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Addiction: Substance Abuse Community
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538697 tn?1218415082

Legal question regarding suboxone

Hi...

I hope someone can answer this question.  I started the Suboxone treatment yesterday with a horrible outcome.  Long story short, I ended up finding another detox location closer to my home to go through instead of the one I went to yesterday.  The med office wanted me to come in on a daily basis to get my dose for the day.  Mind you, I paid, up front for the pills.  I got my prescription filled, then decided that I didn't want to do it that way, and came home with my prescription.  
I don't need anyone writing saying that the docs do that for safety, blah blah blah.  I know this.  I get the reasons why they do it.  My situation is different though and I'm not willing to play by their rules.  Might sound bad to you, but I'm being honest.  I plan on taking the pills WHEN they are needed.. only when I'm symptomatic.  After a week to 10 days, I then plan on weening myself off the Suboxone.  I understand that the withdrawal from that is not as bad as with Lortab.  I started taking the Lortab because of kidney stones, not because I was trying to get high or party or whatever.  I became physically addicted because of a medical situation.
My question is this..... can I get into any LEGAL trouble for not returning to the clinic?  I did not sign anything nor was I an inpatient.  The "rules" at the clinic were that I was to get the RX filled, bring it back to the clinic and let them dispense it to me daily.  I just got the RX filled and drove home.  I'm going to do this MY way.  
I just don't want the cops showing up causing problems for me.  Maybe a bit paranoid.  But right now, with the way I feel, that's the last thing I need.
Thanks.  
Thanks in advance.
134 Responses
451343 tn?1256254431
YEA ive always tried to do things my way too, cause my body wanted the drug and that was that. i too started taking lortab due to a medical situation and six years later im doing things completely out of character to obtain my drug. ive taken other peoples meds. lied to doctors and on and on. in some of the situations i didn't get caught but i was always left with the guilt of not doing the right thing. mind you, some situations i did get caught and now im being forced to do something about my addiction. im leaving for in patient treatment in one week and its really a result of doing things MY WAY. I see your point................i never wanted anyone  handing out my drugs either, never wanted people to spoil my plans. now im face to face with life doing things others way or death.

best of luck to ya. god bless
175734 tn?1225138040
No I dont think you can get in trouble....Suboxone docs are taught that the people they will be seeing are addicts who are at thier last straw.....(and i think they say take em for everything you can)....It's leagel drug dealing....Can you imagine buying drugs from someone and then giving them back to the dealer to give to you when he wants......

There is a reason he had you fill the script.......If you gave them to him on your own then there would be nothing you could do.....

I bet (knowing Sub doctors) that he bugs the hell out of you....Even tells you that the cops are coming.....Send certified letters....Bill you extra......

I think only crooked doctors get into the Sub bussiness....and i bet they all had some issues that caused them to start the Sub program....
560811 tn?1217109890
I dont know much about Sub ,  But isnt it addictive in itself?  Im not saying that its a bad thing . As long as a person is able to get off of it when the WD process is over. Im not much help as far as what they can do.  I had to taper and did fine with that because I was scared to go the sub or methadone route due to more addiction. Good luck.
Avatar universal
I understand how you feel about wanting to do things your way, I know I felt that way many times.  I won't lecture you on how un-healthy it is to continue to do the same things expecting different results - I'm sure you already know that.  I'm not sure what the legal ramifications are of "running" away from the agreement you had with the clinic/detox.  I do know that if the rules were to bring the prescription to them for dispensing, you will be hearing from them one way or another.  I also want to tell you that you may not know as much about Suboxone as you think for a couple of reasons.  First - detoxing from suboxone can be difficult, and in some cases more difficult than the drugs we used beforehand.  Second - a week to 10 days may not be the right detox schedule for you and after that time span you will still feel withdrawals.  

Also, many people became physically and mentally addicted to pain medication due to a medical situation such as yours.  Not everyone becomes an addict by "partying". Please don't take offense to this, but it sounds as though you either don't understand addiction or are not ready to stop.  You said "My situation is different though and I'm not willing to play by their rules."  All addicts say that over the course of time, and this may come back to bite you.  These clinics/detox centers have rules set in place for reasons - one of them being that we don't know everything. Which ultimately is why we go there to start with.   Your honesty is appreciated, however, your decision may have more than just legal ramifications.  You could also still go to/call the detox and be honest with them about what's going on, and they may be able to work something out that better suits you and your lifestyle.  Good luck to you in your endeavor!
199177 tn?1490502134
As cat said most of the people here became addicted because of chronic health problems. Honestly the way we ended up getting addicted in the long run really does not matter addicted is addicted regardless of how you started .
There is a possibility you could get in trouble .The doctor prescribed those meds for you to work a program and your now refusing to do . Its kind of important especially in the beginning to have a doctor involved until you can be stabilized on a starting dose.There is nothing wrong with short tapers That would be the only way I would ever use it .With long term use it really ends up being just as bad as your d.o.c
538697 tn?1218415082
Hi and thanks for the concern and all the input.  

