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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 7:09 am 
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Ok let me introduce myself. Am from the British Isles and have been taking subutex for around 5 to 6 years ( too long in my opinion). I have weaned myself down to 0.7. I started around 12mg which is the induction dose here. In 2008 when I was in my third year of treatment I had a toothache/infection so I could not take a whole 8mg dose which I was on at the time, so I took 3mg for 3 days, when I did that I felt some fog was lifted, like I could see a bit clearly after being numbed on subutex for 3 years or so. My vision was blurry but at the same time getting clear. But then I had to go back to 8mg because I only dropped for couple pf days because of the tooth infection. Anyway my concern is I never felt like that again whenever I could not take sub for couple of days. I believe its because Ive taken sub for too long or added lot of half life that it has filled my receptors. So why when I have not taken sub for couple of days the fog has not lifted? why havent I felt clear vision like I did that time? I keep thinking is because at the 2-3 year mark some of my receptors were still open but now that its been 5/6 years the sub has filled those receptors. Can anyone give an alternative explanation? I have a gut feeling it may take me several months to feel clear again when I stop sub or even years or never (hopefully thats not the case)..I remember I felt a little dizzy too when I dropped my dose from 8mg to 3mg for couple of days but I liked it as I was feeling some clearity and felt like I was sober. But now within the past 2 years whenever I had to go days without sub I never felt like that again. All I felt was some sweats but mentally still in a fog or just basically the same.

Can anyone relate to this fog that when its evening time you feel like your in a hole and isolated? you feel lot of sub in your brain? am ok in the mornng and afternoon but come evening and night I feel really craaap, like am medicated a lot.. I have not had problems weaning down to my present dose but even now the fog is not lifting. I actually still feel mentally similar to how I felt before I started weaning in 2009..Is that strange or what?


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 7:57 am 
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So, you keep stopping sub for the sole purpose of trying to achieve some "feeling" that happened once when you dropped your dose, is that right? It could just be that whatever you felt that one time was just a coincidence, especially considering it's never happened again.

Being on suboxone maintenance dose (and in my opinion there isn't any "too long") already has all of your receptors occupied. As one tapers down and starts to feel withdrawals, that's when the receptors stop being occupied. Sorry, I'm lousy at explaining this, but I'm doing my best based on how Dr. J explains it (way better than I, you can count on that).

As you remove more and more opiates from your system/brain, and go without, those extra opiate receptors will eventually "go away" (again, per Dr. Junig). This is why exercise during withdrawals is so important - it gets our natural endorphins going which is exactly what we need.

I hope with regard to saturated receptors, etc, that this helps - even a little.

I wish you luck on your taper. If I were you, I'd just keep tapering off and try not to chase some elusive "feeling". Just continue moving forward in your life and in your recovery.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 3:07 pm 
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Hey hatmaker cheers for the reply. Whenever I have gotten off sub for a few days its usually because A) tooth/abscess B) ran out of supply and C) forgot where I put a dose..But this is on rear occassion..Basically Ive been maintainng on this sub treatment coming six years. Am just curious why in the last 2-3 years whenever I could not take sub for a few days I could not feel that clearity and vission. Something that felt was leaving my brain, something you feel if you never did sub, that sort of feeling never has occured again and I think it may be because my continious use of sub.. Even if I feel withdrawals reducing I still dont feel the sub leaves my brain. I actually havent had many withdrawals weaning. I think because I have taken over a year to get to this dose 0.7. Can anybody suggest a weaning schedule from here on in? the thing is in the UK not many people I know are on maintence sub programme. Many doctors from my experience dont really know the affects of sub. I do remember when I took sub in 2004 for 4 months I quit cold turkey as I was fairly new to the sub game but I recovered after 3 weeks and those 3 weeks werent so gruelling but had sleep problems, did feel low for a while but nothing I could not handle. I was taking 0.5/0.6 that time. I did not know anything about weaning then otherwise I would have weaned and perhaps saved the 3 weeks fof niggling withdrawals.

