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would like to know what to expect after stopping suboxone
hi all. i was hoping that some of you out there might be able to help me to understand just what i can expect in the way of withdrawals, esp severity, when i stop taking suboxoxne. My situation is - i have used opiates, Heroin mostly, since 17, ie about 25 yrears. Then I spent 12 years on methadone, about 90 mg/day usually. Mid last year i went to a rehab, got clean for the first time in my life. lasted about 6 months then relapsed january this year. got a habit very quickly, used H for about 4 months, not huge amounts, about .5g/day. Went to hospital and did a 7 day subutex detox, but used again straight away when i got out. Did an outpatient suboxone detox going from 8 mg/day to nil in @ 12 days - straight back to using when i hit nil. That brings me to now. I am on the last days at another attempt to get off suboxone. I started on 8 mg 3 weeks ago, now on 0.4 and due to stop on Tuesday.
I'm sorry for all the boring history but i thought it (esp the time periods) might have an effect on what I will go through after stopping sub.
Anyway you can see that i am not good at hanging out. The tapering dose reductions so far have not really bothered me, just some mild cramping in the mornings before dose. getting off methadone after 12 years was the hardest thing i have ever done - I slept about 2 hrs/ night for at least 2 months.
I am determined not to use again. Can anyone out there offer an opinion as to what my level of withdrawal might be? Also, would it help if i only dosed every second day for the last 4 days? Thanks for lstening, and best wishes to all...
Last edited by trainwrecked; 07-20-2012 at 08:23 PM.
Hello and welcome to the forum. It is very difficult to predict exactly what your symptoms may be as everyone is different. For myself I had NO symptoms at all, but I tapered down to a dose of .25mg and then began a day skipping process where you dose one day and the skip 1, 2, 3, and 4 days. So by lowering my dose in a steady manner, I was able to head off any symptoms.
Originally Posted by trainwrecked
Others have done the exact same thing as I did and had some symptoms, so it really depends on the individual. You are down to a fairly low dose so your symptoms are really anyone's guess. Sorry, but that's the truth. You could have symptoms that mimic the flu with sweats, followed by chills, headache, stomach issues, crawling skin, and a feeling like you're wearing a "lead suit" and hard to even get up and get going. You could have all of those symptoms, some of them, or none of them.
Depends on your metabolism, physical condition, and many other factors. I would suggest that you continue to reduce your dose down a bit further to hopefully starve off most of the symptoms. So probably not the answer you were looking for, but the best I can do right now based on what you have mentioned. Hope this helps. One thing that honestly helps more than just about anything else is getting exercise while detoxing. Do as much as your condition will allow you to do. Just walking everyday will help you so much!
Take care and keep posting as that really helps to get it out as to how you're feeling. Others here may have more suggestions for you. Have a great evening.
Also here is the link to how we reduce our dose here on the forum. Read the taper section carefully. It has very good information included in it. If you have questions I would be glad to help Basically you reduce your dose by 25% every 4 days or so.
Suboxone/Subutex Induction and Taper Plan
p.s. Also with subs, your withdrawals may not even begin for several days to a week or more. It's entirely possible depending on how much sub is built up in your system. Subs have a very long half life meaning it remains in your system for several days before being dissapated.
Last edited by Strong Desire; 07-20-2012 at 09:05 PM.
karen the guy is already down to .4mg so dosing plan aint exactly what he needs right now.\\
trainwrecked, if its possible to get any lower before they take you off, do so. i also had a 25plus history on drugs, and a long affair with methadone. we often dont do quite so well. but sounds like you have the worst of it behind you. ie gettin off the damn methadone. omg yeh it robs our souls while we watch i swear.
for me, i had RLS, and lack of sleep. i worked during that time, in fact i found it easier to keep myself busy... it is uncomfortable for a few days, but trust me, it is NOTHING like coming off methadone, or 'hangin out'.
best thing i did was go to my doc and get something to help me sleep. that was the hardest thing.
but congrats on being off the methadone, that is no mean feat, we are in the 1% of people who actually get off,
seriously tho, you need to look at why you want to keep using as soon as you get clean again. it took me a few goes to get it right, i realized i cant dabble, i tend to get a habit real quick. have you tried any NA meetings, i went a few times in my early 'clean ness'... might be worth a look for you..
stay strong, try and reduce that .4mg by half before you jump, and good luck.
