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 Post subject: desperate plea for help
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 5:45 pm 
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Hi everyone.
I just tried to post a response on Painter Bobs thread. Since I took so long it logged me off and lost my post.
So, it is better that I do my own subject anyway because I was asking for advice similar to his.
Im too tired to go back into my whole story. I am 51yrs old. I used codeine in France for 7 months daily back in 1984.
I became addicted and this is where I crossed the line into "addictive" use of drugs. Prior to that from age 12 to that time, I smoked pot, and drank, but not addictively. We would go away for the summer and I would stop everything and it was not a problem.
After crossing the line at 25 yrs old I could never use anything again w/out an addictive response. I started going to NA/AA in 1986, stayed mostly off of opiates. A few slips that lasted 2 weeks at the most. In 1993, from early Jan, to late March (same year, ie 3 months) I had my worst experience with Opis. I managed to get H, and went from 10$ caps to over 100/day in just a few weeks, by mid Feb I went on Methadone- 80mg. In late March I went into treatment. I went through some very tough withdrawals for about 10 days then post acute for about 6 weeks total. I was young still. By lat May I was back to my old self, fishing, diving, found a good job doing biochem. research in Marine Bio.
I slipped on Hydros a few times after that. But no longer than a week maybe two. In 1998 I became truly invovled in my recovery and stayed clean and sober from 1998-2006. I even went through a divorce in 2001. I moved to Maine and ended up w/ custody of my 2 daughters.
In 2005 I started to drift away from recovery. I stayed sober though. Because my mother became ill, and also for the benefit of my daughters, I moved back to Miami in late 2005. There was a lot of things that happened all at once, and I ended up using Perc-5s (5/325s) because I found a prescription. I used for 2 weeks and got off with some minimal w/d.
In May I did the same thing. But I got sober again. Tried going to meetings.. In June and July I had a series of Kidney stones and managed to get some pretty large prescriptions for percs. By late July, I would stop, become extremely unstable- tired, depressed, craving,etc. I could not go into treatment because I worked as a biologist for US Customs.
So, I heard about Suboxone. I read about it, but did not research as much as I should have. If prescribed properly to the right people it is a fantastic med. If over prescribed to anyone who complains of abusing painkillers....probably not so good.
What ever the case may be, I went on, and from what the company said, and my doctor- I would have the whole worry of withdrawal, and craving taken out of the way, and I could get my life together and then go off the med when I felt ready.
Nobody mentioned that staying on for more than a few months could change neurochemistry significantly because of the potency of Suboxone. As I am sure most of you know, since Dr. Junig has also talked about it- Bup is about 100X that of Morphine, but at the same time a partial antagonist. People are not discovering things that they did not know in 2006.

I had bad side effects from it from the start. About a month into treatment at 6mg/day my libido had gone to zero. I would get aggitated. The sun began to bother me...and worse of all, my skin became very sensitive to temperature. Swimming became unpleasant. I grew up in the water from age 3 on. If you knew me- to tell you I do not like swimming or diving anymore.... you would say that this is totally out of character. I also started to get depressed- which is understandable since I no longer did things that I used to do.
Because of this, I tried to stop at 6 months in. I lasted 3 weeks. It was the post withdrawal that I had a tough time with.
I felt weak, tired, sluggish, unmotivated. I missed days at work even after 2 weeks being off etc. So I went back on.
After being on a year and a half I had a heart attack. Partially because I was no longer exercising like I used to, and also because of high blood pressure and fluid retention (opis cause water retention). After having the stents put in my arteries I tried to stop. I lasted about 3 weeks again. Same thing, I would not seem to get better, and I would go back on.
I would not slip onto other drugs- I would just go back on. I tried this a few more times.
About 5 months ago, I used 11,000 of my own money, and insurance money and checked into Ashley a well known treatment center in Maryland. I went inpatient for 4 weeks. I went through the acute, and felt somewhat better in 2 weeks, then this was followed again by extreme weakness, lack of motivation, concentration problems etc. I left the facility and stayed clean and sober for another 5 weeks. After being off of Suboxone for 9 weeks, I could not take the weakness and lack of motivation, sluggishness, lack of concentration and overal feeling of emptiness anymore. The post accute withdrawal I found to be unbearable. I have never experienced anything like this- so lengthy, and not feeling even the slightest bit better. So I went back on in mid February.
Since I lost the whole post already once, I am not going to go too much into things- but, I have reached the end of my rope, literally. The only positive thing about going back on is that I have managed to get involved in AA again and start a hint of a program of recovery. Since I have zero motivation and am all confused and depressed, I am having a hard time working on my steps. I have no idea where I am. I am loosing hope and for the first time in my life, I have lost the will to live. I am pushing myself to go to my meetings. I see my therapist every week.
I do not want to live anymore. I do not want to commit suicide, but I have lost everything that was important to me.
I have no feelings anymore- do desire to go outdoors like I used to. No desire to swim or scuba dive. No desire for getting into a relationship. I cannot stop taking suboxone. I am just not able to deal with the long term withdrawals. At 51 yrs old as of April 8 (bday), I feel like it is all over.
Everything has been attempted- trying anti- depressant. Stopping anti depressant, new anti depressant, stopping new etc.
I have had tests.
It was not until I researched the medicine itself that I discovered that Suboxone is one of the worst meds to come off of.
For varioius reasons- for people that have used the med for a long period of time, the withdrawal, and getting back to at least 75% of a semblance of normalcy takes an extended period of time- anywhere from 3-6 months. There are cases of it being longer. People that had used methadone years ago, went through the brutal withdrawal and stayed clean for a while, then somehow ended up on Suboxone, and have tried to get off say that it is at least comparable to methadone.
That is not good news. Now there research studies looking at the long term effects of Bupinorphine.

