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Addiction: Substance Abuse Community
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Avatar universal

Tapering off Suboxone

I have been on Suboxone a year and half and feel it is time to come off.  I have gotten myself down to 2mg/day but tomorrow I start on 1.5mg for 7 days then 1mg for 8 days, then .75 mg - 6 days, .50mg - 6 days, .25mgs - 5 days, then .13mg for 5 days.. ..  I take the pill form so it will be fun trying to break it down  to .13mg.. crumbs.

I thought I was well down on 2mg but all the reading on Naabt.org, The taper engine,  2mg is only considered halfway whether coming down from 24mg/day or 4mg/day.   I was surprised how even 2mg is so powerful to be only halfway there.  

If I start tomorrow Dec 11/19  I will be off Jan 16/20.     I have to do this now...  I'm really upset with my Dr. as she is giving me no support... She keeps referring to Suboxone as a diabetics insulin...but it is not... The brain heals after an opiate addiction.. the Pancreas doesn't start making insulin.. I am a little older and she says " I think you will need to be on it for life"...  No,, I came off a 10 year morphine habit, with Sub for a year and then off everything for 5 years.... and due to an unfortunate circumstance I went back to abusing pills for a year..  OH my God, how I could have been so stupid, but you know what addiction is like..  

It took a few months before I started to have more good days than bad..  the bad days were more a depression like blah feeling.. but I was fortunate I didn't have to work at that time.. by  6 months off everything I was pretty well back to my pre addicted self..  I was so happy I made it..  My current Dr. doesn't want to believe me that I was okay with nothing.. She wants recurring clients, that are stable so she doesn't have to do anything but have the prescription waiting for them...

Research shows the brain does heal.. it just takes time.. and the first time I went off everything I didn't taper.. so it was hard.. a convoluted process.. too long to explain.  

I want to do this right, but I know I'm gonna need support.  I'm terrified of w/d's..  Does anyone know if Tramadol would help if I got to .50 or less to help for a few weeks..  When I did talk to my Dr. about tapering, she said she has two women clients my age who "could not" get under .5mg.   I've heard this before ... the lower the  harder..  

liliansdream
7 Responses
7163794 tn?1457366813
COMMUNITY LEADER
Becoming free of subs is a possiblity....not a dream!  I did it.  I was put on 24mg / day of subs for over 7 years and I quit January 1st, 2014 and have been clean ever since.  It can be done but there are a few things we would need to discuss.  Are you looking to get clean from subs or from everything?  Are you finally ready to take a different journey?  I am a firm believer that if we find ourselves on suboxone, we are not people who just had a problem with that particular drug....we are addicts.  We are not chemically made up to be able to use mind and mood altering substances.  I can't tell you how many years I switched from one drug to another, thinking the drug was the problem.  It wasn't the drug....it was me.

My dr also told me that I should be on it for the rest of my life.  When I got clean I was 42 years old.  I am a mother of 4 and my husband and I own a small business.  I had no insurance ( I was uninsurable due to a childhood illness) and was paying cash (for 7 years) for my visit and my subs.  My house was getting ready to go into forclosure, I owed thousands of dollars in back taxes, everything was falling apart around me.  On Jan 1st, 2014 I made the decision to quit cold turkey.  At the mg's I was taking, to avoid w/d the taper would have been over 2 years.  You can totally do the w/d.....it's gonna suck, but you won't die!  Make a plan, speak w/ your family and let them know what you're doing!  Don't hide it, b/c you won't be able to anyway.  I took magnesium, potassium, zinc, lot's of Vitamin C.  STAY AWAY FROM caffeine while w/d'ing as it will only make your anxiety worse.  Gatorade and water, you will lose your appetite so drink as much as possible.  My husband bought me those meal shakes which I forced down.  Banana's, dark green vege's, fish, etc....eat REALLY healthy.  I layed on the floor of my shower for hours.....I sweat like a pig for months....I took 4 / 5 hot epsom salt baths every day which helped.  For the RLS, besides taking 800mg of Motrin every 4/6 hrs, I used tight diabetic thigh high stockings.  They help alot more then I thought they would.  I could go on and on about how I got through it..............but I did!  

If you really want to get off this drug, you can!  But the only way to be successful is to make a plan, involve your family (support) and push your ass to do it.  Your taper is rather quick so I'm not sure how much w/d you'll avoid doing it that way?  

