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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:51 am 
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I have been an addict most of my life. About 15 years ago I saw a doctor at work (worked for a major steel company) who advised me to start a methadone program. At the time I knew I had to do something. It was harder and harder to get the high I needed to stay "normal". The weekly or monthly withdrawals in between getting my fix were getting impossible for me to function. I started methadone I think in 1999. I started with the normal dose, but steadily increased it to 180mg a day. I know thats a high dose and i believe now that there is a limit to how much a doctor can subscribe.
My problem was that I couldn't get enough of it. I would take my daily dose, then later in the day take a bit from each bottle to get me through the day. Even at that high dose it wasn't good enough.

My doctor new of my problem and would re-issue extra bottles to get me through but advised me of a new drug "Suboxone" that would be a better route for me to go. I was on methadone for about 10 years. If I kept going the route I was on I would overdose, even though I thought that was impossible. At a young age I could always do 2X or 3X more drugs than anyone I knew. Not something I am proud of but its true.

Okay, to start the Suboxone I need to taper down to 30mg of methadone and then begin to withdrawal from it before I could start Suboxone. Impossible for me. I couldn't get the the day with what I was doing (180mg per day or more). To make a long story short I gave up the tapering and went 2 or 3 days with nothing.
I visited my doc and he saw I was in withdrawal and started me on Subs, small doses the first day, can't remember the exact dose. The next week or 2 were hell. I think by the end of the 1st or 2nd week I was at 28mgs a day. Those first couple of weeks of withdrawal were deadly. I honestly wanted to die. Finally I was feeling normal again. This was suppose to be short term.

So here I am now down to 2mg a day, well actually I started 1mg yesterday. My game plan is to jump off around February 6th. This something I need to do. My whole life I have been dependant on drugs. I am not a young person anymore. I have grandchildren, a wife and 2 beautiful daughters.

I need to do this for them and mostly for myself. This is not something that just crossed my mind. I have been working toward this day for the last year or so. I retired December 30 2013 at the age of 54. I do not have a lot of help from my wife even though I know she can't wait for me do get off my meds. Again, I am doing this because I want and need to. I know she has no idea (well, she did see me go through hell when I switched from methadone to suboxone, she thought it was discusting) what help I will need to get through the first few months.

Just tapering from 2mg to 1mg a day ago has already started to effect me. I have been up since 2am with RLS. I will need all the help I can get from all of you. I will do this. Within the next 5 or 6 days I am going down to .5mg to prepare for the end of this journey. I will post my progress as much as I can.

I will be alone as my wife is taking my grandchildren on a weeks holiday.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 7:51 pm 
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Hi IWDT,

Wow, you certainly have been in the game for a long time huh? I totally get what you are saying, at some point most of us want to give life a try without the meds. But, as bad as you want it, it's still scary as hell isn't it?

I'm glad to see you posting a thread for yourself. I know you will get some great support here. You are going to need somebody if you don't have the support of your wife.

That jump from 2mg down to 1mg is tough. Just so you know, it is a bit easier if you begin taking smaller reductions after you get around 2mg. 50% drops can prove to be a bit much for most of us. If you are open to taking a bit longer it could possibly make a bit difference in how tolerable the whole process is for you.

Good luck dude, it sounds like you are well prepared for this and are commited to it.

Q

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:24 pm 
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Thanks q, I will need all the help I can get. Kinda went through a real bad experience getting of the methadone and on to Suboxone. Just came from my doc and he reminded me that I was taking 200mgs of methadone when I jumped off that and went on Suboxone. I thought it was only 180mgs, LOL. Brutal couple of weeks, almost gave up living on that journey but he promised me the initial faze won't be near as tough as what I went through. I know it wont be easy and it could take up to 6 months to feel "normal". The problem for me is Feb 7th will give me 10 days alone. I can't start this with my wife around. Not a lot of support there. I think it would be harder with her there at the beginning. Sad but true. I understand her kind of......................................................................
It looks like I will be jumping at 1mg, maybe a couple of days at .5, we'll see. The jump from 2 to 1 is mild but with RLS already starting sleeping is brutal. Can't wait for the rest.

thanks for responding and being a friend


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 12:27 am 
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Good Luck! you sound like you're ready for it mentally. Will your doctor give you anything to help with the RLS? or to help you sleep for a few nights in the beginning? I tried Valerian root to help at night, but of course check with your doctor before trying anything else.

If you Google search Thomas's Recipe, I have found that following that regime helped ALOT if only as a placebo, but I truly thought it helped.

Warm baths and plenty of walking to help with the RLS. Best of luck to you. You should find plenty of support and help here.

