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I am not really into apologizing twice to someone so I will keep this brief, very brief.
Thank you for your PM and all the information. I am already clean and have been that way for 2 3/4 years. I am not looking for a drug to help me (although it can be tempting) and I would encourage people who are researching this drug to also research everything else, including the success stories here of people who have gotten off of all drugs and alcohol.
I know someone who is detoxing from Suboxone with Baclofen prescribed by his doctor. He is taking 200mg in divided doses. You have to be careful with Baclofen and should only go up to that sort of dose very slowly as it has side effect. You should start very low at 10 mg a day and stay there until the side effects subside and then go up in steps of 10 mg a day or so. There is a lot of information about taking Baclofen on mywayout forums. It is not much used by people on this forum. If you google Baclofen and opiates you will find a site with information specifically about Baclofen. Baclofen does not cause dependence and it is incredibly cheap and very safe even at high doses. Baclofen is an opiate agonist which works on the Gaba B receptors
I suggest speaking to your doctor. Get him to do the research. There are now quite a few doctors who are prescribing Baclofen for addiction and you can also get it on line. I know someone who is getting it on their insurance policy even though their addiction pre-dated their policy. It is quite a new treatment but there are a growing number of people using it to detox from alcohol and opiates and a lot of useful information and help from other people using it on the web.
I suppose one could live their life on Baclofen instead of methadone or suboxone maintenance. At least it's not an opiated alternative. So for those who decide that they just can't remain abstinate then Baclofen sounds like it might be the better choice (that is IF research ends up proving that long term use of it is fairly safe).
The majority of us here at ODR tend to believe that abstinance is the way to go, and are living proof that it CAN be done no matter what the statistics say.
I appreciate your efforts to spread the word about this drug Otter. I can see where it could be helpful for some addicts, but on the other hand, there is another way to get rid of cravings....abstinance from all mood altering drugs. The longer one stays away from ingesting them, the less intense the cravings are, and they will subside altogether with time. I'm talking about obsessive cravings here, not the thought/desire to use. In my experience there is a difference.
My problem with this drug is that it must be taken for life...which tells me that the receptors don't heal and revert back to near pre-opiate days, something that prolonged abstinance can do. So how does one ever get around to learning how to live drug free? If the drug is fighting the cravings for them then that means that the addict isnt really making any progress, right? It sounds more like a drug-induced "artificial" recovery to me.
These are just my initial thoughts off the top of my head. I have read all your posts but havent had a chance to read any of the links you posted. I may be back to edit and eat my words, but for now, I just dont see a benefit for those who don't want to be tied to a maintenance drug.
The Doctor most likely gave him the baclofen as a comfort med. It does help with restless legs/general restlessness as it is a GABA agonist (it is slightly like a benzo, only non-addictive; sort of like neurontin). 200mg of Baclofen is quite a bit, though, and your body should not have to process it while you are suffering from withdrawal. 100mg should be just fine, as long as you never really abused benzos or alcohol too badly. (Listen to your doctor though; I am not a doctor, I only have a pharmacology degree. Its just something to maybe ask your doctor about, if you are feeling side fx from it (twitchiness, muscle spasms, fatigue, clouded thinking, tardive diskinisea, etc) While you are in w/d though it is difficult to distinguish these side fx from withdrawal symptoms.
Baclofen is a Gaba B agonist. Heroin-reinforced SA behavior and nucleus accumbens DA release are mediated predominantly by GABA(B) receptors in the VTA and suggest that baclofen may be an effective agent in the treatment of opiate abuse. (Baclofen, dopamine and heroin)
I'm not here to push anyone, just raise awareness of this development in understanding of the mechanism of addiction. I am sure that everyone here knows more about what it is to be addicted and what they need to get better than I do.
Olivier Ameisen only take about 30 mg a day after finding a stable maintenance dose of 120 mg a day. Given this treatment is very new it is not possible to say whether one can go off the drug but it is a useful tool as it stops the physical craving so you can work on the other issues in your life. It does not cloud judgement but does help in allowing you to engage with the problems and with therapists who cannot help when you are in an addictive state. It is also better for detox than valium simply because it is not addictive.
I just wonder, when I see TV programs etc., showing addicts going through cold turkey withdrawal whether that would be significantly assisted by using Baclofen. I have seen it work literally overnight in stopping a liter a day alcohol binge.
Last edited by Otter; 12-05-2010 at 02:22 PM.
I was on Buprenorphine for over five years. I tried many methods trying to get off of it when I deemed I no longer needed it. I tried cold turkey, accupuncture, hypnosis and weaning to extremely low doses. I was always doing research. I am also a recovering alcoholic.
My therapist knew of my struggle and asked me to read a book he had recently obtained. It was called The End of My Addiction, by Dr. Oliver Ameisen. Dr. Ameisen was a severe alcoholic who discovered that Baclofen cured him of his desire to use alcohol. In his book, he also stated that he thought Baclofen could be used for other addictions as well. My heart did a little jump!
I started researching Off Label use of Baclofen which was being used frequently in Europe. I compiled my research and took it to my physician. He agreed to let me try it the same way in which Dr. Ameisen used it. After finally resting on a dose that was comfortable, I started testing myself to see how long I could comfortably go without a dose. I was only on 1/2 mg/day of Bupe. I had weaned myself down to this by cutting 2mg tabs into fourths. I was able to stretch it out for two to two and a half days. Then I began to have restless leg syndrome severely. That was my only complaint (while on Baclofen) but one I can't stand. There was no upset stomach, no diarrhea, no shakes... only restless leg.
