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 Post subject: So Far So Good ...
PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 5:13 pm 
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Doing fine on the subs. Have reduced orig. 24mg/day prescribed dose to about 4mg per day. :)


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 8:10 pm 
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Holy Crap, you reduced your dose from 24mg to 4mg in a week, WOW!! You had a pretty hefty pain pill habit too. I'm stunned you were able to reduce so quickly, I'm amazed. Good for you!

Do you plan on staying at that reduced dose for a while or are you planning on getting off Suboxone soon?

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 9:53 pm 
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Wow...
I am also very impressed with you being able to maintain on 4mg per day. I didn't have near the habit you did and I am comfortable at 8.
Sounds like you are really ready to be serious about quitting everything!
Good job SI!


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 10:01 pm 
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SometimeIdiot wrote:
He said he’d never heard of anyone taking that much per day. Am I really the only one who’s abused that much?


It's not a contest, so in answer to your question, I will just say, no, you are not the only one.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 6:43 am 
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Hey Romeo & qhorsegal! Thank you so much for your support and encouragement. :) It means a lot to me.

As I write this, it’s actually only been 5 full days since I started on sub (started Monday evening, April 23), so I’m wondering if it’s too early to tell the dosage at which I will stabilize. From what little reading I’ve done, for a heavy, longtime hydro abuser like me, it could take weeks for the hydro to completely leave (metabolize) my body. So I’m guessing the sub is still masking the hydro w/d symptoms. Many here have reported an almost immediate feeling of being clear-headed after starting sub. That hasn’t been the case for me. Although I feel much more clear-headed now than when using hydro, I still feel a very light to light “heavy-lidded” opiate buzz (hope that makes sense!). But that “buzz” seems to be lessening a bit as the days go by – maybe that’s due to reducing hydro levels in my body?

Romeo, I’d like to stop sub ASAP, but haven’t set any deadlines for myself at this early stage of treatment. I think it’s best to take it day by day. In 2-3 weeks, I hope to have a much better idea of my stable sub dose, and will take it from there.

qhorsegal, “maintain” is a great way to describe what I’m trying to do with the sub. With the reading I’ve done, I’m worried about PAWS and the cravings that go with it. When I started sub, I decided to take as little as possible to make the w/d and cravings tolerable. Thursday I was able to feel pretty good at 3mg and still felt pretty good on Friday taking only 2mg. But yesterday I needed 4 mg to get back to that “decent” feeling. Aside from some headaches and overall lack of energy, I really haven’t felt any w/d symptoms at any sub dosage, for which I am thankful. But I have felt some hydro cravings, which I’ve been able to tolerate. To prepare myself for PAWS cravings, I’m trying to keep the sub dosage low enough so that I feel cravings everyday and learn to live with them. Of course, it’s easy now, because I have the safety net of the sub to use if I can’t cope with the cravings. The real test will be dealing with the cravings without the sub safety net. But anyway, that’s my philosophy in using sub.

It’s late, and I need to get some sleep. I want to break the cycle of all-nighters that I was in when I was using. Will try to write more later.

Thanks again, Romeo and qhorsegal. And thanks again also to everyone else who has posted with their advice and support. All of you have really made a difference in my life.

Namaste,
SI


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 1:22 pm 
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Sometime - That's great that such a low dose has worked for you, considering the amount you were previously taking. Your situation sounds a little like mine, was when I first got on sub. My doctor prescribed me 24mg/day, and I only took 6mg the first week, because that is all I needed to take away my cravings and withdrawal. I wanted to make sure I was on the lowest dosage possible so it would be easier for me to taper eventually. But my plan has changed since starting treatment, because subs have helped me with other issues that I wasn't expecting, like pain and depression.

You mentioned having depression in your original post. Have you noticed the sub helping in that area at all? I could tell on the very first day that the sub made a huge difference in my overall outlook on life, and it has helped with my depression tremendously.

You also spoke of being afraid of just substituting one drug for another. Even if we are switching from one drug to another, for me, there are many benefits to being on Suboxone that were not there when I was taking hydrocodone. You might find these to be benefits for you as well.

For one, I am not obsessively popping handfuls of pills every couple of hours. I do not constantly count my subs like I did my pills, to make sure I have enough to last me until the next time I score. I know I will have enough to get me through until my next doctor visit because I am able to take the same amount of sub every day, and then forget about it.

Also, I no longer have to worry about getting caught and going to jail for possessing an illegal Rx drug that I do not have a valid prescription for. And even though I don't have insurance and subs are expensive, I am still spending less money than I was spending on hydrocodone before.

Either way, I would eventually have to go through withdrawals, whether it be from hydro or from buprenorphine. I would rather it be bupe because I think it should be easier to taper off of since there is no 'high' reward when I take it. I could never stick to a taper on hydro because I knew I would get high if I took a little more. With subs, this doesn't happen.

