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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 11:23 am 
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Hello everyone, first I'll guess I'll give a brief back story. I had never had an opiate problem until this year. I am 42 and very, very stupidly, I began snorting heroin to help me feel better with a type of chemotherapy I was on. I am no longer in chemotherapy and that issue is no longer a problem. However the heroin is. I never smoked or injected, just snorted, not than one is any better or worse than the other. Started out in March of this year using approximately $100 per week. This gradually turned into $200. And then I had weekends where I'd go thru $300 in 4 days. I began using Suboxone, (after having read up on much information regarding the drug, and knowing to only use the lowest possible dosage I could manage with) only using 1mg during induction, then tapered down to .25 per day in about two weeks and sure enough, relapsed. I snorted about $350 in 4 days and swore off it again. Monday at 11am was 24 hours since my last usage, Today at 11am was a full 72 hours since my last usage. After 24 Hours I used .25 Suboxone in the am, and the .25 in the afternoon, felt terrible going into 36 hours. Woke up soaking wet Tuesday morning much like I did Monday morning. So yesterday (48 hours After last usage) I took a full 1mg, as I was feeling horrible. 1mg helped straight away. Today I woke up feeling not horrible and took .5mg after the 72 hour mark of my last usage. My "current plan is to remain at .5 mg for another 3 days, but take .25 in the morning and .25 in the evening and on day 7 jump to .25mg once per day for a week, and then begin skipping days, and reacting to how my body is feeling. Sweating, freezing cold hands and feet, and lack of energy are my biggest issues right now while using Suboxone. I'm extremly worried about becoming addicted to Suboxone so I want to get off of them as quickly as my body will let me. I haven't read of anyone else with such a short term opiate addiction, nor I have I read anywhere of someone being able to not go over 1mg of Suboxone during induction. So my question is, if anyone knows, is it feasible for me to jump off subs by this process within two weeks of today, October 23rd 2013? I've searched everywhere for someone similar to my usage of heroin and low dosages of Suboxone, but have been unsuccessful. Looking for a little guidance and encouragement. Thank you. I hope to hear from someone.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 12:50 pm 
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Hi Living Free,

Welcome to the forum! So sorry to hear that you found yourself tangled up in heroin. I read your plan and feel I would be doing you a disservice by encouraging you along. I tried to do what you're trying to do, many times. I now call these attempts to detox with suboxone "failed inductions." You may be the exception, but for most people, two weeks off of heroin doesn't work. It's like a mini break until you run right back into it head first. What are your plans to stay off heroin this time? What will you do differently? How do you get heroin, from a friend? A street corner? If the method in which you obtain heroin is still in your life even remotely, you have a slim to none chance of staying off it after a short suboxone stint. I understand your fears about getting addicted to yet another substance, but if you haven't made any real changes in your life, to help keep yourself off drugs, I suggest using suboxone as long as it takes to make those changes. Otherwise you end up in a cycle like this.. rinse repeat.

Also, there are people who induce at 1mg and do just fine on that daily dose. We have several people on the board. You asked if it was feasible to taper off and jump after two weeks, absolutely. It's feasible, just not wise.

We're here if you need anything.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:51 pm 
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Tiny Dancer,

Thank you so very much for your response. I completely understand what your saying. As far as my plan and "access" go, I am just returning to my full time job, I am also extremely involved in my community. While I was on chemo I was literally bed ridden. The pain, the loneliness, the depression, the sheer boredom, all contributed to this ridiculously stupid idea. That is all gone now. The very day I finished chemo, is the day I quit heroin. Since then, approximately 8 weeks ago, I had the one weekend where I put myself in a bad situation and this is where I used again. I can say with complete honesty, I don't like heroin. Doing it when I was on chemo was a completely different experience, one of which have no desire or craving to do again. My only connection to get any is now completely out of the picture. No phone number, no knowledge of where they live or where to get any. Once I'm back to work my days will be back to being busy 7 full days a week. Boredom has always been an problem for me. It also helped to contribute to alcoholism of which I have been free of for 5 plus years. I have a lot of experience with living a sober lifestyle, to the point where at one time I had seriously considered being a drug and alcohol therapist. So I do have a lot of knowledge and experience with staying sober. I realize this leads to the question as to why would anyone who's been where I've been and know what I know ever do something so stupid. There is no excuse for it, so I'm not even going to try to explain other than the state I was in with chemo. So in short, yes I do have a plan, and it's a plan that's worked for me before and continues to do so. As I had said, my main concern is knowing when to jump from suboxone. I really would prefer to just use it to get past the heroin withdrawal, but I feel I've done enough research to realize that this is just not a good idea. I don't have a set jump day in mind, but I would like to get myself stable on .25 ASAP. Maybe jump after skipping days, or drop to a lower dosage before skipping days. I know that for me personally, it's the withdrawal that is my biggest enemy. I can take a certain amount of it, and I expect it. I just don't want to make it needlessly bad on myself, while also not getting addicted to Suboxone. If that makes sense.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 2:01 pm 
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If it's just getting off suboxone and those withdrawals that have you worried, don't stress about it. Being on suboxone for a few weeks isn't long, and jumping from .25 or lower should have very minimal withdrawals. It's not like withdrawals from short acting opiates. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at the process from that low of a dose.

