5133446 tn?1364088940

Low Codeine Abuse and Suboxone

Hi everyone I’m new here but have concerns about Suboxone.

So I’ve been taking 270mg of Codeine throughout the day, every day for the last 7 years. I have never gone over that amount but sometimes I have less, it depends how I feel that day. I work full time and my family knows but it’s never been an issue as it doesn’t stop me from getting on with my life or negatively affect my behavior.

But I went to CADS anyway to discuss my options and they prescribed me the pure codeine while I worked out which path is for me. The Dr suggested I go on Suboxone which I really do not want to do as I believe it’s more addictive and harder to come off and has more negative health effects, plus I’ve been reading so many stories and most have been negative.

Tomorrow the Dr is going to trial me on Dihydrocodeine to see how that goes. I don’t think my Dr understands that while I am chemically addicted its more my daily routine and not trying to always chase that high otherwise I would of taken more by now even though I’ve tried explaining this over and over.

One other thing that concerns me, my Dr said he hasn’t had experience with Suboxone so was curious to see how it would go with me O.O
47 Responses
4810126 tn?1503942735
Glad you're here. Your first two tags are: "Codeine" and "Abuse" . Can you tell us whether you have taken more than you've been prescribed? Or find yourself obsessing about it? I appreciate both your concerns about Suboxone itself and that your doctor's lack of familiarity w/ it.
1810386 tn?1405549577
Hello and welcome,

It's great to see that you are seeking help for you problem :)

I came to your situation in slightly similar / slightly similar different situation. I ended up taking about 400 ~ 500mg of Codeine a day.

I ended going to my doctors and refereed to an addiction specialist. I was given two options of a 5 day detox or to go on Suboxone.

If you have time have a look at the questions and answers from my profile I've asked t a similar question. The biggest thing I found is Suboxone is just trading one substance for another. Suboxone is a opioid that works in a different way to others. You are on a max dose normally prescribed for mild- medium pain but I personal wouldn't say you were on a super high dose that would require suboxone therapy.

You could try a taper, try cutting it down slowly overtime..

There are other maintenance options out there once you have withdrawn off the codeine and these can assist and help you stay off. You might want to talk to you Doctor about theses options, one that comes to mind is naloxone.

Keep us updated with how you are going or if you have any questions
5133446 tn?1364088940
I've never taken more than prescribed even though I get real high off it (I have a weird low tolerance to opiates) and I went CT last year which lasted 6 weeks until I became suicidal, extremely angry and shut myself away from the world.

The thing is I don't want to stop taking it. It keeps me happy/motivated and wanting to participate in life if that makes sense. The Dr wants to force me on Suboxone since apparently you can't get high from it but like I said, the high feeling keeps me going in life so why would I take something I wouldn't get a nice feeling from and is more than likely harder to come off?

I know some here will question why I would want to be addicted to anything but like I said, it hasn't negatively affected me or anyone around me and I don't have to worry about supply so there is no obsessing over it. There are some days I go 24hours before having some so it's not like I became this desperate person who needs to get their fix.

One of the frustrating things about my Dr is he doesn't believe me when I tell him these things because his other opiate addict patients are completely different in behavior to me so I must be this lying, deceiving addict who would do anything to get their DOC which is not true.
5133446 tn?1364088940
So after the Doctor refused to give me Codeine maintenance I was forced to go on long release Dihydrocodeine twice daily.
I have been given a last warning at work due to the Dihydrocodeine causing me to fall asleep and constantly making mistakes at work.
I started my job normal, happy and motivated and now all I want to do is end it all and instead of doing the most logical best thing for my well-being the Doctor wants to put me on Methadone for a 240mg Codeine habit.
I’m starting to think I’m being managed by an idiot.
4810126 tn?1503942735
Hey Jean!

