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Getting off opiate addiction and using methadone and Suboxone/Subutex experience

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Sabrered0901

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i posted part of this in another thread but tried searching for information on M.A.T. aka medication assisted treatment for opiate addiction and found nothing recent so I started a new thread and added more information on it.

I will share my experience with methadone and subutex. Subutex is suboxone without the Naloxone in it. As a former opiate addict and losing 2 friends to fentanyl overdose over the past year and not trusting street pills anymore I decided to go with the medication assisted treatment such as methadone or suboxone here in the US.

I pay a private doctor cash for my subutex treatment as I don't want being labeled as a addict in my normal doctor medical record or by the local hospital system just in case something happens and I need pain medications for something acute. My local subutex doctor i have a wonderful relationship with and they will prescribe subutex or suboxone because I pay cash for it. Because if you use GoodRx which is a prescription discount card. My monthly subutex is around $29.00 us dollars compared to suboxone $281.00 generic. So its way cheaper plus the monthly MD appointment cost of $125.00. I know this may seem like alot but compared to what I was spending on drugs I'm doing way better money wise. I was pawning stuff for pills and late on bills not anymore. I was a functioning addict meaning I had a regular job and had a house and was normal.

When i decided to get clean the thought of going to a methadone clinic everyday for my dose was going to be hard as there was not one in my local town. My understanding after being on methadone you do get take home dosage privileges after a certain amount of time. Not too sure how long that takes.

i have tried getting high from my subutex by taking more but with the way it works with the opiate receptors it was very mininal feeling and wasn't like taking more Vicodin or Norco. I feel it does work for some pain because i have bad ankle joints and works for that. Not too sure for major pain. But everyone has a different pain tolerance.

I have had friends switch from methadone to suboxone and if you do you basically have to go into withdrawals to do it correctly if not you will experience precipitated withdrawals which is way worse then regular opiate withdrawals I have been told. Too get off suboxone or methadone you have to taper slowly off of it. but that is not something I'm ready to do yet. This has been my experience with suboxone/subutex.

To me being on Subutex it has been life changing. No longer looking for pills or if I couldn't find anything worried about getting dope sick and going to work. Depending on the state it seems most MAT Doctors are OK with marijuana use depending if its legal in your state. Most MDs will do regular drug testing to make sure you are taking it and also not other opiates. If you do relapse most places are ok as long as you admit before the drug results come back, others are zero tolersnce and will cut you off. Some places want to to do counseling. The strange thing is Narcotics Anonymous is TOTALLY against Methadone/Subutex and will look down upon you for it and want you off if you still want to attend NA. If You want to do NA I just would not mention it and keep quiet about.

Too me NA/AA basically has replaced the addiction of drugs/alcohol with cigarettes and coffee. Hey a addiction is a addiction. But I don't judge. I hope this thread has maybe helped someone. If you have any questions please ask or PM me and I will be more then happy to answer.

 

Synecdoche

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@Sabrered0901
Congratulations on what you have achieved! It certainly isn’t easy, and I have fortunately not been there, but when I had to switch pain management doctors, a few basically told me that they would not ever prescribe any PK’s, but they would get me off of them with Sub.

Just as a heads up, the databases are kept by pharmacies, and I believe they have to do it in every state. The only hitch that I have heard about is making it national. Some states are connected to other states, because the whole point was to prevent “doctor shopping,“ where one person goes to multiple doctors, and fills every script. Some people dodged it by driving to other nearby states, and they still could do it, so it won’t work, unless it is national.

I only mention this, because you are doing everything right, but if you ever go back to pain management, they will see your sub use. Nothing wrong with that, but if they catch you keeping it from them, they almost certainly will toss you from the practice, before you even start. Good luck!
 

Sabrered0901

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@Synecdoche Ah yes the state prescription monitoring database. I have a friend that works in the local ER and i was told it was only usual checked if you where asking for pain medication by name or saying morphine is the only thing that works for you. They are not giving morphine for a simple wrist fracture compared to a fractured femur. For the wrist you probably getting like 12-15 Vicodin 5/325. Gone are the days of you getting 30-60 for something like that. They know once the bone is set in the cast the pain is greatly reduced since the mobility of the bone is limited. I remember when your pain level was the "5th vital sign". That is no longer thanks to the government and the DEA. They are more concerned with if you have access to a firearm in the home then pain control. Sad but true.
 

Synecdoche

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@Sabrered0901
I agree, things have really changed, and if anyone had surgery, you would be lucky if you got a 7 day script of any real PK. Someone posted on another thread that either they, or a friend, was discharged from the hospital, and told to take Tylenol! I think it was knee surgery, which I actually could use myself (I have a small tear in my cartilage) but I don’t have the time to be laid up that long.

