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PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2011 12:37 pm 
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I think the monkey has slid off my back, and I'm amazed at how painless it was. Here's the story.

I started taking oxycontin and other opiates when I was about 21. I'm 34 now. I probably took 40-80mgs a day for 2 or three years. And then sought help. At the time, Suboxone did not exist, but I used Buprenorphrine lozenges to transition off the hard stuff. AT one point I was down to 1/8th of one mg twice a day and stopped for about 2 weeks. It was horrible, and I relapsed, got back on BUPE, moved to the west coast, ended up on Methadone for about 1 year, and then Suboxone finally got FDA approved, and I got on that.

This was about 8 years ago I think, so if I remember correctly I weened down to 30mgs of Methadone before transitioning to Suboxone. That was hell, but manageable. I started at about 4mg's a day and quickly got down to 2 mg's a day. This was my maintenance dose for MANY years, and starting about 2 years a go I began to ween down. SLOWLY.

On background, last Xmas I posted about my success in using the strips and my goal to stop during the holidays. I tried, but it was untenable. I was still taking about 1/8th of a mg twice a day, and trying to stop was not working. I had just started using the film, (which I believe is absolutely ESSENTIAL to stopping) so having a very finite control over my dosing was allowing me to make real progress. Basically I cut the film into 32 pieces(TINY pieces I know), which works out to 0.06mg's per sliver, and I would subtract one sliver every once in a while from my twice daily dose.

In a nutshell, I was detoxing myself all year. While I NEVER had cravings, I was clammy for most of the year, sometimes I would be constipated, sometimes I would have the runs, but I never lost sleep, never lost focus at work, and never suffered from depression. Most importantly I felt normal, and never had cravings.

Soooooo, about 9 days ago I stopped. By my calculations, I was down to 0.06 mg's once a day. I stocked up my fridge with easy to make foods, got some clonidine, and made the jump.

It was a 3" jump. Equivalent to a mouse pole vaulting over a pencil that's lying on the ground.

Highlights:

-have not missed a night of sleep, and am actually sleeping like a baby.
-have not had any cravings to speak of.
-have been able to clean the house, take the dog out, do laundry etc
-very little restlessness
-no diarrhea
-no creepy crawly skin

Lowlights:

-I have felt mildly alien-like. A little air-headedness
-agitation has been mild and it comes and then goes away within a few minutes
-very mild headache several times a day that usually goes away.
-runny nose/sneezing is present but not consistent. Sometimes it's there and it's bad, most of the time it's not
-sweaty hands

That's it.

I was scared to death of lying in bed at night and tossing and turning and craving the drug.

It hasn't happened. The last time I felt that feeling was when I went from Methadone to Sub.

SO here I am at day 9, and while I do not feel GREAT, I feel pretty damned ok. I've told people I'm battling a mild cold/flu, and that's what it feels like. Day 4 seemed to be the most uncomfortable with MILD agitation being my biggest complaint, but Day 5 was a little better, and I've felt pretty much the same since then.

All in all, it has been an ABSOLUTE CAKEWALK. I would encourage people to read my post from last year, as I'm a firm believer in tapering using a timing method(widening the time between doses 1 hour at a time as a catalyst to dropping the dosing amount) and for pete's sake, do not try stopping at 1 mg/ day or 2mg's a day. I've tried it at a fraction of those doses without success. It's a recipe for disaster. This drug is VERY POWERFUL. I've tried stopping it twice now at 1/8mg a day and it was NOT FUN. We are all afraid of the sweats, the sleeplessness, the cravings, the restless legs. I'm now a firm believer, that does not need to be the reality.

Do you want to limit the detox symptoms? USE THE FILM. Make a plan that will take a year to carry out. Or more. Or less. But make progress week after week. Do it according to how your body feels, but make progress. It does not need to be agonizing, but it won't be absolutely painless. Just make progress.

Questions?


