Addiction Survivors Peer-Support Forum

Addiction Survivors Peer-Support Forum (
-   Side effects (
-   -   Smoking and Sub (

lala 01-07-2010 10:19 PM

Smoking and Sub
Hi all, and welcome if you are new- sub has saved me over the past 3 years. I just have a question, just wanted to see if I am alone in this side effect....

First of all, I'm pregnant and due in March with my 3rd child. Recently I tapered and got off sub for 4 days before I had to get back on due to withdrawals and the wonderful people on this board informed me it wasn't safe to taper during pregnancy, even though I did it safely with my doctor. I'm back on 1mg a day until after I deliver, when I decide it's time again to taper and be done.

One of the main reasons I wanted to taper was because Sub makes me want to smoke so bad, I have had no success in quitting the past 3 years. And I knew Sub was safe during pregnancy, but smoking isn't, so even though I only smoke in the afternoon and evening after my dose, and it's about 3 or 4 cigarettes a day, I wanted to taper off the sub; I couldn't BELIEVE I was smoking during a pregnancy and unable to stop. I feel so trashy!

Now I'm back on the sub, and once again I've gathered like 2 smokeless days, but am about to go run to get some cigarettes; the craving is just so bad. So I guess I'm not asking for advice on how to quit smoking, I know all about that, it's about applying it now.... my question is: do any of you out there smoke, or find that sub makes you want to smoke more? I guess it's like any opiate in that way... Maybe, what do you think?

Thanks guys!

lala 01-08-2010 12:13 AM

I want to say, too, how dreadfully ashamed I am. It is so hard to admit to something like this- smoking in my condition. I know a girl who actually chainsmoked during her pregnancies, and I thought it was disgusting, I was horrified by it. I never smoked during my other two pregnancies, it's only been since on the subutex. And here I am living it myself. Not chainsmoking, but still! Guilt is a big thing, I torture myself with it. I realize some people reading this may look down on me. I can respect that. I just want to know if other people, any of you, find that sub makes you want to smoke. That is all, I guess I could've left some facts out for you, about my pregnancy, but i just wanted to be honest.

lily29 01-08-2010 12:43 AM


Nobody looks down on you. At least not any of the good people I've met on this board. Once in a while people will come over from another board and post rude, untrue things to try to start pissing people off, but the best thing to do is ignore them. I'm actually really impressed because you told the truth. I don't know if I could, so I have respect for you for doing that.


It is not just you. I used to smoke VERY occasionally, like every 4 days, or something, but since I started subutex, I can't quit. I have tried SO many times and the sub makes me crave it so bad. I think I crave it more than I craved the pills! There's just no withdrawals with cigerettes. :)

That doesn't mean that you shouldn't try to stop. You definitely should. I have had so much support from this board for so many things. If you want daily support this is great place to be. Congratulations on your pregnancy!


okie 01-08-2010 09:39 AM

I smoked with my 21 month old..I easily quit with the first 2..all opiates make me want to smoke it is not just you..
If you can smoke less then 5 cigs a day, they say it is not that harmful..I have been trying to 21 month old tries to imitate us smoking and it drives me nuts..and yet here I am smoking away..ugh..

Bqb247 01-08-2010 11:39 AM

Hey lala, and welcome! When I was pregnant, I was not on sub, but I did smoke. I got it down to about 3 or 4 a day, and my doctor told me he didn't even count anything less than 5 a day....i'm not saying that its okay to smoke while pregnant, I think you should try to do it less and less, but, IMO, I wouldn't beat myself up over it if you're only smoking a little bit.

lala 01-08-2010 12:59 PM

Thank you wonderful ladies for being willing to respond to me-- I will be trying NOT to smoke, as I do everyday, but just knowing I'm not alone-- that the opiate part of the sub also makes others want to smoke and have a difficult time quitting-- is comforting to me. This board offers so many wonderful things, and the feeling of not being alone is one of the things that I LOVE.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

lily29 01-08-2010 01:53 PM

You're welcome! How are you doing on your sub dosage? Are you having any W/D symptoms?

