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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 7:59 pm 
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My husband has been on suboxone for three years. He frequently relapes anyway. Lately its at least once or twice a week. I hold his suboxone and give it to him every day and I see him put it under his tongue. My question is this...if i don't hide his suboxone he'll eat several every day because he gets high from them.... I thought it wasn't supposed to work like that? Or, he'll take one in the morning and use at lunchtime, and come home high as a kite. Isn't it supposed to block this? Why isn't it doing what they say it will do? Please answer the question supposing he does actually let them dislove in his mouth the way he's supposed to . Of course I can't be 100% certain of this, but if he was taking it properly why doesn't it work?


Any suggestions would be appreciated. I don't know how to help him anymore.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:06 pm 
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Hi and welcome, I am so sorry that you have to go thru this. I would really like to know what his dose is, if it is under the ceiling which is around 4mg then he may need a higher dose. Of course there are always rare exception to the rule but he should not be able to take his sub in the morning and get high in the afternoon. I know you want to believe he is taking it properly but the odds are he is not. There are ways he could be faking it even if you are watching him. I am not trying to upset you but just want you to be aware.

So if he is taking his sub correctly and allowing it to dissolve completely then I would say he needs a higher dose. A higher dose would also help to stop the cravings. Does your husband do anything else for recovery, such as as/na, counseling, therapy? Suboxone is a great tool but is not a cure all. Did your husband decide to stop using and go on sub willingly? I ask because you said you didn't know how to help him anymore. The fact that he is abusing his subs (unless you hold them) and still relapsing sounds to me that he is not fully ready to submit to recovery. There is nothing anyone can do or say, he must make this decision for himself to have a better chance of success. I know you want to help your husband but please remember to take care of yourself thru this as well.

If you could answer the questions above it might help us to better answer your questions. Just hang in there and focus on you too!


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 10:12 am 
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I don't do it because I want to, I do it becuase I have to, to maintain normalcy in my kids lives. If it was just he and I, I would have given up a long time ago. He is on 12MG daily. He takes a whole in the morning and a half in the afternoon because he says the morning pill doesn't last all day. When he uses he won't ask for the pill but he will take it if i insist. It doesn't seem to sober him or make him sick. Could he be skirting the effects by swallowing it?

I think he wants to stop using but he has not really committed to it. He'll occasionally go to a meeting even if he's high. I'm afraid to encourage the meetings because I think he'll use them to make new connections.

I'm very discouraged and I'm trying to decide if I should advocate for him to stay on the subs or do something else like an treatment program. I think he'll do whatever I want him to and just keep using anyway.

Thanks for your response. I've never spoken to anyone about this before.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:04 am 
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I'm so sorry you're going through this. You asked if he could be swallowing his pill - yes, that's possible. And if he is doing that it would be like not taking it at all. 12 mg or in his case the 8 mg that he takes in the morning should easily last one day if not more. Suboxone's mean (average) half life is 37 hours. So really he can take it all at once in the morning.

It's quite difficult to ascertain what he's doing and how he's able to get high. The idea that he's swallowing it could be the answer. Oh and whether he stays on suboxone or not, he can still go into treatment. And that might be the best thing for him.

Have you spoken to him directly about this (about his using still)? What does he say?

The other possibility is that he's using something other than opiates. Suboxone only blocks opiates, so it wouldn't have any effect on him using some other drugs. Just another thought I had.

Please remember to take care of yourself and your family throughout this. Addiction can have a drastic effect on the whole family. And please do keep us updated on things. Be well.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 12:38 pm 
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Thank you for your kindness. I'm pretty sure its heroin because I find needles and papers from time to time. I talk to him about it all the time. Sometimes he lies, sometimes he cries, I never really know what to believe. The worst part is he's on probation and I'm terrified he's going to fail a drug test and then what do I do. I keep trying to explain that its not just his life he's taking chances with, its ours (mine and the kids) too. I have to be careful to keep all the money in accounts he has no access to. But he'll do odd jobs for cash and then its gone. Its so stressful and really taking a toll on me.

He's not your typical addict. He works hard everyday & never calls in sick (thanks to the suboxone he never has to be sick). He's very passive and never loses his temper or gets violent. He's a good father. No one would ever guess that he has this problem. But I really thought the suboxone would at least bandaid the issue and get him out of drug user mode, and it just hasn't. Three years and we're still in the same place.

Anyway, I'm pretty sure only he knows the true answer as to why its not working. I was just hoping someone who had taken it would tell me it didn't work for them either, and then I would be able to decide what to do next.


