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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 12:19 am 
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Hello forums. :!:
I am new here.
My story is unique in comparison to most.
It will be a bit long, so please bare with me. I apologize.
I will begin. :arrow:

At least half a year ago I started a pretty deep bout of alcoholism. This was due to a lot of differing problems and influences of the time, but mostly depression in general and even things like social anxiety. Only around 2 months ago did i cut down my drinking and eventually stopped.

Unfortunately i had very easy access to Suboxone (a friend who was getting prescribed around 3 times more than he was taking each month, and so had plenty to spare and for a very reasonable price.) I started using it the week I stopped drinking, only 2mg, and not even every day, but just to clear up the boredom and depression from coming off of alcoholism. Stupidly, I gradually let myself pretty hooked and kept going back to my friend who was supplying me, not knowing how serious Suboxone dependence can turn out to be.

-Let me first point out that I have never had any serious opiate habit in the past. I have a minor history of abusing them here and there (nothing more than percocet & vicodin,) but no major habit, and had never experienced an opiate withdrawal before getting off of Suboxone.

Alright, now to resume. So, I had been using for close to two months, mostly 2-4mg daily but occasionally upwards of 8. I stopped cold turkey off of about a week of 2mg daily, went through about 5 days of hell and relapsed. Then a lot happened in my life, my apartment lease ended, I moved back home, and decided to stop again. The relapse was only for about a week and a half. The last 4 days I was only on 2mg every other day, and then stopped. Again, went through hell, researched withdrawal online and it all made a lot more sense to me. Day 6 of that i caved and got back on it, for personal reasons as well, as I had some things to get done and some people I needed to see without feeling like dying. That was only for a little longer than a week and I stopped once again off of 2mg.

That was a week ago to the day (and almost to the hour even.) So this is about day 7 and things have only really gotten slightly better. I have been taking vitamins, omega-3, l-tyrosine and an antioxidant supplement as well as trying to eat healthy foods that are high in protein (despite the severe lack of appetite), all of this since day 1 of withdrawals, and I can't really tell if it has even helped all that much. I still have pretty much every symptom in the book, save for the muscle aches and the runs, nausea. No appetite, no sleep, no energy, headaches, freezing cold all of the time and really crippling depression, so much so that I can't even get anything done. Can't even bring myself to make music which is my passion or even have much interest in something as simple as just sitting down and watching some TV or whatnot, which makes it very hard to distract myself from all of this and help get through it. It's really tough as it really just pretty much resembles severe depression symptoms altogether. I haven't left my house in 6 days, I've avoided even talking on the phone with a lot of people because I am literally just so down and out. Now it's hard to tell if these symptoms are all related to the withdrawal or if some of them are pre-existing for me, and if maybe the combination of it all is what's making it so grueling for me. As I said earlier, I was fairly depressed which led to the 6-or-so-month blur of alcoholism that eventually blended off into an almost 2-month Suboxone habit.

Basically, what I'm getting at is that I may have underlying issues with depression already, on top of the depression that I would be experiencing from the withdrawals.

The other unfortunate factor to all of this is that I can't/don't want to let my mother know about this, or anyone close to me. Aside from a few close friends, who though I can trust them, unfortunately don't really understand what I'm going through. I used the sick/fever excuse with my mother, but also complained of general depression and we had set up a consultation with a doctor for the latter. This is all very bad timing for me to be going through all of this, as I need to get a job (have been unemployed for a couple months) and have close friends who will be leaving the country for 5 months at the end of this month who I would like to see and enjoy a few nice days with them before they are gone for long, among many other things.

I am seeing a (new) doctor tomorrow for a general physical and consultation about my depression and etc..., I do not intend to mention this whole Suboxone thing, as I just don't want it to be know to my family, or be part of my medical history at all. I just want to be done with it all. So I intend to just come to her with problems of being depressed, she may run some blood tests and check out my thyroid as well, as there has been some family history of that, and should probably be looked into. I need my condition/these symptoms somehow treated, as I must find a job soon, and other things that require being alert and in good spirits.