In addition to that, I had none of these symptoms prior to 2006. I have been through a lot in my life, but I have never lost the will to live. I have hit bottoms before- but I felt desparation. I do not feel desperation. I do not feel like much at all.
I just do not want to live, I do not care if I die. Sometimes I get feeling and it is usually when I go to bed. I start to cry because I do not want to wake up the next morning. I pray that God takes my life and uses it for someone else.
I am not suicidal, yet I do not want to live either. If I was diagnosed with something- I would be happy.
I have never felt like this- if anything I have been a bit on the hypochondriac side. Not bad, but enough that I freaked out when I used the H back in '93 that I had surely contracted HIV. I did not want to die. But now?
I am not joking at all. I really do hope that I will have another heart attack or stroke at night and do not wake up.

I have two glimmers of hope. And this is why I came to this site, even though it is a pro-suboxone site.
For one- let me make something clear- I am not anti suboxone. If it is used to detox people off of H or other SAOs, or in the cases where the only hope is maintenance- then it has its place. But it should be made clear to that person that staying on this med for any length of time runs a great risk of having a very hard time stopping. If you think that I am making this up- try calling treatment centers around the country to see how many people are coming in for treatment to get off of Sub, and how treatment centers recommend long long term facilities in order to get the person through the protracted withdrawals. Go on line and read all of the threads. If you think the people on the threads are making this all up because they have nothing better to do, call psychiatrists and neurologists that are finding that suboxone is presenting a whole new set of problems.

So, I am not anti suboxone, as long as it is used properly.

I need help badly. The only hope that I have is a taper method. If there is anyone out there that has tapered and not had to go through months and months of withdrawal after stopping - please give me some encouragement and advice.
I do not want to stay on this med the rest of my life. If I do it will be a shorter life than I had thought.
I am asking that anyone that has had an experience similar to mine and that has found a way to get off be it tapering or whatever (I do not care if the taper is 6 months or more)- I would be very grateful. I am going to meetings. I do see a therapist who is very concerned (to say the least). If I can be pulled out of this limbo, I have a long history of being motivated to participate in recovery. Please someone help.
Daniel

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PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 7:36 pm 
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Daniel,

I am very glad you posted and I am SO sorry that you are so miserable and so desperate and just plain tired. I could feel it reading what you wrote and that is so sad. I understand what you are saying about the fatigue and whatnot because I went off sub for 3 months and although I would say it would get a little better off and on, overall, it was just REALLY rough to have such a lack of motivation, lack of interest, fatigue and not know when or if it would ever end. I went back on suboxone. For me, I don't have side effects and in fact feel better than I did before suboxone. So while I hate the idea of staying on it for the rest of my life, I have a WAY better life than I ever did before.

So I hope you will keep in mind when talking to others about this drug, that you will keep in mind your experience isn't everyone's experience and for some of us this is the only way we will ever stay alive. But I understand why you feel like the research shows this isn't a good idea. Also keep in mind that only the people who are miserable are out there posting about things and complaining and there are a lot of us who are ok. We aren't posting about it BECAUSE we are ok.

With that being said, I have heard several people on this forum talk about doing a slow taper and having minimal to no withdrawals and doing quite well. I am sure some of them will post and talk to you. I jumped off at 12mg so I wouldn't know. But there is hope for you and it can definitely be done.

I really hope you will hang in there and find hope and something to look forward to by beginning your taper.

Take care!
Cherie


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 Post subject: thanks jackp.
PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 8:39 am 
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Thank you very much for posting. Yes, jumping at 12 is pretty rough. You managed to stay off for 3 months?
If you did that means that you did have a desire to be completely free of an opiate. I am not trying to be a contrarian, and am glad that you feel better on than you did before every starting. if you are comparing to the years of using then that is undersandable, if you are- from what I gather- comparing to your original drug free state- then I would be a bit concerned. But anyway- I am glad that you do not have all the side effects. You said that there are a lot of people for who it works and they do not talk about it? They do on this site. And other sites. I have seen many posts from people where it has worked and there have not been such bad side effects. Usually, though, about a year later things change, and they start feeling numb.
It is normal to feel numb. This is an opiate. That is the whole point of taking this med. If you feel alone in your being ok with suboxone- just go on YouTube. There are a lot of people who feel like you.
Some people take anti- depressants and they have less problems with depression, and even the SSRIs have been over prescribed and people wanting to stop have weird side effects. The problem with Suboxone is that it is an powerful opiate, and (in my case) to be using it to maintain a state of limbo that includes neither joy nor the extremes of widrawal and prolonged withdrawal- worries me a great deal.
Having said that- all that I mentioned above is academic. I do not care one way or the other how people feel about the whole suboxone phenomena. I am in a very bad place. I do not like taking this med. It has been a horrible experience, and I am terrified that I will never be able to get off. If I do not get off I do not know if I can take living in this state of limbo.
I am asking if anyone can share their experience of tapering to give me some hope. I have read about tapering schedules but, I have not read a lot about the day to day experience of coming off has been. I have plenty of sources of info on coming off at 2mg or 1mg and the daily grind of protracted withdrawal which are basically what you described at 12 mg, with a bit less of an acute phase.
Is there anyone on this site that can give me feedback?

