Suboxone Forum

2.5 months off.. after 6 years on sub.
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Author:  tinydancer [ Wed Jun 12, 2013 7:45 pm ]
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Billy68 wrote:
I've been on Subs since 2007. Still on them I've tried to stop cold but 3rd day was too much to bear. I'd like to try the wean so I did. I've gone from over 8mgs per day down to 4 per day and feel fine now. I split a half a strip in morn and the other at 5pm late afternoon. Since on these subs, libido almost non existent, no common colds, piss always dark, always constipated, but the worst is that what used to get me so very exited doesn't happen anymore. Please tell me that I will feel that feeling again after I quit subs for good. I understand it'll take a few months but as long as natural endorphins come back, then it'll make me more strong to quit. If that makes sense to u guys I hope. Thanku for listening to me. Please respond. Anyone with experience

Billy68 wrote:
To BB6. ThankU so so very much for responding to me. Just by ur response for the first time in since 2007 I feel better. No one at all knows about this. My wife, nor either teen kids I have. They'd b mortified if they knew I was addicted. I hear all that u say. I'm extemely happy that I will feel good naturally again when I quit. And I will. Soooo glad u r here and I found u guys. Ill stay in touch. U guys r all I have in this secret life living. They always comment on my tiny pupils. I feel terrible inside. I need to quit n live normal again. Ill keep on with the taper. Hope I'm strong enough. Thanku. Talk soon

Quitting cold is hard and will ruin almost anyone. It's a recipe for failure and disappointment. Please try to get down to at least 1mg.. anything below 1mg is just icing on the cake IMO and not really all that necessary. Please don't worry about not getting your feelings back or not 'returning to normal," I know what you're talking about and I promise you will. I don't know what your "normal" is exactly but I can tell you that any of the suboxone side effects (both good & bad) go away when you're off. For me it was almost instantly. There are positives and negatives, though, because anything beneficial you were getting from suboxone (and trust me, there are good effects too) are also stripped. For me, it felt like I was getting re-set completely and learning to live and cope with life all over again, which was both exciting and scary all at the same time.

Whatever you do, don't feed the anxiety/ panic cycle during this time. It's mostly in your head, it's very real and you can't control it, but it's mainly from over thinking things. Please find some peace in the fact that you are not ruined and you can do this, if this is what you want. It will be easier than you think in some ways (physically) and harder than you're expecting in other ways (mentally/ emotionally) but completely doable if you're ready and have your mind set to it. Try to stop the anxiety where it starts don't feed it.. I can't say that enough.

Also, about your health.. Are you drinking enough water? You mentioned your urine was dark. Have you been checked for hepatitis at any point? Take care of yourself during this time. Drink water, eat right and pay attention to what your body is telling you.

It's truly unfortunate that you don't have anyone else to confide in about this journey but I get it. I wish you had at least one family member to talk to, it really helps. By the way, are your eyes blue? It's so easy to spot pinned eyes on blue eyed people. It's always a dead give away. Hopefully your eyes will be less pinned as you lower. Speaking of lowering, you're on 8mgs now, right? 4 in the morning and 4 in the evening? You'd be surprised how easy it is to go from 8 to 4.

I'd start with 4mg in the morning and then do only 3mgs at night.. stay at that dose for however long you need.. then drop your morning dose to 3mgs and 3 at nights.. stay there for how ever long you need.. Keep chipping down with whatever you're comfortable with, alternating between lowering evening and morning doses. It works wonders.

Good luck.. we're all here for you!

Author:  tinydancer [ Wed Jun 12, 2013 7:53 pm ]
Post subject: 

TeeJay wrote:
Congrats Tinydancer! That's a huge achievement.

It's really heartening to see people do well post-Suboxone. It's kinda like when you go to a meeting, feeling all hopeless about recovery, and you see heaps of people with 5+ years clean kicking goals. This forum definitely needs examples like yourself to remind us of what's possible.

I hope you stick around.

Thank you.

I am not perfect by any means, I'm still trying to figure it all out, but I'm making progress. I get stronger and more comfortable in my own skin as time passes but it's often in up and down cycles. I expected the first year to be this way and I'm just glad it's evened out as much as it has.

I will keep updating. :D

Author:  stewart1 [ Fri Jun 14, 2013 9:49 pm ]
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I am glad to hear you are doing so well, it seems everywhere I look I hear horror stories about getting off of subs. I have only been on for about 7 months, but I hope when I get off for good I am feeling as happy as you are. You seem to be very optimistic which is probably doing a great deal of good for you. I am sure you will always remember the crappy moments whenever you start to crave or think you could get away with using "one more time". Wish you the best of luck in your continuing sobriety.

