Saturday, July 2, 2011

we're out in the open, and life goes on...

The first part of this post is about Son2 (Tony) and his wean off of Suboxone.  He told me this week that at last week's dr appointment, they talked about how to handle the last part of the wean.  First choice is 6 more months of going down 1 mg at a time, it gets harder each month and he's gotta go through a few days of feeling sick each month, which he's already been doing.  Second choice is cold turkey, which at the point the doctor says, would be comparable to dragging it out for 6 months.  He said it's hard to say just how bad it would be or how long the symptoms would last.  Before I could even say anything, Tony said that the second option made him very uncomfortable.  No quick decision here, both options sound rough.  I can't even give him any advice on this one, except that the cold turkey also scares me.  Frankly, I'm scared to death of him going off at all, it feels like a safety net I'm afraid to cut away.  But it's not my decision, and he sounds like he is considering carefully.  It was his choice to to begin the wean in the first place, but of course I worry.

The second part of this post, is about reactions.  I really didn't know what to expect for reactions to Tony going on tv and announcing he is a recovering heroin addict.  Good thing I didn't have very long to worry about that.  I'll start with my own reaction.  I was quite disturbed about the way they opened the interview, with a shot of drug spoon, foil, syringe.  I realize that was an eye catcher for their audience, but to me it just felt like a shot to the gut. Tony was amazing, serious, clear eyed.  I was so proud of him.  I haven't been able to watch the video again, not ready for that. Some day I will.

I had let a few people know about the interview before hand so they could watch, but most of them knew about Tony's addiction already.

When I think about all the people we know in this area, it's staggering.  My husband grew up here, and has lots of friends, lots of hobbies and avenues for contacts in various ways, work, school, etc.  We've lived here together for 25 years, so I have a lot of contacts through work, etc. as well.  Plus, I have quite a bit of family up here, aunts and uncles, and lots and lots of cousins.  So, with all of that, only a handful of people have reached out to us.  Some old friends, parents of my older son's best friend as a child, wrote us a very nice note.  A good friend of mine from work, a middle aged family guy with a daughter about Tony's age, came to me a couple of days ago and we had a nice talk.  That was a difficult but much needed conversation, he left my cubicle with tears in his eyes.  Well, that's it so far... I suspect a lot of people saw it, but maybe don't want to say anything.

I feel relieved that this has come out. And I'm not afraid to talk about it anymore.  If there is one thing I learned in the past two and a half years, it's that I CAN LIVE WITH THIS.  


  1. PLEASE go to they have EXCELLENT and real life advice. There is even a fellow that developed a liquid taper that is suppose to have the least harsh side effects.

    I do know that most on that forum say NEVER jump cold turkey from 2 mg you need to get to 1 or lower. I don't really want to speak to much on the particulars because I have not personally done it but I did a lot of reading on it because J was on it at one time.

    I can also tell you J was able to stop Suboxone fairly easily with a week of flue like symptom and a lot of insomnia. Then again he relapsed soon after stopping.

    Why is he anxious to be weaned off? Many addicts stay on it for years. The longer they stay clean and the farther they get away from that life the better. It can be a miracle for some...many going on to live a very normal life while taking it.

  2. My son has been on suboxone for a year. He is down to one pill a day, when he started a year ago he was taking one pill four times a day. His counselor did tell me before he went on it that many do need to stay on it for a few years, like madyson said to help them get further and further away from that life. I worry about when he will have to go off of it but it really has been a lifesaver for him. It gave him back his life. I didn't know about the liquid taper, that is great information.

  3. I'm so proud of Tony. It needs to be talked about and its brave and generous of him to openly share. I was interviewed in our county paper last week and only used my first name, but anyone who read it knew it was me (I got lots of emails and texts saying "was that YOU?"). Keven will be interviewed soon.

    As for the Suboxone, sounds like you got some good advice above. I think he will make a good choice. Personally weaning off it sounds best to me. I'm glad Keven got off heroin without using it, but its like a miracle drug for many people. I'm all for it.