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 Post subject: So many questions!!!
PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 5:27 pm 
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Hi Everyone- I tried to post my "story" in the other section of this forum, and somehow got booted off the net. So, with out going into a long drawn out story, here is my situation--- I was put on Sub exactly 3 weeks ago today. (After a 7 year long habit on various opiates-pills) Every day since then, I have been pouring over story after story, trying to educate myself.

I have read so many stories (some good some bad- I try to stay away from any negative..but...) and am not sure what course I should take right now. I was started on 16mgs. Sub a day. I have worked myself down to 10mgs. thru the day. I take 4mgs in the AM, another 2mgs in the afternoon, and another 4mgs in the PM. I have read that tapering off Sub, in order to do it with out too many issues, takes several months to do. Should I start reducing my dose (now)...so that by the time I am ready to make the complete jump OFF them, it won't be as hard...and if so, how do I do it? I completely understand that during this time I also have to work on the issues that got me where I am right now.

I have NO interest in ever going back down the road I was living these past 7 years, and totally understand that addiction will always be a part of my life I am going to have to work HARD AT. I just don't want to be on this stuff for a year, at too high a dose, and then find out that had I worked on tapering down thru the months, I wouldn't have created another problem in my life. Thank you for listening to me, and I truly appreciate any and all advise in my quest to be healthy. Take care -lisa2269


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 6:32 pm 
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Welcome to the boards Lisa. First of all, let me say that the fact that you have been doing all sorts of reading and research and are looking to formulate a plan will, in my opinion, do wonders for your recovery. It sounds like you already have a pretty good handle on all of this regarding dose, tapering, getting other aspects of your recovery going. Hopefully I can give you some suggestions or at least some things to think about.

- First of all with dose it sounds like you are doing well. Dropping from 16 mg to 10 mg over the time frame that you have is very reasonable and is something many others report having done. As for dosing three times a day, that might be something that you want to consider getting away from. The thought behind this is to stop the cause and effect of having a feeling and then taking a pill for the feeling - or just taking a pill in the first place. With the long half life of Suboxone, you should be able to get your dose down to at least just twice a day if not once a day. Now, if you are taking the medication to treat pain, you may actually need to stay on the three times a day dose as the analgesic effects of Sub don't last much more than about six hours. When you are ready to taper to 8 MG/day I would strongly suggest just eliminating the 2mg afternoon dose.

- You and your Sub doc really need to come up with what your long range plan is going to be. Are you ready to taper off yet? When do you hope to stop Sub? How are you doing right now while on it? Are you having any cravings or other problems? These are just a few of the things that you and your doc need to answer.

- Getting off of Sub is one thing - staying off of all opiates is a whole other. As you may have already read, a lot of people seem to have longer term problems when stopping their Suboxone with depression, some cravings, being overly tired, foggy feeling, anxiety, etc. These are often the symptoms of post acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS). From all I have read and heard, it seems like the best way around this is with a very long, very slow taper - as in six months or so from the point you are at now until you are off of Sub. The faster you go, the more the PAWS seems to bite.

- As you stated, dealing with the rest of your recovery is another huge hurdle. It's almost like step one is getting through the acute withdrawal over a couple of weeks post - Sub. Then comes getting through the PAWS and then finally is staying off of opiates in the future. Oh certainly you feel now like you never, ever want this to happen again and once you are done with it all you will never let yourself get back in this position. Unfortunately, far too many people have felt the exact same way only to relapse at some point in their life. The doc that started this site had that happen to him. He did fine for like eight years or something like that only to relapse. It seems that it's the rare person who is able to finally just "go back to normal" and not have to at least be doing something to keep working with their recovery. It's amazing how fast it can happen and how out of seemingly nowhere you'll find yourself back on opiates again.

I certainly hope that gets you started. I'm sure there are others who will provide a lot of additional information for you. Like I said, I think you are off to a great start. I hope to see you posting here in the days and weeks to come and by all means stop by for our weekly on-line meeting either Thursday afternoon or Monday evening.


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 Post subject: continued education----
PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 6:58 pm 
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Hi There donh (and everyone)- I want to thank you for such wonderful info. You def. gave me the tools to continue this journey. I have to admit...the doctor I have does NOT seem very educated on Sub. Or, it just may be that he isn't very educated at all. I have SEVERE Endometreosis, and tried talking to him about it....as a matter of fact, the very day I inducted on Subs, I got hit with my Endo...when I called him...he wasn't much help. (although his office assistant did try to offer some help) He is a very nice person, and is the ONLY one I could find that was able to help me start treatment in this part of town.

