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Suboxone users, please reply !

I posted on here yesterday for the first time. I found this site while searching for answers for my husband who is currently on suboxone for addiction to hydrocodone.This was not his first detox from hydro's.Also, about 10 years ago, he quit a very long alcohol (& some cocaine) addiction.We are looking for  ways to get off the suboxone.
   My question ,or rather my request, is for those who have already been off suboxone for an extended period of time ( at least a year). How long did wd symptoms last? please relate any & all experiences you have had with this drug.
   Until I saw all the info on this site about suboxone, we thought my hubby was indeed on a miracle drug ( even though we had been told it was an opiate...we were reassured that the w/d's from sub would be MUCH LESS & MUCH EASIER to handle than w/d from  hydro's) and he has been successfully tapering down his doses from 4 ,8mg pills a day to now, 1 & 1/2. He has been on sub for about 6 months, I think. Now , after reading all about the terribly long PAWS of withdrawal from sub, & printing it out for him to read, he is terrified & feeling hopeless again. We thought we had gained so much ground. no longer shelling out 7-800 $$ a week for pills and on a med that you do not build a tolerance for & require more & more all the time to feel even half-way functional.
  We still feel grateful for  the suboxone treatment for the reasons mentioned above, but he was planning on really lowering his dose more ...now, we find out all he really needed was the 8mg, anyway & all the " tapering down" from those higher doses was in  reality non-existent.
    So, we feel frustrated ,knowing that the wd's from sub will be so much worse than from hydro's. As I mentioned before, he detoxed from hydro's a couple years before and went to a clinic to do that.They gave him sub only briefly, then he was on his own after only 5 days. That detox period was  about 9-10 weeks.During that time he had, weakness, fatigue, sleeplessness ( real bad) , irritability, depression, aches, etc. It was so bad for so long.We had been told after 6 weeks those symptoms would subside...but he kept them for 4 weeks longer than that.At this juncture, I must interject that he relied heavily on the Lord for strength. I don't mean to tread on shaky ground here nor preach...NOT my intention, just saying, it took more than just determination to overcome the cravings & the general feeling  so bad for so long...and he had to keep working at a physically hard job.
  Now, we find ourselves asking the question; Is it better to just stay on suboxone for the rest of his life? Or; Should he go through the long, rigorous, painful ,detox process, only to find, if he can make it, that he is right back to craving all the old "poisons" again ?
  As of now, he no longer craves pills alcohol,...he even quit cigs !...he is a daddy to our 2 small kids and a wonderful worker & provider.Suboxone has given him a chance to  get out of the vicious cycle of hydro's...and yes, now he is addicted to the sub. Is it the lesser of  all evils? How about hearing from someone who has been on it long term....like more than 2 years?...or even longer. Any help or advice  is much apperciated.
   As a PS...We DO see that sub is a GREAT $$ naker for docs...oh, yes...they like cahrging astronomical office fees EVERY MONTH...to write out the scrip for sub !! Its a CRIME !!
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271792 tn?1334979657
Hi & Welcome,

Yes, the withdrawal from Suboxone can be worse than from the doc, but it is not like that for everyone. You may be anticipating the worst and may be surprised.

Yes again, some Suboxone doctors are in it for the money and that is really sad.

