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PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2015 11:33 am 
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I successfully detoxed off a 7-year dependence on Sub. It was no picnic getting off (an understatement of the century) but I'm REALLY glad that I've now been on the other side of this for over 1.5 years!

That being said, there is one lingering side effect (make that two) that disturbs me. One is that being on Sub that long did something to my bowels long term. I have some symptoms of Celiac disease (though not all). My stools are too soft, cause burning and a feeling like I have hemorrhoids (but don't). Plus, which has to be related to the former, I developed a sudden intolerance to gluten immediately after getting off Sub. Very weird.

Second odd side effect is that I go to sleep really quickly (as in under five minutes) but will wake up several times a night and can never sleep past 5:30 am or latest 6:00 am. When I do wake its SUDDEN ... like a shot out a cannon.

I also continue to have obsessive thoughts at night and weird dreams but not nearly as much as when I was on Sub.

Anyone else who has been on Sub for a long time, and then off for a good about of time experience any of this? All of this should help deter anyone thinking they can be on Sub for a protracted period of time and not have to pay the price with some long lasting (if not permanent) effects once they get off.

Not trying to scare anyone—just a word to the wise from someone on the other side! On an encouraging note ... getting of Sub IS doable. You just have to be motivated enough to do it. :)


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2015 2:49 pm 
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Hi Paythepiper, Congrats on being off of suboxone, I am sure it is a great accomplishment for you. I am not sure how you can say that these two issues are related to suboxone. First, with celiac disease, there are so many steps that are taken to achieve that diagnosis and then it still can not be accurate. I have seen this happen with three family members. Please know, I am not saying that you don't have it. Stomach issues of any kind are difficult to live with! But, I am just not sure how you relate this to your suboxone use when so many factors come into consideration with that diagnosis. Also, true with sleep disturbances/disorders. So many things play a role in how we sleep. How are you able to say that this is happening as a result of suboxone? In all honesty, after what suboxone has done for me, if I walked away with what you are saying is a result of suboxone, I would consider myself a very lucky woman as the alternative is active addiction and that would get me in a far worse off place.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2015 8:06 pm 
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Buprenorphine has been around for almost 40 years. It is a partial agonist at mu receptors. There is no sinister, dark magic to buprenorphine. It doesn't lurk in some hidden component of your body and change your sleep patterns. And it doesn't cause gluten intolerance.

You may have any one of hundreds of other issues affecting your bowels. Maybe the opioids you took over the years (I assume you took other opioids before buprenorphine) reduced the diarrhea that you WOULD have had, were you not on opioids. In other words, maybe you've been sensitive to gluten for decades, but the diarrhea that people usually experience was prevented in your case by opioids.

Your best course of action would be to act like any other person out there-- i.e. talk with your doctor about the symptoms, and see if he/she has any recommendations. But you'll be wasting your time, and money, if you assume that your symptoms are related to buprenorphine.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2015 10:24 am 
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I abused opiates for about 7 years, and then was on Suboxone for a total of almost 3 years. When I went off I had diarrhea on and off for about 9 months. In my opinion, being on opiates for 10 years, my opiate receptors in my intestines adapted to being constantly occupied as the "new normal". Where many people get constipated from opiates, I just adjusted to it. So it took many months for my body to adjust to not having opiates as now being normal. I know of other people who also went through this, but few people want to talk about, so often doctors don't know.

Also, I slept 12 hours a day on Sub if I didn't HAVE to get up for something. After Sub I rarely slept more than 5-6 hours a night (and that's even after being off for over 2 1/2 years.). But I wasn't tired, it seemed like enough. Now I sleep longer hours because of the psych meds I'm on. I believe if I stopped them I'd be back to 5-6 hours. But I'm also approaching mid-life and I've read that as we get older we get less sleep. Or it could be the start of peri menopause, which can cause sleep disturbances.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2015 12:03 pm 
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All interesting replies. (Sorry it took so long to respond ... I work for a media company in L.A. and have a 3 hour commute every day. Not much energy to email after long days. )

OK, so here's my take on all this. First, I agree with last poster. On Sub I always slept deeply—and long. Off Sub, it's been a different story. After the initial 7 days without any sleep (maybe an hour and a half total each night), where I turned into an almost-literal zombie (sans the growling, dead eyes and Frankenstein gait), my sleep has never returned into what it was pre-Sub. I've already described in my OP what that looks like. So it's hard to believe that Sub had nothing to do with this change.

It's not that it's completely bothersome. I don't feel like a zombie during the day, but neither do I ever feel rested. I think what I really miss is being able to sleep in—you know, that delightful experience where you can stretch, snuggle back into your pillow, and catch a few more winks. Put it this way, no one ever hears me say, "Oh, sorry! I overslept!" Because I can't. :(

Regarding the bowel issues (always a pleasant subject). I think the one poster may have been close to the underlying issue. Opiates probably kept back a "normal" bowel movement and when I finally got of all opiates (partial or otherwise) my system overcompensated. As to why it's still doing that after almost two years, that's anyone's guess. I will see a doctor to see what's going on for sure.

By the way, I was on Vicodin for three years for neck pain but never escalated my dose so the doctor classified it as a dependence vs. an addiction issue. Then he foolishly put me on on Sub which I was never able to get off. Only later did I discover that Sub was second only to Fentanyl as the hardest drug to detox off. Believe me I tried several times so I know. Wish he had just let me detox off the Vicodin ... it would have been a lot easier. And it would have saved me seven years of guilt and frustration.

Funny thing. Two nights ago I was watching an episode of House and Gregory House was going through detox. They put him on Sub at which point he screamed out, "Whoever decided to put people on Sub for detox should be shot!" Make of that what you will. I do know that when I tried to go to an actual detox place they wanted to put me on Sub ... to get me off Sub! I ranted and railed and got out of that place ... fast! I ended up finishing up my detox on the living room floor of a friend ... writhing in agony, never sleeping for days and enduring intense muscle aches for many months.

But thank God I was able to finally do it! I take nothing now ... zero, zip, zilch. :) And yes, it's so worth it. Not to have a pill control your life. Now I just have to detox off my House addiction. Ha!

Thanks all for your input. :)


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2015 1:19 pm 
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Hi Paythepiper, Having worked in the field of addiction for thirty years and in dealing with addiction in my own life, there is one thing I know for sure, everyone's journey is different! I have heard stories from people who were so thankful for suboxone, who feel that suboxone gave them their life back. Many stories of people who have been on methadone too! Stories of people who went to detox for three days, only to relapse within a short period of time. My point is that everyone has their own story and their own way of getting to a life that is managing their addiction and being productive. It just seems to be that for every one person who feels that suboxone is the worst drug ever, there are, at least five, who feel it has saved their lives. I wish you much happiness on your journey and hope that you enjoy today!


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2015 12:50 am 
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paythepiper wrote:
Then he foolishly put me on on Sub which I was never able to get off. Only later did I discover that Sub was second only to Fentanyl as the hardest drug to detox off.


I'd like to see where you got that information from. I've detoxed off a number of opioids, and methadone still takes the cake in terms of duration and withdrawal intensity. Not to mention Xanax withdrawal which is frightening, and alcohol as well from which you can actually die (though luckily for them is mostly over in 48-72 hours). Some anti-depressants are absolutely horrible to come off. When I detoxed off Chlomipramine I couldn't stomach food for a month and lost 15kg's off my already skinny frame. Suboxone withdrawal is nasty don't get me wrong, but second only to fentanyl? Sounds like a very anecdotal report.


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