Suboxone And Chronic Pain

James Says:

Im in an addiction treatment program and I'm taking two 8/2 mg strips a day. I've been a slave to opiates for approximately 25 years. I've reached the point of being fed up with being dependent on pain pills to function. my addiction dr suggested trying to find a pain management dr who would treat my chronic pain with suboxone. It does alleviate my pain ...or might I say ..makes me functional and the pain tolerable. is this an actual option? I've done research on this and have gotten mixed reviews on the subject. I trust this site and follow it daily so I'm asking for some information and suggestions. I function better on suboxone than on oxycodone dilaudid or morphine (I've been prescribed them all plus some others) give me some feedback. What should I do or is this even an option?

33 Replies (2 Pages)

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Verwon Says:

Hello, James! How are you?

Yes, that is an option and has worked well for some people, though some don't get pain relief from Suboxone. However, since it contains the Naloxone, so you can't abuse other opiates, while taking it, doctors can be a bit more willing to prescribe it.

It may also help, if your current prescriber gives you a recommendation.

The FDA classifies Suboxone as an opiate, so it has the potential to be habit forming and may cause side effects, such as nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth and constipation.

Does anyone else have any ideas of advice?

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James Says:

Thank you my provider is the one who suggested it per my health condition .that I will have to deal with some type of pain meds probably for the rest of my life do you know of any negative effects it would have on my body ?

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BL Says:

James, if you are being treated for opaite addiction, you may not be able to find a dr that will treat your pain. When a patient has a history of being addicted to opaites, very few, if any, drs will treat them for pain because of their addiction problems. If your addiction medicine dr recommended you find a dr to manage you pain, he should know drs that will take patients with your history. If he doesn't, then he more than likely isn't aware of the problems that pain patients have trying to find a dr to manage their pain when they are addicts.

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James Says:

Thanks for the info ..I my self made the descision to stop going to the pain clinic I do know the stigma of using suboxone and also the stigma of being prescribed opiates especially the larger ones it seems only the pain management dr, s understand ..I say what about us ..the patient
.thats my question ive been prescribed opiates since I was 15 years old till recently my tolerable is unbelievable .I knew that going to a dependence clinic would prevent me from entering another pain clinic least a ligit one.... but this is so tiring being chemically dependant on medication to survive so I weighed my option ..kill my liver kidneys ...ect risk possible legal repercussions or try this I really dont want to be dependent on suboxone but honestly it feels better to not run out of medicine 10 - 15 days early be withdrawing and searching for relief so far its been a god send im just worried he wont follow through with helping me locate a dr willing to treat me with it like he said or that he will release me to someone else with this perceived idea and it not happen just taking it day by day

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Mike Says:

Hey man I'm in your same boat, but finally I have found a Dr in my area, takes my insurance and all he does is pain management! However he is also licensed to prescribe Suboxone! Right now he has me taking 75mg lyrica 3x and 3 8/2mg Suboxone film for my pain. He is also usually ok with another Dr prescribing benzos.
Hes the best Dr I've ever been seen by!!

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James Says:

Thank you all ive seen all kinds on here with some crazy questions like when can I use after taking my suboxone or "my dr gives me suboxone and Percocet " idk bout that but otherwise I get awesom info and am very appreciative thanks all god bless and btw im doing great so far

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BL Says:

Mike, a dr does not have to have a special license to prescribe suboxone, IF it is for the treatment of pain. If it is for the treatment of drug addiction, the dr has to have a special license.

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James Says:

Great info bl
.thats very good to know that makes sense thanks buddy

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cbatch Says:

In Florida, only pain management/addiction treatment facilities can prescribe suboxone. My PCP can prescribe methadone but not suboxone. It's really messed up here.

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Jason Says:

Suboxone for me didn't take major pain away but it did help minor aches and pains and was definitely a crutch to e e to push through It and get through the day. I didn't crave opiates which was the reason I was on them. I had a very hard time coming off suboxone. I still struggle with a suboxone addiction which I am not prescribed anymore. Suboxone can be a miracle to save your life but at the same time it can be a nightmare. I wish everybody the best of luck with there suboxone treatment.

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KenieK Says:


That's an excellent post Thankyou for your honesty.So often patients refer to this as either a miracle or a devil drug . Not unlike methadone maintenance . For those suffering a debilitating life long addiction to powerful opiates/opiods both can be useful tools in conquering the everyday challenges that once seemed insurmountable at best.God bless everyone struggling with issues of pain,dependence and or addiction.

