Addiction: Substance Abuse Community
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Suboxone - help - Norco/Tramadol/Xanax

I'm so ready to get off everything and I wish I could hit rewind. I want to try Suboxone. I have an appt on Tues to get a script. I am currently on 50mg Norco, 150-300mg Tramadol (usually 150) and 1-2mg Xanax per day. I was on 450mg Tramadol for 10 yrs (150mg day previous five years). Norco escalated up but daily last two years (sporadic before that) hence why I dropped down Tramadol. Xanax for 3-4 years.
So..with those meds will the doctor give me Suboxone? Will he take me off both Norco and Tram at same time (my hope)?
Also..if all goes as planned and I start on Suboxone, how long before I can stop Sub? A friend was only on it two months and then just stopped. I do not want to be on anything. At this point the way I feel is worse than the pain..and actually Norco in increased doses makes me hurt more. Ugh.
Thanks for any input!!!
23 Responses
Avatar universal
Hi, Katie. Please please read on here about people's experience w/ subs. You will see that just as many new folks come on here begging to get off subs as often as they are begging to get off hydro and oxy. You are just kicking the can down the road again. Honestly, why do you want to get on subs? Because you will be on one opiate instead of 2? It doesn't matter, you will then have to detox off subs. And it's just as bad, if not worse, than norco.

This comes up a lot, and it sounds like you are trying to play the shell game; if I move this around, then I can move that here. You are just spinning your wheels. You've been trying to "manage" this for 10 years. Now you're trying to add subs into the mix.  There is no managing for addicts. You, like all of us, need to learn how to face life. You are going to have to face life when you get off subs, so why not save the money, and the aggravation and face it now. The feeling of not being able to do anything at all w/o having enough pills is the worst life ever. I know you want to be free.

You can absolutely, stop the norco and tram on your own.  It is very doable. What we suggest here, over and over and over is to get into aftercare immediately. All of us who have been successful in STAYING clean are in aftercare.  Quitting drugs is only the very first step.

Stay close and keep checking back. Lots of great people here to help:)
Avatar universal
Hi I'm a bit over 90 days off a sub taper. I was on it for almost two years with the last 6 months tapering. I got to .5 mgs and even that small amount was very difficult to w/d from. If you decide to go that route (I couldn't stop taking oxycodone myself) I suggest you stay on a small dose for as little time possible. I was on it too long. I hope that helps!
Avatar universal
Thank you both!! I have been reading everything I can find so I truly understand. My issue is that my spiraling has not been all "prescribed" by a physician. My doc also doesn't understand what she is doing. I'm not seeing a pain specialist. My trams I didn't get from a doc. I was basically and am an addict. I get that and plan counseling and support immediately.  My job everything was great. I've successfully hidden this from everyone. Now my current doc who gives me most of the norco (spiraling meant I did things that I'm ashamed of to keep it up) she doesn't have a clue about addiction. When I told her I'm feeling better no anxiety and that I'm ready to taper my Xanax ..needed her help. She looked at me like I'm from Mars. She said to just not take it. It is "as needed." Good grief if I miss a dose it throws me into anxiety. All of these pills are awful. This doctor who gave it out to freely for the past 2 years doesn't get it. Crazy ironic that the clinic who controlled everything so much is the clinic I wish I stayed with.

So with Subs I feel like I can be medically managed by a doctor who can help me immediately taper. I will put my entire career on the line if I go into rehab and I can't do that.
I will work whatever program I need to but just want off this s#%t and this is the only way to have a doctor help me.

Thanks again! If this leads to more advice I'm open. I will be on this board a ton through recovery.

Avatar universal
You may want to try looking into a Dr that treats withdrawals, and not just with subs. If you find a good one, they will give you options, and also require you to receive after care for the mental aspect. Personally I chose to not go the sub route. At first it sounded easier, but once I really read actual experiences, I didn't want to have to fight to get off those. I ended up going cold turkey. It sucked for a couple days, but I knew when it was done I wouldn't have to go thru it again. If you can read VICourageous, Moyte, and gnarly_1's posts as they give a lot of good info. For me I couldn't get enough first hand info from people who'd been thru it. It made it easier to prepare mentally.
Avatar universal
Katie, I understand what you're saying. Many doctors are clueless about addiction. That's very common and it stinks.

