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PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 7:03 am 
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I kicked some ass too, my friend :wink:


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:31 am 
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Yes, you certainly did!!! 8)

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 12:35 pm 
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My congrats to you as we'll, Lilly-- you've been here a long tie and I hope you continue to offer support here.

A couple comments about your experience; understand that over the years I've started over 500 people on buprenorphine, and have 100 on it now-- I.e. I've been a part of the discontinuation of bupe with many people.

I have a handful of people who had no withdrawal after stopping bupe. Most of them also claim to have had no withdrawal from stopping other opioids too-- so I assume their brains are just blessedly screwed up or something.

The ceiling effect of bupe, along with the potency, makes it a poor tool for tapering. With Lilly's detox, the reason the first week was easy was because her blood level of bupe was above the ceiling level all that time. Just like with a slow taper, the real work doesn't begin until the opioid effect starts to fall--- at blood levels below the ceiling level. People who taper to 4 mg, then jump, don't get the first week off as Lilly did.

MOST people who I've tapered/followed have withdrawal that is similar to their earlier withdrawals from agonists. There is nothing uniquely bad or good about buprenorphine withdrawal. Mu receptor activation, removed, equals decreased opioid activity, equals misery--- until the mu receptors are replaced with non- tolerant receptors.

Rapid detox, by smashing opioid pathways with an antagonist, might speed up the receptor regeneration process by a little bit... But with rapid detox, most of the work is yet to be done, AFTER discharge. Rapid detox doesn't make anything leave the body quicker; It does not impact metabolism or clearance of buprenorphine. It just competes with bupe at receptors, causing opioid activity to drop off a bit quicker (depending on amount of naloxone/ naltrexone).

As Lilly pointed out, a different type of work begins now. I cannot say that most, or even many, of the taperers I know are still clean now. That isn't intended as ill-wishing or negativism-- but as motivation. Stay fearful of opioids. Any passing thought that 'one time won't kill me' should be recognized for what it is--- Messed up, addictive thinking.

Thanks for sharing, Lilly-- I wish you the best.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 2:31 pm 
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Lilly!

Boy what HELL you went through! That's awful. What a mind raper! But you've done it. Bravo. How courageous! You didn't give up! :)

I've enjoyed reading your updates about your progress. (Although it saddens me to read about your rough times, i sympathize) I just wanted to say congratulations and way to go! What an accomplishment for a lifetime.

Keep kicking ass! How are you doing today???
-Jen <3


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 3:33 am 
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Dr. Junig,
Thank you so much, I really appreciate you taking the time to comment on my thread. I completely understand and agree with everything you said. I functioned so well for so long on opiates that I actually came to believe that I was "better" on them than off of them - that they were the answer to everything that has always been wrong with me. But as any good addict has found out, opiates were more like an abusive lover - one that made me feel really great at first and then started beating the shit out of me. I would always go back for more, thinking it would be "different" this time - only to have the shit kicked out of me again and again.
In the program they say when we were beaten we became willing. I'm finally able to admit I'm beaten today. I know what the odds are for an opiate addict, and dying is not just a possibility but a probability if I go back out "just once". And I want to live today.

For those who asked, I feel surprisingly good right now. I had commitments scheduled all day, so I was running for one thing to the next from about 9 to 6, and I still came home, made dinner and did everything I had to do. The best part is I can come home and laugh my ass off with my kids until I'm crying, and I can actually make love to my husband - which is something opiates, including Suboxone, largely had taken from me. It's like, why the hell did I want to numb this shit out all these years?

It's not all good. I'm typing this at 3 a.m. Sleep is still pretty elusive, but I usually sleep 4-5 hours straight and then pick up another hour or 2 in the early morning or during the day. Also, I don't know what my stomach is going to do from one day to the next. And I usually have the urge to either jump out of my skin or punch someone at least once a day. Also, I mentioned this the last time I went off Sub but forgot to here - my ability to regulate my body temperature is completely fucked, and I don't know if that's coming back. It didn't last time after 6 months. But I can live with that.

