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PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2010 4:02 pm 
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This is my third attempt at suboxone. I was originally on it for one year, and relapsed within a week of getting off it. I used for 6-8 months and then spent nearly 3 years on suboxone! the WD after getting off that bout was intense and long lasting and I dont think i can do it again. It is probably part of the reason that 2-3 months after getting off the subs i relapsed again. Now I have beeo n on subs again for one year. I am on 3 mg and I am finding great difficulty budging from this dose. I think a lot of it has to do with a fear of going throough a WD experience similar to the one I had undergone last year and part of it is I am a graduate student and I cant imagine when I would go through 2-3 weeks of WD.

My parents oferred me the option of the Waismann Method or Rapid Detox, where you are put under anesthesia and pumped full of nalterexone to remove the opiates from your receptors, supposedly condensing a large amount of time of WD into an hour. Is it too good to be true? i think it may work for most opiates, but suboxone with its extremly strong affinity to opiate receptors..i am unsure that it will work. What i fear most, is going through the process and waking up with horrible WDs for 1-2 more weeks. Why should i pay for a medical procedure that may only knock days of my WD, btw its quite expensive. However, in this instance, money is not a concern.

I would love to hear back from you all, especially anyone who has undergone this procedure or has some personal experience with it as it specifically relates to suboxone. If you do know a bit about it, i would also like to know if I must lower my suboxone dosage to a much lower dose than 3mg before i go through the process?

Thanks- and I will be sure to update you all with my decision, and if i decide to go through it, with the results i experience


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2010 4:18 pm 
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hello heynow and welcome to the forum. I hope you find as much information and support here as I have.
I'm so sorry to hear you're struggling so much. I have not stopped suboxone and to be honest, I may never will. I've also never used rapid detox. From what I've read there just isn't much science to back it up, especially considering the thousands or ten's of thousands of dollars it costs. You described relapsing months after you stopped sub, right? You may very well have been suffering from PAWS (post-acute withdrawal syndrome). Were you to go the rapid detox route, unfortunately, all that would do would allow you to basically sleep though the first day(s) of acute withdrawal. It's my understanding that it will do nothing for PAWS. I'm sorry if this isn't what you wanted to hear. I think it's human nature to want to do things the easiest way possible. And we addicts want to avoid withdrawals at any cost.

There have been stories posted on this forum about the best way to go about getting off of sub. Mainly, you need to do a long, slow, and very low taper. In other words, drop your dosage every several weeks, maybe even months, and don't stop until you're as low as you can possibly get - into the micrograms. You might want to read the thread in "Stopping Suboxone" about the liquefied taper method. Doing it the "right" way is the best way to avoid a painful withdrawal and hopefully less PAWS. At 3 mg, you still have a long way yet to go before you want to "jump off". Just be flexible in your plan and take it very slow.

I just want to stress that I'm not a doctor or medical professional. This is part personal opinion and part things I've learned since I've been on suboxone for 19 months.

I wish you the very best. Please keep us posted on how you're doing, OK? People HAVE done this ... YOU CAN DO THIS.

I

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2010 4:18 pm 
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heynow wrote:
My parents oferred me the option of the Waismann Method or Rapid Detox, where you are put under anesthesia and pumped full of nalterexone to remove the opiates from your receptors, supposedly condensing a large amount of time of WD into an hour. Is it too good to be true?


Simply put, Yes, it's too good to be true.

It's a lengthy discussion and quite contentious in places, AND, it's been edited for content a bit which can make it a little confusing at times, but I strongly urge you to read this thread from the "Why The Anger" section of this board:

http://suboxforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=1867

Read that, then we'll talk about Rapid Detox


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2010 4:59 pm 
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thanks for both your quick and informative replies. I do believe that I suffered from PAWS- as I couldn't shake that feeling of depression, anxiety, sleeplessness and even acute sweating/chills, even for over a month after stopping suboxone. I have constant pressure from my parents to get off suboxone as soon as possible- they are actually willing to fit the entire bill for rapid detox. I simply dont find much information about that detox for suboxone - so I appreciate your answers.
I just read that thread you suggested...seems like tempers where flaring there. I am worried I cannot get an opinion without some agenda involved from people who are proponents from either side. However the conclusion I am coming to is that rapid detox knocks off those first 5 horrible days of WD. I kinda have to decide if that is worth the 7-8k it will cost my parents. I have been n opiates or suboxone for almost 8 years straight and I am only 25 years old- i kinda feel desperate and I do want an easy out. I am ready to engage whatever route i take with the help of a full recovery plan and support system,/..but at the end of the day I simply find getting of the sub extremely difficult - that is my personal experience...


