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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 5:16 pm 
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Ok. I'm new at this suboxone thing...I had my first dose Friday at 5pm. I got absolutely positively ridiculously high. (I am coming off a vicodin habit of 200 every 36 days.) My mouth got SO dry, my leg muscles were contracting and quivering, like random charlie horses in different spots. Oh, let's not forget the negative aspects on one's sex life. Not that the urge is gone, but no chance in quelling the urge so to speak, hmm? I just KNOW I could NOT go through that for a whole damn year. Anways, I was prescribed 8mg, then 8mg again in 12 hours.

Needless to say, I didn't take the second. Why? Because I was still high as hell from the previous one! Even after 18 hours!! My body must metabolize this rather slooooowly. I'm exceedingly bothered by the being high part, it's not something I wanted in my life,and I certainly did not anticipate it lasting so long. Now, I'm getting flack from my loved ones because they are saying this seems to be trading in for an even better high. They think I -want- this!? I decided this morning to not take anything. I have not had any vicodin(3 days now) OR suboxone since yesterday at 12pm. No signs of withdrawals, and I'm starting to feel "normal" again.

I would be a very lucky girl if for some reason, I only needed to use it for a few days till the vicodin got out of my system? It would be rare, but I've heard of it. And I've used sub before a few times to get past the wd's of vicodin and it worked like a charm. After a few days, I didn't need anything. Obviously, things are still in the air, and time will tell, I have a week till my follow up apt.


This forum seems generally quiet, but if anyone out there has any thoughts, I'd love to hear them.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 5:44 pm 
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Most people DO feel that high for the first couple of days, but take heart, it will subside. If you were OK without the second 8 mg then you probably don't need it, but I would check with your doctor first - that is IF you decide to stay on it. Considering you took sub for only two days (that's correct?) and with it's long half-life, I'm guessing you've got some withdrawals coming. Keep in mind to your brain an opiate is an opiate is an opiate. I just don't see how you won't have some withdrawals. But, please know I'm not an expert at this, nor am I a doctor or any type of medical professional. I'm just trying to use logic and what information I do know about opiates.

I'm really sorry this is hard for you and that your family doesn't understand how sub treatment works. I'm very confident that the high feeling will go away, but when you stop taking the sub what will come back are the cravings. I don't believe it is trading one addiction for another. Addiction is usually about the behaviors and the obsession. With suboxone we're not lying, cheating, and stealing (or whatever) to get our hands on our DOC. We're also not obsessing about using during sub treatment. At least not if it's working the way it should and we take it as directed.

I don't know if this helps at all, but I hope it at least will put your mind at ease about the high you felt that first (and second?) day of treatment. Keep in mind you have not stabilized on it yet. Studies show that short term use of sub has a very high relapse rate.

Please take care and do let us know how you're doing or if you have any more questions or concerns. Whatever you decide you have my/our support. Hang in there.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 6:29 pm 
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If my math is correct you were taking 5 or 6 pills a day. In my experience your withdrawal from that amount could have been handled without the use of Suboxone. Remember these are just my opinions based on my personal experiences and in absolutely no way am I making light of your addiction. Everyone is a little different and should be treated accordingly. If you are a complete meth head or a person who has a Xanax with thier wine every night, if you are addicted it is our own personal hell. Don't let any tell you how much worse they have it because they used this much or that much, that is bullshit, after the initial physical withdrawal we are all in a similar place, IMO. With that being said I think you could probably handle a cold turkey detox with maybe a little help from OTC meds to treat some of the symptoms. While taking 5 or 6 hydro a day you probably have a pretty low tolerance and I wonder if suboxone is just too strong (depending on your dose). Were you given 8mg pills? That would be a huge jump IMO. I would love to hear other posters thoughts on this. I'm curious if others feel this is over kill. Back to your situation, I would call your doctor and tell him your experience, see if he can guide you through this with as little discomfort as possible. Best of luck.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 7:07 pm 
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I have not read a whole lot in the way of answers but I most certainly have seen the question raised as to "does it make sense to put someone on Suboxone for a "minor" addiction?" I won't try to comment about that since I really don't feel informed enough to do so. It certainly is a good question: Does it really make sense and is it necessary to take 8mg of Suboxone daily for a year or two after a bout with opiate addiction that only lasted a few months and involved half a dozen 5mg Vicodin pills a day? I guess, like many other things with addiction, has the person tried to stop abusing pills using other methods and failed? Certainly, if the answer to that were yes, it would seem that Suboxone is indeed warranted. However, if Suboxone is being used without even a single attempt at stopping without it, perhaps it is a bit "harsh".

