By Brent Botros Tree House Staff
When I first started doing drugs and drinking, it was fun. Of course, I had some flawed belief systems and past experiences that led me into that lifestyle, but it didn’t start out so bad. As the years went on, I started to become mentally, physically, and emotionally dependent on substances to make me feel “normal.” I had literally conditioned every part of myself to rely on those substances for a sense of well-being. Toward the end of my addiction, I discovered synthetic substances that were suggested by doctors and psychiatrists as a solution to my issues. As soon as I heard about Suboxone, I immediately thought “awesome, another crutch I can lean on.” I needed some type of medication to lean on. That’s exactly what Suboxone did for me. I leaned on it the same exact way I leaned on other drugs. It helped me feel normal. It kept the unhealthily conditioned parts of my brain exactly how they were on other drugs. When I started getting clean and sober, I developed other skills and adopted new tools to help me stay healthy. Those recovering from opiates do not need Suboxone. In fact, Suboxone can keep you sick and reliant on medication.
Why go without Suboxone?
First off, opiate users CAN NOT and WILL NOT die from withdrawals. Yes, it does feel like you are dying, but you will not die. In fact, the half life of Suboxone is much greater than that of other opiates. This means that long term Suboxone maintenance will cause greater withdrawals than many other opiates. Also, remaining on a drug like Suboxone will keep you dependent on medication. The quicker you are able to remove unneeded medication from your life, the quicker you can reform connections in your brain, creating new neural pathways which respond to stress, anxiety, etc. in a healthy way.
How do you get off Suboxone?
New connections have to be formed because the old ones just aren’t working. The most important of these is connecting with other people with similar goals, interests, and principles. Do your research and find people who want to do it with you. With the support and accountability of others, we have a greater chance of remaining separated from what we don’t need in our lives. It is also important to understand the fact that you did not always need such substances in your life. You conditioned your brain to think that you will always need these substances. The beautiful part about our brains is that they heal – they were conditioned and molded into one way of thinking, and they can be reconditioned in a different way.
So, is Suboxone necessary for opiate users trying to get sober? Coming from someone who used to be one, I say absolutely not. Suboxone often keeps people sick and reliant on medication. You absolutely have the ability to live a life without it.
Tree House Recovery is a men’s treatment program located in Portland, Oregon. Creating sustainable recovery through sustainable change, our programs help men learn how to live sober with adventurous lives. Call us today for information: (503) 850-2474