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Reaching Out for Help
  1. #1
    brandnewme is offline Banned
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    Question Reaching Out for Help

    Hello All who take the time to read this. I've been reading on this forum for hours and I was trying to piece together a plan for myself and started to get really frustrated so I decided to just start my own thread.

    Here's background info:
    I'm a 45 year old married mother of 5 (23, 19, and 16, and 2 Shih Tzu's) and I've been taking opiates for the past 2 years. Honestly it still shocks me that I ended up here. I don't mean to sound obnoxious but I'm college educated and have a really good career with a position of responsibility. I've NEVER been a Partier, not even in my "sexy" girl days. I rarely drink alcohol, maybe I'd have a strawberry daquiri every 6 months or so. I say that because I'm still shocked how I got chemically hooked on that junk! When I first started I could barely take a whole 10mg pill without feeling dizzy and gross...well fast forward two years and I was up to 65 mg in one dose. I long quit having them prescribed and started acquiring them which zapped all my resources.

    I finally got sick and tired of feeling and being sick and tired and decided to figure out how to get off of the awful ride. I stumbled upon a suboxone website and found a local clinic to go to. I had a 15 minute appointment and left with a prescription for suboxone and instructions to take a 8mg film twice a day everyday. He told me that I would probably have to be on it for over a year. I didn't panic at that moment because I was already in withdrawals and was grateful to have anything to stop it. I took the first dose and started to feel so much better that I cried for a half hour straight...withdrawals are agony. I felt good but he told me that I had to take the 2nd dose and one in the morning before my next day appointment, which I did but it felt weird because I felt pretty good.

    The PA that I'm seeing doesn't have the best bedside manner and the thought of seeing him every 2 weeks for a year made me start to do some research and I ended up here. Once I started reading I started to panic because I'm terrified of getting addicted to another substance.

    I started taking the medicine on October 16th and have been taking 16 mg a day since. I read quite a few threads but I'm not sure I understand the best way to taper down from the dose I'm on. How do you "divide" the 8 mg film into smaller doses? So I'm here asking for help. HELP!!!! I want to be drug FREE again and just live a normal life. I'm grateful to the subs so far because I'm starting to get my life back already but I don't want to trade one monkey for another. I'm sorry if this was too long for some to read but I would appreciate any assistance and information.

    Thanks in advance!!

  2. #2
    Sharks fan is offline Advanced Member
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    Here is the taper plan most of us have used, it explains the taper plan and how to reduce your dose

    https://www.drugs.com/forum/featured...apy-50887.html

    In terms of dividing your dose, there are several youtube videos and google images that show you how to cut the sub strips. If you cut an 8mg in half you will have two 4mg strips.

  3. #3
    systolic_suckerpunch is offline Senior Member
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    Hello and welcome.

    The strips are pretty easy to cut into smaller doses using a razor blade or scissors. If you go to YouTube and search cutting suboxone strips, there are some videos that will help. It's in your best interest to not take the second strip a day. Doctors really don't know what they're doing with this medicine, and always over prescribe. 16mg is way too high a dose, as is 8 probably, but you said you felt better at 8.

    Trust me, you do not want to be on subs for a year. They will take over your life and you will end up stuck on them for waaaaay longer than needed. They will be such a huge crutch and keep you terrified of withdrawal and years will slip by if you're not careful. That's way happened to me and soapy others.

    Here is a link to the taper plan that many of us on this site have used or are currently using to wean off the suboxone. It will take a bit of time, but it won't be anywhere near a year.

    https://www.drugs.com/forum/featured...apy-50887.html

    Have a look and let us know what you think.

  4. #4
    systolic_suckerpunch is offline Senior Member
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    Lol sorry Sharks I was probably writing as you were posting and didn't know that you'd already replied.

    Sorry for the repeat info.

    =)

  5. #5
    brandnewme is offline Banned
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    Thank you Sharks and Systolic for responding. I ran across the taper plan and printed it out already. It talks about inducting correctly to get the taper started and I'm pretty sure I was inducted all wrong. Would it be ok to jump down to 8 mg right away or should I start the 25% reduction? I hope these aren't simple stupid questions but I read for a couple of hours and saw some conflicting things.