I don't know if I got off easy or the other shoe is about to drop. I fell kinda manic, which is unusual for me, so I'm going to have to level out at some point. BTW, I just flat out stopped taking any/all sleep aids. Trazadone doesn't touch me, the clonidine brings my BP down too low, and the Vistaril seemed to help, but I was waking up feeling so crappy that I was starting to wonder if it was a drug hangover. The only thing I'm taking now is a very low dose SSRI - which I had to take even before I got addicted to opiates.

Thank you, everyone, for all your well wishes.
Grateful to be clean,
Lilly


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:48 am 
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I am so glad you are feeling better. You have def. passed the worst of the withdraws. You seem in a better place. Take care and keep on posting


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:59 am 
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Well girl! You did it! I'm so proud & happy for you! I'm sorry it's been such a rough ride! I was flooded with memories while reading your post about your detox. My God, withdrawal sucks so bad! I guess that's why we go to such lengths to avoid it.
You're better now, though. And you're free! Now just stay the course...I know you can.


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PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 8:56 am 
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I posted this on another thread, but for consistency, I thought I should put it here.

I went cold turkey off of 16mg/day of Suboxone 75 days ago. I feel almost 100% "normal" now, and I have to say I feel better now than I have in the past 5-6 years, the last 3 of which i was on Suboxone. I would say that the actual withdrawal period for me was about 6 weeks. At 6 weeks i started sleeping through the night. At this point my stomach tends to get upset more easily than normal, and I am more emotional/irritable/reactive than what I would consider normal. Also, i tend to get tired very easily (i should really step up the exercize)but I wouldn't say I'm withdrawing. Dr. J said it takes 8-12 weeks for new opiate receptors to regenerate after going off Suboxone. I'm in week 11 and feeling pretty decent, and I expect to feel even better after 12 weeks. It's been a hell of a ride, but I'm extremely happy to be opiate free today.


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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 7:47 pm 
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It seems for some Naltrexone/rapid-detox also cuts down on PAWS too, then again I have heard some people suffering PAWS 6 months down the line after rapid detox because sub still lingers on, so who knows.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2013 11:07 am 
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I posted this on TJ's thread, but thought it belonged here:

"I've been off Sub for just over 6 months and I feel pretty darn good these days. The downsides: I feel like I get tired more than I did on Sub, but I also sleep a lot less (usu. about 6 hours a night). I feel like I have more aches and pains at times but I take ibuprofen and it works. I'm on Wellbutrin, my only med.

Overall I'm really happy I got off. I feel more present for my life. I laugh and smile more, enjoy my kids more, enjoy music, nature, films, etc. more - and my sex life is 1000% better. Also, I do experience the stress and aggravation of every day life more, but for me it's worth it to feel the good feelings again.

I have to say the desire for opiates kicked back in as soon as I started feeling better after my detox - just after the 60 day mark. I admit I did test the waters a few times, but didn't experience opiates as being euphoric anymore. Nonetheless, dabbling in opiates is a dangerous game for me.

I'm moderately involved in NA, and I have a sponsor who has become a great friend that I talk to often. I also see a therapist (LADC). In my opinion going off of Suboxone (or any opiate, really) requires involvement in some kind of program where one has support and accountability to other people. It would be just too easy to slip back into a habit for someone like me.

I'm very, very happy to be off of Suboxone today.
Glad to see the forum still thriving "

Additional comments:
I have a better perspective on my detox experience now that I've been substance free for a while. In fact, I cringe when I look back at that post because I think it can only serve to scare the shit out of people. When I wrote that I was still pretty sick and had just been through one of the most difficult experiences of my life.
Looking back I would like to add this: I was in detox for 21 days. The nightmare/fear phase lasted 2 days, and I had about 2 days of non-stop crying, and another 2-3 days of flaring temper and rage. So overall 6-7 days of being a mess emotionally.

The dopesick, diarrhea, dehydration started the 3rd week - after they had been dosing me every 4 hours with short acting opiates round the clock for over 2 weeks. Looking back, I feel like I went through a SAO withdrawal, and if it had only been the Sub maybe it wouldn't have been as bad (?). Not sure if it was "the cure is worse than the disease" KWIM?
On that note, I had gone off Sub the previous year and never went through the rage (at least not to that extent). The detox was giving me tons of benzos -again, round the clock. I had ZERO benzo tolerance when I got there, and have never done well with benzos the few times i have taken them. I asked them to cut my dosage way back. Then week 2 I had all the emotional issues. I have to wonder if suddenly taking a ton of benzos and then cutting way back on them contributed to my emotional state.


