What is NZT, the Limitless pill?
In 2011, the sci-fi thriller movie “Limitless”, told a story of a man named Eddie who took a drug called NZT-48 that made him superhumanly intelligent. He was able to perform incredible feats of memory and fast thinking to accomplish anything. The “Limitless” pill gave him the ability to be successful in his life in every way. Ever since that film, featuring stars Bradley Cooper, Abbie Cornish, and Robert De Niro, came out, people have been searching for and discussing the possibility of a real-life version of this drug. Is it possible that the Limitless pill actually exists in the world?
Does the Limitless pill exist?
Most seekers finally came to the conclusion that there was one prescription drug that fit this description. The drug which has already been given more credit than it deserves is modanafil, sold under the brand-name, Provigil. To be clear, modanafil is not the Limitless pill. Provigil will not make anyone a genius or make them magically successful in life. All it does, at best, is to help people with sleep disorders stay awake during the day.
What if it only works for certain people?
Maybe the problem is that the Limitless pill if it exists, will only work for certain people. Maybe Bradley Cooper’s character in the thriller was already predisposed to become brilliant when he took the pill. What if NZT had no effect at all on most people? What if the Limitless ability already existed, latent, in certain people and simply had to be turned on with a specific medical treatment? What if, when the character Eddie Morra, took NZT, it was more like taking kryptonite away from Superman rather than providing some sort of enhancement?
How is Suboxone related to NZT?
So, how does this relate to Suboxone, or more generally, buprenorphine products approved for treating opioid addiction? In my experience treating opiate and opioid dependence and addiction, many people who have the most difficulty getting clean are highly intelligent, creative, and motivated people. In a world where their lives did not take a wrong turn into the world of drug addiction, they had all of the qualities needed to be successful creators and leaders.
MAT can release your latent powers suppressed by opioid addiction.
I have seen patients who are top business executives, entrepreneurs, artists, authors, performers, and more. It has not been uncommon for a patient to come in asking for help in overcoming opioid addiction in the midst of starting up a new and already successful company. Needless to say, I have had some incredible conversations with my patients. Yet, when they come in for the first visit, struggling with active opioid use, they are not doing well at all. They are sick, tired, depressed and have a feeling of hopelessness. When a patient starts medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorder, I am excited to see over the first month or so how they will transform.
Rediscover what you are truly capable of.
While not everyone who succumbs to opioid addiction is a driven, creative genius, held back by years of addiction and the side effects of street drugs and excess prescription opioids, many of the people who have the most difficulty recovering from opioid addiction also have the highest potential for success. As a doctor who treats opioid addiction with MAT, using drugs such as Suboxone, ZubSolv, and Sublocade, I very much enjoy seeing my patients recover and come to life. The spark comes back to their eyes. Medical treatment with buprenorphine can make a patient feel as if they had never been addicted. Their brain recovers and they rediscover their abilities and they move forward in their lives, becoming successful at home and at work.
The dangers of listening to wrong advice that can steal away your success.
Why, then, do many patients, when they are feeling better during treatment, ask how soon they can stop taking Suboxone? If it works so well, why do patients ask in the early months of treatment when buprenorphine can be tapered and stopped? A major issue is a stigma associated with medical treatment for opioid addiction. Suboxone has a bad reputation with many “experts” in the world of drug rehab. Hence, Suboxone patients feel like they are depending on a crutch to function. They are told by friends and family that they have simply replaced one addiction with another.
Unlocking the key to living your best life.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Suboxone treatment is not trading one addiction for another. If you take Suboxone, you know that this is true. The behavior that defines addiction goes away during successful treatment. The obsession with drugs and the compulsive using in spite of ongoing self-harm goes away with MAT. Thinking clears up, functioning dramatically improves and a patient has the ability to become a near-perfect version of themselves.
Discovering a new perspective that will help you continue to succeed.
Maybe the solution is to work on removing the stigma from Suboxone treatment. What if we thought of buprenorphine as being more like the fictional drug, NZT? When a person starts buprenorphine, they can go from the despair of a life where they are losing their family, job, and health to a life where they are caring for their family, becoming healthy again, and finding new success in their business. I have even had a patient credit MAT for his patenting of a brilliant new invention! In that particular case, the MAT drug happened to be naltrexone, which is also a very powerful life-transforming treatment for both alcohol and opioid addiction.
Why don’t we think of the S in Suboxone as standing for success?
Or, the B in buprenorphine could stand for brilliant. If you are taking buprenorphine for opioid use disorder and having great success in your life in terms of no longer being out on the streets, obsessing over drugs such as heroin and oxycodone, and also functioning in life again, think of how far you have come. This is an important concept. Whenever you are overthinking your situation and how you are not where you want to be, think of how much success you have already had. You are now clean from drugs and living your life again.
MAT works. You are worth it.
If you are thinking about quitting successful medical treatment with buprenorphine or another form of MAT, consider reframing your perspective. Do not see yourself as being dependent on a crutch. Instead, think of medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder as being the key that can unlock the power within you to have an incredibly successful and fulfilling life.