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Addiction & Recovery Message Board

Addiction & Recovery Board Index

Do you know if your addict-friend is taking the suboxone? Do you see him put it in his mouth? The reason I am asking this is because Suboxone can be sold on the street and the money used to buy heroin, vicodin-- whatever the addict wants.

If a person is faithfully taking suboxone, then the vicodin will have no effect on pain or well-being. The suboxone blocks all of the opiate effects of other drugs. It does this by binding tightly to the opiate receptors in the spinal cord and brain. It binds so tightly that it will knock other opiates off of the receptors; hence, suboxone is usually prescribed when the addict is in withdrawal. Opiates cannot knock it off the receptor site after it has attached. That is what makes it a good medicine to start recovery.

I'm sorry that you have having such a tough time. One of the ugly truths of addiction is that it is a very selfish disease. He must be the one to take the first step: admitting that he has a problem, that his life is out of control, and that he needs help. Once he admits that he has a problem then he must accept that he can't do it on his own. He will find all or most of the help he needs through counseling, sites like this one, and other recovering addicts. I hope and pray that he reaches this point. Each and every addict that I know in recovery has to come to grips with acceptance. It is critical before recovery can start.

Good luck, and stay in touch. Keep posting.

It the pain cannot be explained by disc damage, pinched nerves, or whatever, and they have looked into the body with xrays and MRI's, then Fibromialgya, if I have it spelled right, is a common diagnosis (pain that cannot be explained). Most doctors will assume that if he says that he hurts, he does.

It sounds like he is taking the suboxone as directed. Since that is the case, then the vicodin should not have any effect. Suboxone stays in the body a long time (36 hr half-life), so it would take a few days free from any suboxone before he could feel anything from the vicodin. I am not surprised that the doctor took his vicodin prescription away. If the suboxone doctor finds out, then it will be very difficult for him to get any relief at all for his pain. Most pain management doctors have the patient sign a pain-management agreement. It says, in writing, that they will not take any other pain meds or go to any other doctors for their pain unless it is an emergency, at least until they can see their regular doc. And, if he needs to see a doctor right away, the physician needs to know ALL of the meds he is taking. Additionally, his pain management doctor needs to informed of the emergency visit to another doctor as well.

If he says that he is getting relief from the vicodin, then it is psychological, imho. If you gave him a sugar pill while he was on suboxone and told him it was vicodin, he would probably say that he feels something from it. However, who really knows except for him.

Since he is in pain and he has a problem taking opiates, suboxone or methadone are good alternatives.

I'm hopeful that he will come to grips with his addiction. Sadly, there are only a few things you can do to help. You can tell him that if he doesn't get help, NA, rehab, or whatever, then you are going to leave him. You have to stick with your ultimatum if you go this route. My wife gave me an ultimatum, and I got the help that I needed. Hence, it does work. On the other hand, it is nerve racking and a lot of feelings get hurt using "tough love." Another option is to tell his doctor. That is even harsher and may have even more severe consequences.

Good luck. Helping an addict into recovery is difficult, but can be very rewarding if you are successful. Recovering addicts are a great bunch of people to be around. The primary reason that this is so is because they have to learn to get well from the inside out. Recovery is doing a lot of psychological clean-up work on the inside. The best that I have seen it explained is "addiction is a non-curable fatal disease." The most that any addict can hope for is that this disease will go into remission using a good recovery program. Even then, it is still a life-long battle.

Good luck,


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