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Oct 27, 2012 - 1 comments

Suboxone is a powerful narcotic..folks are not informed when they exchange their drug of choice for this addicting drug...aftercare is so important...with or without sub

Craving Busters

Sep 24, 2011 - 0 comments



smoking cessation


narcotic withdrawal






tips for combatting cravings


quitting smoking


addiction and cravings


addiction and withdrawal


nicotine and cravings







I kicked hydros a few years back and proud of it.  Unfortunately, I started smoking again a year ago after being smoke free for 10 years.  I quit a week ago.  I find quitting smoking to be hard and cravings do occur.  Things I learned from quitting the pills apply though to smoking cessation and vice versa.  I found these tips useful for fighting cravings for both cigs and pills.

When you first quit an addictive habit, it may feel like your day is one long, continual urge for your old habit, be it cigs or pills. Remember, you are in control of your mind and what you dwell on is only what you have let yourself dwell on.  If you pay close attention though, you'll notice that most cravings last only three to five minutes. They tend to come off the blocks strong, and decrease gradually until they're gone.

There are two types of cravings people experience in the early days after they let an od habit go such as smoking, alcohol, or drugs.  A habit is a habit and you can even miss a headache if you have had it long enough!

Physical cravings are your body's reaction addiction and withdrawal. You may feel a tightness in your throat or belly, accompanied by feelings of tension or mild anxiety when you stop smoking.  Depending on the dose and time of use, the pills you were on as well, you may experience mild nausea, a headache, fatgue, depression, anxiety, restlessness, insomnia.  We are all different and will experience different withdrawal symptoms.  Cravings can be the hardest aspect to combat in smoking, alcohol and drug addiction.  Craving is a symptom of addiction, the psychological part of addiction which differentiates a person who is merely physically addicted to a substance and the person who is addicted to a substance.

Psychological cravings are triggered by the events in your daily life. We all have hundreds of unconscious cues we give ourselves to smoke or use. When you quit, those cues will trigger the urge. Activities like driving, eating, drinking coffee or alcohol, or simply relaxing can trigger thoughts of our old habit for many of us. Mental urges can and usually do produce the same feelings in our bodies as physical cravings.

Keep things simple.
Curb cravings as they come, one by one. The most effective way to do that is to interrupt your thought pattern on the spot. Shift gears and do something different for a few minutes. Change your activity, either mentally or physically, and the craving will lose its power and be gone before you know it. Try one of the tips below, or come up with some of your own to suit the situation.
1) Go for a walk or the gym.
Get up and move. If you can, go outside for a five-minute walk. Do a lap around the block or the building, breathing deeply as you go. A little exercise and a change of scenery helps!
2) Take a mini mental vacation.
Close your eyes. Create a place in your mind that you can visualize when you need to slow down and relax. It could be a real location or not, but visualize it in detail and make it yours. Go to this place every time you do this exercise so that it becomes familiar and comfortable. As you settle in, start to follow your breathing, and slow it down gradually. Breathe deeply in and out for three to five minutes.
3) Drink a glass of water.
When a craving hits, chug down a glass of water. Not only will it help you bust your craving to smoke, it will help you physically. Many of us are mildly dehydrated without knowing it, so adding some water to your diet is a good idea. Good hydration will help your metabolism work more efficiently and you'll feel better overall. Water is one of nature's finest quit aids; use it to your advantage.
4) Review your list of reasons to quit your addiction
Reading your list is a quick and easy way to remember your priorities for quitting. Take five minutes while you're wishing you could smoke and remember how you felt when you decided to quit. Think about the reasons why you finally took the plunge and quit. Your reasons are just as true NOW as they were THEN! Write them down and put this list of reasons you quit on your frig if need be, but dont forget the reasons you let that nasty habit go!
5) Have a portable hobby.
Find something you enjoy doing that's easy to pick up and put down at a moment's notice. Keep it handy to fill a five-minute break here and there. You could work a crossword puzzle or read a few pages of a novel. If you knit or crochet, carry a simple project around with you.
6) Grab some support.
Meetings and forums are everywhere these days, be it AA, NA or smoking cessation groups that meet locally. FYI: AA welcomes narcotic abusers.  Do a little reading about how others deal with nicotine withdrawal and the early days of quitting tobacco. Post a message on a forum asking for support, and jump in to help others who may be struggling. When you step outside of your own discomfort and focus on helping someone else with theirs, it can be the best medicine in the world. Tell them that they can do it and you'll be giving yourself the same message. It's a win/win!
7) Count your blessings.
Take a few minutes to reflect on all of the things in your life that you're grateful for. It's a simple, yet powerful way to pull yourself out of a slump and renew motivation.
8) Eat a healthy snack.
When blood sugar levels drop, cravings to smoke can seem more powerful while you feel less able to manage them. Eat something nutritious, such as a piece of fruit, a cup of yogurt, or a tablespoon of peanut butter on a couple of crackers. You'll feel refreshed and stronger. Look into supplements after stopping narcotics, cigarettes or alcohol because chances are, you have not been eating right and a strong body lends to a strong mind!  All of these substances rob our bodies of vitamins we need to stay strong.
9) Call family or a friend.
Take a few minutes to connect with someone you care about. Your spirits will be lifted, and chances are you'll perk them up too.
10) Accept and let it go.
Cravings to use or smoke are not commands. How you choose to react to a craving can either increase or decrease its power over you. Try a little reverse psychology - instead of tensing up for a fight when the urge to use or smoke, relax and mentally lean into it. Let the craving wash over you if need be, then LET IT GO!  Accept it as a sign of healing, which is just what it is. The urge will run its course and pass. Practice makes perfect with this technique. You'll get the hang of it and will find it empowering.

