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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 6:05 pm 
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Hi all, I'm a new guy to the forum and thought I'd introduce myself. I've read tons of posts here and am relieved to find this kind of forum - it's exactly what I've been searching for for a long time. Many thanks to the admin for keeping it up and running.

Anyway, I'm addicted to hydrocodone and have been using it for almost 4 years daily. Up until Monday, I was using 100mg/day. That has been my daily dose for the past 6 months or so. The previous 3 years I maintained a daily intake of 40-50mg. I tapered my dose for a couple of days and took the rest of the week off from work, a luxury I'm thankful to have in a management position. I've been planning my escape from this vicious lifestyle for months and am just a few weeks late on my target date (I wanted to quit the 1st of the year, but better late than never).

I honestly didn't realize that I was an addict until about a year ago, but it wasn't until the Summer of 09 that I realized that it was only going to get worse. I managed to maintain my habit for years at a relatively low dose, hiding it from my friends and family. But this past Summer was rough for me and I quickly upped my dose, until in a short time I had doubled it from what it had always been. It became clear to me quickly that I was no longer 'in control' of my addiction and that it had assumed control over me and my destiny. My performance at work suffered greatly, my romantic life with my wife dwindled to nothing, and my interest in anything other than escaping into my pills became secondary. I've read horror stories of people starting off in my shoes and ending up under the weight of an oxy addiction or even worse. Those stories have opened my eyes and forced me to take control of my body for the first time in a long time.

I'm a 28 year old father of 2 beautiful little girls. One is 2 years old and the other turns 9 tomorrow. As the title of my post says, I've been in withdrawal since Monday afternoon (my last Norco was taken Monday morning). I called the few Suboxone clinics in town, but they were booked for months. I didn't want to spend another one of my children's birthday in a haze, so I bought some Subs from the guy that has dealt me my Norcos for years (a total of 10 8mg pills). My mother is an RN and has offered me lots of information and support. My wife now knows of my addiction and has my only drug dealer's phone number, name, and address. She has contacted him and his wife, telling them that they she has their personal information and won't hesitate to contact the police if he sells to me again. I've got a counselor at work that I can see for free and have an appointment scheduled for next week. All in all, I've got a very solid support system. Aside from that, I've told my 3 closest friends about my addiction, along with my brothers and sister, so that they can help to keep me accountable. I have a lot to lose for a man of my age and cannot allow myself to fail this time. Any support or advice is much appreciated.

I suffered through the withdrawals for just over 40 hours and took my first dose of Suboxone this morning (2mg). The symptoms were more severe than I expected - cold sweats, excruciating body aches, restless legs and feet, and the inability to get comfortable. Nyquil offered zero relief. The worst symptom of all has been the unexplainable and overwhelming cloak of dread and fear in my mind, accompanied with a pounding heart. I feel like I'm constantly catching my breath and have the urge to yawn non-stop. I fought these symptoms for as long as I could handle it, pushing myself to the limit to try to overcome this on my own. After spending the night on the floor of the shower, my wife couldn't take it anymore and asked me to try the Suboxone. She gave me a quarter of a pill. Instantly....nothing, no relief. She stood watch over me, waiting for signs of an allergic reaction but there was nothing. I was getting furious and even more restless, expecting this pill to help in some way. An hour passed and nearly on the dot my dread and fears vanished. My heart stopped racing and my aches subsided. It was almost as if I had taken a 10mg Vicodin, but without the high. It's ridiculous as to how well this stuff works. Anyway, I just wanted to share my story and my experience so far with the drug. Wish me luck...

Ken


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 6:57 pm 
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Welcome Ken!

Thanks for the introduction, and welcome to the forum.

I hope you will find the support here you are looking for, and also help along the rest of us.

I read your introduction, but it isn't clear to me that you 'have' a future suboxone doctor appointment set up yet. Do you?

