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PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2015 3:24 am 
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Hello.

I have a question and hopefully someone was in same or similar situation and can help me out.

I am on BUP therapy (Subutex -> Suboxone) for 8 years now. From 16mg a day to 8mg over the years. Now I am at 6mg/day and it is enough. I want to end it and try to get clean of it ASAP. It is doing nothing for me except giving me it's side effects and I have no intention of using opiates again.

There is a lot of threads (and that is good advice) to talk with your doc about getting it down but my doc isn't really good in this matter. She only writes scripts every week and thats it. So I simply cannot talk to her because she doesn't have a clue what Suboxone is except that is a Narcotic... While my other doc who gave me Sub prescriptions after 3y of opiate abuse is not easy to reach on a regular basis. Hard to explain.

I currently have in my possession 32mg (16x2mg-0.5mg) of Suboxone tablets left. I can get new scripts on monday to get another 3 boxes but that is it. No more.

What would be the best approach to use with only the amount I currently have (16pills) plus possible new 21pills to get it down to 0mg/day in the shortest possible time frame?

As for withdrawal symptoms, I really don't care much. I went through them before and had severe benzodiazepine withdrawal which was 100x times worse so I am not afraid of the Sub symptoms since I know what to expect but avoiding (to some degree) some of them would be preferable because of work.
If needed, I can take benzodiazepine to help with downing the dose or with withdrawal symptoms (diazepam 10mg or alprazolam 1mg or clonazepam 2mg).

I have my own "plan" on how I would do it but I would really want to hear other opinions or similar experiences that can help me so I can adjust/improve the plan and get it over with. Basically, how to utilize what I have to get it out of my life in shortest possible time period.

Thanks,
Regards.


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PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2015 8:33 am 
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Hi robbie,

I've been on subs 7.5 years myself so I can relate to how bad you want off! Would you mind showing us your taper plan so we can tell you our thoughts on it? I am assuming you want the shortest possible taper with the tablets left.

I will say that the fastest standard for the least amount of discomfort seems to be 7 - 10 days between drops. You should be able to drop to 4 without much problem, then to 3 mgs and then to 2 mgs. It is 2 mgs and under when the drops become much more noticable.

I would be interested in seeing your plan.

Best of luck to you!

CA

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 4:36 am 
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Hi.

@ClearAqua Thanks for the response. Sorry about not replying back sooner.

I did it this way with 16 tabs. Didn't took new scripts:

26.5 - 4mg
27.5. - 4mg
38.5. - 4mg
29.5. - 4mg
30.5. - 2mg
31.5. - 2mg
1.6 - 2mg
2.6 - 2mg
3.6 - 2mg
4.6 - 2mg
5.6 - 1mg
6.6 - 1mg
7.6 - 1mg
8.6 - 1mg

I already feel bad (bad sleep last night, some vomiting and some weird little rash on my forehead and often bathroom trips) but I know the real (beg my pardon) crapper of symptoms is incoming in next XX days...

Maybe I should have went for another script and do a longer tapering from 2mg to 0.5mg but I simply cannot want it to be done. Can't even taste the nice orange like taste in the tab :)

I went to my SubDoctor and asked to stop the therapy and I got NIHILIN as a dose so now I can't get any more scripts even if I wanted to.

Cheers!


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 8:33 am 
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Hi Robbie, Thanks for posting your taper. It is pretty quick and I hate to tell you but you are probably going to feel some withdrawal. If you cannot get anymore Sub at this point, you are pretty much stuck with this plan...it is what it is. The only thing I would change is I might cut that last 1 mg into 4 pieces of .25 each and do them the last four days.

It can be done although it might be a rough 3-4 weeks. jjinda and quietaddict both jumped from higher doses and they did it! Within a month they were both feeling much better. Read their threads to see how they did (quietaddicts thread is in the "bupe in the rearview mirror" section". Of course, everyone is different and who knows? You could have an easier time of it but 2 weeks is a very short taper.

