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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 6:20 pm 
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Well, after a little searching I have found this forum and here is my story shrunk down to forum post size.

It all started about 5 years ago when I was getting the occasional handout of a perc 10 from a friend while out drinking at a bar. The few first times brought some really nasty stomach aches (think back ...remember them?) but soon those gave way to a mind-blowing high, that when mixed with a few beers melted me into my bar stool. This started as a thing for "bar nights" which were a night or two a week and while I really enjoyed it, I never thought to do it outside of a recreational environment. Well, working at a chain pharmacy as I was back in 2004, back before they had our favorite Schedule II & III's under lock and key I was able to get a few double fisted handfuls of perc 10's (at the time I thought they didn't come any better than these) when the pharmacist would have me watch the place while he ran next door to get a coffee. Well, when 1 perc 10, and very seldomly another 1/2 of one on top of that would have me floating like an angel for the night, that double handful lasted quite a while. Eventually, I wasn't getting so lucky but was hooked up with a dealer about 2 and a half years in (through the best friend I had by my side for the first 4 years of this story, popping pills in unison just about every time.) The dealer also brought oxy into my world and my tolerance started climbing after an astonishing period of time where it stayed the same. As a side note..do most users have this long of a time with no real tolerance/dosage increases?? Anyway, after almost a year and a half, my pill-popping best friend got caught stealing pills from a residence and was forced to expose his secret life to his fiance and family. At this point, he quit cold-turkey with a few days of mild withdrawls and began therapy. I quit cold turkey as well at this time, minus therapy of any kind (big mistake!) and we slowly grew apart due to the fact that (I believe) he remained sober, and I sure as hell know I didn't. It was around this time that I started doing some very, very regretful things to obtain pain medications of my own free of charge that included seemingly endless amounts of oxycontin, occasional dilaudid and fentanyl patches, the latter of which I smoked with fascinating results. There were periods of time where my supplies would be diminished and I would scour the internet for information regarding withdrawl and looked into options for purchasing medication online, which I never did. I did, however stumble upon poppy seed and later poppy pod tea. When I first tried it I was very skeptical, but after refining my method and finding some adequate seeds, sure enough I would get a nice body high, stave off the w/d's and even get some great nods. I was traversing the state of New Jersey hitting every Whole Foods store, and later Wegman's stores and wiping out their supplies of poppy seeds. I was even on a first name basis with the natural foods sections of the store in multiple stores. I was the 'poppy seed guy' and I never even batted an eye at how ridiculous my actions were. After the stores would run out of poppy seeds and I just couldn't drive any further away (I went all the way out to PA a few times), I began regularly ordering poppy pods from eBay and after eBay banned them, from other vendors on the internet. I even had some private pod dealers with e-mail contacts only doing business with me. Poppy pod tea experiences were very similar to the poppy seed tea. Soon my poppy pod tea usage snowballed to about 20-25 very large pods per day and I just couldn't hide it anymore. My money was disappearing, paying the US Postal Service to express ship mysterious packages to my door every few days. I had had enough, not to mention my girlfriend had always known somewhat of my usage and always suspected I was "back on pills". I broke down to my mother and a few weeks later (still using each day) I had my appointment with my sub doc. That was yesterday.

Suboxone was not what I had expected. I had heard what a miracle it was. You walk in the doc's office in withdrawl and an hour or two later you feel energetic, withdrawl free and ready to take on the world. This was not the way it worked for me. I walked in the doctors office with decently moderate withdrawl symptoms and received my very first dose about 20 hours after my last dose of poppy seed tea, which was about half as strong of a dose as I would usually have taken. I took one 8mg under the tongue and an hour later...barely anything, if that. Another 8mg under the tongue and after about 30-40 minutes I felt moderately less restless but my legs and feet were still emanating pain, freezing cold/hot flashes, chills, yawning, sweating and stomach ache. The doctor had me go home and after 2 hours or so take a 3rd 8mg pill if I still had w/d symptoms. Well after another pretty bad two hours, during which my w/d symptoms gradually became a bit better, yet I was far from feeling good, I took my third 8mg under the tongue. Another hour and a half later with some gradual improvement and I took a 4th 8mg pill under the tongue and settled in on my parents couch to try and get some sleep. I was up half the night with cold sweats, very irritable and restless, and freeezing cold. I did sleep a decent 4-5 hours somewhere in there but it was by no means a good night. The following day I took another 8mg under the tongue at 8am and got to the doctors at 9am. I told her about my night and she said take 4x8mg today, once every six hours. Now I took the next dose at 2pm but about an hour later took my 8pm dose. I already regret doing this, I wish I had stuck to doctor's orders but I was antsy to feel myself again. It is now almost 6:30pm and I feel *okay*. My legs have some pain but it is very manageable but I am still getting mild cold sweats and am restless and devastatingly bored, with no interest to do anything. I did the exercise bike for 15 minutes, watched a movie, talked with my dad and my girlfriend, but the minutes are dragging by like hours. I don't feel like myself and I am far from the energetic, wonderful feeling that I've heard about. Now I'm not really complaining and I know I couldn't have come even this far without the suboxone but will I feel better in the next few days or will I feel generally crappy over the long haul? I'm not sure what to expect and any help would be greatly appreciated. I look forward to becoming a part of a community of supporters as well and hope that this can fulfill that role for me.

