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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 6:33 pm 
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About me
I'm a 31 year old software developer who has been on suboxone for 3 years now, at high doses. (16mg+). Due to my job, I don't have the option of a cold turkey quit and being sick for 30 days. I would definitely lose my job. I've been wanting to quit the drug for quite some time now, but due to recent healthcare changes coming in 2014, I will have to pay outrageous prices to continue use of the drug. So I decided now is the time. I have tried and failed to quit, cold turkey, about 3 or 4 times now. I cannot handle the intense pain.

Thread Purpose
I am going to document my method and make daily updates of the results of this process. I hope this will be able to help other long term users to help make decisions when they are ready to kick the drug. My final post in this thread will either be when I feel I'm completely sober, or I've given up.

Taper Details
I have a laid out plan. I've done research about how quickly this should be done, and I've come up with a plan that I think will fit best for me. I know I will hurt at times, but the purpose of this method is going to be to minimize the withdraws. I do have "back-up" subs, which I know can be a bad thing, but I cannot lose my job should things go bad. Here's the plan (these are weekly, 7 day drops):
    Oct 17-19 - 8mg (This is a large jump already, so I expect pain in the beginning)
    Oct 20-26 - 4mg
    Oct 27-Nov 2 - 2mg
    Nov 3-9 - 1mg
    Nov 10-19 .5 mg
    Nov 20-22 .25 mg
    Nov 23-Dec 31 - Stop schedule, only taking .25 when absolutely required.

In Closing
Again, I hope this thread will help somebody. If this fails miserably, it will warn people to not follow this plan. If it works, the opposite may happen. Regardless, I will be making daily posts with my progress, how I feel, etc. Although I know withdrawal happens differently for some people, I would expect this system to work similarly for other people. Please pray for me! I'm sick and tired of having a sub-fogged mind, and I'm ready for it to be over. Any comments, tips, or words of encouragement are greatly appreciated.

All for today. Here's hoping for a great 2.5 months and a great beginning to 2014. :?
- RT


Last edited by rapidtaperer on Wed Oct 16, 2013 8:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 7:25 pm 
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Hi RapidTaperer,

Thanks for sharing your post and your plan. The timeline sounds pretty solid.

You had stated that you had tried to quit 3 or 4 times now attempting the cold turkey (CT) method. for anyone out there reading this, I can tell you, CT is not a very good way to approach it. Even doctors/addictionologists will advise a rapid taper over CT.
Here's my story and I hope it helps whoever is reading this. After about a year on suboxone (generally taking between 8-12mg/day) I did an 8 day rapid taper and jumped off at 1mg/day. Today is exactly day 30 for me and I can honestly say I feel pretty good today. My hardest days were 3,4,5,6, and 7. Between the stomach pains and RLS I was pretty frickin' miserable. For the stomach pains I was taking Imodium AD and tums/rolaids and it seemed to help a little although it was still bad. The RLS was the thing that was making it unbearable just cause I couldn't sleep. My wife suggested wrapping my legs in compression socks and ace bandages. I kind of chuckled but at that point I would have wrapped my entire body in ace bandages. Later that night, I took some melatonin, took the hottest shower I could handle, got out and immediately wrapped the crap out of my legs with compression socks and 5" ace bandages from my ankles up to my groin, and THANK GOD, slept like a baby that night. I think I was on day 5 (completely off subs) when I first did that and never experienced RLS again after that.
The acute withdrawals are definitely gone for me but I still get moments of PAWS occasionally. Here are a few things I forced myself to do through the first two weeks:
1. DO NOT ISOLATE!!! Call someone or set up something where family/friends come over once a day or something.
2. Keep busy with something. I know it's gonna suck and the only thing you are going to want to do is crawl up in a fetal position in your bed. Do everything in your power not to fall in this trap.
3. Here is the real difficult one but I promise, it helped me. Exercise, Exercise, Exercise. Your body is going through a physiological healing process and does not have the ability to generate the appropriate levels of dopamine/seratonin to match the false levels you were putting in it with the suboxone for the past few years. Your body is healing itself and generating new receptors which will take time but exercise can help speed that process up.
4. Maintain a good diet. I bought a jar of nutrient-rich super food and it really helped. If you were anything like me you did not exactly have stellar eating habits while on subs. Again, your body needs to heal and there is nothing better than pumping it full of all natural, raw, nutrient and pro-biotic packed drinks. It looks nasty, I know, but I could actually feel my body getting stronger and stronger.
I hope all this info helps. One more bit of advice and you can take it or leave. If you really want to quit and I mean really want to quit, you have to get rid of the "back-up" subs. The addiction will be way too strong to overcome that kind of temptation. You are gonna have to suck it up and trudge through those really crappy days but I am here to tell you, you will literally wake up one day and it will hit you. I ACTUALLY FEEL BETTER TODAY THAN I DID YESTERDAY!! Take it one minute/hour/day at a time. You and anyone else going through this will be in my thoughts and prayers and I look forward to your future posts to see how it is going.

