An American Addiction Centers Resource

New to the DrugAbuse.com Forums?Join or

SUBOXONE - it will slowly destroy someone if used for years

Discussion in 'Share Your Story Here' started by Distraught Sister, Dec 25, 2019.

  1. Distraught Sister

    Distraught Sister Active Contributor

    Its Christmas day today – im here sitting by myself at home after leaving my Mother’s house after getting into an argument with my Suboxone fuelled 39 yo brother .


    Looking through many of these experiences on this forum I thought I would tell everyone my family’s story from a different point of view of never being a drug user of any kind – I want to articulate on how one of my brothers initial six moth use of heroin in 2008 , and now nine year abuse of Suboxone , has totally destroyed our small family in so many ways .

    Now as I’ve never been a user of any such drugs like Heroin or Suboxene many people will think that im being inconsiderate and im sorry if you think so – but I can only articulate what effect Suboxone has had on my brother and also on us as a family after he began the treatments approx nine years ago.

    In 2008 my brother, of roughly same age, begun taking heroin and he managed to hide it from us for a good six months until it came to a head in late 2008 - he was picked up by an ambulance when laying down in the street where he had an overdose - this shook me , my younger brother and my mother - we all rallied around the best we could to get him outside of the mix of friends he had come involved with and we achieved this by any means possible.

    At that time in 2009 neither me , my mother , or other younger brother really understood heroin addiction – we understood that he craved heroin and we had to try and help him get off it and that’s about it. He moved into my into my home and me and my younger brother stuck to him like flies around the proverbial to the point of my younger brother stopping his studies for a year – we thought things were looking up until he we caught him in late 2009 with his old mix of friends and being off his head in some dingy hell hole . This living hell carried on for another 12 months and it was beginning to destroy my younger brother’s life as he couldn’t cope with seeing his brother being destroyed by Heroin.

    From 2011 it begun to affect my working/home life where it was really getting me down - so we organised for him to move into an apartment and managed to convince him to enrol in the local drug clinic – This is when Suboxone came into his life.

    Now I know I’d prefer him to be taking Suboxone than heroin if he was to be taking anything ....at least his face is not all mushed up - and there is no doubt that he lives a less risky life and has no dangers from street walking for heroin that he would be more likely to overdose on - however....over the years its become quite clear to me that he has never once attempted to come off Suboxone - he is not using it as a treatment…he is using it as a recreational drug , a substitute for Heroin. His drug dealer has become the State , albeit a less dangerous drug…well that’s what we thought.


    Since 2011 until this day has been collecting his Suboxone from the local pharmacy on a daily basis – he takes his medication at approx. 10.30am , he then goes into what I can only describe as an alarmed state …some people I know think he is using cocaine . He then goes straight to the local bar from 1pm onwards where he down 2-3 pints of Guinness every day and continues to act in an overconfident manner ….to the point where he comes across as very annoying …he has been in several fights and has been beaten up numerous times – he then just walks around the city moving from one bar to another as if he is continuous “party mode “– he then turns back up to my mother’s house at approx 5-7pm each night sprouting absolute **** - he becomes over aggressive and goes on tangents in a drug/alcohol fuelled stupor.

    The best way I can describe his overall persona in 2019 is that he comes across as over talkative like someone who has had their first few drinks at a bar (but has tons of zombie energy on steroids) – he becomes totally dismissive of anyone as if they are not there...almost as if someone had put ear muffs on him - talking to him is just impossible and he doesn’t register anything said to him . His memory is simply non existant when it comes to any matter which doesn’t revolve around himself. He is extremely manipulative and a habitual liar …his lies are so ridiculous but he becomes aggressive when his made up stories are not accepted.

    It’s like a walking zombie – you can talk to him about something today and tomorrow he wouldn’t even remember talking to you at all, he will then lie and attempt to make out that everyone around him is conspiring against him , we all know its Suboxone and alcohol ….but he honestly believes he is on another level to everyone else , its quite bizarre .

