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Bupe jumping off 1.5 mg (spoiler alert, it sucks)

drgian

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Joined
Jan 10, 2016
Messages
9
I'm new here but I wanted to chime in. My story is pretty standard, I was prescribed Vicodin after an ACL replacement back in 2008. I took it for 3 days, didn't really like it; left it in the medicine cabinet. I began to take it whenever I would catch a cold (I had 3 small kids then, we were getting sick all the time) and it helped. Once I got a cold lasted 10 days, started taking Vicodin 750 x 2 per day every day. Over about 18 months this went up to 15-20 Norco (10/325) per day; it was an easy relaxed time. Eventually I couldn't sustain my habit and I went to a doc in late 2009, told him I was an addict. He (meaning well I think) prescribed me more Norco and we tried a taper. That failed, surprise surprise, I just used his Rx and what I got from my connection; this went on a few months. Finally, having researched and researched I got on Suboxone in May of 2010. My initial dose was 6 mg but (as addicts with overly sympathetic doctors do) I eventually reached 24 mg. 24 mg is waaaaay more sub than anyone needs, I would say 8-12 or maybe 16 in an extreme case. But I just wanted more more more.
So now it's 2014 I'm taking suboxone for 3 years and it becomes clear I will need a total knee replacement. We schedule it for Jan 2015. I'm honest with my Sub Dr. and my surgeon, but you can't do a knee replacement without pain killers; it's a very painful operation (if there is a painless operation, I don't know what it is).

We all agree we should switch me to oxy, have the surgery and then taper off the oxy. We have the surgery, it goes well, I take my prescribed oxycodone, oxycontin, and hydrocodone in the weeks following the surgery; total of >100 mg/day. I will say immediately after the surgery I asked for pain relief, I was given 20 mg oxycodone, and 1mg of dilaudid; these did nothing at all. I think this is because I stopped the sub 3 days before the surgery and it lasts a long time; it was blocking those drugs from working. It took about 36 hours for the painkillers to have any noticeable effect.
So 8 weeks after the surgery we start the oxy taper which was a total failure (I just ate it up I won't surprise anyone reading this). I told my Dr. I wanted to go back on sub and taper off that. (this is March 2015).
So over the next several months I go from 8 mg sub to 1 mg sub and Wednesday the 6th I take my last .5 mg. Thursday night is horrible, can't sleep legs jumping all over and I've still got 20 mg oxycontin lying around. I take that (wish I hadn't) slept OK after about 2 hours. Next day is OK, but soon symptoms start again:
depression
pain
RLS
can't sleep
no energy

And I've been dealing with that since then. I heard day 3 was the worst but everyone's story is different. I'll check in here on day 5 and let you know how it goes. I'm hoping to turn the corner soon. this is really hard. Yoga and exercise seems to help a teeny bit.

wrote this last night, it's now 2PM on day 4. Last was hard, no sleep till 5 am. Woke up feeling OK but I can feel the w/d coming back. I'm going to try going outside, have a small project there (chimney fell off the pole barn wood burner), see if working helps take my mind off.

any thoughts or experience welcome, please!

DrGian
 

DoesntLearn

Bluelighter
Joined
Dec 19, 2015
Messages
197
Best of luck to you. I personally would rather hop off the oxy than bupe. Keep yourself occupied and dont let the demons get the best of you. Movies and tv shows along with hot showers and multivitamins are my favorite (however i usually taper off using sub for 3 days at low doses just enough to dampen the wd effects to a more tolerable level when coming off of a short acting opiate rather than detoxing from bupe itself). You can win the battle, and dont forget that! Eventually everything WILL get better but it deffinately wont happen over night, but things will go back to normal. For me the worst is usually the insomnia since i have had it since i was young so the wd's just make it that much worse. Good luck though and keep us updated on your progress!
 

drgian

Greenlighter
Joined
Jan 10, 2016
Messages
9
I would too; but I don't have anything else and that's the deal I made with my Dr. tomorrow is day 5; I'm hoping I feel a little better than. The insomnia is the worst without a doubt. One night it was full blown RLS and the next (last night), I just lay awake from 12-5. I finally caved and took another 20 mg OxyContin which took awhile to have any effect and eventually I slept till noon and woke up and felt OK and had a pretty good day. The Oxy came from my mom's supply and I can't take any more of that. I feel horrible about it. My Dr. gave me something to help sleep but it gives me such a huge headache in the AM that I don't it. I'm gunna call tomorrow and ask for something else for sleep. And also make an appointment for Wednesday which would be day 7 and if I'm still suffering then I'm going to ask him if we can do a taper off of hydro. I'm sure he'll say no, but I can't continue like this; it's really hard.

