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 Post subject: Dumbfounded
PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 1:38 pm 
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I'm new here. I have been on suboxone for 2yrs., Friday July 8th was the day I stopped and was finished with the program(I had been on 2mg for a few months and it what I stopped at) Saturday July 9th I went in to full blown withdrawal. I was shocked that it happened so fast and so severe. I called the Dr. office to see if he could prescribe me something to ease the discomfort (I was thinking phenergan, a benzo, whatever) When his office called me back they said that he had called me in MORE SUBOXONE!!! and he left a message that if I wanted to stay on the program another month I could.

He has told me time after time he, by law, cannot keep me on the suboxone for more than two years. I don't understand the thinking on this and I only see myself falling into the same hole I was in when I first stopped it. I don't know if I can get him to taper me down from 2mg more slowly or if I'm just gonna stop at the end of next month and go thru the withdrawals again. I am asking for anyone's thoughts as to why he just gave me back the suboxone instead of trying to just treat the withdrawal. I feel I'm back at square one. Legally I don't know if I have the right to say, "I want to taper more slowly" I don't know if he will give me the time it takes to taper more slowly since he has this "two year law" or what.

Just need some advice. Thanks


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 5:14 pm 
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I have never heard of any "2 year" law about Suboxone, and there are plenty of people on the forum who have been on Suboxone for a lot longer than that...so I'm not sure what your doctor is talking about. Maybe it's just his policy or something but he figures patients won't argue if he says it's the law.

So, did you go back on the 2mgs a day? When will your doctor stop prescribing to you...end of July or end of August? If you have until the end of August you might be able to pull off a pretty decent taper. I'm happy to help you figure out a taper schedule but I need to know where you're at and how much Suboxone you'll have to work with.

2mgs is a high dose to quit from, by the way, which is why you felt so awful. I mean, it's totally possible to make it through those withdrawals, but it won't be easy or fun. If you taper down to a much lower dose, like 0.25mgs or less it will be much, much easier on you. In the Stopping Suboxone section there are a lot of stories of people who have gotten off pretty easily and successfully with a microgram taper. My story is in the liquid taper thread.

As to why your doc didn't call in any comfort meds (of which clonidine is probably the most useful), I don't know. Did you ask him why? If you are going to taper and try to quit again, find out ahead of time what comfort meds he is willing to prescribe. Most doctors are ok with clonidine because it's non-addictive. It's a blood-pressure medication that also helps alleviate a lot of withdrawal symptoms (anxiety, rls, goosebumps, chills, insomnia, etc.). It's a safe medication and cheap too. Lots of doctors are wary of giving out benzos, but some will. A sleep-aid can also be really helpful, trazadone and ambien are two that I hear a lot of people citing on the forum. There are some other medications that help too...I think there is a drug for RLS that some people have gotten, and others have gotten neurontin for anxiety and leg pain.

Clonidine will help during the taper as well, not just when you quit, so maybe ask him about that ahead of time. Many doctors seem to think that anyone can stop Suboxone easily from 2mgs. I think that's what they teach the doctors in the Suboxone class or something. And there are people who can do it...but we don't hear from them much around here. I guess they don't have any reason to go looking for info online. In any case, your story is familiar and we are here to help you.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 5:36 pm 
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Hi hurdygurdy,

I can totally relate to your story. My doctor didn't tell me that my program ended, but did tell me it was fine to stop at 2mgs. It was really tough for me, as well, plus I am pregnant. When I complained about my symptoms they told me to just go back on subs too. That was like Day 7?!? I was so confused, as I felt like I had pretty much suffered through the acute part, but was just starting over. I assume that if I could have talked to my doctor instead of just the nurse telling me they were calling them in...he might have said let's get back on them and do a slower taper?!? I don't know...but after reading on here, it certainly seems like the way to go. I never did go back on them, thought. It's been 33 days for me.

Clonidine did help me a lot. It was safe for me to take while pregnant, but other comfort meds weren't. I had been on a low dose of klonopin and had weaned off that when I first got pregnant, so that wasn't an option nor safe for the baby. Sooo, long story short, I did jump from 2mgs, by a drs recommendation, felt horrible, and they called back in subs, but I didn't take them. I sometimes wonder if I would have gotten back on and did a slower taper, where I would be, as I am still struggling. When I asked my doctor why I was told it was ok to get off at such a high dose, he said "some people handle that just fine". Like I was some sort of weaker member of society or something. I wish you the best of luck. There seems to be a lot of really knowledgable people about subs, tapering, and treatment/recovery in general. Keep us posted.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 12:30 am 
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There is no 'two year law'-- and it really irritates me that a doctor would lie, rather than simply have an honest discussion about the options. I find that people do not do well when they are forced off Suboxone; I think it is better to wait until the patient knows he/she is ready.

All I can think of in regard to a 'two year law' is that some state medicaid systems and some insurers limit the length of time that they will cover Suboxone. The policies of insurers should not dictate medical practice. Maybe you should copy my comments and anonymously slide them under the office door! If you do that, I'll just say to the doctor-- c'mon dude-- let's get real!


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 Post subject: dumbfounded thanks
PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2011 12:48 pm 
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Thanks everyone for your thoughts and tips. Suboxdoc, thank you for the answer about the two-year law. I knew it wasn't right but because he is the doctor I didn't say anything. Thanks for the backup :wink:


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