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 Post subject: Jumped at ~6 mg / day...
PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 3:51 am 
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Hi,

I jumped off the Sub train at more than half an 8mg pill per day (illegally, of course). No doctorness, no detoxness, no health insurance, etc.

I'm on day 10, and while I feel better than I did the first week, I still cannot sleep more than an hour or two per night, I still am always sweating, clammy, headache etc.

I was using around 8mg every two days for a year or so, and was heavily using Oxy for about a year before then. However, when I jumped, I knew nothing of tapering or anything like that, and had no idea what the half-life of Subutex was. I have read many posts on different sites saying that the insomnia can last up to a month. Is this true? I've been eating healthy, taking hot soaks once a day. I take usually around 1000mg - 1500mg of L Tyrisone per day, B-12 sublingual, Fish Oil and Melatonin 1mg when I desperately want to sleep for a few hours.

I took Subutex as just another drug, with less severe impairments than other opiates. I had no idea that the withdrawals would be this horrible, or that my depency had built up to be so massive. However, I'm determined to get through it sober, without consultation or treatment, other than OTC suppliments.

Please, does anyone know when I will sleep again?!? I feel like I'm a mile past insane, and I desperately need to find a job, but it is so ridiculous to try and impress people when I look and feel so sickly / spaced out.

Thanks for any and all input!

**EDIT** I also have read that opiate abuse permanently damages your dopamine receptors. But, that isn't true, is it? I know it will take a long time to fully recover, but I can recover, can't I?


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 10:36 am 
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Hello speedkills and welcome. The first thing I want to say is that none of your receptors can be permanently damaged by using opiates. I'll try to explain this the best I'm able....Opiate addicts overusing them causes more opiate receptors to be "created". Once we stop using them (including bupe/sub), those "extra" receptors eventually subside or go away, for lack of the correct medical/scientific terms.

From what you've said, it's clear that you now know you could have avoided a lot of your suffering had you tapered down, but you are where you are now and there's no sense discussing what could have been.

One extra thing you can be doing to help your w/d symptoms is exercise. Keep yourself busy and active. Try running or walking, but so many people who have quit sub can't say enough about the benefits of exercise and activity. See, it releases your own natural endorphins and that's EXACTLY what you need your brain to be doing right now. Otherwise, keep up with the hot baths and the melatonin. And I'm sure others will have more suggestions, too.

Lastly, stopping sub is the easy part. Staying in remission without sub is the really hard part. Are you prepared for that? Do you have some new coping skills, relapse prevention plans in place, that sort of thing? When we're on suboxone, it's like training with a net, now without it, you'll be flying with no net. At least that's how I see it.

I hope this helps you a bit. Oh - you asked about how long you'll have sleep problems. Unfortunately, no one can answer that with any specificity. It could be a few months. When you cold turkey'ed off sub, you didn't just give yourself extra suffering thru the acute withdrawals, but you also might be in for some PAWS, too. Again, I'm sure others who have been in your shoes will stop by and weigh in with their experiences.

Good luck to you and keep us posted. Again, welcome to the forum.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 12:43 pm 
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Well, that's good to know. I did feel skeptical when I heard "permanent damage", because my older brother used to huff spray-paint cans, and he isn't mentally disabled now... lol.

I've actually stopped taking the melatonin, because it seems to only let me sleep for one hour or so, and then I feel restless and groggy.

I have pretty strong willpower, and seeing as I just moved 1,500 miles away from my home, I don't think I'll be relapsing any time soon, lol. Unless I want to be homeless or something :p

I'll try to exercise more, as difficult as it is some days. Thanks for the info! I do think I will have to deal with PAWS, simply because I can't remember the last time I wasn't addicted to -something-, let alone opiates.... But I'm in my late 20s, and have finally grown to have the impulse control necessary to kick the habit.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 12:45 pm 
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SpeedKills wrote:
Hi,

I jumped off the Sub train at more than half an 8mg pill per day (illegally, of course). No doctorness, no detoxness, no health insurance, etc.

