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Advice needed! Suboxone detox/withdrawal
  1. #1
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    Question Advice needed! Suboxone detox/withdrawal

    I'm looking for advice on helping a friend detox and stop using cold turkey. My friend was addicted to OxyContin for a little over a year, and has since been using small amounts of Suboxone to get away from it, the last 6 months or so. She is down to very small pieces suboxone, but if she doesn't take it even for a day or 2, she gets really sick and has bad withdrawals.
    She wants to quit cold turkey, and be free from this stuff.She can't do it at home, so I have offered to let her stay at my place for a week or so while she goes through the withdrawals. I work during the day, so I won't be around to witness everything. Other than her not having a car or cell phone, are there any other precautions I should take, and what can I do to help make this ordeal as comfortable and successful as possible? Any thoughts are appreciated

  2. #2
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    Still looking for any thoughts on how to prepare for this

  3. #3
    Kristin13 is offline Member
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    The only thing I've read about going cold turkey is something called the Thomas Recipe. Here's the link my friend:

    http://www.drugs.com/forum/featured-...wal-35169.html
    Last edited by Kristin13; 03-06-2012 at 09:42 PM.

  4. #4
    cOsMiCtRiGgEr is offline Member
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    Hey buddy... Well it's not going to be easy. You don't by any chance have a hot tub and sauna do you? Lol.. Well warm baths/showers will have to do. I find there is absolutely nothing else that can give me relief like a warm bath. Do you know how many mgs of sub she has been taking? She may want to actually ween down more before she quits. Search for "suboxone induction robert_325" and read the part on Tapering. Robert had detailed this very well. There are loads of people on here that have tapered as well.. So simply reading their posts will give you insight.

    If she is hellbent on just going through it.. More power to her! It's not easy.. But I believe the worst of it over after 7 days. Everyone is different.. And it would, of course, depend on many factors. Its great that you are willing to look after her. I have wd so many stupid times in my life and an tell you it makes a big difference to have someone around that cares.

    These folks on here take a lot of supplements etc. I don't know much about all that. Kristin sent you the Thomas recipe which explains a bit. Ill tell you what I usually do. I make sure to have lots of sweets.. Soda, chocolates (Dove bars), hard candy (life savers) , and any other sweets she may like. Chewing gum is also good. For some reason when I wd I CRAVE sweets and they help to elevate my mood.. If even slightly. Like I said.. HOT BATHS AND SHOWERS. You might even get some Epsom salts to put in the bath. They will relieve minor aches and pains.. which she will probably have. Oh.. also bananas.. LOTS of bananas. They have so many benefits! They even help some people with the restlessness (legs mainly). Banana smoothies. I'm not sure is the "Cuties" aka clementines are still around.. But those are incredibly satisfying! I like them cold! So sweet and delicious. Really.. It's good to have a plethora of fruit on hand. Soups as well.. Whatever soup she likes.. Get.

    Next.. Keep on hand LOTS of clean towels.. And LOTS of toilet paper. I believe Imodium helps with the bowel issues... I've never used it. Toilet paper is a must.. Not only for it's defined use but also for her runny nose, sneezing etc. Try to keep a trash bin next to the bed so if she needs to vomit.. And can't make it to the bathroom.. You won't have to drag out the mop. Now.. Bc of the diarrhea she will be dehydrating at a fast rate. I always find myself forgetting to drink water. Have LOTS of nice cold water ready. Make sure she drinks it. Robert recommends something called "Pedialyte". I'm assuming this has high concentrations of electrolytes.. Which is a must. Some people also like something called "Ensure" as it provides lots of protien.. And if she isn't eating it will at least sub as a meal in a bottle of sorts.