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James Says:

As of right now im still in my suboxone recovery program and am doing well making life changes and improving my lifestyle. Suboxone does help with my chronic pain before it was hard to tell if I hurt because I didn't have pills or enough pills or because of my health I now have differentiated between the two my nurse and counselors have all been monitoring my pain relief and my recovery progress . I have came to accept that if I have no choice I will remain on suboxone indefinitely I will have to deal with chronic pain for the rest of my life im just not sure how to handle this a slave to a substance I (for the time being) can control or take my chances I know in my soul I cannot handle opiates but so far ..the last 14 months I have been in control of this ant suggestions. Are their any other options out there

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Brett Says:

Whatever makes your quality of life tolerable. I'm in the same situation with methadone. My pain management Dr retired and now I can't find a Dr in Mississippi or Louisiana to prescribe me the amount (210 mg) a day at which over a 15 year of usage is no fun tapering off of. New Dr said 20mg is max amount CDC will allow him to prescribe. Good luck

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James Says:

Thanks, I to tried methadone years ago when I first made the decision to try to get off opiates, I to went to a very high dose 190 mgs and it was horrid to taper down. I wish you luck. It actually worked for both my addiction and pain , but the stigma was twice that of Suboxone in my area. I quickly returned to my pain management clinic. Which increased my tolerance ten fold. My consumption of pain pills trippled. I kind of regret leaving that program, although it was hard to function daily while having to make frequent daily trips to my Dr for my meds. Having to deal with addiction and chronic pain is a double edged sword, I wish you luck and I'm hoping medical advances of today will bring those like us relief soon thanks for your reply and info

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Cookie Says:

BL, before a doctor can prescribe Suboxene, he has to take a course in learning about the medication. If he doesn't take this course and get certified, he can not prescribe. Here in Ohio there are so many doctor's prescribing Sub's it's out of hand. It's an easy way for them to make a lot of money. I went to one, charged me $250 for the office visit, plus the cost of the sub's, which here they are $7.50 a strip. Needless to say, I got my self off of them in a hurry, they are just another crutch in pain relief, and extremely hard to get off of. Meanwhile, the drs. are getting rich.

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Brett Says:

Good luck to you too James. It's really a shame that we have to live with this monkey on our back plus being judged by Dr.s, pharmacist, & everyone else who have never had to deal with daily chronic pain. I wish I'd have never taken an opiate after both neck surgeries but that's in the past. The pm doctor I'm seeing now is telling me I need surgery bad but has cut my meds from 210mg a day of methadone & 2400mcg of actiq (fentanyl lolipops) down to 80mg a day of methadone & 600 much of actiq after only two visits. It's been tough. I think the CDC should let the Drs do their job and stay out of it. I understand there have been a high amount of overdoses in the past 10 yrs but that's no reason to make people like us suffer. Good luck brother.

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Cookie Says:

I am also from Ohio and went to a Suboxone Clinic. They charged me $250 cash money for the first visit, then $200 for every other visit, plus the cost of the strips. They sat in dark offices where I couldn't see them. They gave me no information to help me with this medication. Like you I got myself off of them pronto, by myself. It was the hardest thing I've ever done, I gave birth to 3 children, and this was by far worse than childbirth. They are only in it for the money. They advertise in our local newspaper and on tv. I know a few of them are family doctors and they do this on the side to make money, not to help you. Suboxene is the worst drug ever and getting off is a nightmare.

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Norah Says:

Haha! Just read that and said same thing!! Umm what?! That makes no sense BL! Some advice is great! Others not so much lol.

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Cookie Says:

Jason, I too took Suboxone and I had the most terrible withdrawals in my entire life. If your taking it you better hope you take it for the rest of your life. I never in my life thought that it would be as bad as it was. I wished I could just die instead of going through those withdrawals. But I made it, that was a year ago, and I haven't touched it since nor will I ever again. I gave birth naturally to 3 children and that didn't even compare to the withdrawals from that nasty stuff. I hope everyone is very careful if you are taking it. I didn't take for a long time maybe 5 or 6 months but the dr. never informed of the withdrawals nor did he help me. I tapered, tapered, tapered. That's the only way you're going to get off it.

