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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 4:59 am 
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I was a college athlete, and suffered a fractured c4/c5 vert in my neck back in 2006. In order to recover after surgery, I did both the rehabilitation with my doctor for the injury (abt 9 months) and was prescribed pain meds (10mg perks) for when my neck would lock up after workouts. The lockups would occur periodically, i'd say once a month, and I would go through a couple days of taking either 5mg vicodin or 10mg perks, spread out evenly throughout the day. It was a breeze and back then I never even heard of withdrawals so my surgeon felt I should continue my workout regiment (mostly cardio) and when my neck acted up I should take a vicodin or percocet every 6hrs for a day or two, or until the kinks in my neck were worked out again. The surgery took place in 2006, and I did not return to my sport as an athlete, but as a coach, so about once a month i'd have similar neck-locking and again would take small doses of low mg vicodin/perks. This periodic dosing lasted for a couple of years but was controllable; sometimes I would need to take 2 10mg perks for the pain, sometimes only 1mg vicodin, but my regiment was working, and continued to work for a while. Soon after, I graduated from college with good grades and decided to attend law school. In my first semester, I was still coaching, and still on my periodic pain meds when my neck acted up. Again, I figured the old routine would work so I was given an RX for 10mg Percocets. After being in law school for some time, I realized that in order to be successful I needed to quit the pain pills and adjust my work out schedule to alleviate the neck-locks. After this, it was the first time I ever experienced withdrawals which I went to a doctor for. The doctor suggested another doctor, who raved about suboxone for opiate withdrawal. I thought, if it will get me off the vikes and perks, so be it, boy was I wrong. I thought I would remain on the suboxone for a week or so, but the doctor kept pushing me into it saying you're having so much success without the opiates, why not keep taking these for a while. Well within a few months he had me sucked in, and although I did well and salvaged my 2nd semester the following day I started my ween to quit suboxone after 7 months. i've weened all summer continuously telling myself you can do this, and so far i have. I never went above 1mg so started there and after a week dropping to .5, then a week or two later to .25 was pretty easy as well. However, what's not easy is dropping completely off. By the time I quit sub completely (without consulting my new doctor because I quickly realized he wanted me on the subs not off even though I was accidently addicted in the first place and all my pain meds came from doctors, I was just ignorant about subs and thought they had no withdrawal, and i wasn't used to withdrawal.) I literally weened myself off to a pin head skipping days then another pin head then completely off. It was then that I suffered a basilar skull fracture getting hit by a car as a pedestrian (hit and run). I was in the hospital for a couple days, without suboxone but on percocet again, for about a week and a half, at a dose of about 10mg 3x daily (percocet). After I quit that, I had some suboxone left so I used it for the withdrawal not realizing that I only been off suboxone for about a month. This time I went back to suboxone withdrawals which I couldn't bear with my hectic schedule so now i'm masking the withdrawal with 1 5mg vicodin every 6 hours. I have no more subs and never want to take one again, they're very hard to quit. However, if i keep dosing myself with such small amounts of vicodin, is this a good way to avoid any more suboxone withdrawls? How long should the sub withdrawls last considering I had already quit for a month (2 weeks clean 2 weeks on vicodin) and spread .5mg of sub over 4 days skipping 1 day. I'm not worried about becoming addicted to vicodin at all, I just have no interest in it except to not go through withdrawal. Any advice would be appreciated.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 7:53 am 
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First of all, welcome to the forum, Dudley, and thanks for sharing your story. I'm sorry you're so unhappy with suboxone, but it's my opinion that suboxone isn't the issue here. The thing with suboxone is it is an opiate, albeit a partial agonist ("regular" pain meds are FULL agonists), so withdrawals from it are expected. Did you do no research on suboxone before starting it?

The other thing is that you already had withdrawals coming your way, so there's really no way around it. And any withdrawals you have coming to you are from the opiates you are addicted/dependent on. The brain doesn't know the difference - an opiate is an opiate is an opiate.

I'm sorry your doctor didn't give you proper informed consent about suboxone before starting you on it and didn't listen to your needs and desires to not stay on it. I actually happen to agree with you that a short taper would have probably been best for you. From what you wrote, it sounds like you're more dependent on opiates instead of addicted. Did you ever abuse your meds, run out early, buy them off the street or any other such things? You didn't mention anything like that and barring such abuses, I'd say you became dependent but not addicted. And that's why I don't think you never needed suboxone long term.

That said, you are where you are now and there's no going back. If you think you are able to taper off using the vicodin, then great! The thing with we addicts is that we are literally unable to taper off our drugs of choice - it's simply impossible, but we CAN taper off suboxone. But if you are not an addict, then you may be able to do that.

Depending on how you taper yourself down, you may still have to deal with withdrawal symptoms. You can try to lower your dose slowly over time to avoid it, but there's no guarantee that you still won't feel some kind of w/d symptoms.

I'm sorry I don't have better answers for you, but I hope this helps a little. Again, welcome. Keep us updated on how you are doing and we'll do our best to help you along with your taper.

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-As I have grown older, I've learned that pleasing everyone is impossible, but pissing everyone off is a piece of cake.

