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Old 01-28-2008, 09:50 AM   #1
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SavingPrivRyan HB User
Time to taper down and stop

Not much to my story other then that I had been addicted to Vicodin for about 2 years. I was taking 4 regular strength everyday and could not stop for anything. I went to a sub-doctor who put me on subutex which I have been taking now for almost 3 years. First of all I am taking way too much for the level of addiction that I had and secondly I am ready to get off of this junk once and for all. I am tired constantly and feel like I am jogging through syrup all day.

I am going to my sub-doctor this week and demand that he put me on some kind of taper regiment. I am new here so how hard is it to taper down? I am up to 8mg a day which I know after reading is way too high for the level of addiction that I had. I know I can get that way down to 2-4 mg a day and then further down from there to 2 mg every other day and so on and so on. My concern is that my doctor had me on such a higher dosage because he was making alot of money off of my insurance company every time I made a visit.

Any advice would help out in Saving Private Ryan.

Ryan

 
Old 01-28-2008, 09:57 AM   #2
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redrockrag HB User
Re: Time to taper down and stop

Was your use for pain. That is not very many pills. I am like you I am a "nibbler" I was taking 4-6 a day for a few years. I had back surgery but could not give up the pills. I am not a Dr. but that seems like a huge step to go to sub with an addiction of that size. Anyway, I am 8 days without hydros and am really feeling good. Still have cravings but am determined to stay to my routine. Look at the sample detox plan at the top of this board and use as much of what applies to your symptoms. Good luck. You can do this. It sounds like you may have gotten some bad advice. That's a shame.
RR

 
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Old 01-28-2008, 08:37 PM   #3
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SavingPrivRyan HB User
Re: Time to taper down and stop

Quote:
Originally Posted by redrockrag View Post
Was your use for pain. That is not very many pills. I am like you I am a "nibbler" I was taking 4-6 a day for a few years. I had back surgery but could not give up the pills. I am not a Dr. but that seems like a huge step to go to sub with an addiction of that size. Anyway, I am 8 days without hydros and am really feeling good. Still have cravings but am determined to stay to my routine. Look at the sample detox plan at the top of this board and use as much of what applies to your symptoms. Good luck. You can do this. It sounds like you may have gotten some bad advice. That's a shame.
RR
Yeah I think that you're right. I think that the doctor that I have been going to really wanted to make some money. I have very good insurance and I think that he just billed the heck out of it. I was not able to seem to stay off of it for very long. So I got scared and went to a sub doctor. It is only now that I found out that I really only should have been on a very small dose of Subutex for maybe 2 weeks at the most. I really think that i got screwed by this doctor. This has cost me a bundle in co-pays. I feel like a bowl of jelly all the time.

Anyway you said that there is a detox plan somewhere? Thanks.

Private Ryan

 
Old 01-28-2008, 08:39 PM   #4
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Re: Time to taper down and stop

And yes it started for kidney stones and then for a back injury that was pretty nasty for awhile, however doing some exercises has taken the pain away pretty much. I really should not have been put on Vicodin. I didn't know at the time that is was addictive.

Ryan

 
Old 01-29-2008, 04:10 AM   #5
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captnanny HB User
Re: Time to taper down and stop

Hi and Welcome to this board.
Redrock gave you some good advice. I would look at the home detox thing at the top of this message board. But I would also contact your doc about whether it applies to suboxone too. I know that suboxone withdrawal is just as hard as regular opiate withdrawal. I would assume that the doc saw an opportunity. 8 mg for 4-6 hydros should have been weened down after the max maybe 6 months. Some people do need to take sub for a while to deal with their triggers and issues that led to the abuse. Others need to get through the detox a little easier. The problem is you are on a high dose right now and I would not think going cold turkey would be wise. You could figure out a taper, I think the home detox post says to start like a week or two before you quit. If your doc doesn't want you to go off the sub, talk to your gp. I don't know if i have helped, trying to add to redrocks good advice.
Capt

 
Old 01-29-2008, 04:03 PM   #6
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redrockrag HB User
Re: Time to taper down and stop

Good luck with your detox/tapering Ryan, you seem to have been given some bad doctoring with all of this and if you are out of pain and can ween yourself the best of luck to you. It seems like it is time to take charge of your medical future and make sure that your doctors understand how unhappy you are with them. These guys make mistakes and they need to hear it and make it right for you. Today I am 9 days off the hydors and feeling good. Still crave the stuff even when I feel so clear headed and happy. Seems like I have more time on my hands which means I either need to work more (I do that a lot) or find something to do besides be high. New beginnings are always hard because you need to step outside your level of comfort. Always a difficult decision. Again, good luck and let us know how you are doing.
RR

 
Old 02-02-2008, 01:38 AM   #7
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SavingPrivRyan HB User
Re: Time to taper down and stop

Quote:
Originally Posted by captnanny View Post
Hi and Welcome to this board.
Redrock gave you some good advice. I would look at the home detox thing at the top of this message board. But I would also contact your doc about whether it applies to suboxone too. I know that suboxone withdrawal is just as hard as regular opiate withdrawal. I would assume that the doc saw an opportunity. 8 mg for 4-6 hydros should have been weened down after the max maybe 6 months. Some people do need to take sub for a while to deal with their triggers and issues that led to the abuse. Others need to get through the detox a little easier. The problem is you are on a high dose right now and I would not think going cold turkey would be wise. You could figure out a taper, I think the home detox post says to start like a week or two before you quit. If your doc doesn't want you to go off the sub, talk to your gp. I don't know if i have helped, trying to add to redrocks good advice.
Capt
Thanks folks for the good advice. I have begun to taper down on my own and it has not really been that hard. I take one pill and cut off a sliver and put it under my tongue and I can do that several times a day and still have plenty of pill left over at the end of the day. The WD's with subutex is not good but it doesn't seem to be as bad a hydros were. But I have an appointment with the doctor who put me on this and I am going to tell him that I want off of them.

