Experts Weigh in on Suboxone – for Detox or Forever?

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Experts Weigh in on Suboxone – for Detox or Forever?

In the world of addiction treatment, there will always be differing opinions about the best way to help chronic substance abusers get clean and sober, and just as importantly, stay that way by achieving long-term recovery.

The Need Has Never Been Greater

Opioid addiction has reached near-crisis levels in the United States. Consider these statistics disseminated by The National Survey on Drug Use and Health, put out by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration:

  • In 2010, approximately 12 million American citizens abused prescription opioid pain medication, and an additional 600,000-plus abused heroin.
  • Also in 2010, an estimated 2 million Americans 12 years or older used prescription pain medication for nonmedical reasons for the first time. That rate for first-time use was second only to marijuana.
  • In the 10 year period, 1998-2008, treatment admissions for the abuse of prescription pain medication skyrocketed, from 18,300 to 113,506.
  • Since 1999, deaths from unintentional overdoses of prescription pain medication have quadrupled.

What Suboxone Experts Say

There Is a Solution, but How to Use It?

In Boise, Idaho, as it is elsewhere throughout the country, one of the points of contention is how to properly treat opioid addiction with the drug buprenorphine, commonly known as Suboxone.

Suboxone binds to the brain’s opioid receptor, which is the same area where heroin, morphine, and other opiates bind. Suboxone is so uniquely valuable and opioid detox/addiction treatment because it is known as a “partial agonist”.

What this means is that at lower doses, Suboxone suppresses pain, just like any other opiates. However, that increased dosages, it starts blocking the opioid receptor from receiving any more stimulation. This allows medical personnel to ease an addict’s withdrawal symptoms without fear that the patient will start abusing Suboxone.

Best of all, because the body’s opioid receptor is blocked, it is no longer possible for the addict to get high on other opiates. So, if a person who is taking their prescribed Suboxone uses OxyContin or heroin, for example, they will not feel their customary euphoric rush.

The key issue seems to be whether Suboxone should be used during detox to ease withdrawal symptoms – short-term only – or whether it should be administered long-term as a means to help the recovering opioid addict abstain from relapsing.

Let’s take a look at both sides of the argument.

“We treat opioid addiction and accept many health insurance plans. Take a look at our program.”

Suboxone During Detox

Pros of Suboxone

The United States Food and Drug Administration granted approval for buprenorphine as an effective treatment for opioid addiction back in 2002, and recent clinical trials from the National Institute for Drug Abuse have supported its use as a short-term solution during medically-assisted withdrawal treatment.

“When patients receive buprenorphine instead of clonidine to help them with opioid withdrawal, they are more likely to succeed. Study outcomes from the CTN in have shown this success in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Significantly more in patients assigned to buprenorphine (77%) completed the 13-day taper program and provided opioid-negative urine samples than those assigned to clonidine.”

~ Blending Initiative NIDA/SAMHSA, Short-Term Opioid Withdrawal Using Buprenorphine: Findings and Strategies from a NIDA Clinical Trials Network (CTN) Study

Suboxone is so important during detox, because once an opiate abuser ceases using “cold turkey”, they will begin experiencing withdrawal symptoms within a few short hours:

  • excessive sweating
  • racing heartbeat
  • nausea
  • muscle pain
  • insomnia
  • extreme anxiety

Typically, an individual new to recovery will have taken the last dose of their drug of choice shortly before entering the drug detox facility. Immediately, the detox staff will begin monitoring the patient for the onset of mild withdrawal symptoms, and once they have presented, begin administering Suboxone.

Interestingly, even though Suboxone will suppress withdrawal symptoms, easing them virtually completely in as few as 4 to 6 hours, clinicians are extremely careful to not give the medication until symptoms manifest. Given too early, Suboxone can actually trigger withdrawal symptoms precipitously.

Typically, a detoxing opiate addict on a medication-assisted program using Suboxone will need to have the drug administered for three or four days. The most chronic abusers might need additional time, usually no more than two weeks.

It is important to note that Suboxone is typically used during detox only for the management of opioid withdrawal symptoms. If the individual has been an abuser of other substances, such as Valium, marijuana, alcohol, cocaine, etc., other medications may be necessary. Also, recovering opioid addicts are often prescribed and anxiety or sleeping medications or muscle relaxants because of spasms or muscle pain.

Long-Term Suboxone Maintenance

Cons of Suboxone

“Buprenorphine is the most important advance, certainly in heroin and opiate treatment, if not all addiction treatments in the last 30 years.”

Dr. Alan Leshner, former Director of the National Institutes of Drug Abuse, speaking to the New York Times

Those who argue that Suboxone should be used for long-term maintenance to suppress cravings say that, while not perfect, is an acceptable solution for the “typical” addict’s life – crime, chronic unemployment, inescapable poverty, and the desperate actions of a drug-seeker.

Also, even though the individual has to continually take the medication to keep cravings tolerable, Suboxone’s properties as a partial agonist mean that it will not trigger respiratory depression – the chief contributing factor to fatal overdoses from other opiates.

There is an existing treatment model specifically for those addicts who have a long history of heavy opioid abuse. When Suboxone is used as maintenance, patients are kept on the drug for months – or even years – while their addiction-damaged brain chemistry slowly heals.

Because of how easy it would be for some physicians to indiscriminately place their patients on a Suboxone maintenance program, federal law has created a limit for each doctor at 100 such clients. Even still, there is almost always an extensive waiting list.

The Argument for “Detox Only” Suboxone

“I’ve seen what long-term Suboxone does. People come in with endocrine problems – thyroid dysfunction, low testosterone… hair loss – tooth loss with Suboxone. There’s no way your brain chemistry can heal why on buprenorphine. You’re continuing to give someone a narcotic.”

~ Dr. Steven Scanlan, a psychiatrist/addiction specialist who is the Medical Director of Palm Beach Outpatient Detox

The proponents of administering Suboxone only during detox argue that the true goal of recovery is for the individual to live a completely drug-free life.

Making a switch from one opiate – heroin, for example – to another – Suboxone – does not allow the individual to fully recover from the neurological component of addiction. As long as either the opiate is abused or the Suboxone is administered, the body continues to decrease its endorphin production and increase the number of opioid receptors. This is the very definition of an addict’s tolerance.

In other words, even though Suboxone has been approved for maintenance treatment, staying on the medication long-term after being stabilized defeats the purpose of individual sobriety.

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September 26th, 2015|86 Comments

86 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Tammie Houston October 25, 2017 at 3:26 am - Reply

    I like how you pointed the pros and cons of using suboxone, especially the part that says it has a low risk of being abused since it does not give the patients a good feeling. However, I really don’t think it’s a good idea to rely on this drugs for a long span of time. I noticed that you highlighted that it can become fatal, and that’s already a point to consider when you are planning to use it. Thanks for the informative article. I’ll be sure to take note of this in case someone needs it.

  2. Avatar
    Adam December 14, 2017 at 2:58 pm - Reply

    I have been prescribed Suboxone for about 12 years now. I have tried and tried and tried and tried everything I could think of and multiple doctors, highly renowned addiction specialists, rehabs and drug therapy places begging for help getting off of this poison. I have attempted hundreds and have even somehow gone through multiple periods of clean time over the years, I tried Vivitrol for 5 months about 5 years ago in which I have never felt worse in every aspect of my life everyday for the entire time but stayed cleaned for 9 months. No drugs or alcohol, I ate healthy, I tried my best to walk my dog a few miles a day or a little jog, but I never wanted to do it and I felt like a completely lifeless piece of shit. I was clean and just praying for the one day to come that I woke up and felt normal or good or even pretty decent for that matter. I had never felt more fragile and old, my stomach was always in knots and I was throwing up and having panic attacks everyday when I woke up that were so bad I didn’t really leave mY house or answer my phone for 4 plus months. My stomach was so uncontrollable that I shit my pants numerous times. I pretty much gave up on life because I was ridiculously anxious and nervous, I had zero energy or motivation, there were many days I somehow slept dusk till dawn. I could get my ass out of bed only for dog walks and I stayed active in NA daily because everyone said that it takes time but you’ll feel better and better with each passing day, mind you I still have not met another addict who has been trying to get off of suboxone for nearly as long as I have……but I have truly never felt like “myself” again, nor ever had a day without explosive diaharrea, extreme depression, no sexual desires or wants, nor did I really give a shit about anything. I actually lost my career of 12 years at that time and what makes it worse is that I had the FMLA papers approved and the only requirement they asked is that If I felt too sick to work then to please give them an hour notice, after about 6 months of me calling in sick once or twice a week usually an hour or 2 late if at all. I had a job where I didn’t work supervised so the days I was technically “working” ..I was at home working from the couch, making calls and punching in orders. Needless to say, I thought it was a good idea to just quit, after all those years of service and just threw away 5 weeks of vacation, was near the top 10 in seniority, had VIP access to all of the best events in the city, fat expense account and car allowance and I loved all of the people I worked with……but I just quit and the learned that I couldn’t collect unemployment so I was very upset that I didn’t make them fire me lol…it isn’t funny, but I laugh because I have no clue what I was thinking. I also decided to break up with my then soon to be wife of 10 years over a text message because I didn’t think she loved me anymore….2 months later I had to sell my house and take a small loss to sell it before the the bank took it. I had to move back in with my parents. I feel like I am rambling too much and getting off track, but I am hoping someone out there sees this that can help.
    I can sum up the past couple years pretty easily. I stayed Clean 14 months straight and off and on for a solid year before that. I then relapsed and after a 2 week bender
    overdosed and woke up in the ER handcuffed to a bed. . I toyed around with cutting strips into the tiniest of pieces to taper off. Or trying to get off sub’s using other opiates or even adderall to try and gain energy and stop the explosives liquid blasts I think that after all of the suffering I have put myself and my family through that I am better off staying on suboxone forever. No matter how much clean time I had under my belt I honestly never truly felt good on even one day. I hate suboxone and I truly believe that It has ruined my life in so many ways. I would love to go further into detail if anyone cares lol. I would love to be free of suboxone, I have searched and cannot find anyone that can help me rid this poison from my body successfully with any quality of life left when it is gone. I just would love to meet and talk to someone that has actually gotten off of suboxone successfully after being on it for multiple years. I have tried it all and right now my conclusion is not one that I what to live with, but staying on sub’s forever seems like a better alternative than shitting my pants on the regular, massive roids that kill, than stay in a state of mind of what I could only explain accurately describe as a never ending withdrawal. It is truly amazing and insane to me how powerful even the smallest sliver this drug is……I know this 100% certain, if you are taking prescription pills and thinking of using suboxone to help you get clean, then you need to use it only for a very minimal amount of time and at the very lowest dose possible or do it the old school way that will work just fine. Suboxone is no joke, And I regret ever taking that first one. I wish my doctor would have told me no or would have at least been informed on how potent this shit is. Ideas Anyone?

