Greg: All right. What’s going on everyone. It is Greg and Matt here from Project Unbroken.
Greg: So today we’re going to be talking about suboxone addiction. We’ve been getting a lot of comments on our suboxone videos, there’s been a few people who they’re on the lower dose and they’re like man I’m really having trouble coming off. So I had a conversation with Matt about this, and I’m like, you know I never really looked at … I was on methadone Matt was on suboxone … I never really looked at methadone addiction because of the way I went into it. But, let’s keep this video about suboxone. It’s pretty much the same thing but I want to question Matt a little bit.
Greg: How did you look at suboxone coming into it? Like coming out of your heroin addiction, when you were getting on suboxone, how were you looking at it?
Matt: I was looking at suboxone strictly as a tool. So not as a drug, which I think might be what’s going on with people having a tougher time getting off suboxone. So again we talk in a lot of our other videos about my recovery specifically with suboxone. I was ready to be off of all substances. I was just kind of through the wringer with addiction and I looked at suboxone as a really manageable way to get off of everything. So, from day one I looked at suboxone strictly as a tool to get me away from heroin.
Greg: Yeah, I mean I did the same thing with methadone. Do you think that really helped you get off it easier? Kind of knowing you were looking at is as a tool to get off rather than, all right I’m on heroin I need to get off heroin, I’m just going to try suboxone.
Matt: Yeah, yeah. And we’ve know people who’ve done that. I mean, we’ve done that.
Greg: I did that, and failed.
Greg: So that’s … I think in that case … I mean all right, so would you say you had a suboxone addiction in a way or no or? Like how’d you look at that?
Matt: I’d say there was … I’d say there’s definitely some dependency there, I don’t know if I would necessarily call it an … Yeah, I guess it’s an addiction, there was a … I was dependent on it.
Matt: So, you know midway through, let’s just say my maintenance program with suboxone, if somebody just yanked the subscription … or the prescriptions away from me I would have been-
Greg: Would have been no fun.
Matt: It would have been trouble.
Greg: So still suboxone addiction I think, but I think that big point I wanted to make, I was asking you about this, was I think one of the reasons people are struggling getting off when they get down is they … maybe their mindset going into it, they just kind of jumped on it without a plan. Whereas maybe you jumped on it and I jumped on methadone, knowing that eventually I was going to come off and you kind of prepared yourself for that. So although it’s still, I think you still had an addiction to the suboxone, I think you made it a lot easier on yourself getting off by having a plan in place and knowing that it was a tool to get off … you know to get clean all together, rather than just a tool to get off heroin.
Matt: Yeah and too you point-
Greg: Or a replacement.
Matt: Right. To Greg’s point. Greg and I both had little bouts with suboxone, you know whether it was trying to just not be sick, or if we were … you know every once in a while we would tell ourselves that we were really trying to quit, but there was never any game plan in place for those attempts, I’d call it.
Matt: So I was not successful with my suboxone maintenance program until there was a plan in place and I was working with a physician and a psychiatrist together. Again we bring this, how that whole structure was set up in another video.
Greg: Yeah, I’ll place those below. So I’ll place your video of how Matt got off suboxone with no withdrawal.
Greg: And I’ll also post a video of how I got off methadone with basically no withdrawal, a very little bit, below if you guys are interested in that.
Matt: Yeah. And for both instances, there was a very structured blue print, game plan, in place of … between me, the physician, and the psychiatrist of how we were going to work our way through it. So from day one it was, the goal was to get off of suboxone, and that’s … until we had that I was not successful with any maintenance program.
Greg: Yeah, so you know I think one of the big reasons we want to do this because a lot of people talk about like, I can’t get rid of this, I can’t get off the suboxone. Like the suboxone addiction so to speak, has got the grips on me.
Greg: I think if you change your mindset, you kind of go into it, you look at it as a tool. I mean, and you really want to get clean. I think you can minimize how much pain you go through as you come off. Wouldn’t you say so?
Matt: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, I think you have to have some sort of road map for yourself, so you can almost prepare yourself mentally for what you’re working towards, because you’re going to come up against frustrating situations, and things like that where you’re going to have to just know, all right this is … we’re on track, we’re making progress. That … all that … having that blueprint, is just a great resource for when you’re trying to get away from any substance.
