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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 6:21 am 
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Ok, so I have been visiting this forum for the past year or so trying to prepare myself for the jump. A little history on me and my drug usage. Im a 37 year old male down in sunny Florida. When I was in my twenties I was addicted to coke(specifically crack) and then Heroin(the devil itself). Literally moved myself to an isolated location to detox from those but thats not why I'm here. I'm here to talk about bupe and beating this addiction.

I'm college educated, with a good job, even finished my MBA a year or so ago(while on suboxone because I was too scared to quit during school). I have a good job working in the financial industry that requires me to have constant communication with clients, I'll leave it at that. Well when the financial crisis started a good buddy of mine offered me a norco, It had been years since I touched an opiate so I thought "what the hell". Well that quickly progressed to me taking 10-20 perk 10's a day, and like a lot of others that quickly progressed to the roxy 15's and 30's.

After about two years on the pain pills, with no prescription of course.. I came to the realization that I needed to get off.. the guy who started me on the norcos(don't blame him at all, its my fault for taking them) and I both decided to quit. Well after about 4 days of WD' from opiates my friend came to me with this little orange pill. We were both naive about it and truly didn't know what were getting into...

So my sub use started 3yrs ago. Started at 8-12mgs a day and stayed there for a year. For the first six months was getting them through back channels, until my friend went to an addiction specialist and got a script. I was to embarrassed or scared to go with him, plus I was about to start a family and was worried that if I had opiate addiction on my medical history I would trouble getting life insurance(don't really know if this is true-my buddy seemed to believe it) His dr raised his dose to 16mgs a day of the strips. I just helped him with the cost and he kept me supplied with subs.

Alright enough with the background, here's what I did. As I have read it can and is different for everyone. I did a super slow taper. Basically went from 8mgs to 4mgs over a 4-5 month period, then cut it by a half every month until this past Jan (2012).
By then I was down to between .25mg and .5mg once a day(everyday on my way into work). Honestly, I feel like I had very minor withdrawals during this six month maintenance period. I was lethargic, memory was not as good as it used to be, and I was a bit moody. But I could function just fine.

So nine days ago I made the jump.. Having read about as many boards, blogs, you name it about sub withdrawal(which I feel is much worse than oxy withdrawal, my opinion), I was a bit paranoid about the jump. I went out and bought the L-tyrosine, noni juice, benadryl, immodium, even got some Xananx 2mg bars. I DID NOT GET ANY Clonidine due to doing this on my own, without Dr assistance. One thing I did have that I'm not sure the moderators will approve of was some ingest able cannabis (Marijuana).

Well I can say the first four to five days ,were pretty darn bad..even from jumping from a low dose. Probably because of the length of time that I have been on it. I was so tired during the day, when night time rolled around I could fall asleep; the big problem was staying asleep. So i started taking 1-2mgs of xanax, with 2 benadryl to knock me out. This worked for days 2-4, but after that I was going to bed at 9:30 and wide awake at midnight. The ingestable cannabis was also a life saver( I truly believe it should be legalized for medical purposes). It completely took away my RLS. Also, as I'm sure everyone has heard, exercise is key. I went, and am still going, to yoga classes- 3-5 times a week. Even when I don't feel like going, I make myself go. Never thought I would say this, but it is a life saver... the mental aspects coupled with the deep stretches really gave me a ton of relief. Don't get me wrong during most of the classes I was thinking I wouldn't make it through but the hour went by like it was 20 min and then I felt great for at least 2hrs afterwards...also doing a lot of walks and actually going to hit the regular gym tomorrow.

I was in a position where I had to go to work, I wouldn't recommend it. I told everyone I had a virus and kept my contact with other co-workers limited. If you're lucky enough to get a week off- take it. I basically loaded up on espresso, then pounded water and advil all day to function at about 50%. Oh and I can't forget the mini doses of xanax I took throughout the day(less than .25mg)
For days 2-5 my appetitie was gone, I made myself eat and I feel the cannabis may have increased my appetite(I only used this at night), but it was mostly soups and light food anything I ate was going right through me.

Days 6-7 where a lot more bearable, appetite was back. Didn't feel like I was crawling out of my skin anymore. Still didn't feel like myself, had a very flat affect.. just felt kinda numb. Still took the xanax and benadryl to sleep, and each day I would stay asleep a little longer..

Day 8-9, was able to go the beach, only thing really bothering me is the muscle aches and RLS.(I've hear clonidine helps with this, I have just been using unscented Ben-gay)...slept for almost 6 hours, which feels like an eternity. However yesterday the morning started out great but around 2:00pm, felt as though I could fall asleep standing up.. lots of fun when you have a toddler at home and a wife who doesn't know your kicking a powerful drug. But hit a power Yoga class on the way home and it TRULY got me feeling 100% better. Last night went to bed at 9pm- 1mg of Xanax, 2 bendadryl and slept till 4:30 so feel a bit rested.

This morning is day 10, woke up a little achey but it could easily be from he strenuous yoga class. But starting to feel like myself again. I don't ever want to be dependent on another drug to get me through life.. So I am going to keep pressing forward. I feel as though I have turned the corner, days 7-9 make days 3-6 look like a cake walk. Its just getting through the first week.

