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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 11:27 pm 
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Hi, I'm new to this site. I have read just about as much as I could before posting, so I could understand this site. It seems wonderful.. On to my problem.
I was a heroin addict for 5 years. At my worst, I was at 25-30 bags a day. Like a lot of us, I lost my wife, my kids, my 'high profile' job, and all of my friends. I went from Manhattan corner office to my parents house in Florida, where I grew up and now seem to be growing up again. I first heard about Suboxone on the Howard Stern show when Artie Lange was talking about it and how it helped him. At the time, I was to strung out to even care what was going on. However, when I decided to kick 'cold turkey', and after 17 days of agonizing hell. I looked up a doctor in my area who offered it.
18 pounds lighter, dehydrated, and malnourished, I walked into his office, had an examination, and was diagnosed with Post Acute Withdrawals. He was one of the only doctors in a 150 mile radius that offered the treatment. I started on 24mg a day, which was doled out by a friend, as I did not trust myself to have any kind of opiate in my own control. I quickly (2 months later) weened down to 8mg a day. Then to 4mg. 4mg has been my crutch as if I go below that amount I experience withdrawal. This withdrawal though, is much more relegated to severe depression and minor aches and pains than heroin withdrawal. My doctor seems happy to take my 100$ a visit and say, " it takes time". I don't know that this is true. Weening has worked great until 4mg. Has any one else had this experience?
I have been stuck at 4mg for about 8 months now. I should say also that I am a 6'5, 230 pound guy also. Though I've read in the literature that height and weight shouldn't matter. My goal is to stop. Although it doesn't effect my life, I just want to be free of this. Any thoughts, comments, concerns would be greatly appreciated. Thank you kindly in advance. Also, I just want to add that Suboxone saved my life. Without this drug, I know I would have relapsed. I am not a hater, just a curious man who needs input from more experienced like-minded people.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2010 12:54 am 
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Hey Klingchad:

Glad you came on here and posted.. I'm also very happy that you're working hard to recover. Getting back on track takes times, especially depending how far the rabbit hole we went...congrats on your success so far and yes I agree, Sub is amazing drug for getting your brain off the fact of wanting to get your fix.

If 4mg seems to bring out the withdrawl in you, then I would suggest going up to 6mg, and see if that stablizes you, if it does.. then maybe do that for a week or so and then drop to 5mg, and then hold for a few weeks and so forth.

I mean there will be WD with tapering your doses down, but if it seems like its too much, then I'd suggest just going up a few MG and stay at that until you get used to that amount.

Keep us up to date, posting on here helps a lot..

Ask as many questions as you need.

I'll answer as many as I can!

Welcome aboard!


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2010 2:30 am 
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The way I read your post, it seems like you are fine at 4mg but when you try to go below that, you start to have problems. It's not a huge deal what the number of MG is, I just wanted to point out that if you are fine at 4, you don't need to go to 6. However, the rest of Gubulars advice may help for you. From all I have read from others, 4mg really seems to be the most common number where people start to have problems in going lower - and for certain need to go slower with their taper. 2mg seems to be the point where you really need to start to go very slow and then decrease by about .5 or even .25 at a time. I have also read that some people need to start an anti-depressant as well to get them through this. That may be the case with you as well. If you have not spoken with your doctor about that, you may want to.

The big thing here is to keep in mind that getting free of the Suboxone is only a part of the battle. Do you think you can remain clean of opiates if and when you are able to stop your Suboxone? The last thing you want to have is to get back to the "real" opiates again. If you and your doctor really think you are ready, consider an anti-depressant and then try 3.5 or 3.0 MG for a couple of weeks and then continue to drop by .5 or even .25 until you get down to .25 every day. Then some people have gone to .25 every other day or even every third day. That seems to be the way out with the least amount of problems.

Again, I can't stress enough that there is nothing wrong with being on Suboxone for an extended period of time - by that I mean many years and perhaps even life. I think that you (and anyone else for that matter) are much better off taking 4mg or perhaps 2mg or whatever each day and staying healthy and clear of opiates than being free of Suboxone and risking a relapse.

Good luck to you. I'm sure some others will have more advice.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2010 8:31 am 
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Tapering of opiates is by far the toughest thing I ever done, your not alone on this complaint.. I started at 4mg per day, was at that amount for 3 months, everytime I cut back my body went into this low energy, depressed mode, in general " I felt like shit " I may have been a little to agressive but I took about 1/2 mg with each taper.. It took me about 7-14 days to start feeling better again, that is not a fun 7-14 days.. Hang in there, I'm at 1mg per day right now , Mike


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2010 1:37 pm 
Glad you are here Klingchad. You certainly are not alone in your struggles. Don't forget to be grateful for how far you've already come! Try not to spend too much time beating yourself up for not being able to break through that 4 mg/day dose. I say this because I'm basically in the same spot. I had hoped to be closer to being off Suboxone by now (been on for 7 months). Like you, I tapered easily down to 4mg/day. As I've tried to go lower, it's not been the physical w/d that bothers me, it's the mental stuff.....increasing cravings, thoughts of using, and low motivation....the very symptoms of PAWS that I experienced in my attempts at abstinence-based recovery before starting Suboxone. I hate, hate, hate those symptoms. Having never been a "depressed" or "anxiety" prone person before I screwed up my brain with opiate abuse, it's been difficult to accept these types of symptoms.
As donh mentioned, we may indeed find that we would benefit from a course of antidepressents to help with the chemical changes in our brains as we continue attempts at finishing our time on Sub. On the other hand, perhaps if we take it slowly enough, these improvements will occur naturally and we'll ultimately be successful in getting off the Subs. Patience seems to be key in a lot of this.
When you think about it, why wouldn't be struggling with some low moods.....look at what we did to ourselves, to our loved ones. Look at what we've lost to this disease.....it is depressing! But we're finding our way back, doing the best we can. Getting discouraged....getting in too big a hurry could easily become our downfall.
So maybe we just need to slow down, look at the good, keep paying the $$ for our treatment because it beats the alternative!! I've been told my by doc (a recovering addict who was on sub for several years) that if I'll just take things as my body directs me, I'll eventually likely get the place where I'll be down to crumbs of Sub and be able to stop it easily. So I guess I better settle in and get comfortable.....cause it's gonna be a while!!
Anyway...don't know if that helps, but it helps me to write the words....the goal needs not to be about how many milligrams of Suboxone we're on, how long it takes to get off it, how much we hate that we have to be on it at all. Rather it needs to be on our recovery.....never going back, never letting this disease consume us again. It takes as long as it takes.....it sucks, but maybe that's just the way it is!
I will add that it seems to be helpful, if one is determined to wean off, to do things such as vigorous exercise, pay close attention to one's nutrition and do things that generally make you happy....all in efforts to increase the naturally occurring feel-good chemicals in the brain. Hang in there and again...you're not alone!


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