    With all that said... there is not much that will really help. All this will make her as comfortable as possible. Depending on how much she has been using, metabolic rate, and mental state this may be relatively easy or relatively horrible. I've found so much of the wd is mental. My experience with wd in jail is a testament to that. So here's how it works for me... When I am "on the streets," if you will, and I am sick.. My brain is going to make me much more sick than I "really" am (if such a thing a "really" exists.. Because really everything is simply your metaprocessor's interpretation of neural activity).. Anyways., my point is that my brain will make me so so SOOOO sick... Bc it is basically trying to make me so sick that I will get up and go find something to make me well i.e. Score some dope. Now when I was locked up.. I was so freaking worried about withdrawing in jail without all the creature comforts of modern life. It was my first time in jail.. And I had greatly overestimated how comfortable that place would be. Regardless... I found that I didn't get very sick at all. Don't get me wrong... I wasn't on top of the tables dancing the two-step and whistlin' Dixie... However it was FAR more agreeable than the usual wd I was used to. This was 100% related to my mental state. While I was more depressed and dejected than I've ever been.. My withdrawal was incredibly minor. So remember.. On the street my brain would make me so sick in order to motivate me to get high. In jail there was no such option. My POS brain, knowing this, was like "alright dude.. You're not going anywhere and you can't get anything... So let's just make this as easy as possible for the both of us" resulting is unusually minor withdrawals. Put me at home with $100 bucks in my pocket and those same minor withdrawals turn into full blown killers! Does that make sense?

    She is going to be sick. If she can meditate (simply breathing in and out.. While trying to quite her mind) that will help as well. All these things are patches. After years of abuse there comes the time to pay the piper.. No way around that. The only thing that will bring relief is time. As she powers through this.. She will hit a peak... And that peak is akin to Beelzebub dancing on ones flaccid, decrepit soul. Then as quickly as that peak came.. It so will go. After that peak she will still be sick... But every second she will find her condition improving. each day she will feel better. I find the worst and most prolonged symptom is the sleeplessness. But even this will dissipate with time. Just let her know hope is there! Many people have done this and so to can she. A new life awaits her... And really a week weighted against the rest of her years is nothing! She is that much better having a friend like you to help her. It will not be easy for you... But just remember its going to be 100 times worse for her. No matter how much you will have to do for her.. Just keep that in mind so you won't get irritated or upset. She will be going through some painful things. Her inner tumult will lash out. Her emotions will be so fresh and real. They will rip through her and can even wind her with their power. See.. We have all been numbing ourselves... Numbing our emotions.. They are just waiting for release.. And bc it's been so long that we felt anything real... They strike with such acute force that it can be overwhelming.

    So this is what I can expect when I go through withdrawals. I've been through it so many times that I could set my clock to the symptoms. I hope to never go through it again. One day at a time I will stay clean. I can only tell you this from experience. She may have very different symptoms.. And a very different situation. Hopefully.. Something in this rambling mess of words will help you.

    -cos

  5. #5
    kellennn is offline Member
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    I'd highly recommend letting her read this: http://www.drugs.com/forum/suboxone-...ars-61013.html

    I quit subs cold turkey after 16 - 24mg's a day for 2 years. It sounds a little more like she weaned at this point, which will only serve to benefit her. Going cold turkey is hard, intense and literally the most scary thing I've ever done in my whole life.

    It is definitely not for everyone. But, that's not to say it's not for her. I cover all of the symptoms I had and have, as well as the rationale of the addiction, or more pointedly, my addiction. But I bet she'd be hard pressed to not relate. Most of all I hope it would serve to give her hope.

    The single most important piece of advice I can give is: Suboxone withdrawals are so much different then most drugs, specifically Oxycontin. While they are not intense per-say, they have great longevity. You can't go to a marathon expecting a sprint. You've got to be prepared for weeks of sleeplessness and being uncomfortable, rather than like a week of debilitating pain. (as it is with Oxycontin)

    Also, Suboxone has a really long half-life, it literally takes days to start feeling bad. It took me 7. So you cant, after 3 days, expect you're going to start feeling better. You haven't even started feeling bad yet!

    It's very psychological. Good attitude is key! As well as eating habits!

