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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 9:09 pm 
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Hey-this is my first time posting here but I've been a voyeur on the site for a couple of months now. :) I have been using pills for about 7 years, prescribed for back problems (spinal stenosis, bulging discs, degenerative disc disease, etc). For probably the first 3-4 years I took them mostly as prescribed and only as needed but I've been heavily abusing them for the past several years. First it was Vicodin, then after my doctor cut me off last year it's been whatever I can get my hands on (from OC's to Percocet, Hydros, etc....whatever can prevent me from being sick). I finally got to the point where I hate my life like this and I just can't do it anymore, so I made an appt. with a psychiatrist who's a Sub prescriber and I will be seeing her in a few weeks for my induction. Right now I am completely freaking out after reading so many horror stories about how hard it is to get off of Subs and how horrendous the withdrawals are. I also feel like I'm just trading one addiction for another; and possibly one that comes with even worse side effects and withdrawals. I have been talking to some people on an NA forum and all of them who have done done Sub treatment are practically begging me not to go this route. I'm very confused and torn and I just don't know what to do. I should mention that my biggest reason for even considering Suboxone rather than just going cold turkey and doing NA is that my mom lives with me and she is a Hospice patient that is prescribed a lot of morphine that I have access to and even have to administer. I don't feel like I can stop the pills as long as I am subjected to that. I have never taken her medication and have never really been tempted to as long as I have enough of my own supply to keep me from having w/d's. But, I can't say that would be the case if I try to get clean on my own. I'm so mentally and physically addicted that it would be incredibly hard to resist that temptation. The things I've read about PAWS scare me the most as I've struggled with depression and anxiety most of my life anyway, and is probably a big reason I started abusing pills to begin with; as a means of self medicating. So...what I'd really love to hear are some honest opinions about your experiences with Suboxone if you're now off of it (that's the reason for posting in this "rear view mirror" forum). Would you do it again if you knew how hard it was going to be to stop or would you go cold turkey off the opiates and get heavily involved with NA or something along those lines? Please, any input would be so appreciated! I'm finally to the point that I'm ready to be done with these damn things that have controlled me for so long now, I just want to do it the right way and not cause more problems for myself in the long run or prolong the inevitable. One thing I AM 100% sure of is that I don't want to take Subs for the rest of my life. I'm tired of being a slave to pills...any kind of pills, and I want to be free of all of them eventually. Thanks in advance. Looking forward to hearing from some of you warriors out there. :)


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 10:00 pm 
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Hello wncgal, and welcome to the forum! You have a lot of the same questions I had when I was still thinking about getting on Suboxone.

I was on hydrocodone myself, and tried many, many times to taper on my own, with no success. I was afraid of getting on subs for the same reason as you. I read a bunch of horror stories online about how hard it is to come off of them, and thought I might just be trading one addiction for another as well. I even cancelled my first induction appointment after reading all of the horror stories, and continued with my hydrocodone use. I wish I would've just gone to the first appointment because my use only escalated for the next 4 months until I finally found Dr. Junig's YouTube videos, and decided that subs were the way to go for me. Have you seen any of his videos? Here is a link to one that addresses the issue of trading one addiction for another. This is what helped ease my mind about getting on another opioid.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VE0FLHpr ... el&list=UL

We have many members here on this forum who have successfully tapered off of subs. They did a long and slow taper, which resulted in little withdrawals. Since it sounds like you want to use subs to detox, and be off fairly quickly, you can check out some of these posts in the "Stopping Suboxone" forum. I have not done it myself, so I cannot really comment on it. Yes, there are plenty of people who have had a really hard time quitting subs, but there are also others who figured out how to keep the withdrawal to a minimum.

I think most people who taper off of subs successfully don't come online and share their story because they didn't have enough of a problem to need to discuss it. It is usually when we are looking for help or answers that we come online, which is probably why there are so many horror stories online, and not a whole lot of success stories. Most people who were successful just moved on with their life and didn't look back.

Suboxone should take away your cravings and allow you to be around, and administer your mom's meds to her. I didn't believe this could be possible, but as soon as I got on subs, I realized that what everyone was saying was true. It really does take away your cravings and help you resist temptation!

Also, I have had depression for many years, and tried many different antidepressant meds, with no success. Since being on Suboxone, my depression has pretty much subsided, which I wasn't expecting at all. I was only going to use it for addiction, but very quickly found out that it helps my depression and chronic pain.

I'm sure some other members will stop by and share their experience of stopping subs with you, and encourage you that it is possible.


