Friday, July 06, 2007

Getting Off Suboxone

I get a lot of emails from people who want to know what it is like to quit taking Suboxone. I've dedicated two long chapters to the topic in my book, but until it's published, here are some thoughts about what I learned and what it was like.

What follows is my reply to a recent email, the text of which follows:


Dear Danny:

Here's some of what it was like for me to quit Suboxone.

1. The first time I tried to get off Suboxone, I failed. I tapered from 4mg for about a month, then 2mg for 10 days. I went through some serious withdrawals (Christmas Day 2006...a massacre). I went back to the doctor and we decided to stretch it out on 2 mg for a longer period.

Lesson: You might not make it the first time. You can always go back if you have to.

2. After the Christmas mess, I stayed on 2mg throughout February 2007. I would experiment with skipping days. It worked. When I got down to 2mg I would occasionally skip a day. It was o.k. I made it. I also chopped the 2mg tablets in half. I would try it for a day or so, and if I started feeling bad, I would take 2mg and then get on with trying the halves the next day.

Lesson: Keep trying to go lower. Give yourself room to go back up if you need it.

3. I watched my bottle of Suboxone halves begin to dwindle. I was amazed that a chunk of a pill smaller than a breadcrumb was necessary to keep me normal. However, at some point I realized I couldn't just keep taking breadcrumbs. On March 9th, 2007 I ran out.

Lesson: Eventually you're going to have to quit taking it. If you really want off, you got to prepare.

4. Amazingly, when I ran out, I felt fine for two and a half days. The withdrawals kicked in at 36 hours, but (and this is important) it wasn't nearly as bad as it had been when I tried to quit during Christmas when I was at 2mg. I felt really tired, weak, and had all the typical symptoms, however, it was nothing compared to a full-blown withdrawal from what you might experience with Oxy or heroin. I took Clonidine for the first three days and it helped. It made it easier to sleep and easier to get up. This took place on a weekend, so I tried to take it easy.

Lesson: It's not as bad as you might think. Clonidine helps. Take it easy.

5.After seven days, I still felt weak. The withdrawal from Suboxone is long and tedious, but it isn't so bad that I felt like I needed to go back on it again. Frankly, it took a couple of months before I really felt completely better, and to be sure, I think that there are still some after effects that I am experiencing four months later (occasional sleep disruption, occasional digestive issues, low energy).

Lesson: Be patient. You'll get better a little bit each day.

6. Now for the good part. When I was actively using and I'd try to quit Oxy, I'd go through withdrawals for maybe three or four days, and the whole time, all I could think about was that I wanted some damned Oxy. When I quit Suboxone, I didn't realize it at first, but one day it hit me: "Even though I don't feel 100% better, what's weird is that I don't crave Oxy." If you've taken Suboxone, you know that you don't get high on it, and the fact of the matter is not only that I didn't crave Oxy, I didn't crave Suboxone either.

Lesson: There's a reward at the end of all of this. Your craving probably won't be there.

Once I got off the Suboxone, the seriously weirdest part was that I didn't want to go out and get drugs. I hadn't taken any opiates the entire 18 months I was on Suboxone, so I was completely removed from that whole scene.

I'm feeling a lot better now, but there's still more for me to do. Most of it has to do with realizing that I am no longer hooked and that now I need to find things to do that make my life worthwhile. If you've used opiates, you know that when you are high, there isn't anything that can bother you. Unfortunately, it is those things that we're avoiding when were high that will still be there when we're not. Here's what I am searching for: finding the contentment I felt when I was high, without being high. Ultimately, I guess that is what humans have been searching for since the beginning of time.

For technical information on quitiing Suboxone, I suggest taking a look at this article that my physician gave me from the following journal:

"Burprenorphine:how to use it right."
Johnson RE, Strain EC, Amass L.
Journal: "Drug and Alcohol Dependence." 2003; 70:S59-S77.

Good luck tapering off Suboxone. Lastly, remember that I am not qualified to give anyone medical advice. I am not a physician and nothing that I write should be construed as medical advice. Anyone who is looking for medical advice should consult a medical doctor.

Your Bud,



Hi gus

Im sure you get a lot of emails asking how you got off the suboxone. Im stuck and scared. I search all over the internet just to find horror story after horror story. Ive been on it about 14 mos now--4-6mg a day. Im having trouble tapering and i want to be off this now.



Anonymous said...

To whom it may concern,

I just happened to stumble across this page and thought I might provide my experience, and what has helped for me.
After reading the initial posting I was astonished at the similarities with my situation.

I was on oxys for about two years before seeking help,not a real long time relatively speaking, but I was up to 7(yes, seven) 80's daily, at that point, even that amount wasn't satisfying the addiction, i was doing all of that just to keep from getting sick. When it got to that point, thats how i knew it was time to get help. I researched a number of doctors and was Rx'd suboxone as well as the clonidine/catapres. I never had any problems sleeping while on suboxone,(only the first couple nights getting on it, and the couple of nights in between dosage reduction...) in fact, i actually got very minor, but still a rather pleasurable buzz from the suboxone...even as I tapered down.

After a year and three months of suboxone treatment, I had worked my way down to 1/4 of 8mg daily.
I was still telling my doctor that I was using 4mg(half) daily... this was just to provide me extra... reserves...just incase.