The longer I am on Suboxone, the more time I have to get used to living a life without having to feel high. It has helped me get out of many habits I had when I was actively using.

Thinking about it from this perspective might help you feel a little more comfortable about being on one drug to get off of another. Maybe explaining it to your wife in these terms (if you ever choose to do so), would help her understand why you have chosen to go this route. Yes, it is another drug you will be taking, but it does not have the same effect or consequences as a full agonist opiate. To me, it just isn't the same as being in active addiction. I feel like I have gotten my life back and I am able to enjoy things now that I just couldn't before.


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 Post subject: Sounds Good
PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 3:07 pm 
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Taurus,

I totally agree with all you said about Suboxone and it being another drug to take. The only person I can look at is me. I have been on Sub for almost two years now and just a year ago I just knew I'd be off of it by now. Well, things don't always happen the way you think they should.

Today I feel more vulnerable to slipping than I did a year and a half ago. What happened? Well, three surgeries and two months of radiation to my mouth and throat for one. Got several scripts for Lortab and Norco during my first couple of surgeries and was able to behave for several weeks. After that, I felt them and that was my downfall. For the life of me I just could not not take handfuls and of course the guilt came roaring back.

Once I got back on to my regular Suboxone treatment, all went well. Tried once more after that to get that full agonist high but couldn't get it no matter how many I took. Realized that I'd need to be off the Sub for a minimum of three weeks to feel the pain meds and no way was I going to do that.

Where that leaves me now is, back at square one trying to just manage my normal Sub dose w/o taking more. Yep, started abusing my Sub too to get that little buzz going. The good part is, seeing pain pills don't tempt me now. My wife has a script and I could care less. I know for them to do anything I'd need to stop the Sub or taper down so low that maybe I'd feel a little buzz and that is out of the question. Plus, I feel so much better on Suboxone than regular opiates.

In order for me to get real recovery I'm going to need to go back to AA or NA or any other support group where I can get some help in person. What would be really great is finding a personal addiction coach who would be able to work with me on a daily basis. That is an expensive way to get recovery and one I can't afford. A nice idea isn't it?

I am surprised I wrote this down. Figured it was time to get honest and start this recovery business.

Suboxone may just be another drug to take instead of pain pills but I really don't think I would have survived without it. To me it is still a wonder drug and I am grateful to have it. When the time is right, I'll taper and jump. But not before I have a good foundation of recovery underneath me.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 4:44 pm 
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SometimeIdiot wrote:
Hey Romeo & qhorsegal! Thank you so much for your support and encouragement. :) It means a lot to me.

As I write this, it’s actually only been 5 full days since I started on sub (started Monday evening, April 23), so I’m wondering if it’s too early to tell the dosage at which I will stabilize. From what little reading I’ve done, for a heavy, longtime hydro abuser like me, it could take weeks for the hydro to completely leave (metabolize) my body. So I’m guessing the sub is still masking the hydro w/d symptoms. Many here have reported an almost immediate feeling of being clear-headed after starting sub. That hasn’t been the case for me. Although I feel much more clear-headed now than when using hydro, I still feel a very light to light “heavy-lidded” opiate buzz (hope that makes sense!). But that “buzz” seems to be lessening a bit as the days go by – maybe that’s due to reducing hydro levels in my body?

Romeo, I’d like to stop sub ASAP, but haven’t set any deadlines for myself at this early stage of treatment. I think it’s best to take it day by day. In 2-3 weeks, I hope to have a much better idea of my stable sub dose, and will take it from there.

qhorsegal, “maintain” is a great way to describe what I’m trying to do with the sub. With the reading I’ve done, I’m worried about PAWS and the cravings that go with it. When I started sub, I decided to take as little as possible to make the w/d and cravings tolerable. Thursday I was able to feel pretty good at 3mg and still felt pretty good on Friday taking only 2mg. But yesterday I needed 4 mg to get back to that “decent” feeling. Aside from some headaches and overall lack of energy, I really haven’t felt any w/d symptoms at any sub dosage, for which I am thankful. But I have felt some hydro cravings, which I’ve been able to tolerate. To prepare myself for PAWS cravings, I’m trying to keep the sub dosage low enough so that I feel cravings everyday and learn to live with them. Of course, it’s easy now, because I have the safety net of the sub to use if I can’t cope with the cravings. The real test will be dealing with the cravings without the sub safety net. But anyway, that’s my philosophy in using sub.

It’s late, and I need to get some sleep. I want to break the cycle of all-nighters that I was in when I was using. Will try to write more later.

Thanks again, Romeo and qhorsegal. And thanks again also to everyone else who has posted with their advice and support. All of you have really made a difference in my life.

