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Addiction: Substance Abuse Community
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New Medicine to stop craving for Herion Addicts in recovery

I have an 18 year old son who is a Herion addict. I heard on a news show that there is a new Medicine to help stop the craving for Herion but was not yet in the U.S.
Can anyone tell me where this medicine is.
My wife and I are going crazy trying to keep him sober.
We truly belive him that he does want to stay clean but can't
Drug rehabs have not been the answer.

Thank you
Alex1381
48 Responses
Avatar universal
I believe that de-tox fascilities are now prescribing Buprenorphine for opiate withdrawl. I ordered a batch from an overseas pharmacist to see what all the fuss was about.  I didn't experiance any euphoria from this drug, but I did feel a little numb all over, indicating this to be a powerfull pain reliever.
Avatar universal
I believe it's the buprenorphine. It worked very well for me. Read the posting between myself and Brighty below and run a search engine on "buprenorphine". There's a lot of info on the net. Good Luck.
Avatar universal
We have the same problem with our daughter. I think it's buprenorphine. Look below and see my questions to Steve and his responses to me. Also our family doctor is doing a little research on it for us before prescribing it. Also please look at my questions here on Wellbutrin and Zyban, and the responses. My daughter is to start on it this week until we get more info on the buprenorphine. It's an antidepressant and may help to some degree, which is to my thinking at least worth trying. The concern seems to be the possibilities of seizures so think it over. If I learn more I will post here to you. Good luck. Brighty
Avatar universal
The medicine is, as the others posted, Buprenorphine.  It's brand name in the US is Buprenex.  As of right now, it is available in injections only, although the pill is being released soon.  Buprenorphine is an interesting medicine (I have been detoxed with it 3 times).  It is an opiate, however, it has agonist-antagonist qualities.  Esentially, it binds to the opiate receptors in the brain, therefore one does not crave opiates or have withdrawal.  Because of its antagonist properties it does not get one "high" and therefore has limited abuse potential.  (I say limited because I understand it is diverted for street use so it is somewhat abused).  To further limit abuse, the drug is going to be released in pill form combined with Naltrexone, a narcotic antagonist.

Buprenorphine is still untested long term, and hence I am not certain I would want my child on it on a long term basis like methadone.  It is great as a week long detox drug.  If you read the journal articles on the internet, you will get more information.  I think you will find that if your son keeps relapsing, methadone maintainence may be the way to go.

Another thought just hit me.  The "drug" you may be referring to might not be Buprenorphine, but might be Ibogaine.  Ibogaine is believed to limit cravings and "break" the addiction cycle.  It is in preliminary research but can be obtained over the internet.  For more info. see www.ibogainedossier.org.  Best of luck to you and your son.  Stay strong and remember, it is a disease like cancer.  It is not his fault.
Avatar universal
Sorry, it's www.ibogaine.org and the name of the website is ibogaine dossier.  A fascinating potential "cure" for opiate addiction.
Avatar universal
This is for Steve... can you find our dialog on Buprenorphine here anywhere ? I was just trying to find it and it seems to be gone.. or else I need to see the opthamologist !!! Can anyone locate it ? I was wondering if you had replied to my last question and alas.. I can't find any of our Q and A ?? I did a search on Buprenorphine and find nothing also. Did the staff delete it ?? I will look again before I post this. Can anyone help me with this ??
Avatar universal
This is for Steve... can you find our dialog on Buprenorphine here anywhere ? I was just trying to find it and it seems to be gone.. or else I need to see the opthamologist !!! Can anyone locate it ? I was wondering if you had replied to my last question and alas.. I can't find any of our Q and A ?? I did a search on Buprenorphine and find nothing also. Did the staff delete it ?? I will look again before I post this. Can anyone help me with this ??
Avatar universal
Hi Brighty. Gone for good. Question for the "moderator" of this site..... something wrong with the posting? something wrong with the subject? Looked like a very civil exchange of opinion to me. I do hope there have been technical problems... kinda strange though.... does the webmaster care to comment? Think you guys should. The doubt of deliberate censorship is enough to make me wish i had not open my heart...... we'll see.
Avatar universal
Hi Steve,