ITS SO WORTH IT TO BE FREE OF THE LIQUID/PILL HANDCUFFS.
Thanks very much Karen for your reply, that helpful link and your advice. It seems to me that the skipping increasing nos of days makes sense, but i don't know if that is an option where i live. also 0.4 mg is the min dose available here. i will talk to my dr about it. thanks again
I agree completely with you cheekysod about the methadone. When i got off it it was like coming back to life. I went to NA at that time and i think it's time i went back. Can't get less than .4 mg here but the skipping days might be possible. I will look into it. Thanks for the support.
do you get a chance for any take home doses. ? that way you might be able to stretch out one dose over 4 days to ease the last bit. just a thought. i was thru a clinic and had lots of rules and managed to get a stash so i could ease the end of my taper....
Originally Posted by cheekysod
I understand and I do agree with you that the taper plan is not what he/she needs right now, but I provided the link so they could look at it and see where I got the day skipping idea.
Hey Trainwrecked, You got some good advice from cheeky and Karen.
The one thing that has not really been mentioned yet(other than sleep), and I don't want to be a downer, is the mental aspect of getting off opiates. The physical wd's are what they are, and I am sure with your history you know all about those. If you do as cheeky recommended and find a way to taper down lower, and even do the skip days, you can minimize that. The depression, anxiety, and just plain getting used to live and daily tasks without the crutch of drug use is what was hardest for me, and I think what is the cause of most relapses. Obviously tapering down as low as possible will help with this, but being prepared for the inevitable mental battle will be key to long term success. Setting up a support system before you jump(Na like cheeky mentioned) and any other "safety nets" will help you get through the mental aspect. Don't forget about exercise too! When I got clean, it had been sooo long(like you) since I lived day to day clean. Simple tasks like shopping seemed to be next to impossible. I had always done everything high. I had to, and still am, relearning how to do everything clean and sober. The last thing you will feel like doing is going out and getting some exercise, but it will get those natural endorphins going again, and will really help give you energy and get back to "normal" quicker. Don't get stuck sitting on the couch for months like I did.
Karen, please don't take this personally, or the wrong way.....but i believe you should add a little about your drug history and sub use when explaining your story. I think there is an aspect to this that you were so lucky to have not had to deal with to the same extent as some of us(sadly me, and probably cheeky). I am in no way belitling what you have done and accomplished, it has been amazing to watch your progress and sucess. Just that a life long addict using such stong opiates and ROA's(route of administration/ IV) is going to have a completely different experience during their recovery than someone that was inducted at 1mg and was off in a month. I hope you take this in the way meant, and that you feel blessed that you did not have to suffer the absoute depths of this miserable addiction.
I wish you the best trainwrecked! Keep us posted, and let us know if there is anything we can do for ya.
Originally Posted by MP5
At first I thought wow, Mike included me in his post to "trainwrecked", but the more I read, the more upset I became. I understand how you are only trying to learn more of my complete story, and want others to learn it as well, but I believe you should have maybe read my first post, and if that wasn't enough information for you, them asked further, but on my thread. I certainly don't mind posting my answer here, so I will do that and hope YOU take this in the spirit in which I intend it to be. Soooo.......
Although I was addicted for ONLY 7 years or so, I can assure you that my complete addiction was every bit as hard and as "involved" as almost anyone's here. Just not as LONG. If you read my very first post I mention that my drug of choice was opiates and narcotics, but that I had tried, or done most every drug there was out there at the time. And I am so sorry to say I used H, and yes by means of an IV, and also lots of C-caine. Did I do that every day of the week....no I didn't, but I did enough of it to be completely addicted to BOTH as well as those other drugs. And I also used Methadone, and Fentnyl Patches too! I was addicted to all of it. And I am thoroughly ashamed and embarrassed to admit all of that.
