Being a Division 1 College Athlete, I have been given opiates for pain periodically and always knew that I enjoyed the feeling. Never have I taken them for long periods of time, but if anyone I knew ever had any Percocets or Lortabs, you better believe that I would be happy to indulge in a few. 6 months ago a friend of mine gained access to large quantities of Lortab 10 mg's, so for the first time ever, I bought a bag of 20 of them. The bag lasted me 10 days or so and when it ran out, I called in to see if he could get more and he obliged. This cycle continued over a 6 month period until 6-8 weeks ago I found myself taking 10-20 pills per day just to feel energy and get by. Typical story from what I have read. Having good morals and a strong sense of right and wrong, I knew that I could not continue to do this. Although I make good money, I was spending thousands per months to support the habit and I knew it was time to say good bye. So, I just stopped taking them without any real knowledge of what I was about to experience. To make a long story short I went into pretty "serious withdrawals" (I can take pain, both physical and mental, but this was horrible) and thought I was dying. I initially had no idea that I was in withdrawals as a result from ending the use of Lortabs.
I immediately contacted a good friend of mine who is a physician and explained to him what had happened and what i was experiencing. It was by one of his colleagues, an addiction specialist, that I was introduced to Subutex to alleviate withdrawals and end my use of Lortabs. Prior to starting the Subutex, I did some research of my own to gain some insight into what I was getting into. I have never posted on these boards, but have read quite a bit and have never been able to find definitive answers to any questions. Everyone has there opinions, even doctors, and it seems as if very little is actually known about Subutex. Any who, I started taking the medication after 2 days of withdrawals and have been taking extremely small doses for the last 6-8 weeks (1-2 mg's per day, tops). Since beginning, my doctor has wanted me to take larger doses to "stabilize" and wants me to stay on it for at least 6 months or longer. I have decided that he is wrong and I am right, so I made the decision to stop taking it and put this all in my past, despite his orders.
I am hoping that since I have been on a small dose for a relatively short period of time, that stopping wont be a horror story. I have loaded up on Vitamin b6,b12,C,D, Potassium, Magnesium, St Johns Wort, Valerian Root, Melatonin and other herbal supplements to help me through what I expect will come. I have 1 8mg pill left along with a couple of crumbs that I am going to use for a "taper". I took my last 1 mg dose yesterday at 9am and took a tiny crumb this morning @ 9am, probably less than 1 mg.
My question is this, should I use what I have to taper (eating small crumbs every other day), or should I just stop and see what happens? I really do not want to draw this out and would prefer to get it over with. I am headed out of the country in mid April and WILL be free from this all prior to leaving. What types of withdrawal symptoms can I expect and how long will they last? I know everyone is different, but any insight will help.
Thanks for listening to my story and I hope to hear from someone soon!