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Avatar universal

Seeking encouragement on my journey to FREEDOM - tapering from Suboxone AGAIN

I am in the process of tapering from Suboxone long-term use. I'm down to almost 1 mg. I've done this before but got scared when it came time to jump and made a bad decision to get some short lasting opiates to help thru the bad parts then got back on Suboxone and spent the last four years maintaining. But a lot has happened since then: a divorce from an abusive husband, moving to another state, finishing College, buying a house and getting a good job. I feel beyond ready now. Just tired of this monkey on my back. After reading my previous posts from 4 years ago I was discouraged to see how close I was to being free when I messed up and reading other people's posts about the horrors of Suboxone was also discouraging. No wonder I was so scared to jump! so I'm moving forward! No one in my life knows except my doctor so I thought it was time to join the community again. I felt good yesterday I took about 1.2 mg. today I've only taken 1 mg and I'm feeling pretty rough. I've been taking 1/3 of a 4mg strip, so 1.33 mg for about a month but it seems like the lower my dose gets the harder each taper is. From what I read this is normal I'm starting to try to work out and I've also started taking a nutritional supplement full of vitamins including B vitamins to help with the energy because that seems to be one of the worst things. I also had my doctor write me a prescription for Gabapentin (a low dose) which I know helped me tremendously before with restless legs. For the last few days trying to get down to 1 mg I feel my anxiety increasing. I'm not really hurting bad but I feel like I'm getting the flu. My life is pretty stable right now emotionally and spiritually so I feel like it's a good time to get off - that and I just hate being on this medication that has such a horrible stigma, that I have to keep hidden and that I'm bound by. I guess the one bad thing is I work a professional job and cannot skip work. I have to go (and perform well) even when I don't feel like it. Also this time around I've been on it almost 5 years  not just one like last time. So anyway, encouragement is welcome.  And if you have any insight into what may help with the flu like symptoms. I've read a lot and been through it once but your input and encouragement are still very welcome to me.
45 Responses
Avatar universal
Oh yeah,  also nauseous but only slightly. Another reason for my post is because everything you read on the internet about suboxone withdrawal is all over the map and contradicting. It seems like people either say that it's really easy or the most horrible thing ever.
Avatar universal
Hi, welcome back. As you can see, the forum is not like it was. Very sad. So, it takes time to get a response. Since you were hear before, you probably know what's coming: what will you do to ensure that you stay off? What was your DOC that lead to subs in the first place? The reasons for checking out is the stuff that needs to be addressed. That certainly doesn't go away on it's own. You'll notice that anyone still left giving feedback on this site has several years clean, and every single person is in serious aftercare. I still do 4 to 5 meetings a week and I've got 3 years and 4 months clean. If I could have done it on my own, I would have. So would everyone.

Getting through detox is really just a matter of  time and a half decent attitude. Look up the Thomas recipe for some ideas. Keep checking in. More will be along with more support:)
7163794 tn?1457370413
Well, I can say that tapering IS the best way to come off of the subs.....as long as your ready to get off. A long....slow....taper! What are you going to do to prevent the "fear" and "anxiety" of completing it this time? What are you going to do differently....I ask because I did not read above where you had any type of long term plan to stay clean?  

I also came off of the subs, January 1st, 2014, and have been clean ever since, however I didn't taper. I took 24mg per day for 7 years.  Here are a couple of things that I found helped....
1. Sitting in the sun ( I know it sounds corny, but it works)
2. Eating foods HIGH in protein!!!!
3. Watching and listening to things that made me laugh...like out loud laughing....stand up, etc...

I would also suggest the following.....you need to find some type of recovery program either AA, NA, Celebrate Recovery, etc....NOW...before your closer to your taper.  This way you can surround yourself with people that will encourage you to stay on your journey.  It puts more people in your corner for success.  I would also lay off the gabapertin....I understand why your using it, however, it too, can be something you will have to come off of.  I can't tell how many times I attempted tapers but....to no avail.  IMO....the best way to be successful in this....is to find recovery.

Good luck to you....
Melissa
1 Comments
Btw, congrats. That's amazing. 24mg for 7 yrs and no taper could not habe been easy! I'm only on 1.25 mg now and already feel bad!
