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    Old 06-27-2010, 05:40 AM   #31
    ilovebikes07
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    Re: Can I be in "recovery" while taking Suboxone?

    Hi Kew
    Day three of higher dose and switch to subutex is working. It feels like someone turned down the volume in my head and an overall calm has assended upon me. Thank God is all I can say. I dont want to be like that again if I can avoid it. Thanks for your words of encouragement. You not kidding about the rollercoaster. Even though I am going through all this crap I still feel way better than I did two months ago. It gets hard at times juggling appointments, picking up my dose and working fulltime. However it is all worth it if I can live a life free of addiction which is I guess all our hearts desires. Its also true about having to realise that some of the stuff we feel is "Normal." We ahave spent so many years avoiding feeling any way we can that we dont really know how to cope with feelings. It is normal to have days that are not so good at times. If you are anything like me when those days come I initially panick and the thought patterns kick in saying run run run. If you take the time to re program those thought patterns you can quite often abort depression or anxiety or both. I hear you about the messages received as a child. I am 48 and my mother can still bring me to my knees with her words. My dad died recently and his words still echo in my head at times. You are useless, no good, wont amount to anything etc, etc. It is hard dam hard to re program all that crap that has been put in our heads. I try to look at my mum now as being old and I know she never really meant to hurt me same as my dad and I dont want to hang onto the past. It is hard but can be done. It shows you how much influence you can have on your children. That in itself brings a whole new string of "if Only's" for me. I know I have hurt my kids badly because of my addiction and mental illness. But as my son said to me not that long ago (he has Bi-Polar) "Mum we adults now and responsible for ourselves so stop beating yourself up for what happened in the past." Wise words! But still so hard to forgive yourself! Take care and ride safe!

     
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    Old 07-06-2010, 06:00 AM   #32
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    Re: Can I be in "recovery" while taking Suboxone?

    Hi
    Well two weeks tomorrow since I changed from suboxone to subutex and a higher dose. I cannot believe the difference. I feel almost normal. All the really heavy cravings have gone. Just the thoughts still linger but I can deal with those. If anyone says that suboxone and subutex are the same I beg to differ. I apparently am one of the few who cannot tolerate the suboxone so well. Gone nausea, gone headaches I just feel soooo much better. I know the higher dose is also helping but seriously there is a big difference for me. Hey Kew what you up to? Hope you going okay. I'm coming up to 10 weeks since I made the decision to stop using and go on the sub program. Right now I can honestly say it is one of the best decisions I have ever made and I have made a few of those over the past 35 years or so. I know I will some day have to face the battle to get off them but for now they have literraly saved my life. From where I was 10 weeks ago to now is a miracle. The only thing that really gets to me is having to front up to a chemist everyday to get them. But for now it beats having to doctor surf or worse If I were to add up the amount of time I spent searching for and getting drugs I reckon I spend less time going for my daily dosing. It is just hard fitting it in with working fulltime. But hey at least I still have my job cause I came so close to losng it and at 48 its not easy to find a good job like the one I have especially if you end up losing it because of addiction. Good luck everyone and stay strong.
    ILB

     
    Old 07-07-2010, 04:40 PM   #33
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    Re: Can I be in "recovery" while taking Suboxone?

    Hi ILB,
    I agree that there is a big difference between the Subutex & Suboxone. I had a rare "pain syndrome" due to the Naloxone in the Suboxone so had to go on Subutex instead. It works well and I too, feel like it has saved my life. What is your dose? I'm currently on 16mg and will reduce to 12mg when my doc ok's it. I worry sometimes about going off of it and how hard that will be but for now, it's allowing me to work, parent my daughter, get into some recovery meetings, socialize and basically live a normal life without the constant nightmare of addiction to painkillers and the horror that it brings into our lives. I'm grateful for this program and very grateful that I'm on Subutex. It's yet another tool in my little toolbox of recovery. Someday I hope not to need it but for now it's what it is. Safe riding and take care!

