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PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 1:10 pm 
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Hi all,

I am posting for the hope my experience so far may encourage others in the same predicament "trying to get off subs". I am a 54 male and have had an opiate "issue" for many, many years. I did oxys "H" and any other things if needed to maintain from day to day always on the hunt busting moves to feed my addiction. Anyhow last January I decided I wanted out, "again", I was at the end of my rope and really did not care to break laws, steal, lie and cheat to stay well.
I got into a sub dr. at the end of February and began at 8 mg's. I began to wonder about the effects of this drug upon discontinuation. I surfed read horror story after horror story making me think I maybe should have ridden out the terrible withdrawals from my latest "h" relapse. (I have been clean on and off over the years and through many withdrawals). Anyhow I immediately began to plan how to manage my addiction without too many problems causing another, "subs".
I decided to begin reducing and went to 6 mgs for say ten days to two weeks to get stable on the sub. Next I began changing things I was able to catch up on bills pretty quickly and lose that stress. Also began working full time, was only working part time during relapse, which lasted around a year. And that was after a year clean after an 8 year methadone maintenance period in which I still messed around for most of it, until the last year or so.
Back to the taper, from 6 I went 4 and from 3 and to 2.25 , 2, 1.75, 1.5, 1.25 , and then 1. Around 5 days between reducing my doses. When I got to 1 I began to feel low energy feeling tired and sleep issues, I would wake way too early daily. I stayed at that dose till sleep returned it took a good ten days. then I moved to .75 and started to feel withdrawals before the 24 hour mark so began to take .875 and that did the trick. I managed to carefully taper to where I am at today which is .25 with going from .875 to .75, to .5 , .375 (where I had to wait about ten days or so again). Yesterday I started at .25 (I always carry a sliver of half of my dose in case wd's kick in unexpectedly). At day 5 of the .375 dose I took a .125 sliver because I was so tired and lazy all day and the following day it cleared up and I stayed on that for five more days.
I am now at .25 and since about .75 I had been waking way early and taking my doses to stave of the lingering I am going to get sick feeling. I had that fade away four mornings ago and knew it was time to drop dose again. Day 1 at .25 went well slept ok although I have been an insomniac for years and function well with 6 hours of sleep and have been getting that just not in the proper time frame waking at say 3:30 when I want to wake at 5.
However other than some low energy days, (most of them starting like that but the feeling quickly fades when I begin to move around) I have not had any other nightmarish symptoms that I was so afraid of from reading horror stories all over the place. I had read some success stories but many were not sounding all that encouraging when success is going through a couple weeks of varying ailments of withdrawal symptoms.
I actually finally (just today) feel very confident I will get through this without any problems what so ever! I do expect some more sleep issues but that is a hell of a lot better than pain, rls, and what not. I plan to post the final outcome of my process when I know the outcome or if this inspires interest will update more often.
Also if anyone has questions I would be happy to answer them and wish everyone the best, thanks for reading.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 2:32 pm 
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Sounds like you scared yourself straight. :D (reference to an old documentary made in the 70's.)

I have to say though, that you can find horror story after horror story about anything under the sun of you're looking for them. This is the Internet. Buprenorphine is a breakthrough medication with an amazing safety profile. That's the truth of the matter, and it describes the experience of most people.It actually sounds like
it also describes yours.

Of course it's an opiate, and as such is difficult to kick. But less so...substantially less so than most opiates.
The reason for this is that tolerance on bupe is generally much lower than tolerance generally found in active addiction. It's all about tolerance. The higher the tolerance the more difficult the withdrawal process.

It's great that you're inching toward freedom from this medication. I commend you as that's never easy. There are many success stories to be found on this forum and more are always welcome. We want to read about your experience. There's a ton of support here from fellow addicts. We all learn from one another.

My question is what do you have in place to stay sober moving forward. Your issue with addictive drugs is not going to just go away. You're going to have to deal with your disease in one way or another for the rest of your life.