You sound like you want to do what addicts constantly try to do: control. If you get on subs, then you will be "in control" of this. Everyone keeps increasing their usage, that's trait #1 of addicts. It just doesn't make sense to me for you to go on subs. Are you willing to detox and get into aftercare (meetings etc.)? That's what you need to do. You will need to do that no matter what. Subs really don't help that experience. Again, you will be right back here trying to get off subs, upset about the withdrawls and wondering why you didn't just stop your other stuff c/t. We see it over and over, the exact same posts.

What's you goal here? Are you trying to avoid wds? I think it would help if you are really truly honest w/ yourself and maybe your answer will become clear.
Avatar universal
I have done so much soul searching these last few months. I finally confessed everything to my hubby and I have his support. I truly truly would just go c/t if I could miss work. I had it figured out where I could miss 3 days from work prior to weekend but I don't think I can function come Monday with that short window to withdraw. ???

I read another post about super short taper on subs - basically immediately start tapering.

My only other option is instead of Tues starting subs..I try to taper this week and then c/t and take next week off (week of 11th). Thinking it is flu season... How long have other people had to take off work?

Ideas ??

Thanks everyone!!
Avatar universal
I was on subs for 8 months, following pain mngtmt and back surgery. Stay on the lowest helpful dose. Let the dr help you cause you need to stabilize before you taper down. Taper 1-.5 mg every two weeks... Taper all the way down to .25 mg and you'll need a couple days when 48hr hits. You will feel heavy, foggy, dizzy, no appetite, etc. get some really good multivitamins, potassium pills with magniseum, l-tyrosine, Gatorade and get your doctor once your done to give to Clonidine, a blood pressure medicine that will help calm you, and talk to him about taking enough or something for sleep cause it will be rough a few nights. Learn to stretch, walk, breathe and remember. You won't die and the next day will better than the last. Subs are harder to get off, but if you are like me, I needed to have some help to have time to focus and experience a little success prior to getting off everything. Oh, few hot baths a day when detoxing- very helpful!  You can do it
Avatar universal
Where are you, state?
Avatar universal
Seattle area
Avatar universal
Is it possible to be on subs for just a couple weeks? Get into therapy and get off it asap? This is so scary. I totally realize I have no control but subs or no subs ..just not sure. I can find posts where it made getting off hydro seem easier. Is the trick just starting meetings right away and not staying on them too long?
4522800 tn?1470325834
Katie there is SO much going on here and I see pros and cons about this.
First of all you do not want to just stop the Xanax. It can be dangerous and some have had sez.

