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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2012 3:23 pm 
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Hello everyone, I will try to put the important stuff first then a little more explanation at the end.

I was taking 10mg of methadone a day. I skipped a day of methadone and switched to shorter acting agents for the past 5 days, this is day 6 without methadone now. I am looking for advice on the best way to use suboxone to curb the physical withdrawal symptoms, preferably using it at the lowest dose possible and for the shortest time possible so I can stop using it with minimal withdrawals (I have heard if you use suboxone for a very short period the withdrawals are very minimal). I hear that after 2 weeks without methadone the physical withdrawals should be coming around, and this is the time frame I hope to use suboxone to get past.


Now the long part

Currently I have the following available: 2 hydrocodone 7.5mg, 30 50mg tramadol (never tried em, guessing they are not useful), and 5 morphine 15mg (which I have kinda put on reserve since they are worthless to take any way besides IV/IM/SC and I am WAY to scared to try IV and have also never tried and don't know where to get the supplies for IM/SC). I also have some ambien and xanax to help with sleep, but I hate using them because the sleep I get is still really low quality and the next day I seem to be even more drained. I also have adderall, but I don't plan to use it unless it could provide me some sort of help, but I really hate the way it makes me feel usually.


My plan starting from where I am now (day 6) is to take 1 of the hydro as close as possible to going to sleep. Take the remaining hydro on the morning of day 7. Then try out tramadol to get me through the rest of day 7 and hopefully beyond. I would really like to be able to IM very small amounts of the morphine and make it last me for another week, but since I know nothing about this/ where to get the supplies I don't see it happening. Basically I am trying to give the methadone as long as possible to get out of my system because I can't handle the super long withdrawals it causes. One time when I was on 30mg I detoxed for just over a week with no real improvement besides at the end of the week being able to reduce my dose. But whether or not I use the morphine, when I run out of the short acting stuff I am going to go through withdrawal for as long as I can handle it (lower back pain is usually what gets me besides all the WD symtpoms) then switch to suboxone. Since I have the 8mg pieces I was going to try to break it into 1mg or 0.5mg pieces and start with that. But I don't know what to do as far as a taper sine I am afraid it is going to be very difficult to break the 8mg strips into small enough pieces.

Also I have got the impression that if you take suboxone for a very short period of time the withdrawals are very minimal to non existant. Is this true and if so how long does it take before you will experience suboxone withdrawals? This seems counter intuitive to me as it seems just as with methadone as long as you are taking any opiate you will have withdrawals regardless if you switch from one agent to another, im hoping suboxone is the amazing exception to that.

Back story:


I entered methadone treatment after dabbling with various opiates then landing myself an OC addiction for about 3 months. I quickly worked my way up to 120mg because of the way they push it, I mean what do you think a young naive opiate addict is going to say if you ask them if they would like to increase their dose? I then fairly quickly went down to 100mg and stayed at that for the majority of my nearly 2 years in treatment.

At some point it clicked that I was doing the dumbest thing of my life. I had entered into something to help with my addiction and realized I had a far worse addiction after being in "treatment" than I ever had before going into the program. A switch flipped in me and I wanted nothing more than to stop taking methadone and having to deal with being treated like some sort of criminal even though I was a model patient if there ever was one. I managed to taper myself to 60mg pretty quickly, then down to 30mg, then down to 10mg. I took 10mg for about 3-4 months then tried going to 5mg which I stayed at for about a month before getting to where I am now. I would not say I successfully tapered to 5mg because I spent the majority of my days in minor withdrawal and would sometimes have to take 2.5mg to be able to sleep properly.

Unlike many people I have talked to I had and still have NO desire to use any opiate (of course other than to keep from having withdrawals). So I am not looking for something to block my ability to use other drugs to help stay clean, it is a matter of getting through the physical withdrawals. All I want more than anything in the world is for the suboxone to work like I have heard and ease me through the 2nd week of methadone withdrawal and then be able to stop taking the suboxone after that.

Any advice you all have on my plan, or if you have a better plan I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks so much. Sorry for the long read.


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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2012 5:23 pm 
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Just a thought do u think its smart to have all those drugs in yout possesion during duch a vulnerable time???

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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2012 5:50 pm 
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I have had most of them for a really long time and have not used them. I plan to use what I have to make this as tolerable as possible, really only have 2 hydys and the morphine that is an opiate left. Then when I switch to subs ill have nothing besides sleeping aid if I need it which luckily I really truely dislike.