***let me just acknowledge though, that I do not advise anything less than total honesty with your doctor, especially in addiction treatment..***
I started treatment on 3 full, 8mg daily, quickly moved down to two daily, then one daily(1/2 pill twice daily), each in 3-4 month increments.
My doctor was administering these amounts, after we got me down to 1/2 daily (4mg), that is when i began to slowly work my own way down...
within a couple months, there came a day when I was down to 1/4(2mg) daily.. One day I totally forgot to take my dosage, and slept through the whole night!
Even felt great next day!
Then it hit me, There is no way I would have previously been able to miss a day and not even notice, let alone not NEED it...
That is when i decided it might be time to try and work my way off entirely.
I always would sit in class, or at work and see those around me and think about how I couldn't wait to feel what it is like to just be normal again... To have that happiness and energy again, without needing to use first... to live freely and independently of that desperation.. It was motivation enough.

Of course the day i skipped dosage was quickly followed with the need to continue dosage. But I only visited my doctor for one more refill. I was provided enough for a 30 day supply at 4mg (1/2 daily)... Of course I planned to make this last twice as long. Used the trusty pill cutter and split each 8mg into fourths, and marked on my calendar the day I would be done based on the amount there was left.
Two months may not be long enough for everyone at this point, and in hindsight it may not have been for me either.
I made the decision that it was going to be my last refill even if it killed me. Any pain I could feel at this point would pale in comparison to that of oxy withdrawals...
once I got down to my last two weeks worth, I decided to begin experimenting with days on/days off, and even taking as little as 1/8 per day.. As Gus mentioned above, it truly astounded me how even the smallest dosages made such a difference. My guess is due to the sublingual application, the absorption of the medication provides for much higher bioavailability. however, I certainly am no expert.

Anyways, I stretched that last 30 day scrip to nearly two and a half months. Then the moment of truth comes and I feel fine for the initial two days and nights following my final dose.
Then it began.
the wacky, (often lack of) appetite, restlessness, NO energy (how you feel like you can't get out of bed, but can't do anything at all even if you manage to) cold sweats accompanied with excessive sweating, the restless legs/jonesing was the worst. But still not even 1/100th of that which experienced in opiate/oxy withdrawls, but since that was the worst part of withdrawals when i WAS on oxys, it managed to be the worst for me again.. still painless by comparison.

To combat this, i would take a couple of vicodin 7.5/750 daily, once when i get up, and once before bed to help with sleep. sometimes one mid-day if it was a long day.
OBVIOUSLY it is not wise to do this, specifically for a recovering opiate addict, it just happened that this is just what was available to me, costing just a couple bucks a piece, it was practical in its application (meaning using them for pain management, never more than one at a time - i never got high off them, just minor stomach aches from the Acetaminophen)...Ultrams may have been more desirable in this circumstance for their similar pain management effects, while being non-narcotic.

My doctor had also always provided me with a scrip for the Clonidine along with the suboxone, Like i said, i usually slept just fine once on Suboxone, so I just had several extra unfilled scrips laying around for them. I filled two of them and began to take two of those daily, in place of the vicodins. one in the morning and one in the evening.
These really helped with sleep during the days the restlessness was horrible.
The restless legs/jones'ing feeling got better with each day, and diminished after a couple weeks. Advil Flu&Body Ache helped with the legs a little, but i soon found it's actually easier to just have to tough it out rather than over medicate. I also found that getting back on a work-out routine helped significantly. heat pads/hot showers help too. Running for me was particularly helpful, the higher impact workout (as opposed to stationary bikes, etc) seemed to replace that restless feeling in my legs with that more familiar burn, typical of a good work out. Physical workouts helped me to fall asleep, and reduce that restlessness that can keep you up all night.
If you try the workouts, stay consistent - every day (twice daily for me) otherwise it may not be quite as effective.

Now, Today, I have been off EVERYTHING for only a few months, almost 3 i think. I still sweat more than normal, with cold sweats at night. That may or not be the last symptom to go for others, you tell me..
It is definitely very annoying, i usually bring a couple extra undershirts or wife-beaters to change throughout the day.. annoying yes, but grateful that my worst symptoms at this point are annoying rather than painful and inhibiting.

I also found taking a GOOD multivitamin also helps. since eating patterns and physical activity are typically impaired by the withdrawal symptoms, you should find some way to not malnourish your body. afterall the ultimate hope is to GET HEALTHY again, right? It also helps you feel better in general too.

A lot of this is probably not new advice for most, but this is just what worked for me.. in conjunction with WILL and DETERMINATION, anyone can do this. I felt helpless and hopeless after I blew through much of my savings, a long time relationship, and a great job. Clearly those aren't always enough to deter some of us, but as long as you can trust that from the bottom, things always look up. It will get better, each day is a little better than the last.

I am not trying to represent and bias views, or provide and medical advice, as I have no credentials to do so, I just hope that what has worked for me, might be able to help someone else as well.

Gus, I think what you are doing with your book as amazing, I am not trying to take away from any of that with my posting. As someone who also struggles with recovery, I think it is important to spread the positivity and hope where ever possible. Best of luck with your book!