I'm on day 10, and while I feel better than I did the first week, I still cannot sleep more than an hour or two per night, I still am always sweating, clammy, headache etc.

I was using around 8mg every two days for a year or so, and was heavily using Oxy for about a year before then. However, when I jumped, I knew nothing of tapering or anything like that, and had no idea what the half-life of Subutex was. I have read many posts on different sites saying that the insomnia can last up to a month. Is this true? I've been eating healthy, taking hot soaks once a day. I take usually around 1000mg - 1500mg of L Tyrisone per day, B-12 sublingual, Fish Oil and Melatonin 1mg when I desperately want to sleep for a few hours.

I took Subutex as just another drug, with less severe impairments than other opiates. I had no idea that the withdrawals would be this horrible, or that my depency had built up to be so massive. However, I'm determined to get through it sober, without consultation or treatment, other than OTC suppliments.

Please, does anyone know when I will sleep again?!? I feel like I'm a mile past insane, and I desperately need to find a job, but it is so ridiculous to try and impress people when I look and feel so sickly / spaced out.

Thanks for any and all input!

**EDIT** I also have read that opiate abuse permanently damages your dopamine receptors. But, that isn't true, is it? I know it will take a long time to fully recover, but I can recover, can't I?


Wow, you are one tough and brave soul.

The sleeping thing is a pain, and it takes a while for it to get better. I jumped in August from 1/16-mg, but I was on for almost 6 years. As low as I tapered to, my sleep is still pretty messed up. However, it is getting better slowly. I'm using Melatonin and herbal tea (chamomile and valerian). At this point, the tea is really working. Other than that, I just go with it. Many nights, I wake up after a few hours and that is just it. I'm not gonna sleep more. I know you don't want anything other than OTC stuff, but you would probably really benefit from some Ambien. A person can only go so long without sleep.

The best thing you can do for yourself is physically wear yourself out. I know that may sound crazy and ridiculous, as exhausted as you probably are. If you can force yourself, though, it's so effective. If you were forced to hike or march half the day, you'd sleep.

I feel for you. I've worried about permanent brain damage, but I think it's just a matter of time and letting everything return to normal. Our bodies are remarkable resilient.

laddertipper

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 2:48 pm 
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Hey Speed, congrats on making the jump, even if it was at a high dose, try to hang in there. I t sounds like you may be thru the worst of it, and the rest gets better with time. I wouldn't worry too much about any permanent damage, the brain is really quite resilient, but it does take some time to recover.

I read in you post you're taking L Tyrisone, and B-12 sublingual, while those can be helpful for energy during the day, but, they could also be a part of the sleep issue you're having. I'd at least try a day or two without them and see if the sleep issue doesn't improve a little. You can try the herbal stuff for sleep, but if it doesn't work, think about maybe trying some benadryl. I know you don't want to involve Drs, but if you can find a clinic that would be willing to script you for some Clonidine and Ambien, it might make your situation a whole lot more tolerable. Other than that, exercising as much as you can stand helps greatly in getting your brain to start generating more of it's own endorphin's again, that will help immensely to speed your recovery.

Mike


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 7:59 pm 
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What I'm really worried about is that as soon as I stop the L Tyrisone, I'll be inundated with depression. And that's the worst enemy of anyone who wants to recover from substance abuse :p. But I'll give it a shot.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 8:59 am 
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Speed, if you think the L Tyrisone, and B-12 sublingual is staving off depression then keep taking it. Both depression and anxiety are often huge issues associated with Sub withdrawal. I used that combination of L Tyrisone, and B-12 sublingual when I jumped the first time, and it made my anxiety worse, that's how it affected me, but for you it might be different. Severe sleep issues can also lead to anxiety and depression, that's why I made the suggestion. My opinion here is based on my own experience, but I don't think it can hurt giving it a try, both of those supplements are quick acting, so if it doesn't help you can easily start up again.