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" Each relapse starts with one thought— maybe, just maybe, this time will be different… that little thought has killed thousands and thousands of opiate addicts over the years."
- Dr Jeffery Junig (Subox Doc)


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 4:42 am 
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Thanks Reprieve,
it's 3am and up already, this time with it's in my arms. Couldn't lay still and didn't want to wake my wife up. Other than that I'm ok, should be getting use to the 1mg dose soon. One week and I will be jumping.

My doctor did prescribe me Clonidine and Clonazepam (14 @ 2mg), which I think is called Klonopin in the U.S. I really prefer not to use the Clonazepam but last night I did take a Clonidine to help with the RLS. It did help me for a few hours. Can't ask for much more. A few hours is better than none right now.

I will google Thomas's recipe and Valerian root. I am willing to try anything that has helped all you good people.
I have been walking but it's freezing down here, -25C with the windchill. I hate winter.

Thanks again


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 9:36 am 
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Here is some info on RLS as it relates to Opiate WDs:
"A narcotic addict experiences this "jerking" due to the abrupt cessation on the endorphins the brain was receiving from an outside source. The body and brain are finely tuned and during the abuse of narcotics, the brain slowed down on production as it sensed the outside source of dopamine (endorphins). The brain will heal fortunately to the degree that the brain will begin producing adequate endorphins again. The incidence of RLS among addicts who exercise is less than among addicts who are sedentary. During withdrawals, exercise can help produce the much needed endorphins and can actually reduce the symptoms of RLS for the recovering addict.
The symptoms of the condition tend to occur at exactly the wrong time—when people are trying to relax or sleep. As quality and quantity of sleep become an issue, daytime fatigue and exhaustion follow, affecting work and mental performance
Although the cause of RLS is unknown, researchers believe that it results from abnormal functioning of the central nervous system. RLS produces excitability in a region of the brain known as the subcortical area. This excitability is caused by a dysfunction in a nerve-signaling chemical called dopamine. Dopamine is a central neurotransmitter that is particularly important in the regulation of movement.
"
Link: http://www.medhelp.org/tags/health_page ... hp_id=1098

Just remember that each day will be a bit better then the next and soon it will be done. You should have the Lion's share of "badness" over during your family's time away.
Remember that the half life of Suboxone is pretty high so you may want to time it more with having finished your subs the day or so BEFORE they leave, so that near the time of there return you have finished all the long nights.

If I can remember correctly, Night 2 and 3 were the worst, then progressively better each night afterward. It took a few weeks (2-3) before I could get 6-7 hours asleep, but just realize that your sleep will be different as your not in a drug induced sleep anymore. It will just be something that your body will need to learn again.

I am rooting for you, and should you feeling like talking or have a restless night, feel free to PM me. Always good to talk with others to know that your not going through this alone. Stay proud, stay strong and just take it an day, heck, and hour at at a time.

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" Each relapse starts with one thought— maybe, just maybe, this time will be different… that little thought has killed thousands and thousands of opiate addicts over the years."
- Dr Jeffery Junig (Subox Doc)


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:39 am 
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Thanks again for that Reprieve,
your info on RLS and encouragement is what will get me through this. I can't believe the help and support my new friends are giving me here.

I am really fearful of what lies ahead as I had a taste of it years ago. I plan is to jump a day or 2 before they go. I guess it depends on how I feel coming up to my jump day. Since dropping down from 2 to 1mg I'm getting a small taste of what's to come. If in another day or 2 and I feel ok I may try and go to .5mg. That is not easy as in Canada you only get it in pill form and using the pill slicer is not to accurate . (8mg or 2mg). I have the 2's now.

If I feel ok a couple of days before they leave I intend on jumping then. If not the day before. The bad part is I have to drive them to the airport which is 1 hour each way. It will be a busy weekend as my grandson is in a hockey tournament and will be taking them to the airport right from there, next Sunday night.

Thanks again for your response, it's nice to know I have help from someone who knows what I'm going through.

Gary


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 12:06 pm 
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I do have a question for anyone who has some insight on smoking pot to aid getting through the sleepless nights and withdrawals.
I haven't smoked pot in 20 years or so, well maybe a few occasions in the last 20 years but I have read it can really help.
It's not that I'm looking to get back at it but could it be an aid in the upcomings weeks.
Below is the article I found by Googleing, can cannabis help with opiate withdrawal.

Sorry if this offends anyone but just wondering if anyone has heard of this as an aid.


Cannabis Reduces Withdrawals: Research recognizes treatment potential, but state laws still don’t
By Bailey Rahn

Treating drug addiction with more drugs is a controversial methodology. Somehow addictive medications like methadone and suboxone manage to dodge stigma, while non-addictive alternatives such as cannabis therapy still await validation. Medical marijuana has withstood repeated scientific trials, but social and legal reproach still inhibits serious medical endorsement.

