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 Post subject: When to stop Suboxone?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 9:35 pm 
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Hi, I have read many of these posts and I was wondering a couple of things:

1. How do you know when it is safe to come off suboxone? I have been on for 7 months now and my sub doc has not mentioned anything to me about how long I am going to be on Sub, when I can come off, etc. I am having some urges at 8mg a day, but they are not all that bad.

2. When I come off, am I going to go through withdrawls? I have a full time job and can't afford to lose any time from work. If I am going to go through withdrawls, how long will they last and how bad will they be? I know it is probably different for everyone, I am just looking for some general guidelines/advice!

Thanks!


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 11:48 pm 
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Well,,,
what you said in the last paragraph, IS right. everyone IS completely different.
some people have hardly any w/ds at all, some ppl have mild w/d ,,, mostly depending on how/if they taper, and how sucessful they are with the taper. obviously the higher the dose, the more intense the w/d will be.
when I stopped for a lil over a week each time, It was NOTHING like opiate w/d for ME. Id compare it to a bad cold or something.

You really should look around at the posts in the bupe in the rear view, where folks have shared thier individual taper stories, there are PLENTY of stories to read. all with different results.

I know Im not really answering your questions, but Im trying. theres no set in stone answer though.

AND, I think everyones 'time to stop' is different too. suboxone REALLY helps me with my back, and since pain pills will never really be an option for me again, Im just sticking with it. I dont have any side effects really though. some people say they just 'wake up one morning' and KNOW its time for them to taper.

so theres my humble opinion.
Like I said, do some reading in the stopping suboxone/bupe in the rear view
and you'll find LOTS of individual stories.
HOPE that helps

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 12:44 am 
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Thanks Amber. That's good advice. I will do some reading and hear what other people have experienced. You are lucky you don't have side effects from the sub. I have some pretty heavy duty ones and staying on sub for the rest of my life is not an option I want to consider.

Thanks again!


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 1:23 am 
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Yes, you will feel withdrawls...Im on day 11 coming off 8 mil....Its hell, but worth it...If you taper and can actually disipline yourself to taper, then it may be easier on you....Personally, I believe Doctors keep people on this crap for far longer than needed....Most cravings are mental....especially if your on suboxone....you will know when you are ready, and when you are ready you will be sick and tired of the whole suboxone game....


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 2:01 am 
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There is no fixed time frame. It really depends on the person and their addiction history, whether they have other health issues like psychiatric problems or pain issues.

Also, how much a person's life has changed counts for a lot. A person whose addiction was in the gutter, but who's used their time on Sub to get a job, get housing, get a healthy relationship and some self-esteem and achievements under their belt ... is further away from their addict self then a person who hasn't changed much.

The most important thing is to deal with the things that led to using!!! If a person turned to using because of pain issues, it's important to have tools to manage their pain without narcotics. If they turned to drugs after being devastated by grief then they gotta work through their grief and learn to work through it in the future. I used to blot out the pain of depression, or to bring me down when manic. In my case I've had to come to manage my bipolar with the help of proper medication and techniques. I also used because I turned my back on society and all it stood for, so I've had to accept a lot about the world and to adapt in order to preserve my life and happiness.

Still having periods of using while on Sub is a huge indicator that one is a while off from getting off Sub. I've had occasional slips, esp earlier in my treatment, however they've gotten fewer and further between. Personally, I wouldn't consider starting to taper until I've had at least 12 months without use.

Whether or not someone gets cravings / urges on Sub is pretty irrelevant I think. If anything, if a person's getting cravings on Sub and has the willpower and skills to contain them, they're in a better position to taper than someone who hasn't experienced any cravings and had any opportunities to learn how to deal with them. This is because when a person tapers off Sub, they WILL get cravings at some point, so it's good to have had some practice at dealing with them in the relative safety of being on maintenance.

As for withdrawal. You will experience some degree of withdrawal. If you jump off a highish dose like 8mg your withdrawal will be comparable to that of an agonist, and potentially worse because of its duration. Tapering minimises withdrawal experienced at any one time, though it also spreads it out over a much longer time frame. ie jump off a high dose = two weeks at least of pretty intense withdrawals. Taper slowly = mild withdrawals with each dose reduction over a number of months, and relatively mild withdrawals when you eventually jump off, esp if you jump off doses around 0.1 mg.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 2:18 am 
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I just jumped last tues...

