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PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2015 9:40 pm 
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I just wanted to share a quick story about my journey.

I stopped on Wednesday. My dosage was .375 mg and tapered from 8mg over a yearlong period with my doctor. Was stable below .5mg for over 6 weeks.

So 4 days in and it is really quite mild to what I had anticipated. As my dosages were lowered the medication would last less and less time before needing to redose. Perhaps my half-life length is shortened because of that. I have read a source that supported it but can't remember where. I have periods of intense body pains, severe electric chills and shocks, and RLS at night. The anxiety and mental effects are worse IMO. Thought loops are prevalent and can be destructive if not shaken. My significant other is very supportive and helps me out.

I have opted not to take any comfort medication except for Cannabis in oral form. I obtained it legally in my state and I must say, a combination of oral THC/CBD has made this almost bearable. I said its not that bad but that is because of the cannabis edibles. It has completely allowed me to sleep and still function mostly well in the day. Nothing too crazy but I have been working 50 hrs a week. I can feel it wearing off and my head goes to that "withdrawal haze" and since CBD is barely psychoactive, it hasn't really knocked me out.

I cannot say I recommend cannabis for everyone. In previous withdrawal situations smoking cannabis provided mild relief, but can be a trigger. It also only lasted 30 minutes. Anxiety can be triggered especially anxiety prone people. I also do not condone obtaining it illegally but I am in a very fortunate state with its own laws regarding its use.

With eating it it has a long drawn out effect that produces muscle relaxation and allows the mind to wander to other things for 6-8 hours. Focusing on pain and symptoms is one way to slow time down during this hard period and suffer more.

I also have been trying to bike 4-6 miles per day. I missed yesterday but oh well, yesterday was hard. It comes in waves and is very mental. Less physical. I find if I focus on other things the symptoms subside a bit. Drinking tons of water and also Organic Apple Cider vinegar twice daily which helps with the stomach. Definitely stomach issues in the morning. Constant yawning and sneezing. But it is bearable. Multivitamin, B Complex, healthy food. These I believe are absolutely key, and an individual really needs to have the safeguards in place to be successful with this. I set a rough quit date nearly 9 months ago and have been working hard at tapering and preparing. Preparing is KEY!

Anyways I wanted to quit just because my life has been controlled by opiates for too long. Getting off heroin was one hard journey and I couldn't have done it without 2 compassionate doctors and suboxone. Also therapy. I have been an opiate user and abuser for 10 years, 5-1/2 years on and off suboxone and heroin, and finally 2 1/2 years on suboxone only with no relapses. I just got tired of being scared of running out while on 8mg a day, affording the medication and appointments, and such. Ive tried to cold turkey from Sub at 3mg/day and that was complete and utter hell. Lasted less than 4 days.

I am on day 4 1/2 and feel like I may be over the hardest parts. Tomorrow may still be bad but I have been able to smile and laugh more lately. Day 3 was hard. Very tired and heavy. Very up and down still but not horrid.

Anyhow I just wanted to say that long term users MUST taper their dose to atleast .5mg before jumping. If not you will experience complete body withdrawal and horrible depression. At least in my experience it has.

I will try to update this but thanks for reading. Hopefully I can give some hope to people. Quitting a drug like heroin should be celebrated, not looked down upon in our society. So few of us make it out. Some of my good friends are 6 feet under from this class of drugs. Suboxone saved my life.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2015 10:30 pm 
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Het Cearamm,
Welcome to the forum!
Like you, I am a pro advocate of Cannabis. It has its place in the medical field. That has already been proven, but why doesn't the government acknowledge it is beyond me. It has shown a lot of good uses as a medicine. Yes, a person can get high from it but there are strains out there low in THC and high in CBD so the high is not so extreme, and where the medicinal affects kick in. Not to mention the benefits of eating it.
I commend you on your efforts to no longer be addicted to Heroin and using the Subs the right way to get to this point in your life. You are now at a crossroads in your life and it sounds like you have picked the right turn so far, so drive on my friend and don't look back!
Will you keep us updated and maybe your experiences will help at least one person or more get to the point where you are. We are all in this together!
Once again,
Welcome to the forum
Happy


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2015 1:45 pm 
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So day 5. I slept like a rock for 10 hours and woke up very heavy limbed. I seem to sleep for 2-3 hour stretches and wake abruptly to change position and fall back asleep. Can't sleep past 8am. The chills aren't as bad and I can actually wear few layers of clothing. It's mental and general intense fatigue. Been cleaning the house and the de-cluttering is helpful mentally.