    It didn't sound right to me at my first appointment that I would have to be on the subs for over a year. I was already in bad shape so I didn't ask nearly enough questions. The PA was so borderline nasty to me that I didn't want to risk making him mad and not getting something to help me with my withdrawal symptoms. Maybe I'm wrong but if somebody comes in asking for help you shouldn't go out of your way to be extra douchy to them. Ok sorry for the rant.

    Systolic, you're so right I DO NOT want to be addicted to these things. I read on another website that if you stop taking them within a month of starting you won't get addicted...does that sound right? What's the fastest taper that you know about?

    Thanks again for responding.

  6. #6
    Iwantoff2013 is offline Platinum Member
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    Hi there! Definitely use the taper that Sharks and systolic told you about. I'm currently tapering using that plan and it works! So you're taking 8 mg now? Are you stable at that dose? You only reduce by 25% once you're stable. Stable means feeling ok, not perfect, but feeling functional and good.

    Don't rush this taper. Slow and steady is the key to success. If you follow the plan, you will be off sub with minimal discomfort.

    Good luck!
    Katherine

  7. #7
    systolic_suckerpunch is offline Senior Member
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    Yep, you're already inducted and would be just fine going to 8 per day. I would bet money that you won't feel a thing.

    Some of us get psychologically used to dosing twice a day, so you could even do 4mg twice a day. But whether you dose once or twice a day, try to keep it as close to the same time(s) everyday to keep the levels steady. That will be a huge asset when you start to taper.

    To be honest, this is the fastest taper I know of that actually works in terms of once people are off, they are able to stay off. I don't know about the taking it for less than a month will keep you from being addicted, but it doesn't sound right at all. I would think that stopping this med after maybe even 4 or 5 days will cause withdrawal (unless one properly tapers). Still the one month thing doesn't sound like its something to hang your hopes on.
    Last edited by Anonymous; 10-26-2013 at 01:10 AM.

  8. #8
    brandnewme is offline Banned
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    Thanks systolic I thought it sounded wrong. I'm going to go down to 8 mg today and wait to make sure I'm stable. Here's another question..since the subs are masking the withdrawals from opiates...how long does it take to actually be physically done with opiate withdrawals? Does that question make sense? I think that by taking the subs and feeling much better that I had convinced myself that I had the opiates out of my system. Yikes. I've been lying to myself for 2 yeas and I don't want to do it anymore.

    I'm dropping to 8 mg of subs and then chilling out on the wanting to rush this process. I want to get well and stay well for the long haul.

    @Katherine no I was taking 16 mg for the past 10 days. I'm dropping to 8 mg today. Thanks I definitely plan to follow the plan.

  9. #9
    Sharks fan is offline Advanced Member
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    The problem is subs are also an opiate, so you're not really done with opiate withdrawals until you stop taking the subs. It's sad doc's don't really know much about subs, they're "opioid partial agonist" which means they bind a little differently to the receptors in your brain. So in truth, you aren't ever really "done" with opiate withdrawals until you jump off subs. When you're stabilizing you are basically covering up the worst of the withdrawals from the pills you were taking.

    I called around trying to find a sub doc for my husband & I (we both used) and I was stunned at how most of them were in it for the money. Same thing as you were told, had to be on it for at LEAST a year or it 'wouldn't work'. When I asked WHY it wouldn't work one doc got angry with me. I felt like they were no different than a dealer. They all wanted cash only, no insurance. I think it's a combo of not knowing enough about subs and also wanting the money coming in.

    SS, no worries we were probably posting at the same time. Mine was really short, I was tired but I wanted to post at least the taper plan. You gave much more info.

    I agree with Katherine, you likely won't feel the drop to 8mg. You probably won't even start feeling the drops until you get under 4 mg, if you do just remember to go slow. You haven't been on them for that long so you should be ok. Check out some of the threads on this board for inspiration. Alex was able to taper down with very little discomfort.

