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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2015 8:39 pm 
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Really could use some advice. I think I jumped too high (1mg) but I don't want to turn back so any suggestions or wisdom would be appreciated.
Long story short, I started pain meds for a chronic pain condition (biggest regret of my life) and stayed on for six years. I never abused my meds and I never went above 30mg/day of oxy. But when it stopped helping they switched me to subs. I've been taking 6mg/day for three years (second biggest mistake) and I've wanted to be off of it for years. February 2015 I did a rapid detox 6-0 in a few weeks and then tried to CT it which only lasted about three weeks. That was way too high to jump. So I went back on subs and stabilized myself at 2mg. I've tapered down to 1mg over the past few months but couldn't go below and still make it at work.
So basically I quit my job just to try this again.
I'm at three plus weeks from subs but I have cheated here and there with 1/4 of a Tylenol 4 when I was really suffering. The withdrawal is not as psychically intense as the first time but my brain feels like scrambled eggs! I feel so disoriented, scared of being around people, extremely depressed, dizzy and just all around awful. I'm normally a very social person, so now I'm terrified that I'll never feel normal again. And my job requires for me to be very social and confident... I don't know how I would work feeling this way.
I have one T4 left but then nothing. Any advice on what to do next? I don't want to go back, I've come so far and I'm desperate to be off this terrible medicine. I know realistically I changed everything in my brain for 8 plus years and there is no easy way out, but I'm starting to worry about how long this will take. Everyone's story seems to range so much, from pretty mild and quick to long and torturous. I know I need to be patient, but my mind feels so confused I start freaking out. Did I do so much damage that I can't feel normal without subs?

Thank you so much for listening


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2015 3:47 am 
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Welcome calypsogirl
I know it can be hard coming off full agonists and partial agonists. You have a 9 yr history with agonists so understandably it may not be easy. You have survived the first 3wks was which some would say is the hardest part. Your brain is adjusting to your new situation and depression is almost inevitable for a given period. You will absolutely return to your idea of normal but this takes time.
I remember feeling as you describe, when I jumped off methadone. As difficult as it was, things started improving after 3 weeks, but very slowly and it took me over 3 months to leave my house. I was lucky to have my mum visit me daily. My pain was insane, partly due to the effect of stopping long term agonists and also because I had issues that opiates had masked. It took me 72 days to leave the house.i should add that I was also WDing off benzo and pot.
I was on different drugs than you so please don't think your journey will mirror mine.
Three weeks is a long time when your suffering physically and mentally. You are doing amazing to get this far. I promise you will notice some improvement soon.
It will help if you can push yourself to exercise.. Given you took them for chronic pain, im wondering how you will manage pain in the future?
At some point during WD, music became my medicine. I would crank it up and dance until my pain told me to stop.
Baths and showers a couple of times a day was a must! Please keep in touch and let us support you.
Take care calypsogirl!


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2015 4:48 am 
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Thank you for your advice Katipo. I know methadone is very hard to come off of... it gives me hope that things eventually got better for you. I know you mentioned benzos and pot in your withdrawal story, but I forgot to mention I've been taking 1 mg of xanax a day for the past three weeks and smoking weed to help sleep. I only have about 20 xanax left... Should I not be taking those anymore? I've heard benzo withdrawal can be hell, but I wasn't sure how quickly the body adapts to them.
I have barely left the house in three weeks, I can't imagine 3 months, but the way I feel psychologically is overwhelming right now :(


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2015 7:27 pm 
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People tend to create their own reality. You describe the mistakes you made, but you don't seem to remember WHY you made those 'mistakes'. For example, you say that starting Suboxone was the 'second biggest mistake of your life.' But what would have happened if you hadn't started it? How do you know now that you were dead wrong-- when a few years ago you believed it was the right decision?

I point this out because right now you are making another questionable decision. In fact, you are making several questionable decisions. You are tapering buprenorphine without the guidance of a physician. You are taking codeine on your own. A person with a history of opioid dependence, guiding her own use of codeine, is never going to end well. Or are you thinking that you are 'different' than all of the rest of us, who have learned that lesson?

You are taking illicit benzos too. And smoking pot. But starting Suboxone was the problem?!