If I missed something I apologize. I'm not intending to give you a hard time or "rain on your parade." But I do hope you have plans in place to safeguard what will be your hard won sobriety.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 3:10 pm 
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Hi,
As far as staying away from opiates I have a great support group with my family (I just started working with 4 siblings I have been away from the business for 10 years). They know about my problems and keep me in check. I have also alienated all drug ties and have reestablished relationships with my friends who are not druggies. I joined a hotrod club for some "clean fun" activity while I am not too busy to avoid moments of boredom. I have so much to keep up with for the next few months I won't have time to mess about. I am painting my house and repairing things as needed in spare time. I also have a rental that I let go for a while I have trees to trim another house to paint and summer is on it's way and short where I live. After that I plan to utilize my skills and move up the ladder in the company I work for I was able to obtain a position by starting at the bottom once again and will be working towards some job upgrades so to speak. Also I am getting older and with that comes some wisdom through experience. You can only go down in the mud so many times without staying there a either dying or ending up in prison. I have wasted many years and want to live life in a much different manner than I have been. I lost many things I had due to financing my habit and want to take these next few years to prepare for retirement and not have to worry about where my housing and meals come from. I had attended counseling and all that for the three months I was going to the doctor I lost my insurance due to taking full time work and the insurance offered is so expensive I am better off paying out of pocket or seeking free clinics. Hopefully my health will stay with me till I can resolve that issue hopefully with some help in changes to the system that make medical services more affordable. I know I have a lot ahead of me and I am prepared to take it on one day at a time. I think that focusing on the current day is best but having goals in the works as well. I also am reuniting with my favorite hobby which is old cars and trucks. I have an old dodge truck I "blew" the motor on during last winter and also need to somehow fit that in with painting two houses this summer while working full time. I am about two thirds done with the home I live in and would be further if the weather would be better very rainy spring here. Anyhow thanks for the reply,
take care


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 7:51 pm 
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Wow owlcrow - You really seem to have your stuff in order. I get the strong impression that you're ready to put a life of addiction, and all that it entails, behind you for good. I'm going through pretty intensive therapy right now. And from everything I've been learning, you seem to to have it down pat. Like things to occupy your time and mind. Hobbies, rebuilding relationships, etc. Great work!!

I hope you are happy with your life of sobriety. You are doing the hard work, so you certainly deserve it. Hang in there and keep fighting for what you want. Thanks for the inspiration!!

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 9:46 pm 
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Hey owlcrow, thanks for sharing your expirence with us so far. You mentioned that you were on methadone for 8 years before your most recent relapse. How did it go for you getting off that? I often read from people that have been on both methadone and sub, that getting off sub is easier.

I'm tapering off sub right now myself, slow and steady. I'm currently at 3.5 a day and, in about a week I'll be dropping to 3. What helps me sleep is holding off on dosing when I wake up. I'll take my first dose in the early afternoon and second in the evening, that way I can get a pretty decent night sleep. The sacrifice for that of course is that I have to deal with the mild withdrawals that come around in the morning. It works for me though because for whatever reason I'm can tolerate wds in the morning better than I can at night and, bonus is that Im able to sleep pretty well so, that helps too.

It sounds like you have a good plan in place with having support and, your hobbies/projects to keep you busy. You said you've been dealing with opiate addiction for many years along with treatment and a few relapses so, I'm sure you know by now but it's not easy for us addicts. We always have to keep our guard up because things can go from good to effed up in about 2 seconds unexpectadly. Having a bad day go to a meeting...having a good day go to two(that's an aa/na saying I heard and always remember)

I wish you the very best in your jump off suboxone and continued sobriety. I'm rooting for you!


