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 Post subject: Taper from 12mg help
PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 6:09 pm 
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I have decided that I would like to start Tapering off of subs after being on them for 6 months now. I am currently taking 12 mg.
Could anyone chime in on the best way to do this and what to expect along the way? I am unemployed for 10 months now and would rather get off while Im still out of work than going through this starting a new job.
Ive been reading others stories on tapering and frankly Im scared.
If I knew this was so hard to get off of I would of tried other means of quitting Oxy's etc.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 9:53 pm 
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What does your therapist/counselor/addictionologist/Doctor recommmend?

The internet is scary, the HORROR stories (the over-dramatizations are hilarious to me, but scare the bejeesus out of others) and you mentioned that "if you had known it was so hard to get off, you wouldn't have started it." How do you know it is hard to get off? Have you tried it before? Or are you taking the word of the internet? I stopped taking suboxone, and while I wasn't on it for very long at the time, I did not have many issues at all. But don't take my experience for it. Try it yourself (if you're dead set on getting off).

I am currently taking 12-14mg daily. I was taking a bit more, and have discussed tapering with my Dr. and here is what I was told to do: Lower 2 mg every 2-3 weeks until down to 6-4mg, then go down one mg at a time, every month. once you are down to 2mg, start adjusting at .5 mg at a time, monthly until you are at .5 mg. Then he said to stop. After reading here, I think I would using the liquid measuring method, taper down to perhaps .10mg or how ever low that can be measured, then I would likely space it out every other day for a bit then every 2 days, then 3, days, then I would probably stop.

BUT, I am not going. I have stopped before. I have made it through "withdrawals" ... consisting of being so emotionally sensitive that everytime someone told a sad story in group I would cry really easily, and that every day, about 5pm, I would get this craving that was INSANE. That craving stopped after a week and a half, and my emotions began to level out. the couple weeks after that. I wasn't depressed necessarily, I would cry at anything. Strange for a 28 year old male. I am assuming that my emotions would have eventually gone back to normal, but I didn't bother to find out, because as soon as something happened, and cravings and triggers were there, all the stuff I learned in treatment didnt mean anything. I relapsed. I went back to using. I thought I wanted to be off sub so badly, that i wanted to be "chemical free" that I would be fine. I wasn't. 26 days after my last sub dose (1mg daily) I met a dealer, and used. Then I used and used, and lied to people, ALL my old ways, it was like I had never missed a beat!.


Got back on sub, life has straightened out. Relationships are good, work is good, I FEEL GOOD, I am STILL in treatment a couple times a week and learning things I need to know, and sure someday if the time is right and when I am so loaded on tools that it is virtually perfectly safe, then MAYBE I might get off it and see how it goes. But if it aint broke, dont fix it. My life aint broke right now. Aside from some manageable side effects, I wouldn't even know I was "dependent" on something, or that I was even an addict.

Side effects of Suboxone so far:

-Crazy strange muscle spams when I am fighting to stay awake (reading, TV etc)
-Extreme Honesty (I haven't lied to my wife, therapist, treatment group, OR self.)
-Sweating (abnormally sweaty forehead/brow)
-Consistent performance at work
-Swollen bank account (haven't spent $500 a day on Oxy, and NOT even gotten high doing it)
-Slight constipation (manageable)
-Unable to have wild mood swings
-Mild impotence (very manageable, a 10th of a viagra, and I am set for a week, without it I struggle stay up more than 10 mins.)
-Inability to worry about contents in my car or on my person when cops are around


**Results may vary**

Why would I stop taking this? I am not suggesting you stay on it, I am asking you to assure yourself that you are completely ready, and have all the tools you need. I am not saying I'll be on my whole life, nor am I saying I am ready to get off or opposed to staying on for a long time...

