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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2015 3:11 pm 
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I browse this forum every couple days, and enjoy reading the comments, questions, and try to put in some good advice based off my experience. I was on opiates for 15 years, my short story is posted elsewhere if anyone is interested...and I've been on subs for 15 months now, and still look for new info, new ideas, and keep pushing forward with MY RECOVERY.

I couldn't make it to my doc last month in time (he works 4 days a week 11am-1pm), and so I was without subs for 4 days. I remembered my doc telling me about Kratom capsules on my first couple visits, and that they would help with opiate withdraw. I was panicking, due to fear of being ill, and not being able to go to work because I was going to be with out subs for 4 days. The first day was fine, I presume that's because of the long half-life of the medication. Days 2-4, I took 6-1 gram Kratom capsules twice a day, and on a scale from 1-10, as far as withdraws go, I was at .5, meaning with the Kratom, I barely noticed that I was off my meds. Yes, I am physically dependent on my suboxone, but not in active addiction. So my experience that I want to share is, try Kratom capsules if you're tapering off, or going to be without your medication. I am NOT a doctor, and I am just relaying my experience, so that maybe someone will be physically OK without their medication.

Secondly, I am in Houston, Texas, and we seem to have a good pool of doctors to choose from. I called around when I was first getting into treatment, and found my current doctor, who charges $80, once a month, and I get 30- 8mg strips, and my dose is one strip a day. The medication costs $184 a month. I do not have insurance. I have read hundreds of posts on the internet where people are paying $350-$800 a month for their visit, and the meds. I'm originally from Chicago (damn Yanks), but damn I'm glad I'm in Texas. I know some people bitch about RB, the company that produces suboxone, but God Bless Them. We have a life-threatening disease, and for ME, this suboxone is part of the cure. My costs seem low compared to what I see from a lot of others, so that's part of why the money doesn't bother me. I know that if any of us had terminal cancer, that we'd probably not bitch about the cost of a medication to cure that. I'm just saying that yes, RB is making money, but they're also saving lives (no, I'm not a pharmaceutical rep), and this medication is relatively new. Everything newer to the market costs more originally, until competition comes around (look at prices for computers, DVD's, TV's, etc from 25 years ago till now). From what I've read, it sounds like it's more expensive in the Northeast, and Midwest, seems reasonable down here in Texas.

Lastly, suboxone is the answer for me, along with therapy. My ex-wife (we were married for 14 years, and have 4 kids together), says she can't believe how much I've changed in the past 15 months. We have been going to church together again recently, and things are going really well. There is hope for us to reconcile, and get re-married this year!!!!!!!!! I have also finished my degree, and took a 4 month class to get my credits per the State to become an LCDC, and have already started my practicum. I hope to be an LCDC later on this year (have to pass the state test to get my license...and of course pay a good fee for it). I hope more doctors and 12 step groups will become more accepting of MAT (medical assisted treatment), and understand that we are trying to save lives, not argue about "clean" recovery.

Guess I wasn't done...it took along time for me to accept my addiction as a disease, but someone posted an excellent article on this site explaining the criteria for an illness to be a disease. If the AMAA (not sure if I got that acronym right), agrees that addiction is a disease, then ask yourself; how do doctors treat diseases.... WITH MEDICATION, OMG what a concept. Suboxone is a medication to fight a fatal disease that kills too many of us. If you read this, look for the post about the Senate Bill that someone put out here that will untie the doctors hands when it comes to prescribing this medication. Semantics, I know, but I don't call this a drug, I call it my medication, we all know how the nuances of words influence how/what people think about suboxone. I don't hear people refer to their blood pressure pills as "drugs", or their insulin as "my drug", so when I discuss suboxone with people, I explain that it is a medication I use to treat my disease. When I read others' posts on this site, I pray for them, because we all could use some help from above.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 8:53 pm 
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Todd,nice post ..i actually have alot of experience with kratom.. i always kept a few ounces of it around at all times because it absolutely could not be beat for W/D in the times i would be a day or 2 away from "refill" day ... I actually am hella curious if it would work well for sub w/d as well if someone was quitting sub after taper or whatever..Of course then seems you would have to quit using the kratom as well so who knows..but it definitely helps for what i used it for however i think a few states have outlawed it ..Oklahoma tried to put it in with a housebill banning synthetic chemicals in fake weed and what not last year but got alot of resistance from people and actually removed from the bill..anyways just noticed u mentioned it


