It is currently Tue Aug 22, 2017 4:54 pm



All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Our Sponsors





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 11 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2009 2:34 pm 
Offline
New Poster
New Poster

Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2009 1:52 pm
Posts: 3
I never thought of myself as an addict until very recently. My parents and sibling all had drug and alcohol problems over the years, but I thought I'd escaped all that. All of the opiods I took were prescribed by doctors after a car accident, spinal surgery, and chronic pain from severe disc damage that can't be fixed. This all began about 13 years ago. After seeing my MRI's, every pain doctor I went to after my lamination surgery would become grave and pull out the old prescripton pad. One of my first doctors suggested I take methadone, he told me that it was easier on the liver. At one point, I was prescribed 160 mg per day of methadone. During all of those years, I never once ran out early, played the multiple-doctor game, or exhibited any "drug-seeking behavior."

I simply got tired of relying on the pills. I wanted to remove all of those doctors and pharmacies from my life. I began to taper without telling my doctor. He became suspicious when I lengthened the interval between appointments up to twice the time it should have taken me to run out of methadone. I finally admitted that I'd tapered down to 20 or 30 mg per day over a 2 or 3 year period. I wanted to know whether the pain I felt between doses was caused by my spinal damage, or by opiod withdrawal. That's when my doctor suggested Suboxone. I was in terrible withdrawal from methadone on the day I started Suboxone. I'd gone 2 days without taking a pill. I took the first 8mg Suboxone tablet when I arrived at my doctor's office that morning. When I felt no relief after 2 hours, he told me to take another. I left his office that day with instructions to take 16 mg of Suboxone in the morning, another 16 mg at night. Two days later, I was pain-free for the first time in years. This did not last.

After that first day, I visited my doctor once a week, and each week, I tapered my Suboxone dose by 25%. I began the second week of June, so by the end of July, I was down to 1/4 of an 8 mg pill, or about 2 mg per day. After a week at this level, my doctor told me to stop completely, but I went into such painful withdrawal that I caved and took another 1/4 pill after about 30 hours. I called the Suboxone helpline, and the woman I spoke with told me that my doctor had started me off at too high a dose, and tapered too quickly. She told me I needed more time before trying to quit. That was the first week of August. It is now the end of the first week in September, and I've been unable to stop taking Suboxone.

Right now, I'm in severe withdrawal, and I'm getting through it from one minute to the next. It's been almost 48 hours since I've taken any Suboxone, and I am trying SO HARD to hold out. I keep telling myself that the worst is behind my, that it is going to get better, but this voice in my head keeps telling me to go ahead and take a 1/4 pill. That lengthening the interval between doses is going to make quitting easier. Does anyone out there know how long this will last? I don't know how much longer I can take this!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2009 2:57 pm 
Offline
Average Poster
Average Poster
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2009 2:10 pm
Posts: 16
I have been through EXACTLY what your going through 3 times this year, only difference I had Oxycontin instead of Methadone.

Every time I detoxed off of Oxycontin, ( which has a much shorter 1/2 life than Methadone ), I had to go into withdrawal (get sick) before my doctor(s) would let me take my first dose of Suboxone. Sounds like your past that point already.

Suboxone has a long half life also, around 37 hours on average. You should not be feeling any pain after the Suboxone kicks in ( around 20 minutes ). All three of my detox's took 5-6 days and I just stopped taking the Suboxone. I took a max of 16mg during those 5-6 days. If you stopped taking the Suboxone and your still in withdrawal, I would think that your probably not done detoxing yet but I am not a doctor, just sharing my experience. I had tried to stop too early once and the withdrawals hit strong, grabbed a 1/2 dose of Suboxone (4mg) and again, 20 minutes later the withdrawals stopped.

You say your feeling pain, what kind of pain? Burning of the skin? Back pain? Are you taking any other medications that may be questionable to take with Suboxone?

Hang in there bro, its almost over.

FYI, I have disc problems also...

