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PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 8:41 pm 
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I have been addicted to percocet since this past thanksgiving. Right now i probably take around 60-75 mg a day. I want to stop. My friend offered to give me suboxone to help me get off of them. I know I should go to a doctor but I dont have insurance and this is my only option. I really want to stop. I have too. I am graduating college in 2 months and I want to beat this before then. So my main concern is, is the suboxone addictive ? Will a 2 week supply generally tapering down be sufficient ? I know i will have the will power to stop these once I dont have to go through the withdrawal. I havent been on them for that long and I am not taking OCs. Any help would be appreciated.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 9:17 pm 
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Welome!

No judgement, no lectures.... promise! I will however give you something to chew on, and you wont follow my guidance, but one day you may look back with a familiar nod. There is a very specific sequence of addiction that we all follow at one point or another. You sound like you are at the beginning with the " I have willpower and I can beat this thing and i am not a REAL addict, just got carried away and once I get past the awful withdrawal, things will be golden" mentality. I will answer your question to start. Yes, suboxone is addictive. It is a partial opiate agonist and will keep your withdrawal from full agonists at bay (percs), and a 2 week supply will work nicely if you taper down. you will still have some withdrawals but it wont be as bad. Here is the problem, but as I said, you are not there yet. Your brain has had the switch flipped on. Your opiate receptors have been stimulated and you know what it feels like to have the opiate warm glow. once you are passed withdrawals, it has nothing to do with will power, it has to do with the sneaky way addiction tells you you are special, you are different and down the road you can have just one and be fine, never again get into this situation. I do not question your intelligence, your intention and your belief about how this will play out. please feel free to reach out and absorb some of the knowledge of the people on this site, which is quite vast! I guess you sound like me at the beginning of my journey.... I have a graduate degree, family, own business, very successful, smart blah blah blah, and these little pills got quite the hold on me. I am on subutex and will be on it for awhile. finding humility is key to beating opiate addiction. Good Luck!

mw


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 10:24 pm 
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I have to agree AND will also acknowledge that everyone is different. I am not sure it matters if you are on percs or OC's or heroin really. Your body requires the opiate for dopamine if I understand correctly and you won't generate your own dopamine for a while. Look up post acute withdrawal symptoms online and it will tell you a lot. I was on pain killers off and on for about 8 years with no addiction at all and then the last 2 years became addicted to oxy. Started on perc and vicodin though. Either way, I was only on oxy for 2 years and was addicted within 3 weeks of starting it. I tried to get off of it for the entire two years saying the same kind of things. I was on suboxone for 2 1/2 years and then abruptly went off of it. It has been almost 3 months now and I still don't feel right. Granted I had 2 surgeries and took pain killers in between, but I am moody as hell and fatigue like crazy. Have a hard time getting 7 hours per day in let alone 8.

I say all this because I don't want you to be surprised when you use suboxone to help wean, get through minor withdrawal, and then find you are still miserable. You may want to browse the forum a little more and look at things like possibly an anti-depressant if you have any pre-existing depression issues.

Six months IS a long time in opiate land and it is certainly long enough to be considered SERIOUS. If you want to remain opiate free after the withdrawal, you will need a better plan and better support system than willpower alone in my opinion.

Just my .02 cents.

Cherie


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 Post subject: Just my 2 cents
PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 12:57 am 
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Hey and welcome!

I too am pretty new to this forum and am a college student also who is at almost my 1 1/2 week mark so I would be at abouts where you would want to see yourself if you follow your plan. (I really hope that makes sense) I am coming from quite a considerably longer and stronger addictions but I am on Suboxone now for almost 2 weeks and can say that I think it would actually possibly get you to where you wanna be (NO MEDICAL BACKGROUND/JUST OPINION) because I can say that I think that I', passed a lot of the physical withdrawal symptoms by now but now it's hugely mental to try do it without the help of Suboxone. One good thing though is that if you're being honest you're not on a very large amount of Percs per day and you haven't been on em for almost too long (in a good way) if you know what I mean. I think with a little willlpower and some help from the forum you could possibly take it head on - AGAIN JUST MY OPINION! I know the way I am I could never just stop taking suboxone and not immedicaetly replapse but thats a whole other story and my other little post about my drug induced years and me. But if this is your only option - you're going to do it so I WISS YOU THE BEST! and will be here every step of the way if you need any newbie advice. Make sure thought that you taper yourself off the suboxone though like according to someone with some medical background. Good luck if you do decide to do it and I wish you the best - if you need help just shout :)