Your recovery will be a TEAM effort as you stated, and unless you are ready to head back into the withdrawals again - you'll need a suboxone doctor to help you stabilize and formulate a plan of action. That plan *may* include a taper, or maintenance - it appears to me to depend upon your physician. My physician is pro - taper off. Others here have doctors that are pro maintenance, or patient choice.

I look forward to your posts and updates. By the way, I found a family clinic in my area that treated Opiate Dependence, and it was much faster to see a doctor than the traditional clinics. You probably have already looked through the doctors in your area - but for me that was a real GOD-SEND!

Again, Welcome!


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:31 pm 
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Thanks for the welcome. You're right, I don't currently have an appointment with a Sub doc. If I could find a family practice that can prescribe the stuff, I would be on their door tomorrow for sure. Honestly, I hadn't even thought of calling around for something like that. But I'll start looking asap. If I don't find something, I'll have to get an appointment with one of the traditional doctors. Thanks again.

Ken


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:09 pm 
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naabt.org has a doctor-patient matching service. You input your area and type of insurance and they'll email you some doctors to contact. I found my sub doc thru them...so did my best friend. Calling around is a good idea so you can get a feel for the doctor's philosophy of treatment (do they do short tapers or longer-term treatment, are they flexible, etc.)

Even if you decide you don't want to stay on Suboxone, it's still a good idea to get a doctor's help. There are other medications that make withdrawal more bearable (clonidine, ambien and a few others).

I wish you luck. It seems like you have a lot to live for, a lot of good things going for you in your life. You don't have to go all the way to hell to get on the road to recovery; your "bottom" can be wherever you choose. I personally think Suboxone is a great option - I took it for just under 2 years and have been off of it for a little more than 5 months now. The time I spent on Sub really gave me a chance to practice coping with life without getting high. Practice that has definitely come in handy since I stopped the Subs.

Keep posting and let us know how you're doing. There are a lot of kind and wise people on the forum who offer great support.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:24 pm 
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Welcome, Welcome, Welcome!!!
Your story sounds all too familiar, I too started off with a drug of choice of hydrocodone and I was eating about 15-20 10 mg a day. I went to a rehab and I got through the withdrawals and ended up detoxing from my hydro addiction with about 10 sub pills, it was a quick taper and I was under a doctors care. I wish it was possible for you to be supervised closely but you have to do what you have to do. The only extra meds the doctors gave me for withdrawal was immodium as needed and motrin as needed. Oh yeah seroquel for sleep (thats prescribed) It was the hardest thing I ever went through because I had used for 3 years non stop, so This for sure will NOT be a cake walk. But im sure you are totally aware of this. The subs instantly made the withdrawals bearable and I was made to go to class after class, so keep yourself busy! It looks as if you have a WONDERFUL support team and you are ready to clean up! Well thats all I have for right now. I hope all goes well, Id like to hear more from you so keep us posted. Take care my friend...


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:36 pm 
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Thanks for the input. Your story sounds very similar to mine for sure. I will definitely look into that website and try to find a primary care doc that I can see asap. I have some Xanax left over from an old script, but after reading other posts, it sounds like benzos and Subs may be a dangerous combination. Is there anything over the counter that anyone can suggest for sleep that might help safely, other than Nyquil?

The number 1 reason that I don't want to stay on the Subs is pretty simple - random UA's at work. I'm a director of a privately owned power plant who's subjected to drug tests regularly (for good reason). I've managed to fool these tests in the past with 'clean up kits', but the risk is too great. From what I've read, it sounds like Suboxone will still pop as an opiate. Is that correct? Telling my employer is not an option for me. I've seen others try to be up front about their addictions and get let go. In this economy, I just can't take that risk.