I've been off Sub for 66 days and I'm still struggling with decent sleep, the best I seem to get is 4 or 5 hrs consecutively, and that's with Clonidine and Ambien. The side effects of withdrawing from this drug seem to be less intense, but they really drag on.

Mike


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 10:54 am 
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Our brains change from being addicted to opioids, as with other drugs of addiction. The main thing I'd prepare yourself for in this regard is the inevitable feeling of craving that addiction leaves us with. This is the real legacy my addiction leaves in our brain. Whether it's dopamine or some CAMp pathway thing, something changes that leaves us with these cravings / desires to use that rear their ugly head. They get better over the months / years, but apparently they can still be heard past that.

The other thing that's really important is that, like hatmaker said... those extra receptors we got from our using do go away. But the moment an opioid drug is re-introduced, those old ones open back up fast. This is why a person who relapses ends up using the same amount as before within a few days. So in that aspect, our brains have changed. Once we stop, we can't use like we did 'in the beginning'. Tolerance goes back very fast to where it was before.

Quote:
Mechanism of long-term potential for relapse

One of the most insidious features of opioid addiction is the tendency to relapse on the drug even weeks, months, or years after addicts stop using and withdrawal symptoms disappear. The mechanism for this type of relapse is being studied intensely. Animal studies suggest 3 distinct conditions that reliably induce relapse:

Stress

Exposure to conditioned cues related to past drug use

A dose of the previously administered drug or a drug with similar properties

There is evidence that long-term administration of opioids can permanently alter the density of dendritic spines in certain neurons, and these permanent changes may contribute to long-lasting vulnerability to relapse.


Don't be discouraged at all. I'm not trying to scare you. Just understand that this may be the biggest challenge you've ever faced. I've heard old ex-junkies, clean for decades, say that getting and staying clean was the hardest thing they ever did. So it will take work. But I don't doubt that you can do it, or anyone for that matter.

Quote:
'm in my late 20s, and have finally grown to have the impulse control necessary to kick the habit


I hear ya there.

Stick around.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 8:24 pm 
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The really crazy thing is that even though I still feel kind of run down, last night was the first night I jammed out on guitar in years.

Somehow, the addict inside the Human brain tells you that you can't enjoy things without that extra jolt, but I'm looking forward to returning to normal.

I think there are a lot of people (at least, where I'm from) that abuse Subs just like they would any opiate, without knowing the real risks / dependency issues. I'm really amazed that I was able to get a hold of it so easily for all this time.

The most helpful part in my recovery so far is knowing that there is such a ridiculously large amount of information online that I can sort this out on my own, without professional help (read: SSRIs or Anxiolytics), I believe those did more damage to my person than opiates ever did...

I definitely feel "the itch" already, as does my roommate, but I think we're both determined enough to get through it, one day at a time.

Thanks for the replies!


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 8:45 pm 
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Quote:
The really crazy thing is that even though I still feel kind of run down, last night was the first night I jammed out on guitar in years.


That never made much sense to me. Heroin always seemed to be the rockstar drug. Yet all opioids, Suboxone included, numbed my appreciation of music more than anything. Then in detox when the floodgates open, the creativity flares up again.

Getting back into my music like before is something I really look forward to when I reduce my dose further, and (touch wood) jump off.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:31 am 
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My roommate (who is also going through withdrawals; think I mentioned that already) is trying to use his insurance to get a script for Klonopin or Xanax or Valium.... something to help us sleep. Any recommendations? We don't have much money, and Klonopin is like 100 bucks... so that's a no-go. Xanax and Valium are both around 50, but we would like to spend less if possible.

He is not going to mention withdrawals, but is just going to try to get a relaxer/anxiolytic for anxiety issues and insomnia...


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:51 am 
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Hi Speed,

I've been keeping up with your thread and I just wanted to mention that I feel for you and your roommate. I, too, jumped from in and around the 6mg mark, it's been over a year and a half ago now. *sigh*, the insomnia.....it was one of my most troublesome symtpoms.