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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 8:57 am 
Gaulois....I'm real sorry you're in such a bad place. It sounds like you've been struggling for some time now. I'm not going to go into a whole lot about whether all your problems are caused from long-term Suboxone use or not, because I don't think that would get us anywhere. The fact seems to be that you're miserable both on and off buprenorphine. Why that is.....is the question I'm sure you'd like answered. And, unfortunately, I don't hold that answer. I'm so glad that you're in therapy and going to meetings. You haven't given up......that says a lot about you, in my opinion.
Okay, for something a little more concrete.....How much Sub are you on now? and for how long running? Have you ever tried an extremely slow and gradual taper? While I cannot attest to how it feels to be completely off Sub, I can attest to the fact that w/d and PAWS from full agonists (hydro- and oxy-codone, fentanyl, demerol) were unfathomably difficult. The acutes were physically and mentally harsh, but PAWS.....unrelenting.....9 months with minimal to no relief, before I started Suboxone. I have never in my whole life (46 years) suffered from depression or anxiety or any other mental health issues, PAWS kicked my ass. I felt like I was swimming in quicksand....nearly every moment of every day. My joy was gone. So I know how you feel, at least I think I do. When you said something to the effect of, I don't want to die but I'm not living either or I wouldn't care if I died, it spoke to me......I felt the same way. Now, for me, bupe helped with those feelings a great deal. It does for most of us. I'm sorry it hasn't worked that way for you. I will say that as the months have passed (been on Sub 10 months) that the drug has lost some of its 'magic.' In terms of just the newness wearing off. It never made me feel 'high' or anything. It's more just settling in and assessing the damage of my active addiction and learning to live again and trying to fix what I can fix. And sometimes, that's depressing. It's not the bupe's fault. This drug saved my ass.....no doubt. And no matter how rough my 'landing' from it may be, I will never blame the drug or be dismissive of its merits....never. I believe its a fantastic tool for recovery from opiate addiction. I also do not believe that there are some hidden, unknown, long-lasting effects. It's an opiate for heaven's sake.....it carries the same risks of any other opiate that someone takes long term. There is little to no reason for it to be any different than any other opiate used over a long period of time. Check Dr. Junig's credentials....pretty educated and smart dude.....I trust his judgment on this issue. If time proves this wrong.....so be it. But until then.....I'm a believer.
Okay....off track a little. This is where I'm at. I'm down to ~1.5 mg/day of Sub after 10 months of use. I've practically been tapering the whole time I've been on it. I think the longest I've stayed at one dose has been about 6 weeks and that was at ~8mg and then at ~4mg. Have a felt great the entire time? No. Top of the world, mood-wise? No. Anything close to the terrible way I felt in PAWS before? No.
So....If you want to find out if you can feel better by being off opiates altogether, the only way that I can see left for you to do that (that you've not already tried) is to do a reeeeaaaallllllllyyyyyy long taper. Depending on what dose you're on now, you may ultimately find a "sweet spot" where your dose is high enough to feel okay, but low enough to get rid of side effects. Or you may find that by tapering slowly off, you feel better off everything.
I don't know. These are just my thoughts. I hope my long response was worth the time I took to write it. Sometimes I wonder if I'm helping anybody or not......I just feel for you. Maybe if nothing else, that fact alone will make you feel a little better. Hang in there.


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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 9:06 am 
I guess your last post came in while I was typing.
What you're requesting is presented several times by different members on this forum. We've had some very well-spoken people take the time to write pretty stinkin' detailed blow-by-blow accounts of their tapers.....Diary of a Quitter, Annmarie, Bronzebeta, Schrodinger's Cat, Hawker1......those are just a few off the top of my head and I'm sure I've left some out (sorry). Look under "Stopping Suboxone, the Liquid Taper Method."


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 Post subject: thanks to you all
PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 4:55 pm 
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Thank you and I will look up those accounts of taper. What bothers me it from what I have seen it is not anything that is offered professionally. ie- you have to make potions up yourself.
Anyway, I appreciate that.
As far as being miserable on or off- No, I was not miserable prior to getting on sub. I am responsible for putting myself on sub, and trying to find and easy way out of withdrawals, and then never trying to get off before it was too late.
I have quite a bit of experience with withdrawals. I have gone through Heroin, Heroin and Methadone, OCs and Fentanyl.
My first addiction was just to codeine (of all things). I have managed to stay off most of my life. I was in a tight situation because I was abusing perc 5s and could not stop. Could not go into treatment. Went on suboxone.
Prior to the use of the percs in early 2006, I had been clean from '98- 2006. Prior to that I had a tough experience w/ Heroin and Methadone in 1993 that lasted about 3 months. In between April 93 and 1998, I slipped a few times on painkillers and got myself off in time. So I do know what it is like to live without opiates. And my life has been very good. Why did I return to opiates then? Because I crossed the line into addiction when I abused codeine way back when I was 25. Unless I am/or was actively in recovery of some sort, I ran the risk of addictive drug seeking behavior. So, I am an addict. But I have been a pretty happy addict until 2006, with the exceptions of the slips.
I have never been on an opiate this long. 4 yrs is a long time to be on a potent opiate- even though it is a partial antagonist. It still affects the neurology the same.
Anyway- I will look at the tapers you suggested and ask them how they are doing, or if they are still around.
I am not anti suboxone- I am just for being clear about what it is. Yes it is much better than "danger/Risk" drug addiction such as shooting H and sharing needles or even worse- shooting OxyContin- which is not meant to be shot, and getting blood clots in your lungs. Suboxone stablizes a person. It can save lives.
Everyones addiction is different. So each person has options that the other may not want. Some people prefer Methadone to Suboxone. It is a full agonist. But it is better than sharing needles. So I am not against maintenance. But it is maintenance. I did not plan on being on maintenance and I am terrified that now I have no choice. I am really scared.
But now the scare is starting to loose ground into the ... I give up. I am going to have to stay on this med forever, and the side effects are horrible for me. I do not want to finish my years like this. But I am the one who got myself in this situation. My last thread of hope is a gradual taper. And that is why I posted.
Any of the people that have tapered and can give me support I would appreciate. So far I have not recieved a response from anyone- not one person- who has been off of suboxone and tapered. But I will PM the folks that you shared with me and maybe they will help me.