  10. #10
    brandnewme is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sharks fan View Post

    I called around trying to find a sub doc for my husband & I (we both used) and I was stunned at how most of them were in it for the money. Same thing as you were told, had to be on it for at LEAST a year or it 'wouldn't work'. When I asked WHY it wouldn't work one doc got angry with me. I felt like they were no different than a dealer. They all wanted cash only, no insurance. I think it's a combo of not knowing enough about subs and also wanting the money coming in. .
    That's exactly how I felt too! I was actually thinking this dude sounds like a dealer. I was in withdrawal already and feeling TERRIBLE when I went to my first appointment. I got sick outside before I could even get in the door so I was desperate for something so I didn't take more opiates to feel better. I had finally decided I was done and hadn't taken anything about 16 hours before my appointment. I felt like he knew he had the "power" to make me feel better and was lording it over me. I had to be careful what I said to not anger him. He reminded me of the scumbag I used to deal with to get my fixes from. I hated him but had to deal with him and I had the same feeling dealing with my sub doc. I want to get well and get off everything so I can tell that guy to go kick rocks and stop being mean to people in need.

    Sharks I don't know why but I assumed you were a man....sorry about that! lol

  11. #11
    Sharks fan is offline Advanced Member
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    LOL no worries, it's hard to tell by user name if someone is a guy or girl. My original thread got locked, but it's still here. I started a new thread with a link to the old thread so it wouldn't completely disappear.

    I was just reading wikipedia about sub's, I remember I read up before I started taking subs but I forgot a lot of what I read, or they updated the page. A doctor has to take an 8 hour class to get certified to prescribe Suboxone. All they see are dollar signs, hey I can take this class and then treat 100 patients with suboxone. I have said I feel like they are taking advantage of people when they are most vulnerable. You're an addict and you're sick and you want help, rather than try to help they hook you with another addiction.

    Anyway, you're on the right path now.

  12. #12
    brandnewme is offline Banned
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    Sharks/Stephanie, I'm reading your original thread and feeling awed by the fact that Harry guided you and now you have been guiding me. That's such a great example of "paying it forward". I'm not saying that you'll invest in me what he invested in you....no pressure at all. I hope to one day be on the other side helping someone else across the addiction abyss.

  13. #13
    systolic_suckerpunch is offline Senior Member
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    I just wanted to quickly say something about your doctor. Since he seems to be one of the ones who is just in this for the money, it's probably best if you don't tell him you're going to taper off. You might want to just tell him that you're following his instructions and taking as much as he says. He has no way of testing to make sure you're actually taking 16mg a day instead of 8. I'm tapering too and my doc doesn't know. He still prescribes me 16mg a day. When I'm done with the taper I'm going to call him and cancel my next appointment and tell him I won't be needing to come back.

    Of course, use your best judgement here. I just wanted to share because you said that it seemed like he'd be angry over you not doing this "his way", which is probably something that will only serve to line his pockets, not help you.

    I started my taper when at 10mg, after having taken between 12 and 8 a day for months (and occasionally 16). I'm down to 6 now and they only thing I've "felt" has been minor and fleeting, and didn't even last more than a few minutes. At this point it's more psychological than physical, so the less afraid you are, the easier this wil be.

    =)

  14. #14
    Sharks fan is offline Advanced Member
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    No pressure, I was posting a lot but...but things got a little ugly around here. There were several posts on my thread that got deleted and then my thread got locked. Kind of turned a lot of us off. I try to pop in as much as I can, when I see someone is being helped by another member I check in but don't feel the need to add much.

    Anyway, I'm happy to help if I can.

    I agree with SS, unless you have more than enough subs to complete the taper, i wouldnt say anything to your doc. You don't want him to fire you as a patient. If you think he will be helpful then by all means let him know. Sometimes they actually care and want to help, but a lot of them just want a payday and only see us as dollar signs.

    Hope you are enjoying the weekend.

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    brandnewme is offline Banned
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    Shark/SS thanks for the advice about the doc, you read my mind. I fully intend to keep my mouth shut. I can tell he's not interested in me at all. I'm so glad I found this forum to be able to read and research. Have a good night.

  16. #16
    Sharks fan is offline Advanced Member
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    How are you doing today?

    When you are done it will feel great to call your doc up and tell him you are done.

  17. #17
    brandnewme is offline Banned
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    I'm doing pretty good. I dropped down to 8 mg and I really can't tell except I don't feel as achy today. Is that a side effect of subs?

    So I stay on the 8 mg for the next 4 day?

