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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 12:24 am 
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I can't explain it, but a few weeks ago I had a bit of an epiphany. I'd had to take leave from my studies, and was basically moping around the house all day waiting for this liver treatment do work its hideous magic. Somewhere in the confusion of the boredom and the physical / emotional side-effects, I turned to drugs for relief, and my world came crashing down. I was in debt, with a dependence again on heroin and Suboxone, close to losing my partner, and potentially my home, and definitely looking at pulling out of my liver treatment. But most stupidly of all, I'm taking this liver treatment for a virus given to me by my using, and there I was using on the liver treatment, full well knowing that if I continued using it would just be a matter of time before I'm re-infected. That's just insane, innit?

One night I was in bed with my partner, and she said some things that really resonated in me. I then stayed awake all night thinking about my life. At some point, it was as if a "missing piece of the puzzle" finally fell in, and I realised that every single drug I enjoy using turns my life to shit pretty fast. Now most of us already thought this, or known this. I've thought it for years! But I didn't 'know' it? I felt like I could genuinely see the stupidity of my actions, and that resorting to drugs for relief was no longer on option. Like the bridge to getting high was completely severed. Ever since I haven't wanted to use once, not once through the detox, not once in the weeks since. I've had no desire to read books about drugs, or watch drug movies, or talk about drugs. When people nearby talk about drugs, I either leave or change the conversation. Using "disgusts" me to my core. For someone who's thought about using at least every few days while on treatment, this is huge.

I know it's risky to start reducing my dose this early after a relapse, and while still on this treatment, but these feelings are real, and to ignore them could be a wasted opportunity. For the first time in my life I want to travel, work hard, study hard, have my social life back. It's virtually impossible to travel overseas on Suboxone for any length of time in my country. And many Asian countries in my part of the world won't let me in if I'm on Suboxone. I just wanna live, and I don't want to waste the rest of my years. I just feel for the first time that my life has a bit of value, and god knows I've fought hard to stay alive at times.

So enough rambling - The (very slow) Taper

There's some important reasons I'm going really slow. It is only a few weeks since I used, and I'm also unsure how I will feel about using as my dose decreases. While I had zero desire when I was "detoxing" off the heroin (while on Suboxone mind you), reducing off Suboxone is a much longer ordeal.

SO my first goal is to get from 12mg to 8mg. I then plan on sitting on 8mg for a number of months, and have that as my new stabilised dose. Benefits of doing this? When I'm on 12mg of Suboxone, I need an average of 11 hours sleep a night! That's 3 hours taken out of every day! Going from 8mg to 12mg, I definitely felt I needed both more sleep, and less sex. What a waste of life. On this lower dose I also felt slightly more human.

I have no "time line" as such, and will only start reductions after I see my doc.

This summer (early January), I'm organising a post-treatment diving trip to the Great Barrier Reef. After being holed in at home for 6 months (pretty much), this will be perfect. And mid way through next year, my partner and I are hoping to see the Orangutans in Borneo, and hang out on Flores island in Indonesia. I'm fairly sure I can still be on Suboxone up there, thankfully. Thailand, Singapore etc ... not so sure! :lol:

Will keep you posted.

T


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 1:01 am 
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Hey Tear, It's good to hear your getting your drive back! That is something I still struggle with on sub. Since getting on oxy I have had no motivation and I'd hoped that was gonna improve while on sub. I am moving to NC in a month or two and think I am going to tell my new Dr that I want to start my taper. I want the energetic, get up and go person I used to be back.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:55 am 
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When I read you talking about going off, I got a really bad gut feeling, although I most definitely understand your motivation for wanting to do it. Getting down to 8mg doesn't sound like a bad idea, especially if you feel less tired and more motivated at this dose. I know you said quite a while ago that you are a fast metabolizer and could take a Sub dose in the morning and use that night (correct me if I'm wrong). So just BE CAREFUL. You have been through some major stress lately, so take it easy on yourself. You were right that many of us have had the epiphany that every drug we enjoy has turned our life to shit. The problem is this knowledge hasn't always stopped us from using. Proceed with caution, my friend.
Lilly


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 12:07 pm 
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I've known that drugs destroy my life for over a decade, but I always still wanted to use them. This is different. For the first time I have no desire to use, zero. Even when I've been clean for a year, or on suboxone, part of me always can think "gee wouldn't that be nice right now!", especially if life got hard. But now the thought just doesn't register. Heroin, cocaine, speedballing ... it all just seems sad now, a real sad waste.

This liver treatment does funny things to one's head though. They say it does do a degree of brain damage. A lot of report report that they can get really introspective and philosophical whilst on treatment, and that the whole process can be life changing, and that it has changed the way they view their life permanently. Perhaps (touch wood) the interferon has managed to damage my addiction while wreaking havoc "upstairs"?

And these feelings are real. I've spent the last month doing absolutely nothing, enduring some really extreme headspaces and physical symptoms, with zero desire to use. I haven't thought of using, or craved once since I decided to stop using. That's unheard of for me. I've been so bored too! Not working, not studying, unable to socialise because of this awesomely fun full body rash I've inherited. In my addiction, this was the perfect environment for me to relapse.