Thanks !

Joe B


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 7:50 am 
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joe b-

Welcome to the site.Let me stay on track and answer this :

Quote:
As a side note..do most users have this long of a time with no real tolerance/dosage increases??


My Answer is it all depends on YOU and your body, what your trying to achieve(pain relief or a high), the amount of HIGH you want to be.

Now, to the rest of your story.You are the first person I have ever met online that utilized poppy pods and tea to maintain an opiate addiction. I hope to learn from your experiences with your preferred method, and I don't mean that in a way of fueling an addiction.I am a student earning a chemical dependency degree, all people I meet online are valuable sources of research as to how addiction affects humanity.You are also comrades in a battle for the soul.
Anyway, your experience with your induction is as unique as you DOC methods.Maybe they have something to do with each other.It is not uncommon to experience headaches and stomach aches that first week, especially on a higher dose.
I like to tell people starting out on Suboxone therapy to not think of this drug as a miracle or a cure, it is neither. Suboxone is nothing more than a tool in opiod dependency treatment. If you put Suboxone on a pedestal, you will be let down when things in your life do not go as planned, especially when you get to the end of treatment and start to experience post acute withdrawals.
In a few days, you should be feeling better.Do you have a plan for treating the psychological side of your addiction? Are you planning to go to any support or education meetings? This is a huge part of recovery that many people tend to overlook, then they wonder why they failed at recovery when Suboxone did not cure them.Be sure to treat all sides of the addiction, you have a much better chance at sustaining long term recovery.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 7:00 pm 
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first off, thanks for the reply.

secondly, yes, I am going to be exploring some outlets for my psychological addiction. I started a daily exercise program, am doing a lot of research online for support forums/groups/chat rooms. I have attended an online addiction recovery meeting last night (this is only my third day of treatment) and I am currently looking for a psychologist. I also plan on attending some offline meetings once I work up the courage...the whole world of aa/na/nalanon meetings has its own jargon/culture that is new and quite foreign to me but I am very interested so I will keep up my research and when I work up the courage I will attend my first meeting...hopefully sooner than later.

Lastly, in regards to my DOC later on in using...poppy seed/pod tea...I had refined my techniques quite well and could tell the subtleties and nuances of everything from the preparing and using of the teas to the differences in the high, side effects, even the online niche sub-culture of dealing/buying/using poppy pods online...heck, there's even a very independent movie out there called Poppies: Odyssey of an Opium Eater that was *apparently* the reason for the ban of poppy pod sales on eBay only a few months ago. FEEL FREE to ask any question on any topic regarding my experiences...I have a great deal of information on the subject being as it controlled my life for the past few years and I obviously don't mind rambling.

Thanks again.


Joe B


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 10:54 pm 
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A couple comments-- it is very difficult to know exactly where your tolerance lies, given your use of poppy seed tea instead of the usual 'dosed' opiate agonist. This is particularly the case given the very low bio-availability of oral morphine in MOST people, plus the fact that there may be other compounds in poppy seeds that are converted to chemicals that have opiate agonist properties. If tolerance is very high, it takes much longer than 20 hours to bring it down to a point where buprenorphine will give a sense of relief. I have induced people, for example, from 200 mg of methadone to Suboxone, but only after 10 days of miserable sobriety, which brought the tolerance in range of the tolerance 'set' by buprenorphine. On the other hand, if a person has a tolerance equal to 40 my of oxycodone per 24 hours and goes into withdrawal, buprenorphine is going to feel like a strong opiate agonist after as little as 8 hours.

I do agree with the prior comments about expectations; it almost sounds as if you were expecting a new type of 'high' rather than the goal of treating someone with buprenorphine, which is to help the person feel 'normal'. Normal, sober life consists of good days and bad days; up moods and down moods; aches and pains, and the need for exercising and stretching on a regular basis to feel 'fit'. This is the case with non-addicts, and is the best that one should hope for using Suboxone, as anything else would require some sort of 'high'. People will complain about a lack of energy on Suboxone, but the same people may have not had a sober day since they were teenagers, and don't realize that us 'almost-50-year-olds' often lack energy-- that's life!

