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Old 09-20-2004, 06:38 AM   #1
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fisherpard HB User
Octomon

Octomon,

I am very interested in your plan of recovery. You said you went on Suboxone and then switched to another opiate to taper from. This is the first time I have ever heard of this and it intrigues me. I have tapered off the Suboxone before and stayed off all opiates for 22 days however, chronic pain due to several health conditions forced me to go back to the opiates. My doctor thought that Subutex would be the best choice for me and diagnosed me with Chronic Pain Management. I know I can never go for a long period of time without the need for a painkiller but was trying to find the easiest on the body. The Subutex will allow them to give me stronger pain meds when I have an attack and end up in the Hospital.

This was a hard thing for me to do with 22 hard days behind me but mentally it gave me strength because I know I can make it that long. Before I digress to long………………..My real question is the tapering off another opiate than Suboxone. I know the Suboxone was a tough one to wean off because it stayed with me so long. I did not have w/d’s until about day 5. It sticks to your receptors like mud. I am going to watch your progress everyday. What are you at on opiates right now? What is your taper plan?

I also want to commend you on all the help and information you have done for others. It speaks highly of your character.

thanks much,
fisherman

 
Old 09-20-2004, 03:56 PM   #2
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Re: Octomon

Hi Fisherman,
Thank you for the questions and kind words. It has been a couple of weeks for me since the switch, and yes for better or worse I just thought I would try weaning from the hydro as opposed to suboxone, specifically for the reason you mentioned of the sub 'half-life' issue. Tapering-management is always a delicate balance of maintaining our basic daily responsibilities, knowing what to sacrifice, and deciding how much discomfort we want to put ourselves through, right? ...IF we have that luxury! My timing was a bit off in terms of work/responsibilities initially [My big opiate triggers], but this week actually will be a more intense tapering, as I have forced myself to make the time to just be in bed as I need to. I was taking up to 15 10/325 hydro per day, and the last two days have come down to 10, in addition to almost daily acupuncture and drinking some very intense Chinese herb tea [3 x day] from the same doctor. I realize I'm underestimating the number of days/weeks it may take me to stabalize, but the initial jump from 15 to 10 was not bad. I can actually do less if I relax during the middle of the day I think.

Anyway I'm sure I could literally write pages on every specific of what I'm doing and why, but I'll try to stick to the essentials. I'm very aware that slower tapers are recommended to increase one's chances of staying clean long term. I'm just psychologically 'ready' for more intense discomfort, and personally have a lot of trouble staying active and productive when I'm feeling even mild withdrawals, so I've just decided to do it this way.

I'll definitely emerge from this with tapering advice of some kind, right? Hopefully more do's than don't's for my sake, based on what I'm trying.

Also I just want to say that I'm very humbled by your personal journey and others here with legitimate and serious pain management issues PLUS those with kids to raise and jobs on the line [I'm self-employed, so my boss is also an addict ]. Your posts have absolutely helped me to feel that "I can do this".

The next few days will be quite intense I anticipate, and I hope I have the energy to post my progress...at least a few words or maybe just an "ugh". But if I disappear for a couple of days it just means I'm in bed doing that famous old dance, the "detox shuffle".

peace,
octomon

 
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Old 09-20-2004, 05:19 PM   #3
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Re: Octomon

Octomon,

I am very interested in your "style" of tapering. From one who did a fairly quick taper off of the Suboxone, I can see some merit in detoxing off of a opiate with a shorter half life. My problem was never the physical w/d's but the emotional ones. Even after the 22 days I was still grieving the loss of the Euphoric feeling.

I am on the Subutex this time and for some reason it just don't seem to have the stability or "power" of the Suboxone. If I decide to come off the Subutex, I believe I will go about it in a way much like you are doing. The Sub just sticks to your recepters like mud and I did not really feel any big bad w/d's until about day 5.

I managed to work for the most part of those 22 days but it would have been real hard if the stress load was more.

The subutex is working well for my pain relief and if it was not for a few nagging side affects, I would be content on it. It seems to play havoc on my sex life. I wonder if all narcs do that in some fashion or form.