    • Avatar
      Mike February 8, 2018 at 3:30 pm - Reply

      Hey man, I feel the same
      Way,I’ve been on and off subs and pills for over 10 years. Only length of clean time maybe a month here and a month there that’s it. I go to these detoxes and tell them that I need to come off suboxone and tell them how little I take (1.5mg-2) and they laugh. Saying I shouldn’t even need a detox and they would send me straight to rehab. It’s so unnerving and ridiculous that people just write it off like that. Suboxone is harder to get off of than any opine hands down. It stays there for so long it’s unbelievable. I’ve left detoxes for that reason, they won’t help it don’t think I’m sick I don’t understand? A lot of these places do like a 8 6 4 2 mg and then done. Maybe that’s fine for a heroin addict although I doubt it. That’s what places have told me they’d do if I came in. Home detox is dangerous because it relapse chance but Jesus Christ nowhere wills help. I know how you feel man I feel suboxone is the worst fucking thing I could have ever done to myself. Rather be on a low dose of methadone probably.

    • Avatar
      Tiffany Pollom August 30, 2018 at 5:07 am - Reply

      I was so happy to find your post. I am only 30 years old and I’ve been on opioids since I was 14. I went through methadone treatments which was the worse withdrawal ever and the suboxone has always been best for me. But I made myself relapse on heroin just to try to get off the suboxone and you know it’s bad when u start doing heroin again and not for the high. I completely only did it because I got myself where I didn’t think I needed the subs anymore so I got down to where I didn’t take any subs or heroin or anything else for a whole so I thought maybe I was free from and I was at work and out of nowhere the suboxone withdraws come at me hard sweating, aching, jerking like I’m having seizures and I had to leave work it was embarrassing and my step brother somehow got off of it I need to ask him but he was never addicted to the hard stuff but I have heard from other people that the withdrawal from suboxone can come back up to 6 months or longer. Thanks for sharing your experience Because I would do anything to be free from this devil. I always would hate when some people would say it’s only in your head and I just shake my head because if they ever felt even alittle bit of the withdrawal symptoms most normal people couldn’t handle that. I just worry like what if something happen and I went to jail and cold turkey off of it because of all the years of me using I’m scared it would kill me from dehydration or a seizure so thanks again

      • Avatar
        Billy June 17, 2019 at 11:58 pm - Reply

        Tiffany – I’m so sorry to hear that. I too was dealing with that Same devil for 3 years and was able to find a way off. I feel for you, I know exactly what you’re going through. I might be able to help you if you can respond to me somehow. Been awhile since you posted so I might be too late. I would like to know how are you doing today? And is there anyway I might be able to speak to you further to give my story and how I might be able to help you. God Bless

    • Avatar
      ko October 9, 2018 at 9:57 pm - Reply

      LIPOSOMAL vitamin c.. google it. I used liposomal vitamin c as much as i could and lopermide every other day.. I got off 10+ year opiate addiction EASILY! NO WITHDRAWAL no itchy skin, no kicking legs, no back pain, no yawning, no watery eyes, i could sleep, then after 4 or 5 days i could eat full meals! i was hungry again it was insane. I didn’t feel 100% for like 6 or 7 days, But the only negative I’d say for that first week was exhaustion (which started improving the more i ate). Oh and I would get sneeze attacks, then I’d know it was time to take more vitamins. But PLEASE LOOK IN TO THIS it changed my life. I tried everything from cold turkey to subs. Nothing every worked long term. THIS DOES! I’ was mentally ready for 5 years but just needed to get on the other side to be over it. Good luck I know you will figure it out, your life can’t start until you do.

      • Avatar
        Cathy August 25, 2019 at 7:15 pm - Reply

        My daughter is in the withdrawal stages from Subutex which she has taken since 2005 after she went to a Rehab Center.. We had to do it at home this time as we could not afford any other way. She tapered for 2 months down to a few grains of Subutex a day then nothing. 2 days later she was in full withdrawal. She has spent 9 days with constant nausea, today, so far, is her first day without it. She was only able to drink Gatorade and Water over this time but since this morning she has had chicken broth and toast. About 2 hours ago she had a massive panic attack and is now sleeping. Can anyone advise how long the withdrawals may last after being on Subutex. She made plans for changing her life style, exercising, healthy eating, etc.

    • Avatar
      Yvonne October 26, 2018 at 6:48 pm - Reply

      Hey Adam just wanting to know how you are going? I have been trying to get off subs and omg I hate this but being on subs I literally just feel num. Like I cant even make a phone call. Forget about a sex drive. Sex what the fuck is that! I have no emotional support from anyone. I am without a car so I dont get out much

    • Avatar
      Lee February 22, 2019 at 6:39 pm - Reply

      I was on subs 2 years. Before that it was 100+ 30mg oxycodone a day for 10yrs. My doctor prescribed me Zubsolv for the last year. It was so much better than the subs. I could actually function and when it came time to taper down it was ridiculously easy. I built it up in my head that it was going to be horrible and when it wasn’t I thought I was going crazy. I’ve seen sub withdrawals (brothers, friends, etc) and it was always horrible. The zubsolv is the difference. It is almost the same as subs just with less active meds. Ask your doc about it. I won’t say detox was easy, mentally and physically I didn’t feel very good for about 7-8 days, but I think because of zubsolv it wasn’t nearly as bad as it could’ve been. I was a hard core user for 12 years. If I can do it, I have faith you can too!

    • Avatar
      Ash March 20, 2019 at 8:49 am - Reply

      I dont know if you will ever see this because its been a year since your post. But i can tell you that i have been on suboxone on & off mostly on since 2010. I could list exactly what u listed as reasons ive never been able to get off too. I made it past the physically dependant part. Past the few weeks mark & through the weeks of getting no sleep or the irritating up every hour & into the months of complete sobriety and never in my life on any of those days did i feel like myself.. the days dont get better slowly. Sure you rid the drug from ur body & get the nasty withdrawl symotoms at bay but you never get the *spark* of life back. I also lost my job in my withdrawl. When drs have tried taking me off of suboxone i would have ti buy it on the street just to make sure i didnt relapse on heroin or methadone. I have put so much effort into getting off but i truly believe if i want to live a nortmal life, & not fail at everything.. & continue being a good mom to 3 kids & not relapse or buy freaking suboxone on the street or not ruin my family.. then i believe i will be on suboxone forever. In the amount of time it takes to get to your normal self. (to which ive never ever reached) i dont think i ever can. Not with so much at stake. I feel you buddy. Completely!

      • Avatar
        Billy June 18, 2019 at 12:27 am - Reply

        Hey Ash – I’m not sure if you will see this being that its been a few months since your post. I just want to let you know that there is hope for you. I was in the same boat. I was prescribed subs for 3 years. The first month was great then it gradually got worse. I believe subs can be beneficial as a detox drug, but in 95% of cases I dont believe it’s good to put people on subs. I have talked to numerous specialists around the world that have successfully tapered people off subs, and by doing this I was given a remedy that would help me get off. I didn’t believe this was possible, as I was depressed and down on myself for years for getting on subs in the first place. I started doing research and started reading all these horror stories about how hard it would be to get off, and I’m not going to lie, even though I didn’t wanna be on it anymore I was scared to death of what it would be like trying to get off. I have a job and Bills to pay, I couldnt afford to lay around for months going through withdrawal and PAWS. But like I said, after being on it for 3 years and talking to specialists I was able to find hope that it IS possible to get off this junk. And I did, and I’m slowly starting to get my life back and feel the normal human emotions I’ve been deprived of for years. I hope you read this and are able to respond bc I would love to try and help you. I really believe I might be able to BUT it’s going to take forever to explain to you all the steps I took in my withdrawal process. And that goes for anybody. Trust me, I’m not trying to sound like a know-it-all because I dont. But I know alot more than most people as I’ve spent years of research, talked to numerous specialists, and successfully got off subs myself. I love everybody and I know what it felt like being on that stuff and wanting to be able to find a way to get off so desperately, and the turmoil it brought to me life. It changed everything about me, in a negative way. And I’m just now starting to feel like myself again and I NEVER would wish this on anybody. And when I desperately needed help or someone with experience to talk to, no one was there for me for the longest time. I felt hopeless and felt like nobody cared about me or what I was going through. There were times I thought I might have to take it for the rest of my life. Then I developed severe depression and anxiety, thyroid issues, started to lose hair and felt like every second of the day my nose was running. I couldnt seem to experience any normal feelings or emotions, I didn’t care about things I used to get so excited and happy about. Simply it was just not me and all this was happening while ON the subs. Then I got desperate and started randomly emailing suboxone specialists around the world until a couple of them actually got back to me and that changed their life. Hearing what they had to say and realizing their actually is a way and a plan to get OFF this garbage for good. All I needed was someone with knowledge to talk to me. That’s why i am so eager to try to help anyone who may be going through something similar to what I did, and thousands of others across the world are going through as well. Subs truly are the devil, I feel it’s my duty to help the next person as others helped me. God Bless!