    Best of luck to her and you.

  6. #6
    kellennn is offline Member
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    Also, just realized the person above me mentioned bananas, and holy sweet ???? is he right. Bananas were like my saving grace through the whole withdrawal process. It was so hard to eat some days. So the fact that they're easy on your stomach, and full of nutritional value, is like the perfect epic win.

    I also ate a lots of: Avocados, grape fruits and apples.

  7. #7
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    Hey guys sorry i haven't been back to update. Its been really busy with working and caring for her when I'm not working. Today is day 8 since she has had any subs. Her first few days weren't too bad, but it has gotten progressively worse since then. Can't sleep through the night, gets hot/cold flashes all day everyday, can barely walk at any random time because of sore legs, has trouble eating much, etc. Last night, she slept a solid 6-7 hours for the first time and woke up feeling good, and thought she was over the worst of it, however, an hour or so after waking up, she started getting sick again and now says shes having trouble seeing straight, also having trouble hearing, and can barely hold onto anything from shaking so much. The hearing thing is new. Is it common for those last 3 symptoms? I hadn't heard of hearing loss before.

  8. #8
    cOsMiCtRiGgEr is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by rob12345 View Post
    Hey guys sorry i haven't been back to update. Its been really busy with working and caring for her when I'm not working. Today is day 8 since she has had any subs. Her first few days weren't too bad, but it has gotten progressively worse since then. Can't sleep through the night, gets hot/cold flashes all day everyday, can barely walk at any random time because of sore legs, has trouble eating much, etc. Last night, she slept a solid 6-7 hours for the first time and woke up feeling good, and thought she was over the worst of it, however, an hour or so after waking up, she started getting sick again and now says shes having trouble seeing straight, also having trouble hearing, and can barely hold onto anything from shaking so much. The hearing thing is new. Is it common for those last 3 symptoms? I hadn't heard of hearing loss before.
    Yeah.. That's pretty strange. I've never experienced hearing loss myself. Not a symptom of opiate wd that I've heard of. The vision problems are common.. Typically your eyes dilate when withdrawing.. Which makes everything kinda blurry and bright. Being 8 days in is great. I wonder though.. Was she able to taper down? Did she follow any of the taper programs detailed on these forums? Kellen quit cold off of 8mg... and he had some kind of cathartic experience with it. However, there is NO reason anyone needs to go through that. I've gone cold of >>>>>> countless times.. It's extremely severe.. But quick. Getting off these meds is not for the weak of heart.. But one can greatly minimize the pain by tapering. It is not necessary to do it cold. I've been addicted to one opiate or another for 15 years now.. Literally almost half my life.. and I've been through it cold too many times to count. The problem with the Subs is that they have such a ridiculously long half life that the WD's seem relentless and never-ending. Not nearly as severe as >>>>>> or fentanyl (which I actually found to be worse than H).

    Being that she has held strong for eight brutal days.. I think shes in great shape to ride this one out. You should read Kellen's thread and Fedupnow's thread. Fedupnow did a quick taper and Kellen just jumped. Both of their threads detail the withdrawal symptoms she can expect and how long they will last. Remember everyone is unique... So chances are she may experience some variation.. But both of those will give you a wonderful illustration. Fedupnow's thread is great because he had the chance to log it from day 1. It brings so much hope to people like me coming up from behind. Initially, you feel the pain.: but as the days go by so too does the sky clear.. The sun comes out... the flowers bloom. It's all waiting for her. You're a great friend.

    Also.. If youdidnt read my response below.. I suggest you do. It's my thoughts based on YEARS of abuse and withdrawal. Good luck brother! Tell her that these strangers care about her.. And I will summon up the most magnificent cosmic vibrations I can to send in her direction. Peace be with you.

    -cos

    Once she gets over the WD's that's when the REAL battle begins. She needs to have some support network in place.
    Last edited by cOsMiCtRiGgEr; 03-14-2012 at 04:03 PM.

