Information, Symptoms, Treatments and Resources

Members experiences coming off of suboxone .

      Members experiences coming off of suboxone


I am compiling some of our members experiences while using and then coming off of suboxone .People who are considering going  on suboxone read threw this so you know how it has been for others .Then also research research research before you make any decision. If   you have taken suboxone and have gotten off of it plz tell us about your experiences .You can either added it on yourself or if you feel more comfortable send it on to me and I will add.



Post by: Itsreallynotthatbad



I would like to start out by saying I'm not trying to be mean in any way. I was on Suboxone for about a year back in 2004. Before I got on the Sub's I took pills for many years Oxy/Perc/Viks/methadone/etc! If it had opiates I took it! When I decided to get help I was up to about 5-6 80mg oxycontin a day. I got help, and was started on suboxone. I really do believe if used correctly it is a wonder drug, and saves lifes. I was on 16mg a day for about a year. I was living in WI at the time. I have family there, and that is the place I wanted to go to get clean. I would have stayed on a little longer, but I had to go back to AZ. The band I was in at the time was getting ready to go on a world tour. As it was I didn't have insurance so I was paying about 500 a month for my Suboxone, and it seemed like I was spending more on sub's then I did on the street. That was not the point though. I know I felt a lot better than I did on street drugs, and was living a much healthier lifestyle. So I told my suboxone Doctor that I needed to get back to AZ, and he tried to set me up with a Sub Doctor out there. Unfortunately the closest Sub Doc was 300 miles away. Keep in mind it was still a very new drug out in 2004. So we decided that he would write me my last Suboxone Prescription, and I would tapper of of those last 60. That is exactly what I did. I went from 16mg to 14mg for a few day's. Then from 14mg to 12mg for a few days, and so on until I was down to taking only little peice's 1mg at the most. I continued the 1mg then to 1/2mg for about 2 weeks. When I woke up one morning I decided that was the day I was going to quit. I still had a few pills, but I didn't want to put off the inevitable any longer. I felt ok for the first couple day's. Then by day three or four I started to feel worse. It wasn't that bad though. It was manageable. I would say It didn't get much worse, but it didn't get any better for about 2 weeks. After 2 weeks I wasn't completly better I felt ok just no energy. So I drank a little more coffee or soda for awile to try to balance things out. I kept myself really busy with work, and my band. Anything to keep my mind busy. I would say after about a month I was feeling fine. I had lot's of support from family and friends. Which is very imortant in my opinion. I have noticed a lot of people on this website, and other websites that say how hard it is to get off Suboxone. I have also heard people even say it was worse then getting off herion, and oxycontin. I do not believe that is true. I think a majority of the people that claim to have had that hard of a time coming off of Suboxone convinced themselves that it was going to be worse then it has to be. Coming off of an addictive drug that your mind, and body is used to, takes a lot of mind control to do it right. If you convince yourself that it is going to be the worst thing you have ever gone through. Then it can become really bad. You have to be willing, and ready to get off Suboxone. I didn't have that much time to get off sub's by I made a very tough decision, and told myself I am going to do this, and I know I can do this. If you have to then go ahead and tell yourself that everyday. I have been clean now for 6 years. You can do it! You can make it easier for yourself! I am living proff of this. I have helped other people before to get off Suboxone the same way that I did with 100% success everytime. I just hope people will read this, and it will help them feel a little better about tappering and quiting Suboxone. When you are ready of course. Stay clean, and be good to each other.                                                              Timmy 


 by ochooked

Sometimes I fear that I may sound like a broken record with my cautions about taking Sub.  I  started on Sub and only stayed on it for 21 days. I took my last crumb of Sub 42 days ago and I think I am finally clear of most of the symptoms of W/D.  It was pure he11 for the first 2 weeks or so - then got progressively better.  I was still having periodic W/D's (tremors/hot/cold/runs, etc) up until two days ago, but now the only problem I have is tiredness.  I think I have finally gotten through the rough part.  It would have been so much better to continue my taper on Hydros or Percocets and then jumped.  Knowledge is power but at the time I got on Sub, I really didn't know any of this horror story.  Of course when I was in such agony I began to read posts from others who had the same problem.   I know that most people do not look past the first page on the site so every few days there are totally new posts ----- so, I have tried to share my experience with the board so that others may know what I went through.  It will be interesting to see how many others respond to this thread.  All the best.

