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106 Days Off Suboxone...MY FIRST POST EVER

Wed May 23, 2012 10:26 am

Well, here I finally am. 106 days off suboxone and I have finally found the strength to write. First off, I want to thank ALL of you, as this forum has gotten me through some of my roughest days. With many of you, I feel as if I know you personally. I have never found the strength to actually respond to anyone, as most of the times, I was searching to figure out if what I felt was "normal". Never in my life did I think my journey would be so difficult. I honestly thought that I could stop suboxone and be fine about 15 days later. BOY was I wrong. I guess if I would have read posts before I actually came off, I would have realized the hell of a ride I was in for. I am not writing this post to scare anyone, although I assume I might certainly do so, for those of you who are deciding to come off. Because truth be told, if I would have known this is what was in store for me, I probably would have never followed through with my taper plan and jump off. First of all, it's VERY important for all of you to know, that I was on suboxone for exactly 2 years and 11 months (so lets just say 3 years). The last year I was on about 2mg for about 8 months. I went down to 1mg (which resulted in a maximum of only 3 days of withdrawals), which included minor anxiety and stomach issues, and then I immediately stabilized. I remained on 1mg for about 2 months and then the last month, I decided to taper off. I went from 1mg to .75 to .50 and down to .25, dropping .25 every two weeks or so. I believe I rushed the .50 to .25 too quickly (as that was only about 4 days of .50 and then I immediately went to .25), and then from there...I jumped off at .25mg after only 4 days of being on the .25. All in all, I think I tapered much too quickly, but after 3 years I was determined to be done with it.
Another important thing to note...I was doing all of this while I was searching for a new job. I actually had my second interview of "day 6" of no suboxone, and to this day, I still dont know how I made it through. But I did, and I also got the job and work there as of today. I was also misdiagnosed about 5 yrs ago with Bipolar Disorder. I was on and off all types of meds for years, and I came off my last med in August of 2011. I had never felt better in my life, as I had given myself a full 6 months to monitor my mental health off the meds. So, in Feb 2012, (106) days ago, I decided it was now time to jump the last hurdle in my life. The suboxone. Here's some of what I have gone though and am still going through.
We all know about the basic acute stuff. Of course I had it. I can also honestly say that I had diarrhea for 60 straight days (my stomach is still not right, as I will go many times in the morning, only being able to bind myself once I eat a banana). In addition, I also had the chills for about 80 days straight. I still get them every once in while, although they have subsided for the most part. By far, the WORST part of all was the depression. I cried for the first 60 days and contemplated suicide many times. I have NO IDEA how I went to a new job, as many times I would cry my eyes out in the shower before work, yet somehow, my mind would clear up my mid afternoon. The mornings were always the worst, and they still are (in terms of anxiety). The entire first week of work I also had all the sleep issues, as I was getting only 1-2 hours of sleep per night, AWAKE all night until work time, with my heart beating out of my chest. I was determined to stay off an antidepressant, but things got so bad I needed one. I have now been on wellbutrin for 61 days and I no longer have the dreaded depression. Once I started the wellbutrin, it took about 2 weeks and the depression lifted. Dont get me wrong...I am no where near myself, but I am also not crying and I no longer want to die. In addition, the wellbutrin helped me quit smoking (2 months now with no cigs), and it has given me the desire to push through this all and know that one day these PAWS will be over. I guess my question is...will this ever end?
I always thought going to the gym and lifting weights would make things better, but I have tracked all my workouts. Thus far, I have tried lifting weights on three separate occasions, and all three times, I was SEVERELY depressed for about 1-2 days after wards. I actually felt the chemicals in my brain drop to a lower level (not sure if anyone can relate to that). I thought the anxiety was a thing of the past, but it has reared it's ugly head again for the past 3 days...and I cant seem to shake it. I have this feeling as if I am nervous about everything! A lot of racing thoughts and moments where I feel as if I am back to day 20 off of suboxone. I guess you can say I simply dont feel normal and Im afraid I never will. My sleep is still not the greatest, although I really should not complain, as I am out like a light no later than 11...and although I wake up at 1:00 am and 3:00 am, I am able to go right back to sleep. By 5 (6 the latest), I am wide awake, ANXIOUS beyond belief with that impatient kind of feeling (almost kind of restless and not sure what to do). Again, it's no where NEAR where it use to be (as I use to shake like a leaf with depression and nervousness simply waiting at the bus stop with my beautiful children). Now, because I am not depressed along with it, I can handle the feeling...but I guess it really reminds me of what I once felt like...and it scares the living hell out of me.
I know I am rambling and I sincerely apologize. I guess what I'm asking is...does my life ever become normal again. Will I ever be able to wake up and not think about "how I feel" off suboxone. Will I ever be able to stop counting days? 106 days and I simply am not "sure of myself" if that makes any sense. I am still confused, anxious, and "chilly" at times. Thanks to everyone who reads this!