    KEW

     
    Old 07-14-2010, 04:34 PM   #34
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    Re: Can I be in "recovery" while taking Suboxone?

    Hi Kew
    Into week three and cannot believe the difference between those two meds. The subutex for me does still make me a little out of it for about an hour. Other than that it is way better. The problem with subutex here is the conditions around its distribution are much stricter due to the possibility for abuse. It gets me angry that people abuse things like this cause it makes it hard for those of us who really do want to kick addiction. I am suppose to go 12 months of daily dosing before being allowed to take doses away. I know they can work outside the guidelines as they have given me a couple of take away doses due to work commitments. I really want to stay with the program but they make it so hard. I am on 6mgs which is enough for me to stop the cravings and allow me to work on the thought patterns. I am still trying to get off the anti depressant I am on as it clashes with the sub causing extra drowsiness. Had to take it back up this week after experiencing some nasty withdrawal effects of it. Guess I have been on it for 15 years so will take a little while to get off it. They would like me to be on at least 8mgs of sub but until I can get off the dothep it has to stay down. Man I never want to go through this again. My husband and I were planning a trip to the Moto GP Phillip Island Australia in October. Because of the dosing restrictions which get worse from one state to the next it looks like we wil be flying not riding. I was tempted to tell them to stick their program but then thought about the consequences of that an decided I just hav to get through this challenge. Here the only doctors that can prescribe the subutex are ones registered to distribute under the opiate substitution program and each state has its own regulations. So for me to travel interstate I have to re register in each state I go to so I can be given the dose. It really is restrictive. If they want people to stick to this program they need to get it together and treat people as individuals and not put us all in the same box being "Addicts." Because I have a past history of IV drug use they are even stricter even though I have not injected in over 6 years. Frustrating to say the least. However it beats spending every day looking for the next fix and having your whole life rotating around that next fix. I have made it nearly three months and I just have to change the way I think about the restrictions. Right now I am placing the concerns about getting off the subutex as a low priority and will face that challenge when the time is right. Staying in recovery is th focus right now.
    Take care
    ILB

     
    Old 07-15-2010, 10:16 AM   #35
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    Re: Can I be in "recovery" while taking Suboxone?

    Hi ILB,
    Wow, it seems like a hassle to have to go through all of that just to get your Subutex. I can understand in some ways why they need to keep it restricted but that seems a bit over the top. It really keeps you trapped. Especially if you have to go out of town, or to another state, what if you had a family emergency or something? Sometimes I think to myself that I deserve the hard, frustrating parts about recovery or opiate replacement or whatever because I've been such a "bad girl" then I think that is really sick thinking....we have a disease, not that we shouldn't take responsibility for our actions because we should, but I'm not being punished for being an addict, I just can't be trusted yet I guess because of my history. I know in my personal life it's taking a long time for trust to be built as I consistently broke the trust I had with close friends and family when using so it's normal to think it will take time. I have to get out of this "bad" person mentality though. Sometimes I think because I have an addiction that I was given that struggle because I'm no good. I've always struggled with my self-esteem and at 44 and still strugggling, I often wonder if it will be with me my whole life? It's sad because I think I have lots of good qualities and can be a great and loyal friend, partner, mom, etc. but there is always this little voice that tells me negative things about myself that I need to work on. I really think that without getting rid of that voice in my head, I'll go back to using or develop some other addiction. I have to work on the positive self-talk. I go to a Friday night recovery group with other addicts and it's been very helpful and insightful for me. I think I need to stay in the group. I was thinking maybe this Friday would be my last time going but if I leave, I'll just be relying on the Subutex soley for my recovery and I don't think I can do it without a support group of some kind. I, too, am trying not to think about going off the Subs, but just recovery and trying to be the best I can be. Hope you have a great day and keep in touch! You're doing awesome and should be really proud of yourself!