So, what are your suggestions for my case? Is there anything terribly wrong I am doing that i should know about? Did I decide to stop using Suboxone the wrong way, or too early? Any insight at all really is appreciated. And sorry, once again, for the life-story-sized post. Just felt I had a lot to go over.

I have been lurking for the past hour or so reading through many threads, and it is very clear that most of you are kind-hearted and invaluably helpful people. I'm sure all of your karma (at least your internet karma, heh) is very good, whether you believe in that sort of thing or not (not even sure if i do.)

Thanks you for reading and thanks in advance for any help offered.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 12:34 am 
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It seems like the best thing to do would be to find a doctor that is knowledgeable about suboxone and have them treat you to taper the Suboxone. I know Suboxone has been looked at as a treatment for depression, perhaps there is reason to stay on it, UNDER THE CARE OF A DOCTOR.

Other than that, you can read up on the very gradual tapers people have done who also were prone to strong withdrawals from Suboxone.

You also have an option to get rapid detox under anesthesia to clear the withdrawal symptoms from Suboxone. It's as controversial as Suboxone, but it does work, I've done it myself. It's pretty expensive, though.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 12:58 am 
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I was certainly self-medicating my depression with it and my post-alcoholism, rather than using it as a tool to ease off of a much more extreme narcotic addiction. I've been reading a lot of successful taper stories, and even some stories of success regarding jumping off at 2mg (as well as plenty bad.) I used only for a short two months, which is quite small compared to some people on here, which I had hoped would lead to an easier withdrawal but it's been total hell and really no signs of getting much better. The absolute hell & pain of the first 4 days is over and done with but not much more than that. I'm just afraid of getting back involved when I've come this far (1 week), though I keep reading about people in their 2nd and 3rd weeks still experiencing bad symptoms. I just don't know what to do and need some sort of relief. Which is partially why I'm seeing the doctor to discuss depression and other things tommorow.

I have not heard much about this rapid detox you speak of, though. Maybe you could elaborate a little more?

Thanks.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 1:38 am 
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Some of your symptoms might be helped by clonidine, which is a blood pressure medication that is used to ease opiate withdrawal symptoms. It's also prescribed for anxiety sometimes, like when doctors are wary of prescribing benzos. It helps with the body temperature issues and yawning and insomnia...but it can also make you very tired and out-of-it, so it's a trade-off.

The crippling depression that you're facing was the thing that kept me from quitting the pills for a long time. I could get thru the acute withdrawals, but not the depression that came after. I already had clinical depression when I started abusing pain meds, and it seemed that abuse really exacerbated the depression. Suboxone helped my depression though, and through the course of my treatment I worked on my depression issues and so far the crippling depression hasn't returned - I've been off Sub for 5 months. I also had thyroid issues, and getting that treated did help enormously.

I guess what I'm saying is that you could have a dual-diagnosis issue going on. You might have clinical depression and opiate addiction, and it's hard to tease the two things apart when you're going through acute opiate withdrawal. Suboxone is a pretty strong drug - I'm suprised that you were able to take 2mg doses of it if you didn't already have some opiate tolerance - so it's going to be a while before you get back to some kind of baseline.

I'd recommend being honest with your doctor. Your medical records are private, so the doctor can't tell your family. It's really hard for doctors to treat a mental illness if they don't get the full story from you. They'll just keep prescribing different medications, never realizing why it's not working. I know this from experience. If you are honest, then they can help you, and you do need help. This problem isn't going to just go away on it's own.

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You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 1:49 am 
Hi dirt,
First of all, I was a little alarmed from your name, dirt, because I truly hope you don't see yourself as being "dirty" or "like dirt." I hope you know that you are NOT A BAD PERSON because you drank to much alcohol, became dependent on Suboxone, or are struggling with the burden of depression. You are a good person who is going through a hard time.

Wow, you just have so much going on. If I was you, between the detoxing and the terrible depression, I would get myself checked into an inpatient hospital setting for a few weeks. If you have any type of insurance, I absolutely recommend this.