Wed May 23, 2012 12:04 pm

Joe, I'm here to tell you that it gets better, it honestly gets better, but it does take time.

I made it to day 118 before I FINALLY lost count of how many days off of Suboxone I was. It's not like I had to sit there and remind myself of my day count, it came automatically. When you feel like a heap of dog shit, I guess it's normal to count the days?

It's kind of interesting how day 106 was your first post on this forum, I was around day 130 off of Suboxone when I made my first post here. Your wd and mine seem pretty similar. Not to freak you out, but the severity of wd you're going through and the wd I went through are not typical of Suboxone wd. I've been a member of this forum for 1.5 years and outside of you and I, I've only ever met 1 other person here who experienced the severity of wd/PAWS that you're going through. Why you and I and this other person got smacked so frickin' hard with wd is something that I've still not figured out completely.

I experienced all of the symptoms you experienced, but my depression issues didn't really hit until after one year off of Suboxone. I too took Wellbutrin. I got on it, then off it, then on it, then off it. As of right now, I'm not on it and feel pretty good.

I ended up having to quit caffeine for a good while because of my anxiety issues. No coffee, no soft drinks.....that alone helped my anxiety a lot.

After the day 118 mark (I usually say that's when my acute PAWS stopped), my next big improvement came at 9 months, that seems to be when my PAWS really lifted altogether.

Things will get better, man. It seems to take for-fucking-ever, but you will continue to get better.

Much Thanks Romeo

Wed May 23, 2012 1:10 pm

Romeo...I've been popping off and on here all day hoping for a response. And I can't begin to tell you what a relief it was to see your post. In my heart, I think I simply needed someone to let me know it will get better eventually. So I thank you for that.
I too had to stop drinking coffee and anything with caffeine in it. I actually noticed during my taper that coffee was giving me tremendous anxiety. Its been about the same amount of days, somewhere around 110-120 that I have not had a single ounce of caffeine.
I've heard in the past that these WD's we went through are NOT typical of suboxone in terms of length. I understand the whole half life shit, but I never thought in my wildest dreams these "feelings" would stick around so long.
I would like to say Congrats to you, and thanks from the bottom of my heart. Your post gave me much needed insight, and made me laugh quite a bit. "A heap of dog shit" is exactly how I would describe it...and you honestly made my day! I wish you all the best Romeo.

Mon Jun 18, 2012 4:57 pm

I can totally relate and I feel for you, but I know it will keep getting better. I jumped off at 16 mg cold turkey and was sleeping 8 hours a night on day 30. Everyone's different. I had severe sneezing, achey legs, diarreah, and insomnia for 3 full weeks, and then one day it was just all gone.

Hang in there, you've come a LONG way.

Sun Jul 29, 2012 8:22 am

Thanks for the kind words scianto.

Sun Jul 29, 2012 10:48 am

Hey Joe.

Firstly, congrats on your persistence so far. You should give yourself a pat on the back. What you decided to do took guts and that you went through with it, and even sat through a job interview shows you got some determination.

Everything you're describing sounds like PAWS to a tee. The feeling of anxiety, and constantly being unsure of yourself and questioning yourself and what you're going through. I equate PAWS to feeling like a "fish out of water". Something doesn't feel right, like you haven't found yourself, and you worry if you ever will find yourself.

