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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 10:51 pm 
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So, I didn't something totally stupid. I went to rehab for alcohol and benzos. I was on opiates I got from an abusive BF and switched to subs so I could leave him. Got sober, going to meetings, and living with my parents instead of in my own house for accountability. My parents (totally sober people) had opiates in the house for rare pain use, I found them and took some. To stop myself from heading down that path further, I started taking Suboxone again. Only....I got ahead of my dosing schedule sometimes taking 4+ a day. I tried to cut the dose and got so incredibly sick for days at a time in bed. I realized it was horrible W/Ds. Not I am taking 2 1/2 films a day and need to taper down. I researched taper schedules here and found one. Tomorrow I step down to 2 1/4. I HAVE to stick to this schedule or I will run out of meds before my dr. appt. I am terrified to step down because I get horrible, horrible anxiety. But I am so stressed about running out I am almost tempted to jump past 2 1/4 to 2 and deal with the aftermath. I have read online here to educate myself but some of the info on other's ordeals is so scary, I have to shut my computer down. I counted it out and I have just enough to make it to my next appt if I stick to my taper schedule of cutting 1/4 film every 10 days. I have only been back on it for 2 1/2 months. Does that matter? Is 10 days enough to adjust? Does mega doses of immodium help? I'm so scared, and ashamed of myself for backpeddling. I can't talk to anyone about it and feel like I'm living a lie. I know I have to take my time or I will get super sick and then my parents will really know something is up. Why is the anxiety and irritability so bad? Gettting back on it was the stupidest things I have ever done. The only bright side in all of this is that I am totally sober from alcohol and benzos since 12/2/14 and going to AA meetings, but I feel like I am a big liar, even though I'm not getting high or drunk. I guess I just enjoyed the way sub relaxed me in the beginning. Should I just jump from 2 1/2 to 2 films, so at least the anxiety of running out of meds is gone? Any info would help. Thank you anyone for listening!!!


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2015 12:07 am 
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Steph,
First off, Stop beating yourself up. You are Not a liar, you havnt failed. Ok, you back slipped. You can work this thing out..
It ll take some time and work on your part but you can do it. Sounds to me from what ive read here you have plenty of sub to get you to your next appointment. And to do this your taper needs to work. There is so much here on your post I hope I can answer some of it. ..
And Steph, congrat on your sober time. That's great and you earned it. Over a year now!!! I know you have some of those principles from AA to fall back on and remember, so that should help you some, right?:Can you reach out to recovery friends now? Or is this part of your issue. ?
Guilt and shame can freeze us at times. Please dont dwell on it.. you ve done well.. and we are here to help you too.

Your taper as you have it set should be fine imo. Sub is very stroug. 2 1/2 to 2 mgs will most like not cause wd Steph.
Because of the halflife, ceiling effect and the short time you have been back on,you ll be ok.
Your fears are many and for several reasons. Parents maybe finding out? AAers too maybe? Idk. Just try to understand that sub can help you and really isnt the worst thing. Try to ditch feeling low or ashamed. And plesse, keep posting. I know some of the others will be here to help too...
One last thing, with Buprenorphine, there is a ceiling effect on tolerance. Somewhere in the 4 to ,some say 12 mg range. Anything above those numbers and your doses should keep you out OF WD over a 24 hour period. If you want to drop to 2mgs, imo i see no issue..
Gota run now..please hang in there Steph...

It ll be ok


Razor


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2015 2:32 pm 
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Hi razor55,

Thank you so much for your encouragement! I haven't been able to talk to anyone about this. If I talk to my AA friends, they will consider me not 'sober' until I am off sub. :(
I should have been more clear. I am on 2 1/2 8mg films now, so 20 mg a day. That's tapered down from 28 mg, a whopping dose as my primary doc said. I am tapering to 18mg today. My house is in escrow and my move is scheduled for tomorrow, so timing is definitely bad. But I have to stick to it or I won't have enough sub until my doctor's appt. I was able to get them to sell my 10 films a week ago, i explained how I got ahead of my schedule. Hopefully, they are cool about it and don't try to cut my dose in half at my next appt; that would send me into total W/Ds. When I was on sub 2 years ago, I only took a tiny bit, 2 or 4 mg every other day. I was drinking during that time so that was my 'focus', I guess. When I got out of rehab, I had such bad withdrawal pain from benzos, sub and alcohol, I started taking sub to get rid of the pain and because of the pain meds in the house. But it quickly got out of control! I just hope I can handle the anxiety, it's so intense. The anxiety is crippling. I never want to go thru the W/Ds I went thru a few weeks ago, cutting from 4 to 2 1/2. I was so incredibly sick for days. I'll be posting here from time to time as my taper goes along. Thank you for all the support. It makes a huge difference. I don't feel so alone.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2015 3:17 pm 
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Hi steph,

Okay, what I'm about to tell you is good news, but it may not be what you want to hear. Read with an open mind because what I'm saying is 100% true and you can verify by reading many, many stories here on the forum.

Going from 20mg's to 16mgs is not going to cause you any wd. You will be fine to just go ahead and go right to the two strips per day. I think most of the issues you are having are associated with your addiction and the hold that this has on your mind. I get that it feels completely real, and the worry of wd is very hard. You can totally convince yourself that you are in pain, and you very well may be having massive anxiety from it, but it's not because of wd. Bupe has a ceiling effect that keeps it from providing any additional benefits over a certain dose. You are well above that level still at 16mgs per day. This means that your opiate receptors are already completely filled, and taking any additional bupe is not giving you any added physical effects. Mentally, it feels better because of the reward you receive from taking the meds. But that's all it is, mental.

