Is Suboxone a Wonder Drug that Helps Heroin Addicts Get Clean--Or Just Another Way to Stay High?

Is Suboxone a Wonder Drug that Helps Heroin Addicts Get Clean--Or Just Another Way to Stay High?
Pablo Iglesias

Five months ago, Chris resolved that it was finally time to get clean.

Suboxone is "not being used in the context we've seen it to kick a habit or even to replace a narcotic dependence. It's just a way to control your habit a little bit better."

Sort of.

The 34-year-old Brooklyn real estate broker (who declined to be identified by his real name; "Chris" is a pseudonym) had begun using heroin and quit once before, in his late teens. But family problems and a few tough months caused him to relapse, and soon he was snorting the drug two or three times a week.

Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan says dealers carry Suboxone to keep their clientele happy.
Caleb Ferguson
Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan says dealers carry Suboxone to keep their clientele happy.
Internist Dana Jane Saltzman is one of the 1,600 doctors in New York state authorized to prescribe Suboxone.
Caleb Ferguson
Internist Dana Jane Saltzman is one of the 1,600 doctors in New York state authorized to prescribe Suboxone.

After nearly a year of using, the days between doses started to get dicey, and Chris got worried. On the off days, he says, "I was never myself. I was irritable, exhausted, had no motivation or desire to do things I once enjoyed doing. I wasn't happy."

So, in between bags of heroin, Chris scored Suboxone, a prescription painkiller used to treat opiate addiction. He'd use it when he was making a halfhearted attempt to get sober, or when he just didn't want to feel bad between bags. Thanks to its main ingredient, buprenorphine hydrochloride, Suboxone eliminated the agonizing heroin withdrawal, the "three days of complete hell" he had to go through every time he tried not to use.

Chris didn't get Suboxone through a doctor, at first. He didn't have to. It was easier and quicker to buy the drug from a friend who had a prescription and lots of leftovers, which he was willing to sell to Chris for $5 a pop. "Subs," as people often shorthand the drug, come in paper-thin strips, a lot like the Listerine kind, that melt under the tongue. Chris's friend took half of a two-milligram strip each day and sold the extras to Chris.

Eventually, Chris decided he was spending too much money on the subs. He found a physician willing to prescribe him 24 milligrams a day—a "totally ridiculous" dose, he says, far too much for one person to take. (According to the drug's manufacturer, U.K.–based Reckitt Benckiser, the recommended maintenance dose is anywhere from four to 24 milligrams.) He takes one or two strips each day, two to four milligrams, and sells the rest on Craigslist.

"I don't work with everyone," Chris says. "I'm probably more cautious than most." He tries to weed out law enforcement by asking for Facebook or LinkedIn profiles to back up the buyer's identity. "I'm not a full-blown addict. I do have a job. I have a lot to lose." Besides, he adds, "I'd rather sell to someone who wants to get clean, rather than someone who just wants it in between their heroin binges. I'd rather help someone."

Other dealers up and down the East Coast who sell buprenorphine take the same tack in their Craigslist sales, positioning themselves as stops on the road to recovery.

"If you're trying to kick your diesel habit, then TEXT me asap!" writes one dealer. "Heroin is overwhelming here in New Jersey, so please do the right thing and get on Subutex asap!"

"Not LE here," writes another dealer in Soho, using the shorthand for "law enforcement." "Just a guy with a few extras and looking to help someone in need. Please be real about getting clean."

"No bs and no le," echoes a poster in upstate Montgomery County. "I'm just trying to help someone who needs to be off of pain medication."

The technical term for what Chris and other dealers are doing is "diversion," and it is, as you might guess, illegal. Selling your meds is a class C felony in New York, carrying a minimum of one year and a maximum of 10 in prison.

In the case of Suboxone and its generic equivalents, diversion is also increasingly common. Suboxone has been on the market in the U.S. since the late 1990s. Over the past two years, sales have skyrocketed, corresponding to a rise in heroin and (especially) painkiller addiction. The number of pain-pill prescriptions hovered around 209.5 million in 2010; the National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that 5 million people in the U.S. abuse painkillers.

