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PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:07 pm 
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I had a follow-up visit today with a patient who had stopped Suboxone after three months because his family had done an 'intervention'. That's right-- they did an intervention to 'get him off Suboxone', since someone in the family had copied a bunch of (inaccurate) comments from the web, about how dangerous Suboxone is...

So now the guy is taking vicodin, oxycodone, and whatever else he can find-- even tiny chips of Suboxone-- trying to hold life together without taking that horrible medication Suboxone.

It is important that people realize that in order for Suboxone to work, it must be taken in sufficient dose to place one above the ceiling level; that way there is no variation in opioid effect as the blood level changes between doses. This patient was taking less and less of the Suboxone in order to please his parents, and at low doses Suboxone is just like taking an agonist. I sent him home with instructions to take Suboxone at a dose of 16 mg per day, to take it EVERY day, and most important, STOP TALKING TO FAMILY MEMBERS ABOUT YOUR MEDICATIONS.

I've seen so many people who were doing well, until some family member told them to stop Suboxone. The worst part is that when all hell breaks lose, the responsible family member is either nowhere to be found, or if present finds some way to blame the Suboxone for causing the whole mess. 'your addiction wasn't even that bad, before you started taking that Suboxone!' I'll say 'Really? Didn't he get three felonies last year? Didn't he lose four jobs because of using? Wasn't his marriage in shambles?' But still, some people will see what they want to see, and only remember what they want to remember.

It is really a pathetic situation; if it was not happening to addicts but instead to 'innocent' kids, there would be outrage. Look at the politics that go toward protecting a minors ability to have an abortion without a parent's consent or even knowledge in some states-- a topic that everyone is fired up about. Where is the outrage about the kid who dies after being forced off buprenorphine? Believe me-- there are many of those cases out there!

that's MY bit of venting...


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:23 pm 
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UnFreakingReal...I have heard stories like that Dr. J, but never from someone I 'know' or trust.

I'm completely floored!! That poor kid, the trauma he had to endure. I can not even come up with the words to describe my outrage....I'm speechless.

Hopefully, someday soon, suboxone will get the credit it deserves as a life saving medication.

If my daughter was hooked on opiates I would get her into suboxone treatment pronto. That is the highest compliment I can ever pay suboxone...I would trust it for my daughter!


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 7:44 pm 
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I'm really not angry, unless you count being angry with myself. I've been reading this thread and can identify with much of what is being said. Just tonight, I got an email from my sponsor. A section of that email said:

"I wanted a medical/scientific solution! Couldn't I just take a pill?? But I'm glad it turned out the way it did because in my state of mind (please don't take offense here), I may still be chained to methadone maintenance. Suboxone wasn't prescribed, at least not as widely, when I got clean, and I know people who were on methadone when I got clean who are still on it over 3/4 of a decade later."

I didn't take offense. I know that my sponsor cares about me. Her comments come from a place of being totally committed to and pretty much adoring her 12-step recovery program. Part of me tries to get on board with the whole thing. I have a sex addict for a husband and I'm hoping that SA, another 12-step program, can help him. Yet, I can't seem to turn my life over to it, not the way that I think I'm supposed to.

Regardless, I stick with these programs because I know that Suboxone is for a limited time for me. Locally, there are no doctors who prescribe Sub on a maintenance basis. Besides, I can't seem to help feeling that I'm not doing the best that I can do if I can't stay clean without Suboxone. After all, there was a period in my life when I didn't want to use. In fact, the thought was a bit repulsive. If only I can get my mind to think like that again! *sigh*

I feel like I'm shooting my recovery in the foot. I guess that's why I'm angry at me. I can't commit to anything. I hope that I can at least grasp enough of the NA-thing that I can stay clean after I'm taken off Sub.

I don't obsess about oxys or other opiates as I did in the beginning (1.5 years ago at every waking moment). But, my son's codeine cough syrup has been coming to mind several times a day, even though I suspect that I'd need to drink the whole bottle and its refill (I'm on 1mg/day). I want to be like my son and my husband who haven't given the bottle a second thought since putting it in the medicine cabinet. Instead, a day hasn't gone by that I haven't thought about calling in the refill. It's called a "reservation," I'm told and I need to get rid of all my reservations. That's easier said than done when you feel like a part of your brain is the reservation.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 7:54 pm 
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Christin, if you want to prepare yourself to go off suboxone and remain in remission, might I make a suggestion? Have you considered getting an addiction counselor and/or an individual therapist? Both can help you learn healthy coping skills, which you'll need even more once you're off sub. And an addiction counselor can help you identify triggers and learn to deal with them without reaching for drugs. Unfortunately, we can't just return to our pre-addiction selves. It's just not possible.