Your doc made significant mistakes in telling you to keep taking more Suboxone. First of all, it takes about 90 minutes for the full onset of a dose of Suboxone. Second, virtually all of the mu receptors are bound up by 16 mg of buprenorphine, and there is no benefit to taking additional buprenorphine beyond that dose. Finally, buprenorphine has shown paradoxical effects in ultra-high doses; it eventually becomes a pure antagonist, and so beyond some point you are only making things worse by taking more buprenorphine. We have learned from experience with the medication that doses over 16 mg per day are not adding anything beyond a psychological effect; the manufacturer, DEA, and professional committees that guide practitioners using Suboxone frequently send out notices that doses above 16 mg call for special attention and are often associated with diversion... so if your doc wants to keep prescribing, he/she should read up on those guidelines. The DEA is auditing practices and those that are out of line are usually shut down.

I met with a couple people from RB a few days ago and explained why I think that it is misguided to send people on Suboxone to NA or AA. If a person wants to go, that's great, but those programs are intended to be used in completely different circumstances, i.e. in people who are desperate for help and close to or at a 'rock bottom'. That is where I was 16 years ago when the steps worked for me, but I cannot imagine a similar spiritual conversion occurring in a person on Suboxone, who will have nothing like the desperation that I was feeling. The socialization is a good thing, and perhaps some of the shame can be brought out and dealt with... but I see NO chance of the personality changes required to maintain sobriety. I think the best approach, if therapy is indicated, would be group therapy with other people taking buprenorphine who can share experiences-- much like they do on this forum. But I have a number of patients-- particularly older patients, say 45 and up-- who have done great for years using Suboxone to treat the chronic illness of opiate dependence, without need for therapy. They work, they have hobbies, they have good marriages... they feel blessed to be free of the chains that were holding them back and have a real appreciation for life. They are every bit as 'recovered' as any 12-stepper who has 'worked a program' for ten years.

I look forward to a day when addiction is just another disease, without the assumption that every addict is deeply 'broken'. In my practice I meet many broken people; some are addicts, and some have never touched a drug or a drop of alcohol. Likewise I have patients who were able to hold a life together despite addiction, who have done great with buprenorphine alone.

BTW I do have one patient-- a middle-aged attorney-- who's drug of choice was morphine from poppy seed tea-- from poppy seeds bought in bulk from the local supermarket! The things we do...


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2009 4:25 pm 
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Thank you so much for the reply Dr. I am worried regarding my dosage now...I am at 32mg per 24 hour period and would it be find to cut back right away to even 24mg per 24 hour period? I'm not entirely sure what you mean to say that it takes on full antagonist properties. At a dosage of 32mg per 24 hour period it can have the complete reverse effect and throw a patient into withdrawls.


Also, with everything my doctor has said, in addition to all of the literature that comes along with Suboxone, a recovery program is recommended to take of the "mental" side of things while the drug takes care of the "physical" side of things. So NA meetings are not a good idea?? I understand that suboxone patients aren't at the rock bottom point that cold turkey quitters may be at. What about seeing a psychologist? How likely would it be to find a therapy group consisting of only suboxone patients??

And finally, today being Saturday, I am on my fourth day of treatment (still at 32mg per 24 hour period) and I feel the best I have felt so far. My aching legs are virtually now pain-free. I feel much more energetic, in a good mood...for the first time in years between last night and today there were periods of time that I had completely forgotten about doing drugs in any way and was even late taking my Suboxone.

Thanks again!


Joe B


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 Post subject: It's Been a Year
PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 3:06 pm 
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Well, it has been a year since I first started my suboxone treatment and things are moving along pretty well, with a minor hiccup a few months ago. I am down to 8mg/day once a day down from 16mg/2xday and that taper met with no withdrawls. I do, however, feel mild withdrawls some days at about 22-24 hours after I dose. Since I take my suboxone every 24 hours, this isn't really much of a problem. I do also feel a mild "high" after I dose on most days. I get a small feeling of euphoria, for approximately one to two hours. This is accompanied by chattiness, craving of cigarettes, and a big spike in my mood. This isn't much of a bother, except that I found myself waiting for it to kick in on the days when I WOULDN'T feel it kick in at all. I'm afraid that I will become dependent even on that small feeling of being high.

