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 Post subject: 7 years of buprenorphine
PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 6:43 pm 
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I have been on buprenorphine for seven years now, the majority of my treatment has been out of pocket. Which is why i say "buprenorphine" and not "suboxone" because as soon as suboxone went generic, I was all about getting it a cheaply as possible, which still isnt cheap, but cheaper.

Back story aside, The reason for this post is that I want more than anything to stop taking this. I am just as much an addict today as i was when i first started treatment, only now it dosen't show as much. It is such a financial drain on my family, not to mention the nightmare i become if my supply is threatened. Thats threatened btw, not gone, when its gone, i cease to function. I have three children who have learned to forgive mommys moments of panic or anger or driving to a pharmacy at 2am thats hours away because my regular pharmacy was out and i couldnt wait for them to order it. My husband is wonderful, he takes it all in stride, he pays for it all and never begrudges me for it. I couldnt ask for someone better, but I want to be better for him. I want to be better for my girls. I hate that this thing controls me, all these years later when the actual "addiction" feels like a bad dream.

I have managed to decrease my dosage from 16mgs a day to 8mgs a day, but ive bottomed out everytime i try and take it further i slide back. any advice? anyone been through this and out the other side? my doctor thinks i should never come off it, that i should get to appx. 2mgs and just stay there. -but i pay him alot of money, so i think he is biased- Would it still own me at 2mgs? I want to be free of this. Any help is greatly appreciated.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 7:36 pm 
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Good to have you here, thing! (I abbreviated your name because I think I'm funny. I'm not actually funny, I just think I am!)

First of all, congratulations for having tapered to 8mg! And a bigger congratulations for taking control of your addiction by utilizing suboxone. After all, where would you be right now if you hadn't gotten on sub? Your husband has his wife and your kiddos have a mommy. Turning your addiction around is an incredible accomplishment.

From what I read in your post, you are tired of the financial drain that comes with being on sub. And you don't like the fact that you're dependent on something that causes you to freak out at the thought of running out.

The first thing I would suggest is to try to taper to 6mg, but have your doctor still prescribe 8mg. Create a stockpile so that you don't have to experience so much anxiety over running out. At the same time, get your husband, mom, or your best friend to start helping you! Explain what you're trying to do. Have them hold your sub and dole it out. They can create your stockpile for you.

Have your doctor prescribe you clonidine for withdrawal symptoms. It's very effective.

I am at 2mg per day and I have been on that dose since around February. It's a good dose for me. I have no side effects that I can tell, but the dose is enough to keep the cravings at bay.

What part of the cost is prohibitive for you? Does the doctor charge a ton for the appointment? Or is it the medication that is your big expense? If it's the cost of the medication, tapering to 2mg makes a bid difference.

Here's my main concern for you. As you said, you are as much of an addict today as you were when you started treatment. What changes are you going to make to ensure you don't relapse after tapering off sub? You can't expect to quit suboxone without setting up multiple avenues of support. Are you going to make sure that all of your friends, relatives, acquaintances know that you're an addict so they hid their meds when you come over? Are you going to start going to meetings and/or find a therapist who specializes in addiction? If you are to taper off, you need to start laying the groundwork for success now.

I hope that any of these suggestions help!

Amy

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 Post subject: Hello!
PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 7:40 pm 
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I understand your frustration and fear. Did you know that your receptors are fully saturated at the 4 mg point? You can also split that into two equal dosages take half in the morning and half at night. That is exactly what I did and I jumped from 4mg I thought I was lower but I was not! I am now 26 days off the Suboxone and I have aches here and there and I still have sweats under my arm pits yuck I know, but not anything un-bearable. Just really annoying!

I went from eight mgs to six mgs for a month then to 4 mgs for a few months then jumped! When I decreased from 8 to 6 it took me exactly six days to stabilize on that dose the only thing I felt was a lack of motivation and a tired feeling, Like run down. After six days that went away and I was stable on 6mgs stayed there for a month then re-peat process to 4mgs it took six days exactly to stabilize on four mgs split to twice daily dosage then I stayed there for three or four months then took the leap! I guess my point is it can be done, and it isn't that bad, just a few days for your body to adjust to the lower dose and the symptoms are only a run down feeling for a few days It really wasn't that hard to taper for me and I never had a thought of taking a full 8mgs at any point in my taper. I just did exactly what my doctor told me to do throughout my whole two years on suboxone.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 3:17 am 
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I know from personal experience how difficult it can be conveying to doctors that you want to come off Suboxone. In the past when i've tried to detox, i've had nurses and doctors tell me what a bad decision it is and that my chances of success will be almost zero. They don't seem to understand that suboxone has side effects, and sometimes it isn't worth it to live your life being sedated and subdued. Reckitt Benckiser has done a good job of glorifying suboxone, especially to the medical establishment. When i tried to come off it the first time at 4mg, i went into a detox, and they ended up raising my dose to 12mg by the time i left. With a lot of doctors and nurses i have found that they know very little about suboxone and the patients are way more informed.

Anyways, I don't have any easy advice to give you. I've been on it 3 years, and i can imagine at 7 years it's even more difficult. I brought myself down from 12mg down to 2mg today over a long time, gradually reducing my dose. When i started at 12mg, i would reduce by 2mg every month or two. I didn't really experience any real discomfort, you just have to set your schedule and stick to it. The strategy i've found helpful is to alternate dosage on different days. For example, for the first week your doses would be : 12 12 10 12 12 10 12, 2nd week: 10 12 10 12 10 12 10, 3rd week: 12 10 10 12 10 10 12, and keep reducing til you're comfortable at 10, then rinse and repeat.

You may find that once you get down to 2mg you're comfortable and don't need to detox completely. From my experience, it is more tolerable to be at 2mg instead of 12, but some aspects are the same. The side effects of sedation, lethargy, and dysphoria are lessened somewhat, but your body will adjust otherwise. Once you are situated at 2mg, your tolerance will adjust to feeling the same as it did before, but you are less physically dependent.

Anyways, best of luck to you, i can definitely sympathize with your plight. The only real advice i have to give is to take it slow and steady, and stick to your schedule.


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Fond Du Lac Psychiatry
Dr. Jeffrey Junig, M.D., Ph.D.

  • Board Certified Psychiatrist
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