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Getting off Bupe/Sub, a place to post experiences

Discussion in 'Detoxing From Buprenorphine/Subutex/Suboxone' started by Bup4pain, Feb 18, 2004.

  1. hope385

    hope385 Active Member

    I came across this thread today and it has me somewhat depressed me. I was taking oxy's 7-8 40's a day for about a year, with a slow build of norcos before that. It all started with a root canal. I was given vic's for pain, but found it did a great thing for my depression and anxiety. I could talk to people, go out and not be nervous, I was a totally different person than my shy self. Anyway as my tolerance built up I was soon on oxy and considered H a few times I was getting low and a friend told me it was the same as Oxy but cheaper. Thank God I never used H, but my oxy habit was slowly killing. I tried to quit cold turkey several times and couldn't make it through one day. I came across Bup and a physcian locator. Needless-to-say I pursued it and was very excited as of this morning marking the 4th day I hadn't had an oxy. I hear the first three days of oxy withdrawal is the toughest barrier so was excited(I could never get through one day before). I'm taking 4mg suboxone three times a day. I had no idea till reading this thread that sub was addicting or had withdrawals associated with it. Am I just exchanging one evil for another? Or is getting off the oxy and switching to sub a positive step? I thought the sub was just to get through the oxy withdrawal and then I you quit? There is no easy way off opiates is there? I mean I truly want to quit. My intention isn't to play games with medications. I've learned a hard lesson and just want off the oxy's for good. I read I few posts on usenet(alt.drugs.hard) were people said things like- kicked oxy with a couple days of bup. Should my goal be to get off the sub as soon as posible? I'm sorry if using bup and suboxone interchangable isn't correct, I'm not sure if they are the same, but what I'm taking is suboxone. My main question is should I try to take as little sub as needed and quit? I also was taking serzone, but the doc is switching me to effexor as serzone didn't seem to be helping the depression and I guess they are doing away with serzone here... ? Also anyone have positive experiences with effexor, especially in areas of anxiety and depression?

    Thanks for any responses.
  2. mallomar

    mallomar Well-Known Member


    In my personal experience, when I mess up, I make sure to wait 12 hours before taking my bupe the next morning. I don't know if I have to, but I like to play it safe in that respect and I know it's ok for me (not the relapsing, obviously). Like if at 11 I dose, then I'll wait till noon the next day to take my Sub. The Xanax makes no difference, it's that little bit of codeine syrup you got in you.

  3. Von Sloneker

    Von Sloneker Member

    Hope385, (oh, BTW, thanks, Mal - I think I'm good by 11AM today)

    If you read my first post in this thread, I noticed that most of the Suboxone/Bupe horror stories were coming from people who (a) used Sub to shift off of methadone (the most NEFARIOUS and hard-to-kick drug on the planet - especially at the doses myself, and others here, have been put on for months and years). Try reading the success stories about Sub by people who've never used methadone, but just Sub; they seem to have the best results. The key is to NOT stay on it long-term, man (Sub, methadone, etc.). Forget the electric chair for executions - if they were to give these serial murderers 200mg of methadone daily for a year, and then cut them off - that's the worst fate I can think of.

    Dude, whatever you do (from all I've heard and read around here and on other boards), try to take the absolute MINIMUM amount of Sub for the SHORTEST amount of time you can handle. Read some of JaH's posts (scroll just to the top of the page here, for example). He kicked his 'codone habit in like two weeks with relatively low doses of Sub. You're on 12mg a day for a comparatively righteous Oxy habit (and that Sub dose doesn't seem like too much from what I've read). The shorter the Sub detox, the less Sub WD's you'll feel when you step off (again, from all I've read - I also use my 'done experience to compare). I go in this morning for my first dose of Sub. I'm figurin' I'll be at about 4mg per day and try to get off in two weeks (but that's because my relapse is only a quarter of what it was when I made the mistake of going on methadone the first time). Hang in there, daddy, but give your plane JUST long enough a runway to land it w/out crashing. The shorter you can handle, the better (and I think that goes for all short-term treatment methods). Keep me (us) posted on your progress... I'll do the same.
  4. Von Sloneker

    Von Sloneker Member


    I was reading a post of yours from 1/26, and in it you said, "I actually went 10 days with no sleep, 3 more days with a couple of hours sleep at most, and 4 more days with about 4 hours sleep each night -- for a grand total of 17 days of misery. It will pass. I guarantee you."