  By refusingbondage

  used it twice. Once I took it for about little over a month and did not taper, and the w.d was 10x's worse then when I went c.t from about 15 80mg oxys a day. Then I tried it again and did another short term treatment, but this time tapered down to about shavings every other day, and the w.d was not too bad. I do not think it should be continued as long term. I don't personally consider someone as physically clean while on sub. And I am NOT saying this in a mean way..I merely mean that physically, your body is dependant on the sub, as well as the previous opiate you were on. The difference is with Sub you aren't acting like an addict and aren't in active addiction where you spike doses, steal, lie, fake pain, dr shop...pretty much all of the above.

I think it is helpful for short term purposes. I mean, I understand the need to use it long term, because people don't want to relapse into their old Drug. But you don't relapse because you are already getting an opiate? I mean, most dont get that. When the sub is stopped, and you don't relapse back to your old Drug or the Sub, then you are clean. Aftercare is a huge part of recovery. Probably the hardest part.

Anyway..Yes. I would use it again. But NOT high amounts and NOT longer then a few opinion only...

 BY Lisacamdave  

I think alot of the reason that people tend to stay on sub long term, is because they actually feel good on the sub, not high but "normal" or what they remember feeling normal is. For me, I felt unstoppable on the sub. I was alert, had energy and had NO desire to go back to Oxy's. I was unaware at the time that I was in fact still ingesting partial opiates, just not acting as an addict would. Being that you are no longer paying for drugs off the street, forging scripts,, snorting, shooting up, spiking...counting pills..lying, stealing..pretty much everything we do as addicts. We feel as though because we aren't doing these things we are clean and in recovery. And while I do agree you are in recovery, because you are working towards getting off your DOC and getting clean. I don't really think you are home free yet. To me, you know you are clean, when you can wake up for one full week, get though every day, without taking your DOC and/or the sub.

I have heard of many stories, both good and bad, of people who tapered down to as little as they could and had no w.d other then headaches. And then some who also tapered down to little and had massive w.d. I don't personally believe you can just by-pass w.d. I think that we all want to find a way to do that and its just not possible. But reading Jenz story, I guess it has to be. I believe that the mind sometimes makes your w.d a little harder. Because I can remember being in full blown w.d from Oxy's if my dealer was out, and when he would call and say he got them in, I would instantly feel better knowing I was going to get them soon? I mean, I would go from NOT being able to get out from underneath the covers cause I had chills so bad, to getting that call that he had them and being able to get up, get dressed, drive to the bank and go get the pills. So I think some of it, not a lot, but some is in your head.

No matter how you slice it, addiction and w.d is just plain horrible. And I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. But I think most are not seeing that the w.d is not the hardest part, its staying clean. I have had my share of relapses and this is the longest I have been clean to date. So I hope I can continue on. There are good days, and bad days. And this forum helps me stay grounded. Aftercare people....its the best way to stay clean.

But this is a good topic and like you said Avis, if we keep it calm and rational, it will be very informative for some people. I think we all get so caught up in our own opinions and what WE think is right, we lose sight of what's important and that's to educate anyone who may not know anything on Sub. story is above and if anyone has any questions about my story, please feel free to ask


By flmagi

I'm still on the Suboxone. It's been 8 months now and I flip between 4 -6 mgs per day. And like Liscamdave said..I feel normal, not high.  I don't get the high energy from it, maybe a little in the first few months.  I should be trying to taper from it, but I have not given any real attempts at it. I think I fear the depression I'll probably experience more than the withdrawal symptoms. I'm also on Cymbalta for depression, which I have been tapering off of.  I'm going to switch to Zoloft soon.
Anyway... Would I do the Sub again?   Yes, I think I would, of course I haven't gone thru the withdrawals yet.  And if I could do it over, I would have at least gotten down to a much lower dose in the first month or so. I have a lot more tapering to do than Mary, who did get way down on her dose early on.
Would I recommend it?  I have 2 versions of criteria for recommendation.
1.  If you have tried over and over again to get clean, really tried, only to relapse again and again, and your addict behavior is putting your life or your families welfare in serious jeopardy, legally, physically, and financially. You truly believe you have run out of options.
2. Circumstances beyond your control do not allow you the luxury of the down time needed to go thru the worst part of withdrawals and would only need to use it for a week or two. And would not have any major problems dealing with the left over withdrawals after that.
I have certainly come to terms with the fact I'm going to be in for a pretty ruff time when I decide it's time to come off the Sub. I've accepted that.
My biggest regret, (other than getting addicted in the first place) is the last time I got clean. I was clean for 3 months and feeling great except for depression. I tried to wait it out, hoping it would go away. My depression got extremely severe and caused me to relapse. Had I gotten on some anti-depressant before I let it get so bad, I honestly think I would not have relapsed and I wouldn't be on Sub now.
I'm not happy that I'm on Sub...still on it. But this is where I'm at.
I get very concerned when I hear people asking about the depression after the withdrawals. My advise is to get to the doctor and get on an anti-depressant. Even if it's just for a short while. Much better than relapsing or ending up on Sub. Every effort must be exhausted before going the Sub