On January 1st, 2020, I will pick up my 6 year medallion from N/A.  It's a decision......are you looking to just get off this drug or are you looking to find recovery?  I'm here......  
3 Comments
Hi Motye5 and thank you for responding.  I want off all opiate related drugs, and any other pill that is addictive.    I  was 10 yrs morphine, prescribed mscontin 300mg day.. followed by a year and half of sub..back then I was  8 mg when I quit...  That quit was  a complicated convoluted way off.  I was off almost 5 years, and I felt great... Well the first 6 months my moods were all over the place, but after the fisrt 2 weeks I didn't have many physiheal symptoms, but then again I was taking some Gabapentin and I think that helped.. I was just so happy to not need any opiates...  Then while I was waiting for my knee replacemet I was exposed to pills... I would just take some before work, but then I ended up back on for a year... I went back on Sub but only 6mg.. I got down to 4 and stayed there for several months, and now I have been down to 2mg for a couple months, and now I am ready to get right off.  I  just can't live taking the Suboxone anymore as the side effects are too much, sweat, sweat sweat all night long... even stable on one dose I sweat..  I printed off a taper schedule from Naabt.org.  I started today on 1.5.  This jump should not be too bad as I'm just cutting 1/4 out... but the next jump after 8-10 days is to 1mg and that is cutting a 1/3rd out..

My Dr and I fight about me going off.. She doesn't get it, that I hate just hate not being 100% me.  She keeps telling me I will be in pain etc.. she doesn't seem to want to believe me that I was okay for almost 5 yrs... not even a real bad  craving as I was just so grateful to be free..

But you...Congradulations!!!  I am so happy for you that you have your life back...  I live alone so I'm not sharing with my adult daughters.. They don't know I was taking something again for year or that I was back on the Suboxone.  Being on a low dose this time I don't think they noticed any difference in me..  I'm sure they would have said something to me had they...  I think I can keep this 5 week w/d to myself..

I don't take Tramadol... My doctor had prescribed that after my knee replacement, a long time ago, but it didn't do much other than make me nauseous.  I mentioned it only because I thought in the event when I stop everything after the last .13mg for 5 days if I had some w/d if it would help..  I like to have all bases covered.  I am a total wimp.  

How did you do it?  Did you do a long taper?   I truly am happy for you, that you are yourself to enjoy your children and husband..  It is such a lie Dr. tell us that we need something for life..  

liliansdream
Do you think that taper is too fast?  I printed if off the old Naabt website..  They were the National American Association of Buprinorphine Treatment.  I used it as a forum long ago.  That was their suggested taper schedule..  I have read and my Dr. told me that she has patients that could not go under .5mg...  If I find I am suffering too much  w/d and can't get out to swim laps or function I will stay at .5 until I can comfortably go down .25mg.. and so on..  As long as I'm going down.. At the same time I don't want it to take too long..   How did you taper?  

Thank you so much for your support.  
Hello and good Saturday morning.  Today is day 4 on 1.5 mg ...  Last night in bed I noticed little bursts of pain in my leg bones.  Not enough to cause  Restless Legs but it was a reminder of how deep the suboxone is in my body.  I recall when I first started the Suboxone these weird litttle pains in my leg bones.. It only lasted a few days, but I knew then it was a very strange drug.  

I'm not down on Suboxone as it is a lifesaver for a lot of people.   I am down on Dr's who tell people they will need it for life and offer no support to get people off as soon as feasibly possible.   ...  It is a wonderful tool if used correctly, but that is all it is, a tool to help people regain their lives drug free. And I'm down on Dr.'s who start and keep people on a very high dose.  It is a very powerful drug, even 2 mg.  For anyone who equates being on Suboxone as being clean is mislead imho.  It still creates a high..  If while on 2 mgs I took an extra .5 or 1 mg I was high.  I don't understand or believe folks who say you can't get high on it, unless they mean you can't get high on any other opiate drug while taking Suboxone.

One of the side effects of Suboxone which I hate is the blankness I feel in my emotions at times  I tell my Dr. this and how I just can't stand it and she just looks at me and says, oh ya that is what i've heard.  I don't thnk she looks at addicts like people who deserve to be completely opiate free and healthy, but as a group who need to be monitored and kept on drugs..  She calls it the "Golden Handcuffs".  Who cares they are handcuffs.. not Golden..  I see some young women and men who look otherwise healthy, they haven't rotted their teeth yet, and their skin looks like skin she puts them on Methadone or Suboxone.  so now they have a real problem..  

Moyte, my daughter just had a baby, and while pregnant she used the thigh high compression stockings... I will ask to borrow them..  I have the knee high ones, but I understand that when w/d'ing  from opiates the thigh muscles ache, and tremble and feel very weak.  What vitamins/minerals did you find essential?  

