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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 4:50 pm 
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My fiancé has been going to a rehab clinic & getting suboxone for about 3 years now (for oxycontin addiction). We are getting married in April and he has decided this would be a good time to get off the suboxone (of course I am all for it because after all the research I have done, I have concluded 3 years is wayyyyy too long- it is supposed to take about 6 months to finish this type of program, from what I have read- I know a lot of people stay on longer, but that is supposedly the recommended time). Well he has been doing things the “right way” instead of quitting cold turkey, he has been tapering down. I don’t know much about the doses & things like that. Today he said he took his last pill. He has already started feeling crappy. He said he has a headache, body aches and can’t sleep. I don’t know how to help him because I have no idea what he is going through. I have done a ton of research and have a degree in Psychology but I have never had an addiction myself so of course it is different. Also, I am afraid because he said the suboxone was his "security blanket" (why his fiancée and child aren't enough of a "security blanket", I don't know) and he is saying he is doing this for me. Any advice on how I can help him through this?


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 5:21 pm 
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I am sorry he is feeling poorly....I would think maybe this is NOT A GOOD TIME to get off his sub....this is just my opinion as a fellow addict....but the chances for relapse are high and you do not know how much he was taking when he stopped?
His withdrawal off the sub may make him feel bad and then everything will be bad....especially when planning a wedding.

One thing you said...(as if you and your child are not enough for him)....for us addicts it just doesn't work like that....we can have everything and still mess up ...it has nothing to do with you or your child...I hope you can understand and I don't say this to sound mean...we are just sick people and there is NO CURE..we will always be addicts and the best we can be is in recovery. Also you said he said he was doing this for you??? ...real bad idea...he needs to be doing it for himself for he is the one that has to live in his addict skin and learn how to live life on lifes terms.

I would ask him more questions...how much was he taking...does he really think it is a good time to get off....does he really want to feel bad at this particular time and so on...You would not want all the good work he has put into his sobriety for 3 years to go down the drain...

Good luck to both of you and I hope everything works out whatever you do.

Slipper


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 5:26 pm 
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Slipper, thank you very much for your response. He did decide himself that he wanted to get off, but then he made the comment that he is doing it for me, so I was a little worried and concerned by that because I thought he had decided for himself it was time. Now I am not so sure. He doesn’t like to talk to me about any of this because he thinks I don’t understand, which may be true, but all I want to do is help him. I definitely do not want to do anything to jeopardize his sobriety.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 5:33 pm 
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slipper wrote:
I am sorry he is feeling poorly....I would think maybe this is NOT A GOOD TIME to get off his sub....this is just my opinion as a fellow addict....but the chances for relapse are high and you do not know how much he was taking when he stopped?
His withdrawal off the sub may make him feel bad and then everything will be bad....especially when planning a wedding.

One thing you said...(as if you and your child are not enough for him)....for us addicts it just doesn't work like that....we can have everything and still mess up ...it has nothing to do with you or your child...I hope you can understand and I don't say this to sound mean...we are just sick people and there is NO CURE..we will always be addicts and the best we can be is in recovery. Also you said he said he was doing this for you??? ...real bad idea...he needs to be doing it for himself for he is the one that has to live in his addict skin and learn how to live life on lifes terms.

I would ask him more questions...how much was he taking...does he really think it is a good time to get off....does he really want to feel bad at this particular time and so on...You would not want all the good work he has put into his sobriety for 3 years to go down the drain...

Good luck to both of you and I hope everything works out whatever you do.

Slipper







Also 6 months is a very short time to be on sub with a higher chance of relapse if getting off...and 3 years is not necessarily too long...go back and read Dr. J (subdoc) posts about this...
Slipper


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 5:44 pm 
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christinen wrote:
Slipper, thank you very much for your response. He did decide himself that he wanted to get off, but then he made the comment that he is doing it for me, so I was a little worried and concerned by that because I thought he had decided for himself it was time. Now I am not so sure. He doesn’t like to talk to me about any of this because he thinks I don’t understand, which may be true, but all I want to do is help him. I definitely do not want to do anything to jeopardize his sobriety.