    My younger brother doesn’t talk to him anymore and doesn’t turn up for any family get together due to his pestering attitude towards our mother - he doesn’t work even though he is a qualified engineer - he scrounges for money to satisfy his alcohol consumption and he sleeps on my mother’s couch every night and the circle begins again day after day .

    Today was the last straw for me – he has effectively shattered my mother over the last ten years with the continuous arguments and derogatory comments against her which are totally unwarranted - we speak to him about it but he couldn’t care less . He was never like this before taking Suboxone.

    Im quite sure that Suboxone does work for some people as a treatment – but I think it will only be a select few who want to break free from Opiate addiction – but in cases like my brother he does not want to be opiate free ……he loves it ….it’s like eating a boiled sweet to him which gives him a buzz. He dresses up in suits and walks around the city like a complete idiot thinking he is king of the world .

    Its so tragic, I love him dearly, but I can’t stop crying over how upset my mother has got over the past few years …..she can’t bring herself to kick him out of her flat but keeps asking him to leave – she is 79yo.... he just manipulates everything she does and is a prisoner in her own home at times.

    Ive said my final words to him today in a question - do you realise , in your little drug fuelled bubble, that you have destroyed this family in the last ten years , why didn't you attempt to stop taking the drug ?

    He looked at me and smiled and stuck two fingers up .

    I lost my brother in 2008 - he died the day in 2008 he took heroin and eleven years on his drug fuelled life is destroying his family. Personally if i would have known at what suboxone does , after a long time of taking it , i would rather have had him committed and locked away.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2019
    Davers and cheffy like this.
  2. cheffy

    cheffy Community Champion

    Yow! I've never been on subs but some of the people here have and will be able to guide you better with that. But that behavior is weird to me. Is he possibly manic (as in bi-polar) or schizophrenic? Does he or has he ever seen a psychiatrist or does he only see the regular doctor? A trip to the psychiatrist may be a good thing to start with. I'm not kidding about the behavior - strolling around town in a suit like he's someone big is sort of a classic manic or schizoid behavior. The drug use could just be masking it. I had a friend that was diagnosed as schizoid and he did the same kind of stuff like that - paid like $20,000 for a limo once and had the driver spend a week taking him through LA while he yelled to people from the open sunroof about war and how only he could stop it. That kind of stuff happened over a long period of time too - like 5 or 6 years - drained his mom's bank account before finally seeing a psych (by court order). So, yeah, a trip to the psychiatrist might be something you want to try or at least ask for guidance about from the people giving him the subs. I don't know how anybody can justify their need for the subs for such a long time, but I hear about that happening all the time.
  3. Joshstillclean

    Joshstillclean Stupidity Exists - Fact.

    I haven't posted in a long time but I've been around. But to this I say -from experience (sadly)- that alcohol, mixed with long term and or abusive use of suboxone can cause this kind of weird behavior.
    Also I had a bad reaction to naloxone which caused similar issues with me. At one point I was diagnosed bipolar, which I am not. That is why I started on pure buprinorphine.
    Suboxone is a serious drug and there are many documented cases of people using it long term developing mental illnesses.
    Never heard of this happening with methadone but I know it happens in some on higher doses of suboxone.
    When I felt my mind slipping I got scared and was unable to explain how I felt. I didn't even really know what was going on...
    But I was involuntarily put in a psychiatric hospital and was lucky to find a doctor who was knowledgeable about this. About 4 months later I was back to normal.
    Alcohol and bike are a very very bad combo. And you notice right away that alcohol doesn't feel the same on suboxone...I'm pretty sure he's still in there.
    I had some info on this ill see if I can find it and post the links. Its more common than they want you to know.

