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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 10:02 am 
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Hello everyone,
I decided to register after realizing it would probably be beneficial to have support from people who have and are tapering off bupe. I've been on suboxone about two years now. My mother originally suggested i get on it, and being in a desperate state i figured it was worth a try. The doctors gave me all the crap about it being a 'miracle pill' and did not mention the possible difficulty i would have getting off it. I started at 4mg/day. I took that for about eight months. I then had to stop for a few days for a wisdom teeth operation, and figured that would be a good time to jump off, especially considering the vicodin script i would have. How naive i was...Even with the vicodin, i still had pretty noticeable w/d symptoms and ended up relapsing on heroin. My parents checked me into a detox, where i told them my plan to get off suboxone, and they quickly told me it was a terrible idea and that i would have zero chance of success. The doctor there decided to up my dose to 12mg, and i was so sick that i agreed, just to feel better.

I ended up finding a new doctor who was in the same town as my university, and went to him for six months or so. It was pretty apparent that his clinic was a bit shady, but i thought nothing of it as i was only going to him for suboxone. Then one day i drove 45 minutes from my hometown to get my prescription and no one was there. Doors locked, lights off, no one answering phones. After waiting around for a while, i decided to turn around and drive the opposite direction to score drugs. I had to be at work and couldn't afford to be withdrawing. It turns out that the DEA raided his clinic, and he ended up getting his license taken away. I was and still am angry that a medical doctor could be so irresponsible as to leave his patients in the position that i was, where i felt forced to relapse. Obviously i didn't HAVE to relapse, but considering my 12mg dose and my demanding work schedule, it was my best option.

Nowadays i go to a new doctor in a family clinic. He's a much better doctor and has supported my effort to taper off the suboxone. There's never any trouble if i need to come in a few days early or for some reason need a script called in. With his help i've managed to taper from 12mg all the way down to 2mg, over the course of about a year. It's been surprisingly easy, but i know the difficult part will be going from 2mg to 0. I intend to taper slowly, eventually using a liquid dosing regimen, skipping days and what not. Unfortunately, i am a chronic relapser, and i'm not sure i'm stable enough to attempt to continue tapering yet. It's pretty obvious that the suboxone was having no effect on cravings once my tolerance caught up, and i used just as much, if not more from having to break through the suboxone.

At this point, i see suboxone as a detriment to my recovery. It's caused me so many problems dealing with shady doctors and pharmacies that are out of stock that i'm ready to be done with my legal habit. I never had the habit that i do now on buprenorphine, where i feel sick even a day without my medication. I do feel that i need a chunk of time with no responsibilities and a safe environment to jump off, though. The last time i tried, the withdrawal made me desperate and i ended up relapsing, so i hopefully can avoid that this time. I realize that i have a lot to work on in regards to my addiction, but suboxone clearly is not the answer.

Anyways, i realize this is kind of a novel, but i wanted to share my story with you guys. I hope to learn a lot about the detox process from you guys; let me know your thoughts.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 10:08 am 
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Also, i was wondering if it's possible to taper so gradually as to almost negate the effects of withdrawal. I realize probably some aspect of withdrawal will be there no matter what, but it seems logical that if you could incrementally decrease your dosage, you could do it slowly enough that you would barely feel any different when you're finished. Now obviously this would probably take several months time, but i was wondering if anyone has tried a similar approach. My parents hold onto my meds, so it would be possible for me to set up a schedule and follow it with their help. Lastly, how much does skipping days help? I find that i've gotten so attached to the routine of taking a suboxone every morning that it's difficult to go a day without one. I really kind of look forward to that part of my day, even though i only really get maybe half an hour of slight mood lift afterwards.


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Fond Du Lac Psychiatry
Dr. Jeffrey Junig, M.D., Ph.D.

  • Board Certified Psychiatrist
  • Asst Clinical Professor, Medical College of Wisconsin

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