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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 7:33 am 
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Hi all,

I've been a long time lurker and used to have a different account years ago under the name Lilith but couldn't find the old password so I created a new account a few months ago.

A quick background- I've been on Suboxone for almost 7 years now. Prior to that my DOC was heroin on and off for about 13 years. Made three attempts to quit Sub (the last one was over four years ago, made it two weeks and caved, went back to my doctor). This time I took my time tapering from 8mg. Went from 4 to 2mg in October and got my dose down to about .75mg per day before running out completely. I kicked myself when I read the full posts about doing the liquid taper. I would have done it that but didn't have enough left to do it that way. Wish I had read it a couple months earlier.

Switched to Tramadol (taking 50mg every 8 hours). I have Clonodine and Clonopin (been on this longer than Suboxone, low dose). The first night I woke up in withdrawals and took one 50mg Tramadol. I was able to fall back to sleep. When I woke up the morning I felt eerily good, not high, but in an okay mood and minimal withdrawals. So I started to do mad research, wondering what the hell is going on because I thought Tramadol was a step down from Suboxone. It seems it is, and there are such a wide range of experiences with it in and of itself, using it to come off Suboxone, etc.

That night I woke up in horrible withdrawals. The bupe still leaving my system. Took another 50mg Tramadol. It definitely doesn't take the withdrawals away all together, still have restless legs that make me crazy, feels like I'm wearing a lead suit, sweating, minimal energy etc. After reading all of the horror stories I'm not upping the dose of Tramadol. In fact I'd like to stop taking it sooner rather than later. Just not sure how long. I have enough to be on it for a couple of weeks but I was thinking stopping it after today. I also have low dose codeine to ease the withdrawals. Have 12 pills and that's it. I'm also stuck at home right now (which is a good thing). I live on a dirt road way out in the country. My car is stuck in the garage because the snow that has fallen off the roof made a huge pile of ice in front of the garage door. I can't shovel it (wouldn't have the energy to anyway, just going to the bathroom is a chore) or drive over it. I don't know anybody in this state or surrounding states that would bring me H even if I wanted it so that's good. I'm stocked with groceries and a friend who stays in town sometimes will be up this weekend for a few weeks and can help me with chores and whatever else is needed.

I know I'm playing with fire using opiates to get off an opiate. I've just f**king had it with Suboxone and want to be free of it. In addition to the mainly horror stories about people coming off Sub with Tramadol, I also read more than a few that were successful doing it that way. That gives me hope. Even if I'm prolonging the inevitable, hopefully it will be 4-5 days of withdrawals than the long drawn out withdrawals from Sub. The last time I tried to quit I used Vicodin for a few days, which did help a little, then I ran out and made it another about 10 days without any opiates. At the time, I didn't understand how powerful Sub is and stopped at 4mg if I recall correctly. What I didn't realize at the time was I just had foot surgery and couldn't exercise or move around much and exercise would have helped a lot. I was also taking one of the hardest psych classes before finishing my degree. Stupid time to try to quit Sub. Then I planned a trip out of state to visit with friends. I couldn't carry on a conversation with them. I felt like such an idiot and kept going upstairs to lie in bed. Couldn't sleep or anything but just tried to kill the time. This time no plans with anything until I'm feeling better. I'll celebrate Christmas in Jan or Feb with family and friends.

Gave away my slot at the doctors office a few months ago (that was part of my problem when I tried to quit before- being able to go running back to my doctor in a weak moment). If after a few weeks or months being off it and find I'm getting cravings again, I have no problem going back on a low dose. I just really want to give myself this chance to see what I'm like a couple months off Sub. I've been working on this taper all year basically and now I just want off. I want to see what my brain is like off this med after this many years of being on it. I've noticed during the taper, the lower I got the more my senses were turned on. Music sound so good and food tastes so good.

In October, one of my best friends was decreasing her Sub dose, we were doing it at the same time, but didn't know it then. She relapsed on heroin and died. Its been absolutely devastated losing her. We were the same age and long long time close friends. Today is her birthday actually. When I found out she was also doing a taper when this happened it scared me so much. Was this some type of warning? I was taking this whole thing very seriously but it got about as serious as it could get when she died. I stayed at 2mg for a good month after she died. I was too scared to go lower. Next to losing my Mom years ago, this has been the hardest loss.

So that's where I'm at right now. Day 2 and 3 I didn't have the energy to be on the computer. I thought today would be worse but it isn't. Actually have a little bit of energy. No cravings at all. I feel blessed to be stuck at home with no major responsibilities right now. I really feel for the people that have to be at work while doing this or have major responsibilities while trying to get off Sub.

I'll keep you updated on what's going on. Would appreciate any input from peeps who used Tramadol to get off Sub. How long were you on it for before coming off completely? Did you get the horrible withdrawals that some get?

