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First time to start talking about this. I finally broke down last week and shared with my mom my issue. I am a 26 year old male, college graduate, great job. About 2 years ago, I lived a great life. I am somewhat introverted, just keep a small group of friends but very close. I had my girlfriend (of 5 years) who I spent nearly every day with, and I had my two best friends, one of which I saw 3-4 times per week and the other I was living with (had been my roommate for 6 straight years).
I thought about my relationship with my girlfriend for a loooooong time. I had known for a while but it took time for me to convince myself it was a volatile relationship and not healthy for the long term. I decided to end things with her. Even though I knew it was the right choice, it sent me into a terrible depression for months. 2 months later, my best friend who I did not live with (who was married) decided he and his wife were going to move to another town. I spent nearly every minute of my time with my other best friend. About 3 months later, my best friend and roommate died in a car accident. I went from having a great life to being in the lowest depths of my own brain all in about 6 months. I wouldn't wish that feeling that I had upon anyone in this world.
I went to see a Dr. and counselor regularly. The Dr. put me on anti-deppressants. I took them for a couple of months, I kept returning to the Dr. telling him they were not helping at all. I was having daily panic attacks and I couldn't stand to live in my own brain any longer. I started trying different drugs on my own to get me through the day. Xanax actually worked great and I did that for a while, but I couldn't keep finding it (and my Dr refused to prescribe me). But I found a constant source to Lartabs. For me, at that time, these were a miracle drug. They took me out of my own thoughts and they made me feel warm and good every day. I stayed doing between 30-50 mg. per day (of lortabs and percocet) for about a year. 6 months ago, I realized that life was really starting to be better again and I had no need to be on these anymore. I tried to quit taking them but the w/ds were killing me (even though they were relatively minor now that I think about it). A friend gave me suboxone so I thought that would help me get off. Unfortunately, I knew nothing about the drug and just started taking 6-8 mg/day. These were making me feel the same as the tabs, I felt great.
About a month ago I realized I wasn't getting any better, so I started reading about it. I realized at this point I really had kind of screwed myself by switching to suboxone. As one poster wrote, "trying to fix a 50 mg/day hydro habit with subs is like trying to fix your caffeine problem with speed." I was pretty upset with myself. But now I must live with it. When I realized this, I told myself I would just switch back to lortabs and/or percs, taper down and try to quit. For a month I was tapering down on pills with no real w/ds from the sub that were noticeable (although now I realize I was sick during that time, but covering it up with a warm feeling). Last week I tried to quit and I instantly went into mediocre w/ds. I say mediocre because I wasn't vomitting or anything. But I felt terrible, cold sweats, achy, headaches, and the worst was the RLS.
I realized I couldn't do this on my own so I set up an appointment with a sub doc (Psychiatrist) and started taking the subs again. Without reading Roberts tapering, I tried to get back on subs on my own at the lowest possible dose so I could go in and tell the truth at my stable point.
Monday, I saw the doc. I had went the previous 4 days feeling pretty good at 2 mg/day. The doc was pretty happy to hear I was at such a low dose. He seemed like a great guy and very encouraging. He asked if I thought I was ready to go to 1.5 mg/day and I said I'd give it a shot. Now, here I am with 2 days on 1.5 mg/day. And feel pretty good, almost skipped another 0.5 bc I wasn't feeling bad, but decided to keep leveling off for another day or two then try to go down again. I see the doc again next week and I'd like to tell him I am on 1 mg/day when I do.
I am setting up this thread for a few reasons, the main one is probably selfishness, I am pretty scared of what lies ahead and the encouragement from others would be great. In fact, if I could find someone similar to me that wanted to talk and go at this together, I would like that. 2, There are many other little nuances to my story that I would like to share as I have time and so many questions and thoughts that have raced through my head along the way. I'd love to discuss those with others and just hear opinions. 3, I'd like to document this along the way from this far out. Show myself what I have been through and hopefully show others a true success story with tapering and doing things the "right" way.
