, and a pill can't come and pick you up during a crisis. Being an addict, I have issues with doing things in moderation. I like to go all-or-nothing. But now I'm starting to see that with addiction to opiates, the best solution seems to be a blend of medicine like Suboxone plus group therapy/NA/counseling. So I have decided to start attending some meetings and stop pointing my finger at everyone else.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 12:04 pm 
Good for you jd! It's kind of amazing how insightful we get when we begin to think more clearly once out from under the fog of opiate abuse! It sounds to me like you are working through some issues, which in my opinion, is necessary for us to keep getting better. The NA issue has probably been discussed enough here so I won't go into that other than to say that I agree with your basic premise that there are pros and cons to meetings and if it works for someone that's great.
I think it's important to not judge another person's "recovery" either. Unless you're a doctor who specializes in addiction and has a whole lot of experience, or you're an addict in recovery on his last few days of life on this earth with multiple years of sobriety, I'm not interested in your judgement of my recovery. What matters to me is the evidence I see in my life. Whether it's because of meetings, Suboxone, spiritual practices, or whatever - if my life is manageable and I am reasonably happy and peaceful, then I'm doing okay and that's good enough for today.
You are right - being "clean" doesn't bring instant happiness and peace. I can testify to that. Sure I'm happy to be off the pills - that alone is huge. But being clean means thinking more clearly and having to come to terms with the past. And that can be pretty discouraging, down right depressing at times. But we have to deal with it. And when we do and see that we did it without altering ourselves with drugs, strength comes. And with strength comes more and more progress.
So do whatever you need to do - go to meetings, get counseling, vent on the forums, whatever it takes to get out from under those feelings that hold you back. Don't let anyone tell you that Suboxone is a crutch or whatever other nonsense they want to say about it. It's helping you. It's improving your life. I think it's fantastic when someone is able to wean off Suboxone and do well without medication. That is my ultimate goal, but that goal is not going to push me to get off of it before I have full confidence that I am ready.
So...the struggle continues but that is just part of it. As long as we are moving in the right direction I believe that we can reach that ultimate goal of happiness and peace in our lives. That is my hope anyway!


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:14 pm 
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I know many will argue my point, but ask the question for yourself. Are subs giving us a false sense of security, or were those brief episodes in our lives when we were completely clean of everything the actual false sense of security and well-being. Some of us, at some point in our lives have to face the music...... We are not like the "normi's" out there (as much as we fantasize about it).... I'm in my mid 40's and up to a few years ago, I spent my whole life in a perpetual cycle (struggle) going from addiction, withdrawal, sobriety, relapse, addiction, withdrawal, sobriety, relapse..... and I consider myself an otherwise "strong willed" individual...! As much as I'd like to think I could go on living a life without help in this area, I've wasted way too much of my life trying to fool myself. My life addicted was a life of crisis. Darn there lost everything.
In the 3 years of Sub maintenance, I've recaptured things I never thought possible! Relationships with my kids and wife! The trust of my friends and family, financial success and actually starting and running a successful medical staffing agency! A world that would have never remotely been possible before..... I read all these scary posts about poor, frustrated addicts struggling to get off the stuff...... WHY???? It's already (long-ago)been proven that opiate relapse after Sub treatment is no less common then anything else out there..... What are your plans after subs??? Do you think anythings changed?? Who are you fooling??? I don't know... maybe I'm the minority here.... and if that is a possibility for all these that are weaning off, then "praise the lord"..... For me it's just "more off" an E-Ticket back to the life that lost me everything....
I read of so many people stating they are walking around in a "fog"???? LOWER YOUR DOSE THEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I have no detectable signs of my sub maintenance, but I also have a very sound medical understanding of the "ceiling" effect of sub use, which is really right around the 2mg/ day mark (or there-abouts).... Sure, we alll deal with the side effects, ie- constipation, occasional sweats, etc.... But really...... that will never hold a candle to loosing just about everything, over and over and over..... Wean off my Subozone???? To me, that's like me telling my diabetic sister to throw away her insulin.....
Again, I'm just another opinion in a sea of others..... just has always struck me funny that most of the people who are actually getting something from this wonderful drug are so busy out "LIVING" life that they hardly have time to log-into these forums to report on their individual success..... mark my words, there is a lot of us out there.... and it really is more of a Godsend then a False sense of security for some.....


