You may not like this answer, or you may feel like I just told you something you've been wondering all your life.
They say we addicts have a disease, or illness is a better word. But if it's an illness, and we're not just trying to get high to cop out of reality, then what is the nature of this illness. What characterizes this disease? (as my pdoc asked me when I told him this theory) If it's a disease it must have symptoms. What are the primary symptoms of this disease called addiction?
I never knew until I went on Bupe, and unfortunately generic Bupe doesn't make the symptoms go away as well as name brand. This is an illness that stems from something wrong in the brain. What is wrong will vary from 1 person to another, and that's why we see different drugs of choice. The drug that corrects my brain malfunction may vary from what works best for you. Nevertheless, there are 3 primary symptoms almost always present, even though some addicts will deny this. They are, in no special order, Depression, excess anxiety, and a very low self esteem that really causes us to feel like s**t. These feelings are so unpleasant to us that most of us will use our drugs until we go into an institution, jail, or we finally die. So addiction can be said to be a terminal disease. Now, not everyone has this disease the same. And not everyone who becomes physically dependent on an addictive (for lack of a better word) drug. Just because you're hooked on opiates doesn't mean you have the brain illness addiction. You may also be hooked on gambling or sex. But if you have the disease we will still see 1 or all of those 3 primary symptoms. And there can be others. What I found, and what you are finding Renee, is that Bupe diminishes these symptoms and therefore you need less Valium. For me Bupe was always least effective at eliminating anxiety. But it works wonders on depression and my low feelings of self worth. I am now a very confident man. But not without Bupe. Unfortunately it is not a cure. It simply arrests the disease and holds it at bay. Some docs say Low Doses of Natrexone will do the same things, and others say LDN can effect a permanent cure so eventually you can stop the LDN. Some researchers have even studied Ultra Low Doses of Naltrexone. Research is under way as I write this.
So I'd say you have the illness called, oh so very poorly, Addiction. What a horrid name for a disease. A very real disease. A disease that is caused by something physically wrong, although we don't know what yet.
Renee, when I went on Sub it didn't help with the depression, anxiety and low self esteem right away. It took almost a year. Or, almost 1 year for me to realize it. Once Bupe really kicks in you should need less Benzos, feel much better about yourself, less depressed or not depressed, and you should find that you no longer desire any other drugs at all. Maybe just the occasional Valium, Xanax or Ativan for really strong anxiety. But that should only happen when something in your environment causes the anxiety. Fine, that's normal. Everyone feels anxiety, depressed and low self esteem at times. But a person with the brain illness addiction, almost wake up feeling that way. And one thing our day was about is which drug can we get to make us feel better. I would take almost anything, even though anything didn't work, I would try. Now all I need is my Bupe and occasional Benzo.
So it's great you need less Valium. You can expect this to become even more pronounced. Just keep some Valium around for emergencies. But you shouldn't need them often from now on.
Last thing. This isn't a side effect Renee. This is one of the primary effects of Buprenorphine. There is also at least one clinical study with humans being done right now to test the effectiveness of Bupe on depression. But I read how the study is being done and it seems it was designed in such a way so that Bupe will seem in effective against depression. But I know it works, and at least my doc knows it works too. Our society is refusing to believe that something meant to aid the lowly drug and Heroin addict, can also help a depressed person who is an upstanding citizen.