First, has he spoken with his doctor about a taper schedule? It is best done under a doctor's care. Second, has he engaged in any form of aftercare? Since he has a history of drug abuse he will need to pursue aftercare to be sure that this time is indeed his last time.
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511524 tn?1266349934
I was on suboxone for 9 months at 32 mgs per day for an addiction to heroin and/or Oxycontin/Dilaudid, and it truly was a wondeful drug. After entering detox and on that third day receiving the suboxone within 45 minutes my horrendous wds that were engulfing my entire body eating me up vanished and I was able to move around, talk to my family, and start to move on. It was truly a great moment.
Now I was on 32mgs of sub for 9 months and went off of it during my 9mth of treatment when I was in  a car accident and I shattered my arm and wrist. What happened next I still to this day am baffled and kcik my own butt for, but my addiction doc took me down and then off sub all together and put me on 240mgs of MS Contin (Morphine) and then 75mg of Hydrocodone per day, which after 1 month of trying that I realized taht I was going right abck into the circle of addiction I so desparately got away from, why go through it all over again. I only sawmyself getting worse and worse so before I let that happen, I stopped seeing that doctor and started going to a methadone clinic in my area.
Now its been over a year and half being on methadone and I am currently detoxing slowly down and have had experience with both I have definitely developed some strong feelings regarding certain aspects.
Between the two suboxone is alot easier to taper off of and overall makes you a ton less dependent on the medication and addicted.
After going through at home detoxes, hospital detoxes, suboxone treatment programs, methadone treatment programs I am come to find out quite a bit that I feel is very valuable especially for people in situations such as this.
I now only recommend methadone to people with very severe addictions to heroin or extreme amounts of very potent opioids meds for long periods of times otherwise I would try everything else, and then try it all over again before even starting at a methadone clinic.
If the addiction was severe enough or the p[person has tried to cold turkey or detox on their own to no avail, then I would recommend Suboxone treatment. It not only creates less dependability, addiction, but also has less re-enforcing effects, and is alot easier to taper off of.
I believe at first when suboxone treatment  about 7 years ago was first being advocated and advertised it gave the impression that their were hardly any WDs to deal with and that it was extremely easy to get off of, but after years of many people going through it they found that it does not create anywhere near the severity of wds methadone does, it still has severe opioid wds to deal with, and though it is easier to get off of than many other opioids it still takes strong will and the person to truly want to be off of it.
Now going cold turkey after being on suboxone even for 3 months is asking for no fun at all, it would definitely give you terrible withdrawals that dont just last a week or two they last right around the length of methadone wds even a little longer due to length of time it is effective (the average half-life of one dose is 37 hrs.), so going CT off of it is definitely not an option I know anyone would really want to put their bodies through for almost two whole months and the 3 to 4 weeks mark being the point where it is at its peak severity. Just reading that and thinking of that makes CT'Iing off of heroin with nothing sound loike a vacation. So neither suboxone or methadone are drugs to even mess with going cold turkey on and not planning out the detox thoroughly.
It is true that suboxone is easier to detox and get off of than methadone, quite a lot easier actually.
Now reading your post I see how much you truly care about your husband and your family and want to get everything back to normal and I can fully understand where you are coming from. No addict truly understands how hard it also is on their family embers and loved ones. The problem with suboxone treatment is that each person is different, each addiction is different, and each recovery is different as well.
Some people go on a 21 day suboxone detox, some stay on it for a year, some are on it for the rest of their life, it truly comes down to the person and they have to be brutally honest with themselves, peer deep within their heart and soul and know what they are capable of. Some people know that if they go through a detox and get off that the next time they may get an offer for their DOC or gets into an accident and needs to be stabilized on pain meds, which can really only be opiates, whether or not it will start the brutal cycle of addiction all over again.
The biggest piece of advice I can give that can relate to any one person that is on suboxone is that when they are truly ready to start getting off of the drug, when they deep down know that its time, that when getting off that SLOW is the key to any success at all.
It is important and crucial to let your suboxone doctor know what you are thinking whether you are thinking of tapering off completely or just lowering your dose, it doesn't matter that is something that needs to be discussed in detail with your doctor. it is also good to have what is called either an addiction specialist or therapist also used during a suboxone treatment program or methadone treatment program. Talking to them can open the door to understanding that it is possible to truly get off of the medication or that maybe at this point in time that the idea of coming off may not be right for whatever reason, but that is what your suboxone doctor is there for, he is there for your induction onto suboxone, hes there for your stabilization, and hes there for when you think its time to come off. So maybe having a discussion with both your husband and his doctor is one of the best starts to some of your questions.
Also I did notice that your husband has gone down from 4-8mg suboxones (32mgs) a day to 12mgs a day, which is a huge success and a major step.
That shows that the doctor is already aware that your husband is getting himself ready to get fully off and is taking those steps to get there, which is huge. And make sure your husband is reminded how strong and commendable he is for taking these steps at all. These are huge steps not to be taken lightly.
Now I am sure your husband will talk to his doc about it, but a tapering schedule should be created since your husband has tapered down from 4 to 1-1/2 tabs a day.
The most crucial thing is that when tapering your husband goes at a pace that allows his body enough time to adjust to the new dose, to make sure that he doesn't lower it to much to where he gets extremely sick or has WD issues, the key to avoiding that all together is to taper at a pace that works with your husband's body and mind. Some people may be capable of going from one and half tabs to one tab just like that and be fine,some people cannot, each individual is different, so it should be treated as such.
If your husband is thinking about tapering down further have him first discuss it with his doctor, but then its a matter of feeling out what is right for him or really what dose he is safe to ween off of. He may try taking instead of 12mgs take 10mgs, continue that for 5 days, as long as he feels alright, then after giving his body time to adjust to the new dose, then slowly go down a little more, try 8mgs. And one important thing your husband should utilize when tapering off is breaking the tablet up so when he is at the stage where he is only on 8mgs a day, he can decide whether he feels better taking the whole 8mgs at one specific time or if he feels better taking 4mgs in the morning and then the other 4mgs early evening. Like I said everyone is very different so its all in how their body reacts to the medication.
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511524 tn?1266349934



