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Unread 04-02-2015, 11:36 AM   #1
TLH
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I have been attending AA for the past year for both Alcohol and Opiate addiction. While I have done very well with the Alcohol cravings, the Opiate cravings are another story. After doing a lot of research on Suboxone, and being referred to a Doctor by my Psychopharmacologist, I went to see him yesterday, and he agreed Suboxone was the best option for me. I have had the same AA sponsor for the past ten months or so, and at one point, she had told me she did not have a problem with being on medications, and being in AA. I shared the news with her this morning that I had gone to the Doctor yesterday, and he had put me on Soboxone, and I was waiting for insurance approval. She then informs me that Suboxone is extremely addictive, and hard to get off of. I am to the point where I have got to try something different, but I guess I was wrong about getting support from her. Just feeling rather disappointed and frustrated right now. Any suggestions? Thanks for reading.
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Unread 04-02-2015, 02:38 PM   #2
GirlGettingOffSubs
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Hi TLH,

My sponsor from AA (I am also opiate addict) told me that after I worked the steps, if I still had an issue with adhd, she'd have no probs with me being on meds. There is a fine line between being new in recovery and just needing to learn to live vs a psychiatric issue. Were you just having cravings? Have you used opiates during your time in AA? I can understand where your sponsor is coming from, but that is only based on the fact that I am assuming certain things about you which I don't want to do, ergo the onslaught of questions.

Did you start subs based on cravings? That is a reason to, but in recovery, and my own experience, cravings are a part of life, it's what you do with the cravings that matter.

So I think it's safe to say I understand both sides. I wish I never started subs (though I am off now thank goodness) I also understand the importance of working steps (especially bc I was in AA, but in my area many opiate users gravitated to AA). I have sponsored others, and have not used my opiate of choice since 2005. However I did get on subs due to surgeries and taking percocets, and I didn't want to get back to using h.

anyhow if I were in your situation id ask myself this: have I done all I could to prevent going back to my drug of choice ? Have I worked all 12 steps? How much are my cravings interfering with my day to day life? In my situation (and this is me only) I worked the steps but the fear of withdrawal after 5 sugeries in a few years scared me into remembering the major withdrawals from my drug of choice, and I got on subs to avoid that.

If I worked a better program I may have avoided spending tens of thousands of dollars on my doctor who did not accept insurance however subs are good for some people. I caution you before starting though. I felt better when I never took them (hence me getting off them). I also used them for the wrong reasons. I probably could have easily weaned off the percs from surgery but I was afraid. Also, I didn't use my sponsor like I could have.

I also did not know how strong subs were when I started. 1mg is the equivalent of 50mg of methadone. No one told me that. I was on too high a dose for too long. If you have a good doctor (mine seemed to want a paycheck only) who understands this, that is great. However, the fact that it seems based on your entry that you are not taking opiates currently, why start something that would cause pretty intense withdrawal to come off of? I wish I never started but I am glad after 4 years I am off it. That is not to say that if you are doing everything in your power (steps, support group etc) to deal with your cravings, then maybe it can serve a purpose for you (others chime in). However, I never got on it without being on opiates first. Maybe find a new home group or sponsor to help deal with the cravings?

I just want to be the voice of caution. Maybe you can try naltrexone alone which would cause any opiates to not work vs something that would cause withdrawal when you stopped. Not to mention it doesn't get you high at all.
Just trying to help,
Angie

Last edited by GirlGettingOffSubs; 04-02-2015 at 02:42 PM..
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Unread 04-02-2015, 10:14 PM   #3
nan
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Hello TLH-Please just do what you and your doctor think is best. AA folks, sponsors, are not doctors and shouldn't be in judgement of what medication one feels they need. If you continue with suboxone treatment then you also must work with a counselor, or someone who can work with you to understand the triggers that create the craving for opiates.

Addiction is a disease and medical treatment is appropriate. I can't imagine a sponsor would want to make a judgement on any other necessary medication. Quite bluntly, imo, no one needs to know what medication one is on-it is between you and your doctor-nobody else's business. Suboxone is nothing to be feared if used properly, along with the doctor and/therapist.

I hope you will be comfortable with your decision. If you and your doctor think suboxone treatment is in order then there is nothing "wrong" with you using medication-assistance treatment. Stay on as low a dose as you can. Let us know how you are doing. Lots of support on here!

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Unread 04-03-2015, 04:34 PM   #4
maxxx
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Ive een on subs for awhile now, and worked steps, been down that judgment road with my old "friends ".
Opiate addiction is chronic, deathly and relapsing. I would Not, as nan has said put my trust or let another person other than my Dr help me with this problem.
To many dead bodies laying to let this bappen. This medication saves lives and thoses who wish they Never started it ive always asked or wo dered Why did you? It just may have saved your life all that time you were on it.
My NA ers turned there collective backs after 4 years when I stood up for thoses on DRT. Openminded? Acceptice, tolerance? ..sorry...If it worked for most we wouldnt need a med like Buprenorphine. .unless losing 68 people a day to opiate addiction is t a high enough number for some..
Naltrexone wo t stop cravings , if it did, then ,again we would t need Buprenorphine. .