Good luck to you. I hope this next time is different for you and you keep on the right path. Let us know how it goes.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 2:17 pm 
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Tiny Dancer,

I will. The withdrawals are absolutely what has me concerned. I know what 48-50 hours into heroin withdrawal feels like, do not ever want to be there again, and I was worried Suboxone would be the same. And I can't express how much I appreciate being able to talk to someone like you. Taking the time to respond may have only taken you a moment, but it did a world of good for me. I will definitely keep posting my progress as I'm sure it will help me, and could help someone else. Thank you again.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 8:15 pm 
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Well, I can assure you, it will be nothing like H withdrawals. Not even close. Hang in there and try not to be stressed out for no reason. :wink:


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 2:09 am 
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Right now, I can say with absolute certainty that you're just feeling the WD effects of the heroine. Suboxone takes a LOT of that WD away, but not all of it. For the first few days of getting onto Sub, and off of H, you will feel uncomfortable. However, after a few days, the Sub will build up into your system and help you drastically.

I believe you are confident that you will come off, and stay off of Sub & H. I was on up to 300mg of Oxy for 2 years, Sub for 20 months, came off & had a very short relapse onto Percoset for 3 weeks. I took .25mg of Sub every 24 hours for 12 days, came off with no help besides natural remedies and an occasional muscle relaxant at night(4 of the 15 nights I've been off), and felt VERY little WD symptoms. I had a few restless nights, but NOTHING compared to opiate WD's, or the WD's of coming off of 20 months of Sub. The freezing cold/hot is just your body getting used to being "normal", and flushing the drugs. Also, being tired is going to linger a little while, but as I said, once the Sub starts to take effect you will feel much better.

Good luck to you! You've come across a great forum, with a lot of very experienced opiate and Suboxone users, who've successfully come off of them living a better life.

Don't feel badly if you feel you need to stay on Sub a little longer to get your mind under control. It's a miracle drug for helping your train stay on its tracks. However, I have confidence as well that you can come off after 2 weeks and be okay! Good luck.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 3:33 am 
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 3:10 pm 
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Hi Living Free, welcome to the forum!!

I don't mean to come off wrong, but I'd be more worried about my H addiction than getting addicted to Suboxone. The fact that you came off Suboxone once and went right back to H makes me think that your addiction may be stronger than you realize?

You mentioned experiencing sweating, freezing cold hands and feet and lack of energy while on Suboxone. Those symptoms you mention are wd symptoms and they're probably because you're taking such a low dose of Suboxone that it's not covering your H wd symptoms.

Anyway, coming off of Suboxone at the low doses you're on won't be a problem. We've had many people here who have been on low doses of Suboxone for decent lengths of time, then quit and their wd from a low dose isn't bad at all. If getting off Suboxone is really what you want, we'll always support you, but like I said earlier, I am, at the very least, concerned that your addiction may be stronger than you think and if it is, you may want to stay on Suboxone for a bit longer?

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 3:19 pm 
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Romeo,

I certainly hear you, I truly do. And if extending a low dose of Suboxone is a better way to go, it is certainly something I will take into serious consideration. As I said, I was very worried about Suboxone addiction. I'm still not really clear as to how long, and at what sustained doses you can find yourself addicted to Suboxone. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't replacing one for another. Long term I want to be done with everything. I appreciate your input. It definatly has me thinking. Thank you


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 3:38 pm 
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I just know what a bitch addiction can be and how it distorts our thinking, especially when it comes to judging our abilities, and I don't want to see you fuck up hard.

With that said, after reading your last post, I feel much better. I know when I was in the throws of addiction, I would have responded much differently than you did to my post. My first reaction to a post like I hit you with would have been denial. So good on ya for hearing us out.

K, IMO, you can take a low dose of Suboxone (1mg or thereabouts) for months and months and still get off it very easily. You may be able to jump right off 1mg with minor wd or you could always ensure minimal wd by tapering to .75mg for a week or so, then .5mg, then .25 and jump. I'm not saying you need to be on it months and months, I just wanted you to be open to the possibility. In the end, you do what works for you, Bud.

In my experience and from what I've seen on this forum, the people who get hit with more serious wd are the idiots (me!! LOL) who jump from high doses (5mg or more?) of Suboxone.

Congratulations on your sobriety from alcohol!! Now you just gotta figure this opiate one out and you'll be on your way!! :wink:

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 5:37 pm 
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Living Free wrote:
I realize this leads to the question as to why would anyone who's been where I've been and know what I know ever do something so stupid. There is no excuse for it, so I'm not even going to try to explain other than the state I was in with chemo.