Now once he is down to very low amounts such as 4mgs and below that is where you go even slower. The doctor may think it is wise to switch to the 2mg suboxone pills they have instead of the big 8mgs ones once hes down to that dose. But near the end after a long tapering schedule he'll basically be taking crumbs and after a certain period with that he'll be at the point where he cannot go any lower and he is taking nothing. That is the end goal of course.
Now I know the doctor will discuss this with you and your husband, but near the end when hes down to extremely low doses (below 2-3mgs) the doctor may find to erase any chance and alleviate any anxiety your husband may have nearing the finish line prescribing opioid WD aids.
The most common and most helpful is Clonidine (Catapres), which was originally created and used for regulating high Blood Pressure, but over the years doctors and researchers have found that it is one of the best opiate wd aids we have out their. It gets rid of the terrible hot/cold flashes, sweating attacks, gooesbumps, restlessness, insomnia, aches, and many other symptoms. He may also put your husband near the very end on a very short prescription for a benzodiazepaine, which during opiate wds can help quite a lot. It really aids in the muscle aches, spasms, restlessness, and very importantly the mental aspect of wd, which can include extreme anxiety, cravings, panic, night terrors, bad insomnia, and many others. Then there are some OTC drugs during any wds that are truly helpful, such as Immodium AD for diarrhea/stomach problems, along with some anti-nausea medication.  On top of that he will most likely recommend as do I, eating well, drinking lots and lots of good fluids, trying to keep busy , and also using certain vitamins and herbal supplements that can really help stabilize the body during times of wd.
Done take my whole list of WD aids and discussing that as reason to believe that once hes down to a very very low dose that he is going to experience bad wds and its going to be hell because that is not the case at all that is as long as he follows a taper schedule and weens off slowly not jumping down super fast or quitting after 8 or 4 mgs. What I put above is as a pre-caution for any problems your husband may have during his detox off, which like I said if the tapering is done slowly and to your husbands capability he shouldn't encounter any wds at all. Though he may not feel exactly 100% after being fully off for a week and thats not to say that he won't have mental aspects to the wd that he has to make sure he deals with. And thats where going to group meetings, seeing a sponsor, or NA meetings, come in crucially handy, they allow an outlet for any problems your husband may be feeling mentally or bad cravings he may have experienced, these groups and meetings allow him to vent about them and get good feedback and advice from ppl who have gone through the exact same thing.I cannot stress that enough.
I truly do wish you, your family, and your husband the best of luck and for him to beat this disease one day at a time. He's already taken one of the greatest steps he can take by getting help and going on suboxone treatment, now if he is thinking of getting off or lowering down till he can do so, he making such a huge stride again in the direction of saving his life and being able to enjoy his life sober, normal, how its supposed to be. He will be able to be out of the haze that causes such irrational, illogical behavior and decisions, and get to see his life as he is supposed to be and truly enjoy his family and life. It is ground-breaking those first few weeks and it is something that takes incredible strength, but from what I have read both you and your husband are both extremely tough and are completely able to to do this. I wish you all the very best, plz keep me updated on how things are going or if anything new happens, and if you ever have any questions or just want to talk or vent I am always available either message me or reply...Christos
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511524 tn?1266349934