Dec 2007 - Went to PCP complaining of low back pain. - Percocet 5/325's for pain.
Feb 2008 - Referred to Pain Management - 20mg Oxycontin ER's for low back pain.
Mar 2008 - 1st MRI showed Disc Bulge at L5-S1.
May 2008 - Increased to 40mg Oxycontin ER's, 3 Epidural Steroid Injections in lower back over 6 weeks.
Jun 2008 - 2nd MRI showed Disc Bulges at T7-T8, T8-T9 and T9-10.
Aug 2008 - Increased to 60mg Oxycontin ER's. 4th Epidural Steroid Injection at T8-T9.

Oct 2008 - Mid March 2008 - Struggled every dose of Oxycontin 60mg ER's during the last 3-4 hours with "dope sickness" and breakthrough pain. Pain Management MD' refused to prescribe breakthrough pain medications.

Mar 22, 2009 - Finally had enough with the Oxycontin - - inpatient detox using Suboxone 8/2mg for 6 days.
Mar 31, 2009 - Begged Pain MD to prescribe a non-opiate for pain. Swore up and down that I would not take another Oxycontin (Opioids) again. Was prescribed 20mg Oxycontin ER's.

Apr 2009 - 20 days later, was referred to a Neurologist for an outpatient detox <sigh>.
Apr 21, 2009 - Took 1st dose of Suboxone 8/2mg in Neuro's office, began 2nd detox.

Apr 21 Jun 16, 2009 - 8/2mg Suboxone up to 3x daily for chronic pain management. Rarely used more than 16mg in a 24 hour period.

Jun 16, 2009 - 3rd MRI showed small disc herniations from T6-T11 with cord compression at T9-T10. Disc bulging at L2-L3, disc herniations at L4-L5 and L5-S1 with cord compression. Complained for months that pain levels were worse then they were a year prior and finally found an MD that would do a 3rd MRI.

Jun 18, 2009 - Off Suboxone and back on Percocet 10/325's every 8hrs. Began to struggle with this dose within 14 days.

Aug 20, 2009 - Present - Found myself going down the same frigging road as I was before with the opiates began detox for the 3rd time. Back on Suboxone 8/2mg 2x/Day max.


I remember the first time I detoxed this year that I was SO FOCUSED on the withdrawals and the Suboxone and not my back that my pain levels were lower for a few days after I started the Suboxone. About a week later the pain was back in full force. :(

_________________
An addict in pain suffers thrice:

Once from his disease,
Once from his addiction,
Once from his physician’s ignorance.

Karen Miotto, M.D. - Integrated Substance Abuse Program, UCLA


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Withdrawal "Pain"
PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2009 8:09 pm 
Offline
New Poster
New Poster

Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2009 1:52 pm
Posts: 3
Thanks so much for the reply. I am really going nuts here. You asked what I meant when I wrote I was in "pain" in my post. I'm not a doctor, as you apparently are, but I think my pain may be what doctors call "hyperalgesia." I read about your pathology, it sounds simply awful! Before my surgery, in addition to the MRI's, I had a test called a CT Discogram of my cervical discs (this could be an effective torture method!). The CT Discogram demonstrated 5 consecutive severely ruptured discs whose "jelly centers" were wreaking assorted havoc on my spinal cord. Afterwards, my ortho surgeon and I discussed my options. Since I was in my mid-30's, he didn't want to do a multi-level lamination because he said I would no longer be able turn my head. His plan was to attempt to identify and remove/laminate the one single disc which was responsible for the majority of my pain. He settled on C 3-4, although to this day I don't know why. Anyhow, after the surgery, he came to my room and told me that the disc he removed looked as if it had been exploded with a bomb. He'd never seen anything like it. He told me he had to "fish for shards of the disc all over the area." He assumed that the other discs were in a similar condition. He concluded that my pain must have been a lot worse than I let on. All of this was before they scanned the rest of my spine, which is in similar shape - I don't think I have a single disc that isn't ruptured or bulging.