You will feel better. It's such a long gradual process though that even you will find it hard to identify when and if you will feel normal. One thing I can guarantee is that you will feel ..better.. In a few months you'll look back at your first post and think "fuck I was pretty crazy sick back then"... After another 6 months you'll likely have enough security in your identity, knowing and being used to living as the "Joe off opioids", that you may have some kinda definition of what normal is again. And most days you will be experiencing it. People still have their good and bad days though. That's true even for those not in recovery!

Just keep at it. You're doing awesome.

The depression you are feeling is worrying for me when I want to go off Suboxone. Can I ask why it is that you you wrongly diagnosed bipolar? Did you get a second opinion? I think there's merit in trialling no-medications at some stage if one questions their diagnosis ... if anything just to find out if they truly do have an illness. After I kicked opioids I trialled going off my medications (lithium / depakote) and I was fine for about 8 months. Then I relapsed into depression (with paranoia) and as a result relapsed into addiction. Despite that, I still think it was something I had to do to truly acknowledge that I have bipolar. I hope your case will be different!

Keep us posted.

PS: Someone else recently posted about having PAWS symptoms get worse after intense exercise like weights. I explained to him a theory I had about it, because it was something I noticed as well. Always after I'd exercise I'd feel better straight after, then a couple of hours later I'd get chills and restless legs that'd last all night.

Exercise is still really useful for speeding up the recovery process, even if it leaves you spent and down for a day or two. Exercise causes the body to excrete the leftover traces of Sub and its metabolites from your tissues and lipids (our brains are 60% fat). Some of it gets sweated out, but some also gets pushed back into the blood-stream before being excreted. This bit from now is just my theory. It could be that some of the bupe / nor-bupe being worked out of your body while exercising finds its way into your synapses, causing your opioid receptors to temporarily up-regulate again. While the exercise is speeding up your body excreting its leftover traces of nor-bupe / bupe, especially early in recovery it might leave you feeling a bit worse at first.

You could go on working out like you are, no pain no gain style. Or if you like you could do exercise of less intensity at first and slowly build up to the heavier stuff as your body and mind recover naturally. Things like yoga, swimming, walking, jogging.

Update?

Sun Jul 29, 2012 5:11 pm

Hey Joe,

How are you feeling now? I just noticed its 2 months now since your first post, how are things? Progressing? All good?

Thanks,

-glen

Re: 106 Days Off Suboxone...MY FIRST POST EVER

Wed Nov 08, 2017 7:13 am

I cannot believe it's 2017 and I am back in the same exact position I once was.
Hello all...as you can see from this post, I made it thru suboxone withdrawal. In fact, I use to brag about how on day 188, I felt normal again.
Well, here I am again, about 2 years and 3 months into a suboxone "habit" once again. I had remained clean for several years after jumping off suboxone back in 2012. However, illegal street drugs usage once again brought me back to suboxone use.
About a month into cocaine abuse once again as well as storming and raiding every pill cabinet in America...I realized at 40 yrs old I cannot go down this road again.
I am now remarried with a third child and happier than ever. However, I knew this viscous cycle of drug abuse had to end quickly...so I reached for my old suboxone prescription. While I have been clean since, I now find myself right back where I was. I worked so hard to come off everyone! So hard!
So...it's 2017 and here I am again...down to 1mg per day after weaning down from 2 mg per day.

Withdrawals lasted only 2 days although the dreaded stomach and chills are here.
I am currently on 1mg and scared to death to do another thing right now.
I plan on waiting it out to see if someone reads this post...as I definitely will need a ton of support again. I would like to make sure I'm posting in the right section.

Thank you to everyone. I feel like a total failure and I'm embarrassed to be honest. Any feedback would be welcomed. However you may want to read my original post for some background. Btw..I am 42 yrs old now (on suboxone again for 2 years as I mentioned)...and in reading my old Post...I can say without a doubt that I was also wrong about being misdiagnosed. I claimed to NOT have bipolar in 2012? Well let me tell you....that was incorrect! After 5 years without bipolar meds and there is no doubt I suffer from the illness. However, I am able to manage stress much better and I do believe I am one of the rare patients that actually does better OFF medication with bipolar...or at least I have not yet found the correct medicine!
There is a part of me that wonders if I come off this suboxone...will I be right back where I was? Doing drugs again once I feel better in "188" days? I am so lost.