Anyway, it's day 3 for me and I'm hanging in there infinitely better than I was without the Suboxone. I've taken a total of 3mg today and don't intend on taking anymore until tomorrow morning. So is the withdrawal that you guys talk about after the Subs are gone due to the Vicodin still? Or is it then a withdrawal from the Subs? I'm confused, as I assumed that the Vicodin withdrawal would only last a few days. My initial plan was simply to use the Suboxone as a crutch to help me through the immediate Vicodin withdrawal. That's why I only got 10 x 8mg pills. So I guess what I'm asking is whether by taking that few Subs will I experience withdrawal from them? Or will I still be in Vicodin withdrawal? Or neither? Is the success rate higher for opiate abusers the longer they stay on Suboxone? Thanks again.

Ken


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 10:01 pm 
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Withdrawal is not specific to the drug really. By abusing vicodin, you caused your brain to put out more receptors (to deal with all the extra opiates you were dumping in there) and your brain has also drastically cut down on the amount of endogenous opiates (endorphins) that it was producing before you started abusing vicodin (or any other opiate). This is what is meant by "tolerance".

When you've developed a tolerance to opiates and you suddenly stop taking them, you experience withdrawal because you suddenly have all these opiate receptors that are no longer being stimulated...and your brain needs some time to both ramp-up production of it's own endorphins and to deactivate some of those extra opiate receptors that it put out to deal with the extra opiates you were putting in there.

So basically, your sympathetic nervous system goes crazy - that's why you sneeze, have hot/cold flashes, can't sleep, blood pressure fluctuates, legs get jumpy, etc. Those endorphins regulate a lot of body functions, as well as kill pain, and so you suffer from the lack of them.

Suboxone kills cravings and withdrawal symptoms because it partially stimulates all of those opiate receptors. It has a long half-life, so it keeps you feeling pretty stable as opposed to the ups and downs of short-acting opiates. Because it is a partial-agonist, it produces less euphoria. There is also considerable evidence supporting the idea that it is easier to taper off of Suboxone and the withdrawal from it is less severe than w/d from full-agonist opiates. Studies also support the idea that long-term treatment with sub produces better outcomes.

Whatever withdrawal you experience will be the result of changes to your brain...which have already happened. If you absolutely need to get off Sub because of random drug-screens (though Sub doesn't show up on the usual drug screens), then my advice would be to get to a very low dose of Suboxone (like 1mg) as soon as you can and then spend as much time as you can tapering from 1mg to nothing. The active ingredient in Suboxone, buprenorphine, is very potent and when used as a painkiller is the dose is usually measured in micrograms, not milligrams, so even at such a low dose you are still getting a significant amount of opiates.

Let yourself stabilize between each drop in doseage and you should be able to ease yourself off the Suboxone with only mild withdrawals...as long as you give yourself enough time. If you want more specific help, PM me or see my thread in the Stopping Suboxone section of the forum - I'm glad to answer any questions but of course I'm not a doctor or any kind of professional, just someone who has been through it.

My experience was tapering after longer-term treatment, so our situations are not exactly the same. Maybe someone who successfully did a short-term taper will chime in as well, or you can do a search of the forum to see if there's anything there. I can remember one person who did a short Suboxone taper and did pretty well but I think she ended up going back on Suboxone a while later because of PAWS. Can't remember her name though.

Jeez, sorry for writing a book! Hope it helps though

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 10:04 pm 
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Let me welcome you, the mental part of this recovery is tough and FRUSTRATING, Good luck and practice being strong.. Mike


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 12:16 am 
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I'd be surprised if Suboxone will popup as an opiate. Most drug tests don't detect Hydro, either.

Yeah, it would be best if you can find a doctor. Good luck with that. I live in a big city and I went shopping for a doctor/clinic. I'm surprised all the ones you talked to were booked up. That seems weird.

Beyond that, I think that it is quite possible for you to get clean and clear of withdrawals with the 10 pills you have. It sounds like 2mg knocked out your withdrawals. I'd try taking 2mg every 2 days for about 7 days. If you need it, take 2mg every day for 7 days. After that, start dropping your dose rapidly. You may even be able to just stop after 7 days and experience very little withdrawal.