I understand where everyone is coming from regarding the way I've chosen to do this detox.  I realize that addicts are manipulators and that many are in denial about their illness.  I know that for many of you, reading what I've said above makes you think that I'm in total denial about my illness.  I get it.  However, I'm not.  Once I realized that I was no longer in pain, which was about 10 days ago, I decided it was time to get off the pain meds.  I contacted Kaiser and made an appointment for the detox program.  It took a week to get me in to see the doctor.  That was last Friday.  I went in and answered a bunch of questions that a nurse had asked me, never once seeing a doctor.  The ridiculous thing about that doctor visit is that
#1.  I never saw a doctor.
#2.  I received NONE of the information that I was given yesterday (about having to come to the clinic daily)

I just found it so pathetic that the information I was giving to the nurse was then being relayed to the doctor (by the nurse) and that is how the doctor was forming his opinion.  He based his diagnosis and his detoxing program for me without EVER seeing me or speaking to me.  I only saw him right before he gave me the script for the meds.  Yesterday, after I posted about just leaving after getting my RX filled, the doctor did reach me by phone.. needless to say, he was not thrilled with my behavior and the consequences to my behavior is that he has blocked my medical record number from being allowed any opiate scripts being written to it.  Which is pretty laughable anyway considering that is the whole point of the detox in the first place.  Another interesting thing is that my primary doctor can overwrite that if she wants to anyway.  We have a wonderful professional relationship and I've always been honest with her about things.  There is a mutual respect.  As long as I would have called in for the refill on my lortab, she would have filled it.  It was I who contacted her once I realized that I wasn't in pain any more and asked about getting off the lortab comfortably.
Anyway....... after I posted yesterday... my husband and I spent hours, and I mean hours, reading information on Suboxone.  We discussed what we'd read and came up, together, with a plan for my detoxing.  After all he read, my husband admitted to me that he was concerned that I perhaps was not being totally honest about my taking the pain meds with him.  He said he'd feel better if he was in control of my meds and was able to dispense them to me daily.  For me, that wasn't any big deal.  After all, I know my husband loves me and it is only out of concern for me.  I knew that I wouldn't have any problem if the meds were sitting in our medicine cabinet and I was able to take them as I needed them.  But he said he would feel better if he had them in his possession.  Ok.  He has put them in his safe, which I do not know the combination.  We both came to the realization that the shortest amount of time on the Suboxone is best.  I really want to use them for less than the 21 days (which seems to be the shortest recommended detox).  So, right now, we are being I guess optimistic..... since I've never taken the drug for any amount of time, I don't know how realistic we're being.  But we're going to try this.  I have taken 2, 2 mg pills today.  I am going to try to not take anymore until tomorrow.  Only if I'm deathly ill tonight will I take another one.  But if it's just lack of sleep that is affecting me, I'm not taking one.  My husband has even said he'll drink coffee and stay awake with me watching movies or giving me back rubs.  Whatever it takes.  So if I can handle only the 2 pills today, then tomorrow our plan is to only take a pill when I'm EXTREMELY ill.  We're hoping that I'll only need 1 pill tomorrow.  Our thoughts are even with the worst scene scenario being that I end up taking 2 pills a day for a week....... then the following week will be me weening off the suboxone.  We discussed the fact that it seems the longer you are taking the suboxone, the worse the detox is...... if I could actually ween off the Suboxone in a week to 10 days, my detox program will be over within hopefully 14 days.  But even if it takes 21 days, that means that I'll be weening off the meds for over a week, not actually taking it for 21 days before stopping it.
Gosh, I hope that makes sense.  
While it's a little discouraging that my husband has doubts right now.. I'm okay with it because ... well first of all, I sort of proved him wrong by my willingness to give up the meds and let him handle them for me.  But I just feel like that I'll prove to him that there is no manipulation going on nor is there any denial.  That will only be proven with time and my success with the detox plan we've worked out.  
The last thing we plan to do is when I'm finished detoxing... I plan to take the remaining suboxone pills back to the doctor who gave me the script for them in the first place.  Hopefully he'll listen to how I did MY detox and maybe even learn something.  I know this much already, the amount they told me I should be taking each day to start with, I did not need that much.  They wanted me to take 12 mg a day.  Yesterday, I took a total 6 mg and I was fine.  That is half the amount they were planning on giving me.  
I suppose I'm being very optimistic.  But I think it's better to be positive than be negative.  I mean, I will hate to have to eat crow and post here that I've been totally wrong and I'm sicker than a dog and the plan we came up with failed miserably... but if that's the case, I'll admit that and seek more help.  But I really think I'll be able to keep everyone posted daily on how I've been feeling and the amounts I've taken each day with the end result being my success at stopping all opiates.  
I do appreciate all input... neg and pos.  Thanks for everyone who responded.  I will write tomorrow and let you all know how it's going.  Thanks again.

