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Unread 05-22-2013, 01:57 AM   #1
down2nothing
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Default how suboxone effects me

hey all,
I've been on subs for 5 years. Started on 16 mg, but quickly went to 12 mg, and most recently 8-10 mg. It will be strictly 8 mg starting now. Pros of suboxone: ability to focus for extended periods of time, ability to sit in confined places and not panic, easy to sleep, complicated problems become less complicated, attaining goals becomes possible, ability to communicate and relate to others easier. The reason some of these are listed is because I've been an engineering student while taking suboxone and noticed a difference. Cons: maybe short term memory loss, mild heartburn, mild hot flashes, bowel movements about every 2-3 days, crave donuts, coffee and ice cream (mild wt. gain), selfishness, guilt and worry about getting off suboxone, hard to sleep more than 3-4 hrs without waking up with dry mouth and have to pee., not paying enough attention to family members. Anyone know about side effects of naloxone, I heard it takes away from your natural ability to produce endorphins. I have also heard it is easier to taper and eventually quit subs without nalaxone. This means using subutex (w/o naloxone). I am not an IV user but yet still am forced to use nalaxone. Wish there was a way out of the naloxone, but for now I'll take what is offered.
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Unread 05-22-2013, 12:44 PM   #2
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Hi down2nothing,
Congratulations on 5 years of addiction remission! No need to worry about the naloxone, it is considered clinically insignificant because it is only absorbed when injected, when taken sublingually as prescribed too little naloxone enters the body to cause any noticeable effect, and has no effect on tapering. Dry mouth and constipation are two common side effects that can be reduced with OTC remedies- see our side effects page for more on that and the hidden dangers of buprenorphine-induced dry mouth. http://www.naabt.org/buprenorphine-side-effects.cfm

Have you asked your doctor about taking just the buprenorphine (without the naloxone)? Although the naloxone isn't a concern, the price of medication is and the buprenorphine version without the naloxone is less expensive. After 5 years of stability treatment, your doctor may be willing to prescribe the more cost effective medication.

Hope this helps,
Tim
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Unread 06-14-2013, 09:35 PM   #3
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Hi down2nothing,
Congratulations on 5 years of addiction remission! No need to worry about the naloxone, it is considered clinically insignificant because it is only absorbed when injected, when taken sublingually as prescribed too little naloxone enters the body to cause any noticeable effect, and has no effect on tapering. Dry mouth and constipation are two common side effects that can be reduced with OTC remedies- see our side effects page for more on that and the hidden dangers of buprenorphine-induced dry mouth. http://www.naabt.org/buprenorphine-side-effects.cfm

Have you asked your doctor about taking just the buprenorphine (without the naloxone)? Although the naloxone isn't a concern, the price of medication is and the buprenorphine version without the naloxone is less expensive. After 5 years of stability treatment, your doctor may be willing to prescribe the more cost effective medication.

Hope this helps,
Tim
why do people think this its sooooooo wrong. addiction remission.. if someone is taking a drug this is called remission... and for 5 years that is sooooooooooo soooooooo long for this stuff.

idk what to tell you man but ive been there was on for 3years which is retardedly long too. i quit pretty much cold turkey. been off for nearly 1 year. ive had so many side effects i dont even want to list them..

things that you dont even consider side effect during the time your using, you will relize how much subs destroy your body, as apose to a natural opiate, when and if you can get off them (harder to kick than methadon) which maybe a better alternative maybe try switch to that and see if you feel better...

like you i had extreme guilt for being on subs... they made me stupid. again hard to understand while on them. i always referred to it as living in a fog. naloxone isnt good but the the actually subs that shutdown your hormone production. which i believe will come back eventually maybe not 100% but close.

GL if you have any question u can PM me anytime
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Unread 06-16-2013, 10:58 AM   #4
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why do people think this its sooooooo wrong. addiction remission.. if someone is taking a drug this is called remission... and for 5 years that is sooooooooooo soooooooo long for this stuff.... i had extreme guilt for being on subs...
The reason this is confusing to you, is because you appear to understand the problem as a drug problem not as an addiction problem. Therefore you can’t reconcile how taking a drug could help a drug problem, so this leads to your “guilt about taking subs” and focus on getting off of them instead of using the time in treatment to correct compulsive behaviors. The predictable result of this mistake is exactly what you have experienced, although not for the reasons you think.