If after another 5 days on 1.5 mgs  I don't feel strong enough I will give my body more time to adjust.  I am feeling a little this morning.. w/d symptoms just lurking..  I have some stomach stuff and looser bowels.. Always a sign.. but a good sign..

have a good day...

Liliansdream
20825230 tn?1524847936
Hi. I commend you for coming off the meds. Have you asked about Clonidine? Not Klonopin (a benzo). It is very helpful for withdrawals. I wish you the best
1 Comments
Hi Kelly, thank you for the note of support.   I was given Clonidine long ago and it completely knocked me out.  I think I will be okay if I just go at my own pace.. what I can handle.. Sat I took my young grandson Christmas shopping for 2 1/2 hrs, I was just ok, but then unexpectedly  I had him for the rest of the day and I was feeling shaky.  I took an extra  .5mg.   I have read that when w/d off Suboxone it is okay that when on the new lower dose , to take a bit extra "up to last stable dose"..to ease the symptoms. Only once during each drop.    I went from 7 - 2mg pills/week to 5 pills (which I have cut up into halves and quarters.   If I can keep within this range for a few weeks then that is okay with me.. As long as i'm decreasing then I am winning.  If I try too fast and feel too sick then I risk failing.  It is Christmas time and busier than usual, maybe not the best time to do another drop, but I live alone, and not working,  so I can go at my pace at home, if I feel a little off then  it's ok.  It took a bit of time to adjust to the 2mg so I will be kind to myself and give myself the time I need and not make the next jump too soon.  

I do want off this so much..     My Sub  doctor is crazy.... I have been telling her I am dropping, but she still presecribes way more.. I tell her it's too many, and she says "well just in case".  Absolutely no support to get off.  I think she is allowed 200 patients, and all she cares about is keeping the ones who are easy.. like me..  I have never caused her a problem.. I show up for every appt, and my samples are always clean.  I live in a fairly small town, and she is the only Sub doctor I know.  However, I only fill what I need.  My Pharmacist is more supportive.. I guess we are in this ourselves, and our support comes from forums like this.   Too bad Naabt closed.  I thought is was a great resource.. and Nancy the moderator was wonderful... so kind and smart and helpful.  Does anyone know what happened over there at Naabt?

This is day 6  for me on 1.5 mg and I look forward to a good day.  

Liliansddream
1235186 tn?1549257619
COMMUNITY LEADER
Congrats on your taper you are doing  awesome. Just stay the course. Treat your symptoms. As motye51 Suggested the Epson salt baths, the supplements, and you could also drink protein shakes like a boost or ensure.
Once you finish your taper they’re still going to be a detox. Where the Suboxone has to totally leave your system that takes about another 21 days.
You said you don’t want to talk to your daughters about this. Do you have a support group that you can attend?
Keep on keeping on,
Keep the faith,
Debbie
3 Comments
Thanks Debbie,   I think I will stay on the 1.5 until after Christmas.. It is just too busy to taper lower.  I have 2 daughters an 4 grandchildren.  I have 2 grand daugters coming over after school today to bake cookies so I can't feel bad... Yesterday I was starting to feel crappy so I took an ext 1/8 of a 2mg pill.  tiny piece.  I must say I have not felt well for 2 days..  I'm heading out swimming now... force myself... I need the physical activity.  I do laps..   From now to Christmas I will coast... I will take 1.5, but if I need a little extra to not feel sick I will take some.. only if I have to go out.. if I'm home alone then I can curl on the couch and binge watch TV series..  

I'm wonder Moyte what your taper schedule was once to you got to 2mg.  how long between each drop.  I find I'm a slow metabolizer now... Once I tried  coming off cold turkey and the real bad symptoms didn't hit until day 5.  In fact when I went from 4mg to 2mg I found it better in the beginning to take 4mg one day and none the next.  I felt fine the in between day.  I may try that with this drop.. I'm not feeling great on 1.5 mg which is surprising me as I didn't notice anything really getting down tvo 2mg.  I guess it is true the lower the harder..  I'll be very  kind to myself...  I don't have support other than my pharmacist.  It's winter cold now and I don't like to go out in the evening... My schedule is very early to bed and I'm up in the middle of the night 4 ish. 't I trade stocks so I do all my reading etc then and then I usually head out at 7 - 7:30 to go swim in next town... and do a little shopping on my way home.  

