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 Post subject: I'm Terrified
PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 1:41 pm 
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[font=Comic Sans MS]I am not a Suboxone user, but my husband is. I've also never used anything like this for help before, so any info will be GREATLY appreciated! He started using various pain pills as a freshman in high school. He continued that path until just before we got married, when he started the Suboxone program. He has now been on Suboxone for around 5 years. He has now been put in a situation where he HAS to end the program. I have absolutely loved the program for one. While taking Suboxones, he has accomplished so much, that he definitely would not have had he not started the program. He has graduated from college, and actually wants to be a substance abuse counselor. He has a job offer now, that is basically requiring him to stop the program. He has not done it the proper way, that is for sure. He is now taking only a quarter of a pill, and I believe it's a 2mg (not for sure though). He had his last dosage yesterday, and today he has nothing left. He has already told me that he really doesn't want to be out of the program, which pretty much tells me that the withdrawal symptoms are going to affect him really hard. I just really don't know what to expect. I have done so much research on the subject, and the withdrawal symptoms sound absolutely terrible. But now, we have to keep in mind that he has detoxed off of the various pain meds twice, but unfortunately, he got wrapped back in the cycle both times. He knows what withdrawals off of pain meds is like, but he says he is really anxious to know what suboxone withdrawal is going to be like. With him being on them for so long, not tapering off like he should have, and the fact that he really doesn't want to be off of them in the first place, this whole situation is just terrifying to me! I do not want to see him miserable, although I know he will be! We also have a toddler, and it worries me that he will have to witness this withdrawal! My husband has a tendency to become preoccupied with the situation, and I do not want him trying to get some off the street, when he is going to have to get off of them eventually anyways. I don't really know what I'm looking for by posting on here, maybe just some words..I really don't know. No one else really knows that we are going though this, so it's just really hard not to have someone to talk to. Thanks![/font]


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 5:08 pm 
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Welcome wewillsurvive -

Wow! I can understand your worry in the post.

I might ask if your husband is willing to post (set up an alias account here) - so we can offer support.

What to expect?... From what you have said - it sounds like he has been on 1 mg/day. It would be helpful to know if that is correct. I have heard of some people who can drop off suboxone at that level without too much misery - runny nose, general malaise, etc. Some people have a harder time, and choose to taper with various methods over a longer time.

Also, you mention that he HAS to get OFF the program? By that, does this mean he has a job that is requiring him to be OFF suboxone? OR, does the program cost too much - or some deadline has past (like a 5 year max attendance - or something)?

The reason a I ask is that there are many avenues for suboxone now. You could look for suboxone doctors in your area - and potentially visit with a doctor who will take this case for long term maintenance. All of that depends upon the reason he is ending suboxone.

As for timing, suboxone has a long half life. He will probably make 36 hours with minimal w/d's, then they will get progressively worse from there - until 5 half lives are out of his system. Then there are PAWS symptoms that (for some) may be difficult. He should be under a doctor's supervision for this.

Please share more details, or perhaps he can tell his story - so that we can provide support and quality information.

All the best!


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 5:27 pm 
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He has to get off because of his job. He's actually going to be working with first offender DUI people, and his boss wants him off it. He said he could have an additional month if he needs it, to help him ween himself off even more. I do not know exactly how much he was taking as far as mg's are concerned. I know that he was only taking a quarter of a pill (because I had control of them, and only gave him that much LOL). He seems to be doing fine today, he says he's just cold, and not much energy (kind of what you said). Seeing him today is actually a little better than I thought it would be. I had a horrid feeling that he would wake up this morning like you see people wake up in movies in withdrawal. I just need to remind myself that the worse is still ahead of us. I just fear he will become totally pre-occupied with the need of getting more. I think that mental strain will drive him nuts. Thanks for you help!