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 Post subject: Set me free- response
PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 5:33 pm 
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Hey- I just wanted to add- I really appreciate you taking the time to write. I looked more at your last post which you were a bit angry with me.
As far as Dr. Junig goes- Yes he is well educated. I am not at all trying to show off- but it is quite possible that I am more educated than he is. What counts is what someone is educated in and whether or not they have truly studied (in this case) the intricacies of neurochemistry.
I agree with you- technically Bup should be like any other opiate as to how if affects the brain. But it is not. It is a strange molecule. It is 100X the potency of Morphine, yet has agonist properties and a ceiling effect. So, in a sense when you take it, after the first couple of days- you feel "straight". But your brain is being flooded by huge quantities of an opiate.
So, when you do stop- it seems from my experience that it is like stopping after having used heavy quantities of any opiate. EXCEPT- because of the half life, the stacking and the weird nature of the molecule- as you say- the first phase of withdrawals is nothing like Heroin or OCs. I have experienced both and Suboxone- and the accute is tolerable. But after- I think the body reacts as if someone was taking relatively high doses of methadone. I have known a few people that stopped methadone- around the 80-100 mg area- tapered to 10, and stopped and had pretty bad accute, then followed by the lengthy protracted withdrawals. So I agree with you- it is an opiate and should not be anything more- but probably as far as duration of the protracted withdrawals- more like Methadone.
Here is probably my greatest complaint about the med- the company does not seem to have provided a taper program.
Why? Why not have the med go down to 100mg tabs? If there is a reason, then I would then not be so suspicious. But they are not transparent about it. The liquid method- which I am probably going to try- and yes I am arguing here, and Im sorry to argue, but it should not be up to a patient to cook up tapering plans in their kitchen. I mean, what do you think?
If you want to stop one day- would you not think that this should be available?
Anyway- yes, I am being argumentative, and that is not getting me anywhere. I do want to be back to - I would be happy with 50% of what I was prior to 2006. You and I have different usage histories. It is by pure luck that I did not end up in a bad situation with Heroin. When I initially became addicted to Codeine- I was not hanging out in drug circles- I was actually doing a graduate degree in tropical biology in France. When I was a kid (12-18) I was around a tough neighborhood and lots of drugs. I mostly drank beer and smoked pot. Right before I left to try to see if I could manage to pass a semester in a crappy school in North Carolina- Cocaine had flooded Miami. (I am from Miami). I used coke quite a few times, but it did not click for me. Heroin was not the drug in Miami in the 70s and early 80s. When I went in for treatment- this is in 1993- I was the only Junky. Everyone else was there for Coke and Alcohol, coke and alc coke and alk. Same same. That withdrawal was hell- and that was just from 3 months of heavy use of H + Methadone. Now... had things been like they are today- and that is Opiates are everywhere now. I would never have made it out of my neighborhood. Never finished college here with my BS, never have gone to france and gotten addicted - to freaking codeine... and then been able to follow that up with another 4 years in graduate school. H just was not very common here.
Pure luck or whatever you want to call it. So, if I was in your shoes, and had H been available so easily for me, and I ended up staying on H for years- then I would consider Suboxone a God Send. There is no doubt. It saves lives.
I am very open minded about it. But it should be explained to everyone that it is pretty much like going on Methadone except that you do not get high, you do not have to be around junkies to get your daily dose, and the acute phase is not so bad. But the effect on the brain chem is about the same. Then people can make sound decisions. And believe me- having tasted Heroin addiction and screwing up and shooting w/ used needles, almost getting HIV- and miraculously having had the survival instinct to get myself into treatment- had that not happened- Suboxone would be a far better option than methadone.
I am not making up the side effects that I have. I think I have co occuring mental health issues - depression suceptability.
It is not working out very well for me. I am truly afraid I am dying. I am not bs ing you or anyone.
I have never experienced a sense of just throwing in the towel. That is how I feel. I pray each night that (I use the word God in a vague sense- call it the great spirit, or collective conscious - Spirit) but I ask that my life is taken because I feel so useless. I have two girls that I am in the last stages of raising. I do not like feeling this way. I dont like hoping that I am diagnosed with something. But I feel like there is no way out of this weird limbo that I am in.
That is why if someone that has tapered or has had similar problems give me some input or support I would reallly be grateful. I know plenty of people that are ok on sub. I appreciate their sympathy and care. I really do.
But if one of the people that has tapered could talk to me - and since I do not know anyone here- That is why I started this post. I did not do it to argue, so I am sorry that I argued. Really I am. So, Setmefree- I appreciate your help.
Dont get me wrong.
Daniel

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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 5:37 pm 
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I always find it incredibly interesting the number of people that think there is some sort of conspiracy at work when it comes to physicians, drug companies, medications, and all sorts of other things, for that matter, and what happens in every day life. I am telling you, there are all sorts of better ways for a doc to pad his practice or make extra money than prescribing Suboxone - there just is. Not everything is always tied to some big grand plan to screw the addiction community and make more money.

