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Quitting methadone with sub taper
  1. #1
    MrJones is offline Member
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    Default Quitting methadone with sub taper

    Ok, so this is my first post. Been lingering for a while, checking out thread after thread on this site and others. And finally decided to make the leap. My story is I've been an on and off (mostly on) opiate addict for about 15 years. 2 and a half years ago I admitted that I couldn't quit on my own so I started going to the methadone clinic. I started at 30 mg like most do, and went up to 50 mg after about a week. About a year or so ago I started tapering myself down and have been at 10 mg for about the last 6 months. I am supposed to go to the clinic tomorrow, but I decided two days ago that that would be my last dose. So tonight is officially the end of day two for me. I suppose its a psychological thing, because I could go a day without dosing all the time until now, and yesterday (day one) was worse than I expected, Today was a little worse, some mild cramping and been sneezing and runny nose since early yesterday. Its quite possible that my dose on that last day was not a full 10 mg, but I didn't think it would make that big of a difference anyway.

    But after going through threads and success/horror stories from everyone, I decided it was time to end it for good. No more worrying about what hell I'll have to endure if something ever happens and I couldn't get my done. No more being a slave to it every day. Initially I was considering just going cold turkey from the methadone, but really didn't like what I was reading from those guys, so I started searching for alternatives. That's when I came across Robert's taper plan on here and it made perfect sense. I acquired sub this evening and plan to start tomorrow morning instead of going to the clinic. I feel like I can be disciplined enough to taper effectively using the minimum dosage. I saw this as a place where I can share with others and solicit advice from those of you who know a lot more about this short term regimen than I do.

    I also see how the psychological effect of sharing with others and receiving encouragement from others seems to have helped those whose stories I've been reading. With a lot of will and God's help I will be able to say "I made it" soon enough. I would really appreciate any advice anyone has to offer.

    Btw, did the COWS assessment a couple of times today, hoping I would be able to hit 26 and dose, but I've been around 16 all day.

  2. #2
    melindau is offline Member
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    hey Mr.Jones
    So glad you made it here! I know what a night mare you have been going thru!! I been there a couple times!!!
    well be here to help you along when ever you need us...
    Melinda

    Ps.. I love your screen name!
    Last edited by Anonymous; 08-18-2014 at 08:27 PM. Reason: forgot something

  3. #3
    Rfootprints is offline Member
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    Mr jones- welcome here
    Good luck to your new venture. I too, had enough and was ready to not be a slave to the pills anymore. Oh was I ready.
    There is great help here. I'm still fairly new here, but there are folks who have been around, and have proved Roberts tried and true Taper Method.
    I am on day 3 of no subs.... I couldn't have done it without this group.
    Good luck with reaching 26!!! I hope it comes quicker so you can get started.
    Have a good night

    Rose
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  4. #4
    MrJones is offline Member
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    Thanks Melinda, I really appreciate it. I always heard meth was the worst to come off of. No way I'm doing that if I don't have to. I suppose it works out better this way though, because if I'd started out on sub like I was advised, I'd probably be eff'ed right now.

    I like the 8 week average completion time on this plan. Long enough to get past any meth acute withdrawals, I just hope the detox from sub isn't extremely long after that amount of time. I wonder if a crash schedule would be just as good given my relatively small dosage to meth. Anyway, thanks again Melinda. Its good to know so many have done it before; maybe I can feed off that.
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  5. #5
    MrJones is offline Member
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    Thanks Rose. Congrats on Day 3! That's great. Its weird, the minds power over the bod isn't it? I know with each post I read, I feel more empowered.

    I quit (then quickly relapsed) just prior to joining the clinic. I went to my In-laws' house on Lake Huron (love it there!!!!) for two weeks to get off of dilaudid and roxy's. I took a 1/2 oz of weed and started driving the 10 hr trip. Not once over those two weeks did I ever have the first withdrawal symptom (maybe a runny nose for a day or so). But my mind being occupied like that really helped. Of course, as soon as I got home it was on. But now, since I have not iv'ed or anything in over two years, I think I am ready to do it for real.

    Did you do the same plan or no? Again, great to hear you're on day 3. Keep your head down and DRIVE ON!