Author:  stewart1 [ Fri Jun 14, 2013 9:52 pm ]
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Wow, just realized how old this thread it. Amazing how well you've done.

Author:  Robert [ Fri Jun 14, 2013 11:33 pm ]
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Hi there, I have been taking suboxone (later subutex) for 6 years too... I just hate when people claim that feeling shit can creep up around 6,8,9 months and even at the turn of the year, or claims of permanent di-motivation, low energy etc all lasting for years.. I hate horror claims or stories like that.

Can I ask Tinydancer if you are feeling worse by the day or better by the day? I would prefer honesty. I am just looking into reports that PAWS and feeling shitty can get worse 8 months or around about there, I wonder why that is? I have not been on doses above 1.2mg the last 4 1/2 years, I have on average been taking 1mg of subs in the last 4 years, I hope that stacks in my favor. I have tapered down to 0.75, so far so good, I want or need to give myself the best chance in not feeiling too shitty for years, hopefully tapering can help with that, on the other hand I read reports of low doses actually adding the misery, claims that high doses involve chemical dump, exiting because of having a long half life, therefore decreasing hardcore withdrawals, whereas 2mg and under work strongly and increase withdrawals and PAWS. I hope this is not true or else I would have wasted my time tapering down..I also hope cases of feeling shitty for years or starting to feel shitty after 6-8 months are not just related to long term sub.

Please update more if you an and tell us how you really feel.

Author:  tinydancer [ Sat Jun 15, 2013 1:25 pm ]
Post subject: 

Hi Robert,

Yeah, I read a lot of those stories too. It's pretty scary seeing that stuff, huh? I had to stop reading anything online regarding suboxone well before I started to taper and jump. The info I was getting wasn't worth the fear and anxiety. So, you're already down to .75mgs? That's great! It's well below what I got to. I wouldn't pay ANY attention to the stories that claim acute and post acute withdrawals are harder for people who taper lower. Of everyone I know who has gone through the jumping process, the exact opposite is the case. The lower you go, the easier it is and you're in a great place. I do believe there comes a point when you have to weigh the pros & cons of tapering really low. Tapering really, really low can prove to be more of a headache than just jumping at a certain point. This is just my opinion because i didn't have the patience or discipline to get that low. For me, it was easier to just stop. My husband got down to about .2mg and had barely any withdrawal at all. He was low energy for a couple weeks and had a couple restless nights in the beginning, but no one could have guessed he was going through anything. He hasn't had any PAWS what so ever.

I was at a higher dose when I jumped and had a rougher time, but even so, I did it. LOL. At 5 months, I remember having to deal with feelings of anger and sadness that seemed to come out of nowhere. It would just hit me out of the blue and I had a hard time dealing with that, but luckily it was brief. I have to imagine that was part of paws.. I dont know. Motivation is something that's taken a while to get back on track but there is a gradual trajectory that's at an incline.

So, today, at 10 months off suboxone, I can say that I don't believe I am dealing with PAWS and I don't believe I have been for several months. Is life perfect? Nope.. but my "bad days" can all be tied to either an event that's happened or a conflict with someone in my life. I'm just dealing with every day stuff that would cause anyone to have a bad day. I will admit that navigating through anger, frustration and sadness, without anything to take the edge off, is tough shit sometimes. Truly. That's when cravings can pop up. The good news is that I have mostly good days and have been learning as I go, how to deal with the bad days. So, to answer your question, I don't really have any random bad days for no reason. The days where I feel off or a little down, out of the blue, are directly related to my fluctuating hormones. It's like clock work every month so I know it's not PAWS. I'm willing to bet that for some people (women,) who aren't in tune with their cycles and how their hormones go up and crash each month, and how that directly effects our serotonin levels, probably would mistake it for paws. Simple things like this probably cause people to make this process out to be much worse than it actually is. Does that make sense?

Motivation is the main thing I struggle with these days, but I think it also has to do with my life style change after moving from the east coast back to the west coast. I'm working on improving my diet and exercise as we speak and feel that alone will help me a lot.

So, there you have it. If you have an specific questions I didn't answer let me know. Hang in there, it's really not as bad as you think or you hear. I'm not tough, actually, I'm a fucking pussy when it comes to this stuff. If I did it, I truly believe anyone can do it. It's just staying clean that will prove to be a challenge, not actually getting off subs.