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 Post subject: something i'm learning
PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:08 pm 
"To each his own"


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:15 pm 
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melsailsnorth-

I agree, but I also feel I must tell you that for some people it is so important to fit into this mold of normalcy, and for many it just doesn't work. When someone's brain is affected by addictive behaviors and damage from the drug abuse- it is very difficult to gauge if they will ever repair the damage. In my opinion, if something is providing you with a wonderful quality of life, why disrupt it? Just let things be wonderful. Makes sense right?

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 Post subject: Additionally,
PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:59 pm 
The one time I dared to suggest that most people would probably be best off staying on Suboxone indefinately, I was mercilessly attacked as if I had commited high treason or something!! I think a whole lot of users of this forum still believe that they are in control of their addiction, and that they can jump in and out of treatment at will without real consequences. What people don't seem to realize is that if you stop the medicine, you might not make it back. This addiction is just as real and terrible after 2 or 3 years of Sub use as it was on the last day you used. As people in NA like to say, your addiction is doing pushups, waiting for you to screw up.

I also quoted Suboxdoc, when he says (as he says, over and over and over) that the vast majority of people who go off of Suboxone are idiots. And again, I was attacked, called a jerk, people private messaged me and personally attacked me, and people even requested that I be removed from the forum!! And this is for quoting what the founder of the forum said!!

There are a lot of people on this forum who have a lot of interest at stake in their discontinuation of Suboxone not being challenged or questioned at all. From this I can only deduce that they are under the false impresion that they are in control of their organic brain addiction. (This does NOT apply to those who are going off of Suboxone who don't have to attack anyone, including Suboxdoc, who don't generally think it's a great idea.)

JD


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 10:10 pm 
Here's the quote from Suboxdoc,
It's available to anyone, under: Suboxone Forum: Q & A: Bad Luck, Hard Knocks, Tapering Suboxone, Talwin

(this is in response to a long letter about someone tapering off Suboxone)

"Do you not see that these people that are going through pure misery to get off of this stuff?

Yes—and I’m sorry, but I consider those people fools. Their lives were saved once—they might not be so lucky the next time. And for the vast majority, there WILL be a next time. That is just the fact of the matter. They all have the same fantasy—a fantasy I once shared—of being ‘normal’ again. It ain’t happenin’, folks. I’m sorry to break it to you. All the misery you are going through tapering off Suboxone… some day in a few years you will be saying to yourselves, ‘why the heck did I stop that med, when everything was going so well?!’ -Suboxdoc


I'm sure there'll be a shitstorm about this again, because people hate to hear the truth. But remember, this time I didn't say it.
JD


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 12:58 am 
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I know for me that I don't care what anyone says or thinks about the fact that I have no desire to stop taking sub. 9 months ago I was ready to blow my brains out.......I was blowing all my money on loratab's, not doing my job(at all), depressed..I would sit in my apartment with the blinds shut..never open my mail, got evicted...cable...electrcity shut off over and over...I was going thru a divorce and my ex felt I was not "mentally there" to be a father to my two wonderful boys ages 5 and 6. She already had a new man living in our home and I lived 7 hours away....I prayed for death. I believe god helped me find suboxone...got online...found this forum, a doctor and was on my way. I attend AA several times a week..I was the top performer in my Region in my job last quarter...I have enjoyed some great days with my boys and I am currently working to get transferred back home to my boys...I have an apartment, I pay my bills and I laugh now with my new friends. We all have opinons and I don't get into the should I or shouldn't I...look and read what I have written again.......I have my life back and I plan to keep it and that means staying on sub...those that disagree I hope it works out for you. I wish you the best ......for me god helped me get this far and I chose this type of recovery......I chose to live.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 2:29 am 
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Thanks Shelwoy and JD for some great comments! Being new to the forum, I really had no idea that the "doc" who started this site was such a proponent of long-term maintenance and his thoughts really paralleled much of my own when considering all the rampent anger and posts that concern addicts that feel deceived and trapped in yet another cycle of addiction.