    KEW

     
    Old 07-22-2010, 12:15 AM   #36
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    Re: Can I be in "recovery" while taking Suboxone?

    kew: The answer is "yes" your are in recovery even if you are taking one drug molecule to break an addiction to another; provided you are doing it under medical supervision and you are following the doctors' advice and not trying out your own home chemical remedies. I manned the phones at the AA South Bay Central Office in Los Angeles for years and continually received calls asking that same question. It came up because some cult AA groups were telling their members that sobriety required the avoidance of any drug whatsoever, even Asprin. I recall particularly one young man who had just been released from jail on the condition that he continue counselling for his bipolar disorder and took the medications prescribed upon his release. He called crying his soul out because he had just returned from of his first AA meeting after being released from jail and had been actually shunned by the group because he told them he was on a medication regimen for his bipolar conditiona and they informed him that he was not "working the program". He asked me if they were right. I replied without a pause that the people at the meeting were both wrong and dangerous. It is NOT the AA policy to avoid legitimate drug therapy. The next morning I called the AA office in New york to confirm that AA does not discourage the use of legitimate medically treatment while one is pursuing sobriety.

    I would not waste my time Googling every drug in the world trying to figure out which is the best for me. Since you have access to a good shrink follow his or her advice. And since psychotropic drugs work diffeently on different people, let him know immediately if something doesn't seem right such as sudden sleep difficulty, clinical depression, strange nightmares or suicidal thoughts, no matter how "slight", that you have never had before. And watch out for drug interactions. I've discovered that even the "best" shrinks aren't very knowledgeable
    in that area. Always maintain a current list of every drug you are taking, the generic and brand name, the mg of each pill or capsule and the prescribed daily dosages. Also include any over the counter medications such as low-dose aspirin therapy, stool softeners, anti-histamines and topical skin creams. Every time there is a change in your prescriptions, update the list, give one to your doctor for your file, and then take your list to a pharmacist at a large volume drug store and ask him or her to look it over for adverse drug interactions. Pharmacists are the experts on drug interactions, not doctors.

    Good luck to you. Damn the bizarre advice of people who have no stake in your life and do what your doctors tell you to do.

    Last edited by torcal; 07-22-2010 at 12:30 AM. Reason: clarification

     
    Old 07-22-2010, 10:11 AM   #37
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    Re: Can I be in "recovery" while taking Suboxone?

    Torcal, I think this is an overstatement. " do what your doctors tell you to do.""

    A doctor has no magic understanding of the individual. I think "considering" a doctors advise in addiction can be helpful but ultimately one needs to take personal responsibility. I also would not consider AA much of a resource. This is my honest opinion.

     
    Old 07-22-2010, 11:28 AM   #38
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    Re: Can I be in "recovery" while taking Suboxone?

    Hi and thanks for your reply. By advising people to "follow doctors' advice" I refer only to taking (i.e., "trying") the medications legitimately prescribed, in the exact amounts prescribed and not to try any others on one's own without talking to the doctor. Otherwise I agree with you about the medical profession. I have not yet met a shrink (and I've met a lot) who was a recovered addict and really knows what it feels like. Worse yet, today shrinks only prescribe drugs. They do not offer cognative therapy. Addiction is one symptom of a deeper underlying psychological or psychiatric problem for which people self-medicate. The question is how can an addict be guided to face the problem all the while fighting the battle of physical and psychological addiction. Keep in mind also that drugs are not the only problems. It appears to me just looking around the sreets of LA that there are are a lot of obese, morbidly obese, super obese and super super obese people who try to eat their problems away.

    The sad fact is that only about 2-3% of addicts achieve and maintain a full recovery for life. These numbers are "best guesses" from the medical profession based on various criteria. AA won't participate in a study on the ground that it's members are anonymous and they don't maintain any lists anyway. Neither do local AA central offices or meeting groups.

