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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 12:41 am 
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I am a cocaine addict and I'm having (surprise!) big trouble kicking the habit. I'm at the point now where I am about to lose my wife and kids, and my job (which is a good one) is hanging by a thread. Not to mention I am miserable and at the end of my rope.

So I really, really need to find a way to get and stay clean and I haven't been able to do so. Rehabs haven't worked for me in the past and due to family issues (2 very young kids) I can't just leave. I did stay clean for 5 years ago but relapsed 4 years ago and haven't been able to make it back.

I recently started seeing a new Dr. who has experience with addiction treatment, and he said that maybe Suboxone would help me get over my withdrawals/cravings. He's considering it for treating me.

I don't have an opiate addiction and never have...would it be safe for me to use this for my cocaine problem? The last thing I need is to make my problems bigger. But if it would help I would do it.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 3:01 pm 
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Read this article:

http://healthland.time.com/2012/08/09/c ... addiction/

I hope it gives you a bit more information. It looks like they are going to study whether buprenorphine can help prevent relapse in cocaine addiction very soon. There are a couple of statements in this article which suggest that there is hope that bupe can help cocaine addicts as well.

Amy

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 3:18 pm 
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I am not a researcher nor pretend to be but I can pass on my experience with some patients. Yes, some of my patients have stopped cocaine and other substances along with their opiates. However, most tell me it really hasn't effected their meth or cocaine cravings, just knowing that if they continue to use it will jeopardize being able to continue on the Suboxone, and they really are sincere in pursuing a sober lifestyle.
I would really query your doctor, have they done this? How long did they treat, what has been the outcome? Are you willing to be a lab rat (without any protections for people enrolled in studies) and possibly gain a new dependency.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 4:49 pm 
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http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 113547.htm

This crossed my desk today. rTMS is pricey, not often covered by insurance. But, very well tolerated and no dependency issues in the future. Your doctor may know a provider in your area or you can check at https://neurostar.com/?gclid=CJz97sqHlsoCFcKGaQodfrIIug Many providers are doing off label trials.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 5:07 pm 
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Hey El welcome.

I don't know the answer to ur question. The only person who would know 100% would be someone in ur situation and has tried it themselves. I knew someone a couple yrs ago who was in my clinic who was an opiate addict and cocaine addict, and they commented that suboxone helped with their cravings on both drugs......but they relapsed after only a month or so which makes me wonder how well it really did work for them. There's also newer patients who've told me that sub takes care of their cravings for opiate but benzodiazepine withdrawal and cravings were still a huge problem for them (my Dr doesn't allow anyone to take benzo's so they were having to do without just to continue their sub treatment). That's another thing that makes me wonder, if it doesn't help with benzo cravings then why would it help cocaine cravings?

Like I said earlier, I don't have any experience in this because I was solely on opiates. It could possibly work, I have no idea. It would really be up to u and ur Dr to decide if it's worth a shot. I know how horrible it is to wanna get rid of cravings to a drug that's destroying ur life and ur family, I know I'd have tried anything I could to live a better quality of life. Please let us know what u decide, it would be amazing if it helped.

Good luck!!!

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 9:59 pm 
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Personally I've found Suboxone can partially subdue cravings for substances other than opiates. For instance, while I was on naltrexone earlier last year for 6 months, I used crystal meth on average once a month. Now I'm on Suboxone I haven't touched any drugs whatsoever for a long time. In fact, a woman came over a little while back, someone who I used to get on the crystal meth with regularly. She hammered me non-stop for hours begging me to score ice for her, and I just kept saying "No, no, no" and ended up driving her home all bitter and angry at me for not scoring. If I wasn't on Suboxone, I doubt I would have had that resolve.

I do find that buprenorphine feeds that addictive circuit in my brain just enough to keep it from screaming for substances. However, I feel that it doesn't subdue cravings for other drugs to the extent that it does for opiates. I have absolutely no desire to use heroin on Suboxone, but I still get nostalgic about injecting cocaine from time to time.

You MAY find Suboxone could help your cocaine addiction, but what if it doesn't? You'll end up dependent on 2 drugs.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 11:17 am 
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Thanks for the replies as I'm going to visit that Doctor in a few minutes and I'm sure we'll talk about this. Maybe he's checked (which he wanted to do) and decided he doesn't recommend suboxone for me after all.

Even if he does, I'm convinced that this probably isn't a good idea for me to try. As you say Teejay, "what if I become addicted to 2" through suboxone...adding an opiate addiction to my current cocaine addiction would be too much for me to handle. Hell, one is too much for me to handle!

I'll post what the Dr tells me about this today...


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2016 12:43 am 
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Did your doctor have better information for you?

Amy

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 11:50 pm 
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Amy-Work In Progress wrote:
Did your doctor have better information for you?

Amy


Yes I'm curious about that too! Hope he returns to let us know! I have a very addictive personality and have become addicted to many things. Pain killers (opiates) are just one of them.

