Posted: January 10, 2014 in Drugs Subsidiary, Rehabilitation, Relapse, Suboxone/Methadone
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Here’s my view on medications that supposedly help people ‘wean off’ from opiates and/or opioids along with long-term narcotic addiction.

Just to draw the fine line between opioids and opiates, in case you’re wondering… An opi’oid is basically a synthetic form narcotic NOT derived from opium which obviously influences opiate receptors and an opi’ate is a drug CONTAINING opium which also influences opiate receptors. There are many drugs that are fully an opioid, that are fully an opiate and that are both. They both have the same euphoric effects and side effects and are both narcotics.

Ok, this is crazy, the same FDA approval and the same legislature that allowed opioids in the first place also allowed medication to help block and to help ease the side effects and withdrawals of these narcotics. Kind of like a store selling cigarettes and next to those cigarettes is an electronic cigarette with a pamphlet on how to stop smoking.

Now I’m not going to get into the chemical displacement and neurological effects and imbalances about these drugs because I am not a doctor. However, I am going to tell you, from much experience, what this stuff does, how it effects addicts and how it can be potentially dangerous.

To start off, people with an addiction or a dependence to opiates/opioids need help, plain and simple. Being an addict, our thought process, our decision making, and our lifestyle has all been compromised. Life is unmanageable. So with this said, a doctor giving Suboxone or Methadone to an addict to administer to one’s self, is ludicrous. That’s like giving a baby a loaded gun to play with. Even if a parent or guardian administers these pills to an addict, the addict will most likely figure out ways to beat that system real quick.

SUBOXONE- (Buprenorphine/ Naloxone) There are many pharmaceutical companies that make them. But the most used and abused are Suboxone’s. These orange, and orange tasting, sublingual tablets are supposed to be dissolved under your tongue. When an addict is withdrawing, these block the receptors, take the cravings and withdrawals away. Well are supposed to.

From my experience, I have taken Suboxone and I still wanted to get high. It did help with withdrawals but because of my addiction, I wanted more. I usually took Suboxone when I was broke and knew for a fact I wasn’t going to be able to come up with an Oxycontin, a Morphine or some Heroin. But there were times where I had taken an entire 8mg Suboxone and a rare instance would come up where I was able to get my fix. It took 2-3 times the dose it usually took to get high because the Suboxone blocked my receptors, not allowing me to get high. But eventually I did, which is dangerous, very dangerous. Even though I didn’t feel high, the extra doses of narcotics were in my system.

I have heard of people shooting Suboxone. I have heard of people sniffing them, chewing them and even smoking them. Wow, what an addict will do to manipulate things. I have even heard of addicts not feeling any better or different after taking Suboxone. An addicts mind can alter many things so it does happen. I remember taking them and still feeling very anxious and uncomfortable. I wasn’t in a program and had absolutely no guidance at all. I bought the Suboxone’s off the street and took directions from another addict.

METHADONE- Basically takes away the pain and makes you feel really good. Addicts like this over Suboxone because it’s quicker, stronger and is an opioid. If you have ever driven into a city and seen a line of anxious people waiting to get into a building, it’s most likely a Methadone Clinic. The methadone is supervised and administered by tablet, by liquid and I think some places are even injecting it now.

Again, our legislature allows places like this to help addicts. You come from where ever you are, get in line, take it and you leave. They go by schedules and dosing. So eventually an addict is supposed to be weaned down to a very low dose and will have to stop. Methadone, like every other pill, is also available on the street. Addicts take them, like Suboxone, when they start withdrawing and also take them to get high.

If an addict is in a program and is being administered Suboxone or Methadone in a controlled environment, with supervision, then they can be beneficial. There should be a time period where they plan on discontinuing the doses. The problem I have with these medications is the simple fact that if a relapse happens, they are going to rely on them. These medications only prolong the main problem. Addicts are addicts for a reason. There is an underling problem which needs fixing. I wrote a blog on it here:

I have friends who have been on Suboxone and friends who have been on Methadone for years. Not learning or growing, just getting them from a doctor and living off them. It is more difficult to come off of Suboxone and Methadone than it is off of Heroin especially if the addict has had no structure and support. If you abruptly take these medications away from an addict they are guaranteed to relapse. And being on these medications does not make an addict clean. It may be part of a Recovery process and they may not be using their drug of choice but by no means are they clean. Clean is clean, not just clean from our favorite poison.

