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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2015 5:48 pm 
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Hey all, I'm new here and wanted to discuss the subject topic. I've been on suboxone and clean from drugs/alcohol for 2 and 1/2 years now, and have weened down from 24mg/day to 8mg/day. My doctor is encouraging me to ween off it since its been over two years and because I just got a new job that will require 75% travel which will make setting appointments much harder. My NA sponsor is also encouraging me stating he was on suboxone for 3 years and has been off it for 4 years and was the best decision he ever made. The reason I am apprehensive is that suboxone helps my mood and energy more than any anti depressive ever has. Before I started abusing drugs, I was depressed and anxious 24/7, hence the reason I started. I have been diagnosed with anxiety disorders and know I had depression too bc I would think about suicide often. Since I've been clean this go around, I've repaired most to all of my relationships, held on to he same job, moved up in my career, bought a house and new car, and have crawled out of the depression hole. I am afraid that if I get off it, I will go back to my baseline which is depression and anxiety. People will not understand unless they have been there. I don't see why I should ever get off it if it's helping me so much. I am in no rush to go down from 8mg but would like to get down to 4mg at some point and just stay there. I'd rather be on subs than an antidepressant because it actually works for my depression much better than ANY antidepressant ever did. There has been research showing that bupe works for depression in people who are resistant to other medications.

Suboxone hasn't been the only thing keeping me clean. I go to NA meetings, hang out with people in recovery, I do service work, work steps, and have picked up some new and started back some old hobbies. I know what my doctor or sponsor will tell me if I bring this topic up which is no way, not in a million years. If my doctor won't respect this decision are there suboxone doctors out there that allow their patients to stay on it indefinitely? What are some other opinions about this?

Thank you all for being there for my recovery!
- P


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2015 8:00 pm 
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You are not alone! Deciding whether or not to taper off bupe is a very individual decision. You have more reasons than most to stay on it. You are doing all of the right things! Turning your life around, working on your recovery, etc. I hope that you are very proud of yourself!

I don't know of many NA sponsors who would not urge you to come off bupe, despite the fact that he knows the benefits of sub. Your doctor, however, should take your history of anxiety and depression (including suicidal thoughts) into consideration. Have you mentioned to your doctor the research you have found regarding bupe and treatment-resistant depression? Make sure that he is also aware of everything you do to safeguard your recovery.

I hope you can be entirely truthful to your doctor and that he will ultimately agree with your assessment of the situation. If the doctor is being unreasonable, you may have to be prepared to tap dance around the truth. For example, if the doctor forces you to taper, when you are below 4mg you could start saying that you found yourself driving through neighborhoods where you used to score, or that your cravings are making you start imagining getting high again. I definitely believe that honesty is the best policy. However, sometimes you can't be 100% truthful when you're trying to save your life

Quality of life is important! It keeps us motivated to stay on the right path among other things. I hope that both your doctor and your sponsor can understand your hesitation in getting off this life saving drug.

Amy

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2016 2:12 pm 
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Thank you so much for the helpful reply, Amy. My doctor encouraged me to taper off it in my last appointment so that I wouldn't have to have a Dr appt every month and could start seeing him every three months. This would help tremendously with my new job(75% travel) and is tempting, but it's not worth it. I would rather have a Dr appt every month so that I can stay on it. I am fully aware that I will be dependent on suboxone but to be honest, I'd be dependent on some antidepressant(which include their own hellish withdrawals) and it wouldn't work as well speaking from personal experience. I've taken genetic tests that proved my brain does not produce natural endorphins as it should which makes more sense to me to stay on it. I would absolutely love to be off of it though but I've tried sobriety(up to 9 months) and I have a harder time than others. I would clam up around other people, feel lethargic, panic, and sucidal for no apparent reason. It's hard to explain but in a nutshell, I feel happier and know I am more productive on suboxone. Not euphoric or doped up by ANY means. I can't even tell that I've taken something when I take my dose, just like with an antidepressant. I still experience feelings and emotions and have to work through them without running from them. I've already accepted that I will be on gabapentin for the rest of my life for anxiety and don't see why I shouldn't stay on something for depression for the rest of my life. It's been like night and day since finding the medications that work for me and it's not for everyone. It's about finding what works for you.

I am blessed with a doctor that listens and want to keep him. I will bring in the documents about the bupe for depression studies and give him more detail on my history of depression since he already knows about my generalized anxiety disorder. I am concerned since I am pretty sure that their protocol is to get their patients off of suboxone and he is big on not keeping people on it for life. And there may come a time where I don't feel I even need it anymore, but it isn't right now. We will see how it
goes.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2016 2:17 pm 
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And just to add since I've been on subs, I haven't thought about suicide AT ALL. I do have a great life, family, and job. There is no reason why I should have EVER been depressed. I had/have great friends and girlfriends, was/is decent at sports, attractive, smart, a career, etc. Again, I am a big believer in chemical imbalances and it's not really about traumatic things that have happened to me. Albeit, therapy still helps but it doesn't help the imbalance in my brain. Now I'm just rambling. Thanks guys!


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2016 2:42 pm 
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It's funny how depression and suicidal thoughts work. They strike regardless of how great life is going. My son went through depression at the age of 8. His behavior changed and he could not see the light at the end of the tunnel. And he thought of hurting himself with knives! It didn't matter that he was typically the most rational kid on the block. The ability to think things through was stymied by his brain chemistry at the time. Fortunately, he didn't require medications to find his center again. He reacted well to the child therapist he saw and got better in a matter of a few months. My point, of course, is that depression and other psychiatric disorders don't make a whole lot of sense. I am glad that you have a good life to maintain. :)

I just want to mention that there are members of this forum who only have to see the doctor once every 3 to 6 months despite the fact that they are on suboxone. It can be done, but your doctor has to be willing to do it. You do sound like you have a good, caring doctor, but he might not be willing to do that for you because he is afraid of the DEA making him justify it.

Amy

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2016 5:22 pm 
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Hey GoWithTheFlow!

My Dr was trying to force me to taper too. I actually think one of the first posts I posted on this forum was about that. I'm pretty convinced that I will possibly be a lifer on sub too and when my Dr forced me to go from 16 to 12 I panicked. Of course I couldn't tell any different but still scary that I was forced to do it. I went from 12 to 8 myself (which pleased my Dr since he's into tapering his patients). My Dr waits long periods of time though between the drops he makes us do, so that's why I'm not too concerned just yet. But if the day comes that he drops me lower than I'm ready, I'll have to think about finding a new Dr. It's been four years and he's not made me go really low yet, and I do like my Dr, so like I said I'm just taking it slow. Right now I'm happy and he's happy lol. But I do wish that he was a Dr that believes in possibly life long treatment.

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