Good Luck, God Bless, and Godspeed.

remember, "This too shall pass"


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info...I have been on Suboxone for 9 months after developing a heavy OC habit. I have been taking 1/4 of an 8mg tablet for several months now and know I need to stop this.
My personal experience so far is that I have no cravings for OC or any opiates for that matter...but I continue taking this Sub.

Perhaps tomorrow I will try to skip...

Anonymous said...

I was addicting to snorting 80mg of oxycontin a day and stopped my habit by getting on suboxone. went to a local doctor that provided it and told him my addiction and was given one and a half 8mg suboxone a day. I had no withdrawels and DID get high from it the first week of using it. I would get massive euphoria from it just as I would from blowing oc's but the nasty taste starts to get to you and also after that first week you dont get high from it anymore it seems.

6 months later now I am down to 1 a day but didnt tell my doctor that I was widdling myself down personally. I found that the taste was so disgusting that I tried snorting lines of it instead. let me tell you, if you have a good method of not getting a drip from it there is definately a big difference with not tasting it this way. I found that snorting even a portion of a 1/4 of the pill would give me the same effect as well as some euphoria throughout the day. This is a REALLY good way to conserve the medicine also. What I was doing with the remainder of my prescriptions is not to be discussed but I am now down to snorting an 1/8 of the pill a day and I dont think about opiates whatsoever. Soon I will be clean off everything. I definately recommend using suboxone to get off heroin or opiates as opposed to the methadone shit holes or anything of that nature. I was able to quit opiates with the medicine alone and no counseling. Granted this may be an individual strength and not possible for some but all it takes is a little self control.(haha hard to hear from an addict I know) but it's the truth.

I know the evils of opiate addiction and what it can spin your life into at such a fast rate. For this, i wish you all the best of luck in gaining back control of your lives.

One thing which might help you guys coming from a veteran is that the biggest reason for the addiction has nothing to do with the drug itself. The abuse stems from a problem lying within yourself before you even let the drug enter your body. You have to dig up that underlying problem and admit to yourself that you have it and then do something about it. Its a simple thing that we as humans find trouble doing and its hard. I used to think that opiates made me a "happier and funner" person to be around and couldnt imagine being so open and free without being high on them. I slowly realized i was using this pill to create a fake person that i WANTED to be but was too lazy to get up and work towards it myself. I had to EARN that happiness and basically what pills did was give it to me for the price of a dollar. I was BUYING my happiness instead of realizing that it's FREE. How you find it is something I cannot tell you as it is again an individual situation. The only thing I can say is that happiness is there waiting for all of us and it's just a matter of discovering it.

I send my blessings to those who are caught within this realm of destruction. Its all i can do...good luck

Anonymous said...

I found this site informal and appreciate everyone's honesty. As I write this I'm starting day one without suboxone. I've been addicted for about 8 years. It started with oxycontin. I actually managed to quit oxycontin cold turkey when I was eighteen. It took 10 days of hell on earth until I was free. Unfortunatly I hung out with my same friends who also were users. They were able to talk me into a relapse. I thought I could do it once in awile and get away with it. BIG MISTAKE. I ended up in a methadone clinic for 3 years. Then I ended up switching to suboxone from methadone and stayed on it for 8 months. I reached a point thinking I could just stop suboxone and it would be easy. Unfortunatly that didn't work either. I felt good for the first five days and then Mr. Jones came knocking at my door. I persuaded my doc to prescribe methadone 30mg pills so I wouldn't have to go to a clinic. I stayed on them and took no extra for about a year. No extra turned into extra and ultimatly back to the clinic. The failure after failure weighed on my mind. Even though I felt souless, I kept working towards sobriety. This time I went back on Suboxone, but only for 2 1/2 months. It seems to me the longer your on it, the harder it gets. I figure the methadone is out of my system by now. I went from three 8mg pills, to a quarter in 2 1/2 months. What really helped me was Klonapin. My doc prescribed 4 1mg pills per day. It definatly helps with the withdrawls and restless leg. Suboxone is a farely new drug and there is a lot that patients don't know. I feel that you should only use it as a plan to get off opiods as fast as possible. I'm no doctor though. I wouldn't recommend suboxone maintanence for longer than 3-4 months. Everybody has different circumstances and some people will need it for the rest of their lives. But if you want to get sober and decide to use suboxone, get off of it ASAP. I will comment again after I know where I stand. I've mentally prepared myself the best I can. I feel confident and will share my upcoming battle. Win or lose, I will give all the details. If you belive in a higher power, use that to your advantage along with treatment. You'll be suprised how much you learn about life and yourself. God bless you all and never stop fighting.

Anonymous said...

I used Suboxone for about 22 months. I had no problems winging down to 2mg. I went to fast at first and when I quit taking it I was not fully blown sick I just didn't feel right. It has a half life so no matter what mg you are taking it will take 3 days to get out of your system and like Gus my bad feeling started after about 36 hours. So my wife talked me into going back on in Nov. 2008 and I quit taking it on March 25 2009. I winged down to what the Dr. was guessing around 1/8 mg and I took that for 8 weeks. So patience is a must!


Anonymous said...

