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Unread 03-27-2007, 08:30 PM   #1
brchad
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Default Hope for your Taper

I have seen a few posts here lately stating that the number of people who have actually tapered off bupe is very low and that most people actually stay on bupe for life. I just wanted to put my 2 cents worth in to maybe provide some hope for those who are working on a taper plan.

I was prescribed 90mg of MSContin (morphine) for over a year and got sick of the side effects and that revolving door at the pain clinic. I tried to detox....all of you know how that went egh? So, I found NAABT on the web and got educated. I took bupe for 12 months, mostly at 8mg per day. I began to taper at 4 months and was down to about 2mg at 9 months....and totally comfortable. The drop from 2mg down to 1mg was a little more difficult, but certainly not horrible. The drop from 1mg to 0.5mg was stretched out over a 2 month period, best I can remember. I even went to 0.25mg for a while at the very end.

My point here is just to let folks know that it CAN be done. And there are more people here than you think that have done it.....and also those who went to zero and didn't come back here to talk about it. Check out the "sticky" threads about tapering and read the history.

I'm certainly not some macho type that really sucked it up. And I'm no rocket scientist either. If I can do it....perhaps you can do it too. Don't let anyone here, or anywhere else, talk you out of trying. What do you have to lose....and how much do you have to gain. Tapering is just like a lot of things that we need to take a day at a time. You don't have to worry about how you will manage tomorrow on 2mg.....just manage today on 2mg and let tommorrow take care of itself.

P.S. I have NOTHING against anyone who stays on bupe for maintenance or even for chronic pain. I promise you. I just want to make sure you don't get discouraged and not at least give it a try.
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Unread 03-27-2007, 08:44 PM   #2
bam55
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Amen brchard.Most should give tapering a try.
Bill
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Unread 03-27-2007, 09:34 PM   #3
katie0803
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thanks for the post brchad, this one and the one in response to my tapering post. i can promise you that i will definently stay here after i am off sub, i hope that by the end of all this i will have lots of advice and support for the people that are going through the tapering process, and the ones that arent. like ive said before, i dont think there is anything wrong with staying on this as long as needed as long as whatever you are doing is keeping you sober, you are doing the right thing.
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Unread 03-27-2007, 09:48 PM   #4
Brett
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quote:Originally posted by bam55

Amen brchard.Most should give tapering a try.
Bill

Why should most give tapering a try? Isnt relapse a big part of this disease? Would you tell a diabetic to taper off? If this truley is a disease, why should most taper off and risk relapse someday?

I just dont get the logic off stopping this tool. If you do stop you better have other tools in action or you increase your risk of relapse, sub does not heal opiate addiction.

Brett
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Unread 03-27-2007, 10:37 PM   #5
bam55
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Brett
A diabetic must use a medicine to stay alive, not all addicts do.
I said MOST should give tapering a TRY.If someone can not stay free of addiction without Sub then of course they should use it. The logic of trying to taper off is that most people do not need a powerfull drug to feel well.Many ,if not most, feel better not being dependant on any drug.
How will someone know if they are one of the people who feel better if they do no at least TRY.
Is Sub intended to be used for indefinite maintainence in every case?
Brett,you know I beleive that using Sub forever is fine for some but to state that it is best for all is not true for everyone.
Bill
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Unread 03-27-2007, 11:15 PM   #6
gotoffmdone
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I take Metoprolol for blood pressure. I noticed the other day I was out and called my pharmacy for my refill. It was 5 days before I picked that drug up. I probably could have used that drug but maybe not. I was put on that BP medicine because everytime I would go to my Dr, my BP would be elevated. What the Dr did not know was that everytime I was scheduled to see her, I had been out of my pain meds for a day and the increase in BP was wd related. As long as I had my pain meds in me, my BP always seemed to be fine.

But anyway, had I been out of methadone, oxy, hydr, or Sub, there is no way in hell that medicine would have sat on the pharamcy shelf for 5 days before I went and picked it up. Whether or not, taking those drugs made me feel super human, they for sure would be causing me wds if I had not taken one in 5 days.

Tapering can be done, no doubt about it. But it is not the easiest proposition in the world for me and, IMO, a person has to be extremely prepared and focused mentally to achieve a successful taper.