  6. #6
    iloerose is offline Platinum Member
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    Hi, Mr. Jones: Sounds like you know what you are doing and are going good so far. Remember the 26 is NON-NEGOTIABLE, especially with methadone, you don't want to invite precipitated w/d. The induction is really important, make sure you are ready (subs cut). It will take around 4-5 days or so to make sure you are stable and before you can begin to drop. NO, there is no crash schedule. Suboxone is as strong as methadone, but much easier to taper from than methadone, making your landing softer. For NOW, just think about the induction and getting stable. As far as hitting 26 on the COWS, that can take awhile with methadone because the half life of methadone can range from 48-72 hours. So stick with the plan for now and assess yourself honestly on the COWS. Please don't start the sub in the morning if you aren't at a 26, it sometimes takes around 3 days with methadone.

    You already met some good people here! I'm sure Alex will be along at some point, or Kat. Stay Strong.

    Peace,

    Iloerose (glad you came to the boards!)
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  7. #7
    Randy35 is offline Platinum Member
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    MrJones - You are in the same position I was when I made the switch to suboxone from methadone. I wanted off the methadone becaue I was abusing it, and heard it was much easier to taper off the subs than the methadone, and that was very true.

    I hope you listen to Iloerose because her post above was perfect in my opinion. But be prepared for it to take LONGER than 3 days before you're ready for the induction. I put myself into precipitated not once, but TWICE because I got in a big hurry with the induction, and at first didn't use the cows. Once I tapered down to 10mgs of methadone, used the cows, got to that 26 score, my induction was a complete success. I was then able to taper off the subs and I'm now free and clean over a month!

    The most important piece of advice or suggestion I can give you is to wait, wait, wait until you get to that 26 score. It took me nearly 90 hours before I was there due to the very long half life of the methadone as Iloerose pointed out to you. It's a loooong time to wait, but absolutely necessary. It may not take you that long - that's why the cows is so important. Please don't get in a rush like I did and induct too soon. Precipitated withdrawal is no joke I assure you. I was sicker than I've ever been in my life - twice!

    Here's the link to my thread if you would like to read some of it ----

    https://www.drugs.com/forum/need-tal...ump-65786.html

    I received massive support along the way from these guys and the reason I made it. You will also and have already seen that happen! Just take the advice and suggestion from those in the know. I'm no expert by any means, but do have the experience of doing what you're attempting to do now. I will help all that I can, but the main thing as I said is to wait out those symptoms, get to the honest 26 score, then you can safely induct.

    All the best to you and hope you have as much success as I have had.
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  8. #8
    hopesoon is offline Member
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    I will agree with Randy35 about tapering suboxone being easier, and about waiting long enough to take any suboxone. I heard the transition from methadone can be very tricky. I was only in the single digits (maybe like 2mg) when I was stupid and took naltrexone. That was bad enough, I can't imagine having done it at 10mg.

    I have heard of suboxone dr's (that know what they are doing) give comfort meds for all the days you have to wait. Maybe that is an option from your regular family dr?

    If it were me one I thought I hit 26 I would still try to wait it out a little bit to be safe but that is me.

  9. #9
    originalchris is offline New Member
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    Precipitated W/D is different for everyone. I hopped on Subs a day after taking my last 10mg methadone, with no problems. The naltrexone doesn't really even come into play as long as you take it sublingually.

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    melindau is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrJones View Post
    Thanks Melinda, I really appreciate it. I always heard meth was the worst to come off of. No way I'm doing that if I don't have to. I suppose it works out better this way though, because if I'd started out on sub like I was advised, I'd probably be eff'ed right now.

    I like the 8 week average completion time on this plan. Long enough to get past any meth acute withdrawals, I just hope the detox from sub isn't extremely long after that amount of time. I wonder if a crash schedule would be just as good given my relatively small dosage to meth. Anyway, thanks again Melinda. Its good to know so many have done it before; maybe I can feed off that.
    Hey Mr Jones... you bet meth is the hardest to come off of..but I think you got this...Roberts taper plan is a good one ... but I bet you could do it faster that that being that you are on a small dose of meth!!! keep us posted on how you doing!!
    melinda
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  11. #11
    iloerose is offline Platinum Member
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    Mr.Jones: Follow Randy's advice and stick with the plan for the COWS 26 no matter what. Stay the course.