With that being said, one of my first questions would be, does someone have a link to a success story of someone tapering from 2 mg/day or less and coming off the right way. Getting to a low dose, skipping days, and coming off nearly w/d free. I have read a lot of threads and most of them seem to be horror stories, but I haven't hardly found any where someone just does it the right way. I think the most encouraging thing right now would be to read someones post that started when they were tapering at this stage and then at the end could say "I haven't taken subs in 2 weeks and haven't even noticed, w/d free!!"
I'll be honest, the thing that terrifies me the most and I struggle with is insomnia and RLS. They are tough for me to handle and they scare the %&^* out of me for the day I quit.
Welcome to the forum! Very nice to have you with us. My name is Karen and I have been here since last Sunday. My sub dose is very similar to yours. I inducted at 1.7mg and have been reducing since that time. As of today I am at .5mg twice per day. I plan on reducing to the new dose of .75mg once per day on either Friday or Saturday.
I can honestly tell you that at the time of this post I have had almost ZERO problems with the subs! That's the HONEST TRUTH! I had one morning that was lets just say a tiny "hiccup" and that was it! Other than that 4-5 hour time period, my sub experience has been well.....perfect! I was lucky enough to have Robert take me on and I have followed his advice to the letter. I just couldn't be happier!
I may have a glitch or two later on down the road as I continue with the taper, but I honestly doubt it. I just won't allow it to happen. You see, I always think the most POSITIVE thoughts about this. I totally understand your comments and there aren't too many on here that have the kind of experience that I have to this point, but maybe there are some out there that haven't posted or joined here for one reason or the other and they are having the same good fortune! Can't be sure, but there just has to be?!
So I will follow your story and be with you from this day forward. Please take a look at my thread here and you can read how it's went for me. Maybe we can be so fortunate as to be two of the ones that have the least amount of problems! Hope so anyway. Keep reading and keep posting. Others will be here soon for you. I wish you all the success in the world. Blessings.
Robert, I also noticed in another thread how you mentioned that fear is one of the biggest triggers for what we do and often times is what gets us to here.
I can tell you, that is the truth in my case. I had anxiety every day, and after talking to my psychiatrist just one time, he asked me "what is the root of anxiety?" And it finally made more sense to me that the answer is fear. I guess for me at the time, it was the fear of being alone at that moment and forever into the future.
One thing that scares me, I think that anxiety is still there, it definitely was when I tried to quit last week and I can feel it when I feel my dosages of sub starting to run low as well. Have any great tricks for this part?
Originally Posted by Strong Desire
Thank you for the post Karen. I am very glad to hear you are problem free up to this point. Other than my attempt to quit by myself last week, I am having an overall good experience with subs too. Everything is easy at this point (although mentally I am kind of down, but I think that is on my own from coming down from such a high dose a month or so ago).
I guess the story that I am more interested in reading at this point, is there a thread out there of someone who started where you and I are today, but have completed taking the subs completely? I keep hearing people say if you taper down to 0.25 or 0.5, then skip days, you can quit nearly w/d free. A thread like this one of someone that has done that and got off nearly w/d free would be a big encouragement to me at this point.
I'm sure that Robert, Cheeky, or one of the other sub guru's here has the story you are seeking. If not I will keep reading and do my best to find one for you!
Originally Posted by chuuuuck
I guess for a short period of time, I am just going to spit out questions/concerns I have as they come. Hopefully someone is reading and someone helps answer them.
I have read all sorts of things that will help this process, both mentally and physically. For a couple of weeks now I have started back to routinely running nearly every day. I run about 1.5 miles currently. I'd like to get it back up to 2-3 miles per day. I have no motivation to ever go, but the best I normally feel is for the few hours after I do it. So I force myself.
In addition, my eating habits used to be horrible and I was drinking probably 7-8 diet sodas per day. I have nearly cut out all caffeine. I may have 1 or so per day, but drinking mostly just water now and some gatorade. My eating habits aren't great yet, but they are improving also, a lot more turkey sandwhiches with wheat bread and white chicken when I can. In addition, I never used to eat fruit or anything, I heard potassium really helps so I have been eating 2-3 bananas per day.
I read the Thomas Recipe a while back. I know I am not withdrawing yet, but I started last week taking a large multi vitamin that covers zinc, copper, and a few others. I also take potassium with nearly every meal and magnesium at night (I take it at night because I heard it is good for muscle restoration while you sleep).