Greg: Well, another trick that I know I use, is I compare things to other things. So like for me for methadone, I went back to heroin, I went back to heroin, I was like that was really hard to get off, I couldn’t get off it. When I tried to get off heroin, by itself, I had to go to methadone to get off the heroin. I tried suboxone. So heroin I couldn’t do, so methadone, and suboxone for him, he could do and really how hard was it to get off suboxone for you? Honestly.
Matt: It was not that hard, it really wasn’t. I mean it was-
Greg: How hard was it to get off heroin?
Matt: Extremely difficult.
Greg: You didn’t right?
Greg: Until you got to suboxone.
Greg: So, I think one thing we do … I know I do at least, is I compare. So I’m like all right well the heroin was really fucking hard, like I just couldn’t do it. Methadone, actually it wasn’t that bad.
Matt: I’ve never thought of it that way, and that’s really … that’s a really good point because we would literally try the same shit with heroin. Where we’re like, all right whatever it is we’re going to start weaning ourselves off of heroin, and we’re going to do this many bags per day. And then the last day, we’re like all right well, we’re going to do one bag. First of all you’re not going to do one bag, and you’re not going to … you’re going to keep doing it and it’s just like, well the train’s off the tracks. It’s … Yeah that’s a great way of looking to look at it.
Matt: With suboxone I felt really good, really comfortable with working my way off of it gradually, and again no serious withdrawals at all.
Greg: I think a lot of people may be are stuck in that heroin addiction mindset. Where they have so much trouble getting off the heroin, to kind of transition over to the suboxone. Where they’re like, I just can’t do this.
Greg: You can do it. Trust me, he couldn’t do the heroin, he had to use suboxone, but suboxone [inaudible 00:06:46] was easy. Partly I think because he changed his mindset, same thing for me, but also because suboxone’s a lot easier to get off. Don’t be stuck in the mindset that it’s heroin, it’s not heroin. It’s not as hard to get off as heroin, trust me. It’s a controlled drug, and if you take it down slower it’s a whole lot easier. So I think people need to get out of that mindset that they can’t do it. It’s not heroin, it’s a lot easier. So maybe change your mindset with that.
Matt: I think will be a lot easier.
Matt: We’ve been getting a lot of comments about people saying I’m at four milligrams or eight milligrams or two milligrams, and been here for a while. You can tell there’s underlying anxiety about taking that away. And Greg’s right, it’s not the same. It’s not going to be the … I mean you have to come down off of it gradually, but it’s not going to be the same as just you’re doing heroin every day and then all of a sudden you stop. It’s not going to be the same, you’re not going to feel the same at all.
Greg: Yeah, so let … I mean let’s even talk about now real quick. Where you are, I mean you’ve been off suboxone for how long now?
Greg: Been off heroin for ten, how long for suboxone?
Matt: Like, 11 or … I’m sorry … other math. Eight and half, nine.
Greg: Eight and half, nine, yeah. So let’s go back like … so you were a heroin addict, you went to suboxone. How was your life on heroin, compared to how you were on suboxone?
Matt: It was so much worse.
Greg: So let’s go to the trenches. Like what did your life look like on heroin?
Matt: It was a train wreck. I was in and out of court a lot. I was still … I was drinking a lot, on top of it. So I had a couple DUIs, just car wrecks, shit was piling up.
Greg: Hanging on by a thread?
Matt: Yeah, it was not good.
Greg: So you transitioned to suboxone. How’d your life look like on suboxone?
Matt: Everything started to become more manageable. I was able to be more … just I could go to work on a regular basis. I could-
Greg: Started functioning better.
Matt: Yeah. I could start like balancing my check book. I could start getting the basic shit in my life together. Paying for my car payment on time. Little stuff that doesn’t really seem like a big deal, but when you start kind of dialing all that in, which you can’t do on heroin because everything is focused on heroin. Everything it just got easier, I think the reason is, is I knew where I was going. To my doctor on Fridays, especially when we first started the suboxone program it was every Friday. Then they kind of broke up. But, I knew I was going to get suboxone so I didn’t have to freak out all day about like where am I going to get money for heroin, where like … none of that stuff was a worry anymore. I was able to be really confident that I wasn’t going to be sick. It just … I was able to take my mindset off of the addiction for a little bit.