I got a general type of reply in my e-mail that when messages get old they "age out" and are removed from the forum. This does not apply to our postings. Your replies to my questions were valuable to me and other readers. I realize that we engaged in a tiny bit of "chit chat" but the information on BUPRENORPNINE should be posted here. I did a fourm and arvhive search and nothing comes up. When our postings were here in the forum the search for BUPRENORPNINE did come up. I agree there seems to be  censorship at work here which will render this a controlled forum.. afterall much of the information here is not verified by professionals and is just experiential exchange by participants. The information you passed to me is not erased from my memory... an addiction specialist is to meet with my daughter in her recovery program.. he is very optimistic about buprenorphine... so maybe he'll have her on it depending on the results of her eval with him.. and the policies of the recovery program. In any case I am certainly glad you opened your heart here... it was appropriate and helpful to us and likely to many others. Thank you Steve. PS... I wonder if ibogaine discussion is welcome here as it relates to addiction ??
Avatar universal
This is for Brian who posted above.. thank you for sharing your experiences on Buprenorphine.. Can you tell us how long you used it.. only a few days of detox ?? How did you handle cravings after the detox and did you consider if a light maintenance use of bup would have helped you for a while with them ? Did your doctor tell you much about it? I am curious because your comments led to recommending the  powerful addictive drug methadone for maintenance rather than the buprenorphine... I am simply wondering what brought you to this conclusion since you did have 3 detoxes with the bup. Your reply is appreciated. Brighty
Avatar universal
Your son will not stay clean until he WANTS too.Simple
Avatar universal
The longest I was on buprenorphine was 5 or six days, as a detox drug only, not for maintainence.  I handled cravings after detox sometimes by using (great way to handle huh) and other times simply by going to meetings.  Yes, buprenorphine will help with cravings, but the bottom line is it is a narcotic.  Any narcotic will stop cravings since what the cravings are are your opiate receptors crying out for more opiate.  Thus at some point one has to get off the narcotic and face the cravings.  Buprenorphine has some good qualities for detox, but less is known about how effective it will be for long term maintainence.  Therefore, since methadone is so established, I think if one is going to be maintained long term it is the preferred drug.  However, methadone is VERY hard to get off of, and buprenorphine is less so.  My recommendation is for addicts to detox and not be maintained on any narcotic long term (unless they are chronic relapsers with little hope of staying off narcotics).  Just my opinion.
Avatar universal
Thanks Brian for your reply. I did not know that buprenorphine was a narcotic. I did know that it does touch the opiate receptors thus causing a feeling of opiate satisfaction. If it's a narcotic, then why is it not addictive and why does it have little abuse potential ?? Also, you mentioned the ibogaine site above. I also agree that it is fascinating.. however illegal in the US. I am a proponent of people seeking alternative remedies.. especially in cases where our modern western medicine cannot offer any cure or any hope. Good that you mentioned that web site. Best wishes, Brighty
Avatar universal
Buprenorphine has a limited abuse potential because it is in a class of narcotics that have both agonist and antagonist properties.  Basically what that means is it both binds to the opiate receptors and stimulates them mildly, thus making them satisfied (and not causing withdrawal) while at the same time it will keep other opiates from binding to the receptors (and will also cause withdrawal if taken too soon because it will cause other opiates to be "knocked off" the receptors).  By only stimulating the receptors mildly, buprenorphine does not give one a "high" and hence it is not frequently abused.  The mild feeling it may give some users does not really increase with an increase in dosage, also limiting abuse.  I agree with you about the Ibogaine and would love to find out more directly from someone who has undergone that treatment what the result was.  There are apparently places to order the Ibogaine on the Web, but as you said it is currently not legal in the US.  Guess the government would rather have millions of addicts!  Take care, Brian
Avatar universal
Hi this message is for anyone who is on this list.  I stumbled on this list because I was looking for some help on Heroin addiction and withdrawl.  THis is my seventh day of goinh without the Heroin.  I have been awake the whole time and I still haven't slept.  It's rough . Quite rough.  I feel like I am going crazy.  I need peolple to talk to.   I know that when my friend were going through withdrawl from other addictions such as alcohol, etc.  So if some one could write back to me with some information on how to cope it would be greatly appreciated because I am doing this cold turkey.  Today is actually the first day I have had the ambition to even get on the computer.  I am a writer and artist at heart.  And the addiction got such a hold of me that I let my talents go to waste.  I wrote a poem. I'll put on the next time I check my e-mail.  Thank you everyone.     Alexis
Avatar universal
Peace and blessings to you Alexis !! My daughter is in recovery now for heroin addiction. You are courageous and I will pray for you !!! Steve and Brian post here often and have had success with buprenorphine... I hope you read all the posts here and find out things that can help you. Please find an addiction doctor in your area right away. You really should look into a recovery program right away  also... there are different types. I'm afraid that without some support you could lapse into your old habits before too long.. so PLEASE don't handle this alone. I will be happy to correspond with you for encouragement if you want someone to talk to and to share stuff... but I am not addicted so I won't be able to offer you what others here can offer. I am sure you will hear from them soon. But feel free to write anyway.
Avatar universal
Based on what you report it seems that bup would be safer than methadone for maintenance. What do you think ? I am wondering if a person could just take their own when cravings start.. sounds like it's safe to hold on to at home. Your opinion ?

