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Need advice - Quit sub after long term use
  1. #1
    Arco123 is offline New Member
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    Default Need advice - Quit sub after long term use

    Hey guys, looking for some advice or just some motivation. I hope I can make sense here bc I'm having trouble focusing lol. I've been on sub for about 5 years. Over the past 2 years I've been down to about 2 mg/day or less. Starting around 2 weeks ago (about) I've been down to 1 mg. Then I went 4 days at like .25, they were tiny slivers. It's now been 2 days without anything. I was feeling WD the whole time I was at the tiny, .25 dose and its really only gotten slightly worse since I totally stopped.

    I've been taking theanine and Valerian Root at night and that helps me sleep..knocks me out pretty good actually. When I wake up, it's the worst part of the day but once I get up and moving it seems to ease up. Symptoms are (sorry to be graphic!) not diarrhea but not normal and having to go more than I ever normally do, RLS is pretty bad in the morning but eases up during the day thank god, eatery mouth like crazy, and can't focus very well at all. This is all nowhere near as bad as WDs I've had where I wanted to jump off a bridge...it's tolerable but it is just relentless and annoying. I've been taking a Xanax during the day just to help relax but that's it.

    Anyways, I can get sub in like 2 days. Should I just ride it out at this stage or go on a more prolonged taper once I can get it? I'm just hoping this is as bad as it gets. I'm worried it's gonna get worse soon even though I really don't feel like it will. Sorry I'm rambling but it's hard to concentrate, I'm kinda spaced out. Anyways, thanks in advance for any help or advice!
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  2. #2
    Arco123 is offline New Member
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    Few things I forgot to mention. I'm male and have always been pretty thin due to a fast metabolism but I think subs have really contributed to that. I'm 5'10, 135 lbs. I'm hoping my fast metabolism means subs don't have as long of a half life for me but not sure if that even matter. I've been taking caffeine pills for energy, only thing that's ever worked for me bc subs make me so damn tired. I'm trying to eat but my stomach just feels blah....not really nauseous just no appetite. Trying to drink a lot of water and taking a multivitamin too.

    Oh, I quit smoking cigarettes last week too so that just adds to this whole situation.
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  3. #3
    Irishgirl555 is offline Member
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    Hi Arco! I'm sure people will come along with some advice for you...I stopped subs (my 2nd attempt now) 9 days ago...I stopped from about 2mg, which is high from what I hear...and from reading these forums, the best way (again from what I read) is to taper until you get to 0.25mg or less...but it's a personal decision...I've been on subs just a couple months short of 6 years, started out at 20mg....I don't really have any advice for you, but good job for wanting to get off and for the quitting smoking!! That will be on my list of things to quit later on lol...for now, just trying to make it through this!! Hang in there!!

    Jessica

  4. #4
    Arco123 is offline New Member
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    Thanks, you too! It's not nearly as bad as I've had before but it's just dragging out so long. How do you feel 9 days out? I'm just so damn lazy, I don't want to get off the couch.

    The cigarettes weren't actually that bad. I was a pack a day and stopped cold turkey but I do vape so that definitely helps. First couple days sucked but it's been over a week and I actually don't crave them very often. I just picked a bad time to do both but was out of my control for the subs.

  5. #5
    Randy35 is offline Platinum Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arco123 View Post
    Hey guys, looking for some advice or just some motivation. I hope I can make sense here bc I'm having trouble focusing lol. I've been on sub for about 5 years. Over the past 2 years I've been down to about 2 mg/day or less. Starting around 2 weeks ago (about) I've been down to 1 mg. Then I went 4 days at like .25, they were tiny slivers. It's now been 2 days without anything. I was feeling WD the whole time I was at the tiny, .25 dose and its really only gotten slightly worse since I totally stopped.

    I've been taking theanine and Valerian Root at night and that helps me sleep..knocks me out pretty good actually. When I wake up, it's the worst part of the day but once I get up and moving it seems to ease up. Symptoms are (sorry to be graphic!) not diarrhea but not normal and having to go more than I ever normally do, RLS is pretty bad in the morning but eases up during the day thank god, eatery mouth like crazy, and can't focus very well at all. This is all nowhere near as bad as WDs I've had where I wanted to jump off a bridge...it's tolerable but it is just relentless and annoying. I've been taking a Xanax during the day just to help relax but that's it.

