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PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2015 11:38 pm 
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Hello everyone. This is my 1st post on any forum and i thought to myself, what better place to ask this question. I've been on suboxone now since Jan of 2013. When I 1st got out of rehab I went to meetings pretty regularly for about a month. Then I started feeling like I didn't belong, simply because I was/am technically still using an opiate (suboxone). Can I consider myself clean? Or was I right by stepping away from the NA meetings until I can truly say,I'm not "chemically dependent" any longer? Thanks for any feedback!


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2015 11:56 pm 
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Actually, we don't debate this subject in the regular part of our forum. We think that individual opinions on this are more important that anything that society says, or AA says. I personally think that nobody is a "winner" because they don't take medications, but they are a winner if this deadly disorder doesn't kill them. The stakes are too high to care about who is on what and who isn't on meds. Living a quality life is what matters.

I'm moving this to Freestyle, because that is the only place appropriate to put this thread.

Amy

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 1:15 am 
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@Amy...You just made a lot of sense and put the whole matter in perspective for me. Thank You!


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 9:50 am 
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...Ill put it this way and from my experiences over tne last four years. At this point in my recovery I know im Clean Enough without worry.
NA is not tne same as AA. Maybe, if you like the face to face peer support try the AA group.
Ive spent many agonizing days feeling that I was doing something "wroug"by taking the med and working there program.(na)
It wasnt so much what was said in the meeting rooms as it was the talk outside afterwards. I understand what you were feeling. And joining a group there will be some who will say or make negative comments, but we are trying to Save or Lives here! Idealy,doing both could be of benefit, but with NA,in my experience, the med question can cause some hurt feelings..

Making positive steps forward in work,play and home life seems to me to be a key factor in recovery, at least mine ..

Just an opinion razor....


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 10:27 am 
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Yes, what Amy and Razor said. When I first came to this site, I didn't consider myself clean because of Subs, but that was dumb. I am as clean as I am gonna get. So yes I consider myself clean now. lol


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 11:27 am 
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I am pretty passionate about this topic lol and always have been. I have realized though that this is pretty much each person on subs individual opinion. My opinion is that I am clean on suboxone. I see it as taking a blood pressure medication every day to maintain my health.....I see sub no different honestly. We shouldn't have to fight the stigma that comes along with taking a medication that gives us our lives bk. Unfortunately addicts always has a stigma attached and anything we do, certain ppl are going to see it as "just another drug". Over the years though, I've learned to just ignore all those opinions and know in MY heart that I am absolutely clean.

As far as NA, that's tricky and it actually depends on how open minded ur group is. Some will make u feel like ur still a junkie just because suboxone has an opiate in it. Others may possibly be ok with it and glad that ur not at risk of overdosing and dying. I've never found that but I do know ppl on this forum has found some good groups. My advice is....decide for urself on if u think ur clean or not. We don't have to follow anyone else's rules but our own when it comes to our own recovery. Nobody has the right to tell u if ur clean or not on suboxone. Personally, I think ur absolutely clean. If u believe u are too, don't let anyone tell ya any different :) :)

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 1:35 pm 
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This is the thing that really bothers me about this subject. Yes, it's annoying when people come here and try to tell us we're not clean, but here we have a support system!

What kills me is all of those addicts out there who have been told in treatment, by their family members, by their 12 step groups that they are not sober, they can't get a chip, they can't speak at meetings, etc. if they are on a maintenance medication. That message is killing people! Do you think Philip Seymour Hoffman would be dead today if he felt suboxone was a legitimate option?

Let's think about why it matters to some 12 steppers that there are people on a maintenance medication that are living stable, quality lives. Why would it bother them that we call ourselves clean? It's a very human response, actually, if not an admiral one. People on sub who are dedicated to their recovery got to skip the longer period of desperation that 12 steppers have gone through to get to the same place. They don't want people in sub recovery to co-opt their title of "clean". Their opinion is that they worked very hard to get where they are, and people on medical maintenance didn't work as hard, so they don't deserve the same title. I hate to tell you this too, but there are people on methadone maintenance who are advocating for addicts on sub maintenance to have to go through all of the daily visits and urine tests, then weekly visits and urine tests, etc. that methadone patients have to go through. Like, it's not fair that we don't have to do as much work as they do to become stable.