Last edited by Taurus on Sat Apr 28, 2012 10:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 10:15 pm 
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Hey there wncgal...

I don't have the answers that you are looking for about how hard it is to quit suboxone because I haven't tried to yet. I have heard some people say it is really hard and that the PAWS were terrible...but if you look at this forum you will see plenty of people who have been able to quit with little trouble and who are glad they had the suboxone to get them through the rough stuff. What I wanted to specifically respond to was when you mentioned you were worried about trading one drug for another with possibly worse side effects, etc...

I have not found suboxone to have very many lasting side effects. For the first week or two while I was still adjusting I had some issues. With me it was the soreness under the tongue and some anxiety/super energy. I kind of felt like I was on an extreme caffiene buzz. Even had some muscle twitching for a few days. I found that the days that effected me the most was when I was taking up to 16mg per day. When I dropped back down to 8mg and stayed there long enough to let my body regulate all my side effects went away. I am guessing that everyone will have a bit of an adjustment period where you are figuring out what dose you need and what makes you feel best. But I think by week two you should be fine. Look at the side effects thread for some ideas of what other people have went through.

I also noticed you seem to have some guilt over possibly being tempted to take your moms morphine. I would have to tell you that I think I would have the same problem if I was faced with access to ANYTHING while I was in withdrawal. In fact I am going to be completely honest and tell you I have stolen meds from family members when I was in withdrawal. It seems like when you are in that place anything goes...I don't know if I even felt guilty about it then. My reasoning was I needed it more than they did...after all, they weren't addicts and I was SICK. Anyway...I just wanted you to know that you are definitely not alone with that issue. I think all of us as addicts will do those types of things. It's kind of like turning a fox loose in a hen house and then getting mad when he kills a chicken...what do you expect?????

I hope you find the answers you are looking for. I'm not saying suboxone is for everyone but so far I don't regret it at all. I don't think I would have given up my pills if I didn't know I had this to help me through...even though I was under alot of pressure to do so. I think I would have given it a shot, but I doubt I would have stuck it out. And it might have caused a divorce and other problems if I hadn't have gotten clean. (sorry hat...I know you hate that word :o )

Good luck with your induction if you decide to go through with it...it's a long few weeks of waiting huh???


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 11:55 pm 
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FFS ... whoever invented this idea of PAWS needs a slap on the back of the head.

The reality is, if nobody knew PAWS existed, they would even notice it if they were going through it. People have been getting off opioids for decades before this idea of PAWS was even considered. You may occasionally find post-detox periods a bit challenging, or you may feel cravings, but that's a normal part of early recovery.

Whoever decided to pathologise early recovery, and give it a dreaded title like "Post-Acute-Withdrawal-Syndrome" really didn't consider the effects of their actions. All it can do is scare people away from attempting abstinence.

For the sake of your recovery, I suggest you scrub this idea / notion / concept of PAWS from your mind, and replace it with something more hopeful and useful like - "re-learning how to live a healthy life with no drugs in your system".

These days I lug PAWS in with the other pseudo-scientific "syndromes" perpetuated by women's magazines - like PHSS (post-holiday stress syndrome) and PIS (post-incarceration syndrome)


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 12:34 am 
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Wncgal,

I think its great that u are doing your homework before getting on suboxone.

I am on 4mg of sub daily.....have been on it for two years. At this dose I have no side effects. I have not tried to taper and quit because I am doing so well on this med. I am an RN and part of my job is to give dilaudid, morphine, etc. Suboxone allows me to work around opiates without craving or stealing them.

I think if I didn't start sub I would still be using. It can be hard during early recovery to be around opiates and not use them. I think being around your moms morphine would be very difficult......

I'm not worried about getting off sub. With a long slow taper it is totally possible.

I think sub is a life saver if you find the right dose. About how many miligrams of oxy\hydro do you use daily?

Good luck and whatever you decide let us know. There is great support here!