    Anyways, I can get sub in like 2 days. Should I just ride it out at this stage or go on a more prolonged taper once I can get it? I'm just hoping this is as bad as it gets. I'm worried it's gonna get worse soon even though I really don't feel like it will. Sorry I'm rambling but it's hard to concentrate, I'm kinda spaced out. Anyways, thanks in advance for any help or advice!


    Welcome Arco!

    If I'm understanding you correctly, you were on a dose of sub HIGHER than 2mg for several (about 3) years? Then you spent the last 2 years on 2mg per day or less? For the past 2 weeks you were at 1mg per day? And finally the last 4 days you've been taking .25mg per day? So my question is: Did you reduce from a high dose (what was that dose?) right down to 2mg per day, then straight down to 1mg per day, and then dropped to .25mg per day? Is that correct?

    If that's what you did it's no wonder you're having symptoms, you reduced by too many mgs. Our sub taper plan suggests reducing your dose by no more than 25%, and reducing every 4-7 days. For example you would have reduced from 1mg to .75mg, then to .5mg, then to .375mg and finally to .25mg. You missed some steps in between and that can definitely contribute to your symptoms.

    Another thing is that Suboxone has very long half life. As you take more sub on a daily basis it stacks or builds in your system faster than the half life can let it dissipate. So even though you stopped at .25mg per day you have more than that left in your system that will need to come out. Also know that because of that half life you might feel ok the first 2-3 days after you stop taking the sub then all of a sudden wd symptoms appear.

    It's been 2 days since you stopped the sub. If harsh symptoms will happen it will happen either today or tomorrow. So what do you do now? You have 2 choices. Choice 1 - Either attempt to ride out any symptoms that do appear as best you can with vitamins and supplements, along with plenty of water and exercise. Sub can dehydrate you so get plenty of fluids in you to help flush pout the toxins faster and to keep you hydrated. Get out of the house and stay as busy as you possibly can. Laying around watching the clock is just no good. Maybe try the Thomas Recipe as many say it realy helps. Here's the link to it below.....

    https://www.drugs.com/forum/featured...wal-35169.html

    I see you're taking Xanax. Please be extra careful with that because it's highly addictive. DO NOT stop taking any benzo abruptly as that can be dangerous. Benzo's require a slow and steady taper to safely get off. And you're right, along with stopping the subs, quitting smoking can add to your symptoms. You took on a lot at once.

    Choice 2 - Get back on a low dose of Suboxone and taper lower, and taper slow and steady. If I were you seeing as you did reduce to .25mg per day I might be inclined to wait and see how severe any symptoms get. They just may not be that rough? Of course you aren't going to get off free as some symptoms are bound to happen. Keep in mind you're getting off a very strong drug in the Suboxone. A positive attitude and lots of willpower can get you through this.

    Let us know what you decide to do. Post often and you'll receive responses. I hope this helps and gives you some idea of what may be happening and what you can do about it. Take care.

    Randy
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  6. #6
    Arco123 is offline New Member
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    Randy, thanks for the message. You have the doses correct. I never took a really high dose like some people, I just didn't need it. The highest I was at on a daily basis was about 2-3 mgs. For the past couple years, I've really only taken it to keep away the withdrawals. I've had times here and there where I took more to get a buzz but that's been pretty rare. I was wrong in my initial post tho, today was day 3 of having no sub.

    I didn't decide to stop like this voluntarily but have been forced into it. I guess I'm going to keep riding it out, not that I have much of a choice for at least the next 2 days. If this is as bad as I'm gonna get, I think I can push through. The only problem is I have school work right now that I can't ignore so that's gonna be the hard part. The caffeine pills definitely help with concentration though. Going without nicotine is definitely contributing to that though, I know from quitting cigarettes before. I bought 2 small cigar things to take a few puffs of here and there, maybe that'll help.

    I've been chugging water, I can feel I've been dehydrated. Bought some Gatorade and I have multivitamins, St John's wort, and that's pretty much it. I only have like 3 Xanax, I never take them so just using them for this.

    On a side note, one thing I noticed was sub has given me anxiety. I used to never have any issues with public speaking or social interactions but over the past few years, it's got pretty bad. Not so much socially, although I've become more withdrawn....but when I had to do public speaking for school, I'd have full on panic attacks, shaking, etc. I was never like that.