I never could taper off of of any drug, hydro, oxy or methadone. CT was the only way. But with methadone, CT was not an option for me. With oxys and hyros, I have CT many a time. It was very hard but made easier because I knew when the end would come. With methadone, I had to induce wds with Sub to stop using that drug. It worked only because staying on methadone had became a more painful option in what it was doing to my overall health, physically as well as, mentally.

Now comes along Sub. For the first time in 20 plus years, I honestly think I have finally found a drug that I can taper. But for one major reason. Whether I take 4mgs or, 40 mgs of Sub, I feel absolutely no difference. There was a day recently that I had actually left the house and took a daily supply of Sub with me and for the first time in my opiate using career, actually took less than I had planned. Not on purpose but just plain forgot to take it. That is precisely what I was looking for when I used Sub to get off methadone in the first place.

I left my house one time to go home to see my mom who lived 60 miles away. After I was about halfway up the interstate, I realized I had left my methadone at home. I went back and got it which put me late getting home to my family. Had it been Sub, I would have said forget it.

Some people who really get feelings of euphoria of some sort of a buzz as they refer to it, and who can tell when they take Sub vs when they do not take it, I can certainly understand why they would have a much harder time making the committment to get off of Sub. I have heard of so many stories where this is the case. I have no idea why, with this one and only opiate, I do not get those same feelings of wellbeing that others do. Although there would be times that feeling that way would be nice, I am glad I do not feel that way.

When I got on Sub it was for two reasons. 1) To hopefully get off methadone and 2) To once and for all break any and all dependence on any opiate. I came to hate having to make sure I had my supply of my DOC in the car before I could visit my family, be with my grandkids or, just do the simple things I used to love to do.

I cannot tell you how many times I would be out of pills and in wds and someone in my family would need me for something and I would have to make an excuse because I was so sick from not having my DOC. Or, how a lifelong friend would call me to go to the lake, play ball, or, just hang out, all the things I cherrished, and I would have to tell them I had the flu because I was in wds. They eventually would quit calling. I hated that feeling. To this day, I still hate the fact I did those things. That is a big part of my guilt and why I feel so alone at times. I chose a different path and the path was not chosen till I was 30 years old which meant I had enough time to build a good life. My ansewring machine would be lit up at the end of a day work. Now I do not need an answering machine thanks to my disease and my choices. I did not chose the disease but I do take responsibilty for my relapses especially, once educated about the disease.

I have found with Sub, that although I have the option of taking anywhere from 0mgs of Sub to 40 mgs of Sub, I have been able to hold the line at 4mgs. I have tried taking more to see if I could get some pain relief. NADA. When it comes to just feeling better from having an opiate in me, I find 4mgs is the same for me as 16 mgs. Normally I would push the envelope and say well if I have enough to take the max, then the max is what I am going to take. Opiate use and abuse has always been a mind game with me in as much as it has been physical. Methadone was the end of the full opiate line for me and Sub is not giving me anywhere close to the same mental obssession and physical feelings that other opiates have.

So the first time in my life, I feel as though tapering off of an opiate (Sub) is going to be an accomplishment I can achieve. I feel I am almost there. I have the option to take up to 40mgs of Subutex but am taking 4mgs, 10 times less than the max. With all other opiates, I have always taken 10 times more than what would be the max allowed. Staying at 4mgs, is a much shorter distance to 0mg. I have no plans this summer to go below the 4mgs. But as soon as my summer umpiring job comes to an end in Sept(which by the way will be the same month last year that I started Sub and got off of methadone) my tapering from 4mgs to 0mg will commence. I have no doubt at all this can and will be done. Then my goal of being independent of any wd causing pill after 20 years will be reached.

I can fully understand for those people who are getting the same type of feelings out of Sub one would expect to get from the use of full opiates, why it would be so hard to start and sustain a taper. I have no doubt whatsoever, based on my own history with opiates, that if I was getting from Sub, those same type of great feelings that some others are, I would be at 40mgs or, 48mg if my Dr would write for that much.

I have always admired, immensely, anyone who has weened off of full opiates over a period of time. I think it takes so much more mental fortitude, patience, discipline, and a true desire to be drug free to sustain a taper. Going through methadone precipitated wds was the toughest few days of my life. But IMO, the pain of precip wds, intense as they were, was a piece of cake compared to someone's slow, steady, full opiate taper.

