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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:25 pm 
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Hello All,
I started taking opiates when I was 19 years old. Some one offered me one and I had no idea what I was getting myself into! After two years of being addicted to opiates some one gave me a pamplet about Suboxone. I started on Suboxone with my boyfriend and we have both been on it for almost 5 years. I read all of these forums constantly hoping some help would be out there. I don't feel strong enough when the withdrawls start coming on to make it through it. It is also hard when you are trying to stop but the other person is still taking the Suboxone. We have both grown up on Suboxone and lost the best years of our lives to it. I'm ready to get off of it. I'm currently working and going to school and maintaining this facade. Everyone thinks I'm this normal person living a normal life but I know that I am not. The doctor prescribed Clonidine to help get off of it but it just makes me sleep non-stop and scares me because it's a heart pressure medicine. I've been taking vitamins and tapering down. I've tapered myself down to 2mg's currently and it is not easy when I drop to 1mg. I start going through withdrawls when I drop to 1mg. I'm looking for any type of advice that can help me get back to a normal life I was living before. Quite honestly I almost forget what it is like to be a normal person! I havent been normal since I was 18 years old and that was years ago. I don't have vacation from work until November. I have not taken any type of opiate in years since starting Suboxone so I am ready! Any help is appreciated thank you!
Brittany


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 8:23 pm 
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Hi Brittany,

Congrats on being free off your drug of choice for so long after only 2 years of abusing opiates! It takes most people a lot longer to be willing to try and stop. I have been on suboxone for 2.5-3 years now and decided to taper off of it as well. I think something changed in my outlook, I think it's from being further away from using, that made me feel ready. I tapered from 8mg to 1.5 in about 4 months but have been chilling here at 1.5mg because of a surgery and recovery for about 2 months. Keep in mind that when you get as low as 2 mg, any decrease in dosage will affect you much more than say going from 8 to 6mg. When I was at 2mg I went to 1.75 every other day for a week and then every day for 2 weeks or so before attempting to go to 1.5 the same way. I know you are in a "rush" but after 5 years the key should be low and slow. People have better results with that. One member here tapered very slow down to 1/16 of a milligram. Tiny piece of film. She reported very little if any acute withdrawal, also she was on sub for 6 years. I think it takes a lot of patience and I'm learning myself to adapt to it., it's good for us anyway if we want to be drug free. In short 1mg to 2mg is a huge drop.

Also at low amounts like these, I split my dose is to 2 times per day. I do 1mg in am and .5 in afternoon or early evening. Many taper people report doing this. Under the ceiling level (~4mg) sub wears off a bit faster.

You've come so far, if you have patience and go nice and slow, you can do it!

Also, you mentioned being a slave to suboxone. please note that many of us (maybe even you) had no other option but to use suboxone to keep our addictions in remission and would consider it more as being free than enslaved. We tend to forget how it used to be The further we get away from our old lives of being sick all the time, the only care we had was where and how we would get our next fix. Suboxone along recovery let's us live a "normal" life, not be slaves, yes we are dependent but it's a far cry from the life of an active addict. [end rant]

Good luck,
Gb


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 8:38 pm 
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I agree that splitting the dose twice daily helped me with the wd too, when you get to low amounts it does get hard, just think of it like youre running a marathon, thelast two miles are the hardest. Tapering for me was harder than the actual jump. Get to a low amount, I jumped at .5mgs and it wasnt that bad. Just know that you have to go through hell to get to heaven, u play you pay. When its all said and done you will be a steonger person. Yiu will get your life back and it gets a lot better, it takes time. Keep up the fight, be strong and never giveup.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 8:59 pm 
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That is a great idea about splitting the dose! Thanks for your reply! I will try to follow your recommendation. I know I'm being impatient after all this time but I finally decided I want to quit & be done! Thanks again!


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:28 pm 
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Hi Brittany! I jumped from 1.5mg of sub exactly 20 days ago after using sub for over 3 years. For me, the anxiety of knowing that I was about to jump off was actually worse than the anxiety I experienced after quitting. You can do this! The sub WD is not that bad, all things considered! I think the key factor that plays greatly in your favor is that you've been off real opiates for 5 years and you are very far removed from the life of using.

Clonidine isn't going to help you too much until you jump off subs, and even then, I have found its effects variable. I wouldn't be scared of it, though. After you jump, you'll be thankful if it can help you catch some zzz's.

If you genuinely want off subs, you can win this, Brittany. After I jumped, I was totally surprised that that I didn't feel as crappy as I anticipated. Having 11 days off work right after I jumped helped a ton because I could rest and take things at my own pace. The main physical effects (RLS, fatigue, mild body ache, runs) lasted about 9-10 days for me. Since then it's just been some insomnia (falling asleep w/o some kind of meds is still tough) and the ups and downs of mood and energy. Nothing I can't handle, though. And the down days are becoming less frequent than the up ones as time passes.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:42 pm 
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I also just wanted to add that "normal" is relative. I think what glen bee said about how sub helped us live a "normal" life after using is important. I know I am not the same now as I was before I did opiates at all, but I do not necessarily consider that a bad thing


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:55 pm 
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Thank you for posting! Your story made me feel a lot better about jumping off. I'm going to take everyone's advice & slow down my tapering process. Once I get down to a crumb then I'll jump. I'll have to work on getting some vacation time before November though! Hopefully I can get my boyfriend to do it at the same time to. It's a lot easier having both people work as a team!
Thanks again!


