Been reading on here for awhile. Addict of 7+ years, now at just a stupid daily amount with over a hundred failed attempts at tapering. I fear suboxone may be my only lifeline left as I cannot afford in patient and my insurance wont cover it. PLEASE I need advice from nyone who is or has been on it. Nything will help. My average daily oxy intake is 200-250 mg
Here's the problem with suboxone. It's harder to get off of than Oxy, by what I have read from EVERY SINGLE person I have seen on here! I think that if you take it for a week, you'll be fine. Even two weeks. But if it were ME, no one would talk me into taking that for several months or years. People on here have scared me to death about it! I took it for a very short time in a four month, residential treatment in Atlanta one time. I got clean. Graduated. Relapsed a month after I got home. It's all about your mindset. If you wanna do this, you don't "need" suboxone. There are other things that you can buy OTC that work and aren't that hard to come off of! Also, have you considered just talking to a doctor about this and getting some meds to take at home that won't get you addicted? There are things that take the sting out of it a little bit that won't be habit forming. There's no doubt that suboxone works if you get on the right dose. But, it's trading one habit for a worse one. That's not what you want, right?
This is all an opinion based on me spending years at trying to quit myself. I swear, I just hate to see anyone get on that stuff or methadone! Just trying to give you some options! : )
With all due respect to LeeAnn, there is no point in taking Sub for 2-3 weeks. This is a common misconception about Sub...that the shorter the amount of time one is on it, the better. That's inaccurate. There's no point to taking Sub at all if it's going to only be for a few weeks. It won't work like it's supposed to in such a short period of time.
The REALITY is, a typical course of sub is 6-12 months, for good reason. For one, after the induction dose, a person is stabilized. Just the induction process and the initial adjustment to Sub takes 2-3 weeks. That's just to get a person stabilized. At that point, there wouldn't have been any tapering done yet, so coming off wouldn't be an option.
If a person finds a GOOD Sub clinic, one that requires therapy, an aftercare plan, testing at every visit, Sub CAN be a very useful TOOL in detox and recovery. Sub isn't a way around w/d...it's just one tool to be used.
Sub is actually a good option for the chronic relapser. It allows a person to get some clean time under their belt, and get used to living sober, getting their life back. The taper process is one that typically takes a couple of months, if it is done right. Again, this is not to be rushed. In my experience, the people who succeed at getting off Sub for good are the ones who took their time and tapered slowly.
The clinic I worked in was manned by an awesome doc...she really walked people through the tapering process, and set relaistic goals for them. There ARE people that choose to stay on a low maintenence dose long term...again chronic relapsers.
"But, it's trading one habit for a worse one. That's not what you want, "right?
This is another common statement we see in regards to Sub. For some people, it's absolutely true. For people who are just looking to find a way to get out of w/ds, it's a trade off (and not a good one). For people who REALLY want to get clean, it can be a very helpful tool, and even if you want to say you've traded one habit for another, in many cases, it saves lives. I'd rather see you on 0.5mg-1mg of Sub daily than what you're taking now in Oxy.
You would need to do your homework...check out the clinics in your area...ask about their tapering plan, ask about drug testing and what their policy is, ask how often you would be required to be seen. It should be at least weekly at first, then bi-weekly. After a person has been on Sub for 6 months or so, if they plan to stay on a while, then once a month is fine. Find a clinic that offers in office therapy, group therapy, etc. Clinics that have addiction counselors on staff are great. It's better to have a holistic plan.
The decision to use Sub is not an easy one, and it certainly isn't for everyone. I would much rather see someone on a low dose long term and stay clean than continue to ride the rollercoaster. I've seen people succeed and fail on Sub. It's all in the mindset of the patient. The people who were looking for a way around w/d failed every time.
Very best of luck to you. Please feel free to ask any questions you have. I'm by no means an expert, but I do know a good bit about Sub.
To find a Suboxone doc in your area:
I would rather be taking suboxone than large doses of prescription pills or street drugs. I am not crazy about suboxone, but as someone that can't stop the other stuff without it, I recommend it. And I would disagree that you are trading one habit for a worse habit. Suboxone is not worse. And I have ran out of suboxone for week a couple times due to cost and such, and I didn't think the withdrawal was a problem at all. As a matter of fact, I don't think I even noticed it.