But I just wanted to be truthful about what I have at my disposal to get advice from people that have done what I am doing (especially the taper down to a very low methadone dose, use short acting agents, switch to bupe).

*edit* After reading around here I think it might be better for me to start with 0.25mg or maybe even less. Anyone got any ideas on how to get a strip into 32 pieces?


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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2012 6:28 pm 
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this first post is gonna be short, so I'll write more later,

but I really, really hate to tell you this.

I was on methadone , steady about 120-160 mg a day, for almost two years. I know thats more than you were taking, but after I went on sub, I thought the withdrawls were "gone for good" after a month.

I was DEAD WRONG.

even 4 months into sub treatment, some days I'd just ALL of a sudden be soaked in sweat. I wasnt really 'feeling' that crappy, but I definitely felt as if I were 'sweating out' the methadone. I even brought it up to my doctor. he said it was VERY probable, that was exactly what was going on, and it could still go on for a few more months.

Now, Im not saying it happened all the time, it was only maybe one day outta every 10. I just am GRATEFULL I was on the suboxone, to help 'deter' my thinking, if you know what I mean. even ON the sub, I was feeling like, " if Im gonna go thru this crap, I might as well get high"

I just wanted to warn you, and let you know, that in my opinion, I dont think your "methadone withdrawl" will be over and done with in a few weeks, maybe not even 3 months. EVERY person is different, and Im hoping, it WILL be easy for you. But i had nobody to warn me. My doctor didnt even say much, until I brought it up.

No opiate is 'easy' to get off of. I have stopped suboxone for short periods of time, and it WAS NOWHERE NEAR what going off any of the other crap was like. In my opinion, the methadone withdrawl from 150 mg (about) was the WORST I ever experienced.

Now, Im gonna re-read and see if I have anything helpful to add.. :) :) :)

I just had to put that in there right away, becuase like I said, it hit me like a truck basically. I mean, a SOAKED tshirt collar at work, when Its cold out, is how bad I had the 'sweats' and cold at the same time. JUST like withdrawl. and I was taking about 16mg of suboxone.

GOOD LUCK my friend.

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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2012 6:48 pm 
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Good job on getting down to such a low dose of methadone. I sure know from experience, THAT is NOT an easy thing to do.

For me, I could never really take it how I was soposed to. the only reason I 'lasted so long' was because I was getting it as pain management, not addiction, and I was seeing two doctors.

I know, I was terrible :roll: :roll: :roll:

Thats all history now though.
so Im not sure if your goal is to use the sub JUST for acute withdrawl, thats kinda what it sounds like. Just like I said in the first post, for me it was the stuff that lingers after. And I know it was from being on such a high dose of methadone. the ten days or so before my induction, I took the methadone every OTHER day, and skipped the day before induction. I was down to 30mg. I transitioned fine I guess you could say, becuase I did not go into precipitated w/d.
It still was not easy, by any means.
I completely missed the 'feeling' or satisfaction I got from taking methadone, that you do not get from suboxone. (I dont at least)

But I did learn to deal with that.
Feel free to post anymore questions you have.
I really think you should try and have an open mind, and think about sub treatment IF your short term plan turns out to be too difficult. You said you were the model patient for methadone treatment, so following the sub treatment seems like it would be something you could do???

I understand you not wanting to be on it long term, but trying to compare methadone and suboxone, at least for me is damn near impossible. I could ALWAYS take more methadone and catch a 'nod'
after trying a few times with the suboxone (early into treatment) I GAVE UP, becuase I never felt anything close to how I did on methadone.

Alright, I hope I helped. Im not trying to scare you either, I just wanted to share MY experience, and what I had a hard time with.

agian,
GOOD LUCK

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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2012 7:00 pm 
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Thanks for the quick reply amber,

I am very scared that the methadone extended withdrawals would be bad. I am hoping since I tapered down to 30mg and was on that for 3 or 4 months, then was down to 10mg for 4 or so months that maybe the extended withdrawals wouldn't be so bad. But I am not counting on it at all. Thats why I was trying to go as long as possible without it before switching to sub. I realize that I may feel not so hot for 1-3 months but if I can carry on with life I think I will be able to make it through.

