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PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 5:55 pm 
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I have been researching around the Intetnet lately and am struggling to find any people who used sub for over 4, 5 years and over and stay clean..Some claim the withdrawals/PAWS were rough so reverted back to Subutex or Suboxone..Some relapsed on a short acting opiate, some continue to be on sub and this is just concerning me..Just the other day someone weaned down to 0.25 and could not handle it anymore so went back on sub..Perhaps his wean was a tad wee fast at the lower doses?.

What about Ibogaine? I hear that is best option for long term sub users but I have also read around where sub users still relapsed even after Iboga.

So is there anyone or do you folks know anyone who tapered off long term sub users (4 years and over) and stayed clean? and I mean if their depression and PAWS ever lifted? I hope those clean folks aren't suffering.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 4:07 am 
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I think you're making the mistake of trying to making everyone fit into the same round peg when we are each of a unique size. If a person has done the work and is prepared for a life of abstinence, then it's my opinion that they will succeed, regardless of how long they were on suboxone.

The length and type of their taper, I believe, does have a lot to do with whether they'll have PAWS and how severe it will be. And remember, not everyone experiences it, either. Don't be discouraged.

If you are truly ready for life without suboxone, then someone else's inability to succeed at it shouldn't have any effect on YOUR ability to succeed.

And, according to Dr. Junig, there is ZERO evidence (i.e., studies) that being on suboxone long term makes it any harder to come off of it than if the person were on it short term only.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 7:00 am 
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Redemption wrote:
I have been researching around the Intetnet lately and am struggling to find any people who used sub for over 4, 5 years and over and stay clean..Some claim the withdrawals/PAWS were rough so reverted back to Subutex or Suboxone..Some relapsed on a short acting opiate, some continue to be on sub and this is just concerning me..Just the other day someone weaned down to 0.25 and could not handle it anymore so went back on sub..Perhaps his wean was a tad wee fast at the lower doses?.

What about Ibogaine? I hear that is best option for long term sub users but I have also read around where sub users still relapsed even after Iboga.

So is there anyone or do you folks know anyone who tapered off long term sub users (4 years and over) and stayed clean? and I mean if their depression and PAWS ever lifted? I hope those clean folks aren't suffering.


Dear Redemption:

i have also worried about this...i read about being on sub, read about taper...but i never read about sobriety after sub.
in my case i would go right back out there without the sub. i am a full blown addict and this med takes all thoughts of using wanting, craving, anything away from me. I don't even think about it anymore. You take that mindset away and i know me...i would have to have something and h opefully i would go back to sub. I went to one doctor my 1st year on sub and she made me get off after one year. I went right back out and was in my hydros again. I thought no I will not live like this anymore and found another doctor and got back on subs. The only thing i did wrong was i did not tell the new dr. i had taken sub. before, because i was afraid he would not give it to me.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 7:32 am 
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No, it is not true.

It sound similar to the myth I heard in the heroin world that "if you're still doing it after 30 years old, you never stop." This has been proven to be ridiculous. When I was doing NA meetings, there were heaps of people who got clean in their 30's, just as many as those in their 20's / teens.

Myths like these don't do anyone any favours. For one, how many 30+ year olds might believe that lie and not bother trying to get clean? Similarly how many people on suboxone over 4 years would believe this myth and not try to taper?

People stay on Suboxone as long as they need to, and for some it is over 5 years, and for some it is for life. Fact is, a person is ready to taper when they feel they are ready, whether it's after 5 days (using it for detox), 5 months, 5 years. And if a person never feels ready to taper, then maybe it's less harmful for them to just stay on Suboxone.

Like hat said, there are no hard and fast rules in this game. Everybody is different.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 10:48 am 
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See, I actually do think that if you are on Sub for, say 6 years, it will be tougher to get off it than if you are on it for three or four months. Most things in life are this way, although I can't back it up with studies and I don't think anyone is conducting studies to prove this either way. As far as I know, long term Sub use isn't studied much, period.

However, I don't think there's any reason at all that long-term Sub users can't stay sober. For one thing, if you've been on Sub for years and years, those are years that you got used to not doing whatever you used to do to get high. You've most likely cut off contacts with other users during that time as well. In other words, you have distanced yourself from that life. The key, to me, is actually recognizing that it can be difficult for people to taper off Sub after being on it a long time. Dr. Junig says to stick around 10% for your drops and to wait until you are adjusted to that drop before dropping again. To me, this is such important advice that it really needs to be stressed, especially since many of our doctors don't help us enough in the tapering department. This is the advice that saved me. If you have become dependent on Sub and then taper way too quickly or jump, you are setting yourself up, IMO. You will feel dope sick. Talk about setting yourself up for a fall. If someone has been on Sub a long time but accepts that tapering off is a long process and must be done carefully and slowly, I see zero reason why the length of time on Sub should make it harder to stay clean afterward.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 11:21 am 
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While I agree what you're saying ladder that longer habits are often harder to break. But what if a person needs five years away from their using life to be able to taper and not relapse? Say this person is a heroin addict, and they haven't put a needle in their arm for 5 years and they taper. In those five years they've got married had kids, started a family, work a professional job. Do you think they would have more chance of relapse than someone who been on Suboxone for 6 months?