Hundreds upon hundreds of posts, all looking for that magical, elusive, and pain free formula for freeing themselves from the tight grips of Suboxone. I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I can easily fall victim to the diseased part of my brain that tells me to "get off the Suboxone so you can be normal like your wife and your neighbor". I just don't buy into it any longer. The insanity that I would guess the Doc is so intent on addressing is the thought that so many of these poor folks are really risking their lives by weaning them selves off a relatively safe medication, which then leaves our forever diseased brains free to relapse on something far more likely to kill us or ruin our lives. I don't know.... maybe its my age or just the sheer number of times that this disease has knocked me down and taken everything away. You just reach that point that you have to stop believing that things are going to be different "next time" , or "next time I won't give-in to that craving"....

I just want to say that it's a pleasure to read others that see through some of this insanity. For those that are reading this and deciding if they want to quit or wean off Suboxone..... Please think long and hard. Despite what your brain is telling you, there is a VERY REAL chance that "once free" from from this drug, you will relapse on your drug of choice and it will either kill you or turn your life upside down again.

Having found a comfortable maintenance dose of Suboxone for the last three years, I live life (for the first time in my life) on life's terms. Sure, it's a substitution.... But it's the only substitution that I've ever found that has the ability to arrest the endless cycle of sick behavior, insanity and perpetual chaos. I'm finally free to focus my energy on what other normal people focus on. For the very first time, I have relationships that I appreciate (and that appreciate me), a business that I take pride in, a profession that I excel at (and I care immensely about each one of these)... In a word, the passion for life that I lost so long ago, has finally been regained.

Although I've (long since) accepted the fact that my brain will never be like those normal people.... Experience has shown me that this is the absolute safest and most effective means of guaranteeing me a life that is as close to normal as I will ever get. Doing the best with the cards I've been dealt, and making the most of it.....

Thanks for reading!! and again, a special thanks to those that take the time to post, even if their experience is not the same as the thousands that are either angry for starting down this road, or the ones so desperately trying to get off it.

My prayers go out to every struggling addict, and it's my hope that we each can get as much info out of these forums as possible so more informed decisions can be made, with hope for the possibility that we all can all "once again" reconnect with that passion in each and every one of us...

Melsailsnorth-


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 Post subject: since you bring it up...
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 2:59 am 
I agree with you, melsailsnorth, and you brought up an interesting group of people: those who believe they were decieved or tricked by their doctor and are trapped on Suboxone, worse off than they were before they took it. This is what I have to say about that: what utter NONSENSE. People who don't want to face narcotic withdrawal will come up with any number of things to blame for their problem. If you went on Suboxone, it was because you couldn't withdraw on the drug of your choice. If you could have done so on your own, you wouldn't have needed opiate maintainence! So you're no more trapped on Sub than you were when you started it. Period.

Now, I understand that some people were told by trusted doctors that Suboxone was going to heal the brain so they would no longer be an addict. I think most of those claims are made-up, just addicts passing the blame. Phony-baloney! :twisted: Addicts are smart people, and no one with two brain cells to rub together would believe that. What's the main thing they drill into your head at an AA meeting? It's incurable!

JD


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 8:35 am 
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Hey guys, check out these links. Very Interesting and related to this post in a way.


www.addictionsurvivors.org/vbulletin/sh ... hp?t=12724]

www.addictionsurvivors.org/vbulletin/sh ... hp?t=12670]

www.opiods.com

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Last edited by shelwoy on Mon Jan 25, 2010 12:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 9:32 am 
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Hey' over on the Cymbalta withdrawel site ( a huge site by the way,just as big or bigger than this one ) ), where there is also a lot of pain and low spirits, there opening up capsules and counting the little balls inside for tapering and then putting the capsule back together !!! Unbelieveble , this needing pills or not wanting pills... Always some kind of battle going on, I'll stay on my suboxone for the time and be HAPPY , Mike


