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5.5 yrs on Sub and want off!
  1. #1
    Submenot is offline New Member
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    Default 5.5 yrs on Sub and want off!

    Hi, all. So, I'm yet another person trying to get off Sub. I got on in fall '05. Yup, long time and I know this. I threw in the towel years back after my first try at getting off Sub (with a seriously stupid doctor) left me pretty traumatized. However, I've noticed many unpleasant changes in my personality from this med and I need to stop taking it. My current doctor does not think I can even get off, which really motivated me to do it.

    Anyway, my highest dose was 32 mg (chronic pain patient) and I was on that for quite a while. I bounced around over the years but started a very disciplined taper in late Oct. 2010 from 8 mg. I've been more disciplined about this than I knew I could ever be, and I'm proud of that. However, it has also been way harder than I imagined, and my body threw a prolonged tantrum at 1 mg. Now I'm down to .375 mg per day. I need some advice going the distance. Getting from .375 to .25 is causing me trouble. I can go one day at .25, but the next day, I'm hurting, and by 3 p.m., I'm pretty miserable, especially my legs!! I lose the ability to sleep as well. I do have Clonidine and take it every afternoon. I take Melatonin when I cannot sleep, and it sometimes works. I dose in the evening before bed. How do I go down from here? What levels should I drop to? I'm using the Sub films and cutting them as carefully as possible.

    Thanks. If I can do this, anyone can.

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    Robert_325 is offline Retired
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    Quote Originally Posted by Submenot View Post
    Hi, all. So, I'm yet another person trying to get off Sub. I got on in fall '05. Yup, long time and I know this. I threw in the towel years back after my first try at getting off Sub (with a seriously stupid doctor) left me pretty traumatized. However, I've noticed many unpleasant changes in my personality from this med and I need to stop taking it. My current doctor does not think I can even get off, which really motivated me to do it.

    Anyway, my highest dose was 32 mg (chronic pain patient) and I was on that for quite a while. I bounced around over the years but started a very disciplined taper in late Oct. 2010 from 8 mg. I've been more disciplined about this than I knew I could ever be, and I'm proud of that. However, it has also been way harder than I imagined, and my body threw a prolonged tantrum at 1 mg. Now I'm down to .375 mg per day. I need some advice going the distance. Getting from .375 to .25 is causing me trouble. I can go one day at .25, but the next day, I'm hurting, and by 3 p.m., I'm pretty miserable, especially my legs!! I lose the ability to sleep as well. I do have Clonidine and take it every afternoon. I take Melatonin when I cannot sleep, and it sometimes works. I dose in the evening before bed. How do I go down from here? What levels should I drop to? I'm using the Sub films and cutting them as carefully as possible.

    Thanks. If I can do this, anyone can.




    You've been on a really high dose for a pretty long time. I've worked with people here though that have used subs for ten years and got clean on this forum. You can do this, just realize you're at the very end and this is where it's the toughest for someone who's used subs for so long.

    I normally suggest tapering 25% every four days or so. In your case, if you're having trouble right here at the end, lessen the amount you're tapering by. What difference does it make if it takes a couple extra weeks after five years plus? I would try to reduce to .3mg first and see how that works for you. Get stable and then go .25mg or less depending on how you feel. Don't get in a hurry at this point is what I'm saying. You are so close you know that you're going to be successful so just take your time here at the end.

    Keep us posted and let me know if there is anything I can do to help. Good luck and God bless.
    Last edited by Anonymous; 07-20-2011 at 09:28 AM.
    sweet1.9907 likes this.
    I am not a dr. My statements are based on years of experience and related education. Consult with the professional of your choice regarding matters of concern.

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    Submenot is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert_325 View Post
    You've been on a really high dose for a pretty long time. I've worked with people here though that have used subs for ten years and got clean on this forum. You can do this, just realize you're at the very end and this is where it's the toughest for someone who's used subs for so long.

    I normally suggest tapering 25% every four days or so. In your case, if you're having trouble right here at the end, lessen the amount you're tapering by. What difference does it make if it takes a couple extra weeks after five years plus? I would try to reduce to .3mg first and see how that works for you. Get stable and then go .25mg or less depending on how you feel. Don't get in a hurry at this point is what I'm saying. You are so close you know that you're going to be successful so just take your time here at the end.

