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husband is in suboxone withdrawal
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husband is in suboxone withdrawal

I honestly don't know the whole truth about my husband's usage, but what I do know is it started with oxy-something after a back surgery 5 years ago and he became addicted.  He tried to get off many times, but couldn't.  About 2 years ago he switched to suboxone under a doctor's care.  He worked his way down and three times has tried to quit the suboxone.  He always ended up going back.  I think he was down to about 1 or 2mg per day, though he claims to have been taking slivers of the thing... but I don't believe him based upon the 30 day supply 2mg bottle he went through each month.  In any case, he is out of the drug now.  We have no medical insurance and no money to continue this expensive drug.  He is high functioning, with a good job but he is in severe withdrawal and starting to get a little crazy with his desperate sounding ideas.  I took away his debit/credit card (with his approval yesterday because he wants me to help him to really quit) and I'm totally monitoring his every move.  I have given him some alcohol because he hasn't been sleeping and it helped... but I promptly hid the alcohol so he can't over drink.  He says he wants my help, says he wants off, but then he starts to panic.  One minute he wants to beat this, the next minute he wants to hock his Rolex to pay to see the doctors again and buy more of this stuff.  I'm trying to be a strong voice of reason and he seems to be trying to listen, but there is so much on the internet about what to do and how long this will last and I am finding it hard to figure out what will help him.

He needs to stay off.  This is only day 5 off of the drug, but he cannot continue to reschedule things with work and be "sick" forever.  He was using alcohol to help the symptoms, but at this point I've told him he needs to cut that out so that he is free of any hangover issues by Monday.  Am I being to hard on him?  He is EXHAUSTED, but can't sleep.  He is emotional, depressed, desperate.  We cannot afford for him to buy this drug, but we also cannot afford for him to lose his job.

What should I do?  He needs to sleep more than anything and he says the over-the-counter meds don't work.  How long can this go on?  Does anyone ever really just detox on their own?
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1235186_tn?1339127464
hello and welcome to MH. addicts definitely can lie and manipulate.
suboxone is a very long detox process. i hope and pray for his sake that he did taper his dose. he needs to keep hydrated. lots of juices,gatorades,water. immodium for the bathroom issues. epsom salts in a hot bath for the aches,pains and rls. motrin also helps. over the counter natural sleep aids, alteril and sleep by nature made, main ingredients are melatonin and valerian root with other natural extracts.
he is going to be uncomfortable for awhile. clonindine will help with the elevated bp. he can get this from a doctor.
hylands restful legs will also help with the rls.
on the bottom right side of this page are health pages. there are two about suboxone. one called thomas recipe. they are both very helpful.
i would definitely not let him drink, it isnt  helping his long term recovery.
he should definitely look into counseling. na/aa support groups.
please keep us posted and let us know how he is doing.
prayers to you both,
debbie
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you so much for replying.  I will look into picking up some of your suggestions at the grocery/drugstore today.  I stopped giving him any alcohol about 18 hours ago, only allowing one measured (by me) drink per hour for 5 hours.  He has no access to it (the bottle is hidden) and we both know he shouldn't be replacing one drug for another.  He says he slept better last night... woke up every hour, but got at least a 15 or 20 minute snooze each time.  He worked out on the treadmill for 2 hours before going to bed and he thinks that helped.  He is on the treadmill again this morning, he feels as though the exercise helps him "sweat" the toxins out.  So far this time he has not had the rls.  Last time he tried to quit he had rls though.  Hopefully it doesn't start.  He asked me to dump the alcohol this morning.  He feels good about being chemically free - mentally speaking at this point he feels good.  I'm sure that can change and he thinks so too, so that is why he asked me to dump it.  He really wants to beat this and actually thanked me for policing him so closely.  It was hard to know what to do when I typed my inquiry last night, he was crying, pleading, and begging and I didn't know what to make of the agony he was in.  I didn't know if the agony could be truly physically harmful and I didn't know what to do.  This morning I feel better about being tough on him, as I see a great improvement and I know he can get through this eventually.  