OK, Valium/Xanax/Klonipin are all Benzodiazepines (Benzo's), Benzo's are notorious for being wicked hard to kick once you get addicted/dependent on them, WAY harder to quit than opiates, by most accounts, so be careful.

Klonipin is probably the weakest of those Benzo's. Valium is somewhere in the middle and the Xanax are pretty strong. I used Xanax for less than 10 days during my initial detox to help me, it just scared me so badly. I was taking about .5mg at night only. You can certainly try some of these Benzo's, please just remember how addictive they are.

What I ended up doing was getting a script for Clonidine, it's a blood pressure medication that's prescribed off label for opiate wd. It's one of the best opiate wd meds around. It calms the Sympathetic Nervous System AND has a sedative effect. You MUST go to you doctor to get a script, you need to have you blood pressure checked BEFORE taking this med. BTW, I took .1mg of Clonidine twice daily. Yep, .1mg. I took it for months and months and months, I had no side effects or wd when I stopped taking it, Clonidine is NOT addictive.

So, the Benzo's are definitely stronger and will make you sleep, you just have to be careful with them. Short term use only. Clonidine isn't as "potent", but it's non-addictive.

I really hope you guys get some sleep. Know this man, it gets better.....it absolutely gets better, we get better, it just takes a while.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 4:20 am 
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I don't know about in America, but in some countries there are outpatient detox services, or addiction doctors that prescribe daily pharmacy pickup doses of benzos to do a home-detox. You gotta lugg your sick arse to the pharmacy every day to pick them up though. It's good too because you get a restricted daily quota, so you can't gobble them.

It'd probably be better to find a doctor who's more understanding about this stuff than to doctor shop to get off drugs.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:38 pm 
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After some thought, I think we've both decided to forego any prescriptions. While it seems so tempting... It also seems like such an excuse. I can live without much sleep for a few more weeks, lol... probably.... And damned if the tyrisone doesn't really give you a mood/energy boost.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:11 pm 
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So, I'm on day 19, and while I usually sleep for at least 6 hours a night, it's always 2 hours - wake up - 4 hours, it seems. But, after the first few weeks of insomnia, it feels a million times better even to sleep this way, now.

Just thought I would post an update. Eating a lot of protein seems to help, too. Eggs and bacon every morning, some kind of fresh meat every afternoon. And lots of bananas! I'm 99% sure that if you don't eat healthy, it will take you infinitely longer to recover.

Other than the sleeplessness, I feel like I've made a full physical recovery. While I've heard that it can still come in waves, or every other day, or whatever, I've been feeling fine for the last 3 days, and unless I eat crappy food, I feel normal most of the day... until night hits, and then I get 5x more energy somehow and can never sleep.

Good luck to anyone who finds the willpower to stop subs... even if you go right back on it, you should at least understand what quitting it is like, I think.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 6:09 pm 
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Day 28!

For the past 4 nights, I've slept 8-9 hours. I always seem to get up at 9-10 am, but I think that's just because I'm not passed out under the influence anymore.

So, my insomnia lasted around 23-24 days.

One of the hardest things to re-learn, even after only 3 weeks, was to lie down at a set time each night and stay there until I fall asleep. Something about long-term insomnia makes you forget even the methods of sleeping normally....

From a chemical perspective, I guess it's still possible that I have a teeny tiny bit of Sub in my brain, still, but I don't really feel the urge to use anything anymore. I still have some interest issues, in that it's hard for me to sit down and lose myself in a hobby for more than an hour at a time, but each day it gets a little better.

One of the strangest things about subs is that the entire time I was on it, I never got pimples, never really sweated, and always had problems with bowel movements (constipation). I forgot was it was like to have normal body cycles! lol. All of the oil and sweat (and other things) must have been trapped in my body for the past year.

Just thought I would post an update. When I was on day 10-15, I thought it would never end. Now, I feel like it's definitely behind me, you just have to be patient and let it run its course.


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