Just get ready and dig in. Get your vitamins ready...have a plan for exercise and post everyday if you need to...we will be cheering you on. Nothing lasts forever...it just feels like it at the time :)

Best wishes!
CA

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 9:51 am 
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Quote:
Hi Robbie, Thanks for posting your taper. It is pretty quick and I hate to tell you but you are probably going to feel some withdrawal. If you cannot get anymore Sub at this point, you are pretty much stuck with this plan...it is what it is. The only thing I would change is I might cut that last 1 mg into 4 pieces of .25 each and do them the last four days.


Yeah it is quick. Little symptoms already started. Expecting the rise in next days.
I can get it but only going to SubDoctor again and asking for "paid" one-time script and not perma. But I think I will not do it unless symptoms start to be quite serious.
I can't cut the tab :) Went under the tongue 1h after awakening. Let it ride...

Code:
It can be done although it might be  a rough 3-4 weeks.  jjinda and quietaddict both jumped from higher doses and they did it!  Within a month they were both feeling much better.  Read their threads to see how they did (quietaddicts thread is in the "bupe in the rearview mirror" section". Of course, everyone is different and who knows?  You could have an easier time of it but 2 weeks is a very short taper.


I will read, thanks. I know that it is short but it's like I had some grand epiphany and I just want out... As said, if symptoms get REALLY bad I might go and ask the SubDoc for either a script (cca 10$) or a tab. But then I must eat it there.

Quote:
Just get ready and dig in. Get your vitamins ready...have a plan for exercise and post everyday if you need to...we will be cheering you on. Nothing lasts forever...it just feels like it at the time :)

Best wishes!
CA


Yep, I am getting ready... Took a leftover vacation from last year of 9days so I could ride it without looking as a zombie. I have few good things going for me. Sea temperature is already 22c and rising so that will def help and I have quite a lot of various Benzodiazepines to help if needed. I dread them because I did similar extreme withdrawal from them (15-20mg alprazolam/day and tons of 10mg diazepam) but desperate times SOMETIMES call desperate measures. SWIM even found his destroyer, a "proud" taken picture of the 60% H sack with needle covering it. No way addiction will come, we be smarter. Yea....

But I guess only time will tell how bad and how long...

Thanks for support!
Wish all the best to you too!

Regards.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 2:38 pm 
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Robbie, I get so worried when I read things like, "It is doing nothing for me except giving me it's side effects and I have no intention of using opiates again."

I know that you're completely sincere when you say that and I honestly don't want to be in the position of second guessing you. But there are a couple of things I have to point out. Bupe has not done nothing for you. It has kept your opiate addiction in remission for as long as you have been taking it. It has kept you from feeling any craving for your drug of choice. These things don't mean your opiate addiction is cured, however.

On the other hand, you've had 8 years to have a stable, productive life. It may be that you are indeed ready to step off bupe, and I certainly hope that's the case! I just want to remind you that addiction is a chronic brain disorder characterized by relapse. The changes made to your brain during active addiction are permanent. That doesn't mean that you're doomed to relapse. But I just want you to remember that people who have years of opiate addiction in remission are not immune to experiencing cravings again.

My suggestion is that even though your focus is on detox right now, start to make a plan in the back of your mind of other recovery tools you can use if your addiction starts to raise its ugly head. There are plenty of threads that reveal the difficulty addicts have had after they go off bupe. It's not impossible by any means, but it's difficult to stay away from the danger of relapse.

There will be plenty of members who will support you through your detox, including me. I wish you nothing but success! I also wish you the helpful backup of a continued recovery plan.

Amy

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 3:16 pm 
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As my friend and fellow member of this forum, "Amy- work in progress" always has a good answer for everyones questions on here. So please listen to Amy! She is right, you know?
I am here to wish you the best of luck in whatever you decide.
Happy


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 3:31 pm 
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Amy-Work In Progress wrote:
Robbie, I get so worried when I read things like, "It is doing nothing for me except giving me it's side effects and I have no intention of using opiates again."