When it comes to NA/AA working, there has to be some desperation there. But when someone is on suboxone and their cravings are all but gone, they are anything but desperate. Dr. J has written alot about the desperation of abstinence based programs. You should check his blog out. Good luck.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 11:54 pm 
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Christin,

I don't think there is anyone on this site who hasn't thought the things you are thinking or felt the things you are feeling. I know I have and sometimes do. We all get in different places at different times in this crazy addiction and remission. I know there is always a small part of me lingering in there that expects better for myself and expects more of myself. Then, there is a part of me that knows these expectations may well be unreasonable. Many in the medical community believe that once you have become addicted to opiates, you may have permanently altered the brain to some extent. The brain will always look for that "ahhhhhh" feeling you get with opiates. That warmth. The reality probably is that there really is NO going BACK to what we were before. When you think about it, if what we were before was so great (the way we remember now that we have been to worse places) then why would we have enjoyed the narcotics so much anyways?

We are all generally quite good at beating ourselves up. We are our own worst critics. We attach to guilt and shame (many of us anyways). Personally, I KNOW I NEVER was what my husband is (someone who can take narcotics as prescribed no matter what...who quit smoking no problem...who doesn't drink and stops at one easily...even in social situations or holidays). I may have been disgusted by the idea of being someone who uses drugs. There was definitely a time in my life when I was a straight A student, good kid, etc. But obviously I was trying to escape something or some feeling or I wouldn't have wanted to risk my life and health and wouldn't have enjoyed the narcotics like I did.

Can you be off suboxone? I believe a lot of people can do whatever they truly set their minds to. I would like to say YES. But we are all different. Statistically we know people who go off suboxone have a much greater risk of relapse and death. That doesn't mean people can't or don't go off it. It is just the minority not the majority. Is it fair to expect of yourself something that MOST people can't do? Is it fair of you to expect yourself to beat the odds? To be better than that? Would you expect that of others? You would certainly wish and hope for better than average for your loved ones and friends I assume. But do you expect it?

By no means am I saying you can't go off or shouldn't go off suboxone. I just think that when we make these decisions, we should be careful to give ourselves the freedom to fall or to make a mistake or to change our mind or to leave the options open. Maybe just expect that we do the very best with what we have been given which doesn't mean being perfect. No one gets the exact life they hoped for or would like...not really. We all have things to accept that we may not like. I just hate to see anyone feel like a failure when really, you are currently a success. Your sponsor may very well be grateful that the cards fell where they did. I think she truly meant no offense. She just shared her experience. That doesn't make her better or more successful or stronger. There is strength and intelligence in choosing to continue suboxone too. Sometimes I think it takes greater courage than going off of it....depending on the situation and the person.

Whatever choice you make, you have support here and you clearly seem to have it in your sponsor. If you decide to go off of it, I suggest making sure you are doing it because you want to give yourself a different chance or a different opportunity to see what you can make of it and also accept that if it doesn't work out, you are giving yourself a whole different set of chances and opportunities on it. Neither is really better than the other. One or the other is most certainly best for YOU....and you may not know unless you try it on for size, but even if you don't, that is ok too.

Take the shame out of the decision, one way or the other. Then you may be ready to really make a healthy good decision for you.

I wish you the very best.

Cherie

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 2:06 am 
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This original post made me very angry...but after reading through the responses it calmed a bit. I just wanted to say a couple things... first it was said we aren't on the "other side" of this addiction...I am on both sides of this addiction. Meaning both I and my fiance were addicted. Due to his circumstances he was forced cold turkey and has no access to the drugs for 9 months now, however I am in a different boat and try and try again discovered I need suboxone and if I fail this I'm screwed. It is hard to watch a loved one go through this and do it to themselves, but it is a very similar feeling to watching yourself go down that path from my viewpoint.
I'm curious to know from a couple things read here, my addiction started with self medicating severe depression...so say I do come off the subs but am still taking antidepressants...am I still not "sober"? As that also "alters" my brain to function normally.... If a person can live a decent healthy happy life without chasing a high and drugs, be it with or without medication, why should another judge if it is right or wrong? There is no cookie cutter ways that work for every person for anything in this life, why would addiction be any different? If 'a' works for me and 'b' works for you and we reach the same goal isn't the fact that we aren't using what really matters, not how we got there? Sorry if this is redundant, been a busy week and after reading many posts have alot of thoughts trying to get out :-P
I know I am chiming in way after the fact here, but if you posters are still around here I know I am in the right place by the way you all responded. The level of respect while being so utterly disrespected, and the compassion for the poster who seemed to have none for us, I am happy to say I am in this group now too :) Not happy about the addiction that got me here, but happy to know you are all the ones I will look to for advice maybe help etc. I think that one thing is probably true for most of us is after seeing ourselves at our worst and having to come to terms with that in one way or all ways we are probably much 'better' people then we were before this experience.It is a very humbling experience, in my opinion, and especially if you hit what might be or just seems to be rock bottom you certainly can relate to alot more of what others in all walks of life may struggle with... Hope this made sense...very tired but felt drawn to join in to this discussion, although I am still reading page 2 and may have had more or less to say if I wasnt too tired to finish reading this tonight....time for bed! :-P