        • Avatar
          Nicholas Bordo July 20, 2019 at 3:57 pm - Reply

          Please give me some advice.been on 10 years and off 5 months. Feel horrible

        • Avatar
          William Dugan August 23, 2019 at 7:16 pm - Reply

          Hey Billy. My name is William and I have been on Suboxone for almost 3 years. Before that it was Heroin for about a year. Before that I was just a random drug user until I started with H. I had a great life of independence and traveling and now I can’t leave the town I’m in. I live a life of lies now and I need to get better. I have stopped using Subs for several weeks at a time just to go back to them. I can handle the pain of withdrawal, although it sucks, I can handle it. It’s the lack of life I live that I can’t handle. I am 28 years old but the last year I have started to lose my hair very badly and have gained so much weight. I need help and no one can help. What can I do to get out of this jail? Thank you for your time, I only want to live again.

          Regards,
          William Dugan

    • Avatar
      Debbie Scoviano March 28, 2019 at 12:55 am - Reply

      Thank you Adam! You probably just saved my quality of life. Seriously. I will never be able to repay you. I came online to find out the pros and cons of Suboxone and found your post. My gut was telling me not to do it but the Veteran’s Healthcare Center where my doctor at the Pain clinic is has made me an appointment for May 6th to start Suboxone treatment. I have been taking Norco for pain for 14 years and the VA no longer dispenses Norco/Hydrodone so I either have to suffer from my pain and lack of Norco or start taking Suboxone. The problem for me is that now I must suffer…either way really. My pain is moderate to severe from a long list of ailments such as Fibromyalgia, Arthritis, herniated/bulging discs, pinched nerves, spinal stenosis, etc. I am afraid the pain will get out of control but at the same time, Suboxone sounds like an awful alternative. I’m choosing not to take Suboxone based mostly on your post.

    • Avatar
      Zane May 26, 2019 at 4:59 pm - Reply

      I was on subutex 8mg for 8 years. I have a spinal injury and was on narcotics before making the switch. When I started I was told that it would be easier to taper off of, I now know that it is 100x harder. Subutex took all life and interest from me. I was dulled for the entire time I was on it. My pain was not controlled at all. I had had enough. I went to a pain specialist and explained my situation. He advised me that getting off subutex was next to impossible but agreed to help. He put me on a new drug called Nucynta and a low dose of clonidine. Nucynta is a scheduled 2 narcotic but it has an extremely low binding affinity compared to others. I went through 2 weeks of hell waiting for subutex to get the hell off my receptors. My wife of 10 years almost left me during this time. After 2 weeks things started to look better. I remember getting in the car and turning on the radio, I had found no joy in music for years. I remember crying because I was getting goose bumps from the enjoyment of music again! I started to feel alive again. I have now been off for 6 months and have easily tapered off the nucynta. Life is again becoming enjoyable. Getting off subutex after a week let alone years is definitely the hardest thing I have ever experienced, that being said I did it. You can as well. Have faith in yourself and know that it will get better. I don’t think I could have done this without the help of nucynta. I wish you the best of luck, I hope my story helped a bit…

    • Avatar
      kenny May 29, 2019 at 4:12 pm - Reply

      i have been on the suboxone maintenance program for 7 years now, and the only time i have gone without my medication is when i had became addicted to meth, But then i only went without for 3 days while in jail. My dr stuck by my side throughout i had to go to rehab but i was only going to get help with the meth addiction and stay on suboxone. the rehab had a suboxone program already in place, and since all that is behind me now i have gotten my life back, a great job, happy family, and everything i almost lost. But im still a slave to needing my daily dose of subs, i have never really thought of trying to get off. it actually scares the shit outta me, i dont get high from them, and unless i told someone they would have no idea i take them daily. i truly think that why can i not take this medication everyday for the rest of my life? similar to a person in a methadone program or clinic they are in it for the long haul and i have seen people live a totally normal life like anyone else, they just have to take their methadone every day. i cant seem to find any long term major health risks that involve long term suboxone use. The only problem i seem to find is having a primary care dr prescribe it instead of a suboxone dr. Because eventually my dr will retire and i will be forced to find a new one. which is not easy .

    • Avatar
      Scott June 26, 2019 at 1:34 pm - Reply

      I 100% feel your pain. I’ve been on suboxone now coming up on 15 years. I wish the Dr that first gave it to me explained how it would be nearly impossible to come off of. I’m 54 yrs old and feel 80. I can’t sleep properly, I have become narcoleptic, I am in constant joint pain, my marriage is just a coexist, my children think I’ve lost every bit of life I’ve ever had. Yet I can’t get off of it. No matter how many negative aspects I know it brings, it has cemented itself to me and I don’t know what to do. I wish I had a way off….?
      If anyone ever figures out a way I would pay a million dollars to know what it is…

    • Avatar
      Alison July 6, 2019 at 7:21 pm - Reply

      Hey Adam. I just first want to say I’m sorry things have been hard…correction… awful for you. However, I want to say that it’s possible to get off Suboxone/Subutex.

      I have been on some kind of opioid on and off since I was 16-17 yrs old. Mostly loratabs, hydrocodones and norcos.
      When I was 18 a kid in my class turned around and handed me an OxyContin 80mg pill. He said to break it into fours, and snort one of them.
      I took it, went to the bathroom and I (stupidly) did. I immediately felt it.
      A warm, relaxing sensation ran over my body. I was hooked.
      I walked out of the bathroom and floated back to my class. Within 20min, I ran back to the bathroom and violently threw up. One of the best pukes of my life. (I have always hated throwing up, but something about this wasn’t so bad)
      After that I started getting more for free then eventually started buying them.
      At first he sold them to me for $20.
      Felt like our whole town was on them. After a year or so, him and his brothers jacked the price to $80/80mg. $1 mg.
      It was absolutely beyond criminal.
      Then the FBI came down and arrested 48 people including the brothers who got me and so many of my friends addicted.
      So with most of the Oxys gone, we had no choice to switch to heroin. We were buying it from the Mexican cartel. Which was another insanely dangerous thing.
      (I was turning it into a powder and snorting it.)

      I was addicted to it on and off for 7-8yrs. Three rehabs. Heartbroken parents and a ton of dead friends.
      Then my family caved after explaining to them that this is probably my only chance, and I got put on Subutex for almost 6yrs.

      I woke up one day and decided I wanted off. I was then prescribed 1.5 8mg Subutex a day. But I tapered down over two years to maybe a half a day.
      (Side note: at this time I was told about Kratom. And I’m the type of person who does tons of research now before ever trying something. So I started looking into it)

      I decided to stop going to my doctor and get off of this for good.
      I was terrified. I was so scared of withdrawal it wasn’t even funny.
      If I didn’t have my subs on me I would immediately start to panic.
      I would have to leave work and go and get them because my mind would start to make me feel like I was starting to withdraw.
      (Soooo crazy how that works. It’s totally true that the mind is a powerful thing)

      Then over 8mo, I did less and less. Not enough to notice at the time.
      But by the time a month went by I was already down to 3/4 of a half of one pill a day. (I’m bad with math but I think that’s like 3/5ths of a sub?)
      And I continued to do a teeny tiny bit less each day until I was doing the smallest and I mean SMALLEST amount that probably isn’t even a microgram.

      What I did was over two weeks, I left myself less than 1/8th of a Subutex 8mg, and used Kratom to suppress symptoms.
      Watch “A Leaf of Faith” on Netflix.

      I’ve been off Subutex and all other opioids for almost a year. The only thing that helped me was Kratom.
      Plus it also helped with energy. (I recommend the Green leaf for energy and the Red for sleep and leg pain or if you don’t have RLS like I do then I’d skip the red altogether.)
      I never thought I’d get off Subutex. I thought I’d be on it for the rest of my life.
      But I promise you, it’s possible.
      And I haven’t felt this good in a long ass time.

  3. Avatar
    Mike eddy January 27, 2018 at 12:08 am - Reply

    I can really relate to you man. I feel like if it wasn’t for the subs I would have died years ago. They gave me my life back and ism grateful for that. It dedfinatly messes with my sex drive which really sucks. But I would rather be dependent on subs than 6 feet under, which unfortunately have seen happen to way too many friends. Even after they got off the subs they relapsed and died. So it is better than the alternative to me for sure.

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      Ash March 20, 2019 at 8:52 am - Reply

      Completely agree. A small crutch in life is better than no life at all. Looking at the odds.. its the best choice. I hate needing it but its better than other possible outcomes….good job to ya.