K  
538697 tn?1218415082
I had a great night.  I was able to sleep.  I did end up taking a total of 3 pills, for a total of 6mg yesterday.  I was comfortable all day.  I took a pill this morning at 8:00 am and I continue to feel great.  
Through several back and forth conversations with another member here, My husband and I slightly revised my detox plan.  I won't go into it again, but it's just a little bit shorter than the original one.  By about 6 days.  
I am still feeling optimistic.  I see the phrase, "get out of jail free" card used a lot and maybe I was given one.  I think it's still too early to tell.  But as of right now, I feel like this drug, Suboxone, is in fact the miracle pill.  Another strange thing for me, when I put things into perspective is the fact that just ONE of my lortab pills has MORE of the opiate in it than the THREE pills I took yesterday.  Lortab has 7.5 mg of the opiate and the Sub has 2 mg per pill.  I realize that there is a difference in the two drugs and their chemical make ups, but when I realized that fact, much of feelings of well being didn't really make sense.  When you consider the fact that in a day I was taking up to 10 lortabs, at 7.5 mg each pill, and then cutting that opiate usage down to 6 mg PER DAY .. I should be feeling terrible.
Today is day 4.  I keep waiting for the bomb to drop.  So far, so good.  I keep praying and asking the Lord to continue to carry me.  I've been thinking so much about that poem "Footprints"... you guys know the one... I really feel like I am being carried right now.  And that if there was sand, there would only be one set of footprints.  I'm praising MY God like you wouldn't believe.
I'll check back later and let you know how my day ended up being.  
Thanks again for all the emails and posts and support.  You all are truly wonderful for your care and concern.
Avatar universal
Hi there:

I hate to be the person to give you the bad news but you are very uninformed about sub.

How many lortabs were you taking daily?

IMHO if it isn't a great quantity then tapering off the lortab would have been much easier than weening off sub. Sub is a wonderful tool if you have a huge habit or are a heroin user but that is where it should stop.

You say you are taking less opiate than one lortab? Did your doctor not tell you these are two different beasts? Go to google and put in opiate and sub conversion and see what comes up. I know there are sites that do this but I think you have jumped from the frying pan into the fire unless you were on at least 20 lortab 10's a day.

I know doctors get carried away with this medicine but there are some good doctors out there and you are very wrong about your dosage. I imagine at 6mg a day you are feeling good.

I will look for the conversion site and let us know how many lortab 10's you were taking and we can hopefully help you with this.

Take care,
Jackie
Avatar universal
Hi I found the conversion. In order to for the lortab quantity to equal what you are now taking in sub you should have been taking at least 18 10mg hydro/lortab a day. Please get more information on sub before going any further.
Take care,
Jackie


Originally Posted By: nephro
I would like to see one of those charts.


