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PostPosted: Sun Jul 11, 2010 4:06 pm 
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Hi All,

So it's day 40 so I figure now's a good time to tell my story. Let me preface this by saying I am very realistic about this process and am not a big rah rah guy. I say this so when I say I feel great or good you know I really do and I'm not just saying what I wish I was feeling. I think we've all read the stories where people are 3 days off and talking about how great they feel....unfortunately the minbd and body play tricks and those people almost always have big issues later.

I played college football, I'm 30, male, have a good job, great girlfriend. I was on opiates for 5 years. Since I was 25. I tried cold turkey several times. I made it up to a month at times with nothing but relapsed because of the paws and because I didn't understand this disease at all. The PAWS would start messing with my job and friendships and I knew that one little white pill would make it all better...and it did...for a while.

I started sub a little over 2 years ago after I'd started stealing my girlfriends concerta to get a little extra high for big appointments at work and one day found myself having a hard time breathing, pulled over to the side of the road, calling 911. Still can't believe that happened!

Ok so here's what I did. I started at aboug 16 mgs/day of sub. I tapered the whole 2 years. Constantly trying to take the littlest amount I needed while still feeling good. It was easy to taper at first as my brain was saturated by the drug. I never loved sub. I never felt great. I always wanted off and I always remembered that. I got down to 2 mgs/day fairly quickly and then slowed the taper way down. I knew my brain needed time to heal so i took it damn slow each time allowing my brain to readjust.

I got down to crumbs and stayed there for a while.....why not right? I felt pretty good....my brain was still getting some sub and I didn't see a rush to get off at that point as I was feeling pretty good. Then I had a 8 day vacation lined up and stopped sub the first day. The only withdrawal I had was the GI stuff. I felt good. A little anxious of course but good. I had 4 clonodine on the trip and used 2.5 of them for RLS at night. I was a little tired, a little anxious, a little down I suppose but that's about it. Over 4th of July weekend I had a few days of depression. It kind of sucked but it wasn't that bad. Only one day did I even consider taking some sub because I didn't want to be the bump on the log with my family on the 4th of july trip. But I knew that it wasn't worth it. I'm not going backwards at this point.. After about a day and a half of tolerable depression I felt great and knew that it was just a wave passing...i wasn' tin the hole like i'd been when I'd gone CT...it was just another hurdle. That was a week or so ago and every day since then I've felt great.

I run every morning, eat as healthy as I can, take a multi vitamin, take some amino acids....and that's it folks. It wasn't easy. It took work. 2 year taper. Slow taper at the end. Picking a good time to jump. Sticking to it. Working out, eating healthy. I am back. I haven't felt like this since my senior year of high school. My job seeems easier to handle, i'm calmer now.

That's about it. Let me know if you have questions and keep working on it everyone. This can be beat.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 11, 2010 6:50 pm 
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Hi hawker,

