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PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 8:03 pm 
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Hi I'm new here,

I may be one of the first groups of people who have taken Suboxone for 10 yrs or more. I went on in 2003 and was on 16 mg a day until 2011 when I tapered to 4 mg.

I started to titrate again in January, but much slower as I'm on a lower dose. No real problems going from 4 mg to 3, except my own impatience with the process. I am working out , mainly cardio for an hour a day and taking L tyrosine to help heal my brain.

I want to document the process and share my experience with those it could help.

I think that the medication has affected my endocrine system. I noticed that I am losing some hair in the front of my head, and I'm female with no family or personal history of issues in this area. I agree that if I stayed on opiates I would have far worse problems, I would be dead, so I want to be clear up front I am not here with an agenda against the medication .

I am being calm and sane and dealing with the potential issue with Doctors. I will find a solution, and I will be off this medication completely by the end of summer. Yes it sounds a long way off, but the 10 yrs I stayed on the meds sure went by quickly.

Thanks for reading!


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:52 pm 
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Welcome, Gingerpop! It's great to have you here and I hope you keep us updated on your journey while you taper off suboxone. I'm sure you'll be a great source of inspiration to others who want to taper, and maybe you'll be able to gain a few ideas from others who have tapered before you.

I'm sure it's hard to be patient with the tapering process, especially when your end goal is to taper completely off. But I believe that you will make your life much easier if you do it slow and steady.

It's awesome that you've had 10 years of stability on sub to rebuild your life and learn to live life without your drug of choice. I have 2 and a half years in and I still have some things to work on before I would ever taper off.

We look forward to learning more about you!

Amy

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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2014 4:10 pm 
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Hello,

So I'm the same person who last posted at 3 Mgs (which seemed like a miracle to me then) now I am at just under 2 mgs, 3/4 of a 2 mg strip is my daily now. It has to be split into a couple of doses, thats one tip I have learned that really works. I can't overstate the importance of doing a LOT of cardio, as much as you can every single day to rebuild the pathways in the brain that got twisted by opiate abuse and Suboxone maintenance. I'm trying to create endorphins so my body learns how to feel good on it's own again.

I'm a little scared, but I am using the Rx Cutting Guide suggestions and tapering a tiny bit every 2 weeks, it makes a difference because down at 2 mg and below you feel it when you lower the dose.

I'm going to post as often as i have something to say while I am continuing the taper. It may take a few months to get down to zero, but that's okay. Just so you know, I am under the supervision of a Dr. who is overseeing all of this. She feels like I can go down.25 per month, but I like to break it down into 2 week smaller decreases, I keep up with her direction, I just follow the advice of others who have successfully tapered without months of PAWS. I can't afford to miss work and feel like that so I'm doing whatever it takes.

I can finally see there is light at the end of this tunnel. 10 years is a long time to be on this drug, but it took me a long time to be ready to go off of it. I feel ready now. Thanks for reading this.


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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2014 4:26 pm 
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Hi! I'm a hairstylist and am here to tell you that you are right about the hair problem. Without getting into all three info as to why suboxone does this, I will tell you to get to a Sally's beauty supply and get nutriox shampoo and conditioner. Massage in and leave on for three to give minutes for both. You will see little hairs growing in about two weeks from now. I do not work for the company, I went to a class on the original nioxin brand a few years ago. It really works I use it myself

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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 3:33 pm 
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Thanks for the tip on the treatment for hair loss. I have been taking hair, skin & nails vitamins for a month but I haven't noticed any of my hair returning yet.

Back to the taper topic. So I have begun increasing my cardio and it's intensity, trying everything to help reprogram my brain to make and accept endorphins. A little sore today, but that's not a bad thing, I'm definitely getting healthier. I have noticed that going down to 2 mg and below that the person I remember being before (the whole addiction drama began) is coming back. My ambition, my feelings, my drive for living and moving forward is front and center. I didn't realize while I was on higher doses of the medication that parts of me were being subdued. That's in the past, and I am grateful for every feeling and authentic thought that comes into my head today.

So far no withdrawal issues going down .25 mg. I know it's a relatively large jump but as long as my body can handle it I'm going to keep reducing every two weeks along with my Doctor's counsel. It's important to say I'm not doing this alone. Trying to manage without someone objective to talk with has gotten me in trouble before. I think this can be done without PAWS and with a minimum of drama if I listen to what others who have gone through it have done. I am visualizing being completely free of medication and it's an awesome sight.


