I was on opioids for several years, for chronic pain and surgery. I was taking up to 400 mg of MS Contin per day. Two years ago, my doctor suggested Suboxone to get me off opioids. I said yes.
The first two weeks were hell, actually throwing me into acute withdrawals. The symptoms settled down after a couple weeks, but at that point I knew I despised this medicine and went on a personal quest to get off it as fast as possible. I made a cold turkey jump when down to 0.5mg per day. I thought it would be a walk in the park.
Not so. RLS, no sleep, crazy thinking… I ended up in the hospital, where I was put on folic acid, B12, thyroid medication and valium (my next problem I have to tackle).
I have been off Suboxone for 3 weeks. I am angry all the time, and take it out on whomever happens to be in my way. I have hurt people with my sharp tongue and I have cried, been in pain, had RLS, and can’t sleep. Currently I am on 600mg of Lyrica, 450 mg of Wellbutrin, naproxen, clonazepam at night, and 30 mg of Valium 3 times per day.
There is a balance of risk with any medical intervention, including buprenorphine treatment, where there are societal issues that fall under the domain of law enforcement and social workers. I am frustrated by the desire of some physicians, particularly those associated with ASAM, to place more emphasis on the societal issues, than on the care of their personal, individual patients. I can hear those doctors now…. ‘we have a duty to protect society.’ In response, I would say doctors FIRST have a duty to their patients…. NOT to ‘their patients’ as a whole, but to each separate, individual, complicated human being.
Making things worse, doctors have bought into the foolish media narrative about the dangers of buprenorphine. I recently heard a doctor say that ‘buprenorphine is the same as heroin, the way people are using it.’ How frustrating that the people who are supposed to be ‘experts’— the people who could serve a role in educating the idiot narrative about ‘getting high from buprenorphine’— know so much less about the medication than their own patients!
Doctors: How many people die from buprenorphine products?