Originally Posted by Insanity4life
Fifteen days ago I ended up 'jumping' from 1mg of Suboxone after an unsuccessful taper. I am in day 15 of detox and can assure you that coming off Subs are far less painful than detoxing from opiates. That is, if you are 110% ready, willing & committed to leading a sober life. More importantly, it is imperative that you can embrace the detox by accepting it merely as a 'Healing Process'. The longer amount of time between each detox does make the process less painful. From my experience this really only goes with Suboxone. I've tapered successfully on 5 occasions in a period of 5 months, yet relapsed every time. This is primarily due to running out of Subs since I got them on the street & not from a doctor. The longest I stayed clean was for a month. I finally decided to accept help and found a Suboxone program because I just couldnít do it on my own. Although this particular program felt like an inconvenience, I made every effort I could to make group & individual therapy sessions, but was often late or absent due to having ADD to deal with as well. It just seemed like a part-time job which made it difficult to engage in activities that I found to be more therapeutic in allowing me to move forward. I just felt that group therapy especially, only delayed my success in achieving complete sobriety. To be honest, the last thing I need to hear are life stories of each individuals experience (I have plenty of my own after 14 years of using) or even worse, other prevailing mental issues such as hearing voices only to be perceived as the devil. I'm sorry but I just don't see how someone elseís problems are helpful when I have my own issues to deal with. I seriously felt that it delayed my progress in recovery, although for others it is beneficial so Iím not saying itís a waste of time. It just wasnít conductive therapy for me personally. The biggest thing I believe helped is time, primarily the amount of time participating in the program. It allowed me to find the proper chemical balance in my brain and remain level headed through the most irritating of circumstances. The individual therapy greatly helped me to begin finding out whom I really was as a person and why I let my addiction take over my personality.
After I had maintained suboxone treatment for an entire year, I felt for the first time that I was seriously ready to move on. I honestly believe, as well as have read, that the longer a person is on suboxone maintenance the greater chance they have to truly remain sober. This gives your brain proper time to heal by stabilizing our emotions through the chemicals in our brain. This is especially important considering most of us eagerly hopped on what seemed to be a simple, yet innocent ride on a roller coaster, only to find ourselves enduring the insane ride for years with no end in sight. The amount of hoops & loops, ups, downs, & flying around proved to be more than a cheap thrill; but rather a highly expensive & addictive emotional Hell that took us further from our healthy state of normality through each ill passing day. It was inevitable that our ability to just stop & make the rational decision to simply get off became our biggest disability by far.
Moving on to the actual detoxÖ.
I successfully tapered down to 1mg from 6 in two months w/o withdrawals. I had every intention to taper much slower into the month of October. Unfortunately, like most, I ended up 'jumping' off the suboxone when I ran out. The best way is to get down to the smallest dose possible before jumping. If you have the willpower to do so, a slow taper over 4-5 months is what I've read to be the best. Once I received my last script I immediately began taking 3mg instead of the 6 as prescribed. I had no symptoms of withdrawal on the 3mg & to be completely honest I felt 10xs better mentally & physically.
I continued taking 3mg a day for about 2 weeks which I split into 2 doses: 1.5mg around Noon & 1.5 in the evening a few hours before going to sleep. I rarely took an a.m. dose, but when I did it would only be due to feeling slightly nauseous. This was the only 'w/d symptom' I encountered while reducing to 3 mgs, but I hardly believe it to be considered w/d's considering how tolerable it was in comparison to the real thing.
After 2 weeks I began taking 2 mgs a day & of course felt even better than the previous 2 weeks. I took the 2mgs (1mg 2x/day) for 2 weeks before cutting the dose in half once again.
I still felt much better and had not one symptom of withdrawal while maintaining a 1mg/day dose. I started with .5 2x/day and within one week I chose to take a 1mg dose daily to cut down on the habit of taking a dose. This worked great for me so I took 1mg daily for a month without being strict with my taper schedule. I knew all along I would have to jump off at one point which helped me to mentally prepare for it when the time came. I never dwelled on how many I had left or tried to guess in advance when I would be in withdrawals. Anticipation makes it worse! Eventually the time came where my suboxone maintenance ended, the very moment I took my last 1 mg dose. I wasn't mad, irritated, anxious or sad after my last dose. Instead, I remained calm and with a level head I was finally able to say 'I'm Done.' When my family asked how my taper was going, I was able to say I'm on day 7 without them. They're exact words were, 'so your done then!" No questioning it, it was just Youíre Done, it's over, time to move forward!
The biggest thing I've read about quitting suboxone is being plagued with fatigue and depression. Well this couldn't be truer! However, they can both be limited in severity and duration. For very few people, these can be eliminated; well the depression can be at least. I would highly suggest consulting with your doctor about getting on an antidepressant if you aren't on one already. After youíve been on a constant dose for a few months, your symptoms of depression during detox will greatly be reduced or possibly even nonexistent. This does not mean you need to stay on it forever either, when you feel ready then taper off the med. I've been on wellbutrin for about a year and I know it has helped me tremendously with recovery.