More tragically, your situation is compounded by the misunderstanding about the progressive nature of addiction and effects of the associated long-lasting brain adaptations. It’s tragic because by blaming the bupe for every symptom you experienced after an inadequate treatment and abrupt taper, you are ruling out maybe the only treatment that could actually help you, if done correctly.

Of the five most common mistakes people make, I think you’ve made all of them with the result being a bad experience. Do you think it’s a coincidence that the people, who don’t make these mistakes generally have a good experience? Do you think that just maybe its possible that the people who have been successful with buprenrophine treatment and didn't experience the symptoms you have, and the entire scientific community, might be right after all and just maybe your views could be wrong, is it possible?
Tim
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Unread 06-16-2013, 11:30 AM   #5
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No its not possible. there is no cure for addiction and there is no cure for a drug problem specially using another drug that shoves u deeper in the hole. there are only 2 ways to solve addiction 100% abstinence OR longterm maintenance there is no middle ground. If you were up front with people saying suboxone is a longterm maintenance drug thats one thing, BUT saying it will cure them makes me very angry. Suboxone users have the same relapse rate as all other opiates... lets for get the side effect.

Suboxone is not an end all be all for drug use or addiction.
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Unread 06-16-2013, 12:19 PM   #6
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TIM u baffle me. so do all the other people who havent lived it and think they know whats best. The research is built up AGAINST sub as a cure or bridge to a cure w/e u wanna called (all semantics). For example look at Switzerland they give heroin to addicts as a program(very successfully). now while in the program and on H maintenance there addiction goes away? no (but they done exhibit addictive behavior same with suboxone) they just dont have to worry about it and all the other crap that comes with it and are better off this way. as soon as they stop the addiction and addictive behavior comes back same with subs. people can live a normal and long life on opiates if supervised correctly. not subs tho methadon idk never tired it.
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Unread 06-16-2013, 12:49 PM   #7
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No its not possible. there is no cure for addiction and there is no cure for a drug problem specially using another drug that shoves u deeper in the hole. there are only 2 ways to solve addiction 100% abstinence OR longterm maintenance there is no middle ground. If you were up front with people saying suboxone is a longterm maintenance drug thats one thing, BUT saying it will cure them makes me very angry. Suboxone users have the same relapse rate as all other opiates... lets for get the side effect.

Suboxone is not an end all be all for drug use or addiction.
Perfect example, your misunderstanding, in this case of my position, is making you angry. I go out of my way to say buprenorphine is NOT a cure for addiction and only a small part of the treatment, and explain why. See this page: http://www.naabt.org/purpose_of_buprenorphine.cfm

About those 5 mistakes I mentioned above, you just made mistake #3 - Measuring success by what happens when treatment is stopped- Your focus is still misplaced on the drugs and not the addiction. The goal is to stop the addiction, not the drugs. If you won’t or can’t understand this, the treatment won’t ever make sense. Suppose a diabetic kept stopping there insulin and relapsed to inadequate blood sugar control, would you conclude the insulin was the problem or ineffective?

You’re also making several straw-man arguments, by saying “Suboxone is not an end all be all for drug use or addiction” and “saying it will cure them makes me angry” you are arguing points that nobody is making. Then you attack me by saying I’m not being "up front" allegedly hiding some conspiracy that wants to push ineffective treatments with great unknown side effects on anyone presumably unable to make decisions about their own treatment.

You’re angry about something that isn’t occurring, but it’s not possible that you are wrong about your understanding of the treatment? I just don’t know where to go from here, it seems you are unwilling or unable to understand my position enough to even mount a debate about it.

