No announcement yet.

Is Suboxone right for Norco addiction?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Is Suboxone right for Norco addiction?

    I’m new to this board, new to this experience, really. A doctor has recommended I consider Suboxone to get off Norco and I’m seeking the advice of others. I’ve read through a lot of the discussions of how to get off Subs and how difficult it can be. It makes me wonder if this makes any sense. But that’s where you come in, hopefully.

    I’m 60 and injured my back when I was 17 working a construction job. Until several years ago I would go through a bad back episode at least once a year, where I would be laid out in bed in excruciating pain. Chiropractors and steroids had little to no effect until the episode ran its course, usually between 5 to 10 days. Then I found Vicodin and a doctor who would prescribe it and it was like a miracle. Within a half hour I could function and within a day or two the episode was completely over. It also made me feel great and feel that I could get a lot accomplished. While I’ve always worked a white collar job, I was active weekends working around the house and on several cars I keep as a hobby. I found that Vicodin, while I had it, would allow me to work longer than I had been able to previously and also got me through the 2:00 in the afternoon sluggishness at the office. For about a year, if I had even a hint of a flareup I’d go to Urgent Care and after a half hour would have a prescription for 20 – 30 Vicodin.

    After a while I found a pain doctor who would give me a regular daily prescription to keep the pain in check (though I didn’t really NEED it), but this soon developed into a habit of taking it to keep my energy level up. During a house move last year, at my request my doctor increased the dosage regularly until I was being prescribed 10/325 Norco and I’m up to an average of 10 – 12 pills a day. But after working myself up to this level over a period of about five years, I‘ve found I need the this level of meds just to maintain normal energy and pain management. Apart from now needing it to just be normal, another major downside is that I’ve found I’ve lost my passion for several things that have been dear to me my whole life. A major casualty has also been our sex life. I’ve tried several times to wean myself off the Norco, but the tremendous body aches and unhappiness that comes with doing this over a period of time has kept me from being successful.

    Frankly, I’m sick and tired of being dependent on Norco and the almost robotic like Stepford life it entails for me. I discussed this with another doctor who suggested Suboxone might be a way to shake the Norco habit, although he’s unable to prescribe it. After reading all the posts about people’s difficulty in getting off Suboxone, I now question whether this is a reasonable alternative. Certainly, if I do go down this road, I’ll pay close attention to Robert’s method so I’m not working for years to get off of it.

    I know that many folks on this board have battled far greater addictions than mine and I do feel a bit of a >>>>> for not being able to shake this on my own, even at this level of intake. Frankly, my back means that I will likely have to deal with something like Vicodin in the future. But after arriving at this point, I hope I’ll be able to just deal with the day of feeling lousy through the slight withdrawals after completing a 20 pill Vicodin dose. But to get to that point, I need to get back to a normal life that doesn’t include Vicodin or Norco as a daily part of it.

    Your thoughts or input would be greatly appreciated.
    Last edited by Anonymous; 02-23-2014, 04:44 PM. Reason: original text not posted

  • #2
    Hi, and welcome.

    Generally, the overall consensus is that a norco habit like yours does not require Suboxone simply because Norco is a short-acting opiate and the WD is over in less than a week. I know you said you've tried quitting cold turkey or by weaning down and have been unsuccessful so far. My opiate habit was about 25-30 Norco per day, plus anything else I could get my hands on. I turned to subs to get off. But, at the time, I was uneducated about subs and didn't know any better. If I knew then what I know now, I would have either weaned off or just quit cold turkey.

    Granted, I listened to my idiot sub doctor who kept me on subs for years. Huge mistake. Again, I didn't know any better at the time. A lot of people have used sub for a habit like yours and been able to taper off of it relatively quickly. Others will say "just quit cold turkey". I've heard that treating a Norco addiction with subs is like swatting a fly with a sledgehammer.

    Of course, it's your decision. You already know about Robert's taper plan. Or, if you decide to quit cold turkey, you can ease some of the WD using the Thomas Recipe.

    We're here to help and support. Let us know what you decide to do.



    • #3
      Thanks Kat. I'll look into the Thomas recipe.


      • #4
        Subs are a great tool, but they aren't magic. I was just reading an article the other day about how many people are trading one addiction for another. Subs come with their own trappings and commitment. Since you are familiar with Robert's taper plan you know that, but I just want to point out that you will still be reliant on a pill.

        It's daunting to think about going through withdrawals. You know how bad you're going to feel so that makes it even more scary. But, think about this. In order to induct properly with subs you will need to go into full withdrawals, and score 26 on the COWS worksheet. By the time you hit 26 you will be well on your way with a Norco w/d, close to halfway. SO, would you rather just white knuckle it and spend 5-7 days feeling like you have the flu OR commit to 6-12 weeks of a taper plan? There is no escaping w/d's, even with subs you will feel something. With subs it will be less severe and you'll be able to work, but even at the end you do have to pay the price.

        One other thing you should think about is a plan to stay clean (NA,AA?). Getting clean is hard, but staying clean is harder. It's very tempting to think you can take just one next time your back flares up, but the reality is you can't. If you do you'll be right back in the same place. I would urge you to go check out the Need to Talk board, there is a thread called "Ask Ruth" over there, check it out. Ruth is an addiction counselor and is full of amazing insight and advice.

        Good luck whatever you decide, we will be here to help you.


        • #5
          Your comments are clarifying for me, and I appreciate that. I hadn't considered the implications of the COWS worksheet and what it would take to get to 26 and what's left of an addiction like mine once there. And you're absolutely right about the ability to stay clean once there, particularly in situation like mine where the conditions (and an excuse) for relapse will remain. I appreciate your advice and your perspective. Thanks.


          • #6
            BB7 if by chance you find that you cannot get off the norcos by tapering off of them and using the Thomas Recipe and remain clean and decide to go the sub route I would suggest you check out the thread by Lincolnecho titled my plan to vicodin habit with suboxone. He used around the same amount you are using and could not stop successfully until he did a rather short suboxone taper starting at 2 mg a day and following the taper plan on here. He inducted at 2 mg and went all the way down to .18 and then did the skip days at .18 and was able to jump off after about 50 days. And that was with 6 skip days at .18. Just thought I would point out his thread for you to check out if you cant manage to avoid subs.



            • #7
              Thanks for that, Alex. I'll check out the Lincolnecho thread and their approach. I appreciate your pointing it out..


              • #8
                Originally posted by BB7 View Post
                Thanks for that, Alex. I'll check out the Lincolnecho thread and their approach. I appreciate your pointing it out..
                Hey BB7,

                The Robert 325 taper plan worked great. I was finally able to free myself from opiate dependency. In my case it worked as outlined with a few minor headaches and much unneeded worry.

                My thread is here,

                Good luck,



                • #9
                  Do not go on sub's for a Norco addiction. That is exactly what happened to me and it was the worst mistake I ever made. I know withdrawal is horrible but if you can just find a way to take a little time off work and get through it you will be so glad you did.