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 Post subject: 5 weeks off of suboxone
PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 3:27 pm 
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Quick background: 41 year old male. Pain management for 5 years due to accident. Went from 30 mg percocet per day to 300-350 mg oxycontin per day in 5 years time. Did the whole opiate withdrawal 3 times in 5 years when I would get frustrated with being doped out, before getting sick and tired of clockwatching, arguing with pharmacists, feeling sick and tired. So, I switched to suboxone.

Started suboxone films in April 2013 at 16 mg per day. Jumped down to 8 mg per day during a nasty sinus infection in June 2013. Stayed there until October2013. Tapered down from 8 mg to 6 mg between beginning of Oct and beginning of November. Went from 6-4 mg beginning of Dec to beginning of Jan 2014. Went from 4-2 mg Jan to beginning of Feb 2014. On Feb 17th, 2014, Jumped off at 2 mg. So, I was on 2 mg for around 2 weeks. The taper was done with the "help" of my suboxone doctor.

5 Weeks later +/- a couple days, I feel GREAT. I wanted to post because I visited this site several times during the suboxone withdrawal, when I was at my worst. Here's what I learned:

1) It takes about 3-4 weeks for the suboxone to get completely out of your system. My doctor mentioned that it lasts 7-half lives, which a half life is 3 days and then it's gone. I started feeling much better last week. the "haze" is gone.

2). The doctor gave me valium (5 mg) and seroquel (25 mg) to relax and sleep. I used this stuff for 3 weeks and then stopped cold turkey. I don't have mental issues, but I can tell you that after 5+ years on opiates, REGARDLESS of me taking as prescribed (most of the time), I definitely developed a psychological as well as physical dependency on this opiates. SO, I didn't want to trade 1 thing for another and chose to stop these medications.

3) You have to want to stop taking meds (if your health/illness allows it). Don't worry about PAWS, or how other people on these boards feel/think/say, including me. There is no doubt that I forgot who I was the past 5 years; and a lot of things happened to me in that time. I have to re-learn who I was, and how to adapt to who I need to be TODAY, not THEN, to deal with TODAY and TOMORROW. The past is the past; Tuesday's gone with the wind. Trust me, your mental clarity after getting off drugs with astonish you. It's great.

4). You will have good and bad days, just like everyone else in the universe. I have a good amount of pain, but so do alot of people in the world. Looking back on my life, I like to escape/alter reality a little bit. So, prescribed meds are perfect for people like me. But, to quote the Glimmer twins " Doctor prescribes, drug store supplies, whose gonna help him to kick it?"

5) Suboxone withdrawal is temporary and definitely MUCH easier than straight opiate withdrawal; it justs lasts a little bit longer. Have some long-view with it though; don't be a mental midget and think in terms of hours and days. Think of how great you will feel in a few weeks.

6) Eat healthy, stay away from alcohol, stimulants, and other illicit drugs. I walk around at work alot and this helped. I plan on beginning an exercise regiment next week because I didn't have the energy/desire/etc., to do it the past month. But the 30 lbs i packed on because of the opiate sweet tooth is begging me!!!

7) Do what makes you happy. I am a music phanatic. So, I listened to the Beatles, Neil Young, Peter Gabriel, THE GRATEFUL DEAD, The Stones, etc. I couldn't pick up the guitar for a few weeks because I had no desire to be creative, but that's come back now too.

H) Pray to your higher power; love yourself; accept your past and learn from it; move on; laugh when you can and cry when you need to; hug your family or friends (or a stranger).

The quiet Beatle was correct "All things must Pass". Don't go into another spring/summer wishing you were free. He also said "Try to see beyond yourself, no one else can make you change". This particular line/song was my detox mantra, this time around.

Good luck and God bless you. Stay Strong.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 6:13 pm 
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wow, great post! truly inspirational. I hope others come around here and check it out. keep coming back!

I especially like your taste in music!


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 7:57 am 
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Welcome WJ. It's nice to hear yet another story of someone that's making it. And finding out it's not as bad as we thought it would be. You made a lot of good points. This isn't something that will happen overnight. But it's worth it when you consider that you now have the chance to live without NEEDING something to survive.