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 Post subject: Thank you!
PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 2:42 am 
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Thank you guys so much for your quick responses to my concerns about everything. I'm just trying to learn as much as I can so that I can be sure I'm making the right decision. One thing I am totally convinced of is that now is my time. I'm so tired of this life and all the shame, guilt, lies and deception that are a part of it. I just want to be my old self again before I started down this road of destruction. So yeah, three weeks from now is when I will do my induction. I've been waiting almost 2 months already. Where I live there are very few Sub prescribers, and all except the one I'm going to are cash only and as y'all know it's crazy expensive! This practice at least accepts my insurance so for that I am grateful. Also, this psychiatrist is pretty new to the Sub scene and has only been licensed to prescribe it for less than a year. I have a friend that is seeing her and she started her out at way too high of a dose so I'm hoping she knows what she's doing. I admit I have some trust issues with doctors. I'm not blaming my former doctor for getting me addicted to pain pills...I completely own that because I allowed it to happen, but at the same time she sure as hell didn't do me any favors by continuously prescribing and increasing it for 6 years and then dropping me like a hot potato last year after I admitted to her I wasn't taking them as prescribed & that I had increased the dosage on my own without consulting with her first. The ironic part is if I had just told her that they weren't working anymore she would've increased them like she always had before, but I decided to be honest because I wanted her to help me titrate off of them. I also told her I'd been smoking some pot to help with the anxiety and withdrawals when I would run out early. So that was it. I was so upset when I left her office I just had to get out of there. As soon as I calmed down I called her office and left a message to please call me back. I was going to ask if she would prescribe some Clonidine to help me get through the withdrawals. I kept leaving messages for over a week and the next and last time I heard from her was when I got the certified letter in the mail telling me I had been discharged for improper use of narcotics. Anyway, I didn't mean to get off on that whole tangent, just offering it as an explanation for why I have some trust issues with doctors. To answer your question about the amount I'm currently taking, it kind of just depends on what I have. On average I'd say around 100 milligrams a day, sometimes more, sometimes less. And that's not getting anything more than just a slight buzz, that's pretty much a maintenance dose to avoid getting sick as a dog. I have horrible withdrawals and they come on pretty quickly; usually around the 8 hour mark.

Another question I have is do any of you attend NA? I think it would be tremendously beneficial but if I'm going to get scolded because of the subs then I really don't want any of that. I have enough shame to last several lifetimes as it is! I know enough about recovery to know that using is just a symptom of the real problem and that until I address and deal with that I'm not going to be able to get "clean" (why does "hat" hate that word? lol) and stay that way. One last thing, the doctors assistant neglected to tell me how long I need to be in withdrawal before my induction. I've read some conflicting information on that topic. The doctor I'm going to to told my friend who's also seeing her that she needed to go 36 hours. For me I will be so sick 36 hours into it I probably won't be safe to drive myself there. Does it really need to be that long???

Ok, off to bed now. Thanks again for the warm welcome, the good advice and for sharing your stories with me. I look forward to getting to know you guys in the weeks/months ahead!


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 3:13 am 
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I can understand your mistrust of doctors after that experience! If you cannot tell your prescribing doctor about your problem with the meds, then who can you tell?? It's hard to believe that some doctors just cut patients off like that.

I have never attended an NA meeting myself, but some people do find it very helpful. I have heard that they frown upon using subs, since you are not technically "clean". I don't know how many people you might find there who are actually on subs, or if those people tend to feel judged, or what. It is up to you to disclose that information if you choose to attend their meetings. If you don't feel comfortable with NA because of this, maybe you could look into seeing an addiction specialist or a therapist. Maybe someone with experience with NA will come along with some more info.

For induction, since you are on short-acting opiates, most people say to wait about 24 hours from the time you took your last dose. My doctor told me I only had to wait 12 hours, but I was so scared of precipitated withdrawal, that I waited 17 hours. But to be safe, you should rely on the COWS scale (Clinical Opiate Withdrawal Scale) because everyone's body is different. I was at about a 19 on the COWS scale and felt completely fine within 20 minutes of taking the sub.