Re: 106 Days Off Suboxone...MY FIRST POST EVER

Wed Nov 08, 2017 8:15 am

Welcome BACK Joe!!
You know your with friends here that understand everything you ve gone though. I read your thread here. Quite amazing job . I see no failure here.
We are addicts. Right? There are going to be some set backs.
I see great gains in your life here. I guess the important thing is to see that.

You did this once,you ll do it again. You sound stroug. Ive never jumped so I can't really help there. Just know your amoug friends who get it.

Just wanted to welcome you back man..

Razor 59

Re: 106 Days Off Suboxone...MY FIRST POST EVER

Wed Nov 08, 2017 3:34 pm

Hey Joe!

I totally understand u being disappointed with urself after all the work u did when u were stopping & stopped this treatment, that's understandable how you'd personally feel that way. Unfortunately relapse is just a part of addiction and I think it's very brave and smart of u to pick urself up and get bk into suboxone treatment. Instead of anyone thinking badly, they're really thinking how great it is that u took bk control of ur recovery. It's totally ok to be bk on maintenance :) Plus ur on a low dose too.

So glad ur bk on the forum!

Re: 106 Days Off Suboxone...MY FIRST POST EVER

Wed Nov 08, 2017 8:45 pm

You might want to consider just staying on 1-2mg per day. If you’re stable and it helps you stay away from the other drugs why push so hard to get off?
I’m speaking from experience. I went off maintenance in 2013 and it took me months to really feel normal again. But the last couple of years have been really tough. I’ve been anxious and depressed and recently found myself thinking about using again. So I ended up going back on 1mg of Suboxone. If you saw my thread you’ll see that I beat myself up, too. But why should we beat ourselves up? We have a substance use disorder and are using legitimate medication to treat it. If we had any other disease we wouldn’t beat ourselves up for taking medication.

Re: 106 Days Off Suboxone...MY FIRST POST EVER

Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:34 am

Well...now I know that my bipolar disorder is not at all where I would like it to be either...because I cannot even see through the tears while I type!

Words cannot express how grateful I am to actually see some responses. We are truly a family here (sometimes I wish my own family would get it the way you all do). I never thought, at 42 yrs of age, a few simple but heartfelt responses would make me cry like a baby.

I am off to work everyone! I happen to teach children and adults with autism and other disabilities for 25 years now. Part of my job consists of training others on how to deal with different disabilities as well as all mental illnesses under the sun. Go figure. Lol. I am about to provide an 8 hour training and all of your posts just gave me a dose of strength that I cannot even describe. I just wanted to say thank you and I will certainly be back to fill everybody in on how I'm feeling. For what it's worth to everyone, I am officially on 1mg and after about 4 days I felt completely 100% normal and I feel great now. I am not moving a single solitary INCH of that scissor when I prepare my next dos of suboxone. Lol. It will be 1mg for a while everyone! I will check back in later...and thank you again! (Thankfully, an 8mg strip is very easy to break up into equal parts). Nevertheless...I am not messing with anything right now! At least until I speak with you all again. Have a great day!

Re: 106 Days Off Suboxone...MY FIRST POST EVER

Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:47 pm

Hi Joe! Definitely don't beat yourself up. I think that is pretty awesome that you had the smarts to get back on Suboxone after all this time. Dude you did the best thing that could be done considering the circumstances. And yes the strips are amazing as far as being able to divide into 8 equal parts, 1 mg each. It sounds like you know how all this is done. Just don't get into a big hurry, you might regret that later on down the road. Hey that's great that the drop down to 1 mg was only bad for a few days. I think you have got this. Your forum friend, Angie