Avatar universal
I've had a script for gabapentin for years without taking it. I ONLY take it when my legs hurt (once so far this time) and only 50mg so I'm not worried about that but I'm not trying to abuse it either. The good thing about subs is I haven't been high in soooo long I really don't long for it at all...
I WISH I could pretend the past never happened and move on...i know it's not that simple. NO one knows I relapsed and am on subs but everyone close to me knows I've had a problem with pain pills in the past and knows that if anything were to ever happen where I would need to be prescribed pain pills I would need someone to hold them for me. I guess that's part of my long-term recovery plan. For example my current boyfriend who could seriously lead to a potential husband I've told very seriously, "listen... if I'm ever prescribed pain pills ... EVER in my life you have to hold them for me and give them to me as needed ONLY" hypothetically of course.  Other than that I'm not sure... I know absolutely no one where I live now who gets pain pills or sells pain pills or anything like that. it's been a long time since I've been in that kind of life and I live in another state. (I was clean 6 yrs the first and only other time). Though I know that stuff can happen cuz it happened once or I wouldn't be on Suboxone but at this point I don't see myself going after a high after getting off subs. The first time I tried to get off Suboxone, I was an idiot and I was keeping some hydrocodone "just in case" - this time there's nothing of the sort anywhere near me at all... that's one way things will be different...that and I want FREEDOM SOOO BAD! I have more to lose at this point in my life than I've ever had before. Thank you both for responding it means so much. I just know someone is listening and that there's someone I can tell and that I'm not doing this all alone I guess.
1 Comments
You might want to consider ingesting something natural.   GABA    GABA is the main ingredient of gabapentin.    
495284 tn?1333897642
COMMUNITY LEADER
Our secrets keep us sick.  You said noone knows, does that include your boyfriend?  Are you getting the subs from  a doctor?  Recovery care is very important.  We need to deal with our demons and put them to rest.  Using is just a symptom of what goes on in our head.  You know what you want to do and now you need to put that plan in action.  You are not alone here so please keep talking with us.
2 Comments
Sorry...i mean no one knows except my Dr and the pharmacy and my insurance company lol...
My bf does not know about the subs :-( I'm not disregarding your advice but I do wish I could just pretend this never happened :-/ my bf lives in another state at the moment so I was/am hoping to be done with my taper before we were back together daily though I'll admit now that it's getting so close I have been wanting to tell him especially since I know I'm getting irritable at times and he doesn't understand why. I'm just scared to... my ex husband beat me when I told him. My bf is NOTHING like that but it still haunts me and I guess I'm ashamed of myself really.
Did you see I told my BF? Really glad I did
Avatar universal
Back ground: I started using because i was naive - i was just a kid and had never seen addiction. I wanted to be cool and fun but it lasted 8 yrs past cool and fun. I was sober 6 good years until a bad break up and no friends far from home led me to no accountability. I was stupid and thought I could take just one - wrong...i felt like super woman for a day and wanted more- a few months later I was on subs and have been ever since. A few people know about my relapse just no one in my life knows I'm still on Subs (except dr as mentioned). I'm not opposed to trying in a Aa or na it's just a matter of making the time really.
3100005 tn?1508295401
Hello! I just finished a successful suboxone taper, and I wanted to lend my support. It's going to be a roller coaster ride ahead of you girl. Your emotions are still being numbed from the subs.....there still an opiate. Your sleep is going to be inconsistent for a little while, and you may experience med-mild symptoms, depending how fast you taper. I agree with the other posters that you'll need support. I've learned that I couldn't get clean on my own, and I needed a boat load of support to help me. Today I've got 126 days, which I NEVER thought was possible. I also took Gabapentin which helped with anxiety and pain thru detox, however I was on a much higher dose than you. Salmon Oil also helped me sleep. 2 hours were better then none! Reach out girl, ask for help, don't be so self reliant. You're fighting the devil, alone. Suggestion: Could you take a "sick" leave from work for a few weeks instead of pushing yourself so much and not focusing on your recovery? Addiction is a disease!!! I'm here for you.....Experience, Strength, and Hope,,,,,were in this together! It works, if you work it!
-FS
2 Comments
I'm loving this post februarystars....keep coming back!  You are totally on the right path.