Thank you to everyone on this sight not being babies and crying about how suboxone is hard to come off of. I thank God for Reck & Col and the invention of this drug + my Doctor I have started a business bought a house and actually have money in the bank now yes I am still on Suboxone 2 mg\day and may be for awhile but let me remind everyone. Do you remember spending 1000$- 6000$ per month on your heroin oxy habit? if your price on a graham of heroin went from 80$ to 300$ the fact that you would pay oh yes you would not to mention the fact that if you get caught you go to prison, if your man was not home\vacation/arrested you get sick oh and being sick we all know that feeling. I can now travel with my legal script and not worry about getting arrested for carrying it lets all remember these times before I hear anyone blogging about how Suboxone sucks and be Super thank full for the Doctors and the company that made it possible for us junkies to lead normal lives suboxone allows us to live without feeling high and have that human personality we all lost on dope it's a miracle that someone actually put in the time to create a drug to save all us junkies I will try to come off it myself but if I have to be on this for life it is still 100% better then the alternative so please everyone give suboxone the respect it deserves and be thank full we have it as an option too much negative feedback could in fact shut it down which would be a shame it saved the life of my wife and myself. There is no miracle cure for opiate addiction but Suboxone is pretty damn close so please lets here more positive stories online and not a bunch of crybabies who are not fully committed to getting clean.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the helpful info. I was just looking for how to get off suboxone when I found the site. My husband has been on it for over 3 years. Though Suboxone IS a miracle drug, I think it is time. I couldn't find long term health risks but I'm sure it screws up the liver. I want him to see this site but am afraid for him to see anything about oxy and mainly the picture. Don't think he will go back to it but I admit it terrifies me! I couldn't go through it again. Glad to see so many success stories. That is awesome! Addiction is such a long, painful, frustrating, and self-searching journey - Suboxone has helped so many see the light at the end of the tunnel. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I just got done reading all the comments and I really respect everyone for being real!I also agree about suboxone being like a miracle cure for people addicted to opiates.I wanted to know if anyone could help me out with a problem Im having.Ive been on 2mg of suboxone for about six months and Im having surgery on my knee and I know Im going to need something for pain and Iv been trying to replace suboxone with hydros 5/500 mg and I dont If this is good. I dont have a desire to be high but I know I cant take the pain.My surgery is in a a day and I not sure what to do.If anyone can tell me or offer some kind of advice would be great.

Anonymous said...

This has to be the most ridiculous advice I have ever heard in regards to staying clean. I have been involved in NA for 3 years now and have seen the destruction that not only Oxy but Suboxone can take on not only the individual but their relationships as well. Suboxone is NOT a miracle drug. There is no miracle drug. That is pure addict speak right there. Suboxone is NOT safe to take on and off, in combination with others, or for extended periods of time. Suboxone IS still a form of an opiate and is extremely addictive. I have seen people first hand who steal, lie and cheat to buy black market Subs from dealers. It has become like every other drug out there. If there is a substance to abuse, it will be abused. I just sent someone off to inpatient for their addiction to Suboxone after an eight year addiction to OxyContin. This will be his second time in treatment, one for the Oxy, now for the Subs. His behavior when he does not have the Suboxone is erratic, very high highs and very low lows, he gets angry, frantic and cannot relax until he can find some Suboxone. The instant he has Suboxone, he is happy, joyful a completely different person. Sound familiar Oxy addicts? Sure does to me. Bottom line. A drug is a drug is a drug. You cannot switch one addiction for another and expect to call yourselves "clean." You're not.

Anonymous said...

I am about to enter a custody battle with my .x-wife for my 6 year old boy. Im down to 2 mg of suboxone a day. I started taking subs by accident, not Knowing what they were, & have had a script for them for about 2 years slowly weaning only because I have primary physical custody of my son. I run my own plumbing buisiness as well as having that responsability and have not been able to afford to withdrawl. Now that I'm forced to go for full custody I find out that judges frown apon this drug and even though with the help of a doctor I have weaned from 16mg to 2mg a day and plan to go off it all together I am worried that I can lose my son to an active cocaine user who mentally abuses my boy constantly. I'm going all the way off completly and need help to not experiance physical withdrawl and want to know if there are any suggestions not mentioned like non-narcotic drugs tat can help me get through this.

Anonymous said...

I've been on buprenorphine for just over a week now. I went from shooting about 140-168 mg dilaudid (hydromorphone contin)/1-3g heroin (primarily dilaudid) a day to 20mg suboxone. The first day was absolute hell... Horrible withdrawal lasting until late tuesday night (started monday, stopped using sunday). All the usual symptoms including horrible pain radiating from within my bones outward everywhere. Now I'm feeling pretty good, the buprenorphine has really worked quite nicely. My only concern is how bad the withdrawel from burenorphine is compared to other opioids. Because the half-life of the drug is so long, it should present as a longer but less intense withdrawal, that may be reduced if tapered off. I hope I can stay off this time, this is the longest I've been off dope for over 3 years. The suboxone doesn't make me high, I just feel normal, not sick. I'm starting to get some energy back, and am enjoying the stress-free dope acquisition method. It's a lot less work to go to the pharmacy once a day and have the drug paid for by the government than to have to get hundreds of dollars a day in prescription/street drugs. This is the 5th time I've quit, I hope it's the last. Good luck to every one else who's posted. It's a different ride, that's for sure.

Anonymous said...