Author:  Robert [ Mon Jun 17, 2013 6:15 pm ]
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Thank you for your response TD. I am assuming you are not currently in PAWS? I hope you do not get hit with PAW symptoms later as so many others do. So you stopped suboxone at 2mg? do you think if you tapered down from 2mg to 0 that would have cut down on PAWS and your withdrawals? after all you made it through withdrawals jumping at 2mg right, so somehow you still got through it, whereas I see so many low dose jumpers never make it and be in agony, so can it be true the stacking affect helped your withdrawals? who knows hey.

Did you try other medications to help you through the worse parts? do you believe you have returned to your old self i.e normal and sober and just basically happy? or do you think suboxone did some damage that it will take you more time to actually have good normal days.

I am glad you are 10 months away from suboxone, it makes it a change from those who still struggle badly at this time or claim their PAWS creeped up on them a yea later. Do you exercise at all? does it really help?

Author:  tinydancer [ Mon Jun 17, 2013 6:42 pm ]
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I'm not sure if you actually read my post above..? Maybe I wasn't clear in what I was trying to get at. I'll try again..

I strongly disagree with this stacking theory. Sorry, I don't buy into it at all. I got down to 1.5mg, then had one day at .50 before I jumped. My withdrawals and extended PAWS lasted FAR longer than my husband's, which were basically non-existent. He jumped at 0.2mg. He had hardly any symptoms at all and barely felt like he was withdrawing from anything. We were both on it for exactly 6 years. From the other people I know, who have gotten off this stuff, the lower you go is believed to be better and easier, without a doubt.

I am not currently in paws, as I mentioned above. Yes, I feel like I've returned back to my normal self, happy most of the time, and sad, angry, frustrated, confused etc.. depending on the situation. Just like "normal" people. Normal doesn't equate to happy all the time, just so you know. But, yes, I am happy most of the time, as long as there isn't a situation causing me to be otherwise. Ya know?

Medications- Yes, I used Klonopin and Neurontin for the first 3-4 weeks of jumping. I think they helped quite a bit, lookign back at the situation. I did not use anything past that first month to avoid getting hooked on something else. Benzos have never been my thing, so I knew going into it, it wouldn't be too risky.

I exercise lightly. I need to be better with it though. I go through spurts where I'll be good about it, and stick to a plan, and then go through a few weeks here and there where I'm bad about it. I just joined a new (closer) gym last week and plan to be better. :) Overall though, I am a healthy person. I'm not over weight, I eat right, etc..

For whatever it's worth, I think you're putting too much stock in what random people online are saying about this process. I realize that means you shouldn't listen to me either but I hope you can take a step back and stop buying into these stacking theories that actually go against anything I've ever seen to be true.

K, good luck to you!

Author:  Robert [ Wed Jun 19, 2013 6:25 pm ]
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Hey I apologize if I came across like I did not read your post, I think am so pre-occupied with the stacking affect theory that I seem to dwell on that too much. I had a word with my doc today and he is still convinced that stacking affect and half life can play a part in reducing the sub in your system whether you stop from moderate does or low. Infact tons of people have claimed the half life helped their withdrawals to be milder whereas reduction to minute doses increased their withdrawals to some degree. There are several stories where people did take their time tapering down but later on claimed they had withdrawals suddenly creep up and then suffer PAWS after that. Like I said another post we need to be objective about this.

I never claimed you are still on suboxone or claimed you was pretending to be off suboxone because of the saying "misery loves company". I was genuinely trying to be objective about the whole issue. I agree that I have come across several people who told everybody else they stopped suboxone when actually they went on other boards asking questions how to taper down and were still on suboxone. Usually most people who stop suboxone and recover do not tend to visit boards like this, unless they are still feeling the side affects or PAWS from suboxone and need support, I can understand that, I would do the same.

So yeah I must be objective about the whole tapering, cold turkey and high jump dose issue. Not everybody has the same experience, unfortunately the general consensus is we still have the play the piper whether we go down to minute doses or not, and people only seem to feel different when they actually stop suboxone, or feel withdrawals when they stop suboxone, again this leads back to the theory that you can taper as much as you want but any sub dose we take is pushing the withdrawals back in our receptor sites, and only way go through them is to stop suboxone, except a moderate/high dose jump can make withdrawals milder compared to doses of under 1mg,. which seem strong in their potency.

