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Tapering Tapering off subs - scared but excited

2dark2see

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Aug 28, 2016
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To try and make a long story short, for years I've been in a horrible addiction cycle with norco... I have a monthly rx of 150 of the 10/325s and would go thru them in 10 days at the most. Then about 4 months ago I started buying oxy on the street and quickly found myself in a full blown addiction with snorting 150mg oxy every day just to get by and avoid WD. In December I decided to quit all opiates and was going to use suboxone to help with the WD, mainly bc I the week I decided to quit oxys was also my first week at a new job (which was also one of the main reasons I decided to quit using).

I initially had 7 of the 8mg strips and had no plans of using anything beyond that. But I was able to get 30 more of the 8mg strips so I decided to stretch out my taper a bit more. The subs have, IMO, made a huge difference in my life. They really helped me break the daily pattern I was in with oxy and I don't think I would have made it this far without the help of subs.

But now I'm beginning my taper from the subs and I'm scared based on what I've read (I did go thru the sub mega thread) but I'm also excited to get to a point where I don't have to worry about whether or not I've got access to a drug in order to avoid WD. My first day sober, which is also my first day on sub, was Dec. 9 and from basically day 3 of this process I've been taking 4mg sub. Today will be day 4 of being on 3mg sub, and I think either tomorrow or Monday I'm dropping down to either 2.5 or 2mg.

I want to add that I've still got about 20 of the 8mg strips so it's not like I'm forced into doing a super quick taper, and that's why I'm going to try and go kind of slow, but not so slow that it's really just prolonging my use/dependence on the subs... if that makes any sense...

Anyway, I just thought I'd post about where I'm with my continued sobriety and now sub taper. I've found this website and everyone on it to be really helpful and supportive. Any thoughts on this are much appreciated, and thanks for even just listening!
 

simco

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First off, awesome work!

I guess my only question/suggestion is--is there an urgency to get off subs? For many people, getting a proper script and program for suboxone is hugely helpful in terms of the long-term goal of getting off full agonists like oxy. It sound like the suboxone has been helping you. Maybe it'd be worth considering staying on it for a while?

Obviously, this is a very personal choice, and it's totally up to you. But maybe worth considering?
 

Jabberwocky

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First off, please recognize that your feeling a mixture of anticipation, fear, excitement and anxiety is totally normal. It is a very natural reaction to embarking on a new unknown in your recovery. Particularly with something like Suboxone, where there is so much more misinformation and myth surrounding what is, in reality, a very straightforward, predictable process.

I also second simco's suggestion. You haven't been on Suboxone very well. Most people seem to do the best with using ORT like buprenorphine and methadone with a minimum of a six month extended taper and, even more so, maintenance for a year to a year and a half and then a six to twelve month taper (impractical given you current supply, so it would require continuing to see your prescriber). Point is, successful recovery doesn't happen over night - it takes time and effort. The slow definitely the ones who seem to win this race the most often.

So, you have been taking a very reasonable and responsible doses buprenorphine for 29 days. That will not in and of itself lead to a horribly painful acute withdrawal, even if you didn't have the 160mg of buprenorphine to work with for your taper off Suboxone. Even if you stopped right now cold turkey, albeit a very poor decision considering your current supply of medication, it wouldn't be nearly as bad as most horror stories about buprenorphine withdrawal make it out to seem.

I will say that continuing your taper at the same rate as what you have already done without adjusting it properly as you work your way to the jumping off point would be a very unskillful decision. It will lead to a lot more pain than is necessary all things considered.

Keep in mind, it will take your body a minimum of four days, and more likely about a week, for your body to adjust to each dosage reduction. It is very, very ill advising to taper faster than once a week. You have more than enough buprenorphine left to manage this kind of plan.

Wait for four days to a week before dropping again, if for no other reason than to see how your body reacts. That will give you a good approximation how much your next reduction should be. The closer you get to 0mg, the slower your taper should generally be, and each reduction should get smaller. That will set you up for success in coming off buprenorphine.

