Addiction: Substance Abuse Community
Suboxone Taper
About This Community:

This community is a place to share information and support with others who are trying to stop using drugs, prescription drugs, alcohol, tobacco or other addictive substances. Discuss with others, the symptoms of addiction, addiction recovery, ways to quit like tapering and cold turkey, and withdrawal symptoms. If you are interested in general "chat", please visit our Addiction Social Community.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
Blank Blank

Suboxone Taper

This past Tuesday my Dr. started me on 12 MG of Sub that he wanted me to do for 2 weeks, and I think taper down gradually. My DOC was vicodin.  Anyone that has gone the sub route, can you tell me if you were successful with it, and how exactly you tapered? From talking to a few of you I know that this is highly addictive (physically) b/c there's no high from it. Any suggestions and advice would be great. I go back to have a follow up appointment with my psychiatrist on Thursday.
Related Discussions
29 Comments Post a Comment
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
Hi Jdawne -----  I recommend you go to the Health Pages (upper right of your screen) and find the post titled 'Members Experiences Coming off of Suboxone"  -  It may help you as you decide how much Sub you  really need and how fast you want to come off of it --- -I can tell you that 12 mg is a very large amount.   I shudder to think of anyone using Sub to break an addiction to Vicodin ---- As I have said many times,  that is like using an atomic bomb when a hand grenade is all you need.  You must have been on a very very large amount of Vics to justify such a large amount of Sub.  Hey I wish you all the best----
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
Dont be quite so harsh......although I certainly (beyond shadow of doubt)  feel that sub should be reserved....there may be a place for it here.....how many of what strength and how often were you doing the hydro's comes to mind. Very good that the Doc wants a two week program with hard taper.  That seems like it should actually be a good one.....best ofl luck to everybody - - -
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I too am pissed that dotor's are prescribed subs so frequently, or at least that it what it seems anymore, it seems like everyone in my small town is now on them. This anger probably comes from the fact that I myself, after numerous attempts can't seem to drop the sub. I am a nurse so I know first hand how the clinics in my area only seem to be concerned with the profit they are making off these addicts, who dont have health insurance. I know of many who go to biweekly appts only to be there for 5 minutes and them the drs sending them to fill their scripts. It seems physicans are throwing subs at anyone. In a weakened state, any addict looking to "get well" will turn to subs. I wish I had only knew that I traded one drug for another, with sub w/d being the worst I've ever experienced. I don't want to contradict myself, and I know it seems like I resent the sub, but I a lot of people may benefit for sub's too, every case is different. I just want my life back.
Blank
558096_tn?1255890602
Wow. I posted that question out of desperation to hear of some success stories using suboxone, but all I got was a slap in the face.  I only went to sub b/c I was spending up to $600/month on vics and after many many  many failed attempts to stop them, went on sub. By the time I got on subs I had just quit a 15-20 10mg/day, sometimes adding 4-5   7.5 hydro's in the mix.  I will just have to get through this taper on my own.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
Dude - that topic is highly controversial here - as is methadone. I have done both from a lifelong habit that started in '69 in Nam ......... keep posting. People need this information. Group opinion and consensus seems to indicate that people just need to know more about it - - - and Doctors really need to be able to prescribe it effectively......too many Docs are using it for piddling little hydro habits that could be dealt with easier.....Hoew uch does the sub end up costing per month cllectively?  Give people the information that they need to make up their minds....we need that stuff ....
Blank
558096_tn?1255890602
Well, my insurance covers the medicine as long as it's "pre-authorized" which is was, so for 30 8 mg tablets it was $30, much better than what I was spending. It's also giving me a way to be honest w/my husband and family so they know how bad my habit was, and know exactly what I'm taking, so everything is altleast out in the open now. Everytime I tried to quit I would go into such bad w/d's and need to be functional for something and couldn't be honest, so I would use again, and everytime it kept getting worse until I was chewing like 6 10 mg vics at once a couple times a day. I felt as if this way my only way out. Thanks for the response eagle.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
