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PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 5:07 pm 
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A couple of questions for you experts:

As I posted I'm now on day #6 of my unwanted sub-jump for financial
reasons - I'm on Medicare. I'd really appreciate some personal info beyond
what I've read on the internet. Some of these relate to poly-substance abuse.

1) Is Buprenorphrine indicated for addiction to/ withdrawal from:

a) Opium Poppy teas / pods? (I think this is a yes?- these are full-agonists, yes?)

b) The increasingly popular "Kratom" leaves and extracts sold on the internet ? (Bali extracts, etc.)

2) From a withdrawal standpoint (in terms of potential need for inpatient treatment or outpatient sub):

a) Is Kratom a drug that is known to have withdrawals of the opioid type, and of what severity ?

3) What is the relative frequency of ETOH abuse or relapse for patients like myself with an alcohol history now
free of opiods / Bup? (I chose to be placed on (resume) antubuse when I had to d/c sub). Is this common ?
I was free of ETOH throughout pain treatment.

Thanx....this site has been a great source of information and support.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 9:17 pm 
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Hello runner! I'm not an expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I might be able to give you some help, though I do not have the answers to all of your questions. I have a few, and maybe some more knowledgeable individual can come along and help us to fill in the blanks:)

1. a). ABSOLUTELY. I was (am) an addict, and my drug of choice was poppy tea. I loved that shit. My absolute favorite. When I stopped, I almost felt as if I was divorcing a spouse with whom I was still in love, yet who abused me terribly.

I was drinking tons of poppy tea (enough to kill some pretty large animals, most likely), and I decided to get on Suboxone. Now, with poppy tea, there are a lot of alkaloids within the pods that your body becomes used to, which are not limited to just morphine and codeine. There is also some thebaine, paparavine, and others that I cannot quite recall just yet (and that I would also be likely to butcher the spelling of, haha), so when one stops poppy tea, the body goes through a pretty rough withdrawal (what withdrawal isn't?) because it is deprived of a lot of substances that it had grown accustomed to.

That being said, when I started Suboxone, I felt very good considering that I had been in withdrawal for a day and a half prior to taking it. Now, my withdrawal symptoms were NEARLY eradicated when I took my first dose of Sub, but for about a week and a half, I still had a few lingering (and minimal) symptoms. I had the chills for a while, some GI issues, a bit of trouble sleeping (but that didn't last longer than a few days), and just generally felt fucking weird. After nearly two weeks, I was absolutely fine. I think that my body was having a bit of a rough time adjusting to the lack of the chemicals that Suboxone might not fully 'cover'. But nothing unbearable, and I was absolutely able to go to work, attend social functions, and do housework all while feeling pretty damn good. So yes, Suboxone absolutely works for poppy tea withdrawal/ addiction.

b) Yes. It would work to treat a Kratom addiction. Kratom is a weird opioid like substance that gives a similar buzz, and of course, a similar (though fairly short in duration) withdrawal. Suboxone would absolutely take the withdrawal away from a Kratom dependent individual, though treating Kratom addiction with Suboxone may be a bit of overkill, though I'm sure it's helpful nonetheless...I just think that a Kratom addict would probably get blasted off Suboxone. I could be wrong about that, however. I haven't done enough Kratom to develop a dependence, and I am not sure if the two have any cross tolerance. I do know that you could erase Kratom withdrawals using Suboxone with no problem at all.

2. a). Yes. It does have withdrawals, and like any other drug, the severity depends on the amount that was being used prior to the withdrawal period. I would think that if a person had been abusing Kratom for months on end with few breaks, then of course that person would experience withdrawal. I have read of many people experiencing withdrawal from Kratom. I know that the withdrawal is very short lived compared to full agonist opiods, I think due to the short half life of Kratom. The withdrawals are still present, however, and certainly not an easy thing to go through. I wish I had scientific explanations of this for you, but alas, I am not the brightest bulb in the box when it comes to chemistry.

I wouldn't say that a person that has a Kratom problem should just 'tough it out'. Suboxone has many benefits, and if you feel that Suboxone would be the best course of action for you, to keep you away from active addiction, then that is the path that you should pursue. I am sure that there are plenty of people that are addicted to Kratom that have chosen to use Suboxone as a tool in their recovery. The drug of choice isn't the important thing in deciding whether or not Suboxone is a good choice for you. There are many things to take into consideration, and your drug of choice is one of the least important things, in my opinion (as long as it's an opiate/ opiate analogue).


3. Don't know that answer, I am sorry. I think that if you are an addict, and you have an affinity to ANY mind altering substance, then you would obviously be best to stay away from said substance(s), and just try to get through life sober. If you have ever been dependent on alcohol, then you have a MUCH higher chance of relapsing on alcohol and going back to active addiction. Also, (and you probably are aware of this already), use of alcohol could impair your judgement enough to allow your addiction to take over in convincing you to just use a LITTLE bit of opiates. Just ONE time. Just a little, though, not like a whole lot, just a bit. Only for this one day. And then that shit could easily turn back into full blown active addiction. So be careful there.

If you are on antabuse, then you should have an easier time staying away from alcohol. You are doing good things to prevent yourself from relapse. Statistics don't matter. You are an individual, and your history/ future differs from everyone else in many ways. Don't worry about statistics. They don't determine your future, or how well you will do in recovery. Relapse is a common thing, yes, especially when a person has become addicted to multiple substances. But that doesn't mean that you HAVE to relapse, or that you WILL relapse. Do what you have to do to ensure that you do not relapse, and don't worry about what your 'chances' are. Reading about it won't help you much, as you are an individual. There are plenty of people that never relapse, and there are plenty that relapse many times. Don't worry about them. You are the important one here.

I wish you the best of luck:) You are doing the right thing seeking recovery, and should be very proud of yourself:) I hope I could help at least a little bit. If not, then I apologize for making you real that novel- length response for little benefit on your part.


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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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