Taryn

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And feel like shit the morning after
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I'm standing up the morning after"
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 1:42 am 
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Tarynw: I am a bit confused by your post. Well, okay, I'm a lot confused by your post. Are you trying to say that you are currently at or close to past physical withdrawal from opiates? Are you aware that if you were to abruptly stop your Suboxone right now (today), six weeks from today or six months from today, you will still feel pretty much the same withdrawal symptoms? That is most certainly the case, unless you slowly reduce your dose and then stop at a very small dose - somewhere in the 0.25mg range or so - and even then you'll still feel at least some level of withdrawal. You state that "I think that I', passed a lot of the physical withdrawal symptoms by now but now it's hugely mental..." While you may think that is the case, I hate to say that it is just not at all true. Your body is still very much physically dependent on opiates - it's just that the current opiate you are taking is Suboxone. But you are still physically dependent as well as mentally.

I do agree that you seem to be very much in the same place as PSK691 - especially where you are at with your understanding and hopes about this God-awful disease of addiction. I strongly urge both you and PSK to read the excellent post by mwflorida. Then read it again. Then read it one more time. She has laid the 100% truth out very well. We have all been there. At least I have. It is so important to come to the understanding that getting off of your drug of choice AS WELL AS getting off of Suboxone is only the first step. In some ways, it's the easy part. Staying opiate free is where the real challenge will come in. Addiction is barely about the detox aspect. It is barely about stopping drug intake and getting past the withdrawals. It is ALL ABOUT staying stopped and never abusing opiates again. It's about the cravings; it's about the triggers. It is life long. We just don't get a "do over" on this. It totally sucks but as mwflorida says, once the switch has been flipped on, it is very rare that we are able to flip it off again. We can sometimes get the switch into "standby" mode but that is often the best we can hope for. If getting the drugs out of our system and making it through withdrawals were the only part, we would not need addiction treatment - we would only need detox.

The fact of the matter is, if PSK691 is like the great majority of us, two weeks of Suboxone may be able to help wean her (or him) down enough to get through the withdrawals. However, and most unfortunately, the chance that PSK691 will be able to not go back to using again within the two weeks that follow is minimal - extremely minimal. We can all hope. We can all encourage, and yeah, someone has to make up that one or two percent who are able to make it. It is just not at all very likely.

PSK691 and Tarynw, please, please, please take to heart what mwflorida is trying to say.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:23 am 
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Good Morning!

Thank you Donh for the stock u take in my post and input... for the sweet young newbies, i think the reason my posts are sometimes referred to by the more seasoned members is because I am the therapist contributor of the forum. Literally, I am a family therapist and sometimes have a different experience, and a different spin on things. When we are young, we have an "us" and "them" mentality, toward many things, not just addiction. Thats OK. Thats where you are. I firmly believe that when you are supporting someone, you have to meet them where they are, not where you want them to be. I am a process oriented person, and therapist and you cannot rush or skip the process. You do not yet know what you don't know, which is the biggest caveat to youth. In regards to the us and them theory, you would never know if you passed me in a store that I am a poster on this forum. I am young (relatively -- 33), attractive, live in a 5 bedroom house, 2 adorable little kids etc... Graduated from Boston University with an accelerated Masters Degree program at 22. This wasnt "supposed to happen" to me! I had willpower, smarts, and I KNEW I could beat this thing! That is where you are now, and even as you are reading this, you are probably thinking "This lady doesnt know what she is talking about, she doesnt know me and how strong minded I really am!". Again, that is OK. That is where you are. Take good care of yourself and use the sub as you need to right now, just know that if you relapse in the near future, it is not a character flaw, you are not stupid, you are not anything bad -- its not YOU, its addiction.

MW


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 9:41 am 
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Dang mwflorida, your posts were very well said! Me being mid to late twenties I don't know if I am considered old or yound to some on here, but I will say that the examples you had given were 'me', to the 't' (at least in the past, not so much any more...). I THOUGHT I was different, I THOUGHT I had some strong will power (I do), and I THOUGHT I would be able to re-gain control a couple years ago....but all I did is loose control completely. As you said, addiction IS sneaky! With support, a change of lifestyle and suboxone/bupe treatment, I have been able to see that I did NOT have control, I was NOT so different, and even with strong will power, it was not strong enough to conquer addiction on my own. As said, will power really doesn't mean too much once you are in late stage active addiction (or any part of it really). I know that one has to want to get into recovery themselves...but also one has to be able to open their mind to the possibility that in fact we are different in some ways but addiction has affected us very similiar and addiction knows no bounderies!