    Hey, Randy: Good to see you over here in the sub boards you have quite a bit to contribute here!!!! You have given great advice to many already!

    Peace,

    Iloerose
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  12. #12
    MrJones is offline Member
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    Thanks everyone. You guys are awesome. Looks like I'm not getting any sleep tonight. I gotta get up in less than 3 hrs. I'm at 21 right now. You bet I've got the subs cut and ready, just sitting there saying please eat me, lol. Thanks a lot Randy; you're an inspiration. Gotta do a few things tomorrow morning; not looking forward to that. Guess I'll try to sleep. Thank you all.
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  13. #13
    Iwantoff2013 is offline Platinum Member
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    Hi there. Welcome to the forum.

    I can't add much at this point to what's already been said. Getting to an honest 26 on the COWS is absolutely imperative, especially with methadone. I went through precipitated withdrawal many years ago. It was beyond awful.

    Robert's induction/taper plan works great if followed correctly. You shouldn't have any trouble stabilizing and tapering, especially since you've never been on Sub before. My saga (lol) is quite different: I made the huge mistake of allowing my Sub doc to keep me on Sub "maintenance" for many years...all the while still abusing full agonist opiates and then going back to Sub when the pills would run out. My taper has been very lengthy on account of my long-term Sub use. But I'm thrilled to say that I'm at the very end now -- today was my 2nd day of a 3-day skip. My last Sub dose will be Wednesday, then it's jump time! I'm nervous, but also very excited to be done with Sub.

    A very important aspect of recovery is having a plan in place to stay clean. Have you considered addiction counseling, AA/NA, etc?

    How are you feeling now? What's your score at this point?
    We're here to help you through.

    Kat
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    Rfootprints is offline Member
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    Mr jones-
    Yep, I did Roberts taper plan too

    Today is day 4 off and just looking forward.

    Good luck getting to 26!!!! I will check back on you. Take care
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  15. #15
    iloerose is offline Platinum Member
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    How are you doing today? Let us know what we can do to help you.

    Peace,

    Iloerose

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    Randy35 is offline Platinum Member
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    Hey MrJones - I'm with Iloerose - give us an update about your current progress. If I read your first post correctly this should be your 3rd day off the methadone. You should be getting fairly close to the 26 score needed to induct. I'm very curious how long it takes you to get there? As I mentioned, it took me around 90 hours or just short of 4 full days before I reached the score. I was so afraid of the pw's (for a 3rd time) that I went a little past the 26 score and got to a 28 or so I think it was. I know it was more than 26 to be extra safe. We all want to see you do this!

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    originalchris is offline New Member
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    I wonder why some people get P/W so easily, while others don't? I mean, the same thing goes with the half-life of methadone/subs, where people claim they don't get w/d til the 3rd day, etc all which has never happened to me. I'd take a sub or done in the morning, and by the next morning at the latest, I'd be in withdrawal.

    I honestly think people worry too much and claim things based on their own bodies, but everyone is different. It sure didn't take me 3 days off methadone to be able to take suboxone. Perhaps it's a metabolism/body type thing.

  18. #18
    Randy35 is offline Platinum Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by originalchris View Post
    I wonder why some people get P/W so easily, while others don't? I mean, the same thing goes with the half-life of methadone/subs, where people claim they don't get w/d til the 3rd day, etc all which has never happened to me. I'd take a sub or done in the morning, and by the next morning at the latest, I'd be in withdrawal.

    I honestly think people worry too much and claim things based on their own bodies, but everyone is different. It sure didn't take me 3 days off methadone to be able to take suboxone. Perhaps it's a metabolism/body type thing.
    I'd take a guess that you're one-in-a-million, Chris and consider yourself very, very blessed, and/or lucky. I guess it's sorta like when 2 people stop the exact same high dose of oxy for example by going cold turkey. One person may have the easiest of times where the other may have much worse symptoms. It may take one 4-5 days to get over it and the other may have symptoms that linger for a week or longer.