I am going to throw positive vibes your way for the next couple of weeks. Your journey may help a lot of people coming off of Sub. The eastern medicine is interesting because I have always used the traditional Western medicine. Keep me posted if you are up to it.

you are in my prayers,
fisherman

 
Old 09-20-2004, 06:52 PM   #4
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Re: Octomon

Thank you Fisherman, That means a lot
I'll do my best to step up to the keyboard through this.
I'm wondering if you're getting 'enough' subutex? Or if it passes through the body in a less time-released way. Or if your pain level is absorbing more of the impact of the subutex...hmmm. Is there an important reason you're now on Subutex over Suboxone?

Every and all opiates have affected my sex drive. The least of which would have to be the sub, but still definitely noticeable and problematic.

You know, on the Eastern vs. Western medicine subject - Have you ever thought of trying acupuncture as a supplement to your pain management? I know several people who swear by it. If you are fortunate to have access to a good doc in your area, it may be worth a try, and may have other side benefits as well. Some insurances will even cover a handful of acupuncture treatments per month. I have only been on the acupuncture and tea for a few days, and I can say now that I'm starting to feel subtle but deep physical changes.

I know I'm going to 'grieve' the loss of my pills as well. Tonight I'll be making a list of every benefit/reward for living opiate-free. I KNOW this will help me. I will read it every day like a mantra. Number one on that list is that my wife and I can have a baby....do I even NEED a number two?

Thank you for the prayers,

octomon

 
Old 09-21-2004, 09:13 AM   #5
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Re: Octomon

fisherman,
Hi...how are you doing? I'm sorry I have to respond on this thread but I wanted to shed some light on Eastern medicine. I believe you should seriously think about Eastern medicine..it has worked for over 5000 years so apparently it has merit to it.....give me a holler if you want to more info...its me... from L.A.

I was on Subutex not Suboxone, so as well I am way familiar with your story because its me! Anyhow, Subutex is the same as Suboxone except for the naltrexone. Trust me when I say you are on the right dosage of Subutex. 4mg a day right? are you splitting your doses?

Octoman~
what kind of herbal medicine are you taking? do you know the name of it? I never thought of accupuncture as a form of detox. I have used it for other conditions and have taken tons of chinese herbal meds and intoxications. You are a smart cookie for going that route as well. I can see you have done your research.

 
Old 09-22-2004, 08:10 AM   #6
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fisherpard HB User
Re: Octomon

Is that you "OVER"?

If it is I have missed hearing from you! I went to the Sub doctor yesterday and she was pleased with my pain control on the Subutex. She changed me over to the Subutex because if I needed more pain meds from my illness this would let them do it. I am going to try and level off at the lowest dose for pain management. I was surprised that she had never diagnosed me with a addiction but the lack of proper pain management. I know I am dependent on opiates from the long time use but she felt I was self medicating because I was not getting enough for the pain issue. I hope she is right.

Please tell me about eastern medicine! I am interested in other avenues that might be more gentle on the body. I also fight depression so I always look for new ways to deal with that.

thanks much,
fisherman

 
Old 09-22-2004, 01:56 PM   #7
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Cali... HB User
Re: Octomon

fisherman,

Its not over until its over......that said....can't say too much because of the rules and regulation but regardless I'm here to help and that is my bottom line!

Glad to hear you are much better! Its so hard when you have chronic pain. On Eastern medicine, please try a consultation with an accupuncturist. I know they can help a lot with nerve pain. Is that what fibro is? Heck they can actually at times perform small miracles that western medicine can't seem to alleviate. I've seen and heard a lot about eastern medicine. Look one up and ensure they have the proper credentials. You can't trust all of them though. So be careful.

Please use Cali from here on because again of certain rules, the previous name has been ousted.....

