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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2017 11:51 pm 
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Hello everyone, I'm a 42 year-old male that is actively participating in Intensive Outpatient Treatment after detox from pain medication and a relatively short addiction to heroin. I admit that just reading my own words is difficult right now. I never thought I would be joining a forum in search of support and understanding about such a deeply personal struggle. But I'm here and I feel encouraged by some of the posts I've been reading in the past few days.

I'm struck by the diverse stories of those using buprenorphine to help get their lives back together after being ravaged by opiate use, both legal and illegal. I first became aware of the medication back in 2005, when I checked myself in to detox from an out of control morphine tablet addiction. But back then, I thought that if I could just get off of the pills and over the sickness, I could do the rest on my own. The only difference this time around is the substance and the length of use.

I've been secretly battling an addiction to pain medication on and off again since about 2010. There have been times when I've gone for months without a single pill. But a combination of chronic pain in the form of terrible migraines, and unending depression/anxiety has always called me back...even when I knew it could lead me to a very dark place. I just couldn't stop... period.

This time I felt like my life was in danger from the addiction. And even though my depressive voice has suggested otherwise, I WANT TO LIVE!! At all cost I want to live. So I had to make some very difficult choices, and asking for help was the first one. I am so glad I did. It hasn't been easy at all, but for the first time in my life, I feel like I'm on the path I was meant to be on. I have followed the plan formulated for my recovery to the letter and I feel good about what I'm doing for myself.

The psychiatrist that worked with me in detox suggested that I consider staying on Subutex for at least a year given my history. I was very hesitant at first. Partially because I just wasn't very well educated on the benefits of buprenorphine. I couldn't help but to feel like I was just trading addictions to something 'legal'. What I'm finding out is that I don't get high, and yet my cravings, which have been very strong, are almost completely taken care of. So now I don't constantly worry about the money, the dealers, the things I said I would never do... I get the impression you guys know what I talking about.

I can just concentrate on getting well again, and I'm enjoying putting my life back together the "right way for me" this time. I'm coming to terms with the fact that a huge chunk of my life has revolved around these powerful substances. I hope that changing the people I spend time with will help me realize my goals in life. This includes people that I can learn from, which is why I decided to join this forum.

The moderators and members seem like such down to Earth people. The kind that truly want to help educate and support people like me. I hope I get to know some of you over the next few months as I continue on my journey. There is a lot I still need to learn about buprenorphine and what it can do to help me help myself. I appreciate you taking the time out of your day to read a little about me. I honestly didn't realize my post was going to be so long.

I hope you all have a wonderful day, and I'll see you on the boards!!

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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 12:15 am 
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Hey OpenMind,

wow, just wow on your post. far better than i could have written at my same point when in similar 'shoes'. This is the best site on the planet for addiction and bup. Keep your mind open to medical research and truth - that's what we are interested in here. Stay here if you are interested in this! Welcome and keep posting - bc it helps us help you -- which then -- helps us!! Best tonight! P

More will soon come along to correspond w you.

PS, I understand when you say its hard to write it out and then read what you wrote about you. yet I've and most all here found that writing with honesty here is incredibly powerful and helpful, it sure has been and is for me...

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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 12:31 am 
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Thanks for the reply Pelican. One thing I've tried to focus on is being honest and being real with myself. I've tried to sugar coat things in the past and it didn't get me anywhere I wanted to be. In reading other people's stories, I was struck the hardest by those that put it all out there, regardless of how ugly it was.

There will always be those of us that can relate to the misery of opiate addiction and all that it entails. I figured honesty was the best policy for my own recovery and look forward to supporting others that have the courage to share. Because it's not easy. I'm sure we've all beat ourselves up on the inside more than any one person could possibly do on a forum.

I appreciate the feedback.

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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 5:06 am 
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Welcome to the forum OpenMind.
We are about the same age. I'll be 41 in a couple months. I've also been an addict for at least 15 years. I have 5 years of sobriety that I achieved on my own. And more recently I have been sober using Suboxone for 8 months. I have learned so much more by also going to therapy this time. You will get the tools you need to prevent or at least realize when a relapse could occur.
I've also had migraines since I was about 5 years old. They are thankfully very minimal now. I take fioricet at the 1st sign of even a headache. Its the only medication that has given me any relief, but I have to take it at the earliest onset or i'l go down for a day.
good luck with your treatment. what your dr doesn't know or explain you can learn here. just ask! someone will know. the founder of this forum is a dr and former addict. they know their stuff!

love your quote!

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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 9:36 am 
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Thank you SisterMorphine, I really appreciate your support. I give you credit for staying clean for 5 years on your own. I know it's one of the hardest things to accomplish. After my first detox experience, I went for almost 4 years myself off of opiates. I did occasionally drink alcohol and use cannabis, but I stayed away from the pain meds while that detox experience was fresh in my mind.