You say in your "ending" line of your post that: "I hope you take this in the way meant, and that you feel blessed that you did not have to suffer the depths of this miserable addiction". Well I certainly did do just that! And I suffered terribly too Mike! I will not tell you right now what exactly I did lose, but I can assure you it was plenty! I could go on and on with my argument, but I will not do that here on this thread. I am in no position emotionally right now to continue this conversation, but have more I could say.
So yes Mike, even though you tried, I'm certain, to NOT upset me, that is EXACTLY what you did. Am I so pi$$ed at you that I shall never speak to you again, of course not. I'm also sure you meant your comments with the best intentions, and the best outcome from me possible, but what it really did was strike me in the very opposite way. And it makes me feel right now that my addiction, because I had no problems with my induction and taper, feel like it was a piece of cake that I could just walk through and actually did. Like everything went so smoothly not because I didn't complain, have any problems, or did as I was asked to do, but was because my addiction was so "minor in comparison to others here" that I got off real easy. So yes Mike, I take your comments as you really belittling me. How can I not?
If you had simply went to my thread before this post of yours, and kindly asked me if I would explain my entire story in more detail, I would have done that without question I promise you. So I'm sorry Mike, but I am just really upset right now. Are we still great friends....you bet we are in my opinion. And I hope this post doesn't change your thinking about that. I really, really do Mike. You are an extremely kind individual, with lots of intelligent posts, and I thoroughly enjoy reading all of them.
I don't know what else to say except that maybe if you went back and re-read your post you could see it as I do. Maybe we can continue this conversation on my thread at another time if you would like to. And again, I am not so pi$$ed and upset that I will ignore you from now on. Not my style or my way at all. It's just that your post came at the worst possible time. Thank you for reading this and I wish you only the very best always! Blessings to you also.
trainwreck. hope the plan works for ya mate. did you manage to get any doses to save up for the very end.... hang with it bro, its worth it. i always have a soft spot for my fellow 'methadonians'... yeh i know its kinda puttin us apart, but i beleive its a hellish drug, and if we can get off that, we can acheive anything...
Originally Posted by trainwrecked
also. if you still stop at .4mg, can you get anything to help you sleep.? thats probably a good idea... but always bear in mind. you may get some symptoms, you may breeze thru, but it is no way as hard as cold turkey.
keep it up. hope ya get on ok.
thanks to all
thanks to you all for the support. cheekysod, i have noticed the feeling of almost like brotherhood between long term methadone survivors before so it was really good to hear that from you. It set me to thinking about some of those others who helped me when I was getting off that poison and that in turn,I think, strengthens my resolve. I dont have any stockpile, unfortunately, but I can probably get a week's worth of valium from Dr.
Originally Posted by cheekysod
Due to have my last .4 dose tomorrow, and also to see dr. I'll mention the alternate day idea but either way, i'm reassured by what you said about not being as bad as getting off methadone. It's just that there is H all around me at present - family, friends, colleagues etc - and i find that very difficult when in withdrawal. There is an NA mtg in my area tonight. Haven't been to this one before but i'm planning to go tonight. Again thanks to you all. I'll try and keep this forum updated as to what happens over the next week or two.
i get ya trainwrecked i do... yup...
Originally Posted by trainwrecked
hey just so ya know, ive got methadone i can grab from a mate about 200 paces from my house, i could also walk about 3 times that distance and get some morphine. i know its really hard, but you need to handle that. i tried moving to different countries to get away, it never worked. finally after being on subs, i did it right here, with all the temptation around me....
you can do it bro.... its so good to not need it. fight thru.... ok. yeh, do it
This is so cool. I feel like I'm sitting in a lounge room somewhere with some friends. I'm old enough to love this internet stuff. Seriously though, i get what you're saying cheeky (if i may call you that). There will always be drugs, MY drug, and long term that's what my fight will be. Short term, ie the next week or so, I really wish my brother wouldn't come round here stoned and pinned and denying he's had anything at all.
Originally Posted by cheekysod
So I went to the Dr today and also had my last .4 mg sub. He assured me that most people feel nothing coming off .4 mg. Funny, in Rehab I saw some people pretty sick from that "nothing". Anyway he gave me two .4 mg subs to take home and have .2 at a time if i need them and also ten 5mg valium. I know most of my problems are in my head but that's a very real place to me.