It's hardly surprising that a drug that can help people get off opiates has become a runaway success. According to IMS Health, a company that collects data about the drugs U.S. doctors prescribe, Suboxone reached $1.4 billion in sales in the first quarter of 2012—nearly 10 times the figure from 2006. Seven years ago, Suboxone was the 198th-most commonly prescribed drug in the U.S. Today, it ranks 26th. In 2012, doctors wrote 9.3 million prescriptions for buprenorphine. From January to March of this year, they wrote 2.5 million more. A majority were for Suboxone, which controls about 70 percent of the buprenorphine market.

As the legal market for the drug expands, so does the black market pooling underneath. If Chris is too picky, Craigslist drug seekers can do business with 24-year-old Luis, who teams up with a friend with a prescription to sell the drug. Luis, who calls himself a "distributor," is homeless and says he's selling Suboxone to finance his move out of the shelters. That, and a desire to help folks.

"People thank me," he says earnestly. "I'm not doing a bad thing. I'm not selling drugs."

In her line of work, Bridget Brennan sees—and busts—a lot of drug dealers. She's immensely skeptical of the notion that anyone buying Suboxone on the street is taking it to get clean.

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47 comments
ShanShan
ShanShan

Spent 5k to walk into a rehab out of state.  Rehab took my money and booted me after the 1st week due to insurance not wanting to pay.  So here I was with no insurance to cover these meds, and I had to turn to the street for them.  The first drug rehab  tried me on made me have horrible hallucinations (subutex?) but the day they put me on Suboxone was the day I got my life back.  I used Suboxone for 2 weeks straight to get off the drug and now I only use 1/4 piece of strip as maintenance when I crave every so often.  While Suboxone doesn't make me high, I can't take it at night because it keeps me up all night.  This drug is a life saver for those who use it properly and who are determined to get clean.  You can get strips on the street for $10-15 each where I live and even though it isn't right to purchase the meds off the street, it's better than a $260 a day habit on Roxi ($30 street value per pill) that I had before taking Suboxone.

I almost lost everything due to my addiction but now I am proud to say that after 14 months of remaining clean and sober, I finally have money in the bank and a much better relationship with myself and family than ever before.  

I am a 40 year old female, two children, married and a grandson.

jaylaomega
jaylaomega

I have been on opiates since 2005. I got addicted after an epidural messed up my back and the doc prescribed me 180 Percocet. I finally got clean in 2012, COLD TURKEY may I add. But this back pain got the best of me and after being clean for a year I relapsed. I'm BiPolar I as well so I'm on Prozac, Seroquel, Ambien and opiates.... Sad, sad combination. Believe me, I tried to find a sub doc but the visits are too damned expensive. $300. True enough I spend $300+ a month on pills but not at one time..... So I attempted to wean myself off, needless to say it didn't work. My neighbor who's a heroin addict gave me an 8mg sub strip and I waited til I was in full wd to take it. I cut the strip into 3 pieces and I took my first dose on 3/21/14. And guess what? I was higher than I've ever been in my life. I guess it affects different people in different ways. Every person is not the same. Coming from a place of addiction, I can totally see this spiraling out of control. But the one difference is I feel better. I want to live and I want to be productive. Sub is a wonder drug and if used properly u can become sober. It's not for everybody.

Daniel
Daniel

It's good to see an article with discussion

on Soboxone. Last Feb I flew back from West to my Eastern Coast city,

and went into in detox, they suggested Soboxone. And I did go on it.

While it did help with the acute withdrawals,

Suboxone kept me hooked on opiates.

I could only get daily "carries" and the only place that

supplied Suboxone was in the west-central part of the gigantic city

I had returned to.

soon after being discharged from detox, I was alternating between

street dope (heroin, and Oxys and other pills) and Soboxone. This was because I would

miss a carry ( I was homeless at the time and would move from

shelter to shelter). So I'd lose a bus ticket, miss a carry, end up sick again and

back to the street drugs. This went on as long as I stayed on Soboxone.