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2017 7:10 am 
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Hey,

As far as getting off methadone it was a long drawn out process. It took over a year to wean off and I stopped at 5 ml. I just got so sick of the line the scuffle outside the door everyday and the smart mouthed punks that the clinics attract. Most of the people who went there did not work, lied said they did so they could dose early which caused a constant conflict with those who did work. Anyhow I remember the process as being very tough the whole way through, however when I quit I expected huge issues but really did not have too many problems other than the sleep thing.
Also good luck through your taper it gets annoying after a while the process is so drawn out just be patient and make sure you feel good before reducing doses if you rush it the withdrawals will follow you to the end, at least that is what I have read and believe through experience. If you are having a hard time just take a little sliver, level out and be on your way again.
As far as splitting doses it works on higher doses when you get so low there is not much left to split. Now that I am on .25 for a third day this morning I did not feel the greatest but held off dosing about an hour longer than normal time. I didn't sleep great but this has also been exhausting causing me to go to bed early say 9 or 10 but also waking early. I woke at 2:30 but managed to get some more broken sleep until 5 ish.
I can say that it has been a half and hour since I took my .25 and I am already beginning to feel better. This is a bit bothersome I hope I don't feel ill during the week I need to work. I plan to stay at this dose until I am completely stable (if that happens) and then will decide whether to jump or go to .125 which I am thinking may be the best route to take.
Anyhow once again good luck with your taper and thanks for the support.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2017 7:41 am 
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Hello openmind,

Keeping myself busy has been one of the best "weapons" I have had throughout my endeavor. I am having a bit of a rough time this morning but I also know from experience if I get up and move around the "odd" feeling that is lingering will fade for the rest of the day. Today I don't work tomorrow I do. I am going to take my dog for a walk as soon as I am done with this reply then I am going to the store, coming home cleaning up around here a bit and then plan to continue working on my exterior painting project that has been ongoing.
Are you also beginning a taper or just on maintenance for now? Either way I hope all goes well for you. It can get tough at times and that's when you have to be mentally strong and ride it out. Pain and bad times pass as always if you do what is required to correct the mistakes you have made. Believe me I have made so many lost so many possessions over the years and have aged considerably during my addiction I can barely grasp that 25 + years have passed since I knew I had a problem. For the longest time I just accepted it and did what I had to do to feel well.
Even on methadone I was not clean I used merely daily for a good 6 1/2 years of it before I decided to change my ways. I ended up clean aside for an additional year and a half on methadone for almost three years before I relapsed. I thought I could "chip" a bit and be ok and it was for a week or two but you'd be surprised how quickly you pick up right where you left off sick most the time and on the hunt for dope and means to get dope to stay well. It occupies a lot of time as we all know and breaking that cycle it so important. Anyway just thought I'd drop a line, and wish you good luck.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 4:37 pm 
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I am now on day 7 on .25 mg of sub, I had to take a sliver two days ago because I was not sure if I could bare working in the condition I was in no energy at all and really tired. I have been waking early but also going to sleep early as well say 9 , 10 ish. I have woken at 2:30 a few days out now and had to dose at that time not really sick but some odd lingering feeling as if I was on the edge of going into withdrawal. That has been a morning thing for a while now as well as dosing when I wake and then trying to sleep till 5 when I have to get up to go to work. I was going to go down to .125 over the weekend but think I may stay on this dose another week. At some point I need to get this over with. Any suggestions? I can't miss work and don't care to go to work ill I am in my mid 50's and it is a physical type work. I certainly hope I can get to zero without any major issues, hopefully none. Aside from lacking energy and sleep and the morning issue I am doing fine. It seems as if I move around I feel better. I even came home from work during the week and worked on things around the house for a couple hours on two days. Well just throwing more of my experience out there and this way I will have a place to look back at this whole "era".
I plan to taper to .0625 if I don't feel as I can quit from .125, I can say that right now I don't think a skip day or quitting would go real great. I want to end this with no more issues than what I have now. It's funny though when I went from .375 to .5 I was excited and did good the first two days then it kind of caught up with me, I can't believe how potent a small piece of film can be, I hope that time and a continued taper will get me off the subs for once and for all.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 9:04 pm 
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hey owlcrow.

First up, hats off for doing such a disciplined taper thus far. Occasionally on this forum we see people who manage to follow a regime like yours get down to minute doses like 0.1mg and even 0.05mg before jumping. Not many of them stick around on this forum after they're sub free though, which is a shame if you're after people to offer their experience. I'm of the opinion that if you can follow a disciplined taper without succumbing to cravings, it will put you in good stead to live a long life opioid free. So what you've done so far looks promising.