Did some work around the house today and split some wood which helped a lot. But then fell asleep from like 6-11PM so now I'm looking at another sleepless night.

you'll hear back from me, thanks for the comeback.
 

bingey

Bluelight Crew
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Nov 30, 2004
Messages
8,655
Location
Isolated
wow 24 mg of sub is a big big dose. considering you get it in 0.2 increments for pain (temgesic). Most doctors don't have a clue what they are dealing with.
For me every time I quit sub I went psychotic , I never had this with methadone or even heroin.

I don't know if you can get cannabis but it helps a lot with insomnia without prolonging it necessarily , it can exacerbate anxiety though. Benzos are only worthwile if taken for a very short period , 1 week tops IMO , they are just as addictive as the opiates really.
 

UnderFaz

Bluelighter
Joined
Apr 11, 2008
Messages
57
24mg of sub is definitely a large dose, larger than anyone realistically needs, but the convenient thing about sub is that it's so easy to taper off unnecessarily large doses. i once went straight from 16mg to 4mg. like in one day, barely felt any wd symptoms. when you get down below 4mg is when you start noticing the symptoms personally, and it starts to get "bad" under 2mg, for me.
 

Zerwas

Bluelighter
Joined
Feb 16, 2014
Messages
736
You should have tapered down to at least 0,5 if not 0,25mg. That way the WDs can be much more bearable. I would never jump of 1,5mg...
 

drgian

Greenlighter
Joined
Jan 10, 2016
Messages
9
All good input. I do have some really good weed, but it's never worked for me. I feel jittery and nervous, exactly what I'm trying to avoid. But I may give it a shot; last night new record 0.0 hours sleep. literally, lay in bed, read, listened to music (headphones so as not to disturb the wife). There is song by Underworld called 8 ball that always makes me feel fabulous... too bad it's about cocaine.

Gunna call Dr today, he gave me Trazedone for sleep, makes me feel horrible. I also have clonaz which I use sparingly, but it's not helping now. Gunna ask Dr. for something else for sleep and tell him I was wrong to jump at 1.5. but I also don't wanna get back on after 5 days. So I'm hoping against hope he'll agree to a short hydrocodone taper. 10mg/day for let's say a week and 5 for a week, maybe even 2.5 for a 3rd week. I doubt he'll go for it, but can't hurt to ask. I have no other source of opiates.

Little background, I never took any drugs (even weed like 10x between 0years and 35 years), after the surgery I feel in love with hydro. Obviously I like oxy better, but it's too hard for me to resist, so I'll ask for the hydrocodone. He'll say no, I'm taking odds. I've only ever used hydro and oxy. All the oxy I got was prescribed, but before I was trying to get clean I was buying hydro to feed my habit.

Finally, I love coming here to find feedback but telling me what I already told you (1.5 is too high to jump, 24 mg is a lot) just serves to bring a person down. We all know how it feels; I don't want to feel judged for my mistakes. Especially ones I've already copped to.

DrGian
 

AspiringPsychonaut

Greenlighter
Joined
Jan 10, 2016
Messages
3
I don't think what you need is more prescription drugs, I'd recommend doing a Google search for herbal/natural health stores somewhere near you. Go there and tell them your situation, they should be able to help you through natural remedies. It'll be a lot better for you in the long run. Best of luck!
 

Mrskores

Greenlighter
Joined
Jan 3, 2016
Messages
6
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'MERICA!
So sorry to hear how your struggling. It's NOT a fun road AT ALL!!