I do the same damn thing...don't want to talk to my husband about my addiction because he doesn't understand...but he is like you..just wanting to help me to listen to me...and we have been married 41 years! I have begun to talk more to him about my problems with addiction. We addicts are selfish we think only about ourselves sometimes and not how you must feel at all. I know you want to be a part of all of his life. Maybe he will come around...I was addicted for 29 years and am just now talking to my husband about it. ...of course I have just been on sub for 1 year and 8 mos. It has been the only thing that has every worked for me. I do not even think about hydrocodone now or want it..(that was my doc)

Again good luck and keep posting about how things are going or if you have questions....there will be more people post on here and give you better advice than I can
Slipper


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 5:54 pm 
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Thank you for being so honest, slipper; that is exactly what I was looking for when I came to this site. I do feel like my fiancé is very selfish with regards to his addiction. He doesn’t think about how it affects other people. For example, he doesn’t think he is an addict anymore just because he is in treatment. Or else maybe he just doesn’t want to admit it. The clinic he goes to charges him $90 per WEEK. He doesn’t make much money as is, and his hours were recently cut, yet he will pay for his drug before paying our electric and phone bills. From everything I am reading, it sounds like choosing suboxone is just choosing one opiate over another (he did oxys and Percocet). I have been reading that is has helped a lot of people, but you are still trading your addiction. Maybe I am wrong, because it’s not like I’ve ever been on suboxone, but that is the impression I am getting.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:26 pm 
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Hi christinen,

Welcome to the forum!!

First of all, I feel for you. I don't know what it's like to be married to an addict, because I'm an addict and my wife is not, but I sure could see the pain in my wife's eyes when I was out using. Even though I knew I was hurting her and my daughter by using, I kept on using.....I care very, very, very much for my wife and daughter, but I couldn't stop putting drugs into my body. It's most certainly not a question of whether your fiancee cares about you or his daughter, it is about the fact that we addicts are sick....our brains are sick. Many in the healthcare field now consider addiction to be a disease. Myself, I consider it to be more of a mental disorder.....along the lines of Bi-Polar or Manic Depressive or Major Depression.

Slipper has given you some great answers to a lot of your questions, so I'm not going to go over those. But, I would ask you to think about this when you say your fiancee has traded one addiction for another. When he was abusing OxyContin (Oxy's were my fave!), did you notice his behavior to be MUCH more out of control than it is while on Suboxone? I know when I was on Oxy's, I was stoned out of my mind 99% of the time. I was ALWAYS out, rippin' and runnin', chasing down more Oxy's. I spent money hand over fist while on Oxy's. Haven't you noticed that his behaviors, while on Suboxone, have improved greatly?

Suboxone is a much different kind of opiate. It's a partial agonist as opposed to a full agonist. Pain meds are full agonist. Full agonist's bind to the opiate receptor and stimulate the hell out of it, this causes massive releases of dopamine. Suboxone, a partial agonist, binds to opiate receptors, but it only weakly stimulates them. Most people on Suboxone report no feeling of high.

Anyway, most people on Suboxone consider themselves to be dependent on it, but not addicted to it. For the majority of us, the horrors of active addiction go away once we get on Suboxone.

As slipper said, it would be nice to know what dose your fiancee quit at. How long did he taper?? If he tapered very low, he shouldn't really be having much in the way of acute wd at all.

A couple of things that will make his wd easier are Clonidine. Clonidine is a blood pressure medication that's prescribed off label for opiate wd. Clonidine helps calm the Sympathetic Nervous System, his SNS is probably going nuts right about now. Immodium AD will calm his stomach (the shits). Some people take Valium or Xanax during acute wd to help with sleep, but he's going to have to be extremely careful if he uses that. Valium and Xanax are highly addictive and they're harder to quit than opiates. I wouldn't use them for longer than a week or so, if I were him.

Please feel free to ask any other questions you may have.

BTW, I kind of chuckled when you mentioned that he doesn't consider himself an addict anymore. I was on Suboxone for three years, I quit almost 2 years ago and since then I have tried several times to use pain meds and I go out of control after I get the first one in me. His addiction is trying like hell to convince him that he's not an addict, but I'd bet all the money in my pockets that if put an OxyContin in him, he'd be right back where he left off.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 9:20 pm 
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christinen wrote:
Thank you for being so honest, slipper; that is exactly what I was looking for when I came to this site. I do feel like my fiancé is very selfish with regards to his addiction. He doesn’t think about how it affects other people. For example, he doesn’t think he is an addict anymore just because he is in treatment. Or else maybe he just doesn’t want to admit it. The clinic he goes to charges him $90 per WEEK. He doesn’t make much money as is, and his hours were recently cut, yet he will pay for his drug before paying our electric and phone bills. From everything I am reading, it sounds like choosing suboxone is just choosing one opiate over another (he did oxys and Percocet). I have been reading that is has helped a lot of people, but you are still trading your addiction. Maybe I am wrong, because it’s not like I’ve ever been on suboxone, but that is the impression I am getting.




It worries me that he doesn't think he is an addict anymore...the disease progresses even when you are sober...example...it you start back on pain pills you will usually do more than before.

I know it sounds selfish for him to get his med. before paying needed bills and I can also understand you thinking he is just choosing one opiate over another. Try to think of addiction as a disease which it is, just like cancer or heart trouble.
If he was a diabetic and needed insulin to live you would buy the insulin first....we have to have the sub. to live...we take it just like a blood pressure pill etc...because if we don't take it there is a good chance we will relapse and start right back on our high doses of our opiate doc....but since we haven't been taking these kinds of drugs for maybe years it could kill us.

