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 Post subject: New and Going for Detox
PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 11:26 am 
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Hi. I've been on Suboxone for way too long. I've perused different forums and blogs and decided to pick this one to aid others and ask questions as I taper from this drug.

It was prescribed to me after I became addicted to regular old pain pills like Vicodin and Percocet. I've never touched anything else or been an IV user of any kind. Personally, I'm angry that I was put on such a heavy drug BUT, I didn't do my research at the time. If I had known what this drug was typically used for, I would've suffered the withdrawals and been done with it. Now I'm going on 8+ years on it. I'm DONE!

I have several weeks to go before my last dose. (I'm taking the sublingual strips and cutting the 8/2 films down by milligram)

I'm doing my own research on homeopathic remedies for when I'm actual DONE and going through what I've read to be severe withdrawals. I will share that information here. If anyone has any other suggestions, please help!

I'm a young woman looking to get her life back. I enjoy the outdoors, reading, psychology, history, and gardening.

I'm thankful this place exists and am grateful to the founders.


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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 3:07 pm 
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Regular old pain pills such as vicodan and Percocet can be quite deadly, from an overdose aspect and the accumulated high dose acetaminophen. Non addicts can successfully taper with minimal discomfort. Addicts cannot, they try and fail. So, Suboxone does get used for 'regular old pain pills.'
You might receive a better welcome over at Subsux.com. I encouraged my new patients to visit there as well as here. For the very reason you suggest, you didn't know, and 3 years later I am the a..hole that got you addicted to Suboxone and now you are stuck.
Good luck with your taper, there are a lot of success stories of people that do taper off successfully with minimal discomfort, and when they make the jump they use comfort meds for a couple of weeks. You said you did research, wonder why you didn't find those as well.


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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 3:52 pm 
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Welcome. I'm responding here to this post and your other one to JB

I'm off bup for a few yrs now. It was a life changer. I ache when I recall all the pivotal times when it should have been offered to me. And, Idk how I missed finding it myself before my life went sideways. Sometimes I wonder, if those frustrated on bup, feel that way because its not balanced out by sheer gratitude for its lifechanging/lifesaving outcomes? In other words, do addicts need to be in a more desperate place in order to better appreciate bup? I sorely wish I'd started it early on when 'just' on vikes and long before life went sideways bc my addiction worsened, as it always does for all of us...

Your comment 'I'm angry that I was put on such a heavy drug' -- bup is not a 'heavy' drug. Use the search-author function for suboxdoc posts to see.

Your misperception toward bup could directly decrease your taper success. Those who come here convinced they should not have been put on bup or that bup wds are severe, seem to have a harder time on bup or tapering off. But if folks come here and learn that the horrid stories they believed to be true -- are not true -- that release of fear and psyching themselves out bc of such fear -- leads to success. The way to enhance success is to change how the mind imagines stories and how much you believe them. When I stopped bup, it went pretty well! So I ache when hearing the severe wd stories that have gained way too much traction.

If you can get rid of your misperceptions and go into the taper w the right frame of mind you can succeed. A long slooowwwww taper or you set yourself up for failure and blaming it all on bup. But before the taper make sure you've 1) made life changes that addressed the need for abusing and/or 2) have changed your life such that you are far far away from those days -- or those issues will resurface and get you back out using. The taper is only a small part of staying clean...

There are tons of incredible info on this site and when you come here to listen and learn, you will obtain real help, including as a recovery site so I hope you see this as well. Wishing you my very best, P

_________________
Did well on Suboxone. Stopped May 2011.
Stopping went well -- its the staying stopped -- where the real work begins.
Coming here 'keeps recovery green'.


Last edited by Pelican on Mon May 09, 2016 12:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 5:20 pm 
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Hey Beangirl! Welcome to the forum!