    I have been struggling lately myself because I am now being forced to detox completely. The clinic has shut down in my area and the three others I have tried won't take me because of my epilepsy medication.
    So, in short, I'm being forced into being opioid free. Thats fine with me if my kidneys hold up.
    I've been really busy but due ring this detox I'm taking it slower so I will look into it.
    I know my brain recovered and it would be very hard to do more damage with methadone and suboxone and abusing them-shooting them, whatever than I have done.
    So hold out hope for your brother @Distraught Sister . There is your old brother trapped in there and I'm sure with the right help he can come back.
  4. DoxyMom

    DoxyMom Community Champion

    @Distraught Sister welcome to the community. I hate what this has done to your brother and your family. All MAT can not be combined with alcohol. @Joshstillclean and @cheffy have both given you some excellent advice. Being that Josh has had first hand experience with this, I would think more about what he said. Too many times addicts abuse MAT when they aren't ready to stop. One thing you should do is inform his doctor about the alcohol abuse. Mixing the two can kill him.
  5. Distraught Sister

    Distraught Sister Active Contributor

    Thanks for the reply Cheffy , we have thought about his behaviour again and again over the years ...tbh its just so exhausting.

    He has no mental problem like that- At the end of the day i see him nothing more than a manipulative drug addict who wants everyone to accept his drug usage as its prescribed by his doctor.

    Its the over confidence that Suboxone brings at 10.30am each day - if you can imagine drinking four glasses of wine every morning and then taking some sort of amphetamine , you would be rocking to go out and not have anyone living their normal life around you .

    We know that by his actions , and just how dismissive/grumpy he is when he wakes up pre 10.30am , that the drug sends him into overdrive . Its this high he gets when he wants to hit the alcohol ....i sometimes think that he hits the booze to dampen the effect of suboxone.

    As soon as he takes it he starts preparing himself i.e getting ready as if he is going out on a Saturday night at 12pm midday - has his shower starts ironing his clothes and looking at himself in the mirror for half an hour.

    He effectively has blinkers on in this state of mind - tunnel vision .

    A couple of days ago i seen him standing outside a bar in a suit - , the day before that he was wearing a full long length coat, shirt and tie...there is just no reason at all to wear stuff like that with the type of dingy bars he goes into.

    There is an alternative explanation for him dressing up ...its sounds stereo typical but many of us suspect he is gay - he has always overdressed. But then again if you were to see the bars he walks into its just plain
    ridiculous.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2019
    Joshstillclean and cheffy like this.
  6. Distraught Sister

    Distraught Sister Active Contributor

    Hello Doxy , what is MAT?

    He has been drinking with suboxone for many years , since 2011 .

    Everyday - 3-5 pints of Guinness per day between 1pm-7pm

    Can it kill him ? how ? I bring this up to everyone and they will think im just wanting to cause arguments.
    cheffy likes this.
  7. Distraught Sister

    Distraught Sister Active Contributor

    Thanks for the reply Josh - alcohol and bike? - sorry dont understand.

    My brother thinks he is free , if i tell him he is trapped and serving suboxone he attempts to convince everyone we are mad ...he actually succeeds in his manipulation sometimes . You just couldn't make it up.

    Im afraid my brother is gone ......he believes he is totally normal and everyone is just mad . It was only a matter of time really if someone takes something everyday for nearly 10 years with the effect of taking an amphetamine and several pints of Guinness......The brain cells were on borrowed time- As with many opiate addicts they only think of themselves so why would that change with suboxone.

    To be honest i have no pity for Suboxone abusers i.e still using it after 2 years , i used to have pity but not anymore - I've just woken up.

    What really does annoy me about this suboxone/subutex is that it brings opiate addiction into the home and somewhat normalises it - it creates more victims who dont deserve it. Like i say It attempts to normalise a serious addiction within the walls of families homes which inevitably destroys them .

    People might think i take a strict view of anyone with such an addiction - after ten years ive learnt what opiate addiction is and how governments have done all they can to take it off the streets and forced it down the necks of innocent family members who begin to think their sons,daughters, siblings are taking treatment ...when in fact all they are doing is facilitating the long term lobotomy of the sons, brother or sisters.

