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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 11:30 pm 
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Hello all,

I decided to join this forum to get a feel for what others are saying about Suboxone, tapering off, and withdrawal.
To share a little background: I am a 28-year-old married mother of three. I was a heroin addict for several years. About 6 years ago, I started Methadone maintenance. I have nothing bad to say about Methadone. I firmly believe it saved my life. I switched from Methadone to Suboxone after moving to a new state in which the Methadone treatment was impossibly expensive. I have been on Suboxone for almost 3 years (December will make a full 3 years). I have not relapsed or felt any cravings the entire three years. I took 8 mg per day for a year, had been on 4 mg per day for another year, and have been slowly tapering down. I now take 1/4 of a 2 mg pill per day (or 0.25 mg per day).

I have absolutely no problems taking 0.25 mg per day. I feel no cravings or withdrawal symptoms. However, this is my last month on Suboxone. My doctor has been pressuring me to get off of Suboxone for many months now, and finally put his foot down and said this month is it. Some of you have probably heard your doctor say "It's such a low dose that it is not doing anything medically at all. It is all in your head. You won't feel any withdrawal at all." Well, trying to prepare for the day when I will no longer have Suboxone, I have tried several times to stop taking it. I do feel withdrawal symptoms and have tried explaining this to my doctor. Sorry to be gross, but I'm sure you all have been here: It is not horrible, but the diarrhea is killing me. That is the main symptom I feel. That and a bit of a creepy crawly sensation under my skin. However, the constant diarrhea is what has always caused me to give in and just take my dose of Suboxone. Again, my doctor says it is all in my head. It could be, but that really doesn't help now does it? Oh, on top of this I was just diagnosed with a heart condition that requires surgery. It's just extra stress.

So, that is where things stand right now. I am not going to lie - I am terrified. I guess that may seem silly, but in the years I have been on Suboxone I have led a normal, happy life free of heroin. I want to keep it that way. I am a complete wimp when it comes to withdrawals and I am so scared that when I no longer have Suboxone to fall back on that the withdrawals will get to me and I will lose the willpower I have built up over these three years. My husband is a successful businessman in our area, and I have three incredible children to care for. I can not go back to being a junkie shooting up in gas station bathrooms. So, if anyone has any advice or encouragement, I would be very grateful. Is there anything that eases the withdrawal at all? (Aside from Benzos - that is not an option). Also, I can not knock myself out with sleeping pills. I have heard before that there are vitamin supplements that can help some, but I am unsure.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 11:43 pm 
Hi MFIvers and welcome. The easy answer is immodium, as much as you need, which is much more than suggested on the box. But the real question is, do you WANT to get off of Subs ? It sounds like you don't - and it sounds like a low dose is working for you and not hurting you. So can you find another doctor? Also, have you read Dr. J's blog on doctors who insist you go off of Sub? Don't get me wrong, if you do want to go off we will be here to support you through that. Just be sure it is in YOUR best interest - not what the doctor wants.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 7:46 am 
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Hello and welcome to the forum. You're right, the w/d you're feeling are NOT in your head. Your doctor is woefully misinformed. At .25 you're still going to feel some w/d. There is one medication that should help your discomfort - Clonodine. It's a blood pressure med and is the standard for opiate withdrawals. Do you have another doctor that might give it to you? I mean, if your doctor doesn't believe you'll have w/d, will he give you the clonidine? And Lilly is right - you have the option of finding another doctor and staying at your current dose of sub. Oh - and another thing that helps with w/d is exercise, force yourself to stay active and busy and that should also ease your discomfort. Good luck and keep us posted.

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 Post subject: To Sub or Not to Sub ???
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 10:48 am 
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Hi MFIvers,
As Usual Hatmaker is Dead on with Her post'..... As far as I know any amount of Suboxone WILL have some effect on the Human Body! It is a VERY POWERFUL Drug.... Any of us can attest to that. You have a long time invested in your Recovery Don't let some misinformed Doctor Screw it up for you! You have to much depending on YOU to chance your Recovery because some Dr. thinks you have been on Suboxone "To Long" ??? IMHO find a new Dr. one that is more compassionate to us in Recovery. Remember your Family is also counting on you to continue this life of Recovery you have started..... I wish you well and please keep us posted on your progress... Take Care!!!!