It's pathetic and very human that other addicts who find different ways of staying clean judge their method against other methods of recovery. It's like if two people got to the same level of job in their company. One person got their job because they took night school to earn their Bachelors degree, and the other person got their job because their uncle owns the company. The first person is going to want it known that they had to work harder to get the job.

So I understand that very human desire to want their hard work recognized. BUT that kind of one upsmanship is not appropriate in the life and death fight we are in!!! Who the heck cares if PSH put his addiction in remission through a maintenance med, as long as he didn't overdose in his bathroom??! By making people feel "less than" for not being off all meds, they are encouraging addicts to use the treatment program with the least efficacy according to research.

This article speaks to some of the problems between maintenance and abstinence. http://www.thefix.com/content/hazelden- ... 6?page=all

I guess that's all I have for now.

Amy

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 4:38 pm 
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I'm sorry. Please don't let my rant stop the conversation. :)

Amy

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 7:18 pm 
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I do understand your rant. I do. Ive lived it my friend. Do you remember when I came on here last summer and told you all the kick in the teeth i received from my good friends there? You were the only person who answered.
Id kept my sub treatment to myself, but, our clinic started a support group witch i helped with from the first day. It wasnt loug after that I noticed a change in attitude in those i was close to. It wasn't the words but the "feeling",the vibe had changed toward me .
Id felt guilty about my little secret. And now it was out. The oldest guy in the room, me, didnt get put down to my face, but it changed, quickly...I left...How many of my friends contacted me, seeing if i was ok?..guess.....

The day I took my first dose of Buprenorphine my pill problem was over. It was.. but my dr and the clinic said meetings ,sponsor an stepwork...or Else..I saw people tossed out for not doing so..anyway..I learned that yes, there clean"isnt ours? Whatever!..

This forum is of great support, and I read something new Everyday on opiate addiction and treatment. Tides are turning but the 12 step way of doing things, as old as it is, will not change in NA. "No mind altering, mood altering substances" ..ok..

The last 10 months ive followed SAMSHSA 's definition of recovery as "a process of change through witch individuals improve their health and wellness,live a self directed life and strive to reach their full potential "Home,Health,community and Purpose in life..

Amy I loved the Fix, and have read that before. I have one for you all.
Cant link it, but read it today.
It is on Substance.Com.

"It 's Time to Reclaim the Word Recovery"by Maia Szalavitz please find it..spells it all out. Harm reduction the whole bit

This always is a touchy subject indeed...but knowing the high percentage rate for subs, I know im on the rightside of tbe fence. ..

We are all doing the best we can...

Razor r


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 12:50 pm 
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Here is a link to the article you are talking about Razor:

http://www.substance.com/its-time-to-re ... ery/14841/

Yes, Razor, I do remember your story and I remember being angry that your group was so judgmental and hurtful to you.

Did you know that certain 12 step groups are just about the only ones left who won't consider maintenance therapy as being "in recovery"? I know Razor knows this because the article above tells us what we are to consider being in recovery according to various groups in the addiction field, including SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration).

Amy

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 12:57 pm 
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You Rock Amy......


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2015 9:07 pm 
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I just don't see a difference really in taking medication to keep you clean (suboxone), going to meetings to keep you clean, working steps to keep you clean or any other thing people do to keep themselves clean.. You may be dependent on suboxone but everyone in my NA meeting, including myself, is dependent on the meetings to help keep us clean. I just don't see any difference in one persons method of getting clean vs another persons method of getting clean. At the end of the day they're both clean and not using anymore. Just my two cents.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2015 9:44 pm 
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razor55 wrote:
You Rock Amy......


