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Denster 01-17-2005 12:01 PM

Hello to all! - Time to close this thread! A new & improved thread "Taper Off Pain Medication 101" Tips & Questions!" That is where this taper type will be! How do you "remove" a thread & send it to the archives? I'm no genious, (no doubt!) - SOMEBODY pl. - how do I do that very simple thing? This thread WAS too micro-"ME & my taper plan" - & the new thread is designed to hear from lurkers, & "try" to deal w/any & all matters related to a taper off plan. Hey, "Before You Get Started" brought me much needed info. & support! Pl. "redirect the positive energy to the new thread! TY - Hang Tough! Den

P.S. Best Friend & "the kid" LOL! Toomany, - TY for being there from day 1. & Patty, YES, I still have hair LOL - blonde/gray whatever, it is hair & that is a vanishing/ -- never mind!

Great! - I thought THIS post was "last entry - this thread." Ooops, no matter! Read on, & you WILL get to the new thread, if you have ANY taper tips/questions - Taper 101 is on board.

Best Friend 01-17-2005 02:20 PM

Re: Taper off Vicodin Tip, Before You Get Started!
Nice post, Den. Was wondering how you were doing! Your positive attitude will, for sure, help others here. I tried tapering before I started Sub and I still consider it a viable plan for many. Thanks.

Philster2003 01-17-2005 05:28 PM

Re: Taper off Vicodin Tip, Before You Get Started!
Good post Den

Taper is not for everyone but it can work or help. You can use taper to get to 0 or you can taper to you get to a point where CT is viable. I've done it each way lol The last time was tapering from close to 500mg per day to 20 then got impatient and went CT. Base dose, consistent timing of pill intake and reductions is key as Den said. The other thing that is very important is your inner strength and will power. With taper you can't cheat, cheating defeats the whole sole purpose. You have to be true to yourself and focused on your goal which in the case of taper is 0 intake. There are some helpful hints and tricks that can help with taper for those that are in a taper. Ask and we can share lol.

One other thing with taper, if you taper at 5% reduction you probably will not be to distressed with withdrawal symptoms. It will take longer to taper but thatís the trade off to some level of withdrawal symptom. Most folks try the 10% taper. I did the 25 % reduction the last time and it was not pleasant but I was in a hurry to get off drugs and I just couldn't CT from the level I was taking.

Yes this was a good thread you started Den.


Denster 01-18-2005 12:52 AM

Re: Taper off Vicodin Tip, Before You Get Started!
Hello Best Friend, Hello Prof. Philster! LOL - TY both for reply/added advice(very sound) to my taper post. It's still "so far, so good" with no reason to question this method! Plenty of excuses, read (desire to feel the buzz!) but Philster, so true re: "it would defeat the sole purpose & since I'm here, - I might as well just keep the momentum going!" By the way, - my reduction sched. (20%, - every 5th day w/option to hang for 2 days max.) is perhaps a bit steep, & the "yoyoing" may have created a slightly high "base dose" in my case. However, the 10 days at exact doses/exact intervals was essential to me! ANY exercise of moderation & awareness is a start! "Taper off boot camp" or, 10 days at a best guess base dose is a little victory! I was "all over the place" in terms of dosing, & any taper off plan requires discipline, awareness, & a firm desire to recover! So, ESTABLISH YOUR BASE DOSE, & stay there (exact doses/exact intervals) until you are ready to proceed with a VERY doable 1st reduction. For me, it was 10 days well spent! At this very moment, (I try to keep a moment to moment focus) I am doing well! More reductions ahead, - but a few already behind! TY, & hang tough! Best wishes, Den

Denster 01-18-2005 01:20 AM

Re: Taper off Vicodin Tip, Before You Get Started!
Twin Alice, - congrats re: Sub effort! The fact that "other methods" like your Sub plan exist, is simply 1 more reason to remain optimistic about recovery! This taper plan is my 1st attempt at quitting without going CT. I read like crazy, (Philster is the Encyclopedia of Tapering) & the archives, other boards & suggested taper tips from *****, etc. - all have helpful tips when you are hunting! It's so different for everybody & I'm thinking that if every "taper type" posts something/anything that has helped, - we MIGHT be able to create a "Tapering 101" type of thread! - I used bits & pieces of taper info. from many different sources BEFORE I GOT STARTED! It is certainly "one day/1 dose at a time" & I'm SO new to this! Without question, I will NEVER be so foolish as to state, "I KNOW a taper plan is "better" than any other method of getting off of Vicodin." Yep, "one man's poison ...." Hang tough Alice, - I'm happy that the Subutex is working for you! You worked to get where you are, & I would know your positive attitude will always be your greatest strength. Hey, that's true for all of us! Best wishes, Den

