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 Post subject: 6 months, still going.
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 10:59 am 
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Hey Errybody!

So I've been off suboxone for 25 weeks now.

Im pretty happy I made this far, but jeez, I was really expecting some major results by now.

I am suffering from severe lack of energy. Anything that stresses my body, including working a lot, really seems to aggrivate PAWS. I seriously can't walk more than a half mile a day without it hurting me. By hurting me I mean that it seems to cause withdrawal symptoms to return. For instance, say I go out right now and walk a couple miles or decide to lift weights (even if I barely lift). I'll feel better for the afternoon, but then like clock work I start getting very irritable, anxious, depressed, sneeze a bit, and just generally feel bad. Like the black cloud or something. I am sleeping pretty much normal at this point, however with the symptoms I just described makes my sleep very light and not that great when this happens.

If I'm not stressed and doing well, I feel pretty good. No major emotional problems, I can feel all my regular emotions and sleep. But the lack of energy is always stirring under the surface, I know that if I push myself too hard its going to get worse. And it doesnt take much of a push to put me over the edge into PAWS.

So yeah, it's really depressing. Exercise is the thing that got me off suboxone in the first place and allowed me to taper, and now it's turned against me. I dont know how much longer I can hold out like this. I definitely dont want to get back on suboxone, but this is crazy, i can hardly do anything. Its not much of a life at this point and I've been off 6 months.

Perhaps someone whose been there done that can direct me at this point, or someone can offer some advice or encouragement. Thanks guys.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 4:30 pm 
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Congratulations Eric. That's a fantastic accomplishment. You should feel very good about yourself. Time, unfortunately, is the final cure for PAWS from opioids. I know it's hard, but have faith that EVENTUALLY, you will begin to get back to normal. With Sub, it just seems to take forever.

It makes me very angry when I consider all the lies told about buprenorphine by those making large profits from it. The Bentley compounds, of which bup is the only one commercially marketed thus far, were looked at with great skepticism even years ago when they were developed by their namesake. The brain is accustomed to processing full agonists or antagonists. To this day, no one is entirely sure of the effects of a partial-agonist, 30 times more powerful than morphine on the brain long-term. Don't be surprised if this comes up in a courtroom years from now.

In any event, hang in there. The only real mistake you could make would be to start that nightmare up again. Good luck.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 11:11 pm 
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Golden1 wrote:
The brain is accustomed to processing full agonists or antagonists. To this day, no one is entirely sure of the effects of a partial-agonist, 30 times more powerful than morphine on the brain long-term.


That's kinda true, but also largely not. The 30 times more powerful than morphine argument doesn't mean much as there are many agonists more powerful dose to dose than Suboxone. It may be 30 x more powerful than morphine dose for dose, but this is compensated by a significantly reduced dose (imagine us taking 110mg Suboxone a day!) and the ceiling effect. Also, the brain ISN'T accustomed to processing antagonists at all! It's only accustomed to processing the relatively low level endogenous opioids that are used to modulate our pain and reward pathways. If anything the problems begin the moment we start introducing exogenous opioids. These drugs are 1000's X more powerful than our endogenous opioids, and our brain is hardly accustomed to processing them AT ALL. Hence the brain gets rewired (some even call it "damaged") to be able to remain alive with these molecules floating around. The damage caused by pounding our brains with agonists is much more profound than any partial agonist / antagonist.

Where I agree with your statement is that because bupe has such a long half life, traces of it can linger in the body fat and in the brain for weeks even months. This is why PAWS lasts much longer for bupe than for morphine/heroin. Because these tiny traces seep out of the tissue and latch onto the receptors again before being metabolised and excreted, the opioid receptors are prevented from downregulating fully. Not just that, but the antagonist effect of bupe can also kick the natural opioids that are coming out of hiding off the receptors as well.

It's interesting but with PAWS, the moments where you don't feel it is when there's these residual bupe molecules attached to the receptors. It's the periods where you feel withdrawal symptoms return when there's no bupe attached. Gradually less and less bupe molecules seep out into the body and your brain better adjusts to having no trace molecules present.

The best way to speed up this process is to do whatever exercise you can. Sleep well, and sleep at the same time each night. Eat well. Don't take ANY opioids whatsoever, not even codeine preparations. Even small amounts of opioids can cause the receptors to up-regulate because they're so sensitive at this stage, and will remain sensitive long term. Most importantly, DON'T GIVE UP. IT WILL GET BETTER. Trust me. With Sub it can take up to 18 months for the brain to normalise. Give yourself time, and the rewards will be huge. Good luck!@


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:28 am 
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I just wanted to suggest a supplement called L-carnitine. I have chronic fatigue and it's what my rheumatologist has me on. Also relating to fatigue are vitamins b and d. Keep those levels higher and it should help you feel better. If you want to be absolutely sure before putting these supplements into your body, just ask your doctor to do some blood work first and they will be able to ascertain if these are low at all for you. If so, adding the supplements will definitely make you feel better.

Good luck!

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 11:06 am 
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Hey tearj3rker. That's a very interesting observation on the residual effects of buprenorphine due to it's long half-life. I agree with you. I think that accounts for the very difficult "see-saw" effects of Sub withdrawal. You think you're stabilizing/improving and then BAM, you get hit again with symptoms. Very frustrating.