Best of luck


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2009 12:35 am 
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Sorry to play devil's advocate but your comment-- 'had I known how hard this would be I would had used a different way to get off oxys'-- is a common one, and raises the question... what, exactly? You can't tell me you haven't tried quitting many times before-- the fact is that there IS NO OTHER WAY. I guess there is the way I did it before Suboxone-- a week in a locked psych ward followed by 3 and a half months of residential treatment. The detox was horrible, and the whole thing cost about 50 K-- there went our lake cottage to pay for it, as it is rarely covered to any significant amount by insurance.

Besides, despite what you hear, there are plenty of studies showing the it is easier getting off buprenorphine than off virtually any agonist at similar tolerance levels (30 mg of methadone daily or 60 mg of oxy daily). I have talked about why the myth that 'suboxone is harder than anything to get off'-- the reasons are several. First, while people CAN taper off buprenorphine, it is very rare for a person to taper off a pure agonist-- so people only get to fully experience bupe withdrawal because they never get there with agonists. Second, people ALWAYS rate 'current pain' as higher than 'remembered pain'. A woman in labor never says 'this isn't as bad as the last time!' I see people go off agonists all the time in a controlled treatment center where I am med director; those people do not walk! They lay in bed, curled up in a ball, shaking for three days-- then have a month of no sleep and extreme fatigue. People coming off buprenorphine usually go to work every day, or if they don't they can sit at the computer and type 'this is the worst ever'. The guy coming off oxy is in a bed, getting up only to vomit and crap at the same time every 15 minutes or so-- and does not have any interest in using a computer!

I have several posts on tapering off bupe-- meds that help, etc. I also sell an hour-long set of detailed instructions for people who don't want to hunt for the info on my blog-- the tapes are at www.soberaftersub.com. But again, at Suboxone Talk Zone there is info here and there if you search for 'taper' or 'withdrawal'.

Finally, your initial comment-- 'I would have used something else'-- Suboxone didn't take any choices away from you. Whatever choices you think you had before Suboxone, you still have-- Suboxone if anything made them easier, not harder. These are some obvious thoughts I have every time I hear 'I should have done something else'-- I say, OK-- then do it now! It is much easier to talk about what we 'would' have done than to actually do it!


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2009 12:40 am 
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oops-- forgot the most important thing-- the final reason people thing bupe w/d is so bad is because they do it all wrong-- they taper down to 2 mg and think, wow, that was easy-- then they stop and get sick as shit. BECAUSE OF THE CEILING EFFECT, STOPPING FROM 2 MG IS LIKE STOPPING 30 MG OF METHADONE COLD TURKEY. AND... STOPPING FROM 12 mg OF BUPE IS LIKE STOPPING FROM... 30 MG OF METHADONE COLD TURKEY.

Getting to 2 mg is easy-- you are still at 2000 micrograms of bupe, which is a huge dose (10 MICROgrams is a potent dose of buprenorphine!) So as it says all over my blog and this forum, you need to taper by the microgram-- to 1800, 1500, 1200, 1000, etc, down to about 200-400 micrograms per day. Each change has to be at least a week or two from the last, because of the long half-life of the drug. If you taper it that way you will avoid much of the misery. Jumping from 2 mg is really no taper at all.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2009 1:42 pm 
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Thanks for the replies and comments. I guess I really didnt mean I would of tried something else, because I chose to go this route. My point was at that time I hadnt really seen many stories of people trying to quit.
Ive spoken to my Dr about it but to be honest I dont really think hes aware of the extremely slow taper. He made it sound like you keep splittin dose in half to bout 2mg then to 1, but the time frame seemed really aggressive.

Other reason Im wanting to quit is its expensive to see a Dr every 2 weeks (Yes I know its WAY cheaper than my habit was) especially seeing Im unemployed now for almost a year.