Once off that Soboxone I was off the opiates!

whicor777
whicor777

SubSux...I have a feeling you are not a fully dependent on opiates yet! The reason i say this is because you talk about being lethargic for up to a year, i don't know any opiate dependent person that would make a statement like this! I have been opiate dependent for 20 plus years, i have tried every remedy known to man to become normal..i finally realized a long time ago that being normal was never going to be in the cards for me because of my altered brain chemistry due to abusing opiates ...i will never be able to normalize my opiate dependent brain...i have self medicated to escape the hell i lived in my whole life due to other mind disorders...when i here someone say they could soldier on for possibly a year suffering lethargic disorders." to keep a job" it tells me they have not suffered the true depth of opiate dependence! Suboxone is so much better than sticking a needle in your arm and chasing that rush that takes you to the brink of death..and if you need to eliminate your so called addiction to suboxone..then just start shooting heroin again..get your fill and start subs again and jump when the Dr says..no problem, that's if its possible for you to do? I have seen this work in short term young users that sought help while there was yet time, they had not yet become dependent to the brutal opioid drug.Suboxone saves lives and it will soon be widely excepted that it will become a life long savior for the otherwise doomed opiate dependent human brain.

jonathansardinhaa
jonathansardinhaa

I joined this site to look at others people opinion on the subject, and now that I have im sad, If you haven't been an addict and just think you are better than others than you may as well be writing letters to the makers of suboxone and stay on you guys high horse's... Im glad im clean but damn I thought better from people.. I guess I was naïve.

jonathansardinhaa
jonathansardinhaa

A lot of people abuse suboxone because they want to, and don't have the want to stop but don't want to be sick.. I was an addict for a long time and I decided to take suboxone, not from a dr but I bought ten pills and it works, When I would take it I would be energetic and functional. NOT HIGH... now most people just get bored of being sober or need a crutch. And dr want to put out as many pills as possible. I can be a oxycodone addict or heroine addict and still get over it painlessly with suboxone, but then were does that leave me? Alone and wanting to get high to get rid of the problems I had before.. ive been up and down but if people would get 20 subs and work them with a family member and slowly get back to reality it would work subs alone will not cut it and if you just want to shoot em up or snort them, then just stay an addict you have to want to stop, people on subs need a support system. People get high for a reason, whatever it may be to each there own. But with help from a friend or family member subs work but the person has to have a want to get clean.. Then again im not a great person or strong mind neither I was an addict for years before I saw my life was 6 years gone. so I miss my friend family and reality.. Subs help if you want them too its just a painless way to not be sick and get on you're feet.. other than that its on the individual.. Sorry for ranting good luck to everyone.... All I know is im smiling today and im happy.. 

thommyberlin1
thommyberlin1

Because using is using and people die from using. That's how I see it.

lcatsimanes
lcatsimanes

Look- let's get real. The recovery market is full of scam artists, from unregulated "rehabs" that are really just sober living houses to sober houses shabbily run...All the way to strip-mall "Pain Management" clinics that are run by nothing more than Federally certified drug dealers who look the other way to make a buck.


There is an alternative, for those who embrace the harm reduction method. Get with a real addiction Dr. Private practice? Frustratingly, these people aren't always known by even the best substance abuse counselors. And here's the kicker- they often charge LESS per half hour than a "mill doc". Why? I have no idea. Poor marketing, I think, and a natural fear of doctors from addicts.  But when you find a good one? He/she will insist on actual time during your appointments. Not the wait 45 minutes, get drug tested, get your script after 5 minutes with the doc regardless of results. You also won't get the ridiculous doses a scam Doc will give you.


I've seen it ALL, working with a "too young, too smart" son who wanted to get clean, yet was still gripped by the the damaged parts of his brain that rule addiction. After many attempts at clean- on his own, rehab etc- he's now 1 month shy of a year from heroin.  His current addiction doctor classified him as a "hard core addict". And still. Suboxone- never more than 8mgs, down to 2 mgs per day- has been the one thing that's tamped down his urge, kept the horses at bay and allowed him to remember who he is as he heals.


Think about it: Nicotine and opiates are about the same level of addiction. Nobody bats an eye when somebody chooses Nicorette or another med to step down and out. Why the judgement about Suboxone?

sunfla
sunfla

Suboxene was a lifesaver for me. I was taking up to 120 mg a day of methadone. Was on 8mgs a day for a year and started cutting back.down to 2mgs a day and still fighting!

thommyberlin1
thommyberlin1

"I'm using drugs to get off drugs."

Just say it to yourself a couple of times. Kinda silly innit....

Drug addicts use drugs.... methadone, xanax and buprenorphine ARE drugs. 

Funny how rarely they ask people who've actually gone through it what they think...

LOOK: Heroin withdrawals are no big deal. They won't kill you.  Anyone who's been addicted for any period of time goes through withdrawals many times. Oh it's no fun, but really it's no big deal.