Re: 106 Days Off Suboxone...MY FIRST POST EVER

Thu Nov 16, 2017 6:54 pm

Hi Joe,

Just finished reading your posts. I think you have your head in the right place. I wanted to add myself to your support peers. I have tapered off suboxone recently myself. I know I also had some troubles dealing with emotions during the experience. I learned that by not dwelling on it I got through my days easier. I was always freaked out when my sleep was poor and waking early and knowing I had to go to work and stressing out about how yucky I would feel during the day. I had some bad days myself, but they are getting much much better. I am just a few days away from 4 months after my jump. I tapered very slowly and low. After the jump things got better slowly. Just in the last couple of weeks my sleep pattern is getting to a point where I am comfortable with the time that I sleep and not waking too early and worrying about how I would make it through the day. This went on for quite a while but looking back it is not something I wouldn't do again. It just takes time and things get better. I hope all is well and things are improving, I am rooting for you and for me posting here was a great help. I had a place to vent, share and exchange thoughts with others that know about this whole thing. The people here are a good bunch and many really do care even though they only communicate through the forum it really helps a lot. Hang in there, take it a day at a time or if need be an hour, minute or whatever helps to move things along. In time you look back and by revisiting your old posts begin to see progress even though throughout the process it seems to be standing still. Sort of like groundhog day (the movie) daily repetitive and seemingly never ending. It does get better, once again hang in there, I hope find the light at the end of the tunnel.

Take Care

Re: 106 Days Off Suboxone...MY FIRST POST EVER

Sun Nov 19, 2017 8:54 am

Thank you so much owl and Angie. It always feels really wonderful to sign on here and see a response. I cannot help but wonder if group therapy is the piece I am missing, as it often feels so good to have people actually listen, as well as hearing others stories. Owl...you said it the best, as basically ALL I ever did last time around was "dwell" on how I was feeling. What time is it? How many hours left before work? How many hours left to sleep (as I've only gotten about 3 while my leg moves non-stop)...only to wake up and face the day, as I shiver from head to toe like I have icicles hanging from my scrotum.

I have been in and out of hundreds of AA and NA meetings, but I never truly found a home. At one point, I did about 10 months of consistent group therapy. Even this past time around, when I jumped back on the suboxone from my old script, I had to "find a doctor" to continue with the suboxone. I found myself entering back into a drug rehab program so I could take advantage of the group therapy. However, within a short period of time, I found myself to be broke. I cannot believe the amount of hoops I had to jump through in order to get a script for suboxone! This is no joke everyone, but I swear it would have been cheaper and easier on the wallet, had I been abusing drugs at the time. All of my urine tests would come back clean, and initially, I walked into this drug rehab and basically said, "I am here because I would like to avoid using, suboxone helps me with that, but I am NOT using yet". I swear, it was almost as if they were concerned that I was a dealer, looking for a way to get my hands on this high priced item! In the end, I found a doctor who I really liked, but please listen to these prices that I had to pay:

1st visit was to a psychiatrist who specialized in bipolar and drug addiction. I was told $450 for the initial consultation. I paid it and hoped to hear "see you in a month". However, I was told "see you in a week" and that follow up visit was $180! I asked how many weekly visits will this be until I can see you every 30 days. He told me that for at least 2 months I would have to see him at 180 per week! This is when I finally went to the drug rehab, only to be badgered and bullied because I was NOT on illegal drugs! Like I said though, if I needed to pay all of this money, I wanted some group therapy out of this! This is where I met my new suboxone doctor, and also took part in the groups. Between the doctor visit, mandated group session (in order to get suboxone), and the urine analysis each week that required a co-pay, my weekly fee at this place was 90 bucks. Although better, still not affordable. The doctor at this facility basically "stole" me away from the rehab and offered me a chance to be seen by him at his private practice. The fee was 150 per visit here, and being I was a part of his drug rehab for about 3 weeks now (270 bucks in deep already), I figured I would immediately be put on the monthly visit plan at his private practice. No such luck, as he wanted to see me at 150 a week for another 3 weeks at his private practice. With each clean urine and each 150 payment, I inched my way towards being a monthly customer at 150. I also started to realize with each passing visit, that this place was an absolute fucking joke. At the end of each visit, he would tell me to go in the bathroom and leave a urine sample. There was about 20 cups filled with piss in the bathroom each time! That's when I started to realize that "weed" would be a nice addition to my diet, as it helps significantly with my OCD. What the hell? I am not being tested properly anyway. So, I began to smoke weed, passing my urine analysis each and every time. I also started to realize I was fucking robbed from these people in every way, shape, and form, so I quickly also started to "fib" about my dose. Thankfully, all along, this doctor thought I was taking a full strip per day. Meanwhile a strip now last me 8 days! I have about 5 full boxes in my drawer. Is that a good thing OR a bad thing when and if I decide to come off!? I mean, for what it's worth, if I didn't have left over from the last time around...would I even be back on right now? Honestly, when I dipped into my old script and had to find a doctor to get more, I did so, because I was so damn scared of the withdrawals!

