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My story with buprenorphine, seeking advice
  1. #1
    patheticcoward is offline New Member
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    Default My story with buprenorphine, seeking advice

    Hi,

    This is my first post about my addiction, not only on this forum, but anywhere.

    Please note that English is not my native language, so please excuse my less-than-perfect language. I live in south-eastern Europe, in an ex-socialist country.

    I am 43 years old. Happilly married with my lovely high-shool sweetheart - we're together since we were 17!. We love each other very, very much. I'd die for her.

    We are well educated, we both work at managerial positions in well-known international companies. We both earn way above the average and are able to live a lifestyle many others can't, like going to a beach holiday in Florida, skiing in Swiss Alps, or simply mindlessly driving (we both love road trips!) our SUV in Greece, Turkey, Southern Italy... because why not? We have a huge apartment in the center of the capital city and a two storey house in the nearby village. We are both respected members of the community, responsible, never been engaged in any crime or other shady activities.

    We have two amazing boys, 11 and 5. They're great, very intelligent, and do great in school.


    So far so good, right?

    Well, I'm addicted to a small daily quantity of Buprenorphine, obtained illegaly, and nobody — and I mean NOBODY — knows about it. How small? About 0.33 mgs a day, or a sixth of a 2 mg pill. I crush it and snort it. Every day, at around 11 pm.

    I've been doing this for the last 5 years.

    I feel like cheating on my wife and the profound feeling of guilt is taking a psychological toll.

    I've been occasionally using small quantities of >>>>>> since I was 21. At the University I got my self "bad" friends, who did pot and later >>>>>>. When I say "occasionally" and "small quantities" I mean not more than 1/4 gram (in fact, 1/8 gram was the most commonly consumed quantity) every two to three days. I actively avoided taking >>>>>> two days in a row. I never injected. I snorted it or "chase the dragon".

    I was successfully hiding all of this from my girlfriend for couple of years (!). Then, she caught me. We were 24 or so. She left me immediately! She told me that I need to get my self off >>>>>> and then maybe she will consider us being together again.

    Since I took >>>>>> in small quantities and irregular intervals, I got off relatively easily. I honestly can't remember having serious withrdawals. Another year, and me and my girfriend are together again and everything is perfect again. Yet, from then on, she's VERY sensitive on this topic and made her very clear that if she ever finds out that I'm doing something similar again, she would leave me for good.

    Fast forward 10 years. Our older son is 1 year old. I go throug a rough period proffessionally (company merger) and out of the blue, there's this old friend of mine with who we used to do >>>>>> together. We haven't seen each other in 10 years. He looks okay, but after few miutes of chatting, he offers me a hit of >>>>>>. I took it. All those beautiful feelings of bizzare, pointless happiness come rushing again. A week later, I come looking for this friend (I didn't get his telephone number) for another small hit. And again. And again. I meet his dealer. I use the "old" strategy of taking small quantities at intervals of at least three days.

    Fast forward 6 years. My wife still knows nothing, but she notices that I'm agitated, nervous most of the time. I don't dare tell her what's going on, because she will surely leave me immediately and take the kid with her. The second kid comes along and then I find out about Buprenorphine.

    I started very, very carefully with ridiculously small amounts taken every day. One 2 mg pill was good for two to three weeks. I felt relieved, I thought since this ridiculously small quantity is enough, then I wasn't that addicted to begin with.

    But, as the time passed, I needed more and more to get me through the day. So now, after 5 years of doing Buprenorphine, I'm on 1/6 pill a day (0,33 mg) and unable to stop.

    I never went through "proper" opiate withdrawal and horror stories are scaring me >>>>less.

    There, I told you. Your thoughts are welcolme. Than you for your time!
    Last edited by Anonymous; 10-26-2017 at 06:03 AM.

  2. #2
    Catrina is offline Diamond Member
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    Welcome!

    I think we can help you if you are willing to follow instructions carefully and be committed. First point is to immediately stop inhaling the subs (bup). Use it the way it's supposed to be used and that's by getting the correct accurate dose and dissolving it completely under your tongue. This is important for a variety of reasons.

    Obviously, the H has to stop. None of it from now on. Ever. You are playing with fire here my friend. I'm not criticizing you because I've been down a similar road. I'm just going to be completely honest with you so if I say something you might find offensive, I'll apologize right now because that's NOT my intent. Not at all. I made note of your comment that you "didn't think that you were that addicted". No such thing. Either you are or you're not. You are. Both your long term use of the bup and now the H and the way in which you are using the bup are both clearly addict behavior. No lectures here.

    OK. What now? Look for and read Robert's Sub Taper Plan. This is the taper plan that has been used very successfully for many years. I'll share the main points of the plan for you but please do read the entire plan yourself and make sure that you totally understand it. Ask questions if you have any. It's important that you are very consistent with both the time(s) of day you take the bup and the amount you are taking. Your goal is going to be to have a steady and consistent amount of the bup in your system at all times.

