Why Suboxone Works for Me – by Crystal Oertle

Suboxone replacing one addiction with anotherCrystal Oertle is the Assistant Publisher of Kill the Heroin Epidemic Nationwide and has attended and spoken publicly at many recovery and heroin / drug awareness events.  This includes speaking at the National Rx Summitt on stage with President Barack Obama on March 29th, 2016.  To see a video of her speech and her engaging with President Barack Obama, visit “Obama Coming to Philly to Campaign for Clinton“.

Crystal Ortle is very passionate about recovery and intends to “Erase the Shame” and stop the stigma associated with addiction and medicine assisted treatment.  Crystal is in recovery and has chosen Suboxone to help her in her path to success.  Below, she describes why she’s chosen Suboxone and why it works for her.

Why Suboxone Works for Me – Crystal Oertle

I’ve done many things in active addiction that I’m not proud of, and it was all to get the dope I needed so I wasn’t sick anymore with withdrawals. I lied, manipulated, stole, whatever I had to do to get money for my dope. I was a shitty person and I didn’t care. I wasn’t thinking about making my life better, or about helping others. I was self obsessed and obsessed with my drug of choice every day all day. I wasn’t a good mother, daughter, sister, aunt, etc.  Sometimes the only reason I talked to my family for days or weeks was if I needed money or a place to sleep it off for a few days. That is what life on heroin was like for me.

obama and crystal oertle kill the heroin epidemic nationwideWhen I hear people say that Suboxone is just as bad as heroin I can’t agree, and I wonder why they think this. Because all I have to do is compare my life on heroin to my life on Suboxone and it’s a 180 degree turn around.

Since I started in treatment on Suboxone, my life has improved 100%. I met the President of the United States for goodness sake. I wouldn’t have been invited to speak on a panel with the President if I was still on heroin!  I’ve become the mother I needed to be for my children. I have become a daughter that helps my Mom with her health issues instead of the daughter that takes. I’m a real friend to my Sister now, not just a friend for an hour until I get up the courage to ask for $20 then leave 5 minutes later. I’m active in my community as an advocate for other struggling addicts. I speak in public, which is something I never imagined I would be doing 2 years ago. I talk to police, judges, counselors, anyone who will listen and help with this epidemic we’re facing.

I’m not sticking a needle in my arm, risking an overdose and leaving 2 children without a Mother because of a drug that had it’s hooks in me. I found recovery with Suboxone. It saved me from all the dirty things I did when I was using heroin. So, how could it possibly be just as bad as heroin? And, how is it just trading one drug for another? I’ve traded one drug for another, believe me. And my life wasn’t like this!! I was smoking crack or shooting up bath salts instead of heroin for a while. That’s trading one drug for another.

Stop the Stigma Addiction, Suboxone, Medicine Assisted Treatment, MethadoneSuboxone causes a physical dependence. Yes, this is true. You aren’t supposed to just stop taking it. But what medication do you just stop taking? None that I know of. Most of them say to consult a physician before changing the dosage or stop taking all together. You have to taper down from Suboxone when you are ready. What’s wrong with that? Actually, what’s wrong if someone has to take Suboxone the whole rest of their life? It’s better than shooting dope and risking an overdose, or contracting a disease, or getting an abscess.

I think of Suboxone as a small tool in my recovery. You must do counseling, support groups, 12 step meetings, change people, places, and things, get healthy mentally, physically and spiritually along with taking medication for addiction. Medicated Assisted Treatment (MAT) isn’t just about the medicaton. You still have to change your whole lifestyle.

This is just my experience with Suboxone and what’s worked for me. But I will say I would rather be on Suboxone for the rest of my life than go back to shooting up heroin for just one day of my life!

More on Medicine Assisted Treatment

There’s no doubt that Suboxone, Methadone and medicine assisted treatment (MAT) in general creates controversy, mostly because people don’t understand how and why medicine assisted treatment works.  We recently wrote an article “Methadone and Suboxone: The brutal Truth About Medicine Assisted Treatment“.  We strongly encourage you to read it as it is fact-based and is designed to debunk the myths and stigma associated with MAT.

Published By,

William – Publisher and Founder of Kill the Heroin Epidemic Nationwide™
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5 thoughts on “Why Suboxone Works for Me – by Crystal Oertle

  1. Hog wash, will you have withdrawal symptoms when and if you break your addiction to Suboxone ? The answer is yes will. Saying you’re in recovery while taking Suboxone. Is like an alcoholic saying I’m in recovery because I only drink beer not whiskey. To truly be in recovery all opioids have to be out of your system. So before you boast about your recovery . Make sure you are %100 clean, otherwise you’re just making excuses to yourself and slapping the face of those that have faced their demon’s and got ourselves clean. I will close with a question.
    Did Obama and who ever else you were bragging about meeting, meet you for your accomplishment, or did they meet you to show how”GREAT” the pharmaceutical companies are ?
    I will give you a hint one of you two has lobbiest that pay big bucks to support their views

    • Allan,

      I appreciate your comments however, you have a clear misunderstanding of Suboxone and medicine assisted treatment in general. For starters, you are confusing addiction and dependence…which is very commonly misunderstood. I suggest reading “Addiction Vs. Dependence: What is the Difference?“. Secondly, we openly acknowledge that both Suboxone and Methadone contain dependency properties which is why it’s recommended to slowly taper off the medication rather than go cold turkey. Going cold turkey off Suboxone and Methadone will result in withdrawal symptoms. But there are a lot of medications like that as well. People who use Zoloft for depression (or any anti-depressant for that matter) become dependent on it and stopping it abruptly results in withdrawal. Does that mean they are unclean and not sober? Does that mean they are addicted? Of course not.

      People who’ve never used opiates or heroin before may become addicted to Suboxone and/or Methadone if they set out to use it recreationally and abuse it. But people who have an opioid and/or heroin addiction problem do not “get high” from Suboxone or Methadone and live very normal, healthy lives very different from someone suffering from addition. They are no longer chasing a high and develop interest in other things. I suggest reading the article “Methadone and Suboxone: The Brutal Truth About Medicine Assisted Treatment“.

      You seem highly opinionated for someone who lacks understanding about addiction vs. dependence. I suggest doing some reading and research before making judgment and buying into the false dogma and stigma surrounding addiction and medicine assisted treatment.

      Best Regards,

      William – Publisher and Founder of this community

  2. Suboxone became another addiction for me i lost alot of weight. It really screwed up my mind and body. Nothing worked for me except abstinence. .. 4 yrs sober.

    • Kim,

      Were you using Suboxone recreationally or did you use it as a medicine assisted treatment prescribed by a physician to try to stop your heroin addiction? Medicine assisted treatment isn’t for everyone. Most people who start using Suboxone from a heroin addiction don’t get addicted because there is no “high” associated with it…unless you were using it recreationally. But I’m glad that you’ve been sober 4 years without any medical help. Keep up the great work!

      William – Publisher of this community

  3. Suboxone, Naltrexone, Vivitrol, etc. are all tools in the recovery process. I personally do 30, 60, and 90 day follow ups with many patients who have had these and the response is very good…. but, it is only a tool, not an end all be all. If you aren’t serious about being clean, these may only push off the urge. If you are serious this is a great way to keep the urge off while you are in treatment. I’ve worked with over 200 patients who have had the naltrexone implant and vivitrol shots… they are awesome.

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