Ok..my 2 cents and Experience. .sick of shame an guilt in all of this..

Good luck with your new dr, hope all gos well T....

MAX
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Unread 04-03-2015, 07:40 PM   #5
GirlGettingOffSubs
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TLH,
I hope my post didn't confuse you. Obviously if you are having serious issues with craving, by all means it needs to be addressed. My story is that, MY story. I was ashamed bc my sponsor was die hard AA and once I got on subs I fell away from my home group for fear of judgement. She did not have experience with opiates which is what I needed.

However, I got on subs due to the fear of withdrawal from the percocets I had been taking due to surgery. I was not craving my drug of choice, but the fear of withdrawal was so intense I felt I needed to do something. Subs are very useful and beneficial for those people who feel they need it- I felt I took the easy way out. Maybe I didn't, it's water under the bridge. If I didnt take it, who knows, I could be sitting here sticking a needle in my arm right now.

So what I guess i am trying to say is congratulations on looking for options. It may very well work for you. My boyfriend is on it and it works great for him. I used it to serve a purpose and when I didnt need it any more, I stopped. I don't want to discourage you from getting the help you need, I guess perhaps I still have a little residual guilt because of my die hard AA sponsor I used to have, and I apologize if that spilled over into the post I wrote you earlier today. There is nothing wrong with being on it,the alternative is much worse if you feel your cravings will lead to using again and that is definitely something that you do not need.

Again, my apologies.
Angie
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Unread 04-03-2015, 09:06 PM   #6
morphing
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TLH,

I had a few thoughts I wanted to share with you.

First, I'm a Type 2 Diabetic. I take insulin to keep my blood sugar from getting too high. Theoretically, I could exercise, eat only proteins (no carbs) and not have to take the insulin. But, I "can't" (don't)...I have desires/cravings and so I eat carbs and I get a little lazy, so I have to inject the insulin. Society accepts this.

Because of abuse, I likewise am an addict. Theoretically, I could "white-knuckle it" and avoid all opioids and not have to take Suboxone. But, I "can't"...I have desires/cravings and physical withdrawals, so I have to take Suboxone. Society is harsh regarding this.

A very small minority can and will successfully reverse their diabetes by diet and exercise and will live a very healthy life as a result. Likewise, a very small minority will successfully stop and abstain from using opioids and live a very healthy sober life. The majority, though, will need to use insulin to maintain a safe blood sugar level. Again, likewise (in my opinion), the majority needs to use Suboxone or other medication in order to maintain their sobriety.

I believe these are both chronic diseases (diabetes and addiction) that require appropriate medical treatment for long term welfare.

Now, no one should be casual in their decision to take a medication. Medicines are foreign to the body and have risks, side effects, and benefits. Each individual needs to weigh the benefits against the risks and side effect. For insulin, lowering my blood sugar is the benefit and developing insulin dependence or having hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) are some of the risks. I've determined that for me and my situation, the benefits of insulin outweigh the risks. For Suboxone, treating the withdrawals and cravings are the benefits and headaches and dependence are the risks/side effects. Again, I've determined that the benefits outweigh the risks/side effects. So, I take insulin and I take Suboxone as part of my medical treatment. BTW - This is for illustration only, there are many, many more benefits and side effects than I have listed here.

I just want you to look objectively at your needs and the options available, and make the informed decision that is best for you, without undue influence from dogmatic doctrines from either camp.
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Unread 04-04-2015, 04:38 AM   #7
GirlGettingOffSubs
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Morphing- what a brilliant way to put it! Both my parents were diabetic so that is easy for me to understand and even if I knew nothing about diabetes, you explain it in a way that makes perfect sense.

I take allergy shots haha. I could take a Claritin pill or Benadryl, but I choose to take the injections to help my body heal in a sense to learn how to fight off the dust that I can't get away from. I suppose suboxone is kind of like that, it allows your brain to work on healing while your body is able to deal with the cravings etc, bc even if you would use, you wouldn't feel the effects of getting high.

The allergy shots are supposed to be temporary until my immune system learns to not overreact to dust. Subs are the same way. After your brain learns new ways to handle dealing with life without using, if need be, you can taper off.