For anyone else reading, please notice the commonality of those like noSUBS who have a bad experience and those who understand the treatment who have a good experience. It’s all about developing realistic expectations. Those who are expecting bupe to “cure their addiction” will be disappointed when it doesn't and feel misled by those who they think said it would. Also, by not knowing what it is they are supposed to be doing while in treatment (the real mechanism of recovery) they don’t do it, in effect sabotaging any change they had to achieve sustained remission.
Tim
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Unread 06-16-2013, 01:07 PM   #8
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TIM u baffle me. so do all the other people who havent lived it and think they know whats best. The research is built up AGAINST sub as a cure or bridge to a cure w/e u wanna called (all semantics). For example look at Switzerland they give heroin to addicts as a program(very successfully). now while in the program and on H maintenance there addiction goes away? no (but they done exhibit addictive behavior same with suboxone) they just dont have to worry about it and all the other crap that comes with it and are better off this way. as soon as they stop the addiction and addictive behavior comes back same with subs. people can live a normal and long life on opiates if supervised correctly. not subs tho methadon idk never tired it.
I’m not at all surprised, I’m sure much about medication-assisted treatment baffles you. That’s not an attack on you because it would baffle anyone with a similar understanding of addiction.

Controlling addiction and treating addiction are two separate things. Supplying legal heroin is more of an OD and crime prevention strategy than an addiction treatment. But I’m reluctant to take the time to explain this further until I know that you understand the difference between physical dependence and addiction, because that’s key to understanding the difference between heroin and buprenorphine in the context of addiction.

But in short, addiction is about abnormal cravings and the abnormal brain changes that cause them. Since heroin is a short acting high intensity drug, it reinforces the destructive adaptations to the brain, while bupe is long acting with low intensity, which is not reinforcing to the destructive brain structures. But that only sets the stage, for a recovery, to be effective post medication, new healthy patterns of behavior unrelated to addiction need to replace the addictive ones. This is a reconditioning process that is deliberate and unlikely to be achieved while craving for heroin every 4-6 hours.

Check out this link about what gives some drugs a higher liability for addiction than others and how the same drug can be more/less addictive by the way it is administered: http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/conte.../delivery.html

Tim
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Unread 06-16-2013, 02:33 PM   #9
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LOL.... #3 - Measuring success by what happens when treatment is stopped....

there is nothing else to measure it by... therefore u are saying suboxone IS in fact a longterm treatment program(life-time)... then i ask why are people encouraged to try and get off suboxone to then eventually relapse.

TIM your too funny so are you semantics towards drugs/addiction/dependence/opiates
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Unread 06-16-2013, 02:50 PM   #10
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LOL.... #3 - Measuring success by what happens when treatment is stopped....

there is nothing else to measure it by... therefore u are saying suboxone IS in fact a longterm treatment program(life-time)... then i ask why are people encouraged to try and get off suboxone to then eventually relapse.

TIM your too funny so are you semantics towards drugs/addiction/dependence/opiates

btw i applaud you on the newly updated naabts site where there are in fact becoming more honest about the treatment, makes me a little less angry. and i guess u are trying to help people in need but wish you have taken a different approach. in reality everyone has been chasing their tail when it comes to treating addiction.

you gotta admit after while this stuff will turn on you(no matter the dose).
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Unread 06-16-2013, 03:22 PM   #11
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LOL.... #3 - Measuring success by what happens when treatment is stopped....

there is nothing else to measure it by...
Are you even trying to understand? This is all explained in the links I provided, did you even look at them?

Imagine if you were taking a medication for chronic asthma, and it was working, then you stopped the medication and symptoms returned, you would see that as evidence that the medication was effective.

With addiction some people (you) do the opposite, When they stop the medication and symptoms of addiction return, they take that as evidence the medication was a failure.