I don't want to tell my daughters I slipped up for a year and been on Sub a year and half...  They went through so much with me when I got addicted to the morphine in thee first place.  My one daughter was with me when I had a horrible knee injury and I got started on the opiate.  I was prescribed the. MS contin 300mg/day.  It was a nightmare.. for 10 years. Then I was on suboxone for a year or so.  I never thought I would get off, and it was a miracle how it happened.. very sad/happy story.. but I landed in a physciatric hospital for a few weeks and I realized I was off the opiates for 2 weeks and I had no w/d .. The 10-15 days immediately after stopping the suboxone, and before I went into the hospital, I used other drugs, anything water soluble  NO OPIATES to help me get through.. and even though I would not recommend this, in the end of that time I was off opiates, and I sincerely don't remember any w/d.   I had not used other drugs before, and I used Valium.  it. .   After the hospital it was all uphill in a good way... Every day became clearer... it was mostly a scrambled mind feeling.. I would talk non stop for a day and then 3 quiet days, quite depressed.. but no physical symptoms.. but I used the Gaba-pentin and that helped a lot.  I still use some for nerve pain in my feet.  I'm not diabetic, bunions/arthritis.  I was just so happy to be off the opiates and I was so grateful for hte next amost 5 yrs.. then  I had access to opiates, while I was waiting for a knee replacement.  I thought just a few before work, but you know  Anyway I guess what I wanted to say was I don't w
the few before work turned into a year of abuse, and back onto Suboxone.  What I wanted to say was I don't want to tell rmy daughter unless I absolutely have to... I have been low enough on the Sub I act normal.. she just had a new baby and is such a happy time, I don't want to cause any pain...  I can do htis on my own..  I pace myself, make my own schedule and no commitments, once Christmas is over.  

Anyway thanks to anyone who read this "book"...lol    I'll keep you updated..

Liliansdream
I have decided to wait until after Christmas to continue my taper...   This is the first time I have been feeling the effects of the taper...  I hardly noticed anything from 6mg - 4mg,  then 4mg to 2mg.    I have been feeling just unwell enough to throw off my day..  I'm sure you guys know what I mean about the unwell part.  This has nothing to do with my determination to be off, it's just I have 4 young grandchildren and I have to be functioning for Christmas..  After Christmas I can devote myself 100%   to the taper.  Once I half the dose down to 1 mg I will cruise on that until I am very comfortable to go for .5mg

It's just another week...  I want to taper and I want off this drug...I desperately want off it.   It is messing me up...  I took a little extra yesterday and just that little bit extra set off the sweats last night.. Soaked 2 t-shirts.  I'm sure other people know all about that..  I don't know exactly what it is doing to me but I feel so weird.  I lay in bed at night and worry and worry about being on it..

Wish you all a merry Christmas....  

Liliansdream
Avatar universal
Good morning :)

I agree with you about getting stable between drops.  Waiting for after Christmas is a great idea.  The slower you go the better it is to make that jump.  Don’t be afraid you can do this.  Enjoy the holidays and Merry Christmas.  
2 Comments
Thank You,  After tomorrow, Christmas Day, I will cut back down to 1.5 again.  I had so much to do with my kids and grand kids getting ready for Christmas I couldn't do it on the 1.5mg. so I went back to 2mg.  That is ok.  I am not going to beat myself up.  I am 100% committed to getting off this.  You know, one of the worst symptom I feel from this drug is the wall, a blank feeling I can have.  I especially noticed it going back to 2mg after the 1.5 for 5 days.  I felt the power of it.  It scares me.  I don't want to live like this.   this is what the Dr.'s don't get.  You look fine in the office, but at home in bed in the middle of the night, I worry about.  I hate it,   Especially having nearly 5 years free, I know the difference.  I have a new 3 month grandson, and I want my relationship to be 100% natural/real.  

I hadn't had any symptoms on my drops down to 2mgs, so I was surprised I w/d dropping to 1.5mg.  They didn't start until day 4 where they were noticeable as w/d symptoms.  

