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I posted here awhile ago, and I'll admit I was ignorant with my addiction. That's neither here nor there at this point. Unless anyone would like to inform me how much of a dumbass I was. Feel free if you must!
Anyway, my question is more serious in nature. Up until 6-months ago I was doing very well on Suboxone, I had tapered down to 3mgs. Then I messed up. For the past 6 or 7 months i was shooting heroin daily AND taking my Suboxone. Contrary to what you'd think this didn't put me in precipitated w/d. Regardless I've now tried to keep myself back on suboxone only, obviously upped my dose a bit to try and deal with the cravings and w/d symptoms. The suboxone simply doesn't seem to be holding me. Even at 16-24mg it won't satisfy my cravings or reduce the effects of heroin (I admit I slipped up once since be back on).
I'm at a juncture right now where I feel like methadone is the better option, at least temporarily. Even though I haven't used in almost a month, I still feel bad and can't stifle the cravings. I'm in outpatient treatment and can't even focus because all I can think about is heroin. It's terrible because suboxone has worked so well for me in the past, and it's a life saver. I'm regretful about where I am right now but I gotta own up to my sh*t. Could I get some advice on what to do? I was thinking about getting on methadone for a short period so I could remain abstinent and stifle my cravings, and tapering and switching back to a low dose of suboxone in a few months. I don't feel confident where I'm at right now, it defeats the point of opioid replacement therapy...
Last edited by ddcmod; 02-23-2011 at 10:20 PM.
Some people might disagree with me, however I do suggest you go ahead with the methadone program. I too was ignorant to my addiction up until a month ago. I thought that all i had to do was get over the detox and I'd be fine. I thought that over a dozen times! I started MMT about a month ago and love it. It has completely stopped my cravings and is allowing me to live a normal life ( as much as possible anyway ). Depending on where you live a lot of clinics offer great programs including group therapy, counseling and so on. I suggest you research all of the clinics closest to you and find the one that fits your needs. Don't put a timeline on it, just use the system to your advantage and work it. When you feel it's time for you to move on then start your taper. Methadone taper does take quite some time to go down, but honestly it's best to do it properly. There is a stigma attached to methadone, but what's worse at this point, chronic relapse until you lose everything and rock bottom, or to take control of it the best you can?
Originally Posted by GenRx
If I understood you correctly, you are taking up to 24 mg. of sub. If that isn't stiffling your cravings, it's definitely the mental part of addiction affecting you, not the physical. 16-24 mg. of sub is a SUPER high dose. In fact, many people say they have unpleasant side effects at that dose and only feel better once there down to around 4 mgs. Perhaps your program isn't the right one. Maybe NA would be better. I am a former heroin addict and believe me, I understand about the pull of it. But in my opinion, if you are suffering from extreme cravings on the sub, you will on the methadone also. I've been on sub. I've been on methadone. They should both satisfy the craving. If one doesn't, why do you think the other will?
I understand that 24mg is a high dose, and yes it's fairly obvious that cravings are a psychological symptom of addiction. However, if you look at the goals of Opioid Replacement Therapy:
Originally Posted by newyorkgal
These aren't your run of the mill "Hey some dope would be good right now" cravings. These are the overwhelming "blow it out with a bullet" cravings. Why do I think methadone will work better? Because as I stated in my post I was concurrently using Suboxone and heroin. Taking Suboxone, then shooting heroin and still getting high, just using Suboxone to combat the w/d symptoms. It seems through that process I've messed up my tolerance and Suboxone no longer works like it used to (ie eliminating cravings and w/d symptoms on its own) and I think methadone may be better suited to my needs.
The driving principle behind ORT is that an opiate addict will be able to regain a normal life and schedule while being treated with a substance that stops him from experiencing withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings, but doesn't provide strong euphoria.
As far as NA, I'm in outpatient right now. I don't have the desire for another 12-step program at the moment. I'm actually going to look into some behavioral therapy. I'm not a fan of the 12-step method.
Well, then, you've answered your own question. Methadone would be the right way to go. A lot of people are against it but I'm not. I was a heroin addict and methadone saved my life. As yez said, there are good programs out there that offer all kinds of support. Methadone is not for everyone but it is definitely for some. If the sub isn't working for you and the cravings are too great, I agree that methadone might be your best option.
Thanks for the advice guys and gals. I really appreciate it. I've posed this question in several places and the general consensus seems to be that methadone is my best bet. However, I can't seem to get the support from my family to actually go with the methadone program. It's not a matter of cost, just a matter of actual support. My family members seem to buy into the stigma that's attached to methadone. Without their emotional support I don't think I'd really feel comfortable going. I tried explaining to them I'd like to use methadone to assure that I don't relapse, and then I'd taper down to 0mg slowly and then use Suboxone for a quick taper off to avoid the long methadone withdrawals.
I found a great clinic though, talked to the director over the phone several times, and even went in to get it all set up. The place looks really great, they have all kinds of groups and the counselors are really nice. It doesn't have that "feel" that the other clinics I've looked at have. If anyone in Minnesota is looking for a good clinic let me know and I'll send you the info.
I'm still on 24mgs of Suboxone, still craving pretty bad. It really sucks when I go to group because it interferes with my ability to participate when all I can think about is drugs.