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PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 3:56 pm 
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I've been using heroin for about a year now and because of the destruction it has caused in my life it's time to stop. I'm not sure what to expect and my biggest concern is the fear I have of Suboxone not working. I'm 39 years old and have been using drugs for about 15 years. It started recreationally then led to daily use of crack cocaine. After years of using crack, I finally realized I needed to quit. I chose to substitute heroin for crack and it proved to be very successful. Unfortunatelly, I am now addicted to heroin. I chose to smoke heroin to justify I could manage my use and from what I'm told, you waste a large amount of the drug using it that way. I've never used a needle and have snorted it a few times. My habit is about $20-30 a day.

Tommorrow at 10:30amCST will be 24 hours since I last used heroin and I will take Suboxone. I'm scared to death and looking for someone to help me with advice and guidence. If anyone has lived or is living a similar situation as mine, please do not hesitate to reply.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 5:24 pm 
Hey Price - Welcome to the forum! I'm sure you will receive a lot of help from us. Just need a little more info. Do you have a Suboxone doctor? Did you get the Suboxone off the street?


Let us know!

Take care -

Patrick
"Get up and look up"


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 6:10 pm 
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I certainly do not want to sound like a tart, but how on earth did you get the idea to use Heroin to get off Crack? This was obviously a poor choice because of where you are now, but do you think Suboxone is going to fix your problem? If Suboxone is all you plan on using,I would say NO. You are substituting a new drug for Heroin, unless you go into a treatment program while on Suboxone.I do understand wanting to get off Crack because it is an awful existence, but heroin is the worst of all, in my opinion.
Learning new coping skills will be a great benefit to you.Have you asked yourself what you will do when the time comes to taper off the Suboxone? It is important to do so and is why treatment is necessary for you.
I will ask if you have a doctor too? What is your dose daily going to be aimed at? Please tell us more about your situation so you can get the support you need.

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"It is never too late to be what you might have been!" - George Eliot


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 2:11 pm 
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69,

I hardly know any of the details of your story, but in my experience, the best thing that I would do is find a detox facility immediately. I don't know if you actually waited 24 hrs to take your first dose of Suboxone, and if you didn't, no worries. Remember that help is always around the corner. In my case, all I had to do was pick up a phone and dial an 800 number, and 24hrs later I was free from a 60 Norco/day habit. If you're at a detox facility, they can taper you off the Suboxone once the heroin withdrawals are over. This was my plan, but to make a long story short, I ended up being on Suboxone for maintenance and I'm trying it for a month. And it's been doing wonders so far. But the thing I will tell you is this, if I had access to Suboxone, either from the street or pharmacy, there is no way I would have let myself wait 24 hours to go into withdrawal. I'm a 100% full fledged addict and I would never have allowed that to happen, so I'd just take my DOC again, thus making the Suboxone useless. That's why I did it at a detox facility, or treatment facility. I had to be forced. I needed to be physically away from my drug of choice and in a monitored, controlled environment.

Going back to your fear of Suboxone and what if it doesn't work... Suboxone is a partial opiate agonist, binding to two of the 5 opiate receptors in the central nervous system (brain), and because of this, your withdrawal from heroin will be fully controlled. I say this confidence because I've seen it first hand about 20 times now with other people, including myself. I don't know how much heroin you were using, 2-3g/day? In any sense, 4mg (half of an 8mg) pill of Suboxone taken during stage 1 onset of withdrawal symptoms (achey joints, runny nose, teary eyes, irritability, etc), will significantly reduce these symptoms after about 15-20 minutes. Then, the remainder 4mg will continue the stabilization, and you will be virtually heroin withdrawal free. In this manner, it is kind of a miracle drug. I recommend you detox from the heroin using Suboxone in a licensed detox or treatment facility prescribed by a Suboxone authorized licensed physician, so you can be monitored 24/7. The Suboxone will dramatically reduce the withdrawal symptoms of heroin to the point of you being nearly asymptomatic. I had a loading dose of 32mg the first day on Suboxone and over the course of 8 days, I was taken down to 2mg, still being asymptomatic. Take it from someone who has first hand experience. Where I detoxed at, there were 3 other individuals coming off of heroin, and we all shared similar experiences with Suboxone. I hope you get the help that you need and if there is anything we can do to get you that help, please let us know. PM me if you need contact information for detox centers or treatment facilities in your area. Help is always there, we as addicts just have the problem of not asking for it. Be well.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 5:00 pm 
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I don't have the experience of taking Suboxone while still in acute withdrawals but after months of dealing with PAWS I finally felt normal after starting on the Sub. I've also seen firsthand others with MEGA opiate tolerance avoid virtually all (no leg kicking, sweats, restlessness, depression, etc) opiate withdrawal symptoms after starting on Sub. Everyone I've talked to couldn't believe how normal they felt after even their first dose of Sub. While Suboxone is an extrememly powerful tool I do think it's important to have a concrete plan of what things you intend to change in your life after starting. Get rid of ALL the people you've used with that are currently using, no exceptions even if it's immediate family (if you're living with someone who's currently using you have to get out no matter what it takes!) you also have to really want to be clean and go through a doctor for the Sub and follow directions EXACTLY (it was easy for me though since I finally felt well for the first time in years :) Some will say counseling is a must but I'm going to side with Dr. Junig on this one after seeing people first hand who after starting Sub and ditching their old using partners are essentially forced (by the Sub) into living a normal life. Good luck and I look forward to hearing back from you :) and take a deep breath if you're truly willing to the few simple things it takes to get and stay clean you will!

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 8:19 pm 
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I would recommend that you concern yourself with the present and take your Suboxone. Dont concern yourself with tapering right now. If you have been using drugs for 15 years, 6 months of Suboxone treatment isnt enough, in my opinion. Just take the meds and relax because it works very well. Keep us informed. Peace.


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

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