Sorry Nephro I should not talk about it without posting the URL. My old bookmark is toast, but I found this by searching Opiate/Opioid conversion chart.
I am not sure if this is correct some look a little off and some look right. My old list was solid and for doctors to reference. This is some guy’s estimation. I'll keep looking, but for now look at this.

sorry the url was censored below is the info

#Pain Killer Equivalent Doses (Oral)
1.2mg.............Buprenorphine (Bupe)
200mg............Codeine (Tylenol 2, 3, 4, etc)
30-60mg.........Diacetylmorphine (Heroin) (orally it = morphine, IV/IM/insuffilated it's 2x as strong)
100mg............Dihydrocodeine
30mg..............Hydrocodone (Vicodin, Lorcet, etc)
7.5mg.............Hydromorphone (Dilaudid)
37.5µg............Fentanyl (not sure on this one, anyone know the oral dose equivalence for Fentanyl?)
4mg................Levorphanol (Dromoran)
300mg............Meperidine (Demerol)
10-20mg.........Methadone
30-60mg.........Morphine
20mg..............Oxycodone (Oxycontin, Percocet)
10mg..............Oxymorphone (Numorphan)
200-300mg.....Propoxyphene (Darvocet)
150mg............Tramadol (Ultram, Ultracet)

Avatar universal
I am sorry I didn't see where you posted you were taking 10 7.5's daily. You should then only be taking at the most 2.5mg of sub daily and thats at the high end.

My other advice about sub is do a quick taper down to the lowest dose you can take and jump. You will still have w/d's but the physical part will be better. The malaise and depression will unfortunately still be there.

I am sorry this isn't better news but it is better to know what you are up against.

Take care,
Jackie
175734 tn?1225138040
Keep trying....I would do the same thing you are.....

Remember less is more with Sub....I'm telling you take a half of a 2 mg pill....You will be surprised how much like a full one it is.....

Getting off Sub was real real hard for me .....So be careful..


Less is more..
538697 tn?1218415082
Hi again everyone....

so much negativity.  Kinda depressing  I managed yesterday to take only the 2 pills.  So a total of 4 mg of the Sub.  I had a comfortable day.  It's almost 11 am here and I have yet to take a pill today.  So, for me, my plan is working.  I am very comfortable and still weening off the meds.  I have my schedule up on the fridge and am sticking to.  Every person is different and we'll see what happens.  Maybe I will have to eat crow in the end, but right now, i'm feeling optimistic about how all of this is going to turn out.
Avatar universal
I am glad you are commited to getting off all this stuff. i do understand what you were saying..but listen..as far as sub..the above poster is correct about the conversion. You really can't compare the 2..just like methadone. Why not take a couple mgs less of sub and take it more frequently..like coolio said..break it in half..if you need it ,it will be there..but from the lower amount of the pain meds you were taking ,the w/ds probably wouldn't have been as bad as the sub can be..either way  good luck..
473503 tn?1225493564
In regards to the conversion i wanted to share what my doctor said to me about this when I asked him about this very thing.  He said there really is no way to actually "compare" suboxone to other opiates.  His example was: when you first come in and you have been taking 120 mg of hydro, oxy etc. and he gives you 8 mg that works to make you feel comfortable and takes away the withdraws.  You then proceed to taper and in two weeks you are now taking, say 4 mg, with the same effect then it actually looks like the 8 mg and the 4 mg would be the same as the 120 mg of hydro etc b/c it is making you comfortable.  I know I am not explaining this as well as he did but it made sense to me.  I am also sorry that you are getting negative feedback as I started on suboxone and did a quick taper.  I relapsed very quickly and realized that I had not given my body time to get used to being with the pills, as well as the "routine" that goes with it.  So, I am now back on suboxne and doing a slower taper.  Since I am not off of it yet I cannot tell you how it will be coming off but I have high hopes.  I am also going to NA meetings (actually just started) b/c I also realized you do need some help if, like me, you were taking them only for recreational purposes, not medical.  Good luck.  I know there are a lot of people on here who have had great results with suboxone, just not sure where they are right now.  

473503 tn?1225493564
Sorry, I meant to say I had not given my body time to get used to being 'without" the pills.  Oops!  = )
Avatar universal
I didn't want to sound negative I just wanted you to know you were not educated on sub. Sub is a very useful tool and done correctly can be very helpful. That being said I think you need a doctor and follow up plan in the picture. I know you were not happy with the sub doctor who gave you the prescription but there are others. Without a doctors help and follow up plan relapse is a big danger because when you stop the sub there are still w/d's. Your husband being on your side is a big plus but sometimes we need more.

I only share this information with you because I have unfortunately been down this road before.

I wish you the best of luck in your journey.