What I will comment on is both the dose and the "high" as I have read quite a bit about these. As to dose, it seems with each passing day we are finding out more and more that double digit doses in a very large amount of addicts is not necessary. Speaking personally, I have a strong suspicion that I would have done just fine on 4 Mg rather than the 16 I was started on. I too had a "reaction" to the Suboxone. I personally would not describe it as a "high" - certainly not like the high I once got from opiates many years ago before tolerance set in. It more knocked me on my butt to the point that I had to take a three-hour nap at 10 AM - two hours after my initial dose of 8 mg. The same thing sort of happened with my second dose. It was about half that reaction with my 3rd and close to no reaction with my 4th. Ever since that time, I have never felt anything even resembling a "high" from Suboxone.

From what I have read, this is somewhat typical. I have seen many people report a "high" of sorts for the first couple of administrations. It has been very rare that this high continues past a few days of administration. I don't think I have ever heard anyone stating they continued to get a "high" even close to their drug of choice other than the first couple administrations.

Hopeful, I am very confident that if you continue to take Suboxone, this "high" feeling will subside rather quickly - as in a few days. I also think that based on what I have read, my personal experience, and your information, that 8mg may very well be too high of a dose for you. You really may want to try half of that and see how you do. A total of 4mg/day may be enough to do the trick for you. I would be very surprised if 8 mg/day was not enough to do it at the top end. I just don't think you'll even need that much based on your history. The lowest dose that keeps you out of withdrawal and without cravings is the dose you should be on. Anything above that is a waste of medication and money.

Having said that, if you have never tried to stop on your own, perhaps you may want to. Suboxone is a great tool for anyone who finds themselves not able to function without opiates or worse yet exhibiting addictive behavior when not taking them. However, nothing says you can't try to stop on your own. With other support items in place you very well may be able to both detox and maintain without replacement therapy. If you are not able to, well then Suboxone may be needed. Now, if you have already tried on your own and were not able to, then Suboxone might be exactly what you need. I think this is sort of like the first question regarding should a minor addict use Suboxone. Should Suboxone be used for someone who has never tried to quit on their own in the past? I don't know the answer to that but personally I think I would at least try on my own one or two times before moving to Suboxone. After "failing" on my own, Suboxone becomes mich more indicated. That is just my hunch - not at all best practice or fact.

As for your family or loved ones giving you "flack" for being high and trading Suboxone for your Vicodin - they would not be able to do that if you didn't tell them how you were feeling. They would not know on their own. Their reaction may be in direct response to your comments to them about how you feel on Suboxone. Bottom line, if you think Suboxone is for you, I suggest you push forward and give it a try. The euphoria will go away. You just need to give it a bit of time. Quit telling everyone that you are getting high from the Sub. I'm not even sure how to respond to the sex drive thing - I mean it's only been a day or two. Do you know how many people go without sex for weeks as a normal course of their life - and you are concerned about a day or two? Or perhaps you are worried about what will happen down the road. Give it some time and I think you will find that it all evens out for you.