    I went for a walk earlier and didn't I feel too bad other than being out of breath. It actually feels weird when you I breathe normally after being on that stuff, I've experienced this before. I'm used to having depressed breathing I suppose. But walking took away the RLS. It's sitting around when its the worst.

    I currently have what feels like restless arm and hand syndrome. Everything seems to come in waves....is that normal? Night time sucks, hence why I'm still up at 4 a.m., and morning will too again I'm sure. I'm just wondering if this is the worst of it. Just have to wait and see I suppose. Well, I'm rambling again. Thanks for the message and I'll keep this updated. Reading others posts really has helped me...I just wanna be done with this stuff.
    Last edited by Anonymous; 09-21-2017 at 03:11 AM.

  7. #7
    Arco123 is offline New Member
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    Small update, good and bad. So last night I took melatonin and half a Xanax to sleep. It worked and I was mentally exhausted but the pins and needles in my arms and my head (no idea how to explain it) got worse. So I wanted to pass out so bad but couldn't, it was driving me nuts. So I started the scramble, checking every little spot I could for a tiny piece....so ridiculous. I ended up finding a thing I used to break up the pills on years ago.....scraped the **** out of it and managed to get a tiny bit of powder. I used some, waited near and hour and it finally started kicking in and fell asleep right away and slept for 12 hours. Melatonin has always made me a zombie.

    So, now I'm just annoyed that I couldn't make it but it just became unbearable. Still gonna be another day, 2 at the most, before I get more so we'll see how long I last before it gets miserable again. I still feel bad but the pins and needles feeling is gone.....but my god, my back feels like I got beat with a baseball bat. I couldn't even stand up straight last night, was walking hunched over like a 90 year old haha. Can't help but laugh because it's so ridiculous. I've thrown my back out a few times before and this sort of feels like that but more so just ridiculously sore. So I'm not sure what's going on with it.

    Anyways, I'll keep you guys updated but as of now the plan is looking like I'm gonna get back on a tiny taper when I get them...unless I can somehow push thru this time.

  8. #8
    Arco123 is offline New Member
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    Me again It's been almost 24 hrs since I did that little bit of sub. I'll be honest, I *think* it was sub. I used that tray for Adderall a bunch and haven't had sub pills forever but from the improvement I felt it had to have been? Anyways, I don't feel too bad right now, it's tolerable. The bright side is that if that was sub, I'm down to a very small dose to make me comfortable for an entire day. I took in a bunch of nicotine last night and today and I'm wondering if the withdrawal from that made the sub withdrawal much worse. I dunno. It's hard to tell what's going on because I half **** this entire process. We'll see what the morning brings and I should know more about what the wd is gonna be like going forward.

  9. #9
    Randy35 is offline Platinum Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arco123 View Post
    Small update, good and bad. So last night I took melatonin and half a Xanax to sleep. It worked and I was mentally exhausted but the pins and needles in my arms and my head (no idea how to explain it) got worse. So I wanted to pass out so bad but couldn't, it was driving me nuts. So I started the scramble, checking every little spot I could for a tiny piece....so ridiculous. I ended up finding a thing I used to break up the pills on years ago.....scraped the **** out of it and managed to get a tiny bit of powder. I used some, waited near and hour and it finally started kicking in and fell asleep right away and slept for 12 hours. Melatonin has always made me a zombie.

    So, now I'm just annoyed that I couldn't make it but it just became unbearable. Still gonna be another day, 2 at the most, before I get more so we'll see how long I last before it gets miserable again. I still feel bad but the pins and needles feeling is gone.....but my god, my back feels like I got beat with a baseball bat. I couldn't even stand up straight last night, was walking hunched over like a 90 year old haha. Can't help but laugh because it's so ridiculous. I've thrown my back out a few times before and this sort of feels like that but more so just ridiculously sore. So I'm not sure what's going on with it.

    Anyways, I'll keep you guys updated but as of now the plan is looking like I'm gonna get back on a tiny taper when I get them...unless I can somehow push thru this time.

    Tearing the house apart looking for a pinch of substance that may or may not be sub that just may be laying around. Yeah, been there, done that, multiple times. I know that routine very well. And I know how you feel so guilty afterwards.

