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Unread 08-25-2014, 10:36 PM   #1
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Default Need advice, thinking of stopping subutex

Okay, I posted earlier with questions about dosage as well as how I was feeling. But after a lot more research, I am ready to get off of the subutex. It seems as though I have read more bad things about both methadone and subutex/suboxone, then I have about actual heroin - which I have never even seen. And opiates as light as hydrocodone do not sound like they need to even be mentioned in the same sentence, when it comes to strength or difficulty of withdrawals. So I must wonder, is subutex the way to go? Especially for me, with a relatively minor habit - please don't misunderstand in that I realize that I have a problem, but having to have sixty milligrams of hydrocodone each day to function, is nothing close to having to have a bunch of heroin - again, I do not even have a clue in how it is dosed or measured.

I do realize, and admit, that I need help, and I thought the subutex was the way to go. But after reading about it thoroughly, and experiencing it for 11 days, I am beginning to question, if subutex is the answer I was searching for. For starters, it is very expensive. Including the doctor a month's supply is about $400, whereas, I can buy what I "need" from those I know, for about $300. But, I thought, this would be easier to get off of, in the end, but again, from what I have read, this isn't totally the situation, for every person. Lastly, since I have been taking the subutex, I have been pretty much slightly depressed the whole time. At best, I felt a baseline of perfectly normal - not euphoric, not depressed, and I can deal with that, but having to pay an excessive amount to be slightly depressed for, who know's how long, isn't really at the top of my list.

In case anyone didn't read my other post. I actually quit taking anything on the first day of March, and made it 39 days cold turkey. After about 7 to 10 days, my physical withdrawals were pretty much gone, but I was depressed for the remaining time - which caused me to relapse. Anti-depressants didn't work, and didn't want to live life depressed all the time, so I started using again.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. From, how to go about transferring from subutex back to regular opiates after being on them for only 11 days, to, any advice on why I might be depressed on the subutex, or any advice on if you still think the subutex method still might work,,, or if you think it is complete overkill for what I was doing before?

Thanks so much for any help, as I am pretty much lost and have very little experience here.
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Unread 08-26-2014, 11:04 AM   #2
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Default hunting for hunter

Hey Hunter, Let me say right off, talking about this problem with people who understand is a good thing. Yes, it's therapy....But, I want to address your comments about going back to the opiates as a choice of treatment......DON'T DO IT. Your an addict, even if you don't feel like one, you may start off controlling your usage, but it will degrade quickly to abuse without either proper therapy or a good stepping stone like Suboxone or Subutex. Yes, it is expensive, and you need to check for programs that can help you with this, but I fear that you will convince yourself that you can do this by yourself. Do you have a very good support system in place, friends and loved ones who know of your problem and can give you the needed support? Is your doctor trained in proper Subutex care and treatment, not all are. Some just do it as a sideline, but do not have proper training or keep up on the training for treating addicts. Please, stay off the opiates, I know you may feel, "I did this before by myself, I can do it again", but, you went back to the opiates because you had no plan in place to deal with the depression or that craving that, make all the bad feelings go away, yes, the drugs.
It's not easy, I know, I'm trying to get off the last little bit of Sub. that I take. I'm down to 1mg a day, and when I try to taper to less, I sweat, I feel shaky, I'm nervous feeling. I've been doing this step down for 4 years and I want off. But, I need to go slow, to make sure I do this one time, the right way. I want to just stop, but I too have a life and can not just drop out of life to feel crappy for 3 weeks while my body adjusts. So, look at this as a one time, hopefully, never to be repeated, resetting of your life. A fresh start, that will pave the way for the rest of your life......I'm 58, if I can do this, so can you. Best wishes, Bugman
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Unread 08-26-2014, 01:43 PM   #3
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I have read your post and it seems to be missing a few things like how much you are on. For sixty mg of hydro I'd guess 4mg or less would do the trick. If you are on more then maybe that is why you do not feel well.

Nancy may chime in and has a much better grasp on dosing etc so if so listen to her advice. I'd not go back to the hydro for a few reasons and the main one being you need to get off the bupe first and if you can get off then why start again?