sorry for the such long length for a response, I just have soo much to say about suboxone treatment, tapering, and for this is situation..thank you so much for taking the time reading such a lengthy response, I really appreciate it and I hope you and your husband both can learn something from something I said, once I wish you both the best of luck, stay strong, and anything at all anything you may need just let me know anytime..Christos
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867096 tn?1252202513
Hi, I just wanted to share some information about my experience with suboxone. I sent you a pm (private message) with some info that may be useful for you. I have had a successful experience so far (jumped from a crumb this week). It does not have to be painful. Anyway, hope the info helps. Best Wishes
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356054 tn?1218552475
Very nice post.  I have been on Sub for just over a year now. I am in the process of tapering. I started at 8mg a day and I am at 3mg a day now. Basically what I have done is drop 1 mg at a time. I stick with that for a month and drop another. It takes me about a month to get to where I can stick with that dosage drop. Meaning, during that month there may be a few times that I will take an extra 1mg in the first week or two after dropping my dosage. I know exactly how your husband is feeling right now. I feel the same way. I just want it over.
The good thing is, I think alot of this is in the mind. If you fear the worst then most likely you will get the worst. I have read stories of much easier withdrawl on sub so I really think it all depends on the person.
  IBKleen it's nice to see you. It's been awhile.
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Avatar universal
Thank you so, so much for your obvious care & concern & willingness to help ! You have definitely quieted  some of the terrors in my mind.I will share the encouraging words with him as soon as he gets home tonight ( he's working late & on his way home).
   What a difference a day makes ! This time testerday, we thought getting off sub looked pretty bleak, indeed. Now that I have read your message & gone to a website someone else recommended that has testimonials from real poeple who have successfully done the slow taper....I am greatly encouraged.!
   Thank you for your kindness ! Thank you for recognizing both my deep love for him & his strength in getting as far as he already has.....your message is a God-send to us.
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Avatar universal
THANK YOU & KEEP IT COMING ! We welcome any  more help/discussion on this.
    And to IBKLEEN...he has told his doctor he wants to totally get off sub & the dr is amazed at his progress thus far...dr is very anxious to observe  what we are guessing is his only " want to get off it completely" patient.....wants him for a "poster child". I told hubby...you are NOT his guinea pig ! You do what's best for you & don't let his agenda jeaopardize your health & progress....you have to do what you feel your mind/body can handle.Don't just do it  so the dr can " see what happens"....as this dr has no one else in his care, evidently, who WANTS to get off sub completely.
   as for myself...I have the fear that, once he is totally off the suboxone, the cravings for drugs and or alcohol will return so overwelmingly..esp when he gets stressed. I know what many will say to that...a recovery/ support group. He's not crazy about the idea.
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401095 tn?1351391770
I am sorry ur husband switched from ydro to a power house narcotic,,,,but it seems as it drs are not educated on sub..they take an 8 hr course and then they r suddenly "addiction specialists" I dont think so...if ur hub has tapered down to 4 8mg pills then where was he before he tapered?  32 mgs is the max daily dose and many argue the point of anything over 12 mgs of sub per day is a pure waste..once the receptor sites r full of sticky sub..more does nuttin..cos they r already saturated..course a high quantity abuser will have more receptor sites cos we build them due brain overload/unfortuantely they never go away/they may go to sleep after we quit..but they lay there dormant/and the next time a person uses they wake up and tolerence is at the same level it was before in a very short time