I know I am missing a bunch of vitamins that would probably help. I could use some help with motivation and energy. I also have a lot of trouble concentrating on something for an extended period of time. Can someone please give me any more advice on other things that would help. I really want to do this the right way, fix myself mentally and physically. I'll take all suggestions offered.
Soon, I will start a chart showing my day-by-day dosages on subs that includes daily symptoms, vitamins taken and my workout routine.
I seem to be the only one around right now! But I can definitely recommend the exercise part! I am a real health nut. I run 2 miles or more EVERY morning early, rain or shine! I go to the gym and also play some sports. I eat very healthy also. You're so right about feeling good after the exercise. Clears my mind and feels great!
Originally Posted by chuuuuck
There are some vitamins and supplements that I have read here that help with energy. I will let others advise you on that. I'm still in the learning process myself. I take a couple of supplements, but that's it. And keep this thread as your journal. That's what lots of others do including me here. Nice to look back on and see how you were doing at a certain point.
Keep posting and others WILL be here. Not sure why it's so slow today and this evening. People just living their lives I guess. Talk to you soon my friend. Just asking, but is your name Chuck? You don't have to answer if you choose not to. I just like using first names if possible.
Another question for Robert if he is willing to help me any.
You can read in my OP what brought me to this and the comfort I was trying to obtain here. I have talked to my doc about it and he said that basically I was using these drugs as my "mood equilizer." It was effective at what I was trying to accomplish, but there are actually other drugs made to do this and he wanted to put me on some anyway (for the amount of anxiety I had been experiencing).
Anyway, what I am getting at, I have never in my time using recalled feeling a "temptation" for pills or desiring using. For me, I literally have always taken them as needed to just get the anxiety to go away. I hear so many horror stories of how high of doses people were on because they wanted to get high. In over a year I had NEVER upped my dose. It was working for what I needed it to work for. I would say for 6+ months, I really haven't even got "high" off of taking the tabs or percs (nor the subs now) and that really never bothered me. I just don't feel like I have the same addictive personality as everyone. Although I know by every sense of the word, I am still addicted to them now.
I guess what I am getting at, have you ever heard of someone like this? Is it possible that I don't have these "cravings" once I get off subs that everyone else experiences. It just never seems I have had them and I have never chased that high (although it does feel good). I am not sure if I am explaining this well enough. I do know the answer is really irrelevant, my end goal is all the same regardless. I am just curious for the purpose of discussion. I just don't see too many threads where people stayed at low doses for a long time as I did. Anyway, welcome all thoughts from anyone out there.
Originally Posted by chuuuuck
The absence of cravings may be significant. There are different forms of drug problems, and your issue may not be "addiction." It could be "physical dependency." Here's the difference.
With physical dependency, our bodies have adjusted to the pills so well that our body only feels 'normal" while we're using them. When we stop, we experience withdrawal symptoms.
With addiction, it goes a step further - addiction adds the "cravings" piece. With addiction, we have the "mental preoccupation" with getting more, using more, staying high. That's why we need more help when the issue is "addiction" - we need help to deal with that mental/emotional aspect. This is where the 12-step groups like AA and NA step in to help.
With dependency, once we our body is clean of the drugs, the issue is resolved. We do not need ongoing meetings or further support.
However, if you continue to have issues with anxiety, panic attacks or depression, you may want to seek out alternative forms of treatment that do NOT include any addictive drugs. Counseling is very helpful, to get to the core of what's creating the fear or anxiety.
As for the suboxone reductions, I will have to leave you in other people's hands. The best folks for advice here is Robert or Cheeky. My licensing could be compromised if I start acting as a doctor. I do know of many success stories with suboxone, but from real life, through my work. I am not a big advocate of suboxone; I consider it more of a last resort for heavy drug users. It seems to me that some degree of detoxing/withdrawal symptoms just can not be avoided, so why set oneself up for a suboxone withdrawal? Just my humble opinion...
Address the underlying conditions that caused you to seek out these drugs... and if you don't experience cravings, count your lucky stars.