  18. #18
    Sharks fan is offline Advanced Member
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    A lot of people feel better on lower doses, it's weird but less is definitely more with subs. I remember feeling much better as I got to lower doses, less foggy and more alert. Its possible you will be the same way.

    Yes, stay at 8 mg for at least 4 days, your next drop would be to 6mg.

  19. #19
    alexnt is offline Platinum Member
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    Hi brandnew my name is Alex and I used subs for 4 months to get off of opiates. Im glad to see you came across this site and have spared yourself of being on a high dose of subs for a long period of time. I see where you have dropped to 8 mg from 16 mg and while that is a big drop % wise since you were only on 16 mg about 10 days 8 mg should do the trick IMO. I see where you have read the taper plan and have received good advise from SS, Katherine and Steph. After 4 days at 8 mg see how you are feeling and if you feel stable then you can drop to 6mg. Don't worry if you need more then 4 days at 8 mg as the 4 day schedule is not written in stone. This is just purely a guess on my part but since you were on 16 mg for 10 days and reduced by 50% you have a lot of subs stacked up in your system right now so its hard to guess if you will be fine to drop after 4 days at 8 mg. You mentioned seeing the doctor every 2 weeks so next visit I would not let him know you are tapering. Just go along with him and continue tapering and you wont have to see him much more. I was prescribed 16 mg a day like you and dropped to 12 mg on day 4. Got stuck there for a couple of weeks because I knew you could taper off but wasn't aware of the taper plan on this site till after I had been on subs for a good month. I never told my Dr I was tapering but 5 weeks to the day I walked in the clinic was my last visit there. I knew I had more then enough subs to taper off with and was so glad I didn't have to return there. My Dr there was a nice lady and I more or less tried to get as much subs as possible when I first went there as I had read on another site to get as much as I could and build up a stash. But my councelor there 4 or 5 days befor my last visit there had told me when I asked about how long they would probably keep me on subs told me probably at least a year and then they would evaluate how I was doing. After my last visit there I just wrote a letter to them in care of my counselor and told them they could give my spot to someone on the waiting list. If you have a jerk as a DR then you might consider when you have enough where you don't have to go back again to say thanks for my final script azzhole I don't need you anymore lol. Anyway my very best wishes to you on your taper and keep posting as you will find it helpful to post as there are several members here who can give you suggestions and support. Talk to you later.

    Alex
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  20. #20
    brandnewme is offline Banned
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    Hi Alex. Thank you for posting that information. I'm on day 2 of 8 mgs and I honestly can't tell the difference between the 16 mg and 8 mg dose. This is a weird med but I'm trusting the members here who have real world experience with this. I don't trust the PA I'm seeing because he didn't tell me 1/3 of what I read on here. I can tell he has a real disdain for addicts but I don't really care if he likes me personally I just want the med. I don't plan on telling him anything. I will follow his instructions except for the quantity of subs he wants me to take lol. I'm looking forward to telling him "thanks for the compassion but I no longer need your services". Ok back to more important stuff, I wrote out my taper plan and the numbers got to be really small so I'm wondering if I figured this out incorrectly. Here's what I have:
    Start 8mg on 10/27 end 10/30
    6 mg start 10/31
    4.5 mg start 11/4
    3.375 mg start 11/8
    2.531 mg start 11/12
    1.898 mg start 11/16
    1.424 mg start 11/20
    1.068 mg start 11/24
    .801 mg start 11/28
    .601 mg start 12/2
    .451 mg start 12/6

    And it keeps getting smaller and smaller.... is this correct? I understand that I might need longer between drops (I hope not) so the dates may be off. How on earth do I figure that out on the film to cut it? Would the body even feel such a small quantity of subs? I want to taper as low as I can before jumping off to get long term success. I would love to be off everything by Christmas. I hope my questions make sense. Thanks in advance for any and all help.
    Last edited by Anonymous; 10-28-2013 at 11:17 PM.

  21. #21
    systolic_suckerpunch is offline Senior Member
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    Here is a YouTube video I found that shows how to cut your films. There's a link where you can buy the guide to download and print for like $5. I haven't bought it yet but probably will when my doses get that small.

    http://youtu.be/D6nj_KNGMiY

    In my experience, I don't "feel" when I take it, but I definitely feel when I don't... The reason people taper that low is to have the least amount to be withdrawing from. Like, for example if you were to just stop taking them today, by Wednesday or Thursday you'd probably be so sick and wanting to curl up and die. But tapering down allows your body to get used to smaller and smaller amounts, so by the time you're down to a tenth of a mg and skipping days, the withdrawals aren't so bad that they'll keep you stuck.