as a rule people do wonderfully tapering down to 4 gs...many argue 4 mgs is all one needs..alot of sub use has to do with the habit of taking sumpin several times a day//a true sub dose is only once daily..due to addictive tendencies people take 2-3-4 times a day..for virtually no reason as the receptors r full..it is a learned behavior to use several times a day

many taper off sub but it will be hard for him unless he lets u dolde out his dose...or maybe not..sub is a tool and he may be so far along in the recovery process that he can taper off easily...if he has done the inner work to be and stay clean then he is home free...he will make it if his mind is on cleandom..if not tapering off sub can be as humiliating as tapering of his doc...an addict is no good tapering...totally humiliated me/made me realize the control the drugs had over me..the more i tried to take less...the more i took more   addiocts are always addicts//unfortunately..it depends on if he has done intense aftercare on whether he will make it off this narcotic that is way stronger than his doc/hydro  i was  100 mg hydro user.daily for 3-4 yrs...2 mgs of sub sent me flying for the day//liked it better than hydro for sure//when i stopped narcotics i did not use sub..i liked it too much/way better than hydro which in the scheme of things is a weaker narcotic than most///very addicting due to the short half life/and quick peak of the drug itself

all in all...everyone is different..i am not sure if ur hub got stuck in a sub trap or not..sub can help many...not really recommended for a hydro user unless the dose is extreme and many relapes in the past..sub isbetter than buying pills off the street or dr shopping and being in jail..it is a legal way to use...and some need that...what was his daily dose of hydro?    how much sub is he on? and is he doing the work to get clean?  sub can not do that work for u..keep us updated
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Avatar universal
He was on a terribly high ( to me ) dose of hydro's...he was taking like 4-5 at a time ( 10's) and doing that 4 to 5 times a day...even waking in middle of night to dose up.
   The dr started him on 4 of the 8mg pills a day...around 6 months ago...he is now down to one & 1/2 pills. One whole-- first thing in the morning...the half at night.He has done the tapering himself.He has also quit cigs, weed & energy drinks ( LOL, they are addicitve,too !) in the last few weeks. He is  getting up early & walking. So far we remain very grateful for the help the sub has given him.Time will tell as he decides how, when/if to go all the way.I am utterly convinced, though, that with the slow taper recommended by the people who have done that, that he will be able to come completely off at some point. And if I know him, he will be wanting to do that.
     I am curious...what success has any sub user/s had using the Thomas recipe or some of the other drugs mentioned to combat the restless legs, aching, sleeplessness, depression & fatigue...of w/d from sub  ??
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271792 tn?1334979657
It is really sad that he is not open to any form of aftercare. He is a long time drug abuser and I wonder what makes him think this time is different.

If he does not get to the core issues and find out what causes him to use in the first place, then what is to stop him from returning to that behavior in the future? He needs the tools to learn how to deal with "life" without the use of drugs.

Just putting the drugs down is not enough. He needs to begin recovering from his disease which is a life long process.He will always be an addict but he has a choice to be an addict using or an addict in recovery.

I pray that he gives it some thought.
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Avatar universal
I know, but I can't make him...he would be open to spiritul help...which is what he relies on daily.He has been to AA/NA meetings many time & says he does not want to go that route.
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401095 tn?1351391770
support or some type of aftercare is a must  for most...most addicts are control freaks  his doc has control over him..and he needs some type of aftercare..u r right..u can not do it for him....a slow taper is best to get off the sub..it is a sticky drug///stuck on his receptor sites and will take time....if e relapses..or even if he does not..talk him ito a aftercare program so he will remain clean..if u can
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Avatar universal
thank u so much for ur post my husband is going through the same thing he's been on suboxone for about 3 yrs his drug of choice was methadone, and i am really wanting him to come off suboxone but i don't believe he is one board. he missed his last doc. appt because he had to work and he ran out and has been out of med. for a week so i suggested that he try to come off, he tells me he wants to but i don't feel that he truly does. but i wish u the very very best of luck!
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Avatar universal
Hello My name is Nick I have been on Suboxone for 3yrs 8months and 2wks i also started because of hydrocodone abuse i also had a year of Methadone treatment what a joke . I will say Suboxone could have a place if the doctors gave a crap about you. My doctor for example has no problem keeping at top dose and reminding me hes not here to save the world hes just here to keep me legal. Well i kept my dose high in there eyes and tapered on my own because the cost is so high and have to give up so much so i would visit less frequent and try to stock pile. I guess this was my first test could taper with pleanty of meds? Im not going to sugar coat it this is my third attempt to quit. IM at  1O days without and tapered down from 3 8mg down to one 8mg from 1 8mg to a quartered film and i don't care what anyone says about this easier, that is easier, take this and help with that , buy this herbal supplement and it will ease the pain! I SAY ******** AND KISS MY______! Ok so to my reply to IBKleen  i am not trying to discourage you but im not going to tell you a lie because i am in withdrawl right now! But this time is different, this time I planned it and I realize i have to go thru this           It ***** but what can i do i don't want to be numb anymore . I have got to deal with the past **** and move on no more suppressing it. You know its crazy when i think about the money and time spent finding pills or what ever just so i could go to work  whatave missed for the passed 9 yrs and it ***** BUT what about the next 30 yrs and my oldest boy is 12yrs old and we have a decent relationship but its supposed to be better than my childhood and Suboxone not only numbs the withdrawl for a time but for me has numbed my relationships . So theres that big question you have to ask yourself what do i want more right now! Am I sick of this cycle, HELL YEA, am i ready to deal with the past 9 yrs , Yep, am i ready to have sex like a rabbit again(anyone that has taken suboxone for awhile knows what im talking about),HELL YEA. So i see what is to be gained from quiting suboxone and if i could go back and tell my self about what can i do I would say quit the pity party,man up go through the withdrawl because you got to deal with it at some point . And i hope i don't discourage anyone from getting help because suboxone did fix going to work everyday going here and there but you still have to go through the withdrawl that is the price i have to pay and there are things you can do to help but its not what you have in mind and its not putting more garbage in your body. Well i hope i answered your question and not discouraged you and i hope he finds his relief but it cant be bought it has to be earned!
   Nick and i still feel like ____!










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