I am placing a new link in the Blogroll to a site that discusses tapering Suboxone.  I want to be clear that in my opinion, an opiate addict’s safest place is on Suboxone.  Many opiate addicts also find that on Suboxone they experience less mood variability, less irritability, and less anxiety;  I wonder if those symptoms represent forms of craving for those individuals.
I don’t see a ‘disease theory of addiction’;  rather I see very clearly that opiate dependence IS A DISEASE  (maybe we need to run a campaign:  It’s a disease, stupid!).  For hypertension, people take their medication and spend no time worrying about whether they are ‘living a life free from beta-blockers’.  Seeing that the people who judge addicts as ‘weak’ are idiots, I don’t understand the push to ‘get off Suboxone’.
If you are having side effects from Suboxone, please talk to your doctor.  If you are having random urges to stop Suboxone, at least consider the possibility that on some level you are setting things up to use again… and talk to your doctor.  If you have taken Suboxone for a long-enough period of time to make new, non-using friends, to lose all of the phone numbers, to get a good job, to come to terms with the family issues caused by your addiction– and if you can take Suboxone once per day without giving in to urges to take a bit more or to dose twice per day– AND if you have a plan to replace Suboxone with a recovery program– then maybe you are ready to taper off Suboxone.  In that case… talk to your doctor!!
I will of course put in a plug for a tape that I made, that discusses when and how to stop Suboxone– it is for sale on the right side of this page, or at SoberAfterSub.com.
If you are making a sound decision based on some good, sober thinking, check out the web page SuboxoneTaper.com.  It is relatively new, but I like the attitude of the writer– admittedly because he seems to think and write like me!  He comes across as cocky and angry… and I realize that I write like that as well.  Let there be no mistake– I have connections to some other web sites out there, but I have no connection to this one, and I don’t know the writer.  So if he suddenly gets in trouble for selling a Senate seat, I had nothing to do with it and I have nothing to say about it!!


juneleaves · December 14, 2008 at 6:43 pm

thanks for the link to suboxonetaper – its a very interesting site, and even made me laugh!
but also got me thinking….
your latest blog entry has me asking myself some tough questions. i have been tapering myself down on my own from 16mg down to 8mg…i have an upcoming appointment with my doc and was planning to tell her this, but now i am wondering if i am just planning to use again? she’s pretty easy going, and we even talked about tapering at our last meeting, but since my appointments with her are so spread out, i just went ahead with it, since it seemed to be no problem and i was really tired of being sweaty and constipated. these symptoms have happily stopped at 8mg.
Honestly, I have felt mostly a-ok on 8 mg, a little bit more aware of physical discomfort issues, but not too bad. Last week i took a few extra subs one day (3 extra to be exact, which was my long ago starting dose) and got a modest buzz. my pain doc had said to try extra subs for a migraine, which i did the week before last, and oh my god it worked, but this time i just didn’t feel like being present. no headache, just malaise. addict-shit. and having tapered down, i have extra on hand.
i am trying not to feel guilty about it, i am an addict after all and an addicts will more likely use, than not use if given the opportunity. but i can see how easy it is to fall back on the opiate see-saw, fall into addict thinking and justification. as much as “I” don’t want to go back down that road, I know how powerful addiction is, and that “I” don’t always know whats best for “me.”
btw: i am not split personality i just recognize that sometimes my addict mind has an agenda all of its own, beyond what I say I want, is not always fully truthful of what i am thinking!
as i have also written before in other emails, i am an addict who also suffers from chronic pain issues (the migraines I have mentioned, and fibromyalgia) and have used opiates (in large quantities to over-ride the blocking effects of suboxone) while under doctors supervision during the time i have been on s-zone. but then again, i was always on legally prescribed opiates, even during my abuse. i have been allowed to keep a full script on hand, but right now i can see how my secretive ways could slowly take me right back down that road to fucking everything up again. being in extreme pain (from truly debilitating migraines) also scares the crap out of me as well. am i totally fooling myself? i feel screwed either way. i have good relationships with all my docs and keep everyone up to date, and many of my health problems have been ongoing since my teen-aged years, but when am i taking charge? i just don’t want to go back to my sub-marginal life of being sick and in pain all the time (from health issues, which is how i ended up on opiates to begin with.)
all in all s-zone has been a great medication for me. its actually quite helpful for fibromyalgia pain, at the very least i am so much more functional that i ever was while on or off true opiates. in some ways, i did feel better physically on 16mg, but i as i mentioned i was embarrassed and tired of being sweaty and constipated.
i am feeling a bit crazy tonight, and yes i need a meeting, but i also have my last paper of the semester due, and spent the day picking up extra work because i am in major debt due to being on disability this past Summer as a result of my opiate abuse, manic crash-landing ending up in out-patient treatment. i really don’t want to fuck everything up! i feel like this past week i have not been fully honest and am afraid that i am slipping backwards.
but reading what you wrote, just triggered me into action. i just hate the shame of feeling like i have failed…slipping that is. it was hard enough to feel so freaking embarrassed by my opiate abuse this past spring, that i haven’t fully outed myself to all of my AA friends, just my closest advisers and family members. as one good AA friend asked me, “so are you going to do the AA walk of shame?” thinking of it this way has made me less inclined to be open about my opiate abuse, feeling like everyone is judging me for fucking up at 8 years sobriety. i hate counting time, because it feels like a competition in some weird way instead of a day at a time like its supposed to be. my town is small, and everyone knows everyone else’s business. my sponsees all dumped me, exactly at a time when i needed them most, and now i feel like all the time i have counts for nothing, even though i know i am not the person i used to be.
retrospectively after looking back at my downfall this past spring, i was also recently diagnosed as bi-polar…so everything even feels that much more complicated on top of just being a garden variety drunk, addict, who is in addition mentally ill (aren’t we all in some ways) with a chronic pain condition.
i am a high functioning creative woman, who has just started a PhD program at an ivy league university, and now i am just wondering if my mind is walking towards another slip. or if i already have in fact “slipped.” do i have to “confess” my sins and transgressions? two months into my suboxone treatment, i was in a nasty bike accident (i wrote about this a while back) and was allowed to use pain medication, while holding my s-zone for about 10 days. so even with that, i don’t feel like i’ve had a very clean slate, despite my legal use.
i’ve tried pretending that my pain issues don’t exist, but that usually ends up with a nice 5 day migraine, reminding me that i am still sick, no matter how much i think positively along with all the all natural stuff i do for my health, that has me wanting to shoot myself. sigh.
anyhow, yes, being honest and wondering if my taper is really an excuse to feel more of a kick has me wondering…god i hate being an addict. and an alcoholic. and so mentally and physically sensitive that my body feels like either the wires have been cut dead or the amperage has been quadrupled.
apologies for the long-windedness. i hope this makes sense and if you have any suggestions, i’d appreciate it.

Subhuman · December 17, 2008 at 11:44 am

I’ve read through the “Taper off Sub” site and I’m reminded of how obsessed we addicts can get with how we feel/fear of pain/am I ok, etc. Every time I’ve made a big production out of anything related to my addiction I’ve regretted it BIG TIME. I’m just like any, and every other, opium addict with decades of experience. The more I learn, the less I know. And I’m going to feel pain, and this too shall pass.
Suboxone has been a miracle for me. I’m feeling and experiencing my life for the first time. I’m in no hurry to change what’s been working for almost two years, and I hope Taper Guy can cool the jets before he cures himself into trouble.
Thank you Dr. Sub Talk Zone for keeping it real.

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