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Unread 05-17-2011, 03:18 PM   #1
4deb
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Question 4debs journey

HI, I am a little scared and really in need of some support. I can sum up my story to say that I really like opiates. Got off a 7 yr methadone habit in 2002. I was also drinking. Got in to a sober living and got into NA. AA people seemed way to well for me. Then I drank again. Came back 6/15/04 haven't had a drink or illegal drug however I was diagnosed with Degenerative Disk Disease - Spinal ridiculophy - and severe arthritis. Was taking 3 5 mg. Vicodan a day, scared to death to tell my sponsor. I did and she said well how can it be fixed? Surgery (I was told that in 1999) Been on 160 mgs of Opana ER and 300 mgs of Nucenta a day. Had back surgery fusion L4 L5 S1 in 05 and total left hip replacement in 08. Well its11 now and I have to wonder, do I really need to be on all this pain med? Oh and I lost my Aerospace job in 09 paid Cobra for 18 months then suddenly in Feb. I had no insurance!!! I had been thinking of getting off theses meds any ways. Now I am in sobriety and I never ran out of my meds I actually took less so I had a stach, which my boyfriend became hooked on I got him off with suboxone. Last year I went into my Dr. and said I wanted off these pills and I want to do it with suboxone. He gave me 16 mgs a day for a month!!! I meant detox! any ways I got down to 1mg. and I just couldn't let go of my precious pain meds. Next visit I asked to be put back on the Opana.
March went to adiction specialist and he never detoxed anyone off opana told me to wait till I felt bad. OK I waited the 24 hrs. (I chewed them the ER opana) anyways and I went into horrible precipitated withdrawals OMG!!!! Dr would not call back. I really didn't know what to do, no one did! so it was a f___ing crap shoot take more suboxone or oxycodone. I took the Opana 80 mgs and 10 mgs methadone, and the w/d went away. It took me over a month to recover and try again so finally on 5/5/11 I Successfully took my 1st suboxone. After being off opana for 5 days down to 1 a day and the 300 + mgs of oxys. I had all these extra pills around and in April I went threw them all. The problem then was it took 20 mgs of Suboxone to get my legs to stop shaking! 18 the next 2 days. Today is day 12 and I am trying to do 3mgs a day, but I have taken 1 more = 4 mgs a day. yesterday wore high heeled boots and my back hurt so I took 2 more mgs for the pain. Out of the 12 days I have only had to take the subs for pain verses withdrawal on 3 or 4 days.
My fear is I don't want to be on the Suboxone for longer than 2-3 weeks max! My here to Help coach recommended this site. been reading so many horror stories on the internet of getting off subs. Help! Can I go from 4mgs to 0 in 8 days? or should I just listen to my body? and do a slow taper? Wont there be bad w/d's either way? Any help would be appericated. Thanks

Last edited by 4deb; 05-17-2011 at 03:30 PM..
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Unread 05-17-2011, 03:44 PM   #2
TIM
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Hi 4deb,
Welcome to addiction survivors. We have an entire thread full of successful positive experiences of people tapering off without a problem. I know the horror stories stand out but most of them can be traced back to a misunderstanding of the treatment or improper protocol. http://www.addictionsurvivors.org/vb...ad.php?t=16678

Setting an arbitrary time-frame to be on the medication is a bad idea because you have no way of knowing how long it will take to heal. Ending treatment too soon will result in a return of symptoms that will lead to either relapse or suffering, or both. It's important to understand what the purpose of the buprenorphine is. It is not a detox drug. It is a medication that suppresses the symptoms of addiction so that you can make the changes needed to fix the underlying addiction disorder.

Addiction is not taking a drug, it is the inability to control drug use, and compulsive use, caused by adaptations in the brain. If the brain adaptations are not corrected, they will continue to cause symptoms of addictions. The choice is to work to reverse or otherwise overcome the brain adaptations, or learn to deal with the symptoms of addiction like fighting cravings, sometimes for life. Buprenorphine eliminates the symptoms so that you can work on correcting the brain adoptions and not fight cravings for the rest of your life. But it is not a 2-3 week process, instead it takes several months sometimes years just like it took several months/years to develop.

Some people who report bad experiences with buprenorphine either don't know this or ignore it and think that if they could only get through the withdrawal of physical dependence they will be fine, but they are wrong. Then they get off buprenorphine cravings return, depression and stress get worse and they blame the bupe. But blaming the bupe is like ripping off a band-aid before the cut has healed and claiming band-aides cause bleeding. Getting a good understanding of exactly what addiction is and what you are trying to do with medication will allow you to develop realistic expectations of the treatment and end up with a successful and positive experience.