I have been using prescription narcotics and heroin off and on since 1988. I had a successful stretch of staying clean for just over 5 years, from early 2000 until the spring of 2005. Then I made the mistake of thinking I could use once in a while and keep it under control. As most addicts know, I was WRONG and I knew this already from years of past experience.
Outside of many cold turkey attempts, I was on methadone for 5 years, from 1995 until 2000. In 1998 I started to slowly come down from a dual habit of 140mg of methadone and at least 1 gram heroine a day. I had no choice at the time but to quit, since I had lost good job and went through all my savings. Rock bottom was hit!
The long ride ended on February 2nd, 2000 when I stopped using methadone. I was down to 2mg a day at that time. I did not have any bad reactions at that time, but felt tired all the time and did not sleep well. It took almost 6 months until I felt normal.
After, my current relapse and a lot of research I decided to try suboxone. This August 2009, my doctor started me on 16mg of subutex for the first week and then switched me over to suboxone.
I had some withdrawal symptoms the first four days, but then felt fine and slept great. I am already down to 2mg a day and have had no problems sleeping or any withdrawal symptoms since the first four days.
After my experience with methadone, I am trying to get off suboxone as quickly as possible and plan on reducing the suboxone to 1mg a day this week. I know there is no miracle drug and all you can do is take each day as it comes. I am also sure once I stop the suboxone, it will take a good amount of time to feel normal again, but what great goal it is to achieve once I get there again. Addiction is a hard road many of us have traveled. Hang in there everyone; it is well worth it in the end.

Anonymous said...

for those on subs, i'm curious what you pay.. my doctor charges $250 visit that gives me a month supply (more than methadone!).. it's definitely a miracle drug but i'm wondering if doctors are trying to keep it competitive with methadone or what.. I was down to 2mg day but then went back out for a few months before realizing that subs are the only way to go.. I appreciate the comments on how people have approached tapering, it will certainly be difficult but not as bad as methadone, i'm sure.. and to the negative comments above -- what about depression drugs like SSRIs and MAOIs? MUCH worse than subs!

if N/A works, more (higher) power to you but it's not for me. I do recommend seeing a _good_ therapist though, in addition to the helpful advice given above..

Anonymous said...

I am just 2 weeks into going through methodone withdrawal & transfer to Suboxone. If I knew then what I know now I doubt I would have taken that route. The doctor failed to tell me that the withdrawals could last for up to 3 months & the pain could come back. I am now up to 8 Mg every 7 hours & am afraid of getting hooked on suboxone. I was taking Methodone for over 3 years (50 mg every 4-6 hours) & I know this was slowly killing me & knew I had to choose a different path, but had no idea how bad this path would be. My nerves are shot, I can't stop shaking & am in alot of pain yet again. What did I gain from this? I don't think much of anything except a big fat hospital bill. I am very disalliousioned with my doctor & am thinking seriously of trying a different path - no I won't go back on the methodone, but there's got to be a better way to deal with this. Any advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

Anonymous said...

I've read every comment in the hopes to find that one answer I'd like to hear at this given point in time. what I'm going to ask, may help others in there endeavours towards the good life being clean again. Well guys, I was a heavy O.C. user for over a year and I decided enough was enough, just like the numerous people posting here. Suboxone got me through it. I've been taking the Suboxone for about 4 months now and I decided enough was enough with this also. I made it 4 straight days without touching it, with withdrawals basically feeling like the flu, without the cough. Nothing people can't get through if your willing to make the jump. With the withdrawals finally starting subside, I feel I've made a not so smart decision. I grabbed a 30mg percoset and dusted a little bit off the corner, maybe 5 mg's. My withdrawal symptoms have pretty much subsided. Now, I have no craving or concern of going back to the bad stuff, that's not me anymore. What I'm wondering is, did I just completely physically set myself back the 4 days I stayed clean off the suboxone? I'm not going back to the suboxone and I'm not going back to the percoset, I'm gonna stick it through. I was under the impression from reading different info, that the opiates in the two drugs are two different animals. My 4 days off suboxone aren't completely worth nothing because I touched another opiate are they? It may sound stupid but I think its something others should know. Are the opiates the same or completely different, using my questoning as example. Peace and love to everyone. You can do it!

Anonymous said...

ur an idiot u do get hi from suboxone iv ben on it 2 years n im still gettn hi blow 2mgs up ur nose buddy then wright me bak, now dose any1 no how to turn the new strips in2 powder so i can blow them 2

suboxone clinics said...

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grrr said...