But 4 months into subs and getting the sweats you would surely think would be from the subs or something else rather than methadone? Especially since you would think 16mg of sub would kill any withdrawals? It is very sad that with the hundreds of millions made through methadone clinics that there is not more research into things like this.

If there is anyone that has switched from methadone to bupe for a short period, then off and did you feel exhausted after you stopped bupe? That is probably barely behind back pain as the #2 thing that gets me, feeling like I have no energy in my muscles to move, I will literally just flop around a room and not shower for days when I tried to withdrawal previously. My biggest fear is that I get through the acute withdrawals of methadone say somewhere from 2weeks to 1 month of stopping taking it and then I have prolonged exhaustion because I seem to always have some time sensitive obligation. I know my ideal situation would be able to press pause on life and go away for several months while recovering but I know that is not an option.

Again, sorry for the long posts. But I have been planning this for a long time and I really want to succeed. I am scared if I don't make this work I will end up being a life long maintenance user and while it is great maintenance exists, it is the last thing I want to be tied to.


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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2012 7:10 pm 
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For the first 6 months of treatment I was in the mindset of that. I would double down my dose to catch a nod type of thing. But once I started getting take homes and the fact the dose was way higher than what I actually needed I gained discipline in that. I haven't got the satisfaction effect from taking methadone in probably a year because I have constantly been trying to lower my dose.

Im sure suboxone treatment would be no problem for me to follow, especially since doctors can prescribe it and there wouldn't be the ridiculous hoops to jump through (I hope), but I really hate all the things about being tied to a substance you must have or you will be sick. Also I have 3, 8mg strips. I was hoping I could spread those out enough to get past the worst and then stop the sub.


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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2012 7:13 pm 
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I totally get what your saying....................

and I dont think it was anything else besides the methadone coming out of my system,( or whatever) becuase it would only last 6-12hrs, and after I brought it up at the doctor's office, he did a full blood work-up on me, agian.

he did one when I first went in, and then at 3mos. The appt I brought up the sweating/exhaustion was around 4 1/2 months, so we did bloodwork agian.

Anyway, I seem to remember the last few times it happened was around 8 months into sub maintenance, and they were VERY short, just a few hours.

The biggest thing, in ACUTE withdrawl was I still felt like I was having RESTLESS legs while trying to sleep. Not quite as bad as full blown methadone withdrawl, but DAMN close. my legs/arms/back were tense no MATTER WHAT.

So watch out for that, too.

I know, loads of good news... BUT your making such a great change, really, thats the positive part. being sick and tired of being sick and tired is a PERFECT representation. :wink:

Okay, just wanted to add that.
My liver function was pretty shitty when I got the first blood work done, so the doctor watched that pretty close. but it improved with time, and the latest one I had done, he said "couldnt have been better"

I think its really important to look at overall health , after having a "run" in active addiction. Its like we TRY to destroy ourselves from the inside out. At least thats what it seemed like for me.

and dont apologize for long posts, this is a really confusing/anxious time and answers to your questions are PROBABLY the only thing that helps!!!!!

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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2012 7:23 pm 
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I greatly appreciate you being honest. I know this is going to suck bottom line. Heck this past week has sucked. I have basically been waking up, waiting until I am in mild withdrawal (constant yawning, teary eyes, back pain etc) then taking just enough to keep from feeling pure poo. And stuff like percs and hydys last maybe half the day if im lucky. Methadone is powerful stuff, I really think the doses used in general are way to elevated because most people coming in not only want the detox to stop but also want enough to get a buzz.
I just want to avoid at ALL costs having to start suboxone treatment.

Also, forgot to mention I have access to marijuana. I really don't like using the stuff because it totally zaps me mentally and physically and I just generally don't enjoy it but it does seem to help with aches from being tense but it zaps energy.


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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2012 12:20 pm 
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Day 7. Ughhhh. Haven't taken anything today yet. Might try some tramadol. The yawning every minute & back pain are getting to me. I found some people who have made nasal solution out of their strips. Maybe I could do this an dilute the water enough to make small doses easy. I am so over this switching to short acting stuff, better than going cold turkey, but doing the minimal amount of short acting stuff still really sucks.


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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2012 12:34 pm 
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If you've never taken tramadol before, you should be really careful, a side effect for SOME people, are siezures. I had one when I STOPPED taking it. I used to take it (alot) when I ran outta methadone, just to help aleviate some w/d symptoms. It didnt do GREAT, but it helped somewhat.