Wayne
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Unread 03-28-2007, 08:33 PM   #7
brchad
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Wayne - enjoyed reading your thoughts. Sounds like a good plan. And don't be surprised if it's easier than you think.
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Unread 03-29-2007, 01:37 AM   #8
Brett
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Bill,

You still didnt answer my question. Why should a opiate addict discontinue this medication? How much better is a quality of life of someone taking 1mg sub everyday verses someone taking zero?

It only takes one relapse to end life, nobody can be certain the disease will stay in remission.

It has been my opinion if someone does taper off it would be best to have other tools active to prevent relapse.

Sadly, at some point in the life of a opiate addict without proper tools, most will eventually relapse.

Staying a part of this forum is a wonderful tool, it keeps the mind aware of the dangers of this disease, but if someone just walks away and never does anything, the likely hood of living out the lifespan keeping the adiction in remission is unlikely.

I know my thoughts are unpopular as it seems everyone is in a rush to discontinue sub, i just dont understand why.

imo

Brett
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Unread 03-29-2007, 01:38 AM   #9
ironman
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Wayne,

Same here. No matter the dose it seems the same effect although, at lower doses, less side effects.I'm one of those that posts about a "buzz".The buzz is in no way the same as a full opiate. I can take a 5ng Hydro and "feel it" (after being clean for a few months). I for one, can and have, appreciated even the most minute touch of opiate. I did CT so many times over the past 40 years that, at times, a 5mg is all I could get my hands on - if I felt the slightest hint of opiate "warmth" it was all the releif I needed to get through the day - of course I mean "all the releif I needed" being I made myself be thankful in those desperate days for that hint of warmth. I know people that having been on meth for any length of time in their past
won't even "feel" popping 2 or 3 ten mg hydros - "did nothing for me".
I tend to think they were expecting to feel the pills like a shot of dope. No comparison. If you are saying you feel zero - as if taking a sugar pill after dosing with 40mgs of Sub I don't know what to say.
At 1/2mg I feel that "warmth" that only comes from an opiate - not even compared to booze - different in some way. With the warmth is a
sudden feeling of well being - that is what I call a "buzz". Not really high but a "buzz". I tend to think others that mention this buzz mean the same. Some may consider the word buzz to mean really F*CKED UP ! A buzz to me is a hint of the real thing, barely feeling it. "Wasted" is the term I used for a high. I've never been "wasted" on Sub and don't want to be ! I've got dizzy as hell, even sick to my stomach on the higher doses (3 x 8mgs a day) and hated the feeling. I didn't consider that part of the "buzz" but thinking about it, many might ! After all who has not gotten dizzy, headache, sick etc. when high on booze or DOC ? I equate it more to a hang over or nasty side effect. I wonder how many equate it to being really "high" ? Probably all a mental thing and how you relate what you are feeling to past experiances ?
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Unread 03-29-2007, 01:42 AM   #10
ironman
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Also, the "warmth" is very real ! I have to turn down the heat after dosing - others complain "its cold in here" and I'm hot ! The side effect I like the most - much easier to get through the winter. Now this summer may be another story.
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Unread 03-29-2007, 01:46 AM   #11
Brett
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Ironman,

I can relate to your above posts, I feel the same way you do.

Brett
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Unread 03-29-2007, 04:00 AM   #12
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Brett, I think what you say may ring true with addicts that are hopeless in trying to tapper in the past or people that have relapsed many times.

Why on earth would you discourage a person to not try and tapper and pretty much hang up the towel because we're all screwed ? I for one will not accept that, I get more pleasure out of at least trying. I don't think I will be 100% addiction free. That's not a reasonable goal. I think I'll still have cravings or want to do drugs for the rest of my life, after getting over the first three or four months, I'm hoping that craving will lessen over time. Not expecting a merical, not expecting to just be cured. A person will have to work either way. What ever side you sit on, addicted or not addicted, there will always be struggles with either one. The side a person decides to sit on is pretty much a personal quest. A satisfaction with one's self. I am a person that loves drugs, I always will, they're fun, they make me feel "normal" and make things in life easier to just glide through. Is that what I want ? I don't know yet, maybe after I try being sober, I'll say a year or two later,I give up on being sober, I'm going back to drugs, but unless I try to be sober for a long period of time, I'll never know what side I truly want to sit on.