This page has some educational materials: http://www.naabt.org/education/literature.cfm
and this shows the phases of buprenorphine treatment: http://www.addictionsurvivors.org/vb...ad.php?t=23809

Good luck and congratulations on reengaging in treatment
Tim
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Unread 05-17-2011, 11:17 PM   #3
4deb
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Tim Thanks for the quick reply. Just knowing someone out there cares and has been through this is huge for me. Again, thanks.
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Unread 05-17-2011, 11:50 PM   #4
4deb
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Question day 12

Hi, well its day 12 of my Suboxone detox. Still a little Leary about being on suboxone for more than 2-3 weeks. I have about 17 8mgs. tabs and maybe 5 2 mgs. tabs. My fear is its gonna be bad either way. Short or a long taper. I thought I could start out on 8mgs.
day 1 took me 10 starting at 2:30 pm woke up at 3:30 with legs cramps took 2 mgs. and a mucel relaxer and more sleeping liquid to get me back to sleep.
day 2 - 20 mgs.
day 3 - 18mgs.
day 4 - no subs needed my body was saturated with subs. and I asked my Higher Power for Help from the bottom of my soul. The muscle relaxers calmed me down too.
day 5 - 10 mgs. 36 hrs. after last sub!!!
day 6 - 6 or 8 mgs. not sure
day 7- 6 mgs.
day 8 - 4 mgs
day 9 - 6 mgs.
day 10- tried 3 needed 4 mgs.
day 11 - tried 3 needed 4 mgs.
day 12 - settled on 4 mgs.
I am trying to listen to my body. 4 of those days I took it for pain not w/d systems.

From 20 to 4mgs. in 12 days, what do you think? What worked for you? Listening to your body?
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Unread 05-18-2011, 02:55 PM   #5
Mary
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Hey 4deb. I was on sub for a year and didn't have much in the way of problems with my taper. This 'don't take sub for longer than 3 weeks' shit, is shit. If you don't do the other stuff, nothing is gonna change. You gotta do the work, the counseling, groups or whatever. That's the stuff you need to work on. Not getting off so fast. If people can get off of sub in 3 weeks, why didn't they just taper off the shit they were on in 2 to 3 weeks. Addiction is the behavior. Sub lets you not suffer with WDs and cravings so you can change that behavior.

Bottom line, yeah, you can go from 4 to 0 in 8 days. You'll probably feel like shit, but you can do it. I took 2 months to go from 2mg to 0 at the end of my taper. Reduced .5 every two weeks. Thing is, I didn't care how long it took. It was a hell of a lot better than snorting H like I was.

I listened to my body and it paid off with very little in the way of WDs. But I also didn't expect a pill to fix what I messed up while addicted and did the work on myself.

Positive energy. -Mary
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Unread 05-18-2011, 03:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4deb View Post
...Still a little Leary about being on suboxone for more than 2-3 weeks....
This is your problem. Your fear of this shows you don't fully understand what addiction is or what the treatment is for. You already are dependent on opioids, sub doesn't make this worse or change this. Whether you are on sub for 2 weeks or 7 years like I was, the sub will do the same thing and maintain some of your dependence, but dependence doesn't matter, its the addiction that's the problem and what you need to fix. What you are doing- detox/suffer/relapse - repeat doesn't fix the problem. You should check out this link about common mistakes people make because you are making them http://www.addictionsurvivors.org/vb...ad.php?t=21140

This post is meant to be helpful, please take it that way and welcome to addiction survivors.
Sub
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Unread 05-19-2011, 10:22 AM   #7
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Hi 4deb,
I have to agree with Tim, Mary, and sub-zero, all a detox will do is expose your underlying addiction and make you feel like crap. It looks like you are determined to taper off so just keep in mind that if you do feel like crap afterwards, itís normal, expected and can be stopped by getting back on the lowest dose of sub that stops the cravings and withdrawal. Then you work on getting used to living life without illicit opioids and work on fixing anything in your life that could make you relapse in the future. This could take a couple months or a couple years, it all depends on your situation and motivation. Iím not one to criticize because I did the same thing you are doing several times before learning what I was doing wrong. I thought that if I could just get through the withdrawal Iíd be ok, but what I didnít know then was addiction had caused long-term changes in my brain and those changes were still there after detox making me feel like crap and causing cravings and depression. It wasnít until I reversed the brain changes that I was able to taper off without feeling bad. The more you learn the better your experience will be. You can do it!
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Unread 05-19-2011, 07:51 PM   #8
4deb
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Smile Day 14 and a change in attitude

Thank you all for the support and yes Mary I am going to do it your way very small and slow at the end,. Day 14 took 3mgs. then my back started hurting. Took 2 more mgs for the pain, I am physically OK today at 3mgs + ataivan + muscle relaxer + chloral hydrate to sleep (that stuff is really strong)!!! I know I am addicted to narcotics. Benzo's and nicotine, down to the e-cigs and the gum!
I have Degenerative disk disease I will need 2 more surgeries 1 upper back surgery and they want to do a total hip replacement on my other hip - in the future.
See I am an active member of AA. I have 6ysr. 11mts. and26 days clean and sober. I was taking my pain meds from 1 Dr. only and I never ever ran out, I only take what MY DR. has prescribed for me. I use to shoot heroin 2 decades ago then I was on Methadone for a total of 11 yrs. and I remember that long drawn out kick.
I just want to come off all narcotic pain meds, to see if I can control my pain but not be addicted. I would be thrilled if I could control it with Vultarin, muscle relaxers, yoga, stretching and Spinal decompression via a Chiropractor Dr. and on a bad day take a Vicodin or 2. That is my hope.