Jackie
560811 tn?1217109890
I think that people are trying to explain thats all. Most have been there . Getting sub and not going back is dangerous. And if you dont know about the drug it can be harmful. You could have left that clinic or told the doctor that you needed to speak to him more and not go through the nurse. There are always other doctors but now they have black listed you and if something bad did happen and you needed pain meds you cant get them. And I have worked with a pharmacy and sometimes it doesnt matter if your PCM will over write it . it comes up in the computer and they wont fill it . IT just seems like a huge mess from trying to run the show and that to me isnt always the way to go . Doesnt matter how you got addicted you did and need a bigger program like a doctor and aftercare. Im sorry to say this and please dont take it as being mean but we dont always know everything .
569676 tn?1315644758
Welcome and congratulations on your decision and admission to being dependant on your meds.... Huge step for you!

(Keep in mind I used the word dependant not addicted!)  :-)

As far as your sub regiment is concerned... I am not going to pass judgement on your for your decision, but I will add some very important info about sub and my own experiences.

First I would like to say that Buprenorphine (Suboxone) Is VERY powerful stuff you are dealing with. When I inducted on sub, I was taking over 500mgs of methadone, and 60-80 Vics a day. I was started on 6mgs daily and that was way too much. You bring up a good point in that everyone is different, this was just my experience.  

I was on sub for three months before deciding to taper, and I am now at 1mg and decreasing. The wd's are not as bad as some of the other devils out there, but they are a real B**** none the less.

Also sub does more than just maks wd's and make detox easier.  The reason Ideal times for sub use are 3-6 months is that Suboxone repairs our bodies natural endorphin system, and gets us to produce our own natural morphine (Endorphins) again.  When we put foreign opiates into our bodies for long periods of time, our endorphin production decreases because our bodies think "Why should I make this stuff when its already being given to me."

We also have receptors in our brains (Picture holes) that opiates and endorphins fill.  When these "holes" are filled, we get pain relief and euphoria. Using foreign opiates for long periods of time creates more of these "Holes" to be fille.

So when we stop taking our drugs, two things happen.  
#1 Our natural endorphin production is barely working to pump out enough endorphins for what we needed BEFORE our drug use.

#2 We now have so so many more holes to fill.

Since endorphins make us feel good, happy, allow us to sleep, regulates all types of body systems, when we have all those empty receptors "The holes" we feel lousy and experience withdrawal.

Suboxone is like a shovel and a workers union....

It helps fill all those extra holes we created over time, and the workers union comes in and motivates that "Endorphin factory" to start producing again.

The longer you are on suboxone, the more repair is done, and ultimately re routes your chemical make up of the brain.

Now keep this in mind, just because you were only dependant on Lortabs, not addicted, long term use has still effected your Endorphin system the same way.  If after stopping sub you feel several months of Post acute withdrawal, you probablly didnt give your brain enough time to heal.

I do agree with you in the fact that is some BS that you were not remotely educated about such an important medication before handing you a script.  There is a lot of misconception about Buprenorphin and its efficacy.

There is another forum out there on the web that is tailored to Buprenorphine treatment and can give you just loads of information about short and long term suboxone treatment. If you would like, ovt message me on this site and I can give you the link.  you may have been there already before.

I wish you the best of luck with your detox. Happy to hear you are no longer in pain!!!  Please keep up the positive attitude you have goin, and keep us posted on your success!!!  :-) :-) :-)

Henry
199177 tn?1490502134
I really dont think anyone is trying to be negative at all .They just want to make sure you are informed about the meds you are taking .Sub can be a great tool but like any drug it can be dangerous.I hope everything goes smoothly
401095 tn?1351395370
That is true tho that u can not really compare as u do not feel the full effect of the sub since it is an antagonist...but the strength of the narcotic is as strong as the table suggests..it is not exactly the same as taking a bunch of lortab tho...altho 75 mg of hydro a day does not seem to qualify for a sub detox to most..everyone is different and the sub is ur plan.....u could skip the wds with probably 1 mg a day or 1 mg twice a day at the most..that is a relatively low dose of hydro u were using.....the physical wds if done without the sub from that dose would have been over in 4-5 days/a week tops if u are in poor health.. so if u use the sub for a 7-10 days u would be covering the wds as the sub will remain in ur system for days after u stop taking it....if u stay at 1 mg a day for 7-10 days,  u would not have to taper and u could just stop the sub..be safe doing this without your doctor....and be careful with the sub but i am sure u have been warned enuf about that already...
569676 tn?1315644758
I forgot to mention.....

Buprenorphine has an INCREDIBLY long half-life almost 72 hours. So in laymen terms it your took 1 mg of buprenorphine monday morning Around thursday you could still have .5mg of bupe in your bloodstream.

