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PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 2:25 pm 
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I have been checking these forums everyday for 3 months but, never posted anything..... Here we go!! I have been an addict my whole adult life and even before then I should signs of addict behavior. I have tried almost every drug but, opiates were my favs. It all came crashing down on me about 10 months ago. I went through an outpatient program and relapsed shorlty after I got out. I then found a sub doctor and started sub. I have been on it for about 8 months Ive had to switch doctor because my first one was all about the $$$$ now I have a great doctor!

I have weened down to 7mg from 16 and Im doing good. Some anxiety for about a week when I dropped from 10 to 8. Is that normal? My doc prescribed me Vistaril to help with it. Im so scared to make the jump, I have been thinking about jumping at 4mg Im going to be sick either way .01 or 4mg. Idk we'll see. God bless this site because before i found here I cant tell me how many times I would almost be in tears reading others sub stories and how awful they were. I know its not going to be easy but, Im prepared and ready when the time comes. Sub has given me time to distance myself from my drug life and has shown me what it can be like moving foward. One day at a time!! Thanks


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 Post subject: Getting off Suboxone
PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 3:36 pm 
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Whenever I hear that someone wants to get off Suboxone, I feel like I have to ask them what they have done to be ready to handle life without it. I'm not saying you are not ready, but I don't know you, so if I just immediately responded with tapering advice, it maybe wouldn't be the best advice. Do you truly believe you are ready to deal with cravings and triggers? You have to ask yourself those hard questions and decide.

As far as getting off Suboxone goes, I'm in the process of doing just that. It's kinda tough and lengthy, but it's not impossible. You have to really want to do it. I cannot imagine jumping at 4 mg. That's honestly pretty high. Suboxone is STRONG stuff, even though it doesn't make you high. It's hard to appreciate just how strong it is until you try to taper quickly or stop it. Then....WOW! :shock: I totally understand why you say you think that you might as well jump at 4, as you'd get sick whether you wean low or not. I was at 32 mg for about 1.5 years or so, and if you would have told me that 2 mg would be tough to stop....well, I just wouldn't have believed it, yet here I am, beneath 2 mg and I'm realizing now that the amount I'm on is still enough to have a strong hold on me. If you wean low enough, you won't get nearly as sick as if you jump too high. The Dr. on here, Dr. Junig, recommends tapering to under 200 micrograms before jumping and I believe this is sage advice. You probably know this, but there are 2000 micrograms in 1 2-mg tablet. I think by tapering low, you not only avoid as severe acute withdrawals, but you also reduce your likelihood and severity of PAWS.

The bottom line, at least as far as I see it, is that there is no easy way to just quit Suboxone, unless you feel like paying thousands of dollars for the Suboxone surgery, and I'm not impressed with that method either. You have to really spend some time thinking through why you want to taper off, how you will cope during and after tapering, and whether you are really ready to commit to it. I don't think it's good to go into tapering halfway, as I did that soooo many times and failed soooo many times. It gets harder and harder to believe in yourself when you keep failing. I didn't have a plan. I wasn't informed and prepared. That really set me back. On the flip side, if I'd known that it would be tough and long and slow AND been able to mentally prepare for that, I probably would have been successful. It IS possible, after all.

I hope some of this rambling made sense, lol.

laddertipper

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First you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you. ~F. Scott Fitzgerald


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 Post subject: agree...
PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 5:03 pm 
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Hi! Glad you posted...
I have to agree with laddertipper..Altho I am not at a place yet where I am ready to taper or get off Sub i do believe a taper schedule would make your transition much better and even make it more successful. Just my opinion from detoxing off of several other opiates. If you jump too high and are seriously miserable it could end up a "fuck it" situation and you might give up and use. Not saying you will...just things to think about.

But more importantly is just as laddertipper asked....why get off now? Is there a reason to be in a hurry? Because you said you'd been an addict your whole adult life and had signs before that even....my concern is do you have the tools necessary to live life without opiates or other drugs and are things in your life pretty settled overall? Is there a lot of stress? Or new circumstances? Or triggers...what are yours? What about your feelings....are you aware of the feelings that prompt you to use? I know for me it is almost always loneliness, or fear.

Do you have support? Family, community (such as AA/NA, SMARAT, therapy). You know really I believe that stopping the use of drugs despite it being very hard is the easy part...the hard part is living life without them...especially for us who have had long histories of drug use (me)...

I'm sure you have heard others here or read the studies that there is high risk for relapse with short term Sub use...and altho 8 months is not super short by any means in the big picture it really is. Many say 1-2 years gives you a better chance at longer term recovery...and opiate addiction is really a ball and chain. As you know.

Obviously you want to succeed and you wrote in asking for help...keep talking about it here...You'll get support and help in tapering and if you decide that maybe you are not quite ready yet know that is not a failure...its a healthy decision. And if you are ready then you have support.

Let us know how it continues to go for you and no matter what you'll be getting support here.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 5:25 pm 
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Take it from someone who jumped off around 5mg of Suboxone, it sucks!! There's a big difference between jumping off 4mg and a much lower dose. I never jumped off a low dose, but I've seen plenty of tapering stories and I've seen how the wd's are much, much more mild than what I experienced. Please don't jump off a high dose.

Now, like the two previous posters mentioned, are you sure you're absolutely ready to be off Suboxone? I've been off for over 8 months and it's not a cake walk. The addiction doesn't go away. It's still there and I have to keep that in my mind every day for the rest of my life. I have to be able to resist that little voice in my head that says, "just one time". I worked with an addiction counselor for almost three years straight before I knew I was ready to quit.

I'm not trying to discourage you from getting off Suboxone, not at all, I just want to make sure you're ready.

As far as anxiety when tapering, yeah, it happens.

Good luck, I hope you keep posting.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 7:11 am 
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Yep it's normal.

Keep up the good work.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 12:23 am 
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What is "Suboxone surgery" ?


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 2:02 am 
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Suboxone surgery is basically where you go to a doctor, they knock you out for 24 hours or so while pumping you full of Naltrexone or Naloxone (both will boot the Suboxone off your receptors rather quickly). The point of Suboxone surgery is that the patient is unconscious the whole time that the Suboxone is being driven off their receptors.

A lot of places call this a Rapid Detox. It's very expensive and it only gets the Suboxone off of your receptors. It doesn't mean that you are not going to suffer some wd when you wake up. In my opinion, you're still going to suffer a good bit of wd, getting the Suboxone out of your body is only part of the problem. Getting those opiate receptors to start behaving properly again is the other side of that coin and that just plain takes time.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 10:57 am 
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Hey guys!! Thanks for all the advice. I do have a program in place for after sub. I go to NA/AA meetings 3 a week, talk to my IOP doctor and sponsors almost every other day. Sorry it took me so long to get back on the forums, work has been crazy, crazy busy! I have found myself not remebering to take my sub until almost noon, I go to work at 4am. I do think Im going to taper lower than 4 but, idk if my doc is going to let me go any lower than 2mg. Either way when the time comes Im prepared for whatever comes..... I think LOL!! Im going down another 1mg this week! Wish me luck.


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Dr. Jeffrey Junig, M.D., Ph.D.

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