Anyhow, what I wanted to point out is that there actually are formulations of bup made in less than 2 mg tablets. Unfortunately, they are not available in the United States. In other countries you can obtain 0.5 mg tablets as well as patches. So to make the comment that the manufacturer of Suboxone is deliberately not marketing something other than 8mg and 2mg tablets for any reason other than they are not allowed to, is false. It is the FDA that has not authorized anything other than these two strengths. It is as simple as that. No doubt, a 0.5 mg tablet and potentially patches could be extremely useful to patients in the United States. It does suck that we have to become our own chemist to "cook up" smaller dominations of bup in order to taper. This is a problem. However, the blame is not with the drug companies - it's with the FDA. Now, I guess one could argue that the drug company could petition the FDA for a change. I won't argue that could be done. But I'm very willing to bet if the FDA would allow it, we'd see 0.5 mg Bup available in the United States rather quickly.


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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 5:57 pm 
Well, if there's anyone out there any more qualified or properly educated to 'know' the ins and outs of drugs, I haven't run across him or her. If you're the one, gaulois, more power to ya!
Here is Dr. Junig's education and credentials as posted on his practice website:

Undergraduate/Graduate Training:



Bachelor of Science, Magna Cum Laude, Biology, Carroll College, Waukesha, WI

Master of Science, Neuroscience, University of Rochester Center for Brain Research

Doctor of Philosophy, Neuroscience, University of Rochester Center for Brain Research

Doctor of Medicine with Honor, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry



Post Graduate Training:



Internship: Primary Care Program in Internal Medicine, Strong Memorial Hospital,

Rochester, NY 1988-1989

Residencies: Department of Anesthesia, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania,

Philadelphia, PA 1989-1992

Department of Psychiatry, Medical College of Wisconsin,

Milwaukee, WI 2003-2006

Chief Resident, Columbia Hospital Psychotherapy Center,

Milwaukee, WI 2005-2006
Pretty impressive to me!
I don't have time to respond further at this time. I will try to later.
But thank you for expressing your appreciation of my replies. I am not really 'angry.' We've just had a few members pop up lately posting some unsubstantiated crap which I fear may deter addicts who are in no form of treatment or recovery, from getting the help that bupe can bring them. This drug is literally saving lives every day.
Also...I got the impression from your last post that you may have me mistaken with someone else. I never used Heroin and was never in danger of contracting any diseases from shared needles and such. Not that it matters that much.....we're all in the same basic boat as opiate addicts. Just clarifying. More later....


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 Post subject: Taper
PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 7:23 pm 
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Hello Daniel,

You wanted to hear from someone who has tapered off Suboxone, so here I am.

First, I do understand how debilitating depression can be and I do sympathize with you. I also know what it's like to hold a gun to my head at three in the morning while trying to get psyched up enough to pull the trigger, and that was before my addiction, so I understand what it's like to wish you were dead as well. The next time you start thinking like that, remember your daughters and what it would do to them if you weren't in their lives. People rely on you... you have responsibilities... so get that defeatist bullshit out of your head! You will have an eternity to be dead in your grave, but you only have a limited time here in this life. As I see it, you've got two options - you can either give up, or you can try your hardest to resolve the problems that you have. How much do you want it? Do you want it enough to do it the right way? A slow gradual taper is the way to go, along with daily exercise... and I do mean bust your ass, because that's going to help you to heal. Also, if you're going to be working out, you will have to improve on your diet. At least three fruits and/or vegies a day, complex carbs in the morning, more protein later in the day.

The pharmacetical companies - yeah, it would be nice if there was a pre-made taper solution, but there isn't, so get over it and make one up yourself. There's no cooking, no meth lab needed, just simple math - you know, ratios. You seem to be making every excuse that you can think of as to why a taper won't work for you. Forget that negative crap and start thinking of reasons why it will work. Think of all the people that have done it before you. Do you really imagine that everyone else so different than you? Also, think of the other difficult things that you've accomplished in life - I'd be willing to bet that this will be much easier. I can think of at least a dozen things that I've done that were harder - bootcamp, training for a fight, recovering from a heart attack, and on and on. You CAN do this, but you'll never do it if you give up before you even start. I'm in a rush right now and I have to run, but if you want to send me a private message, I'd be glad to answer any questions you may have about the liquid taper method.

Hang in there! Things will get better.

Bill


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PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2010 1:29 am 
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I tapered off Suboxone using the liquid method also. It wasn't hard; it just took patience and persistence. I wrote a detailed thread about the taper and another one about the final jump and withdrawal, so I'm not going to get into it again here. Just wanted to chime in and say it is totally possible.