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    Joshua March 2, 2018 at 10:13 am - Reply

    Damn, Adam! Thanks so much for sharing your story. I’m currently in a drug rehab for 900 mg a day oxy abuse with 100 mcg fentanyl patches on days when I run out of pills. Nearly 8 straight years… They had me on a 20 day sub taper and I felt great! My taper ended 12 days ago and I hate, Hate, HATE how i feel. They gave me gabapentin and clonodine, but that isnt helping at all! Then I was told to try naltrexone to curb the cravings, but 3 days on that and I just hate how my mind and body feel. I hate it. No energy. Tired. Depressed like a mofo. When I discharge in a few weeks, my wife’s “shrink” said he does 6 month sub maintenance, and he recommends I give it a go (wife, 3 little daughters, stressful job, etc.). I just feel like I’ll feel this shitty forever so I really want to try the submaintenance. But then again, after reading your, I’m having reservations….I’m pretty sure you’ll tell me to avoid it, but want to hear your thoughts.

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      Renee September 4, 2018 at 2:04 pm - Reply

      Joshua I say go for it! If you don’t have Facebook get it, join a group you will hear stories after stories how it’s changed there life, some even have given up there pain meds willingly and are on a sub almost everyone says it’s the best decision, all I can say is if your choice of drug has been your every waking thought sub will take that away and when you think your ready to stop the sub there also has been may stories I’ve read people have dropped down to 0.25 for a month then stopped and never looking back by then I think a person’s mindset is ready most of all it’s up to you how bad you want it and it’s possible getting there taking a sub, you have nothing to lose trying it right most importantly your children will see the major changes in three Dad, hey the postive out way the negative being on a Sub, good luck Joshua

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      Scott June 26, 2019 at 2:07 pm - Reply

      I would not say avoid it. I would say have a plan. I had 5 children (I say had because in December we lost a 23 yr old daughter to an OD ?) ranging in age from 23-4. Wife is a stay-at-home mom and I’m in sales. So stress, pressure and performance are a way of life for me. The long term suboxone use is now threatening our way of life. As I said in an earlier comment, if I could find a way off I would take it in a heartbeat. Don’t go on suboxone as a long term solution but rather a short to mid term bridge back to life.

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    Joe March 14, 2018 at 5:13 am - Reply

    Life in on subs vs life not on subs. Taks stock and make a choice. If your responsible and live a good life on subs then stay in them. Quit worrying about clean vs not clean society perception crap. If it works stay on it.

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      Ashwood Recovery March 15, 2018 at 5:29 pm - Reply

      We agree that there isn’t just one road to recovery – do what works for your life and happiness and health.

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      Trent March 20, 2018 at 11:42 am - Reply

      I agree a little bit with you Joe, worrying about what people and society think has controlled many of my actions. As for me clean=freedom. I went from methadone maintenance which I felt 1/3 of my income wasn’t freedom to suboxone which took almost half my income. To me it’s about what I want out of life and trading legal vs illegal habits that make me a slave to it. It’s about being over 40 and not having what I’ll need when I’m 60. I measure my quality of life on many things and delaying the inevitable has been a mistake. Unfortunately If I was rich or the drugs were free I don’t know if i’d ever want to be clean. After on maintenance for awhile, I realized it’s very similar but you don’t worry so much about your fix. Got lazy, fat and looking at other health problems. Most of these comments and people wanting off is because it’s NOT working for them anymore and physical dependency has taken over.

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      Renee September 4, 2018 at 2:10 pm - Reply

      I couldn’t have said it better, on a Sub at least your every thought isn’t a pain pill or whatever rainbow you was chasing, you will have normal thoughts some even use it for pain management and why would a person worry all of a sudden if a med was bad because most of us wasn’t worried taking all the other crap we used, I’d tell anyone go for it!

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      Charles Erickson September 9, 2018 at 11:24 pm - Reply

      I can relate to most of what I am reading here. I have been on various dosages of Suboxone since 2011. Right now, I am using up my stash. In the last clinic I was in, I convinced the doc to give me 3 films a day of 8mg strips. I only used about one a day, sometimes not even that, so I have been on vacation for a while. No doctor, no pee tests, nuthin. I’m loving it. I do go to counseling voluntarily, separate from suboxone clinics. I just don’t know what I should do when I run out in 6 months to a year. In a way, I would like to just keep doing subs because I’m so accustomed to them, why upset the applecart. But on the other hand, part of me says “dude, this ain’t sobriety”. I don’t know if that’s just society’s view that is screwing with me or if that is a real thing.

      That’s about it. I am sober other than subs, so… I just needed to vent someplace where people understand.

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    Trent March 20, 2018 at 10:58 am - Reply

    Figured I would weigh in on this subject as I know a thing or two about the disease and the drug. I have struggled with it for what seems to be an eternity but is really 16 years or so. I learned the hard way with suboxone early on, about 5 years in I went for help and lied to the Dr. about my last use. Went in for my induction and had used earlier that day, boy was that a mistake. Within 15 minutes the truth came out and precipitated withdrawal is no fun. So me being an addict decided that suboxone wasn’t for me. Eventually I couldn’t keep up with life and was jobless and lost my insurance and ended up around the wrong people. Before I knew it I’m jamming a needle in my arm many times a day, those first Oxycontin cooked up like they were made for it. Then the heroin came in, followed by homelessness, jail and almost prison. Thinking that is what really changed me in a way but continued to use at a level that wouldn’t get me in trouble. The last 5 years I have wanted out more than anything and have fought like my life depends on it because it does. Ended up on methadone maintenance and did some good things with my life. Got back into my career, moved to a better place and decided it was time to taper off the methadone. Made it to 20mg/day and they suggested suboxone because the reason I wanted off was freedom. I also smoke a little ganja and the clinic makes you come in everyday to dose if you drop dirty for anything. The Dr. was like I can give you 1 and 2 weeks and a months worth of Suboxone even with the marijuana in your system. This time I did what they said to do before my induction and thought they genuinely were looking out for me. Until I realized it was really just wanting to keep me on something and my money. They have managed to turn this disease into a business and suboxone is now the cure all addiction drug. Thankfully I stumbled onto Dr. Steven Scanlan’s writings on the subject and really could tell that suboxone was evil. Don’t get me wrong, it saves lives, period. However it’s not the freedom I wanted and decided to just use it for detox only. I continued to struggle for awhile after I was done with the subs it was as if the subs reset my receptors and I only used a little bit and it was like the first time all over again. But I’m getting older/wiser and didn’t let it side track me long. Unfortunately I was using pure opium and found the withdrawals to be unbearable, too many different active alkaloids and basically all my receptors being addicted at the same time. Finally gathered everything I needed to do this right because I’d rather detox off heroin than methadone, suboxone, or opium. The kick is more brutal but very short lived. I DO NOT recommend anyone to do as I have because I have spent a long time in active addiction and have just figured out the best way for me. I realized long ago that I owed a debt, flying high, not feeling pain and emotion for as long as I have there is a debt to be paid for that. There is nothing easy about getting clean but I’m grateful I didn’t care much for suboxone and have read(countless hours) more bad than good about it, by the way thank you Adam and Mike for your story, I came here for that very reason, to be horrified of that drug more than I already am. I did my detox at home, by myself, a little over 2 weeks ago and there is no turning back now. It takes a complete change to stay where I am and I’m only using supplements now for the post acute withdrawals. As addicts we just aren’t happy in our skin, we look for something outside of us to make us feel whole. I’m now looking at and using natural methods for that dopamine release my body craves, exercise and getting outside my comfort zone for adrenaline. Misery comes so easy for us, happiness takes WORK! Today I accept life on life’s terms, it sucks at times because I don’t feel normal. But really I just forgot what normal is, this is normal. As much as I like to lay there and drool on myself and all my pain from this life goes away, IT’S NOT NORMAL! It’s the normal my mind came to know. I have the best job I have ever had, living in a beautiful state that allows me to smoke a little weed after work and that’s the irony of the whole thing. I started down this path of self destruction 16 yrs ago when my now ex wife wouldn’t let me smoke weed. All I wanted was to smoke a little weed, never did a hard drug and no desire but she wouldn’t let me so I started messing with Dr’s and their pills to get what I wanted, she never said anything about that. I don’t blame anyone for my actions and misery today but I’m aware, I’m so aware that many Dr’s DO NOT have my best interest at heart and the only person that is going to fix my broken soul is ME!

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    Tony Palrmo May 14, 2018 at 10:18 pm - Reply

    Long-term Sub (above 1mg/day) will eventually make a zombie out of you. But a low dose of under 1/2mg per day (or preferably 0.25mg per day) can be a lifesaver for the opiate addict. It will keep the person functioning normally for years, or probably for life, with no adverse side effects. EACH PERSON THOUGH IS DIFFERENT.
    As to how to measure an accurate .25mg, one way is to crush the pill along with few sugar cubes (to a powder form) and then find an exact mini container (a Bic pen cap for example) that would measure an exact .25mg of this mixture.
    Do not start with more than 2mg, this is a powerful long-acting opiate. Within a month taper down to .25 to .5 mg. You will go through withdrawal, but once you stabilize at .25 to .5 mg life goes back to your normal self (i.e. as you felt before using opiates:)

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      Ashwood Recovery May 22, 2018 at 3:13 am - Reply

      Thanks so much for this insightful information.