Good Luck!
Subssuck75


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 8:31 pm 
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Thanks subssuck75!

I agree with all your information. Exercise, however, will be something I will need to be working on. It is so hard when you're feeling down. But I will push for this.

As for the getting rid of backup subs, I disagree. This may be my downfall, it may not. Like I said, if it gets to the point where I'm about to get fired, I'll need my backup.

Otherwise, they get flushed. We'll see.

Thanks again.
-RT


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:13 pm 
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Hi RT,

Welcome to the forum! It looks like you have put alot of thought into your taper plan, and I respect that. Honestly, I wouldn't really expect you to start feeling your drops until you get below 6mg. Some people get even lower before the actual physical WD sets in. Most of it until you get below 4mg is mental. But after that it might be a good idea to let your body dictate when you make your next drop. Especially once you get below 2mg it is usually helpful to give your body more time to adjust and to take it in slower increments. You know, slow and steady.

Obviously, everyone had different pain tolerances and can handle different levels of mild WD without feeling overwhelmed. I just wanted to tell you if you find it getting hard when you get to those lower amounts if you slow it down a little it will help alot! You also may want to consider split dosing when you get below 2mg. By that point your dose will start to wear off before the 24 hour mark and you may find yourself feeling bad and not sleeping well at night.

There are all kinds of useful tips in the archives here. Take some time to explore and learn a little, you may find something useful.

Again, welcome, and I wish you the best of luck with your taper!

Q

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:22 pm 
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qhorsegal2 wrote:
Hi RT,

Welcome to the forum! It looks like you have put alot of thought into your taper plan, and I respect that. Honestly, I wouldn't really expect you to start feeling your drops until you get below 6mg. Some people get even lower before the actual physical WD sets in. Most of it until you get below 4mg is mental. But after that it might be a good idea to let your body dictate when you make your next drop. Especially once you get below 2mg it is usually helpful to give your body more time to adjust and to take it in slower increments. You know, slow and steady.

Obviously, everyone had different pain tolerances and can handle different levels of mild WD without feeling overwhelmed. I just wanted to tell you if you find it getting hard when you get to those lower amounts if you slow it down a little it will help alot! You also may want to consider split dosing when you get below 2mg. By that point your dose will start to wear off before the 24 hour mark and you may find yourself feeling bad and not sleeping well at night.

There are all kinds of useful tips in the archives here. Take some time to explore and learn a little, you may find something useful.

Again, welcome, and I wish you the best of luck with your taper!

Q


Thank you very much.

However, I am going to stick with the taper plan (due to my situation this is what I need to do), report the results and hope for the best.

There are so many taper charts on the inernet, so I'm offering my personal experience with decreasing 50% every week. I think I have a strong willpower. Again, we'll see, although right now I'm confident I'll be clean within 3 months.

Thank you for the warm welcome.

-RT


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:03 am 
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Day 1
Dose: 8mg (down from 16mg)

10:00AM - Feeling: :)
I just took my daily dose, and it hasn't kicked in yet. I do not know what to expect. I don't think I'll be sick but I know I won't "feel good" as I did when I was taking the higher amounts. This is just something I will have to get used to. Eventually, that feeling good will turn into feeling bad, as the drug is leaving my body is slow amounts.

I did something this morning I don't usually do. I ate a fruit breakfast. Pineapple, canollope, strawberries, and oranges with a big glass of OJ. I read this will help so I gave it a shot. I woke up not feeling like eating at all but I forced it all down. I plan on doing some exercise later in the day of things start getting bad. In the meantime though, I have a lot of work to do. So that's all for now. I'll post a bit later on how everything turned out.

12:30PM - Feeling: :?
Beginning to feel some muscle aches. The morning was good, it was almost as if the 8mg did the same as the higher dose. But it is becoming apparent this isn't the case. I still have good energy and am in a good mood, but my shoulders are beginning to ache a little. I may take some asperin. Lunch is coming up, so I'm going to try to walk to where I go and eat something good for me. This is just the beginning, but it's my first experience of any WD symptoms. Definitely not bad, but it reminds me what's going on in my body.

