If only!  I’m sorry about the headline– but did it catch your attention?  We all wish we could be cured– and headlines like this one appeal to that wish.  We are easy marks for a person looking to make a buck.  I want to use that fact as a springboard to discuss a couple things.
I recently received a comment accusing me of just such activity– of ‘making a buck’ off people with addictions.  The writer took it a step further stating that all addiction is a matter of choice;  that people addicted to opiates should just decide to stop taking them, and that Suboxone is just a ‘substitute for oxycodone’.  I was not real polite to that person, although I was more polite than I wanted to be… as that is the type of ignorance that literally kills people.  We ALL tried to stop– many, many times.  Anyone who has even a basic understanding of addiction knows that it is much more complicated than that.  The writer stated that she could stop– that her ‘therapy’ helped her deal with her issues and gain the ability to stop using.  I often write that ‘nobody is too dumb to get clean, but some people are too smart’– perhaps she wasn’t ‘smart’ enough to have problems getting clean! (yes, that was needlessly mean).
On the other hand, it isn’t that ‘mean’ when you realize that people die from opiate dependence—often—and what often keeps them from getting help is the thought that they can get things under control on their own. And so they keep trying, and keep hiding their addiction from the people that could help them. Add the shame that the writer would like to instill, and the addiction is forced even further underground. A common recovery saying is ‘secrets keep us sick’; in order to get better, using addicts must expose their addiction to the light of day– to treatment providers, but even more importantly, to themselves.
As for the ‘making a buck’ part… yes, I would like to be paid for my efforts. And yes, my career does exist because people need help with their addictions. But in medicine there are easier ways to make a buck! I treat opiate dependence (among other conditions) because I understand opiate dependence—having lived it. It is a horrible illness that cuts across all segments of society—it tends to hit people who have tons of potential, and has the ability to take away every bit of that potential—that is what keeps me interested in fighting addiction.
Suboxone is not perfect. I would rather have every person with addiction go into 90 days of residential treatment, and attend NA for life. That is the only other option at this point in time. Most addicts will not go to residential treatment until they have lost a great deal, and some never get there—they die first. So we have Suboxone… and it is an amazing advance in treatment options. Even better options will come along—that is my hope, anyway.
The writer also mentioned my tapes! I really thought they would be popular… but they haven’t been. No ‘quick buck’ there! If you, the reader, have suggestions on what you WOULD pay money for that I could sell as an addiction expert, LET ME KNOW! In fact, if you have a great idea for a digital download that would help other addicts and that we could sell on this site, we could work together on it and share in the ‘tons of profit’ I’m supposedly making!
The other half of the ‘money from addiction’ issue can be seen in this comment:
I can’t imagine being on suboxone for 2 years. After about 6 months, I got off it by going to XXXXXXX. It’s a clinic here in XXXXX that uses an all natural approach They use a 10-day amino acid IV infusion that literally dunks your brain in the essential nutrients necessary to repair all the brain damage I caused by using. I started feeling alive again around day 4. I never had any cravings while going through this. Around day 8 or 9, I started feeling like a million bucks! Not high- just healthy. The staff there was amazing and it’s all outpatient. I never missed a day of work. I am amazed at how good I feel- for the first time in my life, I feel healthy. I would definitely recommend it for anybody.
I wish!
First of all, if you used oxy or other opiates you didn’t do ‘brain damage’—the drugs bid reversibly to receptors on neurons and do NOT do permanent damage—at least not to the structure of the brain. If you used tons of ‘X’ you may have done damage—likewise if you were a ‘huffer’—but you won’t fix the damage with ‘essential nutrients’! Addiction causes changes in personality, destroys intimacy, damages self-image, causes depression… and makes any type of ‘spirituality’ impossible, leading to a life that is empty and meaningless. Suboxone can halt progression of addiction and can help keep these things from getting worse… but Recovery requires more than nutrients and amino acids. I won’t go so far as to declare such ‘restorative’ approaches as totally fraudulent… but I am close to such a declaration! There are a few ‘cocktails’ out there for other addictions as well—the docs that peddle them charge tons of money—10 grand and more—for the ‘secret recipe’. None are supported by REAL research—i.e. in the peer reviewed literature—although they claim to have their ‘own’ studies that support their effectiveness.
Understand that there is a process for documenting effective treatments that all reputable scientists use—there HAS to be such a process, as otherwise we wouldn’t know what works and what doesn’t. First of all, knowing about brain (I hate to keep carping my PhD in Neuroscience but I want readers to know that I am speaking from a position of knowledge), it is silly to think that the complicated factors involved in addiction can be addressed by taking nutrients and amino acids—in ANY combination or dose! But playing along… if there is such a solution, knowing the extent of the destruction that addiction causes around the globe, why not put it through the usual proving process, and then sell it either on one’s own or through ‘big pharma’- and save the world while at the same time becoming wealthy? Or if wealth isn’t the issue, give it away! Why not? The reason, of course, is because those miracle cures don’t work. They may provide a placebo-like response—the addict may feel a bit ‘stronger’ if he/she believes in the product. But that will fade over time, and the addiction will return. The people selling the cure will shrug their shoulders (if they are still around—they may have closed shop and retired to an island by then), and say ‘gee, it usually works… you must have a particularly bad case of addiction! Let’s try a double dose—of course it will cost a bit more…’
Addiction stinks. Suboxone is a step forward… but it still stinks. Want off Suboxone? I made the recordings to talk about the issue. There is no quick cure described on the recordings, but there is my best assessment of what is required, how to go forward, who should try and who shouldn’t, etc. Please buy a copy, check it out, and give me feedback. I promise not to get rich!