  22. #22
    brandnewme is offline Banned
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    Thanks SS that makes sense. So if I want the least amount of w/d agony I need to pump my brakes and go thru the steps. I guess I need to realize I didn't get in this mess overnight and I won't get out overnight. If you don't mind, how long did you taper?
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  23. #23
    systolic_suckerpunch is offline Senior Member
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    You're exactly right, you can't rush thru this! Nobody can! From all I've read here, that seems to be the thing that gets people in trouble the most--- trying to rush full speed thru this, and/or dropping too low (more than 25%). They are so eager to get clean that they don't take their time with this, and they usually end up feeling so bad from withdrawal that they either go back on suboxone or relapse with their drug of choice.

    If you stick to the plan and give yourself at least 4 days at each increment, dropping no more than 25% (which is one quarter), only when you're stable, you will be giving your brain and body ample time to get used to the lower doses, and this will minimize your symptoms. Thus, you'll be able to go about your life, and ideally, work on your recovery so that once off the subs, you'll learn how to deal with life without opiates.


    You and I have a lot of common ground it seems. I am a mother of 2 and will be 33 on wednesday. I went to college (tho I didn't finish my degree), and didn't do drugs in high school. I came from a good family who (at least as far as I know of), didn't produce any addicts but me. So it was equally perplexing (to me) and shocking (to everyone else), when they found out the situation I was in.

    The thing about addiction, is that it doesn't discriminate. It doesn't care if you're an upper middle class "Stepford Wife", or a homeless teen from the inner city. Once it takes hold, we're all in for the same ride. Sure the scenery may vary, but the fallout is always the same. You may not realize this right now, but what you're doing by putting in the time and effort to get off this stuff the Right way, is saving your life. You're so lucky that you are able to recognize the road you're headed down now, before addiction cost you your home, your family, your finances, and your freedom.

    As for me, my taper is currently in progress, so I'll be here going thru this with you. I have been on subs for over 3 years, and last month I somehow found this site. The things I read here were a wake up call, so in a rare moment of clarity I decided to register, post, and begin a taper. I was taking between 8 and 12mg daily, altho some days I took 16. So on September 20th I began at 10mg per day. I'm down to 6 now, but less than 2 weeks ago I was at 4.5. I need to explain that for some reason I am very extremely psychologically dependent on this med, so emotional turmoil and stress is a huge trigger that makes me reach for more (altho it doesn't help one bit!). Well, things at home got crazy and all came to a head, and there was a weekend where I took more than I should. So that's why I'm back to 6, to try to get stronger emotionally so that the next huge stressful whatever doesn't mess my taper up again.

    People who have been on subs for a long time usually take longer to taper than those who just started on it. But the plan is still the same, no more than 25% drops every 4 days or however long it takes to get stable. I've been staying at each dose for about a week, and sometimes I drop less than 25%. The trick is to take the time to make sure you're stable, while also not getting complacent or "stuck" on a dose. It's kind of a balancing act, but I found that this site & the amazing people here are great about keeping my eyes on the prize so to speak. I have a thread that chronicles my whole taper thus far. It's called "11 years of numb" if you're interested.

    I do want to tell you that this whole time, physical symptoms have never been an issue for me. There were a few things I've noticed but I am certain they were either psychosomatic, or a result from me messing up and reaching for more when I felt out of control. It helps to keep in mind that especially early in the game, anything you may experience is probably mostly in your mind. Taking your mind away from those thoughts, therefore, is key.


    So just stick to this and be patient. You're absolutely right--- you didn't get in this situation overnight, so you're not gonna be able to get over it instantly either. Take your time & be patient, and post here often. About anything at all, and soon not only will you be clean and off subs, but you'll have your thread to look back on and see your journey every step of the way. Writing about it helps immensely, but also you'll be showing others in your shoes that there is a way out of addiction-- you'll be living proof of it!

