suboxone/subutex questions

I am the junky ghost of Christmas past here to tell you about my life in hopes you can avoid my failures.

Tramadol is where my journey with opiates first began back in 1996. At that time I was 21 and engaged and my daughter had just been born. We had a nice apartment and were a happy family unit for a while. I worked at a Pharmacy that filled meds for several local retirement homes and it could not have been easier to steal drugs. I soon switched from Tramadol to Vicodin. That was the beginning, all those years ago.

Now: I'm almost 40, I've been in at least 4 in-house treatment centers. Along the way I've acquired other addictions as well. I added Ambien addiction in 2009 after my Cancer popped up and even though people don't believe me when I tell them but I'm addicted to smoking pot as well.

The smoking pot thing has been tricky in the sense that most people refuse to admit its addictive. Whether it's physical or all mental and in my head, when I run out of smoke I go through what appears on the outside to look like physical withdrawal. I sweat and shake and feel like I'm going to throw up and depression like nothing else sets in when I go too long without smoking, and that lasts almost a month. I have friends that have smoked for as long as me and can still stop almost whenever they want, that has not been my experience. It's as if my history with other drugs has changed my brain chemistry and a drug that shouldn't be a big deal when I quit is in fact a very big deal.

At 39 now, just ended a troubled 10 year relationship where I dragged a nice girl down with me (just smoking pot, she never touched opiates). I met her in her early 20's and have now left her in a position where she wasted 10 years on me that she could have had a normal relationship and would have been married with kids and happy by now.

I didn't see much of my daughter growing up. She is 18 now and a Freshman at a really nice school. I hear from her probably less than 5 times a year, I sometimes get a text on Holidays. I am a terrible embarrassment to her.

I have never kept a job for very long so while my friends have lived their lives and now have homes and cars and children and mortgages.

I live in the same bedroom I grew up in as a child. Every day I wake up sick, shuffle through my crap to find my subs and rip one in half. When I started on Subs in June 2012 I was taking 2mg every 12 hours. Somehow I fucked up and now I take 4mg twice a day. People are supposed to ween off of subs, I went the other way and got even further in the ditch.

When I was younger I still had hope. I felt like I could kick and get my shit together and normalize out my life and things would be fine. I would get a good job and pay bills and meet a nice girl and settle down. This just cannot happen when you are an addict and now I have waited to long. I am almost 40 and nearly bald. I am a pale sickly yellow color. My teeth are awful because when you take subs you are putting a strip of stuff under your tongue every 12 hours, you start to convince yourself that if you brush your teeth that you will nullify the opiate and your dose will run out before 12 hours is up. My point is even if I quit all drugs right now, my physical self has deteriorated to a point where I can't get things back anymore.

In my 20's I could clean up and turn things around and still had a chance at a normal life. If you wait too long you just can't do that anymore.

So back to your troubles with Tramadol: Despite ultrams not being an actual opiate they work on the same Mu receptor opiates use in your brain. Subs should work for the withdrawal, but don't take them if you can avoid it. Many people get stuck on Subs and you hear the same story over and over.

Who are subs for? I feel like Subs are for the hardcore users. Subs stop someone that is shooting up and allows them to get a piece of their normal lives back. For people that are mildly to moderately addicted to opiates I recommend you kick the old fashioned way.

If you have a regular job and not a career you probably should either take time off or quit/expect to lose it while you kick. You'll be in bad condition for the first three to 30 days but it is totally worth it. After you kick you can get back to a place where you can go after a great career, but for now focus on getting better.

I share all this stuff in hopes that others will not end up like me. I'm assuming you are a young person and are at the beginning of your life. It's not too late for you, you can still turn things around.

/r/OpiatesRecovery Thread