Which leads me to a quick update on how I am feeling since cutting my dose from 2mg to 1mg. Before I begin, I truly hope no one is disappointed with me in terms of what I did with the doctor and stashing the suboxone. I have just given doctors so much money over the years, and often received NO SUPPORT. Even the first time around, at the drug rehab facility, my suboxone doctor told me to jump off at 1mg and insisted I would not even feel the withdrawals! Besides that, I have seen a total of 4 doctors at different times for my medical needs in terms of suboxone...and each time, it was all about the money. My visits were about 3 minutes maximum. Okay...back to how I am feeling!

I must say, that although I reported everything is fine, I noticed that it is certainly not easy cutting that second dose of the day. I was on twice a day before this last jump, as I would take 1mg around 5 am and then another 1mg around 11:30 am. After about a week off of the second dose, I started to feel a bit of depression kicking in, but nothing too serious. In fact, it was around 3:00 PM each day that I would start to feel that feeling of sadness. I would also start to get the chills all over again around this time. (They would usually disappear from about 8 am through 2PM).

I must also say, that my sex drive has returned to some extent! My bowel movements are more regular and it's easier to urinate on the 1mg. All in all, the depression has subsided as of yesterday, and I feel pretty damn good. I really think I am going to listen to the sound advice offered by many of you on this forum, which is to either stay on the 1mg or go really damn slow!

FYI, I have stocked up about a years worth of welbutrin (which is was helped me last time with the depression), as well as probably about 3 years worth of klonipin, along with mastering the fine art of making medicated (specific dosage) marijuana edibles to help with the withdrawals for suboxone if and when I decide to come off completely. Last time around, I was only about 4 years clean from ALL illegal drugs, and the rehab would NOT offer me any benzos because of my addiction history. They had some kind of policy that a patient required 5 years of complete sobriety to be considered for a benzo. Now, I have a doctor, that will basically give me anything I need (within reason), but is also well aware of my bipolar and addictions, and will NOT offer me anything unless given the "okay" by my psychiatrist. Luckily, I have been given the "okay" when it comes to the benzos. I have not had a klonipin in quite some time, but I am thinking these things might help a little when and if I do come off the suboxone. I am well aware of the addiction possibilities with benzos. Somehow, I have always been able to keep that in check. It's a wonderful drug if used correctly and at low dosages. However, I also do not want to find myself battling another addiction while coming off suboxone.

I am undoubtedly leaning more towards staying on for a while. I certainly have enough stocked to go nice and slow. However, if I DO decide to come off, does anyone have any suggestions? Do I take the full strip and each time I prepare my 1mg pieces, start my cutting off a tiny bit of the ENTIRE strip, ultimately causing each 1mg piece to become "lower/smaller" than 1mg each day? Is that too hard to consistently cut with a scissor each time? I would think I would simply compare the piece I cut off from the 8mg strip each time, cutting more and more off each time. I want to make sure each daily dose is the same, and I would assume that by cutting the entire strip first, and THEN breaking it into 8 equal parts, would allow me to at least be on the same dose daily. My fear is that I will take too much off the 8mg strip when preparing my daily doses.

In the end everyone, the biggest problem I have is staying clean. Suboxone does things for me that no other drug has EVER done in my life. I have been on every damn med under the sun for my bipolar disorder, and honestly since being on ONLY the suboxone, I have not had ANY major mood swings or episodes in quite some time. In addition, the suboxone obviously keeps me away from opiates, but it does something for me that it does NOT do with a lot of other people (from what I have been told anyway)....as it takes away ALL cravings for drugs. Cocaine? Not a thought in the world! Alcohol? I have NOT had a drink since August 13, 2011! Before the suboxone, I was a raging coke head and alcoholic who also snorted any pill I could get my hands on. Plain and simple...suboxone keeps me clean.