Amy · November 11, 2008 at 9:28 pm

well here is a get rich scam for the makers of vitamins, minerals and amino acids…hey it the famous B.S. Thomas recipe…people, dont waste your time with this TRUST ME! save your money and put it to a good suboxone treatment program instead…doc, check this one out! This comes from a site i USED to be a member of, it is claimed as “The Only Way (acceptable) to get clean”…and rids your body of withdrawals…go to the bank, take out a loan and get your list together…here we go…
Thomas Detox Recipe
PLEASE NOTE: I am not a doctor, simply a long-time Rx opiate junkie who has had many opportunities to develop a way to detox. This is a recipe for at-home self-detox from opiates based on my experience as well as that of many other addicts. It is not intended as professional medical advice. It is always wise to make sure none of the recipe ingredients or procedures conflict with medications you may be taking. Likewise, if you have any medical condition, disease, allergy or any other health issue, consult your doctor before using the recipe. Thanks, Thomas
This recipe is designed for cold turkey opiate detox. It assumes that you can get about 5 to 7 days away from your job or household responsibilities during which you can sleep, veg and act as miserable as you feel. Opiate WD mimics the symptoms of the common flu, so, if you need a smokescreen, hide behind a bad case of the flu.
If you can’t take time off to detox, I recommend you follow a taper regimen using your drug of choice or suitable alternate — the slower the taper, the better.
For the Recipe, You’ll need
1. Valium (or another benzodiazepine such as Klonopin, Librium, Ativan or Xanax). Of these, Valium and Klonopin are best suited for tapering since they come in tablet form. Librium is also an excellent detox benzo, but comes in capsules, making it hard to taper the dose. Ativan or Xanax should only be used if you can’t get one of the others.
2. Imodium (over the counter, any drug or grocery store). [generic brand anti-diarrheal is fine. Don’t take it unless really uncomfortable]
3. L-Tyrosine* (500 mg caps) from the health food store.* [See Warning]
4. Strong wide-spectrum mineral supplement with at least 100% RDA of Zinc, Phosphorus, Copper and Magnesium.
5. Vitamin B6 caps. [or stress B-complex?]
6. Access to hot baths or a Jacuzzi (or hot showers if that’s all that’s available). [many gyms offer free trials]
How to use the recipe
Begin your detox with regular doses of Valium (or alternate benzo). Start with a dose high enough to produce sleep. Before you use any benzo, make sure you’re aware of how often it can be safely taken. Different benzos have different dosing schedules. Taper your Valium dosage down after each day. The goal is to get through day 4, after which the worst W/D symptoms will subside. You shouldn’t need the Valium after day 4 or 5. [melatonin worked well after day 4 for me. Sleeplessness sometimes hangs on awhile]
During detox, hit the hot bath or Jacuzzi as often as you need to for muscle aches. Don’t underestimate the effectiveness of hot soaks. Spend the entire time, if necessary, in a hot bath. This simple method will alleviate what is for many the worst opiate W/D symptom. [I like Epsom salts in the tub. Forces Magnesium into the muscles]
Use the Imodium aggressively to stop the runs. Take as much as you need, as often as you need it. DON’T TAKE IT, however, if you don’t need it.[Diarrhea is the bodies way to aid in the detox so take Immodium or generic for the comfort factor, if needed]
At the end of the fourth day, you should be waking up from the Valium and experiencing the beginnings of the opiate W/D malaise. Upon rising (empty stomach), take the L-Tyrosine*. Try 2000 mg, and scale up or down, depending on how you feel. You can take up to 4,000 mg. Take the L-Tyrosine* with B6 to help absorption. Wait about one hour before eating breakfast. The L-Tyrosine* will give you a surge of physical and mental energy that will help counteract the malaise. You may continue to take it each morning for as long as it helps. If you find it gives you the “coffee jitters,” consider lowering the dosage or discontinuing it altogether. Occasionally, L-Tyrosine* can cause the runs. Unlike the runs from opiate W/D, however, this effect of L-Tyrosine* is mild and normally does not return after the first hour. Lowering the dosage may help. [*Read the Warning first! *L-Tyrosine* is great. *SamE 400* mg works for mood too]
With breakfast, take the mineral supplement.
As soon as you can force yourself to, get some mild exercise such as walking, cycling, swimming, etc. This will be hard at first, but will make you feel considerably better. [Walking gets the blood and lymph systems working, helping you detox better.]
PLEASE NOTE: If you have any medical complications, first check with your doctor before detoxing to verify that this regimen is safe for you. [Very important note]
[WARNING If you are on anti-Depressants, use medical supervision on L-Tyrosine, SamE and all mood enhancers. There can be a risk if taking L-Tyrosine, 5 HTP if you are on a tricyclic or a MAIO antidepressant’s …It can cause a spike in blood pressure.]