This is how it should be with everyone here. People aren't all chemcially imbalanced forever. Some have just screwed they're brains up by getting into drugs at a young age and then spawning from there years later. This doesn't mean a person is or has always been chemically defecient, this means they did this to themselves now they should try to undo what they have done. It's not impossible, I've read many that are sober and actually "Happy!". Sober doesn't have to mean "depressed". I've thought and realted the two for years, now with sub, I'm trying to see why sober should be at least tried. Not saying I'll like it better or I haven't chemcially altered my mind forever. I may have, but to discourage those into not trying is a big mistake in my mind. Just my opinion of course and I mean no ill will to anyone's decision. Hell I go back and forth every day as to why I should just stay on drugs.
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Unread 03-29-2007, 04:05 AM   #13
MakHit
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Ohh and of course if a person is shooting up heroin or snorting 100mg oxy at a time and then tries to get sober, but fails and then goes back to that and OD's...well....of course that's a worse senerio, but not all here are that extreme, not all are going to OD as the only option if they relapse. Sure that's a risk and if it's one a person doesn't want to take, then by all means stay on sub as long as you can, but I just don't see everything as that extreme anymore. Hopefully people have a little common sense.
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Unread 03-29-2007, 06:35 PM   #14
bam55
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Brett

Bill,

You still didnt answer my question. Why should a opiate addict discontinue this medication? How much better is a quality of life of someone taking 1mg sub everyday verses someone taking zero?



I know my thoughts are unpopular as it seems everyone is in a rush to discontinue sub, i just dont understand why.

Brett
Brett
I did my best to answer your question.
"The logic of trying to taper off is that MOST people do not need a powerfull drug to feel well.Many,if not most,feel better not being dependent on any drug"
Brett,do you know if you would feel better not taking Sub?
I feel better,Mary feels better,Ros feels better,brchard feels better as a matter of fact I can not think of one person who has posted here who has tapered off who has'nt expressed that they feel better.
I know you have said often that Sub is not a cure for addiction,I agree,and that you need other tools as well.Why do you need other tools if you plan on taking Sub indefinitly?
I dont think everybody is in a "rush" to get off Sub but I do think most people do eventually want to try and live addiction free and Sub free.There is nothing wrong with that,is there?
Bill
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Unread 03-29-2007, 11:53 PM   #15
Brett
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Bill,

No there is nothing wrong with that until relapse rears its ugly head, that is a side effect from this disease. as long as one takes sub the risk of relapse is very low, if someone comes off sub the risk goes way up, once sub is discontinued other tools need to be in place to avoid relaspe.
I might feel better if I didnt have to take blood pressure medication but the risk are not worth it. I feel the same way about sub, the risks are not worth it. We hear about alot of people relapsing after 2,5 or even 10 years.
Most people spend years living in addiction and then take sub for a short time compared to time spent in addiction, I dont think enough time is spent away from active addiction in most cases. Im not talking about people who got addicted for a year or less, im taking about people who spent alot of years in addiction. My fear for them is if they dont have other tools to deal with addiction they will someday relapse. I dont believe a person should take sub a year or less, taper off and never do anything to keep the addiction in remission. I feel this is dangerous.
I also realize my opinion is in the minority, but thats ok, thats what these forums are for. we can discuss agree and disagree.



Brett
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Unread 03-30-2007, 12:39 PM   #16
fegbri
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I actually relapsed about 6 times my 1st 4 weeks on sub. Would just stop using for a day and go get oxy's. I think what poeple are trying to say is that sub is only one part of recovery. I PERSONALLY have used AA/NA as a great recovery tool. It has helped me address the issues that actually contributed to my addiction and taught me to just live in the moment, day by day. And from experience, if you are on 1mg of sub, you can use and still feel it. Some people just use sub and continue thier addictive behaviors, and that is why most relapse without the proper support. Sub is a great tool, but is not a magical pill that heals all. We need to learn to deal with life still. We are all different, some can use sub for 3 months and move on, some need the rest of thier life. And that is OK! I just think it is important to yourself to try and taper to see which one you are. Toward the end I didn't listen to any schedule or person, I only listened to my body. If my wd's went more then a 2, I took sub. It is an amazing feeling to not have to depend on a pill everyday again. And as long as I stick with the right crowd, keep busy, and NEVER forget what pills did to my life, I hope I will continue my sucess. This drug saved my life. I wish you all the best on or off sub!!
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Unread 03-30-2007, 02:06 PM   #17
RemissionRocks
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thats really crappy fegbri. if you were on the right dose of suboxone you shouldn't have had any cravings whatsoever. i agree with you, that aa and na are great recovery tools. getting a sponsor is probably the most important thing a person can do to stay clean.