    You recently said in a reply to my "horror story" concerns about Sub: "I had a few days of depression and weakness starting about 4 days after I stopped the sub, but within two weeks I was feeling pretty damn good."

    I'm just trying to understand your history and how these two seemingly contradictory anecdotes jibe. Was the first reference a totally different detox under totally different medication (or from a totally different habit than your 100mg hydro one?). God, I hope so - I'm still jittery as I've been here for hours all weekend, last night, and early this morning (no sleep) trying to weigh the insomnia consequences of going on Sub today. INSOMNIA is my albatross, and it's when the rats start crawling into my mind (ergo all the concern). I know that by the time you read this or reply, I'll already be at the pharmacy, but definitely help me understand the disparity in these two posts. Are these two different detoxes you're referring to above? I'm DEFINITELY not trying to sound accusatory; it's PURELY out of a need for clarity since I'm about to embark myself. I'm really trying to get an accurate read on my projected misery factor here. CT would last me roughly 7-10 days of hell, but I hope I'm not adding an extra 17 days or so to my pending ordeal once I'm *off* Sub - that's all. Thanks, man. You've been a good source of info and help in such a short time. I do appreciate it. **Sorry for my long posts; I type as fast as my mind spins when I'm tense, and my posts get really... LONG. I'll try and shorten 'em soon.
  5. JaH

    JaH Well-Known Member

    I hope you're doing okay on your first day of sub, Von.

    To answer your questions:

    1) Yes, I detoxed twice with sub, both times after surgeries and post-op pain meds led me to "reacquire the taste" for opiates (previous to these, I had been clean for 20 years). Anyway, the first time I used sub, I took high doses (32 mg/day) and was on it about 2-3 months, I don't recall exactly. The sleep disturbances and weakness and malaise lasted 3-4 weeks after I finally stopped the sub that time. More recently, I detoxed from pain meds using only 8 mg/day the first two days, then dropped down to 4 mg/day then 2mg/day over the next 10 or so days and finally quit the sub after 13 days total. The post-withdrawal weakness, depression and sleep disturbance was much less severe this time. You'll feel mostly fine after about 5-7 days, but a truly good night's sleep may take a couple of weeks. An occasional Ambien, Valium or joint will do wonders for sleep and for your mood.

    2) It is absolutely true that addiction robs us of the normal human tolerance for discomfort. You could say, in fact, that it turns us into whining crybabies. I don't mean to minimize how badly we feel while we're waiting for our natural endorphin production to start working again after we quit narcotics. But it's also important to remember that millions of cancer patients on chemo suffer the same if not worse "malaise" and they don't have as much trouble tolerating it as we addicts do.

    At the same time, it's also true that in many cases, lingering pain (from surgery or whatever) stops as soon as we stop narcotics. Three months after my knee replacement surgery, I still had significant pain -- until the day I stopped taking oxycodone. Of course, withdrawal brings on different kinds of aches and malaise, but the point is that narcotics create their own reasons to use them.

    Bottom line, recovery from addiction is largely a mental struggle to keep our perspective and remember that the aches and sleep disturbance and lack of energy that seem so intolerable to us at the time are really not that big a deal at all.

    It's certainly not a big price to pay for regaining our lives and freedom.
  6. artheart

    artheart Active Member

    Id only like to add that some dr's will take you off suboxone immediately if they do a drug test and you have any kind of barbituate or similar drug, like xanax in your system. And despite all the horror stories, many many people have been able to detox from suboxone with relatively little discomfort. It is far far easier than methadone detox! And certainly not as severe as with hydros, oxys, or just plain heroin. Some people seem to have a very easy time of it. And some dont.

