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PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 2:04 pm 
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I am currently 14 weeks pregnant. I was a secret heroin addict for a year; pain pills and eventually heroin became my way of escaping my anorexia and bulimia, which I also suffered with in secret, fear, and isolation. It seemed like there was no one I could have asked for help when I became a heroin addict and trapped in a whole different nightmare; I didn't know how to pursue going to rehab as I'd lose my job, apartment, and couldn't afford it. If I'd asked my parents I know my mom would have helped me financially but she would not have understood and it would have destroyed my relationship with my family forever, it would hurt and devastate them so much I know they would have disowned me in a sort of way to protect themselves. And they would never be ableto look at me without preprejudice and disdain ever again; I knew that would have been bad for my recovery too. I eventually was able to save up enough money to check into an opiate detox clinic in my town, as I was so physically dependent on heroin I knew it was my only chance to try and recover and treat myself while still trying to hold up the facade of my life with my job, family, etc. I was prescribed Zofran at 1.7/5.7 mg. Twice a day. I was determined to try and get off it as soon as I could, and by the endof the second month I successfully was only taking one a day. At the end of my third month on Zofran (not realizing I was pregnant) my doctor upped my dosage to two a day again as I was struggling with extreme nausea and sickness...it was only about a week later I went to the hospital for such extreme nausea that I found out I was about 7-8 weeks pregnant. They gave me some nausea medicine and I again dropped my Zofran to one a day and consulted my detox doctor. Right away he was extremely judgemental and went on for over 40 minutes how I shouldn't have the baby...without giving me one reason that was related to the physical health of the baby and complications or problems because of the medicine I was on. I still listened to his social cause though, because it made me realize that in certain ways he was right: if I was going to go through with this I HAD to be responsible for treating my addiction properly for the rest of my life, I owed this baby the will and strength to give it the life it truly deserved, I had to be ready for this. While I don't consider myself "pro-life" I knew that this baby had been fighting for it's place here in the world; I had been using contraceptives and even used plan b when I missed a day or something. I also knew that by choosing abortion as a way of "handling this problem" would only undue the progress I'd made in my recovery; just thinking about it made me feel worthless, weak, and suicidal. Living for myself and living myself has always been hard for me, but now I've been given the chance and ability to do so for the most important person to me in the world. I didn't have to be as responsible for myself in the past because I was okay with allowing myself ro be hurt or taken advantage of. Now, because I'm responsible for my baby, I HAVE to take care of myself so I can take of her. I have the most inexplicable reason to live and progress now. My doctor switched me to subutex immediately and my obgyn knows I'm on it; she seems relatively nice but both of my doctors expressed they don't really have experience dealing with pregnant women tapering off opiates. Both insist I stay on the medication throughout and after pregnancy and I just am trying soo hard to taper myself down...I don't know what I would do if my baby was born with withdrawals and needed to stay in the hospital; my mother would never forgive me and judge me forever even though I truly have come so far and taking responsibility for my disease and actions. I have decided since the beginning of my treatment that my motivation was to get truly healthy and off drugs in every way so that I could tell my mom about the past without losing her live and respect for me...you could say our family motto is "actions speak louder than words." Being I am prescribed 8mg pills I have to break them and essentially guess what I'm taking. For the last two days I've been taking about 1-2 mg I think. In another week I see my detox doctor and will ask for smaller pills to make this easier. Tomorrow I see my obgyn but am just extremely nervous because it won't be the exact same doctor, and just don't know what to expect. I am totally alone in this...me and the dad broke up because honestly he's not doing what he should to be a responsible person for his own disease, he only used me and took advantage of me, and I even think he's stolen some of my subutex's before. He drinks very heavily every day and he's just a fucking tool pardon my language in everything about his character, not just his addict self. I am looking for any kind of support and suggestions from women who have successfully tapered off subs and what kind of schedule they did, as I know my detox doctor is just not having belief in me that its possible(NOT that he thinks its truly so dangerous for the baby) and just any other advice someone might be able to give me...I am very alone in this...