-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:50 pm 
Dudley: Welcome to the forum and telling your story, how horrific for you.

Being in medicine for a long time the diagnosis
of your neck "locking up" just doesn't fly. The closed head injury I understand and basilar skull Fx is nothing to take lightly.
That is what the NFL is looking at now, as so many players have become disabled due to concussions and basilar and cervical
skull fractures. Why,( after an MRI) are they saying your neck "locks up". Due to arthritis, disc herniation or compression, muscle spasms, torticollis? If it is arthritis. disc problems or muscle spasms, you may benefit from epidural injections under guided x-ray or muscle relaxants, anti-inflammatories. Steroids in general just suck, but may help?

Hatmaker is right, any opiate, full or partial agonists for greater than 10 days to 2 weeks, the body becomes dependant. You will probably suffer some form of withdrawal. There are comfort meds, ask your doctor. Clonidine helps with anxiety, muscle spasms, chills, sweats....Just watch for dizziness, as it is an old b/p med. Trazedone helps for sleep, for some, low dose Melatonin. Pilots use melatonin. Some recommend magnesium, amino acids, immodium, short term valium, in normal doses. Ask your doc about this.
When you can taper great, and If I were you, on a low dose of Vicodin, I would taper to zero, as you are. Forget the suboxone. Also, it really is hard to keep switching back and forth, full agonists to partial agonists, it just confuses your brain and will eventually can turn you in to full blown dependant.
Keep reading these threads and Dr. Junig has tons of helpful info, he is the originator of the forum and a previous addict. One smart doc.

Eat well, stay distracted, exercise some daily, keep hydrated. My best wishes to you, Robin


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 9:50 pm 
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Hello counselor--
You seem to be an accomplished and ambitious person. I bet it kills you to be dependent on this crap. ALl I can tell you is either way==you are in for some WDs. But thats the price we pay for our freedom. I tried the swing back and forth early on--vicodin to Subs--and all I was doing was masking one addiction for the other. To use one of your legal terms--I was sort of playing with double jeopardy! lol Finally I stayed on Subs for two years and jumped at 8mgs. It was hard. It was uncomfortable for about 15 days. And after that it was a very slow ascent. But at Day 40--I feel so good. I fell liberated. I feel clean. Yeah I still have sleep issues from time to time--but I have dealt with that by adjusting my bedtime. I hated every minute of it during the process--but I am so glad I stuck with it and didnt go back to the doc. Everyine is different--but tapering never worked for me. I would ALWAYS go back to the max dosage. So I took the chute off and jumped. Whatever you decide--I am with you. You can do this. PM is you ever need.

brian


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 7:01 pm 
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Dudley wrote:
I was a college athlete, and suffered a fractured c4/c5 vert in my neck back in 2006. In order to recover after surgery, I did both the rehabilitation with my doctor for the injury (abt 9 months) and was prescribed pain meds (10mg perks) for when my neck would lock up after workouts. The lockups would occur periodically, i'd say once a month, and I would go through a couple days of taking either 5mg vicodin or 10mg perks, spread out evenly throughout the day. It was a breeze and back then I never even heard of withdrawals so my surgeon felt I should continue my workout regiment (mostly cardio) and when my neck acted up I should take a vicodin or percocet every 6hrs for a day or two, or until the kinks in my neck were worked out again. The surgery took place in 2006, and I did not return to my sport as an athlete, but as a coach, so about once a month i'd have similar neck-locking and again would take small doses of low mg vicodin/perks. This periodic dosing lasted for a couple of years but was controllable; sometimes I would need to take 2 10mg perks for the pain, sometimes only 1mg vicodin, but my regiment was working, and continued to work for a while. Soon after, I graduated from college with good grades and decided to attend law school. In my first semester, I was still coaching, and still on my periodic pain meds when my neck acted up. Again, I figured the old routine would work so I was given an RX for 10mg Percocets. After being in law school for some time, I realized that in order to be successful I needed to quit the pain pills and adjust my work out schedule to alleviate the neck-locks. After this, it was the first time I ever experienced withdrawals which I went to a doctor for. The doctor suggested another doctor, who raved about suboxone for opiate withdrawal. I thought, if it will get me off the vikes and perks, so be it, boy was I wrong. I thought I would remain on the suboxone for a week or so, but the doctor kept pushing me into it saying you're having so much success without the opiates, why not keep taking these for a while. Well within a few months he had me sucked in, and although I did well and salvaged my 2nd semester the following day I started my ween to quit suboxone after 7 months. i've weened all summer continuously telling myself you can do this, and so far i have. I never went above 1mg so started there and after a week dropping to .5, then a week or two later to .25 was pretty easy as well. However, what's not easy is dropping completely off. By the time I quit sub completely (without consulting my new doctor because I quickly realized he wanted me on the subs not off even though I was accidently addicted in the first place and all my pain meds came from doctors, I was just ignorant about subs and thought they had no withdrawal, and i wasn't used to withdrawal.) I literally weened myself off to a pin head skipping days then another pin head then completely off. It was then that I suffered a basilar skull fracture getting hit by a car as a pedestrian (hit and run). I was in the hospital for a couple days, without suboxone but on percocet again, for about a week and a half, at a dose of about 10mg 3x daily (percocet). After I quit that, I had some suboxone left so I used it for the withdrawal not realizing that I only been off suboxone for about a month. This time I went back to suboxone withdrawals which I couldn't bear with my hectic schedule so now i'm masking the withdrawal with 1 5mg vicodin every 6 hours. I have no more subs and never want to take one again, they're very hard to quit. However, if i keep dosing myself with such small amounts of vicodin, is this a good way to avoid any more suboxone withdrawls? How long should the sub withdrawls last considering I had already quit for a month (2 weeks clean 2 weeks on vicodin) and spread .5mg of sub over 4 days skipping 1 day. I'm not worried about becoming addicted to vicodin at all, I just have no interest in it except to not go through withdrawal. Any advice would be appreciated.