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 12:13 am 
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OMG wewillsurvive, I really feel for you and your husband. It's such a shame that he's been put in this situation, and I can understand your concerns.
When you say a quarter of a pill and it was 2 mg, do you mean a quarter of a 2 mg tablet? Or 2mg as a quarter of an 8 mg tab? If it's the former then he has been taking 0.5 mg, which seems rather better than trying to jump off 2 mg.
Also, does his job require him to undergo regular drug testing? If not I know what I would do. I would score maybe 5 or 10 subs on the street and continue tapering for as long as they lasted. However if he IS tested, I urge you not to go down that route as it will only spell trouble in the long term.
I firmly believe that we should do WHATEVER IT TAKES to get clean, this includes keeping our treatment secret from people who don't need to know about it.There are a lot of interfering ,opinionated busybodies in the world who love nothing better than to make problems for folks who are doing their best to live a straight life and support their families.
I sincerely hope that all goes well for you and your man, and wish you both every success.
Peace and love,
Sneaky


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 9:39 am 
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I don't want to scare you but your husband is moving into a high risk situation by being pressured or forced to get off subs. I hope he is ready for this. The only good thing I can see is that he will be working in an environment that will reinforce his abstinence and recovery. Please ask him to come here and talk with people who care. He is going to need a comprehensive support system to help him get thru this...


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 10:27 am 
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Thanks for the reply, and thanks everyone else too.

suboxone is difficult to test for, as it takes a special test. Law enforcement may do that.

What did your husband start suboxone for? For me, it was 100mg's + of oxycodoone + other stuff per day (pills). I'm an addict. If I were forced into a situation that I had little control over, it would probably be a 'trigger' for me. Has he learned about his 'triggers?' Have you?

It matters. If he is fine in stressful situations, and has no cravings - it's EASY. If that situation triggers his need to use, then it's a HUGE DEAL/BATTLE. I hope he can join us here, or if he is in therapy somewhere - ensure he has worked on his triggers - with alternate behavior.

Us addicts,will get creative and do things that we would not normally do. Suboxone is our best defense while we work on things. I'm concerned for both of you, and at the same time wishing and praying for the best! Please keep us posted!


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 1:08 am 
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Well, actually, his job will be for a guy who runs a counseling center. His job in particular (for now) will be teaching state DUI classes for first offenders. The guy knows he's on suboxone. I guess he feels it will be hard to counsel other addicts (later in his career) if he is a life long user?? I really don't know why he's making him get off, unless that's the reason. I am honestly thinking about putting him in a inhouse detox center or something, just to take away the horrid feeling I have. I know that the mental aspect of withdrawal plays a HUGE part on the physical part. Yeh, he would be having physical withdrawals anyways, but dreading it as much as he is, I'm afraid he's gonna have a heart attack or something! At least there, he'd be watched carefully by trained medical professionals. I just wish he would have used the program like it was originally brought to him--tapper off after a few months. Oh well, if we live with the shoulda, coulda, wouldas, we'd never get anywhere in life. He ended up getting a few more suboxones, and he swears he'll tapper off of them properly, and if he can't do it, he agreed to the inhouse detox idea. I really do appreciate all of your encouraging words!


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 12:07 pm 
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A slow taper and/or in patient detox would of course be better... but it's unlikely he will have any heart problems as long as he is a young man in good health with no pre-existing heart condition. He should see a dr though to confirm he is up for this. BTW his boss should be educated to understand he isn't a "lifelong user" rather in lifelong recovery.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 3:32 am 
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Okay guys, we're back at square one. He finished the two he got today. They lasted him him like 2 weeks. For the past 3 or 4 days he was only taking an 8th of a pill (which was an 8mg). Today, he really didn't even have a full 8th though. He seems to be doing alright, but it kind of just hit me that here we go again! I'm going to look over your kind and encourage words again just to remind me that things will be okay! He told me not to mention it, I guess not to remind him that he has none left. I am hoping his body is used to barely having anything! I just pray that this whole thing will be over soon! Just thought I'd let yall know that here we go again! Maybe the take 2 will work better than the first!


