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 Post subject: New, scared, and curious
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 3:28 pm 
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Hi all, I have been cruising this amazing site for a few weeks now but have never been a 'forum poster' before. Ever. This is literally my first time posting on any type of message board. I am a big computer/technology person, but never felt the need to communicate about anything in this manner. Until now. This forum has clearly helped countless people and I'm hoping it will help me, too. This is a subject so important to me that I feel compelled to be a part of this amazing group of fighters. I hope I can gain support from you all and to 'pay it forward' too.
My background. I became physically dependent on Vicodin due to chronic migraines. I've never tried another drug, rarely drink, don't smoke and have no interest in any other drugs of any kind. However, I realize that I am still and 'addict' because I have used the Vic's first to relieve my pain, then to stave off the withdrawals. And I have used many an excuse to to take more pills than I needed to. Naturally my tolerance upped my dosage from 1-2 pills a day to 15-20 a day. After a 2 (or so) year dependency/addiction to Vicodin I switched to suboxone. This drug comfortably got my body off the opiates but now I want off. I have taken the sub for almost 5 years now. I started at around 20mg and quickly weaned down to 8. I stayed there for about 3 1/2 years. Then I went down to 6 and then 4 mg which was relatively painless. I am no longer able to get the prescription and have about 28 subs left. I'm actually taking this as a blessing in disguise because I want to get off these things. It's just time. My husband and I want to start a family and I want this chapter to come to a close. So I have since weaned down my dosage to about 1.5 mg. per day (some days a bit less or more). I want to do this right, and as painlessly as possible as I have a demanding job and I am probably the weakest person alive when it comes to pain and suffering. I am not too worried about craving and relapses but still have decided to take part in NA meetings to give myself the best shot at recovery.
Soooo, here I am, 28 8mg pills left. I'm taking 1-1.5 mg a day and trying to wean down. I've read tons of posts and will attempt the liquid taper when I get a bit lower. My symptoms so far have been temperature fluctuations, lack of energy, sneezing (what is that about?), and every couple of nights RLS. Only it's not my legs, it's my arms and shoulders. And a little queasy stomach (mild). The RLS (or arms I guess) are the worst as they keep me up at night. But so far the mental aspect has been the worst. I try so hard not to take a dose until I feel pretty bad, but the addict part of my brain takes over. I have read many people suggest staying healthy and eating well, and that is helping somewhat, but the random 'withdrawal waves' scare me. You can't prepare yourself when you don't know what or when it's coming.
My question is does anyone have suggestions for the restlessness? Anyone else feel it in their arms like me? I can't get a script for Clonodine because I have low blood pressure as it is and I'm also doing this without a doctor. I want off this drug soon, but don't want to foul up my progress by being too over zealous. How should i taper next? And will I be suffering the whole way down? Sorry for the long message. But this has actually been a bit therapeutic for me. I would love to hear from anyone in my position, who is ready to cut down and out soon. Thank you to anyone who listens. I can't tell you how informative and helpful this forum has already been for me. But, you already knew that :wink: Hope everyone is feeling well today!