Thank you for reading and I hope you have an awesome day :)

Sage


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 12:20 pm 
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I don't have direct experience with tramadol, but in general, anytime you use a mu receptor drug to reduce withdrawal, you are extending the length of your withdrawal. That is the double-edged sword for codiene and hydrocodone-- and I would think, tramadol.

When you are feeling your very worst, that is a sign that your endorphin systems are completely shut down. THAT is what causes neurons to start generating new opioid receptors, to take the place of the receptors that have been made insensitive by tolerance. If you take an opioid and activate those endorphin systems, you turn off the process of regenerating new, more-sensitive opioid receptors.

Your best bet is to avoid all opioids, especially if you are in the position of just 'holing up' and avoiding people. Of course, if you become depressed or suicidal you must get help... but if you can keep your wits about you, take warm baths several times per day and wait. If you do that, you'll be feeling much better in two months. If you take tramadol, you may be struggling for twice that long.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 2:16 pm 
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Hi sage,

Well, Dr. J pretty much covered the reasons why it's not a great idea to use any opiate during detox. My fear is with the opiate you decided to use.

I have experience with tramadol, and it's a scary drug. I used to use this when I would run low on my DOC to cover up WD symptoms. The problem is, you wind up taking so many of the little buggers to feel better! I had a really scary seizure one day after taking a dose that was very typical for me. I was actually thinking about the whole thing this morning, and to this day it scares the crap out of me. I went down in a machine shop, hitting my head on the way down, and woke up on the concrete floor. My husband was cradling my head in his lap and I had NO IDEA who he was. After a few days in the hospital everything was fine. But it was determined the tramadol is what caused it.

I know I'm a bit biased when it comes to using this medication, but please be careful.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 6:24 am 
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Okay, I'm thoroughly freaked out now and am going to stop taking the Tramadol. Thank you for the input Dr. J and qhorsegal. I've never taken it before this and didn't know what to expect. It definitely covers up the bulk of the withdrawal symptoms but also gives this weird floaty body sensation I don't like and I'm not messing with my neurotransmitters any more than I have. I didn't know it had SNRI effects as well when I got it. I'm not on any anti-depressants.

You know, it's like you plan something a certain way for so long (the bulk of this year really), and then realize I'm making it worse not better, I want to cave now and go find more Sub and do the liquid taper. I've felt the withdrawals from even the .75mg (it was between 1mg and .5mg per day for about 10 days before stopping) and they were enough to make me crazy if I had to feel those full on for weeks or months. I feel like such a baby but I honestly didn't mentally prepare to feel the full withdrawal effects of doing this without opiates at all.

I don't know what to do at this point. Probably let the Tramadol wear off and see what this is really going to be like.

Thank you.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 10:29 am 
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Yeah, I'm pretty sure the SNRI or SSRI (whichever it is) effects are what can cause the seizures.

After seeing your post again I realized I didn't even mention how sorry I am to hear about your friend. I'm sure it was, and still is, awful for you. Especially knowing now what caused her relapse. Coming off of suboxone is absolutely possible. But, you really need to understand what is coming for you and be ready to power through the wd's for a long period of time. If there is ANY chance that you feel you might relapse, go back to the subs. At least then you won't have to take the chance of overdose. Don't let your friends death be for nothing. Your success would be such an honor to your friends memory. Success isn't getting off ALL opiates just to be able to say your clean. It's being able to live a life that is full, and wonderful, and free of the horrible consequences of active addiction.

Keep posting Sage, there's alot of people who would be happy to give you support through this!

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 6:40 am 
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Thank you for your post qhorsegal2. Yeah, she really was an amazing person. Always willing to help others. Huge animal lover. She had just finished her vet tech certification earlier this year. She was a new mom to a beautiful child. She had been doing so well for years. This was such a shock. Nobody knew she relapsed. I don't know if it was an isolated incident or if she had been slipping. I just wished she had told me. She'd usually tell me stuff like this. She's had a fairly hard life in some ways (losing an older brother unexpectedly five years ago) and wonderful life in others with her awesome parent's support, her beautiful baby. She and I have a lot of awesome memories that I will cherish forever. I hope to be an on going part of all of their lives in the upcoming years.

Okay, so update- I took the codiene pills over these past two days. This gave me two days of feeling relatively normal and a couple more days away from the Tramadol. It was a nice break to rethink all of this, figure out how I'm going to do this, do some shopping and catch up on chores. I feel in much better shape of handling this now and I'm ready to do this with no opiates. The codeine will wear off in a few hours and this is day 1.

I'll start a different thread about my experiences stopping going forward. (I don't want to have it under the heading of using Tramadol. If this isn't how I'm supposed to do it, please let me know, thank you very much).

Sage


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