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Rapid Sub Taper

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  • Rapid Sub Taper

    Hi all. I was put on suboxone almost 3 weeks ago. Initially I was really happy to be on it because when I went to my sub doc I was already in withdrawals from opiates. I started using them from a back injury but built up a tolerance and started taking more and more. It's definitely not a new story. I took them for 2 years but my use really escalated over the last 8 months. I would take between 150 and 260 mg a day (really terrible way to live). I was just sick of the whole terrible ride and started googling how to get off vics. I found my way to a website about suboxone and I started calling. It was so frustrating because I must have called about 15 or 20 docs on that list and either found that they were wrong numbers, not taking patients, or only accepting cash patients (this one shocked me). I luckily found one that was taking new patients and my insurance! I went in the next day pretty dopesick. I had decided I was done and hadn't taken anything that day. My last time using was the day before around noon so I was pretty bad off. The doc talked to me for about 5 minutes, he was either bored or disgusted with users, and gave me a prescription for suboxone and orders to take two 8 mg strips that day and the first dose in the morning before I came back the next day. The majority of the appointment was him sternly telling me the rules of being prescribed subs, and that I would have to come in and see him at least once a week at first and then maybe twice a week depending on my progress. I took the first dose and within 20 minutes or so felt so much better, the withdrawals stopped right away. Once I felt better I started to replay the conversation with the doc who told me that I'd have to be on subs for at least a year. I started to get worried about why so long so I started researching then I got really worried. I'm grateful the subs but I don't want to end up with another problem. After my first 2 appointments he told me that I needed to come back in 2 weeks and he gave me a scrip for 60 8mg strips. It was at the 2nd appointment that I asked about the year long thing and he snapped at me that it could be for the rest of my life! Yikes I was pretty scared.

    I got on here and started researching rapid tapers and found a couple of threads and decided to get off those things as quick as possible. I tapered down from 16 mg a day to .50 mg over 2 weeks and 5 days. I feel pretty good but I have some symptoms...I get warm and I mean really warm for flashes that last for about a minute or two. Over the past 2 nights I've woken up a couple times all sweaty and had some trouble going back to sleep. I'm feeling a little tired but it's manageable. Today is my first day sub free. I think I'm doing pretty good but I'm looking forward to just feeling normal again. I just felt an overwhelming need to post this. I hope I didn't bore everybody to tears. Thanks for listening.

  • #2
    Sounds like your really doing good I did a quick taper once off subs and I got those hot flashes to...Post when ever you want that is why were here...Most Doctors would love for you to stay on subs the rest of your life,he needs you to keep coming in every two weeks so you can pay off his new Boat..ha ha!!!the reason for you to stay on them for a year is so you don't relapse or so they say!!! keep us posted on how your doing we can give you little tips along the way and it helps so much talking to other people that have been thru this...
    hang in there,Melinda


    • #3
      Thank you for replying Melinda I really appreciate it. I slept pretty good last night, only woke up once. I feel so much better. I'm a train wreck if I don't sleep. Yesterday evening I started to cry about being in so much pain and felt sure if I had something to take to take it away I would have. I had to go sit in my closet and meditate in the dark for a few minutes to get hold of myself and then it passed. One of the challenges that I guess I'm going to face is trying to figure out what is a withdrawal symptom and what isn't. My cycle started yesterday and I'm always a hyper sensitive, emotional basket case on the first day. Was it that or the subs? I feel certain that the interrupted sleep was the subs, and also the sweats. I'm sure the overall achiness I feel is the subs. Is it normal to be on a vigilant hunt for symptoms? I don't want to look for them but right now it's all I can think about. I know that can't be good. I'm on Day 21 of no opiates and Day 2 of no Subs. I'm feeling pretty well, just like my muscles haven't been used properly in awhile. I think the mental is my biggest issue right now. I need to leave myself alone and occupy my thoughts with something else.

