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toughtime 04-01-2007 03:36 PM

Starting suboxone tomorrow
Hi everyone,

I've been on and off these boards for years. Have been battling hydrocodone addiction for years. I have quit more times than I care to admit, gone cold turkey, made it thru the god-awful withdrawals then started using again. I have some back problems that makes my excuses easier to use. Well I'm so sick of it. I quit cold turkey again a few weeks ago and almost lost my job b/c I don't have anymore sick time. I made an appointment with a sub doctor. It's tomorrow afternoon. I wish they could have seen me in the morning but the doc doesn't come in til the afternoon. I am so depressed. I'm scared. I'm already going thru withdrawals b/c the doc said I had to be off pills for 24 hours. I'm scared about what he's going to charge. I only have $250 and the nurse said he'll charge between $100- $300. I don't want it on my insurance, plus I have HMO so I'd have to go to my doc and get a referral and don't know if it's covered, so I decided to self pay. Still freaked and not sure about how much I'll have to go in, missing more work and possibly losing my job. But I have to get my life back! I have a little girl, I'm a single mom and I'm scared that I'll die if I don't quit. I also know that she deserves better. Plus the pills are making me miserable. I think about suicide a lot and I'm even on antidepressants. I am not going to kill myself, because I have a daughter and I'm all she has, but if I didn't have her I would have offed myself a long time ago. So basically sub is my only chance.

I just wanted to post and let you guys know that I am trying sub. Many of you kind people on the board have suggested that I try sub over the many times I have quit and relapsed. I am all alone in this b/c my family thinks I've been off of pain pills since I fessed up that I was taking 30 norcos a day and went cold turkey. My mom helped out with my daughter and I got clean for a few weeks, a little over a year ago. I quit on Jan. 1 of this year and quit smoking cigarettes too. Miraculously I haven't had a cigarette but I only made it about 10 days w/out the pain pills.

Anyway I told my boss I had to work from home tomorrow so I can sneak off to go to the doctor. I just hope I can function in the morning and I hope the doctor is nice. I've seen him before to get pain pills from actually and I really don't respect the guy much. It's been a couple of years since I've seen him for hydros so I don't know if he would remember me. Prob. has me on file. He's kind of a Dr. feel good. He made me get an MRI before he would continue to give me pain pills but several of my friends have seen him just for pain pills. He just started doing the sub thing and that's one of the reasons I am seeing him. All of the other sub docs I called said I'd have to come in every day at first, then once a week. This guy only has one sub patient and the nurse said he came in 3 weeks after his first visit so I'm hoping I'll get my meds and I won't have constant doctor visits taking up my life.

I really need help. I know some of you will look down on me for doing sub since it's not being totally clean. I don't care. I need to get off of pain pills and stay off of them forever and I think sub is my last chance. Fingers crossed! I think sub will help because it keeps you from withdrawals so you can keep functioning (ie keep your job!) but it is also supposed to keep you from having mental cravings which get me every time. I don't know how long I'm supposed to stay on it, curious at what he'll say. One of my friends (someone very kind I met off of this board, and the only person who knows about all of this) said that I'm trading one horrible addiction for a worse one but I am very desperate and can't quit on my own, can't take off and go into rehab so I hope and pray that sub will work! I've been going to church again and really begging for God to help me in all of this as well. Thanks for your support.


logalind 04-01-2007 04:34 PM

Re: Starting suboxone tomorrow
Sweetie I am so proud of you. You are doing what is best for you and your daughter. Are you going to be able to do any NA Meetings. I am trying to be as couragious (sp) as you. I am going tomorrow to tt the Addiction Med people and find out what the plan is before when I went I wasn't prepared, be prepared with all your questions write them down now. I started going to na meetings yesterday 2 meetings in 2 days whoo hooo!!! I will be thinking about you please post and keep us abreast of what is happening and remember we are here for you.


toughtime 04-01-2007 05:00 PM

Re: Starting suboxone tomorrow
Thanks Lori. I really needed that. I've been crying alternating with losing my temper with my daughter which is sending me on the biggest downward shame spiral, knowing it's all b/c of these stupid friggin pills that I hate. Thanks so much for your words of encouragement. I know I need to go to NA meetings. I think that's another reason I've relapsed. I might try to find some near my work that I can go to on my lunch or something. Will consider. Got to get thru this first. Anyway, thank you.