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2011 1:01 pm 
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Great job and what a refreshing read. Here is more proof that if done correctly not only can one get off sub but can do so with minimal discomfort. The common theme I see in success stories is to listen to your body and go slow.

Post after post I have read people are typing out their entire taper, while it's ok to have plans if you want success you need to be able to throw those plans out the window. Next month I intend to start my taper and value everything I have learned here. I don't care if it takes me 2 years I will listen to my body and only move forward when it agrees.

Thanks for sharing!


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2011 2:52 pm 
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Breezy_Ann wrote:
Great job and what a refreshing read. Here is more proof that if done correctly not only can one get off sub but can do so with minimal discomfort. The common theme I see in success stories is to listen to your body and go slow.

Post after post I have read people are typing out their entire taper, while it's ok to have plans if you want success you need to be able to throw those plans out the window. Next month I intend to start my taper and value everything I have learned here. I don't care if it takes me 2 years I will listen to my body and only move forward when it agrees.

Thanks for sharing!


Breezy, with that attitude, you will be posting your success story on here and telling everyone how much easier it was than you thought it would be. You already accepted that it will take as long as it takes. That's so amazing and important.

Congrats, Broncofan!! I tapered to .06 too and it was a piece of cake after that.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2011 3:11 pm 
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I'm glad this worked out for you, but I think a lot of what you're describing is psychological. Jumping from 1/8 mg. was "horrible...untenable." Are you serious? I realize after long-term use there would be some discomfort, but I hardly think it's undoable.

I can guarantee you that any effect from.o6 mgs. is purely mental...there's not even a pharmacological effect at that dose. Again, no disrespect, but I just worry about the effect this stuff has on others planning a taper. It worries me that they'll think climbing Mt. Everest is easier than getting off sub...that it takes 1 year to taper from 1/8 mgs. Ridiculous.

Again, I'm happy you're off, but I think you may suffer from hyperalgesia, and many of your symptoms have little or nothing to do with suboxone withdrawal. Never underestimate the power of the mind to create symptoms.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2011 4:35 pm 
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I agree with this type of taper, whether it's psychological or not is irrelevant, it's whatever works for the individual. Sub is a powerful drug, mega times more powerful than morphine, especially at the lower doses. My own taper was to reduce every thirty days, .5mg at first until I reached 2mg then reduced by .25mg after that. The only problems I incurred were below 1mg where I had to alternate the old dose with the new for a few days until I stabilized, but at least thirty days at the stabilized dose. After being at .25mg for almost 60 days I was finally comfortable with making the jump. The only problem days were 3&4 when it felt like a mild flu was coming on, and other than some fatigue, usually in the evenings thru day 14, that was it. Not knowing what to expect I had allowed for 14 days off work, I was back to work on day 5.

I did use some comfort meds, Clonidine, Ativan, and Ambien. Most of these were discontinued by day 5, the Ambien I used thru day 14. I believe sleep is a person's greatest ally when you jump. Even mild withdrawal symptoms are hard on the body, and if your fatigued there even harder.

Broncofan.. (I am too) congrats on your jump, you did it the right way, know hat it gets a little better each day. I am at day 36 and feel like my old self again.

Breezy.. that's the right attitude! Slow-n-Low tapers are the way to go, you'll know when it's your time.

Happy Holidays to all.

Mike


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2011 5:42 pm 
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Taper 57...you are a testament to what I'm talking about. You jumped at .25 mgs. and it was entirely manageable. You had mild symptoms. Now you're 36 days clean and feeling good.

If you agree so much with Broncofan, why didn't you also spend 1 year in front of a microscope with an exacto-knife cutting nano-particles off a sub film? You say he did it the right way...did you do it the wrong way? Is that why you're 36 days clean. I'm sorry, but your opinion contradicts your actions.

With all due respect, I've read Broncofan's history. By his own admission, he suffers from hyperalgesia, numerous mental health issues and has been on multiple psychoactive drugs his entire adult life. I doubt he has even one neurotransmitter system that is fully intact. After a 1 year taper on microscopic doses he still describes multiple symptoms of withdrawal.