You will likely experience cravings after this, though. I suggest attending NA. You can go immediately. They will help you deal with staying clean, anonymously.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 1:45 am 
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DOAQ - That is all really great info to have. I've read snippets of what you just wrote over the course of many months, but I've never read a summary as concise and easy to understand as what you just wrote. I appreciate you taking the time to jot all that down. It makes a whole ton more sense to me now. Regardless of how swiftly the severe withdrawal symptoms subside, my brain is going to take as much time as it needs to regulate the receptors and endorphins, which I assume can take weeks or months. I also assume that depression must be a common consequence to all this as well. Is that something I need to watch out for? How long does it typically take for one's brain to 'go back to normal' after all this? Does it depend on the length of opiate usage?

As for the clinics in my area being booked, I'm not sure what to say other than that they most definitely are. The earliest appointment I could get would be more than 2 months away. There are few clinics in my city, however. Perhaps that explains it? Couldn't tell ya. So far I've yielded no results in the way of family practices offering Sub therapy. I'll continue searching though.

I am going to take the least amount of the Suboxone a day as is necessary to stave off the withdrawals and I'm planning on taking the next several days very easy. Lots of projects at home and work will have to wait until I'm certain that I'm managing this the right way. As for NA, I have zero interest in attending. The group therapy thing has never appealed to me with real live people anyway (I guess the forum idea is different for some reason). I spoke to my sister tonight about all of this again and she's really distraught about it. She works as a social worker and has a Master's degree in the field. She's another amazing resource to me in this little battle of mine. I feel terrible for worrying my entire family though. Part of me wishes I had never said anything and just dealt with it on my own, but I guess that never really worked too well for me in the past. Anyway, she insists that I find a chemical dependency counselor immediately, so I'm going to look into it.

Enough blathering. I'm off to try to get to sleep at a normal time for once. Thanks again to all who have responded.

