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5 Day Opiate Detox with Suboxone
  1. #1
    John Larusta is offline New Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2017

    Default 5 Day Opiate Detox with Suboxone

    I thought I would share my experience with an opiate detox using suboxone. I had been using 100-200 mg of oxycodone. I have been using at this level for about 6 months and was at the point where I would only feel normal. I had started as the result of an injury but had to continue using to keep from withdrawing. I don't use any other drugs or drink which is why I did the abbreviated taper.

    After trying oxy usage tapering (takes too long) and cold turkey (quit after 2 days due to work and not sleeping) I made an appointment to an "Addiction Specialist" who uses Suboxone treatment. After seeing him he gave me 14 8mg/2mg buprenorphine-naloxone. He recommended I take up to 12 mg/day and stay on this treatment for a minimum of three months. I pushed back a little saying I though that's a long time to use something like Suboxone and would end up with a tougher problem trying to get off Suboxone. He responded by the brain needs to heal and you basically can't be trusted relying on will power. Regardless I decided to give the short detox a shot and worst case is the "Addiction Specialist" is right and I trade the very expensive and illegal oxycodone for legal and cheap (w/insurance) suboxone.

    So enough background here's what I did (this is my experience your's may differ):

    Day 1 Friday: Last oxy dose Friday at 7 PM. Went to sleep about midnight.

    Day 2 Saturday: Wake up about 10 AM and feel OK. By 7 PM only at COWS score of 4. Just tired but not enough to induct. By midnight I was definitely wanting to take the Suboxone but the fear of precipitated withdrawal kept me from doing so. By 5am my COWS score was 17 and I had RLS which prevented me from staying still for any amount of time. I decided to take my first dose of Sub using a 1 mg piece. After 20 minutes no improvement but not worse which lead me to take another 1 mg piece. Another 20 minutes still no improvement but not sick either. I decided to take a 2 mg piece next. After 30 minutes the RLS had subsided. I still feel like >>>> however, no energy, etc. Over the next 2 hours I end up at 8 mg total. COWS score is 4-5 around 7 am. By Noon I try another 2 mg which provides a little more energy but was generally ineffective. I try another 2 mg by 5 PM which did not provide any improvement. I was a little disappointed using so much. 1 mg of Sub is about 30 mg of oxy. So 8 mg would have been roughly 240 mg of oxy which is where the benefits were capped for me.

    Day 3 Sunday: 2 mg at 5 AM and 2 mg at 4 PM when I felt the withdrawals coming on. For me this was not being able to sit still and skin irritation. By midnight I started getting night sweats but was committed to not taking until 5 AM. I slept about 4 hours and took 2 mg at 5 AM. By 12 PM I took another 0.5 mg. Laid on cough all day. Zero energy, ambition, or appetite. Probably 30% of what cold turkey would be. So that is a big reason I made it this far.

    Day 4 Monday: 1/2 mg at 5 AM. 1/2 at 12 PM. I took today off from work. Similar to Sunday there's not a lot of energy or ambition. However, there's a 20% improvement from the day before. Still no appetite but I force my self to eat a little which helped me feel better.

    Day 5 Tuesday: Slept very well Monday night. 7 hours. I take 1/2 mg at 5 AM. I finally feel well enough to work. I felt about 80% normal. Take another 1/2 mg at 10 PM since I feel some general restlessness. Appetite is back to normal.

    Day 6 Wednesday: Slept 7 hours. No Sub. I have follow up with Dr. on Thursday.

    Day 7 Thursday: Sleep is normal and I feel really good. I'm encouraged with the results so far. I go to follow up appointment with Dr. and inform him I'm only using 1 mg maximum for last 2 days. Instead of being supportive he gets upset with me saying that's not what I told you to do. I ask him why do I need to be using 8 mg of Suboxone when 1 mg will do. He then tells me I will likely start feeling withdrawals in the next day or in two. But here's the deal. I actually plotted my daily dose in Excel using the half-life formula with a half life of 36 hours. Based on my initial 12 mg dose the amount in my system would have been as follows:

    Day 2: 12 mg
    Day 3: 12 mg
    Day 4: 9 mg
    Day 5: 7 mg
    Day 6: 6 mg
    Day 7: 4 mg

    I tell him I only have about 4 mg in my system and he replies the relationship is not linear. I'm like no >>>> I used the half-life equation which is by definition non-linear. Then he says the half-life of 36 hours is not accurate and the liver metabolizes at different rates. So I just declare even if it's not 4 mg in my system it certainly is not 12 mg. Man, he is generally unimpressed with me not continuing using the Suboxone which I find fascinating. So frustrated with me he asks why did you come and what do you want from me. I tell him why don't you give me something for night sweats. He says no nothing I can do for that. I ask about Clonidine (a blood pressure medication). He tells me he won't prescribe that outside of a monitored situation. I tell him lots of Dr's do and he refusal does not make sense. He then tells me he doesn't trust I will use the medication correctly. Then decides to give me another 7 days of 2mg Suboxone. OK I can't be trusted with Clonidine but here's more Suboxone. At this point I conclude he's just pissed I'm messing with his business model which is to build an army of Suboxone slaves.

    Day 8 Friday: No Sub. I feel 90% normal. No need for Suboxone. The prescription he gave me is sitting on the table unfilled next to my mountain of unused Suboxone.

    That's my experience. Take it for what it's worth. I did read the other posts based on the 4 day taper which was very helpful:

    I think what has been missed from previous posts is there's a rational explanation for why this method works and how you can tailor it to meet your needs. For me I needed to stay at 12 mg for the first two days to feel comfortable. This is why the initial 12 mg dose followed by 4 mg worked. Then as my withdrawal symptoms subsided by day 4 I could cut the dose to about 1 mg and just try and balance the minimum amount of Sub in my system. If I would have taken the Dr's advise I would have built up 18 mg in my system rather than the 4 mg when I saw him. I'm sure that would have made coming off this stuff problematic.

    Hope this information is useful. I encourage you all to look at the original short taper post I linked to above. I will keep you posted over the next 3-5 days to confirm complications do not arise.
    Elizabethws84 likes this.

  2. #2
    Autumnhopes is offline Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    New York


    The first time I got off opioids I did the same thing. 1 week of subs higher dose day 1-3 & lowered dose for days 4-8. I did fine getting off. Just some nausea & shakiness for a week after. But... I say but I never really healed inside & my desire for opioids came back full strength. More then ever before.
    A month later I was back on oxy. That's the problem. I never really treated myself I am 2 years later.... still struggling to get off opioids. I wish u th best but this process can't be hurried..

  3. #3
    John Larusta is offline New Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2017


    Yes, this method is probably not suitable for the mental aspects. I don't have a history of addiction and in my 20's and early 30's never drank, smoked, or anything like that. Also, I managed to keep my life in tact during this time. It was just incredibly expensive and made me feel like a prisoner limiting how long I would be away from home before I would run out. Thinking about that is enough of a deterrent...for any short term pleasure you end up in long term hell.

    With that said, I still don't think being on Suboxone long term would be the first thing I would try. See a therapist of go to NA meetings. I've read far too often on this site people being on Suboxone for several years and having a tough time getting off or even going back on opiates.

    I'll report back a few months to confirm. I'm sure this can be an effective approach. I wouldn't underestimate anyone that has gone through this hell.

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