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PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 3:27 am 
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I have been on Suboxone for eight months now and haven't had a slip up at all. I started off at 24 MG a day, and I'd dose 8 MG three times a day. I have then since gone down to 16MG and am dosing all at once. For the past week plus, I have been experiencing heavy, heavy cravings. I'm dreaming about it...I literally go online and just look up opiates for hours. I go to sites through which I have ordered through before and just scroll through the selection of pills. I have put off looking for a job in fear that once I get money, I will spend all of my money on drugs again. Right now, I have an extreme anxious feeling...my muscles feel tight and I have that tingling sensation running up and down from the back of my head, all the way down my spine. To counteract this, I have begun taking 20 MG a day and it has helped except I'm worried my doctor will think i'm abusing my subs. With my doctor, it's kind of complicated since I am on the free Suboxone program so I go in once a month to receive my month supply of sixty. Well now, I am going in a week early since he will be closed next week and and will have to ask him to give me my pills early. I feel like I shouldn't be worried since I wasn't taking them for abuse because like most long-term users, I haven't gotten high off of Suboxone since the first week I started taking it. I'm just wondering if I am not alone in this? I have been fine the whole time I have been on Suboxone and have not experienced cravings like this in a long, long time. Also, I'm not looking for the answer that just Suboxone is not enough to cure you, I need to do more. I have moved a thousand miles away from where I used to live, I deleted all of my old drug connects and did a month long outpatient rehab program. I really don't like attending meetings since hearing all of the stories of using makes me want to use even more(Please know that I am not bashing meetings at all since I know they have saved many of you-I'm just wired differently. We all are) It's hard to explain...I know what mental cravings are and that the mind can be a strong, strong tool to either help you recover or damn you over and over again but this feels different...I am physically craving opiates as a smoker would a cigarette...I have been so good in my recovery so far I am just wondering why is it happening now? After eight long months of being almost complete craving free why is it kicking my ass so hard now?

I'm sorry for babbling but sometimes I can't talk to people in real life who truly understand this situation I'm going through. Any help/input would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Ryan


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 7:47 am 
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It is good to see you around again Ryan. I have missed you as you seemed to stop posting for a while or slowed it down considerably. This is kind of a tough one because you can't really be having physical wtihdrawal or natural physical cravings on as much sub as you are on. BUT....you could be having physical symptoms as a result of intense psychological cravings. All in all, drives you crazy just the same. I don't think it is a sub thing but I also don't think it hurts to take more sub or take it twice per day again if you felt better that way. The important thing is that you are continuing to make efforts to avoid using, although it sounds like you are taunting yourself with the online stuff.

Have you considered going to therapy? I know you are on the assistance program so coming by the money for the therapy could be an issue. I find the therapy helps considerably in keeping me on track. Also, if you get a job you won't have this much time on your hands to be scrolling through internet sites. Keeping busy is very helpful for me.

Everyone is different, so I can't really know why you are going through this all of a sudden. I know for me I can have a hard time allowing myself to be successful. I have a tendency to self sabotage. You could always try going to recovery sites instead of old pill sites and just keeping the pill sites off limits for yourself. You are getting dangerously close to going back to your old habits....in fact you are participating in some old habits. That is rather scary.

I wish I had more to offer to you. I understand the lack of interest in meetings. I don't like them either and it does nothing for me. Maybe I am just stubborn. But clearly you need something more for your recovery. And ideas of what might work? Or what might be right for you? Have you looked into in-person meetings like the one Hatmaker has initiated in her area? Maybe she will respond and suggest where you can go to look. Or maybe you can get invested in starting one of your own.

Hang in there.

Cherie

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 Post subject: You Are NOT Alone.......
PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 7:52 am 
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Hi there mayunholdup,
Let me say that you are not the only one needing re-fill early.... We actually talked about this in the meeting yesterday it was nice to get some thoughts from other people in Real-Time!! Anyways I have an issue taking an extra pill (8mgs.) every once in a while.. If I am having some pressure from work or something that in the past would make me use I find myself taking more Suboxone then I am prescribed???? I know this is an addict behaving like an addict But I cant stop myself then I either have to ration my pills that I have left OR find an "outside" source for the Suboxone (Also Addict behavior) So I need to work on that and I am trying. It doesn't happen every month But if it happens at all it is not good!! Just wanted to let you know you are NOT alone. Thanks for sharing and please keep posting. I enjoy reading your post'. Take care and continued success on your Recovery!!!