Anyhoo I do wish people can recover from suboxone and do hope people can make it through the other side, if people can beat suboxone PAWS then they can beat anything, even some ex-methadone users claim their PAWS lasted way much shorter then suboxone PAWS, sub is popular for that reason alone.

Good luck TD and everybody else beating this demon.

Author:  tinydancer [ Wed Jun 19, 2013 8:04 pm ]
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You've totally lost me... I have no idea what your second paragraph is about.

I do agree with you that tapering can be just as hard as jumping from a moderate dose, in that you end up going through withdrawals anyway, and are just prolonging the inevitable. This is exactly why my advice to people is anything under 1mg is just icing on the cake. I don't think going below 1mg is all that needed *IF* people are having trouble tapering further. If it's easy for someone to continue tapering down, then I believe it to be even better.

Withdrawals from suboxone, and even methadone, are in fact considerably more mild than a SAOs, I'll give you that. No arguments here. Yes, it's because of the longer half life in these medications.

However, your ideas that PAWS are worse for people who taper lower just aren't supported by anything medically or scientifically. People experience PAWS differently depending on all sorts of factors, including how stable one is to begin with. Personally, I don't trust every description of PAWS on the internet because it's really easy to mistake every bump in the road for "PAWS", when in reality, everyone has hurdles and bumps in the road. The idea that PAWS is more severe for people who gradually step down and "walk off" of this drug is just plain crazy, IMO.

Author:  TeeJay [ Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:49 pm ]
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tinydancer wrote:
However, your ideas that PAWS are worse for people who taper lower just aren't supported by anything medically or scientifically. People experience PAWS differently depending on all sorts of factors, including how stable one is to begin with. Personally, I don't trust every description of PAWS on the internet because it's really easy to mistake every bump in the road for "PAWS", when in reality, everyone has hurdles and bumps in the road. The idea that PAWS is more severe for people who gradually step down and "walk off" of this drug is just plain crazy, IMO.

I couldn't agree with this more. Most people on maintenance have been abusing opioids for many years. In the haze of addiction, and even maintenance, you begin to lose sight of how it feels to live life on life's terms. Once you get off, whether by high-jumping or tapering, at 4-8-12-16 weeks post-detox it's nigh impossible to gauge where the PAWS symptoms begin and end, and how much of what you're feeling is just adjusting to living life without opioids. I say this a fair bit on the forum, but the only real way to gauge how much PAWS you've experienced with some objectivity is to look back in hindsight. At 6 months off-opioids you begin to notice how crazy / emotionally reactive & fragile you really were at 1 month clean... Same goes with looking back at 12 months at how you were at 6 months.

Re SAO's being considerably harder to withdraw from. I've actually found the opposite. Jumping off a highish (90-100mg) dose of methadone was probably the most difficult withdrawal experience I'd been through in terms of how long it went for. Jumping off a high dose of Sub was more difficult withdrawal wise than detoxing off heroin. 2 weeks of acute symptoms compared to 5-7 days. But the benefit of the long-acting opioids is that a person can actually achieve a successful taper. The chances of me tapering down to a minute dose of IV heroin is pretty much non-existent.

Robert -- it seems like you're approaching your taper with a lot of pessimism. There are many people on this forum who've successfully tapered and can attest that it's not the dramatic nightmare-PAWS scenario some people make it out to be. Getting off opioids, whether with Sub or methadone or naltrexone or the 12-steps is, according to many, the biggest challenge they've confronted in their life. Early recovery - ie the first 2 years of abstinence - can be a real emotional rollercoaster. But from my own experience and by the word of others, it does get better with time. IMO if a person finds their recovery unravelling / going backwards, it's a sign they've taken a wrong turn in their life and need to correct something, and not some pathological result of hidden Sub stacked away in their body. If you view it in that pathological sense, you approach the problem from a place of powerlessness. But if you approach it proactively and look at your own life and make adjustments, even if it's only adjusting your expectations of where you should be at in your recovery at that stage, you can continue to grow in your recovery.

Author:  tinydancer [ Thu Jun 20, 2013 12:48 am ]
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TeeJay wrote:

Re SAO's being considerably harder to withdraw from. I've actually found the opposite. Jumping off a highish (90-100mg) dose of methadone was probably the most difficult withdrawal experience I'd been through in terms of how long it went for. Jumping off a high dose of Sub was more difficult withdrawal wise than detoxing off heroin. 2 weeks of acute symptoms compared to 5-7 days. But the benefit of the long-acting opioids is that a person can actually achieve a successful taper. The chances of me tapering down to a minute dose of IV heroin is pretty much non-existent.