As I said, I could care less what another person BELIEVES they need to do to get off of suboxone. Let's just recognize that there is both physical and psychological withdrawal involved, and some people have enormous psychological involvement in their addiction.

What about the person who does NOT have all these issues going on, and is thinking about tapering from sub. Should we tell them that this is a typical protocol for discontinuation. I can assure you, based upon enormous evidence, that it most certainly is not.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2011 6:15 pm 
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Golden1 wrote:
I'm glad this worked out for you, but I think a lot of what you're describing is psychological. Jumping from 1/8 mg. was "horrible...untenable." Are you serious? I realize after long-term use there would be some discomfort, but I hardly think it's undoable.

I can guarantee you that any effect from.o6 mgs. is purely mental...there's not even a pharmacological effect at that dose. Again, no disrespect, but I just worry about the effect this stuff has on others planning a taper. It worries me that they'll think climbing Mt. Everest is easier than getting off sub...that it takes 1 year to taper from 1/8 mgs. Ridiculous.

Again, I'm happy you're off, but I think you may suffer from hyperalgesia, and many of your symptoms have little or nothing to do with suboxone withdrawal. Never underestimate the power of the mind to create symptoms.



Ummmm..... Yes Golden. I am serious. For ME, when I tried to jump off 1/8th mg twice daily, it was extremely difficult to endure. FOR ME. I had the sweats, I had cravings, hot/cold flashes, creepy crawly skin, and I couldn't sleep for the entire time. These are the things I was most afraid of, and caused the most problems for me. I would imagine a lot of us have those same fears when facing the idea of stopping Subs.

And to clarify, my last year on these low doses, I made a decision to slowly lower the amount I was taking. But I've essentially been on a maintenance dose of .03mgs for maybe 3 months. The reason I waited for the entire year to stop was because I knew I would have time off during this holiday. It didn't take me a year to taper from 1/8th, it took me a few months and then I stayed at .03 twice a day for a few months, and then I got to once a day, and stayed there for the duration.

In any event, I'm not sure what's so ridiculous about that. And to use that tone, asking me "are you serious???", isn't very supportive, in an environment that needs as much support for it's people as possible. I'm proud of myself. And I can 'guarantee' you, that it does have a pharmacological effect. Period. The typical analgesic dose of buprenorphine is 0.3-0.6mg.

10 days ago I felt fine taking the sub, and when I stopped, I could FEEL it. I never said it was "undoable", I said for me, the situation years back, and the situation last year was untenable... Unable to maintain. I tried, and I couldn't hack it. That's just me.

I'm sure I do have opioid-induced hyperalgesia. But the symptoms have EVERYTHING to do with the Suboxone use, which can be interchanged with opiate use. They are one and the same. I had a physical dependency on Buprenophrine. I know my own psychology, and I know my own physiology. Stopping Suboxone generates physiological changes. It's just the way it is. Sure, there is a psychological factor(or as you put it, MENTAL), but the physical, and the physiological factors are what we all dread. And the process by which I stopped, has helped make those factors entirely manageable. And that makes me happy.

Anyhow, I would be happy to hear how you stopped Suboxone, what levels you were at, how you felt during the process, and how long it took. I would be VERY interested to hear your success story. Please, do share?


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2011 6:23 pm 
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I think what taper was saying is that how slow and low we need to go is up to the individual. Bronco did it the right way because he did what worked for him. Taper did it the right way because he also did what worked for him. I didn't read anything in Taper's post that suggested everyone should taper exactly like Bronco.

Psychological symptoms are a huge part of any withdrawl no matter what dose you jump from. Some people manage that aspect like Bronco while others will bite the bullet and get thru it. In my view neither way is better than the other. What's best is listening to your body and mind and doing whatever one needs to be successful.

