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Reaching Out for Help

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  • Reaching Out for Help

    Hello All who take the time to read this. I've been reading on this forum for hours and I was trying to piece together a plan for myself and started to get really frustrated so I decided to just start my own thread.

    Here's background info:
    I'm a 45 year old married mother of 5 (23, 19, and 16, and 2 Shih Tzu's) and I've been taking opiates for the past 2 years. Honestly it still shocks me that I ended up here. I don't mean to sound obnoxious but I'm college educated and have a really good career with a position of responsibility. I've NEVER been a Partier, not even in my "sexy" girl days. I rarely drink alcohol, maybe I'd have a strawberry daquiri every 6 months or so. I say that because I'm still shocked how I got chemically hooked on that junk! When I first started I could barely take a whole 10mg pill without feeling dizzy and gross...well fast forward two years and I was up to 65 mg in one dose. I long quit having them prescribed and started acquiring them which zapped all my resources.

    I finally got sick and tired of feeling and being sick and tired and decided to figure out how to get off of the awful ride. I stumbled upon a suboxone website and found a local clinic to go to. I had a 15 minute appointment and left with a prescription for suboxone and instructions to take a 8mg film twice a day everyday. He told me that I would probably have to be on it for over a year. I didn't panic at that moment because I was already in withdrawals and was grateful to have anything to stop it. I took the first dose and started to feel so much better that I cried for a half hour straight...withdrawals are agony. I felt good but he told me that I had to take the 2nd dose and one in the morning before my next day appointment, which I did but it felt weird because I felt pretty good.

    The PA that I'm seeing doesn't have the best bedside manner and the thought of seeing him every 2 weeks for a year made me start to do some research and I ended up here. Once I started reading I started to panic because I'm terrified of getting addicted to another substance.

    I started taking the medicine on October 16th and have been taking 16 mg a day since. I read quite a few threads but I'm not sure I understand the best way to taper down from the dose I'm on. How do you "divide" the 8 mg film into smaller doses? So I'm here asking for help. HELP!!!! I want to be drug FREE again and just live a normal life. I'm grateful to the subs so far because I'm starting to get my life back already but I don't want to trade one monkey for another. I'm sorry if this was too long for some to read but I would appreciate any assistance and information.

    Thanks in advance!!

  • #2
    Here is the taper plan most of us have used, it explains the taper plan and how to reduce your dose

    In terms of dividing your dose, there are several youtube videos and google images that show you how to cut the sub strips. If you cut an 8mg in half you will have two 4mg strips.


    • #3
      Hello and welcome.

      The strips are pretty easy to cut into smaller doses using a razor blade or scissors. If you go to YouTube and search cutting suboxone strips, there are some videos that will help. It's in your best interest to not take the second strip a day. Doctors really don't know what they're doing with this medicine, and always over prescribe. 16mg is way too high a dose, as is 8 probably, but you said you felt better at 8.

      Trust me, you do not want to be on subs for a year. They will take over your life and you will end up stuck on them for waaaaay longer than needed. They will be such a huge crutch and keep you terrified of withdrawal and years will slip by if you're not careful. That's way happened to me and soapy others.

      Here is a link to the taper plan that many of us on this site have used or are currently using to wean off the suboxone. It will take a bit of time, but it won't be anywhere near a year.

      Have a look and let us know what you think.


      • #4
        Lol sorry Sharks I was probably writing as you were posting and didn't know that you'd already replied.

        Sorry for the repeat info.



        • #5
          Thank you Sharks and Systolic for responding. I ran across the taper plan and printed it out already. It talks about inducting correctly to get the taper started and I'm pretty sure I was inducted all wrong. Would it be ok to jump down to 8 mg right away or should I start the 25% reduction? I hope these aren't simple stupid questions but I read for a couple of hours and saw some conflicting things.

          It didn't sound right to me at my first appointment that I would have to be on the subs for over a year. I was already in bad shape so I didn't ask nearly enough questions. The PA was so borderline nasty to me that I didn't want to risk making him mad and not getting something to help me with my withdrawal symptoms. Maybe I'm wrong but if somebody comes in asking for help you shouldn't go out of your way to be extra douchy to them. Ok sorry for the rant.

          Systolic, you're so right I DO NOT want to be addicted to these things. I read on another website that if you stop taking them within a month of starting you won't get addicted...does that sound right? What's the fastest taper that you know about?

          Thanks again for responding.


          • #6
            Hi there! Definitely use the taper that Sharks and systolic told you about. I'm currently tapering using that plan and it works! So you're taking 8 mg now? Are you stable at that dose? You only reduce by 25% once you're stable. Stable means feeling ok, not perfect, but feeling functional and good.

            Don't rush this taper. Slow and steady is the key to success. If you follow the plan, you will be off sub with minimal discomfort.

            Good luck!


            • #7
              Yep, you're already inducted and would be just fine going to 8 per day. I would bet money that you won't feel a thing.

              Some of us get psychologically used to dosing twice a day, so you could even do 4mg twice a day. But whether you dose once or twice a day, try to keep it as close to the same time(s) everyday to keep the levels steady. That will be a huge asset when you start to taper.

              To be honest, this is the fastest taper I know of that actually works in terms of once people are off, they are able to stay off. I don't know about the taking it for less than a month will keep you from being addicted, but it doesn't sound right at all. I would think that stopping this med after maybe even 4 or 5 days will cause withdrawal (unless one properly tapers). Still the one month thing doesn't sound like its something to hang your hopes on.
              Last edited by Anonymous; 10-26-2013, 01:10 AM.