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 4:23 am 
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Maybe consider staggering your tapering with your boyfriend so that you're not both going through withdrawal at the same time. I noticed with myself and with other people on the forum that during tapering and withdrawal people can tend to get very touchy and overly-emotional, sometimes downright grouchy and irrationally mean. Having your partner going through the same thing at the same time sounds like a recipe for some blow-out fighting.

If one of you goes first, the other can be the support system. My husband is not an addict, but I was really open with him about what I was going through as I tapered and what to expect when I jumped. He was well prepped and was super supportive - giving me extra rest, picking up slack, getting our kid out of the house when I was overwhelmed, making sure I ate well, keeping me supplied with funny movies, etc. When I was acting like an asshole he was able to take a step back, realize that I was going through something hard but ultimately worth it, and not react negatively. I can only imagine what kind of fireworks would have been going on if we'd both been in the same mental & physical state. Someone has to stay grounded! Later, when he quit smoking I was able to be the support for him.

If you taper down low enough (and slowly) you should be able to manage the process without having to use your vacation time. Look through the taper stories here for people who tapered down to micrograms, most of us did it without ever missing a day of work. Laddertipper's thread is a good one - she was on Sub for six years and tapered off successfully. Let me know if you need help finding the success stories.

Besides working on your taper, take care of your health as you go along. Getting some kind of exercise every day makes the taper and withdrawal so much easier. You'll see that as you read people's stories - the people who worked out, ran, walked, whatever, had the least withdrawal symptoms. Eating well is important too, and having a good support system. It's not just about moving away from Suboxone - you want to be moving toward something too.

I've been off Sub for almost 3 years now, after 2 years on, and I can say that getting through the taper and withdrawal is not the hardest part. So set yourself up for success in whatever way you can. Good luck.

_________________
You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.

-Jack Kornfield


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 12:08 pm 
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Hi Brittany and welcome!

Brittany1653 wrote:
I'm currently working and going to school and maintaining this facade. Everyone thinks I'm this normal person living a normal life but I know that I am not.

I'm looking for any type of advice that can help me get back to a normal life I was living before. Quite honestly I almost forget what it is like to be a normal person!


You said you are maintaining a facade...but how do you think you would act differently if you weren't on subs, other than having to take your dose every day? Is it because you feel like you have to hide it from people? If so, maybe if you had a different perspective of the situation, you wouldn't feel this way.

Personally, I DO feel like a normal person, living a much more normal life, now that I am on Suboxone. Like mw.stoner said, normal is a relative term, and depends on your definition.

People change and grow a lot in between the age of 18 and 25 or 26 (or whatever age you are), so you would be different anyway, but you are much better off now than you would have been if you would've remained on regular opiates all this time, that's for sure! So you should be proud of yourself for being proactive about your addiction and getting the help that you needed so early on, which helped you live a more 'normal' life than you would have been living.

Try not to feel guilty for not letting people in on the fact that you are in sub treatment. Everyone has some kind of skeletons in their closet, and most people don't go around announcing them for the world to see, so there's no reason for you to feel guilty if you don't feel comfortable with people knowing those details of your personal life. If you are being a productive member of society, doing well at your job, etc, then there's no reason for anyone to know, since it is not effecting anyone negatively.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 7:54 pm 
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I guess I feel bad about it because all of my friends ending up getting addicted to opiates when I did & are no longer on anything. I feel like I'm stuck in the past with the same problem & just replacing one addiction for another. I am definenitly happy not to be the addict I was but this is not what I pictured of my current life. Still dealing with this problem & taking a dose everyday reminds me I depend on something. I just haven't been strong enough to get off of it. I deal with all of these symptoms & hope I haven't permanently messed up my body after all these years. I know I should be proud of myself for getting off of opiates but my journey of addiction is not finished yet. Thank you for your support & information. Also, I do agree that my boyfriend & I should stop at different times. It's honestly a miracle that our relationship lasted all of these years. We were very young & got addicted to opiates together. I'm very interested in the liquid taper! I think that is a wonderful idea & seems to get you down to small doses. I think I'm going to do the liquid taper & do it really slow! Thanks for your responses. Also, I know I don't always feel proud of myself but in no way should anyone else take my feelings & not be proud of themselves for being on suboxone.
BTW: I do hide my Suboxone from everyone. I just want to wake up & not be dependent on something. I want to be honest about my life to my family. They think I'm over that part of my life & I am not completely.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 8:22 pm 
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Hey Brittany!

I can relate a lot. I used to do 12-step meetings, and spent a fair whack of time "clean" off all opioids completely. And I do feel a lil disappointed in myself when I think of how I am still dependent on an opioid, IF I let myself dwell on it.

But you have to see the other side of the coin. Your chance of relapse is much less than your friends. That's a scientific fact. YOU have chosen a different path for your recovery. Not better, not worse. There are benefits and negatives to both options - Suboxone and abstinence. I believe that it's very wise and mature to err on the side of caution in this gig. For years when I was younger I HATED the idea of being on "drug replacement", that it was some kind of cop-out. A few years later, with a bit more maturity, I've become more realistic and realised my life is too valuable to keep gambling with the abstinence game.

The other thing is ... Suboxone is an excellent tool for those who wish to achieve abstinence. Think of Sub as a stepping stone to living a life free of opioids. While we're on Sub, we can develop and learn how to live a responsible adult life once again. Our brains - our frontal lobes - are given the chance to grow in the areas we were stunted by our addiction. Planning, organisation, impulse control... All the important things that a person needs to stay clean. While we're on Sub, even if we don't realise it, we are laying the foundation to live a life of abstinence.

Try and see that the glass can be half full as well.

Take care.


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