Also we need to take into consideration that sub withdrawl is drastically different from one to the next. I have read posts from people that jump of at .25 like taper and are doing just fine and I have read others where people have had major withdrawl symptoms and still weren't sleeping a month later.

There is no right way or wrong way.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2011 6:40 pm 
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Golden1 wrote:
Taper 57...you are a testament to what I'm talking about. You jumped at .25 mgs. and it was entirely manageable. You had mild symptoms. Now you're 36 days clean and feeling good.

If you agree so much with Broncofan, why didn't you also spend 1 year in front of a microscope with an exacto-knife cutting nano-particles off a sub film? You say he did it the right way...did you do it the wrong way? Is that why you're 36 days clean. I'm sorry, but your opinion contradicts your actions.

With all due respect, I've read Broncofan's history. By his own admission, he suffers from hyperalgesia, numerous mental health issues and has been on multiple psychoactive drugs his entire adult life. I doubt he has even one neurotransmitter system that is fully intact. After a 1 year taper on microscopic doses he still describes multiple symptoms of withdrawal.

As I said, I could care less what another person BELIEVES they need to do to get off of suboxone. Let's just recognize that there is both physical and psychological withdrawal involved, and some people have enormous psychological involvement in their addiction.

What about the person who does NOT have all these issues going on, and is thinking about tapering from sub. Should we tell them that this is a typical protocol for discontinuation. I can assure you, based upon enormous evidence, that it most certainly is not.


Ok Golden. I was typing my response to you, and then you posted again while I was finishing. Here is where I stop being nice, and tell you with all my heart... Go fuck yourself.

You may not denigrate me in any way. You do not know me, you do not know my history, and you may not encapsulate my life with indolent characterizations. I am a well adjusted, college educated, socially aware person. I have wonderful friendships and relationships in my life, and I was nurtured as a child, and I continue to nurture those I love, as an adult. I have not had 'numerous mental health issues', and I have not been on multiple psychoactive drugs for my entire life. I've been on Suboxone. For 8 years, and it helped me take my life back, get healthy, and be abuse free. I took Zanax many years ago for a couple months when I first tried to kick opiates, and then again last year for a week. I took Zoloft when I was 17 years old for a few months, and Buspar when I was 20 for a couple months. NOW you know my history. Because I TOLD YOU. You are speaking out of turn.

This particular forum within a forum is for sharing our experiences of getting off Suboxone. You are adding absolutely NOTHING to the dialogue, and you are dismissing me as some mentally unstable hypochondriac who shouldn't be experiencing withdrawal symptoms because he was on such a low dose.

Go find some other forum to troll. See if you can win them over.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2011 7:09 pm 
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Broncofan...I think you've made my case better than I ever could have. Once again, since everybody seems to somehow miss what I'm saying...Broncofans method is NOT the best way, it is ONLY the best way for Broncofan. That was my one and only point.

Other people, who don't share his history and other issues, would undoubtedly have a much easier time tapering from Suboxone. I just think it is very wrong to send the message to others that the only way to succeed is to devote this amount of time and effort to something that is not insurmountable...at least not to the average person. The fact that it required this level of obsession for him to stop proves nothing...except that apparantly that's the only way he could accomplish it.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2011 7:28 pm 
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Golden1..I'm sorry but my opinion does not contradict my actions. I did what most would consider a slow taper, and no, I didn't have any psychological issues. Like I said, I agree with this type of taper, whether it's psychological or not is irrelevant, it's what worked for Broncofan and may work well for others. I did what worked for me, others will do what works for them, but there's no set protocol for tapering. If a person has psychological issues with withdrawal, and the slower method they use works for them who's to say it's wrong. Also, when I tapered from my 6mg maintenance dose to my jump point, it took 16 mos, well over a year.

As far as post taper withdrawal goes Broncofan is right on target for day 9, what's described is almost exactly the way I felt at that point.