    But due to the actual real life problems people are having getting off buprenorphine there is a new study being done right now to bring some more light on the issue. I think you can read about it at the NIDA website. Right now, I believe the current thought is that withdrawall from buprenorphine is mild flu-like symptoms. NOT! I was put on bupies in 1999 under a dr's care in a study and we all believed the flu like symptoms myth! I was basically told that it wouldnt matter how long you took it. That has not been the case for me and now I will stay bupe maintenance probably for life as I get further benefit as it also seems to be the only drug that relieves my depression. I do not reccommend this for everyone, but it works for me. I think the safest bet is the smallest possible dose for the smallest amount if time, but there is one thing you must consider. In some people withdrawall symptoms dont hit until several days later. I had detoxed very slowly after being on for four plus years. After about the 6-7 day I figured I was fine, but it became absolutely intolerable to me on the 8th...by the 12th day I was using again. But I am significantly older, or so it seems, than many of you and a long hx of addiction as well as other medical problems. It seems to me, from what ive read here that others have this delayed reaction. I seem to do very well on 4mgs a day. Jeez, it wd seem like I should just be able to get off these. But my sympoms are just too severe. Years ago I cd have. I think age has a lot to do with it and how long you've been using. hope it is going well with you. there are many very sensible and nice people here!
  7. NorcoNewbie

    NorcoNewbie Active Member

    I'd like to hear from the people who had good experiences from sub or bup. And the specifics. Your drug of choice, your dosage, and length of time you used.

    Then the amount of detox drug used and for how long.

    Its hard to compare myself to people if you don't know their specific history of use.

    I'm trying to find out if a person with about a year habit will have an easier time coming off Sub than a person with a (Same dose)5 year or 10 year habit?

    There are so many variable. Just trying to understand why only a couple people have said that its not painful to come off sub. Maybe they haven't used that long...or at lower dosages?

    Lets hear some good results...there are too many depressing ones!
  8. amthsh

    amthsh New Member

    Wow, I am glad you all are here. I have been on bup for a couple of weeks now and have gone from 16 a day to using only 6 mg every couple of days. Damn the withdrawal comes back at 3 days..solid.

    I am working on getting off of them completely when my current scrip runs out and have a complete expectation of going through whatever may come.

    This whole thing has put me into bankrupcy for as a self employed gardener,,,no work = no pay and its real hard to be productive in withdrawal. That said, the bup was a blessing and I feel better on it than I did on the oxycontin. I was using around 200mg a day at one point and doing that up my nose when I did. After 15 plus years of off and on opiate use, one month on oxy did me in. I have only been 'addicted' since feb and as soon as I realized what the scoop was, I immediately started to work off of it. Taper was way difficult if not the physical symptoms then definately for the mental-emotional issues. I am pretty high strung as it is and am a complete monster in withdrawal. I have alienated just about everyone in my family and only have my freinds really giving me support. My wife has been wonderful but I really feel badly that she has had to take my abuse. I also 'turned' her onto the stuff and she caught a smaller addiction but has managed to stay off with only a quarter of an 8 mg every couple of days.

    I have used and abused all forms of drugs for my entire life and with the exception of a year or so, have never managed to stay clean. But this time I really feel differently. I have no cravings for any drugs right now and just want to be sane and normal again.

    Anyways, I really was scared reading all of the stuff that has been written here and am particularly thankful for Jah's post. That set me straight and gave me a clarity of perspective. Yes I will go through some discomfort but I can and will make it through this. The bup withdrawal is not as 'emotional' as the oxy withdrawal was and I can handle the physical discomfort and even the lack of sleep. The fatique sucks to be sure but ''god willing and the crops dont fail'' I will be off this in a few weeks or a month.

    I paid a grand for the 4 visits to the doctor and the med's cost me about 5 $ a shot. I just cancelled my next appointment because of lack of money and atleast still have some bup to ween with. I find that I can easily last a couple of days in between, it's the third day that gets me. That said, I think I could handle it, but since i still have 14 pills left I will continue my ween down..all the way to the ground..where i sincerly want to live.
  9. lancer

    lancer Member

    21 days off bup, 42 days off hydrocodone, 1 yr habit - 80-100mg a day

    I ran out of both ambien and sonata, so I tried sleeping last night without them, and I actually slept 7 hours!! I was so worried I was not going to be able to fall asleep. Only thing that still bothers me in the morning with and without the sleeping meds, is that my legs get all tight and restless when I wakeup. So if I try to go sleep some more, it will not happen. Weird.