Let me tell you a bit about my own experience when I did c/t off 3 meds at once. When it was the hydo/oxys it was bit less intense and did not go on as long, however, I played the game to get the Methadone prescribed. All of this went on for over 16 yrs and 12 on the dones. I had surgery and was going to be tapered. I started to buy Adderral of the streets. (Do not have ADHD). I was snorting them 2 together to help stretch out my dones and got that crank buzz, like in them older days..DUMB but I am a Addict! I took a Benzo to come down at night (Klon). Went c/t off of all 3 of them and if I had to do it over..Well I would NOT do this over, however, I should of maybe, just maybe stayed with the subs they gave me, but I did only for 4 days and then it all through me into BAD w/ds 10 days later. Physically I went through many stages for over 6 months and the Mental took over 2 yrs to find it's balance. BUT I also been using off & on for over 40yrs and did some real good unbalancing up stairs in my Brain..Ha!!
NOW for you, I have been on here long enough to know that Trams, Subs and Methadone are one of the 3 worst ones to detox off and they are also the most Synthetic ones. The Trams have a chem in them that work on the Serotonin,  the Happy Transmitters in the Brain. SO it is like coming off of 2 meds right there.
My opinion is to go to a DR who can help taper you down off one at a time using the Xanax to help..OR you can quit them all and get the Dr to prescribe you some Comfort meds and now they will give you around 3-4 of them. One for Anxiety, sleep, muscles jerks and so forth. These are not Addicting and will only be used for a short time. The things is that NO matter what you have in you, it will have to detox out. Even if you go on the Subs for a short time and at a very low dose, you still will feel a bit of a w/d before you can go on them. If you do a Taper you will have to hand them to someone you trust to hand them out. WE can not have that bottle in our hands if we have a Addicting issues. ALL of these meds change the Brain Chemistry and that is what will take some time to come around. The physical is over way sooner then the Mental, but the Mental is not as uncomfortable as the physical..if you get what I am saying. Staying clean takes TONS of work and behavior changes along the way. WE can NOT do this alone, as we have a Disease..OK..Now on the other hand here..if you feel that you will relasp or just can not take it, then I would rather have you do a Sub program then go back to using over & over again..ONLY YOU can answer that one. YOU can get off these without that crutch, but you have been on a cocktail for some time now, and it will NOT be over in just a week either. ALL of us made it and some took longer then others to bounce back, but many factors play here..like age, health, how many yrs, how many drugs at once, how high of the mg you got up too. There is so much to it, but it can be done without going on them Subs..However, only YOU know what path you should take..NO MATTER WHAT..You must take the TIME and work a program and really work hard if you go the Sub route. Being on the Subs most Drs will not let you mix that with a Benzo. They will test your urine often to make sure you are NOT abusing these or using other drugs. I used to be SO against the SUBS, but NOW I can see the positive and negative on both sides here. Either way..I do wish you the best and just be prepared by setting yourself up for success. You will need some good vit/min and such if you are going to go through a detox. WE can suggests all of this later. Just be Safe. This Addiction is a day by day Job and it takes Time & Patience to see the other side.Wishing you the best..Surrender this to your God and ask for guidance.
Avatar universal
Hey there
I was addicted to pain pills and asked the exact question as you (trams were one of the weakest I was addicted to) and I hav been wit benzos also so I understand. BUT I ignored everyone's advice and went onto subs. HUGE mistake. And I'll tell you why. Because I believe that those on heroin should go on subs because they risk their lives daily. On pills, what should happen (and what I started doing) was get someone to lock them up and then give you them by tapering you over the length of 4-6 months. I know it's long but it's easier if you are very addicted (like me). Then I was on zero pills. Then made the fatal mistake of waiting 48hours which you gotta do before the opiates clear your system and started subutex. It made me SICK. Headaches for two months straight so I had to come off and my tapering lasted a month of bein in bed. In pain. So bottom line, unless you desperately need them because you're risking dying of an OD, be careful. Some ppl manage subs, but the day comes to taper and then you're screwed. Even if you taper slow. Everyone's different of course, but you get my drift. Plus it won't help wit tramadol or Xanax by the way. Just the norco xxx
Avatar universal
Oh and I forgot to add that yes as a poster mentioned earlier, subs + benzos = you will likely be very zombified because they will make you drowsy (subs are incredibly strong - my maintanance dose was 2mg!!! The doc wanted me on 8-16!!!) I found it hard to breathe properly (respiratory depression thing) so I tapered and stayed at 1.2mg. It just shows how powerful these things are. Don't let a doc fool you in taking a high dose. It's easier to add than to take away what you've ingested!! Plus these have a long half life so you may be playing with fire at high doses. Many manage high doses but they are usually hardcore addicts. (I took 30 pills a day and was still not 'hardcore'enough for my little sub dose lol). Do your research. Subs do save lives, but do be careful. You can't just pop them like normal pills. But like I said they can help millions so I won't diss them too much hehe good luck :-) lola xx
Avatar universal
You are on a lot, that's why I said do some research and find a good sub dr... Worse case You can try in on your own and you are in a state that THC can help with the night issues. But if you want to do the straight and narrow... Having tried yourself and failed to come off on your own... No shame in getting medical help. You will need to decrease the benzo (one of the few life threatening meds for withdrawal). I say subs short term may be better. But that's my experience. Taper and fill your body with healthy things, even if you don't want to, fill it. Hot baths, movies... And I agree. Stay low on mg.. I wouldn't go higher than 4 mg. it won't feel as good but that's the less to taper
Avatar universal
Thank you all!! I truly appreciate all of the information. I am so glad I found this site and the wonderful people who are willing to share experiences to help others.
I will be around and will have more questions as I start this journey.
Happy New Year!! :)
Avatar universal
Good luck. And just know that the taper is slow and steady. It's hard but doable
Avatar universal
Thanks! I'm stocking up on everything - Epsom salts, vit/min, Imodium, lavender. I'm not going c/t -I don't think so at least- but took my last pill tonight and flushed the rest. That was scary but so exhilarating as well.
I'm seeing the doctor tomorrow and will review all of my options (other meds maybe??), but regardless my "supply" is gone.