I think you are probably okay, if you were at a hospital, they probably wouldn’t start digging around in the databases, but I don’t take anything for granted these days. I could be totally wrong, but in an emergency, you probably could say that you had been taking pain meds in the past, and you decided that you wanted to stop, which is exactly the truth. I don’t think you ever want to volunteer that, as many others have posted, honesty is sadly no longer the best approach. The only thing I think you have to be really careful about is them catching you in a lie, that they have you on, because of the databases.

Sadly, anyone can be labeled “a drug seeking patient,” if any doctor decides so. As I mentioned, when I had to change pain management, even though I had MRI’s, and plenty of documentation, the doctors that told me that my only option was sub, definitely decided I was a drug seeking patient.

With a decent doctor (certainly becoming fewer and far between) I don’t think they would hold voluntarily deciding to get off of PK’s against you. Hopefully that is the case. Of course all of this could get worse, but maybe it will start going back to almost normal. We can all hope!
 

Sabrered0901

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@Synecdoche People know they cant doctor shop or try visiting a few different Emergency Departments in the same area as Healthcare companies in the US have either merger or consolidated. Also there are few independent PCP MD anymore and they are all part of a large group. I pay out of pocket for my addiction treatment because I get better care and my appointment can sometimes be 45-60 mins I enjoy the visit because we actually talk about other things and get to know each other better. Its worth the cost to me.
 

Synecdoche

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@Synecdoche People know they cant doctor shop or try visiting a few different Emergency Departments in the same area as Healthcare companies in the US have either merger or consolidated. Also there are few independent PCP MD anymore and they are all part of a large group. I pay out of pocket for my addiction treatment because I get better care and my appointment can sometimes be 45-60 mins I enjoy the visit because we actually talk about other things and get to know each other better. Its worth the cost to me.
If you are lucky enough to have a decent doctor, that actually has some empathy, you are very lucky, because they are few and far between. You are absolutely correct with the consolidation of doctors into groups, and deals with hospitals. The days of small private practices are going extinct. The few doctors that I have, and also including family and friends, have all signed up with local hospital groups. It used to be that the various specialties of medicine would have their own practice, perhaps with a few other doctors, so they had someone on call, and they were happy having “privileges“ at one, or a few hospitals. They could send a patient there, get them admitted if necessary, and stop by and work with the staff. That’s over, and a lot is because of the insurance companies. The expense of malpractice insurance is overwhelming, for truly “private“ practices.

I have a relative that went to a specialist, and they didn’t take their insurance. It was worth it, because it was a compassionate doctor, and the $80 a month was worth it. The doctor joined a local hospital, now they do all the appointment scheduling, and billing. The doctor saves on a few employee salaries, they cover the insurance, and they give him volume. BUT now it’s $180 per appointment, because the hospital sets the prices. The doctor actually apologized, but felt terrible, and I am helping the family member cover the increased cost.

Most of the time we wouldn’t even know about this stuff, if it is covered by insurance, but you get to see what the real deal is, when you have no coverage, or the doctor doesn’t take yours. Ughh….
 

smo1959

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@Sabrered0901 I really admire you for what you are doing. I lost my youngest son to a fentanyl overdose almost 5 years ago. He had been sober for over a month following rehab and apparently relapsed. He had no back up plan getting out. I am convinced that he would still be here if he had been on suboxone or methadone. He was taught in rehab that medications are bad; he thought he could do without. I didn’t believe it then or now. Relapse is common as is post rehab death. Anyway, I support your approach and wish you all success. I know it’s a struggle but we have lost so many people to fentanyl and it’s only getting worse. There should be an easy way for addicts to get help…without all the stigma.
 

Sabrered0901

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@Synecdoche Yes you are correct gone are the days where your family doctor who would admit you to the hospital and take care of you while your a inpatient. A doctor called a hospitalist see you and then when you are ready for discharge they give you a bunch of paperwork and tell you to follow up with your PCP. Where I live it’s 3 large “non-profit hospital chains and you take your pick. We also have a large university teaching hospital which is a good resource to have in the area if you need any specialized care and I believe they are the only place that has a burn unit as well.

When I was kid. Not going to give my age away but was late 90s around there I went to my PCP because I was complaining of left side belly pain. He was thinking it was my appendix. His office across the street from are local hospital who was by themselves at the time and he called and directly admitted me and it wasn’t my appendix so no surgery needed after a CT scan but keep me overnight just to be on the safe side.

He’s since retired but now if you go to one of the local primary clinics the MD if you have a critical or something that needs to be taken care of in the hospital. They no longer directly admit you they call 911 and have a ambulance take you across the street to the Emergency Room. Depending on what it is I’m sure some people could walk. But they don't want to be sued and you start the process all over again. I know common sense isn’t very common but I have a friend who is a medical assistant at a urgent care. For those not in the United States it’s like a place where it’s below a emergency room but just need to seen for something like a broken arm or strep throat and your doctor can’t get a appointment to see you soon is what a urgent care is.