I'm not sure if the surgery improved things for me. I still have constant neck pain, mostly on the right side, but for the past decade, my pain doctors prescribed methadone to take the edge off. I was told early on that there was a difference between addiction and dependence. The former is psychological in nature, the latter, physical. That's why I didn't worry too much about taking the pills for over a decade. I started to worry when I tried quitting. I actually took pride in the fact that I never once exhibited drug-seeking behavior, and always took much less than my prescriptions allowed. You know what they say about pride... I've always had very strong willpower and a high pain threshold. Many years ago, I quit a 10-year smoking habit with very little difficulty, and before my accident, I used to work out strenuously every single day - even when I was pregnant. I had 2 C-sections, and both times I refused all post-surgical pain meds and asked for Tylenol. I was up walking around just a few hours after the C-sections. My recoveries were lightening fast. But getting off pain medication (only a small amount of Suboxone now), has brought me to my knees. One of my doctors had told me that pain medication is not meant to make all of your pain go away. He said that if you take enough to be completely pain free, you're abusing the medication. Patients should take just enough to make the pain "manageable." Since I came from a family of chronic drug and alcohol abusers, I took this advice very seriously. I don't know if it's true or not, I only know that it prevented me from increasing my dosage over the years. I was terrified of becoming a drug addict.

The pain I'm feeling during my Suboxone withdrawal is mostly in my neck, shoulders, and legs. I've never had a leg injury, but I've read posts by others going through withdrawal, and they describe this "kicking" compulsion, and the inability to sit still. I guess "restlessness" is a better word for that particular discomfort, but my leg muscles really ache - especially my shins and ankles. The neck and shoulder pain is more of a burning sensation. It is a dull, burning pain, very similar to my post-surgical pain after the laminectomy. But there is a general ache that has settled over my entire body. I've read others describe this as being "a flu like achiness," and I guess that's a good description. I'm taking Alleve, and even Benedryl (one blogger wrote that the Benedryl helped him not only with the sneezing and runny nose, but also took the edge off the anxiety and helped him sleep). These OTC meds are not helping perceptibly.

What I really want to know, is if I give in and take maybe 1 mg of Suboxone to help a little, is it like starting all over again? If I reduce my dosage and extend the time between those doses, am I making progress, or just prolonging the inevitable? I don't mind a little discomfort, but the suffering I'm feeling is literally unbearable.

Thanks so much for your support!


Top
 Profile  
 
Our Sponsors
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2009 11:49 pm 
Offline
Long Time Member
Long Time Member
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2009 12:47 am
Posts: 1496
Hi beanstalker -

I don't have pain like you do, but I do have Fibromyalgia and fear of my pain coming back to kick my ass inspired me to taper off Suboxone very, very slowly. I took 4 months to go from 1mg to zero, which was tedious but effective. If you want to read about my taper and stopping of Suboxone here are the links:

Liquified Suboxone Taper Method

Taper Success

I basically tapered by 1/10 of a mg every 10-20 days. I did this by dissolving the Sub in water and measuring it with an oral syringe. The details are all in the two threads above.

The reason I did it so slow was to give my brain time to adjust to the lowering doseage. It seems to have worked - I've been off Sub since 8/2 and with very little discomfort. My main symptom has been insomnia, but a few nights of ambien seems to have rectified that situation. I've also found exercise to be extremely helpful, though I don't know if that's possible for you due to your injuries.

I don't think that taking 1mg will put you right back to where you were. Buprenorphine is a pretty potent drug though, so you might even be able to take half of that and then wean down from there. When used for pain, bupe doses are usually measured in micrograms, so a half mg is still pretty strong. When I got down to .2mgs a day I could still notice the pain relieving quality of the medication when I took it in the morning. From reading your description, I'd say that some of your pain is definitely withdrawal related. If you have enough medication to taper yourself off more slowly, I'd say go for it. There's no reason to suffer if you don't have to.

