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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 9:21 am 
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I've had a long road, like everyone else. I quit suboxone twice now, the first time I quit from .5mg and it was pretty rough and I ended up drinking a lot to try and sleep.. but this isn't about that. This is about THIS TIME!!!!! I'm 32 years old, male if this is relevant

After a motorcycle accident and many broken bones and surgery I ended up relapsing so I went back on suboxone. After about a year and a half I decided it was time to come off. I no longer had anyone who uses around me, new baby girl at home, good job etc. Life was in order. When I started out on sub I was on 4mg and over the next few months went down to 3mg then 2mg. I stayed at 2mg for a few months as I was dealing with some life issues and was not ready to go down just yet. another thing I achieved during this time was 6 months of sobriety through AA. Even sober I didn't feel right, I had no feelings, one of the side effect of sub. so while sober I started to taper from 2mg to 1.5mg
(now I wish I had read these forums before I tapered) Although I didn't experience hardly any WD symptoms compared to last time, I now see the water taper is awesome and I should have went that route. None the less, I had the 2mg strips so with a pair of scissors I could easily get .25mg squares.

I saw my doctor once every 2 weeks and I set a goal to try and have a script for a less amount every 4 weeks. I did a very slow taper at first at my own pace. but each visit was less from 1.5mg to 1mg stopping at 1.25 for a week to level off. from 1mg to .75 then to .5 Now once you start getting this low you notice the drop in dose. so if I needed to take a piece to feel better I would, but I would never go over my original dose I was dropping from. I would just try to drop again the next day until I felt comfortable. So I was never in any real discomfort, you know your body and if you need a little more. I was expecting this anyway, and feeling something means your doing the work needed. I was planning on taking time off work for the jump. I was also planning on jumping from a lower dose than .25 mg. after reading all these posts Im pretty sure I did most of my detoxing without even realizing it. So I was level at .5 and I figured I would just drop to .25 I mean how bad could it be ? (I now see that no one should do this) but I did it.. I had to take a little extra here and there but ultimately after about 10 days I was taking only .25mg every 24 hrs with no WDs at all. Over those 10 days while I was adjusting to the new dose it was mild, I was tired. I felt heavy. I still slept ok but ONLY if I had taken my dose within 12 hours of bed. It seemed to me I would start to feel my changes in dose the same day not around days 2 or 3. I took my dose early on a couple of those days and ended up waking up at 4-5 am with restless leg, take a tiny sliver and back to bed in 20 minutes. The nice thing about the taper is you control it. I felt like I was in charge, yeah I'm really doing this.

so I saw my doc again and we discussed coming off and possibly going on vivitrol for a few mos after as a precaution. I may or may not do this ( would like suggestions if anyone has used it) After leaving the Docs I got a call from a buddy of mine, who has been on 1mg of sub for over 3 years. Not prescribed. He got in a bit of trouble and long story short the court said get clean or get in trouble. So not knowing what would happen he just stopped. And out of pure fear of getting in trouble sucked it up and dealt with it. I spoke to him every day of his detox trying to give him some tips and hope. and after seeing one of my best friends finally pull through, I was ready to join the club of freedom.

My doctor had suggested the skip a day method, and what I had planned to do was take .25mg and wait as long as I could before taking it again and hopefully soon I would be skipping days. So Thursday of last week at 5am I took a dose .25 and began counting the hours till I needed it again... its now been some 172 hours and I don't ever need it again. I wont sit here and say it was so easy I didn't have a single symptom, but I will say it was so painless I didn't miss a day of work.

Day 1 I had anxiety about it.. I was overthinking it expecting a crapstorm. slept fine.

day 2 still had anxiety, was tired ,sneezing, and super unmotivated. but keeping busy makes me forget that anything is even going on.Went to work knowing I could take some if I had to, I work with computers so I sat down all day and didn't need any. I took the 2 older kids out for dinner and video games, my sister helped me out. I slept most of the night.

Day 2 and 3 were the hardest days for me. I didn’t want to do much of anything felt really heavy. and had almost zero patience for the kids. Its easier being at work fixing computers than taking care of kids... have to give my wife credit for that.

