Stopping buprenorphine

By haloperidol · Apr 7, 2019 · ·
  1. I bet you thought this journal entry was gonna be about how I'm now stopping buprenorphine. Ha! I gotcha! It's not.

    I've been thinking about all the times I've stopped bupe in the past.

    This must be my.... 3rd? or 4th time around with the medication.

    I was skimming over a journal article that was on the lines of how we need to get more people on FDA-approved medications for opioid use disorder to combat the opioid epidemic that is raging in our country and in our world.
    This in direct opposition to the shame I feel about taking this medication.

    In the past I have come up with a list of reasons why it was time to stop.

    Boy it's a long drive up to the city to meet with my nurse practitioner. It basically takes the whole day. Boy I have to go to the special pharmacy that stocks it. Man I have to fight with my insurance company to cover it.

    But I think it all really comes down to the shame that I feel around using it.
    Really it's no question though, because every time I have stopped I have inevitably, within a year, relapsed.

    Compare the above discomforts to the advantages of NOT using, which I recently drew up as part of an activity in the program I am in.

    Save more money. And lose fewer jobs. Better control of my symptoms. (That's a big one.) Easier to be honest with family and friends as to what I am up to. Overall health is better. Less ashamed of self... I'm sure the list goes on.

    Interesting how shame shows up on both sides. I'm ashamed of taking buprenorphine, yet I'm ashamed of using heroin. I suppose in the ideal world I would take neither.

    Anyway, for now I will actively fight against the shame of taking my medication. IMG_2707.jpg


  1. BirdJungle
    By ashamed, do you mean in the sense of how you think you are perceived by others, or do you personally feel ashamed of yourself?

    There’s no reason to be personally ashamed of taking buprenorphine. You’re taking it for the purpose intended and you acknowledged in your journal that it helps you stay off more harmful drugs, which is positive.

    There’s no reason for you to feel ashamed of anything, even using heroin. You should feel free to make your own decisions without a sense of shame. If you were hurting someone, then maybe there would be room for regret, but shame is very harsh. Try not to inflict that feeling on yourself for any reason.

    If you’re mostly feeling a sense of shame or embarrassment because of how you think people perceive you, try not to give people you don’t know or care about that much influence over your feelings. What do they know? And honestly they probably aren’t judging you anyway, and if they are they are not worth your time worrying about.

    I agree it doesn’t help that it’s difficult to locate the medication. I had a difficult time finding a pharmacy and I can’t say I didn’t feel a little embarrassed too, but there’s really no reason to feel that way. People walk into the pharmacy for medicine to treat all sorts of embarrassing problems. I think most pharmacists have learned not to be judgmental.
  2. haloperidol
    Thank you for your comment.

    When it comes to shame, I feel a personal shame of myself, both with the bupe and also with using heroin.
    This shame is not related to how others see me. :)
  3. JaneDeux
    Shame is a feeling most of us addicts have in abundance. We seem to have a proclivity for shaming ourselves. Shame is a necessary emotion, without it we might all be sociopathic. We just seem to experience it as part of the addiction process. Shame often leads us back to use the drug we are ashamed of using.

    I wish I understood it. I wanted to let you know that shame has led me back to drinking more times than I care to admit. I see members wrestle with it in their journals all the time.

    This may be a good topic to explore with your counselor if you haven't already. I would welcome some insight from a professional. I too, would like to be out of the "shame-use" cycle.

    Great entry, Jane
      haloperidol likes this.
  4. haloperidol
    Thank you @JaneGault.

    I will talk about this with a counselor.
    Probably not the counselor at the program I’m in, as they are focused just in coping skills for immediate stressors, as opposed to insight based therapy.
    But my outside therapist is insight based, and with her I will make note to discuss shame with her.
    I will bring any insights back to this page.
      JaneGault likes this.
  5. JaneDeux
    Yes, counselor was a poor choice of words. Therapist would have been more appropriate. I look forward to any insights you care to share. This has always been a huge issue for me. Thank you.
      haloperidol likes this.
  6. Yang
    I feel like the pharmacy/insurance made me feel ashamed of taking subs. I was on it for 8 years, and oh man, it sucks trying to get off. Every time I went to pickup, they’d give me the evil eye, and half the time it would take the insurance a week to approve. Always saying one thing, then after 3 days saying I need some other approval from doctor. I feel ya. And if i still had any friends that I could use with, my relapse risk would be way higher.
  7. Rivhatd hewet
    I know exactly what u mean buddy,i feel exactly the same.
    Ive Been on bupe for 4 years relapsed back onto skag for about 6 months.
    I just cant get away from it or the people who sell and smoke that brown crap.i live in a small coastal town north west uk that has a huge drug problem.
    Im ashamed of what i have become-going to the pharmacy in townnto pick up the bupe i usually bump into someone wanting to sell me gear,but ive had enough im on my 5th day bk on the suboxone nalone 16mg.teying hard to stay away from the dealers and fake friends..
    I Hope everything works out for you dude.
  8. haloperidol
    Thank you for your comment @Rivhatd hewet!

    Sounds like you are dealing with a lot of tricky temptation! Stay strong my friend! I know it’s hard. Have you started a recovery journal of your own? They can be great places to get support.
      jazzyj9 likes this.
  9. jazzyj9
    I hate shame. It's so counterproductive and harmful. @haloperidol you have nothing to be ashamed about and I commend you on your bravery. I wish I could be more like you-I'm inspired to be more like you, to be your authentic self and take the medication you need and be like this is who I am, this is what I need. That's really cool.
      haloperidol likes this.
  10. haloperidol
    Thank you so much @jazzyj9. Your words really mean a lot to me.
    I will meet with my therapist tomorrow and discuss the whole shame-use cycle -- if I can! We have a lot to talk about so hopefully we will get to cover that.
      jazzyj9 likes this.
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