I cannot believe I'm here posting on this site. I can't believe alot of things. I'm on day 12 of soboxone. Regardless what anyone says about suboxone, I've gone from 5 80's a day (250 cd in this town) to 20 mg of soboxone...with my insurance, $2.10 a day. I now realize that on pills I was a mess and on soboxone I feel relatively normal. My doc did not even want to talk about coming off soboxone, he said, "I have a heart condition and I need to take a pill for the rest of my life". The thing is people whether soboxone is evil or MUCH LESS EVIL. If I hard herd about soboxone 49 k ago I would not be in the mess I am now. I came out to my family doc on a Wednesday and I was in the clinic at 3:30 the next day. I was facing a family trip for 10 days and I had to come to terms with where do I get some there, do I go and be the "really bad flu guy". I wonder how my white ass would have made out with a pocket full of cash in the nasty part of town in New Orleans covered in sweat and screaming withdrawals? I could have tricked my family but something tells me the guy I met five streets in the wrong direction off Bourbon street would have considered me an early Christmas present (don't mean to stereo type drug dealers in New Orleans...I'm sure some of them are wonderful people) My wife did not know, n'or did my friends. I was/am a high functioning exec and my "yo yo yo...baggy pant dealer" was telling me how this story was going to play out months ago and unfortunately he was right. I continuously wanted to feel good today and fix tomorrow. My plan was to buy a big whack and wean off. I got the buying a big whack part down path....the wean never quite worked. I am now dealing with the 50 k I spent this year. My wife has my cell and my bank card, her parents are here and we are all spending Christmas covered in snow and hurt feelings instead of golfing. The snow storm pales in comparison to the shit storm I've created. The lies, the money, the complete mess I was in 2010 will not be fixed this week or next. Soboxone let's me face it directly however and for that I am grateful. Going to the clinic everyday is embarrassing and uncomfortable. My wife started her career as a dispensing nurse and is now an exec for....if I said it you would all REALLY laugh. Safe to say she is beyond pissed and told me from day one never abuse "my medications...I could lose my job". I will never use again because I hated being high...I just did not want to get sick. My nose was so f%$$ed I couldn't physically do it anyway. The reason I was at my doc was because my wife wanted me to go to the ear NOSE and throat specialist. Sorry for rambling but I am in my house with my wife, her mom and her dad. Everyone loves me (kind off) but everyone is soooo disappointed and hurt. I cannot feel anything at all with soboxone and talking about sniffing it in a previous post is contrary to the spirit of sites like these and should not be discussed. Pills are made for swallowing...NOTHING should go up your nose but nasal mist. Oxy's taken as prescribed are a very valuable medication. Morons such as I, change the delivery system and abuse them, then complain about addiction...DAAAAA I’d slap myself!

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Anonymous said...

I'd been doing Oxycodone/Roxys for a year. I was snorting 300-600mg (10-20, 30mg pills) and drinking 4 bottles of wine, and 2mg of Xanax a day before I succumbed and checked myself in. Just got out of Detox on Friday. The alcohol detox was the worst (other than the first night in detox, waiting for my pupils to dilate enough to get Subs). By Monday I was about 80% through the alcohol and Benzo withdrawals so I starting focusing on my opiate problem and started reading a lot about Suboxen. The following is very unusual and I was the first case like this the doctors or nurses had seen; I had a severe negative reaction to Suboxone: Apparently they were giving me Subutex(buperenorphine) in Detox and I felt pretty good when I left. As an outpatient, they prescribed me Suboxone (buprenorphine and naloxone)after Detox. Tuesday I started having confusion and inability to concentrate but by Thursday it was clear that every time I took a dose of Suboxen, I would get sweats, shake, chills, headache, swolen throat...and very pronounced hallucinations, starting at 1 hour in, peaking at 2 hours, and mellowing at 3 was like taking really speedy acid and was kinda cool at first but definitely not pleasant for the next 6-9 hours. Luckily, no stomach cramps or diarrhea but only slept about 2 hours a night all week; by yesterday I was exhausted but still had to take my dose for fear of the opiate withdrawals. I lowered my dose from 6mg to 2mg on Thursday night and as Suboxen is cumulative, I pretty much went into a full blown bad acid trip along with the typical opioid withdrawals f'n horrible! I knew if I stopped the Suboxen completely, I would be in full withdrawals in 2-3 days so I was screwed if I took them and screwed if I stopped..time to call the doctor. They switched me back to Subutex today which I find to be wonderful after one 2mg dose tonight (after having these psuedo-withdrawals all week). I am supposed to be on 12mg - 6mg AM/6mg PM a day now. Since I've gotten used to feeling like shit for 2 weeks, tomorrow I'm going to try 4mg AM, 2mg PM for a week and see how it goes, then step down to 4mg AM, 1mg PM the next week. I plan to get down to 1 mg a day within 2 months, then 1 week of 1/2mg, a week of 1/4mg (I bought a .0001 jewelers scale on Ebay for $50 to measure the doses. I've heard some folks even lick the pill once a day for an additional week and have come off quite easily with only about 2-3 days of minor aches and pains. I spoke to an IV user doing 40+, 30mg Oxys a day this week in the out patient program who did this 2-1/2 month plan successfully. My doctors plan is a 9 months to 2 year step down. I've heard that the faster you can get off Suboxen, the easier it is.
The one thing that no one on this blog mentioned which I think is VERY IMPORTANT is the follow up therapy and/or AA/NA meetings with a sponsor. They say if you can set your head to attend nightly meetings with a good devoted sponsor, 12 steps, and/or therapy for at least 8-12 months, there is an 85% chance that you will be free of opiates forever. Without follow-up psychological therapy, the rate of success drops to about 20% (80% chance of relapse). REALLY! Also, Diet and Exercise are very important to get your natural endorphins back. You basically have to get brainwashed, re-map your mind....not just detox your body. The detox is the easy part; putting the extra time into some type of drug therapy EVERY DAY for a long time is the KEY to full recovery.
Well, that's what I've learned in the past 2 weeks at one of the top 2% Rehab centers in the US, which I've sank close to $12,000 into (way less than I spent of drugs this year), so my loss is your gain. Anyway,that's my plan. I'll let you know how it pans out!
I'm really glad that you have a site like this; most of the sites I've read really bash Subs but I do think it is the best option out there as long as they are followed up with some type of therapy. GOOD LUCK!!!