I think that some of my triggers are anxiety. I have high levels of anxiety and have had this problem my whole life, partly because of the way that was I raised and probably some proclivities toward having a sensitivity to anxiety. My anxiety has really been a noose around my neck my whole life. It is very painful and the subutex does have a calming effect. However the side effects of subutex are too troubling. I am tired all the time and constipated constantly and has affected me cognitively. Also it makes me feel somewhat unmotivated and confused. One of the best reads that I have seen with regards to my situation with anxiety is by a psychiatrist who links anxiety and dyslexia and ADHD and phobias all together as a result of an underdeveloped cerebelum. I have been to counseling many times in my life and although the counseling gave me some self insight and helped deal with some family issues it has never made a dent in my anxiety issue. So even though I do find the effects of subutex medicinal for my anxiety, I do have to stop taking it. It's time and even if it take me awhile to taper down I am going to do it..

Anyway at 50 years old that is what makes sense to me.

Thanks for all the good advice.

Ryan

 
Old 02-21-2008, 01:40 PM   #8
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bdoon51 HB User
Unhappy Re: Time to taper down and stop

I too want to get off Sub. I am presribed 24 mg a day but usually take less than that unless I have pain.

I had two joint replacements in summer 06 and another surgery in Jan 07. My primary care doc, a young woman, kept prescribing me painkillers for my physical therapy, pain etc. However my main interest at that point (a year after the first surgery) was to not go into withdrawals. I went from 25 mg of Percocet in July 06 to almost 300 mg of oxycontin in July 07.

I couldn't believe the way she would just write the scripts whenever I asked. I did not get high ...I wasn't trying to abuse only to keep from getting sick but my tolerance kept going up. In fact I had been having bad mental reactions to all of these drugs (Percocet, morphine,fentanyl and oxycontin) so the doctor put me on Lexapro so I could tolerate the pain meds.

I finally could not stand it any longer and asked her for help withdrawing...she set me up with this hotshot pain doc but it would be almost 3 months before I could see this doc. I was getting suicidal but knew it was the drugs so I fired the primary care doc, returned all my surplus drugs to her and went into drug treatment. I was really surprised at all the folks who were there because of addiction resulting from medical treatment. It is frightening.

The doctor I fired got very hostile and when I tried to contact her she ignored me and even threatened me with a restraining order if I kept trying to contact her. It really hurt me because she had been so kind and compassionate when I was her patient. I fired her because I knew I would never get off the drugs as long as she was my doctor. She acted like this whole thing was personal or she was afraid I was going to sue her or something. I really liked her and never even considered something like that. I do believe I even had a crush on her.

To make a long story short I am now on Suboxone and I am really tired of it.
Prior to my surgeries I had not even had alcohol for 20 years and had stopped smoking.

How bad is the sub withdrawal? I have heard very bad. Would it be better to go back on Percocet and withdraw from that instead?

I feel "normal" but not normal if you know what I mean....like there is no variation in my emotions. Don't let anyone tell you that suboxone isn't mood-altering. A few months ago I had gone 24 hours without any and tried to contact the original doctor who had been giving me the painkillers. I was bluntly told not to call again and found myself very hurt and very angry...like I was cut with a knife. I took a suboxone (8 mgs) and those feelings went away. Now that is mood altering at its best.

Currently I have a psychiatrist who prescribes the suboxone to me. He is a real nice guy and only charges me the co-pay ($20) while other docs I went to want hundreds of dollars for each visit. What a racket! Should I go in a hospital for the withdrawal?. I got accepted at Johns Hopkins in-patient last year but declined it when I found out about suboxone. Maybe I should go back there?

I am really disappointed in myself for letting this happen to me. I do not blame the doctor...she did not hold me down and make me take those narcotics. Nevertheless (and this is probably just my stupor) I felt sometimes that she liked the power she had over me and at the same time was being consistent with this new thinking in medical circles of being more egalitarian with patients (she would talk about this....sometimes she would tell me how lonely she was and other personal stuff). However I always had a fear she might cut me off (she was moody) so I was always complimenting her , being nice to her, gave her gifts etc. Obviously being manipulative to some degree I was....however I was just frightened. I never once got "loaded" from the drugs like I used to drinking and to be very honest I got to the point where the drugs really scared me..I don't even like to think about what would happen to me sometimes with that oxycontin. The day I returned the surplus drugs to her I felt so good. I thought I was going to be off drugs for good and here I am 6 months later still on this Suboxone.

 
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