The answer to this question is quite simple...you are an addict! The reason any of us wind up addicted to opiates rarely if ever makes sense to anyone who isn't an addict. I'm with Tiny and Romeo here...I'm afraid you may be underestimating the hold this addiction has on you, but I won't beat a dead horse. I only want to tell you that your first step needs to be getting stable on suboxone. Get yourself to a dose that makes you feel well, then you can start your taper. Tiny is absolutely right, the withdrawals from suboxone won't be anything compared to heroin withdrawal. You may become dependent on subs, but the taper process is a walk in the park compared to CT from heroin. If you want to give yourself the best chance at LONG TERM sobriety I would recommend sticking with the subs for a bit longer than what you have planned. Get yourself straightened out, give your body time to heal itself from the ups and downs of the heroin addiction, and get into some kind of recovery group or counseling. Going back to work will help alot I'm sure, but it's not a silver bullet.

I understand that you have experience with getting sober, and I'm sure that experience will be helpful to you. Just don't underestimate the hold this stuff has on you.

Welcome to our forum! I wish you the best of luck!

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 12:04 am 
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In my opinion, your issue wasn't being 'addicted to Suboxone'-- -you are addicted to opioids, and Suboxone put the addiction in remission. The general idea with buprenorphine is to keep things in remission for some length of time--- i.e. long enough, ideally, to extinguish the conditioning that has occurred with opioid agonists. Buprenorphine can do that, in theory, because on a proper dosing regimen, the conditioning is avoided- i.e. there is no craving or reward.

The time for that to occur? Studies suggest that a year is not long enough.

As for the short length of time that you were addicted, I consider my own addiction to opioids to be as bad as anyone's, and the first time around I used mostly codeine (sounds funny now!) for about 6 months. I relapsed after 7 years, and progressed to fentanyl-- the whole thing lasting about 8 months. Had it lasted longer, I probably would have died... but my point is that it doesn't take long, at all, for a person to become deeply addicted to opioids. A few months is sufficient, from my experience.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 12:01 pm 
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Romeo, qh, SubD, mama, TD,

Serious appreciation for you responses and input. And you guys are absolutely correct. I am an addict, I do know this without a doubt, I've never questioned it. You have all made me think this through a bit better. I'm no longer concerned as much, still am though, just not as much, with long term addiction to subs. I also found the info that I was likely still experiencing H withdrawal because I was using such a low dosage extremely helpful. I upped it to 1mg yesterday and felt so much better. Although since it is now a full 5 days, I'm going to drop back down to .50. I plan on doing this for a minimum of a week before dropping again. Has anyone learned, or have an opinion, if its better to split the doses into .25 in the AM, then .25 in the afternoon? Or is it better to just take the whole .50? Addictive wise, I've read different ideas on the subject. Thank you all again.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 3:58 pm 
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Addiction-wise, it's always better to keep your dose at one per day. However, I split dose when I was tapering and found it easier to do so. But that just means you eventually have to deal with not getting your dose twice a day, rather than once a day. It's really six and one half dozen.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 4:43 pm 
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tinydancer wrote:
Addiction-wise, it's always better to keep your dose at one per day. However, I split dose when I was tapering and found it easier to do so. But that just means you eventually have to deal with not getting your dose twice a day, rather than once a day. It's really six and one half dozen.

Thank you, this is exactly what I was looking for. I wanted to know which was better to avoid addiction, if there was one, and which was better to do when tapering. Thanks.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:05 pm 
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Just posting an update. I'm on day number 10 and I feel surprisingly good. I was able to go put and get a lot of physical, hard work done over the weekend, and today. After having been on chemo for close to a year, basically bed ridden, then the H use "to get me thru", I'd been very lethargic up to this weekend.
I dropped down to .50 Suboxone, from 1.0, on Sunday. I've actually not even taken any subs yet today. Usually do around 8am. Yesterday seemed different. It was like I didn't even know if I needed to take the subs. But I went ahead anyway. Going to see how I feel throughout the day today and see if I can skip a day.

I did have one close call. I went for a walk, which I've been trying to do everyday, and an old, old habit hit me hard. Without even thinking it thru at all I walked into a store and bought some booze. Mind you, I've been free of alcohol for years. And as I began walking home I really took a hard look at what I had done. I stopped, opened it and dumped it out, and thru it in a trash can when I got home.

Pretty sure I had a smile on my face the rest of the walk home. Best part is, I didn't once regret getting rid of it. I was proud of myself when I did It, and still am today. I've had no contact, craving, desire of any kind to try and even establish a connection for any H.

I've been to the bottom before. I lost everything and managed to get it all back. Although I know being an alcoholic, and a drug addict is who I am, and that those facts will never change, and I will carry that with me for the rest of my life, and I'll never be someone who can hang out at bars and go to party's, I really believe I'm done. The day my desire to stop became more overpowering than my desire to drink, everything changed. Obviously I fell into old habits with dabbling around with Heroin, I knew it was stupid, yet the addict in me allowed me to believe "this is different, you can control this one" it proved me wrong very quickly.

I thank god for Suboxone, and everyone here that tried to lend a voice. And my no means am I stating my struggle is over, like I said before, it's with me forever, so Ill have to fight it everyday for the rest of my life. But Im in a very good place. Thank you all again.


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