And I really want to get off the intranerds too. No offense to anyone. I love you guys (in some weird anonymous way)! But I wanna live my life, and throw off the baggage of my addiction. The two big baggages remaining (in my opinion) are the Hep C, and the Suboxone. Other things I can "work around". Remember guys that I have to pick up Suboxone from the same pharmacy at least twice a week. I can't travel interstate or overseas for more than 2 weeks at any time. That is the ..law.. no exceptions. :?


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:40 pm 
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OKAY... Given treatment is over, while things are a bit rough still handling its after-effects. Now is as good a time as any to begin Phase 1... (it's nothing really)..

Do a HUGE PAINFUL drop from 12mg to 8mg..

The main purpose of this is to get a good 6-12 months under my belt on a lower dose which will hopefully begin to put some of my recovery techniques to the test. I've found the higher my dose is, the easier it is to stay clean. But given I hope to one day be free of Suboxone and able to travel Asia & the world for longer than 2 weeks, and not see my pharmacist 4 times a week... I'm going to have to gradually test my capability to stay off the smack without these training wheels.

Lastnight I dropped my evening dose from 6mg to 4mg, doing a total drop of 12mg to 10mg. Unfortunately I can't (at this stage) do 5mg / 5mg because that would need my pharmacist's knowledge, and apparently he's not allowed to give me less than I'm prescribed.

I woke up this morning in bed with the kicks. It happened so soon, which is worrying evidence that my fast metabolism MAY make tapering more difficult. I got goosebumps on my arms and general aches now, and some lethargy. Hopefully it will dissipate over the next few days. If not, I may need to question whether tapering is the right way for me to get off this drug. But I'll leave that thought for now.

Hopefully, as I've found in the past, a dose of 8mg will mean I won't be as fatigued, I won't need 11 hours of sleep a night, and (touch wood) I won't feel like a eunuch.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:53 pm 
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Not feeling fatigue....$50.

Not needing 11 hours of sleep....$38.

Not feeling like a eunuch......PRICELESS!!!!!!!

(If you've never seen that MasterCard commercial, all of that just went right over your head. :lol: )

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:22 am 
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That ad is everywhere it seems. Only here, it's something like "Spending the arvo with your mates watching the footy --- priceless!"

I started phase one of my very slow glide down yesterday.

Phase 1: Reduce from 12mg to 8mg, then sit on that dose until I'm certain I can handle another reduction - be it weeks or months. Mainly so I'm certain I have the tools to handle any stronger cravings that may arise.

Yesterday I started by reducing to 10mg, by taking 5mg morning and 5mg evening. While it's been easy thus far, I have actually been feeling some withdrawal symptoms today leading up to my dose. I woke up early this morning to those familiar body aches, the kind where you move around to get comfortable but can't get back to sleep. Got up had breakfast etc, had my dose and I was fine for the day. They were a BIT worse tonight, as I was out having dinner with some people and started to feel a bit achy. I actually left earlier than I would have otherwise so I could go home and have my Suboxone.

I don't know if this is normal for going from 12mg to 10mg? For me it seems to be the case, but I re-stabilise after a week or so.

Since I reduced though I've had no cravings.

Keep you guys posted.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 11:51 am 
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tearj3rker wrote:
That ad is everywhere it seems. Only here, it's something like "Spending the arvo with your mates watching the footy --- priceless!"

I started phase one of my very slow glide down yesterday.

Phase 1: Reduce from 12mg to 8mg, then sit on that dose until I'm certain I can handle another reduction - be it weeks or months. Mainly so I'm certain I have the tools to handle any stronger cravings that may arise.

Yesterday I started by reducing to 10mg, by taking 5mg morning and 5mg evening. While it's been easy thus far, I have actually been feeling some withdrawal symptoms today leading up to my dose. I woke up early this morning to those familiar body aches, the kind where you move around to get comfortable but can't get back to sleep. Got up had breakfast etc, had my dose and I was fine for the day. They were a BIT worse tonight, as I was out having dinner with some people and started to feel a bit achy. I actually left earlier than I would have otherwise so I could go home and have my Suboxone.

I don't know if this is normal for going from 12mg to 10mg? For me it seems to be the case, but I re-stabilise after a week or so.

Since I reduced though I've had no cravings.

Keep you guys posted.


I had that level of w/d going from 12 to 10. It was not bad, but I certainly felt it. It seemed to turn the corner and be better after 5 days. Even if you feel something, I doubt it will last very long.

LT

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 9:25 pm 
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Thanks LT.

I actually left out a reply from a week or two ago. I did the drop to 10 a couple of weeks ago, but had to increase back to 12 after my pharmacist changed his mind and didn't allow me to reduce without doctor's permission.

LT at what dose did you start reducing by 1mg instead of 2?


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 9:51 pm 
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tearj3rker wrote:
Thanks LT.