I am chatting via personal e-mail with a number of people who have undergone ibogaine treatments and also learning how to obtain treatment. You can go to www.ibogaine.org to get started or you can e-mail me and I will be happy to direct you. I would not.. definitely not.. order it on the web unless you are having it mailed to an address out ot the country !! I don't think home treatment would be a good idea either. You're right....the govenrment would prefer to have millions of addicts.... addiction is a multi billion dollar industry... and any treatment that could put a dent in it is not likely to be easily approved. My opinion of course.
Avatar universal
Alexis, you are almost at the point where the withdrawal will stop (it should be getting much easier).  I agree with Brighty that an addiction doc would be a big help.  They can assist with meds that will help you sleep and also start treating the addiction itself.  All I can suggest at this point is rest, eat well, drink plenty of fluids and TRY to get to some NA meetings.  The meetings really do help.  I was resistant to going when I first got clean, and I constantly relapsed.  After I started going to meetings it kept me on track.  Good luck and let us know how you are.
Avatar universal
Hi.  I think buprenorphine has good potential for maintainence.  As far as having it around the house and being able to take it whenever you want, that is somewhat of a problem.  First, in US there is still not a pill (although it is being released soon).  So, you have to either get IM injections or have it made into a troche which is then placed under the tongue.  Also, when I had the troches laying around, although they didn't do much for me (in terms of getting high) I did abuse them.  They had a slight intoxicating effect and hence for an addict they really shouldn't be around the house so to speak.  Bup and methadone are not really for cravings, they are either a detox med or a maintainence med for those who chronically relapse.  Unfortunately, cravings are a problem but we learn in NA to simply wait them out--they do go away.  At first they are more frequent, but they dissipate over time.  Finally, with respect to the ibogaine I agree that ibogaine.org is a good resource.  Have you yet met anyone online that has used it successfully?  I'd be interested to find out their experience.  Best wishes.  Brian
Avatar universal
Hi Brian,

Thanks for your perspectives on the idea of buprenorphine for maintenance. I am still not understanding addiction I guess. ...isn't it the cravings that cause chronic relapse ?? I had the idea that if cravings disappeared then there would not be this feeling of the opiate receptors crying out for opiate. Thus a major reason for using has diminished.( Right?) So that's why I figured just take a bup when the cravings arrive instead of the heavy addictive methadone.. which is a daily thing and also not much of a therapeutic environment. Maybe I need corrections in my thinking :-))  Please explain this to me.