    A lot of people don't relate to "twelve step programs" such as AA. And no one; repeat - no one - has the capability or authority to tell another person what they should do to recover. I chose AA and ended up getting sober 25 years ago. But I didn't do a damn thing except "work" the first step - i.e., admitted that I was an alcoholic and that I couldn't stand it anymore. I didn't have a sponsor, undergo a written or oral "fourth step". I tried to stay sober for years, went through two 30 day "recovery" programs and nothing happened - except that one day with no fanfare I felt the compulsion to drink leave me and it hasn't come back. I don't know why it happened. I certainly didn't do anything to deserve it. I can't stand AA meetings anymore although I occasionally go with a newcomer.

    Now there is some guy on TV hawking his book "Passages" telling people in a few hundred pages how to get sober and stay that way. He also runs a recovery center of the same name in expensive digs in Malibu where all the stars go to run and hide after getting caught driving 100 mph down the Pacific Coast Highway drunk out of their minds. Google the place and see what they offer and guess how much it costs. It appears to me to be a monetary speed trap but I wouldn't advise anyone not to read the book or check into the place if they can afford it.

    AA has one advantage over any other "get sober" program there is: it's available 24/7 to whoever needs help, for some people they can call someone and admit for the first time to an anonymous person that they are alcoholic (that's the AA first step which, if taken to heart can keep a person sober for life), they meet on the telephone, and perhaps the first time, a person who is kind, understanding and non-judgemental. In Los Angeles there are thousands of AA meetings per week in every nook and cranny of this 4,000+ sq. mi county with a population in excess of 10.5 million people - more than the entire state of Michigan. There are many local "Alano Clubs" - formed just to provide space for AA meetings and many are open 24/7. And its all FREE!

    So, if you receive a call from the AA answering service at your home at 3:00 am on a Monday morning and put on the line with someone who is drunk, confused, crying and calling from an all night restaurant with the waitresses screaming into the phone for AA to come and pick him up what would you do? In LA County the paramedics refuse to pick up alcoholics. Well, they did that time. The guy grabbed the phone, tried to talk to me, aspirated on his own vomit and died on the spot. The waitresses were relieved.

    If someone called you, admitted their alcoholism (probably for the first time) and asked you, a sober alcoholic, what to do, what advice would you give? If there is a sober person around with the alcoholic what do you tell him to do to avoid a fatal seizure as the person recovers. Remember that there's probably no Atavan or other anti-seizure drugs around and the paramedics wouldn't help. Where should she be "checked in to"? Hospitals wouldn't take her. And what's the fist thing she should do when she gets sober and the hangover wears off?

    Reconsider your generalized dismissal of AA and the medical profession and think this thing through again.

    Last edited by torcal; 07-22-2010 at 11:49 AM. Reason: typos, clarification

     
    Old 07-22-2010, 02:51 PM   #39
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    Re: Can I be in "recovery" while taking Suboxone?

    torcal, you are someone I can respect and agree with
    Excellent post.
    all the best

     
    Old 07-23-2010, 03:32 AM   #40
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    Re: Can I be in "recovery" while taking Suboxone?

    Hi Kew
    Wow time flys. I am doing really well most of the time. I so hear you when you talk about the tapes that play in our heads. It seems I spend the majority of my days trying to wipe and re record those tapes. I also often feel like I must be a "Bad Person" or a lesser person than someone who does not have an addiction issue. If you tell people that you are on an Opiate Substitution Program they sometimes look at you like you are deseased or weak and to be pitied. The ones that have had the most powerful influence in our lives who are more often than not our parents have certainly left their mark on those recordings in our head. I have spent a lot of time and effort trying to make changes to the wrong messages that I sent my kids. They are both beautiful young people but they bare the scars of my addiction and mental illness. One has Bi-Polar and the other a gambling addiction. I nearly lost my son who has diagnosed Bi-Polar disorder to drugs last year. It was the hardenst thing I have ever done to watch his torment and self distruction. Thank God he has come through it and is doing really well. I have a friend who this week lost her son to possible drug OD. He was only 17 I count my blessing everyday that both my kids are starting to put their own lives back together and that I am now in a place (thanks to meds) and good therapy to be able to assit in their recovery and help make amends for the damage I caused in their lives. I dont beat myself up anymore no point but I am actively righting the wrongs and speaking good things into their lives like "you are beautiful, and I am so proud of you, you can achieve whatever you desire etc." Not like the tapes I have playing in my head that say the opposite. I think recovery is about finding what is right for you. If its group therapy then go for it. I have found that chatting on this site has been group therapy for me. It has helped me really understand that I am not alone in this and that there are heaps of GOOD people out there sharing similiar experiences and fighting the same battle against addiction. The mind is a powerful tool. We have to master control of it to stay in recovery. I struggle with a personality disorder born out of abuse. My mind tries to dominate me every second of every day. But I am winning the battle slowly but surely and with each battle won comes another victory towards freedom. You too should be very proud of yourself! Your words and support have helped me more than you could imagine. Take care and ride safe