If you're going to prescribe drugs, they may as well be the good ones which are usually less harmful than the substitutes.

Xanax withdrawals CAN kill you, Suboxone takes longer, but methadone is BY FAR the worst. Withdrawals off methadone are NEVER ENDING. 

The truth is MOST people simply don't want to get off, or don't know how.

If you want to get off dope there's places where you can go and talk to people who have gotten off - and it doesn't cost you a thing - not a single penny.

that's what I did.

The first time I shot up was the late 1970's. I've been off 5 and 1/2 years. Had I known what my life could be, I would have done it sooner.




sa1234
sa1234

to the author, thank you so VERY much for writing this article.  we have a family member who is an opiate addict and using suboxone but saying he is off of the "hard stuff" which did not add up for us.  this article explains why. he has agreed to see a doctor to officially begin a suboxone program with therapy and drug testing.  we hope and pray that he is finally committed to getting clean and that suboxone treatment will put him on that  path.  would love more info on how effective the suboxone treatments are long-term.  please consider writing more articles on this topic to give loved ones an understanding of the world of those addicted to opiates.  

wado1967
wado1967

I have been taking suboxone for 6 months, my life is 100% better. with counseling once a week, more people need to hear the positive part of suboxone. if mehodone works for you great. after  all the point is to get sober,and drug free.

lnmd93
lnmd93

long_term-addict below makes a very good point.... level of functioning is the goal of treatment.  People on methadone do not improve their level of functioning.  People on Suboxone do.  This is a simple point of fact.  Methadone was created to prevent people from using needles and spreading HIV/AIDS.  Suboxone was created to help people truly recover...and they do!!!

long_term_addict
long_term_addict

I just wanted to add;

Suboxone doesn't get you "high", it's a combined agonist/antagonist (it's a partial blocker), so it even prevents you from feeling any opiates whilst on it. Methadone might make you feel a bit dopey, but it's not the same as heroin either.

Whoever you're interviewing is, if they're implying that suboxone can actually get you high, well, they're wrong. It simply doesn't work that way on the body, it can't get you truly wasted (might make you sleepy if you're on too high a dose- and 24mg is pretty standard for someone coming off 30mg of methadone btw).

As I mentioned in an earlier comment, I'm in my 40's and started using in my early 20's. I spent 12+ years on methadone while using (at one point I was on 100ml of 'done a day and using too, and I'm a 50kg woman) and it never helped me to stabilise or quit my using. 

Suboxone has been the only drug that has genuinely helped me to stop illicit drug use as it genuinely removes cravings, unlike methadone. 

In Australia suboxone is what most methadone users aim to transfer onto (got to get below 30ml) because it doesn't cause the problems methadone does. And suboxone is well known to be MUCH easier to taper off than methadone, again making it the heroin opiate replacement of choice for those who really don't want to use any more.

Please do your homework before spreading some sort of panic about one of the few really effective forms of pharacotherapy, especially implying that it's a nightmare to withdraw from when it's not if tapered off gently, like almost any medication should be.

And if someone wants to stave off withdrawals so they can function, what of it? I suppose the junkie should go through withdrawals as punishment for their addiction? If we approached prohibition with any sort of common sense these problems, such as the selling of medication on the streets, would be few and far between.

smh

long_term_addict
long_term_addict

Ugh, why not write an article critical of people with type 2 diabetes using insulin or people with bi polar using mood stabilisers?

I am a long term opiate addict (and happen to be bi polar II as well) and I am so sick of this attitude that the only ~true recovery~ is medication free, it smacks of 12 step programmes and shames those of us who have found that we don't do well in an unmedicated state. And for the record, I'm in my 40's, I have had plenty of experience being medication free and it isn't helpful.

Why we accept some types of medical intervention to stabilise the mind and not others is firmly rooted in the climate of the decades long (and unsuccessful) drug war. Perhaps it's time we start accepting that there will be long term addicts who will never be clean and that's ok as long as they are functioning well in society.