You will know the truth - and only the truth can set you free.
Chuuuuck, I'm so sorry about your friend, and your story really broke my heart. It sounds like you had a lot to process and go through in a short amount of time. Robert or someone else will be along soon to help you with the taper, and if you read around you will see if you follow it they will get you through this with minimal discomfort. I wanted to comment on what you were asking about in your last post....
For me, I literally have always taken them as needed to just get the anxiety to go away. I hear so many horror stories of how high of doses people were on because they wanted to get high. In over a year I had NEVER upped my dose. It was working for what I needed it to work for. I would say for 6+ months, I really haven't even got "high" off of taking the tabs or percs (nor the subs now) and that really never bothered me. I just don't feel like I have the same addictive personality as everyone[/QUOTE]
If I read correctly then you were taking the pills for a total of 12-18 months? The thing is, addiction is really a progressive disease....and while it feels to you like you've been taking them for a while, that is actually early in the game. I started taking really taking them in late 2007/early 2008. I would say for the first year or so I had a good handle on how much I took...never went crazy with them or got to a high dosage (and wondered why anyone would need to)....didn't suffer withdrawal or too much cravings if I ran out. In fact, I pretty much took them daily for a year, then had a vacation for a week that I couldn't bring them on. Not only did I not suffer withdrawal, but I really didn't crave them....
But at some point, and I cant really say exactly when, I crossed a line in the sand. I didn't see it as I was doing it, only in hindsight. And after that line came the withdrawals, and upping the usage, and all of that. It's such a progressive disease, and it creeps up on you, so you don't know until its too late.
That being said there are people who always took a low dose. There was someone on here named Flatsman who really never took more than 15-20mg hydrocodone, and tapered down low off of that. But I would guess that's the minority, because the thing about opiates is our bodies tolerance. Where 5 mg used to work, now we need 10...and on and on.
So if you haven't reached that point yet, and you continued using, I'm almost positive that you would reach it. And probably sooner than you would think. I remember when I was only taking like 40 mg a day and hearing about a friend who was taking about 100. I said "that's crazy, why would you need that much?? How does he even have time in the day to take that much" But what I didn't realize was that I soon would be taking up to 180 mg a day. Again, not overnight....but where 10 mg would make me feel great and last 4 hours, I now had to take 15 mg, etc. (and that's how you have enough time in the day!)
All of that being said, I think it's awesome that you are here BEFORE you crossed that line....it will make everything easier on you. One of my biggest wishes is that i could go back to when I took that trip in 2009...when I came back I had like 7 days clean and it was so easy...I should have just stuck with it. But then again, it was so easy, so why wouldn't I think I could just get more?
One last thing....there is a difference between physical dependency and addiction. With physical dependency our bodies crave the drug it's been getting, but not so much our mind. I know your not really associating with cravings....but I really think that it's the moment we start taking the pills to "deal with our lives", that the addiction switch turns on....
Good luck and keep posting....you'll get great support here!
Last edited by deleted116; 06-21-2012 at 06:34 AM.
Chuuuuuk When the anxiety starts try to ask yourself is this fear real or imagined. Fear is not always a bad thing, saved my life a lot of times, but irrational fear can freeze us to the point of not being able to function. Try the question and long slow deep breathes. It has helped me a lot. Got real batty about my defib going off so I do understand God Bless Surfdog oh post and post often it really hlps dog
That's great advice, thanks surfdog. I will need to work on that. I get a lot of anxiety, and the worst part about it is, 9 times out of 10, I don't even know what I have anxiety about. Usually the answer is just in general "the future." But there is nothing in particular about the future that worries me. I know I am always making that up in my head, so hopefully I can use that trick to help fix it.
Originally Posted by surfdog
I have started seeing a psychiatrist and a counselor though and they are helping me with other tricks. One thing I will mention, they decided this week, that if I agree, next week they'd like to start me on an actual "mood equilizer" drug that supposedly helps eliminate anxiety. I have looked it up and this drug is really a pretty big deal. Part of me is scared to just go to another drug, while another part of me knows that I have lived with high anxiety my entire life (even before using drugs) and maybe this is the right answer for me. Have any of you all ever had experience with anything of this sort while on subs, or coming off of subs?