There are factors that go both ways with this. And I think the OP wasn't just referring to how easy it is to get off, but how easy it is to stay off as well.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 11:48 am 
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I would say that you probably will find a lot of people that have gotten off sub that have relapsed but I don't think it has much to with why it happens. Opiate addiction has a very high relapse rate so you are going to have people that discontinue sub who relapse. It just the sad truth of the matter.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 12:21 pm 
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Quote:
So is there anyone or do you folks know anyone who tapered off long term sub users (4 years and over) and stayed clean? and I mean if their depression and PAWS ever lifted? I hope those clean folks aren't suffering.


Well, I was "only" on Suboxone for 2 years, but I tapered off in August of 2009 and have been opiate-free for 2 years and 2 months.

I did not suffer much with PAWS. I did a long, slow taper and my withdrawal and PAWS were very manageable. By the time I was 30 days off I felt about 80% normal, by 60 days off I felt fantastic. I didn't miss a day of work and continued on with life as usual. I have had issues with depression - my dad died just a few months after I finished my taper, plus I have struggled with depression off and on since my early teens (so over 20 years). I went back on antidepressants for a while and that helped and so has continuing the process of addressing my various issues. By that I mean I continue to work on living a healthy life, meditating, eating right, taking care of my self physically and emotionally.

I'm not saying that getting off Suboxone was the easiest thing I've ever done...but it was far from the hardest thing I've ever been through. I used the time I spent on Suboxone to lay the strongest foundation for continued success in my recovery that I possibly could. I went to therapy, made new friends, got new hobbies, started exercising again, found new ways to address my issues with pain, made plans to deal with my triggers, read books on recovery, meditated a ton, read success stories and cultivated a positive attitude. Whatever I thought might work, I tried it, and what seemed useful has stayed with me.

If you want the specifics of my taper and withdrawal, check out the liquid taper thread. On the second page or so of that thread is another link to another thread where I detail the experience of the first couple of weeks after stopping.

As far as researching on the internet goes - you are not going to find the same amount of success stories online as you will find horror stories. People who don't have a hard time getting off Suboxone aren't going to feel compelled to go online and write about it. Even some of the members here who have successfully tapered off - you'll find their stories if you look - eventually drift or grow away from the forum. There are a couple who check back in from time to time - bronzebeta is one -but for the most part they don't stick around. So I guess what I'm trying to say is that you're looking at a biased sample when you research anecdotally online. So why bother? Search out the success stories and see what those people have in common. Good luck.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:31 pm 
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Hey Redemption,

I never did taper off Sub, I jumped from a decently high dose, but I wanted to jump into the conversation anyway and let you know that the depression and the PAWS do go away. I remember many, many times thinking that I had completely buggered my brain up, but the wd, the depression and the PAWS do go away.

I was on Suboxone for 3 years (16mg for the most part), I was on LOTS of pain pills for the 10 years prior to getting on Suboxone.

I'm NOT saying to jump off, I'm just saying that even in my fairly extreme case, the PAWS and all that other shit does go away.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 7:12 pm 
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The keys to tapering, and keeping your addiction in remission, are in Diary's second paragraph. This allows someone to reverse the maladaptive brain adaptations (addiction) that were created, or learned through addictive behavior.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 8:02 pm 
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Diary of a Quitter wrote:
As far as researching on the internet goes - you are not going to find the same amount of success stories online as you will find horror stories


That's true. It even applies to people who get clean through other ways - NA / the 12 steps, rehab etc. Heaps of people in NA drift away from the rooms after a couple of years clean. Their lives just get so busy with work, family, friends etc that they find they don't have as much time to "give back". They did a study that showed that the majority of clean people in NA drift away at around 2 years clean. Those that stay in the rooms are often the hardcore steps fiends, giving the newcomer a hard time. :lol:

I know myself how hard it can be to find successful taper stories. But they're out there! Even on the addiction support forum run by NAABT there's a big compilation thread of heaps of people who tapered and are going strong, people who stayed on Suboxone as long as they needed to.

IMO if a person needs to be on Subox for 5+ years to build a strong recovery foundation, then that's what it takes.


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