    You are taking .33mg now but you're taking it incorrectly so it's hard to guess what you're going to need now that you're going to put it under your tongue. Cut your strips into .25mg doses. They are 2mg so cut them into 8 pieces of equal size. I'd begin with the .25mg piece once a day and see if that's enough. If you begin to feel symptoms but they are manageable, then I'd stick with that dose for several days until they completely go away. Even if you have to stay at that dose for a week, it's ok. Just be sure that you are "stable" or having little to no physical symptoms before you make any reductions. Once you are feeling stable for a couple of days, then you can reduce your daily dose by 25% or down to .18mg per day. You may feel some minor symptoms with a reduction but if you push through them, they should pass in two or three days. Again, once you're stable you can reduce again by 25% of .18 or down to .125mg/day. At this point, get good and stable and you are ready to begin skip days and do your final jump.

    If you can't manage with the .25mg I suggested to start because the physical symptoms aren't manageable, then add a little more so that your daily dose is back to .33mg and your first reduction once you're stable will be down to .25mg/ day. Hopefully that will be enough. It's worth repeating that you need to be sure that you cut your doses accurately. Just as important is to never reduce by more than 25% of whatever your current dose is and to NOT vary the amount you are taking per day unless you're making a reduction. Do not ever take the bup "as needed". There will be times when you feel a bit "off" but resist the urge to take another crumb of the bup to feel better or your taper won't go as smoothly.

    Once you're completely stable at .25mg/day, it's entirely up to you whether you want to keep reducing or try and jump and you don't have to decide today. See how things go for now. If it were me, I'd make a couple of reductions to get that dose even lower but that's me. This is your decision.

    Your dose of bup is low enough that it shouldn't take you long to be done with your taper and put this behind you. Don't be scared! Yes. You are likely to feel some minor symptoms especially after a reduction but they shouldn't be so bad that you can't go to work and push through them. Read the Plan and keep coming back here. Update this thread as often as possible to let us know in detail how you're feeling and to be sure that you're doing things correctly.

    You know what worries me the most about your post? It's not even what you're taking, it's that you're having trouble even with these seemingly small doses and the fact that you are inhaling the subs. I think that you're going to have more trouble mentally than you will physically. This is where recovery work is what is going to help you. That comes in the form of one on one therapy and/or meetings. I know. No one wants to go to meetings but they are important. You need to build a toolbox so that you can resist ever taking any addictive substance again. Staying active on this Forum is a start but nothing can replace face to face support so please give it careful and serious consideration. It's going to take some practice separating what are truly physical symptoms and what is going on mentally. A huge part of addiction is the obsession to use something and it can and most often will manifest itself by making you notice every symptom that you have and make it feel worse. If you feel a little off, then push as hard as you can to get past it because it will pass.

    I'm sure I missed lots of stuff that would help you. Ask questions! I'll check back later to see if you've posted again. Best wishes. You can do this. I promise you can. Keep reminding yourself that your family is at stake and that you will walk thru fire to be sure that you don't lose them. It's only a matter of time before your wife figures this out if she hasn't already. If she hasn't and you are behaving differently, imagine how scared she must be not understanding why. She's probably wondering if you're cheating on her or if you're unhappy and want out of your marriage. The unknown is very scary.

    Peace,

    Cat
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  3. #3
    patheticcoward is offline New Member
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    Thank you very much for your response!

    I'm just going to be completely honest with you so if I say something you might find offensive, I'll apologize right now because that's NOT my intent.
    Absolutely no need to apologize. On contrary!

    If you begin to feel symptoms but they are manageable, then I'd stick with that dose for several days until they completely go away.
    If it takes only several days for the symptoms to completely go away, I will surely force myself not to take more.... I think. How many days would that be? 3? 5? 7?

    Do not ever take the bup "as needed". There will be times when you feel a bit "off" but resist the urge to take another crumb of the bup to feel better or your taper won't go as smoothly.
    Yeah. I do that sometimes. Thank you for pointing that out specifically.

    Just out of curiosity: did you manage to get off B? How is life since then? Do you ever feel... happy again?

    What I'm really afraid of is that I have forever lost the ability to be in a good mood without B. What is sobriety good for if it is mostly bad mood? I have seriously considered staying on this small amount of B for the rest of my life just to be able to function sort of properly emotionally. Just to be able to play with my kids in an acceptable mood.

    Thank you again.
    Last edited by Anonymous; 10-26-2017 at 12:29 PM.
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  4. #4
    Catrina is offline Diamond Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by patheticcoward View Post
    Thank you very much for your response!



    Absolutely no need to apologize. On contrary!



    If it takes only several days for the symptoms to completely go away, I will surely force myself not to take more.... I think. How many days would that be? 3? 5? 7?



    Yeah. I do that sometimes. Thank you for pointing that out specifically.

    Just out of curiosity: did you manage to get off B? How is life since then? Do you ever feel... happy again?

    What I'm really afraid of is that I have forever lost the ability to be in a good mood without B. What is sobriety good for if it is mostly bad mood? I have seriously considered staying on this small amount of B for the rest of my life just to be able to function sort of properly emotionally. Just to be able to play with my kids in an acceptable mood.