There are cravings, but nothing that willpower and the sheer WANT to be off opioids can't handle. Everytime a crave rears it's ugly head, I think about the misery I've put myself, my mind, my body and my family thru.

Hey if joe schmo can do it, anyone can, right? Everything is possible if you want it enough. How badly do you want to free of the stress these meds created?

I was only on subs for 8 days at most and the withdrawls to subs are a fraction of what withdrawing from percs and vics were. From my point of view, being someone who wasn't on them for very long, is that i haven't yet gained a full dependance on the subs so my withdrawls may be alot milder than someone who was on a 6+ month long treatment program. I just hope it doesnt last much longer. Of course, mind the fact that even only having been on them for such a short duration i had some severe abdominal cramping today, on par with the cramps you get with food poisoning. Dont worry about that too much, cuz there's nothing like advil to help alieviate the pain.

My newest addiction? 800mgs of ibuprophin, works wonders on my back pain and the severe abdominal cramping i had earlier. I'm in the severe lethargy and sleeplessness phase. Easily a phase that I could just say 'screw it' and go right back to the subs. But my willpower is strong like bull and i have 5 reasons why perscription painkillers are not for me. Inject me with the steroids, I ain't gonna go thru this hell again. I wouldnt even wish this on my worst enemy.

So, just remember when the cravings come a calling, just say 'no' and remember how bad it was when suboxone wasn't available to come to your aid.

Good luck to you!! I wish you the easiest of withdrawls.



Ps, I'm so new to this game, I hope I can heed my own advice.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:16 am 
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First I'll say I didn't read everyone else's replies. My two cents with regard to when it's time to come off suboxone is when YOU feel it's time. That means NOT when your doctor says, not when your spouse or family says, but when YOU know it's the right time for you. When you're ready to address your triggers and cravings without suboxone on board; once you've built up new coping skills, that sort of thing. It's in YOUR hands. Most people who quit for themselves and not for someone else are the ones who are successful.

As for if you'll feel withdrawals, yes, you will, but you can minimize those with a long, slow taper, getting down as low as possible. The lower and slower you go, the less suffering you'll feel. One of our members tapered down to 1/16th of a mg and she felt no acute withdrawals. So it CAN be done!

Hope this helps. Good luck with your taper, if that's what you decide to do.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:40 pm 
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First, I would like to thank everyone for their replies. I really appreciate the time and effort put into them. For Hat, you hit the nail on the head about quitting for yourself. I am continually getting pressure from my wife to quit taking sub not only because she says it is hard for her to see what I am going through when I get sick, but also for the adverse affect it has had on our intimacy. I am not sure if "I" am ready to come off subs though. I am ready to stop getting sick, that's for certain. :) But, given what others have posted it looks like that is not going to be the end of my getting sick. My wife was upset with me when I left rehab and choose to go the medication and counselling route rather than tough it out without any "drugs" Said I was simply changing my Vicodin addition over to a Suboxone addiction. At the time, I told her she was wrong, guess she wasn't :)

Thanks again to all who have posted and tried to help me out!


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 5:22 am 
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Think of it this way: You were addicted to vicodin, but you are DEPENDENT on suboxone. Remember what you were like when you were hooked on vic's? What kind of person you were? Now look at who you are now. Do you see the difference? Can you wife see the difference? Addiction is a set of powerful negative behaviors whereas dependency just means that when we discontinue treatment we'll have to taper down. That's all. We do NOT have those horrible behaviors that go with it. We're not stealing, lying, and cheating to get our pills. With sub, we take one pill a day and that keeps us good for at least a day. Take it and forget about it. It puts us into remission.

If you had type II diabetes, would your wife ask you to go without meds? Or high blood pressure? This is a medication made for opiate addiction, a condition/disease that IS KILLING PEOPLE ALL THE TIME. Does she realize that? This medication could very well have helped to save your life already.

I never have understood what the big deal is with taking one stupid little pill once a day. I take other medications and I look at my sub the same way I look at those other meds. Just something I have to take every day, like my beta blocker for my heart. NO BIG DEAL. To me, it's that or possible relapse. Does she want you to relapse? (Yes, that's a harsh question, but maybe she needs to be asked that.)