dfroman1166 04-02-2007 08:15 AM

Re: Starting suboxone tomorrow
I'm going today at 1:00 for my first sub treatment! Your story is very similar to mine. I haven't the courage to post latley because I was clean for about 3 weeks and then couldn't do it anymore! I was soooo embarrased to have to tell all these sweet, supportive people that I failed! like you need to have something to keep us OFF these pills-once and for all!
I will post as soon as I get home and let you know how it went. Be careful of a doc that seems to be a bit crooked. I, like you have chosen to self-pay and this guy wants $475.00 for 4 weeks treatment. It seems like a lot but I live in an area where everything is more expensive. Plus most docs don't submit to insurance.
I've finally fessed up to my hubby and he's being VERY supportive of my desicion to do the sub-I have 2 children and a business to run. Theres no way I can do the w/d!
Were doing what we need to do regardless of how we're judged.
Good Luck tommorow and I will post and let you know how it went!

toughtime 04-02-2007 09:58 AM

Re: Starting suboxone tomorrow
Hi Dee,

My appointment is at 2! What a small world. I am going to self pay so it won't be on my permanent record. I called again (trying to be seen earlier) and they said it was usually $94. I am taking in the results of my physical I got in January so they shouldn't have to do all of that. Are you feeling like death? You are probably on your way in now. Good luck! I am so nervous but also excited to have a fresh start and to end withdrawals without getting more pills. If we think about what we were spending on pills it justifies it. This is comparable to another shipment from an OP. I just hope it works!


bkim 04-02-2007 10:20 AM

Re: Starting suboxone tomorrow
Good luck you guys. I hope your visits went well.

slipperyslope 04-02-2007 12:31 PM

Re: Starting suboxone tomorrow
Good luck Debbie, I am soooo glad your finally going to give it a whirl. please keep in touch with us and let us all know how you feel on it and how your managing. I feel like you have made the RIGHT decision for you. I hope that this Dr allows you to stay on it for as long as you need to and doesn't just want you to do a quick taper off it because for you, you need it for maintance since you have gotten clean many a times but always crave them and as you say you " CAVE" in... since your using an OP and we all no how much that cost, this should be cheaper so don't focus so much on the money, you will find a way to get the money as you have for the I think this is a good choice and a good drug for you and your current situation. Please don't let the Dr talk you into a quick on and off plan because you need to stay on it for awhile, and i think NA mixed in there would also be helpful for you. good luck and I hope the Dr is nice to you and compassionate of your drug addiction. I wouldn't mention the fact that you feel suicidal at times as this may scare him off and he may not want to treat you long term and he may want you to see a phycologist or something and get to nervous about you being on SUB, just try and keep that confidentual if you can cuz a regualr MD may really not feel good about treating someone that thinks about suicide, that is another situation intself and not a good idea to bring that up to him!!!!!!!!!! I have a feeling you will feel great on it and do really well. prayers for you and I am so very glad you have chosen this route over suicide. your little one needs you and this would be just awful to have happen to her.
take care, SS

Podee 04-02-2007 01:09 PM

Re: Starting suboxone tomorrow
Your story is not unique. Many people lie to their friends and families and tell them they are clean but are not.

However, please don't fool yourself. Suboxone is a powerful opiate and creates its own addiction. There is no difference at all to being addicted to pills, heroin, suboxone, or any other opiate, except that one might be legal, or one might be less expensive.

You CAN use suboxone under supervision to get clean for real. In that situation you would be using it for about two weeks to get off. I would suggest following up with something like N.A. to stay clean and sober.

TJinPA 04-02-2007 02:50 PM

Re: Starting suboxone tomorrow
Ladies, I have to respectfully disagree with the previous post that is indicating that sub treatment is the same as all other opiates. It is not. Suboxone has a ceiling that will not allow you to load up and create the need for more to achieve a previous high. The sub will occupy all the receptors that have been created by opiates but will not create any more. The sub will also cancel the addict behaviour.

Now the previous post is correct in that if you take sub as a replacement therapy you will need to do a long drawn out taper to get off of the sub. The 7 to 10 day detox on sub does work and does minimize the w/ds to a "cold" in stead of a "flu". I have done that. But if you cannot control the craving, the sub as a therapy will stop those cravings and allow you to learn better coping skills. When the time comes to quit the sub therapy you will have to taper. One more thing while on the sub you cannot "get high" from any other opiates. There is a 3 to 6 day time period before the sub will allow anything else to attach to the receptors. I think that is one of the reason that sub gets a bad rap for withdrawls. When you stop the sub it will take at least 3 days for the effects to wear off and by that point someone may think "wow great I am free" and then bam the actual w/ds hit. In summarry in a perfect world the best way to use sub is the 7-10 day detox. But in reality if you just can't stay clean, sub is the lessor of the evils and you must learn to live life with a different perspective. What a pain in the butt it is to be an addict :)

dfroman1166 04-02-2007 03:06 PM

Re: Starting suboxone tomorrow
Started sub today at about 1:30- My doctor was GREAT! He's put me on 16mg. a day and we will go from there. I'm dying to know how it went for you. I feel good-a little dizzy:dizzy: Almost like when I took too much vicoden.
He's going to help me get the right kind of counseling and has given me a list of n/a meetings in my area. I will go tonight at 7 p.m.
My doctor did stress that it's very important to have therapy and go to AA or NA and I told him that I've already put all those things in place. He will work with me as long as I need him-and the sub. He also said that until I've made MAJOR progress with therapy and learning how to control my cravings I will need to continue the sub.
I felt very positive about this and really have no fear of trading one addiction for another. I think it's important to have lots of support and guidance from your Doc.
Best of luck! Please let us know how it went!