Have some faith, and trust Yourself in the process of recovery from addiction. Find your soul and do not let the addiction take your soul from you.  You are in charge! Thousands of people no different than yourself quit addictions successfully every day of the year. They don't possess any special qualities that you don't have. Everything you need to quit  once and for all is within you right now. Believe in yourself and be patient! Take the time you need to heal and learn how to live your life addiction-free. You'll get there just as surely as the next person.

Submitted by Worried878

An early post by Thomas02 who wrote the Thmas Recipe

Feb 19, 2009 - 8 comments


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Member since Feb 2001  

, Feb 17, 2001 12:00AM
To: To all on this forum - please read
This post was originally in response to one person but I want everyone to read this, so, forgive me for posting it twice.

[Pat to annie]

Tom's not going to post on the board until he follows through on his pledge to take one of the treatment options written about ad nauseam on the forum.

However, tom spent much of last night writing, what we will call a "night's memoir."  

He wrote it partly to unburden himself but, principally, to remind everyone that visits or frequents this forum of how precious life is, how relentless the disease of drug addiction is, and how, in the blink of an eye, this disease can have you dangling over a cliff, ready to plunge into the abyss.

From tom to all:

"I feel I must begin this story the way so many horrific tales are begun:

This is a true story, described as it happened with no detail omitted, no embellishment added, and no dramatic license taken.

Most of you who know me are aware that I've be addicted to opiates for thirty years and now maintain myself, if one can call it that, with a combination of darvon and xanax. However, in a matter of a few months, private physicians in California and elsewhere will be able to obtain certification to treat patients for opiate addiction with the drug buprenorphin. This is the course I have decided to take and, while the legislative wheels slowly turn, I go on, day after day, dosing myself with enough Darvon and Xanax to enable me to work and, in short, function in society.

If you're getting bored by now, take heart, because this story is about to become a lot more "interesting."

Wednesday night started out quite happily. I had firmed up a job interview for Friday. If successful, this job would dramatically enhance my future and that of my family. It was long in coming and well deserved. Wednesday night my wife and I thought we had something to toast, so we did. A few Baileys and what not, nothing (seemingly) that I couldn't handle.

But I had forgotten a little bit of basic wisdom about Xanax and alcohol. Mixing the two can result in paralysis and death. It's there on for any idiot to read. Midnight came around I suddenly felt a little "too" medicated. It takes a lot for me to feel "too' medicated. Therefore, I elected to take a solitary stroll through our neighborhood to clear my head.

We live in what amounts to a suburban enclave built into a row of steep hills. This gives each of us our cherished view of the Pacific Ocean in all its beauty. All the streets are connected by steeper than average cross streets, the kind you think twice about parking your car on for fear of finding it crashed at the bottom from an overwhelmed parking break - steep, roughly asphalted bastards that test your climbing abilities and give you nice calf muscles if you walk them enough. It's a nice, private collection of streets with no street lamps to spoil the beauty of the night (or help you find your way home).

I was perhaps a twenty-minute stroll from my front door when it hit me. An almost-total paralysis overwhelmed the muscles of my body and, perfectly conscious, I watched as my limbs became rubber and my body fell harshly to the ground. To my horror, I found I could not raise myself from the ground. I couldn't even get up on my hands and knees.

