It is currently Sun Aug 20, 2017 11:59 am



All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Our Sponsors





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 11 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 4:15 pm 
Offline
Average Poster
Average Poster
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:52 pm
Posts: 5
Hello,

I would like to ask the advice of forum users regarding my current situation but before I do I would first like to thank all those posting for their time and effort as many of my questions have been answered by reading your posts and replies.

I am a 35 year old male currently residing in the UK. I have been a drug addict since I was a teenager and have experimented using all drugs with opiates being my drug of choice. This is my first time on Suboxone but I am no stranger to buprenorphine. I also spent a short period on Naltrexone in my mid 20’s.

I had a period of 5years of complete abstinence and was actively involved with NA and the 12 steps. I did not discover this method until 2005 when I was 29. I went to residential treatment centre and completed yet another rattle/withdrawl (I have done numerous cold turkeys from herion, DHC and one from Methadone). Coming from a rural area of Scotland I had no knowledge of recovery etc so when leaving residential treatment after 6 months I opted to live in Glasgow. This was in order to attend meetings, maintain recovery and enter full time education.

After completing my degree last summer I relapsed. There are numerous reasons why but at the top of the pile is that I believed within myself I had matured and after 5 years of ‘normal’ living I decided I deserved a wee drink and you know the rest of the story….. I ended up back on the Devils dandruff, sticking needles in places I said I never would and displaying the behaviour I had before, perhaps even worse :!: :oops:

The reason I am on Suboxone is that I was told “it’s just like being clean” and I didn’t have 2weeks to rattle. This was Sept 2011 and I was a few weeks into the 4th year of my studies and I thought I might be able to complete the year while using Suboxone to treat my addiction. Due to the waiting time of my doc referring me to the Community team (the draw back of a national health service) I decided I should take a year out as I am not deluded like I was in my 20’s when I thought my only problem was drugs. This happened due to me not paying my addiction problem the attention it deserved and stopping the drugs is only the first small step, I am aware of this.

So, I have now been on Suboxone for 2weeks and my dose is 16mg. I have no responsibilities such as Uni, kids or a full time job and am considering a quick detox (taper) or stopping dead as the Suboxone does not agree with me. I have all the side effects mentioned in the forums and can’t imagine being on this stuff any longer than is really necessary. It was a great help to stop quickly and has held me together enough to be able to deal with leaving Uni and I have all my affairs in order so that I can be ill for a period without too much worry. My intentions are to get off Suboxone, return to 12step recovery and learn from previous mistakes. Hopefully, if I’m successful, I can return to do my honours year next Sept. I know how to live clean and have only this (what I thought) would be a small hurdle but I read here that people are experiencing physical withdrawals for considerably long periods of time after stopping Suboxone.

I had hoped, and please correct me if I am wrong, that stopping dead even at 16mg a day I would expect to be sick for around 2-3weeks before getting some kind of sleep pattern and appetite back. During, if possible, and after that I have measures in place to get back on the road to recovery in the form of meetings, clean company and family support.

I should add that through out my period of abstinence I really looked after my health. Quite the opposite from my years of abusing myself and so I’m in fairly good shape after my using episodes over the past 12months. In the last 12 months I have experienced periods of 60 and 90days clean but stumbled due to the fact I was cultivating ganja to fund my studies and smoke myself. I am of the opinion after wee joint, “If I’m using one drug I’ve relapsed. Might as well do it right!”

Every time I cropped I fell on my bum so the ganja farm has been packed up and I’m ready to sort this out as quickly as possible and get on with my life.

I want to ask if having only been on Suboxone for 2weeks if a complete stop now would result in a withdrawal period the same as that after a small taper. I would expect this to be like the withdrawals I experienced from Temgesics which I used in the 90’s. I don’t expect it to be as intense as a heroin withdrawal or as lengthily as a Methadone withdrawal. Am I correct in assuming this?

