After reading through everyones comments it seems that once a person has an opiate addiction they remain on some kind of medication for life. Does it have to be like that? Can people that were addicted to opiates be free of all daily prescriptions without depression or other horrible side effects?
Some people are able to use suboxone or subutex, do all the counseling and taper off of it without withdrawal, craving, or relapse. Some need to remain on a small maintenance dose for life. The patient, the addiction counselor and the dr all work together to give each subs patient the proper treatment. That being said, almost every single opiate addict is so embarrassed, and guilt ridden, they try to hide and isolate themselves, and often skip the counseling or don't follow the drs orders, therefore, you read stories of patients who try to wing the treatment and have trouble. Those who successfully use subs don't often write to tell of their success with subs, but they are out there. No one can see the amount of damage done to the natural pain relieving system in the brain, but the addiction therapist can aid the patient inseveral ways and work with the dr to determine if the patient can taper off or if they need to stay on it.
Some people use suboxone just to get thru detox, others need to be on it for much longer to help control cravings. It depends on how strong your addiction is, and how much will power you have. And yes, I've heard the withdrawls can be just as bad if not worse than the opiate your trying to get off of, so be sure you need it. I've tried suboxone and it worked wonders for me, NO cravings at all. But I only used it for a short time, because I had heard so many horror stories of people trying to come off it.
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