Ending the dangerous compulsive behavior of addiction is success, whether it requires medication or not. Measure success by whether or not the compulsive behavior has ended.
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Unread 06-16-2013, 03:27 PM   #12
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btw i applaud you on the newly updated naabts site where there are in fact becoming more honest about the treatment, makes me a little less angry. and i guess u are trying to help people in need but wish you have taken a different approach. in reality everyone has been chasing their tail when it comes to treating addiction.
Thanks, this exchange is actually helping me communicate the message in a clearer way on the site, I think.
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Unread 06-16-2013, 03:32 PM   #13
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you gotta admit after while this stuff will turn on you(no matter the dose).
No, but dose requirements change with time and if people don’t lower their dose to match those lower requirements they will experience the effects of too high of a dose. However, this is easily avoided by always following this mantra; “The correct dose is the lowest dose that suppresses cravings and withdrawal

Side effects:
Too high of a dose: lethargy, a medicated feeling ( described as “ cloudy” “foggy” or “ slow”), tiredness, nausea, constricted pupils in low light, a general unmotivated feeling, unjustified feeling of contentment, dehydration (indicated by dark urine)
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Unread 06-16-2013, 03:38 PM   #14
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TIM your too funny so are you semantics towards drugs/addiction/dependence/opiates
Words have meanings and not knowing the subtle distinctions between some of the key words surrounding addiction can lead to confusion and poor decisions about treatment. But don’t take my word look what the leading experts in the country (Charles P. O’Brien, M.D., Ph.D.; Nora Volkow, M.D.; T-K Li, M.D.) have to say about it and why they think it is so important.
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Unread 06-16-2013, 10:07 PM   #15
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Nosubs, sorry about you having a bad expirence with bupe. Please when you relate your feelings, use your own expirence and do not use such things as: (pasted below from your posts:

(as you gotta admit after while this stuff will turn on you(no matter the dose).) (then i ask why are people encouraged to try and get off suboxone to then eventually relapse) (TIM u baffle me. so do all the other people who havent lived it and think they know whats best. The research is built up AGAINST sub as a cure or bridge to a cure) (No its not possible. there is no cure for addiction and there is no cure for a drug problem specially using another drug that shoves u deeper in the hole. there are only 2 ways to solve addiction 100% abstinence OR longterm maintenance there is no middle ground. If you were up front with people saying suboxone is a longterm maintenance drug thats one thing, BUT saying it will cure them makes me very angry. Suboxone users have the same relapse rate as all other opiates... lets for get the side effect.) (idk what to tell you man but ive been there was on for 3years which is retardedly long too. i quit pretty much cold turkey. been off for nearly 1 year. ive had so many side effects i dont even want to list them..)

things that you dont even consider side effect during the time your using, you will relize how much subs destroy your body, as apose to a natural opiate, when and if you can get off them (harder to kick than methadon) which maybe a better alternative maybe try switch to that and see if you feel better... )

For all of these things you mention you offer no data or statistics to back these statements.

Second, who are you to judge Tim and his motives and where he's been or not been. Because he is a moderator Tim keeps his personal stuff out of it and sticks (and does it quite well) to facts backed up by science.
Third, this "sooo-ooo" long bit, again who are you to dictate what is long or short for anyone besides yourself.
Your "side effects" as you call them that are too numerous to post are YOUR side effects unique to your use, taper and body makeup.

Bottom line for me and others (read about it in the tapering section) is suboxone treatment was a godsend and made withdrawal much, much, much easier then the WD from "natural opiates" my own last "natural" WD was from well over 300mg of morphine a day and it was hell! Compared to sub detox, it was a cannon vs a peashooter.
Again, real sorry you had a bad time but just because you read here and there about others who also had a bad time, you just cannot judge the total treatment. This is very unfair and may scare a newcomer away from this excellent treatment and that gets me angry! Why, because in 2008 I came across a forum that was decidely 12 step based to a fault. the steps are an excellent tool but many in AA/NA have a black and white way of thinking and dismiss any treatment other then AA/NA as "not sober"
I am sober in AA in my 26th year and proud of the fellowship but not so proud of the step Nazi's who judge others. Not only does it breach the traditions, it puts many to risk of death. Some people for instance need anti depressants, some lithium and other anti psychotic medications.AA's that talk a person out of these needed treatments are playing doctor and some have blood on their hands for it!

So stick to you expirence and add that you have read of others but do not print statements like I pasted of your's without proof please.

God bless

Glen

Last edited by theswan; 06-16-2013 at 10:09 PM.. Reason: Syntax
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Unread 06-17-2013, 03:09 PM   #16
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One last thing I want to add to kind of tie this all together:
  • We know that addiction is the manifestation of brain adaptations that cause unnatural cravings which influence behavior.