Ken

p.s. When I first got hired on to where I work now, I failed the 5 panel drug test for opiates. All I had ever taken was Vicodin. So regardless of whether the tests you're used to test for hydrocodone or not, the one I have to face certainly does. I explained it away, by the way, as not knowing that it would show up and that I had just taken one for back pain and blah blah blah. They believed me, so I quit for 3 days just to pass the 'make up test', then stocked up on clean up kits from then on.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 11:08 am 
Hello Ken and I'd like to welcome you to the forum along with the others! As I read your story, I was reminded of myself. My active addiction also went on for about 4-5 years, with the last year of it becoming way more out of control than the prior years. I, too, had managed to keep it hidden from my entire family, all my friends and my coworkers. It is so difficult to tell the truth after you've gotten in so deep. After all, lies and ommissions of truth go hand in hand with addiction! I am happy for you that you have decided to stop the madness. That is the first step. Although it was and will continue to be painful for your loved ones to know about this, it is imperative that they do. I understand not wanting to hurt them with the information, but you were hurting them anyway. It was inevetable for them to find out - it was only a question of how they found out. Better that you confessed it than them finding out after you've overdosed, gotten into an accident, or lost your job because of this! That's the way my family had to find out (job loss) - it sucked! So don't second guess yourself. You're doing the right things.
As far as the drug testing - absolutely hydrocodone is going to show up on many standard drug tests, so will oxycodone. Suboxone (buprenorphine), however, usually does not. It typically must be tested for specifically. But I totally understand you not wanting to take that chance. As far as you "fooling" the drug tests before with the cleanse-type products, you've been lucky to have gotten away with it. Most of those products just dilute out your urine bringing the drug metabolite concentration down enough to pass the test or else they alter the pH balance of the urine. Most of the test kits have testing parameters for these "adulterated or dilute" specimens which would kick them out as such. So yeah, you've got to not be counting on that to keep from losing your job. Truth is with the short-acting opiates after long term use, they can clear out of your system within a couple of days. I was able to pass several drug tests when taken 36-48 hours after hydrocodone.
Sorry, went into that more than intended. DOQ just gave one of the clearest, best explanations of what has happened in your brain with opiate addiction and withdrawal that I have ever read! Now you can kind of see what you're up against. I remember being exactly where you are in withdrawal (except no Suboxone). It was horrible. But I survived that part. I think DOQ talked about this too - It's the post acute withdrawal phase, long after you're done with the sweats, aches, gi distress, and other physical miseries of withdrawal, that the real tough stuff starts! That's when I caved and relapsed and that's when most people do cave and relapse. Matt2 (another moderator on the forum) started Suboxone because of this - I don't think he relapsed, he just knew he was in trouble so started Sub. What has happened in our brains cannot be reversed in a matter of days or even weeks. It is not a matter of willpower either. Maybe if you stretch the Sub you have out and do a quick taper, you'll be okay. But there is a good chance that when you're done, the low moods, the low motivation and fatigue will lead you back to hydrocodone. It's a terrible cycle and I sure don't want that to happen with you!
I think the recommendation for counseling is a good one. You are going to have a lot to deal with regarding your addiction. You need to become educated about it and begin to understand why and how this happened. You'll need to learn what your "triggers" to use are so that you can be on your guard against these things. I hate it, but the truth is, we cannot simply get clean from the drugs and walk away like nothing ever happened. We have permanently changed because of our opiate abuse. We cannot go back to the way we were before....at least not for a long, long time, and some people say "never". You need to accept the seriousness of this and get ready for the fight of your life! It sounds like you have a good life and it sounds like you're tired of jeopardizing it. You don't have to any more.
You've gotten good advice already on how to use the remainder of your Suboxone. If I were you I'd go ahead and make an appt with a Suboxone doctor even if it's a ways off. That way if things don't go as planned over the coming weeks, you'll have an appt in place if you need to go on Sub long term.
Take care of yourself and know that you are not alone! Glad you found us and look forward to hearing more from you.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 2:24 pm 
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^Everything you've written seems to be 100% accurate. I took the last Sub dose a day and a half ago and have plunged right back into withdrawal, this after a couple of weeks have gone by since my last dose of Vicodin. I guess I had assumed that I could use the Suboxone as a short term crutch to get me out of the harshest withdrawals, then be done with all of it.

The physical symptoms now are not nearly as intense as they were a few weeks back. My heart doesn't race as much, I'm able to sleep for a few hours at a time, my legs aren't restless at all, the cold sweats aren't as bad as they were, etc. However, mentally I'm a mess. Waves of sadness and emotion overwhelm me. I cried this morning for the first time in years. It feels like my brain has been yanked out of a multi-year haze and I don't have the faculties to deal with it. I really don't want to be on Suboxone anymore though either. The exhaustion that I felt was massive and my mind wasn't 'right' on the stuff at all. I don't know what to do. Hydrocodone is just a phone call away, but it's not an option. Sorry for the rambling, I just feel like I'm going out of my mind and looking for input. Thanks.

Ken


Last edited by sovietspy2000 on Wed Feb 10, 2010 2:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 2:31 pm 
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Hey spy, we're behind you. Don't make that call! Sounds like you are past the hard part. Good that you can see that you are just experiencing temporary emotions. If you haven't done it already, check around for the various suggestions for minimizing, getting through and speeding getting through withdrawals. I'm really curious about the suggestion to get to a gym or exercise. It seems like a terribly challenging thing to do. but forcing yourself to do something like heavy weight lifting or pressing yourself to the limit of some cardiovascular activity might force your body into producing more natural endorphins. Sounds like a good theory. I hope I can get myself to try it out, when the time comes.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 7:27 pm 
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Hi , I have read all of your post and boy is it familiar to me. I quite a 3 year addiction that gradually got to 20 or more a day of hydro cold turkey April 2007. I stayed with my mom for about 7 days. I made it through the W/D's and it was hell. I couldn't even take a shower much less go for a walk or to the gym. By to my surprise by day 10 or 13 I felt so much better. Did great for about 5 month.