Day 3, Its the weekend, I'm off BUT I have 3 children and my wife works weekends. The problem I had this day was having to be responsible. I have an 8yo 2yo and 6 month old all girls. so having to take care of them while being tired and having anxiety was a bit overwhelming. I just tried to keep busy and called my mom and she helped me out for a few. I told her my situation and she was glad to help. Slept only for about 4 hours because I had clonidine.

day 4 are you kidding me... that was it ? all I am is tired keep getting these spells during the day where I just need to close my eyes for 20 min.. I cannot stay awake. I worked on my wifes car, took kids for a ride, was pretty productive. Only notice symptoms when I stop or the kids cry. only slept for about 3-4 hours

day 5 already starting to feel better. it comes and goes. driving I got the chills and almost felt pink cloud for a few minutes. WTF is up with the sneezing ?? sleeping still not great, but clonidine helps and melatonin

day6 Feeling better still. I never lost my appetite, still a bit unmotivated but keeping busy is key. Never try to hold a sneeze with diarrhea... keep some immodium around for this symptom I actually slept 6 hours

Day 7 I felt fine. In hind sight the worst parts were the not sleeping good and not wanting to be responsible, but it only lasted a few days. I see my doctor tomorrow, Looking forward to telling him the good news. At the same time I want to chew him out for suggesting quitting from 1mg (oh you'll be fine) Still debating the vivitrol shot.

Day 8 Going to see my doc today, I feel pretty much back to normal.. still need a little immodium and sleep isn't perfect, but no complaints really. Side note, Ive always been a shower at night person because I just don't get out of bed in time. well today I woke up early , wasn't tired and actually had time and energy to shower before work.

I quit from .5 last time and it was pretty rough... I just want to add to the list of good stories. If you taper down low enough, its relatively painless. I feel no need or want to use or go back on suboxone.
I wouldn't change it for the world, it gave me the time to get my life back together, it really CAN be a miracle drug IF done right. I did it right this time (well almost) and it worked for me!!! I didn't even miss a day of work. WOOO HOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 12:12 pm 
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great job! I just wanted to offer some advice on vivitrol. I have been on it since last September if I remember correctly. It has been a life saver for me. You can read a more detailed version of my opinion and the opinions of others in the thread labeled "my thoughts on vivitrol" in the "suboxone in the rear-view" section.

Anyway, I will give you a quick overview of my experience. I came off subs a few times and always relapsed within a couple months. No matter how motivated I was, I would eventually find myself in a moment of weakness and give into my cravings; thats all they were, physical and mental cravings. I must also mention, I was not in any 12 step recovery program during these relapses. Last summer I came back from rehab and decided to give vivitrol a try. After I received that first shot I felt so much safer in my recovery. Knowing I couldn't get high for 30 days, even if I really wanted to, helped me direct my focus away from opiates and towards healthy living. I began to participate in AA and made great progress in changing the way I think; thats the key, changing our thinking. However, it is hard to focus on changing yourself for the better when you're craving opiates all the time, which is why vivitrol helped give me the opportunity to do this.

So just some quick facts on vivitrol. You must be off subs or any opiate for at least 10 days, but I'd wait a little longer just to make sure it's all out of your system. If there are still opiates in your system you will get very sick. The shot will completely block your ability to get high for 30 days, possibly more. I know this because after i got my first shot I did experiment with some pills to see how well it worked(and because I am an addict). I took 80mg of oxy on day 32 after receiving the shot and felt NOTHING. It definitely does its job!

Vivitrol definitely saved my life and I owe my initial sobriety to it. Yes, I hope to get off vivitrol after 6 months to a year, but I want to make sure I have a very solid program first. I would definitely give this medication a try if you think there is even a slight possibility of using any opiate again. I haven't noticed a single side effect from this medication, except for a soar ass cheek for one day after the shot, but nothing else. Others have reported side effects in the "my thoughts on vivitrol" thread, so as with all medications, everyone reacts differently. But for me, only good things have come from this drug.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 1:04 pm 
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Thank you both so much for the info!