I hope that helps. You have several things to consider. I hope you'll continue to let us know how you are doing.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 7:11 pm 
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Thanks for the replies. Unfortunately I attempted cold turkey with no success. The wd's are so bad, I absolutely cannot make it past the 24 hour mark. It used to be three days, but each time I tried to get off of it, the wd's seemed to get worse over time. I've tried coming off the vicodin seven times. Each time I fail, so I think this is why the suboxone was the choice. I was tapering off the vicodin, but the doctor got a spot open I'd heard how much it helped everyone I said to myself hey what the heck why not? I too think that 8mg is overkill. I think I will try splitting one in half. Still no wd's yet. Totally weird. My doctor has gone away for a conferene and won't be back till Thursday, yay fun for me. I spoke with her, she said if I need less that's good! It will make it easier to come off of. I'm not feeling wd's but in the back of my mind, I am thinking wow it's been a while since I took something....oy. What a rat race. I know I'm not a methhead or anything, but the problem with my habit was I was taking anything from T3s-perc 15s that I could get my hands on. As for the dosage, I never followed it, so in all honesty it was really more like 8-10 pills until I got low (always falling short of script) I'd have to taper every other week, a vicious cycle I couldn't get myself out of. As I said, I'm not giving up I guess just curious, and this really does show that everyone's case is individually unique unto itself. I think I will try calling that here to help thing too.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 7:30 pm 
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I've been on vicodin for more than a few months, it's been since Fall of 2008. I think its why this is so difficult. As for my loved ones making accusations, I told them nothing. Their speculations were purely from observation alone. Usually what I post online, is not something I discuss with people who haven't gone through this, because well how would they understand? Before that I was using recreation ally for about four years. Just some fillers to add in to the blanks. Again thank you for your response, I appreciate it very much.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 8:58 pm 
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I thought I'd chime in on this one for a couple of points--yes, I too think that it sounds like two 8 mgs, 12 hours apart, is a high dose to start considering the amount of vicodin you were taking. But..I don't really know how dosages are determined, also I've heard that many times the initial dose is higher and then you go down from that. But I too wonder why some people get prescribed such high doses--it doesn't seem to be always based on how much of their DOC they were taking. And I wonder if most of the time taking a low dose is the best thing. That is what my doctor seems to think, the loser the dose the better. But..she has never discussed the ceiling effect with me. Or cravings....

As for the sub making you feel high, and for such a long time....Well that is what happened to me when I was first on it--I felt it made me very high and for a LONG time too. I started on 4 mgs and then went down to 2 mgs--but barely noticed any difference between 2 and 4 MGS. So..now I wonder if that was because I was below the ceiling effect. For me, I WAS one of those rare people and the feeling of getting high from sub lasted more than a few days, it lasted about a month or more. When I stopped getting the effect at 2 mgs I went back up to 4 mgs and could feel high from taking it. Not exactly the same high as I got from heroin, but not much different really. But eventually that effect stopped entirely and now I can't get high on sub adn also it seems to do very well at blocking any other opiates at this point. Anyway,. I do believe Donh when he says it's very rare to hear about someone like me where the effect of feeling high off sub lasted more than a few days. But for me it did. I told my doctor about it too, and she recommended that I just stop taking sub...but..I didnt' stop taking it. I believe if I had stopped taking it then I just would have been using heroin instead. As it is, it's been a big struggle for me to stablize on sub, but my story doesn't seem to be at all typical of most people who try sub--I believe I've had a more difficult experience than most. And I don't blame the sub either, I really think I would have done much worse without being on sub.

Anyway, sorry, I dont' mean to change the subject of your thread, I just wanted to share a little bit of my experience. I will t;ell you also, that one big mistake I made was not being a hundred percent honest with my doctor when I was having trouble--I was honest at first, but then I started having constant relapses and i was not honest with my doctor about that for some time. To be fair, my doctor has not offered me much in the way of supervision or feedback regarding the sub. Anyway, I finally did see my doctor again and tell the entire truth and that was a big relief to me. So I would just like to say to you, I think it's good that you seem to have a good relationship with your doctor--that's great and I'd encourage you to keep communicating as you are with her.