No one slapped you in the face - really. Anything negative you read was not directed towards you at all. It was directed to the system and doctors who are spoon feeding lines of bs to desperate addicts. Alot of us who have experience with sub know that doctors tend to coerce people into treatment they really may not need. Due to this many of us feel that doctors have gone 'sub happy' and are putting people into a worse place than they need to be. For example - with the amount of vics you were taking per day 2-4mgs of sub would fend off wds and help you function. 12mgs is an extremely high dose for you... Suboxone is a very strong opiod (1mg of buprenorphine is = approx 30mgs morphine) and many doctors fail to keep that in mind while deciding treatment plans for their patients. No one is telling you that your addiction wasn't bad or that sub isn't the right treatment plan for you. People are just frustrated to see other people get thrown to into the fire. I'll strongly encourage you to do some research about suboxone (on this site or the web in general) before you follow the plan your doctor gave you. Unfortunately success stories are limited because the prescribing doctors generally don't have the knowledge about this med to encourage a success. Ask your doctor, 9-1 he'll tell you that suboxone has little to mild wds... that's not normally the case. No one is knocking your choice to start sub treatment - many of us have taken it or are taking it. (I've been on sub since 4/07 from a 3 gram+ a day heroin habit.) Many of us with sub experience are just hoping that you read the info on this site and alter your taper plan to maximize your success potential. You do not have to do this on your own! I hope you come back and post - please PM me if you'd like to talk ok?
Blank
401095_tn?1351395370
suboxone/subutex is a multimillion dollar company...an they r spending bu11 loads of money to push their drug..as do most pharmaceutcal companies ...unfortunately this on e can hurt people if they do not know better as they have salesman with no medical backgropund educating counselers and doctors on this 'majic pill"  that is what a counseler told me..."it is just majic"   she told me it was impossible to become addicted to it and the literature she handed me did not even coincide with anything she said at the meeting i was at...this drug company is in the process of making millions...and i mean millions..it was like she was a "sub pusher'  i see how this drug is useful and i have used it before..just scary as it is expensive and they want people to feel like they r better than "methadone" users......chemically they both are long half life drugs/used for maintenence/with a long wd process...methadone is cheaper and if used for 21 days would not be addicting as a rule either/not a big drug of abuse or there would be lines in front of the clinics everyday ...cheap due to the govt has control...but is also prescribed for pain so it is not a "red flag" on ur pharmacy record like sub would be.....sub is a partial agonist...methadone is a full agonist....methadone is a good pain relief drug and cheapwhere sub is lacking..they r both hell to wd from despite what people say...and everyone is different...know ur stuff
Blank
340590_tn?1290955741
hey girl,  dont take everything you read here to heart.  take what you need and leave the rest.  this is your recovery...you do it your way.  we are all on the road to recovery,  some take different paths but we all hope for the same end result.  love ya sweetie,
Blank
401095_tn?1351395370
and again...did not mean to down sub...like i said..i have used it..i did not use it to quit but i am familiar with it...it can be a good drug to make wd more comfortable but it can not do the work for u...u have a plan..and a plan is so important as long as u know u have to do the work....that is a high dose so i am thinking u were a 200 mg plus user....people at doses like that often need help with the wds or they will fail due to feeling sick especially if u have to work....do what u need to do and stick to ur goal which is to quit chasing drugs...aftercare is the key...stay strong
Blank
199177_tn?1332183097
J I am sorry for your response. I know you did not need that .I know how hard of a decision this was for you !!!! you can taper down I believe there is a 21 day taper on the forum .It may be in the health pages if you cant find it let me know .If you need to talk send me a pm.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
In my opinion you could immediately begin to taper your dose down right now from 12mgs/daily to 8mgs or less. During the beginning 2-4wks is the easiest time to taper after being stabilized on a dose. You have to understand many people were terribly misguided into suboxone's wonderous abilities, without truely understanding the ramafications that it can involve. Now we are all very different in how each individuals react to buprenorphine but most successful experiences regarding the easiest w/d's are usually schedules between 10days-6weeks. I can speak from experience after 17wks of using suboxone that I had some pretty severe w/d's for about 16days, another 2wks of continued waves of discomfort. I started at 8mgs and stayed there for 7wks, when looking back I could have been off or atleast 2mgs or less but I wanted to follow my doc's instructions. Best advice is to look into the health pages regarding members experiences and really talk things out with your doctor. But theres no reason you couldnt begin tapering right away, it will only help you out later on and you can get by with far less than 12mgs. Hope all goes well, stick around and let us know how things go for you. Good luck & Take care.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I swear by suboxone. I say take it, take it, take it!