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 6:24 pm 
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Hey there SecretAdict,
Firstly, you are no longer alone. If you stick around this forum, you'll find lots of support from very caring human beings. I don't think I could have successfully jumped from subs with out the support found here.
I have also tapered off opiates while pregnant about 12 years ago. I was addicted to oxy (non prescribed) and tapered and detoxed using hydrocodone (prescribed).
I, like you, felt very strongly that my unborn baby's life was important enough to do whatever I needed to do to get clean. At the time I did not care enough about my own life, but the baby made me "fight" for both of us. For me also the thought of giving birth to an addicted baby was just not an option- it was just NOT going to happen, and it didn't!
SO, I can't tell you about detoxing off subs while pg, but tapering off opiates while pg is possible, and I can tell you how I tapered recently off subs, which worked for me, but we're all different and you have to find a plan that will work for you.
You asked for a schedule, so I'll try to summarize mine:
I dropped from 12 to 8mgs, no problem. Stayed there for a couple of weeks, then 6mgs a few weeks, 5 mgs a few weeks, etc. until I got down to 2mgs, then joined this forum the day I dropped from 2 to 1mg..that is when it became more physical than just "mental" detox for me, but really not too too bad. It took me a couple more months of slowly tapering to get down to .375 mgs then I jumped. My worst wdls were day 2, and I felt increasingly better day by day. I think I'm day 70 today and feeling pretty great overall. If you want more detail I wrote a thread under "stopping suboxone", user name rca1004, and started a new thread with this username the day I jumped.
From what I've read here, jumping from 1mg or less, the wdls seem to be about the same. Not "fun" but not too bad really, especially when compared to other opiate wdls.

The other "larger" issue(s) though seem to be the self destructive tendencies (bulimia, heroine....). Are you under a dr.'s care for these issues? IMO you also need to get some help for these underlying issues before your baby is born.

Motherhood is amazing- congrats on your pregnancy! You CAN do this and be a stronger, more compassionate mother for having survived it.
Good luck and keep posting!
:D BF

PS. My 12 year old son is happy, healthy and in advanced courses at school!

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 12:27 pm 
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Thanks for responding butterFLYING :) your note was very helpful to identify with. I've been in psychotherapy for 3 years and since I started my opiate detox treatment, I've been in an outpatient addiction treatment program (6months next month), so I've been treating my disease about as thoroughly as I can without checking into an inpatient rehab. Thanks though.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 4:05 pm 
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Hi SecretAddict. I'm the other 15 week prego from the other post. Do you feel like the therapy helps? I went briefly and found myself observing the counselor a techniques more than really gaining anything from it. I'm weird, I know.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 4:12 pm 
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Not all therapists are great ones; it took a few false starts until I was fortunate enough to land in a really great program where I feel I really learned a lot and got some help.
How are you doing today?

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2014 6:49 pm 
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Update: I'm into my THIRD day without taking any subutex. I'm just gonna say...this is hard!!! But I really feel like its now or never. In the past month and a half I tapered from 2mg to .25mg...my last doctor's appointment two weeks ago when I was at .5mg he said that "physiologically the body does not register the effects of subutex under 2mg" but I don't agree. I could not just stop taking the .5mg. And even now being off it completely is terrible at times. But at the same time, I'm sticking with it because I'm afraid of going through even another day of it and doing this cycle of w/d if I even take some to help the w/d. I hope this over soon though :( I just am taking it a day at a time, even though its been hard getting through the day. Anyone else able to offer their experience during the end of their dosing? I want to be independent again so bad I tell myself this will be over soon. How long do these w/d last?


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2014 2:26 am 
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Your doctor is a bit naive to think that you will not register withdrawal under 2 mg. I've heard that some other doctors say this too, but the experiences of actual sub users does not bear this out.

Unfortunately, the problem with a taper during pregnancy is that it can cause miscarriage and the baby goes through withdrawal too in utero. You've done a great job of tapering to minimize the effects of withdrawal on your baby, but I'm surprised that your doctor recommended that you taper and quit during your pregnancy. That's not the usual protocol.

Still, I think since you've tapered fairly low your baby probably won't be permanently harmed by you going through withdrawal. If you were on a higher dose I would recommend that you stay on sub until after the baby is born. There have been plenty of moms on sub during their pregnancies who have reported that their babies don't show symptoms of NAS. Dr. Junig, who runs this forum thinks that newborns are less likely to go through NAS if mom is on subutex instead of methadone or other opiates. His opinion is based on the experiences of his pregnant sub patients, of whom he's had many.