Thanks so much for your candor. There are a couple of things I'd tentatively like to point out & please don't try not to take offense. I'm just trying to get to know you and your situation a little better. Many of us, went through a 'Honeymoon' period w/ our Drug Of Choice. It was a 'daily routine' for us, too. The fact that your supply has never run dry just means you haven't experienced you're own true dependency on it. As you say, you like doing it. It usually take's real consequences to get us to get off our butts. It sounds like you're actually accruing them at work. If you're on a 'proper' dose you shouldn't be nodding out. I'm surprised your doctor who you say is suspicious of his patients would put someone w/ a low opiate threshold on a high dose. That's a red flag. I would try the sustained release, particularly since you're opiate sensitive. I would not go to the Suboxone if at all possible unless you get into real trouble. You have other options. May I ask what the Codeine was initially prescribed for? Please keep posting. We're here.
4810126 tn?1503942735
Hi, me again,

I just wanted to add a couple of things. Dihydrocodeine is a semi-synthetic, is more sedative and approximately 2 times as strong as Codeine. Also, something to consider if you've been on Codeine for 7 yrs. (unless it's plain Codeine Phosphate) is that you're doing your liver damage - particularly at that dose because of the NSAID's in it.
5133446 tn?1364088940
He put me on 120mg Sustained released in the morning and 120mg sustained release in the evening. This got reduced down to 60mg in the morning and 60mg in the evening both sustained released. It still makes me extremely sleepy and I'm unable to concentrate. I get my kidney and liver checked every 3 months and I haven't done any damage so far.

I was actually put on pure codeine maintenance and this was working perfectly until for some reason he pulled me off it and is now trying to make me take Suboxone or Methadone. The thing that pisses me off is he said I can stay on Suboxone or Methadone as long as I want even for rest of my life if I choose but why would I go on something extreme to treat something so low in dose.

And I’m sick of him treating me like I’m an idiot, like everything I have to say is a lie, like I’m trying to deceive him and he keeps telling me I will end up a Heroin junky on the street, which I have never once in 7 years even thought about using that.

Before I started taking Codeine I was extremely depressed, they gave me anti-depressants and tried all sorts of drugs which made my life hell and I tried to kill myself twice. Then I stumbled across Codeine and my whole outlook on life changed. With the low dose I take, I was able to break out of the depression and start living. I never had desires to take more or more at a time and for 7 years I sat on the same amount each day and lived my life like a normal person. But in the last week it’s all come crumbling down and my boss has had enough of me and those black thoughts have come back once again. So in order to save my job and my life I did the only thing I knew would work, went out and bought many packets of Panafen Plus and stopped taking the DHC during the day and once again I am normal and my boss has somewhat left me alone.

And because I’ve done that CAD’S said they won’t help me anymore. Apparently they would rather I be an incompetent zombie who gets fired or even let me commit suicide rather than come to the middle and put me back on codeine maintenance that was working in the beginning. I even told the Doctor I would only need 60mg Codeine in the morning, 60mg Codeine in the afternoon and I would be happy taking the DHC in the evening but nope, I’m a dirty lying addict who would do anything for their DOC!

Note: I was originally prescribed pure Codeine 7 years ago after a bike accident. I fractured my jaw in 3 places, ripped open my lip/cheek, cracked my cheek bone and broke my collar bone. All that because a car full of teen assholes were speeding towards me on a narrow gravel driveway and I panicked. They thought it was oh so hilarious and laughed at me before they sped off.
4810126 tn?1503942735
So, Jean --

What is it that brought you to the forum? Are you doctor shopping? Looking for alternative meds. or do you need the space to tell your story? It's a process. Stay with us and Happy Easter!
5133446 tn?1364088940
Not Doctor shopping just asking people for their advice/stories on Doctor making me switch to Methadone or Suboxone for something I class as minor so I can arm myself with as much information as possible and tell the Doctor NO I will not be put on something more addictive and harder to come off in the long run.
5133446 tn?1364088940
Speaking of stories, I just read this poor fellows experience:

He was addicted to similar dose to me of Codeine 240mg for the last couple of years. He decided to go to Addiction Specialist and see what help he could get. The specialist there told him he would be perfect for Suboxone. What this poor fellow didn’t know is how much this Doctor put him on. He started him on 8mg when he should have been around .2mg! for the amount of Codeine he was taking. Well he told the Doctor he felt very sick and was having withdrawals so what did this doctor do? Put his dose up to 16mg...Well he kept getting sick so the Doctor switched him over to Methadone and now he’s in one hell of a mess.