Denster 01-19-2005 06:40 PM

Re: Taper off Vicodin Tip, Before You Get Started!
"Moving Right Along" RE: "Taper off Vicodin Tip, Before You Get Started!" If you have established a "Base Vicodin Dose" & the suggested "hang steady @ exact dose/exact intervals for 10 days" is restoring a sense of sanity re: abuse/addiction, you might be looking at that 1st dose reduction. AMAZING! As Philster stated "low & slow" is the suggested reduction "amount." 5% to 10% reductions for approx. 1 wk. seems to be the collective wisdom, and that makes sense! "Urgency" ( possible back surgery in early March) & the all too common "my Dr. has no clue re: my abuse" lead me to a steeper drop - 20% from "base dose" & my intervals are "5 days per reduction w/an option to hold 1-2 extra days to adjust." I've dropped from approx. 70mg per day to 25mg & it has NOT been easy. I'm on the last day of my option to hold (exercised it without ANY guilt) & 15mg per day starts tomorrow. WD symptoms have been eased w/1-800mg Ibuprofen for BT pain, AA meetings, prayer, & posting. The collective positive energy on this board truly helps me to stay on schedule. "TAPER TIP" 2. "BE PREPARED FOR WD SYMPTOMS" - Your taper plan should include a "plan" to help you deal with "mini wd's." If you researched your plan, you KNEW this was coming! However, even at my steep reduction rate, - my symptoms are nowhere NEAR the "I can't do this stage!" FACT: Even a very sm. dose of an opiate relieves the wd's to (some) degree. The fact that my body has been adjusting "relatively" slowly has WITHOUT A DOUBT lessened the all too familiar full blown wd's. Summ. of my "mini wd symptoms: (+ I'm working, - sleep IS a bit tough, + benadryl helps, - my stomach HAS reacted, + Immodium (Advanced) works! - I'm quite jumpy/grumpy, - "hey Den, is THAT a physical wd symptom OR are you craving the old warm n fuzzy?" I have no clue, & what difference does it make? Oh yeah, +++ I HAVE reduced my Vicodin dose in a manner that I can (so far) handle!!! - I have vivid memories of my last CT attempt, & I call on them to remind why I chose a taper plan. Long walks, hot baths, (so imp.for pain!) good movies, - (count bills, not pills!) whatever works! I'm CHOOSING to stay in the moment, & slowly starting to laugh at temptation. I NEVER lose sight of the process, but - life DOES go on! Any/every positive taper tip, or comment is greatly appreciated! EX. I had NEVER tried Benadryl for sleep, & hmmm, it actually works! Found that little tidbit in a Philster post. Best wishes to all, - a little edgey but hangin! Den

Mike_NY 01-19-2005 07:39 PM

Re: Taper off Vicodin Tip, Before You Get Started!
I guess I can say I did my own little taper plan before I went CT. I was usually not using all day but when I got off of work I would immediately swallow two norcos with a can of beer. Ahhh. Then as the night went on I wiould dip in and take halves for a few hours usually until I reached the 3-4 pill mark. I was doing this for a year. Strictly for recreation if you wanna call it that :rolleyes:

When I decided i had enough and knowing that my supply was running low I decided to even out my dosage throughout the day so I wouldn't be fiending as usual at 5 oclock. I took one and a half in the morning, a half at noon and another one tab at 5'oclock. I always swore to myself that I would never use while on the job, but the dose in the morning actually evened me out throughout the day and I wasn't craving like usual after work. Sometimes this one tab after work did me just fine, other times I would add another halfer for an extra little kicker an hour or two after 5'o clock.

I did this for several days then eliminated the noon half tab, with no problem. Then a few days later I stopped that halfer I mentioned I would take later in the evening. This seemed to be just right to stave off any WD. I kept to this schedule until I ran out or pills on Saturday night (Jan.15) and went CT on Sunday the 16th.