Anyway, I bet you will stablize soon, like everyone thinks is the most common. I hope so. Please do keep us posted on how you're doing.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 9:17 pm 
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Not to change the subject but did any of you females out there notice when mentioned in my original post about talking to your doctor I used the word "he" twice without realizing it. It's funny how I think I so open minded but when I think doctor I think of a man. Sorry for that. I was rereading the thread and caught that in my comment and looked at the original post and there was no reference to the doctor being a man or woman. My wife would have caught that instantly.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 9:54 pm 
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Hello Hopeful,

I hope you are feeling a little better! I was one of the unfortunate or fortunate {depends on how you look at it}people who never got "high" off of subs. I will give my opinion though. Maybe if your feeling ok tonight wait till the morning and just start at 2mgs and see how you feel if you need a little more than take two more mgs untill you feel normal. That is how my Dr. inducted me and it seemed to work well. It really does seem like you are taking a lot for the amount of vicoden you were taking. I am not at all saying you don't need to take subs but sometimes a does reduction is needed in the begining. I was prescribed 20mgs and found that after about a week or two I was falling asleep all the time, tired, and unmotiveted. I was really discouraged for awhile untill I reduced my does and soon found the 8mgs worked the best for me. I was using anywhere from 200mgs-500mgs of oxys daily. I have heard that the amount and what you were using really has nothing to do with your does, but I really have to believe that it must some how have a factor in it. I don't know I could be wrong?

I see that you have a really hard time stopping the vics on your own and I really believe that at the right dose of suboxone you be ok, just don't give up. I think getting stabilized is one of the hardest parts. I wish you the best and please continue posting your progress. Ask question, come here and vent, thats what this place is for, the people here can be really helpful. I have found this site and other sites a very important part of my recovery! GOOD LUCK!!!!!


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 3:55 am 
I think this is an interesting topic....I agree with the previous posters regarding your question about being high. I felt high for about three days and now I just feel normal. I would also agree that if you are doing ok on a lower dose, just stay on a lower dose and see how it goes.

For me, I would not have wanted to try suboxone the first time I tried to become sober. I would have wanted to give it a try.

But now, looking back, I wish it had been available the first time I tried to get off drugs and alcohol. My life may be totally different today. Maybe suboxone would have saved me a decade of pain and suffering. Maybe I would have had this decade of pain and suffering anyway.

Sometimes, I think I was "born" and addict and I will never be totally sober. I craved cigs and caffeine from a very early age (small shots of dopamine). I have used many drugs, always looking for the "right one" that wouldn't ruin my life and the lives of those around me. Suboxone is the only one I have found.

So maybe a small vicodin habit now will lead to a large heroin/alcohol/cocaine habit you can't even imagine when you are older. Maybe you have been unable to quit because your brain will not let you no matter how hard you "work" recovery or will power.

I don't think anyone can tell from the size of your habit or what your drug of choice is if you will need suboxone or not. I guess you just go with your gut on this.

Whatever you do, I wish you the best with your recovery. Keep us posted! I have learned so much from the people on this forum and Dr Junig. Take care of yourself, Kire


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 4:11 am 
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I'm about to head off for bed, but wanted to give a quick update. I ended up taking my 8mg suboxone at 7:30pm. I took the advice of other posters and spat out the naloxone, (how do you know it's just naloxone, its got to be some subox too right?) this time I didn't get headache or stomachache. Aaaand even better, this time, the high was not as overpowering. I was able to go fishing! I started feeling the obsession...I was cleaning and came across an old empty vicodin bottle, I kid you not without second thought, I opened er' up and ran my finger in the inside. Fine dust was on my finger I put it to my mouth and was like Whoa! Shit! NO!! It did touch my tongue, and I immediately washed it off my finger, and washed my mouth, and then washed that damnable bottle. Ugh! >_< Grrrr. I hope no narcotics got in me from that. I think it would be a good idea if I rounded up all my bottles and threw them out. (Crossing out my info of course.) I see a few people wrote responses, thank you =) I shall give responses later today, need sleeep and want to give well thought responses.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 6:41 am 
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I'm so glad you're feeling better this third day/dose. It's good that spitting out the remaining "juices" prevented another headache. About your concern that you're spitting out suboxone - holding it in your mouth for a while or as long as you can serves to absorb as much of the bupe as possible. Even if you swallowed it, any remaining suboxone wouldn't get absorbed, because it's only absorbed through the mucous membranes in the mouth. I don't think I'm explaining this very well, but I hope this makes a little bit of sense. It's great that you felt well enough to go fishing, too!