That is what I’m afraid of, being told I don’t know what I’m talking about because I’m just a stupid addict and that I HAVE to listen to whatever the Doctor says even though it would be worse for my health and addiction in the long term.
4522800 tn?1470325834
Hi I know you are talking to EvolverU about this..I just want to add my two cents in...You are very, very, wise not to want on the subs or dones...I was on the Methedone for over 12yrs and it stated with the hydo/oxys..I sure can undersatnd what is up..Man or Man the DR sometimes just P me off.It is almost like I see it as a money making thing between them and the Phams..I have been around the block a few times and I am 56..I have also worked in the health field...SOOO If I were you I would go and get another DR..Get one that will give you something that is some what mild for pain..Be Honest and tell them you are NOT going to play the merry-go-round...I really can feel that you are a smart cookie..OK This is just comming from my Experience..
4810126 tn?1503942735
Hi again,

From what you've told us, I would second VICourageous. A lighter opiate is in order. It would stop you from nodding & lessen your dependency and that's always a good thing. I'm thinking Vicodin, here. That said, I have the sneaking suspicion that this Doc. may have flagged you. If he hasn't already, he might if you leave him and he finds out. What's your relationship like w/ him/her at this point? Do not give in to the Suboxone suggestion because you are taking your DOC for mood altering reasons - as you stated above. Suboxone will not provide the same 'energy' and 'euphoria' you turn to Codeine for. I just wanted to ask -- you mentioned that you were suicidal in the past -- have you talked to a professional about this? Did you experience major depression or was this an 'isolated' incident? Thanks so much for sticking w/ us. All the best to you!
5133446 tn?1364088940
Yes I saw a few ‘professionals’ who prescribed me all sorts of anti-depressants which just made my depression even worse and not to mention I felt like a brain damage zombie, that’s why I tried to take my life twice.

The Codeine makes me feel normal and stable. It keeps the bad thoughts away and I’m able to function like a normal person and also someone who doesn’t want to give up, someone who can make it through.

I stopped taking the Sustained Released DHC and just take the normal Codeine and I feel back to normal and I was able to go out, clean the house and enjoy my weekend like a normal person but as soon as I tell CADS and the Doctor what I have done, they will turn their backs on me like he has already threatened if I don’t take the Suboxone or Methadone and I don’t think it’s fair!

This is my life they are messing with and they don’t seem to care. They want me hooked on something more addictive and destructive and I think you are right, if I go somewhere else he will flag me so no one can help me, I’m being backed into a corner which I don’t know what to do.
5133446 tn?1364088940
Here’s just one example of how I get treated:

I have a YouTube channel which I share my Video Game gameplays on. I told the Doctor this as he asked what my hobbies were. He kept asking me if I took my clothes off in the videos. I said umm no why would I do that? He said “well why anyone would watch if you don’t take your clothes off and like all addicts you have to fund your habit somehow right” He could not grasp:

1. I Do not take my clothes off for my videos and
2. Didn’t need to ‘fund’ my habit

He doesn’t believe me and gives me the “oh if you can’t be honest with yourself then how are we supposed to help you” WTF! After I told my partner he got so angry and will sit in the next session with me so he can witness the full extent of how I get treated.
4522800 tn?1470325834
Hi again...I would go to another DR...Like YESTERDAY...What a drag..Does he know anything about the addiction..Is he a Dr who can even prescribe the Subs? I would stand my ground and not go with the Subs or Methedone..That is not right the way you are being treated..Drug Addiction or Not....Best of Luck...
5133446 tn?1364088940
He said to me "It would be good to see you on Suboxone since I haven't had much experience with it and would like to see how it goes" WHAT!