It is due to this that most people dont feel any wd's after a decrease until 3-4 days later.

Most of us are used to short acting opiates that produce wd's in 12 hours, I have seen many people decrease on lets say monday morning feel good tuesday morning, decrease again, and again wednesday, and by Friday they cant understand why they are having such sever wd's.

Just something to possibly be prepared for.

Henry
538697 tn?1218415082
I am not going to scroll up and find who it was that suggested that I take half a pill... they said I would surprised at the fact that taking just half would feel like I still took a whole one.  
I did exactly that yesterday.  I was able to cut an entire pill from my regimen yesterday.  I suppose the thing that I'm just realizing for the first time is the fact that the pill has what you all are calling a "half life".... so when the time comes to "jump off" .. realistically, I probably won't feel any ill effects until 3 or 4 days later.  That is a bit of an eye opener.  But with my husband in control of the pills, I am unable to abuse them.  Even if I wanted to.  Which I don't.  I want more than anything to not have this part of my life rule the rest of my life.  It's been too long that I've dealt with poor health.  Now that my health has been restored (as far as the kidney problems) this is the last "issue" I'm dealing with it.  Its strange in way too because the kidney stones I had absolutely no control over.  At least with this, I am in control.  My husband went to work yesterday and left the amount of pills we had discussed I needed for the day, with the understanding that when he arrived home, before bedtime, I would need another pill.  Well, when he left for work, thats when I got online and began to read all the responses to this post I started.  I saw the post which I mentioned in my opening line of this update and decided that I would do as suggested.  Low and behold, when my husband came home from work and as we neared going to bed for the night, he asked me if he needed to go to the safe and retrieve a pill for me.  I told him no because I had half of one left and so far I was comfortable. I only would have taken one if I was miserable.  
The fact that I am up against being miserable with wd in a few days with my reductions was something that hadn't "clicked" yet with me.  Even with all the writings from all of you who are so knowledgeable about this drug.  But it's clicking now.  I guess the only thing I can say is that I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.  For me, this is not about getting high, or escaping.  It's because I'm Dependant.  My goal is to just be comfy while I get off the meds.  I have detoxed before with nothing and was so ill that I decided that to slowly ween myself off the meds was much better than being ill for a week.  
Anyway, I've said all this before.  Don't want to sound like a broken record.  If I go off of what has been said here, then I probably will feel like **** in a couple of days.  Thats a little worrisome.  But again, I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.
I am still optimistic that I am winning this battle.  If I had gone by what the doc had wanted me to do, I'd be taking 4 times the amount of Sub that I am now.  So for me, just realizing that HE did not know what was best for me, that's a big win in my book.  Another thing, I would be doing this detox for much longer had I left it up to him.  
As far as the "negative" comment I made..... when there is response after response where people are telling you that you are totally uninformed and blah blah blah... it FEELS negative.
My thought process, as I read more of the posts..... is that today I have ONE pill set out (and my husband is supposed to get another one for me later on this evening for bed time) I have already cut it in half and taken the half of the pill.  I am going to try and only take the other half today.  No additional pills.  It does worry me a bit that I might feel horrible in a few days.  But if that happens, we'll take another half a pill at the time of the discomfort.  
Y'all have been great with your input.  I will admit, some of you come off a bit harsh... however, I am smart enough to realize that it's only because YOU'VE BEEN THERE and done it already.  I was not educated on a few things regarding this drug... until I came here.  But for me, the fact that I am AWARE it was time to stop taking pain meds is a victory in itself.  I don't want to fill my body with pain meds when I am NOT in pain anymore.  
I will love to be able to say , "I told you so.."  hee hee... oh brother, sounds like 3rd graders huh?  But seriously, part of me wants to be able to show that it CAN be done my way with success.  I do feel like NOW, I have all the info... everyone has given me so much information it's amazing.  I'm sure there are bits and pieces that haven't been mentioned, but for the most part, I now have enough info to know what to expect.  The only thing I really haven't heard is WHAT the wd will be like from the sub.  If I jump off at .5 what will they be like?  Say I was to take .5 every other day for a couple of days... then jump off... what sort of difference will that make with the wd?  If the half life is that great, wouldn't it be better, once you are down to that small of an amount.... to say, take the drug every 3rd day?  It seems like this would be the way to go.  Another thing... if I could go for say 3 days (starting today) without any meds... and wait until the wds hit... then only take say 1 mg to ease the discomfort, wouldn't that be a smart way to go? Then, later, rinse repeat??  Continue doing that for a week ??? then after a week, when the wd come, cut that 1 mg down to .5 mg??
The fact is this..... I have been comfortable throughout this whole process.  I can handle a little discomfort, but I don't want to be sick.
Ok, I'm running at the mouth.  Enough.
Thanks again to EVERYONE who's given their input and posted all the important information.