Yes, I realize this post will piss you off.... but it may also spark some insight, and it will certainly help at least a few people out there understand the problem with the way we addicts think. We tend to rationalize the things we do NOW, while pointing at the things we learned from mistakes back THEN. Anyone who has had setbacks from addiction needs to understand that defect in our thinking. Whenever we catch ourselves thinking that we know better NOW, because of something we learned THEN, we need to challenge our thought process... or else we will only repeat the past, over and over.

Calypso, I hope you find the peace you are seeking. In my opinion, finding it will be harder than you think. If you are truly ready to live a life off buprenorphine or other protective agents, you need to start tolerating life on life's terms NOW. I have many patients who eventually gave up buprenorphine, but the one thing the successful ones have in common is that they started their lives off buprenorphine knowing that life would have to be more difficult than it used to be. They knew that going forward, there were NO excuses that would justify using illicit psychotropic substances--- period.

They knew that if they justified taking an occasional tylenol #4 now, they wouldn't be able to NOT justify it tomorrow. And if taking Xanax is OK now, they will justify taking 2 tablets of Xanax tomorrow. If pot is helpful NOW, then another drug will be reasonable tomorrow.

Addiction is a nasty condition, but it doesn't have to ruin a person's life. Not any longer from opioid dependence, anyway. Now, people have the option of treating their illness with buprenorphine and getting on with life. Unfortunately I see so many people repeat the cycle, seeing buprenorphine as a problem that justifies returning to other illicit substances. Instead of taking Xanax and smoking pot, why not just stay on buprenorphine and get on with life? Or weren't you really ready for a life without substances?


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2015 7:47 pm 
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I, too, found the first 3 weeks to be the hardest. I started to feel significantly better at 60 days - your brain DOES get back to Normal. The damage isn't permanent. It is difficult to learn how to live "life on life's terms" without the buffer of opiates you've had for years.

Since you're not working, would it be possible to get into an intensive outpatient program? It's a good way of getting structure as well as treatment. If not, maybe you can get involved in a support group. Also, you might want to see a psychologist. For many people getting off of opiates the depression persists for a while, and some need medication.

The important thing is don't go it alone. The physical withdrawals are the easy part. It's harder to adjust to life after long term opiate use. Hopefully, you can use the time you have to reach out for help.
Wish you the best,
Lilly


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2015 11:26 pm 
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I appreciate your honest opinion suboxdoc. I do remember very well why I got on pain meds and eventually suboxone. I originally took the pain meds because I've had a serious pain condition/chronic illness since age 17 and foolishly didn't think about the long term consequences of starting oxycodone. I was very young (22) and had tried all the other conventional treatments for my illness. I do greatly regret this decision because it only mildly helped my pain and left me physically dependent.
I started suboxone not understanding that it can be used to taper off oxycodone when used for a short period of time. My suboxone doctor never discussed this as an option and continually discouraged me from stopping or tapering down (but I also didn't do my research to better understand this drug). I was paying him $200 a visit and he would literally kick me out of his office if I tried to talk to him for more than a few minutes. I tapered down under his guidance to 1mg but I could no longer afford to see him.
I can't afford an intensive outpatient program and I must return to work soon... I would like the guidance of a physician but I'm not sure where to turn. Very few physicians seem to understand suboxone. My doctor seemed to know very little and seemed frustrated when I would ask him about the latest research and info.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2015 7:34 pm 
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I started going back to NA when I went off Sub. If you can get to NA or AA you'll find people who have been through withdrawals, and have gotten through the general misery of early recovery. I only got a couple of phone #'s at the beginning, but it helped to talk to someone. Also, getting to a meeting gave me a goal, but wasn't too overwhelming because it was only an hour or so. And it's free :)
Hope you feel better,
Lilly


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2015 8:54 pm 
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Thank you for your advice Lilly. I wanted to let you know (and anyone who is worried about detox) that I really turned a corner the other day and am feeling much better! I was having horrible body aches that were keeping me at home 24/7, but exactly one month to the day that I took my last dose they stopped. I didn't know it would happen like that, but it's such a relief. I'm still having headaches and stomach issues but I feel like the worst is over. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Reading the posts on this forum really kept me encouraged the last few weeks. I want people to know it does get better if you're patient!


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