I am a very honest person and told him everything from the get go relating to my Codeine history and habit. He prescribed me the daily Codeine I needed (4x60mg throughout the day) and everything was going perfect and I landed a new job. Then out of nowhere, about 6 weeks later he decided to pull me off it to try other ‘methods’. When I asked why would you take away what was working? He said "The problem is you could take more than we prescribing which would result in an overdose which we do not want to be responsible for" I just had this weird blank look on my face.

So here I am now, under so much pressure from work, given my last warning due to my poor performance, unable to concentrate or focus and nodding off at my desk or in the lunch room. Why?  Because the Doctor thought it would be best to try something else even though nothing was broken? So I did the only thing I could to save my job, I stopped taking the Sustained Release DHC and starting taking the Codeine again except I do not have many left and now I’m guessing the Doctor won’t prescribed me more so he can try all sorts of other sh*t on me.

Note: My Doctor also specializes in Addiction (weird aye) and knew from the beginning I had an addiction problem that is why he prescribed me ‘Codeine Maintenance’ as he called it.
4810126 tn?1503942735
Hey Girl,
What a CREEP! It sounds like this guy might even make a move on you down the line to keep that Scrip going. You should ask him to take Suboxone for a couple of months and see how he likes it! If all else fails and he won't continue your scrip I would suggest a low dose of Methadone in a controlled environment. This does not have the same side effects that some people experience off subs. and will stop you from nodding at work. That's said, I'd like to just mention that I'm hearing two different things -- a) that you 'need' this drug to function emotionally and physically. -- b) that you've been warned several times that you're not functioning as well as believe as you're on your last warning at work. A lot of the time we don't realize or are in denial about how the drug is affecting us and how we appear to others. It's more than possible that this happens outside of work as well. I went through something similar. It took watching other people loaded on opiates to understand where I was! Something to think about. May I ask how old you are, Jean? BTW, you can Private Message me anytime you like. We're here for you.
5133446 tn?1364088940
I was only getting in trouble at work because of the Sustained release DHC. codeine never makes me tired or unable to do my work and the max I will have at 1 time is only 60mg
5133446 tn?1364088940
and I'm 26 and knew 7 years ago I was addicted and was happy to live my life that way since no one got hurt or it wasn't destructive. My family knows and doesn't see it as a problem until this Doctor has come in mucked everything up.
Avatar universal
I think you should find a doctor who can taper you slowly off the codeine.

Codeine is very addictive, and not a solution long term for "not functioning".

No judgement, just my experience.
4810126 tn?1503942735
I know very little about the laws in New Zealand. If he's an 'addiction specialist' and put you on Codeine Phosphate as a 'maintenance' and you were up front w/ him - isn't he bound by law to continue you? I despise the new trend (and we have it in this country, too.) of herding addicts onto harder drugs. Vickie's right, it's a Big Pharma/Dr. cash cow. It sounds to me like this doctor wants to add Suboxone to his 'arsenal' (it's quite lucrative.) Don't be his guinea pig! I'm curious to know how old this Dr, is. I have  a couple of thoughts I'm going to PM you, Jean. Hang in there.
5133446 tn?1364088940
I am fully addicted to it and accept that but I shouldn't be forced onto Suboxone or Methadone. It will turn a low dose addiction into a full blown beast.
5133446 tn?1364088940
After taking my partner in with me the Doctor is going to put me back on Codeine Maintenance and I can get on with my life once again O.O shame it's too late to save my job :(
5133446 tn?1364088940
Well I saw the Doctor alone and now he's pushing Suboxone again aggressively onto me. Man I really got my hopes up about going back on the Codeine Maintenance and having some sort of normal life and trying to get a new job. This is causing so much more stress than I need at this point.

I also found out 150mg Codeine = 0.3 Buprenorphine and Suboxone in my country only comes as low as 2mg so I will have to take over 4x what is actually needed. This doesn't seem logical to me?
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