As I said I did go to NA last night. My God, everyone's so young!
I am pretty confident that I can get through this and will get off. After 35 years of using I'm a bit worried about what happens next. I hope there's something left of me.
Friday night I'm playing bass in a band that does all Johnny Cash covers. I would rather Radiohead but hey, it's music and JC had some good stuff too.
Thank, thank, thank you all. I'll keep you posted.
so glad ya got the extra to drag out that last bit mate. it will help. divvy that into the smallest amounts and make it last. thats gonna help you out big time for this very end... i know i got to about .25mg before i jumped. i didnt skip days i just couldnt. for me it was the DECISION to finally jump. i have 2 boxes of subs stashed in my room. never had any desire for them, once i got off.
my story. when i did get to the jump, i went about 3 days and wasnt sleeping real well, and had some rls, but NOTHING like cold turkey. so i took a tiny crumb of sub, and that was my last EVER dose of sub...
IT FEELS AWESOME TO BE FREE of the drugs from over 25 years of using...
bass player huh. good one. i can play harmonica not too bad. lol.
hang in there mate. its gonna be worth it. oh and btw, yeh i see these people nodding off, and in a way, it makes me glad i dont do that no more. what a waste... what a waste of our lives..
embrace the new you that will be coming along. sweet as (as we say down here in nz)
oh i ended up gettin some sleeping pills from my doctor. you have the valium. so that may be enough. save that too for when ya really need it ok...? cool
So after reading the posts, watching your thread get hijacked and coming back to the reality of your impending withdrawl, I thought I would chime in on your original question. I have a using history similar to yours. I started using in my teens and at age 48, in January 2009, I was strung out (again) on 300-400 mg of Oxy and 2-3 bundles of heroin per day to stretch my prescriptions out for 30 days. I was also smoking half an ounce of high grade marijuana per week and drinking the better part of a fifth of 100 proof gin per day. I inducted onto 16mg of Sub, quickly realized it was too much, reduced to 8mg immediately and was fine. 2 months later I began my taper and I jumped off for good at about .4mg per day in January 2010. I think you will be surprised by how different your withdrawl will be compared to Methadone or Heroin. From reading your story it seems like you never really jumped off from sub, you always went right back to using. My experience was that the fear of withdrawl based on my numerous previous experiences was much worse than the reality. The simple fact is suboxone is different, and so is the detox. The differences are: it's slower, nothing happens fast, I never got that sledgehammer of withdrawl like I was used to. it took me 4-5 days to really feel like I was detoxing. The stomach symptoms are easier, I had loose bowels forever, but none of the cramps and pain. I had the creepy crawlies and restless legs, but no leg pain and no hot/cold. I did feel chilled but not back and forth hot/cold. I had general body aches, and zero energy. I felt sub-human and had black depression, but that's more because of my age and have many more negative consequences and have a longer using history to feel remorse and regret about. The bad news is all this went on for about three weeks, not 7-10 days like I was used to. That's about it. If you have any other questions just ask. BTW, FWIW I have been going to AA and NA and work a program of recovery...and I've been completely clean and sober for 18 months. My perspective on my life/marriage/work/family/friends has completely changed. I'm literally a different person now than I was in 2009...and I owe it to suboxone, this board and AA/NA. Keep going to meetings. Trust me, you will be glad you did. Take what you need and leave the rest. Sure they are young...but when it's not deeply meaningful it can be great entertainment. Now go and do it.
trainwrecked. Your going to do great! I know you are. And no one better directing you than the cheek! I'm 4 days in, dose was a tad lower than yours but I went down to .25 rapidly from .50mg and did not skip any days. I'm in your corner and cheering you on 100% man, you can do it!
COMPLETELY CLEAN (Sub FREE) as of 7/20/12
"I don't like the drugs, but the drugs LIKE ME" Marilyn Manson
Hi all. Still here. 48 hours and things are ok so far. just feel a bit heavy and washed out. My leg muscles are burning, different than the usual ache. Oh and cicadas have started up in my ears, which I get in withdrawal ever since coming off methadone last year. Still, from what most of you are saying it'll probably get moderately worse, but not too bad i hope. I have always had a fast metabolism so maybe it's starting sooner for me???