Kecia
569676 tn?1315644758
Hey there kecia!

Glad to hear things are going smoothly for you. You SO have the right mindset about worrying about the wd's when they come! Great way to think.

I have been tapering off the sub for a few weeks now, and am currently experienceing sub wd's.  I wont lie to you and say that they are a breeze, but I can PROMISE you they will not be a fraction of the wd's from full opiate agonist wd.

Heres something that might lift your spirits and make wd not so scary.  

I have been tapering pretty big jumps for the last month and a half. And my wd's have never caused me to miss a day at work unlik the methadone, morphine, and demerol I detoxed from.  I know you are thinking "Big deal, he didnt miss a day of work" But...

I am an International Flight attendant working for a major charter carrier that transports the military to airbases around the world. As a matter of speaking this email is coming to you from Budapest, Hungary.

My work hours are long most of the time from19-26 hour work days.  I work in a cramped enviroment 32,000 feet in the air under huge amounts of pressure.  I fly through many time zones a day, and yesterday went from Being in Iceland at 8am where it was 42 degrees to Kuwait at 10pm where it was 119 degrees.  My sleep schedule is whacked, I dont eat regular meals, and I live out of a suitcase.

Under those conditions, my wd has never affected my work performance, and many of my crew have no idea about my past of drug abuse or that I am currently detoxing.

My symptoms are a bit of insomnia here and there, nothing benadryl doesnt knock out of the water, some very minor crawly skin, that is usually relieved by stretching, and thats about it.  After I decrease my dose about four days later I get some diarreah which one dose of immodium makes unnoticeable.  The wd's are VERY VERY mild, and nothing to B**** about! And like I said, I can **** and moan with the best of em! :-)

As far as skipping days, you need to do what you think is best for you!  You sound like you have a solid plan that you are sticking to, and with your motivation and the support of your husband I believe you are going to make it.  My personal opinon is I would keep taking your meds daily and just going lower and lower and lower until you run out and at are at a low dose such as .5mg.

The reason I suggest this is the fact of that damn long half life of suboxone.  If you took it every three days, you would begin to go into wd, and then take some sub to stop it, three days later the same cycle.  Just an opinion but why let yourself go into wd just to take sub to stop it and start again in a few days.  You know your body better than anyone, and if that is what your gut is saying, go for it.

I guess ultimately you only have a certain amount of medicine to last you, and from what it sounds like you wont be able to get more. So at some point you are going to have to stop taking it all together.  I think it would be easier on your body if you continued taking the lowest dose that is working for you, counting your pills, making a taper regiment and stickin to it. That way your body has wd symptoms once and your done.  The other thing is your not teasing those receptors with a little bit of sub every few days, and will give your endorphin system some more time to heal and repair.  Just a thought! :-)

Everyone is different but from what it sounds like I really dont believe you will be sick.  Just some discomfort, and it sounds like you are prepared and ready for that.  That alone will make things on you a lot easier.

Keep us posted on how you are doing!  By the way, Are you taking the 8mg pills or the 2mg pills, what is your total daily dosage you have been taking, and how many pills do you have left?  This info may help us give you more insight.