I thought I was going to have to be in severe withdrawal, which almost kept me from considering subs, but it really wasn't that bad...I think partly because I knew relief was on it's way soon.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 5:59 am 
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wncgal wrote:
Hey-this is my first time posting here but I've been a voyeur on the site for a couple of months now. :) I have been using pills for about 7 years, prescribed for back problems (spinal stenosis, bulging discs, degenerative disc disease, etc). For probably the first 3-4 years I took them mostly as prescribed and only as needed but I've been heavily abusing them for the past several years. First it was Vicodin, then after my doctor cut me off last year it's been whatever I can get my hands on (from OC's to Percocet, Hydros, etc....whatever can prevent me from being sick). I finally got to the point where I hate my life like this and I just can't do it anymore, so I made an appt. with a psychiatrist who's a Sub prescriber and I will be seeing her in a few weeks for my induction. Right now I am completely freaking out after reading so many horror stories about how hard it is to get off of Subs and how horrendous the withdrawals are. I also feel like I'm just trading one addiction for another; and possibly one that comes with even worse side effects and withdrawals. I have been talking to some people on an NA forum and all of them who have done done Sub treatment are practically begging me not to go this route. I'm very confused and torn and I just don't know what to do. I should mention that my biggest reason for even considering Suboxone rather than just going cold turkey and doing NA is that my mom lives with me and she is a Hospice patient that is prescribed a lot of morphine that I have access to and even have to administer. I don't feel like I can stop the pills as long as I am subjected to that. I have never taken her medication and have never really been tempted to as long as I have enough of my own supply to keep me from having w/d's. But, I can't say that would be the case if I try to get clean on my own. I'm so mentally and physically addicted that it would be incredibly hard to resist that temptation. The things I've read about PAWS scare me the most as I've struggled with depression and anxiety most of my life anyway, and is probably a big reason I started abusing pills to begin with; as a means of self medicating. So...what I'd really love to hear are some honest opinions about your experiences with Suboxone if you're now off of it (that's the reason for posting in this "rear view mirror" forum). Would you do it again if you knew how hard it was going to be to stop or would you go cold turkey off the opiates and get heavily involved with NA or something along those lines? Please, any input would be so appreciated! I'm finally to the point that I'm ready to be done with these damn things that have controlled me for so long now, I just want to do it the right way and not cause more problems for myself in the long run or prolong the inevitable. One thing I AM 100% sure of is that I don't want to take Subs for the rest of my life. I'm tired of being a slave to pills...any kind of pills, and I want to be free of all of them eventually. Thanks in advance. Looking forward to hearing from some of you warriors out there. :)




Hi wncgal, and welcome to the forum.

I , like you was taking about 20 pills a day when I could get that many...and If I could have found more I would have taken more...and like you I was having to give my my mom morphine for cancer..unlike you..I took my Mom's morphine...I have had a hard time forgiving myself for that one.

I will have to say that I am pro sub. I have had a 29 year addiction to hydrocodone and sub saved my life. I am taking 16mg. of subutex and I feel normal for the first time in my life. I feel like I did before this addiction ever started.
I do not feel I am trading one drug for another. Taking subutex keeps me from even thinking about my drugs, I have been set free from that awful way of life. I have tried AA, NA, treatment centers, counselors, and nothing worked for me until I found suboxone. This drug does not get you addicted...if you take more..it does nothing...there is no high, maybe except for the first time you take it. You just feel normal..and you get your life back. I have been on sub for 2 years and I have no intention of getting off anytime soon..just not ready...once an addict always an addict..I am afraid that after a while I would be right back out there taking my drugs. My first sub Dr. made me get off the subs after 1 year...I had no withdrawal..just went out and got my drugs again..maybe after waiting about 3 weeks...but I could not get enough of my drugs and decided I would not go back there again and found another sub Dr. This Dr. was much better than the first, and I am happy again and free. ...to be free from the cravings of your doc is a miracle in my book. I have had no side effects from my sub except constipation..which is easily solved. In my opinion, you should keep that appt. and get on this drug.
How long and how much you take is up to you. This is just my opinion, and I am no expert. There are some people who have not had as good of results on sub as I have. But..in my opinion, most people who take it benefit from it very much.

I am no expert..doctor..or anything else..just an addict who found the answer for me with this drug..and I am going to stay on it until i have learned a few things about myself and my addictive ways and feel I can cope with life without drugs.

I hope this answers some of your questions...whatever you decide to do please keep us posted. we are interested in you and what happens to you, and you help us as much as we might be able to help you.

thanks...
Slipper

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 7:55 am 
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I want to start off by saying I didn't have time to read the other responses first. One thing I want to say right off the bat - there is a middle ground between going on suboxone and staying on it for life! You are thinking in terms of black and white (extreme thinking) only - there are grey areas. You don't have to be on it for life if you start it. People stay on it for various lengths of times depending on their own unique needs.

As for NA/AA's stance on suboxone, please keep in mind that they consider any opiate replacement treatment as "not clean". Hell, many of them don't consider a person clean if they are on an anti-depressant. So when you read about people saying you're trading one addiction for another or such things like that, please stop and consider the source and WHY they are saying that. What is right for them isn't necessarily what YOU need.

When it comes to suboxone withdrawals, most people who go through it and taper off PROPERLY (low and slow) say they are not nearly as bad as full agonists. The people who bitch and moan the most are often the ones who decide one day they just want to stop but don't want to put the time in to taper properly, then they blame their discomfort on the medication, when in reality it was their failure to taper off it properly that caused their suffering.

