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PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2009 4:11 am 
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Hello all! I am new here and I had a question a bit too particular for me to find searching google, but I am really curious and need assistance.

I use to be addicted to percocet, and was taking 10, 10mg tablets a day for a year. I quit cold turkey and was clean for over a year. I recently started taking percocet recreationally, which turned into taking it for a week straight. Now, I was only taking 3 percocet 10mgs a day--if that; but it was enough for me to start feeling W/D if I did not take something. I tried to stop and did for a few days but would go back to taking them. This is when a friend of mine suggested taking some suboxonee. She had a really good experience using it to become clean (she was worse than me and took it and is clean for over a year). She gave me an 8mg tablet and told me to take really small pieces. I would take it when I felt W/D and then would be good for a few days but take percocet again. Finally, I got that fed up feeling and just did not want to take them. I took about .5MG a day for 5 days now. I feel fine, but I read some stuff and sustained a dose every morning at about 11am of .5mg. Like I said, it has been 5 days. I think I am just going to stop it and see how I feel, but I want to know this:

1.) Will I feel W/D from taking it just 5 days? (W/D from suboxone and/or percocet)

2.) How long should I continue the dosage if I should

3.) If I get clean (totally clean), should I take a piece of suboxone at random times to subside cravings?

4.) If suboxone just hides W/D symptoms and latches on to the same receptors opiates do--and strong at that; how does your body learn to not be addicted to the original drug?

Thanks for your anticipated assistance.

P.S. I know I shouldn't be taking it without a doctor's prescription. I am sorry I did that, but I didn't think I was taking enough to need that kind of treatment. I do not get high AT ALL from the suboxone and do not take it for that.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2009 6:23 pm 
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Welcome TypeOne!

You ask pretty specific questions. I'll try and give you my opinion - I'm not a doctor. I just had a nice chat with someone else, who didn't really understand suboxone as a medication treatment for opiate dependence.

Before I jump into the questions and answers, it will help you to do some research about opiate receptors in your body, and learn how suboxone is different than percocet/oxycodone. It will help you to realize that half-life is important for these type of medications.

There is a rule of thumb - that it takes 5 half lifes for a medication to be gone (clean) from someone's system. oxycodone has about a 4 hour half life. So using the rule of thumb, 4 hours times 5 half lifes = 20 hours for removal from your body (you probably wouldn't pop positive for a test). Every body is different, but it's a rule of thumb.

The reason that suboxone is helping us is for 3 reasons I think.

1- The half life of suboxone is ~37 hours on average. LONG ACTING.
2- suboxone has a stronger affinity to the opiate receptors in our body than other drugs. That would include heroin, oxycontin, percocet, etc.
3- suboxone is a 'partial agonist' which differs from the other opiates. Suboxone typically doesn't get people high or a buzz - because it's a different medication. It also has a 'ceiling effect' which means after a certain dose, it doesn't matter to your body how much more you take. 8/12mg's is as good - typically - as 24/36 mg's or more. Every body is different - but some say as little as 2/4 mg's is the ceiling if fully absorbed under the tongue and cheeks.

Sorry for the dissertation, but now we can look at what your questions are.

1.) Will I feel W/D from taking it just 5 days? (W/D from suboxone and/or percocet) ?

Answer: It depends upon how far you were along with your W/D from percocet. Your opiate receptors are either reacting to perc or to suboxone. I react with wd's from percocet typically in about 12-20 hours with cravings starting about 4 hours. If we use the forumula above it makes sense 5 half lifes time 4 hours = 20 hours. then wd's start up.

If we do that math with Suboxone it's like this 5 half lifes times 37 hours = 185 hours. That's about 7 1/2 days to feel the same 'clean' feeling you have with percocet. Thus your opiate receptors will be empty from sub in 7 1/2 days.

You can do the math from your question. I think you would feel W/D's from suboxone in 5 days if you cold turkey stopped it, and you would feel W/D's from percocet in 5 days if you stopped cold turkey from percocet.

The difference is that Suboxone is intended to be a treatment where you taper down over a long time, even to the crumb stage, and possible water dissolve stage, and then an every other day, and ultimately you can just stop and your body will have recovered as you have tapered slowly.

2.) How long should I continue the dosage if I should

Answer: Everyone seems to be different. You could look at Diary of a Quitter's experience - including relapse. I think that you can expect it to take a month or two at the crumb stage really.

3.) If I get clean (totally clean), should I take a piece of suboxone at random times to subside cravings?

Answer: I may have to do the same thing. It's all about relapse right? The question seems to say - should I take a crumb of suboxone to handle the craving, or take a part of a percocet? Well, if I am faced with that - I hope I reach for the suboxone crumb. The reason is that I won't get the warm glow of perc, and start down the road of lies of opiates again. Again, though, I'd rather be able to use other ideas to ride through the craving and not use anything. It will be your choice. If you were with a doctor - he could advise you, but pragmatically - if you are faced with I'm taking something - I can't handle this - better to fall back into suboxone than opiates in my opinion.

4.) If suboxone just hides W/D symptoms and latches on to the same receptors opiates do--and strong at that; how does your body learn to not be addicted to the original drug?

It would be great if suboxone hid the W/D symptoms, thus once you just flushed out the original percocet/oxy you could just quit suboxone and all would be well. It doesn't work that way. Suboxone is still a partial opiate agonist. It still has your opiate receptors blocked. When you remove the opiate block - whether suboxone or oxy - they will react as will your nervous system. Suboxone is just a tool for us to have a way to block he opiate receptors longer without a 'buzz'.