Namaste,
SI





Dear Sometimes,

Please do not take this in the wrong way...I am not an authority on sub..this is my opinion only and certainly not a fact.

That said, I think you are making a big mistake on how you are taking your sub. The reason you did not feel immediately clear headed after taking your sub is because you only took 2mg. I was a big hydro user like you and I took 8 mg. the first time. In 30 minutes I felt wonderful ,normal, good.

I do agree that 24mg. is probably not needed, but you hovering around two to four mg. is not letting the sub do its job and fill up your mu receptors to ward off the hydros...Why would you want to feel some craving? ...and why the hurry to taper off this drug. You are an addict..( I think you admitted to that)..and this sub can save your life. ...but..in my opinion....you should go up to at least 8mg. , maybe even 12..for a while...let the drug do its job...get rid of your cravings and bad feeings..get the normal feeling that we have lost taking our doc....Stay on the sub for a while...get your life together and practice non addictive habits and learn how to live life on life's terms...this is hard to do..I have been on subutex for 2 years now...and I am still not ready to get off...I would...in time..be right back out there getting my norcos...
I know me..am honest with myself and know what I would do..I am no going back to that kind of life...I was there for too long..too many years...and now I can go and do things without having o worry if I have enough pills to get me through.

You are taking such a low dose...it is acting like an opiate..not an anti agonist, which is what it is...This drug is a narcotic,yes, but it is not like the hydros...we don't go out searching for drugs anymore..don;t have cravings,,don't even think about it..We are finally free from the slavery of addiction. Don't you want that??? Then please increase your dose an stop these feelings you are having..if you think that is going to help you stay off your doc, then think again...The people wh get on sub and taper off quickly have a high relapse rate...(I do think that is..a fact per Dr. j)

I suggest you get the "trading one drug for another" out of you mind...and take the sub correctly so it can at least help you. What you are doing now is dangerous to just going back out there..(my opinion only)..

An addict is an addict is an addict...you did not become this way overnight..and you will not get over it overnight either..

I do really care about you and your progress..but trying to take the lowest dose possible from where you are coming from will just not work...I think you are going about this all wrong..
increase your dose
take it regularly
do not skip a day
and say on it for some time so that you will have time to grow and heal...

I do not know if I am the only one that feels this way..but I think I am right.

Take care..and keep us posted...

Slipper

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 5:45 pm 
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Just try not to limit yourself to a low dosage to start... you can always taper later. I actually started on way too high of a dose for my habit, but the doctors wanted to be sure. In the end, all it cost me was another month or two of time. That isn't a bad thing either. The more time you are not using the better.

I doubt I would have cleaned up my act without Suboxone. I am 99 percent sure I would not be able to say that I have not used a full agonist opiate and other hard narcotics in a year and a half.. no benzos, no coke, no opiates have entered my system since starting Sub and since getting off of it.... man that sounds good to say.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 6:18 pm 
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Hey Mr. Idiot (HA!!),

I understand your wanting to be off of Suboxone ASAP, but you also sound like you're willing to maintain yourself on it for at least a little while, so that's encouraging to hear. Our addictions didn't grow to overtake our lives overnight and our recovery doesn't happen overnight either. Our thinking, our actions.....our everything got severely out of whack while in active addiction and it may take a good bit of time to sort all that crap out and get things back in line. Consider giving yourself plenty of time on Suboxone to get these things done. (IMO, you're the only one who can decide what "plenty of time" is for you)

Good luck as you move forward with your recovery.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 3:54 am 
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What can I say, you guys and gals are the best! I carefully read and appreciate each and every one of your thoughts and posts.

Although I wish I could, I don’t have the time to reply to each of your posts in detail without writing a 10,000 word essay! Let me just say that I’m just trying to “find my way back” and this is all very new to me. While it is true that in using sub, I think I’m substituting one drug for another and I don’t like that, I am crystal clear on the fact that my “new drug” is infinitely better than the old one and has probably saved my life. I am not going to stop taking sub until I feel I am ready, in consultation with my doctor and psychotherapist. So if that takes 1 month, 3 months, 6 months or 3 years, so be it. A bit more background about me so perhaps my “push” to reduce sub dosage and stop using sub ASAP is more understandable:

In high school and college, I experimented with and used a huge variety of intoxicants, pretty much all that are commonly used and abused, including heroin (smoking and snorting, but never injecting) and cocaine, both snorting and smoking freebase (“crack” as it’s called nowadays). I’d say I was high on something 75%+ of the time I was in college. Freebase was by far the most addicting for me. We’d go on 2-3 day freebase binges, and for those of you who have smoked crack you know what I mean about its addictive qualities. I remember using H for one week straight. Throughout all this I managed to achieve a 3.5 GPA, play collegiate sports, and write a book which was published. After I got my college degree, guess what happened?