One thing I do remember is that people who taper down that low often get to a stage where they no longer adjust after each dose reduction. ie the evening and morning withdrawal effects stay the same day after day. It's often at this point that they consider "taking the plunge" and jumping off Sub entirely, or at least creating a short-term timeline to do so. Obviously if you spent a week or two on even lower doses the acute withdrawal will be even less taxing.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2017 6:40 am 
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Thanks for the support,

I do plan to continue tapering. I think the dose of .25 is finally leveling off I still woke early today but after I dosed (early again) at 1:00 am I was able to get back to sleep again till 4:30 which is not bad at all considering I was in bed early at 9. I am going to stay here at .25 for a few days longer and reduce to .125 after I feel ready. At that dose I will see how things go but really plan to go all the way down to .0625 or whatever cutting a .125 in half yields. The doses are not exact at this point but close enough for tapering purposes. I really think the sliver I took at day 3 or 4 got me over the morning "feeling". Although I woke early today I did not feel that lingering affect but dosed so I would not stay awake and obsess about it. At some point I am wondering if it may pay off to take my dose later in the day say before bed instead of waking to take it and then trying to catch some more sleep. This change may help. Has anyone done something like this towards the end? Any experience shared would be appreciated.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2017 11:00 am 
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I had to take my doses twice a day, in the morning and at night. I jumped off at around .125, and used Neurontin for 10 days after my jump to make it through but I skipped 5 of those days to get myself off of the Neurontin. Oh, and I skipped days with the Bupe at the end before my jump that really helped me. At .25 I had a really hard time getting stable like Teejay says sometimes you are unable to get stable. I was able to get stable after about a month I think.. I know it took a while. But, after that it was easier. For some reason .25 is tough for a lot of people.

Just know that your jump is way easier. It was like day and night between the tapering and jump. It pays off luckily in the end. Once you get close to your jump get yourself prepared for the jump. I have a thread on here I think it is on the second page about supplements that help suboxone withdrawal. Also take Culturelle for the digestive issues NOT Imodium. Imodium will not help you any just hold your digestive system up. Culturelle will fix your problems, and there are neurotransmitters in your guts so this is very important for your recovery.

Good luck, you can do it!


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2017 8:53 am 
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Yesterday was ok, however for about 1/2 hour I had some strange things happen, I got very lightheaded and had to sit for 5 minutes and let my body adjust, it was almost as I hit a "shift" in adjusting to the taper. After that I felt good, sleep was ok as was energy. This morning I waited two hours after waking (I don't think I could have done it on a work day just a mental thing though I think), anyhow I tried to take .125 but after an hour and a half I took another .125 cause I have things to do today and was not motivated in any way.
I have to get past the mental aspect of this, dig deep and push through. I do think I am going to try to split my .25 to two doses a day spreading the time between longer as my body lets me and hopefully get to just a night dose at .125. I figure maybe one morning I can get up and just not feel as if I "need" it. I have a lot to get done this summer and can't be laid up with dope sickness.
So far I have gotten through pretty easily with just a couple of bumps but no illness to complain about. Some low energy and sleep deprivation but I get that anyhow. If I had a crystal ball I believe I would see myself getting through with this within the next 3 to 4 weeks with no serious problems at all. I hope so.
I quit the doctor two weeks ago and have a dozen 2 mg strips (which I am using) and 15 , 8 mg strips to do this with. I figure even if I only rely on the 2 mg strips, (I am able to cut the 8's down to size as well just so small it seems like nothing) at a dose of .25 I have nearly 100 days to finish up and much longer if I get down to .125 soon. Therefore I am not rushing this and forcing discomfort, I truly believe that people can taper without issue if they take is slow and easy.
I did it with methadone but had some rough times waiting on the clinic to get my dose in the morning. I was up at 240 mg and weaned down in a little over a years time. In the end I stepped off and never felt anything the taper was harder than the final step. I think suboxone should work the same way if done in a disciplined manner.
Any shared experience / feedback would be deeply appreciated I plan to continue sharing my experience along the way here, thanks for reading and good luck to all who are trying to quit by tapering.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2017 9:06 am 
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Supertaperingnow,