Thanks for taking the time to read my post. Any advice appreciated!

ps. I should also add that the reason I am asking here is because, unlike those in the USA, I am on what is called a supervised prescription. I have to attend the chemist and take 2 x 8mg tabs daily. I have asked if I could maybe take one 8mg in the chemist and take the rest home in 2mg tabs so that I can gauge for myself how much I need as I feel 16mg may be too much. I asked yesterday while at my appointment and have waited all day for my drug worker to call as speaking with the prescribing medic is near impossible. I didn't want to take 16mg today but it was that or nothing as I received no call. The services here in Glasgow are poor to say the least and should I be unable to get my script the way I want it then stopping dead and a good old fashioned cold turkey is fast becoming my only option. :roll:


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Stopping Altogether
PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 7:23 pm 
Offline
Average Poster
Average Poster
User avatar

Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:23 pm
Posts: 19
Wow, it really sounds like you've unfortunately gone from being quite in control of your addiction(s) to full-on active abuse and back again. From what I understand of Suboxone, a long taper off of the drug before making the jump is ideal. But in your case, where two weeks is the amount of time you've been on the drug, I can't see you having any withdrawals you couldn't handle. I think that jumping from such a high dose would inevitably cause withdrawal symptoms of some sort on or around the third or fourth day after the jump, but I don't think it would be a long, drawn-out process of dealing with PAWS like it would for someone who has been on Suboxone for years.

But, more importantly, the question you should ask yourself is, "Am I ready to do this?" Because if you're not completely committed to staying off opiates, then Suboxone can be a good bridge for you to buy some time until you know you are ready. Suboxone makes us addicts feel "normal" (with some controversy over that statement from my own experience) and gives us no euphoria, thus allowing us to go about life and adjust to living as a person who is not drug-seeking.

I commend you on the time that you've abstained in the past by going to meetings and working the steps. You obviously have a lot of willpower, and, like I said, if you're really ready to throw your addiction(s) back into the closet, I say go for it and make the jump. But if it's rushed and you just aren't ready, then take advantage of the ability Suboxone gives you to prepare for an opiate-free life. Either way, go to meetings and work those steps, because either way, you're in recovery no matter what you decide to do.


--Juan


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 9:09 pm 
Offline
Long Time Member
Long Time Member
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2010 5:08 am
Posts: 1503
I'll admit I don't have time to read your whole post, so I'll just go on that summary bit.

You have your heart set on getting off Suboxone, and perhaps going back to NA (I'm all too aware how Suboxone / NA don't mix). You have two options. Jump off 2 weeks of Suboxone, and go through more intense withdrawals. However if you choose to taper, IMO you could taper quite quickly, considering you've only been on two weeks.

Honestly, given you've already had 5 years clean, and you know what abstinence takes and have all the tools, I wouldn't stay on Suboxone any longer than you feel you need. NA clearly works for you, so get your ass back in the rooms and do a taper over 2-4 weeks with the help of your peers there.

I'd choose complete abstinence over Suboxone anyday, and you've shown you can achieve it.

There are some pertinent questions though, like how long you'd relapsed for. You know the NA lingo, so clearly you were holding onto a really vital reservation. I know if I relapsed after a milestone, like a graduation, it would have something to do with both celebration, but also more importantly, the fact I'd have "caught up" with other people, so maybe I could afford to lose a bit? I dunno if any of that rings true, but those reservations are nasty and should be beaten.

You know how it goes with these drugs by now. Jump off a bigger habit / dose = more intense withdrawals. Ween off = more gradual, less intense taper. It's a choice you have to make. How intense your withdrawals will be will also depend on how long your relapse / how big your habit got, so I can't say.

I've found that the duration of detox has a lot to do with how long you stay on bupe. Intensity has a lot to do with the dose you come off. After 2 weeks on Suboxone, I'd give myself 1-2 weeks to be functional. Given your DOC is heroin, most of that should be out of your system. But I'm sure you know, how long you're in the insanity of "early recovery" depends on how long your relapse went for as well. Honestly, two week of Suboxone, while it will be an anxious detox, it shouldn't drag on too long. It's when we stay on it for months I've found that we get the lingering effects for many weeks.