Kelcoo, thank you for writing... Did you come off the Suboxone and where did you notice the w/d symptoms on your taper.. the start.
I
Happy New Year.  I took Suboxone for 3 weeks in a treatment facility where the taper was part of it.  I took it to detox off of heroin.  I was still very week after the 3 week period.  
Avatar universal
I understand exactly what you're going through!!! I am approximately 20 months clean from Suboxone! I did a very slow taper. I stabilized between each taper because I felt like I needed to gain my strength back up each time - but everyone is different and you gotta listen to your body and know your limits. It's not going to be easy no matter how you do it but it can be done - and I grudgingly worked through the entire process. Please feel free to pm me.  
Avatar universal
Ps. My post/thread on here is titled "Seeking encouragement on my journey to FREEDOM - tapering from Suboxone AGAIN" if you want to search for it and scan through to see my experience. ALSO, a link to some very good information from a Dr. on suboxone if you're interested in the details like I was: https://www.pbod.org/detoxing-suboxone-fear-caused-lack-knowledge
7 Comments
Thank you for the link... I'm printing it out.. I'm sure a good resource "from what I read" to refer to over again.  I think I will have to do as others have done go slowly, get stabilized, strength back up before another taper.  To suffer too much would mean I wouldn't get out and exercise, and if you keep feeling crappy you don't want to cook.  This is my first time on a slow taper.. but I will see how it goes... we are all different.. but I sure hope it won't take more than 3 months..

Merry Christmas Everyone
Merry Christmas,   Here it is Christmas Morning, a time to rejoice, and be excited to go over to my daughters for the day.  I have a wonderful relationship with her and her husband, and my 11 year old grandson idolizes me, and I have a new grandson 3 months old to love..  But here I sit worried about the Suboxone...  I'm so tired of it.. and I'm angry  so angry at my doctor.  When I first went to her I had been abusing pills for a year... not everyday, but I was in trouble and I needed help...  I told her I only wanted the Suboxone to use as a tool to get through the w/d's.  for a few weeks..  She told me she wouldn't treat me unless I gave her 6 months.. She went on about how the brain needs to heal etc.  I was very vulnerable at that time as a relationship I was in  just ended.. not my choice, so I was heartbroken and instead of her going by my wishes of using it as a tool to get off, she thought she knew best.  At the six month mark when I said that is it she said she thought that I would need it for life, and that there is nothing wrong with that...that it was all in my head.. She used the analogy of a diabetic needing insulin, an addict needs the Suboxone.  Lies Lies Lies.. I told her I was taking less but she wouldn't adjust the prescription, so I ended up having lots stashed away.  My rationale was if I ever got in trouble in the future I would have enough to get me through a few weeks.  Now I only fill what I will need.   Anyway in the end I have been on it a year and half.. dropped down myself to 2 mg.  I did have six days at 1.5 just before Christmas but I was feeling yucky and I had to just get through Christmas so I continued on with 2 mg.  

Tomorrow I cut down to 1.5 mg again.   KLB84..  I printed off and read that article by Dr. Scanlan.  It was very good.  I am going to give it to my Dr.  She does not know or does not care about, what long term Suboxone is doing to people..  I will ask to be switched to the Subutex as Dr. Scanlan suggests.  I always spit out the residual stuff that is left in my mouth after the Sub dissolves..  I think I spit out most of the Naloxone, but sometimes I forget and end up swallowing it.

KLB84  where do I find your  thread Seeking encouragement on my journey to FREEDOM"  What I get from here, reading about others experience is very helpful, and is about the most support I will get other than my pharmacist.

I never used illegal drugs, only what was prescribed by my doctors.  I have never IV'd drugs... Drugs was not a lifestyle...  I was in a private hell.  and I can"t believe I ended up here again.  Christmas Morning and what is on my  mind..  You guys know.   Sorry for the ramble, but for me to succeed I have to emote, get my out.  And it helps so much knowing there are very kind people out there who support others..

Merry Christmas

Liliansdream.
Day two back to 1.5 mg.   I read through the article by the Dr. in florida on out patient detoxing off Suboxone.  Great information which I will give to my Sub Dr.  What wasn't clear to me was how long between drops.  If anyone has good info on the length of time between drops I would appreciate that.  Also I have a question about dosing every other day.  that is how I got to down to 2 mg.  I had some problem "I don't know if it was psychological or physical" but in the beginning I wasn't comfortable with 2 mg every day, so I started taking 4 mg every other day. I felt fine the second day with nothing.  I recall telling my Dr. this and she didn't agree with it.  She said she thought I might feel high from it.  I did the same going from 4 mg /day .  I took 6 mg every other day..  When I started to feel a little high on the 6 mg I knew it was time to drop it down to 5 mg then to 4 mg every other day.  Does anyone know if this is as effective dropping the amount needed.  I think I am a slow metabolizer  so I can skip the day in between.   I just trying to do this the right way for me.  I wasn't feeling great just before Christmas  on 1.5 mg /day and I'm wondering if perhaps 3 mg every other day may be better?  