These ppl. are right. Please see my most recent post (not comment) about how everyone is different. Also, take a look at my profile "about me" to see that I've done this both ways and why. In saying that, 200-250mgs of oxy daily is alot to quit cold turkey. Unless you have the will power to taper on your own, or quit cold turkey at a rehab, then suboxone is a good option for the exact reasons (and time frame) nursegirl said - (from my experience.) I can taper off suboxone because I'm not taking it to get high...I could never taper off oxys. I didn't have the will power for that. I did quit them cold turkey once, but only because of rehab, and that was hell, but worth it at the time. Another good thing about suboxone is that it has an ingredient in it, (naloxone) that keeps you from getting high on other opiates and will send you into immediate withdrawl which for me, has taken away the temptation to use. That, and I wasn't hurting so I didn't need anything else. By the time I started to taper enough to be in pain (currently), I had/have become use to feeling normal, not high, and now I've come to far to mess up - I see the light at the end of the tunnel!! Also, are you buying these on the street, or prescribed for a reason? Just wondering what kind of state your in. Also, subs are expensive if your insurance won't cover, but not as expensive as oxys on the street.
Best of luck, and I will keep updating on my progress for your research and others'!
P.S. I'm also a firm believer oxy's are straight from the devil and it takes God's help (along with everything else) to overcome!
PPS. Suboxone is a MUCH better option than Methadone!!! That,on the other hand I wouldn't recommend!
PPS. I've read posts similar to LeAnn's that say getting on suboxone is like "bringing a bazooka to a knife fight" but if your on 200+mgs of oxy a day your already in a full blown war. You're going to have to put on your armor and fight!!
My biggest problem with Suboxone is it is often used to treat an addiction of lesser severity, when yoiu do the math. For instance, someone taking 5-10 Vicodin (5/500) a day would be crazy to turn to Sub as a tool to get clean. That person would be trading their addiction for a much worse one, because of course, eventually, the person has to come off the Suboxone as well, and it is not always easy. Of course it varies, but I'd have to say the majority of what I've heard and experienced....Sub w/d tends to be a little worse, in a few ways.
LeaAnne's post is full of great advice. She's advising based on the common info out there, that a sub plan should be as quick as possible. A lot of people don't understand that in order to GET the benefits out of a suboxone program and detox, taking sub for a few weeks really is pointless. I just didn't want to appear as though I was being critical...that's a very common mindset.
To give an example, approx 2 mg of Buprenorphine (the opiate in Sub) is equal to approx 25-50mg of Oxycodone, and about 200-300mg of Morphine, 100 mg of Methadone. So, you can easily see how powerful Sub really is.
Then, I'll hear stories of Sub docs Rx'ing 16-32mg /day of Sub. That's hardly ever necessary. MOST people, even the heaviest of users can be very comfortably maintained on 2,3mg of Sub daily. The induction dose may be a WEE bit higher, but there's simply no reason people should be out there on such high doses of Sub for years at a time, with no attempts to taoer or anything. THAT is not proper Sub management.
We had a patient who was using about 50-75 mg Hydro daily. For that, another Sub doctor had her on 8mg three times a day for a total of 32 mg daily. That would equal APPROXIMATELY 400-800mg of Hydrocodone daily. That girl was taking close to 8 times the dose she was on when she was abusing Hydrocodone. No doubt she actually gave herself a FAR worse addiction thanks to a lousy sub doctor. The doc I worked for in her initial consultation, if she had come to her first, would have told her Sub was unnecessary. She wouldn't have even met the guidelines for a Sub program. We had her tapered down to 2mg/day in about 3 months. She did great!
That's my point, there's just SO much about Sub...it's not inherently "good" or "bad". For some people, it's a lifesaver, for others, it's a living hell. More education and accountability is needed.
I was one of those people taking high amounts of Opiates and millions of failed attempts going cold turkey on my own. My first piece of advice is if you already haven't find yourself someone who specializes in Suboxone not just any ole doc willing to prescribe it. Secondly no matter what anyone says whether its positive feedback or negative everyone is different and every doctor is different. I met with normal doctors who would have prescribed me Subs but their information was severely lacking they really had no plan on how long I should be on how to taper they all said it was up to me.
At that point I was in no place to take things in my own hands and I tried tapering off the opiates to begin with I was taking loritab 7.5 about 15-20 a day and 50mg tramadol around 15-20 a day for a long time. I was so scared of using that I was afraid to even sleep because of how much I was using I feared I would not wake up. Anyways after reading the back and forth of people on this site I was afraid to use subs to because honestly for a long time when I was detoxing there were not many people who were for subs and the stories and information matched those views. So I sought my own information I have an Associates degree in Medical Science so I dug through my pharmaceutical books, I used trusted peer reviewed sites online everything I could and I searched and found a specialist who practices specifically in the use of subs for detox patients. Much like the doctors before he did let me take my own detox in my hands. He helped me figure out a plan of attack which started out with me admitting myself to the hospital in the detox clinic. They wanted me to stay for two weeks but I have three children and they were at that time only gone for a week.