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PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 9:53 am 
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I awoke this morning with a knot in my stomach and a sense of anxiety, recognize the feeling. Took 1 mg and was back to normal in about 45 mins. Took the dogs for a run, ran into two neighbors and listened to their concerns. It's a gift to get out of my own head and to try to be helpful to others, it doesn't matter how small the situation is.

I've probably been reading too many stories of others experience with taper. Don't want to begin manifesting symptoms because I read someone else had them. Wondering about the sneezing phenomenon.

That's all I've got right now, except for impatience. Part of me wants to jump and be over with this, but I know for sure that's not the way to go, I did it once before and lasted 18 miserable days. Slow and steady, and I plan to do the liquid route when I'm down to .50 and below.

This is all do-able, I hope my story can help someone else who wants to successfully taper without PAWS.


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PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 1:59 pm 
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I'm very new, just inducted April 13, but your tapering is very inspiring to me. I have a ways to go before I start that process, but I really appreciate your willingness to share positive news. Gives me hope for the future. I hope you continue to post as I will definitely continue to read. Lots of luck, CC


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PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2014 9:41 am 
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This morning I woke up again at 5:30 am with leg and stomach cramps, took 1/2 my daily dose and was back to normal in under an hour. Hopefully in the next two weeks this will pass and I'll be ready for the next step down, to 1.5 mg. I want to get down to 1 mg as quickly as my body can handle it, then when I get under 1 mg I'm going to try the liquid taper method. Am seeing my Dr. Next Friday and will discuss the plan with her.

Took a good run with the dogs and am feeling good again. Trying hard to visualize feeling good at each step down. I have fear around how it will feel to be completely off Suboxone after he such a long time on it, mainly fear of depression and lethargy.

The only answer I can come up with is to continue to increase cardio and intensity of those workouts.

Any feedback from someone who has done this is appreciated.

Thanks for reading!


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PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2014 10:08 am 
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Most people who taper seem to have trouble right in and around the dose you're at. If you find the wd symptoms are too much to handle, you could always drop your dose by smaller amounts. Removing the drug from your body quickly is kind of a shock to your system and your brain/body let you know it pretty quick, as I'm sure you're aware.

Exercising vigorously is one of the best things you can do for yourself. The people I've seen here with the least amount of wd have a couple things in common. They tapered slow and low and they were in good shape.

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 Post subject: Re: Gingerpop's taper
PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2014 7:05 pm 
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Felt good until about 4 PM today and then started feeling anxious and stomach knots. I am continuing to increase the intensity of my workouts, luckily I have a border Collie and a Lab who have to get intensive workouts daily, so I don't slack no matter what..they won't let me!

I'm seeing my Doctor next week and will ask what she thinks. These symptoms are nothing compared to opiate detox, I have to note that I'm being super sensitive and wanting to ease off without any symptoms. That may not be possible.

6PM feeling better, we have friends here for the weekend, having a barbeque, and I'm feeling hungry, good sign. I's all part of this, some days, some moments I may not feel great. That's part of life, I can handle it.

I have always been scared of this part of the taper. I have read a lot of people's stories and many get stuck going down from 2 to 1 mg, I know I'm not alone not the first to deal with it

For me everything from workouts to weight loss to this taper is about fooling my body into doing what I want it to. When at any plateau you have to change things up in order to make progress.

I'm healthy, happy and very lucky to be here. Thanks!


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 Post subject: Memorial Day
PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 2:38 pm 
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Woke up again 5:45 AM, I guess that's my new normal. Body seems to be adjusting to the lower dose, but the way I feel when I first wake up scares me. I know I need to live in this day, but I keep worrying about what it's going to be like when I'm down to zero

Pushing that thought away, there's a good amount of time between here and there, and if I look at other people's stories as inspiration, it sounds like at each lessened dose things are "off" for a few days and then the body adjusts.

The human body is an amazing machine. If we give it the appropriate nutrition and exercise it will bounce back. I need to live in this moment and stop projecting about all the if's and's and what if's!

Spent some time reflecting on how dark life was when I was in active addiction. I was scared and alone in a new city. I knew I had to stop, my body had started to reject all the Tylenol that was mixed in with my opiate of choice. Tylenol was making me very sick, so I couldn't keep enough pills in my system to stay out of withdrawal. I will be forever grateful to the Doctor who treated me, it saved my life.

What's happening now is just the next phase of growth. It's uncomfortable but I know I'm in the right place taking the right action.


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PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 4:48 pm 
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Learning to live in the moment can be pretty tricky at first, but it's a skill that's been very important to me during my continued recovery. Keep at it, the reward of not constantly living in the future with worry and anxiety is worth it.

