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PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2009 1:54 pm 
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Does anyone know how long you can safely take Suboxone before you're to the point of withdrawals when you quit? How long do you take it before you're in the clear of withdrawals from the opiates you were taking.


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 Post subject: Great information here
PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2009 2:44 pm 
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Welcome! I think if you look around or perhaps run a few searches you will be able to find some good answers to your question. I recently posted something that addresses what you asked and am pasting it here again for you. Hopefully it will help you to understand more about all of this.
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I see a lot of people speak of Suboxone withdrawal or dependence as if your body has the capacity to sense the specific drug "Suboxone". By this I mean, people who are fully dependent on opiates somehow believe that Suboxone is a whole other dependence or somehow your body develops a special addiction or dependence to Percocet separate from Vicodin separate from Suboxone. That is not at all true. When your body is SCREAMING for opiates, it does not care and cannot tell one from the other. The fact that you are having your drug of choice replaced by Sub does not mean that your body knows this. Very true each drug has different strenghts, half life's, etc. But all of them simply hit the receptors and your body responds in kind. In other words, your body will not develop any sort of special connection or bond to Sub. The bottom line of all of this is your body is dependent on opiates - plain and simple. Any of the various forms present in your system will (should) keep you from going into withdrawals. They each have their own characteristics for getting you high, etc. They all have their dose range, time spent active in the body, etc. They all differ in these respects. However, they are all the same when it comes to stopping the process of you getting sick due to lack of their presence in your system. So long as you have some form of opiate in your bloodstream, in the required dose (according to your body) you will not get sick from withdrawal.
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Again I hope that helps. In short, the unfortunate answer to your question is you are not going to be able to avoid withdrawals of some form at some time. What you can hopefully do is transfer over to Suboxone from the full opiate drugs you are now taking and then very slowly (at some point when you are very good and ready) taper down to a dose that you can manageably stop taking anything from. The fact of the matter is you are addicted and dependant to opiates. It doesn't matter what the name of the drug is. The best that you can do is slowly taper down using Suboxone and then eventually stop. What you will likely find out, prior to that ever happening, is you probably have a whole lot of work to do on you before you can stop and stay stopped. You may end up having to take Suboxone for years. And there is nothing wrong with that. That is fine - so long as you are doing it under a doctor's care.

Good luck on your journey. Keep reading. Keep learning, and keep sharing with everyone else here.


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 Post subject: Thanks
PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2009 3:09 pm 
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I appreciate your reply. I have already started a suboxone program. I just wasn't clear on the fact that subs are the same as opiates. It kind of makes me feel like whats the point. Reading about them on here makes it seem like they were stronger then the tabs and percs I was taking in the first place.

I guess I'm kind of left wondering if I traded one evil for another if they both are doing the same thing.


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 Post subject: A little more Info
PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2009 3:43 pm 
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First of all, ImSoMe, I should have recognized your screen name. Not sure why I thought you were new. I certainly remember seeing other posts from you.

Anyhow, this stuff can be confusing. First off, Suboxone is a very weak opiate when it comes to either treating pain or getting you high. It sucks at both of those. Well why then do people say it is stronger than all of the other opiates? The answer is, its strength is in being able to completely cover the opiate receptors in your brain. It is top dog at taking up all of the space and pushing all of the other opiates off. But that's all it's good at. Oxy - or whatever is a much stronger and even deadlier medication. It just can't beat out Suboxone for a place in your brain. Does that make a little bit more sense to you?

So even though Suboxone is the best at latching onto your opiate receptors and about the worst at treating pain or getting you high, it still is an opiate - or more true a partial-opiate. That is why it is able to keep you from going into withdrawals. So what is happening is you are trading a "bad" drug or variety of drugs for a very "good" one. And even saying that, remember that for 90% of people, oxycodone is a very, very good drug. It treats pain better than just about anything else we have available in pill form and most of the time does not cause addiction. For you and I, however, that is just not the case. So for us, and the rest of us here, Suboxone does pretty much everything we need it to. It keeps us from going into withdrawals and blocks our body from being able to abuse other opiates. It also helps with cravings, etc. Because we have done such damage to our body chemistry, we actually now need a drug like this to feel "normal". Thankfully it does not cause all of the other bad things that true opiates do. This allows us to slowly work on everything else that we need to in order to live a happy, full and productive life. At some point, we MAY be able to stop taking Suboxone. The thing is, more and more doctors and people in general are starting to believe that for at least a portion of us, we can and perhaps should stay on this medication for an extended time or perhaps the rest of our life. In this case, the benefit of the drug far outweighs all of the bad stuff that may happen if we don't continue to take it. For some of us, perhaps with myself, I may have to continue to take Suboxone everyday just like I take Lipitor everyday for high cholesterol. Is there really a difference? What about high blood pressure? I have taken Lipitor everyday for over 7 years now. I have never thought about having to get off of that drug. It has never even been a thought. See there is no "stigma" with taking Lipitor like there seems to be for taking Suboxone.