arg49ermom 04-02-2007 03:09 PM

Re: Starting suboxone tomorrow
Debbie! CONGRATS on your decision to give sub a try! You will be amazed at how much better you will begin to feel as your body starts to heal! I started sub 21 days ago and have absolutely NO regrets whatsoever. I had no w/d's at all and sub has actually helped my pain, depression, anxiety and sleep! I too am a single mom and was in the same boat as you. You can't put a price on your health/sobriety! Your daughter needs you!! Please don't listen to the negative responses about sub. Everyone is different and we are all unique in our own way! Do what works for you! I'll be praying for you! Please post after your induction appointment and let us all know how things are going! I'm soo excited for you sweetie!!! Big Hugs!!!

toughtime 04-02-2007 07:52 PM

Re: Starting suboxone tomorrow
Hi everyone!

Wow, what a wonderful surprise to read everyone's posts and concerns. Slippery slope, thank you. I remember you from before and I think you were one of the ones who suggested I try sub. Well, let's see, I got to my appointment early and waited an hour and a half to see the doc. You know how much that stinks anyway but when you're going thru withdrawals and you're waiting for the magic pill to stop the misery it really stinks. Anyway, so after the visit I was ready for the pill and he wrote me a script! He said that the docs that charge $1000 have the pills onsite. Anyway, I'm really glad I chose this doctor. I haven't been to him in a couple of years but he had my MRI results, he was the doc I saw 15 years ago after my car wreck, he wrote me lots of scripts. He knew I was someone who didn't just do pills to get high, that I had pain issues too. So I didn't feel as ashamed. He told me that addiction goes with pain and everyone on pain pills is addicted. He also said that since I have pain issues he wrote the sub script for PAIN not for drug addiction. He even put it in my chart that we are switching my pain meds from hydros to sub. He said it would help with the pain, not as much as hydros but enough to manage. He also said that the cravings I have for hydros are like a bell ringing in my head and on the sub the bell will stop ringing. First it will slow down then it will stop.

So I got my script - he wrote one for 30 pills, 8 mg. He told me to take one, then in 2 hours if I was still feeling withdrawals to take another, in another 2 hours if I needed it, take another. He said if I had to take 4 then do it but he'd never known anyone who needed more than 3. He said to take one in the morning and one at night. Well Dee, I feel like you said. I feel schitzy and nauseous and really out of it- exactly like I took too much hydrocodone. I could hardly eat and felt like I was going to puke. I only took the one pill and tomorrow I am going to break one in half and try to just do 4 mgs. I realize that I'm probably trading one addiction for another so I don't desire to set myself up at a huge dose. I want to take the smallest amount that will work. I told him that I average 15 norcos a day and I go through about 100- 120 each week, norco 10 mgs.

I asked him how long I should stay on it and he said for a year or two probably! I don't know about that but then I thought about how long I've been on pain pills, 5 years, 4 of it at a large habit. How many times I've quit, how many times I've gone thru withdrawals, how many times I've relapsed and failed. I don't know if I'll wind up being on it that long but I just need to break the addiction cycle- the pill seeking, obsessing, etc. etc. at least. He said although I'd feel better within days it would really take a month before I'd feel ok. That's how long it takes to completely get over the hydros and the sub helps your brain receptors make their own seratonin again or something.

No, I didn't mention the suicide. I'm kind of embarrassed I wrote it here. That really was me on the pain pills causing that depression. Me at my lowest. And like I said I would never really do it b/c of my daughter but I've just been so terribly unhappy. You guys know how horrible it is to be in full blown addiction.

Well, I feel pretty jittery and I don't know how I'll sleep. The paperwork said that if you mix sub with xanax, valium or benadryl it can cause death!!! But that's weird b/c on the sub website, when you go to the area for physicians, they say that if patients can't sleep then give them a small script for xanax. Yea, let's give an addict a different drug that's harder to quit. Sheez. Is the corporation that makes suboxone working on a detox drug for benzos? Makes me wonder.

Anyway, the cost of the visit was $180. I told the doc that his receptionist told me $94 so he said I could pay that today and pay the rest when I come in again. It's $94 after that. Oh, if anyone is considering sub make sure you have insurance. He said it was $360 for the sub without it! I have aetna HMO but I might call my doc to get a referral to this guy. I am not sure yet. If I have to go in a lot this is gonna hurt. Anyway, he wanted to see me in a few days but I told him about my work/time off situation and he's going to let me come in in a week.

