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 Post subject: My Suboxone Strategy
PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:14 pm 
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It seems the majority of people that have a negative opinion on Suboxone either never took it, or are currently going through the W/D symptoms. This post is intended to be something I was hoping to find during my withdrawals - neither positive nor negative, just zero B.S. Thanks to this forum I did find a lot of good informative threads regarding experiences, so I felt like I should add mine. This is my experience starting, tapering, and finally quitting Suboxone.

I started Suboxone 6 years ago to help me stop a Heroin/Oxy/Whatever was around habit. When I started it I was just 100% focused on getting myself back to normal, going back to work etc. For this the Suboxone was amazing. The best part was that the longer I was on suboxone, the more I became separated from the wrong people. This, in my opinion, is Suboxone's greatest benefit.

Dosage over the first couple years:
I started at 24mg's per day. Eventually moving slowly toward 16, then 8. My method to tapering even at these larger doses was just to take as much time as possible. If I tried to do a quick taper, I would drive myself nuts. I could get to the point where each reduced dosage began to feel like a LARGE dosage. Not just a normal one. That's how I knew it was time to cut back again. If I were to try reducing X amount every Y days I don't believe I would have had as much success. Basically I let my body tell me when it was time to cut back again. Even at this point, there was no end in sight, I had no pressure from my doctor to stop (thank god).

Deciding to get off of Suboxone:
At a certain point I decided it was time to figure out how to get off of this medication permanently. I just felt it was about that time. Still zero pressure from my doctor. At first I had my doctor switch me from the 8mg tablets to the 2mg tablets. This was a pretty big help for weaning since these 8mg pills don't break apart so easy. From there I discovered the liquid taper method. I can't even say how much this method helps. I reduced the dosage gradually over long periods of time exactly the way I did with the large dosages. Allowing my body to tell me when to reduce instead of having set times. In the end I was able to reduce to .5mg/day like many others on here. At that point I was laid off from work, so I decided this would be the ideal time to jump off.

Jumping off:
Before taking my last dosage, I did a lot of reading on what to expect with the W/D's. I just didn't want to believe that they would drag on for 1-2 weeks. All I did to prepare was get something to help with the anxiety called Phenibut. Some people are able to get benzo's or other things from their suboxone doctors, but when I asked mine about quitting sub he said "Why would you quit? Once an addict always an addict." So now it is time to go toe to toe with the withdrawals.
Day 1: Mild discomfort and restlessness. Not too bad at all. Not bad enough yet to warrant a benzo/Phenibut. Slept ok.
Day 2: Same as day 1, just slightly more discomfort. Used Phenibut, worked wonders. I had to use extra Phenibut and Melatonin to sleep. My legs and arms felt like they needed to be moved every 10 seconds otherwise.
Day 3: Still just gradually getting slightly worse. I'm unable to stay warm no matter what I do. Sleep is still a major problem.
Day 4: On this day, as someone who detoxed from other opiates in the past, I was hoping things would start feeling slightly better. They did not. Discomfort/Restlesness continued to get worse.
Day 5: Felt a lot like day 4, but suddenly I was not as cold all day.
Day 6: Day six at last I see the light at the end of the tunnel. There is still some discomfort, but slowly the discomfort is becoming sleepiness.
Day 7: I really dont feel any withdrawal symptoms. I just feel tired and unmotivated all day. Sleep is still a problem.
Day 8: Still no classic W/D symptoms, just a lack of motivation. Still waking up every 3 hours.
Day 9: Still getting better day by day. I feel like I am completely through the withdrawal symptoms, and just have some PAWS to deal with. On this night I slept 8 hours through for the first time.

In the end, it was the duration of the symptoms that made it particularly agonizing, not the symptoms themselves. I do believe that taking Suboxone was the right decision. 6 years of solid progress traded for a week of medium withdrawal symptoms is a good deal in my book. Having a doctor that was willing to keep me on Suboxone as long as I needed was a major help, as was the liquid taper method. If done properly Suboxone can be a miracle, if done the wrong way it can get rough at the end.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:22 pm 
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Hi Rosetta - thanks for sharing your story. You're right, there are a lot of negative things posted about sub - and you're probably right again, in that they are either in w/d or have never taken it and they simply don't know what they're talking about. It amazes me how angry some people can get with a medication...but they do with sub. I'd like to hear someone with that much anger towards their high cholesterol meds. But I digress....

I'm happy to hear your treatment with sub met your expectations and that you're now doing well. KUDOS to you. I hope people thinking about suboxone take the time to read your story. Again, thanks for sharing.

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