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      Jon Voit August 18, 2018 at 12:35 pm - Reply

      Josh I’ve been on subs for 12 years maintenance doses anywhere from 1mg-4mg a day depending on how I feel. I’m happily married have three children two out of college, my oldest is married and already has given me three grand babies, and my youngest is a junior at Clemson. I have a good job, my health is good and I carry no shame or guilt for continuing to take this drug. By the age of 30 I had 11 surgeries, (7 shoukder, 4 knee) including having my shoulder replaced twice because of a horrific snowboarding accident in the Alls. Unfortunately I became addicted to pain medication along the way. Doctors wrote scripts and hand them out like they’re giving you jelly beans then they look at you like you’re a carrier of the plague when you’re addicted. I did a lot of things during that addiction that I’m ashamed of and suboxone saved my life. The doctors who threw pain meds at me when I was hurt never showed a concern of addiction until it was too late. Those medications changed me. Once that change occcured it needed to be treated. My brother was diagnosed with diabetes at age 32. He is now insulin dependent and wears an insulin pump. He needs that drug to live. His body does. We don’t say he’s addicted to insulin. I truly believe once you’ve become addicted to opioids, your chemistry is changed forever and you need to treat that. I don’t drink do any other drugs but I take suboxone. In some people’s eyes I’m a drug addict and honestly sure it hurts but I know my life is better when on it. When you read these horror stories I’ve learned that most of them aren’t serious about staying sober have multiple issues and do not see a doctor regularly and take the drug properly. I don’t understand the logic behind these people that know your brain chemistry is permanently altered the ones that say it’ll get better. Give it time? That time is when relapses happen. Why gontheough that? When there’s a medication to avoid it. I have my liver enzymes checked four times a year and I’m under a doctors care. Everyone is different but I know what worked for me. Good luck to you.

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      Jon Voit August 18, 2018 at 12:38 pm - Reply

      A zombie? Is that based on your experience or theory? Each individual case is different but 2mg a day won’t turn you into a zombie. As with any medication it should be taken and monitored in a doctors care.

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      Renee September 4, 2018 at 2:19 pm - Reply

      Sounds like a plan, I’ve spoken to many who’s started out at 16mg and stayed there for a year or more and several dropped and dropped o ER the months down to 0.25 and then stopped said they had very little withdraw, I think subs work a person just has to have the mindset it’s not something I want to live on, and I think it’s possible on a sub, because a person doesn’t think like that using other drugs

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      Ginger April 7, 2019 at 10:39 pm - Reply

      Subs do not make you a zombie, IF taken as directed! It NEVER says take pill and crush it. Also, most of us never cared what society thought of us while using; this is just a sense of False Pride. Why do we need to explain our using Medication ( Subs) to people anyway. I have been on & off ( mostly on) Subs for over 10 years, and they saved my life, and without them I have no quality of life.

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      Christian May 5, 2019 at 8:13 am - Reply

      I would not reccomend that at all.. Not safe and there are waus to accuratly measure the medication ..also with it being sublingual it has to be absorbed by an area with a lot of surface area and membrains to absorb… Be safe when takimg this stuff. Its just as bad as pain meds just very long acting so you dont have to take 12 a day. But I have been on it 11 uears and it doeant make anyone a zombie after they become adjusted .. Also 1 mg is very very small dose. As 16 mg is the standard dose .. Subutex is the only way to go for long twrm treatment. Naloxone is a killer

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    Dewayne July 24, 2018 at 5:14 pm - Reply

    I have read all the comments very interesting. I have been on buprenorphine for 12years. I have thought tried coming down and off but 16 mg. A day is just maintenance for me. I take my med and go on with my day. I have also not had one relapse since I started with this medication. B4 I did I was doing any fine from 4 to 8 80mg of oc. Back when that was the drug of choice around here. But I started this program turned my life around quit hanging with the song ppl. I just wanted to say each person is different some can take subutex or suboxone and in 3 or 6 months b off. But like I said I been on it for 12 yrs doing great and I should like to not take it but its easier said then done. I will keep taking it as long as I have to as a maintenance drug. I take it & think i’f it as no different than a person whi had toi take a blood pressure pill. No body has a right to judge anyone unless they have walked in their shoes.

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      Ashwood Recovery July 26, 2018 at 3:29 am - Reply

      Thank you so much for sharing your personal experience. Wishing you the best as you continue your journey.

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      Jon Voit August 18, 2018 at 12:49 pm - Reply

      DeWayne thank you for your post. We sound very similar. When I entered treatment I was taking 10-12 80mg OxyContin tablets a day. How did I find out about that drug, I read about it in the waiting room of my surgeon and I asked him. He had no idea what it was at the time. He said “I’ll have to look it up and then I can answer your questions about it.” As he was saying that he was writing me a script for a thirty day script for 40mg? I look back and I’m so grateful to be alive. 800-1000 mg’s daily of OxyContin changes your brain which changes the rest of you. Suboxone is the key to giving me theblife I had before I started taking them. I am happy I carry no shame I am healthy so give me one reason to go off of it? So o can suffer? Get depressed? God forbid relapse? For what?? DeWayne you keep doing what you’re doing as will I. I’ll say a prayer for you every day and my message like yours, if you’re doing the right thing if you’re taking this medication the right way it’s truly a life saver.

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        mike March 27, 2019 at 2:22 pm - Reply

        DeWayne–your story sounds reassuring to me but I am on 1.5 half years into subs and I’m wondering if the same dosage will keep on working for years to come?

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    Lizabeth Shirley August 6, 2018 at 3:49 pm - Reply

    I was on Suboxone for 7 years for pain management. during that time I became more addicted to a different drug and have been clean from that drug for a year and two months. I have been clean off of Suboxone for 25 days. I have done a lot of research. I just wanted the drug out of my body I felt like I was dead. A lot of people say that Kratom is just addictive as Suboxone but I disagree. I have used it to deal with 90% of the side effects of withdrawing. Even to the point where I felt like a veil was lifted off my eyes. I was also researching and told to take DL – phenylalanine, vitamins and minerals. Kratom is a natural plant that works on the opioid receptors of your brain. I actually think the Suboxone was causing me to have sleep apnea. All of my teeth were broken and could not be saved, I gained 60 pounds, all I would eat was sugar, and this massive anxiety, depression and fatigue left me alone in my bed 24 hours a day. Some people say that I’m trading one addiction for another but I cannot tell you how different I feel. I feel like I have a chance at life again. Kratom has been studied for coming off of opiates, anxiety, and depression and some people said it saved their lives and so many ways they can’t even begin to explain. I decided to take the full dose and start weaning down. I am 25 days thru Suboxone withdraw and the worst thing I felt is a burning in my stomach that it feels like its tied in knots ( I feel like I’m hungry all the time). I don’t know what else to say but I would rather wean off of the Kratom or take it for the rest of my life then actually feel what Suboxone made me feel like. No doctor ever told me it was going to take away my life. I wasn’t even taking it for an opioid addiction I was taking it for pain. I hope that offers anyone some sort of hope or help. If you are worried do your own research. They say when it comes to these types of situations you weigh the pros and the cons. In this situation there were way more pros than cons. I saw my counselor last week after missing a couple of sessions from the withdrawal. She said I was like night and day. She said I look so different she couldn’t even believe it. I have delt with addiction my whole life and I’m not scared anymore. If I can get off Suboxone I can deal with anything. For the first time in my life I actually feel like I have hope for my future. Anyway I wish you all the best.
    This is no way to live for any human being no matter who they are. God bless all of you and I pray that you will succeed.

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      Alec Simms April 3, 2019 at 3:44 am - Reply

      Yeah,but Kratom didn’t work after a while

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      eric June 12, 2019 at 2:18 pm - Reply

      HI Liz, My experience is similar .. i was on suboxone for pain mgmt too for 6 yrs..I have been off this poison for 50 days and my biggest symptom is insomnia.. my eyes don;’t feel heavy at night even after not sleeping for days.. My general doc has tried ambiem , trazadone etc for sleep but none of them worked .. i feel that its a receptor /nuerotransmitter issue maybe.. Was this your experience too? if so please give me any advice for sleep thank you and God bless.

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    brian August 6, 2018 at 6:27 pm - Reply

    I feel a strange closeness to all of you on here. I wish you all the best and will pray for your success to be free and happy. I have been through it myself for 16 years with a 250 mg oxy habbit from my military service injuries. It started with 5 mg tablets then of course you know how it went from there. I just wanted my life back. I totally agree with all of your thought on this suboxen drug. The docs round here seem to think you need it for many many months. When I told him I wanted to be free within 4 to 6 weeks they said I couldnt do it. I got treated like a third class person or some terrible drug addict like you would see on a tv show. I was just a soldier who kept getting his dose added up every year. I dont know what the answer is but I wish these doctor had to experience the withdrawals that I have had to go through, Maybe then they would understand the seriousness of this problem. Of course we all see the stats of the deaths but to actually feel the withdrawals I am sure would completely change their thinking on this matter. I am a very strange person in that drugs dont affect me much. It seems like I could function with a whole bag of percoset injected into me and no one would even be able to tell. I am sick of feeling so desperate. No body listens to you or they just want SO Much money you cant go to them. I wish you all the best and I will be praying for all of us. Thank you for sharing.

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    Richard Fletcher August 18, 2018 at 6:09 pm - Reply

    8 years ago I was on a ledge preparing to end my life. Oxycontin had brought me to that state of despair. Suboxone and loving care saved my life. I have been clean ever since. I want to change some things in my life so I have decided to exercise more and control my diet to eliminate the need for daily Insulin injections. Insulin has also saved my life but it’s time to make some changes but if I still need to use Insulin after my efforts then so be it. I also want to remove Suboxone from my daily dose of medicines. I have been working with my doctor to make this change. I have started my taper and I can see that it will be a long, drawn out program. I know that it may take me more time than I would like but I need to eliminate this med and to move along to the next chapter of my life. I also understand that I may not succeed with my plans. I won’t fail. Failure is going back to the “life”. Failure is dying with a needle in my arm.