I would suggest a taper that looks something like this:

  • Week 1: 3mg/day
    • (you will have about 141mg left)
  • Week 2: (no less than) 2mg/day
    • (you will have about 127mg left)
  • Week 3: (no less than) 1.5mg/day
    • (you will have about 116.5mg left)
  • Week 4: 1.5mg/day
    • (you will have about 106mg left)
  • Week 5: 1.0mg/day
    • (you will have about 99mg left)
  • Week 6: 1.0mg/day
    • (you will have about 92mg left)
  • Week 7: (no less than) 0.5mg/day*
    • (you will have about 88.5mg left)
  • Week 8: 0.5mg/day
    • (you will have about 85mg left)
  • Week 9: 0.5mg/day
    • (you will have about 81.5mg left)
  • Week 10: 0.25mg/day
    • (you will have about 79.25mg left)
  • Week 11: 0.25mg/day
    • (you will have about 77.5mg left)
  • Week 12: 0.25mg/day OR, if you feel comfortable and confident in doing so, 0.0mg/day
    • (you will have about 75.75mg left)

That is a pretty good conservative taper. Generally the slower the taper, the easier it is to get off when you jump. PLEASE KEEP THIS IN MIND. Stretching out your taper, if you feel you are feeling uncomfortable with how fast it is going, is ALWAYS the right choice (at least, considering you have so much of the medication to work with).

Something also to keep in mind is that some people find that having some buprenorphine on hand should you slip up after you finish your taper to be a helpful safety net. Others, on the other hand, may feel to activated simply by the knowledge that there is buprenorphine laying around and feel that they will need to discard the remainder of their stash upon jumping in order to stay away from it. If this other group's case, a longer, slower taper is of primary importance.

If you take care of yourself and don't rush things, you'll be amazed at how much more manageable the process of coming off of it, not to mention the tapering experience itself. While you are tapering, without pushing yourself in these other areas of life too much, work on getting together or strengthening your support systems.

Devote time to your passions and hobbies, discover some new ones, exercise (this doesn't require going to the gym if you're not into that, it can be as simple as going on a long walk or some kind of physical sport you enjoy), work on creating or strengthening your healthy sleep habits, etc. etc. Most importantly, find ways to enjoy life! You will find that this is of crucial importance when the time comes to jump off because you'll already have cultivated the foundations for the healthier kinds of habits you will need to rely on for long term success.

There is nothing necessarily wrong with a fast taper if you feel you need to do that for some reason, but don't let wanting to rush and get it over with be the only or most significant reason. Statistically you have MUCH higher chances for success when you manage your taper logically and conservatively. It will create far less stress on your body-mind than tapering quickly. Frankly a quick taper would be rather foolish considering that you have more than enough medicine for a proper three or four (even up to six) month taper.

Wishing you the best of luck on your new chapter in life coming off Suboxone!

[*Please note that some find it easier to go from 1.0mg to 0.75mg before going to 0.5mg. Remember, you can always go back up to your previous dose or readjust your new dose to something between that and the previous dosage if you are ever feeling significant discomfort during the taper. This is very important to keep in mind as well, and represents ANYTHING but a setback or failure. If anything it indicates reason and maturity.]
 
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2dark2see

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Aug 28, 2016
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Thank you both for your replies, they were extremely helpful!
Simco, to answer your question about doing the subs for a longer period of time, well I have thought about that. A lot actually. My honest answer (which doesn't make me look like that great of a person) is that I still filled my monthly norco rx this month and then sold it in order to start paying down the huge amount of credit card debt I racked up while buying oxy on the street. Every cent I got for that rx went directly to pay my credit card, and unfortunately if I want to pay off that debt in any sort of reasonable time, filling my rx each month is how I can do that (I do also work so I'm not using this as my sole income). So that's why I haven't really planned on getting my own rx for suboxone at this point. But if I find that I'm unable to maintain my sobriety without being on suboxone then I'm going to suck it up and get my own rx.