I walked away from all that shit and never looked back. Didn’t miss it one bit. Proceeded to have a reasonably successful business career.

As an adult I had a few sports injuries and surgeries that were painful enough to require opiate pain killers (hydro, dilaudid, codeine). I used those meds pretty much according to the prescription directions, and never had cravings after my injuries healed. Years later a friend of mine who was in the medical industry gave me a large box of 5/500 Vicodin samples that doctors would give to patients. My career was very stressful, and almost every day when I got home from work, I’d take half a Vicodin (2.5mg) and relax. I used like that for months, and when the box was empty, that was that! I simply moved on with life and didn’t seek more Vicodin or other painkillers, and didn’t substitute the Vic with alcohol or any other substance.

My addiction started in 2007, with me taking a small handful of my dad’s Vics every day. Eventually I had to buy on the street because my habit got so bad.

So what changed in my life such that I fell into hydro addiction now? Why couldn’t I walk away this time from the opiates after using them to relax? The only major change in my life that my therapist and I can identify is moderate to severe depression (almost certainly triggered by a failing and quite noxious (for me) marriage). My depression led to a need to anesthetize myself to dull/escape from huge psychic pain, and it all went downhill from there …

In a nutshell, my “wake up” moment came a couple of months ago when the reality hit me that I was going to divorce my wife and our child was going to grow up in a broken home, with a mommy who hated daddy. Even though the odds are 99% that the divorce will happen, that didn’t change the truly jarring nature of the realization. I found myself thinking “What the hell am I doing?” …“What the hell am I doing?” … “What the fuck am I doing?” :shock:

I’ve always had very strong willpower. When I’ve set my mind on a goal, I’ve nearly always achieved it. It’s allowed me to bull my way to achieving certain life goals, play sports through quite a bit of pain without painkillers, and it’s probably what allowed me to walk away from all that incredibly stupid and risky drug abuse in college. My therapist thinks I walked away from H and freebase simply because I had other things to do in life and recognized (consciously or subconsciously) that I didn’t have the time to mess around any more with drugs, because I had more important things to do in life. No doubt about it, I was very lucky that I didn’t turn into a junkie in college.

I’m not bragging about my willpower. It’s just a part of my being. I have plenty of faults and foibles like any other human being. And like any other “good” characteristic such as strong willpower, there are downsides. In my case, the awareness of my willpower led to extreme arrogance – arrogance that nothing could “beat me” if I set my mind to it. Well we know how that approach turned out! :lol: Fortunately, I realized I needed to do something and had just enough willpower to seek help with a psychotherapist and to taper down from 800-1,000 mg of hydro to 200-300mg in a couple of weeks.

So you see, part of recovering the “old me” is learning to use my willpower without being arrogant about it. As I write this, I’m a broken and humiliated man, and I’m thankful for feeling this way because it was needed to begin recovery. I accept the fact that I may need to use sub for a long, long time, but I don’t think that means I have to treat that possibility as inevitability. So for me, in reacquainting myself with the old me, it’s in my nature to want to fight whatever challenge faces me. With the guidance of my therapist, I choose to “fight” the use of any opiate, including sub.

Well, I feel like I’ve droned on and on, and have no idea if anything written above makes sense to any of you, so I should probably stop here. Will write more later and will try to respond to each of you.

I remain very grateful for all your advice and support,

SI


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:25 am 
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SometimeIdiot wrote:
What can I say, you guys and gals are the best! I carefully read and appreciate each and every one of your thoughts and posts.

Although I wish I could, I don’t have the time to reply to each of your posts in detail without writing a 10,000 word essay! Let me just say that I’m just trying to “find my way back” and this is all very new to me. While it is true that in using sub, I think I’m substituting one drug for another and I don’t like that, I am crystal clear on the fact that my “new drug” is infinitely better than the old one and has probably saved my life. I am not going to stop taking sub until I feel I am ready, in consultation with my doctor and psychotherapist. So if that takes 1 month, 3 months, 6 months or 3 years, so be it. A bit more background about me so perhaps my “push” to reduce sub dosage and stop using sub ASAP is more understandable:

In high school and college, I experimented with and used a huge variety of intoxicants, pretty much all that are commonly used and abused, including heroin (smoking and snorting, but never injecting) and cocaine, both snorting and smoking freebase (“crack” as it’s called nowadays). I’d say I was high on something 75%+ of the time I was in college. Freebase was by far the most addicting for me. We’d go on 2-3 day freebase binges, and for those of you who have smoked crack you know what I mean about its addictive qualities. I remember using H for one week straight. Throughout all this I managed to achieve a 3.5 GPA, play collegiate sports, and write a book which was published. After I got my college degree, guess what happened?