My life has improved in a lot of ways since starting subs, but I still cant help but to feel Im a slave to these pills too.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2009 9:42 pm 
Thank you Suboxdoc for chiming in on this one! I needed to hear your reply to Oxyclean as much as he did. Sometimes it's just good to have a 'gentle' reminder of all of the benefits of Suboxone. While I am not currently considering tapering, it does go through my mind often. The financial burden of Sub therapy is definitely a consideration and I do have a desire to be medication free at some point. I find myself thinking that I lived the first 40 years of my life without anything stronger than a Tylenol, so why can't I go back? Well, I'm afraid that the answer is that I cannot go back. I fear that I have done permanent damage to my brain and I won't ever be the same. I am currently working on stopping those thoughts when they come and reminding myself to just stay in today, and have faith that tomorrow will take care of itself.

As far as Sub being the most horrendous withdrawal process - I agree with Suboxdoc. Almost exactly a year ago I was detoxing from full agonists (at home) and it was the utmost of suffering. The bone pain was excruciating - only a few moments of relief at a time while sitting in a bathtub full of scalding water; is it possible to literally pull one's own hair out when having a panic attack?; will the diarrhea be so explosive that I'll have to clean the toilet again, will I even make it to the toilet?; please God let me sleep more than one hour in the next 48; will it ever seem like doing a load of laundry isn't the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest?; can I go more than 20 minutes without desparately craving a pain pill? As far tapering off agonists - aint gonna ever happen! It just grows and grows and life gets more and more out of control. I don't care who you are and how much you've got to lose. Suboxdoc is a case in point. As am I. As an RN diverting strong opiates from hospital stock - mainlining drugs such as Fentanyl and Demerol and Versed. Crazy stuff! I promise you if you saw me or knew me you would never believe it was possible. NO ONE knew until everyone knew and that was when I was caught. I had ultimately deteriorated to the level of using the computerized medication dispensing device as my personal ATM for drugs. Yes that means it was all easily traceable and it means I was bound to get caught and yes I knew it! I had in fact, written my letter of resignation the very day prior to my phone call from HR telling me there was a "problem" I knew I had to get out of there because I could not stop using. You just don't think right, you don't think about the consequences when you're loaded. It was too late. It was over.
It took some trial and error at other recovery methods, but I eventually got started on Suboxone and I am so grateful for it. It is absolutely not the answer to all my problems, but it's allowing me to start working on them.
I have a lot of uncertainty about the future. I have a lot of times when I feel pretty blue. But it is not because I'm on Sub. Perhaps it's because I practiced as a nurse for many years and I have lost my career. If anyone knows of a great career path for a former RN, please pass it on! In my state Suboxone is a no-no. I sometimes don't sleep real well, but it's not because of Sub. I just have a lot on my mind.
Anyway - I think Sub does all it proclaims to do and I love hearing from Suboxdoc.
Great week to all!


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 11:44 am 
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I am a good example of how NOT to come off of sub. I have a thread going that starts with "Day 15" that walks you through what I went through. If I would have had the option I would have done the very slow very gradual taper and I probably would have done 1000 times better through it then doing it the way I did it.

Biggest peice of advice I can give you is do it the right way. It is possible to do it the other, I'm at day 20 here and still fighting it but I've won the fight so far, but I would have much prefered to do it the right way and not have to deal with all this crap.

From what I've seen if you do it the right way which the suboxdoc walked you through in his reply, you should feel little to no side effects of withdrawal. You may still have some of them because everyone reacts differently but they will be much less severe than if you come off of it too quickly. Just read through my post and you'll see why you shouldn't come off it the way I did.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 3:32 pm 
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Thanks for all that chimed in. I go see the doc next wednsday and want to discuss this further with him. I get the impression though hes nothing more than a pill dispensing machine. He wont let me go only once a month so I go every two weeks. Even with good insurance it costs me 100 bux for co pay piss test and Rx. Ive been out of work for 10 months now and I really cant even afford the visits. They want people to quit but then rake them over the coals every other turn.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 3:36 pm 
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One other thing.This is for Suboxone doc. How do I taper down to the micro gram any ways? My doc mentioned going on the 2mg pills when I get that low but never said anything about trimming it down from there? How do you accuratley trim down? Am I supposed to shave a pill and guess how much IM getting?

Please advise.

Thanks


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