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Ifeelya Says:

I can only give my experience and information as given by my physician, but I've been in a clinic for 3 years and am weaned in a very slow fashion. I have chronic pain as well and my dr warns that prolonged suboxone therapy will cause increased pain. It makes people more sensitive to pain. I would guess that one would have to be continually increased in dose as any other opiates. The scary part is you are very limited on your choices for break through pain as well because very few opiates are going to overcome suboxone and trying to do so is dangerous. Not to mention when you try to come off of suboxone, it is the worst and longest withdrawal I've ever had. I have personal experience in this. I'm only assuming it's the very long half life that extends the detox. It starts later (as in day 5 after quitting) and goes on for about 2 weeks. That's just me though. There are many non-opiate choices which I know you are aware. So many more are coming out all the time. Best of luck to you.

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Dee Says:

I asked my doctor to switch me from oxycodone to Suboxone when the oxycodone wasn't working well for me because of the tolerance I had built up. At first it was like a magic bullet. The pain would be almost gone! It's been several years now and has my age advances and my chronic conditions such as arthritis and degenerative disc diseases worsen my pain is horrible now. It does still help in such a way that I can tolerate it and without it I think I'd be wishing I were dead so I still use it. It does really help with pain. I'm not sure why it's not working the way it used to for me but I figure it's because I've been on it a few years now and because my conditions are worsening. Long story short though, your doctor can prescribe Suboxone for pain.

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GB Says:

Re: Jason (# 10) Expand Referenced Message

Hey Jason, people, reading a lot of posts and you all are very helpful. What I can see is that it works different for everyone. Myself, I was taking 60 mg Percocet a day 6 10mg a day and it worked for a few years but then less and less and I went from 30mg to 60mg in 3 years and like I said it just stopped working. I was in pain, sick in the body and mind and just plain sick, terrible and miserable all the time. I caused many problems mainly with my loving wife of 40 years. I won't go into detail but I worked and lifted my back away down to bone on bone to the point even the best athletic surgeon would not operate on me which I did not want anyway from all the horror surgical stories.

Finally I found my holistic doctor who saved my life. I did actually feel like I was dying at a healthy 68 years old. He decided that between Methadone and Suboxone that the Suboxone would be best for me for my pain. He started me out at 8/2 strips of Suboxone 3 times a day and when I finally took the first strip I felt HUMAN-NORMAL for the first time in years. I had new hope and stared getting very healthy and worked up to 20 laps 3 times a week in an Olympic sized pool besides other exercise. I felt great and at 70 years old felt I could kick anyone's ass! After the gym. So 6 years later the Subs still working very well, I have problems.

I have tried to taper down 4-5 different times and failing each time after 2-4 weeks and right back to 3 strips. I just wanted to see how I really felt without the Subs, as I was much healthier and for the first time in my long 6' 3" I was standing up straight and my back was stronger than ever!! Felt great! Just wanted to see what I really felt like with out a drug. Plus going to my doctor whom I love and we have become friends of course. He is the healthiest 80 year old man I have ever met taking care of 9 rooms of patients usually himself with lots of energy as he is Vegan for almost 20 years. He has been like the big brother I never had. Very inspiring. My diet has improved a lot in the past 6 years. Well I did find out what I felt like. I felt like s***! I felt sleepy, tired, and 90 years old and full of pain! Scary pain like I was going to just eventually die and just from cutting down not even a 1/2 of a strip! Gradually. Honestly at my age of 74 I fear if I could not have my doses of Suboxone that I 'would' just die. I have to stop now, will be back and thanks so much for listening. God Bless.

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Oversubs Says:

Re: Cookie (# 17) Expand Referenced Message

How did you taper off suboxone?

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Oversubs Says:

Re: James (# 14) Expand Referenced Message

How did you get off Methadone? Did you use opiates to help with the methadone withdrawals?

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T Says:

Hey james... How are you now in 2021... are u still on subs? How's ur journey.. id like to know how u are doin.. and see if I'm comparable at all... ya know? Hell I've been on subs since 2015 for a 30+ opiate pill a day addiction since age 17, it just grew and grew and grew. I'm 58 now James. I'm convinced I'll be on subs or a pain pump with bupronephrine in it till the day I die. I never want to be a slave to where am I gonna get my next pill in two hours so I don't melt into the carpet as I vomit up the flooring cause I couldn't find what I needed to keep me normal. Forget the pain. I stopped considering how much I hurt way way back in the day. All that mattered was DO NOT GO IN WITHDRAWAL EVER. Hell I would visit an emergency room 7 days a week and in the 90s and 80s any kind of pain legit oried about was treated with an opiate.