And I'll tell you what, I'd rather be on suboxone than methadone any day- you want to be critical of opiate replacement therapies? Maybe look outside the US approach to understand exactly how archaic your approach is.

ronco99
ronco99

Suboxone abuse is safer than smack.

lnmd93
lnmd93

To lamundson379:  In our location, if you qualify for Medicaid, you qualify for the drug.  Most commercial insurance plans cover the medication, especially since it is now generic.  Also, a new product, Zubsolv, is now available through a company called Orexo and they offer two weeks of free medication and then $75 off for subsequent prescriptions.  Don't lose hope.  There must be somebody there that can help you. If all else fails, she should qualify for methadone as an alternative to heroin.  Check out the programs available in your area.  Most importantly, she has to want to quit.

lamundson379
lamundson379

im reading this and im in tears because my daughter who is 20 is addicted to herion and we have everything in place for her to quit but we don't have the money for the medication . I just had 2 strokes and we are getting by on very little at this time. im only 45.  I have worked my entire life to make it on my own and for the first time I need help and that's very hard to even say. ive never asked for anything I couldn't pay for. I live in az and there isn't anything out there for people like us. ive been told sorry we cant help! because I have always worked I made just alittle more than qualifies us for any help. If I wouldn't of worked my daughter would be getting help and that stinks. im afraid shes gunna die and shes such a beautiful kid. I cry everyday and feel so helpless. id do anything to be able to get this drug!!!!for those parents out there that could help there kids i wish I was you. me and my kid will figure it out, we always have I hope somedayday soon this drug will become affordable so everyone can be saved

lnmd93
lnmd93

Suboxone is a safe starting point for many people and is not easily abused as opposed to opiates.  As stated below by drj0, deaths from Suboxone as opposed to other narcotics is very low.  It is not meant to be a substitute for opiates, I agree, however an addicted person has to start somewhere and Suboxone offers that option.  It clearly is indicated only for people serious about kicking their habit.  It is tough to wean that portion of people out, but it can be done.  As for chronic pain patients, there is no better choice in the world of opiates.  Again, let's not sell this drug short.  It has helped alot of people to get their lives back.  I would love to hear more talk about this.  Where are my chronic pain people?

drj0
drj0

  Buprenorphine is difficult to abuse, and 'diversion' consists mostly of attempts at self-treatment in the many parts of the country (certainly the Midwest) where doctors don't care to become certified.  Buprenorphine used properly is an almost-perfect treatment-- for a disease with few or no other practical treatments.    400 people have died from buprenorphine (at least in part) over 10 years.... but 400 or more people die EACH year... from Tylenol!    And in the past ten years over 30,000 people died from drug overdose-- EACH YEAR.

Diversion is a superficial term for a complex issue.   If diversion saves more lives than it harms, is the urgency the same?  http://www.suboxonetalkzone.com/buprenorphine-diversion-beyond-a-superficial-understanding/?

drj0
drj0

http://suboxonetalkzone.com 

Buprenorphine is difficult to abuse, and 'diversion' consists mostly of attempts at self-treatment in the many parts of the country (certainly the Midwest) where doctors don't care to become certified.  Buprenorphine used properly is an almost-perfect treatment-- for a disease with few or no other practical treatments.    400 people have died from buprenorphine (at least in part) over 10 years.... but 400 or more people die EACH year... from Tylenol!    And in the past ten years over 30,000 people died from drug overdose-- EACH YEAR.

Diversion is a superficial term for a complex issue.   If diversion saves more lives than it harms, is the urgency the same?  http://www.suboxonetalkzone.com/buprenorphine-diversion-beyond-a-superficial-understanding/?

lnmd93
lnmd93

I am a physician and I have been prescribing Suboxone since 2003.  I think this is one of the best articles I have seen on Suboxone.  It truly is a wonder drug for many patients and may soon re-enter the market as a form of accepted pain control in patients with chronic pain where addiction to traditional presciption pain killers is a serious potential risk.  There is no doubt that in the wrong hands it can become abused.  However, I have experienced the look that patients get when you can see the light returning to their eyes because Suboxone has truly given them their life back!  Let's not sell it short!!!  I wonder if we can generate more talk on this subject in the future. 

mooser42001
mooser42001

As far as I know, all suboxone would do for a heroin addict would be to wash the heroin opiates out of his system, making him very sick. For suboxone to work, a person must be pretty opiate deprived. Suboxone is an inferior narcotic. I don't think taking suboxone between doses of heroin would work.  Of course, you never know, everybody reacts to different opiates a little differently.

aw447
aw447

Ms. Brennan shows her utter ignorance when she says that you do not need insurance to go to a treatment center.  You do, and even with insurance, publicly funded programs are woefully inadequate, underfunded and still have long waiting lists.  I am a physician with 40 years of experience in treating addiction, and am amazed that people who would never have the chutzpah to offer opinions about, say, treatment of congestive heart failure can weigh in on the medical treatment of addiction.


dtaggert
dtaggert

I'd like to comment on this article as a former heroin addict (10 yrs, $300/day), methadone user (170mg/day) & Suboxone user (18mcg/day).

