Most people know that Suboxone and Subutex (bupenorphine) is used to treat opiate addiction. Unfortunately, there are so many rumors and inaccuracies surrounding the drug.
Drug addicts love rumors, more-so than most people. The incredible stories you can hear in the lobby of a methadone clinic will stick with you forever. Some are extremely funny. At the 27th st Methadone Clinic in Milwaukee, where half the nurses are dipping into the till and nodding out, and they get bonuses for client retention (I will write about the incredible billion dollar scam that is the Methadone biz later), I remember listening to one flamboyant client who called herself “Hollywood”, talking about how she was just released from the hospital after participating in a Crack Cocaine study where she had to smoke as much medical grade crack as possible while being observed. The funny part of the story is that she decided to try to sneak some of ‘the best crack she ever done did’ out, but they had removed her clothes and made her wear a hospital gown, presumably to keep her from stealing it. So, Hollywood hid it in the only place she knew she could, and you guessed wrong, they performed a cavity search so the obvious was not an option, she stuffed a huge crack rock in her ear! This in itself was funny, but the best part was that it got stuck and she had to go to a doctor to have it removed from her ear canal. I can only imagine that conversation.
Anyway, the reason I mention this person Hollywood, is that in the same sitting she gave me the same warning that all long time users of Methadone love to give : “It gets in your bones! it rots your bones and makes them brittle and weak!”, this is completely false. It is also an extremely common story.
Another common story is that Nalaxone is put into Suboxone to give users precipitated withdrawls if they use opiates on top of Suboxone, again, COMPLETELY FALSE. Nalaxone is put in Suboxone to prevent people from abusing it intravenously (shooting up).
Precipitated withdrawals are a very, very real thing, but they are not caused by the minimal amount of Nalaxone in Suboxone, they are caused because Buprenorphine is a partial agonist and it rips the opiates off your receptors, the receptors are starving, they scream and make you sick. This means that Subutex,Buprenorphine without Nalaxone, will do the EXACT SAME THING! I have heard WAY too many times that it’s OK to do Subutex right after an opiate binge, that is wrong, but if you want to find out the hard way, go for it.
The other rumor that I hear all the time is that if you do an opiate while you are taking Suboxone or Subutex, you will get really sick. First off, the really sick is actually precipitated withdrawals (PW), the second thing is that this is not true.
Buprenorphine is MUCH MUCH stronger than any opiate you are going to mess with, once it’s on your receptors, you are not going to get it off. This means that you are NOT going to go into PWs. Remember, it is NOT A TWO WAY STREET. If you are an opiate addict and you do Buprenorphine before a sufficient enough time has passed and enough of the opiates have fallen off your receptors, you will get sick, REALLY REALLY sick, but if you have Buprenorphine on your receptors from repeated use, and you do opiates, you will not get sick. You won’t get the feeling you are looking for, but you will also not be seizuring on the floor covered in vomit and feces from PWs.
So, this leads me to one of my last points, and I know this information to be 100% accurate. I, personally have done this many many times so I know the truth. Unfortunately far too many doctors do not, but that’s for another time and another story.
Anyway, here is the biggest and maybe to you, the most important truth. You CAN ‘break through’ Buprenorphine with opiates. Many doctors and other know-it-alls will love to tell you that if you have Suboxone/Subutex in your system, you will not feel the dope. That is wrong. The feeling is far less substantial, trust me, but to say that “you can shoot as much dope as you want and you wont feel it..” is a lie.
Now, here is something you need to remember. The experience that I am speaking of comes from a time when SWIM wouldn’t mess with anything
less than a gram of raw, if you don’t know what that is, I will tell you. Raw is the common term used by junkies to describe heroin that is in it’s most pure form, this does not mean uncut, not in the least, but it means that this is the dope that the dealers buy who then step on it with sleeping pills and re-sell in little glasine bags or foils for $10 or $20. Let’s put it this way, if it’s a tan or grey powder, it’s not raw. If it’s a big brown rock, it’s raw. This is also the mid-west, mainly Chicago, so its Heroin from Afghanistan. That being said, I imagine that this information is probably also correct for other types, but the measurement would be different.
If you are taking 8 mg of Buprenorphine a day, regularly, and you use IV good dope, you will feel it. You will feel the heat, the prickling and itching, the double vision, everything else, BUT you can also die. That part is not a joke. People like to ask “well how much can I do? How much will it take me to feel it?”. I have read all kinds of sites and boards and it’s wild how much people talk shit, use local slang, and just generally don’t know what they are talking about.