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 4:15 pm 
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BreakFree wrote:
Hi all, I have been cruising this amazing site for a few weeks now but have never been a 'forum poster' before. Ever. This is literally my first time posting on any type of message board. I am a big computer/technology person, but never felt the need to communicate about anything in this manner. Until now. This forum has clearly helped countless people and I'm hoping it will help me, too. This is a subject so important to me that I feel compelled to be a part of this amazing group of fighters. I hope I can gain support from you all and to 'pay it forward' too.
My background. I became physically dependent on Vicodin due to chronic migraines. I've never tried another drug, rarely drink, don't smoke and have no interest in any other drugs of any kind. However, I realize that I am still and 'addict' because I have used the Vic's first to relieve my pain, then to stave off the withdrawals. And I have used many an excuse to to take more pills than I needed to. Naturally my tolerance upped my dosage from 1-2 pills a day to 15-20 a day. After a 2 (or so) year dependency/addiction to Vicodin I switched to suboxone. This drug comfortably got my body off the opiates but now I want off. I have taken the sub for almost 5 years now. I started at around 20mg and quickly weaned down to 8. I stayed there for about 3 1/2 years. Then I went down to 6 and then 4 mg which was relatively painless. I am no longer able to get the prescription and have about 28 subs left. I'm actually taking this as a blessing in disguise because I want to get off these things. It's just time. My husband and I want to start a family and I want this chapter to come to a close. So I have since weaned down my dosage to about 1.5 mg. per day (some days a bit less or more). I want to do this right, and as painlessly as possible as I have a demanding job and I am probably the weakest person alive when it comes to pain and suffering. I am not too worried about craving and relapses but still have decided to take part in NA meetings to give myself the best shot at recovery.
Soooo, here I am, 28 8mg pills left. I'm taking 1-1.5 mg a day and trying to wean down. I've read tons of posts and will attempt the liquid taper when I get a bit lower. My symptoms so far have been temperature fluctuations, lack of energy, sneezing (what is that about?), and every couple of nights RLS. Only it's not my legs, it's my arms and shoulders. And a little queasy stomach (mild). The RLS (or arms I guess) are the worst as they keep me up at night. But so far the mental aspect has been the worst. I try so hard not to take a dose until I feel pretty bad, but the addict part of my brain takes over. I have read many people suggest staying healthy and eating well, and that is helping somewhat, but the random 'withdrawal waves' scare me. You can't prepare yourself when you don't know what or when it's coming.
My question is does anyone have suggestions for the restlessness? Anyone else feel it in their arms like me? I can't get a script for Clonodine because I have low blood pressure as it is and I'm also doing this without a doctor. I want off this drug soon, but don't want to foul up my progress by being too over zealous. How should i taper next? And will I be suffering the whole way down? Sorry for the long message. But this has actually been a bit therapeutic for me. I would love to hear from anyone in my position, who is ready to cut down and out soon. Thank you to anyone who listens. I can't tell you how informative and helpful this forum has already been for me. But, you already knew that :wink: Hope everyone is feeling well today!


Hello and welcome!

On August 14th 2011, I stopped Sub after 6 years on it. I'd been on doses up to 32 mg, but I began my final taper at 8 mg. It took about ten months for me to jump. When I jumped, it was soooo easy, because I tapered to 1/16 mg.

It's funny that you say you are the biggest baby, because that is what lots of us think. I would swear up and down that I'm the biggest baby ever, lol.

You are already down to a fairly low dose. I suggest you begin recording your dose every single day. This is a part of being accountable to yourself, and you have to know what you are taking so you can figure out if you are progressing. It's very important to never take extra. It will set you way back if you do that regularly. Try to see 'extra' as a bad thing and not some kind of reward. This is hard won ground, and you don't want to lose that ground by taking a little extra here and there.

I personally feel a whole lot better off Suboxone. The tapering was quite rough at times, physically and mentally, but it was completely worth it to feel like I do now. So, try to view getting off Suboxone as a huge pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Taking extra Sub keeps you further from that reward.

As far as suffering the whole way down, there will be some discomfort, but you can minimize it. It took me four months to adjust to 1 mg. That was frustrating, but it was worth it to stay there until I was truly ready to drop again. You may suffer a little bit with every drop, but if you really listen to your body and wait to drop until you are totally fine AND you never take extra as a reward, you will be done by the summer and you won't have to feel horrible doing it.

The restless thing stinks to high heaven. I had it in my arms too and my legs weren't just restless...they HURT!! Nothing helped me all that much, besides just waiting it out and taking Motrin. I tried various supplements and never noticed any real difference. Exercise helps, but for me, exercising in the evening was a bad idea. Running 2-4 miles in the afternoon/evening actually made my legs more restless. Exercising in the morning was helpful.

Sorry I don't have better advice for you, other than to relate my own ways of coping with the w/d symptoms. The great news is that your brain and body will adjust to being on a lower dose and then to being off completely. Every symptom you have is temporary. Every day you stick with your taper and don't take extra is a battle won. You can do this, regardless of how big a baby you believe you are. You may surprise yourself!! It's a wonderful feeling to see a taper like this all the way through. The bottom line is that you are stronger and more powerful than you think. Best of luck....Reach down into your soul and find your grit. You are the boss. You can do this.

laddertipper

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First you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you. ~F. Scott Fitzgerald


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 6:52 pm 
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Hi BreakFree,

I just had to respond to your post because I was so surprised to see that you experienced RLS in your arms as well...I thought I was alone with that! I have had RLS for years but find it is drastically worse during withdrawal times. I have taken Requip, a prescription Restless Legs medication, off and on over the past few years. Sometimes it helps and sometimes it doesn't. I have only been on Subs for a few days and didn't even think to ask my new Sub doctor if I can take that still. It might be worth checking into though if you are having the RLS symptoms pretty regularly. This is something that you can take every night if you need to or just when the RLS is acting up.

