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PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 6:00 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2009 2:11 am
Posts: 426
Location: Fishers, Indiana
First let me say how reluctant I was about taking an opiate medication to manage opiate addiction. When I went into treatment I had no experience with any kind of recovery programs. I was so utterly and completely lost, hopeless, and scared. I'd tried time and time again to stop by tapering or changing drugs, one time I even had the bright idea of using stimulants to try and detox myself.....I stopped for about a month after a long and painful withdrawal period then soon starting using both stimulants and opiates again. I've always had major social anxiety and been very introverted, so I convinced myself I needed drugs to be and feel normal. I thought they allowed me to be more outgoing, pickup girls, do better in school, not be so scatter brained, and function as what I percieved to be normal. I started using at the age of 14 and so like all of us it was a major part of my identity. When I finally made it into treatment after losing many important relationships, thousands and thousands of dollars that I was usually stealing from others, car accidents, near suicide attempts, overdoses (I'm sure you guys all know the drill) I just didn't know where to start. The Dr. in detox talked to me about going on Suboxone but I told him I honestly didn't think there was any way I could take any opiate medication responsibly or that another narcotic could actually treat opiate addiction. So against his reccomendation I decided on getting monthly Vivitrol (Naltrexone) shots and making daily N.A. meetings, getting a sponsor and participating in service work. 4 months later I still felt horrible, I'd never been clean that long but honestly thought I would start feeling better, I'm not saying N.A. didn't help me mentally because I think it did however with the exception of being able to sleep for more than 3-4 hours at a time finally I constantly still had an overpowering compulsion to use. The day I called my Dr. to tell him I desperately needed to try something else and that I was seconds away from using he told me to hang on however I could for a couple more days to allow a washout period from the Naltrexone shots. I soon started Suboxone thinking it would help me feel human again but really wasn't sure that it would help that much in keeping me clean (as I wasn't sure I could use as prescribed and not abuse it). To my complete amazement during induction, my drug cravings were gone! I didn't feel high but it instead felt like the chronic withdrawal symptoms were gone. The Dr. explained the ceiling effect that makes Buprenorphine so unique and that I didn't really need to worry about abusing the medication because higher amounts wouldn't have an increased effect and I'll be damned if he wasn't right! So not only did I no longer feel like using, but I knew that taking other opiates would have no effect. I haven't used drugs in a little over 2 and 1/2 years now and counting! The best part though is that the obsession to use opiates is gone. :lol: I've been able to get back into school (which I'll graduate from in Dec. of this year) I have a job that I've maintained without being fired (and I show up to every day...go figure), and most importantly I have relationships again in my life. I still struggle sometimes with some social anxiety issues but they are so minor in comparison to having my life back. I can honestly say today I feel like a pretty normal person overall and I've been able to accomplish things I didn't think possible since getting clean. I strongly encourage anyone thinking about Suboxone to find a Dr. in your area and give it a try. I have few doubts that I'd still be alive or not in prison had I not tried it. As I've heard Dr. Junig say many times in posts: chasing opiate tolerance always leads to disaster and my life experiences prove that to be the one certainty of opiate addiction. There are so many more imporant things in life than finding that next high, it's just not worth it. I'm so grateful for the others who share here and for all the great info from Dr. Junig

"If you're going through hell, ....keep going!"
-Winston Churchill

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Fond Du Lac Psychiatry
Dr. Jeffrey Junig, M.D., Ph.D.

  • Board Certified Psychiatrist
  • Asst Clinical Professor, Medical College of Wisconsin

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