Also, after reading the good doctor's reply to my post that was made a year ago, I don't understand why I replied to him the way I did. It was just harmless questions that I posted back, but it just doesn't make much sense WHY I would ask what I did, when his original post already contained the answers. Maybe I am more clear-headed today than I was a year ago....or maybe I'm just overthinking things.

The question of "how long" I will be on Suboxone has been coming up from the loved ones in my life....girlfriend and immediate family. I've heard things like "How long are you gonna be on that stuff?", "Is it okay to be taking that stuff for so long?" and "Aren't you just going to be addicted to that instead of the pain pills?" I know it's just a lack of knowledge of the subject on their part, but it gets annoying. Even with me explaining things, I can see the doubt on their faces (they are listening to a longtime addict and liar) as I explain. Gaining back people's trust is one of the greatest challenges throughout this whole thing.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 3:37 pm 
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jbolo!

I was reading your post and though the first entry was new, but kept reading to find it was a year ago! I know what you mean about others not having the best picture of us being on "just another pill". It is SUPER annoying. In fact, when I got my RX, the pharmacist made some comment about my Subs being cheaper than dope. Made me so mad. REGARDLESS, that I WAS addicted to H...he did not know that I wasn't taking it for pain. Grr. Well, dont let them bring you down. I think they would be much happier for you to stay on suboxone as long as you need, rather than rush off them and relapse. And not to say you will, but honestly if you aren't ready, I dont think it would be wise. Do what YOU need to to! I am on day 17 today and reading this has been great motivation.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 11:07 am 
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jbolo-
Glad you are doing well. Isn't it amazing when we look back to the beginning? I think back to when I began the process of recovery years ago for food addiction and where I am now- it is really cool to see the maturity and growth, but it is a lifelong process of healing. I will be dealing with my goofy brain for the rest of my life and I am OK with that.
People who have not experienced addiction do not "get it". We only have to offer what we choose to tell them, the rest is for us to keep between ourselves and whomever we choose to share it with. I am happy that you are better and that you are taking the taper process slow- I had learned a valuable lesson about that this summer.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 4:19 pm 
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WOW, I was confused at first, because I didn't notice the post dates. Congrats on the year of remission.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2010 7:01 am 
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I just wanted to say congratulations on making it a year!

I also was abusing poppy tea, and am now on Suboxone (I was drinking pod tea, though), and have been clean from opiates for just over three months now, and hoping that I, too, can make it to a year. It's great to read about someone with an addiction to the same substance having success with treatment. Good for you:)


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 3:09 pm 
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late later reply, but better than never...

Congratulations, indeed!

I've been on 4mg/day suboxone for close to 4 years. I see no reason to stop. I see two reasons to continue.

1. the obvious, to avoid withdrawal. I take it every 24 hours, swishing in my mouth for an hour (it's a nice ritual, I play Wii online tennis for the duration.) Often, when it gets close to 24 hours I start feeling not so good. W/in 30 minutes of swishing I start to feel much better. I have no desire to go through withdrawal, even if it wouldn't be nearly as difficult as w/heroin. Withdrawal sucks! And not just the physical pain. For me the worst part is the almost instant onset of depression. The worst heroin withdrawal day I ever had (only had 3, thankfully) I was so deeply depressed it was unbearable. The physical pain was bad enough, but being depressed + knowing there was no end in sight is truly horrifying. Every bad thing that had ever happened in my life felt like it happened yesterday. Ugh.

2. the best reason I know to continue suboxone treatment ad infinitum is that it is a safeguard. Even if I want to get high (for me it was heroin,) I know I have to wait at least 2 days before I can actually get high, because I'd have to wait for the suboxone to leave my body. This is 2+ days to ponder, to think, to decide "Do I really want to do this?" Not to mention the suboxone withdrawal in the interim. This is the true value of suboxone for me. I cannot make a snap decision to get high, unlike an alcoholic, who could, unfortunately, just walk to the store & buy a beer.

As for 12-step programs, of course that's up to you. The most important behavioral aspect of suboxone treatment is to cut all ties to any druggie friends you had previously. This is not even remotely easy to do, but it's very necessary. You simply cannot hang out with people who use drugs on a regular basis. The temptation is too great. Even if your friends are totally supportive, there is always the possibility. It's been almost 4 years for me, and now I wouldn't even know where to get drugs. I had to ignore emails & phone calls for over a year, but I just couldn't allow myself the temptation. I guess you don't have to never talk to them again. You can try just explaining, but to spend time with someone who's smoking pot, or speed, or taking pills -- that's waaaaay too dangerous if you are serious about never doing drugs again.

So good luck, long may your good health continue!


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 12:11 am 
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Thank you to everyone who has replied to my story. People who understand make it so much easier to work through.


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