In 95 I was a heroin-addict of 5yrs, newly arrived in Albuquerque. At the time I wasn't shooting up, just snorting. 1st, I saw the size of dope portions in Abq: TINY. MUCH smaller than I'd been getting in LA. So I decided to start using a needle. Then I had to get a job, so I signed into a methadone treatment center. Soon I was up to NM's state limit, 99mg/day. But this only held me during the day; at night I would get sick again, so I was still buying heroin...

Cut to March 2, 1998. My partner & I moved to Denver CO on that date, & transferred into CO's methadone-maintenance network. CO had much higher limits of methadone prescription, so I rapidly cycled up to 170mg/day, split between 2 doses. March 2 was the last day I ever did heroin, but for 3 more years my partner & I made weekly trips to the clinic. We were paying $180/mos each for treatment. But then the clinic started a new, 'socialized' payment system: people who made more money paid more monthly, in order to subsidize the indigent who were (ab)using their services.

Tom & I said 'HELL NO!' & immediately started tapering off methadone in order to get a Suboxone rx. I'd found a doctor who could prescribe it, but he said it only worked if you were taking 30mg/day or less of methadone.

Tapering off completed, Tom & I made our 1st visit to the dr, who prescribed us 30 days worth of Suboxone. This was in early 02, when it was NOT a commonly prescribed drug, & very few pharmacies kept a stock in, but 1 near to the dr's office did, & IT WAS COVERED BY INSURANCE! That's a vital consideration, considering the uninsured price of the drug....Eventually we were receiving 90 day supplies of Suboxone from our insurance-allied pharmacy for $50(!!!!). We'd see the dr every 6mos for refills.

I'd like to note here: Suboxone NEVER got me high. Not once. It simply stopped the insatiable craving for heroin. I continued on it until August 2007, when I lapsed into a 2 month long coma. The hospital I was treated in was unaware I'd been using Suboxone, so they didn't prescribe it to me. By the time I came out of the coma, my body had withdrawn from the opiate-analog, so I never felt the 'agonizing' withdrawals of trying to wean myself from it. But I certainly wouldn't recommend taking a bullet to the brain as a withdrawal method of choice to anyone else!




Richard Pilkington
Richard Pilkington

Over the summer there where (news articles of) organized arrests for heroin by multi-enforcement agencies (DEA, FBI, State, county, local, etc) within 100 mi from me in NY, NJ, PA and CT. Search "heroin epidemic" --there are stories country wide. In one article, there was this-- "The stories are very consistent," [John Hulick, head of Governor Chris Christie's Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse] said. "They started on prescription painkillers and ended up using intravenous heroin." http://www.northjersey.com/community/Ringwood_intensifies_info_campaign_plans_rally_as_heroin_deaths_mount.html?page=all Can we really blame the pharmaceutical industry? YES! The number of heroin users leapt from 373,000 in 2007 to 620,000 in 2011, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

lnmd93
lnmd93

@ShanShan  CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR RECOVERY!! You have described perfectly what it is like to get your life back with Suboxone.  Please tell your friends how great this drug is for opiate addiction.  Again, kudos to you and hug that grandson of yours!!

lnmd93
lnmd93

@ShanShan  Congratulations on your recovery!!!  You have described what anyone serious about getting their life back after opiates with Suboxone is like.  Please tell your friends about the benefits of this drug.  Again, kudos to you!!  Hug your grandson!!

SubSux
SubSux

They help if you withdrawl from them appropriately, i.e., QUICKLY!  If you were prescribed a high amount from a doctor, and you didn't know better, staying on them far too long, then my friend, the chains of suboxone are on.  Unless people have had a similar situation, and been on them for far too long, people need to sit back and listen up.  This drug is insanely addictive, and withdrawl symptoms can last more than one year of time.  Withdrawl symtoms causing lethargy that could affect a person's ability to remain employed.

lcatsimanes
lcatsimanes

@sunfla Good for you. You are the poster child for harm reduction treatment within opiate addiction. Tamp down your danger, ramp up your healing. Stay out. GO!!!

