Citation: Dopiate. "Better Than Methadone for Quitting: An Experience with Buprenorphine & Naloxone (Suboxone) (exp63781)". Erowid.org. Jun 18, 2007. erowid.org/exp/63781
I was an opiate addict from the time I started using vicodin my freshman year in high school until I was using upwards of 80mg of oxycontin daily and anything else I could get my hands on. This report is my account of the time I decided I had had enough and wanted to get my life back.
I went to see a buprenorphine doctor to try and get my opiate addiction under control and out of my life, I decided against methadone because I still valued my self of humanity and independence and did not want to be treated like a caged animal and getting hand-fed my life-line every day.
Day 1: I came into the bupe doctor's office in 48 hours withdrawal, I was severely uncomfortable to say the least. I was administered 4mg Suboxone sublingually (under the tongue), it tastes terrible but you get used to it. After 30 minutes I felt my withdrawal melt away, almost unnoticeably. I was then administered an additional 4mg and sent home to return the following day. I do not believe that Sub should be started at such high doses initially, but more on that later. For the remainder of the day I was in a kind-of opiate mellowness I have not experienced before, again I am a very seasoned opiate connoisseur. It was like an opiate high without the euphoria, still good.
Day 2: I returned to the doc and told him I felt good and we decided that I should be on about 12-16mg Suboxone daily.
Week 1: The Suboxone works wonderfully to keep me withdrawal free, as it is an opiate, but I never felt the same 8-hour high I felt that first day, and in week 1 I even tried up to 20mg to try and recreate it but no dice, it only resulted in sedation.
Month 1-3: The only downfall of suboxone versus methadone is that methadone is a full agonist meaning it can always cure cravings because it DOES create euphoria and a high, the beauty in suboxone is that it is an agonist/antagonist which works well for getting me on my way of being opiate free by not keeping me high all the time, but..it does not cure cravings for everyone, myself included. Over the first 3 months I worked with my doctor in trying to cure my cravings by increasing the dose all the way up to 32mg/daily (16mg twice daily) which is too much, which I believe was due to the fact that I was more knowledgeable than he in the world of Suboxone.
Months 3-6: After much research I learned that at doses high than 4mg the suboxone starts occupying receptors that are more associated with negative feelings and dysphoria. I decided to take it upon myself to start lowerings my dosage about 4mg every two weeks until I was back down to 8mg daily. During this time period my body adjusted miraculously well to the decrease and after the initial drug, I actually felt better the more I got down.
Months 6-8 present: I am now down to 2mg/twice daily. I feel better than at any other dose in the last 8 months, and actually since my doses are 12 hours apart I when I take the pill I actually feel a little bit of an opiate high for a few hours as before when I was taking alot I never felt any different when I took another dose.
Conclusion/Observations: (Not FDA approved statements haha)
The key to getting the most out of suboxone and feeling the best I must stay at the lowest dose I can take.
The longer I abstain from taking my subs in between doses, the better it feels when I do take it.
Suboxone is infinitely better in the long run versus methadone because it keeps me from taking illicit opiates while not keeping me high all the time which teaches me to believe I can be opiate free, and to get help with counseling while being clear-headed.
Suboxone can be the first step to being free of opiates, but you have to be doing it for the right reasons, if all you want is an unlimited amount of opiates so that you dont have to score then you will get nowhere, I can guarantee you.
And remember, all us opiate addicts are in this together, and no one person should feel alone in the fight, you can be opiate free, everyone has their struggles. I wish good luck to all of you and I hope I helped some.
May 2009 Update (Two Years Later) - A Life Regained
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