It began to rain. I was now in a curious position:

I knew I needed to go to the ER

In order to get there, I knew I had to attract help.

I tried to cry out for help only to find that I had virtually lost the power of speech, mouth and tongue virtually paralyzed.

I considered by predicament. If I was successful in attracting someone's attention: this would have been the sequence of events:

The police and paramedics would be called. I would be rushed into the ER. A police report would be taken. My doctor would be contacted and, conceivably, charged for one prescribing violation or another. The entire neighborhood would find out. They already knew I had gone into a court-ordered rehab in 1994. I was supposed to have made a complete success of it and rebuilt my life and career. To the observer, I was a rehab success story.

If I went to the ER, I knew my family would be shamed; I would have been hospitalized and lost the new job. Our finances would have imploded. Plus, our landlord, hearing the news, would quite likely have evicted us from our dream life in the hills overlooking the great Pacific.

At the same time, I knew that if I didn't get myself off this rain soaked road I would lay there till I quite likely died.

I thought, "is this how the story ends? Found dead, another drug casualty, cut down in his prime. How sad. How senseless. How typical.

I decided that, if I could drag myself to my doorstep, I could at least go to the ER without all the spectacle of the cops and paramedics.

I managed to claw my way up onto my feet using a hillside covered in ice plant. I promptly fell and fell hard. I did this many times. Until I determined that the only way I would make the half-mile back to my door step was to crawl. This I did for the next 90 minutes in the pouring rain, the odd SUV passing by inches from me every 10 minutes or so. I was quite lucky not to be run over.

I finally got to one of these steep feeder roads I described and simply tumbled down the length of it until I was laying face down in the mud on my own street. It took another hour to drag myself to the bottom landing leading to my second-level front door.

At this point, I was so exhausted I could barely move. I looked up the dimly lit set of brick stairs leading to my front door. I immediately discovered that I lacked the strength in my arms to drag my body up even one step, let alone the thirty steps I needed to cover.

I wondered again, is this where it ends? Is this the end of my life? I lay there a few minutes, asking myself, do I really want to go on, or is this the merciful end denied to so many others?

I decided no, I did not want to go out a loser on this rainy night. Another wasted human receptacle of education, training and experience, some of which might still have some value to the world.

It now occurred to me. If I hadn't the strength in my arms, what about my legs? I rolled myself over on my back, head facing upwards towards the top landing which was my goal.

For the next hour, maybe two hours - I don't know - I pushed with what strength was left in my legs and lifted as hard as I could with my now-bleeding elbows. Step by step, I pushed myself up to the top landing.

All this time, mind you, it was so dark, so rainy and so removed from the usual police beats that nobody had noticed this soaked, writhing mass slithering snakelike down the street for a total (counting both streets) of about 1 mile!

By now, I had lost my shoes somewhere on the road, most of my jacket, and was literally covered from the shoulders down with bruises and abrasions. By some miracle, I had not a mark on my face or neck.

By another miracle, my house key had not fallen out of my pocket. I reached up with the key. I could barely lift my arm or move my hand to work the lock.

Once in the door, I dragged myself up into a chair and just sat there breathing. My tongue was bone dry and swollen and I knew I needed to get some water down my throat. After a few minutes in the chair, my control of my arms and legs slowly returned and I was able to stagger into the kitchen by holding onto various pieces of furniture until I got to the sink and drank down some water.

Somehow, this caused a dramatic return of muscle control and I was able to stagger into the bedroom to my sleeping wife. (She had not known that I had even left the house. At the time, I thought I'd be back in ten minutes).

She helped me out of my clothes and into a warm shower. A few minutes later, I was lying in my own bed, breathing, drinking fluids, recovering control of my arms and legs, and trying to explain to my wife what I had just experienced.

With one day to recover, by the grace of god, I was able to hold it together for exactly one hour in order to make my job interview and land my lucrative contract. With no marks on my face or neck, I was able to hide the appalling collection of bruises and abrasions from view.

As I drove home from the interview, hurting from every point of my body like a motorcycle accident victim, I thought, "This, Tom, is God's last act of grace to you. By any standard of reasoning, I should have been, at that moment, lying in a hospital with my life ruined and family publicly shamed, my wife facing an eviction notice with a drug addled, broken down, unemployable husband.

Instead, I start my new job on Monday. I have since reviewed the readily accessible information about the lethality of mixing benzos like Xanax and alcohol. I still cannot fathom how I could have been so stupid as to let this happen.

But here I am. I'd say God cut me some major slack - why, I don't know. But I do know what I'm going to do because of the experience."