I went back to my physician and told him the problem and asked him if he could put me on Mirapex as well as the Baclofen. My therapist used it for severe chronic restless leg and said it worked wonders. My physician wrote me a script and I started taking it. Two days after starting it, I took myself off of Buprenorphine. I felt really tired but I believe I was overusing my Clonidine which my psychiatrist had prescribed for anxiety. I quit taking the Clonidine and within 24 hours, I felt much better.
The only problem that I am having is being extremely tired. It seems to be good one day, then terrible the next. But, I haven't had any Buprenorphine in almost a 6 weeks. I am ecstatic about being off of the Bupe.
I read Ameisen's book and then read your post and as many scientific studies as I could find. I've been wanting to stop taking Suboxone for a year now. I tapered my dose down by 4mg, but got stuck there. I then thought about taking Baclofen and asked my doc about it. She wasn't keen on it but said if I brought her the literature she would consider it. After reading the literature (I even printed out your posting) she agreed to let me try 30 mg/day. I started taking it hoping to eventually taper my Suboxone down. What shocked me was after taking the Baclofen for a couple of days, I completely forgot to take my Suboxone. That never happened before. When I realized what had happened it seemed pointless to take the Suboxone just because, so I just stopped. I have a doctor that will now prescribe the higher doses of Baclofen necessary.
I was reading many of the posts on this thread and it amazes me how many people are so positive that the only way to treat addiction is with the 12-Step approach even though the self-reported recovery rate is 5-10 percent at best. I'm glad those 5-10 percent of people were able to find help there, but surely one would have to at least consider there might be a better way. I am personally of the opinion that addiction is largely a biochemical phenomena and should be treated accordingly. Sure, most of us could benefit by the improvements in character and spirituality that the 12-steps offer, but that is true for addicts and non-addicts alike. However, I don't think it is a void in spirituality or character that is the cause of addiction anymore than it would be the cause of diabetes or high blood pressure.
We obviously need a more effective treatment for addiction and we need to keep our minds open to whatever form that comes in without regurgitating old pre-conceived ideas as to what addiction is and whether it can be cured or merely treated.
Thanks again for your post and hope you continue to do well.
I have been an addict for 30 years. It started with crack when I was 15. I have not touched crack for 22 years. I became addicted to pills in the early 90's. As a nurse, I became addicted to Demerol. I was taking upto 1200mg IM QD. In the late 90's, I was intoduuced to GHB. I LOVED IT!!!!!
Unfortunately, GHB is a difficult drug to dose. I woke up on life support several times. GBH at one time, was sold in the GNC stores. It was taken off the market in the 80's, but was not scheduled. In the 90's, the precursor, GBL was introduced. It was sold under the names, Blue Nitro, Serenity, etc. It was for sale in stores until 2000. At which time, Clinton signed into law, classifying both GHB & GBL schedule 1 narcotics. Thank God, because I would probably be dead. If not from a OD, it would of been from the withdraw.
In the end, I went back to my pill addiction. First it was Vicodin, but I switched to Tramadol. You can buy Tramadol online without a prescription. All within the US. Legally, too. I was taking 1200 pills a month.
I went in to rehab. Noone had ever heard of a Tramadol addiction. I told the physician, if he were to set a bottle of Vicodin, Percocet, and Tramadol infront of me, I would pick the Tramadol every time. He was stunned!!! He stated to me, he used Tramadol in his practice all the time, and never knew it was addictive. I continued to use Tramadol, but never in the amounts before rehab. I never had a seizure again since I left rehab.
About four years ago, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I was prescribed Baclofen 20mg QID. I no longer use Tramadol.
HOWEVER... I am now addicted to Baclofen. Its effects remind me of GHB. Even the withdraws are similar to GHB. I now take 120mg BID. I have never been addicted to any opiod like Baclofen. So I guess, my advice is BEWARE.
My problem with much of the Baclofen bashing on this thread is that that there haven't been any definitive studies as to it's effectiveness. Well there have been numerous studies showing it is quite effective in removing cravings for a number of substances. But many doctors are unfamiliar with it and the fact that higher doses are required to get the therapeutic effect. However, pharmaceutical reps deluge doctors with information on addiction drugs that only have to show they are slightly better than placebo. Look at Vivitrol, Naltrexone, Acamprosate, Antabuse, Topiramate, Methadone, Suboxone. As I'm sure everyone on this site would agree, it would be ideal to be completely drug free. But the reality is that isn't always a pragmatic option. If it were AA would have closer to a 100% effective rate rather than the 3%.
Many people find they are finally able to transition to a drug free life with the help of medication....and Baclofen actually shows a much higher rate of people who are either become abstinant or have significantly reduced their use. Unfortunately though, since there is little profit to be made on promoting this drug, it is often the higher priced, reformulated medications that doctors tend to promote. Maybe, if PHARMA could get a new patent on a time-released version there would be renewed interest. But without that, a person is left on their own to dig through all the medical studies available to show it is much more effective than placebo, which is the standard many of these other drugs were held to.
Baclofen helped me transition off Suboxone when tapering down didn't. There are irritating side effects such as the fatigue, but I never experienced addiction to it. You do have to taper up and down, much the same way you do with SSRI's. But I never found I craved it or wanted to take more.
My doctor is at a Major University Neuropsychiatric and she was hesitant to prescribe it initially. But she said if I brought her a number of legitimate studies to support this plan, she would consider it. I brought her at least a dozen. She also brought it up at their weekly meeting and other doctors became intrigued with the idea and they too found many studies to support it's efficacy. After she saw how it worked for me, she asked if she could write a paper on it. They now use it to help other patients get off their Suboxone.
There isn't only one way to skin a cat. Whatever works and helps you live a healthy lifestyle is good in my book.
Information in this forum is not monitored or provided by a medical professional. The information reflects member opinions only. Do not act on advice from these forums without first consulting a qualified medical professional. All content is copyrighted and protected by Aelius Group.