Well there are people that show up at the urgent care with chest pain or a gunshot wound. A urgent care is like a doctors office not a hospital. They treat them the best they can with what they have and call 911. But then you have people use the emergency room for dumb stuff like a cough or headache. You go to the urgent care for that and not the ER and people always complain the wait at the ER is long and takes hours. Well if you went to the urgent care you would probably be in and out and on your way and also it’s way cheaper on copays with your insurance if you have it.
I vented enough but the US healthcare system sucks compared to some countries.
 

jaders

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@Sabrered0901 I really admire you for what you are doing. I lost my youngest son to a fentanyl overdose almost 5 years ago. He had been sober for over a month following rehab and apparently relapsed. He had no back up plan getting out. I am convinced that he would still be here if he had been on suboxone or methadone. He was taught in rehab that medications are bad; he thought he could do without. I didn’t believe it then or now. Relapse is common as is post rehab death. Anyway, I support your approach and wish you all success. I know it’s a struggle but we have lost so many people to fentanyl and it’s only getting worse. There should be an easy way for addicts to get help…without all the stigma.

@smo1959 I'm so sorry to read this about your son. And I think the addiction community is going to find that MAT is going to have way more success than plain old "sobriety," because I happen to think most addicts are using the med to "fix" something lacking, and that particular drug seems to hold the key. I am struck by the way everyone's brains work so differently with different drugs. I ingested a xanax yesterday for some anxiety but afterwards, remembered why I don't really like them - they just make me feel so zombie-like. Yet some folks get euphoria from it. I have the opposite reaction to an opiate and yet I know folks who feel awful on those.

This is a long-winded way of saying I think MAT is the future of addiction help and the idiots who make anyone feel crummy for choosing this route are just a bunch of ignorant judgmental types. Whenever I hear - well they're just substituting one addiction for another - I want to scream... And if they continue to treat folks who do choose MAT like scum junkies, they're not going to have much success with it either.

I personally like a lot of what 12 step programs have to offer so it surprises and saddens me to hear they think using MAT for sobriety is bad. This voodoo witchcraft thinking just keeps folks using and relapsing. Frustrating.
 

Sabrered0901

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@smo1959 I’m sorry to hear about your son relapse and passing. Good vibes coming your way. I’m coming up on almost 2 years while being on suboxone. No longer trusting the street dealers with pressed pills laced with Fentyal so finally got sober.
You see all these states depending on where you live offer things like needle exchange or sharps container and all the local law enforcement carry narcan which I believe is good and in some states it’s given out free to addicts through some local program. But what they really need to do is give out free Fentyal test kits. Once a addict always a addict Im sure some people won’t agree with this buts that’s for another thread. A addict won’t get clean or sober until they decided to do it. For some it’s getting arrested and detoxing in jail. They don’t offer suboxone or methadone in the local county jails here.

Could be they overdose and have a come to Jesus moment and decide they are done and the ERs in this state do offer suboxone if you want to get clean and stay clean they will hook you up with a local clinic after discharge and get you all set up. I was what I called a functioning addict I had a job, paid my bills and always had food and shelter but I was working overtime just to buy more pills to prevent from getting dope sick and was served with a eviction notice because I spend my rent money on pills. Well now it’s a complete 180 turnaround. I’m fixing my credit rents paid on time and actually have money to enjoy life not texting dealers ask hey I’m out and the affects of withdrawals where starting to kick in. I would drive up to 2 hours just to get pills. After losing 2 friends and just having to what I call chase the rabbit down the hole i knew I couldn’t live my life like this way any longer.

Of course I found some Vicodin when I was cleaning last year and tried taking it. Had no affect on me and I no longer have the craving. I have slowly tapered down to the lowest dose but I don’t like my doctor know as I have a nice back-up supply just in case something happens you never know.

Now your probably thinking why is a addict on a Internet forum for IOP. Well my anxiety is sometimes through the roof and I also do shift work. So you think any doctors is going to prescribe Xanax or Ambien to a addict in the US. Heck no. So I found a few good vendors using the forum and google and my gut telling me if one is a scam or not. I know have access fo what I need neither of those Xanax or Ambien was my drug of choice. So I’m aware of the withdrawls of being on Benzos and it’s seems it can be way worse then opiate withdraws.

So I maybe use Xanax once or twice a week if having anxiety and the Ambien when my shift switches from days to nights every other month. Use it for the first few nights of the change and I’m set and I never mix the two. Plus I won’t get anything unless it comes in a blister pack and since I started this I haven’t been scammed or had issues with delivery. If these posts are long I enjoy explaining about addiction and my experience with it.