If infact it is trading one drug for another (which i disagree with).....then use the sub, then start tapering with it....until u get to the point where u do not need it anymore......

If you have a script for sub, you DONT run the risk of going to jail for many many many reasons, you WILL HAVE MORE MONEY every month, you wont wake up and spend 100% of your day on some freakin pill hunt, you WONT have sudden withdrawl (withdrawal)  (assuming you take it like you are suppose to).......PLUS, it buys you the time to taper.....

I guess some people can do things cold turkey....but, if you feel bettergoing the sub route, do it.

And, alot of people say to take benzos and what not during the "cold turkey"/ Thomas Recipe at home detox way...............but even then, the addict is taking yet again something else that has addictive properties......

Suboxone has totally saved my bf.  Absolutely saved him.  He would take any opiate......well, not vics because they were not strong enough for him (im sure really it was because he couldnt snort them and that's his way)  but regardless....he was taking Oxy, Dilaudids, H.  Whatever.  Now, he's on sub and he is doing great......Again, maybe that is trading one pill for another....but, at this point.....i am totally ok with that. It is legal. He has started tapering and has enough pills to do so comfortably, he doesnt spend his whole day on the phone and driving around trying to find a pill....that was beyond annoying to me.

Best of luck to you.  
Blank
684726_tn?1228489221
I'll just tell you my story which many already know. 30 oxys a day habit, called it quits, went the sub route, started with 2 and a half a day. (20 mgs). after 6 months tapered to a tiny piece a day and when I say a tiny piece I literally mean a tiny piece. Figured I didnt need anymore and when my last piece was gone, the next day I went into withdrawaw. Now I hear a lot of people say that a sub withdrawal is WORSE than an oxy withdrawal, but I cant say if thats true or not because in the year and a half of taking oxys the only withdrawal I was in was when I woke up, but IMMEDIATELY took 3. Bottom line is I never ran out of oxys to go into a full withdrawal for a long time. Yes I had to go 18 hours after my last oxy in withdrawal before the first sub, but doc gave me tranqs to keep me "somewhat calm" for that duration. The withdrawal from the subs were not pleasant. Bad flu like symptoms, absolutely no energy or motivation, picking up a pencil was like picking up a brick. But I did continue to go to work, "try" and keep busy, etc. and I did that at the request of all the great people on this site. I just kept going. From what I learned on this site is that you CAN NOT stay on subs for a lengthy time or withdrawals will happen. And I forgot to tell people I asked my doc when I had tapered to literally nothing what would happen if I just stopped and his exact words were "You may feel a little tired". Boy do I wish that was the case. BE CAREFUL WITH THE SUBS.
Blank
684726_tn?1228489221
The succes story from ME is going on the suboxone meant I was willing to take the first step and not want oxys to run my life anymore and wanting to feel normal again. That was HUGE for me. Weather subs are good or bad to people, Many forget that the thought of even doing them means that you do not want to get high anymore. And thats success when you want to quit and take back your life. From there on the "Sub Saga" can a much talked about topic. But Like I said anyone to me that goes on subs means they dont want to be high anymore. And like I said, That in itself is SUCCESS.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I don't understand why suboxone is such a debatable issue....and so controversial.