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      Ashwood Recovery September 8, 2018 at 6:13 pm - Reply

      Thank you for sharing your story! Wishing you the best on your journey, sounds like you are taking the best steps for sobriety: eating correctly, exercising, and tapering.

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    Angie Anderson August 23, 2018 at 3:03 pm - Reply

    I’ve been on suboxen almost 6 years now. Im prescribed 28mg per day. Now i feel like I’ve built up a tolerance n my body needs more..but 28mg is highest clinic allows. I feel as if by 2pm its wearing off. My energy level goes down..i feel tired..Is anyone else ever experienced this? I do not want to switch to methadone..at all.i will be 55 yrs old soon..n i just am stuck not knowing what to do. Went off subs 3 months due to jail and i had 2 heart attacks years ago. Suggestions anyone? ??

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      Alec Simms April 3, 2019 at 3:46 am - Reply

      I hear ya,same boat

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    Donna August 26, 2018 at 3:50 pm - Reply

    I’ve been on Suboxone for about 10 years. It definitely saved my life. I am married and have 3 kids. I went from a junky always looking for my next fix… to a business owner that takes care of my family and loving my life. I have tried to get off a few times. My first doctor was an asshole on a power trip and would hold it over my head just to see me squirm. I was clean for a month when he decided to cut me off. I was in bed sick as hell the entire time. Let me be clear…. I have never relapsed while on subs, never failed a drug test for any substance, never missed appointments, and completed treatment. After being sick as hell for a month, I found a new Doc. He prescribed me 32mg a day! It was a ridiculous amount. He ended up being shut down and referred me to the Doc I have now. She is amazing. Been seeing her for years now. I’m on 12mg a day and have stayed there for a long time. There are people who congratulate me for putting my life back together and keeping it that way, and there are people who criticize me because I’m not truly “clean”. However, the only opinion that matters? Mine and my docs.

    I feel that I will probably be on Suboxone for the rest of my life. And I am actually ok with that. If I was diabetic and had to take insulin everyday, nobody would bat an eye. I will say though…if I knew back when I started, what I know now… I would have used the Suboxone to detox and gotten off. It is expensive and often a pain in my ass and it IS harder to get off Suboxone than any other opiate I have ever taken. But I am also maintaining a successful life. Would I have stayed clean if I had just detoxed with subs and then stopped? Statistically speaking….. probably not. Anyways, my point is…. everybody is different. Suboxone is not for everybody. I don’t live my life for other people so I try not to worry about what other people think. I feel good, I work hard, and I take care of me and mine. I do have some side effects but nothing that bothers me enough to stop. Mostly I sweat more than “normal” and I have constipation issues.

    Addiction is an illness. It’s life long and a continuous struggle. I would rather continue taking Suboxone than riding the roller coaster of trying to get clean, being clean and miserable because my brain chemistry has changed, and then relapsing because I just need to feel “normal”. Getting over the acute withdrawals isn’t the hardest part. The PAWS is what I struggled with the most. The depression, anxiety, and no motivation to do ANYTHING…. that lasts for so long…. is what made staying clean so dam hard for me. That’s where Suboxone really changed my life. Now, being on Suboxone allows me to feel like I did before I had an opiate addiction.

    If your considering getting on Suboxone to get clean, or stressing about getting off Suboxone because you don’t feel like you are clean, think it through. Stay true to yourself. I am grateful I got my life back. My kids have their mom and my husband has his wife. I don’t know if I could have done that on my own. I’m doing what right for ME. And that’s all anybody can do. I will continue on Suboxone indefinitely. It’s expensive and sometimes I hate it lol…. but the alternative to me is unacceptable.

    • Avatar
      Ashwood Recovery September 8, 2018 at 6:03 pm - Reply

      Thanks so much for this insightful information.

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    Rhonda Smith September 10, 2018 at 8:04 am - Reply

    This truly is a good drug only when used specifically as it was intended. Short term only when u truly are done & ready to do all necessary never to use again. I am addicted & I’ve been on this longer than what I used it to help me get off of. I abused it by using it longer than I was advised. (Buying illegally) I became addicted as I did oxymorphone only I’ve never overdosed from suboxone & had 3 almost fatal close calls w heroin & oxymorphone. Suboxone is overall better if I’m just dead set on being on any drug. Use with extreme caution but do use it over anything not monitored by a dr. Suboxone if I’m being honest is saving my life while keeping it in shambles too. Only use while monitored by a dr.

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      Ashwood Recovery September 16, 2018 at 4:31 pm - Reply

      Thanks so much for this insightful information and sharing your personal experience. Wishing you the best as you continue your journey!

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    Ken September 17, 2018 at 3:57 am - Reply

    I been on suboxone for 16 years been very successful but feel very guilty for taking it so long I can tell I am getting depressed more often, an can’t run my company no more very easy to get stressed out can’t think clearly no more las t pain pill I had was in 1996 was on meta done for 5 years then got on subs I take 1 1/2 mg daily , don’t know if I can ever get off of it.

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    John September 20, 2018 at 1:02 pm - Reply

    I have been on prescription suboxone for close to 14 years. The last five years I started developing symptoms of long term use side effects. 6 months ago I started to taper, right now stuck at 3mg. To make a long story short, suboxone is killing me. Every night I pray that GOD takes my life and relives my emotional, mental, and physical pain. I have searched for help. There isn’t any or its not available to me. Every minute of every day is a battle of anxiety, depression , and physical pain. I do not know if I will ever finish the taper or if I do how I will feel. Or if it will kill me before I get any relief from this living Hell. I regret ever taking this drug…

    • Avatar
      Ashwood Recovery September 23, 2018 at 8:06 pm - Reply

      Wishing you the best as you continue your journey.

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      N October 30, 2018 at 7:32 pm - Reply

      Hey John,
      I’m here to tell you that you CAN do this.
      The reason? I was hooked on Percocet for a couple years back in 2010-2011. The doctors switched me to subutex . What did I do?
      I proceeded to take subutex for the next NINE years. And by the end of my run I was up to 40-50 MGS A day!!! I was utterly out of control.
      Finally this summer I did something about it and checked myself into an outpatient detox. The key is this. You must want the help and you must want to change and get off this drug. If the desire is not there and you’re doing it cause you think you NEED to , odds are it won’t work.
      They took care of me physically and detoxed and tapered me off slowly over three weeks as I worked on the mental and spiritual side of things.
      Today I am at exactly 50 days clean from this horrendous drug and I still struggle. In the beginning it was so intense I wasn’t sure I was gonna be able to make it. My head was so strong that I never once had an urge or craving. I still don’t today. The post acute ( PAWS) were HIDEOUS and today they’re slowing dissipating.
      But it’s a journey and a process and if I can do it based off the amount I took for as long as I did, you can too. It just takes a strong desire to change. The brain is amazing. 6 weeks ago I couldn’t get out of bed for 5 hours. Today I sleep through the night and hop out of bed.
      I have a long way to go and the motivation to do things sucks and I struggle but I’m in the program now working on the steps. Remember one thing. There’s no human way to treat the allergy to drugs and alcohol. Doctors can remove you physically from the drug but you need to do the rest with help from people who have been there.
      Good luck man

  17. Avatar
    Matt chaussee October 25, 2018 at 3:22 am - Reply

    Subuxone has helped me tremendously. I try not to take it everyday so I don’t need it, but the days when I’m feeling weak or having cravings, just knowing I have it helps a lot. Plus, I feel it more and feel it’s more helpful when I don’t take it except maybe every couple days. Maintenance in that form has helped me for years now and I’m gonna keep doing it that way. I would highly suggest it to any opiate addict who has relapsed continually or is stuck on methadone

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      Ashwood Recovery October 31, 2018 at 5:23 am - Reply

      Thank you for sharing your perspective, Matt, and adding to the discussion!

  18. Avatar
    Sarah October 27, 2018 at 12:51 am - Reply

    I’ve been in and out of suboxone clinics for the last 10 years. Even when I wasn’t in a clinic, I was buying boxes off the streets. I’ve not went an entire day without at least 2 milligrams of suboxone (other than when I was on meth), in those 10 years. My life is so much better now because of suboxone. I don’t think I would be alive right now without suboxone. And honestly, if I have to take it everyday for the rest of my life, to keep me from going back to oxycontin, or to meth, or something else, then I’ll take it everyday. If it keeps someone’s life together, and keeps them sober, why not keep them on it? However, I guess I’m one of the lucky ones because I don’t have any bad side effects of taking suboxone. Anytime that I’ve tried to quit suboxone, I’ve just relapsed on something worse. So, I’m gonna keep taking suboxone…forever if that’s what it takes.

    • Avatar
      Ashwood Recovery October 31, 2018 at 5:19 am - Reply

      Sarah, thank you for sharing your experience. We wish you the best of luck, thank you for your perspective.

  19. Avatar
    Mark November 7, 2018 at 5:52 pm - Reply

    I don’t agree with anyone who says one size fits all. There are people who do well with detox and people who do well with long term maintenance. Whatever works for the individual is best. be

    There is bsolutely no reason Suboxone can’t be used long term or even for life if needed as long as the individual is no longer abusing drugs and living the life of an addict. Seriously. At the end of the article, Dr. Scanlon is paraphrased:

    “Making a switch from one opiate – heroin, for example – to another – Suboxone – does not allow the individual to fully recover from the neurological component of addiction.”