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2010 5:14 pm 
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heynow -

Whatever route you decide to take, be it cold-turkey, a taper, rapid detox, or staying on Sub...I encourage you to do some things to support your recovery process. If you have access to counseling it can really help you identify things like relapse triggers and help you develop a plan to deal with them. SMART recovery also has good online resources that might help you understand the nature of cravings and how to best prevent relapse.

Reaching out to other people in recovery is a great way to create a support system for yourself, and it will be of use regardless of what you chose to do. Making sure that you are in the best physical condition possible by eating well, staying hydrated and getting exercise will help you as well - and exercise truly does help with withdrawal and with PAWS. Take care of your mental health too by finding things you like to do and doing them. This is also a good way to make friends who aren't into using.

And for me personally, strengthening my mind through meditation has been a huge factor in my success in getting of of Suboxone and staying off of opiates for this past year. Mediation helps with anxiety, and it helps you cultivate the ability to see when your thoughts are spiraling out of control so that you can get back in control of where they are going. It takes practice, but the benefits begin to accrue right away. If you have trouble with just sitting meditation, you can do walking meditations or even yoga.

In my personal experience, it wasn't until I had all of these components in place that I felt ready to taper off Suboxone. And when I felt strong and ready, I was able to do it pretty easily. Addiction is an illness that effects us in so many ways, and the healing process has to be multi-dimensional. It's not as easy as just not doing drugs anymore, but you probably already know that :D

My take on the rapid detox thread - besides all the flaring tempers in there - was that she was able to get through some of the most intense withdrawals during the RD, and then she had a lot of comfort meds to deal with the lingering symptoms. If you do a taper with support from your doctor, you should have access to some of those meds as well. During my taper and withdrawal I only needed support meds a few times - clonidine and ambien - and I still have mostly full bottles of them in my medicine cabinet. It doesn't have to be hard, but it does require that you believe you can do it.

Whatever you decide to do, I hope you keep posting. Good luck.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2010 5:37 pm 
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I really feel for you and your situation. It's scary when we start to add up our time, including suboxone, that we've been using opiates. I'm a little older than you ( just turned 39) and I was about 19 when I started using daily. Seems like we started abusing aroung the same age. The only thing I know about rapid detox are horror stories I've read or people who swear by it, so I agree it for some reason seems to be a passionate issue for some. I will give you what first hand advice I can. I've been on subs for 6 1/2 years and plain and simple I am a lifer and I'm ok with that. When I started getting under 4mg I started to feel the wd's a little. Nothing horrible but I could tell the difference where previous reductions never really affected me. I am currently at 3mg and like I said will stay here indefinatelly. The fact that you are struggling a little at 3mg makes perfect sense. It will pass and your body will adjust it might take a little longer than say going from 12 to 10 IMO.

About your family and I know this is much easier said than done. I would really do what's in your best interest. Only you know your body and how you feel to be opiate free. There's a saying in AA that we're either moving towards a drink or away from one (you can substitute your drug of choice for the drink reference). So really ask yourself by coming off suboxone at this stage are you getting closer to a relapse or are you moving farther away from one. I don't say that to nudge you either way, again I have no experience with rapid detox. If I could flip a switch and be 25 again and been able to utilize suboxone, I would probably want to come off it at some point. It's just different for me now, I went a little deeper in the dark side than I had at 25, I have a kid and a mortgage and alot of other issues and responsabilities (I have no spell check on my I-touch, sorry) that I did not have in my twenties. My point is I applaud you for wanting to come off suboxone, I would just give a slow taper some consideration. For me the initial days of misery isn't the problem, it's the depression that follows, for me any way. Please research your options and keep us posted whatever you decide. Best of luck.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2010 2:12 pm 
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Thanks again for the replies. I def have a lot to think about. I have given a lot more consideration to a slow taper. I should have explained that my last time getting off subs- I did not do a slow taper at all 3 mg for one months- 2 mg for one month- 1 mg for on months- then a week at .5mg and then off. I later learned this was a big mistake. I recall that some of the more annoying WD symptoms - such as cold sweats, anxiety, diarrhea followed me into the 4-5 week mark...But I can imagine that a slow taper would prevent that.
The way I look at it is that over the next few months as I embark on my intense studies, even a slow taper will effect my mood and sleeping habits and therefore effect my ability to work well. If I knew that paws would not effect me so strongly or that I can go into the next semester after rapid detox with little problems then I would be better off. But I guess I simply wont know what the results of rapid detox would be like for me. It appears to me that according to your physiology and lifestyle, people can have radically different results during WDs. I think I am leaning towards a slow. But if I find myself completely unable to lower myself from 3 to 2 to 1, I think the rapid detox will be my only option. Perhaps if I am successful to get to at least 1 mg the RD method would be easier to go through, less PAWS to deal with...

just curious- how helpful was clonodine? I recall that my roomate had a script to it for anxiety, and during my last relapse he would give me a few when I was unable to score and going through mild WD. I am unsure how helpful they were in reducing symptoms. I do know it was extremely dangerous for me to take them and run to dope as soon as i could get my hands on some, with the clonidine still in my system. Any other medications, besides sleeping aides and clonidine PPL have found helpful during WD, anything I can take to ease the transition between 3-2mg. Anyway- thanks for the feedback all.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 12:03 am 
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Hopefully I can help you with a couple of points here.