I wish you the best of luck with your taper! Please keep us updated on your progress, I am going to be going through this at some point too and would love to hear how it works out for you.

-Jen


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 8:31 pm 
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Thank you for your replies! I will ask my doctor about requip. I am comforted to know that others have experienced the restlessness in their arms (not that I'm happy anyone should experience that). I am thinking that I may have attempted this taper a little too quickly. Maybe I should slow it down a bit. I'm going to work out a calendar this weekend and perhaps I'll post it in case anyone feels like reading it and/or advising me. I have to say, again, how glad I am to have found this site and grateful to the people who care so much to check in and support others. Thanks to all!


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 10:16 pm 
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I just asked another member here (NoMorePills) about RLS because I have never had it and was wondering what it is exactly. I think I remember him saying he also gets it in his arms. Just thought I'd let you know that you aren't the only one...that others get this as well. Anyway, I'm just wondering...what exactly are you feeling in your legs and arms when you get this?


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 10:29 pm 
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When I experience RLS it feels as though my muscles are very jittery and I have to move or tense up those muscles to get some relief. And then it comes right back I'm not sure how to describe it as I never experienced it until my first Vicodin withdrawal. And the restlessness was much more severe that time. I,guess I would describe it as 'creepy crawly' muscles. Like your bones and muscles are trying to climb out of your skin. I can't seem to find anything that helps. I thought someone mentioned a potassium supplement but I may have been mistaken. If anyone has any suggestions. I'd greatly appreciate it. Thanks


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 1:05 am 
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That's exactly how I would describe it. I would add that if you try not to move your limbs when you have these feelings it is almost like they move on their own...even if I am able to fall asleep my husband says my legs (and sometimes arms) will move all night long on their own. It is actually quite painful after several hours of it. Just a horrible thing. However I have had this off and on over the years even before I dealt with any withdrawal, it just makes it worse during those times.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 4:02 am 
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Congratulations breakfree. I think you're doing great so far. I also respect your decision to get off Suboxone before starting a family. You are saving you and your baby a lot of trouble by doing that.

Restless legs / arms / everything are a symptom of withdrawal for everyone, not just people with RLS. When I'd have bad withdrawal, my whole body would regularly jerk. Where I'm from, it's called "someone walking over your grave". Those chills that make your body jerk as if it's had an electric shock.

The restless legs and arms for me mainly came as a result of the muscle aches. It was as if moving my body was the only way to get temporary relief from the aches.

There are two things, with the exception of valium, that helped me with this. Magnesium and Ibuprofen. For Ibuprofen, if you can be prescribed a sustained release tablets that is best, as the standard OTC preparations always wore off too fast for me.

Some people claim tonic water helps with this symptom as well. I tried it and thought it had an effect, but it could have been a placebo thing.

Good luck and stick around. It'd be good to have you posting in the recovered Suboxone user forum!


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 Post subject: RLS
PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 8:03 am 
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Ok, well maybe I have had it then. Because I totally remember the feeling of wanting to crawl out of my skin when I was in Vicodin withdrawal, but I haven't had it since then. I've only had it a few times when I ran out of pills, and that was the very worst symptom for me!!!

