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PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 6:12 am 
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Hi all-
My doctor is top-notch and very supportive.
I've done a very long and gradual taper down from 24 mg daily.
I'm down to 1/8 of a 2 mg pill now after doing 1/4 of a 2 mg for a month.
I'll spare you all the details of the taper, but it was gradual and easy.
I'm now at the point where I want to be done.
Doc say 500 mcg every other day for three weeks then stop, or
250 mcg daily then stop. He gave me flexoril for the muscle stretching issues.
The muscle ickies is what I really despise.
Today was day 1 on 250 mcg and I woke up wide eyed at 2 AM unable to sleep. Muscles
doing their uncomfortable thing... guess it's starting.
I caved in and did another 250 mcg so I could try to sleep but woke up again and here I am.
I'm committed to being drug free and really want to go back to a fully clean lifestyle.
I was 17 years clean and sober and had three years of relapse... time to get back on the
road less traveled.
I'll keep a log here of my progress.
So glad to have a place to talk.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 7:30 am 
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Wow, 17 years is a long time. Just goes to show that we never are never really recoverED but are simply recoverING.

Best of luck with jumping off. I'm guessing that at such a low dose it will be relatively painless.....


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 11:08 am 
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Glad to hear your taper is going well. I wouldn't beat yourself up too much for taking that second, small dose. You've got time yet to stabilize on that. It's a shame it didn't help you sleep though.

I did want to comment on something you said: "I'm committed to being drug free and really want to go back to a fully clean lifestyle."

I just wanted to point out that although I'm still on suboxone I definitely consider myself drug-free and living a clean lifestyle, as do many other people on this forum. I understand you may have a different definition of "clean", but I'd hate to see new people on this forum that may be considering getting on suboxone thinking that this isn't a recovery forum or that suboxone isn't a medication that helps us to live a clean, drug-free lifestyle. I don't think you were trying to put anyone down, not in the least, I just wanted to respond and say that Suboxone puts our active addiction into remission, and therefore removing all the destructive behaviors that come with drug addiction. This is why many of us consider our lives clean and drug-free.

I sincerely wish you the best with regard to your taper - hang in there. I, too, think that as a result of your slow, careful taper it should be relatively pain-free. Please keep us posted on how you're doing.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 8:06 pm 
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Dear Mod-
I fully agree with what you had to say about suboxone being a clean lifestyle.
It is a fantastic tool and saved my life from oxycontin... the point I wanted to make (for myself alone)
is that I want to get all the way off of eveything like I was in my past recovery. We'll see how well
that goes. The subs have done a very good job of keeping me away from opiates. I am hopeful a commitment
to working the steps and following the path that worked for me previously (until I stopped going to meetings and started thinking I was "normal") will provide a path to success.
The real truth is that a drug addict will ALWAYS be a drug addict and that what is normal for me is to take drugs.
Not taking drugs is a daily reprieve.
Good luck to each and every one of us whatever path we choose.

Spaw


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 1:37 pm 
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well now I'm taking my 250 mics at bedtime to fend off the sleeping discomfort...
coupled with 1/2 an ambien. Seems to be working.
I got a full night's sleep the last two nights (more or less)
Doing alright now on day 4 at 250 mcg.
I'm committed to getting through this.
Planning on going two weeks at this dose and then moving to every other day for a week, then jumping.
Might be a little quick but I'll only know when I get there.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 8:02 pm 
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I am feeling weak, weird, and off my game a bit today.
I guess I've been on opiates of some kind for quite a while now and this is
really the final end of it so my body is letting me know about it. I just really
want to feel normal. you know? But what is that?


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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 8:42 pm 
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OK, so now I'm at 1/8 of a 2 mg every 2 days.
At 36 hours I really start to feel pretty funky.
Anyone have experience with this?
What can I do to take the edge off?
Any natural products that work ?
How about taking one Norco... is that crazy?
Just reaching out for ideas and help.

Thanks
:-|


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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 8:51 am 
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I have posted "plea for help" in tapering as my last attempt at getting off of this med.
To read that you are suffering after such a long taper makes me cringe.
I thought that this topic was neither pro nor con?
Considering oneself clean or drug free- I am afraid you have to be honest with yourself about that. I agree anyone on this med is not actively using in full blown drug seeking way- but having a powerful opiate keeping you out of withdrawal and reducing the craving is not clean. It is not anymore than people that are on Methadone and following their schedule.