Liliansdream
Liliansdream - there's a search symbol at the top right corner on medhelp. If you search for the title I gave you it will show up. I'm sorry you don't like your Dr. And don't feel like she understands you. I was always very fortunate in that aspect. Could you get a second opinion? I know you said you don't have many options where you live but a lot of psychiatrists can now prescribe subs - it might be worth calling around. If you do find someone just be sure to tell them everything so they don't think you're Dr. hopping. I'm glad you found the article helpful - hopefully your Dr. Will look into it. My Dr. Never gave me a taper plan but he supported my process and never prescribed more than I wanted.
Btw - gabapentin was very helpful for me with the leg aches as I was tapering - not a cure all, but helpful. I will warn you that not all my posts are positive on my thread - sometimes I needed to vent about the struggle. I know you understand. Merry Christmas and Happy New year. See this through and next year's holidays will be 100x better!!!!
Thank you KLB84,  I haven't had a chance to read through your thread, but I will.  I need all the umph I can get, and sometimes reading other's perspective and journey, and the pain of addiction gives me extra drive, and I know I am not alone in this.   Not much chance of finding another Sub Dr.  A s it is now I can go to her or a walk in clinic and I won't go there.  It's a daily thing, while my doctor I can see her once a week or once a month.  I will stick with her..  This really does come down to what we choose to do.. taper ourselves...  She always prescribes more than I need and she just says fill what you need.  At first I was filling it and stashing extra pills.  I was doing this to protect myself in the event she stopped practicing or I couldn't get there, and I would have enough to taper with on my own.  In fact I could probably not see her again, but I want to educate her about what it is she is indiscriminately prescribing.  Suboxone does have it place, but she uses all the terms that make people take it for longer than needed..  Like give your brain time to heal, it's ok it's like a diabetic needing insulin.  I told her from the get go I didn't want to be on it long, that I had such good success with nothing, but I think she just has the attitude that she is the doctor and she knows best...  It was my fault for not taking this more seriously when I first started on it...
I knew in my heart just take it for a few weeks, but time has a way of passing... and at that time my long term relationship just ended, and I was in emotional pain and it went on and on..  So now I have to go through this again... Last night I woke with those horrible sweats..  I never seem to know when that is going to happen..  And I get up and worry.. I know how the Sub makes my emotions blank.. It is not okay.. If I just do things right, I can have next Christmas free.. with no nagging in my mind that I have a bad monkey on my shoulder.  

Anyways this is day 3 on 1.5 mg.  I'm heading out the door now to go swimming.... I always feel good after that.   I'm really looking forward to reading your story...

Liliansdream
Today is day 4 on 1.5 mg.   KLB 84  I read through your taper...  You persevered and it worked.  It sounded like a very long time feeling so badly, but it worked for you.  I don't know if I can do that.  When I came off it last time I had to, and I was so freaked out at the thought of w/d's I used other drugs, None Opiates to get through the days..  After two weeks I thought the worst would be over and it was.. I stopped everything.. my emotions were wild and I couldn't stop talking, but inside I knew the opiates were out of me and that is all I cared about, and I just had to continue through each day.  Thankfully I didn't have work at that time or I couldn't have done it that way.   I did continue on with a fairly high dose of Gaba-pentin and I don't think I could have made it without that.   I remember I would have 4 or 5 bad days..  Not physically sick but just very lethargic and spacey.  but then I would have a good day, and I would make the most of it.. go swimming, go out etc.. then it eventually got to 3 bad days and 2 good days, and I knew eventually it would be 3 good days and 2 bad.  Then all good days.  I was seeing a psychiatrist at the time and she tried to convince me I would need a antidepressant for at least a year.  I wouldn't do it..  I felt like I had some of my own mind back and I didn't want anything to interfere with my gradual recovery of my full mind and body.. to process as clear as possible the 11 years I had lost to opiates, and heal the pain I felt inside.  It took about 6 mnths until I felt normal and all my days were good.  I was so happy.. I never thought it possible to come off of 10 years of high dose of morphine daily and a year on suboxone, but I did it and I felt great... At 6 months I had a small relapse on the Sub for about 3 weeks.. I took it for an absolute asinine reason.. to get that super energy so I could  paint and get my house ready for sale.. I had so much to do.. but I felt so sick inside for doing that, so I just stopped it... I felt very sick for 4 or 5 days.. I get the worst mental fear imaginable.. It took a couple of weeks to feel completely normal again, and then I had another 4 years clean.  

This time a year of abusing pain pills..  Then I went back on Suboxone..  6mg.. then I stabilized on 4mg  got down to 2mg...  now I'm ready to get off this again.  I have been on the Suboxone for a year and half.