I walked away from all that shit and never looked back. Didn’t miss it one bit. Proceeded to have a reasonably successful business career.

As an adult I had a few sports injuries and surgeries that were painful enough to require opiate pain killers (hydro, dilaudid, codeine). I used those meds pretty much according to the prescription directions, and never had cravings after my injuries healed. Years later a friend of mine who was in the medical industry gave me a large box of 5/500 Vicodin samples that doctors would give to patients. My career was very stressful, and almost every day when I got home from work, I’d take half a Vicodin (2.5mg) and relax. I used like that for months, and when the box was empty, that was that! I simply moved on with life and didn’t seek more Vicodin or other painkillers, and didn’t substitute the Vic with alcohol or any other substance.

My addiction started in 2007, with me taking a small handful of my dad’s Vics every day. Eventually I had to buy on the street because my habit got so bad.

So what changed in my life such that I fell into hydro addiction now? Why couldn’t I walk away this time from the opiates after using them to relax? The only major change in my life that my therapist and I can identify is moderate to severe depression (almost certainly triggered by a failing and quite noxious (for me) marriage). My depression led to a need to anesthetize myself to dull/escape from huge psychic pain, and it all went downhill from there …

In a nutshell, my “wake up” moment came a couple of months ago when the reality hit me that I was going to divorce my wife and our child was going to grow up in a broken home, with a mommy who hated daddy. Even though the odds are 99% that the divorce will happen, that didn’t change the truly jarring nature of the realization. I found myself thinking “What the hell am I doing?” …“What the hell am I doing?” … “What the fuck am I doing?” :shock:

I’ve always had very strong willpower. When I’ve set my mind on a goal, I’ve nearly always achieved it. It’s allowed me to bull my way to achieving certain life goals, play sports through quite a bit of pain without painkillers, and it’s probably what allowed me to walk away from all that incredibly stupid and risky drug abuse in college. My therapist thinks I walked away from H and freebase simply because I had other things to do in life and recognized (consciously or subconsciously) that I didn’t have the time to mess around any more with drugs, because I had more important things to do in life. No doubt about it, I was very lucky that I didn’t turn into a junkie in college.

I’m not bragging about my willpower. It’s just a part of my being. I have plenty of faults and foibles like any other human being. And like any other “good” characteristic such as strong willpower, there are downsides. In my case, the awareness of my willpower led to extreme arrogance – arrogance that nothing could “beat me” if I set my mind to it. Well we know how that approach turned out! :lol: Fortunately, I realized I needed to do something and had just enough willpower to seek help with a psychotherapist and to taper down from 800-1,000 mg of hydro to 200-300mg in a couple of weeks.

So you see, part of recovering the “old me” is learning to use my willpower without being arrogant about it. As I write this, I’m a broken and humiliated man, and I’m thankful for feeling this way because it was needed to begin recovery. I accept the fact that I may need to use sub for a long, long time, but I don’t think that means I have to treat that possibility as inevitability. So for me, in reacquainting myself with the old me, it’s in my nature to want to fight whatever challenge faces me. With the guidance of my therapist, I choose to “fight” the use of any opiate, including sub.

Well, I feel like I’ve droned on and on, and have no idea if anything written above makes sense to any of you, so I should probably stop here. Will write more later and will try to respond to each of you.

I remain very grateful for all your advice and support,

SI







Dear Sometimes,

Please don't feel like you have to respond to every post!!! What a job that would be!! Makes me tired just thinking about it.
We do not expect that...at all...WE just like to here from you occasionally to see how you are doing..a short post if you want..to let us know you are still around..

I appreciate your latest post...and realize you were able to give up drugs in high school and college...so was I..just like you.
Somewhere down the road something happened in my life to cause me to start taking pain pills and increase my dosage until I ended up here...just like you. I am glad you have willpower..that is good...but in my opinion will not keep y ou off your doc's in the end. Dr. J on this forum likes to say there are 3 choices..complete abstinence AA orNA with complete abstinence, sub, or death. I think he is pretty right on there.

My worry about you is not taking enough of the drug now ..in the beginning to ward off symtoms...and if you read the posts above me you were getting the same advice from them..you must take enough to get away from cravings..withdrawal..depression..and the like..or you just might as well not take it. In that respect I don't understand why you are taking so little of the drug...you are also playing doctor with yourself and the first thing we addicts need to remember is when it comes to our addiction we do not know shit!!!!!
I could go on and on...but you get my point here...I will not post again about it...you either will or you won't. I hope you will take enough to ward off all your symptoms...so that you can heal.
Best of luck to you
and remember...I do not expect an answer from you for this post!!!
Slipper

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"For evil to flourish, all that is needed is for good people to do nothing." >> Edmund Burke


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:36 am 
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Thank God for the gift of complete and utter desperation because that's usually what it takes to get us addicts to see the light. Being broken is nothing to be ashamed of, now that you're broken, you have a golden opportunity to put yourself back together correctly and it sounds like that's what you're about to do.

