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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 12:36 am 
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I have been clean for 3 weeks. Despite having a daily opiate habit for almost 4 years (Vicodin, Percocet, Oxy, Dilaudid....with the most recent being Vicodin 10 mg up to 10 per day), my withdrawal period was not as intense as expected. Rather, I suffered various symptoms over a week and a half period. Although my Dr. was monitoring me to start Suboxone, I didn't start since my symptoms were spread out, as opposed to hitting me all at once. Although most of the unpleasant WD symptoms have subsided, I still have increased anxiety (bordering feeling "panicky" at times) and I am now grinding and clenching my teeth during the day and it's driving me nuts! I have had issues with teeth grinding at night and wear a night guard but never during the day. I hate how I feel and as a result, think about Vicodin often no matter what I do to distract myself. I don't want to go back but I hate feeling like this. Is it too late to start Suboxone? Has anyone started it a few weeks after stopping? Any input would be appreciated! Thanks!


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 4:17 am 
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Hello HopefulGirl and welcome to Suboxforum.

No, it's not too late to start suboxone. Lots of people find that even when "clean", they feel they need for suboxone (or need to try it) to help with not only remaining withdrawals, but more importantly, their cravings. I, personally, think you're smart to be pro-active about this and to consider going on suboxone even though you've made it through the worst of your acute withdrawals.

Although you are "clean", you still have all those active addiction patterns and sub is a great way to live in addiction remission with no cravings while we basically get our heads together and work on coping skills, triggers, and of course how to handle those cravings (once off sub, if that's the person's end goal). For me (and some others) recovery includes therapy or work with an addiction counselor, for some also meetings and/or this forum. It really depends on your unique needs and even why you started using to begin with.

Obviously, since you are opiate free, you won't have to do any kind of full induction onto suboxone. I'm assuming you're doing this with the help of a suboxone doctor? In that case, your doctor will assist you in starting your sub treatment (which in your case will just be starting to take it, no waiting because the full agonists are already out of your system).

I hope this helps. Let us know whether you decide to go ahead with sub treatment or not. I wish you the very best either way.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 4:52 am 
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Have you tried living clean off opioids before?

My opinion is a bit different to hatmakers. I personally feel that Sub should be reserved to those who can't live clean without relapsing, or who keep relapsing. If you haven't tried living without opioids at all since you became addicted, how will you know whether you have what it takes to stay clean?

Or worse. What if you do have what it takes to stay clean 100% off all opioids, but don't even try? Those symptoms you're experiencing get better with time. It's called PAWS - post-acute withdrawal, and it does gradually fade away. Those cravings you're having will diminish gradually over time as well. As they say in NA "it does get better".

I suggest that before you make a decision seriously weigh up the pro's and con's of both. Some of the benefits of being on Sub is that your PAWS symptoms and the anxiety etc will go away instantly and you won't feel like you are worrying about using drugs as much because it controls cravings. Some of the negatives are that you'll once again be dependent on opioids, it'll cost $$$, and there are side-effects. While on Sub our brain's opioid system can't repair like it does when we're off all opioids, so the PAWS you're experiencing now will return anyway once you decide to taper off Sub. Suboxone just delays the process. In my experience the PAWS you experience 3 weeks off a short acting opioid (in my case heroin) is easier to handle than the still acute withdrawal 3 weeks off Suboxone.

Pro's of not using Sub is that you'll be free of dependence to opioids, and that your natural opioids will start forming again, and your brain's addictive circuit will gradually heal and your cravings will settle. It will take time though, and it'll be challenging. This option is much harder work, but like anything in life that hard work comes with more rewards.

Ultimately the decision is yours which you take. I'm personally on Suboxone. I chose this because I ended up relapsing numerous times. Your mileage may vary.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 5:10 am 
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TJ has a valid point and another reasonable plan. Ultimately, it's (obviously) your call to go on or not go on suboxone. Only you know just how out of control your life got to be and what you feel is at stake.

Just know that whatever choice you make you have our support. Let us know how you are doing and what you decide.

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-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 5:51 am 
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[font=Comic Sans MS]Hello and welcome to the forum!! Congratulations on beginning your recovery! It is a difficult thing to do, but no doubt it can be done. This forum is a great place to get support also. Have you tried some meetings? I personally don't like them, but not because of the meetings themselves. It's the people that go in my area.

I agree with hatmaker and tj. Both of them present 2 very different paths. If this were me, I would have to lean towards TJ's route though. The suboxone isn't going anywhere. If you continue to relapse, then you know that you always have the option of tryng suboxone. But you may be one of those people who CAN live a clean, and happy life, without any opiate at all. Including suboxone. I would hate to jump right in to suboxone, without even giving it a fair shot. I don't mean a week or two either I mean, serious time. Serious dedication. Go to meetings, get a sponsor, work the steps. I was deleriously happy when I first went to AA. I am a drug addict, but didnt' care for the NA meetings here. It's the same 12 steps so no big deal. And the alcoholics were happy to have me.

Like hatmaker said, it's never to late to try. I hadn't used an opiate in almost 4 weeks when I went on sub. I am a chronic relapser though. It's not something that I am proud of. But I have learned that no matter how many meetings I attend, no matter how much therapy I get, and no matter how determined I am, I will relapse. I hate it, but it is what it is. So suboxone is great damage control for me. Please let us know whatever you decide to do. We are here to support you either way. Keep reading and educating yourself like you are before you make a decision. Good Luck to you, and again WELCOME TO THE FORUM!!![/font]

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 11:24 am 
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Hey Hopefulgirl,

If you do decide to go on Suboxone, I would suggest you start and stay on the lowest dose possible. Many doctors start their patients on WAY too high of a dose. Suboxone is an opiate, although it's a partial agonist vs a full agonist like the pain pills you were used to. Being on too high of a dose will push your tolerance up even higher than it is now and you really don't want to do that, if you can avoid it.

Starting and staying on a dose that's not too high should help minimize any side effects you would get and it usually means you'll have an easier time getting off of Suboxone at some point in the future, if you choose.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 4:53 am 
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Valuable post!


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