You said you had been sober since December of 2014? If that's correct then it is only 2 months, right? I just wanted to clear that up since razor said you had over a year since your rehab and you didn't correct him. I may have misunderstood.

I am not trying to discount the things you said about your experiences when you cut back from 4 strips to 2 1/2. The mental hold that our addiction has on us is very real, and it can manifest as physical symptoms when we don't understand what is going on. But, once you really understand how bupe works it makes it much easier to shut those things down and tell ourselves the truth.

You should be just fine cutting down to 2 strips per day. I would suggest you read the thread in the dosing section titled "ceiling effect". And, do some more reading on the forum paying close attention to the threads that deal with people trying to get down from very large doses to a more reasonable daily dose. Most people are very scared about it in the beginning, but find that it's not difficult at all once they get down to it. Very few people have any real symptoms of wd until they get below 4mg's per day. In fact, we see more often than not that people feel better on lower doses.

Keep posting, it really helps to talk through all of this with others who understand what you're going through. I believe that once you get your dose straightened out you will feel much better. You need to give yourself a break, and allow yourself some time to heal your mind. You have done a lot of work in the last few months with the alcohol and benzo addiction. Give yourself some credit for that! If you were strong enough to get through that WD, then this should be a breeze!

Q

BTW - I'm assuming you are still in some kind of meetings since you are fairly fresh out of rehab. But, are you getting any counseling from someone who understands how suboxone works?

_________________
No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2015 10:07 pm 
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Please heed what Q has said to you. She is one million times correct. In fact I will tell you that you could drop from 20 mg right down to 10 and not feel anything - body wise. Your brain my say otherwise but your body would no be in withdrawls. I assure you that you could do this. BUT YOU DONT HAVE TO!!! All you have to do is drop from 20 to 16. My point is if you could drop to 10 you most certainly can drop to 16. I have done this and am living proof as are many others here. You really will be fine.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2015 7:14 pm 
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Steph,
First off let me say that I totally feel your pain when it comes to crippling anxiety. I was prescribed benzo's for years & shortly after I stopped taking them I got addicted to opiates & heroin. I'm prescribed 16mg of suboxone & have been on it over 3yrs. I started tapering now on my own & I now take 8mg a day. What Q said is totally true. At least half of the symptoms you feel when your withdrawing is in your head. This doesn't make your agony any less real.
When I first started tapering I thought I felt so much worse, I couldn't sleep or eat & I was crawling out of my skin. But, after so many times of taking extra suboxone & feeling no relief, I realized that I was feeling shitty because I was making myself anxious attributing everything I was feeling to WD's. I went from 16mg to 12mg & I didn't feel any different. Going from 12mg to 8mg has been the same, no new symptoms. In fact some days I've felt better than when I was taking more. Now there are days that I take 4mg, just to see what will happen, & I feel no different. That's not to say that I feel great, but for me the majority of my symptoms are from anxiety alone. Anxiety can effect some people violently. Your anxious about not having enough medication to make it to your next appointment & you have the added anxiety of feeling like you've failed or let people down by using again. You shouldn't feel guilty because you are still fighting to be sober.

My advice is to try your best not to focus on the fact that your taking less medication. Even if you don't believe it, try to tell yourself that as long as you have some suboxone in your system you won't be sick. I once tapered off sub & by the end I was taking a sliver of a strip, I don't even think there was any bupe in it. But just having it to take made me feel better.
If you don't mind me asking, how low of a mg are you going to get down to before your next appointment? You said you counted & have enough to stick to a taper plan of 1/4 pill a day, so your going down 2mg a day from 20mgs right?

I hope everything works out & your able to make it to your next appointment without running out of medication. Posting here for advice/support really helps.

Also (sorry this post is so long) there are some OTC & nonaddictive prescription meds that can ease some withdrawal symptoms: immodium (for obvious reasons), otc nite time sleep aid, clonidine (for blood pressure), promenthazine (nausea) etc.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 1:38 pm 
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Hi Everyone,
So thanks again for your words of encouragement. I wanted to post an update. I have gotten myself on a regular schedule of dosing twice a day for the last few weeks I'm really happen I've stuck to it. I am down from 24-32mg to 18mg a day, tapering every 7-10 days. The regular schedule seems to have evened out my W/D issues except for .....last night. Been taking my regular dose, no more. The only thing different is (sorry guys) I had my "cycle" this week and it always throws everything in whack, physically, medically, etc. So last night I had some stomach issues after work, no big deal. And I was feeling really shaky and had anxiety but I didn't think anything of it. When I was getting ready for bed, all of a sudden....here comes the feeling. The W/Ds coming over me rapidly. It's very similar to the breakthru W/Ds from my old using days. You know that feeling. I don't really understand because I've been on a regular schedule and nothing was different. I tried not to panic, keep calm. I ended up taking 6 mg (3/4 of a film) and it stopped and I was able to go to sleep. This morning I took a little less than my normal does, 12 mg. Today was the day I was supposed to drop to 16 mg. My question is....why all of a sudden would I get these breakthru W/Ds? And do I continue on in my taper to 16mg, and only take extra if I get W/Ds? It's so scary when it's unpredictable. I have a little extra in case it happens again. Any advice would help. The sooner I can taper off, the better. I notice my anxiety (not about having enough meds, but I have a regular spike in anxiety every afternoon) is getting progressively worse while on sub, so I just want to taper off. I'm also a little worried that if these breakthru W/Ds keep happening, I might run out of meds. But I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Thanks for any advice you can give if you've experienced the same thing.


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