ADDICTION: SUBSTANCE ABUSE
COMMUNITY
shooting subutex
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by ciccio788, Jun 22, 2013
i am new on this but i feel im at my last resort here so i hope someone has some insite please. i have been clean off shooting subutex for a month now, just got out of rehab but before i left i shot up on time in my right hand and fell asleep that night and when i woke my hand was basically paralyzed and saw a specialist and all he could tell me was i had radial nerve damage but i never missed when i shot up. thank god i got feeling in my hand back. to make a long story short ive fought addiction for ten years and been through 6 rehabs and have never felt like i am done until now because of shooting subutex and what im scared of. ALL my veins are either hard as a rock or gone. i want to know why there are hard or what caused that. i got so bad that i shot ontop of my feet and even though i only did it 2 or 3 times on my right foot it has been over a month since i did but evertime i wear shoes or push on the vein it hurts bad and has gotten no better and i would like to know why??? i was working the other night for the first time since being home and i am a server so i run around alot and when i got home i felt a bad pain in my left leg about my ankle so i felt it and it is swollen a little bit and the vein is hard in that spot and i feel two hard spots im scared its a clot but it doesnt hurt now only when i push on it. i had a similar issue in rehab in my arm 2 weeks ago and they rushed me to the hospital and they did a ultrasound and the doctor could not really even see my veins and found nothing. only thing she said was my veins a blocked off. now im no doctor but the pain is coming from something and ive seen 3 different doctors now and NO ONE HAS A ANSWER all they say is the subutex made my veins hard and maybe they will come back or maybe they wont. I WONT ACCEPT THAT!!!! THERE HAS TO BE A ANSWER AS TO WHY THE PAIN IS THERE AND WHAT EXACTLY THE SUBUTEX HAS DONE PHYSICALLY TO MY VEINS. or if you know if my veins in my arms are hard does that mean my veins or arteries in my heart are hard too? i never had these kinda issues while i was still using, yes i had pain if i missed but never had pain in my veins like this. so please if someone knows what that crap physically does or can do or what doctor could answer these questions please help here and i thank you. and please if you are not a addict or if you are judgemental and want to put me down for what i chose to do to myself please just dont even bother posting. thank you
Member Comments (13)
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by nursegirl6572, Jun 22, 2013
For one, congrats on being clean!  That's great!

Unfortunately, what the docs are telling you is true.  Depending on how long you injected Subutex will depend on how much damage was done and whether it will resolve or not.  Sometimes it does, sometimes it does to an extent, and sometimes it doesn't.

There's many different ways a vein can be damaged as a result of shooting Subutex.  One, your nerve issue was probably a result of swelling and/or infection in the tissues around the vein, which caused the nerve pathway to be interrupted.  You don't have to "miss" to have issues.  

I don't know if you've heard of a histamine reaction?  That happens when something that's not suitable for injection is injected.  It's basically the body's defense mechanism against something it identifies as foreign and a threat.  Repeated histamine reactions can cause all sorts of problems too.  The immune system initiates the histamine reaction, and usually, there is a localized reaction to that response, which in the case of an ACTUAL foreign substance needed to be fought off, it's good.  But with IV drugs, the histamine reaction is pretty futile, it's just like a car spinning its wheels.   Especially because typically, the person is reintroducing the foriegn substance over and over.  But that reaction itself can cause fevers, swelling, redness, etc.

The fillers in Subutex can cause different kinds of damage as well.  They can cause calcifications or a hardening of the veins, clots are a concern, narrowing due to chronic swelling and irritation.

Unfortunately, really, only time will tell when and if the damage will start to repair itself.  You can definitely seek other opinions, but I think most docs are going to tell you the same thing.  I don't think it's as easy as it sounds to diagnose a specific vascular damage like that, and if they did, I honestly don't think there's a whole lot that could be done.  You can always ask for a referral to a cardiovascular surgeon.  That would be the best kind of specialist to tell you what your options are...both diagnostically, and treatment wise.

I think you would be smart to be realistic about this and a little more accepting that you really may NOT get as specific an answer as you want, and you may not see a ton of improvement.  Only time will tell...I hope for your sake that you get some answers and see some progress.  I know it's frustrating, but it's just not as easy as taking a tube of blood to figure it out.  The vascular system is complex.  At least if you found a good specialist, they cold maybe explain it to you better.  I think that's one of the biggest issues is you feel like your questions aren't being answered.  I would want more specific answers too.  Hopefully I helped a wee bit with that.