Romeo - Thank you. I am willing to be sick, although I am going to try to avoid it as much as possible. I want to be off this more than anything in my life, so my willpower is pretty high. Thanks for your encouragement.

3:30PM - Feeling: :)
Muscle aches have gone away. Maybe I had slept wrong or something. Feeling fine now. Haven't really noticed any major WD symptoms yet. Hoping the rest of evening is the same.

8:00PM - Closing
Ending the day with sore feet. I'm prett sure this is because of all the walking I did today. Maybe I should wait to increase the exercise until I am starting to get WD symptoms. Overall, not a bad day. Just praying tomorrow isn't awful.


Last edited by rapidtaperer on Thu Oct 17, 2013 7:54 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:05 am 
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Ok, I was just offering a suggestion. I look forward to seeing your successful updates!

Q

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 11:19 am 
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Hey RT,

Welcome to the forum!!

Your taper plan is aggressive, but if you're willing to put up with some discomfort and you have the willpower to power through it, then more power to ya!!

Hey subssuck, I can't say I like your screen name, but your advice about what to do when coming off Suboxone is spot on!! :wink: Congratulations on 30 days!!

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:27 am 
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Day 2
Dose: 8mg

9:30AM - Feeling: :|
Had a somewhat rough morning with body aches. A little low on energy but nothing that would stop be from starting my day off normally. My back hurt and muscles hurt a little. I think this my body telling me it is unhappy with the abount of Sub it is getting. Too bad, body!

I just took my dose for today. We'll see if this helps get rid of that. I have to travel home, 4 hours today. So I hope to have a good, WD free day. Will report more later.

11:30AM Feeling: :)
Well the 8mg dose, half of what I have been taking for the past year, has made me feel the same. No WDs and I feel pretty good. A suprise. I expected to not feel good today. Maybe this taper thing is going to work. I know the WDs will become bad when I make the jump, but so far, not bad at all.

1:30PM Feeling: 8)
No pains at all. This is great because I have to travel 4 hours now. Looks like there will be no problems. I honestly expected to be in an awful mood, with muscle cramps the entire drive. It looks like there will be none. It's only day two, but this has, so far, been much easier than first expected. I just wonder, when will it become hard? Will it be like this until I jump next month? Will it start below a certain mg? I guess we'll see.

10:30PM Closing
Not a bad day overall. I do feel a bit of muscle aches but I'm going to be able to sleep. We'll see what tomorrow holds. It is my last day at this level. Thanks everyone for the support!


Last edited by rapidtaperer on Fri Oct 18, 2013 10:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:12 pm 
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this will be a great guide for people coming off high doses. keep posting these updates if you can! we dont get to see day by day reactions to a taper like this often. thanks!


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 3:50 pm 
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Keep up the great work!!! I've seen a few people say that the jump from 16-8 isn't too bad! Keep your head in the game. You're doing fantastic!

It's hard for us addicts to realize that people just get uncomfortable. Without drugs, people have a bad nights sleep, muscle pains, bad moods, RLS, etc! It's all normal life.

Good luck on your drive, and please keep us updated.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 10:55 am 
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Day 3
Dose: 8mg

11:00AM - Feeling: :)
Things are going well. I took my final dose of 8mg today, but I can tell my body is not liking what's going on. Although I am in no pain at the moment, I can tell it's coming. But for now, I have no compaints. I am able to function as normal and do what needs to be done.

Thanks all for the encouragement. I hope this log will be able to help people, no matter the outcome.

10:00PM - Closing
No WDs today. Hoping for the same tomorrow. So far so good. Thanks again for all your support. I appreciate every bit of it.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 11:35 am 
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Day 4
Dose: 4mg (Down from 8mg)

11:30AM - Feeling: :)
Well, here's a nice little suprise. I haven't even taken my dose, half of what I've been taking for the few previous days, but I'm not feeling bad. I got up at about 8am and have been playing games online since. No pain, no depression. I'm going to go ahead and take the dose though, as it is getting late in the day. Will report later if this did anything for me.

2:00PM - Feeling - :)
Still no WDs. This isn't bad after all.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 5:43 pm 
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Glad to hear your progress! Many people report little to no w/d until 2 mg or so. This is powerful stuff with a unique ceiling effect. It baffles me when I hear people 32mg a day. I never took more than 2mg a day. I was 100% w/d free at that dose (granted my previous use was minor in comparison to some). Anyways, I am now down to alternating days .5 and .25mg and I can honestly say I'm perfectly fine. So much of it is in our head. We expect pain and trouble, that's what we're going to get. People want to assume every little ache, pain, restlessness is due to w/d when really its just normal shit that everyone deals with. I'm hoping to get to .25mg daily within a week and then I'll start skipping days. I don't expect this to be difficult at all. I'll be checking in on you! You're gonna be fine!! You can do it!!