I don’t know if it’s just me being a addict or every addicts but I still remember the first time I got high off Vicodin. Wow the first time was amazing and still think about every once in a while or will talk about it with my addiction doctor or my therapist. But suboxone has saved my life and I believe many more then just mine.

I know some people will say your not clean because you “still take something but screw them narcotics anonymous didn’t believe in medication assisted treatment and will treat you like a addict if you go to a meeting and your sponsor will basically think your addict. I went for a while but it wasn’t for me. I always told me when you give up your nicotine and caffeine I will taper completely off suboxone. Every meeting I went too everyone there had at least 3 cups of coffee and was a chain smoker and during the meeting they where normally 60-90 minutes almost everyone went every 20 mins for a cigarette break and a coffee refill and this meeting was at 7pm at night. The caffeine for me at that late I would never sleep. So I no longer do anything with narcotics anonymous and my ex sponsor still has my number and I had him blocked and he would randomly call me from different or blocked numbers getting me to come back and get off suboxone because every meeting I went to they said I was still a “addict” in their eyes.


There are many different ways to get clean and sober. Maybe it’s the 12 step Narcotics anonymous/Alcohol anonymous or may be a sober living house or medication assisted treatment such as suboxone or methadone. It could also be A religion or believing in God or something bigger than that. It’s what works for you is the correct way.

Sorry for the long post and I’m sure as a parent that had a kid that has died from a OD the grief of that is something I couldn’t bear. Send me a message if you have any questions or need more info I’m proud to be clean and sober and now actually have money saved and a 401k. It’s always one step at a time.
 
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jaders

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Geez, I really love hearing your story! I am most interested in when you first went on the sub? How difficult was that switch since I'm assuming you do lose the "high" that taking opiates in "fits and starts" will give? And then I'm very interested to hear when the actually craving left you? I have stopped opiates more than once in my life and a few times I'd last a year or so with no cravings, but most times the craving stays kind of relentless which is why I have my own "maintenance" program, even if no one else would say it qualifies. I just can't enjoy life, craving a substance non-stop. Honestly, the thought of getting on a program where I wasn't constantly worried about access, is very appealing. But the stigma and issues of actual pain management frighten me away.

Also I assume when you did take the vicodin, wouldn't the suboxone automatically block the vicodin's effects anyway? Just curious about that. Lastly, does the suboxone block the PAWS that usually follows stopping opiates?

Again, I'm so frikken sorry to hear that NA thinks using MAT isn't "pure" enough to qualify as sobriety. It kills me how everyone but the addict knows what's "right" for addicts. Even the clean NA addicts seem to feel threatened by MAT, or why would they care? You're right - the hypocrisy of the cigs and coffee - both obvious drugs - makes their judgement about what is sobriety a joke... they're just driving more folks away, just as the medical community drives folks away by THEIR judgmental attitudes as well.

And the fact that no doctor will give you another so called "addictive" medicine that you obviously can take reasonably, and certainly feel the need for quality of life, shows again how little understanding of addiction is there. Like I said, just because one medicine hooks someone, it certainly doesn't mean that another will. They just are not interchangeable. If they were, I'm sure we'd all just switch to alcohol and not have to torture ourselves further.

I'm so glad you have access to what you need no matter what. (y)
 

Synecdoche

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The world is so upside down, between the war on drugs, billionaire pharmaceutical companies writing the rules, even when they get caught (Purdue, etc.) and the real drivers of this crap being a tie between big insurance and the politicians. I realize that I am preaching to the choir here, as we all know this.

@Sabrered0901
12 step works for some, but they obviously don’t have a patent on recovery. What you did is extremely admirable, and I don’t think you are doing anything wrong, by getting off the opes, and still using benz0s as they were designed for. If you were taking 10 a day, that would be different.

The lines are so blurry now, I have mentioned that I had a real SOB pain management doctor. I won’t bore everyone with why I say SOB, but one example was UA every single visit, despite never failing one. The stress that I could show up to an appointment, pay my $100 cash copay upfront, and then be tossed out for a false positive, every single time was enough to stress me out to the point that I couldn’t take it. I saw them do it to other patients. Plus they constantly threatened it. I was completely legit in my need for meds, but was treated like a criminal. I mention this also, as I really tried finding another pain management doctor, as I have posted previously, most of them just assumed I was a drug seeking patient, despite bringing medical records that justified my legitimate need for pain management, to even be able to work, and most said no pain meds, but we will put you on a sub program, to get you off of them! It got to the point where I even considered it, because I couldn’t just stop, and the place I was going was torturing me.

I did end up finding a new place, and they are okay, but constantly pushing injections, and they have me at such a low dose of meds, it is barely enough to function.