To the poster: I am not being judemental nor preaching. I am not trying to take sides, but just trying to say that you should really think about what mwflorida has said.... I am NOT a therapist or expert or doctor. I have just been in the same situation in the past with my thinking and I know that in MY case, I was not so different when it comes to addiction and how it affects us. I am a recovering addict of over 8 months on Suboxone...these are just my personal opinions...

I hope that everything works out for you! If we can help please just ask.....this forum has helped SOOO many, including myself. You do deserve better, and you can get away from active addiction and into recovery. What ever way you do it, I wish you the best!!! Good luck and take care all...

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"Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it." ---Salvador Dali


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 10:37 am 
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Wow... This forum is not like the other forums. I appreciate all the input. Later today, after my classes, I will post more information to give you all a broader perspective of my situation.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:46 am 
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Your age, education, gender, socio-economic status... etc are meaningless when it comes to this disease. We have people here who are professionals with advanced degrees on one end of the continuum over to high school dropouts who are unemployed with few prospects.... on the extreme other side. The point being... if ya got it... ya got it... and the only thing you can do [with expectation of a "normal" life] is to follow what has worked for those who have gone before you.

That includes most of the good advice you've already been given here.

I was in a similar position as you over 30 yrs ago and thought I had put this away for good... several times since then. Yet here I am, still dealing with it. I agree with whoever already said... once that light or trigger has been activated... nothing will ever again be the same for you. Your brain has essentially found a short cut to euphoria. Less then 10% of the general population actually get the high we get from opiates or else have no interest in duplicating it. You are most likely one who seeks the duplication.

Please follow the good counsel already provided from the earlier responders.


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 Post subject: Just so everyone knows
PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:56 pm 
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Just so everyone knows...I was not trying to say that I thought it was a good idea or that I thought it would work/be easy I was just trying to say to her that if she doesn't have any other options...like literally no other choice (other than to keep using) then I would wish her the best and be here to help if needed. I COULD NEVER stop taking Suboxone today, tomorrow, next week or 3 months from now I just think 2 weeks of Suboxone does help with a lot of the physical withdrawals from opiates and if this is all she can do than I could atleast let her know how I feel at my 2 week mark. TRUST ME I understand the terrible hold of addictions and realize that its more than just a couple of weeks on a pill and you're all better I was just trying to give some positive feedback to someone (that without medical insurance) is in a bit of a pickle. That is why I also did mention to get some medical advice from someone as far as how to taper off the Sub's if she did chose to go along with her plan.
I guess I probably shouldn't be handing out advice this early on in my recovery :oops: but I do want to be here for someone new that may want/need someone just to tell them that they think they can do it. About one hour ago I just came the closest I have to quitting the Sub's and relapsing but chose not to so I do know (trust me I DO) that I am not going to be better for quite awhile and will need a lot more treatment in order to be opiate free permanently but I also don't think that some peoples willpower should be underestimated or that we should not give note to our own strengths...
Always great reading what you guys have to say...you're a great group of people with good hearts :D

T

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"It's always been wait and see
A happy day and then you'll pay
And feel like shit the morning after
But now I feel changed around
And instead of falling down
I'm standing up the morning after"
~Elliott Smith


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:18 pm 
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Thanks for the clarification Tarynw135. And even more so, thanks for a very mature and anything but defensive response. So often people take offence and go on the attack in response to being questioned. The attributes in your response are actually healthy and indicative of someone who has the tools for recovery. I read so often how we need to be humble (among other things) in order to actually beat this disease. It sounds like you have a decent understanding of what all of us with an addiction to opiates face.

Now, what about you? Is there anything we can do to help you? The first couple of weeks are among the toughest. Don't get down on yourself for a near-miss. In fact, it sounds like you should be very proud of your ability to get past whatever craving or trigger you just endured. With time, those cravings and triggers will get easier. Please do whatever you need to in order to address whatever is going on. If you need to call your doctor, councilor, sponsor, friend, whomever, please do whatever it takes. And most of all, please understand that the feelings and drive to use are very normal. Many or all of us here have had them at one point or another. Of course, if they continue, that could be an indication that you need a higher dose of Suboxone and that would be something to speak with your doctor about. And if it helps, please post what is going on with you and I'm sure there will be all sorts of people here to support you. Hang in there Tarynw!


