Addiction: Substance Abuse Community
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16033163 tn?1444904819

need to help a friend off smack, subbies?

hope someone out there can help. I have recently fallen for a girl who I have found out has a serious heroin addiction. she predominantly smokes it but has occasionally injected. she really wants to get clean & I believe her as I can see the person behind the drug. she has a son who was taken away from her & needs to be clean to stand any chance of being involved in his life. this is her main motivation, another reason I know she means it.
She has asked if I can get her subbies to help her get off & I really want to help but need some advice.
should it be subutex or soboxone to start, will these actually help & how can I get them in the uk.
she doesn't want to go to the Dr's as this will admit to the authorities she is still using and put pay to any hope she has of seeing her son.
please help it's killing me seeing her hurting herself so bad every day & I know she is so much better than what she does.

thanks in advance
59 Responses
1530493 tn?1410056636
Hi gazzat
Can subs help with a heroin addiction ?
Yes. ...BUT...not from the streets.  
If she truly wants to work on her recovery, she will need to do it under a doctors care.   It will make her accountable, she will need counseling or some type of meetings to help her learn life without drugs, along with a wean that works for her.
it's not a quick fix. ..takes time.
As for admitting a drug problem, that's ok, by seeking treatment it shows she's serious.
do an Internet search for a suboxone doctor near her
good luck....she's lucky to have you :)
11318065 tn?1462984479
I have to agree with Deb!
And if she goes into treatment it will show the courts she is trying to take care of her addiction!  The key is though is that she really wants to stop and be willing to do whatever it takes to get and stay clean! That willingness is what pushes us forward as addicts...willing to do WHATEVER it takes!  Go to a Doctor, go into treatment, get therapy, AA/NA, and build a support system to help us stay clean!  Whatever her support system might be she needs to find one!!!
Please try to help her by getting her into treatment and then help you by going to AL-anon or Nar-Anon and learn ways to help her and help yourself!  
You are awesome for sticking by her side right now and trying to help her!!   ❤
16033163 tn?1444904819
thanks for the reply, think we both know it's not a quick fix.
she has used subbies before to get off & it worked until she relapsed.
she has issues dealing with pain in her life & the first port of call is drugs.
I've been in a similar situation before, not such hard stuff (mainly weed, phet & MDMA) so glad I pushed through.
problem we have here is Dr's will only give a days worth to start which means day 2 she'd be looking to score again & there's no way I can support her habit as much as I've grown to love her.
not so sure she's lucky just have to see if I can handle pulling her kicking & screaming through it.
sorry to ramble but good to have someone who understands however anon.
i'll keep y'all posted on how it goes
Gaz x
Avatar universal
You're a great friend trying to help her. She has your support and that's what she's going to need. I agree with cricket about her goin to treatment center. I know first hand all about it. I hate talking about it. 8 years ago I was in a verbal abusive relationship with my daughters father. We lived with his family and the father and bro and him drank every night. cops were called all the time  cuz they would brawl. even tho my daughter and I were always upstairs hiding in the bedroom cops still contacted dcf. to make a long story short my 1 year old got taken from me for 6 months. I was on a lot of pain meds from a previous surgery and her father told dcf that I was a drug addict so they wouldn't give her back. I hate him and I don't talk to him at all.  Even though I was prescribed this med they didn't care. I ended up on my own to go through treatment to get off the meds as fast as I could. three months of treatment and aftercare they gave her back to me. It's the worst feeling in the world to have your child taken from you. I busted my butt to do everything and anything to prove to them I was able to take care of her. It's the best thing she can do to go into treatment. My daughter is now almost 10. I have a 6 year old son. I met his dad a few months after I got my daughter back. He's my rock. I broke my back in a car accident two years ago. Prescribed pain meds for about 4 months until I got out of control again. I realized it and my family did as well. I went to treatment again and then they hooked me up with a suboxone clinic. Two years later here I am 25 days off sub taper and I'm gaining control of my life. If I didn't have my hubby and family I don't know what would've happened. Kids taken from me, I could be dead. It's a scary thing and I hope to God she can get into treatment. Please have her read this. It helps to have someone that went through what shes going through...
16033163 tn?1444904819
thanks yes that really helps even if it is just knowing I'm not on my own.
slight complication to my story is that I am currently in a relationship with the mother of my 2 kids (girl 10 & boy 8). I can see this situation ruining my current relationship (which I must add has gone a little stale but I gotta be their for my kids) & then this new girl throwing it back in my face with me being left with nothing.
well here's hoping I can continue to enrich all their lives without messing anything up
thank you all for responding means a heap
Gaz x
16033163 tn?1444904819
just a quick one if we did go the sub route just how hard is it really to get off??
1530493 tn?1410056636
Gaz...you ramble as much as you need to,  that's why we're here :)  

I don't understand...doc wants to give subs on a daily basis in the beginning ?
If that's the case. ...it'll only be temporary until she proves herself.
My son was a severe iv heroin addict.  He tried subs many times on his own, each time relapsing to a worse than before spot, trying to do it with street subs.
His final time was done through a doctor, with one on one counsel.   He learned how to cope with pain/life in a different way.... without drugs.
Took near a year for him with an extremely slow wean.
he's just over 3 years clean,  still goes to self help meetings when he feels vulnerable.  
I've watched and lived many years of his addiction with him...this approach saved his life, trying to do it on his own,  nearly killed him.

BTW...love CAN move mountains, she's a lucky girl

Definitely keep us updated !! :)
Avatar universal
Gaz- this girl, if she is serious, will find her own way to subs the right way. You have to stay out of this or you are in for a world of heartache. We see it on here all the time. She is asking you to do something underhanded: NOT a good sign. Sorry, my friend.