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 3:48 pm 
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Todd,
It's so crazy that suboxone is so much cheaper in your area. I live in the northeast and I have insurance. My insurance covers most generic meds completely, I don't pay a dime thank god. But I always look at price, and for 56 8mg tablets (28 day supply) it costs $738.26!! I gasped when I first saw this. Combined with the cost of the doctors office visit, urine screening, and for me a 2hr drive to see my doc, I could never afford this on my own. When I look back though I can remember blowing through thousands of dollars in a week or less. So I was able to come up with money to use, and when you compare this to the cost of the suboxone there is really no question that its cheaper. Without my insurance I wouldn't have been able to afford the first office visit let alone the prescription.
I've always heard from my doctor and friends that the northeast has a huge percentage of drug addicts compared to out west. Idk if this is true, but it would make sense for the price to be higher where the demand is higher. Where I live you could be waiting 6 months for an appointment and still not get in.

Anyways I figured I'd put my two cents in for that. As far as kratom goes, I have used it for opiate, heroin and sub withdrawal. I remember taking it before I had any tolerance to opiates and feeling so high I had to leave work. Now mind you a 30mg perc prob woulda done the same thing, but still. I found out about kratom through a friend who was using it for pain relief. This stuff definitely helped me when I was in withdrawals. You can become addicted to it though, so don't use it too much. Also try to find a reputable dealer online, the stuff I was getting was grown for consumption. Its sometimes sold as "incense" (like spice, for consumption but legally not) so there can be weird pesticides and other chemicals. Also some types of kratom are stronger than others. Overall I think its a pretty good tool for opiate addiction. However it is a mu-opioid receptor agonist (like morphine) so I'm not sure if large doses of it would put someone on suboxone into precipitated withdrawals. I have only taken it when I was in wd's from suboxone.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 5:36 pm 
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Hi Todd,

I have been pondering this post for a few days. I had decided not to comment until I saw that you had posted about it again on another thread. I have to say that I believe recommending that patients in recovery use Kratom in between appointments to stave off WD's is a bad idea. I actually find it almost unbelievable that a doctor would recommend it's use at all, even less so a doctor who is treating addiction. I'm not doubting your word, it's just very strange to me.

You are right, Kratom will keep you out of WD. It's a natural substance that is currently legal in the US, but as always said above it is under scrutiny and I don't believe will be legal much longer. This drug does stimulate opiate receptors and in people with low tolerance to opiates it will make them high. It hasn't been studied, as far as I am aware, for long term effects. But, I have read lots of reports of people who have become addicted to it and experience WD when coming off of it just like we do with other opiates.

To me, this just feels the same as recommending someone go back to oxy or hydros to get off suboxone. The only difference being that I don't think it can be detected by a UA. I just think this is a slippery slope, Todd. If you haven't done any research about Kratom I would highly recommend you do so. It's not as benign as it might seem just because it's legal.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 5:48 pm 
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Hi Todd!

I've seen a few of your posts lately talk about the possibility of you and your ex-wife getting back together. I just wanted to mention how awesome that is! I was lucky I didn't wreck my marriage during active addiction, but I know it can happen too easily. I'm so glad that your wife has noticed the positive changes in you since you've been in recovery with sub.

I just want to ask, does your ex know that you are on suboxone and know how it works and all of that? I'm assuming she probably does. I imagine that she is on board with whatever is making you a new man in your recovery! I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that your relationship keeps heading in a great direction. I'm sure your kids would be happy to have their mom and dad back together again. :)

Amy

P.S. I just read Q's reply to you and I should probably echo that I have the same discomfort with kratom being promoted. I also feel like I don't know enough about it to comment much. I would hate, however, to have kratom become popular with teens and young adults. There are already too many ways to become addicted to opiates as it is.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 6:03 pm 
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My intention was definitely not to recommend something to get anyone high. Like I said I took them only b/c I was out of subs for 4 days, and didn't want to experience any w/d's. I did read a lot about Kratom on the internet, and saw that some people mentioned they used them for w/d's, others for the euphoric feeling, and some said they felt nothing, but got sick. I only tried them b/c my doc, who has multiple degrees, and is certified in addiction, recommended it. I didn't feel anything like when I was on opiates, but for the 4 days I took the capsules, I had no w/d's, and did have a slight burst of energy. I know people will try just about anything to get high, but I was an opiate addict for 15 years, and the Kratom never even came close to making me feel high.