I'm on Day 4 again of 1.5 mg.   I read through Dr. Steven Scanlan's article on Detoxing from Suboxone several times..  He said one of the first things to is switch from Suboxone to Subutex.   So I will go see my  Dr on Tuesday to ask for a switch.  I think she will.  Now I only have to see her once a month as she considers me stable and all my urine tests for a year and half have been clean from other drugs.  
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I think it was day 6 on 1.5 mg just before Christmas that I was feeling sick, flu symptoms and just that unwell feeling.  I had too much to do up until Christmas so I went back to the 2 mg and now I can do this.  I'm just afraid of a slow slow taper if I feel unwell for such a long of a period... if each taper will take a month.  My taper schedule that I printed from Naabt had reducing 25% every 7-9 days, which would take 37 days and a total of 28mg's.   We are all different and I want to do this right, but I know I am the whimpiest of whimps when it comes to w/d symptoms.  I read in someones post they used Tramadol when they jumped and it helped.  I have some Tramadol from an old prescription tucked away. I don't like how tramadol makes me feel.(just jittery but it has some opiate in it) not like oxys . and I have no worries about ever becoming addicted to it.  

KLB84 when you got very low could you have taken it every other day?   I've read some people stretch it that way.. then every 3 days until it is just pointless to continue.   The best way for me to get down to 2mg was to take 6mg every other day, for a week then 5mg evey other day for a week then 4 mgs every other day.  I went back to 2 mg every day .. I'm not real clear on why as the every other day worked for me.  I think I am a slow metabolizer ..  I didn't have any w/d's on the 2nd day of taking nothing. I have to really think this through, if I would be better on 3 mg every other day.   I remember when I first tried 2mg every day I was really feeling like I was missing something, but 4 mg every other day I was fine both days.  But I know it is a different ball game when you get to really low doses.  

I am very fortunate that I'm not working outside the home.. I work on the computer at home, and I can leave it if I have to.. I may tell my one daughter who has the 3 mnth old.  I don't want her asking me to babysit and not know how I feel.  I just feel badly telling her as I put her through hell the first time.. she was so worried about me.. and she is so proud of me for getting off it the first time.  It's so hard to know, but I do know recovery is first ... all else comes second now.   A day at a time...

Sorry for the long rambling, but it helps me to get a real grip on what is going on and the importance of being prepared, and sticking with it.  

Lilliansdream
Avatar universal
I relate to you in so many ways! The whole reason I got addicted to pain killers was the energy as well, and I understand about staying on the subs way longer than anticipated too. Careful with the tramadol as it might give you that same addictive energy you crave. But honestly I don't think the tram would do anything for you anyway coming off subs - they're much stronger than people realize. Also, my taper was much longer than it had to be but work was busy, I was scared to death of jumping and so that's what worked for me... Like you said, everyone is different and it sounds like you know how to listen to your own body. Just keep control of your thoughts mentally and keep telling yourself you can do it! Also, I think however you move forward is in the right direction if you're taking less and less. I can only imagine how hard it would be to tell your daughter (same as if I'd told my parents about my relapse) but I'm sure you've heard... "our secrets keep us sick". I never told my parents but I did tell my boyfriend (now husband :-) and it was really good to have that extra support and for the closest person to me to know so I didn't have to make excuses or feel the need to up my dose so I didn't seem like I felt bad all the time. Keep us updated and keep on keeping on! Truly one day at a time!
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PS. To answer your question - could I have taken it every other day... I did start skipping doses at the end but I think I just went from twice a day too once a day then nothing - but I was on less than .25mg for months waiting for my busy season at work to end. Then the day my deadline was over that was it! I jumped! If I could have taken days off it would have probably happened 4 months before it did. So I do SERIOUSLY think you can do this in a shorter time frame.
Thank you KLB84,   Knowing that others understand helps so much.. I'm on day 6 of tapering to 1.5 mg  and I had to take a bit more yesterday...I was really feeling w/d symptoms... this is hard and scary, and I'm incredibly angry with my Dr.  I am really going to confront her.. on why she insisted I give her 6 months so my brain can heal, when no healing is going on in my head, only a feeling of being blank, and once you get to 6 months the suboxone has already really worked your brain, and it's like you are on automatic and just keep on taking it, until the desperation kicks in that you can't live like that, that dead emotional state,  and then have to face an even bigger devil.. getting off the Suboxone.   I had abused pills for a year.. not in huge numbers but I knew I was addicted... I just wanted help using the Subs for a few weeks, a month max.. but she insisted on 6 months..  I was in such a bad emotional state as I had just blown my relationship with the man I loved, because I was so secretive, and my moods unstable, and I was so ashamed I couldn't tell him..    