If suboxone keeps the addict from committing a crime everyday (ie: buying their DOC on the streets, forging scripts, dr shopping, etc.), keeps them out of a sudden withdrawl (withdrawal) (therefore preventing the addict from possibly working, taking care of their kids properly), helps keep them motivated and have a  constant legit prescription from the doctor so they can do a successful taper so as to eventually be drug free, why is this bad? Why do people hate on it?  Plus,  i would venture to say that MOST addicts can not do a successful taper using their DOC.  think about that.   they are addicts.  and thier DOC is infront of them....and they all of a sudden have the willpower and discipline to say no.  no way.  im not saying every addict. i am saying most.   whereas, with suboxone, i would bet that most addicts won't over do it.  plus, that pill has the ceiling effect.  so there's really no point in taking too much sub.  

i think suboxone buys the addict time to get their life together, get a plan together, focus on what matters, go to meetings, etc all the while in a NON withdrawl (withdrawal) state.  

Blank
700244_tn?1272654356
I think the suboxone-bashing is mainly due to:

MANY doctors make false promises/assurances to patients regarding suboxone.  I don't think they do this on purpose, I think they just don't know what they're talking about yet.  I don't think they have enough experience yet.

I'm currently on suboxone and if it wasn't for this site, I probably would still be on my initial dose (20mg/day).  My doctor (who runs 20+ clinics in my province) told me A LOT of stuff that turned out to be false.  I mention the 20+ clinics only to emphasize the point that he had A LOT of experience with suboxone/methadone/AAROD/etc and a lot of the things that he told me were COMPLETELY FALSE.  I've paid this doctor over $10,000 in the last 2 years (for 2 totally separate procedures) and for that money, I expect him to know something.  I was taking a high dose of oxycontin (minimum 800mg per day) but he knew that before answering all my questions, so I don't think it's fair to use my dose as an excuse (which he does sometimes).  Here's a small list of the stuff that pisses me off (and possibly pisses off other people with their doctors):

-my doctor told me that the procedure would be painless and easy (even at my dose).  ******** - I WANTED TO JUMP OUT OF THE 4th STOREY WINDOW (and it wasn't until he gave me 4 needles of valium in the butt, that I relaxed and eventually passed out).

-my doctor gave me my INITIAL subox dose too early in the procedure.  My body had not yet undergone MODERATE WITHDRAWL (withdrawal) symptoms, but I guess my doctor had other stuff planned for his day because I 100% remember him asking me how I felt, me telling him that I was totally OK, and him saying that the w/d's were already underway and it was time to start.  Obviously I said "OK.".  Who am I to question a specialist?
******** - HE LATER ADMITTED THAT HE "POSSIBLY" GAVE ME MY DOSE TOO EARLY, AND THAT "POSSIBLY" CAUSED THE ENSUING HELL.

-before the procedure, my doctor said that he would have me off suboxone in 16 weeks.  He said he would make the first reduction in dose 2 weeks after my procedure.  Then he would keep reducing it every 2 weeks until it was gone.  He said coming off subox was extremely easy and NOTHING compared to oxy.  He said AT WORSE, I would feel A BIT tired.
******** - FROM READING NUMEROUS POSTS ON THIS SITE, ITS EASY TO SEE THAT GETTING OFF SUBOX IS JUST AS HARD, IF NOT HARDER THAN OXY.

-i had my procedure on Sept. 17-18 2008.  I am currently in my last year of university, hence was worried about returning to school after the procedure.  Would I be able to return to school immediately?  How about studying?  What about my concentration level?  How about memorization? etc, etc.  Well good ol' doc said there would be ZERO problems and he had NUMEROUS patients who went back to very stressful jobs THE NEXT DAY.
******** - I HAD A HORRIBLE TIME ADJUSTING TO MY NEW "LIFE".  I wasn't able to sit through an entire class and take notes, until a month after the procedure.  I wasn't able to put in "10 hour study day's" until approx 6-7 weeks after the procedure.

Do I feel as though he LIED to me... yes.  I understand that doctors can't predict every side-effect or problem.  But the troubling part for me personally, is that he usually tries to reverse the issue back to my heavy oxy dose.  When I bring up how bad the procedure was, he brings up the fact that he had never dealt with someone who took 800mg of oxy a day (what about the 7 x 80mg guy???).  When I bring up how hard it was to adjust to school life, he now tells me that after a procedure like I went through,  my brain and subsequently my emotions are very raw, therefore making it seem like a hundred things are coming at me, when normally I'd be just fine.