Getting up after sitting down is a chore. I get worn out quickly from routine tasks like vacuuming. But all in all today is less physical and more mental. Just struggling for motivation but I do have good things to look forward to. I have an important interview this week for a really good job so I am psyching myself out at bit with that.

I'll be seeing some family today. They haven't seen me off opiates in years. I wonder what they will see? I feel like my personality is shining through more but I am still very thin skinned emotionally.

I'll try to report back later tonight.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2015 12:09 pm 
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Day 11. Feeling more normal with each day. I still hit a brick wall around 3pm daily at work. Luckily I haven't missed any work. I nailed my important interview and should hear back today so I am pretty anxious for that email!

Days 5-8 were absolutely the hardest. The physical aspect of it wasn't as harsh but mentally I was drained and in a withdrawal fog at times. Super heavy limbs, like the typical lead suit we all know. Sleep was intermittent but not horrible. I single handedly attribute my sleep success to THC. It really calms the restless legs for me. No smoked cannabis, only 2 drinks of alcohol. DO NOT DRINK during withdrawal! It may help short term but after the effects wear off its way worse. Should have known better ;). For the first time I slept 8 straight hours and woke up feeling human today. Milestone!

As the days wear on the worst physical symptoms are general chills/cold hands and feet, yawning, sneezing 100 times a day (less now), and the general fatigue. Now that symptoms aren't as bad it's actually HARDER to keep pushing on because it's just so frickin nagging and annoying. It's almost like I'd rather be in full blown WD than the sorta half in half out thing(not really, but still).

I have to admit I did not expect it to be so drawn out physically, but I should have known better. It's looking now like 10% better each day, with some exceptions. Overall I am starting to "wake up" from a 7 year opiate fog. It feels surprisingly normal actually, which is weird! I haven't had many cravings but I get hit with mental videos of me shooting up or scoring, which I immediately try to distract myself from. It's not getting in this time!


Anyways I just want to reiterate. If you have not been at or below 1MG/day for atleast 3 months, I simply say do not stop this medicine. When I did it before, I immediately went back to the needle. Keep in mind I spent 5 years on sub and 2.5 of those were totally clean off full agonists. I feel like even one year clean off agonists simply is not enough time to have before stopping. Maybe one year maintenance and one year slowly tapering? That's the shortest timeline I see as effective for a serious addict like myself.


Thanks for reading


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2015 12:50 pm 
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Hi Cearamm,

I know what you mean about the half w/d feeling. It is irritating not feeling too bad, but not feeling good either for such a long period of time. Hang in there, it does get better! Wow you are lucky thc is legally attainable and you can use it. It sounds like it does help. I used to smoke a lot, but I haven't in a few years. To be honest, I've really thought about doing it again once in awhile to help relax and possibly sleep. It would be a hard decision to actually do it though, as I'm trying to do the "right" thing...


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2015 7:00 pm 
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Yea Colorado is lucky like that. I actually was at the store today and they were marketing their new product. It's called Mary's Medicinals Pure CBD drops. 500mg of product without the feeling of being high, but with all the therapeutic effects that would benefit withdrawals. 5mg is plenty to get good sleep even during the peak WD times. Personally I think it is a crime that a product like that is not freely available to all people.

The main reason I didn't want to get benzos or other drugs is my addictive personality. With cannabis, I've never ever had much of a problem. Sure I may have used it inappropriately but I also never felt a compulsion to use. So for me personally, it was a no brainer.

I just wanted to raise awareness of how valuable it can be for certain people. Specifically long acting forms like capsules, tincture, edible, and transdermal patches.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 12:13 pm 
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Day 13. They all said they couldn't believe how fast their time went by and I couldn't agree more.

Most of my physical symptoms are dwindling by. I'm much less cold and don't always need a long sleeve. The sneezing has gotten better. Very little yawning. Mostly it's just mental at this point. Not taking much cannabis anymore, just a bit of valerian extract at nights. Sleep is a bit intermittent but definitely good.