@smo1959 I don’t have the words, but my deepest condolences, and my thoughts and prayers for you, and your family. I don’t know how I could even contemplate dealing with that. I’m not a very religious person, but we can hope that your son is in a better place.
 

Sabrered0901

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@jaders sorry for the late response to answer your question.

When most people start on suboxone they want you off any opiates for 24 hours and they usually start the induction in the office or in the ER. They use someone called the cow scale. Easier to look it up then to explain.

I was inducted in the office they start you at a small dose usually 4mg and check on you every hour until you get relief. It took me 20 mins and I was already feeling better but I had a high tolerance was a pretty high dose when I started. It has some side effects. I have noticed I’m more emotionless I don’t care or feel excitement with hobbies but I have slowly tapered my self down to where I’m back to my old self before pills. Can go fishing and have a huge smile when I catch something if I went fishing when I was first on subs it was just like I was doing something to pass the time.

Also has sexual side effects like SSRI drugs but don’t care. When I took the Vicodin I didn’t feel a damn thing but also I don’t crave them and I’m I feel that since I still use a M.A.T. Support group and a new CBT therapy application call reset-o which is awesome. I consider myself a loaner and don’t have many friends because of addiction. I have a few that have helped me like family.

Some people do ok on suboxone without a therapist or support group. I was against the whole therapy when I started even before the narcotics anonymous experience. But my doctor requires proof to stay on subutex and I’m fine with as it saves me over 200 a month and as long as my urine is opiate free I can stay on subutex over suboxone.

Since I’m clean I have bought a new car and my bank account has one coma in it not to brag but all that money I spent on pills is crazy to what I could of saved in my 401k or something.

My goal is to be off suboxone in 2024 when I become a journeyman in my trade. But I have seen people stay on it for life. For some people it destroys their teeth I have been lucky and not experienced it.

If your interested you should see what the company Reckitt Benckiser has tried to do to prevent from it going generic and how much money the Federal trade commission made them pay out to people. I got a check for $2600 US dollars last year and saying the film form is safer then a pill so children couldn’t get it.

There is a new drug called sublocade which is a injection you get every 28 days same company that’s made suboxone. I won’t do it cost almost 1600 a month. I believe it’s good if take more suboxone then your suppose or run out and are asking for early refills. Since I been on such a low dose if I take like 3 subutex I will get a small euphoric feeling but nothing like Vicodin. With suboxone more is not better I have seen people try injecting it but instant Reciprocated withdrawals. Any more questions please ask.
 

Sabrered0901

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@Synecdoche
Exactly why I go to a cash only place for my addiction I’m experience has been wonderful and my doctor-patient relationship based on trust i have asked for stuff for anxiety and insomnia and it was always a anti depressant. I was honest and upfront about getting what I get because he’s going to see it on my urine drug screen and he says just be careful and if you every need a benzodiazepine taper we offer that as well. But he has seen and only + ones out of the last 12 months and has had no issues.

If I went to the place my insurance wanted me to go they wanted me to do a inpatient treatment for addiction. Look I’m ready and willing to get off opiates and don’t need a 90 day inpatient stay my job doesn’t offer sick time and I couldn’t afford to be off that long and state disability doesn’t pay all that much. Just need the suboxone not a 3 month hospital stay where I couldn’t leave sounds like jail too me. I know I have will power to stop just needed the medication to help with the cravings and withdraws. I know getting off suboxone is going to take a lot of will power and if you slowly taper you should have very minimal withdrawals.
I have watched many YouTube video where people go cold turkey from like 16mg instead of like 2mg and by day 3 they are just miserable and relapse. I ain’t going back to that.

Reddit has a huge suboxone group. There are 2 one for people currently using it for medication assisted treatment and one recreationally.

I don’t get how people would use it that way as it’s a completely different opiate then Vicodin or heroin. I know heroin users that take it when they can’t find heroin and I used to know people. Keyword use to here. Who would be on subxone and still be using pills or heroin and would just keep it as a back up. They must be on medicaid which is insurance for low income and they pay nothing for The doctors visit or the prescription.
What they would do is stop taking the suboxone for like 2-3 days and resume their drug of choice and if they ran out they would get back on the subs.
Everyone I know gets random urine drug screens from their doctor and maybe they found one that doesn’t. There is one MD in the next town over who is like a pill mill for suboxone gives everyone the same dose and in n out in 10 mins.
I don’t know how he does it because in the United States the most Patients a doctor can have on suboxone is 275 under the DATA act of 2006. And no MD I know will prescribe suboxone with any Benzodiazepines at all as there is a huge FDA I believe black label or something on it warning not to use both at the same time.

Plus good luck getting a chain pharmacy to prescribe both to you in the USA.
 

jaders

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@jaders sorry for the late response to answer your question.