As for the vicodin bottle, please don't beat yourself up too much. Many of us (maybe MOST) have had the same knee-jerk reaction, especially in the beginning of treatment. Once you get stabilized on the sub, hopefully your cravings will abate a little bit more. Of course those are what I consider the "physical" cravings. My theory is that there can still be "psychological" cravings. Those are the kind that I believe arise out of not replacing our drug habit with healthy coping skills. This is why other forms of recovery are so important. Sub will put us into "remission", but alone it won't give us an overall healthy recovery or positive lifestyle. We have to work on that separately. That's where therapy and/or meetings and other forms of support come into play; like this forum, for instance. It's a big part of my recovery. I also go to individual therapy as well as marriage counseling. These forms of counseling help to develop those new coping skills I was talking about. It also allows me to deal with past issues/traumas that I was using drugs to numb my feelings about in the first place.

So I say try to give yourself time to stabilize, which you can see is happening, then start working on other forms of recovery to "back up" your suboxone treatment.

Again, I'm so glad you're doing so well. Congratulations on your new-found remission. Hang in there and please do keep us posted.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 2:26 am 
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I'm back, how's it going? I'm doing a bit better. The "high" is getting less and less as the days go. Today it only lasted about 5 hours better than 18, lol.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 2:53 am 
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I'm confused because now I feel kinda depressed...I'm not sure if that means I'm supposed to take another suboxone or not..it feels weird. Maybe I just need to go to sleep, but now I'm not tired really...


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 3:14 am 
Hi hopeful!

Glad to hear you are doing a little bit better.

In the very begining of my treatment, my doctor never let me decide when I could take another suboxone. I detoxed with it and the detox place sent me home with a script and told me to take 4mg once a day, in the morning. I did that for about 4 days and I started to feel kinda shaky at about 7pm. Then I would wake up with chills and gi upset at 2am. I got back into the doc and he told me to take 8mg daily. He told me not to split up my dose, just take the whole pill in the morning. He also put me on an anti depressant and told me to take it for two weeks no matter what (unless the side effects were just KILLING me.)

So I did that. I actually listened to the doctor (big step for me!). For a few weeks, I felt a bit tired about 1 1/2 hours after my dose. Sometimes I would take a nap, sometimes I wouldn't. I also started going to AA right away and got a sponsor. When I felt depressed or overwhelmed I would call her to talk about it or go to a meeting and listen. I prayed too.

After about a month of this I started to feel good. I realized that there was alot more I could do when I felt bad than pop some kind of pill or drink some beers. I could call a friend/sponsor, go to a meeting, take my kids to a funny movie, eat some candy, pray etc etc...

Now I am thinking about starting some kind of hobby. I always wanted to learn how to play the guitar and I like to take pictures. Who knows what I will be able to do. I am a busy wife and mom though. I work and have alot to do with three teenagers living here.

Anyway, I think it will take a little time for you to find the right dose of this medication. Hang in there and let us know how it goes! Kire


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 3:24 am 
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Hey Kire, that's good you followed doc's orders. Mine doesn't seem to strict about the dosage, what she IS strict about is everything else though, like the contract, etc. There are a LOT of wrongs I can do to get myself kicked off the program which would be EXTREMELY bad. She said if I needed to take a second 8mg to do so, but if I was fine on just 8 to stick with it. I like photography too :) Plus I'm a mom and keep busy with my bouncy 8 yr old too, so I hear you there. As for support, I've got social anxiety which is why I haven't gone to an NA meeting not to mention some of them dont think using suboxone is truly being sober. I'd hate to be alienated cause of that, you know? Guitar sounds kind of fun!