You should probably make a new post about your taper in Stopping Suboxone. There are plenty of people who have tapered off buprenorphine there. There are also many stories there so that you might know what to expect. It's normal for people wanting to get off sub to be a bit upset. I think it's a typical mindset that some feel because they are thinking that they will have a difficult time tapering and they resent the work ahead of them. Of course we've had people who have jumped from 8 mg and they feel badly for a few weeks. We've also had folks who have tapered slowly enough to .0125 and even lower who don't have withdrawal symptoms. A lot of folks fall somewhere in between. Still, the lesson is, the more patient you are, the easier it goes. I myself tapered from 16mg to 3mg with no problem. I don't want to be off buprenorphine though, because I know that my cravings would come back and I have chronic pain issues.

Like so many people who get on buprenorphine without doing their homework, you are ending up blaming suboxone and your doctor for your predicament. This is quite common. And you can often tell who they are by their misplaced anger. Instead of blaming addiction they blame the tool they took to put it in remission. They often think, "I haven't had cravings for so long I know that I'm not addicted to opiates anymore! Now I'm pissed that I'm dependent on this medication because obviously I don't need it anymore!" Common misperception.

Don't get me wrong, if you've used the last 8 years to make your life unrecognizable from what it was when you were using. If you have had steady employment, if your relationships are solid and dependable, if you no longer hang out with people who use, if you've got a great support system, your odds are much better that you won't relapse! If you understand what your triggers are and have a recovery plan in place that also helps. I just want to arm you with some facts so that you understand what you're up against.

I am like you, by the way. I was taking opiates like oxycodone and hydromorphone, etc. Did you snort them? I did not snort mine and I didn't IV them either. I've never had heroin or any other street drugs except for a little bit of MJ in my early 20s.

I have done a lot of research on opiate addiction, both because I am an opiate addict, and because I am a graduate student in addiction studies. I know a lot of brain science and evidence about treatment outcomes, boring stuff like that. I happen to know, for example, that opiate addicts relapse at a rate of 95%. Part of the problem is that opiates change the pleasure/reward circuits in the brain. If you start as a teen the alterations are even larger because your brain is still developing. So what you need to come to terms with is that you are an opiate addict. It doesn't matter that you didn't use heroin. The changes in your brain are permanent. Buprenorphine does two main things. It covers the opiate receptors in your brain so that you do not feel withdrawal symptoms. Even more important than that for most of us is that it stops the obsession to abuse opiates. While on suboxone you will feel no physical cravings. It makes you feel like a normal person. Because you are an addict with permanent changes in your brain, you will ALWAYS need to be aware that the changes in your brain want you to relapse. An addiction disorder is permanent, chronic, progressive, and characterized by relapse. It's very difficult to deal with, but not impossible.

The psychiatrist that created this site for us is an opiate addict too. He used to be an anesthesiologist. But when he relapsed on fentynal after 7 years of sobriety, he lost his career among other things. He eventually went back to school and did a residency in psychiatry. He prescribes burpenorphine to about 100 people a month (because he has hit the cap), and also has psychiatry patients with other disorders. He has been treating opiate and other addicts since at least 2008, so if you see his posts under the name suboxdoc, believe what he says. Our other resident addiction doctor, docm2, has already commented on your post. He is also very accurate. If you want to learn more about your opiate addiction or about this medication, hit the tab up top that says "Talk Zone".

I wish you the best!

Amy

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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2016 8:01 pm 
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I agree with what has already been said, and most people here know my frustration about the attitudes many have toward buprenorphine. I've found over the years that people have their opinions, and the internet is far more useful for buttressing standpoints than for changing them. But a few things come to mind when I come across those attitudes. The first is that buprenorphine was scheduled lower before DATA 2000, and was moved up the schedule because of recognition that it was going to be used by opioid addicts. I don't remember if it was a schedule IV (i.e. 4) or V drug-- but it was moved to schedule III, where it is now. If you read about the pharmacology of buprenorphine, you'll see that it was always considered a very 'weak' opioid. It is impossible for adults to die from buprenorphine alone-- and even when used in combination with benzos or other respiratory depressants, it is only fatal if the user has little or no opioid tolerance.