So I have to say that Suboxone saved my life. My quality and quantity of life. Pill free 6.5 years. My outlook has changed. Though I had to have surgery. I was mortified I'd be addicted asap cause I had to have Norcro in major surgery recovery. Idk if it was that fear or if my brain had finally shifted to normal but I never even thought about abusing the pills I got for surgery aftercare. Talk about proud. But to do that on a daily basis living with severe chronic and acute pain I will never trust my self to stay clean and sober. It only takes that one time the pain just won't stop and the higher I could go would alleviate that pain. Id abuse them I'm sure of it.

So yeah. Would ya share your story now 5 years after u posted this comment and let me see if we are the same or different? And how we differ in our recovery.

Thanks James. Sorry I wrote a book man. But in my real home state group therapy or chat sessions with like others has never happened for me. It would have been a great tool in my still recovery. Group therapy with addicts in suboxone should be a prerequisite to even be on suboxone and in recovery.

It helps to help yourself and to heal faster or better when u have others to talk about your journey together. I need the others and I have a story to tell as well that just may help someone else that is going thru total hell recovering and on subs. Or thinking of going on subs

I mean dam. If ppl can get together all over the world online and have copious amount of participants for cannabis use. And they do and are. Even pod casting advocates chatting... Why can't sub users have a group online as well. Eh?

Ok. I'm done. Lol.
Peace James.
Thanks for your time.

Hell man
Anyone that reads this.. Thanks for your time. Was a pretty straight up thing for you to do for me. Even if u don't reply. Cos right now at my age and with my disabilities. All I have is...

alone and time.


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Dee Says:

I just had my doctor switch me from my 10 mg. OXY 6x a day to Suboxone. I am not afraid of the stigma. She diagnosed me as opioid dependent and having chronic pain and was able to get it through. The Suboxone is working great for my chronic pain and I only have to take it twice a day. Good luck!

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Ginny Says:

Re: Mike (# 5) Expand Referenced Message

I am in the same boat. I live with Chronic pain for past 19 yrs.

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Mitzi Says:

Help! I’ve been on OXYMORPHONE 5mg/ 5 times a day since 2014. Before that I was on some other OPIATE since 2001. With the Opiate Crisis, KAISER PERMANENTE is making it harder & harder stay on my Oxymorphone prescriptive. The protocol of the Intergrated Pain Managment Dept. is to scold you for being on any opiate. And get you off ASAP. Last year they put me Gabapentin & I had a bad reaction to them. They made me gain 20 pounds, and gave me severe brain fog, and very sleepy all the time. I’ve finally lost almost all the weight and I’m finally starting to feel like myself again.

Is it true that opiates actually make my pain worse? I’d like to know what non-narcotic medications are truly helpful with chronic back pain. I’m already taking the generic form of Topamax 200mg/ 2 X a day. What should I take for inflammation that’s easy on the tummy. I also have I.B.S. and Interstitial Cystitis. Two auto-immune conditions. Neither one are curable, but both are managable through diet and treatments.

Please help me Pain Management medications that are non-narcotics. I need your help and support. I have disc degeneration in my low back and tail bone, sciatica down my right leg, and bone spurs in my neck.

I’ve had neuroscopic surgery on my low back in July 2002. Dozens & dozens of Epidural Injections in my low back and some in neck.

Thank you for any and all your support and assistance in helping me manage my increasing pain. I’m now 66 years old. Running scared!

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James Says:

Re: Just me (# 24) Expand Referenced Message

Just me: dependence and addiction are two different things I be found, things work differently for different people, I'm glad it's working for you to , it's been a God send to me I am physically dependant on the Suboxone, but have control over it and my life , I would and have chosen this over that other life you hang in there , buddy . It's a shame that this opiate crisis puts those of us chronic pain sufferers under the gun . There's so many legitimate patients out here that will suffer because of addiction, wether it be from the disease of addiction or because of those suffering from it abusing opiates and making it impossible to obtain pain relief. Good luck and God bless

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Just me Says:

I was in the same situation you are in. I was taking 120 oxycodone for the last 6 years.
I was fed up with the pain and addiction.
I started Subs 3 weeks ago.
I have to say my pain is controlled.
Still trying to figure out the correct dosage.
I'm a little scared about getting addicted to the subs but I had to start somewhere.
Good luck

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