      @Melinda I read about rapid detox and relapse too and I'm just not buying that (for me). One of the things that blows my mind is that I've never been into any kind of drugs and I don't drink. I'll admit way at the beginning of taking the vics I got a buzz which I did like but that didn't last long at all. Even when I started taking more and more to try to feel awake and have energy I RARELY got anything out of it. If I didn't take it I would feel so drained and lethargic that I had to take some when I woke up just to get the day started. I would use them to help me deal with some stressors in my life. If my husband started to drive me insane I'd take some to lift my mood. I know that I started cheating on how to deal with everyday life events and that's so not cool. I hate the feeling of being trapped and dependent on other people to get the vics. It'd make me sick because it was so obvious that they enjoyed having that power over you. I would say to myself constantly "if you could just soldier through withdrawals you won't ever have to see or deal with these people again". I would have the best of intentions to stop but the physical symptoms would just become too much. I developed a serious fear of withdrawing so I'd run around like a mad woman trying to make sure that didn't happen. I spent so much money (to the detriment of my family) to feed my addiction to those pills I was initially prescribed! I'm focusing on the joy of being off of everything but every now and then the anger comes out...anger at myself, my dealer, and the doc who used to mindlessly write the script for more and more vics until he decided that I should be better and cut me off cold. I'm an adult and I took it and I have to deal with cleaning up my own mess but I think it's INSANE how easy it is for people to get hooked on opiates and not enough is being done about that. I wouldn't wish the past 2 years of my life on anybody, the constant fear, the guilt, the anxiety, the self loathing and most importantly totally losing yourself. I used to like me but over the past couple years I treated me pretty bad. I have to get to know myself all over again. I'm so excited to LIVE without being in a fuzzy haze!!!!


      • #4
        Im not sure if you have PMS or PMDD but YES w/d can intensify it a 100 times,The w/d alone can drop you to your knees let alone throwing your cycle in it!!! and Yes we all watch for the slightest signs of W/D it is part of being an addict.So are you out of Subs??? your Doctor started you on such a high dose and if you took then all in the last three weeks your definitely going to have some w/d from the subs...I know a lot of people do a fast detox of a few days just enough to get them thru the first few before we go into to much detail post back and let us know if you have any sub left to take,If you dont will have to decide what you want to do.dont worry tho well get you thru this one way or another.I will address your other ?, I just know your not feeling to well right now so if you got more subs I would take a small piece like .25 mg or smaller
        Talk to ya soon,Melinda


        • #5
          OH!! one more did you take them over the last three weeks? how fast did you do your drops??? were you on the 16mg for most of the time or did you go down slowly ???


          • #6
            Melinda, I have plenty of subs left, I have 54 of the 8 mg strips. And right now I feel so AWAKE!! I feel better now then when I first woke up and posted. I started off on a really high dose because I didn't know any better, here's how I did it:
            day x (16th): 16 mg
            Oct 17-23: 16 mg (then I found this forum)
            Oct 24-25: 8 mg
            Oct 26-27: 6 mg
            Oct 28-29: 4 mg
            Oct 30-31: 2 mg
            Nov 1: 1 mg
            Nov 2-3: .5 mg
            Nov 4: .25mg
            Nov 5 -6: Nothing

            I never felt any of the drops. I almost took a sliver yesterday evening but made it through. According to this sub cutting chart thing, all the subs should be out of my body on the 10th or the 11th. I'm not assuming that I'm out of the woods but I'm going to try real hard not to look for anything either. Right at this very moment I know 70% of my craziness yesterday was my period. Thanks for responding.


            • #7
              you sound GREAT!!! Im so glad you found the forum and that you were so smart as to look into things before they got carried away!!! If you need anything we are right here...sometimes it feels good just to vent...
              have a great day!!!