Thank you for listening to me ramble everyone. I know for a fact, that my thoughts are a bit all over the place. While I am typically a very fine writer, I am also aware of when I am a bit manic, and it often shows up when I am writing. While I claimed NOT to have any major bipolar episodes, I am certainly still symptomatic, and mania is something I have to work through in terms of keeping it at bay. My mania is what entices me to use illegal drugs! But when I write INSTEAD of using drugs, I am able to put positive energy into the manic episodes and generate some pretty cool, informative, and often time "all over the place" stories! So, I apologize if my thoughts seem scattered! Thanks for reading!

Re: 106 Days Off Suboxone...MY FIRST POST EVER

Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:30 am

Hey Joe!

I think group therapy can be very helpful in the right setting. A lot of clinics will have meetings they require their patients to attend on a pretty regular basis (not all, but some). My clinic has bupe based meetings and I've been attending them for 6 years and every single time I walk out of one, I feel better than I did when I walked in. The main thing I like about it though is that it's suboxone based and everyone in the meeting is a patient like myself. At my place u have to attend a meeting every week for 3 months, then a meeting every 2 weeks for 3 months and then u can do monthly meetings after that. Sometimes I complained about having to go that often but looking bk on it now it was very helpful.

Like I said in an earlier post I think, I completely understand how the financial part of this treatment can be overwhelming. I'm still paying $350 a month plus medication after 6 years! Add that up and it'll make ya cringe a bit lol. I still complain about it sometimes because I see others who literally pay zero and I'm extremely jealous. I was and still am willing to do anything I can to stay out of active addiction so if I have to jump through extra hoops to do that then I'm very willing to.

I saw a lady the other day waiting to see the doctor (like myself) and overheard her making a phone call that sounded a whole lot like she was talking to a customer wanting to buy her medicine and I thought to myself...... girl ur getting this treatment paid for and instead of doing what's right, ur only here to feed ur wallet so u can go get other stuff. When I see stuff like that happening, it's hard to understand why things can be harder for some ppl. But if u focus on that stuff all the time, like finances & things, it'll drive ya crazy. U just got to do what u got to do and not focus so much on the things we think are unfair. There's a lot of things that I personally feel are unfair and I deal with A LOT of crazy just to walk into my doctors office (I literally wait 6 hours some days), but I'll do what I have to do so I try to just embrace it.

Sorry my post was so long! I am pretty passionate about some of these topics u mentioned :) didn't mean to type a book.

Re: 106 Days Off Suboxone...MY FIRST POST EVER

Sun Nov 19, 2017 12:55 pm

Joe,

Just reading up on your latest post. I am not sure if you are sure whether to stay on or taper off suboxone. I totally understand the med stashing I had to do that myself. It is expensive for some of us that are not of the free plan status. I still have about a dozen 8 mg strips and a dozen 2 mg strips that I am hanging on to "just in case". I thought about flushing them but why? I may need them at some point. Not that I am planning on a relapse but have done it so many times I figure to hold them.
Anyhow is suboxone is benefitting you stay on it for a while. Or is it that you know at some point it will be unaffordable or there are a lot of other things the money would be useful for. That is something you need to sort out for yourself. If you do decide to taper just make sure your ready and not setting yourself up to have other issues or even a relapse, which would be worse than suboxone use. They say relapse is a part of recovery but it does get old after many attempts to stay clean. I had done a 90 day rehab program years back and scored my first day out and keep going for a long time after that. A vicious cycle that has plagued me for years. I guess as of lately I am either growing up at 55 years old or finally learning from my mistakes. If you do want to taper at some point the best advice I could give you is to go very slowly.
As far as cutting your strips. The way I found to work well for me was to get a cuticle scissors and use them they allowed for easier cutting. I also use some reading glasses to help see what I was doing. Then I would cut doses I would be using for a few days at a time. I would put the cut pieces in tin foil and mark the amount inside with a marker. I found after changing doses so many times on the way down having left over pieces could help to make up other doses. Say you have a some cut to .50 and some at .25 they can be cut further say .25 in half to make .125. Then using 1 of the .50 the .25 and one .125 you can make a .875 dose which is a good starting point to go to from 1 mg. Later a .50 and a .25 would do for a drop to .75. I guess you can figure the rest out. Also the pieces get small so I would use a tweezers when putting them under my tongue looking in the mirror to make sure I was not missing. Just offering the method I developed over time to make adjustments and what not during the taper.
What ever you decide to do let us know here. I am sure it will help others sharing your experience and you will have a place to record your journey and come back to reflect down the road if you want to.