People also fail to consider that when we started suboxone WE WERE ALREADY ADDICTED TO OPIATES. We already have withdrawals coming to us. Suboxone isn't a free ride, so of course one day we'll have to go through withdrawals; it's as simple as that. People who think sub will come along and be some magic pill to solve all of their life problems are the ones who come along and bitch their way through negative suboxone forums telling people like you how horrible this little orange pill is. Again, please stop and consider the possible reasons why they would be saying these things.

Then stop and read all the success stories like the many here on this site. I've been on sub for 3 1/2 years and I can honestly say it likely saved my life. I'm still on it for pain and haven't had one relapse in that time. My husband is still a pain patient and there's plenty of his percocets in our house and around me and guess what? I could care less! That's what sub does for me! (One of the things it does for me.)

I hope this helps to open you up to other perspectives. We always have to consider the reasons behind why people would say what they are saying. Oh and lastly, keep in mind that the many people who've successfully gone off suboxone are out there happily living their lives and not sitting in front of a computer bitching!

Good luck to you!

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 9:29 am 
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There is no certain number of hours you need to wait before starting Subs.. You just need to be in MILD TO MODERATE WITHDRAWALS. Everyone places a time frame on this and people end up suffering in withdrawal alot longer then they have to. I started Sub like 2hrs after I had sniffed my last Perc 10 because I was still in withdrawal and I was fine. As long as you are in withdrawal when you start Sub you'll be fine. Everyone is different, only you know how long it takes you to start withdrawing, You said it takes you about 8hrs then theres how long you need to wait. Good Luck & stick around here, Keep us posted on how you're doing, I know you will be extremely happy with your decision to start Sub.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 10:13 am 
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That's true, it's not the AMOUNT of time you've been in withdrawals that's important before suboxone induction, it's HOW BAD the withdrawals are. One must be in mild to moderate withdrawals (Google the COWS SCALE) before starting sub in order to avoid precipitated withdrawals, which WILL occur if you dose too soon. And trust me, you do NOT want that to happen. It won't kill you, but you'll wish it had, or so I've heard. This is why it's so important to go with a good Suboxone doctor. Again, good luck.

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 Post subject: Decision made :)
PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 11:31 pm 
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Again I just want to thank each of you for your input and answering my questions. You all have done a lot to calm my fears about going this route. Besides all the wonderful information and advice you all gave I read a really great testimony today on another website written by a guy that took subs for seven years and slowly tapered over the last two years and had very few problems when he stopped it. He had a lot of good advice as well about how the Subs allow you the time that you need to do some really hard but necessary work to address your addiction and get to the root of why we addicts feel the need to escape and numb ourselves. Other things he mentioned that are critical in getting off of it is to give your brain time to start healing from all the abuse, to take care of things in your life that can be triggers when you do stop and to get yourself in the best physical shape you can so that you're ready physically, mentally and emotionally when the time comes. So that was all helpful and really resonated with me as well as everything you guys have shared with me. I'm ready to do this thing. I really am. Or as ready as I'll ever be. I feel like I'm getting ready to go through a really nasty divorce or something. I'm really grief stricken and heartsick. It's like I've been in an abusive relationship for the past 7 years and I really love this guy but he is so bad for me and he has controlled me, abused me and ruined my life and it's time to kick his ass to the curb. However, there's that part of me that still loves him and keeps reminiscing about the good old days; in the beginning when he made me feel so good and wasn't as controlling...before he turned on me. Does that make sense? That's really kind of how it feels. My appointment isn't for another 3.5 weeks but starting tomorrow I'm going to call everyday and see if there's been a cancellation and hopefully I can get in sooner than that. I'm really scared that all of the waiting is going to make me change my mind or something. I really don't think it will but I am scared of that happening. It's taken me a long, long time to get to this point where I can honestly tell myself it's time to try something different because this just ain't working for me anymore. Today my husband and I went for a ride back in the mountains and did a short hike with our dog and I found myself thinking how much I've missed out on in the past 4 years since it's been so bad, being chained to this demon. I'm just so ready to be set free from the constant worry and anxiety that comes from chasing pills and worrying and fretting and counting, etc. etc. etc. Or little stuff like going to the grocery store and getting halfway there and realizing I forgot to bring any pills with me so I have to turn around and go back home, etc. Just being able to leave the house and not having to worry about that or rationing them out trying to make them last until the next ones are available. It's a full time job on top of my other full time job and I'm ready to be done with it!