First of all, I'm pretty sure you are confusing the drug clonodine with klonopin. Don't feel bad, as many people seem to confuse these two. Clonodine is a blood pressure medication that also does a pretty good job of addressing withdrawal symptoms. It is not addicting and is pretty safe. It is commonly used to treat withdrawals. On the other hand, klonopin is a sedative in the benzodiazepine family. It is used to treat anxiety, seizures, etc. and actually is very addictive. While I have heard of it being given to help withdrawal symptoms, it is not nearly as common - in large part due to the concern that the patient will become addicted/dependant on a benzo.

As for the whole rapid detox thing, I think I can at least help you somewhat without going into the whole debate. The thing is, after you get to a couple of weeks post opiate - a month for certain - it really won't matter how you got off of the opiate. The difference in either a slow taper, fast jump, or rapid detox has much more to do with the early stages. It will take a couple of weeks for Suboxone to be completely out of your system. However, the PAWS will very likely not be any different for you whether you stop cold turkey or use rapid detox. That is because either way, you body is going to go from a medium to large amount of Sub directly to no Sub. The rapid detox just does this faster than any other method. The reason many people report having a better time of it when doing a long and slow taper is because the brain and body are very gradually converted to having less and less Sub until they have no Sub. Again, none of this will matter when you get to the couple week point. Therefore if you are basing your decision mostly on the long-term effects and PAWS, using rapid detox is not at all likely to help you. If you are going to have PAWS, you will very likely have it whether you use rapid detox or cold turkey (or even a fast taper). Long and slow is the only way I have ever heard to try to avoid PAWS. If rapid detox helps or is better in any way, it is in the early stages that it is superior (if at all) After a couple of weeks, it really won't matter anymore.