  • We know that buprenorphine suppresses the craving, although doesn’t reverse the brain changes that are causing them.

  • We know that making and repeating new patterns of behavior, unrelated to addiction, can reverse some of the brain changes which cause the cravings.

  • Therefore we stay in buprenorphine treatment long enough so that our new patterns of behavior significantly reverse enough of the brain adaptations of addiction so that we can control the remaining cravings without medication. That could be as little as 6 months for some people or never for those who don’t bother or know to make the behavioral changes, or have permanent adaptations. But even those people who need buprenrophine for life have succeeded because they have suppressed the cravings and withdrawal which is the whole point of addiction treatment, just as the goal of treating diabetes isn’t to get off or avoid insulin but to regulate blood sugar. As with any condition if it can be controlled without medication that’s preferable, but if it takes medication, although less convenient, it still affords the patient long-term addiction remission.

Tim
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Unread 06-17-2013, 04:24 PM   #17
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Thank you tim, I have never been told that suboxone was a cure for addiction. In fact I was always told the opposite; that you have to work a program with the sub and that the sub is buying you time to get your life back to normal. Certain people put sub in a category where they think it is a magic cure and then they are disappointed when it isn't a magic cure and they go and blabber all over the Internet THt it wasn't this magical cure with no withdrawals and no side effects. News flash!!! Any drug you take has side effects; any drug, Benadryl has side effects, I'm sorry your tummy got constipated and you didn't get cured of addiction.
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Unread 06-18-2013, 01:30 AM   #18
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I do not want to call suboxone (bupe) a cure but I think for me it is very close to one and has been exactly what I was seeking, A little background:
I am a pain patient and have suffered many years. Being one prone to excess (I am an alcoholic in my 26th year of sobriety) I did not do well with narcotic pain meds, in fact I did horribly. I'd try to control them for my pain's sake but end up dependent and having to detox which sucked as we all know. I tried to bite the bullet and several times and was able to get a couple of years here and there with no pain medication. I think 3 years was the most. (I started pain meds after an accident in my third year of sobriety) I was at my wits end and began to search the internet under "safe opiate pain meds" or "safer narcotics" Eventually, I came upon suboxone and various web sites including this one but first came across one that talked about sub treatment but was dead set against it in fact, they scared me with tales of unrelenting PAWS and other maladies from sub (worse then methadone etc..)
I took a chance and was able to enroll in a clinical trial called roughly "Suboxone use in the chronic pain patient who sometimes takes more then the prescribed dose of opiate medication" This for sure fit the bill for me lol!
If I listened to the naysayers and never tried suboxone, well I do not want to think of what horror may have befallen upon me.
Not only did it lessen what for me has always been a hellicious WD of several weeks to a matter of hours, but it allowed for pain relief and the need for ever increasing amounts of opioid medication. So I stayed a year and a half then decided it was time to taper-why? Well I wanted to get to see how my body would number one handle the taper and stopping of bupe and two, to get to a "set point" of my pain level.
So after a very slow taper, I stopped and had minor to zero WD symptoms-that is magic in my book. however, I knew there was a chance my pain would get the better of me but I knew sub worked ok for that so no big deal..
I went a year off but after trying acetaminophen, ibuprofen and then even tramadol, I decided to go back to subutex, well first a bupe patch called Butrans, then back to suboxone then to subutex.
It works very well on my pain and my need to take more and more ad infinitum is just not there-So again, it is magic for me.

Sorry it does not seem to work as well for some but as for me, yeah it pretty much saved my life or at least the quality of it