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    Thanks cos. I'm trying to keep her as positive as I can and trying to keep negative thinking at bay. Problem is that she has anxiety problems too, so that def does not help. Need to maybe find some sort of supplement that calms anxiety or something? She keeps mentioning she should maybe go to the hospital cuz she feels so badly, but I can't picture that helping. I think its just her anxiety making her think that. Could be wrong, I'm not in her head. Shes taking a couple vitamins, and some protein shakes, drinking green tea, and trying to stay hydrated. I think she needs more vitamins though, she doesn't have everything on the Thomas recipe, most noteably the L-Tyrosine, which seems to be talked about alot on these boards. I'm just afraid that one of these days shes going to ask me to bring her to the hospital cuz shes scared, and they'll dope her up and ruin it. Or maybe I don't know what I'm talking about.

  10. #10
    cOsMiCtRiGgEr is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by rob12345 View Post
    Thanks cos. I'm trying to keep her as positive as I can and trying to keep negative thinking at bay. Problem is that she has anxiety problems too, so that def does not help. Need to maybe find some sort of supplement that calms anxiety or something? She keeps mentioning she should maybe go to the hospital cuz she feels so badly, but I can't picture that helping. I think its just her anxiety making her think that. Could be wrong, I'm not in her head. Shes taking a couple vitamins, and some protein shakes, drinking green tea, and trying to stay hydrated. I think she needs more vitamins though, she doesn't have everything on the Thomas recipe, most noteably the L-Tyrosine, which seems to be talked about alot on these boards. I'm just afraid that one of these days shes going to ask me to bring her to the hospital cuz shes scared, and they'll dope her up and ruin it. Or maybe I don't know what I'm talking about.
    Yeah.. I'm sure someone else can speak on all the supplements. I have never taken any. I eat healthier than most people. I'm born an raised vegetarian.. and we grow around 80% of the food we eat. I have never had issues with anxiety that I haven't been able to deal with using meditation and breathing exercises... And for this I am thankful. If its getting so bad that she wants to go to the hospital.. you should consider alternatives. It's near impossible while in withdrawal, but see if she can calm the tumultuous waters of the mind... by focussing only on the breath. Three times daily. Its like jogging... At first she may be able to do it for 30 secondsat most.. Within days she will surpass 5 minutes.

    Prolonged withdrawal can wreak havoc on ones mental stability. However... Keep in mind that while one may feel like they are dying... There is no such risk. If she is having moments of tranquility.. just let her know that soon those moments will expand into full blown events. Slowly.. But surely.. She will come out of it and the good will replace the bad.

    Out of curiosity.. Did she taper down? At what dose did she quit? Do you have this info? I'm just wondering for my own benefit. Although I am experienced when it comes to opiate abuse an withdrawal.. I am a noob with regard to suboxone. Any information would be appreciated. Thanks!

    -cos

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    She was down to a little under 1mg a day, probably .75 or so. Today is day 9, and she went to the doctor because of the anxiety, and they gave her some benzos, which is part of the Thomas Recipe, so I hope it won't set her back at all. They also gave her anti depressants, which I'm going to try to talk her out of taking, and I don't think she really wants to anyway.

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    cOsMiCtRiGgEr is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by rob12345 View Post
    She was down to a little under 1mg a day, probably .75 or so. Today is day 9, and she went to the doctor because of the anxiety, and they gave her some benzos, which is part of the Thomas Recipe, so I hope it won't set her back at all. They also gave her anti depressants, which I'm going to try to talk her out of taking, and I don't think she really wants to anyway.
    Right on.. Just make sure she uses the benzos sparingly.. And not for a long time as those create a wicked addiction as well.

  13. #13
    cOsMiCtRiGgEr is offline Member
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    Rob.. also.. Would you mind telling me how long she was on the subs and at what mg? Did she follow Roberts induction and taper? Or was she initially put on some ridiculously large dose for a prolonged period?

    -cos

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