My goal is to jump at 1 mg.  I don't think I can prolong the agony.  I have been reading about using a short acting opiate for  3 weeks.. I would not use oxycodone/percecet as they are semi synthetic drugs and harder to w/d from and I would be worried about feeling high.  The tramadol, I don't know. It is semi synthetic as well..and I don't know how much it would help...  I would use plain codeine, and have to pick it up from my pharmacist every day,  Tylenol #3. They deliver  :)  I would also use the Clonidine  for sleep.   I did a lot of reading when I originally got addicted and the consesus from the really wise Dr's was to stay away from the new drug cocktails like oxycontin, hydro morphine/dilaudid, etc as they are much more addictive and harder to get off.  I also read that there are 3 main drugs from the Opium 'poppy' plant...  Morphine, Heroin and Codeine . with Codeine being the easiest on the brain to w/d from.   I just want the Subs out of my system so badly... I am usually a very bubbly, extrovert, who loves social activities.. The last year I have withdrawn so much people are noticing it.. It absolutely blows me away that my Dr. thinks it is okay to live like this..  I understand that in certain situations long term Suboxone may be appropriate.  For someone where drugs was the main lifestyle for years, Starting young  IV'ing heroin, and where all your friends are addicts and one does have to rebuild coping skills etc.  But drugs was not my lifestyle.. I did not know any other addicts, and I wouldn't know where to buy illegal drugs.   I took only what was prescribed orally.  

My Sub Dr. only works Tuesdays & Thrus's and I don't know if she will be in today it being NY's eve.  I will call shortly and see if can get in... if not my regular appt is next Tues.  I'm just so "AHHHH" I want to talk to her to see what she will do for me.. Will she prescribe me Tylenol 3 when I am ready to jump, and the clonidine.  I have Lorazapam at home... You know reading that Dr.s article I now understand why I have been having panic attacks.. It is the Cortisol/Adrenaline which is being produced more readily because of the Suboxone.  It all makes sense.

Well I better get on with my day...  

Lilliansdream
PS  KLB84.   congratulations on your marriage..  when I read your other posts he was your boyfriend .. You have fought the hardest battle, and you won.  I am very happy for you..  You did well and you deserve all the best this world has to offer... and thank you so much for supporting me.. it mean a lot.  
Update:  My last few days have been very stressful.  I was not feeling well at all on the 1.5 mg.   I was very discouraged knowing that every drop under 2 mg was going to be painful.... Suboxone is a very strange drug in that the smallest decrease especially under 1 mg causes w/d symptoms.  I just thought I couldn't take it, going slow and long.   I just wanted to jump now but I knew I couldn't just jump with nothing.  

I was determined this brand new year and decade would be free of Suboxone.  I spent the last few days looking up everything I could find on Suboxone w/d and printed it off to give to my doctor.  I had read the post about jumping with the help of 5 mg oxcodone... That is what I wanted..  First week taking some 5 mg oxycodone then day 10 drop down to Tylenol 3.   My doctors appt was not suppose to be until next Tues but I called this morning and they could fit me in this afternoon.  I had a good discussion with my doctor, and she said she had done that for a few others.  She said she would do it for me as I had never caused her a problem and my urine samples were always free of any other drug "opiate" than the Suboxone for a year and half..

We decided the first few days I could have up to 10.  1 every 2 -  2 1/2 hrs. Then 9 for a couple days.. When I get to day 10 I should be on only 4 - 5 oxys' and I will switch to Tylenol # 3.  It will be a 21 day w/d detox.  I will see her twice a week, and I will pick up my pills from the pharmacy daily.  She said she would just release the whole prescription but I insisted daily.  I don't want any temptation.

I am so grateful she is doing this.  I know it can sound crazy to use oxycodone, but Suboxone is like no other drug... The w/d takes so long.   She told me one client took a year to drop from .5 mg to 0.  

I feel tremendous relief that this is going to happen.  I have been so worried how I would do this.  I know there will be discomfort along the way, and my Dr. will prescribe clonidine if I need it.  I also know my mind will all of sudden feel like the bubble wrap is off, and I will think and feel again.  My emotions have been so flat this past year.  

I'm excited to get this done.  I am going to start a new thread tomorrow on how this detox is working....

Liliansdream
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