Thanks again for anyone who takes the time to read this or respond. It means alot.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 2:31 pm 
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Don't give up yet...There are many more people on this forum who've yet to respond with their own perspective on your situation.

There's one other thing I wanted to emphasize. There's a huge number of addicts who are functioning. They go to work just like your husband and people have no idea they are in active addiction. These people are known as functioning addicts. I'd bet that the majority of addicts are functioning. Like this forum - the majority were like that, as far as I can tell. And as far as I know, most addicts are NOT the kind we tend to picture in our heads - junkies on the street who haven't showered in 3 weeks. So it's more like your husband IS the norm.

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-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 3:23 pm 
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Obviously, I can't be certain but that fact that you said "when he is high he will take the afternoon dose if you insist but it doesn't sober him up or make him sick" makes me believe he is swallowing his dose. If he were to take even a small amount of sub while high or even before he is in withdrawl he would get violently ill. If sub is taken before withdrawl from heroin begins you will go into precipitated withdrawl which is way worse than typical withdrawl and it happens fairly quickly after taking the sub. I really think he is not taking his sub correctly, maybe you should talk to him and lte him know that you suspect he is swallowing it, if he denies it then tell him you want to watch him put it under his tongue and stay there until it disolves, ask him to lift his tongue so you can see it's still there. I don't think this will help him get well but it will at least give you piece of mind so you can stop wondering.

With him being on 12mg split up daily and he is able to get high and take sub after getting high without becoming violently ill I am 99.9% certain he is not taking his sub or he is not taking it correctly. Maybe you could ask him to come here and talk with us, this place is wonderful for support. I really hope the best for you and your family and am very sorry that you and your children have to suffer thru your husbands addiction.


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 Post subject: PW and relapses
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 4:00 pm 
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Actually it is possible to take sub quite soon after taking heroin and NOT go into precipitated withdrawals. I am not 100% sure how it works but I believe precipitated withdrawal usually occurs when taking sub again after a relapse that is longer than just a couple of days. Also, although I would definitely expect a daily sub dose of 8 mgs to block the effect of other opiates, it still might be possible to override the sub by taking a high enough dose of another opiate. Although, certainly, that is a dangerous thing to do as it could lead to overdose! It could be too, as hatmaker suggested that your husband is taking something other than opiates to get high...or even if he IS doing heroin, he could be taking something else as well.

There is only so much one can do to help an addict and as BreezyAnn said, ultimately your husband has to take the responsibility to work on it himself. You can surely do things to support him and make agreements that may help, like holding his sub for him and giving him his daily dose but in the long run you may actually need to back off some and focus on yourself. It is definitely a difficult situation to be married to an addict and I too think you might try going to some kind of counseling or maybe even 12-step like al-anon for your own support. It is also true that sub treatment is not perfect and maybe your husband really needs to try something else. I think you should try to keep talking to him and keep communication as open as possible. The lying is not likely to help anything after all.

I wish you luck and hope that your husband will show some improvement soon.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:11 pm 
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Thanks you Hat for bringing up the point of functioning addicts.I was slightly offended by the "typical addict" comment.Sorry but true.I dont believe there is a such thing as a "typical addict".I am a wife,mother and I work in and out of the house.I was a highly functioning addict for 6 years,did everything I needed to do and performed my work duties outside the house as well.My point is not even my husband who is the closest person to me,knew I was using.Unless I was in withdrawal of couse.That I COULD NOT hide no matter how hard I tried.I believe the number of functioning addicts far outweigh the non functioning but thats MHO.

I think your husband could be swallowing the Sub and believe he may be abusing Benzos as well.The sub,if taken correctly,would block all effects of another opiate but not benzos.I also dont believe that if you did use and took sub that it would not sober you up.

I wish you luck as its not easy dealing with us addicts.When we are not ready to quit we go to great lengths to get what we need as far as lying,cheating and stealing and dont care who we hurt in the process.Unfortunately not much is going to change unless he is good and ready.Good luck to you and you family.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2011 8:49 pm 
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To be honest, it really sounds like your husband does not want to get clean. Suboxone is a "tool" or "aide", it will not do the work for you. Your husband can be doing all sorts of things with the pill. Keep in mind, they take quite some time to dissolve. You are correct in assuming that meetings can be used to find connections. Just like anything else, the will has to be there. People are court ordered to meetings (which is wrong IMO, but that is off topic). I do not attend meetings anymore, but I found good and bad people. I will say that they were very helpful in the beginning. They seem to keep people honest. If your husband choses to make more negative connections at a meeting it is nobody's fault but his own. When you go to meetings you can tell who is serious and who is not. Furthermore, you are allowed to go to NA meetings while high, but you cannot talk at them. This is explained at the start of each and every single NA meeting all over the world. Like I said, I did not end up sticking with the 12 steps, but I gave it a very honest try. 90 meetings in 90 days (actually more than that), two different sponsors and trying the steps.