              • #8
                Thanks systolic I thought it sounded wrong. I'm going to go down to 8 mg today and wait to make sure I'm stable. Here's another question..since the subs are masking the withdrawals from long does it take to actually be physically done with opiate withdrawals? Does that question make sense? I think that by taking the subs and feeling much better that I had convinced myself that I had the opiates out of my system. Yikes. I've been lying to myself for 2 yeas and I don't want to do it anymore.

                I'm dropping to 8 mg of subs and then chilling out on the wanting to rush this process. I want to get well and stay well for the long haul.

                @Katherine no I was taking 16 mg for the past 10 days. I'm dropping to 8 mg today. Thanks I definitely plan to follow the plan.


                • #9
                  The problem is subs are also an opiate, so you're not really done with opiate withdrawals until you stop taking the subs. It's sad doc's don't really know much about subs, they're "opioid partial agonist" which means they bind a little differently to the receptors in your brain. So in truth, you aren't ever really "done" with opiate withdrawals until you jump off subs. When you're stabilizing you are basically covering up the worst of the withdrawals from the pills you were taking.

                  I called around trying to find a sub doc for my husband & I (we both used) and I was stunned at how most of them were in it for the money. Same thing as you were told, had to be on it for at LEAST a year or it 'wouldn't work'. When I asked WHY it wouldn't work one doc got angry with me. I felt like they were no different than a dealer. They all wanted cash only, no insurance. I think it's a combo of not knowing enough about subs and also wanting the money coming in.

                  SS, no worries we were probably posting at the same time. Mine was really short, I was tired but I wanted to post at least the taper plan. You gave much more info.

                  I agree with Katherine, you likely won't feel the drop to 8mg. You probably won't even start feeling the drops until you get under 4 mg, if you do just remember to go slow. You haven't been on them for that long so you should be ok. Check out some of the threads on this board for inspiration. Alex was able to taper down with very little discomfort.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Sharks fan View Post

                    I called around trying to find a sub doc for my husband & I (we both used) and I was stunned at how most of them were in it for the money. Same thing as you were told, had to be on it for at LEAST a year or it 'wouldn't work'. When I asked WHY it wouldn't work one doc got angry with me. I felt like they were no different than a dealer. They all wanted cash only, no insurance. I think it's a combo of not knowing enough about subs and also wanting the money coming in. .
                    That's exactly how I felt too! I was actually thinking this dude sounds like a dealer. I was in withdrawal already and feeling TERRIBLE when I went to my first appointment. I got sick outside before I could even get in the door so I was desperate for something so I didn't take more opiates to feel better. I had finally decided I was done and hadn't taken anything about 16 hours before my appointment. I felt like he knew he had the "power" to make me feel better and was lording it over me. I had to be careful what I said to not anger him. He reminded me of the scumbag I used to deal with to get my fixes from. I hated him but had to deal with him and I had the same feeling dealing with my sub doc. I want to get well and get off everything so I can tell that guy to go kick rocks and stop being mean to people in need.

                    Sharks I don't know why but I assumed you were a man....sorry about that! lol


                    • #11
                      LOL no worries, it's hard to tell by user name if someone is a guy or girl. My original thread got locked, but it's still here. I started a new thread with a link to the old thread so it wouldn't completely disappear.

                      I was just reading wikipedia about sub's, I remember I read up before I started taking subs but I forgot a lot of what I read, or they updated the page. A doctor has to take an 8 hour class to get certified to prescribe Suboxone. All they see are dollar signs, hey I can take this class and then treat 100 patients with suboxone. I have said I feel like they are taking advantage of people when they are most vulnerable. You're an addict and you're sick and you want help, rather than try to help they hook you with another addiction.

                      Anyway, you're on the right path now.


                      • #12
                        Sharks/Stephanie, I'm reading your original thread and feeling awed by the fact that Harry guided you and now you have been guiding me. That's such a great example of "paying it forward". I'm not saying that you'll invest in me what he invested in pressure at all. I hope to one day be on the other side helping someone else across the addiction abyss.


                        • #13
                          I just wanted to quickly say something about your doctor. Since he seems to be one of the ones who is just in this for the money, it's probably best if you don't tell him you're going to taper off. You might want to just tell him that you're following his instructions and taking as much as he says. He has no way of testing to make sure you're actually taking 16mg a day instead of 8. I'm tapering too and my doc doesn't know. He still prescribes me 16mg a day. When I'm done with the taper I'm going to call him and cancel my next appointment and tell him I won't be needing to come back.

                          Of course, use your best judgement here. I just wanted to share because you said that it seemed like he'd be angry over you not doing this "his way", which is probably something that will only serve to line his pockets, not help you.

                          I started my taper when at 10mg, after having taken between 12 and 8 a day for months (and occasionally 16). I'm down to 6 now and they only thing I've "felt" has been minor and fleeting, and didn't even last more than a few minutes. At this point it's more psychological than physical, so the less afraid you are, the easier this wil be.



                          • #14
                            No pressure, I was posting a lot but...but things got a little ugly around here. There were several posts on my thread that got deleted and then my thread got locked. Kind of turned a lot of us off. I try to pop in as much as I can, when I see someone is being helped by another member I check in but don't feel the need to add much.

                            Anyway, I'm happy to help if I can.

                            I agree with SS, unless you have more than enough subs to complete the taper, i wouldnt say anything to your doc. You don't want him to fire you as a patient. If you think he will be helpful then by all means let him know. Sometimes they actually care and want to help, but a lot of them just want a payday and only see us as dollar signs.

                            Hope you are enjoying the weekend.


                            • #15
                              Shark/SS thanks for the advice about the doc, you read my mind. I fully intend to keep my mouth shut. I can tell he's not interested in me at all. I'm so glad I found this forum to be able to read and research. Have a good night.