I am still experimenting a bit with youtube.  They tell me that video is the future of the internet, and who am I to argue?  Tonight’s ten minute video deals with a common video title at youtube, and the title of this post. A person wrote and said help I can’t stop Suboxone!

So… why is it hard to stop Suboxone?  I resisted the urge to put a ‘duh’ here…  in case you are missing the answer…  one reason is because Suboxone has opiate properties, and stopping it causes withdrawal.  Pretty much anyone who is taking it has demonstrated an inability to stop any other opiates– probably over and over again.  So why would such a person be able to stop Suboxone?

Actually, most opiate addicts that I have gotten to know over the years, myself included, have trouble stopping just about anything– opiates, sleeping pills, antidepressants, ice cream, Cap’n Crunch…   if ‘the addict’ in me likes something, he doesn’t want to give it up!!  I don’t know why, but he is stubborn like that!

I realize that there is physical withdrawal to buprenorphine and not to ice cream… so I would expect Suboxone to be a bit more difficult to stop.  But I have a bit of information to add to our database of information here…  although I realize that some people will not believe what I am about to say.  But I really have no reason to lie;  I’m sure the conspiracy theorists think I am up to something– I got a comment today that said that I ‘push Suboxone to rake in more money than I ever dreamed of’.  One thing I can guarantee, just in case the writer is reading this–  I can dream of a lot more than that!  Darn– where was I?  Oh yes…  a patient of mine who takes Suboxone– he is about 45 or so and used opiates for many years for chronic back pain, and has been on Suboxone for only about a year… he is having a great deal of tooth problems related to trauma years and years ago, and will have the remaining teeth pulled in a few days.  To prepare, he took himself off Suboxone a couple weeks ago by tapering down to 4 mg and then stopping.  I saw him today and he insists he had NO withdrawal at all– ZERO.

This guy has been using opiates for decades and has had withdrawal many, many times, so I would have expected him to suffer a bit going off Suboxone.  On the other hand, he is a tough guy– and I don’t mean that any way but literally.  He could probably have his fingernails pulled off one by one without flinching, and he is not prone to ‘working himself into a frenzy’ over fear of something.  But I was still surprised at his claim– I believe it entirely, but I am surprised.

I did have one young woman as a patient who stopped Suboxone after taking it for several months without telling me ahead of time– she also claimed to have no withdrawal, although in retrospect she said she did feel ‘a little tired’ for a few days.  I have had a number of patients taper off Suboxone and have never had one claim that the experience was worse than oxycodone, vicodin, or methadone– not one.  I read the posts on the internet– ‘the hardest thing to quit EVER!’  I don’t know what to make of them.

OK, enough horsing around.  There is no longer any reason for you to watch the video, unless you want to look deep into my eyes to determine if I am telling the truth.  But here it is anyway– my description of the reason for the phenomenon, ‘I can’t stop Suboxone’.


shelwoy · December 30, 2008 at 5:46 pm

After watching your video, I only further stress the idea of not going off Sub just for the sake of doing so.I recently left a treatment facility because of giving me a forced taper plan.My idea is if this is the best I have ever felt or ever done with recovery from addictive behavior, why change it?

Stace · December 31, 2008 at 10:26 am

Again ~ Job Well Done Doc 😉
It was so much more real to hear you and see you tell your org. story then to just read it.. ok a lil off subject but this is killing my insides so I’m going to throw it out and hope you catch it 😉
When someone realizes what suboxone is and what its for do they seem to act strange to you! I guess it is like that for me I feel like the women/men at my pharmacy just “look” at me differently now that they know what I’m on and I start thinking about all the things that could be possibly going thru there heads. I mean one of them was my neighbor before Katrina hit, so it’s just weird to say “hey xxx can I get 50 bucks worth” LOL you know what I mean ^_^ — I often wonder why so many people sterotype only bc I don’t fit that sterotype at all – my life is great, I have very nice things, not gorgeous but some guys tend to oogl and google at me, but I often vision them finding out what I’m on and when they hear the amount of lorcets my lil 120lb butt could pop i see there mouths drop and disgust in there eyes
NO like I said no one knows about me except my dr. and ppl at my pharmacy but I often think about what if I did tell others? my family? my husband? although I’m getting stronger and stronger I may tell him soon… you see my point
Anyway I know I ramble but when I look at you I don’t put you in the back of an alley shooting dope.. or making hundreds of phone calls to get that one fix, no i see a very educated, well mannered man who I happen to have something in common with
anyway Happy New Year doc!!!

mikecks · January 5, 2009 at 9:23 am

DR. youve been very helpful and honest , 6 months ago i found suboxone the prescribing doctor told me it wasnt addictive and i could throw it away at any time , after my one week visit he prescribed a thirty day supply, upon my next visit he approached me and asked how i was doing and prescibed another 30 days 24mg per day ,my next visit was 2 months later as i was reducing my own dose because i really did have doubts now about its addictive qualities , well after that 2 months he accused me of saying i would be off them in a week , now this has been on my mind every day for the last 3 1/2 months i never said that in fact i had been too the suboxone web site and already new it was addictive but in all honesty i was afraid too voice my knowledge, now after all these months i read your blog and find my suspicions were correct ,, now i am afraid to go back for another appointment but must because i now dont trust this doctor he evidently thinks a fifteen year addiction can be cured in a weeks time their are so few doctors in my area that prescribe is there a chance this guy really thinks this isnt an addictive drug , and are doctors trained too make your visit as unpleasant as possible when dealing with addiction i cant believe this could be helpful to the addict, anyway your videos have been very informative and real , now if you could just help me understand this doctor i went to him for help not just pills thanks

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