    Keep us posted and let me know if there is anything I can do to help. Good luck and God bless.
    Thanks, Robert, so much for your guidance. Honestly, I was thinking I was nearly done once I got to 1 mg and then lower. Then, I tried to not take my Sub at all and went to sleep instead. WOW! I've now tried doing this three times, and each time, I woke up around 2 a.m. in the middle of the worst feeling I've ever had. Anxiety like I'm dying, trouble even walking to my bathroom to get my dose, rocking back and forth on the floor waiting for it to work. I realized I had to keep dropping instead of jumping, because that sensation is intolerable and very scary to me. I wonder if it is even normal to feel that bad. Is it because of how long I've been on it? I've gone for a week twice before without any Sub (before surgery) and I never felt that awful, but I was on a high dose, so it probably wasn't even out of my system yet. Plus, it was much earlier into my experience with Sub. I feel like nobody knows many answers when it comes to this med, or at least my doctors haven't known much.

    Anyway, I'm using the 2-mg films, so I'm going to follow you as closely as I can. Yesterday, I took 5/16, or .3125 mg. After that, maybe I'll be able to drop to .25. I guess I'll see when I get there.

    Thanks Robert!

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    sweet1.9907 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Submenot View Post
    Thanks, Robert, so much for your guidance. Honestly, I was thinking I was nearly done once I got to 1 mg and then lower. Then, I tried to not take my Sub at all and went to sleep instead. WOW! I've now tried doing this three times, and each time, I woke up around 2 a.m. in the middle of the worst feeling I've ever had. Anxiety like I'm dying, trouble even walking to my bathroom to get my dose, rocking back and forth on the floor waiting for it to work. I realized I had to keep dropping instead of jumping, because that sensation is intolerable and very scary to me. I wonder if it is even normal to feel that bad. Is it because of how long I've been on it? I've gone for a week twice before without any Sub (before surgery) and I never felt that awful, but I was on a high dose, so it probably wasn't even out of my system yet. Plus, it was much earlier into my experience with Sub. I feel like nobody knows many answers when it comes to this med, or at least my doctors haven't known much.

    Anyway, I'm using the 2-mg films, so I'm going to follow you as closely as I can. Yesterday, I took 5/16, or .3125 mg. After that, maybe I'll be able to drop to .25. I guess I'll see when I get there.

    Thanks Robert!
    Hello, My name is Christine & I too have taken Subs a looooong time.... 6+ yrs now everything you have felt & went through is totally normal as I have been through the exact same things! We are almost at the same level now. I am taking .25mg & am now working on skipping a day. I had a really hard time going from .50 to .25 this ???? is soooo much stronger then I ever thought it was & it is impossible (unless you love torture & feeling like ????) to just jump off of. I am so thankfull I found this site & Robert & Henry along with the support of everyone else. If it weren't for them who knows if I would have ever got this far. Everytime I tell my dr I don't want to take subs any more & ask how I go about doing it the only answer I get is, "Well you could try that or you can just stay on it the rest of your life." WTF!!! right?? have you ever heard that one? Lol... Anyways, Stick with these guys they are amazing!! I will be here cheering you on! Maybe we can get through this together One day at a time...... Christine

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    jaypbarb666 is offline Member
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    Robert is right in that suboxone tapering needs to be a very long and slow process, but you are down to just .25mg per day - great job! I would believe the longer you've been on the longer your taper will need to be, so don't get discouraged. My only advice at this point would be to carry around a small little .25mg chip with you at all times, and hold out as long as you can before taking it. First try going 24 hours, then 25, then 26 and so on. Once you can go more than 36 hours between doses you should be able to stop. I'm not trying to say you will be withdrawal free, I'm not sure that is entirely possible, but the w/d's shouldn't be unbearable. Stay very hydrated, it's very important. Hydration can stave off muscle cramps, keep your digestive system in line, stave off headaches and hopefully cure restless legs. Sleep I know will still be hard to come by. If you can get an hour or two nap in once or twice a day, that always helped me a ton. If I only slept 2,3,4 hours at night a nap in the afternoon would get me out of zombie-mode. Good luck to you. If your friends and family aren't aware of what you are going through, get them on board. It helps immensely, just like support groups and/or one on one therapy. Just remember, and I'm sure you are aware of this having been on it 5.5 years, slow and easy does it!