I know that you're completely sincere when you say that and I honestly don't want to be in the position of second guessing you. But there are a couple of things I have to point out. Bupe has not done nothing for you. It has kept your opiate addiction in remission for as long as you have been taking it. It has kept you from feeling any craving for your drug of choice. These things don't mean your opiate addiction is cured, however.

On the other hand, you've had 8 years to have a stable, productive life. It may be that you are indeed ready to step off bupe, and I certainly hope that's the case! I just want to remind you that addiction is a chronic brain disorder characterized by relapse. The changes made to your brain during active addiction are permanent. That doesn't mean that you're doomed to relapse. But I just want you to remember that people who have years of opiate addiction in remission are not immune to experiencing cravings again.

My suggestion is that even though your focus is on detox right now, start to make a plan in the back of your mind of other recovery tools you can use if your addiction starts to raise its ugly head. There are plenty of threads that reveal the difficulty addicts have had after they go off bupe. It's not impossible by any means, but it's difficult to stay away from the danger of relapse.

There will be plenty of members who will support you through your detox, including me. I wish you nothing but success! I also wish you the helpful backup of a continued recovery plan.

Amy


Hi.

Yes, I am aware. Once an addict, always an addict. I am not disputing that. What happened in the brain or what didn't I couldn't guess. However, I am dead serious when I say that Sub is only making my life miserable and is a constant remainder of what I have done before.

I did not use opiates in any way other than very pure H straight into the vein after a week of going up the nose. No pills of any kind. I took my first hit of it at 19. Now I am almost 31. Anyway, putting aside my life story, when I stopped with the H and went to the clinic (after spending the night on psych ward tied up screaming all day and night) they offered me Methadone which I refused and asked for Bupe. Subutex then. I was never a big opiate fan. I just happened to have it and made a mistake of thinking that addiction cannot happen to me. Fast forward...

I did a lot in last 8 years. I didn't go to college @ 18 since my grades were crap and I was generally somewhere in chemistry. But now I did finish college (IT), got 16 certificates for education. Found a great girlfriend who knew everything and still supported me. Found a job and working almost 4 years now there. Made new friendships since old ones either abandoned me or were just opportunity friends, finally made some peace and returned some of the trust from my parents and sister, etc...

There is NO WAY I will throw all of it away for another opiate stint. If that happened I would just do the golden one and be done with it.

What I am trying to say and it sounds stupid, I think I have finally matured enough to say No. The No I should have said/done when I used drugs for the first time.

But thanks for the advice and reality check.
Also thanks for the support.

Regards,
Robert


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 10:57 pm 
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Hi Robert. You should be very proud of all that you've accomplished in those 8 years! Now that I've given you and others who may read this a reminder, I have to say that I'm so glad that you've come here to use us as a resource. There are many experienced voices here, as well as people who are also going through taper and detox right now.

Dr. Junig, the psychiatrist who created this forum, gives addicts who have been on bupe for a number of years much better odds at staying off opiates successfully. You've done a lot of work turning your life around and that also puts more odds in your favor. The fact that you are cut off from everyone in that past life, you only hang around healthy people, you've got support from your family and girlfriend, those are all positive steps you've taken away from a previous life of active abuse. I'm sure you don't need me to tell you all the things you've done.

The statistics are very daunting, so I feel compelled to make this kind of warning to our members sometimes. You kind of said "the magic words" (the ones I quoted in my first post) that often trigger me to be the nagging older sister. I don't enjoy that role, but I definitely use it in my job as moderator.

I'll be watching and routing for your progress!

Amy

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 2:37 am 
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Hi.

Well, due to the fact that life is going well for me now has triggered the need to get off the Suboxone. I have been taking it a long time and quitting it would put an end to the entire thing. It may be a quick and nasty way to get off but so was quitting the H.