  24. #24
    alexnt is offline Platinum Member
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    brandnew i was looking over your schedule and on some of those doses what most do is just round out some of the numbers as it is impossible to get to some numbers completely accurate. Don't worry about it for the moment as there will be other members posting to you and helping you out along the way. You asked would the body even feel such small numbers toward the end and the answer is yes. Most here go down to .25 befor jumping and some go even further. I see where you would like to be off by Christmas but do not at any time during your taper rush things because you want to be off by Christmas. I know that's a nice thought being completely clean when you awake Christmas morning and perhaps you will be able to. But don't during your taper rush things at any time because it can backfire on you and mess your whole taper up. Keep posting daily and i will talk to you later.

    Alex

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    Sharks fan is offline Advanced Member
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    I'm glad Alex chimed in. Your doses look about right, but as Alex said its tough to get that accurate. I don't know how comfortable you are with excel, but I created a schedule in excel. You can make it do the math for you and then round up. I created a schedule for hubby with 20% drops in one of his tapers and he did really well.

    I know we all sound like a broken record, but try not to think too much about deadlines. This is something that you will have to just go with it. There is no hard and fast timeline. Also, remember that you didn't get here overnight. It takes time to heal.

    Focus on getting through the next 3 days at 6mg.
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  26. #26
    alexnt is offline Platinum Member
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    brandnew like Sharksfan replied to you it does take time to heal. I looked back at my taper buddy Harry Smooth and checked out his thread form when we were tapering late last year. He inducted at 4 mg and pretty much followed the 4 day drop schedule and it took him just a little over 2 months to get off subs completely. So not to be negative in any way here but getting off by Christmas will be very difficult. Its not a race to get to the finish line its getting to the finish line. Also there might be at certain points along the taper that you might need an extra day at a certain dose befor dropping. The less discomfort while tapering the better the odds are of getting clean is the way i have always looked at it. Will talk to you later.

    Alex
    Last edited by Anonymous; 10-28-2013 at 11:17 PM.

  27. #27
    brandnewme is offline Banned
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    [deleted - swearing]
    Last edited by Anonymous; 10-28-2013 at 11:13 PM.

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    alexnt is offline Platinum Member
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    Its your thread so rant away all you want. Its good therapy.

    Alex
    Last edited by Anonymous; 10-28-2013 at 11:13 PM.

  29. #29
    brandnewme is offline Banned
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    Thanks Alex and Sharks, getting off by Christmas was just a really nice thought but nothing I have my heart set on. I've learned that I need to limit myself somewhat on how much of the forums I read. There are lots and lots and lots of horror stories of people getting stuck on subs for years and years. I was actually feeling pretty grateful for the subs until I started reading then I started to get sick that I made a mistake by getting on them. Right at this moment though I'm just feeling grateful that there's something out there to stop the terrible w/d symptoms that terrify me. I want to take only what my body needs to heal from the damage of the past 2 years. I have no need to rush the process....I only felt that way because of what I was reading. On a different website it said if you get off subs before 6 months you won't get addicted; another said if you get off before a year; and another said if you get off before 1 month.... That's why I'm going to limit my reading and trust the info from people going thru the same journey as me.

    Thanks for caring enough to tell me to be patient and work the process without rushing. I appreciate that you care about an imperfect stranger. Do ya'll say names around here? If so mine is Sasha.

  30. #30
    alexnt is offline Platinum Member
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    Sasha the horror stories you read are usually from people who were on subs for long periods of time and at huge amounts. Also from people who quit taking subs at to high of a dose. Subs are a great detox tool but no good as a maintenance drug. If you taper down properly you will ok. I was on subs for 4 months and didn't know about the taper plan on here till after about a month. I did a lot of my drops on a 6 day schedule but a few on 4 or 5 days. I never once felt any of my drops. I went all the way down to around .18 befor i jumped and had very minimal symptoms when i jumped. There are thousands of people who have used the taper plan here and got clean. Its getting late now but tomorrow i will tell you some supplement i used along the way while i was tapering that you might want to consider taking. Will talk to you later and trust me you will be ok. You discovered the forum here early on and that is a blessing in itself as you have spared yourself of getting stuck on a ridiculous high dose. Ive been subfree for over 10 months and im 58 and abused myself with alcohol and drugs for many years. If i can get clean anyone can.

    Alex

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