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 9:40 am 
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Thanks for keeping us posted. Sounds like it will be rough and I am sure it will be rough for a while. Good luck.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:16 pm 
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Wewillsurvive, there's not a lot i can add i just feel compelled to respond because i understand the fear that you're both facing. But i'll tell you what, i don't think your husband could be any more fortunate than to be married to you. You have an amazing grasp of his condition and his mental state, considering that you haven't used and you are not him. It's rare to see that level of empathy.

I do wish he could do a longer taper, and/or negotiate with his employer. Because like you so clearly understand, attitude has a really lot to do with it and i just wish that he could be going into this more positively. Sometimes, that takes time.

Tell him to exercise as much as he can, considering he'll probably feel exhausted. That's the best medicine i know, it'll help get his natural endorphins working again and take his mind off his discomfort.

I wish you both all the best.

- joe


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:30 pm 
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Well, we're moving into day 2 of nothing, and last night was horrid! He didn't hardly sleep at all. He tossed and turned all night. I am just hoping and praying that nothing will break his drive, you know? I was talking to him earlier about it, and he told me not to mention anything about it, cause it may cause him to break. He said, he's on the edge, and just wants to rip the house up (I'm guessing looking for stuff). I'm thinking about making some sort of journal to track the days, and maybe put it on here or something for people that are going through the same thing. I don't know if that would be a good idea or not. I just hope he can stay the course for a little longer, and make it through the worse of the nightmare. Only taking an eighth of a pill (8mg), I'm hoping that maybe it won't get much worse, like all the vomit and all of that. He definitely is having a MAJOR mood change though for sure. He's just really short in everything he's done today. I've just kinda learned that he can stay in the bedroom, and me and my son will carry on our daily routine in the other rooms of the house.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:36 pm 
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Hey,

I am also in school to become an addiction counselor and have decided to quit using Suboxone at the end of this semester of school for similar reasons. This was my plan all along. I have a month off to deal with the adjustment and I know what will happen- I am ready.
In December, I detoxed off of Cymbalta. It was a really rough road, but I survived and am ready for the next phase. It is unfortunate, but many people in the field of chemical dependency counseling frown upon using medication while in recovery- it is such a load of crap. In my opinion, many recovering people become counselors and if Suboxone prevents them from having relapses, why should there be any question about it? Maybe someday the feelings will change, but for now your husband, me, and many others will have to adjust to the stigmas.
Tell him I am pulling for him. I will soon be doing the same thing he is now. I have gone through withdrawal enough in the past and feel confident to taper off completely now. It could not be much worse than what I experienced with Cymbalta- that was awful! Best Wishes.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 9:50 am 
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Well, I hope everything works out for you alright. It's definitely kicking my butt though. The poor guy just isn't sleeping, he has to constantly move his legs, it's just really sad and upseting. I just wonder how long withdrawal usually last. We are at day 3 with nothing, and his will is definitely getting weaker and weaker. I just want the worse to pass sooner rather than later, because I am exhausted! ha With him constantly moving in the night, and a child that barely sleeps anyways, I'm beat. I almost want to just tell him, Get back on them NOW! But hopefully, God will grant me the strength to hang in there for him, myself, and my son, and not have a nervous breakdown!!


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 10:11 am 
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I'm sorry to hear things are so rough for you guys right now. Your support of your husband is invaluable to him, please know that.
I'm still on suboxone so I can't offer any advice on how long to expect it to go on, but there are LOTS of posts here on that very subject.

I started a thread not too long ago about meditation/self-hypnosis under the Chronic Pain heading. Depending on how severe his withdrawals are he may not be able to focus enough to meditate. But if he can muster up even a little bit of motivation to try it, it just might help to calm him down. Even if it just gets his mind off it for a few moments, maybe it's worth it.
It's a really long post, quite detailed in fact.

Again, I don't know if he's in any position to try it, but I wanted to just throw the idea out there.

Good luck and keep us posted.