Prozak,

I really appreciate your experience, I just asked my pharmacist today if it was hard to get off of Suboxone, he said that it wasn't as long as you taper off as instructed. I've only been on subs for 29 days and it's been a life changer! It really is a miracle medicine! Thanks again, I look forward to the day when I can taper off and take control of my life again.

Livin,

Thanks for the info on vivitrol, until you guys mentioned it, I hadn't heard of it, glad to hear there is something like this out there. Ever since I've learned of the "ceiling effect" of subs, I've learned to take the prescribed amount, except last night I took a little more for some dumb addict reason....

Thanks again guys.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 1:47 pm 
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l i v i n wrote:
great job! I just wanted to offer some advice on vivitrol. I have been on it since last September if I remember correctly. It has been a life saver for me. You can read a more detailed version of my opinion and the opinions of others in the thread labeled "my thoughts on vivitrol" in the "suboxone in the rear-view" section.



Thanks for the insight, some really good info there. I still don't know which way I'm going to go with it. I think I will try to let my brain heal it self. I'm not in a bad place anymore, I don't even think about using. However, If I do have bad thoughts I will most definitely be giving it a shot. Time will tell. I'll be chatting with my doc about this in a couple hours. Is the pill the same thing ? just not a 30 day fix ?


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 1:55 pm 
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yes, the pill is the same. I would definitely say to at least go with the pill, if not the shot. It is very cheap and will block your ability to get high for a couple of days. The only problem with the ill is you may skip a dose if you start getting those cravings and will be able to get high again within 48-72 hours. It still is better than nothing though!

You should also look into a 12 step program, especially if you are not going to do the shot. You need something, some kind of support, in early recovery. I always thought I could do it myself and that continuously led me to a relapse within months. I am sure there is a small percentage of people out there that have done it alone without any help from a program or shot, but its a small percentage so why take the risk? you may be highly motivated today to never pick up again, but that can change tomorrow, an hour from now, a minute from now…one moment of weakness is all it takes. You have to work as hard for recovery as you did to get high.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 1:59 pm 
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Livin,

Your last words " You have to work as hard for recovery as you did to get high" will stick with me man. Awesome way to put it!


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 2:45 pm 
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@ wonder

Sub can work wonders! You will know when the time is right to come off. Take your time, get your life in order and do a nice taper and it can be pretty manageable.

@ Livin

I was attending AA for the past 6 months and remained clean and sober. ( this is where I wish I did some homework before tapering or had an educated doctor)I didn't know I would feel unable to be responsible, and so overwhelmed. Towards the end of my taper when I was trying to get down I had been losing all of my patience, getting overwhelmed and hadn't been to any meetings in a while. every day was becoming more and more of a struggle to stay sober. One night while the wife was at work and the kids were in bed I just couldn't white knuckle it anymore. there had been alcohol in my house this whole 6 months. So I had a drink ( at this point I had tossed my 6 mos out the window) so a couple nights where I had trouble sleeping I had a drink with clonidine and it gets me 3-4 hours..and I also have during the jump. I'm not saying its the right thing to do but its working. I'm a member of AA and I plan on going back and being 100% clean and sober, but right now whatever it takes to get by is what I'm doing. Some people say it makes WD worse. I find it really cams me and lets me rest if only for a few. The first time I quit from a higher dose I was trying to drink enough to overpower the WD symptoms and pass out, which in turn made me end up getting alcohol WD also, that was horrible. I have a HEALTHY fear of alcohol and don't want to end up in the hospital again. So I'm being cautious and plan to stop as soon as I feel good enough. But as of right now I feel OK. Reading these forums helps, and makes me want to hit a meeting tonight, although I'm dreading the walk of shame.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 3:58 pm 
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It may feel like the walk of shame but every time I see a new person or returning addict come into the rooms, I get excited and hopeful for that person. We are all in this together, no one is judging, as I am sure you are aware of since you are in the fellowship.