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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 11:25 am 
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Please let me make my position clear on Suboxone:
It is an amazing drug to be used for detoxing patients off of H, OCs etc
If someone is using and doing extremely risky behavior, chronic user, at risk HIV, abscesses, deep vein thrombosis, etc
then Suboxone maintenance is obviously a fantastic option. I think it is great that it is available and saving lives. I agree with the good doc on this.
My problem with the Sub phenomena is that there is no research that I can find about the PAWS that are specific to Suboxone. They are different PAWS in nature- compared to from say H or OC. Why?
So, just now there is research being done- but it is difficult to find.
I had no idea that I would ("so just get over it Gaulois") have to make up solutions to taper because the w/d from jumping at the lowest dose provided was hell. Do you see that on the Contra-indications? Find me a medical article that talks about the necessity of tapering methods. It seems that all the stories of coming off of sub require these creative solution creating taper methods. I think there should be an investigation as to why the company did not apply for FDA approval of low dose subutex so that people can be tapered.





Response- as far as education:
Biology, WCU, then BS AgronomyUF, Diplome d'Etudes Approfondies Botanical Institute Montpellier, France. Tropical Biology Univ. Sciences et Techniques Languedoc (USTL) and INRA. Published Morphology and Anatomy as to how different Spectra shifts affect adaptation and production of photo- accessory pigments. Carotenoid vs H20 Soluble pigments aiding Photosyn. Quantum Mechanics as to how they apply to initial photosynthetic response and electron orbitals.
Remote Sensing with Jet Propulsion Lab/FIU dept. Bio Sciences. Using Advanced Visual Infra Red Spectral Sys (AVIRIS)- this is all off the top of my head so I may be a bit off on the acronyms. W/JPL/NASA comparing reflectance spectra of algal blooms with absorbance spectra of ground "truthing". Using acetone extractions of algal samples and HPLC to determine which carotenoids are found in different divisions of algae so that the reflectance spectra measured by high altitude U2s w/AVIRIS
can be compared to absorbance spectra of algal samples from algal bloom areas.
Morphology, anatomy and physiology of Carica sp. - response to simulated canopy shade to neutral shade (nursery screens).
All these degrees and research and publications in Sci. Journals have been mostly in English (American Journal of Botany) but also French journals and in French. Not exactly easy for someone whos native language is english.

What does all this spell? ZERO. Nothing. Raising two daughters on my own and caring for a sick mother 89yrs old that abused the fuck out of me makes all the above look like grade school. I have more respect for humble people that mow lawns or sweep floors and have developed a spiritual life of recovery than I do with someone that has a bunch of diplomas.
Diplomas do not get me sober.
And I agree- getting over it, and stopping the arguing is far more productive. But I am bothered by a Dr. that is not open minded and does not have any sort of Medical Alert as to the downside of going on maintenance.

If the good ol doc has so much experience in Neurobiology then perhaps he could discuss how unusual it is - w/respect to neurobio-physio to have large concentrations of a partial agonist. How that affects the protracted withdrawal.

Get over it that I have to taper and cruch up tabs and make solutions? I have. I am doing this and I am glad whoever it is found the whole thing so easy and pain free. That it was nothing compared to boot camp.
For me this is not the case. I have spent years learning chemistry/physics/biology/pharmacology etc and believe me graduating with 3.5/3.75/and in france 'Mention", publishing scholarly papers etc- It was not easy taking these kinds of courses. Coming off of sub is the most challenging, and life sucking experience. But- and this is what pisses me off- is that people say "oh it is so easy to come off". Why dont you do a search on google and read the accounts of people from all over the world on how easy it is to come off. Do you think all of these anti-sub people are really doing this for kicks?
I think had they been told in the beginning that coming off is no cake walk (should you stay on for a while) and they still decided to go on- there would be no anti-sub people. They would have no argument. But they were and still are being told that it is easy compared to other opis. And that is a half truth. Yes the first week is much much easier than CT Heroin w/d.
The following 3 -9 months are not. There is a syndrome associated w/this med.

As to stopping Suboxone- I have come off Heroin and stayed sober for years after. Methadone I only used for a couple months- so fortunately the w/d was doable and I stayed sober years after. Fentanyl (short term use) I came off of and stayed clean. My point is- I have been able to get off of drugs, get into recovery, and then if I used later- it was my own fault for not being in active recovery. But I could at least get over the hump.
I cannot seem to get over the hump w/ Suboxone. This is because of the protracted w/d. This has been the hardest thing in my life.
NOW do you think that I do not have anything better to do than make all this up for the fk of it???? Do you think that I decided one day- hmmm I hate this company, I do not have anything better to do, so why dont I harass some site that promotes its use? Why would I do that? Why are so many people defensive at the fact that this med is hard to get off of.
Though I have never used OCs for long, I have been outspoken as to the production of this med.

I am wasting both my time and your time

As I said, I am starting a taper. I found a doctor- one of the few in the coutnry that has concentrated on providing taper and detox programs specifically for suboxone. As of yet- the only detox available for Sub is - treatment and pulling you off at 2mg because MDs are not allowed to make up solutions of varying concentrations.
I will be glad to tell anyone what this doc has to say and whether or not his taper/detox for Sub seems legit.

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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 11:59 am 
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That last line about MD's not being able to make up varying concentrations of meds or whatever....is not true. Well, it is because MD's aren't allowed to do it, but pharmacists are. That's what compounding pharmacies are for. I'm sure if you found a doctor sympathetic to your cause you could get your sub solutions compounded at a pharmacy.