Theres a thread about it
http://suboxforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=6511

the brandname, is "ultram"

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 Post subject: Addiction Therapy
PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2012 1:04 pm 
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Why don't you want to get into Suboxone treatment? Tapering off of it at a very low dose will not be bad at all.

Reading all your posts it sounds like you just want to keep one foot in the addictive world. You say you want off but won't go the extra mile to get there. An old AA saying is pertinent to your situation. "Half measures availed us nothing". It sounds like you are trying really hard to go half way to get your goal.

I am going to suggest you do it the right way and see an Addiction Specialist Physician who can prescribe you the proper amount of Suboxone and monitor your recovery. They deal with Methadone to Suboxone patients all the time and know what to do in your case. Jump all the way in and recover the right way so it'll stick. Give up the fight and be willing to go to any lengths to achieve your goal. If you can't afford it, try the patient assistance program and see if you can get in.

In no way can I advocate using street drugs to recover from a recovery drug. It puts you backwards, not forward.

Had to say my 2¢

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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2012 1:12 pm 
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Thanks, I am quite aware of the seizure threshold lowering abilities of Tramadol, it is one of the main reasons I never wanted to try it. I took 100mg of it shortly after posting that last message, I hope it helps because I want to give the methadone as long as possible to leach its way out of my system before starting the suboxone. But sheesh, starting suboxone is probably my biggest temptress right now, not the 5 morphines I have. I am actually glad I don't know where to get the stuff to IM besides online because I would probably do it. Do you know of any forum that is more active than this one? I think posting about it is helping me. I have spent a lot of time posting & reading, it really doesn't help that the cable service is crapping out so I am finding myself bored without energy.

Amber, when you quit methadone did you notice surges so to speak of it going away? It seems like I keep going on a roller coaster of feeling cruddy to absolutely squirming around. And when I took the last hydro, it barely provided any sort of relief.

Also, everyone seems to talk about RLS. I don't know if I have ever got it. I do find myself bouncing my legs but I do that anyways. But I have noticed sitting one foot on top of other, then the other foot on top of the other, and repeat. But restless legs has never been the 'thing' that got to me, or I did not identify it as RLS. Is it possible that when people say RLS they just mean the general squirming you do because of being uncomfortable all over?


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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2012 1:23 pm 
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rule62 wrote:
Why don't you want to get into Suboxone treatment? Tapering off of it at a very low dose will not be bad at all.

Reading all your posts it sounds like you just want to keep one foot in the addictive world. You say you want off but won't go the extra mile to get there. An old AA saying is pertinent to your situation. "Half measures availed us nothing". It sounds like you are trying really hard to go half way to get your goal.

I am going to suggest you do it the right way and see an Addiction Specialist Physician who can prescribe you the proper amount of Suboxone and monitor your recovery. They deal with Methadone to Suboxone patients all the time and know what to do in your case. Jump all the way in and recover the right way so it'll stick. Give up the fight and be willing to go to any lengths to achieve your goal. If you can't afford it, try the patient assistance program and see if you can get in.

In no way can I advocate using street drugs to recover from a recovery drug. It puts you backwards, not forward.

Had to say my 2¢

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I don't want to be on maintenance therapy ever again. It SUCKS to be tied to that. Every thing you do the #1 priority is make sure you have your medicine so you don't get sick. Among a million other reasons why I don't want to get into maintenance.

One foot in the addictive world? I am trying really hard to go half way to my goal? How is that? I have spent the last week in withdrawals using tiny amounts of short acting agents to get me through until I switch to suboxone to avoid any chance of precipitated withdrawals. If I had one foot in the addict world I would have got pills 100's of times in my journey from 100mg of methadone to now. It isn't like I am saying, hey if I shoot this bag of heroin and get super high will that end my methadone addiction? We are talking using much much weaker agents to ease a transition. If you have ever been on methadone coming from 100mg to 10mg and then stopping is one hell of a thing to do and nobody who has there foot even 1/10th in the "addictive" world would do this because they would use something. I am guessing you are referring to the stuff I listed, but I have talked to NO ONE who got off methadone without tapering, sleep aids, and usually marijuana. I am not the norm possibly, I know no other drug addict friend I had that would try to taper their methadone and not immediately go out and buy pills. I also have no deep seated daddy issues or anything like that which needs to be addressed. I simply need to get the worst physical symptoms of this without spending $500+ to go to a doctor and get myself into something that, even if it is not as bad, scares me terribly after having underwent methadone management.