Amy · November 11, 2008 at 9:30 pm

Most of this program is from the book END YOUR ADDICTION NOW.. the doctor who wrote it ran a treatment facility in UPstate New york where they gave patients amino acids and vitamin via IV during treatment.. He also counsels patients individually.. All of these things are meant to rebuild activity in the major neuro transmitters.. as addicts our neurotransmitters have been disrupted by our use of drugs.. even stuff like cigarettes and eating alot of sugar can disrupt them.. with drugs however it can be more damaging.. I will list the aminos maily used for addiction, their dosages etc.. everything should be taken on a empty stomach… an hour b4 meals.. Take all of them together with lots of water… I have added stuff as I have done more research on this…
**Please check with your doctor or pharmacist for any interactions with any meds you may be taking.
B- vitamin Complex 100mgs, needed for absorption of aminos, rebuilding of the liver, reducing stress, If you can get injections from your doctor that is even better.. I would buy the sublingual for best absorption
Multi mineral vitamin high potency formula , just good to take all around, addicts are using lacking many of the right vitamins and minerals, and alot of prescription drugs rob our bodies of nutrients.
5HTP– this is what tryptophan gets turned into prior to being turned into serotonin in our brains. Serotonin is what is usually depleted if we are depressed and anxious.. Taking this will help with PAWS ( post accute withdrawl syndrome) or eliminate you suffering from them all together DO NOT TAKE IF YOU ARE TAKING A SSRI OR TRICYLIC ANTI DEPRESSANT
Dosage– up to 300mgs a day 3x DAILY ( I take 100mgs 3x per day, start with the lower dose and move up if needed)
L-glutamine–amino acid required for GABA production, that is the relaxing part of our brain. up to 2000mgs 3x per day.. ( I take 1000 mgs 3x day, again start lower and work up if needed)
L-Taurine– another “relaxing” amino up to 1000mgs 3x daily
DLPA– helps restore the function to the pain receptors working with the enporphins/enkephalins, can also help with pain if you are someone that suffers with some kind of legitamate pain. DO NOT TAKE IF YOU ARE TAKING A SSRI OR TRICYLIC ANTIDEPRESSANT or if you have DIABETES or HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
Dose– up to 2000mgs 3x per day (again you can start lower like 1000mgs 3x daily)
Sam-e– aids in stress relief, depression,eases pain, and produces antioxidant effect that can improve the health of the liver 200-400mgs per day
Vitamin C– use Ester c buffered form, detoxifies the system, and lessens cravings for drugs. Supports many body systems. Take 2,000mgs every 3 hours. Start with 1,000mgs and work your way up. Can cause loose stools, body will adjust.
Calcium 1,000mgs at bedtime Magnesium 1,000mgs at bedtime nourishes the central nervous system and helps control tremors like RLS and other muscle spasms calms and relaxes the body, helps sleep.
If you find yourself really struggling with energy after being on the aminos you can add L-tyrosine to the mix in the early part of the day.. up to 1,500mgs.. This is not usually used in the treatment of pain pill addiction and can over stimulate some people I would say only take it if you are still struggling with energy after starting everything else..
If you find yourself having some anxiety the amino L-theanine is like natural valium.. It has helped me so much I no longer need to take xanax at all for my panic attacks
As far as sleep.. in my early days off of pills I took a sleep blend from GNC with a L-theanine and calcium magnesium liquid everynight and slept like a baby.
I suggest GNC to purchase this stuff they are pretty cheap (some stuff is only 4.99 a bottle) they were also super helpful and knew alot.. I got a gold card to save some bucks in the future..
After a few months if you are feeling good you can taper the aminos back to once a day… then a few months after that a few times a week.. the best part about taking aminos instead of drugs is you don’t have to take them forever to get the benefit.. the FIX the problem not put a band aid on it.
Protein shakes can be of great benefit.. protein is needed for rebuilding of nearly everything in the body.