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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 1:02 pm 
Well gaulois, I'm glad you have found a physician to work with you on a taper plan. That is certainly a step in the right direction. It sounds like you've accomplished much in your lifetime...plenty to feel good about and plenty of which you can use to derive the strength and hope to do what you've set out to do....get off buprenorphine and seek happiness, or at least contentment, from this point forward in your life.
I'm sorry that you have found it extraordinarily difficult to taper. As to why you've found it so much more difficult than your experiences coming off of other drugs.....really it's largely a guessing game. Obviously, you are older now and your life is at a different place and perhaps, pace than it was during prior detoxes. And of course, experiences that are being endured at the current time tend to be far worse than experiences remembered. I suppose you could continue to research the science or lack thereof involved with how this drug differs or does not differ from all the others. And you can continue to present your case against the prescribers of bupe and the manufacturers of bupe, the government agencies involved with the production and distruibution of bupe, the opponents and proponents of its use, and on and on. But to what end? It seems to me that all that does, is deepen your frustration.
Now you will find plenty of people, on this site and elsewhere, who agree with you wholeheartedly that this is NOT an easy medication to get off of, that it SHOULD be made available in smaller doses, that it DOES have side effects and it DOES lead to PAWS upon cessation. I agree with all of that in my experiences with the drug thus far. However, I'm not choosing to focus on all that. I'm choosing, instead, to focus on what the drug has allowed me to accomplish. And I choose to believe that I CAN get off the medication when the time is right. It has not been a total walk in the park to get down to 1mg/day. But it certainly has not been Hell. But I'm not analyzing the crap out of it. I'm just doing it.....one day at a time. And I'm trying to focus on other things instead of how terrible or unwell I might feel at any given moment throughout the taper. I know that I'm in for some degree of PAWS after completely stopping. But that's the case with coming off of any opiate. My hope is that by doing a longer taper, I'll avoid a good bit of that.......that I won't have upwards of a year of PAWS as some people say after coming off bupe. I'm not going to spend my time and energy researching how terrible it might be based upon someone else's experiences. All that would do is set ME up for things to be worse because I'll be expecting them to be soooo bad. Why not try a taper, expecting the best? not the worst? I hope you can do that. Just take your time and try to focus on something positive to help get you through.
So what dose are you on now again? And perhaps when you feel like it, you can take the time to post what sort of plan your new doctor has set in motion for you. Maybe by doing so....by posting about your plans and hopes instead of all the negative stuff, you'll be more successful as you taper. Maybe you'll be able to "get over the hump" this time. So far, for me with tapering, I have to kind of get over little humps for just a week or so after dose reductions. Hopefully, in that way, there will be no huge humps to get over. Rather just hints or days of PAWS symptoms followed by restabilization, healing (if you will) and.....ultimately.....progress and.....success in getting off Suboxone without wanting to end my life. I've been there, albeit only briefly, and I don't care to go back. You really do have my sympathy in your struggles. And I hope you can continue to open your mind about tapering methodology and just do it. I want to help, but your negativity really makes that hard sometimes.


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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 7:10 pm 
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<b>gaulois</b> - After having read your first post, I felt genuine sympathy for you, I really did. You said you were in a bad way and needed some advice... you asked people how to taper off of Suboxone and you received many answers - some members even went so far as to sent you private emails going into great detail about how you should approach the situation. Did you follow any of that advice? Hell No!!! You responded by continuing to blame your difficulties on the pharmaceutical companies, the drug reps, physicians... you name it. You went on to discuss your extensive educational background and how you knew more about the subject of chemical dependency and addiction than the doctor that runs this site; of course, when you were staightened out about that assumption you said there was more to it than just a formal education. You also went on to tout your vast knowledge of chemistry. Having said that, you then explained - in your expert opinion of course - that mixing up a simple sub solution was more difficult than turning lead to gold and you would need a fully outfitted laboratory and a team of assistants to even attempt such a thing. What a load of crap! You say that the PAWS from Suboxone cessation is different - somehow more difficult to endure - than that of other opiods... give me a break. Oh, I will agree with you that there are no articles that I know of that talk about the necessity of tapering methods - so I'll say it again "GET OVER IT!!!"

You say that coming off of sub is the most challenging and life sucking thing that you're ever experienced. I would imagine it 'would' be difficult for someone that wants to do it 'his' way instead of taking advice from people that have been through it before him. Sure, why not make it as difficult as you possibly can, eh? That's the ticket! So you have detoxed from Heroin, Methadone, Fentanyl and God know what else... and all those were easier in the long run than the sub was huh? But again, you've never used a proper taper method, so you really don't speak from experience. You ask why so many people here are defensive that this med is hard to get off of. What the fuck is wrong with you? People are defensive because YOU WILL NOT LISTEN to advice given that you have asked for. People are upset because you want to discuss anything and everything except what you need to know. And personally, I'm pissed off because someone in a bad way may just read one of your posts and actually believe some of the crap that you've written and become discouraged.

You say that you have started a liquid taper and then go on to mention that you found a doctor that has his own protocal for weaning you off of Suboxone. Well what is it! Have you even seen this doctor yet, and if you have, is he a proponent of the liquid method too, or have you both incorporated two different methods together for your taper?

I can't speak for anyone else, but I do whole-heartedly agree with one thing you've said - "You are wasting your time and mine!"

Good luck!


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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 10:55 pm 
Good post, Bronzebeta, and thank you for taking the time to post your taper experiences for all of us. Although there are a few who don't seem to catch on to the relative ease of doing it the way they've had the good fortune of running across here, there are also many (myself included) who will embrace yours and the other's methods and will likely have more successful taper stories to follow.
And to your famous "Get over it!" comment, I will add my famous "Put on your big-girl panties and deal with it!" comment. That's really the only choice - Get over what's bugging you and get to work. It's obviously not going to be handed to you on a silver platter, accurately and precisely dosed to your exacting specifications, and magically made to instantly heal all your troubles. However, you guys have proven that it does work.....with patience and persistence and a positive attitude, we can all do this if this is what we choose.
I appreciate all the support you all have given me and will continue to give me as I progress!