I would really really think hard about getting involved w/ an active H user who isn't getting clean. Just because you can "see the real person" behind her using doesn't mean anything substantial. Honestly, that's what most folks say when they're at their wit's end w/ an active addict. This isn't your daughter, mother, father or wife. It's a girl you've been dating. Please do some serious thinking.
Avatar universal
P.S- if love was all we needed to get people clean, there would be no addicts. Love is detaching so that you keep your sanity, while letting the addict do the work they are supposed to do. She will never get clean if she is being enabled. Good luck to you:)
Avatar universal
Taking subs is the first route to wanting to be clean. Then therapy meetings etc THEN you taper off the subs. Iv done it. It can work and the reason I am here alive and clean is because my parents supported me. So with regards to the above poster - I disagree. It obviously depends on different people but I was strongly against stopping my drug of choice (opiates) but look at me now. And that's what LOVE can do. So if you love this girl and you know her intentions are to be with her son - help her. Cause she is going to need it. And after a long effort and patience and torture (it's not easy getting off subs either) you can get clean.
P.s - I am not 100% sure that sub doctors put that you are on subs on your actual medical record. Mine didn't and it was a charitable clinic where the sub doc was a retired gp.
Anyway hope that helps - good luck to you and her especially :)
Avatar universal
P.s I'm from uk too :)
16033163 tn?1444904819
thanks to all of you for your comments and support, it's helping sooo much.
yes love is blind and we do need more than just that but if it's all we have what choice do we have.
if I can make any difference, for the good, to her life at least I will know I have done what I could. I can't walk away from someone I care for knowing I could of tried, just wouldn't be able to sleep at night if I did.
any one in the uk know how much residential rehab costs & how effective it is??
16033163 tn?1444904819
anything else or any other route I could try??
16033163 tn?1444904819
serious thinking is about all I've been doing at the moment. thanks for the feedback & a different perspective, appreciate it
Avatar universal
I never went to rehab but did it at home but if she went on subs she wouldn't necessarily have to go in rehab just be abstinent from the opiates for 24 hours before the sub.

Residential rehabs in the uk you got:
1) VERY expensive places if you google it you're looking at thousands of £ for a few weeks minimum
2) some hospitals can be referred by a doctor or gp (look up Maudsley hospital for substance abuse) it's somewhere south (I know of this one in particular because I was going to go but there's a waiting list!!)
3) try Turning Point (it's the place I went to - there are many around the country) you can just call them it's free and they have doctors that provide counselling and subutex/buprenorohine or suboxone (I'd go on subutex or buprenorphine as less side effects) and they may suggest rehab there.

Good luck
Avatar universal
And I understand how one can get hooked on opiates from pain. I was in pain since a kid and so got introduced via that route too. It's then hard when you're clean having to deal with/ find a way to solve or manage the underlying pain that was there in the first place...but that's something to do after in recovery (if she's still in pain) without resulting to opiates xx
16033163 tn?1444904819
thanks lola, you really do not realise how much you are helping me & ultimately her.
just hope somehow I can pull it off.
I had heard suboxone was supposedly better as it has an additional blocker, is that not the case?

suddenly don't feel quite so alone thanks all
1530493 tn?1410056636
Do you have the vivitrol shot there Lola ?  BTW congrats to you !!!
Gaz...not sure how things work in uk, but that could be another option...once a month verses daily. But definitely  some kind of therapy.  My son couldn't do rehab (too much drug talk @ the time )
As for the love thing jifmoc is right too....it depends on the situation.
I had to seperate with love from my son,  so we both could work on our own recoveries.  
Many times long time relationships (where they're too comfortable ) might need to do the same.  With that being said a new love at the right time can make a huge difference.  
My son was 3 months clean when he met the love of his life....the credit goes to her.  She gave him a reason to fight on and STAY clean.   He's going to ask her to marry him this Christmas (happy mama here). ..so yes...love can make a difference.
don't give up on her (you 2) just yet,  but also protect you too.  
You bring a smile to my face.  
Your not alone !!!
16033163 tn?1444904819
thanks Deb & congrats to you & your son
16033163 tn?1444904819
oh yeah and makes feel good to have made at least someone smile thanks
16033163 tn?1444904819
well I'm gonna have to drop off line now.
seeing the girl tomorrow I let y'all no where we're at after
1530493 tn?1410056636
Good Luck !!!!
Avatar universal
Hey Gaz
I do not believe that there's the vivitrol shot for FREE in UK BUT it's worth asking about as it's also an option :)

The buprenorphine alone is stronger at blocking the opiate receptors than the naloxone in suboxone. They jus put that extra substance in there 'to prevent drug users IVing it' as they claim it 'will put the user into withdrawal'  
However it has some nasty side effects I have heard people get PLUS apparently drug users claim to have IVed it anyway so it's basically a bit of a supposed useless addition to the buprenorphine. But I'm not an ex-IVer so I wouldn't know from experience as I used to do pills. It's just from the insane amount of reading I did whilst in bed tapering off the subutex. By the way they may not give you the brand subutex as it's more expensive - I was only given the generic (which is less good than the brand but that's prob what she'd get)
Good luck to you xx
Avatar universal
Also, just a quick extra tip for the sub - if you decide to go down that route - she should be on it for the least amount of time as possible (I.e - taper off sooner than later). That is only if she does not intend to use again and is 100% clear to end this once and for all. Reason I say this is that after being on sub for a month and a half it made me ill and foggy/ zombie like (but doesn't do that to everyone) but when I tapered (baring in mind I was on it for only that short amount of time) it was incredibly difficult to taper from and I really thought there was no way out of it as it stays in your body for a very long time so the less time she's on it the better it'll be when she gets off it! Maintenance is for those who can't resist using so stay on it for years. (But that must be HELL to get off!)
Have a good eve Lola x
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