    Wow. So the point of recovery is to fully recover from the neurological component of addiction? That won’t matter much if the person detoxes too fast and ends up overdosing and dying. The purpose of treatment is to allow a person to live a normal life like, free from abusing drugs and the associated risks that come with that (death, prison, mental institutions, etc.) Putting more value on whether a person is free from the neurological component of addiction versus the person’s actual life is why so many addicts die every year.

    • Avatar
      Ashwood Recovery November 10, 2018 at 9:27 pm - Reply

      Thank you for sharing your perspective.

  20. Avatar
    Dennis November 24, 2018 at 2:50 am - Reply

    I’m not sure that anyone has mentioned using kratom as alternative to suboxone or any other pain medication. It has done miracles for me and so many others. Being a herbal medicine still legal in most states, helped me with pain, anxiety, insomnia and most importantly it kicked all withdraws from years of extensive drug abuse.

    • Avatar
      Ashwood Recovery November 28, 2018 at 2:22 am - Reply

      Thank you for sharing that with us and readers.

    • Avatar
      James June 18, 2019 at 12:42 am - Reply

      Dennis,

      Thank you for your post kind sir. Did you jump straight from Subs to Kratom? How long were you on Kratom before you no longer felt withdrawal from subs? And sorry one last question….what was it like coming off the Kratom? I’ve heard their can be withdrawals from that as well, but so far I’m on day 9 of no Subs and I’ve used Kratom every day for 9 days and so far have not experienced one single withdrawal, other than I am covered in sweat when I wake up in the morning until I take my morning dose of Kratom(I think that’s bc the Kratom starts to wear off in the night while I’m sleeping so I start going into wd)

  21. Avatar
    Sick of it all January 3, 2019 at 1:31 am - Reply

    I been on subs for 10 plus years. NEVER has my doctor introduced me to anything else or that I could or should be off. No talks about weening off in fact. Im up to 3xs 8mg a day at 24mg a day. TEN YEARS. Now, how I let myself stay on this garbage, honestly, I dont know. I guess I got comfortable. But Ive been under this doctors care for over 10 years and I’v been thinking lately, how havent I been even introduced to getting off. After being on this for 10 years, I dont think I would ever be the same if I was without it. I think its irrisponsible for doctors to not at least discuss options with their patients. Im sick of being on this drug. I wanna be FREE!! And today’s visit with my doctor, I realized she dont give a crap about me and sees me nothing but dollar signs. I think she and others should be held responsible. Its not right.

    • Avatar
      Ashwood Recovery January 4, 2019 at 2:25 am - Reply

      Please feel free to contact us if you need a helping hand. You owe it to yourself to explore potential options.

  22. Avatar
    NobodyOfWhomU'veEverHeard January 7, 2019 at 4:29 am - Reply

    Apologies for not reading the whole thread before responding, but I just felt the need to reply to the OP posthaste:
    I could not more strenuously disagree with this and — though I dislike all absolute statements, bcs individuals are always different — I just have to say, there are outright falsehoods in it.
    The attitude is long outdated — antediluvian — and clinically disproven many times over; it is also dangerous, fatal in far too many instances. Someone still holding to this attitude at this point is now implicated in numerous utterly unnecessary DEATHS, and this nonsense should be well and thoroughly shamed out of the public discourse.
    I, myself, have been on suboxone maintenance for over 15 years now.
    Totally clean and sober that whole time — despite a previous $200 a day OC habit of 2 years duration, and lower amounts for far longer.
    In the early days of my maintenance, I tried to taper to zero several times — disastrous each time.
    With the suboxone, I am totally, utterly functional — a successful professional with all the responsibilities attendant thereto — despite (because of, to be more accurate) my 8-12 mg/day dosage.
    I am no “zombie.”
    If it hadn’t been for this maintenance, I would of course long since have been in one of the three ultimate ends for active, unrecovered addicts: jail, mental institution, or 6′ under.
    For people who want to judge me for this, I have two answers:
    1: When it comes time to get YOUR kid into college (that’s my job, career, and life), you will gladly, eagerly pay me 4 figures, and never know that you just entrusted your $ and your kid’s future, to one of your “zombie”s, because I will succeed in getting them into a better school than you’d ever dreamed of for them.
    2: Because of this and because of your ignorant insults, you can put both your attitude and your disinformation where the sun doesn’t ever shine: between your ears.

  23. Avatar
    Brendan January 13, 2019 at 7:35 am - Reply

    I absolutely hate being on Suboxone. When i originally saw my doctor, I had no clue that he was putting me on poison that would be this controlling and here 18 years later, I am still taking the stuff. Problem being, I am afraid of withdrawal, more than anything. It took reading into only the second comment on here to scare the absolute shit out of me regarding trying to better my life and free myself from this poison.

    I can relate with him on just about every level. My prime question is “how can anyone have a successful career or job and try to detox from Suboxone?” Or do anything positive, such as keep or create friendships, have a relationship etc? I don’t like bringing people down, or even sometimes talking to anyone about anything because what I got going on is just so bitter and the fact is, the truth really sucks.

    Sure, one could say, “what have you to loose?” Given I am not working right now, not married, no girlfriend, life is as bland as it can get….My fear is going through what Adam had gone through. Being clean from Suboxone is not what I care about, what i care about is how it controls my life and my future. The issue i am facing is dealing with the pain of the recovery process. Those first 7 days, and then from what the guy I chatted with and what the articles online say, withdrawal symptoms last up to 2 or 3 months after starting treatment. That sounds like a long time, and what if it never goes away? Sure, I may end up forced into detox one day, but that is what i am afraid of. If it is not worth the suffering, (which is honestly, real suffering) then I guess I just suck it up and take this poison until the day i die.

    I am just not sure if taking the gamble on “trying to get clean from Suboxone” and relying on “faith and hope” that after the initial days of withdrawal pass, the symptom phase could, much like the post i read below, never go away. Especially since i have been on it for as long as i have. Not a chance that I would be able to work even the easiest of jobs while dealing with symptoms of withdrawal. For something lasting for 2 months, and possibly forever, I just do not see where I would ever have the time to “experiment”, go through hell, and very possibly never fully recover or just feel terrible and not being able to see any light at the end of the tunnel.

    I guess this is where I stand and am at a crossroads. I don’t expect anyone to have a magical answer, this is with out question, my biggest hurdle. I’m just tired of taking Suboxone, tired of jumping through hoops, and now my current doctor is giving me problems, saying he is on sick leave with out having anyone to cover. I worry about the “what if’s” as in what if I need it and I cannot get it? That is my biggest fear. Withdrawal is pure hell.

    • Avatar
      Ashwood Recovery January 21, 2019 at 3:51 pm - Reply

      Thank you for sharing your real and honest thoughts on taking Suboxone, Brendan. If you have tapered down and are ready to take the next step to completely stop, then just as you mentioned what have you to lose – other than taking the suboxone? If you feel that you personally cannot handle withdrawal or it lasts longer etc you could always choose to take it again. If you want to discuss your options further feel free to give us a call 208-906-0782.

    • Avatar
      Bruce Jones April 20, 2019 at 8:29 am - Reply

      Been off Suboxone for 35 days today. It’s been hell. Workouts in my garage, eat and back to bed. Repeat. Exercise is the only thing that helps me feel better for about a hour or two a day. The rest of my days are filled with anxiety, lethargy and insomnia. I exercise twice a day and that short time afterwards is my only salvation. I’ll never go back on Suboxone. Threw away all my subs, today. Day 35 is better than day 4 or 5. I’m not working till I feel better and motivated. I’m 61, so you can do this.

  24. Avatar
    Andrew Collier February 23, 2019 at 12:56 am - Reply

    Long-Term has been the best for me because I’ve injected heroin, taken prescribed oxycontin and hydrocodone together daily for the last 15 years and I have caused extensive damage to the pain receptors in my brain. I’m not sure that I’ll ever get off of suboxone without spiraling out of control with anxiety and withdrawal symptoms

    • Avatar
      Ashwood Recovery February 26, 2019 at 5:40 pm - Reply

      Thank you for sharing your experiences! We wish you all the best as you continue your journey!