By jenz in recovery

hey i started taken sub due to the fact that i was doing oxyz intaveinously..and about 5 80mg and 5 30mg ones a day..shootin them mite i add and i took sub for a month and we had a bad hurricane here and when i ran out the dr.s r the pharms here had no elect. so i had to get off and i never had the 1st w/d symptom...i never felt any different....sub is the only reason im clean to this day! it saved my life! and i thank god that i got on the sub treament....but when i got down to my last 10 subs i started to take a 1/2 then a 1/4 then just a crumb..and then none  i was off no w/d and have never felt better in my whole life! it was my saving grace!!!
I have posted before here re my son's successful detox off Methadone using Sub. It was a slow and low taper over a three month period and he had some mild WDs-  never missed work. 3 months later he is still completely well.
I think there are lots of experiences out there. I wish that everyone journaled their journey and particulars so we could compare and see if there are any similarities among good experiences vs bad. Sometimes I think we might be comparing apples to oranges.  If you are interested in reading MANY good experiences, I recommend Lots of sub users migrate to that site because of their positive support for sub users.  
 BY HenryS354To: Everyone
By Lynn
Hey all,

  I wont get into my history of drug use,as the point is I used IV pharmaceutical opiates. I used a lot for 7 years, went the methadone route, and even underwent Ultra rapid anesthesia assisted detox, and now I am on sub.

Sub saved my life, but it is a real B**** to get off of.  I have been taking sub since March 25th, 2008 inducted at 16 mgs daily.  I am now at 1mg daily and having a hell of a time getting off.  I dont know if the wd's for me are worse than ct or just different.

I have noticed that people coming off sub either have one of two experiences... Pure hell or a cakewalk.

For me my sub wd's consist of Itching, sleeplessness, depression, and a lot of RLS, tremors, and aggitation with a lot of nervousness/jitteryness.  

I do believe that naivity can play a huge role in wd symptoms.

My personal experience the first time I wd from my DOC was unique, but i hear this from others from time to time.  The first time I ct'd I was using somewhere around 1200mcg's of IV fentanyl every 2 hours round the clock.  This went on for roughly 4 months until I got caught diverting drugs from work.  (I was a surgical tech)

At that time I didnt know what wd's were.  The ONLY symptom I got was some dizziness if I stood up too fast, or turned my head real fast.  And that was all.  It wasnt until I started researching and reading all the horror stories and pain that people go through with wd's that I started having symptoms the next time I ct'd or tapered my doc.

For me, sub wd's at this point in my life hit me a little worse than they should.  Im taking some time off from medical school (2 years left) And I wanted to see the world, so I took a job as an international Flight attendant.  Its hard for me to wd and taper as I am gone on extended trips overseas usually 18-26 days in length.  I travel through many different time zones daily so my sleep and internal clock is already messed up.  Somedays I will start my day in Keflavik, Iceland where the temperature is 40 degrees farenheit and get on a plane and fly to Kuwait where the temp is 120 degrees.  I spend many hours in a VERY dry and pressurized enviroment where oxygen intake is limited.  My eating schedule is all out of whack. And the worst part is lets say I have a flight Early Monday Morning at 2am, I fly all morning and all day into the evening (Usually 18 hour trips) get back around Midnight tuesday. I sleep late into the morning tuesday, then Im up all night cause I slept all day.  But the problem is now Wednesday I have to fly again in the early Am.

Its so hard for me to go through wd's because my body is so messed up.  

For the time being Im going to stick to 1mg until I end my fling career which will be soon.  Once I have some stability in my life, then I will attack this taper with full force, and finally get truly clean.