But for me the migraines were just too much. Call it weakness or just shear desperation, I had to get relief and the only thing that seemed to work was pain medication and Imitrex... at least at first. I decided to go off of the Imitrex after it stopped working for the last several years. I'm not exactly sure why it stopped working and no one has ever given me an answer to that question.

A couple of weeks ago I had one of the worst headaches I've had in a long time. I hadn't taken the Imitrex while I've been on the Subutex and was worried about any possible interaction. My doctor told me to not use it because he was worried about 'seratonin syndrome'. I know about that from times when I was on antidepressants and didn't want to risk it. I was just about to go to the ER but decided to ride it out.

I'm frustrated by the lack of cooperation and communication with my old doctor, so I'm seeing a new provider who will also take over prescribing my buprenorphine. Would you be willing to tell me a little about your experience with Floricet? I've never heard of it before, and since these migraines are one of my biggest triggers, I'd like to get them under control. Thanks again for your comments!

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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 11:32 am 
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Hello OpnenMind welcome to the forum!

I'm 41 also, I didn't become addicted until the beginning of my 30's. I lost everything because of my active addiction, even custody of my children. With the help of buprenorphine, I know have my children bk and been living in recovery for over 5 years now. I absolutely couldn't have done it without bupe. I could always quit for months at a time but the cravings drug me bk in every single time. Going to inpatient rehab didn't work for me, cold turkey didn't work for me and even jail didn't work for me. Buprenorphine is an amazing treatment and I could be dead by now, I'm very grateful!

When I first started bupe treatment, I wasn't very educated on it and had little faith that anything would work or help me. This forum is the best place to learn everything u need to know, so read as much as u can.

Buprenorphine is a tool in our recovery, we still have to do the work. Hopefully ur doctor offers counseling. Staying away from the ppl u associated with in active addiction is huge. Unfortunately u have to learn to leave those ppl behind in order to stay healthy urself. That wasn't a huge deal for me because none of my original friends were addicts. I even changed the way I'd drive to the store lol, purposely so I wouldn't drive by someone's house I knew had pills. It's a life changer and we got to be ready to make every change necessary to stay better.

So glad u found us OpenMind :)

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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 7:59 pm 
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Thank you for the reply jennjenn. Your story is brutal, and my heart goes out to you. I'm amazed at your strength. I've read some of your posts here and you really seem to have it together. Reading about experiences such as yours gives me hope that with the aid of buprenorphine, I too can get my life back. Who knows? Maybe an even better life :D

You are so right about having to end relationships that aren't healthy for my recovery. Right before I went into detox, I called the people I was getting the meds from and just told them the truth (for a change). I told them that I was in too deep and that I desperately needed to get help. It was hard because I've been through a lot with them, good times and bad.

They aren't your stereotypical 'dealers' that are just about the game. They too have chronic pain issues and they thought they were helping me out... at least that's what I'd like to think. But I had to make a choice, and I chose treatment and sobriety over our long friendship.

Man, it still hurts as I write this. It's still a fresh break but I told them, for my own protection, not to sell me any more pills regardless of what I might say or what excuse I might come up with. That's when they knew I was serious. I've been purging phone numbers from my cell phone also. I want to make a new clean slate. I admit, I've been feeling pretty lonely. But I feel really good about finding this forum.

I'd like to thank all of you for your time and your comments. It helps more than you know... or maybe you do. At one point in time you were new here too!

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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 8:44 pm 
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OpenMind wrote:
Thank you SisterMorphine, I really appreciate your support. I give you credit for staying clean for 5 years on your own. I know it's one of the hardest things to accomplish. After my first detox experience, I went for almost 4 years myself off of opiates. I did occasionally drink alcohol and use cannabis, but I stayed away from the pain meds while that detox experience was fresh in my mind.

But for me the migraines were just too much. Call it weakness or just shear desperation, I had to get relief and the only thing that seemed to work was pain medication and Imitrex... at least at first. I decided to go off of the Imitrex after it stopped working for the last several years. I'm not exactly sure why it stopped working and no one has ever given me an answer to that question.

A couple of weeks ago I had one of the worst headaches I've had in a long time. I hadn't taken the Imitrex while I've been on the Subutex and was worried about any possible interaction. My doctor told me to not use it because he was worried about 'seratonin syndrome'. I know about that from times when I was on antidepressants and didn't want to risk it. I was just about to go to the ER but decided to ride it out.