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:27 am 
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Moonfairy,

I can certainly relate to what you said about being a better person for having went through what we went through. I wouldn't trade in my past for anything, it made me who I am today and I'm proud of who I am today! So yes, it did make sense.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:52 am 
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Moonfairy,

I wanted to comment on what you are saying about being sober and on antidepressants....Just to clarify are you asking that if you stop sub but remain on antidepressants that you might not really be 'sober' because you are still "altering your brain chemistry"? I have heard this a lot in AA...as a matter of fact when I first got clean and sober I had a sponsor who called herself a doctor (she was NOT an MD nor was she a Ph.D) and would tell me that I had to get off the zoloft that my dr. put me on in detox. That I was not sober while on it. Well, lucky for me I try not to just be a sheep...and go along....I told her that I needed a new sponsor and would continue to take the medication that my addictionologist put me on. I was "taking direction" from one of my physicians in recovery (something new for me, for sure! taking direction had not been my strong suit prior to recovery)

When you ask that question, Moonfairy, I almost wonder if you also think that being on suboxone means you are not sober either? There are many threads on this forum about that issue...but I believe I am clean and sober while on Suboxone...despite the fact that my body is physiologically dependent on it I am not in active addiction and my thinking and behaviors have changed. For some reason I am not caught up in feeling as though I am not sober because I'm on Sub. I just believe I am clean and sober and go on with my life. I don't think that someone on antidepressants is not clean and sober. Some people need antidepressants...some need it short term, some need it longer, or for life. Who cares. What really is important, I think, is what are we doing while we are on Sub or antidepressants, or whatever...we can NOT be in recovery and be on Sub if we are doing the same things we used to do while actively addicted. The same goes for being on any medication...it isn't about what medication we are taking so much as it is about us....what are WE doing differently?
You've heard of the term dry drunk...someone not drinking but still acting like they are. That is what I am talking about. If I don't change how I think and behave then I don't believe I'm in recovery....Sub or not.

Not sure if that made any sense but that is what I believe about Sub or Campral, or antidepressants....if we need these medications so what? We still have choices in how we behave and have free will...we take the medication to stabilize and then the rest is up to us.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:53 am 
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I wholeheartedly agree - I would go through it all again - yes, even my active addiction years - to end up where I am currently. I'm in a much better place for having gone through it. I guess what they say is true - that which doesn't kill us makes us stronger.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 11:13 am 
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I believe moonfairy was being rather sarcastic about the people who think antidepressants mean you're not "clean". I'm pretty sure moonfairy is in agreement with what you just said, Chinagirl. At least that's the way I understood the post.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2011 6:08 pm 
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Badabing-
Please don't say that all of us Opiate addicts "don't know what it is like to be on the other side of this addiction". I am an addict in recovery, and so is my husband of 12 years. I know what it is like to watch someone you love struggle with their addiction, and so does he. My husband has been clean for 10+ years now, but our relationship suffered greatly in the beginning when I was able to get clean and he could not. He even went as far as to show up at the hospital when our son was born, and shoot a bag of dope to "celebrate". My worst nightmares came true, I was scared for my son, I was afraid for him. I had security escort him out, and I kept my distance for a while. He eventually got the help he needed and I slowly let him back into my life. I am so glad I did! Today, we have 3 healthy happy kids, and another on the way! I could'nt have asked for a better partner in life. I was clean from heroin for 6 years, when I relapsed on opiate painkillers, and my husband was my rock through recovery. I am on Suboxone now, and have been clean for two years. The reality is that we both know what addiction can do to a relationship, and we have both been on the other side of the fence looking over at the other. We fought our way back together, and it made our marriage that much stronger. I know that watching your husband go through this is not easy. Please don't blame Suboxone. As you have heard from others on the forum, Suboxone is only one tool for recovery. Maybe you should encourage your spouse to go to meetings with you? Or, maybe some couples/family counseling could help you both. Being angry about his use of medication as treatment is only going to prolong his troubles, and ultimatley your own. Try to take a step back and be more objective, not everyone is YOU, not everyone has your will power, your skills. Recovery takes a differant path for everyone, including your husband. It's a means to an end, right? Is'nt that what really matters? Good Luck and Best Wishes! I hope you work this out, and I hope you can both find a happy life together!