Henry
538697 tn?1218415082
Henry wrote "I have been tapering pretty big jumps for the last month and a half. And my wd's have never caused me to miss a day at work unlike the methadone, morphine, and demerol I detoxed from.  I know you are thinking "Big deal, he didnt miss a day of work" But... "
I do think that is a HUGE deal actually.  Your email made me feel so awesome.  Thanks so much for all the great information and sharing some of your experiences with me.  
Right now... I have disregarded what the docs wanted me to take.  They wanted me to take 12 mg a day.  I am proud to say that for the last 2 days, I have only taken 1 pill each of those days.  The pills are 2 mg each.  When I started, on Monday.  The doc gave me 1 pill that was 8 mg.  It about knocked me out.  We talked about what HIS plan was for me and how he wanted me to attend NA meetings and all this other stuff.  And so when my husband and I went to get the script filled, thats when he suggested we just take the pills home and do it our way.  So we did that.  I took no more pills that day and was comfy all night.  The next day, I was able to only take 3 pills.  Wednesday, I took just 2 pills.  Same with Thursday.  Friday and Saturday I was able to break the ONE pill in half both days and take one half in the morning and the other half at night.  I am still very comfy and have been sleeping really good.  I wake up, typically around 2 or 2:30 and get up for a drink of water or juice and then get back into bed and stare at the tube for about 30 minutes before going back to sleep.  However, this isn't something new.  I actually have not had a full nights sleep since I started taking the pain meds almost a year ago.  But, on the pain meds, I would wake several times a night with that same routine happening.  It's pretty nice that I am now only waking once.  
The RX was for 100 pills.  So my husband has in his possession 100, 2mg tablets.  However, I am not planning on taking all those pills.  My goal is to be totally done with this detox in 2 weeks from today.  That's at the worst case scenario.  Ideally, I would like to be done a week from today.  I would also like to think that since I'm only taking 2 mg a day right now, that process should be do-able.  
It's things like this (this is from a post above)

YEA ive always tried to do things my way too, cause my body wanted the drug and that was that. i too started taking lortab due to a medical situation and six years later im doing things completely out of character to obtain my drug. ive taken other peoples meds. lied to doctors and on and on. in some of the situations i didn't get caught but i was always left with the guilt of not doing the right thing. mind you, some situations i did get caught and now im being forced to do something about my addiction. im leaving for in patient treatment in one week and its really a result of doing things MY WAY. I see your point................i never wanted anyone  handing out my drugs either, never wanted people to spoil my plans. now im face to face with life doing things others way or death.

that really grate on me.  It seems as though this sort of situation is what I am automatically being lumped into.  I have never lied to a doctor to get more of my pain meds.  I haven't taken other peoples meds.  I haven't had to do anything out of character to get my pain pills.  And I hate to repeat myself, but the moment my pain was gone, I called my doctor to inform her and find out what sort of plan my insurance company had to get me off the pain meds I had needed.  I suppose too, the more I try and explain "my situation", the more I sound like I'm in denial or that I'm trying to make excuses.  The bottom line is this, I know what took place and I know I am not in danger of returning to pain meds.  The thought of taking a pain pill when I don't have any pain seems a little more than silly to me.  When I was ill, and taking the pain meds, all I did was lay in bed.  Sleepy and sloppy.  Who wants to do that?  I am so excited about the fact that my life is ALMOST back to normal.  Baseball games with my kids, church with my family, gardening, just being able to do every day tasks (like going to the grocery store) that I have been unable to do because of the stents and the pain.  Even with all the meds I was on when I was ill, it didn't take ALL the pain away, so laying in bed was my life.  For nearly a year all I did was lay in bed.  For the last 2 weeks I've been doing laundry, driving my son to preschool (I hadn't driven a car in 6 months up until 2 weeks ago, my husband drove me everywhere.) Going out to dinner, actually cooking dinner, which I adore doing, having friends over.  I finally have my life back.  Almost.  Finally getting off the sub will be me closing this chapter of my life once and for all.  I have no desire to take pain meds once I am off this.  In fact, as I said above in one of my posts... when I finish with the detox, I am taking the remainder of the pills (because I certainly will not take all 100 pills) back to my regular care physician.  
Anyway Henry... thanks again for the great post.  There have been 3 or 4 people who have really helped with providing information to me and they have also just seemed to "get me" and you've been one of those people.  I hope the info I have provided you with will  help you to further assess my detox plan.  I am now done with week one.  The best part about all of this is that my detox has been totally comfortable.  I have never felt more positive about anything in my life.  I can deal with a bit of diarrhea.  The insomnia thing... my husband and I already discussed that... he's promised me that if I can't sleep, he'll make a pot of coffee and stay up with me and watch chick flicks.  How  cool is that??? Well for me, it's cool.  For him, not so cool.  But isn't that awesome support?  I feel so blessed.  I have so many people surrounding me that are supporting me and praying for me.  They are ready, just like me, for me to start living again.  I've been sick far too long.  And there was nothing I could do about it.  Oh they tried.  They changed my diet a bunch of times thinking the stones were caused from too much calcium or too much red meat.  Nothing worked.  I just kept getting stones.  My kidneys are now STONE FREE and infection free.  The first time in almost a year.  
Thanks again Henry.  And be safe while your in Hungary
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