     
    Old 07-23-2010, 01:03 PM   #41
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    Re: Can I be in "recovery" while taking Suboxone?

    Torcal,
    You obviously have lots of personal experience with addiction, alcoholism & AA. I truly appreciate your post(s) and thank you for your support. I've pretty much gotten past the guilt feelings of taking Suboxone to stay clean. As a non-alcoholic addict, I find it hard to relate to some of the hard core AA folks and NA in my town is really non-existent, basically used as a gathering where addicts can get together & share drugs in the corner of the room :0(
    I do appreciate your really knowledgeable information. Thanks for the kind words!

    KEW

     
    Old 07-23-2010, 01:12 PM   #42
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    Re: Can I be in "recovery" while taking Suboxone?

    Hey ILB!
    Thanks for your post! I'm hanging in there. I halved my Subutex starting today, from
    16mg to 8mg. I think 16mg is too high for me. I've been feeling really tired, low energy, joint pain, etc. Not sure it's from the Subutex but I can do fine on 8mg, I don't really even notice a difference. I did this once before but I think it was too soon. I've been on the sub for 14 mos. now and I am going to slowly, very very slowly try to taper to the lowest effective amount. I know that I need the meds that I'm on, I would just like to try to be on the lowest doses possible for my health. I think I need to change my eating habits too. I eat too much sugar and refined carbohydrates. I think that contributes to my feelings of lethargy and joint pain, or maybe it's just being 44 that contributes to it! Have you been riding much? I've been out a bit but lately we've had lots of rain so I tend to be a fair weather biker. Don't hate riding in the rain but it's not my first choice. I have the day off work with my 10 year old today and we're going to run some errands then just hang out playing games this afternoon. She is such a wonderful kid, so bright and loving. I know my addiction has affected her in some ways I just am not quite sure exactly how yet. I talk to her about my problem and why I go to support groups and why I take meds. I want to be honest with her in an age-appropriate way so she never feels like this big secret is in our family and it's not ok to talk about it. I'm a lucky woman to have her in my life! Take care, stay safe!

    KEW

     
    Old 07-24-2010, 12:02 AM   #43
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    Re: Can I be in "recovery" while taking Suboxone?