As for the alcohol, I get it man. I used xanax when I came off opiates. Alcohol made me sicker, but it sounds like that is not the case for you. I know what it feels like to want to do anything you can to feel better during withdrawal and since we are addicts, of course we will turn to drugs/alcohol. As long as drinking is not making it worse for you and doesn't take away that inhibition to not pick up opiates, then do what you got to do. You know deep down what is helping you and what is hurting you. I chose to stay away from alcohol, even though I identify as a drug addict. I don't crave alcohol like I do drugs, but when I drink I want to use opiates. That is why I stay away from the drink. Do what you have to do to get off opiates, but play it safe.

Good luck bud!


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 7:55 am 
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Today is Day 9..

So I saw my doctor yesterday and I had all these things I wanted to say to him, but I think my anxiety got the better of me. I did manage to tell him to read that article by dr scanlan though, maybe he will get a clue how to properly detox people off sub. I tried to explain to him how I quit and he looked at me like I had 3 heads. "you cut a 2mg strip into 8 pieces ?? wow" Then I tried to tell him about my friend who quit from a higher dose and how he went through weeks of hell and he just blew it off kind off "everyone reacts different, some people think about it too much and make it worse" then the vivitrol thing came up and at first I was going to say no because I just want to be off all medication, but in my anxious state when he asked " you still want the shot, right? " I just agreed... so that's on the way, I guess it has to be approved by insurance because its crazy expensive like 1000$ a shot or something ridiculous. so I got a script for naltrexone to start taking, but after reading some horror stories of people taking it too early I want to make sure I wait long enough. Any Ideas when that is ? Pharmacy said 7-10 days but I want real world answers...

I felt a bit restless last night but that went away shortly after eating. I'm starting to have a bit of patience with the kids, although its short lived. Is this normal stuff ? I feel like I could lose my temper over nothing.. I played some games online with my father until late enough where I started to feel tired and had a beer. Took a clonidine right after and fell asleep decent. at about 1:30am and woke up wide awake at 5am I finally was able to doze off from about 6 to 7 then off to work.


@ livin

You're right, I shouldn't be worried about being judged and my group will be happy to see me around. Its just kind of strange with AA and suboxone, some people are completely fine with it and some people are totally against it. I want to be open an honest, but at the same time I know ill be judged for doing so. Some people will probably think I'm fake and I shouldn't have gotten my chips for my varying lengths of sobriety while on suboxone. So when it comes time to talk about whats happening do I lie ? I hate lying. I didn't feel like I lied about suboxone, I just didn't tell anyone. My business, I was taking a prescribed medication as prescribed. On the other hand I know for a fact coming off of it had a factor in me picking up a drink and I would like to discuss this with AA members.
Maybe I'm over thinking this right now.. lol mind has been pretty active since quitting.


After getting a little more familiar with these forums I think this thred should be in "Bupe in the rearview"


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 4:35 am 
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I just wanted to say that man if you don't wan't that vivitrol shot don't take it just because you are to anxious to say no, I am the most anxious person ever and I stress over things as small as talking to the clerk at the checkout in a store or having to return phone calls to people and not knowing what to say etc but I will not let that get in the way of my treatment and well being. You gotta speak up for yourself to your doctor, I know its uncomfortable but you have to be upfront with Dr.s they can't know what you don't tell them.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 12:54 pm 
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I would wait at least 2 weeks before taking the naltrexone just to be safe. And the first time you take it, I would suggest taking maybe half or a quarter of the dose, just to make sure you don't have a bad reaction.

In regards to AA judging you for using suboxone, they shouldn't, but if they do, find a different meeting. I go to a great AA meeting in my town that doesn't judge about anything. Most of the members are also drug addicts and we always say that we never offer advice or suggestions regarding doctor prescribed medications. If they are judging you about suboxone, they are wrong, go somewhere else.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 1:07 pm 
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"Never try to hold a sneeze with diarrhea... "

We need to start a thread sticky with great quotes and motivational sayings. This would be one for that thread.


Congrats! I know what it's like to fear the worst and realize, hey.. that wasn't so bad after all. I mean, it's no picnic, that's for sure, but getting off sub isn't the end of the world like we all imagine it. The fear is so much greater than the reality. At least in my experience.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 11:12 am 
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Checking back in. Today is day something lost count ( 13 I just looked at the calendar).

