She was clean for a few months before her last relapse. How can I help her maintain that?



My fiance has been clean for a month now. She was clean for a few months before her last relapse. How can I help her maintain that? RIght now, we’re on methadone and just focus on her quality of life, exercising, eating, being happy.


Hey Dean - great to hear she has been clean a month and it sounds like you are doing all the right things.

My question is why methadone? Have you been to an addiction specialist and discussed suboxone as an alternative?

Suboxone has become the go to for opiate treatment and is somewhat the fold standard for opiate treatment. She would avoid all withdrawals and it also acts as an antagonist which prevents someone from getting high while on the medication.

It has worked wonders for me and allowed me to live a healthy and happy life

What state do you live in? I could help you find a doctor that is able to prescribe the medication.


We’ve been to a recovery coach and saw and private doctor who prescribed suboxone. We tried for about a week but she went into acute post withdrawal after taking the first dose and then it happened a second time a week after so we stopped it. Now she’s too afraid to touch it.


Hey Dean - sorry I did not see this before replying about re: suboxone

If you take suboxone while you are still using, you will go into severe withdrawal, this is why they suggest waiting until 2-3 days before your last use of any opiate before inducing with suboxone. Your fiance will be in slight withdrawal and discomfort during those few days but remind her that it will be worth it in the long run. As soon as she takes the suboxone the withdrawal symptons will go away and her cravings for opiates will stop.

Make sure you seek an addiction specialist who can prescribe suboxone, they will walk you through the proper intake process, again - it’s critical that your fiance is in slight withdrawal before taking the suboxone.


Yeah she claimed she hadn’t used in 3 days prior to taking the first dose but turns out she lied about that haha :anguished: right now though she’s doing pretty good but suboxone would be better I think. Last time though I was nervous because she would miss doses and I came to find out she was trading strips for drugs.


We can build on any amount of sober time by understanding the importance of motivation in recovery. A common reason why people return to their substance use after a period away from it is they run out of gas. For some, just giving up the harmful substance use isn’t enough to maintain motivation. It’s really crucial for a lot of our loved ones to work at building a successful meaningful life in recovery. If there isn’t motivation to do this, there’s a chance they won’t find much happiness in recovery. And then the idea of returning to harmful substance use patterns they were in before becomes more attractive than abstinence, and ultimately the pull towards the substance becomes stronger than the pull towards recovery.

Motivation can be looked at as a driving force that kick starts, guides, and maintains positive/healthy goal oriented behavior. It is believed that motivation is a mechanism by which humans attempt to avoid pain and maximize pleasure. Engaging in substance use is a way to avoid pain (emotional or physical) and maximize pleasure, initially at least. So in building motivation we need to help our loved ones build a life that allows them to experience natural pleasures: human connection, exercise, good sleep, happiness, belonging, etc so they learn they can find pleasure in other ways that aren’t using substances.

Here are some tips on how to avoid loss of motivation in recovery that could be helpful to share with our loved ones:

  • journaling can allow our loved ones to see their progress and reminds them why they want to stay away from harmful substance use
  • maintaining a gratitude list can encourage feeling enthusiastic about recovery
  • experiment and try new things to keep life interesting
  • have awareness that life is full of ups and downs, and enjoy the ups when they happen and when the downs come remember that they won’t last forever and we’ll soon be in the ups again
  • stay connected to support system and treatment team

It’s awesome you’re trying to help keep the momentum going in your fiance’s recovery @Dean_Acton!


Hey Dean - try to set up a long weekend where you two can get away - monitor her, make sure she isn’t using any drugs and then when you get back start the suboxone

I feel highly confident once you can have her take her first dose successfully there will be no looking back

Try to arrange something - the suboxone has a long half life and you will both thank me as you will be able to return to a normal life

Cravings will stop
Withdrawals will stop
Being able to get high will stop