We all know that addiction experiences have a 'kindling' effect. I wonder what the withdrawal experience would be for someone who used nothing but buprenorphine? In the pre-DATA 2000 pharmacology texts, buprenorphine is described as a drug that doesn't have a significant discontinuation syndrome. It was used in lower doses back then, of course... but it is difficult to separate the part of bupe withdrawal that results from legend and preconception vs. the part that is purely from the medication.

Finally, you've all heard my frequent comment, and I'll use it again-- that someone in Bean's position could simply go back to taking oxycodone and hydrocodone, and instantly be in the place she was before starting this heavy drug. That is the simplest explanation, I think, for the flaw in the logic of those who blame buprenorphine for their problems. As soon as a person returns to that position, he/she realizes that the choices at that point are between a stable, comfortable rock... and a very hard place.

Beangirl, I hope you stick around. We rarely change opinions... but everyone here will help even the people who disagree with them! And frankly, you are not alone by any means!


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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2016 8:05 pm 
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Amy posted: "The psychiatrist that created this site for us is an opiate addict too... He has been treating opiate and other addicts since at least 2008, so if you see his posts under the name suboxdoc, believe what he says. Our other resident addiction doctor, docm2, has already commented on your post. He is also very accurate."

And then we have Amy, who is by far the best moderator here, very well read, and also dead on with a high frequency of accuracy. She would never make such a claim herself but if you see posts from any of them, I'd suggest placing them high on the list.

I hope you'll join us here Beangirl and continue to post your taper progress. We have many who come, post a message or two or three and are then never heard from again. Hopefully you'll stay. There is a lot to be learned and I'm sure a lot you can share as you progress.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:42 am 
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I'm still here and think I'll stick around. I've also registered on the other forum but not sure I'm going to post there yet.

Thank you for your replies. I REALLY appreciate the thoughts you took the time to write out. I've had time to think about your responses and to do more honest self reflection about my years of usage and my anger about the drug. I am angry but much of my anger IS misplaced. I'll go into these thoughts at a later time as I'm feeling pretty crappy right now. I postponed my quit date for a multitude of reasons and took my last dose 3 days ago.

I'll take the advice given and start a thread on coming off the Suboxone and what I'm doing to alleviate the withdrawal symptoms.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2016 7:43 pm 
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docm2 wrote:
Regular old pain pills such as vicodan and Percocet can be quite deadly, from an overdose aspect and the accumulated high dose acetaminophen. Non addicts can successfully taper with minimal discomfort. Addicts cannot, they try and fail. So, Suboxone does get used for 'regular old pain pills.'
You might receive a better welcome over at Subsux.com. I encouraged my new patients to visit there as well as here. For the very reason you suggest, you didn't know, and 3 years later I am the a..hole that got you addicted to Suboxone and now you are stuck.
Good luck with your taper, there are a lot of success stories of people that do taper off successfully with minimal discomfort, and when they make the jump they use comfort meds for a couple of weeks. You said you did research, wonder why you didn't find those as well.


Before I started Sub's I downed bottles of oxycontin in a matter of days. My world revolved around getting pills. I was attempting suicide all the time because I felt like I was dying. Now the few times I've had to actually be on pain pills due to surgery etc.... I don't have worry about feeling high because I have subs on board. The quality of my life is so much better! I don't plan on ever getting off Subutex. I like my life the way it is.....

I also wanted to say that I tried and tried and tried to stop taking pain meds on my own. At one point I had a friend who was on Fentanyl patches. I was so desperate and in withdrawals that I stole one of her patches and chewed it up. I almost died. No one knew what I had done. I stopped breathing and was airlifted to a hospital. They didn't know to give me Narcan either. I choose to stay on Subutex because it gives me a wonderful opportunity to stay clean for many years to come.


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