Glen
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Unread 06-20-2013, 01:42 AM   #19
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Anyone who feels the need to criticize anyone on this website clearly has issues far beyond that of taking a couple of grams of Box a day. I am 36 yr male for those who need context. I have been taking it for close to four years now and I am not with out my issues. I take 3-4 mg a day and often spread my dose out as needed by the single milligram. I still am rewarding myself and will try and work on that aspect of my treatment. I would agree on issues if memory loss and word recall. I also find a much lower libido. I have low testosterone as well. I am pretty sure its a side effect of being on stubs, but I am not sure if it is from the subs. I am deathly afraid of not being able to sleep or get comfortable if I reduce my dose. I feel good when I take 3 mg for a few days in a row but then always end up taking that extra gram. My brain seems to become overactive when I taper down. I also get a bit anxious. I enjoy hearing about all your experiences. Everyone is different and everyone will react differently. Its nice to k ow I am not alone. Thanks
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Unread 06-20-2013, 02:36 PM   #20
julie48
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Originally Posted by noSUBS View Post
No its not possible. there is no cure for addiction and there is no cure for a drug problem specially using another drug that shoves u deeper in the hole. there are only 2 ways to solve addiction 100% abstinence OR longterm maintenance there is no middle ground. If you were up front with people saying suboxone is a longterm maintenance drug thats one thing, BUT saying it will cure them makes me very angry. Suboxone users have the same relapse rate as all other opiates... lets for get the side effect.

Suboxone is not an end all be all for drug use or addiction.
No one ever said suboxone is a cure. Are you trolling for a debate. Why are you on this forum, to scare people away from subs? Sorry about your experience, but there are more good than bad experiences...I am glad u have a little more understanding. And dblaron20, you are right, everyone does react differently, and if subs are not right for someone, then they must find an alternative. For me, sometimes I feel tired, etc., but it beats the hell out of popping 20 Norco a day! If one tapers properly when ready, it can be successful. In the meantime, not popping 20 Norco a day has allowed me to continue my education, yes I am a 47 year old Grad student with a 4.0 GPA. I could have NEVER DONE THIS IS STILL ON NORCO! You don't need to be afraid, stay here and post and you will get the support and even answers you seek. Blessings. Julie

Last edited by julie48; 06-20-2013 at 02:44 PM..
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Unread 06-20-2013, 10:59 PM   #21
theswan
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Dblaron

You are right about the lowered testosterone. The sad fact is that all opioid medication can lower testosterone levels. I inject myself every two weeks (I'd rather do the gel but it is mad expensive even as a co-pay becuase I have to pay 33%) The injectable cyprionate is cheap

Fact is even after being off opioid meds for a year, it remained low (I am 60 so maybe that played into it as well)

Glen
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Unread 07-29-2013, 11:15 PM   #22
down2nothing
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why do people think this its sooooooo wrong. addiction remission.. if someone is taking a drug this is called remission... and for 5 years that is sooooooooooo soooooooo long for this stuff.

idk what to tell you man but ive been there was on for 3years which is retardedly long too. i quit pretty much cold turkey. been off for nearly 1 year. ive had so many side effects i dont even want to list them..

things that you dont even consider side effect during the time your using, you will relize how much subs destroy your body, as apose to a natural opiate, when and if you can get off them (harder to kick than methadon) which maybe a better alternative maybe try switch to that and see if you feel better...

like you i had extreme guilt for being on subs... they made me stupid. again hard to understand while on them. i always referred to it as living in a fog. naloxone isnt good but the the actually subs that shutdown your hormone production. which i believe will come back eventually maybe not 100% but close.
I see both sides of the coin noSUBS and yes 5 years is longer than I'd expected to be on suboxone, however when first embarking I lost a close friend (heroin) and was spending $500 a month on oxycodone (off street) and my habit was on the increase. I had enough, and since am still using suboxone. Methadone is not for me, It is harder to kick than suboxone and unlike suboxone it can conclude in an overdose. Contrary to you, I have no fog, no feeling stupid, and feel normal. I currently take 8 mgs a day, 4 mgs when I wake and 4mgs 6-8 hours later. My goal is to keep reducing sloooowly. Also, just for the record I am in my late 40's and led a tough physical lifestyle. The suboxone works in the background as an analgesic. I have had depression and anxiety for the last 10 years but never touched any other prescription drugs in my life. I can also say since using suboxone,I no longer have anxiety or depression. Soooo, if 8 mgs of suboxone can counter drug abuse, anxiety, depression, and pain, I can only see this drug as a benefit. Yes, I would still like to be non reliant upon such a medication and noSUBS I may just steal your name!
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