Withdrawal symptoms are most intense the first couple of weeks after quitting. After that it slowly gets better. How far through your pregnancy are you now? I hope that there is enough time for you to be able to enjoy the rest of your pregnancy. Whatever you do, whether it's complete abstinence from here on out or tapering even more, I know you're making decisions based on your care for you baby. I'm sure it will work out! :)

Amy

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2014 1:28 pm 
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I am almost 22 weeks. My opiate doctor did recommend as well as one ON that I remain on subutex through the birth but that was more for reasons to prevent a relapse on something less safe. I was adamant in expressing my belief in my abilities to stay sober and my opiate doctor and another OB told me that if I tapered down low enough, and because I was only on 4mg in the beginning, medically speaking there was no reason I shouldn't stop before delivery if thats what I really wanted. Also, that the possibility of miscarriage was more likely to occur during the first trimester, or in very extreme cases like stopping at a high dose. If you do it slow and careful enough there is nothing the baby will feel in utero, that they wouldn't feel after birth. However each person is different and I was considered less than other high risk patients because of the low dose I started on.
Update: so I'm into my fifth day off subutex and I think I'm basically healthy again! Yesterday I was still battling the fever chills and sweats but it was on and off and not as bad. I'm pretty tired but that's not unusual as its my only day off in the week, and I'd feel kindof like this on Sundays even on my subutex. I've been drinking lots of water and juice, eating pretty good trying to up my veggie intake, and I've been feeling the baby move more than ever (my placenta is anterior in front so sometimes I can't feel the kicks). I hope by tomorrow or the next day I will feel even better and hope my experience can offer some encouragement to others who are pregnant and on subutex


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2014 12:00 pm 
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You go girl!!


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2014 5:53 pm 
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I'm 33 weeks and currently down to 1/3 (0.333)mg daily, but tapering has been much more difficult that I anticipated. (I've been on bupe for 10 years). Taper went fine until I got to 28 weeks pregnant and down to 0.75mg- I don't know which milestone made things so tough. Despite the
slow taper (began pregnancy at 6mg), 0.75 to 0.5 mg has been aweful (even though I stretched that out over 5 weeks and 0.67mg in between). Now at 1/3 mg daily (I break up a 2mg subutex into 6 pieces, approx. 0.333mg each) I'm in constantly in mild w/d. I take the 1/3mg broken up into 3 doses-a teeny crumb every 8 hours- which I have in one of those weekly pill organizers. The problem is that I feel ok for only a few hours after each dose, then slowly go into withdrawal after 6 hours- my pupils literally turn into flying saucers, I sweat, my leg muscles go crazy and I lose my mind. My prescribing physician pretty much leaves it up to me, but advises against tapering. He just doesn't care either way, and says if baby has NAS, it'll be ok.

My ob also says its up to me, but if I don't taper off completely, baby must be held for 5 days in nicu for observation and will likely be medicated. I know all the statistics, at worst my baby has a 50/50 chance of chowing signs of NAS. I feel like because I'm in a small town, where there is no difference between methadone and suboxone according to what the ob docs know, they will automatically medicate my baby. I've read many horror stories and know the nurses' scoring will be prejudiced.

I want to just tell them that I'm weaned off completely when I'm not (even though my script is legal) but I am aware that if I lie and they find out, things will only be worse! I just want go back up to 0.75mg or even 1mg and go back to living my life- I work part time as a nursing assistant and have 3 awesome kids, age 2, 9, & 13 (who care for alone while hubby is deployed), and have made a pretty awesome life that I credit to 10 years sobriety that buprenorphine has given me. I'm so conflicted its making me crazey. I just wish I had a doctor who knew all the real statistics and would medical staff who would treat me like a good Mom instead of "some addict" who's baby is suffering because of my own weakness. I'm so miserable and scared- I don't know which is worse, the stigma I'll suffer if medical staff know I'm taking subutex when my baby is born, or the withdrawals and the next 7 weeks without the subutex. Both options suck!

Jamie B.

P.S. I've been on buprenorphine for 10 years, is it possible that the length of time is making withdrawals physically worse, or is it all just psychological as I suspect?

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