Melissa

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 1:53 am 
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Okay, so day three with no suboxone is over. He was pretty miserable for most of the day. He still didn't sleep much last night, tossing and turning. He laid in bed for most of the day. I ran out to the store for a while to get out of the house, and when I came home, he took a nap. When he woke up, he was like him old self again. He was actually talking to me. He said he feels better than he has in 3 days. Should I be worried? I mean, I want to trust him, but it's really hard to. I'm just afraid he got something while I was out. I dunno!?? I hope he really truly is feeling better, I just don't want the relief to come from taking more Suboxone. Thanks for any advice!


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 4:46 am 
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If he's using then you'll find out soon enough and i personally i wouldn't damn him for it because it was a tall order.

But if the w/d's have let up some, any relief feels pretty darn good so it's to be expected if he seems relatively chipper.

- joe


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 8:05 am 
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Given how bad he was feeling, that it was mid-day on day #3, that he took a nap yet had insomnia something terrible, and all the sudden felt like is old self........if it was me it would mean I found something. On day 7 or 8 it would make more sense because at that point you are super moody and one minute you are in withdrawal and miserable and the next you feel like there is hope and you feel ok. Now he got off at a much lower dose than I did so I say this with caution. ON the other hand, I had moments on or about days 5,6,7 where I actually said to my husband I felt good only to have the next day suck.

The true test will be if he sleeps without the restless legs and no help all the sudden. That doesn't go away for a couple weeks without medicine generally.

Finally, and this is only my opinion, don't be too hard on him if he did find something. You want him to be comfortable being honest with you and he needs support. This is about him and if ultimately the seeminigly worst thing happens and he comes to you and says he can't do this and will have to find a different job, then that is what he is going to have to do. I strongly believe secrets do keep us sick and this is one secret you don't want him keeping. I would ask him if he found something after making it clear it is ok if he did and you aren't going to judge him, just keep trying to help him. Unless you don't feel that way. You are entitled to your feelings. But even if he did use something, waiting 3 days between sub doses (if that is what he took) can just be considered another step in the weaning process really.

Just my opinion.
Cherie


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 3:11 pm 
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Welp, he definitely didn't sleep well at all last night, so I'm guessing my fears were for nothing. He tossed and turned all night again, and still feels pretty rotten I think. He says he feels a little better, but you can definitely tell he's not feeling even 50% of what he usually does. So I was definitely wrong, I'm glad I didn't make a big deal about it, I'm sure he would have felt worse.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 3:28 pm 
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I hate to be the doom and gloom end of things here, but he may very well still have taken something other than Suboxone. Remember, while Suboxone will keep him feeling better for 12-24 hours and perhaps even more, he would only get relief for about four hours from a "real" opiate. I would not spend a lot of time, energy and brain cells worrying about it, but you really should keep in mind that in the situation that he is in, he very well could be sneaking something here and there to help him out. Most unfortunately, the statistics would point to that happening at some point.

I've thought about this for a while now and have kept quiet, but really have to speak. Is this job really worth it? If all that happens is that he ends up back on Sub again, there is not really much harm done (other than him feeling like shit for multiple days). But, what if this puts him back to full-blown using again? I still don't understand how this boss of his has the power to mandate him off of a prescribed drug simply because "he wants him off of it". Does this guy own the company or something? Is this a company policy or does this boss somehow get to mandate his thoughts and beliefs to employees? I can fully understand how your husband may really want this job, but is the price too high? There are others on this board who decided that their sobriety was much more important than a job or license and they decided to let the job or license go in favor of their health.

I'm not living your life. I'm not a councilor or even an addict with a lot of experience. I'm just someone who has been following along with your posts and I really feel bad for what you and your husband are having to go through - FOR NO GOOD REASON!!! (in my opinion) This has the power to totally screw up everything - and only because some boss doesn't like it. Not because he will be less effective, not because he will do a worse job, not because of anything other than some other person's bias. I just hope it's all worth it. Above all, I really, really hope all of this works out for both of you. And if you do find that your husband is having to go back to taking anything, please let it be Suboxone! I really fear it could be something worse and more damaging. Above all, I really hope and pray for the best for both of you!


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