Now that am on 0.7 for the second stint on sub am getting nearer towards the end. Am in a dilema whether I should wean every 4 or 5 days to 0 or go really slowly from here on on and alternate towards the end. If I go slow now then am worried I may be increasing my sub usage. Is it true the half life decreases the lower you go? I also heard weaning slow just makes the acute withdrawals just that less intense but doesnt do squat for P.A.W.S because the half life is still there regardless. To cut down on P.A.W.S I heard one must alternate long as possible.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 3:10 pm 
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This is what I am planning to do in terms of weaning down to 0 and jumping.

0.7 for 2 weeks

0.6 for 10 days

0.5 for 10 days

0.4 for 2 weeks

0.3 for 10 days

0.2 for 3 weeks

0.2 every other day for couple of weeks and then jump.

Does this seem too long in your eyes? am I jus adding the sub here? is it also true by staying on each dose for a while your eliminating the half life of previous doses? or is it actually the opposite where your adding the half life?

comfort meds

Dihydrodcodine

Codeine Phosophate

Ultram-Tramadol

Benzodiaphines (valium, ativan, lorazepam, restoril, klonopin)

Sleep aids (Zopiclone, stilnoct, trazadone, amitriptyline, dosusopin, prothiaden).

Catapress aka Clonidine (only 30 tablets) and out of date Britlofex-Lofexdine (can this still suffice?)


I also have non-opiate meds on hand such as Diclofenic, naprexen, baclofen Iburofean.

I also have Nordict available which is Naltrexone.. I read one can make Low dose Naltrexone and use it post sub to raise Endorphins for these P.A.W.S I keep reading about. Anyone have any views and experience on this?

What about the notion on switching to a shorter acting opiate for a month or 6 weeks just to wind down much of the sub as possible?


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 7:05 pm 
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UK-Lad wrote:

comfort meds

Dihydrodcodine

Codeine Phosophate

Ultram-Tramadol

Benzodiaphines (valium, ativan, lorazepam, restoril, klonopin)

Sleep aids (Zopiclone, stilnoct, trazadone, amitriptyline, dosusopin, prothiaden).

Catapress aka Clonidine (only 30 tablets) and out of date Britlofex-Lofexdine (can this still suffice?)


I also have non-opiate meds on hand such as Diclofenic, naprexen, baclofen Iburofean.

I also have Nordict available which is Naltrexone.. I read one can make Low dose Naltrexone and use it post sub to raise Endorphins for these P.A.W.S I keep reading about. Anyone have any views and experience on this?

What about the notion on switching to a shorter acting opiate for a month or 6 weeks just to wind down much of the sub as possible?


NO NO NO!

I gotta chime in here, and I must warn you about this.

Do not and I say do not, take naltrexone at any stage of your taper, low dose or otherwise. Don't even take it, at least until you are 100% certain you have gone through all of your withdrawals. It's an incredibly potent antagonist, and has a higher affinity to mu receptors than buprenorphine. The moment you take any naltrexone, you will feel incredibly sick, like you've rolled all your withdrawals into 24 hours. I made this mistake on methadone once, and it is not pretty. Low dose or otherwise, I'd definitely put the Naltrexone away for now.

Naltrexone has been proven to have limited effectiveness in opioid addictions, and is only really reserved for medical professionals recovering from addiction.

Your "comfort" meds seem a bit of overkill as well. Seriously, there's potential for you to be so "comfortable" through your taper that you may be high, that you will end up addicted on agonists again. Is this a list of medications your doctor recommended? Or is this self-medication?

Your taper will likely be uncomfortable at times. That is unavoidable. The best meds I've found for withdrawals?

- Ibuprofen, and plenty of it. Helps the aches considerably.
- Loperamide / Imodium - helps with the stomach cramps / runs
- Clonidine - helps with the chills, goosebumps, runny nose / eyes, but also lowers blood pressure.
- Valium (it's the most prescribed benzo for muscle aches - use sparingly)

These meds will take the edge off withdrawals, and (possible exception of valium) will not land you back in addiction.

Are you sure you're ready to taper? If the meds are self-medication, then that is not a good sign for long term recovery.

As for the lack of clarity with reduced dose thing. I'll throw an idea out there. Could it be boiled frog syndrome? Sounds weird I know. But when you dropped down to 3mg from 8mg, that was an abrupt instant drop. Any difference you would have felt considerably. But when you taper gradually, that difference comes so gradually, that it's often hard to notice.