    Anyways, I still have lingering post-acute withdrawal syndrome symptons. Lack of energy, boredom, and some depression. Energy is the biggest problem for me. Working out, by playing basketball or runnng on the treadmil helps relieve PAWS for a short time, maybe a couple of hours. Sweating feels good, its as if I was a normal person when I get all hot and sweaty.

    Damn, the past 3 weeks has been a tough journey, and I hope it wont go on much longer. There will be no chance in hell I will relapse, or trade addictions just to get by this one.
  10. JaH

    JaH Well-Known Member

    Way to go. Really!
  11. tonynrg

    tonynrg New Member

    Ive been trying so hard to get off of suboxone for about 3 mos. now.I seem to get respiratory dpression and from my car accident, my headache gets worse every time i have to take suboxone.I cannot get a doc to write me subtex on the street, they are wicked strict up here in mass.I went to a detox and they didnt know what to do with me because this is so new.They just used a subutex taper and look Im back to takig my bup.[V]

    Tony F.
  12. Bup4pain

    Bup4pain Well-Known Member

    Tony.. you are not alone.. Maybe we should start a thread or forum for all of us who are addicted to this stuff and who are trying desperately to get off of it.

    It is one reason I encourage people to take bupe for the least amount of time needed to detox. If you want maintenance than fine, but if using bupe is to just get off of pain meds and you don't need a whole life style change... Taking large doses for a long time will only get you addicted to a more difficult drug to detox from. (for the <100 mg oxy a day or so habit)

    A powerful tool which demands respect.

    Taper slowly to 1 mg or .5 mg of bupe a day then just take the plunge and quit. Then maybe .5 mg every other day, or ever 3 days for a while if you just can't handle it.

    WELCOME to the board.

    (I was 2 years on Buprenex)
  13. loren

    loren New Member

  14. LadyVetMomandAddict

    LadyVetMomandAddict Well-Known Member

    I don't know if I will ever be able to get off this!I feel like sometimes I wanna die!Because,I know I am going to be battling this addiction the rest of my life!And honestly,I never wanted an addiction like this!I don't think anyone of us did!But, it happened and now I am "framed" as an addict by family, friends,neighbors and everyone!What people say doesn't bother me as bad,as what I have put my children through!But, now I am trying hard to be a better mom!And school will be starting SOON!thank-goodness!But, there are days "still" when "I" am overwhelmed with the "thought" of using!Even with being on the bup!The good thing is,with the Naloxone.I can't use it is an opiate blocker!BUT, still the thought consumes my every DAMN day!And,I start to wonder if I am the only one feeling like this?WHY?why did I have to become an addict?When, I was in the midst of my affair with heroine, I actually thought,of 'doing' enough.To end "ME" and to end my addiction!(my disease!)That's when I said "whoa"I had better go and seek some help!But, now the addiction is still "ALL" around me and it is so,so, much harder.To see, other people around you using, and to not use..is really tough!And,I have pretty much isolated myself,from many friends!But,where I live is a different story!I don't have "the" money to "move" out of the "hood"!So, I have to stay here in this apt complex!And suffer!Ok thanx for reading!Let's post!I desperately, need the advice and the support!
  15. justin4413

    justin4413 New Member

    hey LVMA, try to realize that your fears are normal. I used heroin for about 10 years and also felt like trying to end my addiction with an overdose. Fortunately for me and my family i was unsuccessful. I've been on the subs for almost a year now. I started on 24 mgs a day and am now down to 8 mgs. i continue to fantasize about using; however, it has come with less frequency recently. I want to try to soothe your desperation. I also am around people who continue to use. it is not an easy task to stay clean around others who aren't, but not impossible. please try to stay strong and don't be afraid to ask for help. you're not alone.
  16. ERIN