  25. Avatar
    Mcken Z March 7, 2019 at 10:28 pm - Reply

    I totally agree that everyone is different… a little background .. I used pills for 7 years and heroin another 4 years, i was on the needle for only six months but it was the craziest 6 months ever… I don’t know how I’m not in jail or dead today…. I have definitely been to many institutions… so I started on suboxone 2 years ago (although I had been on it before)… I was super happy with my life at that point… then my clinic shut down… I decided to try to detox and take a month off work to sit at NA meetings sweating all over the place… well I found that loperamide killed my withdrawal yay… I wasn’t high but honestly getting well has been my using goal for a long time now…. so I thought it was perfect, until I tried to stop the lope… and my withdrawals came back… oh hell what have I done? So two months later I am still using 200mg a day at least… I can tell it’s poison but can’t stop myself because I can’t go back to dope or I lose my husband and kid and I work all the time… the side effects are insane, my eyes have tremors when I try to focus them, my hands shake, my muscles give out when they feel like it, and of course the lack of poop department… one day I’m sitting in the parking lot of target sobbing… in a desperate plea I call my old clinic and they have reopened! I am thrilled, make my appointment… give myself a full 48hrs clean before I get inducted back on suboxone… not only do I have surprisingly intense withdrawals already but when I take my sub nothing happens and the withdrawal rages on…. so I take small doses over a long period as was suggested for precipitated withdrawal….Nothing is working… I call my doc and she sends me to the er because she’s worried about my heart from all my loping….they admit me immediately when they take my pulse and low and behold I have a minor prolonged QT….also loperamide makes your tolerance really high for some reason according to Poison Control, whom the doc at the er called… how stupid am I? So they get my heart rate under control and send me home and increase my dose of suboxone until I am stable… go home and get two more which I take one and the next an hour later it definitely helps better but I still don’t sleep … I drive to my doctor to get my prescription adjusted properly and go get 2 more for the day. I’ve taken one and feel almost out of withdrawals… I have one for later this evening… I had no clue loperamide withdrawals were so bad… head wise, I wasn’t craving as much nor was I as panicked, but my body was a wreck… everything I touched felt like sandpaper… i sweat and stunk as bad as when I came off H… the rls was INSANE… it felt like ants were discharging electricity all over my body….

    my lesson is this.. I should have stayed on suboxone in the first place because I don’t trust myself without it… logically dying is the last thing I want to do but when I am completely sober I am completely untrustworthy and cravings will eventually lead me down a terrible road… I have experienced this too many times.. I’ve just been addicted so long it’s really hard to fight back now against that devil in my brain, but suboxone locks him away in a cell and I can’t hear him anymore… I may have to be on it until I die of old age hopefully… the other option might kill me tomorrow… I am happy that I am no longer using and I couldn’t do it without suboxone… I have lost two friends from overdoses this year so far and it kills me they are gone and it also scares the shit out of me… because without my medication that could be me… I need this for my life to be functional and I am at peace with it.. I’d like to taper down to 4mg and probably just chill there…I need to be stable for a little while before I can do that but I’m grateful at this second chance… it may not be for everyone but it definitely has saved my life a couple times… like I said if I just bit the bullet and paid for a doctor until my clinic reopened none of this would have happened…

    Maybe I am weak to it compared to some other addicts but deep down I never want to use, then my cravings hit and I end up going getting and doing with absolutely zero forethought and I don’t know how to stop that without suboxone…

    Thanks for reading all this rambling hope it made sense, I’m just now able to sit still and relax a little after a three day hell trip without sleep…

    • Avatar
      Ashwood Recovery March 15, 2019 at 3:47 am - Reply

      Thank you for sharing your experiences! We wish you nothing but continued success on your recovery journey.

  26. Avatar
    Josh April 6, 2019 at 1:48 pm - Reply

    It’s very important to realize how potent buprenorphine is. It is being used as a very potent painkiller, for example for post-surgery pain, in a dosage of 0.2 till 0.8 mg per day.
    I was using various types of opioïds because my life didn’t feel right being sober in the first place. I had psychotherapy for years for reoccurring depressions and anxiety, and tried numerous antidepressants, but nothing really helped, especially not for a longer period of time, and withdrawing from benzo’s was no fun either. Then I red that a lack of endorphins might be causing my problems, and so it did.
    After taking an opiate painkiller I was able to feel normal after so many years. But as you can imagine, messing with opiates after a while started to become a problem on its own, especially winding up on heroin at the end. So I decided to go on buprenorphine for heroin withdrawal, first on high dose Suboxone, later on ‘low’ dose Temgesic 0.2 mg tablets. You can go down with the Suboxone relative fast till you reach 2 mg, and from there on you can do a taper with the 0.2 mg tablets to the dose that will keep you feel okay, and in most cases this will be beneath 1 mg per day. In that matter there are 0.25 mg Zubsolv tablets as well.
    At a dose of 0.4 till 0.6 mg per day I feel normal and I can function better than before I discovered opiates and buprenorphine. No more depressions and no more anxiety. I’m on ‘low’ dose buprenorphine for about 7 years now and I can’t say that I don’t feel the need to take more of it than I did 7 years ago. So I guess at low dosage it can be a long term/permanent remedy for people in need of some supplementary endorphins, for whatever reason that might be.

    I red here that somebody has the same experience/opinion about low dose buprenorphine, and I’m sure this can be a solution for many people who are uncomfortable without opiates, especially for those having (ab)used them in high doses/large quantities for several years.
    High dose buprenorphine will cause too much down regulating of the opiate receptors, and this will get you into trouble when you do this for a prolonged period of time, while low dose buprenorphine will cause a balance that will last many, many years.

    Good luck to all of you!

    • Avatar
      Ashwood Recovery April 8, 2019 at 4:22 pm - Reply

      Thank you for sharing this information! We wish you the best as well on your recovery journey!

  27. Avatar
    Megan April 29, 2019 at 6:47 pm - Reply

    I am on day 4 of my Suboxone withdrawal. I have been on subs for at least 10 years. I got myself down to about 2 mg and stopped. I need all the support I can get from here. I’m actually not that bad other than the shits and feeling so lazy. I have taken neurontin and Ativan and I’m guessing that’s why I dont have the muscle cramps. Last night I couldn’t sleep at all and my legs were going. I had to take off work today. Is taking the neurontin helping me or is it going to be worse when I quit taking that?

  28. Avatar
    Nick Blake May 8, 2019 at 3:31 pm - Reply

    I have been addicted to Heroin for years. I have taken methadone, quit in detox, and taken suboxone multiple times. I have been on 3 years and I can only speak for myself. Foe me, suboxone has saved my life. I have gotten off suboxone before and am tapering now. I did not think suboxone withdrawals were all that bad. In comparison to methadone, it was a breeze. I am on a maintenance program now and again, it has saved my life. Of course there are pros and cons to any of the detox methods. All I can say is do your research and pick the one best for you. Being on suboxone long term sure beats being in jail long term, which is where I would be.

    • Avatar
      Ashwood Recovery May 15, 2019 at 7:47 pm - Reply

      Thank you for sharing your experiences! We wish you all the best on your recovery journey!

  29. Avatar
    Trent June 30, 2019 at 4:48 am - Reply

    I have been on beuprenorphine for 12 years now. Never had a relapse back to heroin , or any other opiates for that matter. Never missed a day of dosing. I live a normal life. Im married, have a good job, just had my first kid a year and a half ago. I would say I am a pretty happy active person. I’m not trying to say it’s a great thing, because honestly I would like to get off of it. I just haven’t hit that point yet. The only downside of the med I’ve noticed so far is I used to sniff it years ago and it caused pretty bad sinus issues. I’m still dealing with them today! As well as digestive issues. I’m not sure if it’s from the meds or eating to shitty to be honest though. I’ve heard the withdrawals are hell and I worry about losing my job if I have to take weeks off to kick it, but I’m thinking I’m gonna give it a go sooner than later!

  30. Avatar
    Dustin July 14, 2019 at 3:59 am - Reply

    Brendan I was in the same boat I’m actually towards the end of my detox from Suboxone myself I’m 33 and have been fighting opiate and Suboxone since I was 15. I was afraid of the withdrawals and detox myself because I’ve gone through them a few times already and was afraid it was going to effect my job that supports the bills for my wife and three daughters and was worried my wife would find out and I would lose my family. Well a couple weeks ago my wife caught me taking a quarter of a 8mg Suboxone strip. She walked out the door and took the kids with her. Well i was able to talk it out with her and she agreed to come back if I promised to get off of the stuff. Well I was afraid to go through the withdrawal and detox but I was more afraid to lose my family and that was all the incentive I needed to get away from the thing that controlled me. The first couple days I had no energy what so ever I tried going to work but couldn’t make it through the day. I work on cars and it’s hard as hell concentrating on the car your working on when your too busy focused on your Withdrawl symptoms. I was able to make it through three full days of work before the symptoms started getting really bad So I took responsibility for it and had a serious conversation with my boss and told him the details and he agreed to let me take a couple sick days off for it. So I missed work a total of three days with having a normal day off in the middle so 4 days total. I went back on the 8th day and I still had a burn so painful in my stomach making me nauseous but I managed to get through the day. The 9th night I tried a little CBD to help with the jitters and anxiety and I was able to sleep the whole night through for once I woke up took a little bit of CBD before I went through on the 10th and I was able to work the whole day without being nauseas at all. It was the first time I’ve made it a full day at work without being nauseas and feeling like myself finally again and it felt great. Now on the 11th day I have very minimal withdrawal symptoms. I know not everyone is the same but it is possible to get off the thing that controls your everyday life and break free from it. You have to be mentally prepared for it as well as physically because the first few days you are physically drained. And there are over the counter medicines that will make them that much easier to deal with like Pepcid Imodium the cbd really helps with the anxiety and nauseas of not having the drug anymore. Hopefully what I have to say helps at least one person get clean.

  31. Avatar
    Beth Ristic July 22, 2019 at 12:48 pm - Reply

    I am currently on methadone for almost 2 years off heroin. I was on suboxone for a year and a half to get of pills but when I tried to get off suboxone it was so terrible I just found my way back to pills. I know they day methadone is equally hard to get off but I dobt plan on getting off methadone ever. I have no side effects from it. Just dont feel like i need to use any opiates. This controlled amount on a daily basis has been the miracle cure. So I would take methadone over subs anyday. Yes I get that I just replaced a drug with a drug, but this drug allows me to function just like a regular person. I tried quitting sooooo many times myself with no success and so I’m very grateful for medication assisted treatment.

    • Avatar
      Ashwood Recovery August 1, 2019 at 9:58 pm - Reply

      Thank you for sharing your experiences! Glad this medication is beneficial to you and your sobriety!

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