If a person is on suboxone for life, then I suppose it will 'hide' the W/D symptoms as you said. For some that is the path for them - life long maintenance, which is OK - and there are good arguments for that, especially for those who relapse, get clean, relapse, get clean, etc. For those who want to learn other life skills to handle reasons they used, then suboxone is the long term tool to use to TAPER slowly without a buzz, and then to ultimately have not opiates in our system at all.

I hope this helps. Again - understanding what suboxone is, and is not is very important. There is no 'free pass' for us who have been dependent. I think suboxone is a life saver - for me especially. I need the time that suboxone is giving me to face my addiction triggers, find alternatives, get support, and then to slow get off of it over time. I am still in the early phase - using the total blessing of suboxone to hold of W/D's.

Keep us posted on how thing go, and I hope you stay and contribute to our forum!

 Post subject: Well.....
PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2009 9:23 pm 
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I'd like to say a couple things out of experience and opinion, as I am not a doctor niether. First though, I would recommend seeing a doctor instead of off the streets, but I am not judging!

In my experience if you are just doing a few percs a day you should kick that habit and not use the subs unless you must. I am on subs for nearly 6 months ( and do not plan on stopping any time soon, 12mgs per day) after using large amounts of narcotics for years but also when first started with percs know how only a few percs a day withdrawl is compared to hundreds of mgs per day. I am not saying you don't need sub and shouldnt use it but if you can kick without, might as well. If you will just end up going back to percs or sub, then might as well start sub treatment and try to tackle the reason for your addiction/relapse. With or Without subs you must address the reason for your addictions and issues or else nothing will be resolved. Sub treatment is great and there are many great doctors to help.

One thing I would like to say (not being 100% sure) but I read somewhere that after there is roughly 25% left of a drug (heroin, methadone, oxys, percs, subs, etc) OR, 2 half lifes (1 = 50%, 2 =25%) that withdrawl symptoms start to or are occuring.....dont quote me, I will look into more......

To try and answer your questions the best I can:

1. You will feel withdrawl after taking either drug perc or sub for five days (to what extent of use will affect the extent of w/d). I think you mean taking subs for 5 days, so assuming you will be taking a certain amount once a day or whatever, that amount may be small, but you will have withdrawl symptoms. They may not be too bad after only a few days (I have no expereince with that, some people I have read or talked to said they have had little w/d but some had more painful ones) or they may be rather severe then expected because bupe is powerful even at a couple mgs, or 1 or .5 (ceiling effect is a whole different topic ).

2. You should continue using suboxone once with a doctor for as long as you and him or her decide you need. Some stop once the addiction is "under control, or in remission" and behavorial issues are addressed. They go through a long gradual taper to ease w/d symptoms and etc. Ones who have completed the taper successfuly and correctly (Diary, and more I am sure) have had much luck with the liquid taper and alternate day method (NOTE: They were on a regular maintainance program for a extended period of time, not a few days for the majority). Ones who try and taper and jump from .5, 1, 2 mgs have complianed of w/d but usually at their own doings.

I have heard of and read of the 3 or 5 (forget, truthfully...) day sub/bupe detox....I have no idea how the success rates are with this way, but I think they do that to ease the main agonist w/d (after someone using a large quantity of full agonists especially for extended time is a common reasons detox centers use sub to detox within a few days off of the drug of choice...) with bupe being partial and not a full such as oxy, dope. Full agonists are much quicker acute w/d, and if on large amounts MUCH more intense than bupe. I would imagine that they only use maybe something like 2 mg or less for max 1st dose, but I really have no clue. I really dont know how this makes too much sense considering bupe extremely long half life.

Even though you should have some w/d after 2 half lifes have been metabolized, but as the post before me said the rule of 5 is a great way to figure legnth of a dose in body or etc. Bupe has half life of about 37 hours, you can do that math. Oxy being about 3 or 4 hours for immediate release, you can see the large difference.

3. I think if you are clean and feel you may relapse...might as well go back to suboxone maintainance instead of active addiction. As for getting some off the street here and there to control cravings, well, I dont know what to say bout that. Once again, I would look into a doctor. (I am not telling you what to do, just making suggestions)

4. Your body cannot learn to not be addicted. After time, your brain will re adjust slowly but you will always be addicted. The recepters and all that good stuff like nueron functions will improve but you will always be addicted technicaly. It is either active addiction or recovery / remission as far as I understand it, and for me anyway. Your cravings and phyiscal sympotms should be taken care of by subs, because the partial agonists properties of bupe allow it to attach to mu-recepters and such like oxy and dope and other full agonists, but the effects will not be as intense or strong, and there is also a ceiling with bupe. The affinity, or the stregnth that the drug has to bind to the receptors, is very high with bupe. This is why when on a stable dose, not only is tolerance raised in general with opiates, but it blocks all others from attaching to recepters unless a very large amount of full agonists (usually very potent one too) is used.

So I guess, best summary for #4, is that your body does not learn to not be addicted to orignial drug. It is basically not occupying the recepters, so the phyiscal dependance would be with bupe. As said before, if tapered properly that is why there is little or no w/d's.

I am sure that I left out some points and hope that everything works out for the better. I wish you lots of luck and hope that you can get your situation resolved. I and many others have lots to look forward to thanks to sub treatment. Either way, if long term or not, I hope the best and if you have any questions please ask. Hoped I helped in any way, take care...

"The past is finished. There is nothing to be gained by going over it. Whatever it gave us in the experiences it brought us was something we had to know."----Rebecca Beard

"Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it." ---Salvador Dali

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