And guess what? I experienced no WD to speak of whatsoever! No diarreah (I have a surplus of toilet paper and immodium now from my shopping list) been eating whatever my heart desires. I even fiended out on QuackDonalds yesterday after a meeting. Trust me I need the calories I am very slender and tall. (now have a surplus of cup of noodles from my shopping list), extremely mild cramping in my calves but I havent even needed an analgesic pain reliever for it, just a few hot soaks.

It hasn't stopped the cravings though and i am running like a mad dog to NA meetings every chance I get. I've been to 6 meeetings in 4 days.

I have lots of literature to read and they say if you can't sleep just pick up the literature and you'll be asleep in no time. :jester:

I'm not suggesting that this would work for everyone but I guess it did for me. I have no other explanation as to why I made it through these 4 days with very little if any physical discomfort. That's just my experience and I am grateful for it but at the same time I would have liked a painful reminder as to why I need to get off this stuff (well cant say i want pain or wish it on anyone but i hope you get my drift.)

Regards to all and a pain free day to all and i hope everyone reaches their goals.


Mike_NY 01-19-2005 07:44 PM

Re: Taper off Vicodin Tip, Before You Get Started!
I want to add that I have learned that when tapering the general rule is "the lower the slower". Meaning that the lower dose you are on the slower the taper must be. WD is based on the percent reduction of the drug, not how many milligrams one is taking. In other words if you are taking 4 pills and reduce by one that is a 25% reduction. You may be able to get away with that without discomfort. When you are down to one pill and taper to a half that is a 50% reduction and that is asking for trouble. Get it?


Denster 01-19-2005 08:20 PM

Re: Taper off Vicodin Tip, Before You Get Started!
Hello Mike! TY for your taper exp. info. Hopefully, somebody will find a tip or 2 in your post. 1 size does not fit all, & your exp. is proof positive! The bottom line: Get where you want to get (off drugs) in a manner that works for YOU! You DID taper Mike, w/less structure & maybe no chronic pain issues, but yep, you slowly (quick in "tapertime") got to a point where quitting was feasible. Outstanding!! I include "structure" in my plan because I was yoyoing like crazy! 45mg for a few days - then 100mg, & hey, I NEEDED to know where I was at in terms of how much Vicodin worked on pain, - & obviously, how much was pure buzz-chasing. Some of us have pain, some don't - point is, if you're taking hydro. to get high, you're heading towards bigger doses. To me, that 1st "1 extra because this feels good" is a great time to stop, or, in the case of CP users, get back on your presrcibed dose - Right Now!! Your exp. has a great ending, & THAT is what people who are
thinking about a taper plan need to know. Sounds like the "recreational, with a brewskie scenario & then......uh oh! - caught your atten: & that is awareness. My 10 day "hang time" leveled me out, & this taper plan is very doable! Thanks Mike, and "s...- no way, 2 MORE hours before my nothing 5mg dose?" Hey, whatever works! It works for me - so far, so good! Best wishes, Den

Denster 01-19-2005 09:16 PM

Re: Taper off Vicodin Tip, Before You Get Started!
Mike, VERY TRUE re: "low & slow!" (especially) at low doses as that lower dose is often a "return to the dose prescribed for pain!" My "taper off staff" o.k. - me, researched many addiction/abuse websites, I even TRIED to read a Stanford, or was it Harvard "Medical Journal" 5 pg. yawner re: "Pain Medication & Suggested Tritation - A Guide." Yeah, - decaf would have been a gd. idea that night. LOL! Summary, at high "out of control" abusive levels, a substantial - even 50% dose reduction very seldom results in sudden, severe opiate wd's. However, upon return to a theraputic, prescibed dose, CP users MUST exercise caution re: each additional dose reduction. So, - put it all together & somewhere "a starting point" - in my case 20% reductions from 70mg per day - hold for 5 days w/option to remain at this dose another few days just seemed appropriate. Mike, when I'm at 15mg per day, from current 25mg - I will be where the Dr. started me for PAIN! Hey, the "high" has been awol since I started reducing. Also, "there is no prize for getting there quicker!" Somebody posted that gem & it makes very good sense. There is NO perfect reduction formula, & better to error by taking it slow. Thanks for your very helpful reminder! I'm thinking, "Den, avoiding wd's & managing pain is the idea, - again, "so far, so good!" Hope to hear from you again, Den

lpears123 01-20-2005 04:01 AM

Re: Taper off Vicodin Tip, Before You Get Started!
How long should it take? a week, month, a few months? I am trying the same thing...but the doc really did not tell me how to do it...she said just taper? HELP I have a call into her today so any advice would be great.
Thanks :p