So, sad to say....I think I am going to kind of be at the mercy of the boards, and by using my own good judgement, to get me thru this journey. Although, I guess I would have never gotten myself in this mess, had I used better judgement...but, that is water under the bridge now. The doctor did tell me that I would probably be on Sub for at least a year, due to the length of my opiate use. That is why I thought it would be a wise idea to start researching my plan of "attack" so to speak. And..YES, you are so right in that I know that addiction will always be something I am going to have to work on. I have always been pretty tough, and able to "walk" away from things....I was able to stop smoking pot, many, many, years ago, after years and year of use. I walked away from cocaine...and NEVER once had the desire to go back to it. So, when I thought I could just walk away from pain pills, and found that I couldn't...just floored me. I felt, and still do, feel like a total failure. However, I chose to pick myself up, and dust myself off, and move forward towards a healthy, and drug free life. I know that I have a long road ahead of me...and it is NOT going to be an easy one...but, I certainly appreciate any help I can have along the way. I will start working on dosing issues....and am going to start cutting out my afternoon dose. I am still working around pain issues...but, either way, I want to keep tapering. Thanks again for ALL your support. I will check in again. Take care....lisa


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 6:07 am 
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Welcome. I to walked away from things in the past ( coke, amps, pot, ext..) and never looked back, I just got fed up with those things and was able to quit. You are so right that opiates are so different when trying to quit. The only advise I can offer is to not have an agenda when lowering. What I meen is don't tell yourself "I want to be down to two mg's by September". Be flexible with your tapering, you might be lowering 2 mg's a month and feel fine, then hit the wall or run into a sobriety threatening issue. As someone said before "staying off opiates is the hard part". I always try to differentiate what I want and what I need. You may want to be off sub within the year but your body might need to be on longer. Our wants get us in trouble everytime. Best of luck.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 9:18 am 
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Hey LIsa,

Just so you know you are not alone with having a doc who is under educated about sub. It seems to be a pretty common theme. I'm coming up on 20 days off sub now after a very comfortable tapering experience and ALL of the GOOD advice I got was right here on these boards. I hate to say this but I wouldn't put to much value at all on anything the doc says. They have never taken sub (most likely anyway) or been hooked on opiates. They don't get what we feel and how we react to this stuff.

Smoothy's advice is pretty good...don't get hung up on where you SHOULD be in your taper or how muc you SHOULD be taking. Some days you'll feel good and need less..some days you'll need your full doese. As long as you always try to take the least you need to feel good and comfortable you will automatically taper down and off. Don't stress about it.l


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 Post subject: So True!!
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:31 pm 
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Hi Everyone- Thank you so much. I appreciate all the positive words, and help. If it wasn't for the internet, I don't know how I could do this. I totally agree, that there are so many doctors out there that have NO idea how Sub really affects people. The doctor I have is a nice guy, however, he is an older gentleman, and has very little understanding. I was lucky to have found him, though, because after reading other people's stories on here, I see that I am not being put thru what so many others have been thru. So far I have not had to take a urine screening, (although it wouldn't matter if he did, he isn't going to find ANYTHING...other than Sub) and so far he is far cheaper than what I see other people paying. So I guess I have to take the good with the bad. I also see that the people here on the boards are far more educated that most of the doctors that are prescribing Subs, and am VERY thankful for that. I will keep posting as I go along. I am going to work VERY slow at tapering. And as you all said....I need to NOT set too much pressure on myself. I am learning NOT to base my progress on someone else, because each person's body is different....even though we are ALL battling the same issues. If that makes sense. Take care, and once again, thank you for all the help. -Lisa


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2010 10:40 am 
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You've received some excellent suggestions here. I believe the key to any successful taper is to take it very slowly. It's not a race, and if you go too fast you will risk a lot.

I also agree with donh on the dosing situation. Unless you are taking sub for pain, you should try to take it once daily if possible.....

It sounds like you are committed to doing the right thing, so hang in there with us and we'll help you as much as possible. There is a combined wealth of good solid information among the regular users here....


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