    OK, so you couldn't deal with the symptoms and that's understandable. You've been on Suboxone around 5 years and that's a long, long time. You also have some sub still left in your system and that's keeping you from really feeling the brunt of wd symptoms. It will probably get worse before it gets better, but it will get better given some time.

    My questions for you are, what are you going to do when you get the sub in a day or two? How much sub are you going to get? And what will you do when that runs out? Let us know how much sub you are planning on getting. Depending on the amount will determine the suggestions given. If you receive a few of the 8mg's that would be enough for you to properly taper down and soften the landing. If you only get 1 sub it will definitely help form some kind of tapering schedule that will make wd's tolerable.

    Keep in mind that getting clean is only half the battle. You need a support system in place with face to face support to hold you accountable. I've gotten clean numerous times, but it was only when I involved myself in NA and AA that I was able to remain clean. Give that some serious thought.

    Randy

  10. #10
    Irishgirl555 is offline Member
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    Hi Arco! Glad you have gotten some relief...I am now on 11 days without subs and I don't even know...I don't know what's mental, what's physical, what's emotional, it's like a crazy rollercoaster for me...been calling my doctor for days now for help with no call back....I kind of blame the receptionists though...I'm gonna call one more time before 5pm if he doesn't call and say what part of I'm not doing good do you not understand?! Lol...anyway, here's hoping to making it through another day!

    Jessica

  11. #11
    Arco123 is offline New Member
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    Hey guys. Good news finally. Today is day 5/6 (they all blend together) and i feel like I finally turned the corner. It's the 1st day I felt better/not worse. The RLS and burning skin and general f'n misery is basically gone...still feel very spaced out and lethargic though.

    Today 3 subs finally came through tho. I felt like I could possibly go without but I have so much to do that I can't afford another day of being bedridden and useless. So I took .5 mg earlier and that brought me to a functioning level. Randy if you could give me some advice on how to proceed I'd really appreciate it. Do you think it's best to do the regular taper as suggested or can I try to start skipping days or cutting down even more right away since I already went 5 days without? I'm so ready to be done, I want to make these my last 3.

    Subs are amazing and life saving but, at least for me personally, they definitely have some long term effects like the anxiety and laziness I've developed. Even though I feel like >>>>, today I felt a bit more clear headed and outgoing than I have in a while....I can't wait to feel like that all the time and just be normal! Almost there!
    Last edited by Anonymous; 09-23-2017 at 06:57 PM.

  12. #12
    Arco123 is offline New Member
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    Irish, that is awesome you've made it 11 days. You've definitely gotta be over the worst I'd think, even if it doesn't exactly feel like it. How are you feeling today?

  13. #13
    Arco123 is offline New Member
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    Oh yeah, one last thing.....so I think I figured out how I messed my back up. I definitely pulled a muscle, which has happened before, and I'm pretty sure it was from sneezing so hard! I was up to like 30-40 hardcore sneezes for a day or two there and I think that's what did it. I just gotta laugh at it because it's frankly ridiculous but when I woke up today, it felt about 80-90% normal so it's bearable now.
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  14. #14
    Irishgirl555 is offline Member
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    Hey Arco! Glad you're feeling good...you know, since I've been on drugs and then subs for so many years, it's really hard to tell how I feel...I think most physical stuff is better, except for the not being able to sit still and not sleeping very well, oh, and my stomach....now what I'm finding is I can't concentrate!! I'm trying to work and I'm just constantly thinking about how I feel and why I don't feel my happy, bubbly self...it's been sooooo many years that I haven't had anything in my body, that I don't know what I'm supposed to feel like....it's kinda weird...but, I'm doing my best, might hit a meeting tonight since it's a speaker meeting and I can just listen...idk, I've tried meetings before and not sure they're for me...I just hope I can make it...I haven't been completely sober in over 15 years and I'm scared of who I am without drugs

  15. #15
    Arco123 is offline New Member
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    Hey! We sent to have pretty identical symptoms. The main reason I have in to a tiny piece today was being just mentally whacked out and unable to concentrate. I just started my new semester so I have school work that can't be ignored and it's not easy stuff either. But today was honestly better, I felt less spaced out for the 1st time. I tapered a bit then jumped from a smaller dose than you if I remember correctly, so could be why your symptoms are lasting longer. But I guarantee they've gotta start letting up soon. You've made it so far, which is awesome.