COLD TURKEY- What do I think about it? I LOVE IT!!! Of course if you asked me that during my first two weeks I would have said no. It is the most mentally and physically challenging way to get better but it is also the quickest way. If you have ever been locked up or to a detox, you know. I made it a choice to stop cold turkey. I knew the program I was going into didn’t have a medication administering system.

Is it safe to stop cold turkey? I have never heard of anyone dying from opiate/opioid withdrawals. Either has the program I was in. You just get dope sick and freak out for a few weeks. You can’t sleep, you get bicycle legs, diarrhea, hot and cold sweats, shivers, twitches, heart palpitations, skeletal pain, blurred vision; I mean there are more but you get the point. Stopping cold turkey on your own is extremely difficult. I think the statistics are one in a million and if you have done it, man, that’s awesome, I’d love to hear from you!

Stopping cold turkey while in a program is so beneficial. There are others to talk to, to relate with and counselors to consult with. There are classes and many opportunities to catch up on getting down to the nitty gritty on why you are in there.

What I liked about stopping cold turkey was realizing I needed to fill in a void. A void I have had for a very long time. I filled my void with God and came to an understanding that I need Him daily in order to stay clean. He is my lifestyle. I learned so much while I was in rehab and I am so thankful for the Salvation Army taking me in. Prayer and constant reading of my Bible gave me peace and an understanding along with the spiritual principles and knowledge I gained from the program I was in.

My recommendation as a recovered addict, addicted to opiates for 10 years, is to stay away from the pills that are only going to elongate your problem. Most likely the same company that made your poison is offering you the antidote . Does that sound right to you? Find treatment, a detox and a rehabilitation that administers spiritual principles rather than more drugs. Call upon God daily and accept His son Jesus into your life. I guarantee you will not only see what is really going on, you will become as grateful and hopeful as me and many other recovered addicts alike.

We were not designed to be on dangerous, mind altering substances which lead us to death. We were given this life to conquer it, not for it to conquer us. God gives us the strength to beat addiction and to overcome any obstacle life throws at us!

Become Free. Become the Difference!

  1. A Servant says:

    I fell in 2000 and made a mess of things in my lower back. Due to the pain, and innocence of medications, I was offered pain management meds after a couple of years. I was given methadone and told the drug would help with pain management. Boy did it, for the first week I was superman. Starting week two the effects diminished.
    I decided to do some research, I don’t know why it took me so long to check up on this, into what I was taking and found out its prominent usage. There was a little blurb about pain mgt but, as you covered in detail, this is a dangerous drug. I was angry, why would I be given a drug that has such addictive properties. I stopped not knowing what I was in for. As you described in detail, I went through withdrawals. At first I thought I had the flu, ignorance can be bliss, and did what I would normally do for flu. About a week into this flu like state I remembered the drug research and wondered, is this withdrawals? I took one pill and within 30 minutes my symptoms were gone. That was the last pill I ever took.
    I cannot imagine how tough a long term addiction would be to break. The one thing I had going for me was the mental state. I only needed to break the physical addiction.
    You said you have to fill the void, that is so true. God is ready and waiting to replace a lifestyle of slavery with love and freedom. God bless you and your efforts to reach out to a segment of God’s creation that need Jesus just as badly as I did.
    A Servant

    • Become Free! says:

      That’s quite a story, thank God you got back on track! Funny how the doctors don’t really tell you what can happen when taking pain killers for too long. ‘That one pill took the flu like symptoms away’… crazy isn’t it? Good thing you made it through and learned so much in such a short time, thanks for sharing!

  2. A Servant says:

    I didn’t mention that I used methadone for about 3 months.

    • Become Free! says:

      Methadone can be helpful if administered properly and combined with the proper counseling. It is pretty much just another pain killer with a different name and a supposed separate intention, so say medical doctors… lol, oh what a world we live in! Thank you for your honesty, I’m sure this will help others as well as it did I.

      • A Servant says:

        After that experience I do not take a pill that I have not investigated myself.
        I am not blaming any doctor, I have a responsibility to know what I am doing. As you said, this is a legit treatment option for pain. For me the cost was greater than any benefit I received.

      • Become Free! says:

        Very good point. Research and getting a full description of side effects definitely helps. I just simply stay away from just about everything that alters my mind; less the circumstances, less the consequences. I know what happens when I play with pain killers, so I stay away. I have learned too much to put myself through that hell another time.
        Yes, the cost is so much greater than the benefit offered!

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