So, I am going to give you a scale that you can use to figure this out on your own.
If you are taking 8 mg. of Sub a day, which most people are, and you can get some of the ‘raw’ which sells for about $150 a gram in the mid-west, and you IV a 1/4 gram, you are going to feel it big time. And, if you are drinking alcohol, it might even put you on the floor.
Now here is the other thing, it’s not what I would call a pleasant buzz, but maybe you will disagree. I found it to be slightly sickening to my stomach, almost like what I would consider motion sickness to be, and there isn’t any nodding out, at least not for long. The reason I am telling you this is that there is a slight feeling of an OD, and that’s scary. So, if you are going to backslide, don’t think that having Buprenorphine in your system will somehow make you more tolerant to dope, you just won’t feel it as much, so it can kill you.
Again, I am not enouraging anyone to do drugs, drugs are bad, but they are a reality. So, if you are on Suboxone/Subutex maintenence and take your prescribed dose regularly but plan to backslide or have a bit of a party for a couple days, trust me, DO NOT STOP TAKING YOUR SUBOXONE. Just take a very, very small amount every day that you plan on taking opiates.Any doctor will tell you this is a bad idea, but very few if any doctors are recovering dope addicts, they only know what the drug companies tell them and the patients who lie to them.
If you want to know what’s up, you have to find someone who knows from experience. The high will not be as intense, but you will also not find yourself hooked on dope again. We have all been there, just do it for a weekend, oooops, turns into monday, lose everything, rinse repeat. Keep a small amount of Bupe in your system. I can tell you from personal experience from a guy who takes 8 mg of Subutex a day, after a 4 day binge, it takes 24 mg of Bupe per day for 3 days to feel normal, then can drop back down to 8. There is NO REASON to be taking more than 8 mg per day, ever. Docs who prescribe that much don’t know what they are doing. Initially, you might need a higher does to adjust, but staying on 24 mgs a day is beyond stupid.
Here is the last rumor or un-truth that I am going to dispell for you. The 24 waiting period before taking Suboxone after opiate use? Wrong! It has nothing what-so-ever to do with time, it has to do with how fast you process opiates.
I have PERSONALLY witnessed someone go through PW’s 3 times after waiting 36 hours since their last hit of H. If you have not seen PW’s, you do not want to , it is unbelievably horrible, nothing like normal withdrawals, trust me. You take the Suboxone or Subutex when you are in mild to moderate withdrawals, do not wait until you are in full blown withdrawals, take the COWS test (google it), and be honest. Lying is only going to hurt you, not anyone else. Do not take it too early and do not take it too late. Have a friend help you figure things out.
And last but not least. DO NOT TAKE TOO MUCH of the Sub, start small, really small, 1 mg or less. The reason is that if you take it and 20 minutes later you start to feel bad, really bad, and PWs are coming on, you can stop them with a big blast of H. Now that is information that could a. kill you and b. get a lot of people pissed off, but its the truth. You can push past Buprenorphine with opiates, but only a little Bup goes a long way. If you pop 8 mg and go into PWs, good luck, there’s nothing you can do. Start with a tiny amount, wait a half hour, if you dont feel worse, take a little more, etc. etc.
This post isn’t about how to jump off onto Suboxone, this post is because I am sick of hearing junkies spout BS with such authority when they have no idea what they are talking about.
- Buprenorphine after opiates will make you sick, not the other way around. Opiates after Bup will not make you sick, ever.
- If you regularly take Bupe and plan to have an opiate party, don’t stop taking the bupe, just take a tiny amount each day to keep just a small amount in your system. Trust me, you will thank me later when a two day binge doesn’t turn into a two year, job losing, life losing, binge.
- Precipitated Withdrawals are NO JOKE. It’s not just leg cramps and some puking. It’s “I’m gonna fucking die if I don’t get dope in me RIGHT NOW!” Don’t mess with PW’s, be afraid of them, very, very afraid.
- You can break through small amounts of Bupe with good dope, but you can also kill yourself with an OD so pick your battles wisely
- Don’t listen to 99% of the junkies and 80% of the doctors you talk to, they just don’t know.
Good luck and stay safe. You have probably already been over there, but if you haven’t, Blue Light is generally a good source for info or questions you have about opiates or any other drug under the sun.