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PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2010 9:46 pm 
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But after doing more research, I'm wondering if I should stay on it longer. I don't think my Doctor will agree though. He's a great Doctor and a big believer in 12 step programs. So am I for that matter. I've been sober in AA for 22 years. I got addicted to Tramadol initially and then switched to Oxycotin. I was taking 160mg of Oxy and about 8 mg of Xanax a day until last week. He wouldn't take me as a patient when I was on the Xanax, but fortunately I was able to wean myself off. He was thrilled that I got off the Xanax, and squeezed me in last Tuesday.

I took my first 4 mg of Suboxone about 15 hours from my last dose of Oxy. A few minutes later I went into precipitated WDs. I wasn't sure how long it would last, but luckily it ended after only 30 minutes. After that I felt great.

I took 8 mg for my first 3 days, and today started 6mg for another 3 days. Then I go down to 4 and then 2 until I use up the 32 2mg pills he prescribed. I'm a little concerned about PAWS after I finish with the taper.

I'm sure I could find a different Doctor who will put me on maintenance, but I'm not sure I should. I have many AA friends who are already very supportive so I have a great support structure to help with my recovery. I have no illusions that there is way more to opiate addiction than just a 14 Sub detox. If I hope to stay clean I will need to put many other tools to use.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2010 11:17 am 
Hi Nik! Happy to see another opiate addict working their way into/through recovery. I'd be curious to know how long your active addiction to Ultram and oxy had gone on before you started on Suboxone. I'm sure there are some who would argue the matter, but in my opinion, I'm thinking that there is a difference between someone who was abusing opiates for a few months versus several years. Point being.....I think your plan to do a quick taper off Suboxone and then follow up with step work and other recovery methods might work out for you if you haven't been on too long of a roll with opiates.....maybe. A lot of the reason I say it might work is because of your personal history.....you mentioned sobriety through AA for over 20 years and you mentioned that you were able to wean yourself off a pretty hefty amount of Xanax by yourself (not recommended by the way.) In any event, I get the feeling that you're a pretty strong person and you sound pretty determined! I don't want anyone to take that the wrong way either, as I know that a strong will and determination will get us nowhere when it comes to addiction! I just believe that those qualities will come in handy as you use all the tools you will need to get better.
With all that said.....It sure seems to me that almost everyone who does a fast taper like you described and talks about it here, either A) is never heard from again OR B) relapses within a few months of stopping Sub. So your concernse about PAWS are extremely valid. That is what tends to push us back to opiates even after enduring detox and staying off drugs for several weeks or months. Of course, it's up to you whether to do as you have planned and use the bupe to soften your landing off the full agonists and then get hard-core into step work and other support, or to opt to use bupe as a longer term tool in your recovery. Personally, bupe has allowed me the time I needed to stop suffering from PAWS long enough to work on my recovery like I needed to. I tried it without it and I couldn't hang in there through the PAWS symptoms. So it's up to you. Again, my opinion only, if you've been abusing opiates for more than a few months, I think you should strongly consider staying on bupe for a minimum of 6months to a year so you can get some solid living and recovery work done.
I'm not a doctor or an expert.....just someone like you finding my way through all this. Hope that helped a little. I'm sure others will chime in with other thoughts for you.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2010 11:18 am 
Hi Nilonite and welcome. This is a great forum for information and support. I read your story with interest. Prior to what you posted I had found that doctors usually fall into 1 of 2 camps. The first being a short term sub program followed by a traditional recovery program. "Short term" in this case is about 12 weeks. The second are docs that believe in keeping the patient on sub for a minimum of 1 year and then determinine the best course from there. So far I haven't heard of a doc only putting a patient on sub for 14 days - although other members may have.

Only you can decide if you feel 12 step recovery will be enough to keep you off of opiates. It sounds like you have a lot of experience and a good support system. On the other hand if you don't feel safe at this time to stop the remission with medication there is no shame in that. You can still plan to go off at a later date when you feel ready. The benefit of sub at this point is that it not only reduces cravings, but also blocks the opiate receptors so that other opiates won't work.

I guess this probably wasn't much help. But whatever you decide to do you will be supported here and it sounds like you have good support out there. Best of luck in your recovery and let us know how it goes.
Lilly


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2010 1:44 pm 
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Thanks very much for your comments, setmefree and Lily. I'm open to any advice from people with experience, so I appreciate it.

I was on Tramadol for a little over a year, but only about 150 mg a day. That's 3 pills. About 4 months ago I discovered Oxy and quickly got to 150 mg a day, and before I started Sub 4 days ago, I was at 200 mg. Actually, a week before starting the Sub I switched to Norcos because I found them a little smoother, and it was easier to stay off the Xanax/Ambien while I was detoxing off them.

I was taking Ambien as a sedative. I would take a 10 mg pill and break into 4 2.5 mg pieces and take about 8 of those a day. They didn't make me sleepy; they just acted as a sedative. I thought they were less addictive which is why I took them. I also had xanax which I would take, but I kept it to a minimum because I knew they were so addicting. I have since learned that Ambien is right up there with Xanax and valium.

Today is my 5th day on Sub and yesterday I was supposed to drop to 6 mg from 8. I did, but late in the day I started to feel withdrawal symptoms. Wanting to stretch all the time, and feeling like running around the block 20 times. I took another 2 mg and felt much better in a half hour.

This is the taper I was given:

Day 1 8mg
Day 2 8mg
Day 3 8mg
Day 4 6mg
Day 5 6mg
Day 6 6mg
Day 7 4mg
Day 8 4mg
Day 9 4mg
Day 10 2 mg
Day 11 2mg
Day 12 2mg
Day 13 2mg
Day 14 2mg

If I want to stay on Sub I'm going to have to find another Doc, so I'm starting to look.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2010 10:54 am 
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I think a 14 day sub taper is really quick and based on the amounts you were taking prior, I am not surprised that you are feeling WD. I just don't think there is a quick fix for opiate addiction. We all wish there was, but there isn't and I think you know that very clearly. I wish you success in finding a new doctor as that can be difficult. I think the one you have doesn't really understand this whole thing very well unfortunately. Just my opinion.

Cherie

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Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 10:05 am 
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Based on my own past experience with tapering off suboxone, that is an extremely fast taper plan. Too fast, in my opinion. I'm not a doctor, though.


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