The second most important thing that worked for me was exercise! Knowing I would be quitting suboxone I began a vigorous and strict exercise program months before my detox would come. I had purchased the Insanity program a year prior, yet never committed to it more than a week. Well just over two months ago I began the program knowing it was something I HAD to do. So needless to say I finished Insanity while having withdrawals at their worst. All I kept saying to myself was 'F***You suboxone, I won't let you take this away from me!' I had worked so hard to get to where I was that absolutely nothing was going to keep me from checking off that last day on the Insanity calendar! I worked out every day during withdrawals at the highest intensity I could. Days 2-4 were near impossible due to the tremendous amount of fatigue that plagued over me. A one hour workout took me 2.5 hrs. to complete. I was not satisfied whatsoever so I refused to check them off & repeated them again when I regained my energy. My doc prescribed me buspirone to ease the symptoms of w/d, but that med was the very reason I couldn't breathe, not to mention it listed a major drug reaction with suboxone. Needless to say I quit taking it after 3 days.
This is what my daily experiences were like during my detox from suboxone:
Day 1: No Suboxone....I was fine until about 2 pm, and then I was just plain tired & slept the day/night away.
Day 2: Worked out, very weak & dizzy. Felt tired, faint & 'off' that afternoon. It wasn't until about 6 or 7 that the feeling of wanting to crawl out of my skin began. This is by far the worst for me. I took lyrica at night to sleep. This also eliminates symptoms of w/d as well.
Day 3: Was very tired and lethargic, yet still worked out. Creepy crawly feeling came back about 5pm, took more lyrica.
Day 4: Still tired and still worked out. Lyrica again for sleep & symptoms in evening
Day 5: Energy improved, workout became easier, only needed Lorazepam for sleep. Creepy crawly feeling was gone by day 5.
Day 6: Energy continues to increase and I feel back to normal, just needed lorazepam for sleep until day 8 due to taking an extra dose of Dexedrine/Adderall in order to push through my days.
The only symptom Iíve had for two weeks now is nausea & upset stomach. Nauzene & Tums helped greatly. During this period I did not want to eat anything, but it's imperative in recovering quicker. Stay away from dairy and sugar, they will make you feel worse! I did however force myself to drink ensure once a day while maintaining the B.R.A.T diet still at day 15. My stomach has yet to return back to its original state however, the bananas, rice, applesauce & toast help tremendously. Bananas in particular have plenty of potassium which will reduce restless legs. I actually ate one every hour or two for the first 3 days. The aforementioned foods won't make you run to the bathroom like others. It actually helps with that issue. I myself did not take any loperemide or similar medication. The brat diet took care of that, besides the last thing I wanted to do was keep the very thing in my body that I was detoxing from. It just prolongs the process! Make sure you drink water and as much as you possibly can! You need to flush the toxins out every way you can, and sweating is very productive in doing so. Not to mention, the exercise increases your bodyís endorphins which certainly speed up the recovery process.
With the above said, suboxone withdrawals are NOT as bad as many people say. I strongly believe that all the negative encounters posted during sub detox, came from those who were not absolutely certain, &/or ready to quit. I firmly believe that YOU & YOU ALONE have ALL the POWER in determining the outcome of your detox. Your power is simply your attitude! Trust me, I went through countless withdrawals, most of which my negative attitude made every aspect of detox worse. Iíve blamed others, especially doctors for my inability to accept life without opiates. I even signed out of detox because the doctor wouldnít give me the amount of suboxone I felt was sufficient for me. With a negative attitude I created symptoms far worse than I ever developed in hopes to simply get another dose! Well that idea went down the sh*tt*r real quick! It became obvious that Iíd get my dose off the street long before the doctor would give me another dose. Unfortunately because of my negativity the doctor misdiagnosed me as having bipolar disorder which made it even harder to find help. I certainly would advise against negativity at all costs, your results will be proven with more efficiency than you ever thought possible if you can put your ego & all stubbornness aside. I am one stubborn individual and feel like my way is always best. It got me nowhere fast in terms of recovery & many bridges were burned. It wasnít until the maintenance program that my attitude turned around. The power of a positive mind will get you through sub detox with minimal pain possible. If it wasnít for my change in attitude I certainly would have relapsed by now & Iím finally thankful to have grown past my own demon of negativity.
Itís simple, yet amazing how changing something as simple as your attitude can make great changes in your life. It also helps when you know how to effectively manage the symptoms and push through them. I was on 6-8mgs daily for a year then jumped from 1mg/day for a month and was back to normal by day 5 (minus my stomach still feeling crappy) that can easily be managed, even eliminated through a strict diet & with the help of Nauzene or Tums.
Forget any negative experiences youíve heard or read about and forget everything you know about suboxone! The SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT thing you need to know about the detox process is this: YOUR POWER OF POSITIVE THINKING RENDERS YOUR SUCCESS. NOBODY CAN DO IT FOR YOU BECAUSE THE POWER LIES WITHIN YOU & YOURSELF ONLY. THE NEXT BEST THING IS KNOW HOW TO MANAGE EACH SYMPTOM ACCORDINGLY. DO THIS AND YOU JUST MAY VERY WELL BE DONE WITH SUBOXONE & DETOXED THROUGH THE MAJOR SYMPTOMS IN ONLY 5 DAYS.
*If any of my comments may have been a little too blunt or forthcoming, I apologize. They are not in any way meant to be derogatory or demeaning towards any particular individual or personality type. They are simply my personal, yet firm opinions which Iíve gathered from personal experience and are only meant provide depiction in detail regarding my Suboxone experience and recovery.* Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments regarding suboxone maintenance and detox. There are numerous omitted tips as well gained through experience and research.