Please let us know the dose and how long you have been on the subutex.

Oh and stay off the negative rants about subutex they are not backed up by cold data.

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Unread 08-26-2014, 07:32 PM   #4
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Hi Hunter, Can,t really say why Subutex is making you depressed.
If you need opiates to feel normal (not depressed, etc..) and your not suffering pain issues then somethings wrong.
Do you have anyone you can talk with about how your feeling?
Now nobody can really say if going on subs for a 60mg hydro addiction is overkill.
If you couldn,t get by every day without the hydros then trying sub treatment (like you did) was worth a shot.
I noticed a little depression when starting out on subs myself. Its almost like I missed the high even though I had such a high tolerance it literaly only last several minutes.
This depression went away rather quickly in my case but if this is whats happening with you it may not. Everyones different.
You,ve only been on subs less than 2 weeks and you might not have adjusted to your dose yet.
I,m curious about your dosage. How much and how often?
You may be on too high a dose.
I,m no doctor but in my opinion going back to the hydros would be a step in the wrong direction. At least in my experience it,s allways turned into a disaster.
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Unread 08-27-2014, 10:29 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the replies. I actually had a lengthy reply written up earlier today and hit a button and poof,,,,, all that time spent typing,,, gone.

Anyway, I am really confused and don't know where to go from here. I do believe that I was taking too much. But one thing I found, and I probably didn't allow the buprenorphine enough time to get out of my system - but I allowed 24 hours after my last subutex dose, to use something else, in an attempt to transition back to regular short lived opiates. It made me feel really strange. Then last night, I began to feel depressed once again, then this morning I was very depressed. So I finally broke down and took 4 mgs. of subutex, and felt quick relief of the depression. But for the record, I have experienced depression while taking the subutex as well.

I really want out of this whole ordeal and wish my life was once again, normal.

However, for now, I guess I have to find a happy medium and deal with my current situation. So that is where, this website, you guys, my doctor, and my subutex prescription contribute.

To answer the last person that posted, yeah, I would agree, there is something wrong with me. My brain in particular. I began taking hydrocodone for a back injury, but quickly found that it counteracted my depression, so I self-medicated. And after staying clean for 39 days, the depression and lack of motivation are what drove me back to the opiates once again. I do regret giving up the harsh physical withdrawal symptoms that I had gone through, but I agree fully, that I could not continue to live, feeling like I did, and with no healthy alternative available to me, I resorted to the only thing I knew possible, that would make me happy once again.

I apologize for rambling so much, as you can imagine, I do have a lot on my mind and a lot going on.

Then a huge reason that I wanted to stop was due to the cost, plus after reading that some have been on this treatment for years and years, that in itself is very scary. Then I read, where withdrawal with regular opiates, hydrocodone, etc., takes about 3 - 5 days, the subutex/suboxone, takes around 10 - 14 days. And then everyone talks about how strong this medication is,,, that one I do not really understand. And for the naysayers that say the suboxone clinics are giving candy to addicts, they need to try this stuff themselves. I am sure everyone understands what I mean here, but the stuff I used, which were the more mild opiates, made me feel good, and happy, whereas the subutex, well, they make me feel kind of strange, and lethargic, as well as being depressed if my dose is too high, or too low. But bottom line is, if you offered me a bottle of either Vicodin, or subutex, I would take the Vicodin ten to one, so no candy for me.

On the other hand, I DO want a normal life back, without opiates,,, but also without depression. So here I am, trying to go down the only path that I can find. Wish me luck, and I hope you guys can put up with me a bit longer.
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Unread 08-28-2014, 06:50 AM   #6
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Dear Hunter,

I'm glad I read your post because I am going through the exact same thing you are. I started taking Subs just a couple days before you (2 weeks from today) and on Saturday the 23rd I posted a thread stating that I was officially going to stop taking them. Even though I had no problem getting them financially since I was covered for them, I had to come to this decision when I realized that there was no possible way for me to solve a really bad side effect they had on me. A side effect that even with my opiate use was possible to fix, was just completely impossible with Sub. Oh, and even though I never really tend to listen to horror stories about how medications are 'bad for you' (hence why I was an addict), all of my family members freaked out when I told them I started taking Subs, saying that its even stronger and worse for me than the opiates I was taking. But mostly, I decided to stop because I couldn't possibly live with what they were doing to my body.

