Sunday, March 4, 2012


Lately I have have been getting questions and emails about using Suboxone. I have little to no experience with Suboxone treatment. I believe Alex used some Suboxone he acquired on the street but I don't know for sure, he did mention once that he traded for some.

From my point of view I view Suboxone or other treatments like Methadone as a method. I am a big believer there is no "right" way. There are many ways, some may work better or faster but each family must find their own way. Yes, you read right, each family must find their way. This is a family disease. Just as a person in a family may have cancer, opinion and consultation is sought and given by all loved ones. Addiction is no different even though just as a patient with cancer, they are the one inflicted with the disease and must struggle alone with treatments.

I put forth my opinion. There is no magic bullet or pill to cure this disease, at least not at this time. Suboxone has helped many people. So has NA, rehab, and other methodologies. Not being a doctor, counselor or an addiction professional I'm not offering a professional opinion, just a personal opinion/observation. I believe no matter the methodology it's 90% the addict and 10% methodology.

Without the drive and will of the addict to get better the methodology will be deficient in the treatment and cure. We've all seen miracle cures of loved ones and friends that fought a terrible disease like cancer. But, we have all seen those with the same disease give up and succumb to the eventuality of the prognosis.

Seek out what works. Look at the methodology, the success rates and the risks. Never forget that despite all the claims of the methodology the outcome is determined by the afflicted. One of the biggest differences a loved one of an addict can make is to be there when they are needed but only when it is appropriate.


Barbara said...

Its a very controversial topic. Here is our experience:

Keven tried it twice. The first time he used it as prescribed for awhile but then started selling it to buy drugs.

The second time, very recently, the doctor told him he should stay on it for a year and gave him the highest dose possible. This was a nightmare. Being an addict of course he took the highest dose and it made him really lethargic. It did stop the physical urge to use but the mental urge was still there and he ended up using and selling some of his Sub. and using when he could find dope, and using Sub on the days he couldn't.

When he got to the point that he knew he was going back into rehab (two weeks ago) they agreed to detox him from it. They told me getting off Sub was much harder to get off Subs than heroin, that the withdrawal symptoms were even more painful. I felt good that they were in charge of tapering him off, they let him sleep a lot his first few days. Now he's off and says he never wants to use Sub again.

The question is: DOES IT WORK? IS IT A GOOD TOOL FOR GETTING OFF OPIATES? For some, probably. For It all boils down to how bad you want sobriety and if you are willing to work for it or not. The Sub helps you with the physical aspects, but if mentally you're still dreaming of getting high, it most likely won't help you much.

My two cents.

Alice said...

Dear Ron

I've written a few times before, and now I have a question if you don't mind :)

How is Alex going with urges and cravings? Does he still get them a lot, or is his new life with the baby etc just keep him distracted and happy?

I ask because he's doing so well, and seems so happy with the new baby etc, but every new dad gets stressed so I wondered!

I can't wait for the day I no longer have urges and cravings to drink, or at least, they get fewer and far between. I still fight them a lot.

Dad and Mom said...


Truthfully, I don't know what Alex does with urges or cravings or even if he has them. I don't bring up the subject. I am here for anything he needs but I am not the one that manages his recovery.

He is very busy with the baby and Kristy's daughters. I know he handles things well. Just as well as any new father, especially for one that is dropped into "instant family." I'm sure he has the same stresses as anyone that is learning the role of a father, it's hard on us all but just like anyone else he seems to cope the best he knows how.

If you want I can ask Alex if he would respond to your question but he has told me that his best way of coping with his past is to consider it a closed book. I don't know if that is right, wrong, healthy or unhealthy. It is his way.

Dad and Mom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Medication management of addiction has been debated in professional circles long before suboxone. Methadone has been in use for opiate addiction since the 1950's and people are still arguing the pro/cons.

Personally, I feel the decision is between the addict and their doctor, not the addict and their parents.

Dad and Mom said...


I didn't mean to give the impression that the decision is between addict and loved ones. Just that from my experience and from most that have discussed with me seldom is it a decision made solely by the addict.

From my personal experience when Alex ask us about it his impression was that it was the magic CURE. Plus of course he needed our money for the suboxone treatments.

Syd said...

I like your take that there are many roads to recovery. I know nothing about drug addiction. It sounds like a tough thing to deal with.

Anonymous said...

Dad, my point was that maybe we (parents) should stop paying. Then the addict would have to truly decide how "helpful" Suboxone would be for them. From what I've read on the blogs (and my own experience), "I'll go on Subox" is often a smokescreen, and what the heck, someone else is paying for it.

Addicts can do whatever they want to get off drugs, IMO. It's none of my business if someone takes methadone, subox, or dandelions. That doesn't mean I have to foot the bill.

BTW, I thought your talks were very down to earth. Good for you for giving back.

Momma said...

My son was on Suboxone for a couple of years. I think it was instrumental in keeping him off of heroin... at least long enough to make up his mind if he really wanted the recovery. First time, no, he wasn't committed, second time he embraced his recovery. It was a decision that he and his doctor made together. At 18, I was not comfortable being out of the loop, but after all he was an adult, barely. My son seemed to need the extra help Suboxone provided, he did NOT like the side effects and complained about them a lot. But the second time around, he followed the doctor's instructions pretty well, and then, after a couple years, he decided with his doctor it was time to quit.

I can understand why this would NOT work for everyone. I can also understand why some addicts would abuse or sell it. I don't know why my son didn't end up doing that. My brother is a police officer, and he told me some horror stories. I'm sure my son knew all of that, and looking back, all I can think is that his commitment must have been amazingly strong, because it would have been so easy for him to screw up.

Also, my insurance covered the cost... we were very fortunate that way.

Debby of Oxycontin and Opiate Addiction: A Mother's Story said...

I'm jumping in a few days late. I posted an interview from my son on February 20th on my blog, where my son talks about suboxone. First, it doesn't work for everyone. My son failed with methadone, which is expensive and he was locked into going to the clinic 365 days a year, and he'd become sick if he missed a day. B's first stint at suboxone didn't work, either. It helped him to chip with heroin, and to keep him from withdrawing. This time, however, it is working. He has a doctor who specializes in both addiction and suboxone. He has a newer version which is a strip, that he puts under his tongue. At this point in his life, my son says he feels normal and has no cravings at all.
I, of course, would like to see him entirely clean of ANY drugs-- legal or illegal. But, I'm not the addict. His medical insurance and a free co-pay (from the suboxone manufacturer) makes it free. Suboxone talk is the best resource to learn the true facts on suboxone. Dr. Junig is an expert and his blog has great information on suboxone.
I'm leaving my son to work on his own sobriety. It took a while, but I learned that what I want isn't what matters- my son had to want sobriety enough. Suddenly, he has money to save. What a concept!