Greg: So now, transition when you got off the suboxone, how’d your life look? Like right when you got off suboxone, did it start improving at all right away? We’ll talk about where you are now, but … Do you remember what happened as soon as you got off suboxone? If there was any improvement or?
Matt: It was … it was … I’d say there was just kind of like it got boring for a little while, because I was like what do I do? Because then there was no doctors visits, no anything. And I don’t want to say boring, but it was just … it was different not having to worry about any crutch or anything like that, and it was nice. It just really freed up my time. Again, my career started improving.
Greg: Yeah, let’s talk about now. I mean I know where you are now, but let’s … What accomplishments have you had … So today, since you’ve got off suboxone, what have you … what are some big accomplish … Why can’t I say that fucking word?
Greg: Accomplishments. What are some big accomplishments that you’ve had since you got off suboxone?
Matt: Oh man. As you know.
Greg: What are you most proud of? Maybe give me three things.
Matt: Becoming a father. Becoming a business owner. Buying a house. That stuff, those are probably op three, never would have been possible. I mean not even close on heroin. Like and the father thing, I could have done that, but not the way that I want to do it. Like I’m really happy with my relationship with my daughter, with my wife. I mean getting married. That’s definitely top three. None of those things would have been possible ten years ago.
Greg: Yeah, so I mean if you see that transition, heroin unmanageable, suboxone things start coming together. And he gets off suboxone he’s kind of like eh, like what the fuck for a little bit, but then things really start pulling in place. I mean now you’re happy as ever.
Matt: Oh my God, yeah.
Greg: You’re in the best shape of your life, I’m pretty sure. You know like everything is coming together. So, another big thing is, a lot of people I think look at recovery as something like you’ve got to … like you’re in this constant struggle. And I think maybe you were there for a little bit after suboxone, not struggling but you’re like what the fuck do I do that I’m clean now.
Greg: I think a lot of people stay there.
Matt: Here’s the thing, is there was no … I mean I think that’s the reason that Greg and I are doing this, is because there was no one to be like, hey this is what you need to do to make your life better.
Greg: Right. We were even just talking about, like you see in movies and stuff, you know people are in these recovery groups, and it’s like they’re out just hanging out, struggling, problems, like it’s a constant struggle. It’s doesn’t have to like … do we … I don’t really struggle at all nowadays.
Greg: I feel like I put in my struggle, my time, and I’ve got through it. So I think it’s another important thing is after suboxone, heroin, whatever you were on, it doesn’t have to be a struggle. I think a lot of people get caught up and they think … I don’t know damn I’m just not … I don’t want to struggle anymore, I’m going to go back to using, what the fuck, my life sucks anyways. But, it doesn’t have to stay like that, we need to keep improving.
Matt: Well, you know the way that they’re … a lot of recovery is depicted in on TV and in movies, and maybe even in some recovery centers, is like well you’re going to be dealing with it for the rest of your life. You’re always going to be a drug addict, you’re always going to be an alcoholic. I used to think, like damn am I going to be one of those dudes smoking cigarettes in a meeting and being like, well back in my day, like you know. It doesn’t have to be like that, and Greg and I both decided that we wanted more for our lives.
Matt: Again, we were not communicating when we were in our recovery. We went our separate ways, but we both made drastic steps to make our lives what they are today.
Greg: Yeah. So I think the point of this video is to show you that suboxone addiction, it’s very manageable … it’s very I guess you could say manageable to overcome. It’s a lot easier to than heroin addiction. I think a lot of people are stuck in the heroin addiction mindset, where I just can’t do it. Well, I mean it is a lot easier, okay.
Greg: Then when you get off the suboxone, just know that you don’t have to stay in the same place. You don’t have to stay at one point in life because we both after suboxone and methadone take it to a whole new level.
Greg: You got anything else to add for suboxone addiction?
Matt: No I think that’s about it.
Greg: All right, cool. So if you guys have any more questions, let us know and we’ll get to them all right, and we’ll talk to you all soon.
Matt: See you guys.