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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 5:38 pm 
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Hi all, brand spankin' new here and I know this is probably way premature, but I have to say, I am freaked out after reading so many stories about the difficulties withdrawing from Suboxone. I am just on my 4th day, 16mgs/day.... Background: I've spent the last 5 years of my life taking large doses of morphine 3 times daily. It was needed at first but developed into a habit FAST. I haven't been "high" in a long time. I just have a major dependence going on and have had to use to stay functional and "normal" (not sick). Long story longer, Its time to quit, JUST quit already, the time... the money... So I went to the Dr., completed a 6 day methadone taper down to 10mgs/day for the last 2 days of it, starting Suboxone on the the 7th day. I have to say, it was really incredible for me to have been off the morphine for even a day much less a week! I was completely in the dark about Suboxone, knew nothing about it really except that its NOT morphine and its going to help me "get off the junk". Now that I've had some real time and have been reading for 5 hours straight I just feel like damn, I've gotta cut this Suboxone just as short as I can because I've just traded "A" for "B" and not really made any "progress". I guess I'm just shell shocked and scared. Is there any real determination of how long I should take this stuff? Should I be proactive and taper down to as low a dose as is physically tolerable right now while it's early? Is my body doing any real "healing" while I'm on Suboxone? Or do I just need to shut up, sit back, relax, follow the Dr's instructions? I dunno... Thanks for listening guys.
-RJ


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 6:15 pm 
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Dear RJ,

You will find that there are many here who are ready to stop their Sub, and are doing so successfully by doing a long, slow taper.

I'll speak for myself. I've been on 24 mg/day for 1.5 years. I am 53 years old. Prior to starting Sub, I have a history of opiate abuse, dependence and addiction going back almost 20 years. I have had many consequences from it, to say the least, and I guess that it is by grace that I am not dead or in jail. I had never heard of this med until it was recommended to me in out-pt rehab last year. I saw the doctor and like you innocently started the medication as directed. From that moment, my life has changed for the better. It has taken away the compulsion, the constant thoughts, everything. I feel normal for the first time since I was young. I joined this forum a couple of months ago and I too have read all of posts that I could. I do not worry about what I will do when I am ready to stop taking it. I am just grateful that I have it now.

I figure that if I get ready to stop it in the future I will be able to taper off of it, just as a lot of folks have done successfully. If not, I hope that I will be able to take it as long as is needed...even if that is a long time. It has given me a new freedom and a new happiness that I never thought was possible, and I know for a fact that I would be dead by now without it. My advice is to just relax and allow yourself this state of the art recovery tool. There are those out there who feel that it is trading one drug for another. To that I say, HOGWASH!

Sincerely,
~Rossma


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 Post subject: Welcome to the Site....
PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 6:37 pm 
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Hi RsjxRsj,
Welcome to the Forum and thanks for posting. The question you have is one that we each must deal with on our own!! Only You, Your Dr. & your Counselor can determine the best course of action for you... I can tell you my experience on Suboxone has been great and I have been in Recovery and on Suboxone since Feb. 2009. I am prescribed 16 mgs. a day and have been from the start. I cannot give you any insight on tapering as I have never done it!!! When I was dosed way back when I was taking between 300 - 350 mgs. of Oxycodone a day. It was killing me! Killing me financially, Emotionally, and Physically. I am also an Alcoholic and was also drinking heavily at the time ..... I thought I was going to DIE But I was Afraid I WOULDN'T!!! Starting treatment witch includes Suboxone, Counseling and many, many meetings has SAVED my life and given me a chance to live again...It was because I came clean with my Dr. and got on Suboxone that I was able to eventually get into Detox and now have been Sober since June 2009. I feel VERY Fortunate to be in Recovery. I know that NOT everybody makes it into recovery and some that make it just can't stay!!!!! I hope I stay one of the Lucky ones and continue what Suboxone has allowed me to start... A new CLEAN & SOBER life:)!! I wish you the best of luck in your Recovery. Please keep us posted on your progress.

God Bless
TW

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 10:35 pm 
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RJ,

Try not to freak out too bad. I have been on suboxone for 3 years with a 3 month break in the middle. You have not traded one drug for another, I promise you that. Given the length of time you were on morphine, I am quite sure you have experienced at least one, if not multiple, attempts at tapering on your own. No doubt, miserable and unsuccessful which is why you are now here. That is because, it is nearly impossible to taper yourself with full agonists. BUT, with suboxone, when the time is right, you can absolutely taper slowly and fairly painlessly should you choose to do so. Now, I tried jumping off suboxone at 12mg. That is stupid and will not work very well. HOWEVER, it isn't nearly as painful as oxycontin withdrawal even still and I never missed any work except to go to the doctor and get some comfort meds like clonidine and some ativan. Point being.....I still got to work and worked full days. And that was without tapering. So if you actually DO taper, like you are supposed to, it can totally be done.