    But I can assure you the odds where methadone to suboxone is concerned is on the side of the LONGER you wait to induct the better your chances of NOT having those dreaded pw's. If you've ever experienced precipitated withdrawals you would NEVER, EVER want to go through it again. I've experienced it TWICE and will always SUGGEST that those wishing to make the transistion from methadone to suboxone use the cows score as their indicator, and it takes as long as it takes. It took me around 90 hours, but it's very possible to take less time with someone else because we ARE all different in the way we metabolize different substances, etc.

    But to say you can take methadone one day and suboxone the next is purely a chance not worth taking in my opinion, and not something I would EVER advise. (you mentioned this in your above post) One that I would hope no one would be tempted to take unless their true cows score was at a 26 or higher, which is very unlikely based on my own experience, and the experience of many others.

    You definitely beat the odds.
    Last edited by Anonymous; 08-19-2014 at 01:04 PM.
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  19. #19
    melindau is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iwantoff2013 View Post
    Hi there. Welcome to the forum.

    I can't add much at this point to what's already been said. Getting to an honest 26 on the COWS is absolutely imperative, especially with methadone. I went through precipitated withdrawal many years ago. It was beyond awful.

    Robert's induction/taper plan works great if followed correctly. You shouldn't have any trouble stabilizing and tapering, especially since you've never been on Sub before. My saga (lol) is quite different: I made the huge mistake of allowing my Sub doc to keep me on Sub "maintenance" for many years...all the while still abusing full agonist opiates and then going back to Sub when the pills would run out. My taper has been very lengthy on account of my long-term Sub use. But I'm thrilled to say that I'm at the very end now -- today was my 2nd day of a 3-day skip. My last Sub dose will be Wednesday, then it's jump time! I'm nervous, but also very excited to be done with Sub.

    A very important aspect of recovery is having a plan in place to stay clean. Have you considered addiction counseling, AA/NA, etc?

    How are you feeling now? What's your score at this point?
    We're here to help you through.

    Kat
    Wow Kat I had know Idea! im so Happy for you!! Great Job!!!
    Melinda
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  20. #20
    MrJones is offline Member
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    Hey everyone. Sorry I had things take way longer today than I expected. I was finally able to dose around 7am. I tried 0.5 mg, but after an hour or so was still having stomach cramps and other symptoms, so I dropped the other half. After that I was good. I only slept about an hour last night, so I'm assuming the headache and neck ache I can't shake can be mostly attributed to that. I can tell that there is a lingering effect in my stomach and with being anxious though. I remember seeing somewhere that caffeine was bad for a detox; if so I'm in trouble cus I live on soda and 5 hr energy shots. Maybe time to get healthy in that respect as well. I felt pretty messed up today, at least in the head; my body still didn't feel "right." I thought this was strange since I was still sick until I dropped the second 0.5 mg. I guess the main thing is that I took the first step in a series that will eventually bring me to where I want to be.

    I had a second here and there today, so I was able to read your posts, just couldn't respond. But I wanted all of you to know how much I appreciate your encouragement.

    Congrats Rfootprints on day 4!! That's fantastic. Monuments are built one stone at a time. How are you doing with it? Hopesoon mentioned meds to help; are you doing that?

    Thany you everyone for all of your advice.
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    MrJones is offline Member
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    Congrats Kat!!! I was looking at that last night. There's na meeting here every night of the week, and I believe this is something I'm going to do. Great suggestion; thanks. Yeah, I figure since everyone is endorsing the plan so much, I should follow it to the letter as Randy and Iloerose suggest. Best of luck to you.
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  22. #22
    MrJones is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by originalchris View Post
    I wonder why some people get P/W so easily, while others don't? I mean, the same thing goes with the half-life of methadone/subs, where people claim they don't get w/d til the 3rd day, etc all which has never happened to me. I'd take a sub or done in the morning, and by the next morning at the latest, I'd be in withdrawal.

