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 Post subject: finally ready to taper
PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2015 5:38 pm 
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hi all,
after 13 years of an intense love/hate relationship with opiates of all variety I've decided it's time to hang it up. Actually, I Need to back up just a touch. Like many of us here it all started legitimately. I got hooked while rehabilitating from an AK-47 round to the chest and the damage that did to my body. Eventually, my addiction evolved and I used virtually any pharmaceutical opioid I could get my hands on and in every fashion excluding needles (never been my thing, tried it with coke years ago). In January of 2013 things came to a major head. I spent the next 5 months trying to get off of the dope but failed time and time again so by May of '13 I got with my doc and got on a Buperenorphine maintenance plan.

That was a wonderful decision for me. I started at 16mg, 1x per day and soon stabilized at 8mg. At the time I didn't know what the prognosis was. I didn't know if I'd be on for the rest of my life or not and, quite honestly, it did not matter. I spent a good 9 months at 8mg and things went well. I worked on my relationship with my wife, focused on my family, and began learning healthy habits instead of addictive behavior. At that particular place in my life suboxone was a miracle. I wasn't mentally ready to be drug free. After 9 months @ 8mg I began Thinking hard about stopping and over the course of 2-3 months I adjusted my dose to 4mg.

I stabilized there longer than I meant to. As each of you know it's easy to make excuses. No clue why we do that but we do. No time is a "good" time to be dope sick for a few weeks or depressed for a few months. Anyway, 5 days ago I finally summoned the courage to begin a taper. I dropped to 2mg. It's been quite a bit more difficult than I'd imagined it would be. My previous drop from 8-6-4 went, virtually, without a hitch. I understand bioavailability, how your Mu receptors work, and have a sound understand of the chemistry behind it all but that didn't exactly prepare me for this. It's day 5 of a dose reduction and I feel like I got hit by a train. I had a few good hours after I dosed this morning but that's long gone. Admittedly I feel much better today than I did yesterday and so forth but, damn. Wasn't expecting this yet. It's pretty intimidating, that's for sure. The lack of sleep has always been the worst symptom for me, personally. In the past 4 nights I've collectively racked up 9 hours. Needless to say, the physical and mental exhaustion only compounds my feelings of withdrawal. Knowing that doesn't do much good for me now though.

I'm determined though and I don't feel sorry for myself. I put myself here over years and years of hard work and dedication. It's only fair to expect at least the same, if not more effort, to get to where I want to be. That's okay though. I have an amazing wife who supports me 110% and believes in me. More importantly, I believe in me as well. do wish I knew what to expect a little more. It's daunting to think that I'll feel this way (physically) until I finish my taper and WD completely. It's made me wrestle between going cold turkey and tapering. While I don't want to feel this way for the next 30-40 days of tapering my dose I think it's an important part of my personal relapse prevention.

One question that I have regarding tapering is whether or not I need to allow my body to stabilize each time I decrease my dose before decreasing further. In other words, should I stay at 2mgs until I feel decent or do I go ahead a drop to 1.5 after tomorrow (day 6@2mg) regardless of how I feel? I haven't found many opinions on that. I want to be finished immediately but I'm not too sure I should be impatient about this. I'd love some feedback in that respect as I am clueless and unsure what my next move will be. I THINK that it should be reduce as scheduled. I FEEL like maybe I am jumping the gun. Is that just anxiety? That's powerful stuff....

Baby steps, baby steps, baby steps....it's been 1 hour at a time for a few hours as of late. I remind myself that I actually have resolve. That's a quality within me somewhere because I made it through RIP, Ranger School, and later Selection. Somewhere inside of me I know how to suffer. I've kicked meth. I've kicked coke. Damnit I'm going to kick subs too. I know that I can. The funny thing is that I totally and completely do not hate the stuff as so many seem to do. It saved my life and taught me tons about myself. I'm just wholeheartedly ready to move on. I have no pressure from my wife to quit; nor have I pressured myself. This is 100% for me. In My experience that is the only way for me to have success. I'll get there. Just a shitty, nasty, bumpy road to travel first.

Anyway, This is what I've been doing. Please offer advice on things that I may be doing wrong or any ideas about things I could do differently. I believe in myself but I'm not naive enough to believe I can blaze this trail alone.