So yeah, thank you guys again. I appreciate your support so, so much. It means so much to me knowing that I already have a little support system in place as I embark on this journey. If you all think of anything else I need to know or questions I should ask the doctor, etc. please let me know. I want to go into this being informed and fully aware of what I'm signing up for. I know it's not a fix-all and that I am going to have to face and deal with a lot of stuff on my own, but if the Subs can free up enough space in my head to actually think about something besides pills I really feel like I can do it. I'm trying to maintain a positive outlook about all of this and truthfully I'm actually really excited about getting started.

I'll be in touch and keep you guys posted as to what's happening and I'm sure I'll be turning to you all often once I finally have my induction and get started.

You guys rock! Thanks again. ~Lisa


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 7:36 am 
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Lisa, your analogy with the ex-boyfriend that needs to be kicked to the curb is a good one and makes a LOT of sense. I like it actually. Keep thinking that way and it might help you to stay in the positive mode that you are in now. You have 3+ weeks to wait to see the doctor, so do what you can to stay in this frame of mind. Don't worry if you waver, that's to be expected, but just hang tight and you'll be just fine during that time.

And come here and post as often as you can - even if it's about those times that you do waver. Because we do understand that. What you're doing is a huge change and it is scary.

I'm glad you're calling and trying to get on their cancellation list - that's smart. Keep doing that and hopefully you can get in sooner.

Keep up the good work and keep us posted. :)

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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 7:38 am 
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tearj3rker wrote:
FFS ... whoever invented this idea of PAWS needs a slap on the back of the head.

The reality is, if nobody knew PAWS existed, they would even notice it if they were going through it. People have been getting off opioids for decades before this idea of PAWS was even considered. You may occasionally find post-detox periods a bit challenging, or you may feel cravings, but that's a normal part of early recovery.

Whoever decided to pathologise early recovery, and give it a dreaded title like "Post-Acute-Withdrawal-Syndrome" really didn't consider the effects of their actions. All it can do is scare people away from attempting abstinence.

For the sake of your recovery, I suggest you scrub this idea / notion / concept of PAWS from your mind, and replace it with something more hopeful and useful like - "re-learning how to live a healthy life with no drugs in your system".

These days I lug PAWS in with the other pseudo-scientific "syndromes" perpetuated by women's magazines - like PHSS (post-holiday stress syndrome) and PIS (post-incarceration syndrome)


How long have you been odff sub?,,And can you say briefly how long of a taper you did?,,cause since you are one of a few who hasnt experienced PAWS,,maybe you can help those that have to get off sub for whatever reasons. I have friends that apparently didnt do it right,,maybe got off too soon ,,but they experienced PAWS, if ya wanna call it that.
Tattoo Tommy


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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 10:37 am 
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I'm gonna have to respectfully disagree with you on this one TJ. For many of us, PAWS is very real. Before I quit Suboxone, I had a vague inkling of what PAWS was. I had never been off opiates long enough prior to getting off of Suboxone to really get PAWS, so I honestly didn't know much about it.

I was around 4 months off of Suboxone and still feeling fairly shitty and it was driving me nuts as to why I wasn't getting better. It was around that time that I really started hitting the internet in an attempt to figure out what was happening. Finding out about PAWS was a comfort for me, it let me know that I wasn't completely nuts.

While I do agree that PAWS and early recovery (learning how to live without drugs) are sometimes confused because they overlap, I still think PAWS is a very real part of wd for some of us.

I guess in my mind PAWS is more about the physical recovery our bodies and brains are going through. Recovery is more about the psycholgical changes taking place.

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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 10:44 am 
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I think the main point of TJ's (and I apologize for speaking for him) is that for many people, they expect PAWS to be terrible and that expectation actually makes it WORSE. So for them to forget about it and just move on with their lives can be the very best thing for them to do. I do believe we've talked about this before. Those people who make taper journals and perseverate on every little w/d symptom end up having a dreadful time of it whereas the people who pay little to no attention to those symptoms and just stay active and go on about their daily lives have much less trouble with those symptoms, in my opinion. That's not to say they don't have ANY symptoms.

Your case and cases like yours are in one camp, Romeo, as you cold turkey'ed from a high dose. Those who do a long, slow taper properly rarely have major issues with PAWS. That's one of the major benefits of doing a proper taper.

Plus, remember, NOT EVERYONE suffers from PAWS and it's caused by ALL opiates, not just suboxone. People often think it's just caused by Sub and nothing else and they conveniently forget about the entire time they were on full agonist opiates when that time should be included with their time on subs.

Just my little bitty two cents, take it for what it's worth. :)

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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 2:59 pm 
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TJ said, "The reality is, if nobody knew PAWS existed, they would(n't) even notice it if they were going through it." This is mainly where I disagreed with TJ. I didn't know much at all about PAWS, but I got slammed with it.....and yes, I'm sure jumping from a high dose didn't help me at all.