I firmly believe my SLOW long taper helped a ton. But I was still shocked that my WD's were as intense as they were. It wasn't easy, there were many days when I wanted to just take another piece of strip or a chip off a pill...and there were times when I said it would be easier to DT off norcos so I would go a week or two on Norcos and be right back on suboxone. The slow taper worked for me.. wasn't and isn't easy. But I feel a hell of a lot better now than I have for the past 3.5 years... my mental clarity is back.. I have real emotions(while they are quite volatile right now).

Suboxone did help me, it got me out of the mindset of trying to find my next score of pills, it also showed me that I was a slave to an orange pill. My buddy is also quitting with me... he is also doing quite well.. but he developed diverticulits from
his extended opiate and suboxone use due to the super hard stools. Anyway I digress.

The point of this post is that it can be done, you just have to be mentally ready. Looking back at the first few days as compared to where I am now(and I know I am not near being back to 100% normal yet), it is a cakewalk. The vitamins, L-tyrosine, xanax, and cannabis, all helped. One other thing that seemed to help was music..maybe its psychosomatic but it made me feel normal, cranking some of the music that pumped me up. I truly feel the exercise and Yoga were 100% necessary for me get through it. I cannot stress enough that I DID NOT FEEL LIKE DOING IT ONE BIT BUT I MADE MYSELF, AND WAS DAMN GLAD when I did.

Well thats the abridged version.. Ill check back in a few days.. if anyone out there wants to chat, or needs support don't hesitate to reach out or PM me.

I took me over 1000 days on pills and subs to get here.. I think 10-20 days is a small price to pay for freedom...

Thanks for letting me get my story out.. hope it reaches someone and gives them the will power to make the jump.. its not easy, but I can say with a clean conscious its worth it..

Cheers,

10 days clean and not going back!


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 10:54 am 
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Thank You and congrats! Your detailed experience helps ease my mind for when it is my turn to jump. I will save your story/instructions and incorporate these experiences into my plan. I am not ready yet but it is very encouraging to know that it may be possible (granted not easy) to continue working in some compacity after jumping. Thanks again for sharing and giving such great detail! It is appreciated. Best Wishes to you!


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 Post subject: Stopping Sub
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 1:42 pm 
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Congratulations feelingalive! That was smart of you to do the research so there was no surprises when the day came. We all know it will be a struggle to get off the Suboxone but if one is motivated like you then it can be done.

I hope you keep posting here so others can learn from your experience.

R

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 5:18 pm 
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Hello feelingalive! What an inspiring story!!!!! I really enjoyed reading it and thank you so much for taking the time to share it. It is definitely going to come in handy to a lot of people when they are ready to jump. I don't know if I'll ever jump, but your story will be one I go back and read if I do.

We need stories like yours on here to give people hope and inspiration. And your story is an amazing contribution.

Congratulations! I have a toddler at home myself. I can't imagine feeling as awful as you did, and still chasing him around. Way to go! Keep up the good work. The hard part is over.

Have a great one!

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 5:35 pm 
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Thanks for posting you story feeling alive,

I have been tapering for 7 months and I'll be jumping in a month. Luckily I have no work and my wife will be away for business. She knows everything about my drug use and suboxone but I just know I will be cranky as hell so Thats why i have been planning to do it while she is away.

Im curious why you believe sub withdrawal is worse than oxy withdrawal. In your post you were able to go to work, the beach, yoga class 3-5 times and keep it a secret from your wife. I know I would not be able to do that in oxy withdrawal and make it to 10 days. I don't wish to start an argument with that question, I'm truly curious.

I'm also in FL. Moved from NYC just before I started my taper. My long term sub dr. There set me up with enough meds to complete the taper so I don't have a sub dr. Here To ask for clonidine. I had a serious benzo addiction and pot was like hard to quit as anything, I just loved it too much and know I would have trouble stopping that train. But thanks for the recommendations on the vitamins, I've heard about that l-tyrosine on here, gonna go get some at whole foods.

Also please, please check in on here. Most people who post at the point you're at disappear and we never really know how hey made out in the longer term. You would be helping more people than you think by doing so.

Thanks and good luck,

-gb


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:24 pm 
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Thanks for the kind words.. Today I actually had a bit of spring in my step.. didn't feel numb... got a ton done at work..Laughed.. I truly feel the tapering works. its just re-programming my brain to not need substances(ironic as herb and caffeine have been my saving grace).. but I did stay at .25-.5mgs for six months(not exactly fun either.. truly tests your resolve)...
Only 500mg of the l-tyrosine, 2 advil, and that noni juice(my friends wife is also jumping she said it helped her)...and a ton of water..skipped the gym due to some time constraints(but did do some stretching)..