    At the end of the day we all have choices , albeit it addicts or family members affected by their loves ones addiction - if someone was to come to me and ask me "what should they do about their loves ones ? "and id have to tell them that they have a choice - 1, Forget your own life and serve the manipulative drug culture of the addict in your family home , or 2. Just walk away

    Today i would walk away in a heartbeat if it was a sibling, and knew what i knew now - the decision is not that easy if its a son /daughter.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2019
    cheffy likes this.
  8. Joshstillclean

    Joshstillclean Stupidity Exists - Fact.

    @Distraught Sister. I was trying to encourage you there are way more cases of this than you think. And every addict is so manipulative they actually can fool people that have dealing with them for ages. Myself included.

    You also say you have no sympathy for anyone on it for longer than two years...its only meant to be a 30 to 90 day detox. Why even stay on it for a year? Unless your like me and your kidneys shut down without a small am out of opioid. That is why im still on it and haven't used heroin for years now, or any other painkiller even.
    Sounds like you be given up on your brother. But I was just like that, and I'm not gay, and one family member didn't give up on me. Now I am running our small family business. That's how much "back" I am.
    There is hope.
    Davers, Distraught Sister and cheffy like this.
  9. Onceaddicted77

    Onceaddicted77 Spam fighting Moderator & Realist Community Listener

    I took it for 8 years and have successfully weaned myself off but I did it because I was ready and his time will come too but you just have to let it run its course. There is nothing anyone can do but plant the seeds of change and hope they grow.
    Davers, Distraught Sister and cheffy like this.
  10. Distraught Sister

    Distraught Sister Active Contributor

    Hes been on it for many years because he couldn't care less about anyone but himself .

    What i dont understand is why he keeps getting it prescribed ? why are doctors or the drug clinic prescribing it for nearly 10 years if its supposed to be a 30/90 day detox ?

    I've demanded to see his doctor throughout the years and he has refused for me to come with him - im sure he is lying to them . Im now actually thinking about contacting the clinic to let them know the situation in much more depth i.e with him drinking alcohol everyday and making everyones life a nightmare .
  11. Distraught Sister

    Distraught Sister Active Contributor

    The only thing that i can think of is just to make sure that he now reaps what he sows - for far too long everyone has been tiptoeing around him and i think its time that we started to be harder with him.

    I mean he is now 39yo and he has been sleeping on my mothers couch for the last 8 years ...he is snapping at her at any given moment if she wakes him up or even puts the dishes in the washer the wrong way . My mother phones us all the time with screaming and arguing in the background ...but she never kicks him out .

    But she actually defends him sometimes just to keep the peace - its killing her ...we all know it is - even my mothers partner of 25 years left her 4 years ago as he was just fed up with an heroin addicts tangent talking ways every night..

    It feels like he has turned her house into a drug house . This is what i mean about what Suboxone does in society ...it in effect brings opiate addiction into the home of others and this is a massive mistake by the authorities. As far as im concerned every heroin addict brings destruction and perverts anything that resembles normality i.e the home , relationships, trust ....anything- and suboxone brings that life to innocent people but under a slow and stealthy ways - everyone thinks its a treatment but in truth it isn't ...its a heroin substitute when used with alcohol.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2019
    Davers, Onceaddicted77 and cheffy like this.
  12. Onceaddicted77

    Onceaddicted77 Spam fighting Moderator & Realist Community Listener

    You are excatly right it is a herion substitute but it's no where in the same ballpark of destruction it can cause. But yes of course it can be abused. When I was on it I had convinced myself I'll take it for the rest of my life and my Dr was happy to oblige.

    But I'd say its not the suboxone doing it to him it's just his personality and the suboxone gives him the motivation to be how he is.