Last edited by Cali...; 09-22-2004 at 01:56 PM. Reason: typo

 
Old 09-24-2004, 05:34 AM   #8
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Re: Octomon

I get it Cali-how are you?
Octomon-fisher- guys!
Responded on the other thread-believe me-ill be screaming your name Cali-
And any/all info on OTC meds-eastern/teas-tinctures..i would love to know-
All info is appreciated-
Accupuncture-is incrediable-i haven't done it for a long time-but there was another life of mine-that i was extemely healthy-my weight was good-i was taking various herbal supplements-including astralgus/american ginseng/triphala/i was not addicted to opiates-smoked pot..no pills-and felt good about life.
Opiates really ruined me-i think i did some serious damage.Ive never been the same since i became addicted-those pathways got twisted.
Suggestions for supplements during w/d????
All ears here..
GGrl65

 
Old 09-24-2004, 11:22 AM   #9
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octomon HB User
Octomon's emergence....

Hi everyone,
Wow what a journey I have been on. Literally feels like space travel at this point. To briefly summarize my opiate trail, I came from a 160mg/day Oxy habit, turned into a 12-16mg/day suboxone maintenance for 5 months, finally the last 2 weeks I switched to 120-160mg/day hydrocodone as an 'attempt' to hinder the infamous 'delayed & drawn out' suboxone withdrawal pains.

On Monday night I took my last hydro dose. Woke up Tuesday with the first signs of wd. By late Tuesday afternoon I was getting into it pretty deep. The shakes, the sweats, diarreah. By Tues. night it was all of that x 3, and by early Wed. morning I had reached the absolute worst, most horrid, intense wd's I have EVER experienced [And believe me I've been there before]. At 5AM Wed morning I literally felt like it was die or take a suboxone.....and I did....take a suboxone, that is. Ironically, as the wd's began to subside, and as I drifted off to sleep, I experienced the most euphoric, blissed-out opiate high of my life...from suboxone. I literally felt like I had been lifted from the darkest depth of hell to be cradled in a kiss from God. There are no other words to descibe it.

So now it is Friday. I slept the entire day Wednesday and most of Thursday. At this point I have taken 12mg of suboxone in 3 days, and I'm not down on myself about it. I feel that if I can emerge from this on 2-4mg of sub per day for a while, I will be psyched, as that is a huge jump down from where I was. Did I have to go down so far to do this? I don't know, but I should say in a way it felt good to purge my system so intensly. I'm still drinking my Chinese tea and doing the acupuncture for now as well.

I think somebody asked what was in the tea. I will find out. Everyday is one big lunch sack of maybe 20 different herbs. I should also mention on Monday I came down with a cold, but could not change my detox plan, so this may have made things worse, as I also had a dose of Nyquil on Tues night - this was probably a mistake. Also in retrospect I should have asked my doc about meds to help with wd symptoms. I took valium that night but it didn't make a dent.

Anyway I don't know if this experience sheds any light in any way for y'all, but it definitely feels good knowing I'm currently on a third to a fourth of my usual suboxone dose at this point. I will really try to keep it down.

Hey GGirl what kind of detox are you planning? I guess you have something underway since you're asking about supplements? I've heard vitamin B6, plus there's an amino acid - anyone know what this is? Start's with a 'T".
Lots & lots of water, and hot baths helped me through some tough spots.

Also GGirl, I know it sometimes feels like the opiates have 'ruined' or forever damaged our brain chemistry & functions, but you gotta believe that this will subtlely and gradually adjust itself over time. The body and mind are miracle healers, just remember this part of the recovery will take the longest, but I truly believe we can all feel like 'ourselves' again. Try not to 'idealize' who you were before the opiates either. You had good days & bad days before, and some emptiness that the opiates helped to fill. If you try to recapture a perception of your previous self, filtered by time, yeah it is probably impossible. That's why we just have to keep looking forward and be the best we can be now. One tip...try thanking God for this entire experience, for everything it has taught you. And know that you're probably in many ways a more complete, compassionate human being for having gone through this.

Thanks for the posts everyone.

octomon

 
Old 09-24-2004, 11:58 AM   #10
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fisherpard HB User
Re: Octomon

Octomon,

No problem going back on the Suboxone. Spend some time at a lower dose and regroup when you build some strenght back up. I was afraid you were pushing coming off the higher dose of Sub as quick as you did.