Heath 01-08-2010 02:17 PM

Funny you mention it. When i went cold turkey back on 2/1/09 thru 2/5/09 because i was purging my system so i could get on sub, i only smoked maybe 3 cigs in those four days. However, as soon as i got on sub, i went straight back to half pack or so daily. I thought to myself, "great, i can quit taking percocet, but now i still get that wierd feeling that makes me want to smoke". So i dealt with it for awhile, about 9 months, then about a month and a half ago, i got on chantix. It helps tremendously, but it makes me feel like throwing up. So i have to eat with it. Problem is, i smoke 1 in the am before i get a chance to eat breakfast so that i can even take the chantix. And then at dinner i take another one, that is, if i eat a big dinner. Sometimes i don't eat a big dinner, and then i don't take the chantix, and then in the am i have to smoke again while waiting to eat bfast so that i can stomach the chantix. Its a vicious cycle, just like everything else with me. I hate it that i have to be so damn methodical and consistent in every damn thing i do. I need to pray for help. Sometimes i wish i wasn't so methodical and maybe i would never have gotten myself into all that i did. Drugs, drinking, and smoking. But oh well! At least i'm sober. That's what i think about. I have gotten better this week about eating bfast so that i can take the chantix early and stay off the cigs, but now i need to focus on eating a full dinner so i can take the second one and that way i will have enough built up in my system so that i can stay off the cigs altogether. Like everything else though, it's easier said than done. I will say a prayer right now for all of us and ask for enough self control to do what we each need to do to stay off the cigs.

lala 01-08-2010 03:43 PM

Thank you Heath, well said. I am pretty methodical myself. And breakfast is hard to eat for me too-- normally. Now that I'm pregnant I eat breakfast no problem, but normally I just want coffee. My husband is taking chantix too, but I'm not sure if he's taking it once a day or twice; he has about a month or maybe a bit more of no smoking; he doesn't take sub or anything else, but he does have 14 years sober from alcohol. He also has some MAJOR lung conditions, such as minor emphysima and something called Cough Syncope, which causes him to pass out and shake like he's having a seizure. It's so scary! I am so so grateful he quit smoking, I felt like he was going to die. I think he did a mixture of patches and gum and chantix, although not all at the same time. :) I just wanted to say I appreciate your post, and this sense of community and understanding gives me so much hope.

Lily29, thanks for asking- I am once again stable at 1mg a day, and I actually only take it once a day, at nap time when my kids take a nap (and I usually do too-- I know, it's crazy! But wonderful....) and then when I wake up I want to smoke right away. I think it's equal parts habit and opiate induced. Anyway, I haven't had any signs of wd's at all since I got back on the sub. I went from 4 days of NO sub and suffering terribly to back to normal within 45 minutes of taking my 1mg, and I can't even begin to tell you how extremely grateful I was! I felt like I was in hell, or my own personal version at least... First I was a little bummed, because I had been proud of myself for finally getting off the sub after almost 3 years, and then after I took my 1mg, all I could think was - "Thank you God!!!!!!"

I hope you are all having a wonderful day, it's pouring down rain and super grey here in the Seattle area. But you all have made me feel happy today; happy to have a place to go, and happy to have people that will communicate openly and honestly with me-- Thank you again!

Bqb247 01-09-2010 11:10 AM

Does anyone know if Chantix can be covered by insurance? i get Mediciad from the state, does anyone know of any medication covered by Medicaid to aid in quitting?

okie 01-09-2010 11:22 AM

I know chantix isnt covered by tricare..but that doesnt mean much..

lala..I saw your concern about anesthesia on the other post..
I had a c section with Zoey, and a worked fine..I also had surgery to have plates and screws put in my arm in November..anesthesia worked fine..the problem was the pain control after was non existent. In both cases..the first 36 hrs after both surgeries I was writhing around asking to die. BUT I should have called my sub Dr when I had the c section..he was PO'd that they treated me with the same levels as any other patient..because he knew damn well it wouldnt work..I gave the OB all the info on sub ..BUT I was thrown out of the hospital I planned to have her at a week before the scheduled c section..the new OB took me in and saw me on Friday and did the c-section on Monday..Just be sure to be in contact with your sub 1mg I am sure you should be ok..that dose should be easily overridden as far as pain control goes..

lily29 01-09-2010 04:41 PM

Hi Lala, I'm in Seattle too! It has been so awful lately, especially yesterday. But today (Saturday) is goregous. Where in the Seattle area do you live?