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 Post subject: Yikes!!!!
PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 11:55 pm 
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Hi gaulois,

I must admit, if I were not already on Suboxone yet, but considering it as an addiction treatment, I'd be scared to death after reading your posts.

The only point I want to make is that 3 years ago, I found myself terribly addicted to oxycontin after battling Ovarian Cancer. I tried to quit several times on my own to no avail. I had no idea what I could do about it until my cousin told me about methadone. So, I found a clinic and they promised me that a methadone program could "cure" my problem. I had not done any reasearch at all, but was very desperate for help and blindly plunged in. My dose started at 30mg and after each doctor visit they kept raising the dose, and I never questioned it because I honestly believed they had my best interest. After 8 months I was taking 80 mg, and felt horrible. I gained 20 lbs and my body, especially all my joints hurt so badly that some mornings it took me over an hour to get out of bed, dressed and ready for work. I decided at that point, that enough was enough and what was promised to me at the beginning of my treatment was not happening. I am a teacher and get the summer off, so on my last day of school I took my last dose of 80mg, with a week of carries with me (just in case). I had no idea what the withdrawals were going to be like, because again, I really didn't know a lot about methadone, only what I was told by the clinic doctor. The first week was not too bad, except I was really tired and at the end of the week, I returned to the clinic for my last appointment and returned my full weeks of carries and said thanks very much, I'd done.
So, the next few weeks I was not feeling very well, but it was summer, my favourite time of the year, so every day, I got up, showered and out of the house with my husband and went to the beach, drives, out for dinners, to concerts, whatever was in store for the day. I did have days that I didn't feel good, and my head felt like it was in a vice, like my brain didn't fit in my head, but other than that it was not horrible. My worst problem was the lack of sleep, but because i was off work anyway, that was no big deal.
The point I want to make, is that no one ever told me about methadone withdrawals, and because I didn't do any research at all on it, I had no idea that methadone withdrawals could be one of the worst withdrawals to go through. I just did not know that, so guess what, they were not that bad. Quitting oxycontin was way worse, to me at least.

So, sometimes too much information, and studies, reviews, research can be NOT a good thing. I swear if I knew then what I know now about methadone withdrawals, for one thing, I would never have jumped from 80 mg, and I probably would have been sick in bed for a month, wanting to die.

Anyway, this may mean nothng to you, but I just wanted to share that. I have read so many horror stories about sub withdrawals that I have decided not to believe them. I will just keep on doing the things I do to the best of my ability and not focus on how bad I feel, or should feel.

I am certainly not saying that your withdrawals are all in your head from too much information, but you never know. I suggest that you listen to the people that are suggesting how to taper wit the least amount of side effects and follow those examples instead of looking for the worst.

Ginger


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 Post subject: one more thing
PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 12:21 am 
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Hi,

I just wanted to add one more thing. When I jumped from 80mg of methadone, I had absolutely NO comfort meds. No clonidine, no benzos, no antidepressants, no opiates, NOTHING. The only thing different, was that I had no apetite, so I drank a couple of Boosts every day to ensure I got some vitamins and didn't lose too much weight. I managed to lose the 20 lbs that I gained on methadone, so I was not too concerned about the lack of apetite either.

so, that's all. Ignorance is bliss sometimes,
Ginger


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PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 11:09 am 
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Dear Gaulois
I'll try once more, with my ideas.
First, I'm glad you have found a sub doc who will work with you.
Will you please post what his/her program for detox is? Those of us in the midst of detoxing would be happy to hear another program.
Secondly, it seems very apparent to me that you have a component of depression whirling around in your brain. I found that in order to be psychologically ready to detox I had to have my life long on and off depression under control. Are you seeing a psychiatrist and getting both medication and therapy for your depression? For me those are crucial steps in getting better.
I am in the middle of a sub taper and I have been going slowly. So far, I have noticed a slight increase in cravings at my 3-4 mg dose. Going back to straight 3 mg today.
I hope you can find the success and peace you crave off subs. I have read many people who have done it, and yes, sadly it takes awhile. But if you have a good program to treat your depression in place when the PAWS began, you will have an easier time adjusting meds or increasing therapy during the PAWS phase to help you get through it.
Good Luck - please let us know about your new doc's scheme.


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PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 11:24 am 
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Dear Gaulois
I'll try once more, with my ideas.
First, I'm glad you have found a sub doc who will work with you.
Will you please post what his/her program for detox is? Those of us in the midst of detoxing would be happy to hear another program.
Secondly, it seems very apparent to me that you have a component of depression whirling around in your brain. I found that in order to be psychologically ready to detox I had to have my life long on and off depression under control. Are you seeing a psychiatrist and getting both medication and therapy for your depression? For me those are crucial steps in getting better.
I am in the middle of a sub taper and I have been going slowly. So far, I have noticed a slight increase in cravings at my 3-4 mg dose. Going back to straight 3 mg today.
I hope you can find the success and peace you crave off subs. I have read many people who have done it, and yes, sadly it takes awhile. But if you have a good program to treat your depression in place when the PAWS began, you will have an easier time adjusting meds or increasing therapy during the PAWS phase to help you get through it.
Good Luck - please let us know about your new doc's scheme.


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