Recent clinical studies have revealed the value of medical cannabis for treating chronic pain, particularly as a supplement for stronger opiate painkillers. Considering the rising prevalence of painkiller abuse, an increase in supplementary marijuana prescriptions could reduce people’s chances developing opiate addictions.

But what about those already addicted to opiates? Can cannabis therapy help longtime addicts kick addiction once and for all? Even for well-established addictions, emerging research leans in favor of cannabis’ utility; yet, the taboo of treating drug addiction with drug replacement still inhibits many medical professionals from fully signing on. For this reason, cannabis therapy is seen as a supplementary tool, a mere aid to the pharmaceutical canons of drug rehab: methadone, suboxone, &c.

But according to the following studies and testimonies, marijuana may be qualified to enter the ranks of anti-addiction medication.

Morphine/Heroin
A study conducted by Valérie Daugé and others at the Laboratory for Physiopathology of Diseases of the Central Nervous System recently demonstrated the potential of cannabis therapy to relieve morphine dependence. The experimenters injected morphine-addicted rats with THC, resulting in suppressed behavioral, biochemical, and molecular dependence. Researchers expect cannabis therapy to have a similar neurological effect on humans, and consequently open new doors for heroin recovery.

Opiates
Dr. Sean Breen at Medical Cannabis of Southern California describes a patient who was able to overcome his opiate addiction by using cannabis therapy to relieve his withdrawal symptoms:

“Today was his last day of using subutex and he plans on using cannabis to manage any withdrawal symptoms that he experiences after finally stopping all opiate medications! Amazingly the effects of cannabinoids can reduce or eliminate the majority of symptoms of opiate withdrawal. Cannabis can reduce anxiety and agitation, improve sleep and helps normalize the digestive tract.”

Behavioral Therapy

A meta-analysis of experiments conducted at Columbia University analyzed the behavioral effects of cannabis on recovering addicts. One trial showed that cannabis users are more likely to adhere to their naltrexone treatment for heroin addiction. Another experiment found that cocaine addicts (who were also diagnosed with ADHD) similarly exhibited higher treatment retention rates with moderate cannabis use.

Testament to these results is a recovered heroin addict who shares his struggles with heroin and methadone addiction:

“The marijuana helped me to sleep and eat and provided strength to continue detoxification. With the help of marijuana, I weaned myself off methadone in about four months. To this day I have continued to smoke marijuana, about three cigarettes per day and have never felt the desire to return to either heroin or methadone. My conclusion, based on this experience, is that marijuana is a potent medicine in the treatment of withdrawal from both heroin and methadone.’

For many, the behavioral changes brought about by medical marijuana are enough to break addiction patterns and habits. More severe addictions may require medical cannabis to be taken in conjunction with other drugs. The bottom line: doctors, researchers, specialists, and former addicts are slowly coming together to realize the potential of medical marijuana as an alternative to the high-risk treatment medications currently offered to counter withdrawal symptoms.

Bailey Rahn is an editor at the Seattle-based website Alltreatment.com, a drug news and rehabilitation resource website.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 12:24 pm 
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Hi Gary,

I have read here where others have stated that pot was of help to them. I personally have no idea and had no need to try it, not that I would have anyway. Someone else can advise you on that one I'm sure. You have to remember that your getting off strong drugs and it's not suppose to be easy. You should plan on some symptoms hitting, and be prepared to fight, while also having a very positive attitude, and being fully commited to stopping. It can be so much of a mental thing.

iwilldothis wrote:
Since dropping down from 2 to 1mg I'm getting a small taste of what's to come. If in another day or 2 and I feel ok I may try and go to .5mg. That is not easy as in Canada you only get it in pill form and using the pill slicer is not to accurate . (8mg or 2mg).
Your reductions have been 50% drops and that is a lot to accomplish. If you were reducing from 24mg by 50% it would be a new dose of 12mg and you may think twice about doing that. When you get down to the smaller doses such as 1-2mg and below the reductions get a little bit trickier in my opinion. I think if you possibly can, it's in your best interest to reduce by no more than 10-25% or so.

As an example, I reduced by .25mg increments once down to 1.75mg. I then went to 1.50mg, to 1.25mg, then to 1mg and so on. I took about 3-4 days between reductions because I was having very little symptoms doing it that way. Now this is just an example, and suggestion to you. Find a way that works with the least amount of symptoms. Don't rush as it shouldn't be a race. Just have to get to the end is all.