I also Roll! :)

Amy

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2015 9:57 pm 
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I like your "2 cents" QA..Thanks for saying it...as it is the truth. You must have a good group ..Hang in there man, been following you and others in your fight. You ll be fine...


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2015 8:33 pm 
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I understand exactly what you're going through. I left NA for 3 years while I was on Suboxone because of the stance of the fellowship that you're not clean whilst on maintenance.

The opinion of NA aside, you gotta ask yourself whether it's in your own best interests to consider yourself clean whilst on Suboxone. If by attending meetings you start to view yourself as unclean, perhaps going could cause you more harm than good. After all, it is a hell of a lot easier to rationalise using your drug-of-choice if you don't consider yourself clean anyway.

It's for this reason I considered it best for my recovery to distance myself from meetings, at least while I was on Suboxone. I resumed attending NA meetings once I got off. However, I've once again distanced myself from meetings because of some other philosophical differences with the program. I won't go into them as it'd require a long post in itself. In a nutshell though, I struggled with the higher power concept. And there's this denial within the fellowship that you can get recovery through other methods. I found that attitude reminiscent of a cult.

There are alternatives to AA / NA you can look into. I highly recommend SMART recovery. They're much more progressive and open minded to pharmacotherapies like antabuse / campral / naltrexone / suboxone / methadone.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 12:14 pm 
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This is such an issue in the recovery community that I started a support group for persons on medication assisted treatment which grew into an advocacy organization to fight stigma and discrimination. The word clean I personally don't like regardless, the word itself is stigmatizing, considering those still in active addiction as "dirty" is demeaning. We need to move away from that language to a language that's accepting of everyone. Also the word is entirely subjective. If you ask the average person in recovery what it means they're most likely to say "free from all mood and mind altering substances." They probably consider themselves clean and free from all mood and mind altering substances and will tell you so as they take a puff of their cigarette and a drink of their mood and mind altering coffee. You can see the word itself is problematic. The confusion about whether a person is clean when using suboxone comes from a confusion about what addiction is. Addiction is manifested primarily by a set of behaviors. Once the behaviors end a person is in recovery. Dependence does not equal addiction. If it did we would all be addicted to air and water. In the DSMV physical dependence isn't even a criteria for substance use disorder. Being dependent on something doesn't mean you're addicted to it. It simply means you're dependent on it. When you lie, cheat, steal, keep doing the substance despite negative consequences, and have cravings you can't control for a substance, then you are addicted to it. We need to educate others so we can stop the stigma, the best place to start is with ourselves and move away from language that's demeaning and derogatory. Here is an excellent paper by William White on the importance of language in addiction
http://www.williamwhitepapers.com/pr/20 ... vocacy.pdf


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2015 10:37 pm 
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Yeah I've been to a couple 12 step meetings before and I really don't like their philosopy and ways of approaching getting ans staying "clean" so to speak. I feel there is no other power greater than ourselves to help us beat our addictions. I would be very interested in starting a support group/program for those specificcally on suboxone maintenance therapy or have been, so you have support of people who are where you are and have been. Instead of looking down at each other for using subs, they can appreciate these people are doing what's right for them. I wonder what the requisits would be for starting such a program, I would be an avid advocate and supporter. I would never go to a 12 step aa or na meeting, but one like this I would surely attend. What's everyone elses thoughts on this?


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2015 10:40 pm 
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Maybe a way to get it started is by spreading the word at the sub docs office? The docs must know or have heard of the judgement going on at these na or aa meetings that sub users are not clean and looked down upon.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2015 10:52 pm 
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That's where I started the meeting I facilitate. I recruited members from the treatment center where I see my doctor and was given a room to use by them. I don't even think we should use the words clean or dirty. It stigmatizes people who have a substance use disorder.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2015 11:53 pm 
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totally agree! What did u have to do to facilitate the meeting?


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