As far as the rapid detox, it's got a bad rep for safety, and if you've already gone a week without the Suboxone I don't think it's going to do you much good.

Anyway, you sound like an excellent candidate for an antidepressant at the very least. But you HAVE to be honest with the doctor! Don't worry, he can't tell your family members anything unless you give him permission (unless you're a minor.) I agree that you need to go to a Suboxone doctor to either continue Suboxone treatment or begin tapering under the doctor's care.

You also need to come clean with someone close to you about your alcohol/opiate dependence, someone who you love and who loves you. If someone really loves you, then they will stand by you and help you get treatment. You can't do all this alone. It's too much! Plus, I bet your family already knows some stuff already.

If you're really depressed and have been for a long time and you can't seem to get better, and you can't hold down a job, go ahead and try to apply for Social Security Disability. I don't know your situation, but I got so bad off several years ago that I couldn't work, what with the depression and drug addiction, so I applied for SSDI and got it. It's the best thing that ever happened to me.
I say this because you mentioned about getting a job, and it sounds like you are going to be really mentally unable to support yourself at the present time.

I really feel for you, because it seems like you have acquired an opioid dependence while you were actually trying to cut back on your real drug of choice. Whatever you do, don't ever ever ever take any more pain pills, because if you don't have a really bad opioid addiction yet, maybe you can get over the withdrawal from the Suboxone and just go on and live a normal life. But only you know that.
JD


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 1:53 am 
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I had read about clonodine in researching withdrawal remedies, I will look into that, maybe mention it to doc. I had 4 xanax starting out which i took once each night for the first four days. I noticed only very mild relief of anxiety and they didn't really seem to help all that much with sleep either. In fact, nothing i try at all is helping with the insomnia still.

I will take into consideration mentioning to my doctor the truth behind my drug usage, though I see her tomorrow and am not sure really how to approach it. But you raise many good points. I actually discovered this forum through your blog on wordpress which i found via Google, trying to research Suboxone issues. So thank you so much for that :D


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 2:06 am 
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jdhammond1982 wrote:
Hi dirt,
First of all, I was a little alarmed from your name, dirt, because I truly hope you don't see yourself as being "dirty" or "like dirt." I hope you know that you are NOT A BAD PERSON because you drank to much alcohol, became dependent on Suboxone, or are struggling with the burden of depression. You are a good person who is going through a hard time.

Wow, you just have so much going on. If I was you, between the detoxing and the terrible depression, I would get myself checked into an inpatient hospital setting for a few weeks. If you have any type of insurance, I absolutely recommend this.

As far as the rapid detox, it's got a bad rep for safety, and if you've already gone a week without the Suboxone I don't think it's going to do you much good.

Anyway, you sound like an excellent candidate for an antidepressant at the very least. But you HAVE to be honest with the doctor! Don't worry, he can't tell your family members anything unless you give him permission (unless you're a minor.) I agree that you need to go to a Suboxone doctor to either continue Suboxone treatment or begin tapering under the doctor's care.

You also need to come clean with someone close to you about your alcohol/opiate dependence, someone who you love and who loves you. If someone really loves you, then they will stand by you and help you get treatment. You can't do all this alone. It's too much! Plus, I bet your family already knows some stuff already.

If you're really depressed and have been for a long time and you can't seem to get better, and you can't hold down a job, go ahead and try to apply for Social Security Disability. I don't know your situation, but I got so bad off several years ago that I couldn't work, what with the depression and drug addiction, so I applied for SSDI and got it. It's the best thing that ever happened to me.
I say this because you mentioned about getting a job, and it sounds like you are going to be really mentally unable to support yourself at the present time.

I really feel for you, because it seems like you have acquired an opioid dependence while you were actually trying to cut back on your real drug of choice. Whatever you do, don't ever ever ever take any more pain pills, because if you don't have a really bad opioid addiction yet, maybe you can get over the withdrawal from the Suboxone and just go on and live a normal life. But only you know that.
JD


Oh thank you for the kind words :D. The name is because i feel like dirt.
My family knows nothing of any of this, as i have been living on my own for nearly 3 years and only just recently moved back home due to being broke/lease ending.