When most people start on suboxone they want you off any opiates for 24 hours and they usually start the induction in the office or in the ER. They use someone called the cow scale. Easier to look it up then to explain.

I was inducted in the office they start you at a small dose usually 4mg and check on you every hour until you get relief. It took me 20 mins and I was already feeling better but I had a high tolerance was a pretty high dose when I started. It has some side effects. I have noticed I’m more emotionless I don’t care or feel excitement with hobbies but I have slowly tapered my self down to where I’m back to my old self before pills. Can go fishing and have a huge smile when I catch something if I went fishing when I was first on subs it was just like I was doing something to pass the time.

Also has sexual side effects like SSRI drugs but don’t care. When I took the Vicodin I didn’t feel a damn thing but also I don’t crave them and I’m I feel that since I still use a M.A.T. Support group and a new CBT therapy application call reset-o which is awesome. I consider myself a loaner and don’t have many friends because of addiction. I have a few that have helped me like family.

Some people do ok on suboxone without a therapist or support group. I was against the whole therapy when I started even before the narcotics anonymous experience. But my doctor requires proof to stay on subutex and I’m fine with as it saves me over 200 a month and as long as my urine is opiate free I can stay on subutex over suboxone.

Since I’m clean I have bought a new car and my bank account has one coma in it not to brag but all that money I spent on pills is crazy to what I could of saved in my 401k or something.

My goal is to be off suboxone in 2024 when I become a journeyman in my trade. But I have seen people stay on it for life. For some people it destroys their teeth I have been lucky and not experienced it.

If your interested you should see what the company Reckitt Benckiser has tried to do to prevent from it going generic and how much money the Federal trade commission made them pay out to people. I got a check for $2600 US dollars last year and saying the film form is safer then a pill so children couldn’t get it.

There is a new drug called sublocade which is a injection you get every 28 days same company that’s made suboxone. I won’t do it cost almost 1600 a month. I believe it’s good if take more suboxone then your suppose or run out and are asking for early refills. Since I been on such a low dose if I take like 3 subutex I will get a small euphoric feeling but nothing like Vicodin. With suboxone more is not better I have seen people try injecting it but instant Reciprocated withdrawals. Any more questions please ask.

Besides the price, what is the difference between suboxone and subutex? I know one has the naloxone but is there a difference in symptoms or effects between the two?

Also if a person does go into precipitated withdrawals by taking sub too soon, how long does it take before taking a regular opiate will “work” again? I’ve wondered about that too if someone had to take narcan because of an od, which I assume also sends them into instant withdrawals too? I’ve always wondered how long before taking a regular opiate would relieve the withdrawals again?

I’m also still curious if now that you’re on suboxone, or subutex, you don’t really feel any urge to want to quit that and get back to the other stuff? I know you’ve changed your life dramatically for the better, but still wonder if the craving shows up sometimes? I fear craving as much as I fear withdrawals. (I hope asking you all this stuff doesn’t cause any “triggering” for you…🙏)

You mentioning that you still remember the first time you got high from the Vicodin. That “first time” BIG impression is pretty much true for any addict or alcoholic, imho. It seems to illustrate even more so to me how certain folks brains have some sort of instant response to a particular chemical and it’s sort of a mystery why. You hear all the time how it made someone feel “whole” of fixed something…🤔

Thanks again for all the info!
 

Sabrered0901

Senior member
Joined
Jan 19, 2022
Posts
64
@jaders No triggers at all from discussing them. My triggers where when I was either always fishing or doing my hobbies then from there I thought I could control it and like a addict it turned into a daily thing. There was times when I couldn’t get anything and totally sacred of needles so what supplies I had left I learned to save what I had for when I had 7 days off as I have a 7 on 7 off schedule so I knew the first day I was off. It was going to be like having the flu times 5 for 4 days usually started 12-18 after my last pill and then the diarrhea, anxiety, upset stomach, sweating, chills and whole body pain, and insomnia would kick in and then by day 4 I would finally be able to finally sleep for like 16 hours straight but still be tired then low and behold I get a text message from someone saying I got a refill after what I went through a normal person would stop but not me I would still use them and then feel a high again not like the first time but a good one and then I would rinse and repeat. You would think after going through 4 days of hell I would quit but I was craving them and as a addict I would never turn them down. Always found cash for them but never stole or borrowed money from people. Hit the cash advance from the credit card and I was set.

The difference between subutex and suboxone is subutex was originally made for pain management is my understanding but then reckitts stopped making it and since it was still patented there is no generics available and it also has no Naxloene in it. So basically instead of paying 258 a month for suboxone I pay 25 for subutex. Not a lot of doctors are willing to do subutex but. After 12 months of clean urine screen my doctor will do it to save you money. So basically your 200 paying for Naxloene even as a generic. Suboxone patent was up like 3 months after I started and I was using a manufacturers coupon for cash pay patients and the generic is only a few dollars cheaper then name brand and I just stayed with the real ones vs the generics because they tasted horrible and made me nauseous. When people say that there is a difference between different brands of generics I believe it. But Subutex was removed from the market and came back on the market when the suboxone patent expired and a sad but funny thing is the best ones are made by Purdue same company that pushed OxyContin.