Very best to you...be proud of yourself for your recovery!
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by ciccio788, Jun 22, 2013
thank you nurse girl for posting that and i thank you for saying congrats on the recovery part. i will be honest it was the hardest of any detox's ive ever done. i was scared i would get that kind of answer about not knowing exactly what subutex does. i wish while i was in active addiction i would have done this research and stopped earlier. i was shooting them for almost a year. the more i read and more im clean i panic almost at what i have done. acceptance in this situation and any situation as you said is the most important or ill drive myself crazy. who would i go to for a referal for the cardiovascular surgeon? my mom read some case studies last night about  people shooting subutex and she said in every case they all had to have some kind of heart valve replacement and that scared me. i feel like the damage is done now and i am here still alive to only pass on my experience to people who are still shooting this crap or are thinking its ok to do so. but i thank you for your time like i said all 3 doctors said they dont know what happen. so really, thank you
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by VICourageous, Jun 22, 2013
Hi I just wanted to give you some support and Congratulate you on your clean time. I am so sorry about what is happening to you. I did not shoot my drugs but snorted many in the past. We do have a lot of people on here that did shoot there drugs. Just stay close to your post and they should chime in. OK Also you will be a great asset around here for the ones who are shooting or have. We have other communitys around here to that you can check out. I have seen a few come on and ask questions about shooting there drugs and they where not going to stop either..this is where you can help.
Bless
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by nursegirl6572, Jun 22, 2013
I'm sure it's hard not to have major regrets, and of course it's impossible not to worry about something like that.


"i wish while i was in active addiction i would have done this research and stopped earlier"

The thing with that is...MOST likely it wouldn't have made a big difference.  That's one of the key aspects of addiction...that people do things that are risky and dangerous, while being aware of the consequences...yet that still doesn't deter them.  While you maybe now have more specific info, I'm willing to bet the info would not have stopped you.  Either way, no sense wasting energy on the "what ifs".  Stay in the here and now, and find out all you can and what your options are.

You should be able to ask your PCP for a referral to a CV surgeon.   That may be the best option.  There are tests that I would imagine would shed a little more light into what's going on, like an angiogram for one.

Really hope you get some answers, that will help your anxiety a lot.  While a year is long enough to obviously do damage, hang onto the fact that it wasn't longer.   Most of the case studies I read through after reading your post involved people who had used about 5-10 years (who had irrepairable damage).

Take care!


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by ActingBrandNew, Jun 22, 2013
"The thing with that is...MOST likely it wouldn't have made a big difference.  That's one of the key aspects of addiction...that people do things that are risky and dangerous, while being aware of the consequences...yet that still doesn't deter them. "

Very true statement...its how I contracted HCV....I knew it was a risk sharing but did it anyways...
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by ActingBrandNew, Jun 22, 2013
Congrats on your clean time! Great job! Im not sure about the science behind why our veins collapse or clot. I shot dope for many years...never subutex but darn near everything else. Ive seen youngsters lose their veins within months while some people continue to use for decades with no damage to there veins. Just from my experience, its seems the people who either have collapsed or clotted veins had very small veins to begin.

You got some great advice above so I wont repeat any of it. I will add that another doc you may be able to help you is a Hematologist.

hematologist - a physician who specializes in the functions and disorders of the blood.

thrombosis - excess clotting which obstructs veins (venous thrombosis) and arteries (arterial thrombosis).

http://medicalcenter.osu.edu/patientcare/healthcare_services/blood_disorders/blood_disorders_glossary/Pages/index.aspx#V
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by ciccio788, Jun 23, 2013
thank you for writting that i appreciate that of course its hard but great. and with helping around here with people shooting id be more than willing to write to them at this point i want everyone to know how bad this disease is. thanks again
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by ciccio788, Jun 23, 2013
thank you too for writting. i didnt read that where it said about 5-10 years so thanks for writting that. i dont know if you meant shooting subutex or just drugs in general. but i have been shooting off and on for 7 years but shooting subutex for a year. but the reality is the damage is done like i said but thank you for saying being thankful it wasnt longer than a year. have a great day
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by toothfairie, Jun 23, 2013
just wanted to say hope you get the answers about the vein thing and it gets resolved ....and congrats on your clean time!  that's great....just keep pushing forward and we are here when you need support  :)