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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 3:25 pm 
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Hi. My boyfriend has been very dedicated in his recovery and is now 13 months sober on suboxone. He was put on 8mg a day and right before he hit the year mark he feels as though it's not working as it used to. He has tried cutting his strip and splitting it in half and taking one in the morning and one in the afternoon but still seems to struggle and then ends up taking more. He takes an extra 1/2 a day, so 12mg, but that leaves him with days without or taking very little. I try to be understanding but as we all know, addicts are great convincers, just as addiction is a great LIAR. So is he being convinced he needs more by his brain? Or is it possible to build a tolerance this far in the game? I am trying to be supportive while not letting my guard down as the way I see it taking his medication the way it was not supposed to be is a red flag all in its own. He swears he has no high effects or anything like that. But I also think he should be learning to control those cravings now before he someday is completely without this crutch! Any advice would be appreciated!


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 4:52 pm 
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I've been on subs for over a year and a half, and I take 8mg a day. I haven't read or seen much talking about any tolerance to this medication, quite the opposite, that less is effectively more. This medication is very consistent in how it works, and there's days where I take half my dose, and make it just fine. Yes my addict mind sometimes wants me to take more, but I know this med has a "ceiling effect" which you can research and read about on this forum, and also other places on the internet. It sounds like he's doing well, but maybe he needs a support group, or some individual counseling (don't know if he needs it or wants it, but just a suggestion). The only thing I could think of is maybe certain days, he doesn't absorb the medication completely, which you can also research ways that people take their subs to get the complete absorption. Don't have much more to add without knowing more. Wait awhile, I'm sure more people will give you some helpful info.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 7:13 pm 
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Hi Hern,

From your perspective, the fact that he had to up his suboxone is a bad thing Depending on the circumstances it could be a major benefit to him to increase his sub. He seems to be working on his recovery and sometimes people on suboxone change their dose for legitimate reasons.

I think your boyfriend could use a trip to an addiction therapist to reassess where he is in his recovery.

Many, many, many people on suboxone, try to mess with their dose to see if they can get a high. It is not unusual behavior, but he does need to talk to his doctor or therapist before he lets it get out of control. Has your boyfriend had any major stressors in the last few months?

There are a few things you should know about addiction and suboxone. The sub has put your boyfriend's addiction into remission. That is good news!! Addiction is a chronic brain disorder characterized by relapse. Addiction has changed your BF's brain and there are some things that will come back, but some won't. If he goes off sub he will mostly likely relapse like 90 to 95% of opiate addicts do. While he is on sub he could IV heroin and feel nothing!

Suboxone is not a crutch. It's a tool. A tool is only as good or bad as the wielder makes it.

If you think you will stay with this man for the rest of your lives you need to know what you're potentially getting into. There may be relapses, he will struggle at times. If you're in for the long haul, your BF will always be an addict.

He needs your support.

Amy

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Dr. Jeffrey Junig, M.D., Ph.D.

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