I'm going to keep posting but I have decided not to dwell on the bad i feel because i know my own mind is apt to amplify things and i don't want to help it to do that. Sirius moonlight thanks for your detailed info and I loved the pun about a hijacked trainwreck. You are right, I have not completed a Sub withdrawal before. But I haven't been on them long (1 wk Hospital sub detox, straight to H 6 wks, 2wk sub detox, H 3 wks, 3 wk sub - NOW.) so I'm hoping that I might not suffer as much as you (That sounds selfish and callous but you know i don't mean it that way).
Thank you rxqueen 83. You are 2 days ahead of me, like the next step I'm chasing, so stray strong and so will i.
I'm intending to have 1/2 a 0.4 sub later today to help tonight. What do you all think?
sorry rx queen 83. you will obviously be more than that ahead if i use these .2s for relief during the process. maybe i should just take them .2/day (4days) then nil., that's my question i guess ?? Any thoughts you guys? I guess it won't matter in the end. I will get there either way.
personally mate i would hold out till you REALLY need them. see how ya go.
aw you are an ozzy, hi neighbour. haha. yeh keep goin mate, if you need them you need them. but try and make them last. even splitting them in half to make .1 would help as well.
hang in there trainwrecked. Doctors tell you all sorts of funny stuff. You will feel something but it shouldn't be too bad. let us know how you're going. we're all rooting for you, you can do this.
thanks guys and gals. Yes, cheeky, an aussie. I hope that not too disappointing. Have had many good kiwi friends though and people are people. I tried the .1mg thing. It didn't seem to help me, but thanks for the suggestion. Anyway it's 5 days since my last regular 0.4mg. Have had 2 x .2 since then. Have the same left. Not feeling too bad, drinking lots of water, eating small amounts frequently and exercising in a very half assed fashion. Played the lousiest gig of my life friday. Really i shouldn't have done it. Anyway you guys I'm hanging in there and if it doesn't get too much worse I will be greatly relieved. Oh, and it really helps to look on this site and see people I don't even know willing me to succeed. Helps no end. Luv Yas all.
Last edited by trainwrecked; 07-29-2012 at 06:39 AM.
nah its algudz me ol cobber. no worries. we might have an on the field battle mentality, but ive been all over the world and pleased to run into an ozzy in all sorts of strange places. orkney islands up top of scotland comes to mind. yup. run into you fullas all over the place.
glad things seem to be working out for ya. keep up the good work mate. its worth it. oh and yup ive been to brizzy too mate. nice spot. damn hot tho. too hot for this kiwi. adelaide omg that was just as bad cept not so humid. if it gets over 30 degrees, i KNOW im in a foreign country lol
but seriously mate. good on ya. keep going.
yeah thanks cheeky. We have the "on the field battle mentality", but history shows the BATTLEFIELD mentality to be a bit different. I've been to NZ to briefly in my youth, Christchurch, Queenstown, Arthur's Pass dead of winter in a leaky 1979 Morris (Now that was cold!). Wellington, Auckland. Fishing in some beautiful lake somewhere. Loved it all, drugs though (a long time ago). By the way I have never ever met an Australian who was not mortified and ashamed by that underarm incident and your PM at the time said it best "The Australians were appropriately dressed in yellow".
Anyway I'm feeling pretty bad now and I was sort of hoping the worst might be over by now (6 days) but apparently not. A friend mentioned Tramadol to me as something that might help. I haven't heard of it - what do you think? What I'm worried about is that in a few days I'll have money again and my RESOLVE may start to DISSOLVE. Let's face it, I've been there before.
I'm still pressing ahead, but every movement seems slower. Please, all you guys, keep talking to me. I'm guessing there's heaps better threads by now but please keep talking...
Last edited by ddcmod; 08-02-2012 at 05:37 PM.
Hang in there, you will be feeling sooo much better very soon. It's been very quiet around here lately, so don't wonder where everyone went...u can push thru this!
I prob wouldn't take tramodal - u don't wanna get hooked on that...it's an opioid antagonist.
How ru doing today?
How you doin' trainwrecked?