It wasn't so in the beginning or even few years later. Life was improving but slowly and severe cravings were always there. Education came first (went to another city) to occupy my time in a productive way and to get away from the toxic enviroment that still persisted around me. All the other things came slowly later on.

Coming here and reading some of the posts also encouraged me to write since only people who have been through hell of opiates or are in detox from Sub or even Methadone can really understand what is going on. Talking to people who never even saw the stuff is just trying to explain something they will never understand no matter how informed. But still, support from people around you is still important even if they don't know what was going on and what is ATM.

As said, thanks for the reality check. I know the relapse rate is extremely high and can happen after a lot of years of abstinence. Lots of old "buddies" are back on it after trying to stop. And of course some of them feel smart using H with Methadone or using Sub to help get them through if they don't have the real thing to reduce the withdrawal but once it is available again, there they go.
There is no rhyme or reason with this. Can't help them if they won't help themselves.

Anyway, my last Sub tab went yesterday (coming near 24h now). We will see what happens now.

Regards,
Robert


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2015 7:08 am 
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Hi.

Lot of time has passed so let me just put a general summary of last 2 months.

Also to put it here and I apologize for yelling: DO NOT DO SUBOXONE TAPER THIS WAY! DO IT SLOWER!

After I poped the last part of the pill at the end of May it was all fine first few days. I think mainly because I was active and took vacation days so I didn't really notice the first symptoms.

Few days going into June it hit me extremely hard. I was in severe turmoil and my vacation days were about to expire so I had to go to work and first 2 weeks of June there was a extreme heat wave.

Anyway, I first started to notice very frequent "chills". They would hit every few minutes in intervals of 2-3 per minute. That wasn't unpleasant but it started to get frustrating especially at night.
Night... No sleep. If I could push 1 hour or so it was a success. Reasons?
- Sweat
- Chills
- Pain in the upper back and joints and I just didn't know what to do with my legs. Cannot find peace.
- Weird flashbacks/'dreams' with eyes closed
- General discomfort and eyes wide open but I was yawning constantly like I didn't sleep for 3 days.

Since it's summertime, day comes very quickly so at 4:30 am it is already daylight and at 5:00am it is practically day.

Then a barrage of new symptoms appeared accompanied with the old ones...
- Severe diarrhea. Burned through the toilet paper.
- Vomiting. Not severe but weird since it would come extremely fast. If I had empty stomach it would be just water or whatever it was. If I ate, it didn't stay long inside but sometimes I managed to keep it down.
- Lots and lots of sweat in a room which was cooled @ 23c

Then the real issues came since I had to go to work. It was very noticable that something is wrong since I looked like someone has beat me all day and night. 'Water' in the eyes, got a little pale and total weakness.
I was deliberating with myself if I should go to the SubDoc for the pills since going to work like that was not really and option. I didn't go but instead I went to the boss and "faked" being ill. Since I REALLY looked the part I got the sick days easy.

This continued for a very long time. I don't remember much of some days. Situation improved very very slowly and I went to the work around 15th. I was still under the effects but it wasn't like first 10 or so days.

So now, about month later, symptoms are still here. Craving for suboxone/opiates is insanely intense. The hardest part is the pain which is just not going away. It is lower sure, but it is always there. Also, sleeping is not good since every night I have very vivid meaningless dreams and waking up often.

But now I got a set of whole other issues which were present before but I just didn't notice it that much since symptoms were peaking and I was mostly at home.

I now feel drowsy and lazy. Some kind of depression is also present but I am completely dull. My sister came few days ago with my nephew (2y) and I just don't have the will or strength to play with him much or go to the sea with them. Just laying in bed with monitor turned toward the bed watching some tv shows and movies to pass the time.

This part is bothering me most since I don't have a feeling that it is getting better. It is actually getting worse. I am doing what must be done - work, but that's it. After work, straight home.