I just did my own taper of oxy because my husband is in the military and is gone, so im a "single" working mom of twin toddlers. Although I technically need my oxy for my back problems (compliments of a twin pregnancy), I was sick of it controlling my life. Today is day 9 of only 5mg/day. (I just broke all my 10's in half). I finally got through the RLS, no sleeping, etc after day 5. I luckily had some Ambien laying around that has helped a lot, as well as Xanax. I wasn't quite as "bad" as some of the stories I've read, I think ONLY because im a mom of young children and would never want to put them in danger, like driving to the store. I was taking up to 6-8 10's a day, but that still wasn't helping my pain. I would suffer a lot the last week before getting my script filled. I just got sick and tired of being dependent on them and them still not helping. So, I dropped myself quickly to 3/day for 3 days, then 2/day for 2 days, 1/day for 2 days, now im day 9 at half/day until I get my script filled. Wherein, im giving a very close, trustworthy friend half my prescription to hold onto for emergencies. My husband, although gone, is very involved with my prescription, I text him and ask him before I take a pill. Obviously before, I was taking some without asking or when I would ask for 1, I would double the dose.

Now that ive tapered on my own out of sheer willpower, because I have 20 10mg pills at home, I decided that I was going to do this, on my own, for myself AND for my family. But most importantly, for myself. Sounds selfish typing it, but if I did it for anyone else, resentment was sure to come up in the future. It will be a hard road from here moving forward to only take my pills when I truly need them, not when im in just a little bit of pain. Because, ive been in a TON of pain the last 9 days, but I never want to do this to myself again. Im hoping being on such a small dose for near 2 weeks, will help my tolerance drop a little so my script can actually help me again.... But I don't know.

I haven't read any "recovery" stories where someone still actually NEEDED their pain meds after addiction....
 

Phil.McKeer

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Joined
Jul 20, 2015
Messages
906
Location
Scumdoggia
Yeah, that's the problem with staying on bupe for too long. It is best used as a RAPID taper, rapid as in one to two weeks to taper down to 0.25mg/day. Any longer than that and now you're physically addicted to buprenorphine and it is hell to kick because of its long half-life.

The several months you went from 8mg to 0.5mg was too long. It should have been done with by week 2 or 3 at the most. The point is to mask the acute systems while your body become accustomed to not getting the full agonist any more (this does not take long - a few days at most) and tapering down so as to ease yourself off the powerful bupe.

Sorry you're feeling bad. Try gabapentin to kill the RLS and help you get some sleep. Your doctor will give it to you, it isn't a very recreational/abuse-prone drug.
 

Prescottdave

Bluelighter
Joined
Nov 15, 2014
Messages
543
If you happen to get back on Sub because the W/D is to intense and you want to try tapering off again I would suggest a liquid dosing technique combined with skipping days. So the last few days you should be at a dose of 100 micrograms every other day. Then go to 100 micrograms every 3 days. That should be much smoother to stop at that dose. Search BL for a liquid buprenorphine dosing guide.
 

drgian

Greenlighter
Joined
Jan 10, 2016
Messages
9
Dr. agreed, no more opiates, he said day 5 is worst case i'm now 1/2 done.

Today was the worst since we started, I can only hope day 6 will be better. He gave me doxepin and visterel for the the RLS. I took each and slept well this afternoon. Up to watch Making of a Murder and then hopefully actual sleep.

I will never take suboxone again. that's for damn sure. Mrskores: you did a great job and you should be proud. But I'd be careful about going back on, have you tried PT for the pain, it's hard but safe.

drGian
 
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Screaming_Skull

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Joined
Jan 21, 2006
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We move and groove and cut loose from fear, we kil
I DREAD the day I start tapering (if ever, my doctor always mentions it but I stay at 8mg...was on 16mg for a lil' over a year and she kept buggin askin me to taper so I went to 8mg, which was what I was taking anyway, sometimes 4mg, never really stuck to a steady dosage, usually 8mg though)...I really don't wanna get of bupe, the only reason I do is so I can get high agian. I relaspe a lot, trying not to. Relaspe before last(not christmas but thanksgiving,lol) I went on a 12 days on oxy. NOOO subs at all, was taking 120mg+ a day, 200mg to keep me where I would wanna be..anyway, I took a strip after not having one for two weeks and got so fuckin buzzed, was really suprised. I guese all the bupe in me had got outta me and I probly coulda just stopped and had a gnarly oxy w/d for a week I think.
 

