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Need some advice about suboxone

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Old 09-08-2005, 03:21 PM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 142
jkhopeful HB User
Need some advice about suboxone

For those of you who have been discussing suboxone, I need some advice - (e.g. jewel1060, polarisrider, goddessgrl65 ) Is suboxone really a good method of getting off of most opioids? or is it just going from one substance abuse to another? I'm just trying to come up with a game plan to get off a five to six year habit of pain killer abuse. I'm currently taking about 40 to 50 mg of vicodin daily - that's 4 or 5 - 10/325 pills a day - I feel I need to clairify because someone misunderstood one of my posts one day and thought I was taking 40 to 50 pills a day, but it truly is 40 to 50 miligrams of vicodin that I'm using per day! I finally did some research on line yesterday and called a doctor who is covered under my insurance that prescribes suboxone for substance abuse patients. So far, she hasn't called me back and her nurse wasn't even sure if she'd take me on as a patient. I asked if she would at least refer me somewhere if whe won't take me. The whole phone converation was very frustrating with no results so far. I got transferred around a number of times, asked embarrassing questions, etc. I'm not comfortable enough with my own internist to discuss this with him - I'd truly rather go to a stranger who is an addiction specialist. And I've had to admit to myself that I cannot do this on my own. But can I ask why you chose to go the suboxone route? and what's the long term plan? How long do you plan to take suboxone before you're completely free of that? I'm just so scared of the withdrawals and the cravings. Does it really help? Once I'm off the suboxone, will I still have cravings? Will I have some w/d's from suboxone as well but not as severe? I need some advice from you experts who have already been down the path. Why did you make the decision to use suboxone. If you wouldn't mind, I'd like to know more about your history. Thanks so much for your help.

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Old 09-08-2005, 05:02 PM   #2
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 95
jewel1060 HB User
Re: Need some advice about suboxone

hi, first let me say i am no expert . I was also addicted to painkillers, more advanced than vicodin - I was taking oxycontin (3 -4 80 mg ) pills a day. Prior to that I also took vicodin and percocet. Suboxone works to get you off opiates. I went to an addiction specialist ( now on my second addiction spec)
The first day on sub was rough ( for me) although not all have a problem.
I tried to go through a rapid detox on sub and come off within 2 weeks , it didnt work , I went into severe w/d's. Your body has to adjust to the right dose of sub and from what I understand you taper off and everyone is different. I couldn't do it alone and I am still on the sub ( been on since july 15) and trying to taper off. I have learned there is no easy way out. If I had to do it over again - I would have probably checked into a really good rehab and gotten it over with already. I understand you have to research that also - my doctor told me not all rehabs are good. I will keep you posted as I go. I give you credit for trying to become drug free , thats what we are all here for and to support each other. Any other questions, feel free to ask and I will try to help as much as I can.The suboxone saved me from oxy's and that is where I am at right now. Legnth of time on sub varies from person to person . You may be able to get off them sooner because you were not using as much as I was . As far as w/d's from suboxone, some people have w/d's and some don't (from what I've read) I chose this route because the addiction doctor advertised a comfortable detox from day one.
I believed it . ( it works once you adjust ) but it wasnt completely comfortable for me the whole time . I really didnt know what else to do, I couldnt go cold turkey & I thought I could do this and still function from day one ( unfortunately that wasnt exactly the way it went) It took me awhile to get back to work . ( I wasnt sick - but wasnt myself) I hope I didnt confuse you too much. This got more wordy than I planned - hope I answered some of your questions.

Last edited by jewel1060; 09-08-2005 at 05:13 PM.

Old 09-17-2005, 01:25 AM   #3
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 41
Royalsecret HB User
Re: Need some advice about suboxone

Hi jkhopeful My husband Ed was prescribed by his doctor Oxycontin and for the last five years he had been taking 320+ Oxycontin daily. Before that he had been taking vicodin for five years for pain. He had a neck fusion and four knee operations, and back problems. The Oxycontin started making him physically sick so he decided he needed to get off them - plus the fact that he was sick and tired of wishing his life away so he could take his next oxycontin. The Subutex REALLY did it's job - won't call it a 'miracle drug' because it isn't a miracle quick fix - you have to really want to get off your DOC and you have to be prepared to go thru what seems like an endless taper process - but it is SOOO much easier then stopping cold turkey AND Ed could never taper off his oxy - it has such a hold on him - but because he wasn't getting any kind of high off the sub- it was much easier for him to taper off the sub. Taking Sub is so much different than other opiates that you really can't compare it to just changing one drug for another. For one thing, you don't get 'high' off Sub - you feel normal on it - so you can mentally and physically start healing from your habit of getting high everyday. It also really helps with the cravings. It works EXTREMELY well in helping people get off their DOC.

Here is Ed's Subutex taper schedule. It has worked very well for him. Please keep in mind that while he was tapering he was off work so he was able to go thru a 'bad day' while he was tapering without having to worry about working. If he had to be at work during the taper process, he would have done it more slowly.

We believe that the key to a successful sub taper is to taper down very low, and take the time to stabilize at each dose before tapering again. Sub is extremely POWERFUL and to be respected. Also, be prepared to feel each taper a day or two, and just remember that once you stabilize you will feel better again, until the next taper.

Ed said the worst he felt when he was 'feeling' the taper was depression, anxiety, and a restless feeling where he couldn't get comfortable in his own skin.

Just remember that it's normal to feel this way for a day or two when you are tapering - Ed usually felt this way on day 2 or day 3 of each taper. We feel it is so important to give yourself time to stabilize each time you taper, then a day or two to enjoy feeling 'stabilized' before you taper down again. If you don't, and you taper too fast, you can find yourself feeling depressed, anxious, etc., the entire time you are on sub - which can lead to a *** attitude, which can lead to relapsing.

Ed feels that it definitely got harder for him once he got down to 1 mg - that is why he stayed at the 1 mg dose for 10 days.

Ed was on Subutex for 47 days. He was coming off a 320+ mg a day Oxycontin habit for five years, and before that 5 years of daily hydrocodone use. If it was up to his sub doc he'd still be taking 16 mg of Subutex a day.

2 days at 24 mg
5 days at 16 mg
5 days at 12 mg
4 days at 8 mg
5 days at 6 mg
4 days at 4 mg
3 days at 3 mg
10 days at 1 mg
3 days at .50 mg
3 days at .25mg
3 days at .12

Ed's last day of Subutex was on August 9th so it's been a little over a month and he's doing great! He tried to stop the sub when he was day 1 at .25 but when he got to the 30 hour mark of no sub, he started having bad w/d's - nothing like the oxycontin w/d's, but bad enough that he said he wanted to taper down even more.

He tapered for another week and when he stopped at .12 we thought for sure that he would go thru 4-5 days of w/d's...but he didn't! He slept that first night just fine and that awful depressed restless feeling filled with anxiety and heebie jeebies never came! He must have had already gone thru that during his previous tapers.

Ed doesn't have any cravings for the oxycontin at all - yes of course he 'misses' the feeling that they gave him - but he doesn't have the urgent need/desire to take them any longer - and I truely believe that is very similiar to quitting smoking - for the first few weeks it's a physical thing - then it turns into a mental thing - the sub really helps distance you from those urges and by the time you are done tapering off the sub - hey it's HARD work - Ed just didn't have any desire to put himself and me thru that - EVER AGAIN! (God willing!)

Anyhow, I wanted to share because I know EXACTLY how important it is when you are going thru it yourself to find as many successful sub taper stories as you can! RoyalSecret

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