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 Post subject: suboxone and xanax
PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2009 8:17 pm 
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My brother has been on suboxone for a year and a half and also suffers from depression and anxiety. He wants to get his life together so I agreed to let him move in with me and I control his medication so I can help taper him. He is curents on 8mg a day divided into two doses. This was a jump down from 12 and hes been doing this for a full week now. He has gotten xanax and says that it makes it so much easier to not take as much suboxone or crave it. I have read all about this being a deadly combination. I feel as he basically is now trying to trade his sub addiction for a benzo addiction. I guess a big question I have is... in general when you reduce your dosage.... (he was doing 12mg a day divided into 3 doses and now is doing 8mg a day at two doses.) How long does it usually take for your body to adjust to the reduced dosage again. I thought it was maybe 3-5 days but it doesnt seem to be the case with him. Would love some help/advice?


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 Post subject: Re: suboxone and xanax
PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2009 10:34 pm 
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BCott wrote:
My brother has been on suboxone for a year and a half and also suffers from depression and anxiety. He wants to get his life together so I agreed to let him move in with me and I control his medication so I can help taper him. He is curents on 8mg a day divided into two doses. This was a jump down from 12 and hes been doing this for a full week now. He has gotten xanax and says that it makes it so much easier to not take as much suboxone or crave it. I have read all about this being a deadly combination. I feel as he basically is now trying to trade his sub addiction for a benzo addiction. I guess a big question I have is... in general when you reduce your dosage.... (he was doing 12mg a day divided into 3 doses and now is doing 8mg a day at two doses.) How long does it usually take for your body to adjust to the reduced dosage again. I thought it was maybe 3-5 days but it doesnt seem to be the case with him. Would love some help/advice?


Everyone is different and react differently to reducing doses. I am very new to this and haven't even been to my first suboxone appointment yet but from what I've read on this forum - tapering very slowly is the best method OR not at all if he is not ready.

As far as monitoring his usage......in MY opinion, I think that is a bad idea. Addicts have to quit by themselves. No one can do it for them. I know you want to help him but I'm afraid that might cause him to resent you if you deny him his meds.

I apologize if I offended you in any way. That is not my goal. I am just really bored and thought I'd give my opinion. There are people on this forum who are much more educated than I am on this and I am interested to see how they respond to your question.

Mike


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2009 10:47 pm 
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I am on 12 mg per day but started at 24 mg per day 5 months ago today. I plan on being on this dose for quite sometime cause any less will compromise my recovery. Doing so for your bro might be the same, might not of course. But just to answer your main question, 3-5 days should be enough time to feel the decreased dosage, but I believe that it would be much easier and better chance of success if you at least double that and confirmed that the old dosage is out of him and he is running on the new dose. I am no expert but hope I can help. Best of luck!
Bill


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 6:55 pm 
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Yes, a benzodiazepine taken with buprenorphine CAN be lethal but it is not unheard of for a Suboxone patient to be prescribed a benzo for additional control of anxiety. Is he getting the Xanax from his Suboxone prescribing doctor? Is he getting from a doctor at all? If he is trading one addiction for another, he is certainly playing with fire. Benzo withdrawal can be deadly. One of the few withdrawals that has the privilege of such a claim. Opiate withdrawal only makes you feel as if you may die (and sometimes would rather) but it won't actually kill you. Benzos on the other hand..........
Three to 5 days is typically long enough for the taper to register physiologically but with some people it does take longer. Additionally, there is little (to no) withdrawal felt when tapering until you've reached the 2 mg mark. Below that I hear it can be hell. I am only at 4 mgs/day so couldn't tell you from experience. But I do know that going from 24 mgs a day to 4 mgs a day, I felt no difference except perhaps a little more yawning and the desire to nap more frequently.
There's my two cents (and ya can keep the change).


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 11:52 pm 
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No it was not given by his suboxone subscriber. He got it off the streets and told me it really helped him when weening. So I told him to get a script before he moved in with me for weening. We have been at the same dose of subs (4mg twice a day) for 11 days and most of the time he seemed ok. Some days he had xanax and somedays not. Not that its all out he has had a meltdown. He seems to think if he has the right amount of xanax he can quickly quickly reduce the weening process. My question is, would it be physically possible to bypass the withdrawals of subuxone by becoming addicted to xanax? any info would be great


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 2:09 am 
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No - he's not going to get out of going through Suboxone withdrawal by abusing Xanax or any other benzo. From what you have described, I would say your bro is exhibiting some very addicty behavior, which he needs to get a handle on before he'll be ready to transition from Suboxone to total abstinence (if that is his goal.)