Thanks for sharing your story. It's like the voice of reason amidst all the crazy horror stories telling us suboxone withdrawals makes one's eye brows fall out. We know if it's done right it CAN be done. I'm happy to hear you're doing well. It sure sounds like you've done everything right - from the long, slow taper to exercise. You're a shining example. Again, thanks for sharing.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 11, 2010 11:01 pm 
Thanks so much for posting that Hawker! Congratulations on meeting your goal! As you know, although you are much younger than I am, our 'using' history is similar in terms of how long the opiate abuse went on (~5 years) and our philosophies about always hoping/planning to taper to the lowest dose possible as soon as possible, and eventually come off the medication. I'm so glad things went well for you. I am sure that your positive attitude, overall health, and taking your time with the taper have all played a role in your success. Again.....Congrats! I'm really proud of you for doing this!
I agree with you on the relative ease of getting down to a couple of milligrams a day. It's when you start working with "crumbs" that it gets a little more tricky! Learning to listen to your body and mind, but not overly so, at the same time, is challenging. The symptoms do seem to come in waves, especially the PAWS type symptoms, which are the very things that led you and I and countless others back to opiates after detoxing successfully from full agonists in the past! It cannot be stressed enough that although acute withdrawals are no fun, it's the psychological stuff of PAWS that is truly the dragon to slay! As my 'crumbs' become smaller I can see that those symptoms will come in waves and must be ridden out, allowing plenty of time to stabilize with each tiny reduction below 1mg or so a day.
I am now 2 days past my one-year anniversary on Suboxone.....a point at which I initially thought I would be done with it. I can see now that I will likely need, at minimum, another 3 months of slowly reducing to smaller and smaller crumbs before I can hope for a relatively 'easy' step off this medication. It is so interesting to me how this stuff works, how strong even a tiny dose of this medication is. I am able to see now, why people become frustrated in their attempts to taper and wish for a better way.....a taper dosing pack of some kind to utilize in this process to make it a little easier to make accurate reductions. But for now, I am just grateful to you and the others who have posted their taper methods to help me get through it. Because it definitely is not a super easy thing to do. However....it can be done and you are living proof!! Keep up the good work! I tell you one thing, and I bet you'll agree....having gone through what we've gone through, the thought of ever ingesting another opiate again, is unappealing, to say the least!!
Great job and I'd love to hear more updates from you from time to time! Thanks again for all your help!


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 Post subject: My story.
PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 6:15 pm 
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I like to hear a story of success.I had to stop taking Suboxone because of a change in Medicaid.My Doctor knew it was my last refill so he gave me many as possible.He also gave me my last script of Klonopin.

I was doing well on the Suboxone and got to 2mg every 3 days.Then I quit completly for over 60 days.The 1st 5 days w/o are easy but at day 6-7 the waves hit at full force.I don't throw up,but I can't eat but very little once/day.My upper body spazms the most and of course the diarea.

Even after 60 days of complete abstinence,I still had the restless legs,loss of appetite,and exteme anxiety.I had to move my legs about every 30 seconds just to remain tolerate the best I could.After 60 days I was still in with-drawl.

I gave in and needed relief,if even for one day.2 Darvocets worked but for only 2 hours and not that well.I finally had to get a 10mg tablet of Methadone and now I'm back on Suboxone.

How does one taper down?I do understand that everyone different.

thanks


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 12:28 am 
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Hey there...yest everyone is different but I have 3 friends who have done the taper hte same way I did and are all off long term....i'm at like...60 days now I suppose. I don't really count anymore or pay attention.

I think it's better to take a little every day and to keep trying to take less each day. When you were taking 2 mg's every 3 days that's still... .7/day or so which I know sounds crazy but is still pretty high. I got down to .1 a day before going off. I found that it's best to take a little each day so you never feel like you need to take a bunch. Every day just try to take a little less..... .1 mgs then I jumped off and the WDs were almost non-existant...except of course I'm at day 60 and still haveing GI issues which is odd...but the GI issues never bothered me. Don't know if any of hta thelps.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 10:05 am 
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Thanks Hawker1,

It does help.It's very easy to get down to 2mg a day,it is rough taking it every 3 days for a while but what surprized me is after 60 days of no opiates the withdrawl symptoms were still there.

Is there any information on the forum of how to start tapering?

This is the 1st I've heard of the liquid method,so that is giving me hope.


thanks


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 10:31 am 
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There are many, many taper stories here on the forum. You can find them under the "Stopping Suboxone" category. The Liquefied Taper Method is posted as a "sticky" so it will be at the top of that category. I'm pretty sure Dr. Junig has also talked about tapering on his blog. There's simply too many of post to give all the links to here. Just remember, the key is a long, slow, and low taper, reducing the dosage every week or two instead of every few days. At least that's what I've read (I'm not tapering any time soon). Good luck!

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Dr. Jeffrey Junig, M.D., Ph.D.

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