But since being on Suboxone I've found that I've lost my cravings for all things.....not just opiates? I'm off the Xanax (Benzo, misused and addicted to along with Ambien to sleep) that my psych doctor prescribed to me for anxiety and panic attacks. Don't need it anymore and no insomnia either! I don't drink and don't miss that either. Even quit smoking (was a two pack a day smoker) a year ago? Have had no depression and am off my anti-D. I wonder if there isn't some medical reason why this is? I just feel like my life is completely back and it's awesome! My family are so happy to have me back! They aren't even upset about the inconvenience and cost of it anymore because they see how stable I've been these past couple years. I dread the day my doctor wants me off of it!!! I haven't felt this normal since I was 12 years old! Thank you Suboxone for giving me my life back!


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2016 4:11 am 
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Brooke, I am happy for you! You have done remarkable things with the help of sub! The fact that you quit smoking too? So awesome!!

I do think that for some people a partial agonist like buprenorphine fills a chemical gap in their brain while creating stability too. No more highs and lows. Just a nice, steady flow of an element that is typically missing for them. I hope that you can stick with the medication as long as you think is necessary.

Has your doctor talked about tapering you off sub? I hope not!

Amy

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2016 6:32 am 
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From what I've read, the addictive circuit for all addictive drugs and even addictive behaviours is the same. It has to do with dopamine release through the striatum, nucleus accumbens, VTA and mesolimbic pathway. It's the circuit responsible for reward - ie the driving force to seek out water when you're parched, food when you're hungry, sex when you're horny. Real primal behaviour responsible for survival of self and species. These circuits have been around from wayyyy back in our evolution, predating the evolution of our frontal lobes, which may explain why addiction has so much power over ourselves and our thinking.

Given it's all the same circuit, it makes sense that if you satiate and quell its need for a substance, or "feed" the circuit enough to keep it quiet, cravings for other addictive drugs and behaviours will also diminish.

Of course it's more complicated, but it mirrors my experience. I don't know about America, but in my country we can rollover our superannuation into one fund. Sometimes I think Suboxone has rolled-over all my addictions and it's all now being managed by Suboxone. I used to smoke cigarettes, take heroin, inject cocaine and meth occasionally, and chase women like a fiend. Now I do none of those things.

It's a good medication / drug / replacement / whatever you call it.

The reason I'm apprehensive to recommend it for addictions other than opioids is because of the potential for cross-addiction to other opioids. Opioids still have the highest rate of relapse of all addictive drugs, so introducing opioid dependence to someone's life shouldn't be a decision taken lightly imo.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2016 2:37 pm 
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Thank you Amy!!!! You are so sweet! Awesome person!

I agree with you too.

And Teejay, you really explained that well! Very interesting information! So I'm not the only one who feels that Suboxone has helped them give up other addictions and/or obsessions? Ha!

I totally see why you are skeptical to advise a non-opiate addict to use sub for maintenance. Just not being completely sure that the benefits outweigh the risks involved. I feel the same way.

I'm just glad that I stumbled upon the info about sub from a former addiction therapist who recommended a specific Sub doctor knowing that once I was inducted I could be placed in their program. It saved my life! Really! Not only by getting me off the pills and stable but off alcohol and cigarettes as well which I abused and mixed with the opiates and Benzos. A very lethal combination that could have killed me or caused brain damage. I have a condition that causes my blood to thicken and clot. Unable to use birth control and have had TIA 's in my twenties. Yet I continued to ignore and chain smoked!?! Now I'm no longer doing any of that risky behavior! Good way to put it is that I'm now "emotionally stable". No highs or lows..no flat feeling! Normal is the only word to describe it? I laugh, I cry, I get excited! People have said they can't laugh on Suboxone? What? I laugh all the time....if something is funny! Ha! But, of course we are all different.

Alright, well hope we hear from the op. Very interesting.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2016 3:34 pm 
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I totally agree with TeeJay. For me, Sub both reduced the desire for, and blunted the pleasure from other drugs/compulsions. However, starting someone on a med that will cause an opiate tolerance is serious business. I wouldn't do it without some hard data on its potential success, and even then I'd be very leary of it.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2016 7:48 pm 
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There's been some interesting work done on a supplement called N-acetylcysteine. It's shown really promising results in reducing cocaine cravings across multiple studies. And the good thing is it's a simple supplement you can purchase online, and in some health food stores. Just make sure you get good quality.

I took it years ago because there was evidence it helped stabilise bipolar disorder, but unfortunately it didn't have much of an impact for me in that area. But I didn't experience any side-effects.

It can't hurt to try.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1513138/
http://www.neuroscientistnews.com/research-news/cocaine-addiction-scientists-discover-back-door-brain


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 3:41 pm 
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My psychiatrist had me take n-acetylcysteine for quite a while. If you go on Amazon.com you can get a time release version (red label, can't remember the brand name, maybe Jarrow). It took it for depression and I can't honestly say how well it worked because I was also on antidepressants at the time. But there's no downside, no side effects, and it's supposed to be good for your liver - and a lot of addicts have damaged our livers.


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