              • #8
                I thought I'd update my thread just in case it might help someone. Today I've been opiate free for 29 days and off subs for 9 days and I feel like I'm still recovering. My energy level is still low until I get to work and get moving. I'm super tired in the evenings and have been going to bed really early. Last night and the night before I didn't sleep that well, with last night being the worst. I'm really hoping that doesn't last too long. I'm starting to get my appetite back but there are part of the days I have no appetite at all. Not to be gross but my bathroom function is normal again. I'm not dealing with anymore anxiety. I had a pretty bad day on Day 5 sub free, I was crying and anxious all day. I had to fight really hard that day not to give in and take a little piece of sub. I made it through by keeping busy and haven't had another moments like that. I am dealing with a weird pain in my left leg that I have no idea why. I read a really great post on here that used the analogy of your brain being a meadow and how the last bit of sub will send out a distress signal to get you to take something. I'm dealing with and it's slowly improving. I have moments of pure joy and excitement of being free of drugs but I try to keep in mind that it's a process. I can almost feel my brain rebooting itself. There are times that I'll have like an electric jolt in my brain. I know the healing can take some time. I don't for a second regret getting off the opiates or subs, it was what I needed to take back my life. I'm committed to pressing forward although this hasn't been easy. I can honestly say that everyday is getting better. I'm looking forward to feeling "normal" and pain free. Take care.


                • #9
                  Here's an update even though I'm pretty sure i'm talking to myself now. I'm going to keep posting until I feel this all behind me. I'm day 34 opiate free and day 14 subs free and I'm starting to feel better slowly. I expected this process to be so much faster...and it's NOT. I'm back to normal for the most part but I truly don't feel like myself yet. My left leg is slowly getting better, I thought it was some opiate receptor brain thing but at this point I don't think that anymore. My sleep is still not that great, I feel tired and I get in bed and toss and turn. I eventually drift off and wake up around 4:45 am and I must say it's driving me nuts. It effects how I feel throughout the day....I'm on hyper vigilant for anything withdrawal related.

                  If anyone does read this then just know recovery, whether on the standard taper plan or a rapid one takes time. I don't regret my decision but just want to be totally over it. I sure hope the reminder of this will help deter me from doing something completely self destructive in the future.


                  • #10
                    Hi there. I haven't read all the replies to you so maybe this was already mentioned. Have you tried melatonin or valerian for sleeping? Works pretty well for me even though I wake up a couple times every night. I'm able to get 7-8 hours of sleep.

                    Also, before bed, a nice hot shower and sleepy time tea made strong helps too. Hope you're able to feel better soon and resume normal sleep.


                    • #11
                      I'm so sorry Iwant that I didn't see that you replied to me. Thank you for the suggestions.


                      • #12
                        Here's an update. I'm 41 days opiate free and 21 days subs free and man I feel like I've finally turned the corner. My sleep is so much better now, I drink sleepytime tea (even though I HATE the taste) and use some tablets that you dissolve in your mouth called "quietude". I've been falling asleep within a few minutes of getting in bed and wake up to the alarm!!! Getting some sleep has made such a difference in my recovery. I can think, I can function and I'm not nearly as emotional. Physically I'm back to normal and that feels good. I haven't been able to exercise yet because my leg is still healing (that's driving me a little nuts). I know how important exercise is in producing those needed endorphins.

                        Every now and again I still get a brain zap which now I think is just my brain rewiring itself back to normal. I haven't had very many cravings but one night my husband made me really mad and I actually thought "I wish I had something to ease my frustration and anger" and it scared me to death. I always knew that my husband was a huge trigger for me but when I had that thought I knew I have way more recovery to do. I used to use on a pretty regular schedule except when the Mr. got under my skin. I have to learn how to deal with him and life issues without reaching for a vic.

                        The other night I was sitting and thinking for the 1000th time "how did THAT happen to me?" was I always a closet drug addict just waiting to come flying out. I've always been so straight laced that it still shocks me how this opiate addiction crept into my life. I truly had NO idea that taking prescribed meds could lead to a huge problem. I feel sorry for the next doc I see because they're going to have to thoroughly explain to me (to my satisfaction) why I need a med and the side effects and drug interactions. Yes I realize you get a printout from the pharmacy on what the drug is but I feel my doc needs to tell me ALL the facts so I can make an informed decision about my health! Oddly enough I don't totally wish this experience away it brought me some clarity on things in my life that I think is invaluable. I feel such a sense of gratitude for every clean day! I feel so alive now and I'm grateful for subs for giving me this chance. I know there are lots of people that hate on subs but it really can save people if taken properly. This forum really is amazing in helping people get their lives together.

                        OK enough yammering to myself. Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate it.
                        Last edited by Anonymous; 11-26-2013, 10:53 AM.