Same with insulin and diabetes. If need be and diet and exercise work, there is a possibility to change to oral meds. However, I am one to support a more natural method of dealing with health issues-insulin is exactly what your body produces, and the oral meds can have some nasty side effects. Plus if I were diabetic I would probably choose to use insulin because that's just how I am. It's easier to regulate and you can change the dose as needed. Subs are similar. They give your body what it's lacking and you can always change the dose based on how your recovery is. Of course with your doctors recommendation. (A lot of times less is more with subs)

Anyhow I hope tbat makes some kind of sense. Morphing explained it better. I just woke up in the middle of the night and am still half asleep so I apologize if this is confusing. TLH, as time goes on, I think the status quo will change on their views of suboxone/bupenorphine. You need to take care of yourself, and no one besides you and your doctor need to know that you are on it. It's your choice to decide who you disclose that to.
Anyhow, back to back to bed for me!
Angie

Last edited by GirlGettingOffSubs; 04-04-2015 at 04:42 AM..
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Unread 04-04-2015, 04:52 PM   #8
TLH
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Hi all, I got insurance approval late Friday afternoon. I took mmy first doce yesterday. My Doctor, my Psychopharmocologist and I think this is the best course of treatment for me right now. My Sponsor and I had a good talk, and I think she has come to the realization I am going to do this regardless of what she says. This is my fight after all. I am going into this knowing all of the risks and benefits, and for me personally, I feel the benefits outway the risk, but I understand where you are coming from Angie. Good luck to all.
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Unread 04-04-2015, 08:44 PM   #9
GirlGettingOffSubs
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Hey TLH, how are you feeling since you started your first dose? Keep us posted.
Thanks
Angie
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Unread 04-05-2015, 12:08 PM   #10
TLH
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I started my first dose Friday afternoon. I've felt pretty good so far. I experienced some nausea yesterday, but it's hard to say if that is from the Soboxone or something else. I don't know if I should be noticing anything yet, as I have only taken a few doces, but I have not had the desire to use as of yet. My roommate says she has noticed a difference, so I am hopefull at this point. Thanks for reading.
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Unread 04-05-2015, 05:51 PM   #11
GirlGettingOffSubs
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Hi TLH,

Yes nausea can be a side effect. It should subside as time goes on or you can cut back a little on the dose and see if that helps. As for the desire to use, sometimes knowing it wouldn't work anyhow is a pretty good deterrent. But I am glad things are going well! Keep us posted!
Angie
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Unread 04-05-2015, 05:54 PM   #12
morphing
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TLH,

Thursday was my 8th week on Suboxone, so I'm only a little ahead of you. My experience was that I felt a great relief when the withdrawal subsided. It was also a relief knowing that I was on path to a solution and breaking the up-and-down cycle and concern about what I would do if my doctor stopped his practice or couldn't prescribe any more (which is sort of what happened, he lost his license to prescribe controlled substances a week before my refill was due). I don't live from doctor's appointment to doctor's appointment and refill to refill.

It's allowing me to focus on everything else in my life. It has also reversed the mental and emotional fog I was in...I now feel emotions and I've noticed an improvement in my cognitive functions.

Please keep us updated on how you're doing.

Thanks,
Morphing
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Unread 04-29-2015, 08:57 AM   #13
MattC42286
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Hi tlh. Subs will definately improve your quality of life if you are down in the gutter. They will make you feel alot better than wanting and craving opiates everyday. I myself have not started to taper so cant tell you anything about that. With anything you take for a period of time is the chance of withdrawal. It had done wonders for me. Hope this helped! Matt
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Unread 05-06-2015, 06:08 PM   #14
laman78
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Good luck everyone
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Unread 06-04-2015, 05:42 PM   #15
Want2BFree
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Hi TLH

Welcome and how are you feeling now after a week on Sub? I took the brand name of Suboxone pill form for 10 months and never felt any nausea. Recently I went back on the Sub but it was a generic form..tasted very bitter, and I always felt some nausea and would have to eat crackers or have something in my stomach to prevent it. I thought I would offer that suggestion.

Like others have said Suboxone taken for the right reasons is a very good choice. I took it for 10 months to get off a 12 addiction to morphine which I took everyday. I could not have done it without the Suboxone. I went off the Suboxone Nov 3rd/2014 and was off everything for 6 months. I went back on the Suboxone for the wrong reasons.. to get a boost I knew the opiate would give me to paint. I was very depressed I made that decision and stayed on it 5 weeks.. I just got off it a week ago.. Even after 5 weeks I had pretty bad withdrawal symptoms.. So there are right and wrong reasons.

It sounds like it is the right choice for you..

Good luck
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Unread 06-24-2015, 06:02 PM   #16
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Very good advice from everyone.
Thanks
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Unread 07-23-2015, 03:23 PM   #17
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For anyone who is struggling with na,aa or other types of meetings find a celebrate recovery meeting they are just like everyone else in these forums no expectations no judgement and they have heard and seen it all. They are my strength and my family that I never had no lies just truth. If I am wrong after you have gone two at least two different meetings come yell at me. Just try and you might find strength you never knew you had
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