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PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2015 7:13 am 
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Hi all,
I've been on suboxone for about 5 years. I was using codeine and heroin before that.
The highest amount of suboxone I was on was 16mg. Have tapered from that dose down to 0.375mg now – that took about 3 years. It’s taken a year to get from 3mg down to where I am now, so I’ve been doing the slow and steady thing, dividing the 2mg films into 8ths, and 16ths when needed (even though I know there’s no guarantee on the equal distribution of bupe over the entire strip), but it’s been ok. It gets tougher when you get down to the smaller doses – you feel it more.

But I’ve spoken to my doc and I’ll be going into a psych clinic mid-november to detox – a place he admits patients to. I’m lucky to have kept up my private health insurance (here in Australia), to be able to go into a clinic to do this. I know not everyone has that. I think I’ll have a much better chance of doing this successfully with a team watching over me. Even just a nurse to talk to at 3am if you’re wide awake. Plus, my psychiatrist also works at this clinic (I also have bipolar disorder), and a counsellor I’ve been seeing too. I’ve been in this place before so I kinda know a number of people there so I’ll feel relatively comfortable doing it there.

So the plan is to get down to 0.25mg or even 0.125mg before going in. So I thought I’d do a withdrawal journal as well, and this looks like a good forum to do it in.

Speaking to my doc he’s keen to use clonidine, valium, maxalon, immodium, paracetamol, magnesium etc to help me withdrawal. I'm looking at some other supplements as well. I take seroquel, effexor, mirtazipine, and lithium, so I have to careful with what else I take though.

I feel pretty positive about it. I’m at a really good point in my life to do this. I’ve done a lot in the last five years when I think about it. Two years ago I started my own business in web design, so I feel like I have responsibility in life, which plays a big part in not returning to active using of other drugs - I have clients that depend on me.

The traumatic things I experienced when I was younger, that led me to using drugs, I feel like I have moved on from – they no longer control my life. I've got to this point through therapy, group therapy, meditation, exercise, and an amazing group of family and friends. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy has been a big help, thanks to the counsellor I mentioned previously. I do go to NA occasionally, but I'm not big on it.

Suboxone has helped me for sure, but I think it’s time to move on from it. Plus, I’m really not going to miss the side effects. Constipation and sweating for me has been really bad. I’m looking forward to not having to take laxatives every day. Realistically though, I know it’s not all going to return to normal overnight. Physically and mentally it’s going to be weeks to months to get through to really assess where I am. Reading the experiences of others is really helpful too.

Thanks for reading!


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2015 1:33 pm 
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Hi Synthetic, Congratulations on making some very smart choices for yourself. Going into a psych hospital is a big step but one that is probably the right move to make. It's important to keep the symptoms of bipolar disorder under control as that will only make your jump easier. I wish you all the luck and look forward to following your journey!


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2015 5:38 pm 
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Hi Michelle F. Thanks for the good advice. Will definitely keep an eye on my moods. I know bupe is effectively an anti-depressant, so I will have to watch how I feel. There is some room to move with the mirtazipine and effexor, but I'm sure my psychiatrist in the clinic will come to see how I am. In the past whenever I've come off any opiate I've been very emotional, so I expect that's going to happen this time too. Going to force myself to exercise, even though I probably won't want to, but I know that always helps me with depression.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2015 5:47 pm 
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Yes! Definitely know what you mean about not wanting to exercise! I am out of the routine of doing anything right now and my body is really feeling it. So is my brain! I have been feeling like a slug and not very happy with myself. I am having some medical tests done and once I am clear, I plan on getting back on the exercise track! I plan to start walking at least once per day.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2015 6:08 pm 
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Yeah it's so important isn't it, but not something you feel good about doing before you go - only after! I was feeling the same as you last week. I was flat out with work and exercise fell away for a few weeks. I took on too much, and ended up feeling sluggish and flat. As soon as I did a bit of exercise I was a totally different person. I hope your medical tests turn out ok! Walking really helps me clear my head too. I usually put on some music, and end up enjoying it.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 10:58 pm 
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Sounds like you are in 'the catbird seat', to use an old phrase. That's a positive place to be, by the way! Having a doc willing to give comfort meds, and a place to stay while you are taking them-- what more could someone ask for?

The mood effects are by far the worst part of withdrawal, at least in my opinion... and there is very little that can be done about those effects. Benzos are very helpful-- i.e. the diazepam in your case-- as they make a day pass much more quickly. I use them for my patients during the detox process, but I wait until they are completely off buprenorphine, so I can use them as a reward for getting that far in the process.

Cheers, mate!


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 12:07 am 
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All the best of luck to you Synthetic. It sounds like you have everything arranged to make the 'jump' as easy as possible. That and a positive perspective going in. I look forward to hearing your progress and hope you will post as things move along. It is so fortunate that you have a sympathetic Doctor who will medicate you while you are withdrawing so it can take the edge off. I found that Nabilone was the ticket for me, not sure if it is legal in the USA, as it is THC based, or synthesized I believe. Anyhow, I have read that benzo medications are a big help in coming off opiates.
I am new here, but will keep you in my thoughts.

Again, all the best of luck to you

Cheers,
Viv


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 7:52 am 
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suboxdoc wrote:
The mood effects are by far the worst part of withdrawal, at least in my opinion... and there is very little that can be done about those effects. Benzos are very helpful-- i.e. the diazepam in your case-- as they make a day pass much more quickly.


Hi Suboxdoc, yeah that's really my main concern too - the mood effects. You can only expect or pre-empt depression so much. Going through it itself you can still get a bit of a shock with how your mood unfolds. Having my psychiatrist and therapist to talk to will help. And benzos, of course, will help with the anxiety I have no doubt I will be feeling too, and help the time pass as you say. Time always seems to slow down to a crawl in withdrawal.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 8:10 am 
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vivvisme wrote:
All the best of luck to you Synthetic. It sounds like you have everything arranged to make the 'jump' as easy as possible. That and a positive perspective going in. I look forward to hearing your progress and hope you will post as things move along. It is so fortunate that you have a sympathetic Doctor who will medicate you while you are withdrawing so it can take the edge off. I found that Nabilone was the ticket for me, not sure if it is legal in the USA, as it is THC based, or synthesized I believe. Anyhow, I have read that benzo medications are a big help in coming off opiates.
I am new here, but will keep you in my thoughts.

Again, all the best of luck to you

Cheers,
Viv

Hi Viv, thanks for the luck! I do have a good doctor. He's a great doctor really. Whenever I see him he always spends plenty of time talking with me, and has carefully guided me to slowly reducing the Suboxone.

Synthesized THC is available here in Australia, but I think it's only approved for people who have cancer, and there are tight restrictions around it at the moment. We are a bit behind the rest of the world with this one.


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