God Bless
TW

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 2:21 pm 
Hello MFIvers,
I can relate to your post and fears. I am a 36 year old single mom of a 5 year old boy, and I have 2 jobs SO my fear of withdrawals is very real and I just can't afford to be sick.
I just wanted to ask you something: 1/4 of a 2mg pill, is that .25mg or is that.5mg? Not trying to correct you, but I use the forum to schedule my taper so I wanted to make sure I have my nubmers correct.
A few things that have helped me get this far are excersise, staying really positive (when every i feel a chill or a sneeze or just crappy, i tell myself that means i am that much closer to getting the Sub out of my system) and just trying to stay busy. I wish you all the best :)
Hkpavco


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 6:59 pm 
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1/4 of a 2 mg pill is 0.50 mg and not 0.25mg. That was a good catch Hkpavco and brings up a very important point for FMI because if really taking 1/4 pill she is taking twice as much as she thinks and from what everyone reports, 0.5 mg is a much bigger deal than 0.25 is. I have seen many more people stop their Suboxone at 0.25 than at 0.5. You really need to look at that FMI. But way beyond that, your doctor seems to be looking at this only from a physical view rather than a psychological view. While physically you (and anyone else for that matter) can potentially stop taking Suboxone after getting down to 0.25 mg, but what about the PAWS? What about the cravings? What about the very real statistics that show relapse after Suboxone is stopped? Plus, at such a low dose - if it's still working and still doing it's job, what is the huge deal? Is it this very stupid 100 patient rule? I mean, honestly, what is the problem with prescribing five or even ten 2 mg pills per month? Would that not be much, much better than relapse?

If I were you FMI, I would first double check how much you are really taking (0.5 or 0.25) and second, you may want to consider finding another doc. If you do want to try to come off of Bup, you certainly don't want to do it at 0.5 mg, and even 0.25 might be high so you should at least consider a liquid taper down to 0.1 mg. Tapering down to that level will also lengthen the number of days that your final prescription will last.

Finally, if for whatever reason you are going to stop Suboxone, I strongly suggest you come up with and discuss your back-up plan with your physician. Don't wait until you are about to take some Oxy or Vicodin to decide what to do. You and your doctor really should discuss what the plan will be if you simply can't live without opiates and are facing a relapse. If your doctor tells you something to the effect of "Oh, don't worry, that won't happen, you'll be just fine," that doctor is a fool and you clearly need a new one.

Best of luck to you.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 4:52 pm 
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Every time I hear one of these stories, I am outraged. "It's all in your head"

Sorry, but your doctor is clueless. It is most certainly NOT "all in your head" Where I come from, we call that an unmitigated fact.

I would be actively searching for a new doctor.

And please have a look at the liquid taper method thread on this board. If you can find another doctor who is willing to work with you a little longer, perhaps you can soften your landing a bit more by trying the liquid taper method.


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 Post subject: hi
PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 9:20 pm 
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i'm queenie, i probably don't have much to offer. i am fairly new to subs but i have the same fear. i think of the word taper and i am terrified. i can sympathize. even though i will probably be on subs for a while, the thought of anything happening that involves withdrawal or taper makes me cry, i mean i cry like a baby.

i don't think it's in your head. i was on subs with my primary care doctor who happened to be a sub doctor. well, he up and retires and gives me a tel number to call for a new sub doctor. i was in sheer terror. when will the new doc see me. when, what if, who. need i explain? you know what i mean. well, turns out i got an appt with the new doctor before i ran out of subs. the new doctor changed my dosage. he upped it from 8 and 8 mgs to 8 and 12 mgs. i felt better, ate better and slept better.

i tell you all this so you will know i can understand your fear and you should try to see another doctor.

i hope it turns out right for you.

my life is not without problems. i have a toothache, money problems, i am an amputee of 1 year this month. i have had 6 surgeries on both legs. i am 68 yrs old. i can't blow this opportunity at not using pills. but darn it, i'm going to get through this. don't give up, don't give in. see another doctor. be strong and please keep me updated on your situation.

love, queeenie


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