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 Post subject: Re: Gingerpop's taper
PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2014 10:00 am 
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Gingerpop wrote:
I have always been scared of this part of the taper. I have read a lot of people's stories and many get stuck going down from 2 to 1 mg, I know I'm not alone not the first to deal with it


Greetings GP, going down from 2 to 1 mg/day is exactly when I really started to 'feel it,' pretty much the same symptoms that you described. I've been on 1 mg/day for a couple weeks now; I was planning to try my first Suboxone-free day this weekend, but now I'm wondering if I should stay on 1 mg another week or two, or even think about doing a 1/2 mg/day before quitting completely. I've got a fantastic addiction doctor, but she doesn't have a lot of experience with Suboxone, so I'm largely on my own.

Your comments above about 'getting out of my head' and 'thinking of others' are great advice, it's a state-of-mind that really helps. At the same time, there are times during the day when I find that I just have to accept that I'm feeling pretty lousy (sadness and some fear), because I don't think it would be helpful to just try to ignore these feelings. I accept them as the price I have to pay to get off Suboxone, and I remind myself that they will pass.

-- JI

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 Post subject: Ginerpop's taper
PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2014 1:56 pm 
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Hi Romeo and Johnny Ikon (and anyone else reading this)

Thank you both for sharing your experience. I'm here and keep coming back because I crave and gain strength from the stories of others who are walking down this path. The darkness of my experience is mainly the secrecy I created around it. While it's not appropriate to share our history with everyone, when we do make that connection it lightens the weight we're hauling around and clears the monsters from under the bed.

I am seeing my Doctor later on today. I am a couple of weeks ahead of the taper schedule she has prescribed. I am trying the "every two weeks reduction method" that I found on the Suboxone Cutting Guide. For anyone who hasn't seen it, very worthwhile info and inspirational. I have stabilized on 1.75 mgs, so in a few more days I am going to see how I do at 1.50. I am going to try 1.75 one day and 1.5 the next. Doing everything I can to get my body to accept new lower doses. I know some people dose once a day at the same time, I find that cutting the daily dose into 2 or 3 mini doses works better for my system. Waking up every day with a stomach ache and anxiety was not ideal, and spacing doses out has fixed that.

Definitely feeling my emotions! The poet Maya Angelou died today, I was reading some of her work with tears blurring my vision. I cried it out, and it passed. Feelings, particularly sadness wells up in me. When I let it out rather than choking it back, equilibrium returns. This is all part of it, my messy feelings were always inconvenient, I am not so afraid of them anymore. I am thankful to be in a place where I believe in my gut that I am a worthy and decent person. That was my deepest secret ..no matter what outer success I achieved was somehow a fraud. I don't see it that way today...

So this day I'm not feeling any withdrawal symptoms. I am feeling real feelings, but they haven't rendered me helpless. They pass, just like the big rain storm we had here last night. I am deeply thankful to know that other people are going through the same process I am, (like Johnny) and that we will be alright. I ran 3 miles with the dogs in the rain this AM, it was fun once I accepted the fact I was going to get soaked!


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PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2014 2:43 pm 
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How are you doing today, GP?

I wonder how much of the awfulness I've been feeling is due to suboxone withdrawal vs just not having (or having minimal) opiates in my system, after years of methodone use and heroin misuse.

I've actually been having a really good day, I've been pretty upbeat all day, for what seems like the first time in a couple weeks. I've been thinking about going dose-free on Sunday, just to see what happens.

- JI

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 12:57 pm 
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Well, I'm down to 1.5 mg. It will be a few days before I start to feel any symptoms (if there are any). Sometimes at night my legs ache or I get a small cramp in my ca;f, but nothing major at all so far.

Trying to live in the moment. Real life is very real, I'm dealing with all kinds of things, job pressure, financial pressures, relationship ups and downs. I sometimes forget how much I have put my Fiance through over the past 9 years. I met him after I has been on Sub for a year. He has been there for me through so much. This final taper is something he doesn't really understand, he watched me go from 16 mgs down to this with no problems. It probably seems like I'm being a drama queen about this last bit. I've told him I might be kind of weird over the next 2 months but to know I'm doing the right thing and it's all going to be okay.

I'm working on being there for other people. I think I have taken a lot from people emotionally, it's my turn to listen and give to others. That's all I've got today. I'm procrastinating about doing some work that's right here in front of me!


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 1:41 pm 
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Awesome, good luck at 1.5 mg/day.

I'm on day three of .75 mg/day, and the physical w/d symptoms are very minor, totally manageable.

-- JI

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