My intention was only to help people make it through w/d's, as I've read plenty of posts where people are frantic, or nervous b/c they are out for a few days. I apologize to anyone who read my post, and thought I was advocating the use of Kratom to get high. Everyone's body experiences/breaks down chemicals differently, so I imagine some people could get "right", but I would guess you'd have to take a lot (and people that took a lot seemed to be very sick, nausea, that is).

IMO I don't believe it's the same thing as recommending people take oxy, or vicodin, to make it through, as those are powerful opiates. Like I mentioned, I was addicted to them for 15 years, and Kratom doesn't even scratch the surface compared to Oxy. Again, I had no bad intentions on my post, was just trying to pass along my experience to maybe help someone from suffering.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 6:30 pm 
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Don't be stressed! We know your intentions are nothing but the best!

Amy

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 6:32 pm 
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Amy, I could lie and say yes, my ex knows, but no, I have not told her. My family knows, and loves the change, and after multiple attempts at sobriety, I only in the past few months have gained some trust back. After many stints in rehabs, and a couple months clean at a time, I know they all wanted to make sure this treatment would "stick". I am at peace with everything in my life, but I have some concerns about not sharing my treatment program with my ex. First off, she suffered immensely through my rehabs, emotionally, and financially, and tried her best to stick it out. I would have left me to, I can't tell you she didn't try extremely hard to stay around. I haven't told her, or explained it, because to me there is too much negativity out there in cyberland, and the public about suboxone treatment. I'm concerned that she will automatically say, you're still on drugs. She's an RN (registered nurse), so I'm not sure how much she knows about the medication. When I tell her, I want to be able to dispel any of the negative connotations that come with being on this medication. For months she's said, she can tell just by looking at me that I'm looking like my old self. So I want to be able to say, "see, I'm not high" by being on this medication. I hope you understand what I'm trying to say here, it's hard to put into words. I understand that I'm taking a chance, but I can say, you said I was looking and acting like my old self while on this. I was an opiate junkie, and the suboxone does not make me feel the same as being on opiates.

I'm sure most people who read this will say I should tell her, but this is my last chance with the love of my life, and our 4 children, so I can't "F" it up. I mean if everyone on her side of the family can tell that I'm "normal", then I can prove it, by stating that everyone sees that I'm good now, I've changed completely, and it's due to therapy and my meds. I just don't want her to be influenced my others in the medical field who are ignorant.

And again, I apologize to anyone who thinks I was advocating drug use by speaking about Kratom.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 10:01 pm 
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No worries, Todd. I knew you meant well with your post which is why I almost didn't say anything. I just know how people will take something we might say and twist it into an excuse for using again. We've seen many people here over the years promoting the use of other opiates to get off of suboxone, and I didn't want it to turn into another one of those situations. Most of us can see why switching from subs to full agonist opiates isn't a good idea, but others don't.

As far as you and your wife goes. Don't worry about what anyone else says about it. Nobody knows the ins and outs of your relationship so outside opinions don't matter. I get why you would be cautious about it. The only thing I will say is to be careful not to let it get to the point that she feels like you lied to her about it. You don't want her to have that in the back of her head going into a new start.

I'm really happy for you that you are getting another chance at keeping your family together. And, I think it's great that you have a renewed faith in God. That is the single thing that has helped me the most in my recovery, and in keeping my marriage together through it. I would suggest that you start praying for God to begin to soften your wife's heart and give you an opening to come clean with her. Prayer is a powerful thing, and I believe he will do that for you so that you can start your new relationship off on the right foot. I know it would be a relief to you to have her full support.

Q

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 11:08 pm 
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I don't blame you one bit for not divulging the full truth at this point. Your ex has to fully appreciate who you are in recovery before she needs to know more details about your recovery.