    ERIN Member

  17. ERIN

    ERIN Member

  18. Sage

    Sage Member

    I totally agree with AfroSonic here. It's mostly about the original opiate monkey and not so much the BUpe. I think then the issue becomes, how do we minimize the opiate w/d with Bupe? From what I read here and in my experience, you can be on it for too long ... and for too little time. I read an article that you posted AS and the good doctor running the clinic in Blatimore had people on a ten day taper. For some reason, that sounds like a good place to start for someone that wants to get off opiates. It's long enough to smooth out the bumps, but not so long as to get yourself utterly addicted to Bupe. Obviously dose size is an issue as well.

    So what am I saying? I guess I'd like to pose a question. What do you think of the idea of someone building a little spreadsheet that lets you enter pertinent data like

    How long did you use?
    What dose?
    What did you take?
    How much do you weigh?

    and other questions geared to let a little formula go to work and come up with a suggested dose and taper plan? You know, I'm sure this is what a good doctor does in his or her head. Unfortunately, it's hard to find a good doctor. Anyway, that's my two cents worth. Y'all take is easy!

  19. stephenfallin

    stephenfallin New Member

    I was on 120 mgs of methadone and went straight to the bup one morning rather than taking my methadone dose. The first fifteen minutes I felt horrible; in cronic withdrawal, until the doctor found the appropriate level of buprenorphine to equal the 120 mgs of methadone I had been on for several years. Over the next 40 days I slowly came down until I was on 1 mg daily. I must admit that the withdrawal blocking properties of the buprenorphine were miraculous; hard to believe even; however, I have to say that even though the bup blocked those horrible withdrawal symptoms, it did play some heavy tricks on me mentally. I thought it might have been the naloxone, or Narcan, which is in Suboxone, but not in Subutex, which is straight Burprenorphine. Narcan is generally thought of as one of the safer emergency medicines. Sometimes though, Narcan has been found to cause sharp increases in blood pressure, allergic reactions, cardiac arrhythmias and other peculiar side effects, including depression, death and liver dysfunction. Though these unwanted effects are rare, and Narcan is used broadly, and with a great safety record in overdose resuscitation, like any drug it cannot be thought of as absolutely safe for everyone. One other problem with Narcan is that most opiates last longer than Narcan does. Therefore Narcan usually needs to be administered repeatedly in order to get people through an overdose. In any event, the wholesale requirement in some areas to consistantly prescribe Suboxone which contains buprenorphine with Narcan when using bup for addicts is not valid in my humble opinion. It is done supposedly to keep the addicted person from using any other opiate along with the buprenorphine. I learned how to "get around" this by experimenting; by using other opioids while using Suboxone. I certainly do not recommend doing this as it is highly dangerous but enough opiods can overcome the effects of the amount of Narcan which is usually contained in Suboxone. I wholeheartedly agree with the post which wrote to NEVER mess with one's detox program by taking small amounts of other opioids. I was almost off the bup when I decided to try "just a small amount of Methadone (10 or 20 mgs). I ended up with a tolerance to buprenorphine and a methadone habit. Presently I have been on about 20 mgs of methadone only for the past month. Hopefully when I do go back to the bup I shall not have to take a doubly huge dose to block withdrawal symptoms as I did when I began messing with my detox program. Stick to what the doctor says and do not deviate from that advice. By the way, I found that the Subutex, which is plain buprenorphine with no Narcan caused less mental stress and stomach upset. I cannot say that this will be the case for everyone, as we all are different but it certainly does work in some cases, especially if one's physiology is upset by Narcan, which for most people that is the cases to at least some degree. I appreciate having found this site and am extremely thankful for all the information and sharing that is found here. Again, thank you. With intentions of good will and still struggling in Virginia, I am, humbly yours, Justin.

    So after consulting my physician he agreed to subcribe the Subutex which does not contain Narcan.

  20. Steve Thomas

    Steve Thomas Well-Known Member

    welcome to the forum stephen and good luck

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