I do have some vacation time at work built up, I'm just trying not to use it unless absolutely necessary because I don't know what the next few months hold. Also, if I took off more than a week at a time, I would most certainly lose my job.  I feel I have support - my doctor, my family, my boyfriend, my church small group, medhelp; They none know I'm on suboxone currently (except medhelp, my dr. and POSSIBLY my sister because she's a pharmacist though I'm not certain if she has access to my records or not??) but they are a great support system because they know of my past addictions, love me, pray for me and are there to talk when I need them. If this really isn't enough I WILL go to NA/AA meetings. I'm not opposed to that at all. I went to one but I'll admit I felt a little guilty because I'm still on suboxone... all your support and advice is appreciated! Please give me constructive criticism if I say something you think is not leading to recovery. PS. CONGRATULATIONS!!!
1041243 tn?1375234120
Hi there! Congrats on your decision to get off Suboxone. It's so difficult for many of us. I jumped off it butback on other drugs until I decided to get help in 2014 and get abstinent from all of it. I have to agree with dominosarah that secrets keep us sick, we need support. NA/AA, Refuge Recovery, Lifering, Smart Recovery, the recovery community is HUGE! Many of us are professionals, myself included, but for the past 3+ years I've made time for my recovery, I know it saves me from the torture I used to live in. I hope you check it out. Keep us posted on how you're doing. The withdrawal is hard, any PTO for when you're down to nothing? Vitamins, activity, healthy food, and hot baths help a bit. You can do this!
2 Comments
I do have some PTO at work built up, I'm just trying not to use it unless absolutely necessary because I don't know what the next few months hold.  I have upped my vitamins and started working out (not as much as I should but better than nothing).  I know everyone I've talked to who has overcome this recommends these things. Please check out my most recent post here to see my progress. I'm down to ONE MILLIGRAM stably which I'm super excited about. As for support... I feel I have support: my doctor, my family, my boyfriend, my church small group, medhelp; They none know I'm on suboxone currently (except medhelp, my dr. and POSSIBLY my sister because she's a pharmacist though I'm not certain if she has access to my records or not??) but they are a great support system because they know of my past addictions, love me, pray for me and are there to talk when I need them. If this really isn't enough I WILL go to NA/AA meetings. I'm not opposed to that at all. I went to one but I'll admit I felt a little guilty because I'm still on suboxone... all your support and advice is appreciated! Please give me constructive criticism if I say something you think is not leading to recovery. PS. CONGRATULATIONS!!! I know that freedom feels like. I felt it once, for 6 years - just gotta get there again!!
what* not that freedom feels like
Avatar universal
Hello! and thank you for you posts! I am now down to ONE MILLIGRAM and feeling stable! I went from 1.33 mg to 1 mg this taper. I know that doesn't sound like much but I do believe the lower you get, the harder it gets. But I did it! It was two weeks of feeling like crap (more irritable, spacy and anxious than anything) and now one week feeling stable, so I think that one more week and I'll be ready to taper again. HOW EXCITING! I'm SOOOOO READY! I feel like it's good to have a few good weeks to get my strength back up and feel stable and strong before tapering again. I saw my dr. yesterday and he thinks I'm doing good which makes me feel good and the other good news is, he is continuing to let me do this at my pace! I'm so thankful for that. So far I haven't HAD to take time off work, but yes my sobriety is extremely important to me and I will if I have to. I feel lucky and blessed I haven't had to so far. Slowly but surely!! Some more good news: my BF and I were watching a movie and someone in it had a drug problem - he asked me if it bothered me, I said no, because it really didn't - it wasn't showing it in detail or anything (and even if it did, it makes me more sick/nauseous/disgusted than anything.) ANYWAY, he said "well I just want you to know that if you ever have an issue again, I want you to know you can talk to me." I know to most people that doesn't sound like much but for me that meant the WORLD. After being with an abusive husband who only cared about himself and how I would effect him, and who beat me when he found out I slipped I'm just Soooooo relieved that I have a boyfriend and bestfriend I can seriously talk to and I do believe that from the bottom of my heart. I haven't told him my most recent struggles yet (that I'm tapering off suboxone - b/c we started dating again a year ago after I was already steady and stable 4 years on Suboxone), but I will. I promise. This next taper may call for it. I hated being irritable with him for those few days last time and him not understanding why or doing anything wrong. OMGOSH I can't wait to be done with this! My goal was to be done by Jan. 1st. but this last taper was harder than I thought it would be so even if I don't meet that goal I'm ok with it. I would rather be slow and steady than rush the process and it not go well.