i agree 100 percent with you. everyone SHOULD try tapering off. lots of people fear having no drugs in their system. i know i sure do. i've been on suboxone for a year now. i started out at 24mgs a day. i just saw my doctor and will be getting my 2mg pills filled any day now thank god. i am ready to say GOODBYE FOREVER to the side effects of suboxone (sexual and digestive).

i can honestly say though...if a person was taking suboxone, and they side effects didn't bother them as much...i guess i could see why some would have the attitude of "if its not broke then dont fix it"....
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Unread 04-03-2007, 01:51 AM   #18
Funk
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Gotoffmdone, thank you for your post. I have been on Bupe for about 15 mos. Was stable at 8 mg, and have tapered down to 5 over the last 3 mos.. I have spent the better part of last year trying to identify my relationship and intentions with the drug. You (and others on this thread) have nailed it. Coming down slowly seems to be working out well. I'm in no rush. I would like to be free of the side effects and expense, but being at least 1/2 way comfortable and functional comes first. I like being 3 mg.'s closer to 0. I am lucky to have a compounding pharmacist, who custom make "troches" from buprenorphine. He can make a pill any stregnth which cuts out the guess work with cutting up subutex pills.
I plan to continue with the long slow taper and just see how low I can go.
Thanks for a great topic Brchad.('[8D]')
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Unread 04-03-2007, 08:35 PM   #19
brchad
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Funk - way to go!!! I think you have a good plan. Closer to zero is the way to approach it for sure. Try not to worry too much about it. It can be a mind game and we can give it more power than it's worth, egh? Hang in there and hope you stay here and keep us posted. Good luck.
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Unread 04-03-2007, 08:35 PM   #20
brchad
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Funk - way to go!!! I think you have a good plan. Closer to zero is the way to approach it for sure. Try not to worry too much about it. It can be a mind game and we can give it more power than it's worth, egh? Hang in there and hope you stay here and keep us posted. Good luck.
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Unread 04-03-2007, 11:22 PM   #21
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Brett
How about that nobody knows all of the side effects of suboxone? It is not FULLY known what sub is doing to our bodies and minds. sure its better than the alternative of using, but nothing is better than being absolutely substance free, with no worries whatsoever. sub has saved my life, but i am tapering because all of the facts are not known about sub, and that worries me. ive been on for 2 years and i think that its time.
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Unread 04-03-2007, 11:29 PM   #22
bam55
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seanyboy
I agree,and I also respect Brett to the max.
you probably dont need any powerfull drug to feel and be great.Go for it .You can always adjust the plan if you need too.
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Unread 04-06-2007, 12:52 PM   #23
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Hey, Along with brchad Bill and Bill BAM! Yes! There is hope for anyone who wants to try tapering.
Just go with the flow, don't overthink, exercise along the way, have a plan in place, do it at your pace, don't let ANYONE tell you it can't be done. If they do, then screw them. It's YOUR life, YOUR recovery. Just, when you taper off, don't ever forget where you came from and have tools in place for cravings and triggers. But don't be obsessed.
Big tapering beams and love for all! -Mary
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Unread 04-06-2007, 04:04 PM   #24
bam55
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Mary
Where have you been girl? A little too long between vists this time.I figured you might agree with the trying to taper gig.Now get of your butt and do some exercise already.
Bill
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Unread 04-06-2007, 06:33 PM   #25
ExOpiate
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brchad;
good for you and i appreaciate your appraoch and comments. I am on day 7 of diving off 4 migs to Zero - it has been no fun and is not fun now. i can't even tell the difference if i have the legitimate flu of if it is stillw/d time. I can pull my jeans down without unbuttoning them! sheesh.
I thought i could withstand anything - but - I guess i can't - should be better by Sunday.
Thanks for all of your comments.
xo
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