You are not trading one drug for another. You are now taking a drug to treat your dieses. If your addiction is able to safely go into remission, you may be able to stop taking Subs. Or perhaps you'll decide with your doctor that it's just better and safer to stay on them for the long-term. If you are able to safely stop, well then great. The problem is, the data is already starting to show that more and more, people like us who do really well on Suboxone don't do nearly so well when we stop it. There are many cases of people doing greater than great for years and then within months of stopping Subs, they are right back to where they started a long time ago and now have to battle all the way back again. For them, it would have made much more sense to just keep taking the orange pill every morning than have to go through all of that hell all over again. For at least a portion, it's even worse than that as they lose their spouse, job, family, friends or THEIR LIFE, after a relapse because they stopped their Suboxone. Oh, but they did at least not have to take that pill everyday for a few months. [Sarcasm]

So to bring this already too long post to a close, you still are dependant on opiates - AND THAT'S OKAY!!! Don't let it bother you. Some people need Lipitor, some need atenolol and others need Prozac, Zoloft or some other medication like it. Just like us, if they stop taking these meds they will likely suffer in different ways. If we stop taking our Suboxone we will likely suffer in different ways. Hopefully you can start to just accept this fact. If nothing else, trust me when I say that you have made the absolutely correct decision in starting Suboxone treatment. In that, I have no doubt.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2009 4:09 pm 
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Hi ImSoMe!

I totally understand your answer. Here's why I personally believe many of us chose suboxone over tapering our opiate of choice.

FAILURE.

I personally tried to taper myself on full-agonist opiates (percocet). Sounds good doesn't it? I mean - just do the same thing we are doing with suboxone here - and eventually I'll taper off for good.

Again, all this flies out the window for me (and many others and here is why).

. on Percocet, I get cravings to take more to feel normal. SO?... I take more
. on Percocet, the more I take, the more numb I feel - or even a little better than numb SO.. even more reason to take more.

Suboxone is like saying to yourself and everyone else who is supporting you. I choose to get clean. I choose a drug that will help we with withdrawal - and in the mean time block my ability to take too much - or take other drugs.

Suboxone is not a way to take something and in a week 'all of our abuse is all better now...'

It is a tool that put's in a different frame of mind. NORMAL is the word I use. I feel NORMAL. I know for some, it takes a little while to find the right dose - but when they do - they feel normal.

Upon that move in behavior for me, then I can deal with what made me use, and find other ways to get support for my disease/addiction.

I hope this helps you. Maybe you are stronger than I, and could taper off a full opiate without slipping. I need the re-inforcer that if I did slip - take something else, I would not feel the effect and just waste my effort, time, and money.

Keep posting, I hope this make some sense from another angle.

BEST!


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2009 6:26 pm 
About all I can say is - donh and lathedude are telling you the 100% truth here! Such wise words really!
ImSoMe - You just need to hang on and believe that this is going to work. You will get nowhere trying to discontinue full agonists opiates. We've all tried it and we've all failed! The beauty of Suboxone is just what the others have said. It doesn't get you high and it keeps the withdrawals away. So you can live your life, go on with your responsibilities, and function and after a little time passes (maybe a few weeks or so) you'll start to see everything more clearly. You'll see more and more the lie of opiates, you'll see more and more how all that screwed up so many things in your life. You don't need to lose everything before you get help! Stick with the Suboxone and you'll have a fighting chance of getting off it someday if you really, really want to. You have not traded one addiction for another! Don't fall for that line of BS! You will be dependent on Suboxone, NOT addicted! Big difference. Just hang in there with it and I can almost promise you if you'll educate yourself, get support and work on your life from all angles, you'll be better of for having done this.
Let us know how you're doing.


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