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 10:15 am 
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Hey *BadaBing16* You have to be kidding me right? Im sorry that your going through a rough time right now with your loved one and thier recovery being hard on you but you have NO right to come onto a recovery site set up soley for people recovering from drug addiction and a good number of us ARE on SUBOXONE and GO TO MEETINGS and GO TO COUNCELING and MIGHT just DO a SHIT LOAD more THAN YOU miss HIGH and MIGHTY to help ourselves recover from our addictions. So just because your having trouble motivating your spose to help himself recover dont come into this site bashing all of us who are working our asses off everyday to get our lives back. Not to mention, who the hell told you way up there on your pedestool that as an alcoholic that YOU did NOT screw up YOUR loved ones lives or the PEOPLE around you when you were an active alcoholic. You like to come in and call us addicts all "junkies" where do you get off? Your a recovering ALCOHOLIC your an ADDICT TOO. Your no BETTER than we are, and whether you want to beleive it or not you probably left just as much of a path of destruction behind your alcoholism as any "junkie" would! So you need to take a long look in the mirror sweetheart and figure out who your truly mad at, cause you dont even know "us"! And coming on this site to spew your much misdirected venom at people you dont even know, and act like alcoholism is a much better addiction to have than opiates, was your first mistake!

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 8:39 pm 
badabing16 wrote:
why r people angry about suboxone use...hmmm for starters i am not an opiate addict but my husband is and his addiction has ruined alot in our lives!!!! i am a recovering alcoholic who does a program of RECOVERY... i do not depend on meds to make me better or get me thru pain, anxiety, cravings!!! alcohol withdrawl is the only one a person can DIE from. yet all these opiate addicts can't stand for 1 second to be sick...like the dr. said there are cancer patients who have to deal with incredible pain on a daily basis, along with the fact that they are dying!!!! i know several opiate addicts who did it the "old fashioned way" The just STOPPED!!!! yes the cravings are there and yes the physical symptoms suck....but it also does coming off of alcohol!! and by working a recovery program those cravings will dissipate. and guess what we don't have a magic pill to take it away!!! i have been taught that drinking and using are just a symptom of this disease ...so get down to the roots and causes,,,heal!!! every person i know who are on subs , including my husband sit back and use suboxone as a recovery...sorry doesnt work!!!! u need to deal with life on life's terms!!! not to mention the financial burden it has put on us!!! funny how he (and most junkies) always find a way to pay for their script, but when it comes to bills or what have you...well that falls on the usually codependant!!!! i know the doc of the forum is all for it because he himself is a junkie plain and simple and i'm sorry but from my experience ....junkies are a different breed!!! they use the disease as an excuse..."well i don't have a choice my disease was running my life" well my friend that is why there are programs out there to reduce the voice of the disease. and don't u think it screams sometimes for us alcoholics? also the doc references subs as a way of saving a persons life...again and again and agian....there are other things, whether it be a 12 step program, religion or whatever that will also save ur life without once again being dependent on a pill!!!! and lastly...i don't think opiate addicts have a clue what they do to those they love.....the pain the misery the worry are tremendous and for those who are a significant other of an addict who is also in recovery it jepordizes their recovery. every person i know who is on subs does nothing to change the person that they are...the stay sick and expect life to go back to "normal", and us loved ones should not live in the past!!!! i never wish the experience of living and loving an opiate addict on anyone and until u have u have no room to talk. anything u do say is for personal gain!!!


I can't read your entire post because your spelling/grammar is so atrocious. Also because you are wrong right off the bat.

"Alcohol withdrawal is the only one you can die from."

WRONG. You can die from benzodiazepine withdrawal too.

You sound like you have "special addict" syndrome. Oh I'm sorry, calling you an addict is dissing you, isn't it? ALCOHOLIC, my bad. You are also wrong about the "magic pill" thing. Many alcoholics use Antabuse, Vivitrol, and other drugs that help them with their dependencies.

Let me guess. Your sponsor told you not to go to college.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:43 pm 
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Ironic...excellent way to END this thread.I felt the same way about the grammar.Annoying and hard to read,like some pimple faced teenager texting.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 12:14 am 
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Let's try to remember that we're here to help each other and support each other in our recovery, and try to reply to each other in that spirit.

