When you begin medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction, you may feel as if a great burden has been lifted off of you. You no longer obsess over drugs all day. Withdrawal sickness is not an issue, nor is the fear of dangerous consequences of using street opiates. As the medication starts to work, your thought process becomes clear and you are able to return to normal functioning again.
Yet, as you continue in treatment, you may discover a new burden that you have picked up along the way. You find that everyone in your life has an opinion about your addiction, recovery, and medical treatment. Friends, family, and even strangers want to give you medical instructions on what your next step should be.
In fact, sometimes even medical professionals who should know better will give you wrong information. Imagine that your Suboxone doctor refers you to a psychologist because therapy is a part of MAT (medication-assisted treatment). Then, the psychologist tells you that you don’t need medication to treat addiction. Who do you believe? Why would the psychologist disagree with the doctor who recommended them?
The fact is that opioid addiction is a chronic condition that is difficult to treat and overcome. Medications, such as Suboxone, work very well to keep opioid addiction under control. It is generally accepted now that medication should be continued for a period of at least one to two years. Many patients will do best to continue medical therapy beyond two years.
So, if your mother or father, brother or sister, husband or wife, tells you to quit your Suboxone because you seem fine now, talk to your doctor first. If they tell you that all you did is trade one addiction for another, tell them that they are wrong. If you are unsure about this, talk to your doctor.
Regarding friends, family, and strangers, the less people who know about your medical treatment, the better. It is understandable that you would want to be open with your spouse or even your parents about your medical treatment. Beyond that, there is no reason to share with others the fact that you take Suboxone or another medication to treat opioid addiction.
It is no one’s business that you are under the care of a doctor for a medical condition. For the close family who does know, it may help to arm yourself with some good reference books to share with them. Let the experts educate your loved-ones. For example, Overcoming Opioid Addiction by Adam Bisaga, M.D. is an excellent book that explains very thoroughly the importance of ongoing medical treatment for opioid addiction.
So, enjoy your recovery from opioid addiction and being able to live a normal, peaceful life without the need for drugs. You are free of that burden now. Please don’t let the people around you create a new burden for you to carry.