Then one day in Oct. 2007 or so, I thought one won't hurt.. That was it ,I relapsed had a new friend that loved them as well. Then I watched her start on oxcy's to snorting, I tried a bit didn't like that. I strictly liked the hydro pills orally. Needless to say I was back on the 15 or more a day just a little less than the first go round. Then I found out about subs and decided to give it a try. I didn't go through a dr. I know that is not good but I had no insurance and couldn't tell my family that I started again. I bought them off the street. on August 2008 29th My husbands birthday that morning woke up in severe w/d and started the subs. I took 2mg and about 30 min later I could not believe it I felt so much better.

So Her I am now , I'm at my taper point I'm taking less than a .5 dose a day. I don't feel great but I feel nothing like I did when I did it C/T. But if you have made it this far (just my opinion) without any then you don't have much further to go to feeling much better. And you won't have to go down the sub road where in another year you will go through a dreadful 2month taper with w/d being drawn out for a longer period. I've gotten down low enough now I HOPE I won't feel any worse than I do now. Which is a dizzy headache, achy body, itchy all over, upset stomach. These are all mild. I can get up and function but I'm not normal in my head , like I call it a Sub cloud. I just wanted to give you my story ,I know that every bit helps. Subs did help me greatly. It's a tough decision to make. But I wish you all the best , get in the hot bath tub and soak add epsom salt and lavender oil. Hot tea. Make the decision that is best for you and your family. Support is the best of all. So much of W/D are mental it's unbelievable. I'll be praying for you ...Good luck, Lynn


By the way if it makes you feel better ,I feel a little like crap right now too!!!


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Thanks for sharing your story. You've hit it right on the head for where I'm at right this moment. I'm at a crossroads. I have a sub appointment tomorrow at 7am. The w/d is unreal today, only getting worse. My last sub dose of 2mg was 66 hours ago. I can't stop crying, my anxiety is immense, my mind is in total chaos. The worst part of it is that my mind is full of flooding memories that I haven't had since I started taking vicodin nearly 4 years ago. Memories that I was trying to escape with the vicodin to begin with.
I saw a regular doctor yesterday who gave me some xanax and that's about all that's keeping me from all out psychosis. I don't want to be on subs. I don't want to be on vicodin. But I sure as hell don't want to feel this way anymore. I haven't decided whether I will go to the clinic tomorrow. I'm hoping that I feel just slightly better tomorrow morning when I wake up, enough so to give me a light to look forward to and to convince my f'ed up head that I can do this without the subs. I appreciate your prayer. I need it.

Ken


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 10:08 pm 
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Please... do yourself a huge favor and keep your clinic appointment. I'm just going to be very honest with you here. You are still hoping that you are going to be able to get over all of this in YOUR WAY. I’m sorry to have to tell you that is not going to happen. Re-read all of the posts on your thread. You have had some amazing posts that really explain things very well. Yet, you still are hoping, like you did the first day here, that somehow you are going to just magically get past all of this. You know what? Someday you will. It's just not going to go nearly as fast as you are wanting it to. You have been damaging your brain for four years! You just simply are not going to repair it in a matter of 80 hours. You may actually succeed in getting past these withdrawals and off of the sub, but if you are like the rest of us - and trust me you are - you'll be back on the hydro in weeks, perhaps a month on the outside.

Trust me. Trust those others who have posted. There is a way out of all of this. That way out starts with your appointment on Friday. Please keep it. Tell the doctor exactly what has gotten you to this point and then follow what that doctor tells you to do. You do not need to suffer like you are and then on top of it all, risk relapse. You will be able to taper down - very slowly, while also learning all about your addiction and how to live with it. At some point you may be able to get off of the Subs. But please don't get off of them until you have a reasonable assurance that you will not relapse back to opiates. You are not at that point yet. You are not even close. Please re-read and take to heart what everyone is trying to tell you. Talk with your new Suboxone doctor on Friday and start on a solid road to recovery.