    My personality hasn't changed much since I've been off suboxone and I'm going on 7 months now.
    Davers, Distraught Sister and cheffy like this.
  13. Distraught Sister

    Distraught Sister Active Contributor

    Would just like to thank everyone for replaying to me over the Christmas period - ive been terribly upset over the last 48hrs - im just totally distraught on how my mother is suffering in her home and how my brothers life is turning out.

    Ive had enough and im trying to get to the bottom of my brothers use of Suboxone and if there is a reason why he wants to drink alcohol everyday. I think i now might be getting an understanding of why he has never wanted anyone visiting the doctors or drug clinic with him . I could be wrong so i dont want to make matters worse

    I have been reading this article https://americanaddictioncenters.org/suboxone/mixing-with-alcohol plus many others

    Am i right in saying that when he takes suboxone that he does not get high - but he takes alcohol so he gets a high that the naloxone suppresses in his suboxone treatment ?

    If this is right then he is willingly abusing suboxone by drinking alcohol..... to just get high ...instead of using suboxone as a treatment.

    here is a section of the article -

    Mixing Alcohol and Suboxone

    The Addiction Cycle - The warning labels on opiate drugs strongly advise patients who take these drugs not to take them with alcohol. Physicians are required to instruct patients to not use these drugs in conjunction with alcohol. Even though buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist, the same precautions and effects that are associated with other opiate drugs apply to buprenorphine. Because alcohol and buprenorphine are central nervous system depressants, taking them in combination leads to an enhancement of their effects.
    Side effects that might occur with buprenorphine use can be significantly increased in intensity and number when the drug is used in combination with alcohol.

    Q- If he didn't drink alcohol would the suboxone alone be enough to suppress any symptoms of opiate withdrawal or effect ?
    Davers, cheffy and Onceaddicted77 like this.
  14. Onceaddicted77

    Onceaddicted77 Spam fighting Moderator & Realist Community Listener

    Yes it would work as intended. Drinking alchohol is definitely not permitted while taking Suboxone and he would most likely be cut off if the dr or clinic knew about it.

    You are right about his treatment if he is still using which alchohol is considered a drug he is not in recovery he is only using it for a substitution for herion.
  15. Joshstillclean

    Joshstillclean Stupidity Exists - Fact.

    yes, they will probably warn him, lower the dose severly or stop treatment all together if they knew he was drinking.
    like i said earlier it was the combo that made me crazy. you couldnt tell i was even taking anything when i was on the proper dose of subutex. and in my case my kidneys start shutting down evertime i stop opiods completely-which is why i was put on 2 to 3 mgs a day. thats a small dose, but if you didnt have any tolerance its enough to still get someone wasted.
    so to answer your question YES- drinking and using suboxone,subutex= a high.
    and heroin and suboxone are polar oposites IF the subs are use properly and taken ORALLY.
    i have a question...do you see how he takes it because there are ways to get the bupe out and get VERY high off of it. might want to see if thats something he has been doing.
    suboxone, also if he does have a legit reason to take it for an extended period then it should be a very low dose by now. for his own safety i would tell his clinic whats up. if he goes back to normal use you might be very surprised to see what changes occur.
    suboxone allows you to immediatly go back to normal life when addicted to opiods. in some way or another he is without a dought getting a high from this. also, is he actually taking it? alot of people sell it and buy street dope. just food for thought.
  16. Distraught Sister

    Distraught Sister Active Contributor

    Thank you for your replies , Josh, Onceaddicted

    If i remember correctly when he first stated taking this treatment in 2011 it was Subutex .....i also remember needles being around my apartment to begin with many years ago- but now its just the tablets he collects with no other paraphernalia.

    In answer to your question Josh - over the last 7-8 years he takes these Suboxone tablets orally - he gets my mother to drive to the pharmacy everyday and he collects one tablet in a tiny little pouch ....which he then lets dissolve in his mouth .