He said he has about 60 patients on sub and he was just approved about a month ago. He said one guy was a very successful lawyer taking 20 pain pills a day. He did the sub for a day, the next day took half pills, then the next day he threw all the sub out and quit everything for good. He didn't miss a day's work. I think that's a great success story but knowing myself with my history of relapses I am not going to try that.

Sorry this is such a long post. I guess I had a lot to say! I'm not going thru withdrawals now but my mind is racing. The weird thing is the doc told me that if I felt anxious I should take more sub. I am leery about getting too deep in the sub. Since it makes me feel anxious and schitzy I am nervous about taking more before I go to bed.

I am happy that it's not on my permanent record that I'm a drug addict. Thank God. He told me he has two DEA numbers- one for medication he prescribes to addicts and another to prescribe pain pills and he was using the pain pill number for me. The bottle says to take them for pain but the sheet that comes with them says they are for treating opiote dependence.

Well I'm gonna get ready for bed. I wish I had some tylenol pm's b/c I'm scared to take anything stronger. This sub is some serious stuff.

Good night everyone. I won't be able to check the boards til tomorrow night but I really want to hear more about how Dee is doing and what her script was for, and how she feels. I do feel a sense of calm. It was really weird telling a doctor I used to try to manipulate for pills the truth. I thought I was going to break down and cry but I didn't. I appreciate that he didn't treat me like a street junkie at least. The women working the counter all gave me the once over when they realized I was there for sub. Talk about being judged! They were nice but still I felt like I was wearing a scarlet letter.

OK now I'm outta here. Seriously. Thanks everyone for your support. I don't know what I would do without this board and all of you people on it!


withdrawls are hard 04-03-2007 03:18 AM

Re: Starting suboxone tomorrow
debbie , thanks for replying to my thread and I just have to get my two cents in on this one too. I am frankly amazed at the number of people patting you on the back over getting on sub. Yes its great, just like the hydros/oxy's were oh and cheaper and legal. all true, but what everyones but podee is failing to mention is it is just another opiate. For me this is what it did; I went from being comletely detoxed off methadone(the methadone detoxed me off the oxy/heroin) but my now ex wife being concerned id start up again found sub and pointed me toward it. I quit 12 steps, didnt need them anymore, so I thought, cravings gone. didnt have to deal with the nasty methadone clinics, side effects were minimal and I really thought i had
it beat. now detoxing from the sub I know it was just another addiction and in hindsight wish I had never can it be healthy to replace addiction for another? In regret not facing my problem, getting more into my program and wasting another two years of my life with another drug.n fortunatly I dont know of anything new since sub or id probably be thinking of trying it. Right now Ill embrace my pain and hanfg onto it like I did with the methadone detox ( which if anyone out there is considering, Id sooner put a bullet in my brain than go through again) and try and live substance, or atleast an opiate free existance. I will always be an addict, cravings or no and thats just the reality of our plight , we need to find each other and find strength in seeing those with many years of sucessful sobriety. If what I say seems harsh, well thats just what I think some people need to hear, not a candy coated version of the truth. I have now been through it all and pray this is the end for me. John

dfroman1166 04-03-2007 05:03 AM

Re: Starting suboxone tomorrow
No offense-I realize your trying to help. Why are you posting on this thread? If you do not agree with the use of sub for w/d's then you and podee have already made your point! CORRECT? I'm sick of seeing the same posts by you both in regard to sub "being just like the OC or vics",blah,blah... YES...we already know that and have been told of all the risks by a PHYSICAIN!
We have decided to take the risk-so thanks but no thanks! We get yours and podee's drift.

BTW....if you see the right doctor to obtain sub they will insist that you have a 12 step and therapy in place-my doc stated that the sub is a way of being able to line all this up without having to have the added pressure of pill popping illegally.

dfroman1166 04-03-2007 05:22 AM

Re: Starting suboxone tomorrow
I'm laughing as I read your post (I can now). I also sat in my docs office for an hour and a half-shaking,sweating,legs twitching! It was AWFUL! Then he also gave me a script to fill and take when I got home...UGH!!!
I feel much better-more focused and able to seek out the proper treatment! I have my first N/A meeting tonight and have made an appiontment with a therapist-who specializes in addiction. I would have NEVER been able to seek out the help that I need without the sub.
I'm feeling a bit nauseous again this a.m.-trying to figure out if that means dose is too high-I'm taking 16mg's. Which is what I think you said you were taking.
Please post and let me know how your feeling today! And CONGRATS for taking that first step to a SUCESSFUL recovery!
Regardless of what other people's opinions are I belive we do deserve a HUGE pat on the back!:angel:

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