I feel like I am waking up. I'm beginning to remember back to my life before constant opiate addiction. Hard to believe it started 10 years ago. Luckily I got out young (26 now) but it was hell through most of it. Ages 18-24 were riddled with heroin and needles. Law enforcement issues. Family pain and turmoil. Now I am starting to relate more to what life was like before all that and the feelings I used to feel about leaves changing, or meeting people, just simple things that bring happiness that have been gone for 10 years. I still can't believe it! I smile more and make jokes. I feel so stupid for wasting so much time but also, really grateful to be lucky. Many friends of old are still struggling. I know the desperation. Suboxone is not a cure all but it saved my life.

It didn't matter the consequences. If I was dope sick I was going to use. Suboxone and moving across the country were essential. I simply couldn't not take that train ride to the hood to score. It was too easy to justify.

I hope I can continue along this new path. It will be tough but doable.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 2:50 pm 
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So today officially marks 22 days. I've been able to wean myself off the oral cannabis though I do use a vaporizer to help sleep. That and a bit of valerian root tincture are the things I've been using this whole time. No other comfort meds whatsoever.

I felt that continued use of oral cannabis would prevent me from moving forward. I felt a bit uncomfortable but now that the aches and pains are gone it's totally unnecessary. It feels good to stop that with no real qualms. Sleep has been mostly good for 10 days and I am able to sleep mostly uninterrupted through the night. That is literally a godsend.

I have had some pretty intense anxiety at points and I attribute that to my job situation. Biggest opportunity of my life and the hiring process takes weeks for this type of job so it's been nerve wracking. On subs I never would have been able to navigate 5 hours of interviews and kill each one like i did. It's like I am much more aware of other people's perceptions of me and can use that to my advantage. I feel that this is truly happening for a reason and I got the offer today! So that feels great.

I've been feeling a bit dissociated from my old self, my sense of self identity and all of that. It's like I am performing a metamorphosis and it is quite uncomfortable at times but it is working out each day. Conversations with people in the know of my life history tend to be of great help with me gaining insight and perspective. My guard must always be on and I am trying hard to not slip back into old patterns. Tough but doable!

Till next time....


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2015 4:19 pm 
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Hi Cearamm,

Just bumping this thread and checking in. You and I are in similar situations (DOC, time on subs clean, cannabis as main comfort medicine, etc). I was reading your last post nodding along with everything, especially about how helpful it is moving to a new place (which of course isn't an option for everyone, but still, I agree). Anyway, I'm about 10 days behind you in the process but curious to hear how you're feeling. Hope all is well.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2015 10:46 am 
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Day 34! I was feeling better and better until day 25 and got a nasty sinus infection/cold. It's finishing it's course but it did set me back mentally and physically. Feeling back to normal almost now.

Physically symptoms have greatly diminished. Occasional symptoms like yawning or a few chills but nothing like it was even 3 weeks ago. I started my new job yesterday finally so that is a bit of adjustment to me. I get to work fewer hours for the same pay and learn new things so I am excited about that. I've noticed I'm looking to the future much more than I have in years. It's like I actually care again which is great. Planning trips or even just fun weekends is cool to me.

It's hard to believe I was so terrified of life without subs. For years it loomed in back of my mind, the what ifs and how can I survive self talk. It wasn't nearly as hard as I anticipated but it also was not easy. The work I put in over the years is hopefully paying off. I'll get the occasional craving but I just move on and think of real things, things that matter and are here and now. The urge to use hasn't been a strong one but I know it may come in waves later on during the "complacency" times. So I know I need to be guarded. I always "play the tape all thru" so I know I will likely die if I go back that way.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2015 11:58 am 
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Thank you for sharing your story! This gives me great hope. And no judgement here using medical cannabis. It's more natural than buprenorphrine. I've thought about possibly using this when I eventually get to that point but my question to you is, how did you work? I suppose since you're able to obtain it in many different forms, with less to none of the "high", it may have not been terribly difficult. I imagine I would only be able to use it for sleep because of the anxiety I would get being around others and at work.

I would love to hear an update if you're still around. Happy Thanksgiving!


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