Good luck, and get back to the rooms. They clearly work for you.

tj


Top
 Profile  
 
Our Sponsors
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 1:40 pm 
Offline
Average Poster
Average Poster
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:52 pm
Posts: 5
Hi Juan, thanks for taking the time to reply.

Well I had to stamp my feet to see a doctor today but eventually I did. They wanted to double my dose to 32mg because they thought I was still w/d from heroin. I stood my ground and said I'm not taking any more than 8mg.. end of discussion. How can I possibly be experiencing w/d after 18/19 days clear of smack??!!!!

They want me to stabalise for 3 months but I made it quite clear that's not going to happen with doses they suggest and the side effects I am experiencing.

I feel there is no point of me being on this any longer. I feel all the symptoms of a full withdrawal expect for the constipation I have. Other than that I have been sweating, shaking, nauseous, grumpy and can't sleep. Dropping to 8mg today has calmed the twitching and nervous body jerks thankfully, still slightly sweaty but my bowels have moved and I don't have the headache I did.... and I've managed to eat proper meals instead of meal replacement shakes and soup.

On Sunday, my only unsupervised day, I will half the 8mg and see how I go on 4mg before I speak the doctor again on Monday. If I'm ok then I'll ask for one week at 2 x 2mg tabs so come next week I'll have the choice of cutting to 2mg daily or just rattle.

In response to your advice, I am ready to reclaim my recovery and if I get another 5 years out of I'd be a happy man. Looking over the last 20 years those 5 I had clean were a success but relapse is so easy and such a high risk for people like myself.

@tearjerk3r - Thanks! I will be tapering extremely quick and jumping off by the looks of things. My relapse has lasted around a year to 18 months with periods of 60 and 90 days clean amongst other attempts just doing cold turkey out of sheer determination. Yes, I am holding onto some 'stuff' which I have every intention of sorting out but I am not 100% sold on NA's literature and so will be working with both a sponsor and an independent counsellor as I feel some NA people are over zealous at times and while I do have some faith I am no spiritual guru wanna be like others. Each to there own I suppose but I should state that Glasgow NA fellowship isn't quite like that in USA. It's very 'cliquey' although in my time there I have made some true friends who I will be glad to see. I spent some time in CA earlier this year and found that be more mature and so will be attending meetings which are recovery based wherever I choose to go.

I was relapsing in my head 18months before I actually did if you know what I mean? Totally abstinent but not doing any real work on the source of my drug problem because I became complacent. Working out when and how I would relapse (with alcohol) and the 5 year mark was my target. Quite an interesting story how I went from alcohol to herion but I'll tell that another time if you ever wanna hear it.

I'll keep you posted on how I get on with my drop to 4mg over Sun/Mon. Thanks to the pair of you! :)

Take it eZ :wink: - The Self Medicator

_________________
Drugs lead nowhere..... but it is the scenic route!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 9:48 pm 
Offline
Long Time Member
Long Time Member
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2010 5:08 am
Posts: 1503
It's not that surprising about your feelings towards na. Anyone who can question the ideas of the program is often left puzzled. And yes, I found it extremely rigid as well. Recovery should be about freedom, not rules.

Here in aus na they would say "you can't be too dumb for this program, but u can be too smart." It says a lot about the program imo.

Just take what you need and leave the rest, and ignore the zealots. They are everywhere sadly. There are some non 12 step groups around too. just like uni I think it's good to vary our sources.

T


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 2:52 pm 
Offline
Average Poster
Average Poster
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:52 pm
Posts: 5
Aye that one gets thrown around here too. "You need to get stupid to get this"..... erm no but I'll take a look thanks.