Thanks for the input! I have read a lot of your posts. It seemed to me that you had a drawn out process and some hills and valleys along the way. Are you saying that the Culterelle was the "key" near the end? I have read that there are neurotransmitters in our digestive tracts.
My thing right now is that I am having no problems with stomach or "bathroom" issues at this point. Would you say therefore it may not be beneficial for me? If it would help my brain/ body adjust to lowering my dose I am onboard with trying it.
I guess I am not educated enough in the relation between the digestive tract and brain "regrouping" after opiates/ opioids are abused, and if they are interactive with each other. This is kind of interesting and perhaps may be beneficial to use Culterelle whether digestive problems are present or not?


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 11:56 am 
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Your welcome, and yes but I wouldn't say a long drawn out process because I did get off of Bupe rather quick compared to most people. But, it was a battle that is for sure. It took me about 3 and a half months to go from 8mg to 0. My body didn't want to get off of it, no matter how much I tried I was always knocked back down, but the key is to keep getting back up until you succeed. Even when I thought there was no way I was going to make it, I somehow had the strength to keep going.. it makes me cry to even think about it.

If anything though it keeps me from wanting opiates again, I couldn't go through that again. Once you make your jump you are likely to have some stomach issues, mine weren't bad at first but over the weeks after jumping it was getting bad. The Culturelle will fix those problems, and help you recover overall quicker. I take it everyday, and I plan on taking it for a while because I feel better overall with it. Honestly, if you plan on making your jump soon, I would start taking it now.

That is just me though, I am not a doctor obviously but I am educated in the medical field. I didn't even know this when I made my jump, I made sure I knew everything and took care of my health. But, the one thing I forgot was my digestive health, and that was mistake. Once you make your jump your brain will be depleted of neurotransmitters those neurotransmitters are necessary for recovery.

That is why you go through withdrawal the lack of is what puts your body into a type of shock. They call your digestive tract your second brain, because most of your neurotransmitters are in your gut. Those neurotransmitters play a role in your overall health mentally and physically, not just your digestive health. Within a day of taking it my digestive system was doing great, and I felt better mentally as well.

Just make sure you do not leave anything important out health wise. If I can do it, then anyone can that's for sure! :D


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 5:46 pm 
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Supertaperingnow,

I thank you again for the reply, and I took a look for Culterelle and they have it at one of the big box stores near me. They have packets and capsules, I am thinking on trying the capsules, but wanted to ask if there is a difference in the formulas and how I may react.
I guess first thing that comes to mind is a capsule is easy to deal with I am imagining the packets are a powder mix which is something I may not deal with cause it may be a bit of a hassle for me.
As far as my health goes I am weight height proportionate and right where I should be for my height. I am working at a job where I stand and move around for 8 hours 5 days a week and then come home and try to do something around the house even if it is just playing with my little dog, making dinner and keeping things in order around here. I am painting the trim around the windows and edges of my house and am about 75% done I have the highest spots to deal with and on one side of the house the wood needs to be replaced, I have to deal with that when I get a surge of power or something.
I may try dropping to .125 tomorrow morning but will take an additional .125 with me to work, (just in case). I have to be able to function. I have not had problems as of yet. I have been for about 3 months now taking it slow. I felt lack of energy late in the afternoon and have been going to sleep early and waking early but other than some "ickyness" feelings before my morning dose I feel ok. It seems to wear off within a 24 hour period at this point, but I seem to have stabilized finally at .25 and have not felt poorly upon waking early the last two days. But still take my dose when I wake and try to sleep until I have to get ready for work. It was much easier to control on the weekend I dosed late (for me) this last weekend without incident.
I am mostly posting my progress for anyone that is worried about tapering because I can honestly say that so far it has not been horrible. It seems it takes a lot of discipline to not take extra, and aggravate the process. And I can also say it is a process, a slow methodical process, and if done with care it can be merely painless.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 10:54 am 
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Honestly, I don't think it makes a difference on what form you get. I take the capsules, but the important factor here is whether the ingredients are live and active cultures of the friendly bacteria your digestive system needs. That is why I said do not buy anything but culturelle, because some contain the wrong bacteria which can cause even more problems.