I'm frustrated by the lack of cooperation and communication with my old doctor, so I'm seeing a new provider who will also take over prescribing my buprenorphine. Would you be willing to tell me a little about your experience with Floricet? I've never heard of it before, and since these migraines are one of my biggest triggers, I'd like to get them under control. Thanks again for your comments!


sure. the fioricet is a combination of 3 drugs. tylenol! caffeine! and butabital, a low dose barbituate (i think its 50mg. people prescribed butabital for seizures? or whatever its other use is take 600mg) its also similar to excedrine migraine except excedrine has aspirin instead of the butabital.
there's a nasal spray for migraines. dihydroergotamine mesylate 4mg

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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 9:16 pm 
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Great, thanks for the info. I'll do a little research before my next doctor's appointment.

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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2017 6:24 am 
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OpenMind wrote:
Great, thanks for the info. I'll do a little research before my next doctor's appointment.

i forgot to mention, there is a version of fioricet that contains codeine, make sure you don't get that one!

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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2017 5:17 pm 
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Got it! Thanks for the clarification.

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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2017 1:07 am 
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Hi OpenMind and Welcome. Glad you are already having good experiences on the forum. I also have chronic pain, got addicted to painkillers and am now stable on Suboxone. I saw that Sister recommended Fiorecet for migraines. Without codeine it does not have any opiate in it, but the butalbital can be habit forming and in my case addicting. I ran into a lot of problems with this medication- as in it made me feel so good and I went through script after script with a few prescribers . . . Medication affects everyone differently, so it may not cause a problem for some but I want people to know that little bit of barbiturate can cause problems for some people, so to proceed with caution.

Also- I have migraines, which are better controlled on Suboxone, but when I get one I can't seem to find anything to ease it. Same with my chronic neck pain- can't seem to find pain relief for acute flair ups. This is also one of my biggest triggers for using painkillers- which is a slippery slope. I've been on Suboxone for almost 3 months. The first 2 were virtually pain free. Now I'm having a lot of break through pain and trying to find relief. If you find something that works, please let me know. Best of luck and welcome again!


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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2017 11:50 am 
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Hi, Open Mind,

I am Queenie. First of all, I must say, I love your introductory post. I'm glad you found us and I hope you stay. We have a great family here and we look out for each other. I applaud your determination to stay clean and I believe you will.

I am 74 years old. My family here calls me the "grandmother of the forum". I became addicted to opiates, pills and IV medications, which you know are the strongest. I had 8 surgeries to try to save my legs and 2 amputations. You can well imagine the drugs I got. I was addicted to pills before all of this but the strong meds did it. Fentanyl, Morphine, Dilaudid. Brutal withdrawals and using my amputations as an excuse to ask for more painkillers.

I have been on Suboxone about 5 years and it saved my life!!!! I went from 32 mgs. daily to 8mgs. daily. My doctor wants me to stay on 8 mgs. daily. One reason is it helps my arthritis and he doesn't want me to experience any withdrawals since I had a heart attack about 3 years ago.

I know you can do this. I'm so sorry about the migraines and I hope you can find relief without opiates.

Everyone here is always willing to help and Dr. Junig, the founder of this forum, is the greatest.

So, I hope you decide to stay. Anytime you want to come in from a cold rainy, windy storm. Just come on in to your cozy home with a warm fireplace and a cup of coffee or tea and get comfortable and talk. There is always somebody home. It's great to feel welcomed and that's what you found here.

I wish you the best. Don't give up and don't give in to those evil opiates.

Write to me anytime if there is something you want to ask or just chat. Grandma is always here. I hope you go back and read my introduction.

My love to you with a big hug, :D

Queenie


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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2017 6:34 pm 
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Tragicom wrote:
Hi OpenMind and Welcome. Glad you are already having good experiences on the forum. I also have chronic pain, got addicted to painkillers and am now stable on Suboxone. I saw that Sister recommended Fiorecet for migraines. Without codeine it does not have any opiate in it, but the butalbital can be habit forming and in my case addicting. I ran into a lot of problems with this medication- as in it made me feel so good and I went through script after script with a few prescribers . . . Medication affects everyone differently, so it may not cause a problem for some but I want people to know that little bit of barbiturate can cause problems for some people, so to proceed with caution.

Also- I have migraines, which are better controlled on Suboxone, but when I get one I can't seem to find anything to ease it. Same with my chronic neck pain- can't seem to find pain relief for acute flair ups. This is also one of my biggest triggers for using painkillers- which is a slippery slope. I've been on Suboxone for almost 3 months. The first 2 were virtually pain free. Now I'm having a lot of break through pain and trying to find relief. If you find something that works, please let me know. Best of luck and welcome again!

my neighbor did have a problem with the fioricet. her dr even cut her off of them and her oxy 80s! she'd bum a few off me then say she lost them and try to get more. i had to tell her i didn't get them anymore. there could be potential for abuse but idk anyone that does (neighbor died from her illness that she was on the 80s for). plus all the tylenol in them, you don't want to take more then your prescribed. i've taken 2 in one day a few times and 4 in one day only once in the 10+ years i've been on them.