When I got on suboxone, within 2 weeks I was asking the doctor how long I had to take it? When could I get off of it? Etc. etc. I was quite disappointed when he said 6 months at least. I think it is between you and your doctor. I suggest making sure you have a good one who truly cares about your health and who truly understands suboxone and addiction. If you have one like that then you ought to be able to work out the details just fine. In the meantime, try to give yourself a break. I am sure this is a bit disappointing that it may not be the magic cure you were led to believe or hoped it to be, but it is still a miracle and I am grateful as hell that I was given this opportunity to get my life back and enjoy it. For the first time in a long time, you can be comfortable in knowing you aren't on a steady decline and you aren't making matters worse for yourself. Take time to get a support system, rebuild relationships with yourself and others, to stabilize and free your life and mind from everything that has to do with using whether you were getting high or not.

That is my two cents. Welcome to the forum. Congratulations on your recovery. Keep posting :-)

Cherie

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 11:59 pm 
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I can completely relate to your concerns. I was feeling the same way, but I had already been on suboxone for 6 months when I started reading the horror stories, so you could imagine how freaked I was.

It's been almost a year now, and I'm in the middle of my taper. I'm down to 4mg from 16mg.

Here's the best advice I can offer you: If you feel comfortable doing so, get down to the lowest effective dose as early as you can manage. Effective meaning, no cravings, no physical symptoms, no depression. It's not worth struggling over, but if you are able to take 8mg/day and feel fine, then why not? It's less money and less of the drug in your system. And when it comes time to taper off, it will be quicker and easier for you. If you can manage 4mg a day, great. But don't force it. If you need 16mg, 24mg, 32mg, then do that (though, I really think doses above 8mg are all placebo to be honest).

You are not trading one drug for another, at all! While yes, suboxone is an opiate, it does not get you high. Suboxone allows you a period of time to get everything in place, recovery wise. Drop the old friends who are using, start working out, eating healthy, build a good relationship with family and work. Start going to meeting (if that's your thing). Suboxone allows us as much time as we need to "get strong" before being completely sober. It also takes away any chance of a relapse. Not only because of the diminished cravings but also the affinity bupe has for the receptors, acting as a blocker to other opiates.

Take suboxone, and see how it makes you feel. See if you think it's for you. Taking it for a few weeks isn't going to do any harm anyhow. Then, if you like it, get your life straightened out and when ready, taper. Do keep in the back of you mind, that yes, one day you *will* have to come off this drug (unless you are a lifer) and yes it *is* going to be uncomfortable at times. There is withdrawal from suboxone. And it would be literally unfair if there wasn't. It's providing such a great service, I think it deserves to have some withdrawal. Also, for all the full-agonist opiates I've taken in my life, I think I deserve a little withdrawal for that too... no one should get away scott-free.

I wish you the best. The people here are awesome, and reading these forums has helped me get down to 4mg. I'm thankful for it.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 11:16 am 
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Wow, thanks guys, really. I got a full night's sleep last night for the first time since I started this process and what a difference that makes.

I've calmed down considerably since yesterday and realize it is WAY too soon for me to be trying so hard. And after looking back at all the time and energy and money I've spent, the incredibly insane risks I've taken... holy cow, like Rossma, I do NOT know how am I still alive and not in jail. The more I think about it, the more I realize that no, I have not traded one thing for another, not at all. I'm on a through street now rather than a dead end.

I also found out yesterday that my Dr. closed his practice to new patients. I was the last one. I live in a small town and the next closest Dr. I could go to is 300 miles away. So yeah... I was in the right place at the right time and made the right decision on the right day. How lucky am I?

Thanks again you guys and I'll be around!
RJ


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 9:41 pm 
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I'm glad you slept and I am glad you have put things into a more positive perspective for your own benefit. You sure are lucky that you were the last one who got in. The last time I had to search for a sub doc it took a LONG time to get in anywhere local. I am also glad it sounds like you aren't feeling guilty. I am sure you have plenty of things to feel guilty about surrounding your active drug use and suboxone is not something you need to guilt yourself over. Getting on suboxone is something you should be proud of because it is the BEST thing you could have done for yourself and your family given your options (the rest of which essentially suck and do not work). It may not be perfect and this may not be the ideal life, but dammit it is a hell of a lot better than the life I was living and at least I am enjoying it eh? It's like I went from suicidal to grateful overnight with suboxone and to me, that is a miracle.

Take care!

Cherie

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- Winston Churchill


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