God Bless
TW

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 8:03 am 
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Hi Mayan! I, too, am so glad to see you posting again. I think it's a really good thing that you decided to turn to us - one aspect of your support system in this time of need for you. It's a healthy step for you to take.

I'll tell you what I think of cravings. I think suboxone addresses the physical cravings because the opiate receptors are flooded. What I believe to be left over I call psychological cravings. Has anything happened in your life lately that might have triggered you? Are you under an inordinate amount of stress - or any new stress for that matter? I know you moved recently - could you be feeling lonely or bored? Those can trigger some of us.

I agree that therapy is something you should at least consider. Perhaps you can find something on a sliding scale? I would also advocate being open with your doctor, and it sounds like that's what you plan on doing. Maybe your doctor can refer you to some meetings or counseling.

Have you heard of SMART recovery? They have in-person meetings, too. You can Google them and find any meetings that might be in your area. The website I used to start my own support group is called meetup.com. They have groups of ALL kinds all around the globe. You just enter your zipcode and can see all the groups in your area. Perhaps there are already different kinds of addiction recovery meetings taking place or you could consider starting your own. It's free to do that and I've found it helpful just starting my own group, even though it's slow going. Plus it would take up some of your free time. Distraction can be a powerful tool when we have cravings.

Hang in there and keep posting on how you're doing. Expressing those cravings can also help to counteract them. Good luck and keep us posted.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 1:55 pm 
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That's a pretty high dose to be on and still have cravings, but I think (and this is just a guess) that it's probably mostly psychological. That doesn't in any way diminish the difficulty of dealing with those cravings, though. Psychological doesn't mean "not real" but it does mean that you might be able to deal with them without having to increase your dose.

I also would suggest you try therapy. If you can find a way to get into therapy, I would do it. What do you have to lose at this point? Maybe you can get to the bottom of what is causing these cravings.

For now, based on what you've written here, I would, if I were you, be honest with the doctor. Tell your doctor you've had intense cravings and taking the extra suboxone seemed to help diminish those cravings. I don't think the doctor would penalize you for doing that, particularly if you've been that doctor's patient for a while and have gotten to know each other.

MABYE, just MAYBE even consider upping your dose a little bit for the time being.....but with an eye towards getting into therapy and trying to uncover whatever it is that has contributed to you becoming an addict in the first place, and also learning how to live with this disease in the long run.

That's why I am in therapy. I'm just learning to live. And it definitely helps.....


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 2:48 pm 
Hi Mayun....You are so not alone in continuing to have cravings. I know I've read of a few fortunate souls who upon starting and getting stabilized on Suboxone, essentially had no more cravings....zip...nada....zilch. My doctor told me that I should have no cravings while on the proper dose of Suboxone. He said that, "You should be able to be in a room full of bottles of pain pills and have it hold no significance to you." Well, that never happened.....at least not for me. As to whether there is a difference between "physical" versus "psychological" cravings...maybe I don't understand that concept or maybe I'm just not familiar with looking at it that way. To me, a "craving" simply defined, as I understand it, is "a deep longing" for something. To me that is purely psychological. I guess to me, if one was talking about a craving as in a craving for a drink of water, one would describe that as "thirst." Maybe that's a 'physical' craving. Or I guess in terms of a physical craving for opiates....maybe that would be as in it being tied to withdrawal....like one would crave opiates to extinguish the pain of withdrawal. Maybe that's what is meant by a "physical craving." When we are on a sufficient dose of bupe, like I think you are, any physical w/d symptoms which would lead one to crave opiates should be extinguished. So with that being the case, to me, a craving at its truest base is that deep longing....in our case that deep longing to change the way we feel. Purely psychological.
So....what to do about it? For me, Mayun, I'm with you...it's easy to start getting obsessive with the thoughts of using to the point of even dreaming about it. The memory of how 'good' I felt after popping those pills pervades my thoughts sometimes. So I think I know exactly what you're talking about. It does come and go......As someone else suggested, it may be that there is something going on your life that is driving you to want to feel better, hence the increased cravings.
Here's the thing that I find important.......the cravings lead to the thoughts. But they are only thoughts. Now when you start putting action behind those thoughts, like going to websites and such fueling those cravings, or worse yet, begin to make a plan of relapse.....then you've crossed on over into more dangerous territory.
Sometimes what I have to do is find a way to stop the thoughts, being sure most of all not to feed them. When I think about how good it felt to be high.....I might actually say "stop" outloud. Then start thinking about the disaster those drugs made of my life......think about that crap for a few minutes and most of the desire to use is extinguished.
For me, cravings are just part of the package.....it does get better. But it sometimes comes in waves. They are only thoughts and you CAN change them. You are doing great. You have done everything, it sounds to me like, behaviorly, to ensure against relapse. I don't know that we will ever get completely over that 'deep longing' but we can remind ourselves of all the reasons we cannot succumb to it! Distract yourself with other things when the cravings hit hard. Occupy your mind and body with anything other than those thoughts and you will make through another episode. And every episode of cravings you survive without using, you're that much better and your recovery is that much stronger. I don't know if that helped or not, as you've already been given good words here, but maybe a little bit different way for you to look at it. Hang in there friend!


