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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2015 1:33 pm 
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Hi, my name is Jeff and I'm new here. Please forgive me if I post in the wrong place & could sure use some help navigating around on this forum. For starters, I'm not new to recovery. I've been clean & sober (???) since: Drugs 2000 /Alcohol 2006. But here is where the madness starts... After serving in the Navy for 12 years 80 -92, I was honorably discharged and an absolute alcoholic mess . Things just got worse with your buffet of any and all drugs, mostly heroin. Then in 1997 until 1999 my stint with homelessness, sleeping in a ballfield dugout going from church to church and carrying a list of churches that fed the best like a Zugat's survey. During those days while homeless I was in a V.A. Method program and on a regular dose of 45 MG's of long acting method called ORLAAM all while still out there using whatever I could get my hands on. Then one day I just got sick of it all and went into long term treatment. My life had totally changed. Great job, home, relationship....all the great things that come with sobriety. So now here I am in 2006, I go to a yearly check up with my Dr at the V.A. and I'm introduced with a new Dr because my regular Dr has retired. My new Dr says to me ''I see that on top of some of your medical issues with your disability (Over Exposure to Radiation while serving on Submarines) that you have severe back pain...what do you take for that''? I told him that I live on a lot of Advil and I don't take anything narcotic because I am in recovery. He than asks me if I have ever been prescribed Tramadol and I said no. He assured me that it was'nt a narcotic. So here I am taking Tramadol regularly for years...until I get a letter in the mail in Aug of 2014 that it is now a Sched. 3 or 4 narcotic. So what do I do...throw them in the garbage and go into heavy withdrawel. At that point my meetings stop. Not long after the withdrawal starts I ran into a friend of mine who I KNEW was on Suboxone and I asked him if it would work for my w.d. symptoms. He gave my 1 8 mg strip and that's all she wrote. So now here I was getting strips from him regularly , getting worse than what I was with the Tramadol. Now comes about a year later, this past Aug I go to my Dr and fess up to him about what took place with the Trams and subs I had been getting from a friend and he asks me why did'nt I just go their, the V.A. because they have a clinic for Methadone and Suboxone for which I had no idea. I asked my Dr if they would please help me detox from the Suboxone and they say sure...but first we have to bring you up to 16 MG's first before we start detoxing you slowly. I'm stunned but being the good fiend that I am I go along with it. So here I am walking out of my Dr's office every week with a 7 day supply which lasts me about 4 days and I have my friend with his subs to rely on too. This has been going on for about 6 months. I'm slowly dying inside. I've tried tapering but to no avail. My house is in turmoil, let along my relationship with my future wife. I've just decided to jump off this Roller Coaster and quit dragging things out. After reading a post which was truly inspiring from JustJustin on here along with the reply posts it sure seems like some great support which I'm going to need in these coming months. I think if I can kick Methadone I sure hope I can kick the Subs. I'm sorry this post is so long...

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2015 5:27 pm 
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Nothing changes if nothing changes. It seems like a very good slogan for you.

Tramadol, methadone, and suboxone are not the same drugs, but you are apparently the same on all of them. You are the common denominator that has not changed. Why is it that you are not ready for recovery? What is getting off sub going to do for you? Because it's your dedication to being in recovery that has to change. Methadone and Suboxone are just tools. If you get off sub now you will not be on any drugs, but you won't be in recovery either if that's all you change.

I don't know much about methadone, but I know a lot about suboxone. If you were taking 8 mg/day and more recently 16 mg of sub a day you know that you weren't getting high from it because suboxone doesn't get you high unless you are opiate naive, which you are not. So the reason you were taking more than prescribed is all about your addiction and nothing to do with the medication. You have a psychological impulse to take more medication despite the fact that it does nothing for you because of suboxone's ceiling limit. Most people who go on suboxone are stable on their medication within a week or two. They are no longer craving opiates, they are not in withdrawal. They feel normal. They use their time on sub to get their life back together. After a few years of being stable on sub they might decide to slowly taper off it, they get down to .5mg or lower if they can, and they step off. Their lives look nothing like they did when they started on suboxone. They have a job, a family, activities they enjoy, financial stability.

So yes, people here can help support you if you are going to jump off sub. If you jump from 16mg you will not feel back to "normal" for a couple to a few months. Are you going to start going to 12 step meetings? Are you going to be in therapy? Because if all you do is get off suboxone you will relapse. If you can't be in recovery on sub, which takes away cravings and withdrawal symptoms, how are you going to do it without that stability. You need to have a plan. Good luck.

Amy

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2015 10:41 pm 
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Amy makes great points. One thing about this forum-- which I think is the best part of the forum-- is that you will get more here than simple support. Support is usually of little or no value to someone dealing with addiction, because the addicted side of the person turns 'support' into reasons to maintain the status quo.

And along that line-- the thing I notice in reading your post is that you describe your history as things that were done to you. Someone erred by giving you Tramadol, for example. Then a friend got you stuck on Suboxone, and then a doctor got you stuck on a higher dose.

In order to turn things around, you need to accept your role in things. Otherwise you will never find a way to turn things around. At some point, you must have known that tramadol was digging a hole for you, for example. Tramadol creates tolerance and a withdrawal syndrome, and provides an opioid 'buzz'. Likewise, there has been tons of (mostly wrong) negative press about Suboxone... enough that you surely had reason to think twice about starting it.

As Amy wrote, you are wrapped up in addictive behavior beyond what is caused by buprenorphine. Your doc tried to stabilize you by giving you a dose above the ceiling effect. Above 16 mg (and usually above 8 mg), buprenorphine and Suboxone have a ceiling that prevents the ups and downs associated with taking opioids. If you are taking 16 mg of Suboxone correctly, then you are not getting high from it. Some people get wrapped up in a placebo effect from taking it, but it is hard to imagine that effect persisting for weeks. But whatever the case, if you just taper off buprenorphine in the condition that you describe, odds are almost certain that you'll only be using SOMETHING in a very short time.

Your best option is to stabilize your opioid problem, using either buprenorphine or methadone. Most people require a long period of maintenance, in order to extinguish the addictive cycle. Of course, you will never extinguish anything if you keep using other drugs! The way people make it work is by being honest with themselves and with their counselors, and making the series of changes that are recommended, including remaining abstinent from other drugs. After 2-5 years, people are often ready to stop the maintenance agent.

Most people here have come to realize that the cycle of repeated detox and relapse is a waste of time. Many people are here to get help with tapering-- but the people who are tapering after short-term use of buprenorphine are unfortunately destined to repeat the miserable cycle that most addicts have gone through.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2015 10:45 am 
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Hello, I too was hooked on tramadol. My Mom is in recovery from alcohol and it was prescribed for her as it is "non addictive" Ha Ha! She has never had a problem with it. I was drug seeking and it was easy to buy online until August of last year. The withdrawl was the worst thing I had ever experienced! I could handle the physical stuff, it was the depression and that feeling of darkness that was unbearable for me. I was lucky to find a wonderful suboxone Doc and this forum. I started at 24 mgs and have now weaned myself down to 6mgs! Suboxone has helped me three fold...addiction, depression, and pain from osteoarthritis. I wish you all the luck. You sound like a very smart guy and I think you maybe asking questions that you already have answers to! We are here for you so please stick around!


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