However, with respect to it's partial-agonist effects, I wasn't referring specifically to full agonist/antagonist opioids. Unfortunately, everyone on this board knows the outcome of using powerful exogenous, full-agonist opioids on the brain. It disturbs the delicate balance of the brain, producing addiction, severe and long-lasting withdrawal systems, and dysfunction in our natural endogenous opiate systems. It's the hell of recovery from narcotic addiction. Our natural endorpins are so important in regulating some of the most important aspects of pleasure, motivation, etc. It's why so few people recover. It's just so traumatic both physically, mentally and emotionally.

My point is with respect to partial-agonists in general. They don't exist in nature, or even synthetically per se...receptors are designed to fully open or remain fully closed. Partially activating them with a powerful agonist on a daily basis is an untested activity. I'm not saying it does specific damage, I'm just saying no one has yet had the chance to study this fully. Some pyschopharmacologists fear that it may interfere or even alter the functioning of this very delicate system. The one thing you can document clinically is that the withdrawal syndrome for buprenorphine is atypical...it differs from that of short or long-acting full agonists, and not always in a positive way.

Personally, I just feel that they should have studied this drug more carefully before widespread commercial introduction. What isn't debatable is the strong claims they've made about it, including ease of withdrawal, are greatly exxagerated. The truth is that it presents some of the most challenging symptoms of any opioid once you attempt to taper. And as you pointed out, they seem to last a very long time.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 2:13 pm 
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out of curiousity, are there people on this board who have used suboxone long term and fully recovered? By fully recovered I mean gotten completely out of PAWS and returned to roughly the way they were before they used?

I think Romeo said he's been completely off it for a year or so but is still having some withdrawal symptoms? I havnt been on this message board enough to see many cases yet.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 4:00 pm 
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Check out Diary of a Quitter's most recent thread about her going into the ER for a kidney stone. She's been off sub for over 2 (or is it 3?) years and I don't believe she had much in the way of PAWS at all, if I recall correctly. But she's doing EXCELLENT.

Here's that thread: http://suboxforum.com/viewtopic.php?p=5 ... ght=#54168

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 4:08 pm 
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Hey eric,

I'm 2 years and 1 month off of Suboxone. As for any kind of lingering wd symptoms, the only thing I can think of is the fact that my body still overheats a little quicker than it should, but even that's improved significantly over the last month or two.

Other than my body overheating, I have no other wd symptoms.

The best I can remember, I felt about 95% or so by 9.5 months off of Suboxone. Months 4 through 9.5 were not hellish, not at all, just a drag. Between 9.5 months and 1 year, my sleep FINALLY improved. Around 18 months off of Suboxone, I started lifting weights pretty intense and that was like one of the final straws that killed most any remaining PAWS. Releasing all those natural endorphins (or whatever the hell they're called) was AWESOME. I still lift regularly, I love it. Exercise of any sort improves you physically, mentally and spiritually, it did for me anyway!

Don't give up man, opiates fuck with our brains like nothing else I've ever seen, but our brains somehow repair themselves.

Also, look into some kind of recovery, NA/AA/SMART/chanting to Buddha....whatever floats your boat. Recovery will help get you thinking straight again.

BTW, Diary of a Quitter is coming up on 3 years off of Suboxone, she returned to "normal" much quicker than I did. I believe she was a few months before she felt right again.

A few other people that I stay in touch with have been off of Suboxone for over a year. Most are back to normal, but there are a couple who still struggle with lack of motivation and the like.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 5:46 pm 
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ok, so if i stay off long enough I should get back to how i was before I took it?

My biggest fear is that I'm going to have this lack of energy for the rest of my life. I dont have any lack of motivation, I want to do things, its just when I do them i get worn out so damn quick and start getting withdrawal symptoms.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 10:51 pm 
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I'm six months off sub after four years of use. It's interesting to compare symptoms, because (as you surely know) after being on dope so long, when you get off it, you're not sure exactly how you're supposed to feel. I'm obviously feeling much better than I did after the 1-2 months of acute w/d, but still have problems with energy. Under sub, I slept in very late (something I never did before using), but now I get up very early, no matter how late I go to sleep. And I don't feel rested like I should, but can't seem to even get in a "power nap" in the afternoon. I know things are getting better all the time. But I also know it will take a while until I get back to "normal," whatever that is. The bottom line is, it's not easy getting off sub, but in my case, it is certainly worth it.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 9:43 am 
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Hey Eric, I know how you feel as far as WHEN AM I GOING TO BE NORMAL AGAIN?!!! Truth is, after 10 or so years of being an addict...WHAT THE HELL IS NORMAL? Im currently 45 days off subs (i think its 45)and for the most part feel pretty damn good. Sure, I think about opiates from time to time and that they make a 10hr work day easier to handle but Im DONE with that life. I still get fatigued during the work day and wonder if I will ever be ok again, or is this what a 42yr old is supposed to feel like? I was on subs for a bit over 3yrs and at first it was great! Then, when the honeymoon was over, I started slipping into depression and taking more mg of subs thinking it wud help...it didnt. Truth is, Ive never felt better emotionally until about 21 days off subs! The bouts of depression subsided, but the lack of energy is still there. Im not sure how long this easily fatigued crap will last but I do feel much better than when I was on subs and I KNOW that one day it WILL end.

Keep your head up bud, you can beat this BS!


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