Culturelle has the friendly bacteria, and the capsules are protected from light, and heat because they are individually wrapped in foil. It does not matter what form you get whether liquid, powder, capsules, what matters is the quality, and ingredients of the product. It sounds like you are doing well, and taking things slow and steady. You are active, motivated etc. And those play a huge role in recovery from withdrawal.

It sounds to me like you have this, keep up the great work! :D


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 6:27 am 
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I am seemingly stuck at .25 so today I have reduce to .1875 (or as close as I could get it) and will see how it goes at work today. I have decided when I get a chance to go to the store that I will try to use the Culterelle and report how it works for me. I have been lacking energy and been tired a lot. Other than that I don't feel bad, however I am wishing this to be over I have a lot to do this summer and this taper is interfering with my energy. I hope I get that back soon. I will stay at .1875 for 4 or 5 days and then see if I am ready to go to .125. I plan to taper to .0625 and then see if I can skip days or perhaps when I skip the first day all will be well and I won't have to bother anymore lets hope that is how it works, I am eager to stop this process but know better than to rush it. I can't miss work and need to function. Will keep up on the results here for anyone interested. And thanks supertaperingnow for the recommendation of using Culterelle.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 7:16 am 
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It is day three at .1875 and I still have the tired feeling but not morning illness the last two mornings. I hope this is a sign that I will not feel withdrawal when I get where I think is low enough to jump. I plan to go to .125 after I am certain I am adjusted to this dose and from there .0625 then hopefully I can jump without issue. By the way things seem to be going I am beginning to believe this will soon become a reality for me.
Since being on low doses the films diminish under my tongue very quickly I mean like two minutes and there gone. I am not sure how much actual absorption I am getting so perhaps my dose is lower than I think. I have not gotten Culterelle yet I don't have any symptoms to be concerned with other than lack of sleep and low motivation which is getting old. I can't wait to get normal sleep and energy back.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 5:54 pm 
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Day 4 at .1875 today however I broke down and took a .0625 sliver although now I had some time to think about it I most likely didn't need it I was worried about having to work today and how I would feel, the day went fine though. I guess taking .25 today on day 4 does not do much harm, I will continue on .1875 until I "feel" ready to go down to .125. I have been a bit annoyed that I am not getting as much done as I want to because I lack energy although I think I am starting to feel a bit better in that area once I get to moving around.
I really don't exercise but have a physical on your feet job and a lot to do at my home and another home I rent out. My addiction lead to letting things go, I am in the process of correcting my lack of attention on the things that need attention if that makes any sense. Things like upkeep paint etc. I did manage to get my truck in to have some work done on it today which is a step in the right direction. I guess I will have to see how things go but hopefully I can get a lot more done before the end of the decent weather. I live in Wisconsin so we got till say Halloween to work on outdoorsy type things although some years that is pushing it. I know I am babbling but trying to paint a picture of how the taper is going and I can say it is not bad at all and has not been bad but it is a long process and I can see how some who can afford to "stay put" just quit at higher doses and deal with it.
I am getting to the point where I believe those who say that a lot of the taper difficulty is mental and overcoming that is "taming the beast" so to speak. For the sake of information I will continue to share my experience for those worried as I was about quitting the suboxone thing. I just want to be free and clean of depending on anything to help me through each day.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 4:40 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2016 4:53 pm
Posts: 53
Location: PNW
owlcrow I'm glad to hear your tapering is going reasonably well. The tapering for me was harder than the jump by a mile, hopefully it will be the same for you. I tapered extremely slowly and to a very low dose and it was tough but I was determined to be free once and for all. You're at such a low dose it won't be long now until you're looking at bupe from the rear view mirror!


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Fond Du Lac Psychiatry
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