I still think there's more to this PAWS phenomenon than any of us are aware of. Not concentrating on its symptoms and having a good attitude and doing a proper taper will almost surely help you out. I just still think there's a lot more to the picture that we're not aware of.

I clearly remember two people from the forum, mg113 and RainRainGoAway who tapered off of Suboxone and had NO PAWS whatsoever. mg113 had never heard of PAWS, while Rain was a nurse and she was painfully aware of what was in store for her.....but neither of them got PAWS??? You would think that with Rain's attitude towards PAWS, she would have got a bad case of it? So, attitude and expectations may be part of the puzzle, but like I said, I still think there's some pieces missing.

I know this, those two folks I just mentioned were in top physical condition before they jumped. One lifts weights everyday and other was running 10 miles per day. (Heck, I don't even like driving 10 miles, can you imagine running it?? lol)

I guess because of how hard PAWS hit me, I'm still trying to understand it. We certainly seem to have some pieces of the puzzle, but even like Dr. J. posted a few weeks ago, we don't understand it all yet.

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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 12:53 am 
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tattoo tommy wrote:
tearj3rker wrote:
FFS ... whoever invented this idea of PAWS needs a slap on the back of the head.

The reality is, if nobody knew PAWS existed, they would even notice it if they were going through it. People have been getting off opioids for decades before this idea of PAWS was even considered. You may occasionally find post-detox periods a bit challenging, or you may feel cravings, but that's a normal part of early recovery.

Whoever decided to pathologise early recovery, and give it a dreaded title like "Post-Acute-Withdrawal-Syndrome" really didn't consider the effects of their actions. All it can do is scare people away from attempting abstinence.

For the sake of your recovery, I suggest you scrub this idea / notion / concept of PAWS from your mind, and replace it with something more hopeful and useful like - "re-learning how to live a healthy life with no drugs in your system".

These days I lug PAWS in with the other pseudo-scientific "syndromes" perpetuated by women's magazines - like PHSS (post-holiday stress syndrome) and PIS (post-incarceration syndrome)


How long have you been odff sub?,,And can you say briefly how long of a taper you did?,,cause since you are one of a few who hasnt experienced PAWS,,maybe you can help those that have to get off sub for whatever reasons. I have friends that apparently didnt do it right,,maybe got off too soon ,,but they experienced PAWS, if ya wanna call it that.
Tattoo Tommy


I got off long acting opioids twice - once with 13 months clean, another I stayed clean for 9 months. Both times were before I'd ever heard of this PAWS thing.. One of the times I jumped off a high dose of bupe (6+ mg), the other I went straight from heroin to detox.

Looking back I probably did probably experiencing some symptoms that could be classed as PAWS. I sweated more easily for a good 3 months, and I was a bit edgy, like a fish out of water. I felt awkward and like a "shell" of a human, like I needed to rediscover myself on some fundamental level. I suffered premature ejaculation (proved handy given I was in a rehab where sex wasn't allowed) .. And I also felt some really mild residual withdrawal symptoms from time to time, but never enough to impede my life.

I guess the reason I wasn't surprised that I had residual symptoms was because I never assumed that post-detox I would be 100% fit. Of Course!! it takes a while to adjust and settle after detox, and I never assumed otherwise. Acute withdrawal really, for me, only a tiny slice of what makes up recovery. I always knew the real challenge lay after detox - ie staying clean. Maybe I was so focused on staying clean that I kinda neglected any residual physical symptoms I was going through.

The other main thing is, at least for me, the first time I got clean and stayed clean for about a year, I'd been on opioids for so long I couldn't even remember what it felt like to be clean. Come post-detox, I had no real comparison to know whether what I was experiencing was normal or "PAWS". The only way I could tell with any accuracy was with hindsight. ie at 6 months clean I could tell how sick I was at 2 months... same with 12 months looking back at 6 months. IMO it's a futile act, while in early recovery (especially the first 3 months), to try and assess whether what you're experiencing is PAWS or just how it feels to live without drugs. I was running on the faith that things would get better (all the NANA's told me so), and that I would have some kinda insight into the process of recovery as I got some clean time under my belt.

I guess my issue is not whether or not PAWS exists, it's whether or not we should be pathologising the idea, and giving it a name, and freaking people out with the concept. IMO all people need to know is that their body and mind still has some adjusting to do post-detox, and they're not 100% recovered once their withdrawal symptoms finish. Especially with long acting opioids like methadone and Suboxone, there isn't really a start and end to detox in the same sense as heroin. With Sub, and esp methadone, it kinda "fades away" slowly and, at least for me, I would still get flashes of residual withdrawal.

