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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 10:00 pm 
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Hello eveybody-seeking some help on a tapering plan from Subutex and wanted to compare what my Sub Doc has been telling me to what people have actually experienced.

First off a little background-Im a 46 year old male with a great wife & job and have also been a user of drugs for 32 years. For many years it was just pot with a bit of experimenting (coke, LSD, Meth) though I always had a "fear" of the hard stuff. I dabbled in opiates on a few occasions as well.

When I was 32 my back went out from years of competitive powerlifting, though I was a major pothead still weightlifting and fitness is a positive addiction I have had since I was about 18. I required spinal fusion and enjoyed many years of pain-free and drug free living.

In 2004 I re-injured my back and was put on oxycodone-I believe my initial doses were around 10mg a day. By 2008 I was orally taking 500-750MG of OC everyday and had hit the wall-I was miserable with or without the drug and could feel it killing me slowly-I couldn't get high anymore & I couldn't get out of bed without it. As I couldn't miss long term work without jeopardizing my career I chose suboxone-I remember going into precipitated withdrawal my first day on sub (avoid this if at all possible!) However over the course of a week I was doing 32mg a day and returned to work. It was a weird time when I think back-almost like being reborn though it certainly wasn't pleasant feeling. However I didn't miss the constant anxiety of worrying about my next dose of OC.

I now have tapered down to 1-2mg a day-I also did this a few months ago and got down to 1mg a day & tried to quit completely with very poor results; by the 72 hour mark I was coming out of my skin. I intend to go down to tiny pieces this time-down to .125 milligram over the course of a few months. My Doctor has told me typically it takes the brain 2-5 years to recover from a serious opiate addiction though some will will suffer PAWS forever and therefore must use for life.

If it comes down to it I would rather be on for life as opposed to suffering for the rest of my days particularly if its only .50 milligram a day. However I'd still like to be free. I have heard of various supplements that help, can anybody recommend any for me? Also I intend to use exercise as my main weapon provided I can have enough energy to actually work out. Also going thru withdrawal many times over the years I have discovered I can live with most of its symptoms except for 2-first & foremost is that awful feeling in your stomach (every addict has felt it I think) that in turns leads to insomnia which is something I cannot deal with due to my career.

Anyway glad I found this site as it seems many of you understand where I am it with my sub use. Sub really did save my life, I shudder when I think of my addiction days. I weighed a very solid 190lbs prior to my addiction to OC-when I quit in March of 08 I was a 145LB bad of bones from so many days of complete fasting so the OC would hit me harder. Thanks to sub I still have my life. Anyway Hello to everybody-for those of you in early stages of recovery or in withdrawal may tomorrow be easier than today.......................................OW


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:50 am 
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Hi Old Willy and welcome! I'm confident you'll find this forum to be full of informed, supportive, and empathetic people. It's been an important part of my recovery.

I have not tapered yet and frankly may never do so. But I've read many a taper story on this forum. You have the right idea with the exercise. Many people swear by is for helping with withdrawals. Then there's clonidine, many people get this from their doctor for the withdrawals, too. It is a hypertensive agent among other things - Wikipedia has a great entry on it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clonidine

Have you checked out the "liquid taper" thread under "stopping suboxone"? Many people here have used that and it works for well for measuring smaller amounts (micrograms) of sub. There are also other good taper stories in that category that you might want to check out.

Again, welcome, and I wish you the very best. Keep us posted on how you're doing.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2010 7:32 am 
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Hi Old Willy! Welcome to the forum! You seem to have a good head on your shoulders and I can relate to most of what you talked about.

A while back I jumped off 12mg after being on sub for 2 years following a 2+ year heavy addiction to OC at about 280mg per day. I ended up in the ER on day 5 and was given clonidine, ativan, immodium AD, something for restless leg, and some stomach stuff. Basically, they just listened to my symptoms and found a drug for each of them. I had insomnia for about 6 weeks and tried trazadone. Eventually I requested a 3 day supply of whatever that sleep aid is called (escaping my brain right now) but really that only gave me about 4 hours of sleep too. That was better than the no sleep I had been getting because I thought I was going to die from insomnia for a while. Anyhow, all of these drugs really did help me get through the worst of the physical withdrawal.

I was off for 3 months or so. I had to have 2 surgeries in there so I did have some pain meds for 2-3 weeks of this time. What I found was that the PAWS was quite difficult. I had mood swings like crazy. I was extremely vulnerable which is not my typical personality. Every day was better than the one before in some small way for the most part. But it didn't feel measurable most of the time and every day was HARD. There were good moments, but overall, I just realized I had done it for 3 months and I couldn't do another 3 of that or another 6 months let alone 2 years or life. It was just too much to "try" and see what would happen. There was too much to lose in my opinion. I didn't want to go to NA meetings for the rest of my life struggling. I went back on sub.

With that being said, I also have two disorders that cause quite significant pain and there isn't anything that works for those except opiates. I CAN'T take opiates. Period. Suboxone works for those to some extent and some extent is better than opiates. This was a huge part of my decision to go back on. I say this because I don't want you to think YOU can't stay off of it or that YOU can't try. I am extremely grateful that I tried because now I know. It sounds like you know also but want to try again. So my best suggestion is trying by using some of the drugs mentioned above. I also agree with the exercise. I wish you the absolute best and hope you will stick around here through your attempt and let people support you through it.

Cherie

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2010 3:34 pm 
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I am the same age as you and been using opiates since I was about 17 years old. I finally got on suboxone about 20 months ago and my life has improved DRAMATICALLY since then.

I tried to taper and get off, but found I was absolutely miserable at less than 1mg per day and came very close to relapse, so I am back on the subs at 8mg per day and stable.

I am just planning on staying here, long term.

I hope you find this place as useful and informative as I have!


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2010 6:41 pm 
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Very classy post " Old Willy " going below 2 mg is truly a bitch, insomnia kicks in BIG TIME and since I like to sleep I seem to always " wus out "... This insomnia issue is probably the reason I'm stuck on 2mg.. sub has saved my life, I thought I would be able to just stop taking pain pills, WRONG.. What a pain in the ass, Good luck to you and be well, Mike


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