I hope that helps you.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 1:12 am 
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Donh makes a good point. Be very careful with benzos. I've had plenty of issues with benzos in the past and IMO they are very easy to get hooked on. I never got any huge buzz or euphoria from them but they will sneek up on you. A couple Valium at the end of a long day to relax and get some good sleep and next thing you know 3 or 4 weeks have passed and your taking double. I'm not saying everyone will have issues with them and I know some of you out there are prescribed them and use them as directed. I just could never handle them without abusing them. They are also very dangerous to quit cold turkey. When I was admitted into to rehab years ago they gave me the standard urine test upon arrival and I think I was possitive for 4 out of 5. The doctors kept hounding me about the benzos, how much, how often, how long? I kept telling them it's the opiates I'm here to quit, the valiums aren't an issue, I use the when I'm dope sick and to get some sleep. I was getting so pissed because it seemed like they weren't concerned about the opiate withdrawels but were only monitoring the benzo withdrawels. My point is I honestly had know idea how addicted I was to them. When the doctor explained to me what was happening to my body because of the couple Valium I was taking every night I was shocked. All these illegal drugs and all the crap I had to go through to obtain them it was the one thing I was legit prescribed that almost killed me. I always warn people at meetings about how dangerous they can be. It almost seems like the norm now a days for people coming off opiates to be using some sort of benzo. Sorry for the rant, just please anyone using benzos to help with thier withdrawels be careful.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 1:03 pm 
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The reason they were so worried about your benzo withdrawal is because it can kill you. While opiate withdrawal is horrid and you sometimes feel like (or wish) you were going to die, you really can die from uncontrolled withdrawal from benzo's as well as alcohol. What happens is you can develop a life-threatening seizure unless you are weaned from the benzo. I have never gone through withdrawal from anything other than opiates but I have treated patients in DTs from alcohol and those in benzo withdrawal and it can honesty be very dangerous. I'm not going to say, and honestly don't know, if benzos are any worse to quit or not but I am 100% positive they most certainly are much more dangerous. Clonodine seems to work at least somewhat for most people. I was actually given it during my detox and it did seem to help a bit. Klonopin on the other hand would not be a good idea or, as Smoothy says, you could very well end up finding yourself addicted and dependent on them.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 1:38 pm 
heynow - have you considered traditional detox? A friend of mine went through it and said she was given a lot of medication so she didn't suffer much from the WD. It also gives you some time to work on your issues and an aftercare plan. If you have insurance it might be covered. I think this is a more realistic option than "rapid detox", which seems overpriced and shady.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 4:54 pm 
Heynow....Glad you posted. Sorry you're in kind of a dilemma here. I totally hear you! Wanting to be drug-free, yet having such a hard time getting there really does suck. I'm kinda there with you. I've been on Suboxone for 13 months. My original plan was to stay on the medication for 6 months to a max of 1 year. Obviously, the year mark has come and gone. I have made progress in tapering....in fact have pretty much been tapering the whole time I've been on it. I've been at ~1mg/day for, gosh, probably 2-3 months now. Sounds like you've kind of it the 'wall' at 3mg/day, huh? Certainly your past experiences are playing a role in your difficulty in tapering further. Noone wants to be in withdrawal, even in its milder forms!
You've already gotten tremendous feedback from members who absolutely know what they're talking about, so I won't repeat everything they've already told you. Suffice it to say that I agree with all that's been said, especially in terms of leaning against Rapid Detox. I just don't see how it can do anything other than get you through some of the acute withdrawals, which would be nice, but as you and I both know, that's just the tip of the iceberg in terms of long-term sobriety!
As some of the others have discussed, what I have come to realize is that in order for me to continue on with my final taper and get off Suboxone completely, it is going to be imperative that I am at a good place in time to do so. It needs to be during a time of relatively low stress, relatively low responsibility levels, and when I am in a good frame of mind, mentally and spiritually, and in optimal physical health, etc. In my case, the past few months have been rather stressful and I have known that to try and finish my taper at that particular time, would likely not go well. So I have chosen to start an antidepressant (a new thing for me) to help stabilize my mood, kind of as a prophylactic measure, because I had such difficulty with depression and motivation with PAWS when I did abstinence-based recovery a while back. I have also chosen to wait to taper further until school has started for my youngest child and things kind of settle down after a busy summer.
What I'm hearing from you is that you are trying to finish grad school and have great concerns about needing to be 'on top of your game' for a while. I also hear that your parents are really the ones driving you to get this done, sooner than later. In my opinion, this is not a good setup for you to quit Suboxone, either by trying Rapid Detox or any other method. I would encourage you to think about how important it is for you do this on your terms. If you are comfortable at 3mg/day, then stick there a little longer. If you get to a point where some pressure lets up, try to make a small drop to maybe 2.5/day for a little while. I'm telling you, the longer we give these dose drops when we're this low....the better we are able to acclimate to the drops and tolerate them better. Then perhaps, if you can give yourself another even 6 months to finish a long, slow taper, I bet you'd have a good shot at being successful, avoiding most of the PAWS symptoms and staying off drugs long term.
In any case, I just really wanted to add that to the already good stuff you've been told here. I just think it's a lot about our timing. We need to have everything in place in our lives, our support systems, a relapse prevention plan, good physical and mental health and so on, in order to hope for a relatively easy conversion off Suboxone. I wish there were an easier way, but I'm afraid as of now, there just isn't. Also keep in mind, that you're doing well. You're accomplishing a lot right now....in large part, probably because of Suboxone. With your history of early relapse and this being your third go-round on Suboxone, I'd encourage you to think long and hard, be careful, and try not to let what your loved ones want for you to superceed what you know is best for you! You are the one who's got this horrid disease and you are the one who is facing it the best you can and, well, winning, for right now! I hope your parents will listen to some of the ideas we have given you here to talk about. It sounds like they love you to peices, being so willing to help. They just need to know what's really going to help you may in fact be.......TIME.....giving you just a little more time on Suboxone to finish what you've started properly.
Hang in there and keep posting! Best of luck to you!


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 11:04 am 
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Thanks for the great replies.
you know- when i come to think of it, my parents do love me to pieces, but at times their love can be overwhelming. they do not understand the disease of addiction as much as they try, and they make it very uncomfortable to talk to them abut this subject. I think back and I know that my past two times gettin of suboxone, i did it too early and too quickly because i was getting massive pressure from my parents. I even remember lying to my last doctor about how many NA meetings i was going to, something important to him in order to see me taper off the subs, just so he would give me the go ahead, and i think a big reason of my terrible WD and quick relapse was the quick and not gradual taper of suboxone.

Anyways, right now, everyday is an argument with my parents that rapid detox is probably a waste of money for me. Although my biggest concern is that it will throw me into PAWS for the next few months as I am trying to do my best in school. I am going to try and taper the subs- i think my biggest issue is that as soon as i taper to 2.5 or 2 mg and i feel the slightest uncomfortableness for more than one day i revert to my old dosage. I wish i just had a few months downtime with no responsibility, so i can face this without many consequences to going through WD.


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