Again Thank you Mary I will listen to my body, and take it slow at the end and continue working the 12 steps of AA, and being of service, and going to meetings. But I got to tell you all, if you go to AA don't make the mistake I did and tell people your on Pain Management. I was judged and ostracized by my peers of 5 yrs! And that really hurt. {I am so gratefull for this site, and to hear back from all who have reached out.Thank You.}They didn't even know I was on pain meds until I told them! just tell your sponsor Only!!!!!! (my sponsor did tell me not to tell others, but it seemed like such a contradiction since Honesty is one of our Spiritual principals, well nothing is perfect, I do know that AA saved my life and more importantly, my soul. I am nothing like the person I used to be living with the connection. I have a reasonable good life today. And I am on a journey to grow and improve myself. My prayers to all of us who are trying to get better, physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Last edited by 4deb; 05-19-2011 at 08:07 PM..
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Unread 05-27-2011, 01:46 PM   #9
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Hey 4deb, just stopping by to see how it's going for you. Be careful with those benzos. You gotta taper off those bad boys slowly too when you're ready to do that gig. Give us a shout out when you can.

Sending positive energy to you! -Mary
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Unread 05-27-2011, 08:07 PM   #10
4deb
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Hi Mary and all, thanks for responding. Well this is day what 22 or 28? I started on 5/5 planned on detoxing in under one month!! lol yea - OK - Good ideal but there is NO way I can do this thing that fast out here by my self! I have a bottle of 30 8 mg. Suboxone left over from last year when I told my doctor I wanted off oxys, he just gave me mg equivalent of the pain meds I was on. I tried then to detox got all the way down to 1 or 2 mgs twice a day. I ended up telling him I wanted back on the oxys he wouldn't do it but he offered either the fentenal patch or back on the expensive Opana ER (160mgs a day) {I choose opana} then he added Nycenta (300 mgs a day) Which was working fine for me but then my cobra ran out. So He tried methadone I just don't like the ideal of being on morphine or methadone. Go figure. They have such a bad name. of course now so does what he has me on 150 mgs of oxycodone and I help a little but nothing like the opana er.and he wants to add morphine long lasting and decrease the oxcys to 3 a day. I said no.
He doesn't even know I am trying to detox. Which by the way I did get down to 3mgs but I was VERY uncomfortable. Also When I got my hip surgery in 08 he wanted to do both hips and now I wish I had cause guess what? Of course now at 3 - 4 mgs a day I start getting pain in my buttock/hip and I can hear and feel bones popping with every step I take, Well it has subsisted but I am now taking the subs for pain!!!!! I don't know what the heck I should do. I'm now up to 8 - (9 mgs today)
I can't get comfortable under 4 mgs w/d wise. I am thinking about saving the rest of the subs I have which is about 17. That way I won't have all these extra subs!
Only problem is the expiration date on the original sealed bottle is 4/11. Does any one know how long they will be good for past exp. date? I wonder what drug goes bad/weaker 1st. the Bupanorphine or the Naltroxone?
Its such a conundrum I have righteous pain about 40 - 35% of the time. I want to NOT be addicted!!!! It sucks. But so does the pain. What does one do?????? I like being on opiates - but I hate being addicted! Know what I mean?
Maybe if I could afford one of those expensive 30-90 day treatment centers!lol
I am just beating my self up for not being able to follow through with the detox. I still can, but I worry about the pain. I keep a journal of every time I take subs. What time and why. for w/d or pain, today I took them jb, its like my disease is winning and I don't want that little **** to win! I know my addiction is stronger and bigger than I am; but I also believe my Higher Power who I call God is Stronger than my addiction. Know what? I just remembered that I did not ask for His help. I am going to talk to my Creator now. Please keep me in your prayers.
Trudging and confused

Last edited by 4deb; 05-27-2011 at 08:23 PM..
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Unread 06-02-2011, 02:33 PM   #11
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Hey 4deb, so this is like day 33 or 34 now? I don't know anything about the expiration date thing, I just can't see them going 'bad' on the expiration date though. Zap, all done. LOL

Do you have any insurance at all now? Just reading your stuff here, IMO you gotta figure out how you're gonna handle your pain. Even if you did an inpatient gig, you'd still have pain, know what I mean? That sucks you're so much pain.

Let me know what's up. Sending positive energy! -Mary
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