I think we don't get to hear a lot of good stories because when people truly leave the lifestyle they don't want to come to a place that reminds them of it. I was starting to get to that point but then someone responded to my post saying that it inspired them. Then I realized over 600 people have read my thread and at least a few may have been inspired to change their life. I know the good stories that I read have inspired me. So keep posting.

I like the music thing. I didn't play my guitar for about a year. I even pawned my $1200 Taylor that I love to get drugs a few times. But since I came off sub I have started playing again every day. Things just seem to be flowing out. It's good to have some emotion back.

Keep up the good work and let us know how you are doing.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 9:57 am 
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Thanks. I just wanted to let everyone know that it's completely acheivable, if you want it. There are a lot people who post on here and give their daily mood/symptoms and I read a lot of their posts. It was comforting to know that others went through what I was going through and came out the other side ok. I had all the symptoms that were described by others. But, my wife made a very good point to me in telling me to compare it to a flu or bug or cold that was going around:

Sure, you and a bunch of others at school/work/etc., may all get a virus, but the severity and duration of the symptoms are highly variable, person to person. So, don't dwell on it. Accept that you caught it and focus on getting better.

I also looked at the whole withdrawal from a dues-paying perspective. EVERYONE must pay. You can taper as low as you want but it's all about balancing the universe; the yin and yang philosophy. You can't have 5 years of escape/pleasure/bliss for free. So, 3 weeks of feeling like deaths door is a small price to pay. I'm thankful I'm here to talk about it and I never O.D'd. Opiate pills, heroin are an epidemic. We can all trade war stories about our experiences, or those of friends and family, but, if you are reading this, you haven't paid the ulitmate price. Be thankful for that and finish your story on a positive note.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2014 2:17 am 
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Thanks for this! I'm tapering down and going to be off of Sub in a couple months myself and I am terrified! This post has made me feel far more hopeful! Thank you!


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 8:09 pm 
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What a great story. Thanks for sharing it. I really needed to see this today. I'm in a state of fear about the last part of my taper 1.5 mg to go until I am off. I have to accept my part in staying on Suboxone for 10 years. In the first and 2nd year I tried to jump with poor results. I wasn't prepared, had no support network, and was ignorant as to what I'd be in for without tapering.

I loved what you said about just moving on and keeping your eye on the prize. I have tortured myself with fear every step from 16 mg down, always fearing what would come next, and if I'm honest it's been simple and painless to this point. I regret that, but maybe sharing it will help someone else to walk through this with more grace than I have.

Real life comes rushing back, true that! The lower I've gone on my dose the more I realize a certain numbness or separation from reality has been in place for a long time. I have more small disagreements with my Fiancé, and I take them harder. I cry a lot more, not long drawn out crying, but emotions close to the surface. Both of these are a little scary, but this too is going to pass.

My doctor told me not to anticipate feeling terrible, put energy to visualizing the positive. I can already attest to my natural libido returning, losing extra weight I had carried, ambition where I remember it, all good things!

I agree that people who are happily suboxone free probably aren't hanging around on the site. That's okay, they are putting their energy into living life, which is what we all want!

Again thank you, I hope you get to read this message, you gave me hope today.

Gingerpop


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 9:11 pm 
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Good stuff john. Your the man

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Fear is Temporary, Regret is Forever


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 9:18 am 
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Wow. That makes me so hopeful. I HAVE been on suboxone a total of 2 months. Started out 8mgs day for a month now 12mg a day. I want off of everything. I'm just so afraid of the withdrawal. Please help me. My doctor(a sub doc) thinks I should should stay on sub maintenance. He concluded this after meeting with him once for 10 min. Please help me.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 1:03 pm 
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I think that if you have already tapered to below 2 mg, you are way ahead of where you may "think" you are. I have zero experience in tapering below 2 mg; many members can give you the finer points on a "liquid taper" to, say, 0.5 mg or below. Personally, I had enough and since I already did the cold-turkey on oxys a few times, I got over the anxiety of withdrawal really quick.