Toothpastedog thank you for your tapering suggestions- it makes a lot of sense. My one fear, and it's this fear that is kind of driving me to taper more quickly than I may have to given the amount of sub that I still have, is that the longer I'm on the suboxone the more physically dependent I'll be on it, and the worse the WD will be. But the way you laid things out also makes sense and seems to be a good route to go allowing for the least amount of discomfort as possible.

I also wanted to add that I've been so amazed/grateful/etc at how the suboxone has lessened my cravings for just about all substances. When I was on oxy and norco i was also taking as much Ativan or klonopin that I could get my hands on. Since I stopped using and started the subs I haven't abused or craved benzos at all, and that has been wonderful bc I didnt expect that... I had hoped it would just end the opiate cravings, which it has as well. And I've maintained at the 4mg daily dose.... it's been really nice to take this time and reset my thinking, reset my actions, and reset my general lifestyle.

Thank you both again for your feedback
 

Jabberwocky

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If you are continuously decreasing your dosage, dependency will not increase. You were already dependent on opioids before Suboxone, were you not? That dependency will not increase just because you utilize a longer taper as opposed to a shorter taper.

Please do consider extending your taper, although ultimately what works for you is what will work for you. If you are able to follow your instincts and go by how your body-mind reacts to each decrease in dosage, you will be fine regardless. Most people (the vast majority) struggle with doing that with opioids though, which is why I suggest you take the more cautious approach outlined above.

Is using the remainder of your supply of buprenorphine to help pay off that debt a bit, once you've completed your taper, a factor you are considering in how drastically you plan to reduce you dosage/quickly you plan to do things?
 
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2dark2see

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I've been doing a lot of thinking about this, and have decided to extend my taper. To answer your question about using any remaining suboxone to help pay off my drug debt, that actually has never been in my plans. Honestly I didn't really have a plan for any remaining subs, other than to hang on to them for as long as I physically felt I needed to (basically once I'm feeling like I'm thru with the physical WD part). I could sell them to the person who buys my norco but I've never really considered doing that.

But thanks to the quick math you did in your reply, I'm feeling more comfortable about extending things out. I feel really strongly about maintaining my sobriety- this is not the first time I've tried to quit, but it's the first time in a long time I feel like it's completely my decision and that I'm doing it for myself.

I do have fears about sobriety- I've struggled with long term severe depression that has resulted in countless hospitalizations, 2 serious suicide attempts, countless psych med combos, and ultimately going thru rounds of ECT. So I do worry about my mental stability thru this process.

In addition to my psych issues, at the age of 34 I had a stroke that left me paralyzed on my right side. I'm now 40 yrs old and have recovered all movement, thank god, but still deal with memory issues and chronic migraines. My stroke was due to a genetic condition that I was unaware of at the time, and unfortunately it's this condition that won't allow me to take any of the typical migraine meds bc of the way they constrict arteries, etc, which is basically how I ended up with this norco rx to begin with.

Well now that I'm sober and opiate free, I don't plan on taking the norco when a migraine hits but I've got to find something or some way to manage them. I've also had several kidney stones (and stent surgeries for kidney stones) but that's a situation that I know I'll end up in the ER for opiates when the next one hits - and there will be a "next time" for that bc my last scan showed several stones sitting in both kidneys. Stone pain is the worst pain I've ever felt and while there may be a few out there who can pass a kidney stone without the aid of drugs, I know I'm not one of them.

So anyway, as you can see I've got some things to figure out and work on regarding my physical and mental health that relate to sobriety.... but at least I feel confident in my choice to stop the opiates... that I suppose is the first step of many to come!
 
