“Suboxone does get us on the road to recovery, but don’t confuse the the on-ramp with the destination.”
~ Bob FergusonFounder/Director, Jaywalker Lodge, Carbondale, CO
“Say what you will, the truth is that people, LOTS OF PEOPLE
—millions have quit all alcohol and drug use.
Methadone and suboxone users are users.”
~ Joe Herzanek
President, Changing Lives Foundation
Author, Why Don’t They Just Quit?
Quite a heated discussion regarding the article
Roxane Labs Generic Suboxone Hits the Market
Read all the comments below.
To follow the original discussion, click here on “Dad on Fire” blog
November 6, 2009 at 3:59 pm
It seems to me that way to many have bought into the idea that some people just won’t/can’t quit. Sad. Switching from one drug to another. At least now they can be strung out on a legal drug. Harm reduction is a joke. I’m sure the pharmaceutical companies are happy though.
November 6, 2009 at 6:06 pm
Point accepted. However, what is an affordable alternative? I would really like to know. I have watched a lot of young opiate addicts trip over recovery and rehab for years–over and over again. My own son; one of them. Even residential rehab wasn’t the answer to many. Initially, the intense withdrawals stops most of them from continuing–so comes replacement drug therapy. The big Pharmas do profit off it. That’s another issue. If an addict accepts suboxone or methadone for that matter without trying to use street opiates, they can regain much of what they lost physically and mentally and when stable, they can wean off of either of these. The problem with weaning off of suboxone is the issue of micro-dosing. Its a powerful drug. 1 mg is equal to 20-30 mgs. of methadone. Micro doses and time release implants are available in Europe just for that purpose; not here yet. Methadone is easier to wean off in that respect. the problems is timing. Being a craving addict doesn’t go away that soon enough–and then there is Methamphetamine of which physical and mental restoration is even more questionable. I think residential rehab is a better answer for that.
November 6, 2009 at 5:51 pm
I think this is good news. I am curious if Joe from the above comment has overcome heroin addiction. Suboxone DOES help addicts get off opiates. It may be addicting but it does NOT get you high, it does not ruin your life, it does not land you in jail or the grave. Therefore, its somewhat of a miracle drug. My insurance company covered it and we got it at a reasonable cost. I am all for it.
November 6, 2009 at 6:44 pm
This is a really important discussion. I’m glad you brought it up. Suboxone and methadone are both controversial. But then again, so is rehab. I have known numerous families who have spent thousands of dollars (sometimes their child’s college fund) for one rehab after another and no lasting results. As parents we would do just about anything to help our children overcome their addiction problems, but in reality there’s not much we can do. I think Suboxone is one option, but my son ended up selling his doses to pay for heroin. Bottom line is they have to want to stop. Jail seems to be working for my son, he’s got 76 days clean now. The fear is when he gets out. There is NO easy answer.
November 6, 2009 at 6:58 pm
As one recent story contributor put it “it is love and love alone that will help you and your family thru this nightmare. Tough love mostly.” I would add everything the experts can offer, sheer human will and a more compassionate world of recovery. Some 22 million drug addicts and alcoholics can’t be wrong. No easy answers is right. Someone I love dearly who fought opiate addiction for a decade and a half views jail as a rescue. I still want to see drug policy reform as part of a growing nation of compassion, acceptance and recovery.
November 6, 2009 at 8:10 pm
Wow, seems like a bit of a hornet’s nest. I spent sixteen years lost in addiction to alcohol and drugs. Heroin and opiate pain meds were some of my favorites. I now have a few decades of total abstinence. Say what you will, the truth is that people, LOTS OF PEOPLE, millions have quit all alcohol and drug use. Methadone and suboxone users are users. They have just switched to legal dope. They have convinced you that they are unique and they just can’t quit. Which is a bunch of crap from a bunch of cry babies.