I have only taken half my 8mg dose today and feel fine so I'll cut to 2mg over the next few days and jump off next week some time. I'll keep you posted on my progress.

ps. Apologies for assuming you were in the US. :S

_________________
Drugs lead nowhere..... but it is the scenic route!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 12:59 pm 
Offline
Average Poster
Average Poster
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:52 pm
Posts: 5
OK so I've cut myself to 2mg yesterday and today and so far so good.

Think I'll keep this up until Friday and then make the jump. Since posting here I've spoken to a few other people who have been experiencing the same problems as myself and would appear that they too have been administered this medication completely incorrect.

Having spoke to the prescribing doctor he is keen for me to make a an official complaint about the Community Addiction services as his comments in the past have been ignored.

I'll post again when I jump off to let you know how I get on.

_________________
Drugs lead nowhere..... but it is the scenic route!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2011 5:25 am 
Offline
Average Poster
Average Poster
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2010 3:38 pm
Posts: 11
pmsl wrote:
OK so I've cut myself to 2mg yesterday and today and so far so good.

Think I'll keep this up until Friday and then make the jump. Since posting here I've spoken to a few other people who have been experiencing the same problems as myself and would appear that they too have been administered this medication completely incorrect.

Having spoke to the prescribing doctor he is keen for me to make a an official complaint about the Community Addiction services as his comments in the past have been ignored.

I'll post again when I jump off to let you know how I get on.


Your suboxone taper and withdrawal discomfort will largely depend on what opioid and what dosage you were taking before you starting using buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone). If you substituted 16mg of Suboxone for a hefty regimen of opioids, your detox from Suboxone will be much worse. If you were clean before you started the Suboxone (probably not, right?) then two weeks on Suboxone would have little withdrawal effect - you could indeed stop cold turkey.

As this forum has often discussed, a Suboxone taper does not get really difficult until the last several milligrams (depending on body weight, metabolism, etc) because the first 2mg of Suboxone do 80% of the work, and anything above that dose has declining effect. The hard part is tapering the final few milligrams (some patients start to really hurt at 4mg, some at 2, but few really experience severe withdrawal before then final few milligrams).

I am not advocating obtaining anything illegally, but I think that there are a few medications that can be used to taper suboxone with relatively little pain. Least controversial: Pregabalin/lyrica More controversial: benzodiazepines Most controversial: "weak" opioids such as hydrocodone. Obviously, the patient cannot self-admininster these meds (except perhaps pregabalin).

I think that the best detox protocol (from any opioid, and buprenorphine is certainly a powerful opioid, especially at the large doses in Suboxone) is to step down the equianalgesic table - that is, to go from strong to weak. If you are on large doses of oxycodone, the shift should be to hydrocodone or even codeine, not to buprenorphine or methadone. I realize that this is not legal protocol is most countries, but there is plenty of anecdotal evidence out there that this works well. Simply put, weaker opioids ease the withdrawal. You can shift from a strong opioid (morphine, oxycodone, diamorphine) to a weak opioid (hyrdrocodone, codeine) without much pain by completely stopping the strong opioid "cold turkey" but beginning a regimen of fairly robust "weak" opioids. Then, once you get the weaker opioids to a reasonable level, you can then stop those "cold turkey" with "comfot meds" like clonidine, pregabalin, and benzos (administered briefly by a responsible third party, preferably a physician). A cold-turkey detox from codeine, for example, is quite "easy" compared to abruptly abandoning morphine.