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 5:54 pm 
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I appreciate everyone's input. It was truly helpful. I don't want this to come off wrong or anything but I have found that people who have had an opiate addiction or even the people who are stuck on opiates are some of the smartest, most well spoken people I have had the opportunity to meet.

I told my doctor about my situation and he was very understanding. Also, he came in the room with my Suboxone so I didn't even have to ask which was a relief. I was fearing I was going to have to ration the rest I had left due to me having to take a little extra. I told him about my cravings which were mainly at night. He also noted I had an elevated blood pressure, so he prescribed me Prazosin. He said it will help with my nighttime cravings and help me sleep which I have had problems with lately. I'm a little weary though as drugs.com says it had a mild interaction with buprenorphine. Although it has mild-to-moderate interactions with 370 other medications so I suppose I will be fine.

I'm 21, going on 22 I suppose seeing a lot of my friends graduate and doing things with their life has kind of been a disappointment to me. Scratch that...not a disappointment in them but a discomfort in myself. The whole time they were in school, preparing themselves for the real world I was in an insulated bubble I made am just now preparing to set fourth into the world. I know 21 is not old, I just have always felt like I was falling behind. It's so amazing what that little voice in your head does to you. It's been quiet for months but it will always come back and I suppose I have to accept that. There is no off switch to addiction. When I was fantasizing about using and punishing myself online by looking at these sites, the whole time I knew it was wrong but it was like I was literally on auto-pilot. I wasn't thinking, I was reacting. So...for now everything is good. Once again, I thank everyone for their input and understanding in my situation.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 6:05 pm 
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If you keep beating yourself up over a couple years you will end up being 32 and beating yourself up for 10 of them. You aren't really behind. I know if FEELS like that when you are comparing yourself to your friends, but if you walked into pretty much any college campus these days you would see about as many over 30's as you do under 23's. It sounds like you may WANT to go to school. If that is what you want.....go get it. I highly recommend it. You can take out student loans that pretty much pay for school AND your living expenses these days. You could work part time or do work study. It is a heck of a lot easier than you think and it might be just the thing to take your mind off of things and maybe you can stop beating yourself up over it. School would be over before you know it.

Oh...and talking with addicts..they say the higher your IQ the more likely you are to become an addict anyways. My suspicion is that there are probably several high IQ people on this site. I think when you are smart it also comes with a price which is to be somewhat tormented by the world around you. Just my opinion.

Hopefully that drug doesn't have that mild interaction and you are alright. Good for you for being honest with the doctor. I hope you really are feeling a little better now.

Cherie

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- Winston Churchill


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 7:03 pm 
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Hey Mayun.....so good to "see" you again! I too am sorry you are going through this. I really enjoyed your last post on this topic. I think you are right....we all talk about how we know we are addicts, and that means we will ALWAYS be addicts (the light switch that doesn't turn off, as you put it), but it really is hard when we have to actually live with the implications of this fact. I too think that most of us will always have some amount of cravings. the trick is avoiding triggers and situations that make you crave any more than usual (which it sounds like you have already done). As your story illustrates, even with the best plans and recovery work, the cravings still persist. Just think of how hard it would be if you hadn't done all that work!