My addiction spanned 26 years of everyday drug abuse. Started with weed, hash and LSD (about 8 years there), graduated to coke and crack (about 5 years there) and then I capped it off with 13 years of opiate abuse. 3 of those years were spent on Suboxone, then I quit that, made it 9.5 months on shear willpower and lapsed. Like you, I have willpower in spades. When I set my mind to something, you better get out of the way because come hell or high water, I'm gonna do it.....but willpower alone is not enough to beat addiction. That's why recovery is so important. Recovery is where we really learn how to live life without drugs.

It's wonderful to hear that you're working with a therapist. I worked with a therapist during my time on Suboxone too, except I didn't pay him near as much attention as I should have. I hope you really listen to your therapist and do the work suggested of you, it'll make your life easier in the long run.

Whatever you do, don't give up. Keep fighting to get YOU back and it will eventually happen.

_________________
Be kind to yourself. Our character defects do NOT define who we are!


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:11 am 
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Sometime (I feel bad and cannot address you as 'idiot'...LOL) - I never used heroin, but I did have a year long addiction to crack, so yes, I understand what you mean about it's addictive qualities. Smoked it every single day for a year straight. It was definitely very different and messed me up worse mentally than any other drug I've done. I was always able to keep my mind pretty straight, get good grades, and do well at any job while on the other drugs. But man,,, crack is wack!! I quit cold turkey and thought I'd never get my mind back. The withdrawals, for me, were nothing like opiate withdrawal. There were some physical symptoms, but it was mostly mental.

Thanks for sharing more of your history. That's awesome that you wrote a book. I would never have the patience to sit down and focus on something for the length of time it takes to write an entire book.

Keep us posted on how you are doing. And you don't have to feel bad for droning on and on...a lot of us do that. You write as much as you need!


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 3:34 pm 
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[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3Nnrj6i9Vk[/youtube]

Hi all,

Music has always been an important part of my life. It can cover the full spectrum of human emotions, and like humans, it has the capacity to inspire and heal, as well as to hurt and do damage. It can be loving, or it can be hateful. Etc. I’ve been putting together playlists of music to help inspire me as I begin my journey of sobriety, to listen to as I work and relax. I’m not a big Sheryl Crow fan, but I’ve found the lyrics to this song to be very relevant to me at this stage in my life.

Music lyrics are so personal. I’ve never found the lyrics of any song to fit perfectly with me, my life situation, mood, etc. That’s why I’ve been writing my own music and lyrics lately. But some songs and lyrics have come really close to capturing how I’m feeling or what I’m experiencing. The lyrics to “I Shall Believe” probably only makes 100% sense to the person who wrote them. It’s obviously a deeply personal song. But when I shift the orientation of the lyrics and think of certain phrases therein as metaphors for my situation, then this song makes perfect sense to me and my current experience.

For me, this song is about the junkie in a person speaking to the “normal” person that junkie once was before being brought down by addiction. It’s a cry for help to one’s former self. It’s a hearfelt appeal from the junkie for self-forgiveness. “Lay your hands over me” and “No one heals me like you and you hold the key” is a recognition that healing must come from within, that no motivation to change is stronger or more compelling than the desire to change for one’s own sake. “That I only come home … When I'm so all alone” is an allusion to those all-to-fleeting, brief moments during the depths of addiction when the addict understands what he/she must do to get out of addiction (but of course is too weak, deluded, etc., to actually take proper action). “That not everything is gonna be the way you think it ought to be” is actually one of those rare instances where the junkie’s lucidity actually trumps the insight of the “normal” former person. The junkie is telling his/her old self that not all things can be controlled in life, that he/she must learn to accept such things and not turn to drugs to change them or cope with them. "Open the door and show me your face tonight" is the addict's expression of hope to see a glimpse of what a better life can be.

Maybe this song will have some meaning and inspiration to you. It’s a very sad song, but it’s also a song of hope – I Shall Believe.

Namaste,

SI



I Shall Believe

Come to me now
And lay your hands over me
Even if it's a lie
Say it will be alright
And I shall believe
I'm broken in two
And I know you're on to me
That I only come home
When I'm so all alone
But I do believe

That not everything is gonna be the way
You think it ought to be
It seems like every time I try to make it right
It all comes down on me
Please say honestly you won't give up on me
And I shall believe
And I shall believe

Open the door
And show me your face tonight
I know it's true
No one heals me like you
And you hold the key

Never again
would I turn away from you
I'm so heavy tonight
But your love is alright
And I do believe

That not everything is gonna be the way
You think it ought to be
It seems like every time I try to make it right
It all comes down on me
Please say honestly
You won't give up on me
And I shall believe
I shall believe
And I shall believe.