I have started doing a short, simple taper, which might not even be necessary for only taking them for 2 weeks. But hey, better safe than sorry. I have now dropped to 3mg twice a day and I find myself in the same boat as you. I am severely depressed all of the sudden. Seriously, I cried for hours yesterday, and a little while today. My emotional state hasn't been this bad for quite some time. I keep thinking about how going back to pills is the only way I will ever see myself happy again. I mean I already take a pretty high dose of anti depressants and they do absolutely nothing. What else is there to be done? A lobotomy? Haha, joking. And here is where the situation gets even worse for me: I suffer from chronic pain, which Sub never helped with, even when I was taking 10mg a day. Obviously my pain plays a big roll in my depression, so even if it were possible to get my depression treated some other way besides opiates, my pain would still be there to rain all over the parade.

Just like you mentioned, I truly utterly absolutely WANT to be sober. I just don't know if that is possible, especially right now. I am barely functioning these past couple days with how bad my depression has gotten and how physically in pain I am (from both my chronic pain condition and the Subs still wreaking havoc on my internal organs). On one hand I cannot wait to completely get off them and have at least one problem solved, but I'm scared to death as to how I will solve the other two.

Sounds like we both need to save ourselves from our inevitable futures, and we really need to stick to this forum for support. Fellow survivors, please help us to stand strong through this rough and confusing time.

Sincerely, Ramona.

Last edited by Ramona; 08-28-2014 at 07:00 AM..
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Unread 08-28-2014, 10:47 AM   #7
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Ramona, sorry to hear what you are going through. But, I would agree, it sounds really familiar to me. I will definitely say, I am glad to offer support, or experiences, but I have no education or knowledge of subs, other than what I have personally experienced, and it isn't much, and what there is, is not that great.

On a bright note, I do have a friend who used to take two or three Opana 40 mgs. each day, and if anyone is familiar with those, they are extremely strong - at least in the sense that I think of strong. I guess what I mean is that when I would get a 40 mg. Opana, it would take me about 2 - 3 days to use one. But when I ran out, I felt like I had been hit by a bus. Anyway, he is very fond of the sub program. He said he was on it for about a year, and I know for certain that he doesn't take any opiates now. For the record, he has started drinking, so I guess he still has a void left by the opiates, but he is completely clean of the opiates, and has nothing but praise for them.

I have also known a few others who took the subs recreationally, which I do not understand in the least, because when I take a small amount, the best I feel is okay, and it get's worse from there. I mean if it weren't for the high cost, I could put up with the bugs that need to be worked out before I get my dosage just right and work on some personal problems. But for me, subs are far from a party pill. But just so I am clear, that isn't and wasn't my goal.

I do however fear that severe things are going on with my brain. I realize that I have already done some damage to my brain, I just hope I am not making things worse, as some seem to imply. As mentioned, I plan to give it a good and thorough try. I am trying to figure out how to get my treatment as cheap as possible, which will take some of the sting out of it. Then, when I work out the cost, I already have the roots of my depression in my sights. My sources of depression are pretty big, but they can be dealt with, so that is my plan, take the subs, get the dosage just right, then work on my physical health as well as my other issues. But with the right amount of work and dedication I feel I can get through this.

I do have some concerns. One of which is, why do some people say that the subs are more damaging than the actual opiates? This is a sincere question as I have no idea why it would be any worse. Actually due to the fact that it is a partial-agonist, or whatever it is actually called, I would think that it would be better than a full agonist, which would have the synapses excited as possible.

Another concern is that I do want away from this, but I don't want to set myself up for failure, or expect too much too quick. On the other hand, I do want off as quickly as possible, so, given an average situation - if there is such a thing - what kind of timeline can I expect?

Thanks for all the help, and for everyone looking for help themselves, just hang in there, and remember, nothing ventured, nothing gained.
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