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 Post subject: my story
PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:48 pm 
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So 4 years ago i joined a fraternity... long story short... got addicted to cocaine really fast.... i kicked that on my own with no help and no treatment. Right then and there I said to myself I would never get addicted to another drug again. Fast forward to this past year (2009) I started snorting percs. And before I knew it , i fell off the wagon(thanksgiving). My life has been consumed with making sure that I am "high" all the time. A few weeks back, i made an effort to taper off the percs by buying a lower mg pill in bulk and come up with a schedule for myself. That didnt work. Then a friend told me that I can take suboxone to deal with the withdrawal and that it helps you through it. Not that I am saying I am different from any of you, and your kindness is stunning to me being a stranger. But is my only option to really switch from one pill to the next ? and stay on that for a while ? I am graduating in may and have begun searching for jobs with the cruise industry. I dont want to start my life still hooked on pills. I am supposed to be getting my first 10 suboxone from a friend tomorrow. And he went through this and I trust him to help me. I know it is probably very agitating to hear the same things over and over again. And answer the same questions over and over again.

I really do feel like I can beat this on my own. I was a lot deeper in my last addiction. I know it is probably extremely different but still I have that to hope on.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:09 pm 
Hello psk691! I'm glad you found us...You've been given some good things to think about here.
I'm so very sorry that you're in this spot. My heart aches for you. You're addicted to opiates. You have a disease. The "switch" has been flipped and I'm so sorry to tell you....You will never, ever be the same. I do not say those words lightly or flippantly. I say them because I know them to be true.....much the same way that I know the sky is blue. As the others have shared with you there is no one who is special when it comes to this disease.
I have come to accept this somewhat gradually over the past couple of years. I am in my 40s, with no history of substance abuse or mental health issues my whole life until age 40. I had a darn near perfect life.....handsome husband, wonderful children, big house, new cars, college education, an enviable career of many years, the respect of my family and peers, the whole nine yards! I wanted for very little and honestly had no traumatic life event that triggered my addiction. Nonetheless, opiates got ahold of me and I was in way too deep before I even knew what hit me. Trust me when I tell you, I had everything to lose by continuing in active addiction.....Yet I did exactly that. And that addiction stole my career permanently, cost me greatly in many areas of my life, and very nearly cost me my marriage.
Like you, I initially thought that once I "got clean" I would have this thing whipped. I got off the drugs, went to intensive outpatient treatment, white-knuckled my way through my trial at abstinence-based sobriety for months only to find that the nightmare was FAR from over after getting those drugs out of my system.
I do hate to be a downer here and I'm not saying that there aren't a few exceptions to every rule, but your chances of staying off the pills after taking Suboxone on your own for a couple of weeks are slim to none. Many of us here who are offering you advice are also very strong-willed, we're smart, we're special in many ways......but we've had to accept that when it comes to opiate addiction, none of that matters. None of us is special in that regard. This thing is just too big. You are addicted and your brain cannot forget that. You can't unring a bell, if that makes sense.
You can take the Sub for a while. It may soften the withdrawals from the percs a little bit, but within a very short period of time, you'll be miserable, discouraged, and suffer from low motivation and you will almost certainly find yourself right back to point A again.....taking those percs or whatever opiate you can get ahold of just to feel better and make it through the day. I hate it....but it's the truth.
Again, I'm sorry to be all gloom and doom. You may very well have to try it your way several times and fail before you're able or willing to try a different way. I understand the lack of insurance and so forth. I wish you weren't in this position. If there is any way whatsoever for you to confide in a family member what has happened and get some help, I think you should do that. If there's any way you can get the money together and see a Suboxone doctor.....do it. You really need more help to address this addiction. I know how hard it is, but I hope you will think more about getting the help you need.
We (I) will help you in any way I can. I'm not a doctor or an expert, just someone who has walked a mile in your shoes and finally got help and hope with Suboxone. Feel free to PM me and reach out....as you can surely see, there are lots of people here who want to help you.


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 Post subject: Re: my story
PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:54 pm 
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psk691 wrote:
But is my only option to really switch from one pill to the next ? and stay on that for a while ?