It is so reassuring to hear that even though it was hell when you tried to go off, you did get off before. That must mean it's not so hard if you do it right. That is a huge source of comfort for me. Also knowing it's safe to take through pregnancy. I want kids so bad and that was a worry for me. I'm starting to have those major baby cravings. :)

bm-Chantix is covered by my insurance, but if it's not covered by yours you could also try Wellbutrin, or I think it's called Bupropion for smoking causes.

Lala you sound so much better. You are doing great! I don't think I asked, how far along are you?


vhappy 01-10-2010 02:31 AM

I grew up in seattle in the burien/riverton heights area, very close to seatac, I get my treatment out of Bellingham. Does Seattle have many doctors?

Sunny1 01-10-2010 03:58 PM

Hi Lala,
I just wanted to mention that Chantix is not recommended for women who are pregnant. I'm not sure about Wellbutrin, from what I gleaned it says it's unknown what effects wellbutrin could have on prgnancy. I'm not sure if any antidepressant type meds are allowed during preganancy, I know I've read plenty of stories where women mentioned having to go off their antidepressants while preganant.

Are nicotine gum/lozengers/patches allowed to be used while pregnant? That could really help you get through it, but I have no idea. I'm sorry you are struggling with this. It's difficult to admit and it's quite obvious how badly you feel about it. Keep trying and do the best you can to keep the #of cigs low-zero as possible.

I smoke too and when I went on Sub I definitly smoked more. I don't know if it was directly from the Sub or to fill in that feeling of something missing in my life, but whatever it was, it would've made an attempt to quit harder at that time.

Take Care!

trucker 01-13-2010 01:01 PM

Maybe try those new electronic cigs, I am thinking about it. I am like you I dont smoke more than 5 a day but I hate doing it and the way it makes everything stink. The subs definatly make me want to smoke more and when I try to quit it seems like I think about them all the time but otherwise I could go all day without one. Dont be hard on yourself, twenty years ago alot of pregnant woman smoked and they smoked everywhere all the time.

Sunny1 01-13-2010 01:42 PM

Hey trucker,
Just wanted to tell you that I recently bought an electronic cigarette after my friend who is a heavy smoker told me about his. I like it, at least for indoors so my apt. dosn't smell and my car. It's not quite as good as a cigarette, but it's better than smoking indoors or going outside when it's freezing to smoke. At first I wanted to get one that looks like a cigarette, but I did some research and people say you get over that and so I got one that is longer, slim, black, b/c people said it produces better mist, the cartridges last longer. The starter pack came with regular cartidges, I smoke menthols so I also got a refill pack of menthol. Actually like the regular better, the menthol isn't quite right and there is a very slight flavor to the regulars that's pleasent. It takes a little getting used to, they are heavier than a cigarette and it's different. There's no end to it, so you could just puff on it non stop which is the only thing I don't like. Let me know if you have any questions on it. I got the Njoy brand. There are a lot of brands out there so it's hard to know which one to get.

wormichael 01-21-2010 08:27 PM

Nobody is perfect. We all struggle with addiction here. Do not beat your self up over it. I smoke and yes I think Sub. makes the cravings more. So go easy on yourself. NO one can judge you!

