Posted 8/18/2018 9:19 PM (GMT -6)
I would keep a positive outlook as you approach the transition.
Your dosing of Norco has lead to an expected physiological dependence of opiates. That is, your body has physiologically become accustomed to a certain level of opiate in your system, without which symptoms of withdrawal will ensue.
Physiological dependency is not unique to opiates. Regular use of anti-depressants (Lexapro, Wellbutrin, Effexor) will contribute to a state of physiological dependency, as will use of anti-anxiety medications (Ativan, Xanax) and proton pump inhibitors for GERD. Given a deficit of an acquired level of medication, the body will complain - and complain loudly with a broad array of withdrawal symptoms (profuse sweating, goosebump chills alternating with hot flashes, diarrhea, itchy and watery eyes, muscle cramping and restlessness, insomnia).
Addiction describes a psychological manifestation of drug seeking behavior that is maladaptive. Stealing from others in order to purchase illicit drugs, lying, manipulating, deceiving others.
I have been on prescription opiates for about 3 years. I recognize that I have acquired a physiological dependency. But it does not reflect on my character of person. I am not addicted. I do not seek excessive opiate dosing as a sauve for emotional distress. I do not take opiates seeking a euphoric state. I take opiates to dampen deep, pervasive bone pain so that I can retain the ability to walk and functionS.
Bottom Line: Do not be self-critical. You are to be commended for recognizing a potential problem with increased opiate dosing, an upward graph, and heeding to your inner voice/wisdoms. You have an acquired physiological dependency but not an addiction.
Subutex is a well-established pharmaceutical that is used to treat both pain and physiological dependency and/or addiction. My own opinion is that your pain lagagrnt physician has chosen Subutex wisely for you.
Subutex is a agonist-antagonist to opiates. It is also know as buphenorphine. It bonds to the same receptor sites as do opiates.
In using Subutex, your pain management physician is providing for a measure of pain relief (vis-a-vis replacement for your current Norco) and providing for minimization of distressing withdrawal symptoms
(Subutex will bond to opiate receptors in lue of the Norco you are currently taking). A win-win for you.
Buphenorphine is routinely used for pain control in veterinary medicine. My little 8 month old tea-cup Maltipoo was given Buphenorphine as a take home medicine after a spay procedure and dental extractions of vestigial baby/temporary teeth.
Be attentive to Susie’s comments on the timing of your last dose of Norco and the timing of your first dose of Subutex. Distressing withdrawal symptoms will emerge if a dose of prescription opiate is taken within 4 hours of taking Subutex. Your pain management should provide you with his/her transition protocol to optimize the transition for you. Take his/her directions to heart.
Best case scenario as you discontinue Norco and begin Subutex: You feel good. Your back pain is tolerable. You experience a few or no withdrawal symptoms.
For anyone who has been on pescription opiates either for long period of time or at a moderate/high daily dosing, Subutex can be ever so helpful in transitioning off of prescription opiates.
Best wishes to you this coming Monday. I will send positive karma and goodwill your direction.