I actually left out a reply from a week or two ago. I did the drop to 10 a couple of weeks ago, but had to increase back to 12 after my pharmacist changed his mind and didn't allow me to reduce without doctor's permission.

LT at what dose did you start reducing by 1mg instead of 2?


I think I made the 12 to 10 drop and then went from 10 to 8, and then I switched to dropping by 1 mg. Then I went down by 1 mg until I got to 4. Then 3.5, 3, 2.5, 2. Then I dropped in quarters.

LT

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 2:49 am 
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I really can't believe it, but I'm having issues stabilising on 8mg!?

I've been down 8mg a couple of weeks now, and I'm STILL getting mild withdrawals in the evening and when I wake up, until I have my dose?

It's got me a bit concerned actually. My fast metabolism has always given me ongoing issues with buprenorphine. I'm starting to get the feeling that because I burn through my bupe so fast, it will be very hard for me to stay on doses under 8-10 mg's long term. I'm already dosing twice daily as well.

If this really is the case, then I'm going to have to look at other options to get off suboxone. Maybe doing a methadone reduction instead? Or just jumping off a high dose? Who knows. It's still a ways in the future.

There is a positive though. Even though I get achy muscles and sweats and that can't-be-stuffed-doing-anything mild withdrawal feeling, I DO feel more alive / creative / connected in those moments. I get into music more and turn up my stereo heaps loud. I still can function ..okay..

I'm gunna give it another couple of weeks on 8mg then assess whether I should stay here or go back up to 10, then look at other ways.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:27 pm 
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Hey Tear, I bet it is frustrating not stabelizing after 2 weeks. I am really cheering for you. One thing I want to say is that you are showing your strength by giving this taper a go. You are really want this I can sense it. I see that you are already dosing twice a day. That would have been my first sugestion so perhaps now that you decided to stick it out for another 2 weeks, my hope is that your body will adjust. Some drops are tougher than others. Hopefully this last decrease is one of those drops and the next one will be easier. Sometimes I wonder if I would have quit CT where I would be right now. I have been tapering for 6 months already and I wonder if I would be 100% by now had I jumped off a high dose. Whatever your choice is this forum is behind you ALL the way. You have been a constant positive force here and I for one have recieved encouragement, some great info and good advise from you. You have been thru so much recently and I believe you have the strength and determination to get thru whatever you put your mind to. BEST wishes for you Tearj3rker...


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:19 am 
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Thanks Sweets. Yeah there is one benefit of jumping off a high dose in that you get it over and done with a lot sooner. But I know for me, if I pulled a stunt like that again, risk of relapse would be a lot higher. I dunno if I should call what I'm doing a taper exactly. The real goal at this point is to be able to sit on a low-ish dose and still be able to manage my cravings. Because when I do eventually chose to taper off, I'll have to be able to fight my urge to relapse on my own. Kinda like slowly raising the training wheels so I can learn to ride without them? I dunno if I'm making sense.

The way I see - if you did jump from your max dose - you MAY be okay physically, but the chances of relapsing into opioid addiction woulda been significantly higher than the way you're doing it now. And in the early recovery game, you need everything going for you that you can find.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 4:48 pm 
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Actually I think if you jump from a high dose you are in for some serious pain. Bupe stays on you receptors a lot longer than pills (except methadone) or even heroin. It differs for everyone I know. Although with a faster metabolism it is possible you would burn through the half lives really quick and your Acute perios would not be weeks but days. I really wish you the best. Stay strong, give it time, and hopefully you stablize in the next few weeks. It is amazing how resilient the body is and hat it can get used to. I never thought that I would have tapered to where I am now, but even a .025 mg drop I can feel since I have gotten so low. It sounds like you will just need to drop slowly and give yourself a lot of time to adjust. Your body WILL adjust.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 5:02 pm 
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Why not try the every other dosing schedule? Usually it's every other day, but you could try it on a twice daily basis. What I mean is, try taking 10 mg in the am and 8 mg in the pm (or vice versa). Your average dose would be 9 mg per day and you might stabilize at that dose more quickly. Obviously your taper will be slower still, but it might be more comfortable. Anyway, it's an idea I had.

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 Post subject: Great idea
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 5:18 pm 
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Hat - That is a very good idea. I don't know anything about the strips or how easy it is to break off 1mg, but I was thinking 9mg might be the ticket. dosing 10 and then 8 then 10 should help and then maybe 8 - 8 -10 -8-8. until it is all 8s.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:40 pm 
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Things are getting better now. I'm back to swimming 2kms now (when I first reduced I could barely swim 500m). While overall I don't feel as comfortable and secure as I did on 12mg, there have been some other benefits with reduced side-effects.

I'll just have to wait and see what happens with further reductions. But I plan on staying on 8mg at least until end Winter.

Thanks guys.

NoMorePills - when I said "you may be okay physically" I probably should have re-read what I wrote. What I meant to say was that by jumping off a high dose the pain is compressed into an intense shorter period (2-3 weeks?), whereas tapering spreads the pain out over months.


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