As far as trying to stop taking extra pills, I actually just posted my method for doing this on another thread (the one titled "I am not an idiot"). Without repeating myself too much, I suggest doing something that prevents you from taking sub (I suggest eating things.....my favorite food for this is Popsicles since they take a long time to eat and you can't "speed eat" them and your mouth is cold and numb after so you have to wait to take the sub). While doing this, I distract myself with another activity. Usually, after 15-20 minutes, the urge has passed or become bearable. There is a slightly more comprehensive explanation of this in the other post.

I also agree with Cheri that finding work will help take your mind off of using.....being bored is a HUGE trigger for most addicts. I too am looking for work, so I understand where you are coming from. In the mean time, try to engage in NEW activities. I recently started gardening, which I have never done. New things make us focus harder because we don't know how to do them. So, I would suggest trying a new sport, volunteering, or even just doing complex puzzles or games to occupy your mind. I find that I have to FORCE myself to think about the activity and not the craving....literally talk myself into re-focusing my train of thought.

On the school thing......I feel like I am listening to myself 10 years ago when I left school. Before I left, I went to speak to my debate coach and professor about my decision. I was in tears and convinced that I would be left behind and that I was ruining my life. He said to me, "you are 21 years old, you are a baby, there is almost nothing you can do to ruin your whole life. This is just one step of thousands you will take in your life. This is not the end, it's just the beginning of a new phase. take what you have learned from this experience and make the next phase incredible". I finished my uiindergrad degree when I was 29 (and I was NOT the oldest person in class by a long shot). I have also completed a year of grad school (and will return when I am more secure with my addiction issues). In the mean time, I have obtained a teaching certification. My point is, that WAS just the end of that part of my life. Don't feel bound by what is "normal" (i.e. graduating at 21).....normal people are boring anyway! :D Having read your posts, you are going to finish college if you want to....it will come in its own time.

One more quick thing, then I'll shut up. I didn't go to see all my friends graduate from college because I though I would be embarrassed and that they would think I was a failure. I have always regretted this. A few years ago, I mentioned this to one of my close friends from college. She told me, "you must not think much of your friends if you thought we would judge you.....you weren't the only one not to graduate.....even thought you didn't finish, you were a big part of our lives and we all missed having you there with us". Try not to be hard on yourself and don't compare yourself to your friends. They have their weaknesses as well. And, if they are good friends, they will be so proud of you for what you have accomplished.

OK.....I'll shut up now.....I just really related to your post and wanted to offer the perspective of someone who lived through this.

Take Care!

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Elizabeth

Subs Not Drugs!!!

"Don't hope for a life without problems. An easy life results in a judgmental and lazy mind."
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 9:54 pm 
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I have learned over the years that suboxone is a small piece to a big puzzle. It is a very, very important piece to my recovery nut just one of many. I've seen lots of people get on suboxone and just kick back, thinking thier addiction problems were solved. I'm not accusing you of that, it seems like you have taken the right steps so far. I tell people all the time suboxone does not work like that. As great as it is, it is not the wonder drug people hype it up to be. There is so much work that needs to be done besides taking sub. They always say in AA work as hard at sobriety as you did at getting high. I don't know about anyone else but I've never put as much effort into recovery as I did when I was using. My first year off drugs I would do something every day for my sobriety, a meeting, phone calls, visiting rehabs, something. I kept it that simple for the first 12 to 18 months. I would have massive cravings, even when on 24 mg, they will subside just do the work.

I never want to be one of those people that say "you have to go to meetings" or those who think 12 steps are the be all and end all to recovery but I'm going to be a hipocrit this one time. You should definately go to meetings! You are correct, we are all wired differently but our disease is the same. If you are not having any luck at NA then go to AA or the other way around. Go to CA or even OA if you have to, the mesage is the same. You need a support group of people who have been where your at, people you can get together with, have coffee, go camping with, what ever. Sobriety should be fun and ex drunks and drug addicts are the funnest, craziest people to hang with. They won't come looking for you, you have to get out and meet some you connect with. I was always told to get outside my comfort zone and do some new things, you will grow from it.

Hang in there, sounds like your on the right path just don't pick up. You don't want to do the whole 8 months over. Your closer to freedom than you think.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2010 4:39 pm 
Hi Ryan, it's good to see you back. I just wanted to add my support. I know the torture of having cravings, and I also know you can beat it. You have gotten a lot of good suggestions here. Keep taking your Sub and keep coming back to the fourm. We're rooting for you!
Lilly


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