Amy · November 11, 2008 at 9:46 pm

AND the proof is in the pudding…i dont know of anyone that has succeeded with this, and IF by chance they did maintain to stay clean for a few weeks…they DID relapse….FACT! and MOST that have said they were going to try it, return in about 6-7 months and they are right back in full blown addiction, FACT!
If the Thomas recipe or The Amino acid protocol actually worked, wouldnt it be bottled and sold as “THE CURE FOR ADDICTION”…and we could rid the world of all addicts, Doc, you would be out of a job, LOL!…
BUT of course i must say again, it certainly doesnt hurt you to take vitamins, minerals and amino acids just for your general health, but to get through your withdrawals – while still being able to go to work?, and rid yourself of your addiction?, why isnt it in competition with suboxone…Hmmm, I WONDER….
if i had all the money that has been wasted on these types of “cures/self help” type of crap…I would be a multi-millionare living on the ocean in the Hamptons.
Please people, think, use that wonderful brain i know you all have…
back to reality for me.
take care!

admin · November 12, 2008 at 8:02 am

Well Said!!!

cwhite · January 5, 2009 at 12:37 pm

I have been taking oxycodone 15 mg tablets twice a day for chronic knee pain. I ran out and someone told me to me to try suboxone. It did not really help the pain but I felt like I did not want to take the oxycodon anymore, so I just buy the suboxone in the street..I have been taking a half in morning and the other half late in the afternoon.
I am having surgery of Friday, knee surgery and I am wondering if the suboxone is going to interfere with the anestesia because my doctor does not know that I have taken the suboxone and I have high blood pressure which has been very good lately with medication.
Thank you,

Amanda · June 13, 2018 at 8:17 am

Amino acids work. Simple as that. Bupeniprine works as well. There’s a difference ina PHD and a live dependent on opiates. I have personally tried the amino acid therapy with tremendous results and I assure you it was not in my head in the same respect Suboxone has helped me in the past as well but when it’s time to some using that’s crutch amino acids offer a real way out. Let’s stop arguing over which way is right because let’s face it you are all getting very wealthy on our illness.

    Jeffrey Junig MD PhD · June 26, 2018 at 2:33 pm

    The ‘difference in a PhD’ is that someone trained as a scientist understands that only a fool would say ‘I assure you it was not in my head’. A placebo effect, by definition, is a REAL effect to the person experiencing it. You seem to think that you are somehow above the people susceptible to that phenomenon. Of course, only someone with that type of ego would make assumptions about someone else’s bank account…
    You must be a real joy to know. I really wish we were friends…

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