You get my point. Maybe this will help you to explain it to her. Good luck to you. :)

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-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:52 pm 
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Thanks Hat! What you say makes much sense. I will try to stick with the subs despite the pressure as I don't feel personally I am ready to come off.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 5:19 am 
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I'm not trying to urge you to stay on it. I'm just trying to tell you that it's YOUR decision and no one else's. Sometimes the best way to help loved ones understand is simple education. Have you read any of Dr Junig's blogs? (Suboxone TalkZone? The link is at the top of the page.) He has MANY MANY blog entries that are superior for information about addiction and suboxone.

Also, in the "Why the Anger" section, there's a sticky, I believe, entitled "What is addiction". Perhaps you could read through that, including the attached articles, and share it with her. Maybe that will help her to understand better. Talk calmly with her and explain that you understand she's just trying to see you med-free based on her misunderstanding of addiction and suboxone. But you can help her understand. IF YOU WANT TO REMAIN ON SUB....that's up to YOU. (NOT ME or anyone else.) I just wanted to make that perfectly clear.

Be well and my best to you both.

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-As I have grown older, I've learned that pleasing everyone is impossible, but pissing everyone off is a piece of cake.

-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 6:51 am 
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I have yet to post my story of addiction and recovery, but I will say, I have extensive experiance and education in this black, mind numbing, heart stopping, life wreaking, soul sucking disease we call addiction. It is my opinion, and a strong one, that anytime our useing affects our family in a negative way, we have to take a good look at ourselves and see if we can't change a few things.
My husband has also suffered from my using suboxone. It has really turned our sex life upside down! He didn't sign up for this, I did. He has never had any issues with drugs or alcohol, and yet he has been very patient with mine....up until the last 6 months or so. Although I told him that the problem wasn't with him and of course Im still attracted to him, it still wasn't getting his needs met! How can I possibly blame him? I brought this horror into our marriage and yet he has had to suffer for it. It was a big motivation for me to get off the suboxone....I know that nobody can or should tell you when you are ready to stop, but for ME, the thought of losing or even just hurting my husband or family, gave me the push to decide enough was enough. Now some people may say I didn't do it for myself, but thats not true! I don't want to lose my husband, life, respect, and unconditional love I get from my family...I did do it for me!
We addicts can be very selfish people at times, and I believe Iv given enough time to suboxone....for me....I want my kids and Husband to have what they deserve....I owe that to them....they never gave up on me and now its time to pay it forward.
Its been painful and exhausting these past 13 days, but its got to end sooner or later....pain is only temporary....love is forever...
I jumped from a high dose, so of course Iv had a difficult time, but if you really commit to a slow taper you will more than likely come out of it with minor damage. Its the commiting to it and the exacution of your plan! You will have to be vigilant about it. I myself had a horrible time everytime I tried to taper....so, I said screw it, I want this so badly and Im just going to have to do it the only way I havn't tried yet! My husband has been quite shocked at exactly what withdrawls are all about...he thought I was being too dramatic about how scared I was......LOL....six days into it he thought I might need to go to the hospital....I said " baby, this is normal and I won't die, I just really want to right now". I do believe he has a new respect for people who have to go through this.
He used to tell me that opiat addicts just don't want to quit using so they act like big babys when they go through withdrawls....he thought it would be comparable to the flu......well, now he is educated....lol....I wish you well in your journey to recovery....and remember, family is forever, but you could seriously run out of drugs or scripts or money for drugs....then you will really be hurting...LOL... :wink:


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 7:32 am 
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that's awesome akamsc ... It sounds like YOU do really want this.

I think there's a difference between stopping sub after being pressured by family, and stopping Sub because it's harming your marriage. A marriage is such an important part of a person's life that doing something to save it IS really doing something for yourself. If you and your husband became estranged, the pressure of separation and what it puts the family through may leave you at a higher risk of relapse than if you stepped outta the Sub-brella. You gotta weigh these things up. Also no doubt you are looking forward to your desire returning!

Jumping off a high dose of Sub is incredibly difficult. I experienced it a couple of times, and it's no walk in the park. Congrats on getting this far!! If you're anything like me, you'll be well over the hump by now. And it won't be long before your desire cranks back in full force.


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