In other words the sub is saving his life. Yes it is an opiate like Romeo stated, but it does not get you high..if you take more to feel better you feel nothing ..you don't get addicted to it like you get addicted to oxys and hydros etc. because those drugs make you feel high and so you have to take more and more to get the good feeling of the drug.

I know without a doubt, that if I got off sub right now it would not be long before I would be taking the pills again, lying cheating, stealing, doing all those horrible things I did in the past to get enough of the drug I needed.

Ihope this makes sense to you. My husband doesn't understand it either. A pain pill means nothing to him.

If I were in your shoes I would encourage him to get back on the sub for a little longer. That will give him "permission" to feel normal again. If he thinks your ok with it, it will take the pressure off of him taking it. It's just a thought.

But you guys are just starting out....he needs coverage for his addiction...it is hard enough to make marriage work under normal circumstances.....just another thought. All this is just my opinion so take it for what it is worth to you...I was just trying to look at things from his point of view...he probably loves you very much and wants to make you happy and thinks this will make you happy, but he already thinks he is cured and he is not!!!

Good Luck!!
Judy


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 9:36 pm 
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slipper wrote:
christinen wrote:
it is hard enough to make marriage work under normal circumstances.....just another thought. All this is just my opinion so take it for what it is worth to you...I was just trying to look at things from his point of view...he probably loves you very much and wants to make you happy and thinks this will make you happy, but he already thinks he is cured and he is not!!!

Good Luck!!
Judy[/b]


Wow I do not even know where to start except to say. Everything is backwards here. THE WORST TIME TO QUIT USING THE SUBOXONE WOULD IN THE BEGINNINGS OF A MARRIAGE, NOT TO MENTION THE PREMARITAL PLANNING ETC....

My advice is the same as what you have been told.....encourage him to not quit right now. If you want to get married and stay married, encourage him to quit suboxone only when if ever there is a time that stress will be extremely low, you see he is no longer in denial of being an addict.....some counseling on his addiction has been had etc....For instance look at it like this the worst time to stop smoking cigarettes would be in high stressed times right???? well times that by 10 and thats how bad it would be to decide to come off such a safety shield of suboxone.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 9:58 pm 
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Congratulations on the wedding Christinen! That's huge, and I wish you both really well. This is a time to be enjoying the wedding planning with your mum & the girls while your fiance escapes to the football. Enjoy it. Less worrying more excitement I say.

With the Suboxone is trading one drug for another idea... I agree that is one way of looking at it. But at the same time, if I swapped a dealer my drug of choice, and got given Suboxone, I'd consider myself ripped off. Giving an addict Suboxone is like taking the beer off an alcoholic's hand, and telling him he has to drink light beer from now on. It's a pretty shit trade, unless that addict actually wants to improve themselves and get better. Then it's a step in the right direction. Your fiance has chosen to drink the light beer to try and improve himself because he's acknowledged that what he was doing before was damaging himself and his family. That takes a degree of commitment.

There's a lot of controversy as to whether Suboxone is trading one addiction for another. And it's understandable that the layperson would view opioid replacement therapy is exactly that. After all it's true that Suboxone and methadone have potential for addiction. As an example - when a person's prescribed morphine for a hip-replacement, and uses it as prescribed for pain, they're not addicted, even if they had some mild physical withdrawal when they stopped taking it. When that person decides to take more than prescribed because it made them feel good, that would be abusing their morphine, and would IMO cross over into the realm of addiction.

Same goes for Suboxone & methadone. When a person takes them as prescribed and doesn't abuse them for how it makes them feel, IMO they're not addicted. But when a person takes more, or snorts / injects their dose, or mixes it with other drugs to try and get an effect, IMO that's addiction.

The reason people get switched to Suboxone & methadone is because, for the most part, there's less reward if a person chooses to abuse them. They're like the nicotine patches of the opioid world. You can't exactly use them as easily for relief when life stresses you out. Especially with Suboxone, because it's more like 'bud light', there's not much point in taking heaps, because the rewards are so little.

It's important he acknowledges that he will always have a weakness for drugs, and he won't ever be able to use them again manageably. Some people call themselves addicts for life to remember this, others just put up a big mental note that says "stay away from that stuff", and keep reinforcing their recovery ... literally until they reach the grave, if they want a long happy life.

I agree with everyone else that this may not be a good time for him to reduce and jump off Suboxone, given weddings can be quite stressful and it's a period of great change in both your lives. It's important not to be under too much stress in the early post-Suboxone period, as people are vulnerable to relapse. It would be best to wait until things have settled down after the wedding & honeymoon.

Congrats again.


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