    I do believe that he is on a low dose - he tells everyone its the lowest dose they prescribe but to be honest that is just what he tells everyone . But from what i remember it is a low dose from reading the little tablet pouch not long ago - 2 or 3mg.

    He definitely doesn't buy street dope, he has no money - we know everything that goes on - we know for a fact what he does everyday and where . Even the old crowd he used to hang out with 10 years ago ...they wouldn't go anywhere near him as they have been warned ...several of them moved out of the small town we lived after warnings from my eldest brother and my friends.

    He does live an extremely simple life really ( in his own world) ...wakes up , gets lift to pharmacy , takes tablet 10.30am , gets showered and dressed up then walks to bar at 12-1pm , turns up back at my mothers at 6pm talking absolute nonsense and going off on tangents , asleep by 10pm ...and the cycle starts over everyday.

    You do ring a bell with me Josh when you say that it would be hard to tell when you were on the treatment when on a proper dose of subutex - The same goes for my brother as its really hard to know when he has taken this suboxone if you hadn't met him before - okay he is a little more talkative than in the morning before taking it - but you cant really tell he is on it apart from his desperation to just focus on getting to a bar - we only really notice the suboxone when it comes to 6pm when returning from his 3-5 pints of Guinness.

    Like i say .....im now starting to understand the alcohol consumption is like a continuation/ or abuse of his suboxone treatment i.e , takes his tablet and need to drink several pints per day within the following hours . I've been banging on about this to my family for years ...why is he drinking everyday ? he should be working and living a normal life . Why is he so desperate to get to a bar ....its not as if he is coming home drunk, i even know one of the bar owners and he tells me that he can handle his drink as he never gets drunk. This makes complete sense if he is only drinking to get high.

    This is whats confusing me now ...why is he so desperate to drink Guinness everyday with the suboxone ? ....is the suboxone on its own not dealing with the heroin withdrawal /opiate addiction sufficiently ...or is he plainly taking piss out of everyone and just wanting to get high everyday . Im in shock at what ive been reading over the last 48hrs - all of us thinking that he is going to the bar to just get away and socialise ...when in fact its a strong possibility he is just going out to get high .

    When you say Josh "if he was to go back to normal use ", do you mean without the alcohol ? This is what is intriguing me as from what ive read the normal use of suboxone should be enough to deal with the opiate withdrawal...but am i wrong ?

    From what you guys are telling me and from what ive read there really is no reason why he is drinking as daily dose of the Suboxone tablet effectively make him normal with no opiate withdrawal ....and therefore and he should really be clean by now if not for drinking - so why are they still prescribing it ? I would love to ask this question of the clinic/his doctor .

    What im frightened of is if i was to tell the drug clinic that he is drinking alcohol everyday and they stopped the treatment altogether - id be afraid that he would be going out looking for heroin again . My mother would never forgive me if that happened.

    But ive read its very dangerous for him to be drinking with it - do you really think i should report this to the clinic for his own safety ? I could regret it if i dont.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2019
    Joshstillclean likes this.
  17. Distraught Sister

    Distraught Sister Active Contributor

    Once , can i ask you how you managed to wean yourself off Soboxone after 8 years ? what was the catalyst for you and what did you do exactly ?
  18. DoxyMom

    DoxyMom Community Champion

    MAT is medical assisted Treatment. Suboxone, methadone, Vivatrol. There are many out there. They are tools to help us stop using opiods. These should not be taken long term and never mixed with alcohol. Yes, he could die. The combination can make him stop breathing. I would report it to his clinic. Many times they test his urine for drugs but not alcohol. That test is expensive. They need to know what he's doing.
  19. Distraught Sister

    Distraught Sister Active Contributor

    Thank you Doxy , im writing a letter to the clinic this afternoon.
  20. True concern

    True concern Moderator

    I personally advise against interfering with his suboxone at the clinic
    Davers and Onceaddicted77 like this.