Mike


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2011 10:15 pm 
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Broncofan, more power to ya! thats awesome.
Yeah i remember dr's prescribing micro doses of bup years back for W.D. . Fully understand any one with your history
needing off load your receptors nice and slow. Yeah, you could have harder and relapsed, 1 year or 2, who cares, what it takes to get in the clear. Touch the sky broncofan!


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2011 10:59 pm 
Golden1 wrote:
Broncofan...I think you've made my case better than I ever could have. Once again, since everybody seems to somehow miss what I'm saying...Broncofans method is NOT the best way, it is ONLY the best way for Broncofan. That was my one and only point.

Other people, who don't share his history and other issues, would undoubtedly have a much easier time tapering from Suboxone. I just think it is very wrong to send the message to others that the only way to succeed is to devote this amount of time and effort to something that is not insurmountable...at least not to the average person. The fact that it required this level of obsession for him to stop proves nothing...except that apparantly that's the only way he could accomplish it.


How did you get off Suboxone?

As far as getting off Suboxone being "not insurmountable..at least not to the average person," I don't know a whole lot of people who have been able to get off and stay clean (by clean I don't mean drug-free, I just mean off dope).

I agree with you that .06 seems a bit extreme, but it is certainly common for people to need to get their dose under .5 mg/day to taper comfortably enough for them to handle. I don't really know for sure what you mean by this not being the "common procedure," except maybe that doctors don't recommend this. Well, I had a doc who told me I would "feel just fine" jumping off at 2 mg/day. She was incredibly fucking wrong.

So how did you get off Sub? Don't criticize broncofan's taper without telling us what works!


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2011 11:27 pm 
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Golden1 wrote:
Broncofan...I think you've made my case better than I ever could have. Once again, since everybody seems to somehow miss what I'm saying...Broncofans method is NOT the best way, it is ONLY the best way for Broncofan. That was my one and only point.

Other people, who don't share his history and other issues, would undoubtedly have a much easier time tapering from Suboxone. I just think it is very wrong to send the message to others that the only way to succeed is to devote this amount of time and effort to something that is not insurmountable...at least not to the average person. The fact that it required this level of obsession for him to stop proves nothing...except that apparantly that's the only way he could accomplish it.


Golden, wow, you are very condescending. This is a support forum. Is it not? I'm not sure if that's how you mean to come across, but you do come across that way.

Broncafan's experience is actually supported by medical science. In fact, Dr. Junig advises people to taper to at least .25 and he recommends that you keep going much lower than that. I tried to stop taking my Sub at many levels, and I actually believed those levels were so 'low' that it should be easy. I mean, I used to take 32 mg, so how hard could it be to stop taking .75 or .5 or .25? Well, for me it was very tough. When I jumped at .0625, I expected it to be tough, but it was really easy and nothing like my other attempts at jumping. So, my experience is in line with Broncofan's. Not sure why this successful taperer would be put down in any way or why anyone would want to do that.

Congratulations again, Broncofan. You did it in a very wise way, and your PAWS will probably be minimal because of all your effort. I commend your discipline and if you do have a tendency to overreact to symptoms, then to me that only lends more credibility to your belief that getting off Sub is very doable if you have the patience to taper low. If I was still tapering and had followed your efforts, it would give me a lot of hope to see that you have been successful.

Don't let anyone take away from your accomplishment!!!!!

laddertipper

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2011 4:50 am 
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I just had to reply and thank broncofan for a great post!

I love to hear the positive stories on here. I am impressed with you broncofan. When I get off sub, I am planning something similar. So thanks again for sharing and it would be great if you stuck around the forum.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2011 11:25 am 
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Congratulations. It would seem that after four posts not ONE person gets the point I'm trying to make. I think you have your mind so made up that you don't even READ them.