I advise not to switch to shorter acting full-agonist opiates. It's recommended, when someone wants to get off a drug, that they switch to longer acting similar medications. That's why we got put on buprenorphine. Switching back to full agonists is just moving backwards.

Just my 2c , not a doctor.

And I can't stress the naltrexone thing enough. If you take it while any buprenorphine is in your system, you're in for a world of pain, regardless of comfort meds.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 3:39 am 
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I can identify with what you had experienced,I have had this happen to me as i have been on sub for over 4 years and the feeling you are referring to has came back for me and it is an awesome feeling,the first thing i think in my mind is how great it is to feel like i have never taken drugs and the fog has been lifted and my mind seems and feels total clarity then i say to myself how i wished i could keep that clarity and i don't want the fog of not being totally clear and aware of everything around me with what seems like my whole perpheral vision is working and it reminds me of when i was young ,then i know it wont last long because the next thing that goes through my mind is will i still feel this way after i take my dose and the answer is always the same,no,and i don't.that feeling does come back to me usually after i have slept along time and i am late taking my dose(a day or so) but i keep telling myself that when i am finally done with suboxone it will feel great to have that feeling you are talking about every day and night but my addiction wont let me get there for now,it comes and goes but i hear what you are saying and yes it happens to me and its awesome when it does,just sucks that it temporary,

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 1:32 pm 
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I dont plan on taking the Low dose Naltrexone so soon after quitting subutex. I was referring to post-sub for P.A.W.S,

I dont plan on taking all these medicines but was pointing out the type of meds I do have and which I may need to help with withdrawals and P.A.W.S.

I never stop sub to feel clearity. I was mentioning whenever I had to go without sub for a while how I never felt some clearity like I did in the past and how I am concerned about that.

Some people mentioned not seeing many people come off subutex after years of use and this is also concering me as I cannot also find people who went off sub and stayed clean after being on a 4 or 5 year maintence programme. All I see is people struggling with P.A.W.S and extreme low mood (depression) or basically reverting back to sub or some other opiate.

I am defintetly ready to contining weaning/tapering. I have done so in the past 1 year. I cannot continue to stay on sub because am feeling over medicated, am feeling isolated and not myself. Subutex was ok for the first 6 months to 1 year but then it made me feel bad. I have not even done any opiates or even alcohol since I have been on sub. I want to live a sober clear life where I look forward to waking up. Hell I cannot even enjoy watching movies. I do not want this life where am on a medicine such as Subutex. All I want is to get off subutex smoothly as possible and get on with my life but am feeling it will be a very long struggle for me because I do not feel any clearity yet even when am on a low dose and weaning down. Also from the reports am reading it seems a long drawn out difficult process to get off Subutex.

I would rather self-medicate then take doctors advice when it comes to subutex. Doctors are very misinformed here or have no clue about subutex. They are not the ones taking subutex. Am not concerned about self medicating but concerned about the outcome of long term subutex use. If it can take couple of years to feel the Subutex has built up in you then imagine how long it can take to get it out of your system and feel even quarter normal or clear. All I can do is continue to wean and take it from there.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 1:49 pm 
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Also about switching to a short acting agent I have heard this has helped a few to get off subutex without too much issues. Yes I agree the reason to get on Buprenorphine was to stop our original opiates but most of us did not know the long drawn withdrawals and these P.A.W.S from Buprenorphine. Had I personally known about this I would have weaned off the short acting opiate or taken some comfort meds to help the withdrawals of a short acting agent-opiate. But if one does jump on a short acting opiate for a month or 6 weeks then I personally do not see any issue on that other then getting re-addicted and that in my honest opinion depends on each individual and how strong minded they are. If you set your mind to something then I believe you can follow it up by achieving it. I know in my heart I would do my utomost best to never be addicted to another opiate after Subutex. Am pretty grounded and I dont relapse so easily or be hooked on something so easily.

All I am is dependent on Subutex and have been on it for this long because I need to function so I can work and lead some kind of life withouth withdrawals and P.A.W.S. I did not know one can have long withdrawals and P.A.W.S from sub even when I was 2 years into my bup treatment.. So yeah on the topic of short acting opiate all I want is to stop some of the withdrawals from subutex. Am not looking for a high or anything otherwise I would have taken something in the last 5 years. Am just looking for something to hold me for a while until a lot of subutex and the half live has gotten out of my system.