I guess I've drawn a line for myself as to where I stop pathologising things, not because I disagree, but because it's not useful for me to do so. And pathologising early recovery and giving it a medical term like PAWS only seems to freak people out.


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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 5:33 pm 
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Thank you all for the valuable input and support! I called everyday this week hoping my doctor would have a cancellation and I could get started earlier but to no avail. :( I'm holding on though and at least I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. My induction is scheduled for 5/24...hopefully sooner but I'm not counting on it. The receptionist said they have quite a few "no shows" but hardly ever a cancellation. I'm ready to do this thing and am grateful for all the support, experience, and wisdom I have found on this forum. I know I will have tons of questions once I finally start the Sub so thanks in advance for being here as I embark on this journey. I'd be lying if I said I'm not terrified though and I'm also incredibly anxious about it. This is all pretty typical of me though in worrying about the "end" when I'm not even yet at the beginning. A good friend of mine who is a therapist always tells me to stop pole vaulting over mouse turds. Haha. I guess that's what I'm doing...I'm just so scared that I'm prolonging the inevitable and etc. etc. blah blah blah, etc. etc. I do have a few more questions but I'm going to start a new thread on the newcomers/welcome page. Hope you all have a great weekend!


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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 8:56 pm 
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wncgal wrote:
Hey-this is my first time posting here but I've been a voyeur on the site for a couple of months now. :) I have been using pills for about 7 years, prescribed for back problems (spinal stenosis, bulging discs, degenerative disc disease, etc). For probably the first 3-4 years I took them mostly as prescribed and only as needed but I've been heavily abusing them for the past several years. First it was Vicodin, then after my doctor cut me off last year it's been whatever I can get my hands on (from OC's to Percocet, Hydros, etc....whatever can prevent me from being sick). I finally got to the point where I hate my life like this and I just can't do it anymore, so I made an appt. with a psychiatrist who's a Sub prescriber and I will be seeing her in a few weeks for my induction. Right now I am completely freaking out after reading so many horror stories about how hard it is to get off of Subs and how horrendous the withdrawals are. I also feel like I'm just trading one addiction for another; and possibly one that comes with even worse side effects and withdrawals. I have been talking to some people on an NA forum and all of them who have done done Sub treatment are practically begging me not to go this route. I'm very confused and torn and I just don't know what to do. I should mention that my biggest reason for even considering Suboxone rather than just going cold turkey and doing NA is that my mom lives with me and she is a Hospice patient that is prescribed a lot of morphine that I have access to and even have to administer. I don't feel like I can stop the pills as long as I am subjected to that. I have never taken her medication and have never really been tempted to as long as I have enough of my own supply to keep me from having w/d's. But, I can't say that would be the case if I try to get clean on my own. I'm so mentally and physically addicted that it would be incredibly hard to resist that temptation. The things I've read about PAWS scare me the most as I've struggled with depression and anxiety most of my life anyway, and is probably a big reason I started abusing pills to begin with; as a means of self medicating. So...what I'd really love to hear are some honest opinions about your experiences with Suboxone if you're now off of it (that's the reason for posting in this "rear view mirror" forum). Would you do it again if you knew how hard it was going to be to stop or would you go cold turkey off the opiates and get heavily involved with NA or something along those lines? Please, any input would be so appreciated! I'm finally to the point that I'm ready to be done with these damn things that have controlled me for so long now, I just want to do it the right way and not cause more problems for myself in the long run or prolong the inevitable. One thing I AM 100% sure of is that I don't want to take Subs for the rest of my life. I'm tired of being a slave to pills...any kind of pills, and I want to be free of all of them eventually. Thanks in advance. Looking forward to hearing from some of you warriors out there. :)


Im sorry you have hasd to hear the horror stories of others peoples experience,,but its something we have all had to deal with,,would you rather have the sugar coated version or someones actual experience?,,It scares us all so dont feel alone ,,If you want some good stories about tapering right and having a less hard time i suggest you go to addiction survivors forum.,,and if you wanna hear some bad stories go to subsux .com,,i think i read the best way to taper is 1mgs or maybe 2 a month,,to kinda go so slow it fools the body,,i dont know if it works ,,i tried and i taperede to fast and i dint succeed,,,and ive been on sub for 8 yrs,,but i deont mind,,its kept me from chasing the dragon,,and since nein put on it in 04 ,,ive not od'd,,been to prison,,or back in coma,


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