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PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 4:05 pm 
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I am in the final stages of a long suboxone taper, down from 24mg to 1mg over the past several months. Everything was basically OK until I went sub-2mg, when it started to feel exactly like oxy withdrawal. For me, the biggest withdrawal symptom is intense anxiety. I decided it was a good time for the tactical use of benzodiazepines, and I selected Klonopin - now I'm taking .5mg Klonopin BID. It REALLY HELPS. If you are benzodiazepine-naive, it may really help more than clonidine. Just posting this in case it helps somebody. Yes, benzos are addictive, but taking them for a week or two to get through suboxone withdrawal seems to make sense. Make sure to have them prescribed by a physician who is aware of your dependency issues. Too many psychiatrists turn people into benzo-addicts because they don't realize how addictive/powerful they are. If you're struggling with the anxiety of detox, benzos help quite a bit.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 4:48 pm 
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hey today is day 4 for me with no sub. just curious if u have stopped taking it completely ?? if so what have u been experiencing and how long were u on d sub?? just looking for some kind of light at the end of the tunnel !!! everything on here so far has been a horror story...


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 6:33 pm 
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Coincidentally I just posted a few more ideas about treating withdrawal symptoms. As for words of encouragement, all I can tell you is that the brain will go back to normal EVENTUALLY. Everyone seems to be different for withdrawal symptoms from buprenorphine; I have had patients who had minimal or no withdrawal, and others who describe nightmare experiences. Remember that opioid withdrawal is generally horrible; people coming off agonists are rarely able to work or function in any way, spending a week or more in bed, followed by a few weeks of extreme fatigue and depression. In my experiences with a couple hundred people, buprenorphine withdrawal is rarely anywhere near that intensity; most people continue to work, feeling lousy but still somewhat functional. The depression is the worst part from my perspective. It is rare for people to have significant symptoms a month out from buprenorphine-- not unheard of, but rare. Most people feel that they turn the corner in about two weeks.

Remember that the rate of relapse after stopping ANY opioid, including buprenorphine, is very high-- especially in the absence of a strong recovery program.

good luck--

JJ


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 Post subject: acupuncture
PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 9:24 pm 
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Well, I hope you guys are doing ok, Tallwater, I hope you start feeling better soon. I just read sub doc's blog about medications to help opiate WD and I remembered that I once went to a day treatment program that offered acupuncture, I think it was twice a week, as a regular part of the program. For alcoholics as well as for addicts. Also, I received acupuncture treatments at a special free daily acupuncture clinic for addicts. I also went to regular acupuncture clinics a couple of time and told them I wanted treatments to help with my addiction. They took that seriously and didn't seem surprised at all and treated me. I am not sure if the acupuncture ever helped me with WD symptoms or not...but it is hard to know sometimes whether such symptoms are being reduced or not. I do know that after my very first acupuncture treatment my desire to smoke cigarettes went away for hours, which was extraordinarily unusual for me at that time. I am NOT sure the acupuncture treatments helped me with cravings for opiates. After a short time I started using again. I remember telling the acupuncturist that I had started using again and asked her if she thought I should give up on the acupuncture, maybe at least until I was ready to quit again. She suggested I continue with the daily treatments because even though I was using, she thought it very well could help me to at least use less. I think it may have done that but I'm not really sure. A lot of addicts went to that clinic every day though. However, I just kept on using and eventually stopped going to the clinic. The day treatment program I mentioned didn't work out for me either.

I also wonder how many doctors and psychiatrists are willing to prescribe any meds at all to help with WD, and especially meds like benzodiazapines. I've never asked but I suspect my psychiatrist would be reluctant to even though she clearly would prefer that I taper off sub at some point if I can do so without relapsing. Once I saw a doctor when I was 8 days into WD from heroin--I had the worst insomnia...he prescribed be trazadol (I think that's what it was called) which barely helped at all. Of course, I didn't talk to him about my other symptoms besides the insomnia. For me the sweating has always been the worst, besides of course the depression and anxiety and cravings. When I did stop taking sub once though, I had only mild WD and only for a few days. But then, I relapsed so decided to get back on sub. I've read some of the horror stories about sub but Ive read more cases of people successfully completing careful tapers.

Anyway, I wish you guys luck, I hope you're doing ok, and please do keep us posted here.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2010 5:54 am 
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What's worked best for me is Doloxene as a mild opiate step-down off bupe.

Other things that have helped are Ibuprofen (muscle aches / cramps), Clonidine (mainly for the tears, runny nose & hot/cold sweats). Valium is really helpful but I'd only use it if other measures did not suffice. I know how easy it would be for me to get a problem with the benzos.

Finally, if you're a smoker, quitting smoking for me can halve the intensity of opiate withdrawal. I just find that I'm less lethargic and actually have the energy to do stuff despite any physical symptoms I might be suffering.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2010 1:12 pm 
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tallwater wrote:
hey today is day 4 for me with no sub. just curious if u have stopped taking it completely ?? if so what have u been experiencing and how long were u on d sub?? just looking for some kind of light at the end of the tunnel !!! everything on here so far has been a horror story...


I am on day 4 too. I am feeling much better as a combination of some time and 1mg of klonopin a day (taken in two .5mg doses). I was on 24 mg of suboxone from January to May. In June, I started reducing, first to 16mg, then 12mg, then 8mg, then 4mg, and then 2mg (for about a week each). I didn't realize (and neither did my doctor!) that there was a threshold level at 2mg. I was told to just stop taking it after a week at 2mg, but I went my last week with 1mg anyway. I actually didn't like taking the 1mg - it made me feel better for about 90 minutes and then the horrible Restless-Leg Syndrome, cold sweats, and cramping would come back full force. I was starting to get through each day just to take my 1mg of Suboxone at 6pm. I HATED waiting around all day for my dose...so finally, with the advice of a friend from NA who had been through the withdrawal, I just tossed my remaining suboxone. It's too tempting if you keep a bottle around. You will eventually convince yourself to take some...just one last pill (yeah right).

It was INTENSELY AWFUL for day 1, 2, and 3 - finally today I noticed a little let up in the symptoms, and I'm grateful. For me, the worst symptom was a debilitating anxiety, which made all the physical symptoms feel worse. I was unable to get anything done for the first three days, although on day 3, I was able to do my laundry. I was literally pacing around my house - i would have climbed the walls if I had any strength. I couldn't stay in bed (although I felt like doing so) because I was experiencing just too many nasty symptoms, which seemed to abate (a little) when I got up and walked around. I was literally hobbling because my muscles were so sore.

However, today I haven't done much pacing. I went out to the bookstore, got coffee, etc. I was able to eat a little this morning (almost nothing for past 3 days - still not hungry at all).

So I started to see "the light" at about 72+ solid hours of misery. Today is quite a bit better than yesterday.

Opiate withdrawal is always a "horror story" - you essentially pay back all the pain you avoided over months of use. Yes, there are some people who get off Suboxone without too much pain, but then again there are people who can take opiates occasionally.


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