Why would I go to a doctor if I have enough to see me through what I need to do. I know others have done this at home and it is not just me. I literally could not get drugs now if I wanted to, the supplies I had, which I listed all of, I have had in a box
for over a year

*edit* Sorry if this sounds nippy or rude, but I really do take personal offense at you saying I am half-butt trying at this. This is NOT easy and NOT something you do unless you are truly trying your damdest to stop. Just wondering, have ever been on methadone maintenance therapy? **edit**


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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2012 2:10 pm 
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The tramadol has helped take the edge off, but kind of has a speedy sort of adderall feeling to it, which I hate. But better than writhing around.

Okay so I have a few outstanding questions ill list since I have typed SO much in the my other posts.

1. Does anyone have a recommended dose that I start at given my circumstances?

2. How long should I stay at this dose before tapering or jumping?

3. Should I try to push and give methadone more time to leach out before switching to the suboxone?


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 Post subject: Your Own Way
PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2012 2:16 pm 
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Hey Sooverthis,

It is I who should say I didn't mean to offend or make light of your situation. If you can pull this off then more power to you. And no, I've never been on Methadone but that doesn't make me naive about it either.

I posted what I've learned after many years in recovery and have seen so much failure with even those who did everything right. You know yourself better than we do and if you say you have no desire to use opiates again, than I guess no one can dispute that.

But condoning illegal behavior just isn't something I'm used to. If that is the only way you believe you can recover then go right ahead. It would be great if you post your progress as the months go along.

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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2012 2:58 pm 
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Dang, had a big nice post typed up and lost it.

Basically, if you have never been on methadone at a high dose for a long period then you TRULY can NOT relate to what I am going through at all. Methadone is a freakish beast with crazy metabolism & withdrawal characteristics. Many, many, many heroin users have told me that quitting methadone is worse than quitting heroin.

Also, all addicts are the very definition of condone. While I don't condone illegal behavior,if someone asks me about marijuana I don't go around passively chastising those who use it. For example if someone asked a question about how to ingest it for medical reasons I would not tell them how I don't condone illegal behavior, I would instead offer guidance or say I can't help you or better yet, say nothing at all.

But having someone come in and make statements like " If you can pull this off" and "If that is the only way you believe you can recover then go right ahead" are the LAST thing I want to hear right now.

I just want someone who has experience with methadone to give me some advice on the 3 questions a post or two up.

Once again, sorry if any of this crosses the line for any outside people reading this but I really don't feel so hot right now and am doing my best to reason through these posts.


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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2012 3:39 pm 
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Maybe a moderator could close or delete this and I could make a new topic that is more clear and concise?


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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2012 3:54 pm 
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I dont know what you mean about surges really, but I D KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU MEAN ABOUT OVERALL W/D

it IS the worst ive ever experienced. Im in the chat room off and on if you wana talk

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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2012 4:51 pm 
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Im no medical expert...... just had to post that.


Im my experience, I think you'd be just fine to start a dose of suboxone. I think the 'window' for precipitated w/d is well over. at least IN MY EXPERIENCE I was less time away from my last dose of methadone/and higher when I started suboxone, and I DID NOT GET SICK.

It WILL HELP your w/d symptoms MUCH more than ultram/tramadol would/will.

IF I WERE YOU, if I were doing it agian, id start with a low dose, like 2mg. and wait about an hour and see how you feel.

with the tapering,, Ugh
I dont know what to say.
every person is different. I would try to stay on a low dose of sub as long as you can, just so the major acute w/d are gone. I dont know how much sub you have availible.

I dont think the w/d from the sub will be a big deal for YOU. everyone is different though. but you've got the full opiod w/d symptoms 'fresh' in your mind, and compared to that, the sub w/d is nadda. Just read some posts. MOST people say its NOTHING like full opiate w/d.

Im really trying to help,,,,, Im doing my best.
I hope Ive at least helped a little.
I dont know of anywhere else that has even HALF as much ACCURATE information. thats kinda what we strive for here.

Let me know If I can help anymore. K????
and I think your thread is just fine.
theres been many worse before you :roll: :roll: :roll:

I hope your doing ok

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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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