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    Submenot is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaypbarb666 View Post
    Robert is right in that suboxone tapering needs to be a very long and slow process, but you are down to just .25mg per day - great job! I would believe the longer you've been on the longer your taper will need to be, so don't get discouraged. My only advice at this point would be to carry around a small little .25mg chip with you at all times, and hold out as long as you can before taking it. First try going 24 hours, then 25, then 26 and so on. Once you can go more than 36 hours between doses you should be able to stop. I'm not trying to say you will be withdrawal free, I'm not sure that is entirely possible, but the w/d's shouldn't be unbearable. Stay very hydrated, it's very important. Hydration can stave off muscle cramps, keep your digestive system in line, stave off headaches and hopefully cure restless legs. Sleep I know will still be hard to come by. If you can get an hour or two nap in once or twice a day, that always helped me a ton. If I only slept 2,3,4 hours at night a nap in the afternoon would get me out of zombie-mode. Good luck to you. If your friends and family aren't aware of what you are going through, get them on board. It helps immensely, just like support groups and/or one on one therapy. Just remember, and I'm sure you are aware of this having been on it 5.5 years, slow and easy does it!
    Thanks for your words of support! I really appreciate it. I'm thinking I'll stick to .3125 a few more days and then try to get to .25. I may have to alternate between those two for a while. From there, I was thinking I'd keep trying to taper until around .125 and then space those. We'll see.

    I'm drinking tons of water and trying to absolutely wear myself out physically during the day. Sleep is already harder, but I was sleeping so much on lots of Sub that it was ridiculous. Now, five hours is a good night's rest. It makes me feel better to hear that I need to take my time on this last part. To be honest, it's been months of tapering and it has not been easy either, so I'm more than a little burned out on the whole thing. I am determined to finish, but I don't feel like going too fast and suffering more than I need to. I'm also shocked...SHOCKED....at how truly strong this med has proven to be. The 32 mg/day me thinks that having trouble getting off such a tiny dose is crazy. The .3125 mg/day me knows better now. I'm also shocked at how much harder it has been to taper this time from and to the same doses. I've gotten to 3 mg before and then given up and gone back up, but it was not nearly as hard to taper earlier in. It must be because I've been on so long.....but my doctor says that it doesn't matter if you've been on 5 weeks or 5 years and that the drops are the same. Obviously, that's not true!!

    Thank you!

    Submenot
    First you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

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    Robert_325 is offline Retired
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    Quote Originally Posted by Submenot View Post
    Thanks for your words of support! I really appreciate it. I'm thinking I'll stick to .3125 a few more days and then try to get to .25. I may have to alternate between those two for a while. From there, I was thinking I'd keep trying to taper until around .125 and then space those. We'll see.

    I'm drinking tons of water and trying to absolutely wear myself out physically during the day. Sleep is already harder, but I was sleeping so much on lots of Sub that it was ridiculous. Now, five hours is a good night's rest. It makes me feel better to hear that I need to take my time on this last part. To be honest, it's been months of tapering and it has not been easy either, so I'm more than a little burned out on the whole thing. I am determined to finish, but I don't feel like going too fast and suffering more than I need to. I'm also shocked...SHOCKED....at how truly strong this med has proven to be. The 32 mg/day me thinks that having trouble getting off such a tiny dose is crazy. The .3125 mg/day me knows better now. I'm also shocked at how much harder it has been to taper this time from and to the same doses. I've gotten to 3 mg before and then given up and gone back up, but it was not nearly as hard to taper earlier in. It must be because I've been on so long.....but my doctor says that it doesn't matter if you've been on 5 weeks or 5 years and that the drops are the same. Obviously, that's not true!!

    Thank you!

    Submenot



    First of all a sub dr that puts you on 32mg of suboxone is an idiot. And to then say it doesn't matter if you've used it for five weeks or five years the taper is the same just confirms his / her ignorance even further.

    This is a perfect example of why so many people using subs with instructions that came from a sub dr (who took an 8 hour class to get certified to become an authority on subs) end up here struggling to get clean.