So, friends, the process keeps going and please keep posting. Your encouragement and advice is much appreciated. THANK YOU!  
Avatar universal
Hi, it's obvious how excited and relieved you are about your taper. It's great that you went to a meeting. No need to feel guilty about subs. You are trying to get off them. As they say in the program "the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop using."

I would say get completely honest w/ your bf now. Not next week. Now. We addicts are the kings and queen of good intentions. And honestly, again, everyone I know w/ long term sobriety, whether on here or in "real" life is committed to a recovery program. I wish a few supportive friends and relatives were enough but it isn't. We have to do the work.We have to dig in and fix the stuff that drove us to using in the first place.

Keep going and keep posting.
Avatar universal
Im tapering very slowly, so, so far the worst symptom is irritabilty! It's awful and there's absolutely nothing I can take for it (that I know of) even if I were willing to take something addictive like Valium (which I'm not trying to do and I don't think the doctor would prescribe it anyway) I'm too tired to take anything like that so I just have to remember to take my Paxil everyday! I just went from 1 to .8 (1/8 + 1/12) or 1/6 a day - which I know sounds strange but it's the best way I knew how to get down to .66 (1/12 + 1/12 a day). Then plan on .5 (1/8) then .33 (1/12) then .25 (1/16) then 0. That's the plan. Even though I know some people are going to say I should be able to go down .25 at a time it's just harder and I'm still working so this is what seems to be working for me...to go down about .16 each time but only for a week or two.
Avatar universal
Just want to stay in bed today.
Avatar universal
Senses in over drive - I smell everything. My co workers perfume is about to make me lose my mind. I'm sooo irritable. tired but anxious - I want to be in a dark quiet room away from everyone and everything.
7163794 tn?1457370413
I was thinking about the sneezing....omg....for like a month i sneezed incessantly. The senses do go on overdrive. When i got that irritable a hot, epsom salt bath is what i would do. Music in my ears and soaking!!! Its not a miracle cure.....but it does help.
1 Comments
Thank you - sometimes it feels good just to know that someone knows what your going through.
Avatar universal
Wondering if increasing my Paxil would help with the irritabilty and anxiety or if I should try something natural - just not sure about mixing even natural things with the Paxil...hmmm. I'm on the lowest dose of Paxil they make but it has helped me tremendously (before my relapse when I was completely sober). May try gong up 1/2 every other day during this time.  My dr once told me before I could go up when pmssing so I know he'd be ok with it. Any thoughts?
7163794 tn?1457370413
Don't mood stabalizers and anti depressants take time to build up though? Like it might not give you the instant effect your looking for?
Avatar universal
I dunno.  That's what I thought but it's strange what my doc suggested - maybe different since I already have been taking it a long time? I dunno but luckily I'm doing better at the moment. The worst anxiety usually only lasts a few days after a week of tapering...so... Just making it through the worst and going forward. :-) not easy but just keep swimming
Avatar universal
Stable on less than 1 mg now. I think I can I think I can...
Avatar universal
Yep...a rollercoaster ride. Ready to kill my co worker again for spraying enough smelly stuff in the air to make me vomit - ugh don't they know I have super woman senses currently?!? Lord please help me not punch or cuss anyone today.
Avatar universal
4th day on .66 mg. Day 4 seems to always be the worst - mostly the terrible irritability but also some body aches. It must be true it stays in your system 3 days because I don't feel a difference until day 4 - so gotta stay strong the rest of the week and preservere!
Avatar universal
6 days on .66 mg - calves are hurting bad tonight all my muscles are tight.  I took my neurontin but it's not going to fix me tonight.  It's not that bad - uncomfortable but I know it could be worse - another week and I'll feel normal again - another week after that and I think I'll be strong enough to taper to .5 mg. I think i can i think i can! Just keep moving fwd!
Avatar universal
Today is worse than last night. Am i getting a cold or experiencing withdrawals? Legs feel better but Body feels like I'm fighting an infection. I'm sweaty then cold, head hurts and soooo tired. Lord give me strength!