I actually slept all night from about 12-7, it has been gradually getting back to normal. Stomach still on the fritz lol. Nothing some baby wipes don't take care of, got plenty of them in the house with 2 kids in diapers.

A quote thread is a great idea, and glad you like that line.. :)

As for my Doc, yeah I have an appointment next week I will pull my balls out of my purse and say something. I'm going to start on half a dose of naltrexone either today or tomorrow in hopes of making the alcohol cravings go away. I have been having drinks at night, nothing like I was before, but I still really want to just be completely clear headed. and now that I have been having drinks at night I feel like its ok, so I just keep doing it. I justified it at first to help me sleep, but I don't think I need it anymore. Who knows at least im making progress, this is a long battle. but like I said the naltrexone should help.

And the AA thing, you're right.. most people in AA now are both addicts and alcoholics, with the exception of the old timers and it seems they are the hard core ones who have zero tolerance.
At least that's what I've experienced in meetings around here. But in my closest meeting its a small tight knit group and Im sure they would be understanding. At least I hope so, its a mile away and has 5 meetings a week, would hate to have to go else where.

This weekend was a good one, Finally had some decent weather up here, live just outside Boston, MA.
I'm noticing my feelings coming back which is awesome. I actually had fun playing with my children, it didn't seem like a chore. Took them for a bike ride and just enjoyed being outside. I keep getting the chills and feeling a sense of well being or pink could or something, just sitting there soaking it up thinking about how great it feels to feel again. Music does this to me, and music means something again. I found my self actually crying over things, but like happy things. Each day is getting better.

One last thing, Now that I'm off suboxone, I'm starting to question where I'm at in life. is this part of PAWS ? I'm almost having anxiety thinking the past 10-15 years have been one huge fuckup. And maybe I have to make some huge life altering decision to fix it. Advice ?


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 8:08 pm 
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I just wanted to say congratulations on your time off of suboxone. It is these stories like yours that will help people like myself and others who know that we do want to get off of subs someday but are in different points of tapering, living, everything that goes into getting off.

I know that subs saved my life but I also know that I do want to move on someday from them. I have great admiration for you and I hope that each day gets better for you and I very much look forward to reading more updates. Thank you and keep up the good work!!!


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 4:08 pm 
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Thanks Upside_Down... Other peoples stories is what helped get me through also.


So update and im just going to be honest with my self here, I was kidding my self to think I could just have a few here and there as far as drinks go. I drank a rather lot last night and felt pretty crappy this morning. So with that said, this afternoon I reluctantly took my first dose of Naltrexone. I say reluctantly because I still fantasize about drinking socially, but deep down I know I cant. Once I start drinking, its everyday. I'm a very high functioning alcoholic. I can keep it together from when I wake up till the kids goto sleep, then ill drink till bedtime. so before this happens, I'm hoping Naltrexone takes away that desire to drink like many people say. Today is 14 days ( wow 2 weeks already) off sub, and day 1 of naltrexone. half dose today, half tomorrow, then full doses after that. Ill keep checking back in. As far as opiates are concerned though, I have no desire to use thus far.

Oh has anyone gotten much into the SMART recovery ? would love to hear about it.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 8:32 pm 
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One last thing, Now that I'm off suboxone, I'm starting to question where I'm at in life. is this part of PAWS ? I'm almost having anxiety thinking the past 10-15 years have been one huge fuckup. And maybe I have to make some huge life altering decision to fix it. Advice ?


i just read all of the above posts and I am definitely feeling that the past 3 years have just kind of evaporated and it is really making me feel pretty bad,despite the fact that i am pretty close to being off subs completely-im down to 0.40 mg,and im due to drop to around 0.30mg,though it is getting very hard to cut up the 8 mg strips into like 20 or more pieces(hard to get them evenly sized).. Any one else having these feelings once most of the numbing effects of the subs leaves? i hope it is just temporary. i have not been to any 12 step meetings recently and i know i should probably give them another shot. i just hate the thought of NEVER being able to have a drink once in awhile in a social setting.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 8:19 am 
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So last night sucked. I took naltrexone, and it had been 2 full weeks. a few hours after I took it I started to feel WD symptoms.. i was baffled. kept getting the chills, yawning, twitching, RLS... and forget sleep... i didnt sleep for shit. took clonodine, it helped some i maybe got 30 min of sleep... tried to drink a couple beers... didnt do anything for me.. that shit works for blocking alcohol for sure..
so now I'm at a cross roads. Do I keep taking this ? will it go away ?? I worked so hard to taper down and get off to avoid these exact symptoms and i feel like im back on day 4.. WTF ??????