Best of luck to everyone out there, and many thoughts and prayers for the addicts and their families out there that are still suffering.
My story is very strange, and I'll keep it as short as I can (although my post exceeded the character limit, so it will be a two-parter). I was a pothead. I didn't even like pills. In college, I had experimented with everything here and there, such as a few months on Ecstasy, a few months of trying cocaine, shrooms and acid here and there, marijuana, and a Perc here and there, given to me by the dishwasher at Applebee's to help us work faster. It felt good but it wasn't my thing. I was a daily weed smoker for about 4 years. I smoked every day through college, and the year after I didn't know at the time, but this was self-medicating a whole lot of issues, because as things happened in my life I was already feeling good so I didn't need to deal with them. Then my parents decided to sell the family home I grew up in, I was accepted as an instructor at a prestigious tennis camp in Maine, and I had an application in to the Master's program at Florida State. A lot of life changes were on the horizon, but I was excited about them. About three weeks before I was set to leave for Maine, I decided to stop smoking pot so I could get in shape (I know... three weeks was NOT enough time, but I was cocky then). THE VERY NEXT DAY, my life changed and has not been right since. I woke up with this horrible feeling that I couldn't explain to anyone. I felt wierd all over my body and I felt like I had to concentrate on my breathing. Have you ever had that? Where you're focused on your breathing? Because then you know that once you start you can't stop. Then the panic attacks came and I took myself to the ER. They ran all kinds of tests, including an EKG, but everything was normal. At one point, I was PRAYING it was hyperthyroidism, because something like that is treatable. I had never been an anxious person, so I didn't chalk it up to anything mental at all. In fact, I had ran out of marijuana many times in the past, and had gone without it for weeks at a time before, and I felt fine. Friends were making fun of me because "marijuana isn't addictive." Bullsh*t. It had a psychological hold on me, and now that I had it in my head that I didn't want to do it anymore, my body was reacting negatively. Of course, I didn't know any of this at the time, this is all hindsight. So I spent 4 months in complete agony. I couldn't go out with friends, because I was afraid of having a panic attack or some other breathing problem. I couldn't sleep. I was focused on every single body feeling that I had. I would lay in bed, propped up because it was found that I had Acid Reflux and I was hoping that this was what was wrong with me. I would finally drift off to sleep, then wake myself up with a panic attack. I woke up every morning by 7am, and all I could do was go on the computer to the Anxiety Forum that I found back then. I was in hell, and I couldn't understand why this was happening to me. The worst part was that it was impossible to explain to anyone, and when I tried people just said, "oh you're probably just tired, or stressed." Needless to say, I cancelled tennis camp because there was no way I could have functioned there. I was unemployed so I had my days free to just pine over how I was feeling. Some days I thought that if someone had told me I would feel that way forever, I would surely kill myself. At least I had hope. So I started taking Xanax here and there, but all that did was make me tired, and I tried Lexapro but that didn't help either. I dealt with it for 3 years. I didn't have any kind of normal life. Then I had dental surgery, and was prescribed Vicodin. This was the first time since being "afflicted" with this horrible ailment that I would be taking a painkiller. It IMMEDIATELY made me feel normal. I felt like I had years ago, before even smoking weed. The fact that Vicodin made my mind and body feel normal again, proved to me that my affliction was drug related. If there were any other cause, then taking a drug like that wouldn't help, right? So now that I had found what I thought was the perfect medication for my illness, I took one every day. Soon I got used to feeling back to normal. At one time, I was actually angry that I had tried Xanax and Lexapro, because here was this miracle drug. And that's how my addiction began. After a year, I was up to 3 10mg pills every morning, and 3 at night before bed. I had stolen a stack of scripts from my dentist's office, and perfected her signature, so the flow of pills was not a problem. Then my girlfriend of 4 years found them, and I was done. She threatened to call the dentist, and the pharmacy, if I didn't quit. She also made me flush everything I had, which I did. She didn't know that I had some scripts left in the trunk of my car, but I went three days without the pills. I was a waitress then and working during withdrawal was pure h*ll. My girlfriend took the pills away on Friday. Monday morning I was at Walgreens filling a new script. Thus began another run with the pills, and I was keeping the bottle under my mattress in our bedroom. I was sleeping there by myself because things weren't good at that time, due to my lying and the pills and a lot of things, so she was sleeping in the guest room. I would say I was on the pills for another 4 months. I walked into my bedroom after a shower one day, and my empty pill bottles were laid out on top of my bed. My heart completely sank. I couldn't go out there and face her the whole day, I just stayed in my room thinking of what to say. When I went out there, I tried to explain how withdrawal feels, and that I need to taper and not quit cold turkey, and that I needed some kind of help. She screamed a lot about my being a liar, and I just kept explaining that I couldn't do it cold turkey. I'll skip a lot of drama here, but this