I also came off to quick and the w/d's were more intense than I expected. I tapered over a 6 week period and went c/t @ 1mg daily. When I try again , I will taper over at minimum 3 months and go down to chips. I might try changing over to a opiate with a shorter half life at that point for a few weeks. The Sub really hangs on to the recepters for a long time. I did not have w/d's until about day 5. It does ease up at around 2 weeks.

Hang in there because I know just a matter of time and you will be opiate free. Keep up the good work.

your friend,
fisherman

 
Old 09-30-2004, 05:08 PM   #11
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Re: Octomon

Hey All,
You're friendly neighborhood octomon here. I apologize for the absence. As expected I just have not felt like approaching the computer at all in the past couple of weeks. But for those suboxone users especially, I thought I would check in with word on my 'sub-taper'.

I'm down to 2mg per day now! A huge step from where I was a month ago @ 12-16mgs per day. Man it's been interesting, difficult, great, depressing...name any emotion.

Still drinking the Chinese tea 4 times per day, with accupuncture every other day, and I have to say each day get's a tiny bit better overall. I hope to be sub-free soon. I've been on 2mgs for 3 days now, after being on 4mgs/day for about one week. My taper has happened relatively fast from what I understand...maybe that tea IS helping??

Just curious, is anyone else currently tapering from the sub? How is banker doing?...banker, how are you? I'm feeling brave enough to go view a few new posts now I think. Whoever reads this please check in and say "hi" if you have a moment. Thanks.

PS: Hi Fisherman. I read a post from you a few days ago that you were on "day 8" - of what? If you read this pls. tell what's up and how your're doing. I hope you're well

-octomon

Last edited by octomon; 09-30-2004 at 05:19 PM. Reason: PS

 
Old 09-30-2004, 05:32 PM   #12
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dschne HB User
Re: Octomon

Hi Octo I am tapering now at 12mg and I am hoping to drop next week some more but am real scared of getting THAT FEELING read my other posts and you will see what I am planning I think to do to get off this stuff also quite the benzos on mon so Think they are starting to kick my butt some.It has been a emotional roller coaster the last 2-3 weeks for reilly weird went from feeling real good to this.Keep up the good work you can do this you are olmost there will say a prayer for you and check back in when you can.
Dan
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daniel

 
Old 09-30-2004, 05:49 PM   #13
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Re: Octomon

Hey Octomon.....You are doing a really fast taper, huh???? I commend you! You are doing great. Keep up the good work and thanks for the updates. It really helps those of us out here in cyber -space that are considering sub.
You are a strong guy....keep up the good work! I wish you the best!!!
luv,
LISA

 
Old 09-30-2004, 06:34 PM   #14
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carly500 HB User
Re: Octomon

Hi Octomon Boy I wonder what's in that tea all I have is red rose lol. I am so glad you are doing so well. I just know you will be a sucess story and you know it too. I guess you didn't need the ADD supplement? Well don't be a stranger ok. Carly PS Fisherman if you're reading this we have to catch up soon. Carly

 
Old 10-01-2004, 11:41 AM   #15
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Re: Octomon

Thanks for the posts everyone.
I'm realizing the sub-taper really is just about what's best for each individual's lifestyle, preference, schedule, etc. I think really there is no 'better' choice between tapering over 6 weeks or 6 months. For me I just have had the opportunity for some downtime, so I went for it a bit intensly, but now that I'm down to 2mg/day, I feel ok staying here a bit because I need to be more productive right now.

I forgot to mention yesterday that my doc also put me on 200mgs of generic wellbutrin per day. This is my fourth day with it, and so far I just feel more agitated, frustrated, and edgy...some 'anti-depressant', eh? It feels more like just a stimulant, like caffeine or ephedra. I would LOVE some feedback from any other WB users. I know a few of us here are currently taking it. For that matter, if anyone is having success with ANY other anti-depressant or ADHD drug helping with a taper, please please share your thoughts. Thank you so much. And thank you again everyone for the positive vibes...I really feel them and you're making a difference in my day.

cheers,
octomon

 
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