"Any suggestions would be appreciated. I don't know how to help him anymore."

Simply put, stop enabling him if you are and make him face consequences.

To be blunt, you really need to start preparing your next move for you and your kids. What are you going to do if he keeps using? Enabling is just as bad as using. Maybe think about an intervention? Possibly put something in writing with consequences and keep it simple. Like "You must attend this many meetings" or "this consequences". Or "You must go to a rehabilitation center to get assessed and you must sign releases for me to read/talk to the social worker" (To make sure he is honest).

The chemically dependent can only quit if they really really want to. It takes a very strong desire. Nobody but the person themselves can make the steps needed to stop. Sometimes people can be pushed towards that decision when they start facing consequences.

Denial is very strong in many chemically dependent people. The duration that a person remains in denial varies. I was able to get over mine pretty quickly, however, I had been trying to quit on my own off and on (with various rates of success and failure) for at least two years. This was with no suboxone and no help, still keeping it a "secret" (not a very good one). It was only once I went away to a rehabilitation center, got on Suboxone, LISTENED TO WHAT OTHERS SAID (this is key) and as time went on figured out what would and would not work for me that I had any real success. I am a week or two away from a year.

I say all this with no intention of malice or insult. I was a social worker for many years and worked in Child Protective Services. I have worked with lots of families in your situation. Keep in mind that CPS workers do not care what color you are, what religion you are, how much money you have, if you are gay or straight or where you live. The last thing you want is something happening that causes them to get involved. At the end of the day, you need to do what is best for you and your children. If you husband is serious, he will put the work in. If he isn't willing to do that....

Keep in mind that your husband is very likely not seeing things very clearly. However, that is not an excuse. I think it sounds as if he needs to be evaluated for a rehabilitation center. Taking some time off from "the real world" and getting his priorities straight may be the best thing for him. Things do not become clear automatically for most of us. It wasn't until I had three months "clean" that I was able to look back and thing "WTF was I doing/thinking?" This is also around the time when I realized that it is a heck of alot easier and better for me to not use.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:35 pm 
stephent wrote:
To be honest, it really sounds like your husband does not want to get clean. Suboxone is a "tool" or "aide", it will not do the work for you. Your husband can be doing all sorts of things with the pill. Keep in mind, they take quite some time to dissolve. You are correct in assuming that meetings can be used to find connections. Just like anything else, the will has to be there. People are court ordered to meetings (which is wrong IMO, but that is off topic). I do not attend meetings anymore, but I found good and bad people. I will say that they were very helpful in the beginning. They seem to keep people honest. If your husband choses to make more negative connections at a meeting it is nobody's fault but his own. When you go to meetings you can tell who is serious and who is not. Furthermore, you are allowed to go to NA meetings while high, but you cannot talk at them. This is explained at the start of each and every single NA meeting all over the world. Like I said, I did not end up sticking with the 12 steps, but I gave it a very honest try. 90 meetings in 90 days (actually more than that), two different sponsors and trying the steps.

"Any suggestions would be appreciated. I don't know how to help him anymore."

Simply put, stop enabling him if you are and make him face consequences.

To be blunt, you really need to start preparing your next move for you and your kids. What are you going to do if he keeps using? Enabling is just as bad as using. Maybe think about an intervention? Possibly put something in writing with consequences and keep it simple. Like "You must attend this many meetings" or "this consequences". Or "You must go to a rehabilitation center to get assessed and you must sign releases for me to read/talk to the social worker" (To make sure he is honest).

The chemically dependent can only quit if they really really want to. It takes a very strong desire. Nobody but the person themselves can make the steps needed to stop. Sometimes people can be pushed towards that decision when they start facing consequences.

Denial is very strong in many chemically dependent people. The duration that a person remains in denial varies. I was able to get over mine pretty quickly, however, I had been trying to quit on my own off and on (with various rates of success and failure) for at least two years. This was with no suboxone and no help, still keeping it a "secret" (not a very good one). It was only once I went away to a rehabilitation center, got on Suboxone, LISTENED TO WHAT OTHERS SAID (this is key) and as time went on figured out what would and would not work for me that I had any real success. I am a week or two away from a year.