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PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2017 12:29 am 
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Tragicom - I never like to hear that someone is suffering, especially from migraines since mine have been crushing. But I'm glad you're here and that you can understand where I'm coming from. And certainly, anything I find out that works for myself, I'll surely share here with you and others. I appreciate your concern about the Fioricet, and it's important to me that I know about even the slightest possibility of me becoming addicted to a medicine, even it it helps me. After reading up on it, I don't think that will be a right fit for me at this point. And in the future, please continue to be straight forward with any concerns about meds, because I need to know. Thank you.

SisterMorphine - I'm glad you let me know about your neighbor and the potential for abusing that medication. When I see my new doctor in June, I plan on having a very open and honest discussion with him. I plan on being assertive to get my needs met, but without coming across too aggressively or like a jerk.

Queenie - I don't even know where to start without sounding overly sentimental... seriously. That was the warmest greeting I've received online or in person in a long while. I feel it was genuine and heartfelt and I'm truly touched. I lost my beloved Grandmother years ago and for a moment, my mind was flooded with memories of her and I baking cookies in the kitchen when I was a kid. She used to let me use my fingers to eat the remaining cookie dough while we waited patiently for them to be finished.

I always visit her and my Grandfather at the memorial gardens during Memorial Day weekend. Just before I read your post, I had gathered the prettiest flowers I could find to take to the cemetery... so your kindness really struck a nerve... in a good way though. I imagine you are one strong woman with all that you've been through. I can't even pretend to know pain the way you know it. The physical pain is often accompanied by emotional torment when amputation is involved. I can tell that you are a real source of strength around here and I'm honored to meet you.

You're right about me, I do want to stay clean for good... and I know I will. I'm already finding comfort here on this forum and the amount of information is staggering. Certainly enough to keep me busy, which is a good thing. I plan on being here for a while so I look forward to learning more about you. I'll certainly be here for you anytime you need me... the door swings both ways, right? :D

Thank you everyone for your time and consideration.

And to Dr. Junig, if you are reading this... I'm just so thankful for all of your time and effort put in to helping absolute strangers with such a serious illness. You could be solely focused on your medical practice and making money. The fact that you have poured out so much of yourself to enlighten this community about addiction and recovery speaks volumes. You have my respect sir, and I hope that I can help in some small way to make this community thrive. The more people we can help the better. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!

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PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2017 12:42 am 
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Yep, how may lives has Dr J saved? Seriously! How many lives have been changed and bettered? Same for the past mods, each and every one of them and current ones - Amy, jennjenn, Michelle, Razor and Rule, plus our fab visiting physician, docm2 - the number is unknown - but if known -- would be staggering...

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 4:34 pm 
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Awww!

Look OM! It's your first post! I've been going over all the posts I missed while I was AWOL and came across your very first one! And it was on my son's birthday which is the day before mine!

You already feel like more of an "old-timer" around here. :)

Amy

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 6:18 pm 
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Amy-Work In Progress wrote:
Awww!

Look OM! It's your first post! I've been going over all the posts I missed while I was AWOL and came across your very first one! And it was on my son's birthday which is the day before mine!

You already feel like more of an "old-timer" around here. :)

Amy


Oh stop that, you're making me feel embarrassed. :lol: Your reaction kind of sounds like a mother who has just come across some old baby pictures. Granted my cheeks are kind of chubby so they are great for pinching!! I appreciate the sentiment and I've enjoyed getting to know you a little outside of the forum.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 8:37 pm 
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Hi OM, I love the name of your thread, "Wow, finally people I can relate with" I felt the exact same way when I first found this forum. We are all alike, and we just want to be around people who get us. Yeah it was a blessing to find this forum. A blessing to chat with the mods. and everyone else here. It's like coming home, I would say. your forum friend, Angie


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:32 pm 
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OpenMind wrote:
Amy-Work In Progress wrote:
Awww!

Look OM! It's your first post! I've been going over all the posts I missed while I was AWOL and came across your very first one! And it was on my son's birthday which is the day before mine!

You already feel like more of an "old-timer" around here. :)

Amy


Oh stop that, you're making me feel embarrassed. :lol: Your reaction kind of sounds like a mother who has just come across some old baby pictures. Granted my cheeks are kind of chubby so they are great for pinching!! I appreciate the sentiment and I've enjoyed getting to know you a little outside of the forum.


That was totally my intent! I still feel like I've missed so much during the time I was gone that I have made up my mind to read every post I missed. Thank you for being here to help support so many other opioid addicts who may be trying to stop or taper. It's a big deal! Me too!

Amy

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