    I honestly think people worry too much and claim things based on their own bodies, but everyone is different. It sure didn't take me 3 days off methadone to be able to take suboxone. Perhaps it's a metabolism/body type thing.
    I've seen this in some people. Usually not a long term user though, but it happens. Personally, it was a risk I could live without. I heard too many horror stories to try it, plus I really want to do this exactly as it says. It seems to work for a lot of people, and if I'm gonna put it all on the line I might as well do it by the books. I see what you're saying though, just not worth the risk for me.
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  23. #23
    MrJones is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randy35 View Post
    Hey MrJones - I'm with Iloerose - give us an update about your current progress. If I read your first post correctly this should be your 3rd day off the methadone. You should be getting fairly close to the 26 score needed to induct. I'm very curious how long it takes you to get there? As I mentioned, it took me around 90 hours or just short of 4 full days before I reached the score. I was so afraid of the pw's (for a 3rd time) that I went a little past the 26 score and got to a 28 or so I think it was. I know it was more than 26 to be extra safe. We all want to see you do this!
    Right at 72 hrs for me, thankfully. I was conservative as well. I could have probably hit 26 at around 3 am, but held off as long as I could. Man I had that assessment memorized last night, rooting for my next symptom so I could tally up the scores again. I think all of that strengthened my resolve to end this forever.
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  24. #24
    Randy35 is offline Platinum Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrJones View Post
    I was finally able to dose around 7am. I tried 0.5 mg, but after an hour or so was still having stomach cramps and other symptoms, so I dropped the other half. After that I was good.
    Oh WOW! You were able to get stable taking only 1mg total? That is AWESOME Mr Jones!!! I'm both amazed and surprised - in a good way of course. Really thought it may have taken a bit more than that, but it's definitely a huge plus that it didn't! The less you have to take at induction the less you have to taper off later when the time comes.

    I'm so happy you were able to do this. I would only say at this point to keep in mind it may be possible for you to require a bit more sub later as according to Robert's plan the induction can take up to 4 days to get completely stable. The dose may need to be adjusted, but of course it doesn't have to be. It's very possible the 1mg is the right dose for YOU and that is all it will take. I honestly hope that's the case.

    You did one fine job with this induction. Very impressive and please know you have helped so many others that come here reading and see that you did it and know they can too! Well done!

    Please keep updating your progress. If you have any problems or questions let us know. We're still here to help and will be watching for your posts. Isn't it amazing how you can be feeling nasty with symptoms, but take a little sub and all is well and good.

  25. #25
    MrJones is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randy35 View Post
    Oh WOW! You were able to get stable taking only 1mg total? That is AWESOME Mr Jones!!! I'm both amazed and surprised - in a good way of course. Really thought it may have taken a bit more than that, but it's definitely a huge plus that it didn't! The less you have to take at induction the less you have to taper off later when the time comes.

    I'm so happy you were able to do this. I would only say at this point to keep in mind it may be possible for you to require a bit more sub later as according to Robert's plan the induction can take up to 4 days to get completely stable. The dose may need to be adjusted, but of course it doesn't have to be. It's very possible the 1mg is the right dose for YOU and that is all it will take. I honestly hope that's the case.

    You did one fine job with this induction. Very impressive and please know you have helped so many others that come here reading and see that you did it and know they can too! Well done!

    Please keep updating your progress. If you have any problems or questions let us know. We're still here to help and will be watching for your posts. Isn't it amazing how you can be feeling nasty with symptoms, but take a little sub and all is well and good.
    I know! Thank you so much. I hope I can stay there too. I'm so glad I've got people like all of you to get feedback from. Like you said, I may or may not need adjustment still, but either way your collective experiences will be invaluable in determining how to proceed each step of the way. Thank you.
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  26. #26
    Rfootprints is offline Member
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    I agree with Randy- 1mg, awesome!!!
    I hope you are feeling well
    It is a little scary once you induct and you aren't really sure what you are supposed to be feeling... I knew it was working for me when I just felt even keel, so to speak.
    Not high. Not luggish.

    I had a very hard time and ended up taking a .125 piece. Tomorrow I will start my day one over again.
    The nice part was- even though I have felt >>>>>> the last few days, I hadn't even thought of taking a sliver until today when it was feeling unbearable.
    All of my drops have been easy peasy before this. I'm hoping that tomorrow will be back to the same ole easy stuff ...
    I'm ready to plow thru either way.