Try to think of it differently, you have a disease which requires treatment. Yes you're addicted to pills and yes suboxone is a pill, an opiate, but a partial agonist. It's not like being in active addition. You won't be high - you can be a fully functioning member of society. Consider it medication-assisted recovery.
It's a TOOL to help you in your recovery. In addition to that tool, you'll use others as well. Counseling, meetings if you're into that, healing relationships, changing your addictive behaviors. Just think of suboxone as a tool. Taking it doesn't mean you're still using.

No one here is trying to be hard on you. We just want to give you the benefit of our experiences. You've received so much great advice on this thread. Please read it over thoroughly and let it sink in. We're offering our experience and perspectives to support you and in the hopes that they will help you.

Take care, good luck, and please keep us posted.

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 Post subject: I dont get it
PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 6:24 pm 
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My vision of this whole thing is starting to change. Im starting to think that there really is no hope after reading some of this. I understand that was not the intent of the posters.

No one has beaten this thing ? It takes years to recover from a 6 month stint ? I am very open to suggestions. But what everyone is saying is "you will never get over this". I cant believe that. That really means that I shouldnt even start the suboxone and just keep doing what im doing ? obviously not, but whats the use of trying to stop if there really is no hope in it.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 6:35 pm 
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PSK,
I don't think anyone was trying to say that. It's just not something you beat. Addiction is considered a disease that can go into remission with treatment, but not cured.

Now, that's not to say there may be a small minority of people who can get into trouble with opiates, detox with suboxone and go on to lead "normal" lives. But understand that is a miniscule amount of people that can do that. I think everyone is just saying that most people who try to beat it with self-control and willpower will relapse, and maybe keep relapsing.

But only you can decide how to handle this.

I hope this makes sense and gives you a little better perspective on what we're saying.

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-As I have grown older, I've learned that pleasing everyone is impossible, but pissing everyone off is a piece of cake.

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


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 6:56 pm 
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Don't get discouraged! You have a lot of people here that are willing to be here for you and help you every step of the way! I'm not going to tell you what you should or shouldn't do because I too am not real far in my recovery or an expert of any kind. If you think that you could possibly find a way to go see a Suboxone Dr. do it because honestly it's worth every cent (even though it is insanely expensive) or if you want to try and do it with the resources you have available to you at this time then do that but just don't get discouraged. It is amazing what some people can do when they've hit rock bottom so give yourself some credit - and you deserve it for beating one addiction already. Just please keep us informed of how you are doing and whether what you are doing works for you. I am sorry you are in this position....I too know what it feels like to have everything going for you but at the same time having a crutch you can't go without. Keep posting everyone here really do know what they're talking about and are some of the nicest people out there...they will be very supportive no matter what you choose to do, I know because they have for me :)

T

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"It's always been wait and see
A happy day and then you'll pay
And feel like shit the morning after
But now I feel changed around
And instead of falling down
I'm standing up the morning after"
~Elliott Smith


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:40 pm 
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one more thing...

I think one of the hardest things that you may be realizing is that something you have done forever changed who you are, how your brain experiences things and the battle ahead. regardless of being a college student who just got carried away by partying a bit too much, or being a homeless victim of childhood abuse, knowing there is an immediate "ahhhhhh" to whatever it is you are feeling will always be there. Here is what I dont understand. some people are actively taking handfuls of pills, smoking cigarettes, joints and snorting whatever powder they can get up their nose. These same people get very cemented on not wanting to take a pill forever, or trading one addiction for another. in my opinion (my professional opinion actually), its basic transference. thinking about the moral of the story, the detail of taking a pill or not steers the brain away from the issues needed to be dealt with. Part of life is we have to do things we dont want to do. work, pay bills, visit with certain family members et... Not wanting to take a pill may be just that, a want. to make that a reality takes an enormous committment which few are actively willing to make long term for the right reason. the other option is sub. underneath it all we are all mad at ourselves for taking that first pill. but you did, i did, we did. now what? Whatever you choose, you will be accepted here, even if you have mistakes you have not yet made... its OK, we have all done it, been there and followed the process that is simply addiction.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 1:36 pm 
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As Winston Churchill once said... Never, Never, Never... never give up! He was talking to Oxford students at their graduation and was referring to their detemination to achieve. That also applys to recovery in which ever path you choose to follow. Please understand that most of the advice you get here are from addicts recovering via suboxone. Like it or not we have a bias.


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