_________________
You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.

-Jack Kornfield


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Stopping Suboxone
PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2009 2:17 am 
Offline
Average Poster
Average Poster
User avatar

Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 1:16 am
Posts: 4
[font=Comic Sans MS][color=indigo] OK, I am brand new at the forum thing but I have been on Suboxone for almost a year. As of now I am down to 1mg (My highest dose was 12mg) and I am weening off by cutting my dose in half about every 10 days or so. The doc that I was on the program with, in my opinion, really has no business working with addicts. I completed treatment and have been totally clean since starting the program. I have a hard time remembering appointments and have missed a few with a one on one addiction councelor. My doc thinks this totally unacceptable and last May (09) he decided he didnt want to fill my script anymore. I was at 8mg, I cut down to 4mg for about 7days and then I took 2mgs for 3 days. I was so sick that I didnt get out of bed for 10 days! On the 10th day a friend came over, bathed me, and then took me to the ER. They gave me colonodine which helps alot but by this time I was beginning to feel like I was about to lose my mind from the terrible withdrawls. Finally at about 3 weeks into it they subsided a bit. However, at 4 weeks I was still extremely fatigued, irritable, sweaty, and very depressed. I called my doc and basically promised him my first child if he would let me back on the program. (not really but you get the point) He put me back on 4mg and I have been taking it ever since. He told me I need to see an addiction councelor at least once a week. Keep in mind as your reading this that I was working 50 hours a week, I am a full time students (online), and I have a 2yr old, a 6yr old and a 7yr old. Not to mention a husband. Needless to say, I have an extremely busy chaotic life. Since getting back on I missed one appt and rescheduled 2 or 3. About 2 weeks ago I got a call from the nurse and she said to cut my dose in half. So, then I was down to 2mg. Two days ago I called to have my script refilled. My docs nurse proceded to tell me that the doc does not feel like it. WHAT?!! I dont have insurance, could that be why? She also explained to me that he will no longer see me as his patient and to find a different psychiatrist. I was soooo angry that I started crying and ended up just hanging up on her. My anger quickly turned to absolute terror as I realized I was about to start the withdrawls all over again! This time, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I have been on Suboxone long enough and done enough research to know that even stopping at 2 mg would cause terrible withdrawls. So, I bought 5 8mg pills off the street and I am weening myself off. In 8 days I will cut my dose in half again and be taking .5 mgs. Then 10 days after that I will cut to .25 mgs. Then I have several tiny tiny pieces that I am going to take like every 3rd day or so until I know I can stop with very little withdrawls.

I guess what I am trying to tell you is that suboxone withdrawls take a super long time! My advice to you is to go back and see the prescribing doc and work out a schedule to where you can get down to the smallest dose possible before you jump off. If I could go back and have a do over, I would have only taken the Suboxone for no longer than 2 weeks. Just to minimize my withdrawls as much as possible so I could get through them without relapsing. Also, if you do decide to call the doc and work out a schedule, make sure you start at the very lowest dose you possibly can. It will make it that much easier to taper off. I wish my doc here was better so that I wouldn't have had to resort to buying off the street and working out my own schedule but at least I am not going thru terrible withdrawls rite now!
[/font][font=Comic Sans MS]I want to also let you know that for me, withdrawls makes any pain I might be feeling if I were normal, magnified by 1000. So if you can get totally clean, and either make it through the withdrawls or get on a better schedule so they are minimal, I believe your pain will significantly improve! And I am totally amazed and impressed at your history with the pills! You seem very self disciplined and if I can get this far, (I seemed to have been born with the inability to make good choices)lol, you can definately get through this! Just keep on atruckin!!! You can only go up from here!!![/font][/color]


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Liquid Taper
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 6:12 pm 
Offline
New Poster
New Poster

Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2009 1:52 pm
Posts: 3
Jack:

Thanks so much for the suggestion. I hadn't heard of the Liquid Taper method until you mentioned it. I'm a little sketchy on the mechanics of it though. I assume you just swallow the solution. However, from what I read in the Suboxone pamplet, any delivery method other than dissolving under the tongue is discouraged - in fact, they added the Naloxone to discourage IV use. Here's what the folks at Suboxone say about direct delivery:

"Don't chew or swallow the tablets, because less SUBOXONE will be absorbed into your bloodstream, it will not work as well, and your withdrawal symptoms could worsen"

If what they're saying is true, when you switched from taking 1mg by tablet to taking .8mg by solution, you were tapering much more quickly than you thought you were. Who knows how much more???

After about a month at 2mg per day, I fairly successfully cut all of the 8mg pill fragments I had left in half again, so they're down to about 1mg. I've been taking these ~1mg fragments for about 10 days. I had some withdrawal symptoms, but nothing I couldn't handle. There is absolutely NO way to make these pills any smaller.

I was really worried about that until I read your post. I'm very grateful for your suggestion - and for your compassion. Thanks!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 11:53 am 
Offline
New Poster
New Poster

Joined: Fri Apr 16, 2010 11:13 am
Posts: 1
wow it never even occured to me to try a liquid method! i have been taking suboxone for over a year now and i got down to 1mg and when i tried to just not take it anymore i was as sick as i have ever been! (shooting dope was easier to kick). my boyfriend was calling my a big baby because I would be curled up into a ball on the floor crying by day 3 without any Suboxone. I'm definetly gonna try that liquid method.... it sounds like it would make sense. For the most part I think doctors arent aware of how bad it really is or maybe they think Im trying to pull a junkie move for more meds. I always thought Suboxone was a miracle drug.... just pop one in your mouth for a few days and your detoxed.
-edited-
please keep ur diary about the liquid method going so I can know that there is hope. I literally feel totally hopeless, like I'm never again goin to lead a normal life without the use of a substance. it sucks


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 8:50 pm 
Offline
Long Time Member
Long Time Member
User avatar

Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:03 pm
Posts: 991
Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 2:28 am 
Offline
Super Poster
Super Poster

Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2009 6:01 pm
Posts: 112
+2 grrrrrrrrrrrrr people can't read the rules I guess jack crack.


Top
 Profile  
 
   
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 3:07 pm 
Offline
Super Poster
Super Poster

Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2009 6:01 pm
Posts: 112
I guess the rules don't apply to this post.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2010 12:00 am 
Yes, the rules do apply. I'm sorry I missed this post earlier. I have deleted the parts of it which were grossly inappropriate and inaccurate.
We'll see if Armofox comes back or not. If so.....please refrain from making statements that are untrue and/or offensive to those of us who are on Suboxone and doing well in recovery. As far as your doctor misleading you about your treatment...I'm sorry that happened to you and it certainly wasn't right. But the truth is that while the doctor is responsible for informing you and was wrong not to do so, with all the information that is available to us as patients these days, there is really no excuse to ingest anything that you know nothing about. The fact that you didn't understand how the medication works and what it is and is not intended to do, is not Suboxone's fault. It is a well-studied drug that has in fact (contrary to your unedited post) been around and in use for many, many years.
I hope that you are feeling better. If it is your goal to be off Sub, that can be achieved without the miseries you have apparently suffered. I hope you'll give it another shot and taper properly so that you will have the best chance at sustaining your recovery over the long term. Whether on Suboxone or not, if we are working a good recovery program and abstaining from other drugs, we're in a much better place than we were before. So be careful about posting statements that might deter someone else from educating him or herself properly and getting buprenorphine therapy. It could literally save his or her life!


Top
  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 11 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: MovingOn and 0 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Our Sponsors
Suboxone Forum latest topics RSS feed Subscribe to the entire forum
 

 

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

  • Board Certified Psychiatrist
  • Asst Clinical Professor, Medical College of Wisconsin

Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group