Since being on sub, my legs will jerk out of nowhere sometimes when I am laying in bed, but I haven't had any pain yet, and that doesn't really bother me. I guess I just didn't know what it was called. Thanks for the info.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 2:14 pm 
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Thank you for your kind words. I hadn't noticed any muscle aches, but maybe it is my muscles reacting to mild aches. I will be getting some magnesium today and tonic water (only not sure where to find that). Yesterday was by far the roughest day for me. It just felt like nothing helped me for more 2-3 hours. I ended up taking a total of 1.5 mg in two doses. Overnight I had the crazy muscles again. This is concerning me because I have taken 1.5mg for about 10 days and didn't experience this until 2 days ago. And Taurus, those muscle jerks you mentioned, I had those when I was on higher doses of sub. They've dissipated since I've been tapering. Those are no fun either, as they would startle my husband as he slept!
So, I've had one mg. this morning. I'm going to try to not take anymore today but am allowing myself a .5 mg tonight if necessary. I'm looking forward to seeing if the magnesium helps. Thanks for the great tips!


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:53 pm 
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Hello all,
It's been a few days since I've posted anything and I thought I would update. I had mentioned that I had dropped my dose down to 1.5 mg last week and couldn't seem to adjust to it. Last weekend was especially hard. However, Monday morning I woke up thoroughly exhausted (although I slept better that night than the past two). I immediately took about .5 mg and felt loads better. By nighttime I felt only a little 'off' so I just took what I think was about .25 mg. Tuesday went the same and today I ended up taking only a total .5 mg. I don't know what happened. I guess my body decided to 'accept' that it's not getting any more. My only symptoms have been yawning, slight chills (hardly noticeable), and lots of sneezing. No restlessness over the last 3 nights. But I did buy a bottle of Hyland's Restful Legs pills in case. I haven't tried them and don't know if they're any good but I will post any experience I have with them in case they work. That RLS is my LEAST favorite symptom. Could this sudden adjustment be due to the long half of sub? Anyone have a similar experience? I would love to know. Weird. I hope everyone out there is feeling well and comfortable. Thanks for any advice!


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:54 am 
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Hi BreakFree,

I'm glad your starting to feel better! Thanks for posting again, I was wondering how you were doing. Let us know how the resful legs meds work, I may have to get some and keep on hand for later on.


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 Post subject: RLS/RLA
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:42 pm 
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Taurus was right. I mainly feel it in my arms. The CLonidine has helped a lot. I know you can't take it so ask your doctor about Hydroyzine. It does basically the same thing but without lowering your BP. It is an antihistamine and works pretty well. Sweet 16 has low BP and is on this and it helps. I have also found that a little shot of NyQuil will help me too. It is true your body will adjust, it just takes time. For my stopping and Sweet 16's check out A tale of Two quitters. SHe talks about the CLonidine alternative there. Good luck to you!! I know RLS SUCKS!! Everything else I can handle. I went 4 nights without almost zero sleep (Maybe 2 hours between the four nights) and was ready to jump off a bridge. Then I got clonidine and have finally been getting sleep. Hopefullt Requi or Hydroxyzine can do the same for you!


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 Post subject: Doing Better
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 2:07 am 
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Thank you all for the helpful suggestions. I thought I'd update in case it helps anyone going through this. Last week I was able to comfortably drop my dose down to just under 1mg. Then this week I decided to try the liquid taper technique because it was getting to be impossible to break the sub down accurately. What a miracle! DOAQ is a genius. It is so easy, accurate and it sorta 'tricks' your brain (or body) into thinking it's getting more because it's mixed with the water. So I started on Monday with an 8mg pill dissolved in 10 mL of water. I took half a mL in the morning and was fine until almost 9:00 when I took another half mL. I think half a mL would be .4 mg. so I took a total of .8. Today (Tues) I took about .3 mg and another .3 at night. Then it hit me- I'm taking just above half a mg! I finally realized that I can do this! I dropped my dose from 4 mg to .5 (ish) in just 4 weeks. I don't want to get overconfident, and tomorrow will be the third day at this low dose, and I'll probably feel it catching up with me. My goal is to stabilize at .5 mg by this weekend and drop down to .25 next week. If I'm not comfortable, I'll put it off for another week. I'm just finding that the lower my dose, the LESS I'm feeling the withdrawal. I felt much worse dropping from 2 mg! This week the only symptoms I've felt are a slight upset stomach (which disappears within minutes), slight chills, yawning, tONS of sneezing, and a bit of restlessness (hasn't kept me up for more than 20 minutes). Any input on what I should expect dropping to .25mg and when I should actually jump would be greatly appreciated. Thank you! I hope everyone is feeling healthy and positive!


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