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Understanding the Ceiling Effect of Suboxone

Jan 12, 2009 - 1 comments

The Ceiling Effect
To understand why suboxone will work well for some people and not for others, it is helpful to understand the terms opiate agonist, opiate antagonist and partial opiate agonist.

All opiates work their magic in the brain by binding to neural receptors called opioid receptors. These receptors can be thought of as key holes, and drugs such as heroin (or any opiates) can be thought of as keys. When heroin floods the brain – these "keys" enter the receptors "the keyholes" and turn them on. Once these receptors are activated – all of the effects of the opiate are unleashed – and the user will feel euphoria, analgesia, etc. Basically, turning the key gets you high.

Opiate Agonists
Drugs that activate these opiate receptors are called "Opiate Agonists". Opiate Agonists are straight forward keys for the keyholes.

Examples of opiate agonists include:

Opiate Antagonists
Opiate antagonists are sort of like broken keys for those opioid receptors in the brain. They fit in the opioid receptors but they do not turn them on – And significantly, while they sit in the receptor keyhole slots, other opioids cannot get in these keyholes to turn them on.

Opiate Antagonists include drugs such as Naloxone or Naltrexone, and they are used to help people overcome opiate addictions. When a person takes Naltrexone, for example, even if she were to take heroin afterwards, she would not get high. All of her opioid receptors would be filled with the opiate antagonist drug.

Partial Opiate Agonists
Suboxone belongs to a third class of drugs, called the partial agonists.

These partial agonists are "keys" very much like the agonists, and they do fit in the receptors and turn them on. They are called partial agonists, however, as they can only turn these receptors on partially.

Suboxone for example, will fit the opiate receptor key holes and will turn these on a little bit, producing some typical opiate effects and sensations. It is only a partial agonist though, as it has a fairly low ceiling – that is, at a certain point, taking more of the drug will not increase the effects felt. It can only turn the keys a small amount and once you fill all the key-holes, taking more of the drug won’t increase the effects. The ceiling effect of subxone ranges between 16-32 mgs depending on the individual.  This is why you will not see a doctr prescribe more than 32 mgs of suboxone daily as it would have no further effect.

Why is the Ceiling Effect Important?
The ceiling effect of Suboxone increases the safety of the medication but limits who will be able to use it.

The ceiling effect is good in some ways. It makes Suboxone less likely abused and far less easy to O.D. on – and because of this, Suboxone can usually be taken home, saving the client from regular or even daily trips to the methadone clinic.

The ceiling effect of Suboxone holds true for all effects – that is, after a certain point, taking more of the medication won’t increase any of the effects of the drug. Taking a higher dosage of Suboxone won't result in much intoxication, but it also won’t cause much risk of respiratory depression and possible overdose death.

After the Suboxone ceiling of effect has been reached – taking more Suboxone has no effect – it won't make you higher, and it also won't keep slowing your breathing like heroin or other opiates would.

But The Ceiling Limits its Use

Because of the ceiling effect, people with heavy opiate habits may not get enough out of Suboxone to keep withdrawal pains away.

Suboxone has "High Affinity" for opiate receptors. If you were, for example, to take high doses of heroin and Suboxone at the same time – the Suboxone would fill the opiate receptor "keyholes" and the heroin would have nowhere to go, and thus could not get you high. Suboxone has a higher affinity for the opiate receptors than other opiates do, and will win the fight to fill those key holes.

People with trying to overcome heavy drug habits may need more opiate receptor activation than Suboxone can give them – they may need a drug that can turn those opiate keyholes a little further just to keep the feelings of withdrawal away.

Unfortunately, if a person that wasn't getting enough relief from Suboxone tried to take another opiate at the same time – to get rid of their withdrawal pains, the Suboxone would be filling all of the opiate receptor "key-holes" and any additional opiates would have no effect.

For example:

If you had a heavy heroin habit and took some Suboxone – and still found that you were feeling withdrawal pains – taking more heroin at that point to chase those pains away would not work. The heroin would have no place in the brain to activate – all the keyholes would be filled with Suboxone.

Some People Will Probably Need Methadone
Most people prefer Suboxone to Methadone, but some people will not find the relief they need from suboxone, and will have to at least start off on Methadone.

Methadone has no ceiling effect. If you take more methadone you get a proportionally greater affect in the body. People that need more symptoms relief can take a slightly higher dose of methadone and find what they need.

In general, anyone needing more than 40mg of methadone daily will not find Suboxone effective.