time the pills were taken away the day before starting my new job!!! The first day was easy because it was orientation, and I was pretty much plopped at a desk and left there to explore on my own. The next two days, however, I was supposed to be in training. The first day, I played sick and left early. It was here that I found out about Suboxone, and read up on it, and then begged my girlfriend to lend me the money to get started. She played a good game, saying why should I help you, you did this to yourself. She finally caved, because I was getting a paycheck in two days anyway, and she took me to the doctor. Incidentally, I was on day 3 of withdrawal, so there was no question about not waiting long enough. The doctor gave me the script, and $310 later I had my Suboxone. I took a 4 mg pill right there in the car, and we drove home. My girlfriend and I layed on the couches in our living room, and I can still remember what it felt like. I was in full withdrawal, shaking and moving all around because I couldn't get comfortable, and that aweful tunnel breathing feeling I get. After 15 minutes, I felt able to lay down and relax, which I did, and then I didn't even notice when it took its full effect. I was just all of a sudden feeling better. I could not believe how much better I felt. Here I was again, finding that miracle drug for my ailment. But no one told me that it wasn't a medication for addiction, but a partial opiate, designed to keep the receptors full. I will have been on Suboxone for one year on October 29th, and I feel like I have my life back. But I feel like it is a false life. And lately reality has been sinking in that this can't last forever. I want to have children soon, and be pregnant, and I can't be on this medication. It is also becoming quite a burdon, having to wait for ten minutes every morning while the d*mn thing dissolves, and then trying not to gag when brushing my teeth right after. It's becoming redundant, and I am starting to resent it. It would be great if it came in simple pill form, but the process has just taken its toll on me over the past year. The thought of getting off of it doesn't scare me simply because the withdrawals are bad, or because I'll need aftercare. Believe me, if someone told me that they knew for certain that when I go through detox and withdrawal that I will start to feel better... And I don't need to feel "better" like normal people feel, just the way other addicts describe feeling when their withdrawal symptoms go away, then I would gladly embrace the process today. But I feel that when I let go of the opiates, I will have the same issue that I had 4 years ago to go back to, because did that ever really go away? I think I've just been masking it. And that really was the most horrible feeling, and the most horrible time in my life. I CANNOT go back to it, or I will simply not make it. I have the dream job I have always wanted, as a case worker with the State, and I am successful. I don't have the time and energy to go back to a bout of anxiety and depression, and breathing problems like I had before. Part of me has faith that perhaps this time will be different, if my mindset is different, and if I go to substance abuse counseling. But the other part of me is skeptical, thinking "what can they really do to fix this way that I feel?" I just don't see how it's possible to heal someone's mind when it is this badly damaged. I hate the fact that I ever thought drugs were okay, and I hate my father for being a drug addict and passing the gene down to me, and I hate myself for starting in the first place. So now I am just maintaining myself, and buying time, to figure out what to do. I believe that Suboxone could have saved my life, if I used it as a short term detox method instead of a year-long crutch. Well, I've read at leat 20-30 horror stories about Suboxone on here the last week or so. I will be honest, I try and be silent about Suboxone because it is an absolute personal choice. I really would hate to convince someone to go one way or another. I just want to let people know that there are success stories out there as well. I am an addict. My DOC was oxy's, up to 100-150mg per day. I tried cold turkey 3-4 times and relapsed every time. I made an appointment with a Suboxone Doctor who suggested a 19 day taper at first. That went flawlessly and I had NO withdrawals coming off. Unfortunately I relapsed within a week. It then occurred to me that getting clean was no problem (painful..but I could do it). My problem is staying clean. So, last February I went on Suboxone and maintained a maintenance dose until December. I tapered as I could. Finally getting down to 2mg a day, then 1mg, then .5mg, then .5mg every other day, then .5mg every 3 days, then nothing. My withdrawal symptoms included a mild headache for a few days and one and off mild anxiety. I never had any stomach problems, no RLS, no aches, no pains, no depression, no crying fits, and best of cravings. The Suboxone basically put my addictive behavior into remission while I worked on the disease. I began seeing a therapist and have been seeing him for close to a year. I  also attend an occasional NA meeting (which I should do more). This is the way that worked for me. If someone is on Suboxone long term, then they should be taking that time to work on recovery. I also see many terrible stories of prolonged withdrawals when people come off of Suboxone. I notice that many of the people jump at dosages of 1mg or higher. I personally think this is too high. Get down to crumbs if you have to. OK, I'll get off my little soapbox now. I don't want to start any sort of flaming war...I just wanted to let the people thinking about Suboxone that there are people who truly believe that this drug saved their lives. I know because I'm one of them. God bless everyone fighting this devil.








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