As far as the job thing, well if I were to either get on a working anti-depressant medication or be back on Suboxone, I would be able to hit the job market no problem. At least until I had to withdrawal again, if I decided on the latter. If all of these problems I am going through persist for a fairly longer amount of time, I will look into the SSDI, thank you for that suggestion.

My close and best friends know about this, which is important but they just can't really relate unfortunately and because i've been so in the gutter lately I just haven't wanted to see or talk to anyone.

It's looking like I will be explaining to the doctor tommorrow about my drug use and it's important contribution to my current condition. Thank you all for steering me in that direction. I didn't have the guts/was filled with guilt about it before. But now I will bring it up and avoid misdiagnosis and other complications regarding a doctor trying to treat me w/o knowing the full story.

I feel a little better already. Much thanks.


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 Post subject: clonidine...
PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 2:16 am 
yeah clonidine rocks. It really works! So, in my opinion it would be to your advantage to tell the doc what's up, and try to get some...it's not a controlled substance, or anything. Another thing given for opiate withdrawal is phenobarbital, which I actually got once when I went to the ER and told them I was detoxing, but they'll be drinking mint juleps in Hell before you get any of that.

Although, depending on the doctor, if you didn't tell her about the drug/alcohol history, then maybe you could get her to give up some benzos like Ativan or Klonopin, which will help you more than anything. But what you really need is an antidepressant and some suboxone to taper.
JD


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 11:57 am 
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I agree that you should tell your md whats going on. If you absolutely can't stand it... ask your md to refer you to a subs dr for help with detox. Unless you are looking for a long term maintenance or else NEED help with a slow taper wd... I would strongly advise against getting back on subs.

If you've truly been off for 7 days and were only on for two mos... I suggest try staying off and using the clonidine for sleep. This will be over much much quickly if you don't get back on. If time isn't a factor... then you have other options.

Most importantly, get separate help for your depression.... ASAP!

One final thought... If you were a chronic alcoholic and drank everyday... subs could be a miracle drug for your long-term recovery. After your "honeymoon phase" with subs... you won't get high or feel great everyday... but you will be stable without cravings and in control of your life. Then later... you can decide if you want a slow taper.

Things are gonna get better... I promise you that!!

God Bless


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 1:06 pm 
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Hello again,

I'm sorry I had been away from this topic for so long, as I had been caught up with various other things and whatnot and my mind had just drifted away from this forum.

So a few things. I ended up getting back on Suboxone, as there seemed to be no light at the end of the tunnel for my situation at the time. No more than 2mg and trying to do it every other day and now trying to develop a taper. I came clean to my doctor, and though she doesn't treat narcotic addiction or any kind of addiction, she was able to refer me to that kind of physician, though, who I have set up an appointment with. Regarding depression, she prescribed me Wellbutrin without performing any sort of diagnosis other than briefly discussing my issues with me and even expressing that she was somewhat skeptical that I might really be depressed. This was only 2 days ago, and I have not started taking the Wellbutrin yet. My question is what is the most effective way to taper down to the smallest possible dosage? What length of time should this taper be done for? As I had mentioned in my first post, i had tried jumping off at 2mg 3 different times and it did me no good, even after i stuck it out for 10 days, so I'm hoping the gradual taper will yield better results. I also had brought up my issues with depression with my doctor and she say she would need to make some further diagnosis and also schedule some bloodwork to determine whether thyroid problems are a factor. My definite belief is that what prevented my attempts at getting myself off the previous times was a combination of me jumping off at too high of a dosage and also having underlying depression issues that magnified the withdrawal symptoms almost tenfold.

Diary of a Quitter- you mentioned struggling with depression and how, through the course of your treatment with suboxone therapy, you worked on your issues regarding depression. I'm interested to know what you did to help treat your depression issue while you were still undergoing treatment with Suboxone, and how it helped towards finally weening yourself off completely. While I am just starting to try and lower my dosage gradually, I would like to treat my issues as much as I can before I am back to square one and completely off of Suboxone again, so as to clear away as much of the underlying issues regarding depression as much as possible so they won't reinforce the severity of my withdrawal when I face it once again.