If one jumps on a short acting opiate and stays on that for 6 weeks or so and then weans off that using Catapres/Clonidin or Valium then I dont see any major issue with that. I just wanted to see if anybody has gone that method here and their opinions on it. This is not a defenite plan but more or less a back up plan.. I will continue to wean and see how I fear. But the more I read people's experiences the more I see not even a slow wean is making much of a difference in regards to long drawn out withdrawals and P.A.W.S, hell someone even claimed their withdrawals hit them 4 weeks post sub and had P.A.W.S for 9 months and this coming from someone who stoped at 0.2 Temgesic after a long wean including alternating days. Damn did not know the half life is that long from Buprenorphine and that strong. Someone here also said methadone was easier for them then Subutex, man that is saying something. So yeah I will see how this pans out. Dont forget people I have been taking Subutex for almost 6 years so this is no short term stint or even 2 or 3 year stint but even those people struggle to get off subutex so thats why am concerned, very concered about my on going long term usage of Subutex.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 2:11 pm 
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I just wanted to add that getting on short acting opiates for a few weeks may make you feel better during their use but once you stop them you will be in the exact same place as far as how much sub you have left in your system. You will also be in the same place as far as paws is concerned. So I don't see how they will help except to guve you a break. Also we have a member here that had been at an extremely low dose for a few months prior to jumping. She then had surgery around 2 months after her jump and required short acting opiates for not even 2 weeks, when she stopped taking them she suffered thru withdrawls. I would recommend reading her thread it is in the surgery on sub section because that may happen to you too.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 4:03 am 
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UK-Lad wrote:
Some people mentioned not seeing many people come off subutex after years of use and this is also concering me as I cannot also find people who went off sub and stayed clean after being on a 4 or 5 year maintence programme. All I see is people struggling with P.A.W.S and extreme low mood (depression) or basically reverting back to sub or some other opiate.


You see what you choose to see.

Go to your local busy NA meeting, and ask the room how many people spent years on methadone or Suboxone, and are now clean. You will see heaps of hands. In my city, the main class-A is heroin, so the majority of people in NA are recovering heroin addicts. I've seen heaps of people who have spent 5+ years on methadone / Suboxone get clean. They're all just determined as f*@k.

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I would rather self-medicate then take doctors advice when it comes to subutex. Doctors are very misinformed here or have no clue about subutex. They are not the ones taking subutex. Am not concerned about self medicating but concerned about the outcome of long term subutex use. If it can take couple of years to feel the Subutex has built up in you then imagine how long it can take to get it out of your system and feel even quarter normal or clear. All I can do is continue to wean and take it from there.


This is a real big problem. Say you do have a bad doctor, then isn't it better to find a good doctor who knows their stuff than running your own treatment?. You live in the UK, so I'm sure you have a choice in the doctor you choose.

I know that we all need to make calls about our own treatment at times, but what you seem to be doing is just blatant self-medication, and claiming you know better than the doctors. A good doctor actually knows heaps more about what's best for our treatment than ourselves. Because we are addicts, we often choose to see the most destructive path as the most beneficial to our recovery. I suggest you put the self-medication away, and let your doctor call the shots.

I understand if you feel concerned about tapering.

Honest question. When was the last time you used another opiate?


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 7:56 am 
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I believe somewhere above you asked if doing a long, slow taper would do anything for PAWS symptoms. The answer is YES. By doing the right kind of taper -VERY slowly removing the opiates your brain and receptors are used to - should reduce BOTH acute and post-acute withdrawals and their severity.

Plus, don't just consider the time you spent on suboxone when you think about PAWS. You have to consider how long you were using regular opiates as well. Suboxone isn't the only opiate that causes PAWS - ALL OPIATES can do that. Also, not everyone even experiences PAWS. Yes, many do, but not all. Keep that in mind.

And Tearj3rker's advice is spot on, give it a good read. And I agree to be careful of all those "comfort meds" you intend to use.

Good luck with the rest of your taper. Remember, the less you feel each drop - the less stress those drops cause on your body - the better your taper should be.

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