SubSux
SubSux

Get off them fast!  Take as low of dosage as possible and continue to taper.  If not, be prepared for a long road ahead.  If you like the effect from them, welcome to the club.  Many of us did, but it will soon be stealing your soul, and all the enjoyment of your life.  You will enter into a state of never ending apathy.   Considered yourself warned.  I know, I have been on them for more than four years.  Worse mistake of my life.

dgnboy2
dgnboy2

Methadone was being used long before HIV was even thought of. As far as "Not Performing " while on methadone? I went to college and became a Registered Nurse, successfully passed my state board exam and have maintained a clean record with the blessing of the State Board of Nursing.

SubSux
SubSux

Wrong.  But nice try.

rudedawg
rudedawg

To lamundson379;

I'm in a similar situation in Phx.

To get to the point,I have two bro's hooked on dope as well as myself. Idk how, but if I can help I would love to.

She's way too young and it's a travesty....:-(

Stay in touch

SubSux
SubSux

Need to get off sub fast, or it is a year long battle. I'm thinking of going back on full agonist for 6-8 months to free the sub with an opiod that does not have the affinity to bind as well to opiod receptors.  Buprenorphine is just way too efficient! I can muster the worse withdrawl symptoms-- give me all you got--I just can't take a year of feeling exhausted.  It affects my ability to work and keep a job. 

norden50
norden50

@lnmd93 Still, Subaxone is a drug replacing another drug...my stepson went off it after 1 year and he just couldnt handle the withdrawals...he ended up buying it on the streets for #15 a pop...with money given to him by his Mom,her thinking it would help him..also he has an addiction to pot....he falls asleep in his bed while smoking and there are many burn holes in the mattress and sheets. and on the rug..what part of "dont smoke in your room" does he not understand??When he burns my f--k--g house down??His father is a good person that I have lived with for 13 yrs..this is tearing him apart..I want for his son to leave the house and live somewhere else but his dad is afraid  he will not do well...I've suggested parent therapy but he doesnt do well either..hard to find the right program...its a shame that a parent  has to go to therapy for his sons addiction..in his sons oxy days he stole over 3K from his father from our safe that we thought was "safe"..everytime he is approached with his stealing he starts to cry like a baby..he has stolen from me prescription meds also..now everywhere I go I take my drugs with me..very sad life I have now...I have MS and dont do well with stress...he is setting me up for another exacerbation and I will end up in the hospital..he is 22ys old..his brain is fried from all the drugs he was taking....he will never recover unless he goes to a 30 day treatment center..insurance covers only 3 days..he did that too...didnt work..

thommyberlin1
thommyberlin1

@jonathansardinhaa Yeah... about as much as this bullshit requires lol -last night I was in a treatment facility talking to guys trying to get off the shit and in a hospital room with a friend who has been hallucinating for two days thanks to Dr.s who know NOTHING about addicts. Where were you?

lnmd93
lnmd93

@dgnboy2 I am sure that methadone works very well when used correctly.  I did not mean to imply that all people on methadone could not function.  I was responding more to the negative connotations given Suboxone.  It has been my experience that often people are overmedicated with methadone.  It is difficult to overmedicate on Suboxone because of the naloxone component.  I have seen people recover on both.  Each one serves its purpose in the proper setting.  Congratulations on your recovery!!

lamundson379
lamundson379

@rudedawg im so sorry I didn't there was a reply but thank you so much. I didn't relize i signed up on this site.....shes still on dope and i would do anything if i could to help her what part of phx ?

norden50
norden50

@lnmd93 I forgot to mention that he smokes cigarettes and that is when he smokes in his room(his room is in the basement) and causes the burn holes

lnmd93
lnmd93

@jonathansardinhaa @thommyberlin1 This is why they were designed.  They weren't designed to be abused or to substitute for the same affect that opiates create.  The goal is to wean off of them and to stay clean.

lnmd93
lnmd93

@norden50 @lnmd93 It appears he is not with the right Dr. to treat him.  He really needs the personal attention that ALL Suboxone prescribers should give each patient.  Suboxone should NEVER be used without appropriate rehab to encourage the person back to a life without drugs.  I am sorry that you have experienced the inappropriate use of the drug.  It really works very well for people serious about quitting.

 
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