Denster 01-20-2005 10:21 AM

Re: Taper off Vicodin Tip, Before You Get Started!
Ipears123 - Hello & welcome! Great idea to call your Dr. back & get responses to every ? you have re: a taper off plan! Pain issues, (if pain is an issue) minimizing WD symptoms, simply KNOWING your current dose, - that will help your Dr. and YOU (this is YOUR recovery!) to at least get started on a taper off plan that does not derail you in terms of your strong desire to get off of the Vicodin!. Adjustments CAN be made based upon your physical reactions to the plan, & this board, AA NA meetings - your own research might lead you to additional advice & support. Re: "How long?" - that might be a time frame that changes depending upon several factors, i.e. your injury & related pain, your current BASE DOSE, but to me, the biggest factor is your desire to work this plan because you truly want to be free of addiction/abuse. You are here, & you desire necessary positive changes! What a wonderful start!! If your Dr. has "no clue" about a taper plan, if you have been buying off of the streets & you believe "I can't do that, I'm out of control, etc." - pl. know this: Many people were/are in that very common place, & we ARE working a taper plan! I hope your Dr. truly works w/you & that you find some peace! We have "taper tips" - but at this very early point - a DETAILED talk w/your Dr. seems like a necessity. The collective positive energy & taper tips posted here may assist you. We will ALWAYS try!! - Sorry, no specifics - but remember that some very helpful guidelines do exist! PLEASE return after your Dr. has answered all of your questions, - you DESERVE her undivided atten! Remember, - "this journey lasts forever, & second chances are NEVER refused!" NEVER!! Best wishes, hope to hear from you soon - happy/excited - FOR YOU! Den

Mike_NY 01-20-2005 12:32 PM

Re: Taper off Vicodin Tip, Before You Get Started!
Thanks for the replies Den.

You're enthusiasm is contagious! Thanks for that.

I hope this thread helps someone out there who is lost. I mean come on look at how many people actually post to the amount that read. There are sooo many people suffering and confused out there.

We're here to help and support.

As they say in NA an addict can help another addict in the quest for recovery. it's a symbiotic relationship meaning that we all benefit if we stick together and support each other.



lpears123 01-20-2005 12:33 PM

Re: Taper off Vicodin Tip, Before You Get Started!
Den, Thank you so much for the great advice...I started having headaches in Nov when my hemoglobin was at a 4...then after five days in the hospital I was finally dx with Autoimmune Hemolytic anemia. Now that its under control we thought that the headaches would end such luck. I have a wonderful Dr, she was the one how thought I should start to taper off the vicodin and gave my a script for tramadol... as an alternative to the vicodin for pain control. So here I am addicted to these pills and really want to get off this stuff!!!!
I will get back to you when she calls, Thanks so much :bouncing:

Denster 01-20-2005 03:23 PM

Re: Taper off Vicodin Tip, Before You Get Started!
Lori, Hello again & YES, pl. post your Dr.'s advice re: your taper off Vicodin plan. Sometimes, - "the Dr. knows best" & you are very lucky to have one who cares! My health provider is the VA - (no complaints) I'm very lucky because my regional Hsp. is in Palo Alto Ca. & Stanford Med. Center surgeons & other specialists are avail. when needed. It takes FOREVER to get an appoint. - but the VA is essentially an HMO, & from what I've been reading - a "perfect" health plan does not exist. Total elbow reconstruction surgery was a total success (because I had access to a Stanford sports medicine surgeon, a Dr. who treats Bay Area pro football & baseball players) & a Stanford plastic surgeon did an incredible job w/a basal cell carcinoma (skin cancer)on my forehead. 52, grew up surfing, playing every sport, working, LIVING in the sun w/out sunblock & now another 1 might have to be removed. Gen. health tip! HEY! "Use a sunscreen!" Sorry Lori, the subject was/is TAPER OFF VICODIN! - I just talked w/VA re: the skin cancer & that was a "public service address!" - Lori, - you can "get off Vicodin" - & your hesitance/awareness? (hey, this is wrong!) to cont. taking it will serve you well! - Many of us get way up in dose, buy off the streets etc. - before we come here! But, here you are, & your taper plan is every bit as necessary/important as anybody's! To that extent, - you are perhaps, positioned to bring "another tip to the taperer's!" I wish you all the best, - & pl. stay in touch! Best wishes - hang tough!

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