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 Post subject: A Haiku For Us
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:05 pm 
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I've also been trying to write some poetry to capture my feelings and experiences in my new journey. Some of it is very personal and not to be shared, but here is a haiku (in traditional 5-7-5 Japanese on sound units) that I wrote for us here on the forum. I hope it makes sense to you!

with feathers quite bright
we once soared thoughout our lives
now we are molting


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 Post subject: UPDATE ...
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 2:54 am 
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[What, nobody liked my haiku? Okay, maybe I'm not a poet after all ... :lol: ]

Hey Folks,

Finally have a moment to do an update and respond to a few of your great, supportive posts. I’ll start by sounding like a broken record: I am very appreciative of all your support and advice!

I’m a couple days into my third week on sub. The past 5 days I’ve taken 2mg every other day and have been okay with that, some cravings, some discomfort, but nothing unbearable. I’m hoping that by the end of week 3, all the hydro and its metabolites will be gone from my body (I’m very skinny right now, nearly 25% under my ideal weight, an unfortunate byproduct of my drug abuse and depression, but on the plus side, have virtually no body fat for the hydro metabolites to hide in) and then the remnants of hydro w/d symptoms will be gone and I’ll only be dealing with future w/d issues for sub as I continue to taper.

I took slipper’s specific worries about sub underdosing and variable daily intake very seriously, and have closely and honestly consulted with my psychotherapist and now two addiction doctors about my sub use. In essence, they’ve all said “go for it!” and have given the green light for me to take as little sub as I can tolerate. Now that the physical hydro w/d symptoms should be in their final, weak stages, they’ve all agreed that it’s going to become a mental battle for me and that, as long as I’ve got my warm, fuzzy sub “blanket” within arm’s reach and there’s no hydro in the house or quickly available (all true in my case – I lied to my hydro supplier and said I had liver damage and can’t take hydro anymore), I should feel free to battle my addiction on those terms. So to slipper and the rest of you who have so kindly expressed concern, things look good and I’m not doing (and will not do) anything that hasn’t been blessed by my doctors.

I am taking this recovery very seriously, and like I said in an earlier post, am quite prepared to take as much sub and stay on it as long as needed. Simply put, if I am able, I want a 100% opiate-free life. As all of you know, bupe is an incredibly powerful narcotic, apparently between 25-40 times stronger than hydro. Yes, it’s difficult to make a firm comparison because of the different bio-equivalencies of bupe (“imperfect” molecule fit with the brain’s opiate receptors) and hydro (“perfect” fit :( ), but even when I was taking 4mg of sub per day, if we use the bottom end of the strength multiplier, that was roughly equivalent to ingesting ten 10/325 hydro pills, or 100mg of hydro – that’s a very strong daily opiate dose! Bottom line: given my psychological makeup, my therapist agrees that it’s important for me to struggle to be opiate free as part of my recovery plan, so that’s my goal. Time will tell. I am taking things day by day and making no assumptions about my future, other than planning to try hard every day in the future to continue to recover. I’m no warrior like VariTech and many others here. In fact, I’m pretty much a wimp. But I gather great strength from your experiences, struggles, victories, love and support (thanks again!!! :) ).

To Taurus – My depression has alleviated a bit, but I’m not sure if it’s the sub, a currently more civil relationship with my (ex)wife, or merely that because I’m on a firm course to regain a healthy life, I thus feel better about myself. Maybe it’s a combo of all three. My doc is ready to prescribe anti-d’s, but since I’ve experienced some depression relief, I’m not going to start them quite yet. My hope is to climb out of the depression with exercise, a drug-free, productive life, and a resolved domestic situation (either amicable divorce or reconciliation). My estranged wife has agreed to counseling, so that’s a plus.

To Romeo – As I hope you can see from my earlier comments, I am totally okay with using sub for however long it takes. It’s clear that in certain areas of my life, I know very little and need help from trained professionals, but I do know this: using sub is a far superior way of life than where I was even only a month ago! Couldn’t agree more with your observation that willpower alone is not enough to beat addiction. My therapist is very good, and he’s been spot-on with his predictions and analysis thus far, and has helped me a great deal already. Whether or not I successfully taper off sub, I will be seeing this guy for quite a while, and won’t stop until both he and I are absolutely confident that I’ve developed the tools, self-awareness, attitude and understanding to proceed with life, however long that takes, years if need be.