My opinion is that buprenorphine and methadone are not good medications for DETOX. It is a not-so-well-kept-secret that many inpatient detoxes use a "step-down" approach in terms of opioid strength. Buprenorphine and methadone are both very strong, and have long half-lives. They are designed for maintenance, not detox. If a patient presents with a strong dependency to a high dose of, say, hydromorphone (perhaps the strongest opioid), I think it makes more sense to step the patient down gradually to a "codeine dependency" etc. This begs the question of whether the patient wants to be on maintenance, or should be on maintenance. However, if the patient wants to be opioid-free, maintenance meds are not the best detox meds, in my opinion.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2011 10:48 am 
Offline
Long Time Member
Long Time Member
User avatar

Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 12:55 pm
Posts: 4933
Location: Leesburg, FL
drugstorecowboy wrote:
Your suboxone taper and withdrawal discomfort will largely depend on what opioid and what dosage you were taking before you starting using buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone). If you substituted 16mg of Suboxone for a hefty regimen of opioids, your detox from Suboxone will be much worse. If you were clean before you started the Suboxone (probably not, right?) then two weeks on Suboxone would have little withdrawal effect - you could indeed stop cold turkey. (emphasis mine)


This above is what is the most important thing that I believe you need to consider, yet you are not. You are not withdrawing from two weeks of sub. What you're really doing is you're using sub to taper off the opiates that you were abusing before the sub. So my question to you is what were you using before and for how long? THAT is what you're going to be withdrawing from. Your brain doesn't really know the difference - an opiate is an opiate is an opiate.

We use suboxone to taper off opiates because generally speaking, we addicts aren't capable of tapering off our DOC, whereas we are quite capable of tapering off with sub.

I hope your short term taper goes well. Good luck to you and keep the updates coming. :)

_________________
-As I have grown older, I've learned that pleasing everyone is impossible, but pissing everyone off is a piece of cake.

-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


Top
 Profile  
 
   
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2011 5:26 pm 
Offline
Average Poster
Average Poster
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:52 pm
Posts: 5
I have been prescribed 4mg this week at my request. 8mg was comfortable and I went to 4mg for 2 days and have been taking only 2mg for about 4-5days now (I've been spitting out one 2mg tab when the chemist isn't looking). The suboxone on it's own hasn't left me too comfortable but I have used small amounts of benzos to regulate some kind of sleep and calm me down in general.

I am now of two minds. With the discomfort at 2mg should I just drop it altogether and use what Valium I have left to ease the w/d's over the next week or so OR should I stay on a comfortable dose (now that I've found one) of Suboxone as the past year to 18 months have been spent cold turkey/smacked up then cold turkey/smacked up and so on. I've been to 2 NA meetings and I've remembered why I stopped going in the first place so without suboxone yet another relapse is possible as I have been expressing to my GP that I seriously think there is an element of depression behind this even when abstinent but he's not interested.

In answer to your question I use whatever drugs I can get my hands on when I'm performing at my best. Crack,smack,benzos, alcohol, chloral hydrate and other stuff but my DOC is heroin. It's hard to say how much I was using due to variations in quality. At the latter stages I was either injecting a sixteenth (1.75g) or smoking an eighth (3.5g) daily costsing anything from £50 to £150 per day then the cost of other drugs on top of that.

The other meds you mention to use when stopping completely aren't likely to be an option as the doctors here are ballbags and so I've been able to buy enough valium to sort myself out but I would much rather use something weaker as I really don't want a Valium habit. I came of 120mg of it per day the same time as I came of 120mg of methadone cold turkey in 1995.

I have seen clonodine mentioned in a few forum threads and plan to read up on it before asking if I can have some to help me through w/d.

I don't expect much help from the CAT (community addiction team) or my GP so I'll just have to man up and do it with what's at hand should I go cold turkey. I can access some codeine which I might use but am unsure how long I should wait between the last dose of suboxone and using the codeine I have.

_________________
Drugs lead nowhere..... but it is the scenic route!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:02 am 
Offline
Average Poster
Average Poster

Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:32 pm
Posts: 7
Location: USA
I am a newbie and just read your thread t.s. I hope your doing well and get on soon for an update. I have been on the suboxone for less than a week and I intend to stop before I become dependent. Your story is of much interest. Please post when your up to it. Thanks.

_________________
uhg...


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 11 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Our Sponsors
Suboxone Forum latest topics RSS feed Subscribe to the entire forum
 

 

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

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

Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group