                        • #13
                          Thanks for the update and congratulations on 3 weeks clean from subs!! Right now that is my biggest goal-- to make it to day one sub-free and beyond. It's really important to me to keep driving home the point that people CAN live a life beyond subs (and all opiates), so I appreciate everyone who updates on the "afterlife", as in life After subs! Keep up the hard work and it will pay off in spades!

                          Are you doing anything to support your recovery like NA or something?


                          • #14
                            Thanks systolic! I don't know why but seeing it as 3 weeks just blew me away! Thanks for the feedback...I really felt like I was just talking to myself. I figured since I didn't follow the traditional plan people were not interested. I think it's important to have info on whatever method you choose. I think by rapidly tapering I had more symptoms than a traditional taper but here I am 3 weeks later feeling mighty fine.

                            You WILL be subs free!! I've read your thread and you seem really kind and sweet. You have wonderful things in your future. To answer your question about recovery support, I'm not a big public disclosure kind of gal...I'm a pretty private person. I confessed to my husband how bad it had gotten a couple of days before starting subs. I also started my counseling appointments again. My counselor told me that prescription abuse has driven their business through the roof. He told me that the fact that it can touch ANYONE from any walk of life has thrown the world of addiction into a tizzy. Man I'm getting mad just thinking about it. Anyway I'm going to slowly work on forgiving myself and moving forward with my life. I've got to re-learn how to handle stress at work and home. I've got some teenagers to deal with! I truly am grateful that suboxone is available to help stop the vicious cycle. I just freaked out that I would get addicted in hindsight that was a little "oh no the sky is falling" lol.


                            • #15
                              You're welcome, and thank you for the encouragement! As you know from my thread, I've been stuck on subs for longer than I'd ever dreamed possible. While I'm glad that it has allowed me to be free of the dangerous and terrible lifestyle that went along with my drug of choice (and from the "liquid handcuffs" of methadone and clinics), it's not without it's drawbacks and it's definitely time to move on. Just be glad that you didn't get stuck on them and require months or even years to realize what needed to be done.

                              I'm sorry I haven't followed your thread very closely as I'm just now getting back on track after messing up a couple weeks ago, but I will go back and read it all today. (Forgive me if I'm wrong, but) it seems like you were able to see the problem before you got in too deep, (altho I know that's relative), and in so doing you are giving yourself the best chance to stay successful in your recovery. I'm glad to hear that you're at least getting counseling-- that's great, and really it seems like having some kind of outside support is key to being able to maintain your clean time. I really need to get back into going to meetings, but it's hard with kids and a man who works a different schedule every week. There's only one meeting per day here where I live, but I guess it's fortunate that there's even that many.

                              I'm not sure if you heard about this, but there's a recovery organization called SMART Recovery (stands for Self Management And Recocery Training), and they have online meetings 24 hours a day. That might be something to look into, as the online aspect offers the anonymity and doesn't make you "go public" with your addiction. However, on the other hand, it might be dangerous to try to keep this as a deep dark secret. Part of the problem with addiction in this country I feel like comes from the fact that there's so much secrecy and shame associated with it. Maybe I'm wrong, but I feel like if normal, average everyday people--- especially the ones whom nobody would ever think would fall prey to this disease--- were to stand up and acknowledge "yes this happened to me, and it doesn't make me weak or a bad person, it just means I have to stay hyper-vigilant--- and it can happen to you too!", then we as a public might be able to finally open an honest dialogue. So many people have a stereotype of what they *think* addiction looks like, and an attitude of "that's them, that's not me, I would never let that happen to me.." Which is unfortunate because it serves to only keep minds closed and discourages many from seeking help-- thinking that they have to "fix" it on their own or else risk public shame.

                              ...but I digress. Sorry for that rant, i didn't mean to make this an essay-- this is just something I feel strongly about. Anyway, keep up the good work, and keep updating about how you're doing. It's great to share in the good times, happiness, and victories, but we know it's not all gonna be sunshine and lollipops from here on out. I feel like it's especially important for people to see how someone is able to deal with the bad things in life too--- Without turning back to drugs.