To slipper – I know you don’t expect a reply to your posts, but I want to thank you so much for your concern and compassion and tell you that I’ve accepted your comments completely in the spirit in which you made them, and know you care very much about my progress. In fact, it was you who prompted me to consult a second addiction doctor to make sure I was getting good medical advice, so I hope that convinces you that I took your comments very, very seriously. I am indeed an addict, and in a very relevant sense will always be. I accept that and will always have to accept that if I’m to avoid a relapse. I’m also aware of the higher relapse rates for short-term sub users, and seriously discussed this specific concern in detail with both addiction doctors and my therapist. I told all of them up front that I would happily take and stay on whatever sub dose they thought was best for me.

My posts are already long enough ( :oops: ), so I won’t repeat what I’ve already written. I just hope that, disagree or not, you can understand why I’m doing what I’m doing. Every addict is different, every addict is a unique individual with his/her own story, but one thing does seem universal for all of us who are deadly serious about our addictions – we all want to be free of full-agonist opiates. To sum it up, it just may be that I’m taking a somewhat unusual path towards that goal. At its first level of importance, the sub is doing exactly what I need it to do: keep me off hydro. Secondarily, by using a sub dose that doesn’t 100% relieve my cravings and hydro w/d symptoms, in my therapist’s opinion I am directly attacking the core, non-depression-related issue that led to my addiction: the belief that I could use/abuse hydro without adverse consequences. Such dangerous arrogance must be totally destroyed, and given my psychology and mental makeup, I must pound away on it every day, and for me the effective way to do that is to force myself to live with the consequences of my deluded conceit: to have to cope daily with cravings and physical discomfort (the now-waning hydro w/d symptoms). I don’t like experiencing cravings and discomfort, and being the wimp that I am, would far prefer to relieve all those feelings and symptoms. But it seems like a very low sub dose (considering the level of my DOC abuse) turns out to be the most therapeutic way to use sub.

Hope the foregoing makes sense. Even if you still disagree with my approach to recovery, I hope you will continue with your support. It means a lot to me!

To All – Thanks again for everything. It’s impossible to adequately convey what your support has meant to me.

In closing, a word about scruffy. I know some concerns were initially expressed about his sincerity with all his PMs to members, but IMHO he has nothing but the best of intentions for all of us who want to recover from addiction, and I think his thread about the ABCs of induction prompts a very important dialog about the intended use of sub at the time of induction and the need for the patient to be well informed in advance of inducting.

SI (aka Mr. Idiot)


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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 9:28 am 
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SI - I don't think there is anything wrong with your plan for recovery. It sounds like you have thought this through quite a bit, and have good communication with your therapist. I'm glad that your depression has lifted some. I know the sub is the biggest factor in my depression being alleviated, but you brought up some interesting points.

Sub treatment has finally allowed me to feel some relief from all the anxiety and chaos that comes along with being in active addiction (seeking out the drug, worrying about running out, stressing on what I'm doing to my body, etc.). That in itself is a huge relief, and I'm sure a big part of why I have found myself less depressed. As a result of this, my relationships have improved as well, leaving me feeling more settled in general, which is another thing that I'm sure is contributing to my happier state of mind.

As long as your plan for recovery makes sense to you and your doctor, and it's keeping you out of active addiction, I think that's all that matters...since that is the whole point of all of this. Thanks for the update and glad to hear you are doing well!


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 Post subject: UPDATE -- OFF SUB NOW?
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 5:27 pm 
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Hi Folks:

An update. May 12 (Sat.) was the last day I took my 2mg sub dose. On Monday, I decided to skip my 2mg dose and see how it went. No problems, so I’m now on day 3 of no sub (all with my doctor’s blessing, I should add). So far, no real cravings and no w/d symptoms – I think the hydro is now out of my system.

Question: has anyone read any science which talks about how long it takes for physical dependence on sub to occur? If I can avoid using any more sub, then that means my total time on sub was less than three weeks and that I ingested less than about 80mg of sub total over that time period. Enough for physical addiction to grab me? Any thoughts?

Last night I was a bit restless in bed, but finally got to sleep after some tossing and turning, avoiding the need to take a benzo to sleep.

It's now day by day. If I feel cravings, I'll take 1mg (2mg if really needed) and go from there. Not kidding myself about the continued battle. Still doing serious therapy to turn my life around and reorient myself and my brain. Still pretty depressed, with a lack of energy and drive.

SI


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 6:29 pm 
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Your doctor sounds like a very good one. I do not have any specific times for physical dependence but I have never seen anything to suggest that any opiate escapes the higher dose/more time equation. They are different, but none escape the reality of longer used and more used equals more physical dependency.

Buprinorphine escapes the "high" associated with the full agonists, but has a very high "affinity" for the receptors, kicking most other drugs out if there is a contest. (thus, precipitated withdrawal).

I am probably not telling you anything you do not know.

I have just never seen any research on what "attraction" might mean for physical dependency.

It probably does mean something.

S


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