As regard to the precipitated withdrawls I have heard it can last for 12-24 hours or take a bunch of suboxone and like the suboxone kick the other opiates off your opiate receptors in your brain is my understanding and the suboxone will win. That’s what I read in the companies prescribing guidelines on how to treat precipitated withdrawals. But I been in the office for my monthly appointment and can hear in the next exam room some person vomiting because they either just used before their appointment or lied. You basically have to be in mild withdrawals on the cow scale to be induced in the office.

Since covid the DEA now allows tele health appointments for suboxone and people will pick up their subs and not follow the directions given and be in world of hurt for a day or so I have heard people say on Reddit. Induction is to help you avoid precipitated withdrawals which is much worse then mild withdrawals. On my day I was sweaty and had a upset stomach and had diarrhea but knew it was going to get worse if I waited any longer. The feeling after being on suboxone for like 30 mins as you always take them sublingually was I just felt normally not high or any euphoric feeling. Like a normal person again. Two days I will always remember is the day I first time took more Vicodin then I should have and the day I took suboxone. I relapsed that one time when I found Vicodin.

After I started suboxone I had like 25 Vicodin left I flushed them down the toilet and destroyed my phone and also got a new number so I wouldn’t be tempted to get more and also lost contact with people who used Vicodin with. The only other person who I knew that used was my former coworker who died of Fentyal from pressed Vicodin. Sometimes when my regular connect didn’t have any I would ask around and if I didn’t see the prescription bottle they came in I wouldn’t buy them I made that decision after I lost my best friend since high school too Fentyal so I would rather deal with withdrawals then be dead and I’m scared of death of needles so I never tried heroin and thought pills where always safe but we where all wrong in that thinking. I started suboxone 3 days after he passed and got clean.

My family never knew I was a addict when I told them they said you don’t look like a drug user. It’s sad that the general public I don’t know if it’s only in the United States or also other countries that people that use drugs are normally homeless or don’t have jobs or are people who steal and look “homeless”. Addiction doesn’t care what color you are, what your job is and how much money you make it is a disease and can affect anyone.

I know like I said before they pushed opiates and created this problem then one day decided that no more Vicodin for you. I blame the pharmaceutical companies more than anyone as their sales reps would push that stuff like Candy. In the late 90s getting Vicodin 5/500 for strep throat. Never even heard of Vicodin and knew my grandma took it for her back and she would just sleep when she took it . Those pharmaceutical companies must provide those doctors with some great free lunches because no matter what your pain level was or if something hurt it was never like take some Tylenol let me prescribe you some Vicodin. Now it’s the other way around and people who need it don’t actually get it.

I do believe people go to the ER for drug seeking but with today’s technology and how everything is traced and pharmacist and emergency room doctors can see how much you’ve been prescribed people still haven’t figure out that does not work or saying Vicodin is the only thing that works for headaches. Opiates aren’t the first line of treatment for headaches or migraines and that was even before Vicodin was really pushed. Try again if your drug seeking.

I have learned a lot about being a addict if people ask I tell them I’m a addict or recovery addict. It’s a chronic health condition like type 1 diabetes and there is no cure for it and you can just control it. Do I still think about Vicodin everyday and but since being on suboxone I have no cravings for it. I enjoy my hobbies more and no longer think about how many pills I have left or if my connect might run out . My anxiety has actually been reduced since being on subs since I no longer worry about withdrawals or living on the toilet for 4 days straights. I always thought it made my free time more fun when using it but now since I’m sober I actually really enjoy going fishing. When I was high I wasn’t enjoying what I was doing I was enjoying being high.

Like I posted earlier I used for over 7 years and do I regret it. No it has made me a better person and be more humble and thankful for what I have and showed who true friends are. I have ran into people who I would hang out with and first thing they ask me is “Do you have any Norcos or Vicodin I say nope I’m on suboxone. Not asking how I’m doing or how things are. That’s not a true friend.
 

jaders

Exalted member
Joined
Feb 1, 2012
Posts
3,550
Again - I really appreciate your explanations and descriptions of this therapy. If my back ever gets against the wall, it does sound like a possible workable alternative.

I do remember you mentioning in another thread that you'd had some knee surgery done. Was that after you were on the MAT or previous? I do wonder how you do pain management when you're on the MAT?