I waited the first night like instructed to and skipped my doses and as soon as I was in full withdraw I took my first dose of subs which was under the tongue 8mg/2mg. Now I want to tell you that because Tramadol is a synthetic Opiate the subs took the withdraw down a lot but I still felt like I had the flu for many days and started my dose at 8mg/2mg 3 times a day because of the high toxic amounts I had been abusing for so long it was the only way I could come down safely without the immense terror and anxiety associated with the pain and trust me I would rather give birth to all three of my children at once then go through that ever again.
My doctor informed me that the main thing to remember is everyone's situation is different, their drug of choice, how much they take, how long they have taken it, the why and how they ended up at suboxone so the how long they should take it, what dose and the tapering is always different. My doctor showed me statistics from people (no names or any other info) just information from my city on how long and what doses they used. It basically summed up what percent of people did best at what dose and how long etc.. But the information was all over the place because so many people were so different its not easy to say what goes well with who. In a nut shell some people will tell you its better short term and some will say long term but really only you know what you need you may not realize it now but you will know your own strength and will find your own terms as you go through detox on subs. So please take the advice you are given but
Anyways but become tuned into your own body. If at first the medicine seems like its to much or not enough tell your doctor right away. If you set a plan like for me I did not start with a plan but because of the side effects I faced using Subs (extreme constipation landed me in the hospital among other problems) I had no choice for myself to get off at this time I was only at 2 months of use and down to two 8mg/2mg pills morning and night. At this time over the next course of the 3rd month I weaned myself down sliver by sliver to one a day (1/2 in the morning and 1/2 in the evening).
When I finally decided to get off subs completely my doctor already had a recipe ready to treat the physical and mental symptoms of detox. (I have to say before I list what I took I failed so many times due to the Mental aspect of detox the depression and anxiety were to much for me. So kudos to everyone who made it through that without extra help) My doctor prescribed me four medicines (mind you I was already on meds for my bipolar, depression, anxiety, adhd, ocd, Ptsd) So I was already on medicine for these issues I still suffered horribly.
Anyways the medicines I was prescribed were:
Dycyclomine for tummy cramps etc
Metoclopramide which was for nausea and vomitting
Klonopin 3 mgs a day
Now I was told specifically that I could not take these with subs I had to quit the subs first then I could start this plan and it worked so well. I started the subs 177 days ago I have been clean off of Subs now for 82 days I used subs for 95days and I jumped at 8mg/2mg and with the regimen above had little to no withdraw at all. Like I said before though this is my experience and you may need it for longer but due to the side effects of Subs I could not be on any longer and I thanked god I did not suffer withdraw side effects when I stopped subs! Hope I have helped you in anyway I can feel free to msg me with any other comments or concerns!
I'm not gonna go into a huge long story about my experience and use because it has all been said above but I will say suboxone saved my life plain and simple and I read above someone say subs are harder to get off than oxy and I completely disagree with that. You will read horror stories and success stories but the biggest thing I see in all of them are the horror stories all have the same thing going and that is a person did not do the suboxone therapy the right way no matter how long one is on it when used the right way and the correct taper is done and everything when coming off suboxone is FAR easier to come off of than any pain med because you go down to almost nothing and skip days and all that and once you come off your body is used to having pretty much nothing and withdrawal is very minimal and at the same time you learn how to live life sober while on suboxone. I know its not being actually clean while on suboxone but it is living without being high and actually facing life on life's terms not running from problems by getting high. It really did save my life and learning to deal with life again with a clear head not being high all the time was huge for me and why suboxone worked for me because I could do what I needed to fix myself and not worry about withdrawal. Just be responsible and don't use it as an in between to stay out of withdrawal when you can't get the pain pills you want and go to na or aa meeting or therapy or whatever you have planned to help you learn how to live a sober life again and you will know when you are ready to be off the suboxone and then go for it and u will find it to not be as horrible as some of the stories I'm sure you have read but infact the complete opposite. Well feel free to Msg me if you have any questions or just wanna talk or whatever the reason and I will gladly help you any way I can.
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