I will head over to the other health pages, thank you for the suggestion.  I told him about the NA/AA suggestion and he seems to be considering it.  I am hopeful that the worst may be over.  Please keep us in your prayers - thank you!
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1235186_tn?1339127464
glad he is feeling better. yes exercise is wonderful. it will help sweat out the toxins,alleviate anxiety,stress and depressiopn, and wil help the brain to begin to produce the "feel good" endrophins again.
keeping his mind and body busy is very important. work is a good distraction,many people continue to work through their recovery and it proves to be beneficial.
his emotions are going to be up and down, could have a good day then a bad one. he needs to stay focused on his recovery and just take one day at a time.
the support groups will really help him.
you need to stay strong. please take care of yourself. you need to heal also.
sending prayers and hugs
keep the faith
debbie
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Avatar_f_tn
suboxone has a very long halflife so hes at the beginin of the process but seems to b handeling it very well. if he tapered it shoukdnt b that bad as i know people who have jumped off from 1 or 2mg its not a nice experience but is doable. he can call the doc that had him on it explain n he should be held responsible for weanin or givin blood pressure anietty sleep n muscle ache meds even if he cant pay for the sub hes still a doc who can call other things in to pharm since u cant pay for visit. was it ever covered by ins? how bout the meds? im askin cuz i know how expensive it is.
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Avatar_m_tn
We were insured at one time, but for the last 6 months or so we've been paying out of our own pocket.  LOTS.  Somehow we owe $250 for a past office visit.  I think our insurance terminated on the day of his job's termination, rather than at the end of the month like we thought.  His current job doesn't provide insurance and we can't afford it independently.  In any event, we all now know that we owe that $250 and we will owe another chunk to see him, plus the medicine.  On Friday my husband called the doctor because he was desperate and they said they'd need like $600 to see him to pay for the past visit, the current visit and meds.  So my husband said we couldn't afford it and he didn't schedule the appointment.  

This doctor serves as his gp also, and my husband was on high bp meds... but we can't afford any of it right now.  Fortunately his bp fell naturally about 3 to 4 months ago and the doctor had discussed taking him off but didn't want to yet.  However, my husband is off it now due to finances, but not under his doctor's guidance.  He is monitoring himself at the local drugstore.  Thankfully he keeps registering with a normal to low bp.

So, that is just a long way of saying that the doctor isn't really concerned about my husband's general health.  Or, at least his office staff isn't.  My husband has to talk to the staff, not the doctor.

He is still doing fairly well.  He actually came to church with us today, though he didn't feel up to socializing.  He keeps pushing himself to stay busy... mowed the lawn in fact.  I am amazed.  He is is on the treadmill for an hour or two in the morning and again at night... doing everything he can to keep his metabolism burning.  He is drinking tons of gatorade and eating well.  He is retaining a bit of water though, looking fairly bloated in his belly, so I'm going to head over to some of the other pages to see if that is a sign of anything.  He certainly seems like he will be able to go through the motions for work and not jeopardize his employment and I am SO VERY thankful for that.  I never would have dreamed he would be doing this well a couple of days ago.  I'm praying there isn't a major crash ahead.  We know it will be a long hard road but if this is as bad as it gets he will be able to do it.
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Avatar_m_tn
I just wanted to make a final post, in case anyone else ever finds this thread useful.  

My husband is now on day 10 off of the drugs and clean as can be.  The key for him turned out to be exercise - which he spends several hours doing each day (divided between the morning and night whenever possible).  The one time he missed his chance to exercise before bed he did not sleep well at all, felt itchy and restless waking often throughout the night.  However, we live in Florida and our a/c broke that day... so it was rather hot and I didn't sleep well either.  He feels great, loves being free of the drug, no longer being a hostage to the doctor, being free of the expenses financially, and feeling life for real.  He says he hasn't felt this way in a very long time and he is so proud of himself for beating this.  He has had minor bouts of fatigue, perhaps it is PAWS, but he was able to work through it - and again exercise is what helped him (though it was very hard to do while being so tired.)  He is amazed by what a cup of coffee does to him now - the caffeine perked him right up when he was having a mid-day slump.  He is sleeping 8 hours, usually waking up once or twice, but easily falling back to sleep.  He has not had any feelings of depression to date.  He has no cravings, urges, or desire to drink or use the drug again.  His original pain did not return and he has no reason to need medication.

I'm so proud of him and I just wanted to share a final update in case anyone else doubts they can do it.  Thank you all for your comments.  When I needed to hear from someone, you answered my prayers.  I truly am grateful and wish you all the best.

I'm  too and I think it will be  
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271792_tn?1334983257
Thank you for the update...it sounds like he is doing great and I hope it continues. So you know, he is not experiencing PAWS at day 10, it takes many months for that to surface if at all. He is still in the withdrawal stage so there will be set backs. As long as he keeps going forward and doesn't give in, he is a winner!!! Congrats!!!
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Avatar_m_tn
AA is for alcoholics but most gladly lend help to addicts. It's free and there are men there that will bend over backwards if he shows some desire to get clean. You should go to some Alanon for family members dealing with an addict or alcoholic. At least a few times. I have a real problem sleeping and it's all natural. My doctor gives me trazadone. If I work out and run and do cardio I usually sleep much better. I have to watch my diet and it's still hard. Equate brand benadryl usually works too but it has to be the right dose, and when it hits u better go to bed or it will wear off. You need to get to some meetings so you understand the disease process better. Bottom line is only your husband has the choice to fight his addiction and when he is ready he will get strength from people and super human beings. Good luck.
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