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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 4:08 am 
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And so it begins. About 3 & a half years ago I developed a very painful bladder/kidney disease that was originally misdiagnosed and neglected by my doctor. With no help and no insurance, I was out of options and in enough pain to keep me in bed day in and day out, losing my job and forced to drop out of college. I turned to prescription painkillers, 30mg percocet 3-4 a day to cure the pain. Let me just say I will never blame or fault anyone or anything for WHY I chose to become an addict, but I will say that without this pain I would not be one. Before my illness, I never even considered taking a tylenol. This was my last resort. I was desperate for help and was getting none, so I took matters into my own hands and took the wrong road. I was averaging 90mgs of opiates a day, buying them off the street from a neighbor that got them from a doctor or two for multiple problems. I took them almost every day, at the very least 3 days a week. On the days I did not take them, I took VERY small doses of suboxone, no more than .5 - 1mg, for I wanted to be sure that when I had the money to take the pain pills nothing would prevent them from working their magic or curing my pain. Long story short, 6 months ago an amazing ER doctor took notice of me and found a diagnosis for my pain, which is now being treated with multiple procedures, surgeries, and treatment, including dialysis. I WILL be okay in the long run, but it will take some time.

While I know at some point in time I had a mental addiction, as soon as the doctor diagnosed me I was in a hurry to get off the percocets. He stopped me in my tracks, telling me my body was no where near healthy enough to endure detox or 7-10 days of withdrawal. He sent me to a suboxone doctor that put me on 8mgs a day, which I laughed at. Although over the span of the past 3+ years I took Suboxone occasionally, the past 6 months have been the only steady dose that I have taken. I never took the 8mgs as prescribed. I started with 2mgs, stayed there for 2 months, went down to 1 for the past 3 months, and for the past month have see-sawed back and forth between .5 & 1mg on bad days. I know people that are okay with lifelong suboxone treatment. For some people, maybe even me, that may be an option. I simply want to TRY before I declare myself to be a suboxone lifer. I am struggling to get down to .5 and staying there, so I can then go down to .25 and hopefully attempt to jump.

I am prescribed xanex, which helps me big time on the days that I can manage to stay at .5mgs. I guess I scared my brain a bit when I came on here and read the horror stories AFTER I had already been on suboxone for extended time, which I'm not so sure if they are as bad as people say since so many detox/withdrawal stories are from SUCH high doses. I would never consider jumping from ANYTHING higher than .5, I'm just not sure that I'll ever get any lower. My doctor is great, he'll prescribe me what I need to get me through it. My family is supportive, for the most part. My father is a severe alcoholic and calls me a junkie every time its his turn to pay for my suboxone (I cannot work currently with my illness) which is not encouraging, but is providing me with more of a desire to quit. My doctors aren't sure if 6 months on the suboxone is enough, considering how high I was before. At 90mgs or more of Oxycodone a day, at only 100 pounds age 22, they think my body and brain needs more time to heal. I have no kids, no job and no obligations currently. I do, however, have a boyfriend that has been a suboxone patient for over 6 years (thru our entire relationship, he was sober when I met him) & is content with staying on them for life. He takes about 2 mg a day and sees no problem with that. He supports my desire to stop, but it is difficult knowing he won't be stopping with me. We see different suboxone doctors, and he was off of oxycodone 2 years prior to even meeting me, so suboxone in his eyes saved his life.

I am looking for help getting down to .5mg, and then getting down to .25mg. Once I get there, will the withdrawal be that severe? Will it be bearable? Because of my illness I have access to pretty much any medication I desire, Including opiates which I decline, even after surgeries and procedures. I eat the pain. I feel as though if I can grit my teeth through that I get get through anything, but through my addiction I have felt only hints of withdrawal and could not bare it. I fear the worst, and read the worst on these sites. I simply need someone to be honest, and tell me what to do, how to do it, and the best way to go about it. My doctor still thinks I'm on 4mg, so I can't ask him. My Boyfriend sees no reason to stop, so I can't ask him. I just want to one day not have to rely on medication to wake up, or fall asleep, or get through the day. I would like that day to come sooner rather than later.

Any advice is appreciated. Thanks!


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:34 am 
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Hello and welcome to the forum!! There are a number of people here that have tapered to very small amounts of sub before coming off of it completely.

I encourage you to read both of the taper stickys at the top of "Stopping Suboxone".

There is also a really good thread on tapering down quite low: suboxforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=7766

There is a lot of good information here to be read!

One medication that might be helpful to you is called clonidine. It's a medication to bring down blood pressure, but it's also remarkably helpful for withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor if you can get a prescription for it (as long as you don't already have low blood pressure).

I wish you all the best as you try to figure out if it sense for you to stop suboxone for good!

Amy

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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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