I have come here seeking help in tapering. You are the only one thus far that I have read about a taper, but... to be hurting after tapering down so low... I would go crazy. Is this medicine this hard to come off of?

Please do not tell me that this site is run by the company. If you look at my post "a plea for help"- the first response... is a URL to find a suboxone doctor...? That is weird.

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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 9:02 am 
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Galois-
(do you smoke those nasty french cigarettes?)
Hey you know I want to clarify- I am NOT suffering. It's nothing like coming staright off oxys or heroin or dilaudid.
(all of which I have experienced)
The question is how much discomfort do you want to experience? The smaller the dose you are on, the less discomfort you will feel when you stop. I am down to 250 mcg from 24 MG. Big difference.
I certainly am not jerking around and puking and sweating and laying in misery in a hot bath. It's not like that at all.
Just feeling a little icky. NO BIG DEAL.
I will get through it. And so will you. My pharmacist suggested going every day to every two days to every three days, etc.
slowly reducing the final residual amount in your body and allowing the body to adjust without the abrupt change.
I can do it and so can you. Hang in there. Take your time.

Spaw


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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 9:11 am 
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gaulois,

I'm not going to address your taper in this thread, as it's in its own thread.

I'm responding here because this is where you are making the claim that being on suboxone means one is "not clean". We don't want lurkers. guests, or new members coming here only to read that if they take suboxone they still aren't "clean".

Addiction is about behavior. Suboxone is a tool for us to use while working on our recovery. It does not cure addiction, but does help with addiction remission. Suboxone allows us to be free from the dreadful actions and behaviors we committed during active addiction. For this reason I would argue that being on suboxone can indeed mean we are "clean". This is a recovery support forum and is not intended to be used to debate the pros and cons of suboxone or to tell people in medication-assisted recovery that they are not "clean".

That said, I sincerely wish you the best in your taper.

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-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 9:30 am 
Hey Spaw.....glad your taper is going okay. Thanks for clarifying what you had said about how you're feeling. BIG difference in a feeling a little "off" tapering Sub than feeling like "death" off a full agonist!
I think sometimes people are such babies and so whiney when they talk about how utterly awful it is to come off buprenorphine. For God's sake, do you not remember what it was like coming off full agonists? Maybe those people never lasted more than a day or so, or took other drugs to soften things when they went cold-turkey. But come on......We got ourselves into the mess that landed us on Suboxone in the first place! If you want to be off 'everything'........PUT ON YOUR BIG-GIRL PANTIES....AND DEAL WITH IT!!! And quit blaming the drug that saved your ass!!
Sorry, I'm just getting weary of playing nice with people who just don't get it.
I hope everything continues in a good direction for you, Spaw. Oh and I would highly recommend against taking any other opiate to help yourself feel better....tempting though it may be, not a good idea on so many levels. If anything, slow your taper down or take another little sliver of Sub.


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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 9:34 am 
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thespaw wrote:
How about taking one Norco... is that crazy?


Having been clean and sober for 17 years, you know the answer to that question - one is too many and a thousand is never enough.


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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 12:35 pm 
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Congratulations on your taper. You've come quite a way.

I guess it could be open to interpretation but I don't understand how anyone could consider themselves being "drug free" while on suboxone. The last time I looked Suboxone [from a medical standpoint]was classified as a narcotic drug sometimes prescribed for pain. Legally you can't possess it without a prescription. Some medical sites say it's 40 times more potent than morphine. Those of us on a maintenance dose, who fail to take it regularly, go into withdrawls. I wish I could say I was drug free... but don't believe I am. People [lurking here] should know this stuff BEFORE going on suboxone. I didn't and wish I had.


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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 12:59 pm 
It is so hard for me to understand how there are people out there who have no clue about what they're putting into their bodies. How could you not assume that a drug that can do what buprenorphine does might be a little more substantial than say, a Tylenol? How could an opiate addict, in particular, receive and fill a script and not look at the Rx and see that it is requires a DEA number from the prescribing doctor and your driver's license to pick it up? How can you take a medication every day and not even look it up on the internet? Or read the 2-page information sheet that's attached the medication? I just don't get it. I realize that not everyone is college educated but almost everyone can read.
Yes....it's a strong drug. Of course it is. How the heck else could it do what it does? And yeah, if you stop taking it abruptly without tapering, you'll experience withdrawal. Isn't that what happens when you stop ANY opiate? Oh, that's right.....hardly anyone CAN taper or stop full agonists.