I agree with this as well. Jumping from a really high dose of methadone or suboxone is incomparable. I do believe it's easier to jump from lower doses of bupe than SOAs tho. The acute withdrawals from a lower dose of bupe, although last longer, are not as severe as SAOs, IMO. A high dose of bupe or methadone tho? Forget it! lol

Author:  Amy-Work In Progress [ Fri Jun 21, 2013 1:13 am ]
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Sometimes, TD, when a record keeps skipping all you can do is ignore that broken record. ;)


Author:  tinydancer [ Sun Aug 04, 2013 12:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 2.5 months.. after 6 years sub.

It's been 1 year off subs.

I want to post more but I'm on my phone and I'd rather wait till I'm at a computer.. I'll give a better update tomorrow from work, when I can really reflect back on the last year. Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend!

Author:  Romeo [ Sun Aug 04, 2013 1:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 2.5 months.. after 6 years sub.


Author:  Amy-Work In Progress [ Sun Aug 04, 2013 4:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 2.5 months.. after 6 years sub.

Congratulations on a year!!


Author:  Brown Eyed Girl [ Sun Aug 04, 2013 5:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 2.5 months.. after 6 years sub.

tinydancer wrote:
It's been 1 year off subs.

Oh WOW Tiny, that is so AWESOME!

1 YEAR off subs and clean!!! Woooo Hoooo!!!!

You are such an inspiration to those like me wondering if it's really possible to beat this stuff. Thank you so much for this post!


Hope you have many more years to add to this first one! Beautiful job!


Author:  BeautifulDisaster [ Sun Aug 04, 2013 7:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 2.5 months.. after 6 years sub.


Author:  qhorsegal2 [ Mon Aug 05, 2013 10:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 2.5 months.. after 6 years sub.

Super cool Tiny!

Did the good hubby take you out on the town to celebrate? If not, tell him he owe's you a great big present to make up for it!

Author:  tinydancer [ Mon Aug 05, 2013 2:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 2.5 months.. after 6 years sub.

Thank you, my lovelies.

So.. I documented the first 6 months, fairly well, in the earlier stages of this thread. The first six months were sometimes amazing and sometimes hellish, with a gradual steady incline. Which was totally expected after, oh, I dunno, a lifetime of drug use. Finally after 6-7 months I really started evening out and feeling "normal" both emotionally and physically. I got to a place where I felt strong and happy.. woo-hoo! Then I let my guard down a bit around my birthday in march, when I went to mexico, and experimented with a low dose of Percocets, here and there. Never really exceeding a 10mg tab in a 24 hour period. I still have a VERY healthy fear of where I had come from, and although I was playing with fire, I never set out to get completely "loaded", I guess I was just curious what it felt like to get a little buzz again. I had a couple short stints and with each one, I realized how utterly stupid and useless it was. I had reached out, during that time, to a few members on this forum to discuss, but I needed some time away from it before I could openly talk about it. Really, I just felt stupid, after all I had been through, to even mess around, despite how little I did. The guilt and depression after only using a little bit of oxycodone is so not worth the hour of a little buzz/ warmth. I am relieved to know that I had these realizations early on. I'm not sure I could ever enjoy a buzz again, after years of recovery, you just know that what you're doing is wrong and not the answer. That's how it is for me anyway..

Some people are going to blame my slip on PAWS. It's not the case. I felt great when I slipped, it's when I let my guard down that it happened. I'm an addict and will always be fighting the little voice in my head that says "it's ok." The clean time on methadone & suboxone gave me a lot of perspective and I still believe that I wouldn't have gotten away from active addiction without them. That time allowed me to grow in self awareness, maturity, and to learn a better life, a life without self harm and death hanging over my head. So, while my first year was not completely perfect, I'm still proud of where I am today and the fact that I'm learning a lot as I go.. continuously. I would not trade where I am today for anything. It's still been worth it (for me.)

What's that saying everyone is rattling off around here? Progress not perfection? Um.. yeah. :D

For the record, I don't feel like I have PAWS at all, but that may be due to my lifestyle or general outlook on life, I don't know. I feel like it's important to let people know this because there are so many people claiming to be ruined after bupe maintenance. I think there may be several factors involved in those scenarios.. All I have to go on is how I feel, and I feel good.

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