Benzos do help with some of the physical and mental effects of withdrawal, but at your brother's current Suboxone doseage he shouldn't really need a comfort med when doing a reduction. And once he gets to a low dose of Suboxone, like under 2mgs per day, there are safer, less addictive medications he can get from his doctor to help with withdrawal symptoms.

But as far as I know there is nothing that will completely take away any and all withdrawal symptoms...short of going back on a full-agonist opiate which would pretty much defeat the purpose. From my personal experience and from experience that others have shared with me, a long, slow taper combined with healthy living habits is the best way to minimize withdrawal symptoms. And there is research to support the notion that the longer a person stays on Sub the better the outcome for their recovery.

I think it's great of you to support your brother in his recovery. Might I suggest naranon as a good source of support and information for you?

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

-Jack Kornfield


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 2:01 pm 
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I quit taking 2mg every day ten days ago. The last day that I went to the clinic one of the ladies working pulled me into a side office and told me that she has been working at a seperate clinic on the other side of town with suboxone clients exclusively. She said when I was ready to take the last 2 mgs that I should consider a different way of tapering off than I had planned on. She told me to start skipping every other day, which I did once, skipped two days, took 2mg, skipped 4 days and that 4th night was experiencing some pretty harsh nausea, leg cramps, chills, and all of that. I decided to take some of my recently stockpiled suboxone which took care of the immediate pains, but didnt work near as much as I hoped it would. I was regretting it the next day though, I felt like I could have kicked it out, I've had worse symptoms.

I would recommend tapering in this manner to anyone, I dont feel I'm out of the woods yet, but I think the worst part is behind me. I was on 120mg methadone for about 6 months before I started the road to 14mg where I switched over to suboxone. I think I've been tapering for almost two years, I have procrastinated readily about looking up the actual date I started taking methadone. Part of me does not want to know.


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 Post subject: benzox vs. opioids
PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 12:59 am 
I'm really sorry to tell you, but I think the xanax is not going to help him; in fact, it is going to make it much worse. I have two drugs of choice, two primary addictions. Two private hells, each with their own special problems and features. One is prescription opiates (oxycodone, hydrocodone) and the other is the benzodiazepines. And because I am addicted to both I have s special empathy for anyone who's freedom has been threatened and restricted by these substances.

Listen: the xanax may temporarily help him detox b/c it will lower his blood pressure, pulse, respiration, panic, sweating, and has some muscle-relaxing properties. BUT the primary receptors which are causing the withdrawal in his brain, which are screaming in agony and misery and want the narcotics, are NOT going to be AT ALL satisfied with one xanax or one-hundred xanax. And therein lies the problem with drugs like xanax. It lowers inhibition and 'judgement,' and to a man who is already dependent on the drug, taking more xanax with seems like it will bring more relief from his increasingly intense narcotic withdrawal. And then an overdose situation is introduced. So you see, adding another addictive class of medications is a very bad idea.

I wish you the best of luck and I and really hope he is able to get well and get detoxed and well.
Sincerely,
JDH


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 12:32 pm 
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I can agree with that, although I can readily remember valium being handed out to my friends detoxing from opiates in rehab #1 before I found opiates, I even striaght up asked my general doctor for a prescription to xanax a few months ago, surprisingly he gave in, only giving me a very limited prescription and only filling it once. I feel it was absolutely necessary for keeping a normal schedule at that particular time. I have experienced exactly what you said personally, 100 xanax will not save you from kicking opiates, it wont even make a dent. But there were absolutely times that had I not had that medication I would continue to not sleep and much larger problems arise after a few days of that. Using it to get past a hump and then discontinuing it is a major helping hand in my personal experiences.


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 Post subject: those benzos...
PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 10:21 pm 
yeah, the valium and clonopin and all of them are just a double edged sword...I think a lot of people, including us as addicts, need these drugs many times during our lives. It's just that I've had to withdraw from xanax and klonopin and it is MONSTROUS. omg detoxing from these pills gives you the worst god-awful anxiety you've ever had and it lasts forever. The last time I had to do it I promised myself i wouldn't ever go through benzo withdraws again, and so far i haven't. I just have a healthy respect for them.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 12:18 pm 
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Believe me I know. I got up to taking 40mg (most people don't believe me when I tell them that) at that time I was about 19, this was what I went to rehab #2 for. 46mg one time actually.. I lost total touch with reality (after 4 days cold turkey), I had snakes crawling all over me, and not just the feeling, I could see them. I talked to people that weren't there, I was having a full blown psychotic episode. SO, yes, I know what benzo withdrawal is all about. I don't ever take it for more than 2 or 3 days in a row.


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