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:02 am 
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The bottom line is subs is no magic cure that fits well for all. It works great for some and not good for others. Some people do better with methadone and others [not many] use abstinance. This being a subs forum... it isn't shocking that the majority are biased towards subs... mainly because it has worked or is working for them.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 2:45 pm 
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Wow, I've really appreciated the comments others have left and while it is, or has been difficult for me to decide whether I should stay on Suboxone longterm I was able to see first-hand what happens to those who quickly try to taper off the medication. Don't take me wrong I'm sure some have done it successfully and others have even been more successfull tapering over a LONG period of time but I know that I'm just too scared of what could happen if I were to stop treatment. I even had to make some very difficult decisions here lately after I found out my parent's insurance finally kicked me off of their plan. As a side note just for those who are curious it's freaking impossible to get individual coverage if you're an addict, were an addict, had any kind of chronic disease for that matter. I tried literally every one in my area and I was only able to get one insurance agent to not immediately hang up on me when they started looking into my past medical records but eventually he also ended up telling me that even if I could get a policy and he said that's a big if then I'd have to pay at least $800.00 per month for coverage. I'm just from a working class family and I'm already up to my eyeballs in student loans so when he said $800.00 I just started laughing. Anywho so I was faced wither whether I should taper off Suboxone because I really can't even afford a monthly prescription of generic Subutex let alone a doctors visit every 2 months. My parents even tried to tell me that I wouldn't be like "other" recovering opiate addicts and that I had a big advantage over others who try to stay clean without medication...... I don't mean to ramble but the point I'm trying to make is that it's been hard for me to decide what to do with so many people trying to tell me that I'd be ok or even better off not taking the Suboxone anymore. I've had to force myself into recognizing that I'm just like every other opiate addict. It has been hard for me to accept that I'm not "special" I'm just as close to a relapse as any other addict. So while I can't afford it and others around me are trying to tell me I'm somehow different from "other" opiate addicts and that I could make it if I really tried without medication I'm now able to look at the statistics and realize without staying on Suboxone I can loose everything I've worked so hard to get back the last few years. I'm just as likely as any other addict to relapse and Suboxone makes me feel safe. It's just knowing that I couldn't get high even if I wanted to that has helped so much and knowing that if I try to quit taking the medication for awhile to be able to try and get high that I'll have to go through withdrawal and I can't think of anything else in this world that would scare me more. I'd rather find a way to scrape together what little money I have and keep taking the medication indefinately and while that means I can't take my girlfriend out to dinner on the weekends or be able to fill my gas tank up at the gas station I'll at least know I cannot use! It sucks and it's inconvenient but I am pursuing the treatment most likely to keep me from using and sometimes doing the right thing sucks but in the end it's worth it for me

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 2:56 pm 
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That's one incredibly funny visual, imagining all these Cymbalta users counting their crystals, LOL..... sounds more like something you'd find on the "Ritilin" forum.... It begs the question, "if we've bestowed you with enough energy to count Cymbalta crystals, then should you not consider the drug to be working, and leave well enough alone????"

Seems like a common theme on these forums.... So few that want to just rejoice in their sobriety, or lack of depression, or what-ever.....

People are even considering publishing some of these 300+ page accounts of their misery while kicking..... Now there's some exciting reading!!!

In all these hundreds that are trying to get off Subs.... the underlying reasons seem to focus either the worry that subs are just as difficult (or worse) to get off of then their drug of choice, or that subs leave them feeling disconnected or "high" each day and they want to feel normal....

Aside from the mild side effects, I've never noticed much of anything with subs.... and I especially don't ever feel "high"....
I can vouch that if subs induced those type of feelings, ceiling or no ceiling, my diseased brain would be "upping" that dose daily.... Got me to thinking though, and enticed me to try a little experiment..... I've got a very close friend who I've run with for years. One of those individuals that frustrates people like us, because he's never been addicted to anything despite years of the same types of behavior that tossed me over the edge on several occasions.... At any rate, he was more then happy to give me his two cents on the effects of sub...and this is someone that had not used any type of opiate for several months.

My normal daily dose is 2mg. I used to take 8mg, but found no difference with 2, and just increased constipation. At 2mg he felt nothing for the first 30 minutes, then felt (what he described) as an extremely faint feeling like he'd taken a hit of Marijuana. He said this was gone after about an hour and a half, leaving him feeling no further effect at all. He pointed-out (matter of factly) that he got a heck of a lot more enjoyment from two Vicodin and a beer, and that (at least then) the buzz was something appreciable....

Everyone can derive their own conclusions, but it just makes me wonder why, if you have something that is not making you "buzzed" and is not tripping that switch in all of us that says "take more, take more....", yet is filling the void and preventing the use of something far more dangerous...... why quit??? The only thing I'm left to conclude is that maybe the majority of addicts out there have had much less destruction in their lives, and its there-for harder to draw an accurate comparison.
I look at my life now as compared to all that crisis, and just thank my lucky stars each day!!!


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