hairgirl 01-22-2010 12:34 AM


I want to say, too, how dreadfully ashamed I am. It is so hard to admit to something like this- smoking in my condition. Guilt is a big thing, I torture myself with it. I realize some people reading this may look down on me. I can respect that. I just want to know if other people, any of you, find that sub makes you want to smoke. That is all, I guess I could've left some facts out for you, about my pregnancy, but i just wanted to be honest.
You mentioned guilt,shame, and people looking down on you.It seems like you definitely have your brain working overtime in the negative aspects in your situation.Try some face to face therapy to help manage these feelings and know that the 3rd trimester is when doctors really push a woman to quit smoking.Try the electronic cigarette.I have a friend who is a very heavy smoker who used it and he ended up quitting.
Don't beat yourself up, your emotions already affect your child. In society's eyes smoking is wrong and we know it is unhealthy.If you really are bothered by it, fight the urges and let go of the guilt.We are fortunate these days because we have so many aids to help us quit. Just FYI, I smoked thru my pregnancy and my daughter was fine. Did I feel guilt? Yeah, but I did the best I could at the time.You have to let go of the negativity and accept that you are doing the best you can.

faithheals 03-19-2010 01:05 AM

no, medicaid doesn't cover chantix, nor does Humana insurance, although they do cover wellbutrin.

Dgian920 03-26-2010 12:00 PM

Hi Lala! It is not just you!!! It is definatly the sub's that cause increased smoking and feeling like you can not stop. I used to smoke about a half a pack a day and now since I have been taking Subutex I am up to 2 packs a day. The smoking has caused so much fighting between me and my fiance since he does not smoke. So I did a little research online as to why I have these cravings and found some interesting articles. Smoking triggers the same receptors that opiods trigger. So when we are taking pills (anything from percocet to Sub's) we are stimulating our opiate receptors which in turn crave more stimulation so we smoke which satisfies the receptors for a short while. When we smoke the receptors release dopamine (causing pleasurable sensation) which is what all addicts crave. So its not just you and its not just in your head. It is the opiate receptors in your brain craving more stimulation which is a very powerful thing. Also, 3 or 4 cigs a day will not harm your baby. I smoked about 2 a day through out my whole preganancy (I tried to stop but it was sooooo hard) and my baby was a 9lb pound full term healthy boy who is now almost 3 yrs old and has not been sick EVER (besides a runny nose now and then). Best of luck!

HumboldtGrown 03-28-2010 01:48 AM

I as well smoke less the less suboxone I take. And I'm tapering so I'm for the first time in 7 years of smoking, (didn't start till I was 21,) I'm feeling the effects of being a smoker.

No one blames anyone for smoking while pregnant. All of our grandmothers did it and we're all here.

wanttogetsober 03-31-2010 10:15 PM

Hi Lala,

I started Sub yesterday the 30th and have noticed I am smoking WAY more, haven't ask my dr about it yet figured I'd wait and see if it passes, i have tried chanix before and to ME it really really disrupted my sleep VERY vivid dreams and I become super depressed, thinking of trying it again? You are doing the best you can for your baby and we all at sometime in our lives have judged someone eles, when we didn't understand it unfortunately human nature. Keep trying the main risks are low birth weight and a potential to develop RSV, but these could happen anyway. Good Luck and positive thoughts.

PS I to live in the seattle/tacoma area

HumboldtGrown 04-01-2010 01:56 PM

My mother at around 48, took Chantix to quit smoking, but she really wanted to stop. In fact after about a week and a half she reported the same side effects (dreams, high anxiety, and just a weird general feeling) she never takes any perscription pills so it really effected her and she quit them but stayed off the cigs. This is after a lifetime of smoking!!

As far as the pregnancy thing goes, my mom did quit smoking for the pregnancy but her mother did not, hence my grandmother who used to chain smoke in her classic Mercury Cougar with the windows rolled up and the kids in the car!!

Me, I definately notice I feel like crap if I smoke in the first half of the day when I haven't taken my subox yet. It literally gives me a headache, makes me hack up crap, and makes my body ache. I wonder if I'll even be able to smoke after I quit suboxone. I've never smoked without being on something - started at 21 with amphetamines, alcohol, and then finally opiates then suboxone. So, who knows what will happen if my suboxone jump works. Pre-drugs, I hated cigarettes and never thought I'd be a smoker.

Oh, I took wellbutrin also, not knowing it was for smoking sessation. I always smoked on wellbutrin, possibly because I did not know it could be used to stop smoking.

Personally, I think the gum would work best. With a baby in the over though, the nicotine is still getting to the kid so?

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:27 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2014 Addiction Survivors