He has answers for everything, but unfortunately his answers are NOT consistent with the ones he gave me BEFORE the procedure.

If someone were to suggest that he was in it purely for the money, how could I disagree???  Sure I'm probably being too harsh on him, but shouldn't he know EVERYTHING about a drug before advising a patient to start taking it?
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Wow....that is actually a horrible experience with suboxone.

In "real" life, I have NEVER talked to anyone who had a bad experience with it....only on MH.

How do u feel now?
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
trying2help -- wow that is a horrible story and very scary.  My doctor was pretty knowledgeable about it, except he promised no withdrawal from it.  He was wrong.  

As someone who has gone cold turkey off of almost everything at one point or another (except methadone) I will say hands down suboxone withdrawal was the worst for me..6 to 7 days of oxy withdrawal, for me, was a walk in the park compared to 60 (yes SIXTY) days of suboxone withdrawal..  I say this as a real person with a real addiction and as someone who has used and LOVED suboxone while using it for over two years and has come off of it completely and suffered because of it.  Everyone is different though and we all have different opinions and experiences.  This is just my personal experience.
Blank
214607_tn?1287681159
There ARE success stories out there Jdawn. Believe me. Not everyone suffers worst then they would have with their previous DOC. I did a 21 days sub treatment. And I started out the first day with 16mgs then by the 2nd day I dropped to 8mg. By the end of the first week, I was only taking 2mgs a day. When I stopped, I was down to .5 mgs, every 3 days. In the end, I only took it if I couldn't sleep. Then after that, I got through it. And it was NOT that bad. Please do not think that all everyone said to you will Definitely happen. Because everyone is different. And everyone's experience is circumstantial. So you don't know how long they were all on it and at what dose. There are members here who have had good experiences with it and have gotten through it. I am going on one year clean. So I got through it. My w.d was not that bad. But again, we are all different. If you need anything, just ask. My only advice, is don't let your dr talk you into high doses of sub. And do not take it longer then one month. If you can get by only taking it for a couple weeks do that. The shorter length of time you are on it and the lower the dose, the easier it will all be on you. Drs have no clue how strong it is and are very quick to push it on people. Most drs don't take insurane and only will accept cash, so that's why most want you to stay on it. The sub market is hugh and drs are getting certified left and right to prescribe it. So just be careful. Stay at a low, low dose. The least you can get by with. And only stay on it for a few weeks to a month max. I think a month may even be too long. You do what you have to do. Its your body and your addiction. We can only tell you our experiences. But I notice here there are alot of people who feel negatively about sub and in turn tend to scare people and I think that is wrong. I am telling you what I know to be factual about sub, and that's stick to a low dose for a short time. Other then that, all the things written above are based on personal experiences. Good luck and if you need anything, just ask..

Lisa
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I do agree with Lisa.  And I do say all the time, that my experience was my own and know I did things the wrong way with sub.  Lisa - lovemypillhead was looking for sub tapering advice on another post - I couldnt really help cause I did it the wrong way.  Maybe you could help?
Blank
214607_tn?1287681159
I did talk to her. Thanks so much..hope you are well honey...
Blank
700244_tn?1272654356
I would say everything is TOTALLY fine now.  I feel great, I can study, I'm playing sports again, etc.  In that regard I would say it's a wonder-drug because it got me off of a nasty addiction.  I just wish someone had told me BEFORE the procedure that:

- there is a CHANCE that it will take a few weeks for your body to adjust to the procedure, so it MIGHT be tough going back to school right away.
and,
- getting off suboxone is USUALLY not as easy as "feeling a little tired for a few days" and COULD actually become an issue later on

But to be honest I had no idea that any of those things was even possible!  

The fact that the procedure was a living hell for a few hours is probably an isolated incident.  Am I happy that I traded an oxycontin addiction for a suboxone addiction?  DEFINITELY.  I don't stress when I get pulled over by R.I.D.E (police spot check when driving), I don't stress when I go through airport security, I'm not wasting at least $150/day on a drug addiction, etc, etc.  I LOVE THE PLACE THAT I'M AT NOW (in my life), and A LOT OF THAT IS DUE TO SUBOXONE.  My only rant is that I was misinformed and I'm sure there are a lot of other people who were misinformed as well.