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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 10:20 pm 
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OK... here I am now after about two weeks on 1/8 of a 2 mg every other day.
My last dose was two days ago. Plans are to go the entire Memorial Day weekend which will put me at 5 days and see if I can stay off the sub completely. I figure at such a very low dose I can jump off without too much trouble.
I have some clonidine, flexeril, ambien and one (yes one) valium.
Pretty sure if tomorrow at the 72 hour point isn't too bad I'll make it.
I am coming up on two years, tapering down from 24 mg. a day. It has been a very long journey.
Difficult thing for me now is the serious back pain ( L4-L5 pinched nerve root) that materialized during my suboxone taper.
It will be very difficult not to use full agonists for the harsher pain that comes in the evening.
A tough road I have had to walk, indeed.


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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2010 9:10 am 
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Thanks for keeping us updated on your journey. You're doing really well. It sounds more like you "stepped" off instead of jumping. I hope your weekend is good and you don't have any problems with withdrawal symptoms.

Keep on keeping us posted. I wish you the very best! Take care.

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-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2010 9:26 am 
Thanks for letting people know that you CAN taper of sub in a logical and sensible way. I wish you all the best and hope you have a busy week-end to keep you mind off of things.
As far as the Norco - I guess that's my cue to confess my last little foray into drugs. After my car accident I used oxy and hydro for a week (reasonably) and went back on my sub. But then the following week I went to the doc and he gave me more vicodin. So I decided to use it to taper off the sub. (I posted under teoj's introduction about how uncomfortable I was that the amount of Sub I was taking was was like 10X the amount of of opiate I was originally taking). Well, like a good addict my "tapering" didn't go well. At one point I took about 16 vicodin, which is basically a fatal overdose of tylenol. Then of course I got to suffer withdrawals again. Needless to say I'm back on the sub.
Any addict who's been around the block can see that my downfall was using drugs sucessfully and "responsibly" for a week. I thought I could handle it, that I was "better" and that I could taper off sub. Now I have to face the fact that I'm a sick addict that's not "better" by any stretch of the imagination - and what am I going to do to effect real recovery?

Sorry, thespaw, I got way off or your topic, but I really needed to get that off my chest. I had a really strong recovery in NA 12 years ago, stayed clean on my own for 6 years and then it took another six years from when I picked up to get bad enough to seek recovery and eventually get on Sub. Now I just feel lost, I don't belong in the real world, I don't belong in NA and I don't even really belong here because I have strong doubts about sub. Sorry again - I can't seem to stop myself.

Anyway, I know you're over the hump - your really only dealing with the lingering after effects. Have a busy, safe, happy and healthy week-end.


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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2010 9:45 am 
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Lilly,
I understand your dilemma. I too had a very strong recovery in NA. I slowly stopped going over a long period of time (several years) eventually only stopping in for a year chip. After all of these changes post-NA I have never felt really at home in a meeting the way I used to, but I KNOW I would be welcome. And no you do not have to admit openly you are taking suboxone. I think there are people in AA using Antabuse, don't you?
Anyway: the truth is you DO belong. You are making a serious effort to stop using narcotics addictively. I personally believe you would very much belong at an NA meeting. There are lots of people sitting in meetings that are taking psych meds. They are not truly drug free but are choosing to make decisions that follow the twelve steps and twelve traditions. It's how you choose to live your life that counts. Do we surrender to the drugs or surrender to recovery and a lifestyle that helps us to become a better version of ourselves every day?
I do wish you clarity and success in your journey. Being an addict is never easy, but you know when you decide to really follow the path of recovery the decsions become pretty simple.


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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2010 9:48 am 
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Back to my taper story-
So it's the morning of day three- in two hours I will be at the 72 hour point.
Not feeling too terribly bad! Was able to sleep fitfully, but the muscles drove me nuts last night before bed.
Could NOT sit still. Clonidine helped a little. Will take more today and work furiously in my yard.
I have a fence to build.


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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 11:34 am 
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OK...
Day 4 morning and not too bad.
Actually last night I slept without any meds!
I think maybe the hardest time was day 2-3.
The discomfort seems to be easing off now.
Maybe it's not such a nightmare getting off the sub.
I'd say tapering all the way down to .125 mg every other day did the trick.
There is hope for those of you that want to get off the sub.
The challenge beyond here will be staying completely drug free.


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