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donh wrote:
Please... do yourself a huge favor and keep your clinic appointment. I'm just going to be very honest with you here. You are still hoping that you are going to be able to get over all of this in YOUR WAY. I’m sorry to have to tell you that is not going to happen. Re-read all of the posts on your thread. You have had some amazing posts that really explain things very well. Yet, you still are hoping, like you did the first day here, that somehow you are going to just magically get past all of this. You know what? Someday you will. It's just not going to go nearly as fast as you are wanting it to. You have been damaging your brain for four years! You just simply are not going to repair it in a matter of 80 hours. You may actually succeed in getting past these withdrawals and off of the sub, but if you are like the rest of us - and trust me you are - you'll be back on the hydro in weeks, perhaps a month on the outside.

Trust me. Trust those others who have posted. There is a way out of all of this. That way out starts with your appointment on Friday. Please keep it. Tell the doctor exactly what has gotten you to this point and then follow what that doctor tells you to do. You do not need to suffer like you are and then on top of it all, risk relapse. You will be able to taper down - very slowly, while also learning all about your addiction and how to live with it. At some point you may be able to get off of the Subs. But please don't get off of them until you have a reasonable assurance that you will not relapse back to opiates. You are not at that point yet. You are not even close. Please re-read and take to heart what everyone is trying to tell you. Talk with your new Suboxone doctor on Friday and start on a solid road to recovery.


Well I took your advice.
It's been over 2 years since I visited this forum, more than 2 years since that first sub clinic visit. I entered the clinic in severe withdrawal and left with a 8mg script. I've been on Suboxone ever since, very slowly tapering down, getting educated on my addiction, and preparing my mind and body for a drug free life.
I'm at 1.5mg/day now. My current plan puts me at 1mg by July. I hope to be completely off of Suboxone by January, the 3rd anniversary of the month that I quit using hydrocodone.

I have the same job I had when I started this thread and am still happily married, both thanks only to my choice to go to that sub clinic appointment. It was difficult for the first several months to get my dose correct, as they wanted me on a much higher dose of bupe than I needed. After that, though, I stabilized for many months on a 3mg dose, then began my long taper. I switched to film a few months back and find it easier to dose accurately and taper with than the pills. I'm fortunate to have insurance that picks up my prescription costs and the clinic fees went down from $300/month to $200/month at my 1 year mark, so that's helped too.

I'm not where I hoped to be when I first kicked the Vicodin, but I know now that this was most definitely the best course of action for me. I would have surely ended up back on the pills and would have had to have lost everything in my life before ever getting to the mental state I'm at now, without Suboxone.
This update is meant for those wondering whether Suboxone can be used successfully as a quick bridge between opiate addiction and long term sobriety. For me, it wasn't possible. For me, stabilizing my life and brain by taking Suboxone over a long period of time, tapering slowly and under the guidance of trained professionals, was the only way to successfully recapture my life from the addiction.

There are certainly side effects to this drug, however. Headache is the most common one for me. Fatigue, drowsiness, inability to focus, and lack of sexual drive have all made their marks on my recovery. But as my taper continues, the side effects become less and less severe. Some of them are gone altogether. In my own experience, I can say that exercise and a healthy diet, both of which are keys to my long term change for a healthy lifestyle, will go a very long way in counteracting most of the ill effects of this drug. I hope those reading this will find some use in this thread and make whatever decision best suits their recovery. Thanks again to those who helped me find my way.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:43 am 
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Thanks for the update. Glad to hear you're doing so well. Keep up the good work. :)

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:18 pm 
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So awesome to read! I felt the same way did I want to stay on the oxymorphone and oxycodone or go the Suboxone route so far I'm happy I took the later!

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

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