Also, I REALLY appreciate the messages from both Artist and Moon. It is good to hear about the differences in physical dependence and addiction. If I had to assess myself, I think I am in the physical dependence category, but I could start to feel the transition that I could be going towards addiction and that is really what scared me to just stop altogether (and I realized I couldn't physically). I do agree that if I have a physical dependence issue, and I got here because I was trying to cover up anxiety, that getting off won't be a great situation until I have fixed the anxiety. That is why I think maybe the mood equilizers would be a good idea. But I also wonder if I could learn to handle it on my own through counseling and learning new techniques. When I started, it was the absolute lowest point I have ever been in my life and I needed something to cover it up (and the Dr. wouldn't help me do it the right way). And now I am having the anxiety, but it is another pretty tough spot in my life (trying to come off of these things). Not sure which way I should go with that.
A couple of quick questions about my dosages.
Currently I am sitting at 1.5 mg/day. To be honest, I am splitting this into 3x0.5 mg. Once when I wake up, once in the afternoon, and once in the evening. I think I am doing this as a crutch. What scares me the most mentally is not being able to sleep. That is why I try to hold on and take it in the evening. But, I still usually feel fairly crummy in the mornings when I wake up and have lack of motivation until I do take my first dose. I know I probably need to go to once a day dosing. Does anyone have a suggestion of when I take this? My brain says the morning is the smartest time, gets me through the day and such. But I am so scared of being able to sleep if I do that. Maybe I am just over thinking this?
Also, I saw Robert comment in another thread that most people aren't truly addicted to the subs within 6-8 weeks. This makes me so much more upset with myself since I started taking these on my own about 3 months ago without really knowing anything about them. I took them for probably 2 months on my own at 6-8 mg/day not knowing any better. I then quit ct and switched back to percocet for a little longer than 2 weeks. This is when a lot of anxiety and depression started (I still have some). I then restabalized last week at 2 mg when I started researching on my own and trying to do the right thing. Now, am I probably more physically addicted to the subs because of that time period on? Is there anything I can do to help the mental aspect of getting off (it was really bad the last week or so), or do you think just tapering down now will help fix a lot of that?
Thanks for everyone reading and the support. It is so amazing to know I can come here and pour out my thoughts/concerns and someone is actually reading and cares.
Thanks for this post surfdog; fear is my biggest downfall, and a lot of it can be stopped by just a few deep breaths. Thanks so much for reminding me of this. I seem to have developed a heart "condition" (no wonder after what I have been doing) and I keep the aspirin handy. I won't hijack your thread Chuuuuck, but the deep breathing and a little bit of thought helps very much. I am in the zone of wanting to live and trying to separate the real discomfort from the imaginary. Last time I quit drugs the mere thought made me have physical reactions. -Jana/Thalia
Originally Posted by surfdog
Originally Posted by chuuuuck
I know that Robert has said taking more than 2 doses per day is not recommended as that is ADDICTIVE behavior! He suggests only 2 times per day at the most! And if you do go to the one dose he also suggests taking it at the mid-morning hour so as to get the benefits of the sub for most of your "waking" hours. Hope this helps!
Also.....the subs can play tricks on your mind and in your head so much! I refuse to let that happen! Just another thought for you to consider!
Thanks Karen, I kind of felt on my own that this was addictive. I felt like I was taking it just "as needed" to get throughout my day. Although I was still lowering dose which was good. This morning I decided I didn't want to do that, so I actually took a whole 1 mg this morning and will wait for the 0.5 mg this evening. I guess from what you said, I should try to start pushing my morning time to a little later. I currently take it pretty soon after I get up because I often feel so crummy then and have no motivation to get out of bed. I guess I should work on just "toughing out" this lack of motivation, go work out in the mornings, then try not to take anything until 10ish. That would give me 3 hours or so to make it through in the mornings and about 12 before I go to bed.
was reading thru some old bookmarks and found this positive story..
so, here ya go.. will post more when i come across them!
allll my best! and prayers too!
Originally Posted by ClassiqueMom
Thanks for the link Mom!