I might have to disagree with you about the idea that pharmaceutical companies are mostly responsible for all the addiction. I remember when the medical community decided that in general, patient's pain was being vastly undertreated. And so EVERYONE was encouraged to treat pain much more aggressively. I can recall older friends who had knee or hip replacements being heartily encouraged to take plenty of the pain meds since the less pain someone was in the more they would move around and do the physical therapy effectively, etc. Now they don't want ANYONE to have anything if possible, and folks that would really benefit from opioid pain therapy can't get it. But I hate to see addiction blamed on anything really. It would be like blaming alcoholism on liquor stores. For whatever reason, some folks get addicted but most don't. And this idea that if we make the medicine almost completely unavailable to anyone, to try and prevent a few folks from getting addicted - that just makes no sense to me. And again - it that's the only real solution, then why aren't we adopting that same attitude with alcohol, since so many folks become alcoholics as well, much to their detriment.

I also see your point about what our society sees and thinks when they hear the word addict. I actually imagine there are likely many "high functioning" addicts, like you describe yourself. Not everyone throws every moral or every safety measure out the window just to get high. You certainly illustrate that, and I know a few others like yourself as well. I often wonder how some addicts would live if buying opiates was as easy and as inexpensive as buying alcohol. Have you ever considered that? Would you keep taking more and more, or do you feel like you would've found a maximum dose that you would've stayed at? I have friends who I consider high functioning alcoholics. They drink every evening. Not to excess, but they certainly enjoy a few drinks before and maybe one after dinner. They use it to relax and feel good. They are folks with good incomes, raising their kids responsibly and have admirable lives. I do wonder if folks could use opiates in this same way - would it be possible to be the same? It's so hard to say, because access and cost is always the sticking point, and we also think if you're not taking an opiate for strictly physical pain, you're abusing it. But who can deny that for some folks, it is just a way to relax and feel good for a few hours, just as my daily drinkers do. Thoughts?

Anyway, I do think in many cases, if not most, MAT is going to work much much better than trying to get folks to get completely clean and sober. I think the horrible relapse numbers illustrate that that mountain is really a tough one.

I'm sure I'll have more questions. I especially like hearing about how you are feeling life on a different level than you did before. I think about that often - about how my view of my activities might be very skewed based on what chemical is circulating in my body or not circulating. It does feel like a barrier between life directly and life with a bit of "haze." :unsure:

It's certainly great to hear about your life experience with this firsthand!
 

Sabrered0901

Senior member
Joined
Jan 19, 2022
Posts
64
@jaders Yes my knee surgery was when I was on MAT. My addiction doctor said she would do pain control during my surgery and 4 days before surgery I was put on a fentanyl patch so I would not have any sort of withdraw as such. She knew my drug of choice was pill and let my orthopedic surgeon said he would do pain control. she told my ortho doc I was on subutex for pain management and it was believable since it was subutex not suboxone. My ortho doc actually did give me a RX for 45 Vicodin. But I didn't dare fill it. If I did my addiction doctor would know via the state PDMP and I did not want to risk a relapse or lose the trust my addiction doctor put in me.

Onto your question regarding if opiates where like alcohol I think we would have some function addicts not willing to risk it all to the full blown addict that went from pills to heroin. For example I would never take more Vicodin because of the acetaminophen in it as I did not want to damage my liver and never exceed more the 5000mg of acetaminophen daily as I did not want to damage my liver so I guess you could say I was a responsible addict I guess.

I really do not think it would make a difference as a addict usually choses one thing to be addicted too or that must be one ones I know. I'm sure their are people that use opiates, heroin and meth and whatever they can get their hands on to get high. I tried codeine a few times and it gave me a huge headache and also tramadol nothing at all for me. Had to be Vicodin and nothing else but used codeine and tramadol if it was available to help with withdrawal's and it did. Addiction is like I said a disease I compare to like the field of psychiatry not much is know how to how to diagnose. Am I depressed because I answered yes to 20 of your 40 questions on our depression quiz or does the kid have ADD because they talk to much as a kid and couldn't sit still when I was a kid and given Adderall. When my mom gave it to me I tried it and made me feel like a zombie. I feel addiction is part genetics and part of who you are. My dad was a Alcoholic but I didn't care for it to get drunk.

I'm more of a Libertarian and believe things that are currently illegal should be made legal. Why are Handguns banned in the UK but codeine is over the counter. But in the US its the exact opposite. Many US states are going the right direction with certain things but still its devils lettuce at a federal government level.

And Yes the overuse of opiates for pain by doctors you are so correct never thought about it that way and retract all responsible of the pill companies and the government did not help tell MDs to cut people off cold turkey. But why are pill companies allowed to advertise their products everywhere only in the US but no other country ?

If you can use it in a responsible way or manner then you should be able to have it with certain limitation a rifle is fine but you do not need a machine gun.
 
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