November 7, 2009 at 8:30 am
I have to agree with Joe, millions of folks have recovered, myself included. Barbara, I also see the value of suboxone as a detox protocol–it’s a safe and effective bridge from active opiate use to chemical abstinence. But too many times, the addict and their caregivers get stuck on that bridge. Reducing the damage and consequences of active addiction through harm reduction is an intoxicating notion for weary addicts and their families. Often i have seen cases where active opiate addicts on the road to ruin will “behave themselves” once they start on suboxone. Harm reduction in that sense is effective, insofar as it goes. Many treatment providers LOVE this drug because it makes disruptive patients act compliant. But make no mistake, harm reduction + compliance does NOT equal sobriety. These folks are NOT sober–the pupils are pinned, they have a flat personal affect, and reaction times are off by at least a beat or two. What’s worse, they have switched from an unacceptable chemical dependence to a more socially acceptable drug dependence, and deep down, they know that. This stunts their self-esteem and blocks them from the freedom they are seeking. Sobriety is an onerous, difficult deal and involves a commitment to change and usually, some level of personal and physical discomfort. The notion that you can make lasting and profound personal change without experiencing any personal discomfort or sacrifice whatsoever–that is what the drug companies and their representatives are selling. It’s an intriguing, intoxicating notion, isn’t it? Suboxone does get us on the road to recovery, but don’t confuse the the on-ramp with the destination. The real work begins when patients and their doctors summon the courage to go from “less”chemicals to no chemicals.
November 7, 2009 at 10:36 am
I may have been a bit harsh in my last comment. I tend to do that at times. Using suboxone for a brief period during detox can be helpful. Beyond that and the person has simply decided to use the drug rather than find another coping skill. Talk therapy is the key ingredient in long term total abstinence. 12 Step programs are the best place to turn for this long term help.
November 7, 2009 at 10:49 am
Joe, Thanks for your comments. I mean that sincerely. For me, what former addicts have to say on these subjects is very valuable because you are the only ones who actually know, first hand, what its like. The rest of us are striving to understand and willing to do just about anything we can to help our loved one, but what we learn over and over is that the addict has to be ready, they have to do it themselves. I hear that 12 Step is the way to go and am praying that my 18 y.o. will open his mind to it when he gets in rehab. You give me hope that anyone can do it – when they are ready. A lot of us just pray that our loved ones are ready sooner than later because we feel helpless as we watch them waste precious years. Thanks again.
November 7, 2009 at 11:13 am
Thank you for your kind words Barbara. I didn’t start this yesterday for any other reason than it just makes me mad that SOME, not all, rehab places want to just put people on another drug to FIX their current drug problem. I also didn’t start this to sell books but having said that I am an author and have written a very helpful book on this topic. If you are interested in looking at it just google my name from the first comment.
November 10, 2009 at 11:13 am
I was really excited reading the posts. Especially from Bob–one of the best I’ve read in a long time. Gotta admit though I lost that excitement when I clicked on a suboxone link that brought me to a site sponsored by Reckitt.
November 10, 2009 at 11:13 am
Jay–I encourage you to stay linked with this site. Appreciate your comments a lot. We don’t support Reckitt’s recent actions, as their interest is to sustain profit from a drug (suboxone) that was developed to bridge addiction to recovery and has an expired patent. I say that because they are fighting generic status. We also do not typically support the long term use of drug replacement therapy. Both Suboxone and Methadone are difficult enough for an addict to manage initially. A lot to say about that later. These drugs usefulness is the bridge they provide to an ultimate full and sober recovery. I have to defer to Joe’s comments above for a good description of what they really are in a lot of cases. Legal replacement drugs have their “place”. If it stops an addict on a dangerous steep downhill slope, or pulls him or her out of an abyss; its difficult for addiction doctors in the therapy community to discount their use.
November 10, 2009 at 11:13 am
Great follow-up dad. Nothing wrong with a little help to get started in recovery. Then the real answer can begin, which in my opinion is talk therapy. This applies to more than substance dependent people. Almost anyone can benefit from a mentor of some kind.
* Have you “tried everything?” To learn about affordable phone counseling with Joe Herzanek click here.
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