But, that's not to say that the actually withdrawal from Suboxone was fun, either. I just knew I could do it, especially since it was doing zero for me at such a low dose, in terms of pain management, euphoria, etc.

For me, the physical withdrawals were short and not very intense. But, the blues lasted about 3 weeks. All told, it was a 4 week process. I did this in February, in one of the colder winters the NOrtheast has offered in years. So, it was drab.

Good luck. Just convince yourself that anything you feel will be temporary and will pass. And, if you are getting your suboxone legitimately, by all means ask your Doctor to prescribe meds to help you. For me, it was valium, clonodine, and seroquel. Never taken together, but all taken during the process.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 10:23 pm 
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Good to read such an inspirational story! It gives me hope that I only have a few more weeks to go until I come out the other side! Been waiting for the truly awful acute wd to start and 4days in, not so bad. I actually had a great evening, joking and laughing with my husband. I was forced into jumping at 2 mgs by my doctor (a whole other issue) but it was THE BEST thing. Staying positive!


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 12:44 pm 
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You're story just gave me new hope! Here's my back story: 40 yr old female (41 in July) I'd started messing around with vicodin in 2000, and by 2002 I was addicted. I didn't get them for any particular medical issue, I just liked them, a lot. In 2008, after six years of taking more and more, spending lots and lots of money, getting sick if I couldn't buy or find any that day, the whole vicious cycle, losing weight, looking like crap, living everyday around them: how many do I have, how many do I need today, how/where am I gonna get them, how many can I buy (even before gas, cigs, dinner, etc) I finally landed in jail for 81 days. This resulted from calling in fake scripts to the pharmacy. I knew how to pretend I was a doctor or from a doctors office, and I knew how to give directions to the pharmacy. I was doing this for a few years, after I called it in, I'd wait a while, then call as myself and see if it was ready. It worked several times, and sometimes if I didn't think it worked or if I got scared it was a fail. Well finally I got caught doing it, twice. So my legal problems landed me in jail finally, and I ended up with probation. But prior to going to jail, I truly wanted to stop, but I realized I couldn't do it on my own. I made half~ass attempts at getting help, trying to get into rehab, etc, but it turned out landing in jail was the best thing for me. When I first got there, I didn't have a clue how much time I would get, but I put it in my head right away that I was going to use the time to get clean. I felt like crap for the first couple weeks, but surprisingly not as bad as I thought it would be. The hardest part was the mental part. After I felt better physically, it was one day at a time in my head. My mind would "play tricks" on me, like I would rationalize it by thinking since Im not "physically" addicted anymore I can take em once in a while., because I still liked how they made me feel. But I also knew I couldn't do that. But everyday I got stronger, and when I was released 81 days later, the mind games started again. In jail I had no choice, I wasn't taking them, but now I'm free to do what I want. But I stayed strong, I wanted control of my life back, and I never wanted to go back to that lifestyle, ever. I'd never considered suboxone during any of that. Anyhiw, moving on, I stayed clean as a whistle for two years, and then in 2010 I relapsed. Like an asshole. I was so mad at myself, it was the same thing starting all over again, "I can take a few here and there, it won't hurt" and I was addicted again, just like that. I took em for about four months and woke up one day and kicked myself, and went to a doctor and got on suboxone. I've been taking them ever since. I realize I allowed myself to become physically and mentally addicted to these now, and I want so badly to take back my life again. I did it once before, but I didn't choose to go to jail and stop! But I still take like one sub a day. I want to start tapering, but I find excuses, like I work a lot and I need the other half to get by the rest of the night (I'll take half in the morning) Anyhow, I truly, truly, want to stop taking them, and not be dependent on anything ever again. But I'm having a hard time preparing myself for the physical yuckies, I don't want to have to go to work feeling like crap, its really not an option, I'm a waitress and I work a lot, its not good to go to work like that and most likely having attitude on top of it, so I'm in a rut. I never stopped taking them and I don't know what to expect. I just want to be free again! But your story does provide some hope, you're definitely strong, and the reality is most addicts are not. Its hard to be strong, and its even hard to understand clearly that life is so much better when youre clean and have learned how to live life without them again. Good job!


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