4 Comments
Hey KLB84. . Day 26 for me off buprenorphine (sub w/o naloxone). . I have been on bup for 5 years 16 mg daily for pain. I've seen your hellacious taper posts. I've been dealing with bup and in the field I work for bup docs. Once your down that low of dose and youre that sick, you are actually perpetuating the acute withdraw. I tapered myself from 16 mg to 4mg in 5 days. Then i jumped. First 8 days are gonna be brutal. But the insidious part of the withdrawal is the dysphoria and malaise. Those last 6 after your acute. Your sick but you don't have many symptoms but your endorphins are shot and there's no reuptake of inhibitors. Im not gonna lie im so exhausted from being exhausted. I took Tramadol at the beginning which helped a lot but its a taper. Not meant for long term. Basically just to get me to the dysphoria and malaise. Lucky f'ing me. But I do know you'll wake up one of those days and you'll know u beat. I got off subs in jail 12 years ago but was on 2 mg for only 6 months. I just had the 7 days and it was over. This is different. 5 years.. I'm legit consumed by feeling bad. If you really want off and your down to .5 mg or under 1mg, jump. Cuz all these acute symptoms will be gone after 8 days instead of going thru weeks of tapers that leave you feeling like this anyways. Just know I'm going thru this bs too. I have great support but support don't take away bup withdraw fr.
6 weeks. . Sorry spell check deleted weeks. It's 6 weeks of malaise and dysphoria. That's the same answer from 50 other people like me that I know that beat it.
Sheesh I jyst don't know - I'm working about 55 hrs a wk and will lose my job if I don't - don't think I could handle feeling any worse. I do hear what you're Saying about prolonging the wds though... i know that's potentially what I'm doing but I did get stable on .83 mg so I thought I could do the same on .66 or .5 etc. I think I may actually be sick not just withdrawing. I now have a cough and a lot of muss in my chest (tis the season) - or could this be caused from the taper??? Not sure. It's only been a wk at .66 keep thinking I'll feel better soon :-/
Mucus* not muss lol stupid auto correct.
Avatar universal
Finally stable on .66 mg.
2 Comments
I don’t know anything about suboxene witheard it’sy all the same. Opioids, heroin, and suboxene . I’m back on opioids been for years now, I went cold turkey back in 2014, and after the 7 day no more withdrawel, I felt like hell though, no energy and my job is very demanding. And after 3 months my brain told me, a half won’t hurt. **** **** shoot me now! I’m doing worse at 50-80 mg of hydrocodone. I hate it.  Before I went cold turkey I was only at 30-40 mg. For 8 months and for 10 year on one 7.5 mg a day. And from 1995-2002 did maybe 5 a month total and 5 mg at that. My tolerance is high now. I know it’s a mind thing. I am in a lot of pain as well. I have degenerative disk disease, both arms fractured, and ligaments torn, right one acl and mcl tear, arthritis in hip back knee , fibromyalgia , nerve pain, nerve damage ,now knots are forming in my fingers the docs don’t know anything about, it’s freaking sad cause I’m hurting but I also hate I’m a addict! I feel I can’t go thru the withdrawals again they were horrible for me no tapering, and I had the sneezing sick feeling coughing yawning, so it could be the withdrawal . I really wish I could afford the weismann treatment. One is $20000 in Beverly Hills and another is $8000, but heck I can’t afford neither. They don’t take insurance either. But all you have to deal with is the mind issue. If I could just stop I wouldn’t go back a second time. Sorry for rambling, it feels good talking to someone about this. It’s just so hard cause withdrawel of any kind needs at least a month of no work, and that’s not a option for me. Trump made it a national emergency but what are they doing about it, how about give us treatments that are affordable. Good Luck! Prayers and strength for you!
I'm so sorry you're going through this I do understand! Especially about the work thing. I'm just toughing it out still and that's a lot of why I'm tapering because I can't take a month off work. Even tapering is hard but I'm managing. I too thought I could take just one when I relapsed after 6 years of being clean. And I believe I was on a similar amount of hydrocodone when I began taking the Suboxone but I'm not recommending that. if I could do it again I probably would have taken a long weekend and went through the withdrawals versus years of struggling with the Suboxone. But it's not been all bad - it's just taking me a lot longerto be free. Prayers for you too and remember you're not alone. the sooner you can come up with a game plan to tackle this demon the sooner you'll be free and it will be behind you. I also never want to have to go through this again.
Avatar universal
I finally told my boyfriend and I'm so glad I did! He was understanding, supportive and now I don't feel I have to do this completely alone.
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495284 tn?1333897642
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