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 12:04 pm 
Hey hopeful,

I have heard that there are doctors who kind of leave the dosing up to the patient. I am glad my docor did not let me do it that way. He told me that once a day in the morning is the best way so I don't get into the habit of deciding for myself when I should take one.

He also has alot of rules that could get me kicked out of the program. He told me the main thing that would get me kicked out was missing an appointment. At first, it scared me. Then one day I was on the way to my appointment with him. He is located downtown so I drive about 45min to see him. Well guess what. A semi had flipped over on the freeway and I sat on that freeway for over two hours. I started to cry, sure I was going to get kicked out. I called his office and told them where I was, and told them I was coming and would be there whenever I could. By the time I got there, parked and walked in I was 2 1/2 hours late. I was a stressed out mess when I got there and people at that office almost laughed at me for being so upset! They totally understood the situation and got me right in.

It was right then and there I understood....I didn't make up a story, I was doing the right thing, and it all worked out. I have been trying to live this way ever since.

I also wanted to tell you that I don't tell anyone at meetings that I am using suboxone. I feel like it is none of their business. My recovery is my own personal journey. My sponsor is ok with it because she knows it is perscribed by a doctor.

I also see a therapist. Is your doctor making you do this? Mine does. At first I was kinda irritated but now I really like it. She helps me deal with day to day problems and is a good support.

Anyway, sorry this got so long. Hope you are feelin good toaday. Kire


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 1:53 am 
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My doctor said something along the same lines, I probably would've gotten pretty anxious in a situation like that too. But considering the circumstances, there wasn't really much you could do beyond wait! My doctor is also requiring I see a therapist, but I'm ok with that too. I met him today for the first time, and he seems quite nice, very likable. It seems like, I can't talk *enough* about this whole situation really.

I'm doing good, the headaches are mostly gone, dry mouth dissipating, But LOL, I am still feeling buzzed, usually lasting about 5-6 hours after my morning dose. It's so nice having the worry cycle gone. Not being in seeking mode, obsession mode, or running out mode.

The odd thing is I'm sleepy, but only when I lay down. I will fall asleep like that! If I keep busy I'm good to go. I'm very happy I haven't had a Vicodin since last Friday, and haven't thought about it either. I probably shouldn't be jumping the gun here but, reading others' posts on here is worrying me. The nightmare of coming off this etc, wd's, PAWS, and benzos. I wonder how people are taking benzos, my doc said that combined with sub could be deadly. I guess I shouldn't be worrying myself needlessly just yet.

I'm still only taking one 8mg tab once a day. I'm going to press on with this. There's so many success stories, and I can't expect this drug to do it all for me. I'm also making sure I keep busy,talk about my feelings,go fishing,gardening,photography,biking, etc... My goal is to re train myself in every day living minus the ritual of doc if that makes sense. Again thanks for your support on here, I appreciate it.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 2:04 am 
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Hey hat, Thanks for your support! Your the first one who responded to my first post, when I was nervous as heck about starting this. I decided to push forward with it, because my addiction was screaming at me. I feel so much more "normal" these days, not being in seek mode, like I said in the previous response. I'm not sure if this is normal or not, but my high anxiety is also nearly gone too. I had VERY high anxiety on vicodin.

Suboxone quiets things down and slows it enough for me to look at things, and my life. So I can learn to cope, and learn to deal with stress again. I wonder if I had ever dealt with it appropriately..Hmm...so as you can see I'm looking forward to re learning all of this, and making friends who don't incorporate drugs with their lives. It's a good thing I relocated, I think that will help tremendously. Of course, I will stay away from that area for a while too.

The past few days after 12 hours, I have noticed I start thinking about pills again, feeling mildly depressed, and restless. I am wondering if that means I need to take more, I will have to call that here to help thing since doc is out of town till my apt on Friday. Again, thanks :)


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 2:46 am 
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On a side note: my appetite isn't so hot I noticed. This happened right away with subox, I'm only eating about twice a day. NO desire to eat more. Drinking a lot of water though. Thinking I will invest in some nutritional shakes at least...if I lose lbs. I won't complain...hahaha.


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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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