Past 5 mornings:
2mg @ 4:55-5:05 AM

6:15am - protein rich granola bar
1000 mg L-Tyrosine
100mg GABA
500mg Vitamin B5 Complex
Gatorade

6:30am
Hot bath with lavender, frankensence & lemon oils

7:40am- go to work

Lunch sucks. I have no appetite. I've been eating but not much. Take L-Tyrosine (500mg) down another Gatorade. Back to the office.

6:30PM-home from work. Directly into same hot back as above. The oils are especially soothing.

Shortly thereafter eat dinner, get my kid to bed, etc.

I'm in bed by 9PM it I've yet to sleep past midnight. RLS is freaking BRUTAL. I've found that 2 hits of quality pot stop that long enough to fall asleep but it inevitably wakes me up a short while later. The pot also helps with the nausea.

Forgot to mention I take ibuprofen, pepto, or Immodium as needed throughout the day. probably should just leave it all alone because I still feel like crap but these things seem to take the edge off. At least I can half way fake the funk at work. i just haven't been productive. I'd love some feedback. It's nice to have an objective place to talk about what's going on. It's hard not to feel like I'm burdening my wife.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2015 8:01 pm 
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When/if I'm ready to taper off suboxone I will be going slowly and stabilizing after each reduction. Your jump from 4 to 2 was actually a pretty big jump. Now that you're below the ceiling level a jump like that was probably equivalent to a drop from 60/80mg to 20mg. That is why you are feeling so crappy. The whole trick with tapering, if that's how you want to do it, is to keep your withdrawal symptoms manageable. You don't want to do jumps that are overwhelming. Do you think you have the patience and discipline to do a good, slow, taper? Because if you don't, you might as well jump off now and just be done with it.

I you do want to try the tapering route remember that slow and steady wins the race. And speaking of race, you're not in one! There is no reason not to take your time if you want your taper to be as smooth as possible. First, you probably should bounce back up to 2.5 to 3 mg until you stabilize on that amount. Another thing you should consider as you proceed is going to twice a day dosing. Since your receptors will be getting less sub at a time, you might feel more even on a morning dose and an evening dose. That way it will be easier to sleep the first part of the night. Also, have your doctor prescribe you a drug called clonidine. It is a medication to help lower blood pressure but is widely known as one of the best withdrawal symptom easer.

Either way you go, feel free to look for support here! Many of us are long-term users of sub maintenance and several more have kicked sub for at least a while. Some folks try a stint off the drug, then make the decision to go back on for whatever reason. We support everyone who asks for help.

Amy

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2015 9:10 pm 
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Good points by Amy. My thoughts after reading your post are that if you can do the things you've done to this point, you can SURELY get through stopping buprenorphine! I just wrote after another post that I usually tell people to taper until the taper doesn't work anymore-- and 'jump' at that point. You may be there, and if so the next step is to decide when it is most convenient to be out of commission for a couple weeks.

Above all, remember that the misery is TEMPORARY. Unlike brain damage from overdose, the misery of withdrawal goes away in time. In fact, the time is pretty short compared to some of the other things you've gone through!


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2015 3:48 am 
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Hi patti,
I feel how committed you are to this, so I hope we can support you through whatever you choose.
I love how considered your day is, your daily routine sounds great, especially the essential oil baths!
Just curious if you have ever tried magnesium powder for RLS? It was recommended to me during a jump from methadone and I have had unbelievable results for RLS and hand neuropathy caused by interferon. It took about 10-14 days before symptoms were completely gone. I will add that I stopped taking it for 3 wks and all my symptoms (neuropathy) peaked again. It was resolved by continuing to take magnesium powder.
Anyhow patti, hope you are feeling ok, let us know how you are doing!


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2015 5:11 pm 
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I keep telling people Gabapentin is great for RLS in a higher dose 300 or 600mgs and more, it just depends on different factors. Just take enough until you are comfortable.
And 4 to 2 mgs is a pretty high drop as Amy said, once you get below the ceiling( around 4mgs) things escalate pretty fast. You might not notice for a few days because of the long half-life.
Happy


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2015 8:23 pm 
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Hi Patti and welcome! I just wanted to say congratulations on your success so far! This is a great forum for taper support and just about any other issue or problem you may have and/or want to discuss! I hope you will continue to keep us up to date on your progress!


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