Eric S said...

Suboxone literally saved my life! It is actually very simple if you actually follow the plan. YOU MUST MAKE YOUR 8MG SUB LAST ONE MONTH!!!. YOU MUST START WORKING OUT BEFORE YOU ACTUALLY QUIT!!! If you can get down to .25 mg a day for a month, and keep doing pushups and situps and stretches during that time, your withdrawels with be either none, or very little. I took suboxone for almost 1 year, was hooked on tramadol for 5 years before the subs, and now i am sober like a judge for the first time in 6 years. .25 MG a day, and working out EVERYDAY is the key to everything trust me. You have to get your muscles prepared because if you don't you will be tired for months. I got my body in very good shape before i quite and amazingly i had absolutly no withdrawels when i quit. I know that sounds crazy but if i was taking more mg's or not working out i would have relapsed. Good luck everyone, and god bless!!

Anonymous said...

In my expeience with the evil oc's I started dating a girl who at the time was 5 years deep trying to get clean. It was working for a bit and then she relapsed and I got started on them (at the time 17 years old, a child who wasnt against anything more than pills) from then on I was hooked...about a year went from 145 to 115 and was doing an 80 a day..not the worst addict to live but regaurdless I wass fully addicted...I graduated highschool and went off to maine for college with some suboxone in my pocket...the first time I did suboxone I did a quarter of a pill and puked all day. I continued to take a quarted a day which eventually became a quarter two times a day so 4mg per day. This past summer (about a year into the suboxone method, which I never got a doctor for just bought them off friends) end of my freshman year me and my ex had broken up and I never did a pill again other than suboxone. I went to a festival and it hit me that I didn't want to be on subs anymore. Six months later I have weened myself off a great amount, I don't know how much I take but I can make an 8mg strip last for almost two weeks taking a peice in morning and night...sometimes afternoon if im stressing out from work.

Point being is that this isn't something you,your parents,wife,or friends can make you stop doing...its all on your own because these drugs will always be around in one way or another...sometimes you hit rock bottom once and that's all it takes for others it may take a few times...eventually if your mind is set on sobriety (as mine is) no matter how many times you fail eventually you will be sober

These past three days I didn't take anyy most have said the worst sickness came in after 2 days...unfortunately I couldn't get past the third day but breaking the habit of taking them at certain times of the day is half the battle

All it takes is your best !

Anonymous said...

I can't say how similar my thoughts are to Michaels... It sounds like I wrote it myself, and that makes me feel more comfortable with the future I have completing Suboxone therapy. I take about 6 or 7mg per day at the moment, and like Michael said I sometimes find myself FORGETTING to take the Suboxone dose. I can't describe to anyone who may read this what thats like, it really makes me feel hopeful considering I Spent 24/7 thinking about the next time I was going to shoot up. I am in University and I really can relate to how Michael said that I look around and want to just be like all of them, normal... That's totally me. I know I will be successful with my endeavour, because I don't crave the high itself anymore. Sure, its a nice feeling, but it is outweighed by the pain that comes later. Id rather feel good for the rest of my life than blissfull one minute, and in absloute agony then next. Not to mention my self esteem and confidence. Going to the mexican drug dealer to give him all my money and often other people's. My family for me is most important,and I am forever grateful to them. Lastly, my social skills dwindled when I was a junkie, and I am still rusty with going to parties and stuff(although I've never really been a party guy.) SO in conclusion, i don't believe it is a horror story getting off Suboxone, it just is a slow road and I am in no hurry.


steam_2012 said...

I see a lot of negativity and half assed attempts on this comment thread. the truth is this. Do you want to REALLY be clean? Yea? then just do it. It makes no sense to read other peoples ideas because a lot of people aren't smart and just tend to go with whatever they can. NA wont keep you clean, you will keep you clean. It's not a "disease", it's a choice. They use the term disease because addicts like to blame something besides themselves for the bad choices they've made. You choose to give in to yourself and do more drugs. If you really don't want to get off, you wont. Nobody can force you to stop but yourself. Suboxone works, but only if you are using it knowing for a FACT that you will get off of it and suffer through whatever you have to so you can stay clean. Tell your war stories and live in the past if you want, but we'll all give it up in the end. So why not move forward? Get rid of everyone you know who use. Change your phone number. It's the only way, and if you are scared you'll fail, you will. It's how the mind talks you into using, it makes you scared. Don't be, you control yourself, take back the power and try to enjoy the withdrawal, it's your ticket to a life you had all along, but were too scared to live.

Anonymous said...

what an idiotic post... it doesnt even sound like you know anything about this. take your cynasmism and shove it.

Anonymous said...