@ ready2befree

I dont know your situation, but if possible switch to the 2mg strips. I didnt even need scissors to get my .25mg dose. I would just fold it twice the long way and once across and make 8 almost perfect squares. or I saw something on here about a film cutting guide to help you cut the films into like 100 pieces or something... or theres even a 3rd option you can dissolve your partial strips in water, I wont go into too much detail, there are all kinds of liquid taper threads on these forums. dissolve 1mg
in 3ml of water and each 1ml now has .33mg theres a million ways to do it. anyway I hope you can find a way to get down there into the low low doses.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 3:04 pm 
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I am very sorry to hear that…I can't imagine how there can still be sub in your system after two full weeks but it must have been if you feel this way. I would suggest to not take anymore for a couple of days until you feel better. Once the symptoms go away you will know all the opiate is completely out of you system since the naltrexone knocks it off the receptors. Then you can take it again. I hope you didn't take a full dose the first time… I once took it too early and I felt like shit but for only about 1 day. Hopefully tomorrow you'll feel better. Continue with the clonodine. And try to stay away from alcohol because yes, it does interfere with the buzz so all you'll achieve is dehydration and a hangover.

Again, I am so sorry to hear this happened. It shouldn't have happened this way after 2 weeks...


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 4:39 pm 
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Hi Prozak,

i have been following along on your thread and it really reminds me alot of when I quit taking suboxone the first time.
I too would take benzos (xanax) and alcohol to try to help with the withdraw and sleep. I do have to say it became a HUGE problem for me. What started off as a simple ease on the withdraws of suboxone, turned into a full blown other addiction to alcohol and benzos and I ended up in rehab to get off of that. So that being said, I ended up getting back on suboxone and I quit drinking and taking benzos.

I was switching one drug for the other. Once I got back on suboxone, I quit drinking entirely and any other drugs. Just suboxone.

I hope you are doing well and I just want you to be extra careful with the alcohol and benzos because it is such a deadly combo. Those are the two drugs that can cause DEATH just by withdrawing alone ( which Im sure you know)

Good luck with the rest of your journey !


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 7:48 am 
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Thanks for the insight on the alcohol and benzos Randy. I know alcohol is already starting to become a problem which is why I want on the naltrexone / vivitrol so badly. But the pill im taking for sleep is clonodine, its a blood pressure medication, not a benzo. I know how bad benzos and alcohol are together, I had a crazy black out and hit my wife on them... i will never take them again in my life. they put the fear of god in me.. I woke up freezing in the woods not knowing wtf had happened only to find out later that i took a benzo (Kpin) with alcohol and then tried to get dope. my wife was trying to stop me from leaving the house and i guess i snapped... anyway after that i have never and will never take one again. Its so strange how I was able to stay sober on suboxone really without too much trouble. It wasnt till the final taper and quitting that threw me off. I started obsessing again. once you get that obsession, its only a matter of time before you cave.

and Livin, I dont see how any suboxone could have been in my system. It doesnt make any sense. I did read that some people just have shitty side effects when they take naltrexone that can be similar to slight WD symptoms. they are gone now, they only lasted a day. but I also stopped taking the naltrexone. I see my doctor next week ( supposed to be for vivitrol) I will consult with him on what to do next. I really hope its just a temporary thing so I can eventually get the shot. I need a kick start back into being sober..


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Fond Du Lac Psychiatry
Dr. Jeffrey Junig, M.D., Ph.D.

  • Board Certified Psychiatrist
  • Asst Clinical Professor, Medical College of Wisconsin

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