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detoxing from suboxone dependence

My son has been on Suboxone maintenance for 7 years; transferred over from Methadone.  He validates everything  about the profound personality and mood changes that result over time with suboxone use.  In addition, it depletes testosterone, which has tremendous ramifications. To supplement with testosterone also has long term effects, and the individual runs the risk of never being able to produce his own testosterone again, post addiction. There is loss of interest in anything, altered glucose metabolism and insulin resistance, loss of emotion, loss of personality, loss of creativity and loss of socialization - there is a retreat into self and development of reclusiveness.At one time, the Suboxone saved his life - now, it is destroying it.  His profound personality changes destroyed his marriage; destroyed his ability to feel for her. His despondency and despair over ever being able to get past this are devestating to him; at the age of 33, I fear every day that his life will finally be too painful to continue living.  It is a horrible trap, this prolonged suboxone use.  

He is currently taking 8 mg/day subutex, I believe, and feels, from his research, that it will take 1 1/2 years to slowly taper down - choosing the slow method so that he can continue to work. He has heard of transferring to a short acting opioid to substitute for 2 months prior to detoxing.  He has also studied using a substance called Kratom for 2 months and then doing a "flood" treatment with Ibogaine.  Has anyone ever heard of this?   If so, what are your experiences, and do you have any peer reviewed research studies documenting effectiveness?
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Avatar universal
You sound like an educated person but your son is more educated on this subject than you can ever hope to be  - I guarantee it. The pain and suffering of withdrawal will be avoided at all costs. Going back to opioids and particularly the unregulated and shady world of kratom seems like classic manipulation to me. Why not get advice from his own doctors or addiction specialists?
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Avatar universal
I myself was on sboxone for over 2 yrs, and experienced every single side effect you mentioned. Almost lost my wife because she thought I was cheating(because of loss of sex drive), pretty much lost all my friends, and it is because we lose the ability to empathize.

I started on 16mg of sub over 2 yrs ago. I went down to 8mg a couple of months later and had been stuck there ever since. 9 days ago i stopped taking the sub or any other type of opiate. I think a bigger hype is being made about sub withdrawal than the reality of the situation. If I jumped off at 8mg (almost 100 x's the final titration doses being preached) and have experienced next to no side effects than so can anyone else. Trust me im not cool enough to get a "get out of jail free card" as many are implying. If you want something bad enough, than anything is possible. It just so happens that I wanted to be a good husband and father, more than I wanted to be a slave to sub, whilst lining big pharmas pocket. I'm not saying I feel like I'm ready to go run a marathon, but I feel good, in a real sense of the word. After 9 days of being clean I can look in the mirror and respect(maybe even like who I see).

When I quit I expected the worse because of all the horror stories I've read. Nothing even close. Quitting a full agonist is pretty damn painful, miserable, and scary. Quitting sub was none of that. I've literally had worse colds. The extent of my withdrawal pains from sub have been mediocre lethargy, mild runny, sneezing nose, and some slight joint achiness. Thats it! Yesterday, I started working out and running again. This morning I went outside and spent almost 3 hrs taking down all of the Christmas lights.

My advice to your son would be " want it". Schedule a couple of weeks off work in order to be completely mentally ready, and than just do it. I wouldn't suggest supplementing with kratom as its just another opiate and will extend the overall withdrawal process.

Bottom line, if you want it take it. If I can do it, so can anyone else. I'm not special in any way at all. I'm an addict that's sick of being one. Seize the day. Psych yourself UP, not OUT.
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Avatar universal
Thank you both for taking the time to respond with your experiences and opinions.    The one thing I failed to mention is that my son did go off suboxone several years ago - cold turnkey.  He said it was extremely difficult, and after the acute withdrawal, the post acute symptoms affected his personality in an even more negatively dramatic way, to the point where he decided to go back on it to save his marriage.  One dose was enough for him to realize that it wouldn't be the answer.
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Avatar universal
Suboxone is MORE addictive than what the doctors let on.....withdrawal is very difficult (worse than almost any other opiate) and I have NEVER known ANYONE who successfully completely weaned completely off of this drug!!!!!  I hate it and think it should be pulled from the market!!!!!!
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Avatar universal
Effect"Also, it interfers with a man's ability to "perform" sexually....which no man wants, causes aggitation, irritabily, a "speeding
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Avatar universal
*"speeding" effect"....and a sense of euphoria.....thus, very addictive....the withdrawals are HORRIBLE - lasting 3 weeks to a month....I have heard of some people using heroin to mitigage the misery of sub withdrawls......."   and yet, THIS is the NEW, most widely prescribed drug for opiate rehab.....and some of these "programs are FREE!!!!!  BE CAREFUL before using this medication!!!!
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