    Thank you again.
    Let's see if I can remember your questions and answer them. "Several days" usually mean two or three and every once in awhile a day or so longer than that. It may take a week or so before you'll be ready to make a reduction the first time but after that,you may feel a bit off the first and second days of a reduction and feel much better on Days 3 and 4. So long as you feel well for a couple of days in a row, you're stable and ready to reduce again. It's not nearly as important to try and reduce every fourth or fifth day than it is to stay put at any dose until you are physically symptom free. Just don't allow yourself to get scared and even though you're feeling well stay put at any one dose. Keep moving lower and lower even if it's less than 25%. Keep moving.

    I've never used bup. My knowledge has been learned from being around this Forum for nearly eight years. I watched and read the journeys of many, many others as they tapered and successfully jumped from using subs. I can assure you that you will regain the ability to feel joy again, laugh again and yes, cry again. It's going to take some time and that amount of time is a bit different for everyone. It won't take all that long. It may feel like it for a while and it's easy to begin to feel like it will never get better. It does! I promise. I would suggest that you find Beefaroni's thread. He stopped about 40 days ago. Go read his thread. His timeline is a typical one. He's finally been able to get a little sleep and it's getting better. OH just read his entire thread and you will see. He's doing great and a large part of that is that he sticks with it and has the right attitude. He has faith! He chose to believe us when we told him that things would get better and they are getting better. Get this behind you and you will see for yourself. I know it's terrifying. It was for me too. I abused pain pills for so long that I didn't even know who I was anymore or who I would be after I allowed some time to pass. I assure you that I am even happier than I ever was before I took that first pill. Working hard on my recovery has taught me so much about life and myself. I am a better person now and I know just how strong I am. I had lost all of that while I was using.

    Keep posting! I can't begin to tell you how much that alone will help you.

    Peace,

    Cat

  5. #5
    Jgray19896 is offline Member
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    Your story hits home with me. I too have been down a similar path. I have a lovely girlfriend whom I have 3 kids with. Two boys 5, and 3 and a girl who is 8. I have been successful in the sense that I have always had a high work ethic and never liked to remain comfortable in a work position. Always had to be climbing the ranks, not just for money but for the sense of accomplishment. I have cars, a beautiful home and really nothing to truly complain about. I have been blessed with my success and always remain humble about it.

    That all changed when I met "bad" friends as you have put it. I'm sure you know just as well as I about working long hours for consecutive days in a row. Well I was on, I want to say day 43 with no day off from work. Averaging 10 to 14 hours a day. I was pysically and mentally on the verge of breaking when my friend offered me a beautiful white pill that we call hydro. I took that pill and those 43 work days disappeared and I felt like I just got back from vacation. I was a whole new person and could work as much as I wanted without getting fatigued.

    Anyways moving forward, that same friend started to step his game up. This is where H. Came into play. Never injected, just "chased the dragon" it consumed me in a matter of months. Every day all my thoughts were focused on making sure I had enough H. Constant excuses to leave home and work when my dealer would finally get back to me and I would rush out and speed the whole way there to meet him only to sit in a parking lot for a half hour, sometimes an hour, waiting on him to show up while I'm drenched in sweat with my hands shaking.

    But once he gets out of my car and the fire is to the foil, so to speak, I would melt back into my seat in relief. This went on for half a year. Finally, after draining my checking and savings account and on the brink of losing my house, I decided I had to be done with it. Enter Suboxone. My friend gave me one and I knew nothing about it other than it would keep me out of withdrawal and allow me to not miss work. Well Suboxone was amazing in the fact that it pretty much saved my life and cost much less than a H addiction.

    I came clean to my girlfriend after getting on Suboxone because the guilt was eating me alive and I knew if I had any chance.of quitting completely i would have to tell her. To my surprise, my big big big surprise, she was completely understanding and supportive. Huge wait off my chest.

    I get injured at work a few months later and was drug tested for L&I purposes and of course, ding ding ding, Suboxone shows up in my drug test. I lose my job immediately. All the years, hours, days. All the stress and sacrifices I made, all the missed opportunity with my girlfriend and children was all for nothing.

    My job allowed my to have unemployment as a courtesy for my years of loyalty, and honestly I cried when they told me I could collect unemployment because I thought for sure after finding drugs in me that they would drop me like a bad habbit. so that's where I am now. Unemployed and trying my hardest to get off Suboxone. I know that this was a long winded story and if you have stuck with me this far I appreciate it. Just know that you're not alone. Drug addiction can happen to anyone at any time. It happens so quickly we don't even remember how we got here and why me? I never thought in a million years I would say that I have done H but we're only human.

    My heart goes out to you man. You're on a low dose but as Cat has mentioned it's going to be a mental battle rather than a physical battle since you have been on a substance for so long. It's such an easy crutch to take away the burden of life but it also takes away all the priceless moments of life away.

    Keep your head up and know that you have support here on this forum.

    -J
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