Cliffy78

Bluelighter
Joined
Jun 17, 2014
Messages
1,341
That's exactly what I was gonna type as I got to ur post! Your more than half way there in my opinion, a couple days left and you'll be fine, much better at least! You'd be crazy to give up 5 days of clean time, your almost home bro! In the next few days you'll feel noticeably better I bet. Your in the midst of it ATM, it only gets better from here. Just stay positive and tough out a few more days, you'll be soooo happy u did. If u use now your basically giving those 5 days away cause you'll have to do them over, maybe not quite as bad but that just prolongs the inevitable. Be proud u made it this far the next day or two and that'll help u get through. Ur sooo close, it'll start getting better very soon. Good luck and god bless bro!
 

Mrskores

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Joined
Jan 3, 2016
Messages
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Location
'MERICA!
Thank you! Glad to hear your dr called you in something for the RLS.

Yes, I've tried PT. I get spinal injections every 3-4 months and "trigger point injections" (muscular) throughout my entire back every 6 weeks. But, since moving out of state, I've had to get insurance to approve my relocation and get a new primary. Then, the twins got sick for 2 weeks and I had to reschedule my appointment. So, I don't go to the dr until the 27th. I've been without a spinal since April and its been 3 months since my muscular injections...
 

Prescottdave

Bluelighter
Joined
Nov 15, 2014
Messages
543
Not to be a downer but the acute withdrawal from Sub for me lasted over 30 days. Any doctor telling someone that by day five they are half way through is disconnected from reality. Unless the individual has been on bupe for less then 2 months. Thats not to say it's not doable. It took 7 days for my W/D to peak after getting off the medication. I have to disagree with one poster who believes someone should rapidly taper off being on Suboxone for longer then 3 years over a 2-3 week period. In general the medical protocol for someone not enrolled in an inpatient program who is on long term maintenance would be a taper that last 3-9 months especially if they have been stabilized on larger doses. I have to agree though that if you have made it five days might as well not turn back but keep going forward without opiates. Soon to be six days. Keep up the good work.
 
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drgian

Greenlighter
Joined
Jan 10, 2016
Messages
9
well folks thankfully it doesn't look like it's gunna be 30 days. Day six was horrible but I think some of it was just lack of sleep and lack of any real food for a week. I ate a real dinner, took a hot hot bath and crashed and slept from 11:30-5, more sleep than I had gotten in a week. I woke up without feeling horrible for the first time in days.

I still feel like shit, but now it's mostly pain, aches, tried to nap today, but RLS came back, not as bad at all, but there nonetheless. Depression is better. Overall I'm definitely on the upswing. So it appears my Dr. is connected to my reality.

I learned a few things here

1) 1.5 is way too high, 0.5, 0.25 0.125 is the way to go
2) you gotta move, exercise, walk around your house, shovel your walk whatever
3) Music! it took me days to think of it, but one of those nights, I tried to find some like sleepy music but ended up listening to stuff I like (Steve Earle, Lyle Lovett whatnot, and Mozart) and that helped. It helped a lot.

stay away from opiates, I'll never get back there. I was not ready when I went on the sub, so maybe I needed it, I dunno. but I'm ready now. First NA meeting tomorrow.
 

drgian

Greenlighter
Joined
Jan 10, 2016
Messages
9
Day 7 was uneventful. Felt good in the AM, started to drag and have some symptoms return in the PM, can't get warm, aches. It's not like before, but it's not over yet. But nothing like earlier this week. Looking back it's like a blur. I do think by the end of the weekend I should be home free. When I feel good, I feel better than I have felt in a long time.
 

Estimated Prophet

Bluelighter
Joined
Apr 18, 2007
Messages
66
Dude I hate to say it but the other guy is right... Your dr is disconnected from reality... You will still be sick in a week for sure...this is why so many go back to opiates.
 

drgian

Greenlighter
Joined
Jan 10, 2016
Messages
9
I'm still sick, there is no doubt. Sorry to hear it's going to last another week, but what can I do now? Today is day 9 and I had the aches, skin crawling, but not anything like earlier in the week. Not significantly better than yesterday but no worse.

Whether Dr. is right or wrong, the question is what to do now? I don't see any option but to keep fighting. You wanna know something funny, you feel like shit for 9 days, you start to get used to it. it becomes baseline. any relief is welcome. what really helps is music, moving, Gatorade. I haven't been sleeping or eating, I did get another 5 hrs straight yesterday but then wide awake.

Day 6-7 was truly aweful, what I have now is normal W/D, which blows, but compared to what I had earlier, it's better.

Any other suggestions I'll take.

drG
 
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