I just want to get clean from Suboxone and get my life back on track and crawl out of this hole of depression but I feel lost as to how to approach this. My doctor was also entirely clueless about Suboxone, and only suggested that I just stop taking it immediately, even though I had expressed to her how I attempted that already and it seems quite clear that i need to do a very gradual taper detox rather than jumping off from 2mg, as I am extremely sensetive to the symptoms of withdrawal, moreso than a lot of people would be.

Also, thank you all for your support and advice. It's invaluable to have this forum and your knowledge in a situation where I don't have anyone really to go to who is knowledgeable about Suboxone or the withdrawal process, including my doctor who had only limited knowledge in regards to it.


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 Post subject: My Experience ...
PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 2:58 pm 
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Hello Dirt..
First of all I would recommend changing your handle to something more upbeat!!! :) LOL.
Anyways I can chime in a little as far as depression and Suboxone goes. Frist I am not A Dr. or medical pro. Just an addict in recovery!! I am also being treated for depression with Wellbutrin 300 mg/day. I have been on Suboxone a year (actualy a year today!!) 16 mgs/day and started with the Wellbutrin about 4 months ago. I also take Paxil 30 mgs/day for my depression. I have not had any adverse effects from this combination and am pleased with my progress. Note: I have not started or anticipate starting any type of taper yet. That is still down the road for me. In closing the two medications seam to work together fine for me.... I hope my babble was of some help to you. Best of luck in your continued recovery.....
Take Care,

God Bless
TW


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:39 pm 
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Yes, thank you. Any and all help is valuable. Good to know that the combination hasn't disagreed with you/your body etc... I guess I am going to start taking the Wellbutrin soon to give it a try, but I am just weary of a lot of anti-depressants and their ability to tranquilize/or make someone sort-of a 'happy pill zombie'. I've had friends who were like that, but then again I've known friends who also seemed to benefit greatly from anti-depressants, namely Prozac. We'll see how it goes for me. I may decide for the Wellbutrin to build up in my system a little bit before i start off on the taper just yet, so am still sticking to 2MG a day or every other day when possible.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 11:28 pm 
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I 100% agree with suboxfreedom.... if you really were only on for 2 months you are almost out of the woods. Early in my addiction history I was on ultram for a about 3-4 months. I went off cold turkey, had bad W/Ds for about 4-6 days and then it was done...no PAWS, no nothing...but of course my dumbass couldn't stay away and ended up going back on ultram for 3 years. But you sould be almost out of the woods.

I think everyoen suggests a longer slower taper to much lower amounts than 2 mg but that's for people, in my opinion, with more extensive using history. 2 months? You should be good in a few days.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 2:12 am 
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I can relate to your sensitivity to withdrawal, Dirt. I'm down around 1mg (.5 twice a day) I've only been on Sub for about 3 weeks, but I had a very high dose addiction to Oxycodone when I went on Suboxone. The doc here suggests tapering very slowly, a 10% reduction in dose every 2 weeks once you drop below 2mg, and even slower if a taper is too uncomfortable.. (double check that, that's the way i remember it, though.) so that actually takes months, but is the most withdrawal free method. I'm going to try something a little different, starting this weekend. I'm going to try to take my withdrawals in "chunks". I'm going to take my last dose on Thu night, and then wait as long as I can to take anything else over the weekend. I'm already hovering very near minimal amount needed to keep me out of withdrawals so within 24 hours (Fri night) I will start feeling bad. I'll try to go at least another 24 hours taking nothing, then if I absolutely have to take something I will take .25 mg. I'm hoping to come out Sunday night/Monday morning with a habit closer to .5mg per day by forcing my body to react to the stronger withdrawals. I hope I'm not waisting my time. I f*(**king hate withdrawals, so if this doesn't seem to work for me, I may be looking at the several month method. Seems a shame, but whatever.


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