Hey Dudley...That's quite a story. Mine is very similar to that one. I had neck pain. My doctor put me on vics. I on the other hand liked the feeling they gave me, so I stayed on them. When I became sick and tired of them, I attempted to wean myself off....but couldn't. I then started taking six pills a day just to keep the withdrawals away. They were 750's, but I was stuck. Couldn't wean myself down. I went to a psychiatrist in the community and told him my problem. He prescribed 2mg suboxone, 3 times a day. I went home. Took one, then another. I realized they were waaaay too strong for me. I had never been that high before and it scared me. I couldn't think, drive, my breathing was heavy. I actually had to concentrate on my breathing. I wasn't one who would be layed out from the vics. Just enough to keep the withdrawals away, and never did follow the instructions for the suboxone. I backed down to 1/2mg per day after seeing how strong it was. After experiencing that. I checked myself into rehab for 10 days. When I was done I experienced severe anxiety, but knew the pills weren't the answer. I found myself a really good addictionologist who practices not too far from my house. He has a social worker, a nutritionist, a nurse practioner in his office, and most of all....he had a VERY personal interest in addiction. I'm on 5mg Buspar now. That's it. I've had the most happy summer I've had in a very long time. I have a professional, lucrative career also, but needed to take time out for myself. To work on myself. I was off from work for a month and a half. Applied for short term disability, and got paid while I was out. You sound like you REALLY wanna quit. Ponder taking the time out for a good rehab. It may help you. Oh. I was on the vics for 2 years.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 7:07 pm 
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Oh, a really good aftercare plan. Which includes your Primary Care Physican along with group therapy will help you too. Good luck Dudley...You can do it!!!


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 2:41 pm 
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I have had a bunch of ear surgeries and went on suboxone for pain management. I have been on suboxone for 5 years. I stopped cold turkey 6 days ago (2mg was the dose I was on). My doctor doesn't understand the chemistry of suboxone so I am trying to figure out how to get through these withdrawals. I am taking 10/325 of vicoden 1-2 times a day. I've been able to work. I was suppose to run a marathon oct 22 but have zero energy I was running 5-16 miles a day and barely have the energy to walk 2 miles.
I'm tempted to go back on suboxone but feel like I've gone this long. I'm scared that hat maker is right and maybe I'm prolonging the withdrawals?


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 3:57 pm 
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Mom - Hi and welcome. Are you using the vicodin to taper off the suboxone? Or do you not have a plan? Why did you cold turkey at such a high dose? You always have the option of going back on a very low dose of suboxone - the smallest you need - and continue a low taper. The idea is to do it very slowly. You can't do it like ripping off a band-aid abruptly. That's too drastic and is what causes all that severe w/d discomfort. But pulling off the band-aid really slowly so as to barely even notice it is the way to go.

So, you went on suboxone for pain management, you said. Are you an opiate addict as well or not? Either way, be careful of the vicodin you've replaced the suboxone with, especially if you have issues with opiates. It's playing with fire for us.

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-As I have grown older, I've learned that pleasing everyone is impossible, but pissing everyone off is a piece of cake.

-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 4:19 pm 
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Thanks for the help. I stopped quickly bc I couldn't get in to see my doctor she was booked and I had to travel out of state for work. She said "you can go a week without it's no big deal ". More than once she has said quiting 2 mgs is nothing. I cannot have paws I am contemplating divorcing my husband ( he cheated) and live for my kids. God I love them so much and if I get sick for paws that could hurt me w custody. So anyway my md is a pain doctor and doesn't get this drug.
This is why I am relying on this forum (no pressure!!!!). To help me make an informed choice!!!
I am not an addict but only bc I know myself and have an addictive personality. I have ADHD ( as I have learned many people on suboxone do) run long distance and never even smoked pot or had a Starbucks coffee bc I know how I am!
Thanks so much for the re!!


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 4:44 pm 
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We will definitely do what we can. Have you started your own thread yet? If not, you should do so. I think you'll be pleased with the support you get.

Oh and what's this about ADHD being common in sub patients? I've never heard this before.

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-As I have grown older, I've learned that pleasing everyone is impossible, but pissing everyone off is a piece of cake.

-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 6:23 pm 
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It's more the fact that people with ADHD are more likely to have addiction issues. I have read everything I can about this topic in the last 5 years!
I did start a thread below. Thanks


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