Cutting those pills to the correct dose can be very difficult. You might want to consider crushing the pill into a fine powder. Crush a 2mg pill you have as fine as you can. Separate that pile into maybe 4 even piles and they will all be .50mg each. You could separate one of those piles in half to get 2 piles of .25mg each for example. That might work better for you Gary?

Hope this helps a little. Hang in there. You can do this!

Karen


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 4:31 pm 
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Pot can go both ways. Sometimes it can keep you up and raise your heart rate so that it has the opposite effect than what you are intending it for. Now, it will help for nausea and getting an appetite, but could go either way for your for RLS.

Personally, I do smoke (A bit after the kids are put down for bed). I have for almost 20 years. Now I am in no way condoning it, because a habit is a habit, but personally I feel it is no worse than cigarettes (health-wise) and WORSE than alcohol.
But, pot can keep you up. Like any other drug, it will react differently to different people. I think your Klonopins would be much better for your RLS.

Pot and PAWS are not a good mix either as you will feel zapped of energy while you go through PAWS and pot isn't winning any awards for giving people that "get up and go" feeling.

Again, I say all this a current smoker and when I decide it's time to jump I will probably keep smoking. Just thought I would give you both sides of the coin from where I see it.

Did you find Thomas' Recipe? here is a link:
http://www.drugs.com/forum/featured-con ... 35169.html

Go to GNC, get the supplements, it worked for me but you will want to start a week before you jump so the sooner the better.

And remember that a LOT of this will be mental. Just like the cases of a person being dope sick until they get a call from their dealer saying they can come pick-up... even without the hit of dope your body feels better. The more you obsess, the worse it will be. Maybe driving your family to the airport and staying active and busy will help keep your mind occupied. Now, when you get home from the airport you may feel like ass, but I bet you make it through the day with your family just fine.

Also, use the experience as a reminder. It's going to suck, but each hour will help you remember why you'll never want to look back at your old life again.

You are doing something great here. Be proud of that. nothing worth having was ever easy. You might not be climbing Everest, or fighting a heavy-weight fight, but you are doing something amazing: YOU'RE GETTING YOUR LIFE BACK. That my friend is no small feat and some pain should be expected.
Just remember that.

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" Each relapse starts with one thought— maybe, just maybe, this time will be different… that little thought has killed thousands and thousands of opiate addicts over the years."
- Dr Jeffery Junig (Subox Doc)


Last edited by Reprieve on Thu Jan 30, 2014 8:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 8:33 pm 
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Thanks for the advice Brown Eyed Girl and Reprieve on the pot. I think I am going to try the Thomas' recipe.

Brown Eyed Girl,
this is the best time for me to do this. I would have liked to get down lower but I am running out of time. I appreciate your advice. We have a busy year planned since I just retired. This is my only window.

Reprieve,
I was out today to pick up my supplements. I think its the way I will beat this. I do agree that some of this is mental and keeping busy definitely will help. Not sure if being retired is good or bad. Staying busy in this freezing weather sucks. I'll find something to do.

Thanks again for the advice, I'm mentally ready to do this. A week to go.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 9:14 pm 
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Another thing to think about, since you will be alone for a week and you're retired, you can have a "wacky" schedule in the beginning. RLS tends to hit worst in the evening and you won't sleep too well the first night or so any way so don't sweat it. When you wake at 3 am, just accept it, don't get angry, just get up and proceed with the day as normal. Later on in the morning or early lunch try to take a Klonopin and a small nap to get some rest when the RLS isn't so bad and rinse and repeat .

What I mean is don't get caught up in a "normal" sleep schedule and and get upset if you don't stay down for 7-8 hours during the normal night hours. Since you won't be beholden to anyone just go with the flow until the RLS subsides which should be day 4-5.

By the time your family returns, you should be much, much better and able to resume a normal sleep pattern.

Watch a few movies, take a bath, warm milk (I hear it comes in bags up in Canada :P)... just do what you need to do.

you got this.

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" Each relapse starts with one thought— maybe, just maybe, this time will be different… that little thought has killed thousands and thousands of opiate addicts over the years."
- Dr Jeffery Junig (Subox Doc)


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 6:54 am 
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That's funny, yeah we have milk in bags, I thought everyone did.

As for getting enough sleep, that is something I have struggled with for years. Last night was the first time in the last 3 nights (when I dropped from 2 to 1mg) that I slept till 5am. The couple of nights before I was lucky to get 3 hours. RLS had kicked in from the taper. None last night so I am going to spend another day or 2 at 1mg and get a bit caught up on my sleep before tapering down to .5mg. That would give me a few days at .5 before I jump.