    Now, I've heard caffeine can make certain symptoms worse but it may help with the concentration....maybe a cup of coffee? Either way, I imagine any day now you're gonna feel an improvement. Also, a lot is truly mental.....that part is just as tough as the physical side so you just gotta stay positive and try your hardest to plow thru...easier said than done, I know, but it's all we got .

  16. #16
    UncleLeo is offline Advanced Member
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    Hey Arco - sounds like you're doing better. That's great news. What did that mean about the "main reason for a tiny piece today"?

    (Oh, and the tearing the house apart to just possibly find the tiny sliver...classic for everyone here. Made me laugh).
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  17. #17
    Randy35 is offline Platinum Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arco123 View Post
    Hey guys. Good news finally. Today is day 5/6 (they all blend together) and i feel like I finally turned the corner. It's the 1st day I felt better/not worse. The RLS and burning skin and general f'n misery is basically gone...still feel very spaced out and lethargic though.

    Today 3 subs finally came through tho. I felt like I could possibly go without but I have so much to do that I can't afford another day of being bedridden and useless. So I took .5 mg earlier and that brought me to a functioning level. Randy if you could give me some advice on how to proceed I'd really appreciate it. Do you think it's best to do the regular taper as suggested or can I try to start skipping days or cutting down even more right away since I already went 5 days without? I'm so ready to be done, I want to make these my last 3.

    Subs are amazing and life saving but, at least for me personally, they definitely have some long term effects like the anxiety and laziness I've developed. Even though I feel like >>>>, today I felt a bit more clear headed and outgoing than I have in a while....I can't wait to feel like that all the time and just be normal! Almost there!

    Arco -

    Ok, so you were able to get 3 subs and took a dose of .5mg. I asked you in my last post what were your overall plans when getting these additional subs? Is stopping the subs completely on your agenda? Be aware that you shouldn't take Suboxone on an "as needed" basis. You'll be on the merry-go-round forever. You'll have high's and low's that will test your patience and mentally wear you down. You have to really and truly want to stop to be successful.

    This is how I would proceed if I were you....go as long as you possible can without taking any more Suboxone. Hold off until you just can't stand it any longer. When that time comes (and it will) try taking just .25mg (1/4 of 1mg) and that should take care of the wd symptoms. Sub is crazy strong and a .25mg dose can really help. The goal is to resume on the absolutely lowest possible dose.

    If .25mg isn't enough you can always take a bit more, but try to make it work by pushing through any symptoms as best you can. Then it's just a matter of taking .25mg per day for 4 days and if stable start the day skipping process. The day skipping process works like this....after at least 4 days on .25mg you skip dosing the following day. Dose .25mg again the skip dosing the nest 2 days. Dose .25mg again and skip the following 3 days. Dose one final time and you're done. The half life will catch up with itself and you'll soften the landing, while mentally preparing yourself to be off the sub for good.

    And done for good means exactly that. If you have some symptoms and get more sub to combat those symptoms you'll be right back to square one again. It's a vicious cycle that will never end unless you end it.

    Randy
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  18. #18
    Arco123 is offline New Member
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    Hey Randy. Yeah, I'm definitely trying to quit completely. I'm at .25 mgs about every day/day and a half for the past 3 days. So after my next dose tomorrow I'm going to try and skip a day. I'll let you know how it goes but so far, I feel fine on this dose so I should be good skipping a day. I can deal with the slight WDs at this stage I would think. I'm definitely ready to just be done!
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  19. #19
    Randy35 is offline Platinum Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arco123 View Post
    Hey Randy. Yeah, I'm definitely trying to quit completely. I'm at .25 mgs about every day/day and a half for the past 3 days. So after my next dose tomorrow I'm going to try and skip a day. I'll let you know how it goes but so far, I feel fine on this dose so I should be good skipping a day. I can deal with the slight WDs at this stage I would think. I'm definitely ready to just be done!
    Hey!

    Sounds good. What worked for me was to get mad at the drugs for controlling my life. I kept telling myself over and over that no matter how severe any wd's might get I was stopping the subs and that was all there was to it. And that worked for me. A positive frame of mind goes a long way in this deal.

    Randy
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