Hi there- I came across your thread here while checking on something else and have some comments, if you don't mind.
You chose a "suboxone taper" over a taper of your usual pain meds. It doesn't sound like a taper at all, especially with the doctor wanting to increase you to 24mg! Remember, SUBOXONE is an opiate as well. It's very difficult to detox from, it's not a good pain reliever, and is a HUGE money maker.
I would really think about this. Have you re evaluated your pain by going off all pain med? If you're still in pain, I would consider going back on some regular pain meds, at the lowest dose possible. It will not effect your sobriety and would really be much safer for you. In addition, 24 mg of sub is an enormous dose...Even 8mg is a lot. It would take a long, slow taper to get off of that amount. You couldn't easily get over it in a week...
Please do your research. I've never taken sub but have read about as much as I can find to be well informed. I've been a member of the Substance Abuse forum for 5 years and have learned a lot there, as well.
It's curious that you went on sub for pain management. To me, it doesn't make a lot of sense. As I said, it's a poor pain reliever yet still an opiate. I do think sub has it's place in addiction, when trying to get past a heroin addiction or large Oxy addiction. When used in a program of treatment, recovery support, etc...it can save lives. But, it doesn't seem appropriate in your situation.
I wish you all the best! If you want other opinions you might consider posting on the SA forum; it's up to you. Take care~
I would encourage you to listen to Vicki. She knows her stuff! She helped me tremendously when I was trying to sort some things out. I'm surprised your doctor even offfered this as an option for pain control. Or maybe I'm not.surprised at stuff like this anymore. Money and greed will sometimes cloud a.person's judgement. Just do your homework. I put my pain management team on a bit of a pedestal. I asked lots of questions and their answers were reassuring. I went on Fentanyl along with lots of other meds. Luckily I learned a lot here and when they suggested methadone.I knew.I wanted.no part.of.that. Being on that high of a dose of subs is a.crazy high dose. Best of luck.
Hello thank you for the comments. I did want to clear up a few things. I am still on the 8mg a day. I am still deciding what I want to do. I am very aware of the dependency issues Suboxone will create. I work in the recovery field and have for a very long time. That is why my prejudices with Suboxone as an opiate addiction prescription are causing me to hesitate.
I am certain that the pain I feel is not precipitated by the medication. My spine is literally falling apart. I saw my Dr the other day and he is now considering the surgery a failure and is discussing a spinal cord stimulator as a possible last ditch effort, since insurance companies will no longer approve tri-level fusions.
So the choice to jump from 8mg to 24 mg is a decision of pain management. It is a very high dosage of Suboxone for addiction treatment, but not very uncommon for pain relief. The drug buprenorphine, Suboxone's opiate ingredient, has been used for chronic pain relief for decades, mainly in the UK. Suboxone was introduced to the US around '92 for opiate treatment only, but many Drs are beginning to use it for its original use.
So it is certainly not for a lack of research that I am struggling with this decision. In fact, so far the Sub has been a more effective pain reliever than pain managements more "traditional" meds, (vicodan, perc, etc), and has FAR less abuse potential. This is just a fact. The whole act of taking opiates by popping a pill is habit forming alone, let alone the high and withdrawal symptoms. There is also a tolerance issue with traditional opiates, that does not seem to be so with the Subs.
It is a struggle. And I am not trying to shirk anyone's advice, only to make the best decision with eyes wide open. I am worried. It is more than likely that, if I want to find a way to be able to walk and work and enjoy my life, I may have to be dependent upon medication; a fact that has worried me for many years. I am, however, a little more at ease with the Suboxone due to the few benefits I have mentioned here. I know that the withdrawal would be, although much less than traditional opiates, horrible. The sad fact for me, however, is that I may need this stuff for a very very long time.
I appreciate the, and welcome more, comments. It is a struggle, but I needed to reiterate the difference between tapering and pain management, both of which Buprenorphine are used for. For now I am staying at the dose I am at. Especial if I decide to have the Spinal Cord Stimulator put in by my Dr. I tell ya, I've always said that I would not change my past, because it has all made me who I am today. However, if I could go back to the day when the a#%hole ran me over on my motorcycle because he didn't see me, I'm fairly certain I would take a different way home.
Thanks again, guys.
From everything I've ever read and everyone I've spoken to, the withdrawal from Sub is worse than traditional opiates; regardless of it's intended use.
I believe 8-24mg is a lot, as well. It's up to you and I understand your concerns; especially if this is long term treatment. People who use methadone for pain management have these same concerns, although the drugs are different.
Also, why Suboxone and not Subutex?
Well I think addicts always think that whichever detox they are in is worse than all others. Its just the nature of the beast. Methadone is certainly worse than other opiates, but Sub isn't. It is much much longer, which is very trying, but the symptoms aren't nearly as acute.
I think Suboxone over Subutex only because that's what the Dr prescribed. I know the only difference is the Naltrexone. That is the ingredient that precipitates withdrawal and keeps people from abusing the Suboxone.
I do appreciate peoples' responses. Thank you. I am taking it slowly and not moving up in dose yet, as there may be another surgery which may help further with the pain and numbness in my legs. I really hope so. Any other comments are greatly appreciated. This is tough for me, as I said, because I have been completely drug and alcohol free for over 12 years. Taking these may be a necessary evil, as my quality of life has gone to hell in the past few years. I just want to do it with the safest, and least amount, of medication possible. I was able to walk and work up until last fall. I went on a fishing trip in Canada. It was very demanding physically. When I got out of the river one day, my legs were very numb and tingly. It has just spiraled downhill ever since to where I cannot stand for more than 10 minutes without extreme pain and numbness. UGH... This is the only reason I am considering any form of therapy. Before this, and after my motorcycle accident, I suffered in a great deal of pain, but just dealt with it.
Again, thanks guys. I will continue to do my best and hope to find some relief soon, for both my and my family's benefit.
If I may offer my opinion. Before you decide on ANY medication change, I would get another surgical opinion. Maybe even 2 more, just for good measure.
Its not a good idea to take one surgeons word with out another one to back it up. Seriously. And if you still have insurance, they will usually cover a second opinion. It may be why they wouldn't approve the surgery in the first place. So before upping or changing your meds, get another surgical opinion.I wish you the best of luck! Please keep us updated.
Thank you Trixy, you have a very good point. To clarify, the insurance company did not reject me from getting the operation,, the surgeon told me that they have not been allowing tri level fusions for almost 2 years now. they have found an excuse to get out of paying for them across the board, leaving the spinal cord stimulator as a last resort option. I did see my surgeon the other day, and he wants to wait a few more months to see if I will heal more. You are right. I think I will get a second Dr to look at what is going on. Thank you.