    I'm really proud of you for sticking it out and I'm looking forward to following your taper
    I will write more tomorrow... Lack of sleep (same for you.. Get some rest!!!) and super busy day at work, I am ready for some Zzzzz's

    Take care,
    Rose

  27. #27
    Randy35 is offline Platinum Member
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    Hey Mr. Jones - How are you feeling today? Hop on and give us an update when you get a chance. Is the 1mg holding you still? Another question(s) if you don't mind - When do you plan on taking your dose - morning, mid day, or evening? And do you plan on taking one single dose or perhaps splitting it up and maybe take it in 2 separate doses as many seem to do? Hope you're doing well today!

  28. #28
    MrJones is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rfootprints View Post
    I agree with Randy- 1mg, awesome!!!
    I hope you are feeling well
    It is a little scary once you induct and you aren't really sure what you are supposed to be feeling... I knew it was working for me when I just felt even keel, so to speak.
    Not high. Not luggish.

    I had a very hard time and ended up taking a .125 piece. Tomorrow I will start my day one over again.
    The nice part was- even though I have felt >>>>>> the last few days, I hadn't even thought of taking a sliver until today when it was feeling unbearable.
    All of my drops have been easy peasy before this. I'm hoping that tomorrow will be back to the same ole easy stuff ...
    I'm ready to plow thru either way.


    I'm really proud of you for sticking it out and I'm looking forward to following your taper
    I will write more tomorrow... Lack of sleep (same for you.. Get some rest!!!) and super busy day at work, I am ready for some Zzzzz's

    Take care,
    Rose
    Thank you so much. Great job sticking with it. I truly hope you handle this next cycle well. I actually slept like a baby last night. Of course I stayed up late and had to get up early, but I was out as soon as I laid down. You're doing a fantastic job; stay the course.
    Last edited by Anonymous; 08-20-2014 at 05:04 PM.

  29. #29
    MrJones is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randy35 View Post
    Hey Mr. Jones - How are you feeling today? Hop on and give us an update when you get a chance. Is the 1mg holding you still? Another question(s) if you don't mind - When do you plan on taking your dose - morning, mid day, or evening? And do you plan on taking one single dose or perhaps splitting it up and maybe take it in 2 separate doses as many seem to do? Hope you're doing well today!
    Feeling great today. I dosed today in the morning so I'll probably try to stick with that, but might go with splitting it like you suggested. I actually planned on doing that today, but I did the first 0.5 around 6am, and I wanted to wait a while to see how I felt, thinking it may be possible that I'd be ok at that, but something unexpected came up, and rather than take the other half with me I went ahead and took it at around 7:30. I dunno how the day would have turned out otherwise, but I felt like I may have actually taken more than I absolutely had to have. Today there were no aches or anything, felt energetic, but also felt a little foggy. I know my eyes were really messed up today(reddish, pin pupils) and you know how your voice gets a little raspy when you are really messed up? I had that too. In all, The closest analogy I can make is that I felt like I do when I'd take a double dose of methadone. I dunno, maybe I should have only taken the first half. What do you think? Thank you again for everything.

  30. #30
    Randy35 is offline Platinum Member
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    I wasn't necessarily suggesting you split your dose, I was only asking if you were considering doing that. In my opinion I actually think it's probably best if you just take one dose per day. Take it in the morning and then forget about it until the following day. Of course it's totally up to you. The half life will carry you through until the next day.

    As far as being a bit "foggy" is concerned, it sure sounds like you have taken too much sub. I know I had reddish and burning eyes when I was taking my higher doses too. I know exactly what you're describing.

    I think you may be able to get by with a little less sub with the symptoms you're describing. But I think in this case seeing as you just inducted yesterday, and are basically doing very well, I would just leave it alone for now and not mess with things too much. I bet as soon as you begin tapering and get the dose down those eye issues and raspy voice will clear right up. It's amazing how a tiny bit of sub goes a long way. It's a very strong drug.

    You're doing great! Have you given any thought about when you may want to start your taper? If you give it a few days on the 1mg, then begin reducing and get off in a timely manner, your symptoms should be very minimal I would think. Thanks for the update.
    iloerose likes this.

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