    It's totally unnecessary to go through all this if subs are used properly ..... starting out with the correct dose, that being the lowest dose possible that makes an addict stable, and for a period not over the shortest amount of time possible for the brain receptors to begin functioning properly again. That normally takes about six to eight weeks if the induction is done at the proper dose and the taper is done properly. God bless.
    I am not a dr. My statements are based on years of experience and related education. Consult with the professional of your choice regarding matters of concern.

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    Submenot is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert_325 View Post
    First of all a sub dr that puts you on 32mg of suboxone is an idiot. And to then say it doesn't matter if you've used it for five weeks or five years the taper is the same just confirms his / her ignorance even further.

    This is a perfect example of why so many people using subs with instructions that came from a sub dr (who took an 8 hour class to get certified to become an authority on subs) end up here struggling to get clean.

    It's totally unnecessary to go through all this if subs are used properly ..... starting out with the correct dose, that being the lowest dose possible that makes an addict stable, and for a period not over the shortest amount of time possible for the brain receptors to begin functioning properly again. That normally takes about six to eight weeks if the induction is done at the proper dose and the taper is done properly. God bless.
    Yeah, as far as Sub docs and how they work/what they know, my experience has been pretty bad. I've had a lot of anger over the whole thing, but that gets me nowhere, and in the end, I chose to start this med. I'll never start any other med based upon what a doctor tells me. I'll research the hell out of everything first and stay skeptical.

    My induction dose was .25, because I was 'opiate naive' but had a history or alcoholism and needed pain medication. It sounded like a great plan to take this 'non-addictive' pain med that would treat my pain, have zero side effects, could not possibly get me high, etc. My initial doctor was so pumped up about how totally wonderful Suboxone was and had prescribed it in Europe and then come here when the FDA approved it. However, none of those things I was promised have really panned out, even when I finally got into the 'pain control zone' which used to be asserted to be between 24 and 32 mg. Sub is not a very good pain reliever and I swear, it was horrid trying to get on it. The only part that it harder is getting off.

    Tomorrow, I'm going to drop a bit more, probably to .28 mg. This last bit (that is, according to my current doc, 'all in my head') is definitely the toughest bit by far. Gotta keep it slow and steady. Thanks for educating so many people, Robert, because the magnitude of the misinformation is astounding, as least to me. I struggle to understand why there isn't more outrage over this, as Sub is like any other drug. When used correctly, it's good. When used incorrectly, it's not good at all.


    Submenot
    First you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

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    Robert_325 is offline Retired
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    Submenot ........ It's not all in your head. Blow off what the goober sub dr told you. He has already shown how smart and learned he is.

    Just take your time .... what is a couple extra weeks at this point? Let me know how I can help if you have any trouble. God bless.
    I am not a dr. My statements are based on years of experience and related education. Consult with the professional of your choice regarding matters of concern.

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    Submenot is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert_325 View Post
    Submenot ........ It's not all in your head. Blow off what the goober sub dr told you. He has already shown how smart and learned he is.

    Just take your time .... what is a couple extra weeks at this point? Let me know how I can help if you have any trouble. God bless.
    Thanks, Robert. As far as my doc goes, I've got enough Sub and Clonidine to get me through so I won't be seeing him anymore.

    I appreciate your support so much. This is the strangest experience. You can drop and feel okay and then...WHAM! It hits you. Today is absolutely a struggle, even though I dropped so small an amount. I feel so sunburned and the RLS is nuts. Also, the sneezing. And how can diarrhea be in your head?! My body sure is fighting this with all its got. Hope I can still drop again tomorrow, but it may have to wait a few days. Like you said, what's a few more weeks?

    Submenot
    First you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

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    Submenot is offline New Member
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    Default Robert_325: progress w/ tapering

    Hi, Robert (and anyone else reading), I wanted to update my tapering progress. I'm taking 1/8-mg/day and twice now alternated that with 1/16-mg/day. I dose once at night.

    I don't feel quite right yet. I'm not adjusted to this alternating dose. The days after I take the 1/16, I drag and drag through the day. How in the heck can this med be so dang powerful? Anyway, here's my approach and tell me why it is wrong (if it is)...