As said, craving is quite intense but I am not thinking of doing opiates again. Also, returning to Suboxone now to try and do a new longer taper off is kinda weird so I don't know what to do with that.

Anyway, as I said at the beginning, if you are on a 6mg/8mg Suboxone, PLEASE find a proper slow taper plan unless you want hell.

Regards.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2015 11:47 am 
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Hey Rob, I feel bad that I am the first to reply as I have no jumping experience. I started 24 mg sub last August. I was addicted to tramadol that I had a script for due to osteoarthritis. Anyway, my plan was to be off of sub by next month! This is not going to happen! As much as I want a life free from any drug being in control, I am not ready. I have tapered down to 8 -12 mgs. per day and right now can't imagine going lower. I admire your determination! Don't give in! It will get better! I too have a two yr. old niece that brings me so much joy. I HATE that feeling of darkness and no joy and anticipating that feeling is what keeps me on suboxone! Good luck! Please keep posting! You are an inspiration to someone like me!


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2015 12:06 pm 
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Michelle F. wrote:
Hey Rob, I feel bad that I am the first to reply as I have no jumping experience. I started 24 mg sub last August. I was addicted to tramadol that I had a script for due to osteoarthritis. Anyway, my plan was to be off of sub by next month! This is not going to happen! As much as I want a life free from any drug being in control, I am not ready. I have tapered down to 8 -12 mgs. per day and right now can't imagine going lower. I admire your determination! Don't give in! It will get better! I too have a two yr. old niece that brings me so much joy. I HATE that feeling of darkness and no joy and anticipating that feeling is what keeps me on suboxone! Good luck! Please keep posting! You are an inspiration to someone like me!


Hi.

24mg for Tramadol? :O

I think that is way too much. I ain't a doctor but I know people who went from severe heroin addiction to 16mg (2x8mg daily) and increased if needed. But I guess your Doc knows best.

Anyway, go slow from 8mg. Dropping from 12 to 8 to 6 is not a big issue but after 6... 6-4-3/2-xxx, it can get ugly. Wish you luck to get rid of it but as said, I was on Sub for 8 years while you are about 10 months. That might go in your favor. And just don't try to end it quickly. Not worth it, especially if you are not on Sub that long.
You will miss it but it's just another drug. Not powerful as methadone but still very "nice".

Thanks for the support.

Regards.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2015 8:47 am 
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robbie..sorry you are having a rough time of it. Hope better days are fast approaching.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2015 12:29 pm 
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Robbie,

I really hope that you're feeling better than u were a few days ago. The suffering u explained was really awful to imagine. But I do definitely want to tell ya that ur very inspiring and brave. I'm not into any major taper yet and definitely not ready to be so I can't pretend to know what ur feeling or going through. I've been on suboxone for yrs and I'm still not ready and not sure if I ever will be honestly. But reading ur journey is very inspirational. I hope u get to feeling better and soon u can play with ur nephew all he wants.

Jumping from such a high dose is probably why ur withdrawal was so much worse and I'm sure u already know that. I just wanted u to know that I am thinking of u and pulling for u to achieve the life u want. This forum is such a wonderful place for ppl like us to discuss and relate with other ppl going through the exact same issues that ppl in our normal every day lives just can't understand. I hope u keep us posted on ur progress. Good luck!!!!!

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2015 1:56 pm 
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jennjenn wrote:
Robbie,

I really hope that you're feeling better than u were a few days ago. The suffering u explained was really awful to imagine. But I do definitely want to tell ya that ur very inspiring and brave. I'm not into any major taper yet and definitely not ready to be so I can't pretend to know what ur feeling or going through. I've been on suboxone for yrs and I'm still not ready and not sure if I ever will be honestly. But reading ur journey is very inspirational. I hope u get to feeling better and soon u can play with ur nephew all he wants.