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 8:50 am 
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Day 5
Dose: 4mg

9:00AM - Feeling: :(
Feeling a little down this morning. No muscle aches or anything, just mentally drained. I havent taken my 4mg dose yet, so hopefully it will help clear this up. Got a long days work ahead of me. Anyways, will post later if the 4mg helped at all or not.

11:00AM Feeling - :)
Well, suprisingly the 4mg dose has taken away the feelings of depression I was having earlier. I have six more days to go at this level so if this whole week goes without any major WD symptoms I'll be a happy camper.

1:30PM Feeling - :)
I find myself beginning to doubt what I'm doing. As I said in my first post, the MAIN reason I need to get off is because of insurance reasons. But I could get around this. I could find the money to pay the deductable, then insurance pays for it all. Why am I doing this?

Then I remind myself - because I don't want to be on sub for the rest of my life. I have to quit sometime. That's not an option. Why not now? I'm already day 5 in an aggresive taper plan, and I feel fine. I don't feel great, but I don't hurt. I'd love to "feel great" for the rest of my life, but I'm confident once all this is done and over, my body will be able to do this on it's own.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 4:03 pm 
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Day 6
Dose: 4mg

4:00PM - Feeling: :)
Today was a rough day. I ran out of my sub and went to the doctor to get more (this was all part of the original plan). All went fine, he wrote me a script for a months worth, 8mg 3 times a day, for a total of 84 8mg strips. Holding all these in hand made is very hard not to convince myself to stick with my plan. I had a chat with my mother, who is helping me through all this and giving me envourangement. In the end, I only did a half a strip. So, amazingly, I'm still on my taper schedule. I took what I need for the next few days and had her lock up the rest in her safe, of which I don't have the code to. I also gave her my schedule - so she will know when I need more.

No withdraws. Still feeling fine. Was just a mentally challanging day. After I took my dose, I was proud I hung in there. Somehow, I feel like this thread had something to do with it. I didn't want to come back here and report I failed. Thread over.

Oh, I also got Flexeril. Just in case the muscle aches and cramps start kicking in, which I expect the week I jump the cliff.

9:00PM - Closing
Going to call this a good day. No pain, made good choices, and still on track. Thanks everyone for your words of encouragement. It means a lot there are people here that actually care. :)


Last edited by rapidtaperer on Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 5:25 pm 
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I've been reading along RT and you are doing great!

Really impressive giving the subs to your mom to put in the safe and only having enough for what you need to be taking. You should be very proud of yourself for doing that. Shows a strong committment to your plan.

You are helping a lot of people with your timely updates! Good stuff RT! Going to be nice to look back and see how you were doing at different times along the way.

And you certainly have the right attitude for this. Your remaining positive throughout the entire process and that's exactly what it takes to succeed.

Congratulations to you on your progress!

Karen xoxo


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 8:52 pm 
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Good job RT,

I can imagine how hard it was to hand those over, but the relief after you got them out of your hands was probably so great!

I understand the fact that having accountability here is a little kick in the butt to stay the course. Accountability is a good thing! You are doing great!

I hope you continue to feel good.

Q

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 11:40 pm 
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Wow great job!!!! That's seriously something to be proud of.

I remember being on Sub & saying every single month we got more, to my husband, "this is it and we have to taper down to practically nothing." Every month, the we got those in our hands, I had enough to take 1mg instead of .25, and I did it. For a year I did that! I don't know why but that extra little bit did something to my mind and made me happy!

Now that I've done the taper, and made the jump (Day 15 now!), I feel much better than I EVER did on Sub!

You have some strong willpower and that is something to be proud of.

Flexeril will help you TREMENDOUSLY!!!! Flexeril is THE one prescribed medication that helped my WDs. I sugget taking it, taking a hot bath, and going to bed directly after. You will be so happy that you have it!

Keep on truckin'! (:


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 3:07 pm 
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Day 7
Dose: 4mg

Did not post this day. Why? Because I did nothing. I laid in bed and watched TV, movies. Not because I was sick, because I felt like it. :) I never had an WD symptoms, and got to reflect some why I am doing this. It felt good.

Thank you everyone for your support in this forum. It is helping me tremendously, more than you know. I look forward to being able to report better news in the future.


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