Take Care

Re: 106 Days Off Suboxone...MY FIRST POST EVER

Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:04 am

Owl and the rest of the crew,

Can't thank you enough for that response Owl. I have followed your advice to a tee. I apologize that it's been so long since I've been on. I have 3 kids and one of them is just turning 1 now, so it's been quite the journey.

For those who read my very first post in which it took me 106 to be feel somewhat normal, I can say that this time around it has been much different.

I couldn't even tell you what dose I'm on. I do know it's less than .25 a day. If I was to estimate, I'd say it was about .18 my. I've been cutting a little piece off my strip every 8 to 16 days.

Basically, I am cutting about 3mg into 8 pieces. Depending on how the 8 days go, I either stay on that dose for another 8 days OR I slice just a little off for my next 8 day run. Going slow is absolutely the key here. However, I also know most people do not have a stock of 6 years worth of Suboxone to do this!

I have 2 questions. If this method is working for me, VERY slowly coming off...should I just continue to do it this way until I'm literally down to nothing! Do I even bother attempting to "jump" at a recognizable dose? If you are unsure of my current method, simply check out Owls post before mine. He literally saved my life. I don't think I would have made it through another bout of PAWS and depression. My bipolar disorder is FINALLY stable, and I just can't imagine dealing with any less sleep or restless leg (btw, those are 2 symptoms that are always around as I have gone down in dosage). My eyes still pop open and search for the suboxone every morning around 5 am (although, as my dosage as decreased, I've actually been able to somewhat rest through the morning withdrawal and hold off on dosing for about 30 to 45 mins). Oh, and the other horrible symptom that occurs is jaw cracking! This is the worst! As I get closer to 5 am (I wake up all night long to urinate) my jaw starts to pop and crack until I dose. Does anyone else get this?

Secondly, and finally...when this is all over and I'm off for the SECOND time...what on Earth do I do with 6 years worth of Suboxone. I want to believe there will never be another setback. If fact, this second time around, I was not on Suboxone to come off opiates. I started an old script because I began to get cravings again. It's also important to note that I was really struggling with my bipolar disorder this second time around, completely unmedicated and convinced I was not bipolar. Now that I'm on the correct meds, it's POSSIBLE that will help me keep cravings under control this time around. Of course, speaking of "possible"...I guess anything is a possibility with "us".

As always...thank you for your continued support.

Re: 106 Days Off Suboxone...MY FIRST POST EVER

Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:48 am

Hi Joe! Great job with tapering down and as for your question, I would keep whittling down to nothing. You're in no rush so you might as well stay as comfortable as possible.

To be honest, when it comes to the extras that you have. I honestly would rent a safety deposit box and keep them there. Or I would put them in a fireproof safe. You don't need to look at them every day, but I do think they are worth keeping. But that's me! I like to be prepared for all contingencies!

I don't think that there's anything wrong with stocking up like you did either. I did the same thing and the extra really came in handy during a period when I was having a lot of dental pain.

Don't be such a stranger!

Amy

Re: 106 Days Off Suboxone...MY FIRST POST EVER

Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:33 am

Thank you Amy! I will be taking your advice in every aspect. While I asked sincerely about the extra Suboxone, in my heart, I could not imagine parting with them for several reasons. However, I never even thought about a safe box or anything. I think that's an awesome idea and exactly what I plan on doing.

I will continue to keep everyone posted. I definitely feel as comfortable as possible right now...and I'm extremely grateful for that...as well as all the support and kindness I get on here.

Thank you again!