Glen, as for the difference in withdrawals-- for me oxy WD was a lot quicker, 4-5 days of hell.. then a week or so of sluggishness. It felt easier than coming of subs. But 90% of the time I would be back on em in three weeks max..
I was completely freaked about making the sub jump.. read all of the horror stories of 4-5wks of WD and Dt symptoms....maybe it was all in my head(or from all of the borrow stories on the various forums)...but mentally I felt subs was harder/worse....as for hiding it.. that wasn't easy.. luckily I could lock myself in my office.. In retrospect.. after tapering(hope I'm not cursing myself)... it was roughly 8 days(with 3-7 being the worse) of just blah(hard to truly articulate).. But we shall see how the sleeping goes tonight with just Benadryl...

Goinstrong- Thanks..if and when you're ready, just start cutting the dose...I took me almost 2.5-3yrs to decide I wanted off.. today Is the first day I truly feel happy... been a long time, its like a new emotion.. its tough but, in my opinion, worth it.. My friends(husband and wife both and bupe) also jumped same time as me.. are trying to get the kids in camp..as usual I digress..

Thanks again, this forum has been a big help..
Cheers


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 12:35 am 
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I love reading these posts.

The first time I got off buprenorphine (Subutex - years before Suboxone was even invented), I jumped off 1mg as the doctor told me it would be fine to get off. I still believe that, even after using heroin for 1-2 years, that was my first real experience of opioid withdrawal.

From that experience, and yours and many others, I've come to believe that it's best to jump off doses below 0.2mg's MAX. 1mg, or 0.5mg of Sub, is still a huge dose of opioids for a non-addicted person. Because of the massive doses we take for drug-dependence, we lost sight of exactly how dependent we really are.

As for your comparison with Oxy withdrawal. I can't say really because my drug of choice was heroin (clean China white heroin not the black shit which is nasty to come off), and according to many people Oxy withdrawal is worse than heroin withdrawal. But to me, going off 1mg of Sub is worse than heroin withdrawal. Probably a similar intensity, but jumping off 1mg Sub lasts longer. It's also psychologically taxing. I found there to be more anxiety with Sub withdrawal.


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 Post subject: Well said Tear!
PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 4:40 am 
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Tear,
I too was a China white man... god must have been 18 years ago.. ended up moving to Alaska and just isolating myself for a good few months to change my mindset.. don't get me wrong, it wasn't easy(time tends to make tough memories easier).. spent at least a week in bed..shaking, puking, sweating and having everything go right through me.., but was much shorter than what I had read about subs.. (mental aspect of subs had me petrified, after beating heroin it should have been laughable)

Quick Digression: Had a good talk with one of my best friends..he is also a recovering addict(there's a lot of us out there).. we both were pissed at the realization that if we had directed half the energy that we did into something other than scoring, thinking about, or using drugs..what we could have accomplished.. I'm hoping to find out in the next few months..

thanks again to this community.. been a big help.. everyones experience is different but if anyone needs support, advice, etc.. don't hesitate.. Regrettably it wasn't a pain or injury that got me back on the opiates but the thrill of the high(which as we all know is a fleeting feeling that just leads to needing more)...

Cheers,


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 Post subject: quick update
PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 6:14 am 
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Alright.. tried to sleep benzo free last night.. just 3 benadryl(going to pick up some melatonin today).. went to bed at 9:30pm wide awake at 2:15ish.. tossed and turned for about thirty minutes then just said to hell with it I'm going to the gym..
After pushing through some very light weights, body weight exercises, stretching, and 20min of cardiio.. I feel great...
Probably going to be a long day, but 5hrs of sleep should suffice with enough caffeine...

To all those thinking about jumping, or wanting to get off.. (not preaching, I know I am still early on in this battle).. I feel it is worth it... you really just have to mentally prepare for it.. the corny old adage "attitude is altitude" is completely true...

Cheers..


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 Post subject: quick update-
PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 6:23 am 
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Day 18- up this morning at 4:00am and off to the gym, just got back. I'm no exercise fiend and just in ok shape.. routine consists of SUPER light weights, LOTS of stretching, and then cardio.
Once again, looking back on the slow taper jump(Everything to me is always much clearer in hindsight)- it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be... don't get me wrong I was lethargic, moody, achey, etc, etc.. but that short amount of pain is SO worth it..
People at work think I am a different person(of course I tell them its because I started working out and my "virus" is gone".. I am getting things done, my mind is so much clearer.. I'm in a career were I have a lot of communication with clients and many have said I sound more enthusiastic..and I don't feel numb(when I was on subs I felt like my memory, mind were somewhat dulled-could have easily been the extended taper and minor DT's)..

The only thing that is not back to normal is my sleep.. my mind just races at night- stretching, breathing exercises, and light mediation have helped relax my mind.(but also have taken up to 1mg of Xanax on a few nights to knock me out- mostly using bendadryl and I do have allergies)-

Don't want to sound like a preacher, I know I am not even a month clean, but I feel like jumping was on of the best decisions I have made(side note: I do not allow myself to hang out with the "old crowd" if you catch my drift".

Thanks for listening and good luck to all..

Cheers,


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 2:32 pm 
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Hey FeelingAlive - thanks for keeping us updated on your continued success!

I am almost 3 years off Suboxone and just wanted to let you know that your sleep will get back to normal eventually. I think for me it was around 30 days. Cutting back on caffeine really helped with that. It doesn't work for everyone but I've also had good luck with melatonin.

Keep up the good work!

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