I love it. I have now found 2-3 of them. It seems when people do it right, it is easy to come off. This helps my anxiety, A LOT.
A good idea the people here may consider soon. Make a stickied thread or something that is easy to find right away that provides links to lots of good examples, and then lots of bad examples. The bad examples of course being the people that over react to things and jump cold turkey or taper too quickly. Good examples being people who taper the proper way and then getting off with ease.
Dosage question. I am now on day 2 of 1.5 mg/day. Going to make the reduction this weekend. Curious as to thoughts on what I should do about my next dose. Is dropping to 1 mg too much for some? Am I better off at 1.25, then 1, then .75. I am very good at math, I know 25%, but I am more worried about dosing and cutting up the films. It seems 1 and 1.25 would be easier to hit, although I guess I could guestimate a sliver in between there.
ohhhh and here's a link to the drop from 1.5 as you are asking about
alll my best!
Thanks for the opinion Karen, I think I will be going to 1.25 today, then 1 early next week. I go back to see the PDoc on Wednesday and he thinks I am on 2 mg/day. It'll be nice to tell him I have been on 1 for a few days now and about to drop to 0.75 mg.
Mom, thanks for the links, knowing those stories of people that did it "right" and got off with hardly any symptoms is a big motivator. I have already been feeling better mentally every day since I have been here. I am not as worried about the time I need to come off as what I was. And I am feeling really pretty great (not high) physically.
Mom, I have read your story almost all the way through. I must say you are an amazing person. It sounds like you have your own struggles that you have to deal with at home, yet you are always here encouraging others. I can't say how much that means to me and I am sure others. The biggest key for everyone is getting a support group, but sometimes it is hard to have someone to talk to and someone who knows anything about this. You only see your Dr. or counselor once or twice per week, then what do you do the rest of the time. Being able to come here and talk to someone and get encouragement helps people mentally more than you can know. I know personally, when you feel like you have absolutely no one to talk to, that is when the anxiety kicks in the worst and you feel alone. That is when I would imagine most would turn to find a way to make that go away. Just seeing a response of someone else saying "it'll be okay!" is a very big deal. I think we all know in our brains it'll be just fine, but it is scary! Anyway, that is a long way of saying, "thank you!"
I am probably going to start my day by day record today. I have been on 1.5 mg for 3 days now, I think today will be the first day at 1.25.
You're certainly welcome Chuck. You are doing awesome and have a great attitude for this. That really makes the difference in my opinion. It's going to be a huge boost to your confidence to tell your doctor how well you are doing and that you are further along that he realizes! Awesome! Keep at it Chuck and again you are doing great! Take care my friend and have a nice day!
Originally Posted by chuuuuck
you're gonna be okay.. (just have 'that feeling')
p.s.. i also 'have that feeling' that once you're done with this
that you're gonna realize, you won't find solutions to your
problems in 'pills' of any kind..
keep us posted!
Thanks Mom, I think you are right. The only thing that concerns me right now is that I don't handle "alone" and "bored" very well on my own. At those times, is when high anxiety starts creeping into my life. I have a few weeks to prepare for this. I am talking to a counselor 3-4 times in that time span which hopefully helps. The Pdoc really wants to put me on a mood equilizer drug (like an anti depressant, but more geared towards anxiety). He says he think that is just how I naturally am, and this would be a good long term solution to me living a happier and normal life. But he also said it is up to me and to let him know what I think next week.
The idea of committing to a long term drug kind of scares me. Although it is non-addictive, it works more like an anti depressant than a fast acting drug. But, then again, the idea of living a life where I don't have to worry about anxiety and then suffer through anxiety is very appealing. I keep going back and forth on what to do.
Glad to hear you're feeling positive about everything. This forum has been a real life saver for me. Keep posting because I'm checking in on you. Prayers sent.
Chuck haven't heard from you in a bit. Let us know how you're doing.
Chuck, what is the name of the drug your doc wants to put you on? Maybe someone has some experience with it they could share with you.
How's it going so far today? Hope your taper is still going smoothly. You are doing awesome! Keep up the great work and keep me informed as you go along please. Catch you later guy.