If/when you do get to the point of telling her, I would gather and print out the best articles you can find about medication assisted treatment. Focus on scientific evidence of what addiction does to the brain to help her understand how and why you need to be on medication. Find an article in which Dr. Junig mentions the possibility of being off bupe one day, but details what that has to entail and how long it could take. If you know a professional in the field of addiction who is a proponent of bupe assisted recovery, make that person available to talk to your wife as she receives info about your recovery. It might relieve her mind to know that there is a specific reason for your stability and that it's sustainable.

We're glad you're a part of our forum, and if there's anything we can do to help, please let us know. :)

Amy

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2015 10:12 am 
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Todd

I am also happy you & the ex are getting along well. I also get why you arent telling her. Some people know i am on sub because i was "outted" in open court (lt was family court) and i almost fainted. One of my family members that found out had recently said i was the old me again BUT after learning i was on sub starting saying to me that she knew i was still on drugs! I agree that i don't call my BP meds drugs and i don't call sub drugs but uneducated people still have the wrong idea about MAT.

IMO since your wife is an RN she may ask a doctor what suboxone is/does and if he isn't familiar she will get negative info. My regular doctor (i have to find a new one) says every complaint i have is because of the other "s--t i am on. He doesn't understand sub treatment BUT he is the one who wrote scripts for me that were ridiculous for oxy's and when i asked him for help he had no idea what to say. Just a cautionary example. If your sub doc is open maybe he can speak with her. Maybe talk to him about bringing her to your appt so she can ask him questions etc. I would just feel so sad if she got incorrect info when things are going so well.

One last thing...i have not told my daughter i am on sub. Her husband is also an RN. She sent me a text about 5 months after i had been on sub and said "you are your old self, i don't know what changed, maybe you stopped those pain pills, but it's great"...so i started feeling her and hubby out to see what they knew about sub. Hubby is a RN in a NYC hospital, and his comment was "sub is what junkies use in between so they don't get sick". Case closed telling my daughter for now anyway.

Q and Amy have tons more experience with sub issues as they have educated themselves and have seen alot on this forum (and maybe others) so their info is "golden". This was just my experience. I do agree that she needs to know before you re-marry.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2015 11:56 am 
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To those who replied, thanks for your thoughts. I thought for sure someone would claim that I was lying to her, or not telling her the whole truth. That statement "sub is what junkies use inbetween to keep from getting sick" is exactly why I don't want to say anything yet. I guess to that I would say, well in between for junkies is usually a day or two, before we score some money, and then some more dope. But almost a year and a half later, there has been no "in between", as I have not abused any drugs in almost 18 months...so that can't be in between. Besides the fact that I have no cravings, or want since my life is beautiful now. Thank you for your input, I know I will need to tell her, just don't want it to blow up in my face. Enough resemblance of the "old me" before opiates, should be plenty of proof that I have changed.

Tiki, I just saw your email, or pm, that you sent me a while back. Guess I never looked at the top line to see if I had any messages (but wondered over the past couple weeks how you could "pm" someone). Thanks for the support. I will have to do some digging, because I don't want the fact that I'm taking subs to be a road block to me getting a job as an LCDC (I'm sure I can find a recovery center that uses MAT in Houston). This is a relatively new medication, so more evidence of it's positive results on addicts needs to be published. People who aren't addicts will have a hard time understanding the effectiveness of this medication for those who are in recovery. Most of them still think we "chose" to be addicts. My response to people like that is well I guess a diabetic chose to get that disease, because everyone choses to be sick....lol.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2015 5:47 pm 
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Hello Todd!

I hid the whole Suboxone treatment from my significant other too. It wasn't until he noticed that i was no longer drinking and going about my "normal" life for a YEAR before i let him know that I was actually taking Subs. At first he was hesitant about it. But he has seen proof that I NO longer drink or take pills and that I am living a great healthy life.
But I needed to "show" him the fact that I could be steady for one year before I let him in on the treatment. Plus I go to addiction counseling too so he saw that I was mentally trying to be healthy too.

...So take your time, and tell your Ex when YOU are ready.

I tell you what, it was a huge relief for me to not have a secret between us.

Good luck!


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2015 6:27 pm 
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Todd

I think because we understand suboxone no one said you were lying to her. We all have our reasons for not telling people. It makes me crazy because i don't tell anyone what BP med i am on so why should i feel i have to tell people i am on sub??

I like what Raudy did...and "Actions speak louder than words".

No problem about the PM LOL I am sincerely Happy for you! I Love to hear "life is great" :D


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