This:

Quote:
You sound like you have "special addict" syndrome. Oh I'm sorry, calling you an addict is dissing you, isn't it? ALCOHOLIC, my bad. You are also wrong about the "magic pill" thing. Many alcoholics use Antabuse, Vivitrol, and other drugs that help them with their dependencies.

Let me guess. Your sponsor told you not to go to college.


and This:

Quote:
.Annoying and hard to read,like some pimple faced teenager texting.


are really uncalled for. Especially since the post you're referring to is from 2009 and the person you're calling out hasn't been on the forum since January of 2010.

In the future, please keep things respectful. Thanks.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 3:11 pm 
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Oldie but a goodie that still holds ture today. Love what Donh said back then. I've had trouble defining just where I am in recovery after 3 years. Or if I can make it fit in my na life an friends. Dr j an other docs these last two days have told me to focus on how I look at myself..ya me.Not who's tbe "cleanest"..We all hopefully make big changes from active addition and I know today I have and s uboxone is a large part of it but not all ...ya US!!!!!! RAZOR 55. ..


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PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 7:08 am 
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There have been times that I have been angry at myself for staying on maintenance meds without even considering going off. I bought into the idea that I would have to be on Buprenorphine forever. I can't put that on anybody but me, it was my decision .

When I decided to taper it was at my Fiance's suggestion. He thought I seemed drugged, and he was right. My mind is so much cleared at 1 mg than it was at 16. I lost 30 lbs that I put on, I had strong sugar cravings for years, which have gone away. Clarity of thought and intention have returned, and I feel like a person I remember being. That's a gift.

So I'm not angry at Doctors, pharma companies or anyone. What I am is glad I got my life back with the help of the medication, and I'm glad to be putting it in the rear view. This last part of the taper is harder than the rest, it's been very easy until I got below 4 mg.

I'm glad to be alive to have a good relationship, and to have lived the past 10 years working on the root causes of my addiction. I'm ready for what comes next and I have no room for anger.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2014 3:44 pm 
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Suboxone use on it's face is obvious. It is a supplement for other types of opiates, and should not used for long term use because that is the same as using oxy/heroin/etc to medicate yourself. Doctor's have a pecuniary incentive to capitalize on their ability to make $$$ from treating people through procedures or prescribing medicine. What better way to capitalize than feed a person's addiction to opiates by prescribing a maintenance drug that keeps a person addicted to opiates both mentally and physically, so that you can make a consistent profit off a person who is hopelessly addicted and will continue to be as long as they are supplementing their primary opiate of choice with suboxone, another opiate.
If you are routinely taking prescribed suboxone, you are routinely taking opiates, sustaining both a mental and physically addiction to it. Suboxone "opiate maintenance" is a euphemism for long term use and dependance on opiates. Going back to the real factor at issue, a doctor's monetary interest in having an individuals who will pay them monthly (mostly cash as many of you know), and never offer a course of tapering to get the person off it, because that person is dependent and will get sick if they don't have their dosages.
Semantics do not count, nor does denial, or arbitrary thinking that suboxone maintenance is another avenue of dependance and opiate addiction. Maybe some people are better off taking suboxone, say if they had a serious oxy or heroin addiction, given that it is much safer. But, a lesser of two evils does not change the fact that a spade is a spade.
To become clean, you stop taking the drugs that caused your primary addiction, and you don't take their equivalent at any point after when you stopped. It is not a subjective discussion, you either have a dependance on a drug or you do not.
Once you've realized your being manipulated by a doctor's personal interests in taking your money from you, and that prolonged suboxone use is prolonged addiction, then you may begin your journey to cutting off your dependance from opiates. Denial and tricking oneself into their beliefs being true when unfounded, has no place in this discussion.
I've seen this same scenario play out with people I know, until I was able to get through to them that if you want freedom, it's an all or nothing approach, and the decision is yours to make whether or not you want to free yourself from opiate addiction and entirely remove those substances from your life, or if you want to stay addicted and have a doctor persuade you that it is proper to be on a maintenance suboxone maintenance program that is substituting one addiction with another.
The drug should be used to taper, not sustain, and get people off the $hit.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2014 9:44 am 
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Hey chembox,

Did you really think you were dropping some knowledge on us with your post? Do you think we haven't heard your argument, in various forms, 1000 times already?

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2014 10:15 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2014 10:48 pm
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Thanks Romes...I just wasnt up to it yday.....(rolleyes)......


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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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