I know my sleep is going to being brutal, and your right, don't fight it just get out of bed and get on with it.
Being alone will make that part easier.

Thanks again, Gary


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 5:01 pm 
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Posting to offer support but I got sidetracked - why is your milk in bags? Milk isn't supposed to be in bags.

In all seriousness though, you've almost succeeded in throwing a huge monkey off your back, which is very impressive. I'm with the others in that it sounds like you might be on a steeper taper than would be comfortable, but if you have a timetable you just have to give it your best shot. I just hope that if you slip you slip back onto the sub and not something worse.

I can't offer much advice on the pot since it never agreed with me and I run away whenever I smell it, but if you can try it without risk and it helps, then I don't see why not. It doesn't sound like you'd consider it an alternate DOC to get through life, just a quitting aid. I'm not clear on what law enforcement is like there with regards to it, just be safe. We're all rooting for you, be well!


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 7:18 pm 
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Milk in a bag has been in Canada for probably 25+ years. Doesn't seem weird anymore.

I think I am going to stick to the vitamin treatment and see how it goes. I know it won't be easy but that's the way I am going.

Had a decent sleep last night and the morning started out good but as the day has gone by I'm feeling crappy. I expect it. I'm hoping to drop another .5mg over the next couple of days. I know it won't be easy but none of this is going to be fun.

The lower the dose with this stuff the harder it is to taper at the rate i'm doing but those are my cards I'm dealt right now. I have to keep positive. So far so good...................


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 4:16 am 
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Well can't sleep tonight , restless as hell, tired but sleep isn't in the cards. Went for a walk around 1 am but didn't really help. I remember these days many times when I was waiting for my fix.
Still have to wait 6 hours before I take my 1mg of Sub.

At first I went to bed taking nothing and lasted 1 hour and woke up totally restless. Tried taking a clonidine which did nothing so I tried a Klonopin but really did not help. the body and mind do strange things when you are in withdrawal. Thought I was ok yesterday but got fooled. Thats what I get from tappering too fast as everyone has warned me.

This is why I wonder is it worth all the in-between withdrawal periods while tapering or just jump at the 1mg dose. I mean I came down from 24mg, this is a fairly low dose, not .250 but may have time to get it to .5. That's if it doesn't take another week to get use to this.

Just have to stay focused and mentally prepared for what's to come. 4 days since my last taper but must be at the peak of the withdrawal and getting ready to move on.

Just a side note on the bagged milk. you get 3 bags in one big bag. Each bag is a liter each.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 9:02 am 
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Hey IWDT,

I totally get what you're saying about the taper. Especially in the situation you are in. Since you don't really have time to do it slowly and get the most out of the slow drops, it may not be worth the extra time it's going to take to get down to that .25 dose.

That is something that you will have to decide for yourself. Some people do better just biting the bullet and jumping.

For me, personally, it was worth it to make the wd as bearable as possible. But, I'll be honest, by the time I got to .25mg I was totally exhausted and had been in a mild state of wd for a couple of months. It can definitely wear you out.

Give it some thought, and figure out what you feel the most comfortable with. This is YOUR recovery...nobody can dictate what is best for you except YOU.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 12:03 pm 
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thank you q,

I kind of wish I had this week to jump, and start the process. I'm just not sure if going through a week of moderate withdrawal and then jumping into it hardcore is the way to go. For now I plan to stick to my original plan but have to play it day by day.

I don't really want to get tired out before the storm.
It kinda tells you that around 2mg is really all you need, not the 24 I was on for 4+ years. Getting down to 2mg wasn't all that bad. Obviously it depends on the person though. At the beginning I did need to be at a higher dose. It's all a learning process for each person. When I got down to 2mg I felt no different if not better than when I was at 24mg.

I'm ready now to jump but the timing for me has to be next Friday or saturday. You are 100% correct about once you get to 1 or 2mg it gets more difficult to taper. You have to slow down the amount the smaller you get. I've had great advice and support from every member here and it comforting.

I'm not sure how I am feeling right now as I slept about an hour last night. Just trying to stay busy.

Thank you again, Gary


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 9:47 pm 
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iwilldothis wrote:
Just a side note on the bagged milk. you get 3 bags in one big bag. Each bag is a liter each.


So to be clear, you get bags of milk in bags?

:wink:


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 3:12 am 
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Well another crappy sleep. Slept till 1:15am, don't feel that bad it's just can't relax. Whole body is wide awake. Sucks.

I think i am going to jump where i am at 1mg. If I'm going to have the RLS and sleepless nights tapering down, I realize it's a fast taper and not the right way to do it, I may as well jump. So next Friday or Saturday will be the day.


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