    I don't want to 'jump'. I want to step off gracefully. If it takes me two more months, I don't really care. I don't want to have to sit on the couch or to not have the energy to have a normal life. So, can't I just keep doing what I'm doing until I gradually stop taking Suboxone entirely? Eventually, I'll stabilize on 1/16 and then I start taking it as far apart as I can until I just quit taking it. I know 1/16 is a pretty small amount of Bupe and this may sound silly to some, but I also know a 'hospital' dose is about 50 micrograms, so maybe it's not that it's so ridiculous. We are all just taking so much.

    Submenot
    First you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

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    Submenot is offline New Member
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    Default I beat Sub after nearly 6 years

    Well, I'm only about 4.5 days out, but I'm done with Suboxone. I tapered to a low dose, between 1/16 and 1/8 mg, which was the perfect thing to do for me. Thus far, this jump has been pretty darn easy. My symptoms are so minimal. I started this taper at the end of Oct. 2010 and it took my 10.5 months to get to zero. Did I go slowly? Yes, but I won and I've been on Sub so long that my body threw a tantrum several times, even after small drops. At those times, I had to take a rest.

    I flushed all my remaining films today, which was a victory like none other. I feel physically fatigued right now, but I also feel like I can do anything after sticking with this taper. I feel sooooo incredibly free too.

    Good luck to everyone who is doing this. This can be done. Even if it takes you a while, live your life fully while you taper. If you just keep hacking away little by little, you will get there.
    First you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

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    Denny_D is offline Advanced Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Submenot View Post
    Well, I'm only about 4.5 days out, but I'm done with Suboxone. I tapered to a low dose, between 1/16 and 1/8 mg, which was the perfect thing to do for me. Thus far, this jump has been pretty darn easy. My symptoms are so minimal. I started this taper at the end of Oct. 2010 and it took my 10.5 months to get to zero. Did I go slowly? Yes, but I won and I've been on Sub so long that my body threw a tantrum several times, even after small drops. At those times, I had to take a rest.

    I flushed all my remaining films today, which was a victory like none other. I feel physically fatigued right now, but I also feel like I can do anything after sticking with this taper. I feel sooooo incredibly free too.

    Good luck to everyone who is doing this. This can be done. Even if it takes you a while, live your life fully while you taper. If you just keep hacking away little by little, you will get there.
    Submenot ..... what an absolutely amazing journey. Congratulations to you! I would say you did the near impossible. Not that you finally conquered the Subs. But the fact that you didn't give up. You are truely free. And the best part is that you never have to do this again. Beautiful!

    You do realize that the temptations and cravings will surely come. You for one have the willpower to fight them off. Please come back to the forum often and share your story so that others may read about it. It will give all that are struggling much needed hope.

    Congratulations again and I wish you the absolute best in your new, clean, life. God Bless.....Denny

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    Submenot is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Denny_D View Post
    Submenot ..... what an absolutely amazing journey. Congratulations to you! I would say you did the near impossible. Not that you finally conquered the Subs. But the fact that you didn't give up. You are truely free. And the best part is that you never have to do this again. Beautiful!

    You do realize that the temptations and cravings will surely come. You for one have the willpower to fight them off. Please come back to the forum often and share your story so that others may read about it. It will give all that are struggling much needed hope.

    Congratulations again and I wish you the absolute best in your new, clean, life. God Bless.....Denny
    Thank you so much!! I actually started Buprenorphine for pain and not opiate addiction after an injury, because the injury left me with long-term nausea and I couldn't hold other pain meds down. So, this is the only pain med I've been addicted to. I don't have to deal with opiate cravings, but I'm in recovery for alcoholism (another reason I started Bupe and not full agonists) so I know I will always have to watch my back and avoid everything. No drugs for me. No drinking for me. I like being free. It feels great. This was my last hurdle. November will be six years without one drop of alcohol and I was a terrible, fall-down, pee-myself drunk. I never want to deal with any of this again and it's wonderful that I don't have to.

    I look forward to helping other people who feel like this is an overwhelming battle. Now I know it is truly possible to taper off Sub without making yourself terribly sick and miserable.

    Submenot
    First you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

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