I say all this with no intention of malice or insult. I was a social worker for many years and worked in Child Protective Services. I have worked with lots of families in your situation. Keep in mind that CPS workers do not care what color you are, what religion you are, how much money you have, if you are gay or straight or where you live. The last thing you want is something happening that causes them to get involved. At the end of the day, you need to do what is best for you and your children. If you husband is serious, he will put the work in. If he isn't willing to do that....

Keep in mind that your husband is very likely not seeing things very clearly. However, that is not an excuse. I think it sounds as if he needs to be evaluated for a rehabilitation center. Taking some time off from "the real world" and getting his priorities straight may be the best thing for him. Things do not become clear automatically for most of us. It wasn't until I had three months "clean" that I was able to look back and thing "WTF was I doing/thinking?" This is also around the time when I realized that it is a heck of alot easier and better for me to not use.


+1 on most of this post, except for the meetings thing. NA's official position is that people on maintenance drugs are not "clean," so I do not think it is right to try and make meetings a condition of anyone's recovery.

Actually, you shouldn't be forcing recovery on him. He is a grown man. You seem to have provided multiple ways and means of support, and he is rejecting them. I agree that you need to do what is best for your family. If he isn't ready to stop, and is too selfish to stop for his family (I do not believe in 100% powerlessness, if that were true, none of us here would be off dope. It is also SUPER selfish for him to have you pay for Suboxone when he wastes it), then maybe he needs to go out on his own until he is ready to stop.

This is a study rating 48 methods of treatment. #1 was "brief intervention" consisting of a doctor sitting down with the addicted person and explaining the harm he is doing and will continue to do to him/herself until they stop.

AA rated #38..

http://www.behaviortherapy.com/whatworks.htm


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 11:53 pm 
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Wifeofanaddict. It's been hard to read what you said because I was in your husband's position, using on Suboxone, in a relationship with a concerned partner. No kids. But...

Quote:
If it was just he and I, I would have given up a long time ago.


is exactly what ended up happening to that relationship. I was also not your stereotypical addict as the relationship was loving. A big difference was I always tried to be honest about my using, with everything. I knew once I started to deceive her (she was a smart cookie) things would crumble. Despite that she still got tired of it. And I was tired of it. I was the monkey on her back with a monkey on mine.

I'm certain he does want to get clean, and would give anything to never have started using. Ask any sane addict that and if you get an honest answer, they'd likely give a limb for it.

What's he doing with his suboxone? It's interesting. But I was on 8mg in the morning, and 4mg evening (12mg daily), and managed to use with days off and on. I think what happens is after a person starts skipping doses regularly, or using more than they take their Suboxone, the "reserves" of Subox in the body get low and you can use a lot earlier than you once would. But I metabolise my subox really fast, and even then I couldn't have my dose and use as quick as your husband without a decent block, even on the psych meds I was on. So it's likely he's found a way to divert. Have you ever asked if you can see it dissolving under his tongue? Look out for chewing gum or wax paper / other things under the tongue. People in jail have used that to cover the subox and keep it from absorbing.

Just make using as hard for him as possible. It's been proven that all humans (and animals) have a certain point where using becomes ..too much effort.. to keep doing it, and that's the point where people get clean. There's a fine line between being punitive and punishing (bad) and making it hard for someone to use. For people to use, they need money. So restrict finances. They need opportunity (time to see dealer), so keep dragging them away to do stuff with the kids, and if they refuse make it clear they've chosen heroin over their kids and blur the line between short term and long term.

Also, I tell you, if he takes his Suboxone every day 12mg without fail, it will make it a lot harder for him to enjoy using. So make sure the subox is in there dissolving after a few minutes. If you do this every day for a few days, his using will become much less feel-good and much more money-waste, and potentially he'll lose interest in heroin. He could possibly get more sneaky or even angry, but keep doing it.

Put the writing on the wall. He sounds like a smart guy, and he sounds like he loves you all. Work with it. A mix of all these things should make using emotionally painful for any guy who who loves his kids. Make sure he knows that this is somehow your last big effort. Most of all, understand that regardless of your efforts, he will find ways to use. Don't see that as your failure. Instead see every time he hasn't used where we would have before as a success. That's harder to gauge, but important to see.

It's a really hard one. And I guess it comes down to when have you had enough? Kids do need their dad, but it's also damaging for kids to live with a dad who's using. And if you notice he's high and his eyes are distant, so will ur kids. I'm not a big one for the whole "enabler" *you gotta kick em out and let them hit their bottom* thing. But if the pain of going on that way exceeds the benefit of keeping the family unit, then a hard decision has to be made.


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