Jumping from such a high dose is probably why ur withdrawal was so much worse and I'm sure u already know that. I just wanted u to know that I am thinking of u and pulling for u to achieve the life u want. This forum is such a wonderful place for ppl like us to discuss and relate with other ppl going through the exact same issues that ppl in our normal every day lives just can't understand. I hope u keep us posted on ur progress. Good luck!!!!!


Hi @jennjenn and @ClearAqua

Thanks for the support and also for the kind words. While the whole process might be inspiring, as said, it is better to do it slowly. This way is horrible. I made a mistake. If I just did maybe another 2 weeks or less on 1mg and 0.5mg it would be fine. But even with this bad jump I did not expect this. I knew it will be rough for maybe 2-3 weeks but manageable.

There is no actual improvement I am afraid. Also, my SubDoc is on vacation now so I have absolutely no one (expert) to talk to except my regular doctor who is not really a expert on drugs.

Also, now my closest ones are actually worried because they never saw this except long time ago during H withdrawal but they did not see the first days since I was locked up in psych ward for few first days and then went to therapy so they just saw maybe 10% of H withdrawal since my mother was driving me to ER... But later, all has almost gone away when Subutex kicked in.

My current state remains mostly unchanged. I am also having trouble to see any improvement since every day is the same and now it feels like agony.
Sleep: 2-3 hours with maybe and hour and half during the day.
BP: 110-60 / sometimes normal (130/70). Measuring 3 times a day. Afternoon and night are the worst.
Temperature: 37.1
Pulse: 100-120 when awake, sometimes lower. Mostly after I wake up and to about 14:00 or so.
Pain: 6/10 all over the place. WORST thing is my legs. Now they move on their own and that is a main reason I cannot fall asleep in some regular hour (let's say 1h from getting into bed)
Diarrhea: That is just wrong! 4-5 times in the morning and I stopped drinking coffee about 2 weeks into the withdrawal.
And most of the old symptoms are here: hot/cold/hot/cold/hot/cold/cold/cold/hot...........

But the worst now is that I am broken both physically and mentally. I swore not to touch opiates during this and I did not but now (started thinking about it maybe 10 days ago) I was considering going back on the Sub and try again, just slower. I did a lot of "legwork" already so to speak so trying to 'level me back up' was considered but as I could not reach the doctor, I could not get the pills anyway...

Only issue I see now is that improvement is just too slow. Yeah I jumped the gun but please, give me a break already...

Only positive symptoms I still see is that I have the will to talk (a lot) with others and play some social games and such but any physical activity is just out of question ATM.

I did quite a lot of internet searches for people with strong or severe Sub withdrawal and I have found few that are right there with me. But their experience is also the same and some reported even longer (up to more than 2 months) that symptoms did decrease but were still very much there.

Now as I have a lot of time to think about stuff I wonder, is there something seriously wrong with my brain chemistry? What did that 7y (close to 8y actually) of taking the drug actually did to me? Is that the reason this is happening? I do not know and I will never know but it does not sound stupid. I think.

Anyway, I will wait more and see what happens since while it is agonizing, 'sad' thing is that I am quite used to this state now.

Thanks for reading,
Best Regards.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2015 12:07 am 
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Hi Robert, I am sorry that you're struggling.

What I'm getting from your post is that you may be in a clinical depression. Those feelings of hopelessness and not being able to see the light at the end of the tunnel are classic hallmarks of depression. I urge you to to go see your primary care doctor or your sub doctor and describe your symptoms.

While you were on opiates, the neurotransmitters that facilitate messages in the brain were disrupted. It takes time for your brain to normalize neurotransmitter function and achieve the homeostasis (or balance) that the brain seeks to reestablish.

You need to be assessed, because the thoughts you are having are not very normal. It takes practice, therapy, and sometimes medication, but you can leave this depression behind you!

I hope you follow up on my idea unless you think I'm totally wrong. Good luck and take care!

Amy

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

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

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