As far as the ibogaine, yes, I am currently involved in personal e-mails with a number of people who have used it successfully and it has been a God send to them. It's a lot of sorting out though on the various types of treatments and the treatment options as far as "practitioners" go. My daughter is in traditional rehab type recovery now and may opt for a longer program when her 3 months are up. But she is interested so I am doing all the footwork for her.  E-mail me if you wish and I will direct you into the "loop'.. then you can find out alot on your own. My mail is : ***@****
Best wishes, Brighty
Avatar universal
I wish I could e-mail, unfortunately my computer is used by others who I must keep from knowing my past.  With respect to the cravings, they are a major reason why addicts relapse, but are not the only reason.  Most addiction specialists seem to recommend that narcotic antagonists should only be used to keep chronic relapsers (i.e. those who have relapsed numerous times despite programs, etc.) from pursuing active addiction.  The reason is that at some point unless the addict is willing to spend an entire lifetime addicted to the maintainence medication, they will have to go through the withdrawal and cravings.  Hence my advice to people is to use other means to deal with the cravings (talking at meetings, exercise, etc.) rather than relying on a medication which has its own problems.  Finally, buprenorphine IS a narcotic and though it will keep one from craving I seriously doubt an addict could have a supply of it around and not take it unless they had a craving.  My experience is that I would take it just to feel "better" even if I was feeling fine.  Brian
Avatar universal
Hi Brian,

Thanks again for some inside perspectives on the issues of cravings which most non addicts can only relate to being hungry or wanting a particular food we don't really need but feel we have to have. So we really need education as to this mysterious thing called addiction. Your comments about taking something to feel better even if you were feeling fine are very revealing... my daughter has the attitude she needs to take something for nearly any problem that exists... my attitude has been to *do* something. I think I may be "getting it" little by little.

Well you do know the ibogaine site so if you go there you will find some other links.. but the way I found people to personally correspond with who have used ibogaine was from subscribing to the e-list which is a link listed at the www.ibogaine.org site. I suppose this will not work for you because subscribing to the list is an e-mail function. It's an open forum but all the responses and comments arrive in your e-mail. From this list people contacted me personally rather than in the "forum" and told me their experiences, treatment options and providers. I have also had treatment providers and researchers etc.. contact me via e-mail and give me info or send me their web sites.  Besides www.ibogaine.org you may want to try www.ibogaine.co.uk  where you will find treatment links and links to testimonials. Since you cannot use the e-mail I think the testimonials will be the next best way to hear from people who had success. Also another good site is www.ibeginagain.org
Best wishes, Brighy
Avatar universal
Just as your daughter, I remember thinking I needed something to make me feel better.  NA has really helped me to see that I will only feel better by doing certain things (staying clean, going to meetings, living a healthy lifestyle, being totally honest with myself and others).  I strongly urge you to have your daughter get involved with NA.  I initially resisted the idea.  I am a professional, I won't fit in with those folks I said to myself.  Well, guess what, we have more in common than I ever thought.  We have all had cravings, thought we could never be happy without the drugs, thought they were "the answer", etc.  Perhaps the best part of NA is hearing the stories of people who were far worse off than you and hearing how their lives are so much better now.  In some ways the group effect has a very powerful influence on the desire to stay clean.  In addition, your daughter can hear how far one will fall if not vigilant against the drugs.  I heard a woman tearfully relating how her husband relapsed after TEN years off heroin and died that night of an overdose.  A very powerful lesson on how one can NEVER become complacent with this deadly disease.  In short, I guess what I am saying is the only way to beat this disease is to attack it on a daily basis.  Simply trying to stay away from the drugs does NOT work.
Avatar universal
I agree with you totally. My daughter is in a very structured recovery program now and support groups are a key component. I have attended many N/A meetings with her in the past year as well. There is an active Rational Recovery support group near our community and they do seem to attract a big following. Seems that there are fewer of them so the people who prefer this philosophy travel some miles to attend. But which ever path it is important to have support and to keep vigilant and close to God as well. Best wishes, Brighty
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