Clinical research has shown that for a minority (NOT majority) of patients, the antagonist effect of buprenorphine at the Opioid Kappa receptor is so reinforcing (psychologically addicting) that they find it incredibly difficult to discontinue the drug. These are primarily patients with treatment-resisitant depression and other mood disorders. This is NOT a physical symptom. With a proper taper physical symptoms are considered mild by addiction specialists, including the one who started this site.

My point (here it is again) is that this has caused most of the sub-bashing and overall negative reviews of what can be a life-saving tool for chronic addiction. I feel sorry for these people who's lives may be at stake reading all these horror stories, and deciding that everyone will have this experience.

I believe in telling the truth. But one person's truth is NOT everyone's truth. POINT ALERT There should at least be another perspective presented for clarity. This is NOT bashing the original poster. It's just being balanced for the sake of those who still suffer.

Ok, now feel free to misinterpret everything I just said.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2011 9:04 pm 
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Anyways,

Thanks Breezy, Ladder, Stargazer,OrangeDoll, for the positive reinforcement. I'm thrilled to be off Suboxone finally, and I'm going to enjoy my first opiate free Xmas in like 12 years. That feels good.

And to those who are tapering, what worked very well for me was what I might call a timing method.

When I was dosing twice a day, say, at 7am and 7pm, I started to extend the second dose by 30 minutes. Then, a few days later another 30 minutes, and so on. A week or two later, when I was dosing at 7am and 9pm, that is when I would lower my second dose fractionally. Then I would go back to 7am/7pm at the lower dose for a week, and repeat the cycle. Eventually I got to the point where I would just skip the nightly dose altogether. It took time to stabilize, and sometimes I would backslide, but by and large, it was a very constructive way for me to make progress.

Merry Christmas everyone!


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2011 9:33 pm 
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Really great taper thread, thanks Broncofan. I really find it interesting the many different ways everyone is going about their own tapers. I find value in all methods mentioned. I am in the midst of my own taper and I will certainly keep it slow and go low before I step off. I believe that even though there are some individuals that have opinions that differ, we all are here for the same reason. Support. I for one appreciate all the support on here. Happy Happy Holidays and congrats to being OFF sub.....


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2011 10:55 pm 
Golden1 wrote:
Clinical research has shown that for a minority (NOT majority) of patients, the antagonist effect of buprenorphine at the Opioid Kappa receptor is so reinforcing (psychologically addicting) that they find it incredibly difficult to discontinue the drug.


Umm..No. Oh, you must mean agonist?

Golden1 wrote:
POINT ALERT There should at least be another perspective presented for clarity.


Have you ever taken Buprenorphine? How and when did you titrate from buprenorphine? I'd love to get your perspective, assuming it's been attained through an actual process of getting off buprenorphine and not just shortening other people's actual experiences so it 'looks better' on paper. BTW, there are many, many in-depth experiences on this site as well as others, all with varying degrees of success for you too access, none 100% the same.

-Travis

p.s. .6mg of buprenorphine does cause significant opioid activity and dependence!


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 25, 2011 2:19 am 
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I just don't get why some sufffer and others do not. Ive seen people first hand who struggle for months after a similar taper of the original poster or basically tapers which are long and slow.. Staying on a low dose for several months is still accumlating the bup isn't it? I knew someone who stayed on 0.2 temgesics for 2 months and suffered through hell for 1 year, yes 1 year. She had no pshycloogical issues, no history of depression or anxiety and not much history with opiates/drugs either. I too struggle to see people get off bup and stay clean. I can't imagine how the long term users do it I really dont. Many claim for them it didnt matter what dose they jumped from they did not feel any difference, the withdrawals and PAWS were still intense and drawn out. The half life is the main problem with bup, thats what brings us down regardless if the taper is long and dose is a tiny crumb. Am not dismissing internet stories but I honestly do not see many people outside the internet claim to have a doable time getting off sub, whether its a long taper or a long term user or not, they still struggle to get off bup and stay clean. Its only 1 or 2 success stories I see on the net and they mostly consist people who were only on sub couple of weeks or 2 months.


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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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