I guess where I'm going with this is 1) be careful what meds you take when going off Sub. Your body is trying to get back into homeostasis and starting and stopping other strong meds in the process can probably mess things up a bit.
2) out of 21 days in detox I think only about 10-11 were really awful, and the other 10 were pretty tolerable, so I don't want to scare people who are going off cold turkey. As I said before, I tapered completely off Sub, and this time I jumped CT off 16 mg. If I had it to do over (and God willing I never will) I would definately go the CT route. Why? Both times it took me 6-8 weeks to really start feeling decent. The difference was that when I tapered I had a couple of months feeling shitty on and off prior to the jump. So why prolong the agony? Also I was very obsessed with my taper when I did it - which in hindsight was such a waste. Going off of Sub is just a small battle. Staying off of opiates for the long haul is the real war. If I put as much time, thought and effort into my recovery as I did planning, worrying, obsessing and talking about getting off of Sub then I will really be getting somewhere.


If anyone actually read all of this, thanks for listening. I really appreciate all of you on this forum who have supported me, informed me, identified with me and helped me. I hope I can continue to help those of you who are still on this journey.

Bless you,
Lilly


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2013 7:16 pm 
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Hello lily! Congratulations! I found it interesting that we both checked into detox february 21st to get clean off subs! Haha.

They tried giving me suboxone to quit suboxone... I respectfully declined and just let them give me a mild barbituate and clonidine.

Keep up the good work! I think its been like 7 months for us? I stopped counting after 100. Time drags by much more when you keep the count!


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2013 7:55 pm 
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Hi Lilly!

It's great to read your follow up. Isn't it interesting how your perspective changes over time, looking back on the process? It's quite a trip to say the least.

Can I ask if you'd still choose CT vs. tapering if you were not able to go into a treatment center? Would you do it at home? I'm not sure how many people have that option so I'm just wondering if you'd still recommend that route anyway. Tapering/ CT is such a personal choice and depends on individuals tolerance and preferences, but at the end of the day, it is six and one half dozen, isn't it? (although jumping at 16 is pretty whacko :lol: )

Glad you're back!


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2013 10:50 am 
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No, I couldn't have gone off 16 mg cold turkey without going into detox. Unless there were a way I could have someone handling all my responsibilities (kids, house , bills, etc) and maybe have some help with meals and stuff. Maybe that's why I remember the jumping off after tapering experience as being so difficult. I was taking care of two kids and handling all the day to day challenges of life while I was doing it.

I didn't mean to make it sound like I was recommending cold turkey to anyone. I was just saying that for this addict CT was the easier of the two routes. I think if anyone IS thinking of going CT I would recommend taking a few weeks to at least taper down to 2-4mg if you are at a high dose like I was. It's very easy and painless to get down to 4mg. And I think it would be worth it to have that much less in your system when you make the jump.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2013 11:23 am 
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LILLY!!!!

So good to hear from you again!! I'm glad you're doing well and moving forward with your recovery, that's fantastic to hear!! You "sound" so good even in your posts....I'm really proud of you. I know you had a tough row to hoe, but you stuck with it and I'm just so happy for you!

As for the cold turkey jump, I truly believe that CT is just better for some of us. For me, the wicked wd that came with CT from a high dose has served as a constant reminder to stay clean. I believe 100% that my wd experience is a major factor in why my slips were all so brief.

Again, so good to hear from you and it's great to hear you're doing well.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 2:06 pm 
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It is so heartwarming to hear back from you Lilly. Knowing that you are doing okay and are living a full life is awesome.

As you probably have noticed, the forum has taken a turn towards stopping Suboxone vs staying on maintenance. On any given day the threads seem to be in stopping sections more and more. You posting your story will have a great effect on those who are just now going through the battle of stopping. That is, if they take your advice about working on the recovery part afterwards.

Please try to pop in as often as you can. We miss your comments.

rule

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

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