The rest is with God and I'm praying a lot and will make whatever decision is best after reviewing my history with doctor. This will be my first appt ever truly confessing everything to a doctor. Little anxiety. I know the lengths I've gone (pretty bad) in relapsing any time I tried to go without so he may suggest subs. I know of this doctor from 90s and this office is really good. They don't mess around and he is known for being extremely conservative. Maybe he will have a non-sub idea or at minimum know that I'm worried about swapping one addiction for another. I will talk to him about the taper and my fears of the subs being harder to withdraw from.

And for all those posters out there hiding their addiction from a significant other. If you only knew the complete relief in finally opening up to the person who loves you the most. My husband has been so amazing. He just wants me to be healthy and happy. What a blessing he is!!

Ahh.. With anxiety and strange joy - off I go. More to come. :)
Avatar universal
And I should clarify - with Xanax and Tram seizure risk to stop suddenly - didn't flush those. Need the doc to tell me how to taper or ?? I realize these have risks to cold turkey but will do whatever the doc says.  Just in case someone reads this down the line wanted to clarify. :)
Avatar universal
Hi Katie......first off dont try and drop all 3 at one time the sub will help with the hydro and a bit with the tram  but I wouldent try to do the xanex at the same time.....after seeing all the sub horror storys here on the forum  I think sub and methadone both are over prescribed  there ment for /I/V  drug user  and only the worst of the worst pill habits....sub is a funny drug  we have had members do really well tapering off slowly with little or very mild withdrawal symptoms...we  have also had people taper off like your suppose to go threw horable withdrawals  you never know with this drug it is a crap shoot  just know you have to do what is right for you let us know how the doctor visit goes and be sure to ask a lot of questions  we will support what ever you decide  ....my God be with you
Avatar universal
Update..doctor gave me script but haven't taken it yet. i am almost 48 hours off Norco and 28 hours off tramadol. I haven't gone 12 hours off trams in 15 years!!!

So I'm trying to see what I can do and psychologically using the subs in case I feel like I will use again (crutch I know). The doctor would prefer I take subs than to continue to escalate.

What is up with the Epsom salt baths? I took 3 baths last night and one today.. I normally would have had insane creepy crawly legs and arms but nada. I'm exhausted..hot/cold, sweaty, but the baths are a dream. I am taking my prescribed Xanax (sub doc said to get that down to no more than .5mg if I take subs).

I am taking Immodium, but this isn't awful. I'm exhausted but not unbearable.

Fingers crossed. Typically when will the worst hit? I don't know how I have gone this long off tramadol without jumping out of my skin. Unless there is some secret I don't quite understand with Epsom salts.

Also taking lots of supplements.
Avatar universal
Good for you lady! Day 3 *****- day 5/6, then the brain starts to realize that you aren't going to bring on the dopamine and leveling kit. So the longest lasting is the anxiety and depression, stay strong. Talk to people. Look for the little things and the big things to keep you doing what you're doing.
Avatar universal
I was just going to post a new question but since you are online. I changed my freakin mind and regret that (I need to stop listening to my ideas and listen to all of you). Here is the deal. I decided to try Suboxone. I changed my mind AGAIN after taking it..I honestly I don't want this. God sending me a serious miracle/message. I took the smallest sliver - maybe 1.5mg if that. It immediately got rid of withdrawal, but now 8 hours later I am not back to withdrawal like I was and I think I have an intolerance to this (headache and stomach in knots). Lola mentioned headaches and I see that it's a common side effect.
I'm such an idiot. I should have kept going.
Ugh ugh ugh
I know it has a long half life. Any ideas when this will be no longer help the withdrawals?
Good grief!!
Avatar universal
Sounds like some of side effects aren't so pleasing. 24 hrs for such a low dose. Good for you if you decide no Subs, but if you do there is a stabilization stage. Just like any other medicine. And give yourself a break. You are coming off a lot of stuff and I am sure your body/brain is not happy
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