    Hi Kew
    Wow thats a big step. I understand where you are coming from but. thats why I have tried to keep the dose down to the minimum I am comfortable at. I still feel really tired after about 2 hrs of taking dose. I am really hoping they are going to start giving me take away does soon. This would be the main reason for me not staying on the program here as it is so restrictive. I was going to ride down to the Moto GP at Phillip Island Australia. Unfortunately it is just going to be too difficult to pick up does along the way. We have modified the trip so can ride some of the way and fly the rest. The problem here is that each state has its own guidelines and rules for dosing. Each time I cross over into another state I have re register with that state. Pretty crazy! I am giving our new itinerary to my caseworker to see how it can be arranged. This will be in October. Weather been good here so riding to work most days and some extra fun rides on days off. The dosong restrictions really stops me from doing anything that is more than a few hours away. I agree with the fair weather riding I am much the same. can do it but do not enjoy it at all. I am loving my new bike so much I have just ordered some parts from the us for it to jazz it up a bit. I talk to my kids about addiction also. They are much older my youngest being 21. My 28 year old has had addiction issues too and it nearly took his life last year. Its good to share with them about their childhood and help them understand why I was the way I was and also to help them understand why they have some of the issues they do. For me its finding the balance of sharing and then not feeling guilty about how it has affected them when they share back. They are both great young people who have through adversity pushed through and become stronger for it. My daughter took the step yesterday and had herself banned from places where she can gamble. I'm so proud of her it was very hard and humbling for her. I explained to her that it too is addictive behaviour and she needs help to stay away from it. As for the aching bones mate i'm afraid thats age related I played alot of sport in my early years and I am sure paying for it now. Go slow with the reduction. It can take a good 48 hrs before you start feeling the effects of a reduction in the sub. I learnt that last week when I accidently missed a dose forgetting the chemist closed early on a sunday. 48 hrs until I could get my next does and I was starting to feel pretty uncomfortable. Wont do that again. It took us a long time to get to where we are now so it is worth the time to slowly get ourselves well and off the meds. Dont rush it nice and easy. Take care and ride safe.
    ILB

     
    Old 07-30-2010, 10:32 AM   #44
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    Wink Re: Can I be in "recovery" while taking Suboxone?

    My husband and I have been on suboxone for three years now and if we had not found this miracle drug, we would be dead or in prison. We, at our worst, were taking anything in the narcotic family that was strong enough to ease the pain and keep us from w/d. I feel like suboxone is the greatest thing that has ever happened to us. I try not to think about the replacement of one drug for another, and focus on the fact that we are able to live a normal life now. I have excepted the fact that I may be on suboxone for the rest of my life. There is no shame in treating an illness. People take meds for different reasons. My reason is to provide a decent life for my family and for myself. As for the feeling sleepy and being "not so alert" at work, this is something that I felt for about 3-4 weeks after starting suboxone. This feeling faded and I am now only taking 2mgs. a day. Let your doc. know how you feel. If your doc. is anything like ours, he will tell you what to do to help ease these symptoms. I wish you the best, and your not alone.

     
    Old 07-30-2010, 04:04 PM   #45
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    Re: Can I be in "recovery" while taking Suboxone?

    I was an absolutely clean person until a Dr. put me on Norcos at 33. Little did I know that mix that w/stress and a year or two, that I would be taking 10-15 at a time, depending on what I could afford, and the w/drawls literally did drive me to hang myself. There was only one rehab in my small town, and they wouldn't bother w/certifying for Suboxone. I had to go out of town. It saved my life. Here's the real deal: you cannot expect your brain's normal chemistry to bounce back after years of artificial stimulation. It takes at least a year. Quit letting people put guilt trips on you...it's your body, your business, and you are trying to get better, not self-medicate. You don't have to answer to anyone. Plus, we all heal at different rates, not just physically either. My Dr. sees lots of former opiate addicts, and one girl said that she doesn't know what it is, but just that little 2mg (maintenance) is her safety net...mine too. I went from 8mg, down to 4, then the Dr. wanted to see if I could go off of it. I did, did have a few tiny w/drawls, but if you wean very slowly (down to crumbs), then they're almost nothing. I have back/neck pain from 2 bad wrecks and age, but I know I'm not "addicted". Then my Dr. let me switch to Subutex (no naloxone), but that took 2 or 3 years. I don't feel guilty in the least. Yes, I have a brother who considers me an "addict" (you know the kind that love to throw the past in your face), but I know in my heart there's no comparison. You and I were on the same meds for about the same time, and I am shocked to see all this stigma attached to the drug I fought so hard to finally get in this town. I did 30 days of meetings, then I let it go. I just put it behind me b/c I have the cure now, and it's worked. The thoughts get less and less frequent, truly. Funny I also wake up to panic attacks and just this awful feeling, but I had that before. The worst thing you can do is quit...you'll relapse. Give it time. You're human. Just be you, and don't be so hard on yourself! Healing takes time.

     
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