When I read NUMEROUS posts telling me that it will be harder to get off of subox than it was to kick oxy, that scares the SH*T outta me!  My doctor even told me that it may be wise to stay on subox for a longer period of time because of the naloxone factor (therefore taking away the possibility of relapsing)!!  But almost every single post I read regarding suboxone says to stay on it for as little time as possible, and then get the hell off of it to avoid SEVERE w/d's after.

Only now am I starting to read 2 or 3 posts saying that getting off subox is not hard at all.  Obviously every case/patient is different, but when soooo many people are saying how hard it is to kick subox, I'm starting to get very very very worried.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I don't have any insurance or money. I was on H hard and decided to get subs on the street. I bought ten of them and left my town 500 miles away to stay with fam so I wouldn't be tempted to use. The subs worked like magic. I didn't even feel depressed and I was using a bundle of H a day intraveneously. I was just going to use the Subs to get through withdrawl (withdrawal) but now that they're gone i am dangerously depressed. Is there anywhere to get subs for cheap without insurance?
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
I was on a 15 a time plus 2-3 30 mg rocys a time habit. 4-5 times daily.. im on about 20 mg suboxine daily now. how can i taper off them. and its been about 3 weeks clean. any words of encouragement .ive never done the sub before. but it seems to be working. just really depressed.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Welcome to MH.  You should ask your question in a new post.  This is an old post and most will not see your comment. Also, 20mgs is a lot. You should talk to your doctor about cutting down your dosage.. That being said the best method to taper would be one your doctor recommends..
Are you ready to be off everything?? The suboxone is doing its job to alleviate cravings etc but unless you put some kind of aftercare in place - therapy, NA, addiction specialist - it will be right there waiting for you.  Sub soothes your opiate cravings and withdrawal because its an opiate.  There is no question its a better choice than active addiction, but you should really use this time to get some Recovery Care.   Sub puts your addiction into a sort of remission.  But once you quit, you still have to deal with all the WHYs of why your an addict and all the mental cravings..The same reasons you used before suboxone will be the same reasons you may relapse after sub... Trust me.  I found this out the hard way.  Good luck and God bless!
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
My dr all he sudden said get off suboxone. I am taking 6 mg a day and the new script said take 2mg strip a day for 14 days and then take 2mg stripe everyother day until done. I am now taking them like the dr. said and on my 3rd day but really worried about running out because i do not get anymore after this script. Has anyone been thur this and will i have a rough time.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
I am coming off sub was at 12mg a day, 2 years later i am at 4mg a day, but my doc said to go no lower than 4mg(which is half a 8mg sublinqual film) and he gave me a perscription to ritalin 20mg and said keep taking a half  to get though day(up to 3) and at night i am supposed to take a phenoburabital 64mg to help sleep.  I am sleeping fine just the day is not great. seen many post where people go to 2 mg  and then 1mg and then every other day. Anyone reccomend anything feeling restless and my 1st child will be born in 25 days and i am determined to get off!! suggestions??
Blank
Post a Comment
To
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
Addiction: Substance Abuse Community Resources
RSS Expert Activity
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Control Emotional Eating with this ...
Sep 04 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eating Control: How to St...
Aug 28 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
233488_tn?1310696703
Blank
New Cannabis Article from NORTH Mag...
Jul 20 by John C Hagan III, MD, FACS, FAAOBlank
Top Addiction Answerers
4522800_tn?1405696702
Blank
VICourageous
ID
Avatar_m_tn
Blank
gnarly_1
phoenix, AZ
4113881_tn?1401895587
Blank
ActingBrandNew
Torrance, CA
1827057_tn?1397523877
Blank
ricart70
IN
Avatar_m_tn
Blank
weaver71
Other
495284_tn?1333897642
Blank
dominosarah
City of Dominatrix, MN