WOW. Reading some of the "advice" in these comments is quite scary. One poster clearly describes snorting his Suboxone to FEEL EUPHORIC AND NOT CRAVE OPIATES! This is exactly what he/she was doing when they were "using". SUBOXONE (BUPHRENORPHINE) IS AN OPIATE. PERIOD. If you take a high dose YOU MAY FEEL HIGH. This is no different than using, other than your doctor is enabling you to do it. To another commenter who recommended VICODIN to help with Sub withdrawal to opiate addicts... SERIOUSLY? And the fact you state you aren't sure how long you've been clean now (3 months "you think") tells me you are lying. I have never met a recovering addict who did not know the exact date they last used. Maybe I'm wrong. There is alot of good advice on here, especially in the original article, but I am shocked by the amount of bad information online regarding detoxing from Suboxone. 99% of the withdrawal horror stories are due to the methods people use. Doing a VERY SLOW taper and complete honesty with your doctor are VITAL to staying off Suboxone. I've seen 3 people taper at 0.5mg/month until they are at 0.5mg/every other day and the withdrawals while not pleasant, are minimal. YOU CAN DO IT! Be honest with your doctor and taper very slowly (like I said, 0.5mg/month until you are taking 0.5mg every other day). People don't realize that even though they are taking 32mg/day of Suboxone, much of the time only the first 4mg binds up all the opiate receptors in your brain and the other 28mg is just waste and not doing anything. This is what leads to alot of the horror stories you read, because coming off 4mg/day is quite equal to coming off 32 mg/day for most people, as only 4mg of your med is doing you any good. The rest is placebo. Also the half life is 36 hours so you can easily skip days and not even notice because the med stays in your system for so very long. Remember. Taper slow as you can. Be honest with your doctor. DON'T USE OTHER DRUGS TO REPLACE SUBOXONE, ESPECIALLY NARCOTIS! Hang in there, you can do it, and when you are healthy again in a couple months you'll feel great again!

Anonymous said...

If people want to lie about things on here, let them. Who cares if they are lying. There will always be two sides to a story, so there will always be people bashing Suboxone saying how its only a substitute for the drug of choice (ie. Heroin/oxy.) I couldn't disagree more, because there is no real high that accompanies Bupe. It only semi-fits our receptors, so as we settle in with Suboxone, we are learning how to live without being high. That is the most important part. You shouldn't take Suboxone for any other reason than its time to take it. If youre feeling depressed or stressed andyou get in the habit of taking the Subs to combat this, you are messing everything up. IT can't be thought of as a mood enhancer or an anti-anxiety remedy. Think of it as a vitamin or a cholestorol pill. You take it when its time, and after a while you are no longer programmed like that. You actually forget to take it.... which is a good thing in a way as long as you keep up with your regimin because, for me, that was like saying, "wow, I can actually forget about drugs" Suboxone is a wonder drug, and can be quit. SLOWLY is the only way to do it safely.

Anonymous said...

this helped me with w/d's

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this. I have been stuck on Suboxone for over 2 years and am getting ready to go to detox (my second time) for this. The first time I left detox early on day 7 thinking I was feeling all better but got home and felt the withdrawls which led to me relapsing back on heroin, then after getting back on the Suboxone. To anyone reading this please Google Toms Recipe, it is very very helpful for any opiate withdrawls! After reading it isI will defiantly make sure I am given the right meds and vitamins plus try all the other suggestions it said. To anyone reading I highly recommend if you are getting put on Suboxone to not stay on it longer then you need to detox off of whatever opiate you are getting off of. I was put on Suboxone after getting off of heroin and while it was like a miracle pill for my withdrawls I stayed on it for a "maintenance plan" and am now addicted to it and cannot function without it. Therefore I find myself going back to detox to now get off of the Suboxone once and for all. Good luck to you all getting clean and on your new road to recovery.

Anonymous said...

I've been on Suboxen/8mg twice a day for 2 years. Started weaning off over a 3 month period by taking halves,quarters then eighths. You call us crybabies not committed? As long as you are on Suboxen you ARE NOT CLEAN!!!!! You are still using a drug to get thru life! You dropped one crutch and picked up another! When you decide to get off the Suboxen you will realize just how strong this shit is! When you get hit with the withdrawal from Suboxen,hit me back. Then,tell me who the fucking crybaby is!!!!! YOU ARE STILL A DRUG ADDICT JACKASS!!!!!

Anonymous said...

AMEN!!!!! The most intelligent,truthful post I've read yet!!! Suboxen is just as,if not MORE EVIL than all the other shit!! Thank You!!!!! For all you out there that think this is the answer,learn all you can about it before making the decision to start Suboxen. It is a powerful drug that holds on to you with a wicked grip!! Absolutely miserable to get off of!!!!

Anonymous said...

Go take that shit back to N/A. Lots of people are addicted to lots of things. If suboxone helps me live the life I want to live, I could care less. I'll probably be on Suboxone until something better comes along, and that may be a long time, it's not a perfect solution, nothing is. It is 100% better than being a junkie though.

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About this Blog

For the past ten years I have been writing about my experience using oxycodone, the active ingredient in OxyContin, Percocet, and other prescription painkillers. I eventually developed a tolerance, then dependence, and became addicted. My archive covers my abuse of these drugs and my effors to quit using them.

I have tried to accurately report my experience without a sense of advocacy. It is my hope that you'll be able to make your own conclusions, as well as find my story factual, informative, and interesting.