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Jabberwocky

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I think you have made the right decision, especially considering your medical history. Frankly, with your age and other conditions taken into account, I'd honestly suggest even considering staying on the buprenorphine, albeit at a very low dose (<1mg) basically on an extended taper until the medication runs its course. That would maximize your ability to get things in order in terms of non-pharmacological and pharmacological support in terms of transitions off all non-essential opioid use.

For the moment, don't worry about if you were to need to take them for surgery or kidney stones. As long as you find a way to take them as prescribed, such as having a trusted friend dole them out to you according to a strict, a prescribed schedule, it won't pose any serious issues you can't easily find way of addressing and, if they were to come up, correcting for.

Buprenorphine at very low doses is actually a wonderful antidepressant, another reason I would consider an even more extended taper. For now though starting with a couple months is more than enough. Buprenorphine used to treat serious depression is around the 0.3mg/day range IIRC, so if you could comfortably get down to 0.25mg and maintain on that until you're nearly out, then perhaps skipping days to allow an easier transition off, may make things even easier long term.

Think of it like an investment. All the work you put in, resources allocated and commitment to the tapering and detoxification process now will reap huge rewards in the future, making things infinitely easier than they would otherwise be when it comes to transition to a better place, where you are free of daily or harmful opioid use.

I agree, your confidence in this step is truly monumental in the short and long run. May this be only the beginning of many future successes to come.

Have you ever found any antidepressant helpful? I believe it may be a little problematic with this particular one, but I found bupropion rather helpful while I was on and getting off methadone at treating my anxiety and depression (though how much of this is due to the effects of the medication itself and the way it mildly potentiates methadone I can not know for sure). In any case, if you don't already have something you know that works well to treat your depression, this is the perfect time to begin seaching. Chances are it will take a while before you find something that really helps, but who knows. You might get lucky :)



BTW it would be great if you would keep us up to date whenever you felt like it with how things are progressing - if even you feel like they aren't moving forward, I guarantee they are. In many ways, and in one or another, reading your story will help countless folks, BLers and lurkers alike!

And please try to keep in mind, you could never disappoint any of us if the worst were to happen. We have been there, pretty much whatever depths you might find yourself in life in terms of shit, we too have been there. You have no idea. Never judgement, trust in this. Even if not in regards to yourself, you'll see ;)
 
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2dark2see

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Aug 28, 2016
Messages
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Thanks, it's really great to hear more and more about those who have gotten off subs. I have noticed that the suboxone seems to have really helped with my depression. I know it's a partial opiate and all, but to be honest I haven't felt this stable in years. I've been on it for about one month and I know that's not a long time at all, but during this time I've felt incredibly stable - no severe lows or highs (I would only feel any kind of high when I was using oxy), so when I use the word stable I guess what I'm trying to say is that I feel "normal" - able to work (at a brand new job that I started just days before giving up oxy) and able to function each day in a way I feel like I haven't in a very long time.

Most antidepressants don't work in the long run for me (I have tried bupropion as well) and the one med that works the best has ended up being an MAOI - parnate. I stopped taking the parnate around the time my oxy use got to be about 150mg a day and I haven't taken any since then, which was several months ago. I'm going to start taking the parnate again at some point... I haven't decided when that will be, whether it's after my taper or at the very end of it.

But for today I'm at 3mg suboxone and have been on this dose since Jan 4, so I'm going to taper down to 2.5 or 2 by Thursday. Then I'll see how that goes and go from there. I do see a psychiatrist regularly and take gabapentin and seroquel for sleep, and also have Rx for ambien and klonopin to take as needed. I also have some propranolol from a couple years ago. I take sleep meds and the prn ones as well bc my work schedule varies - somedays I start at 4:30am or 6am or 10am so it's hard to really establish a good sleep routine.

Anyway, I'm off today and I've got to find some new ways of entertaining myself when I'm not working bc before I would just sit at home, snort oxy all day, get high and watch tv. So it's sunny and 65 degrees outside so I'm off to find something to do outside of my home!
 

2dark2see

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I'm actually getting ready to head out and have brunch with a friend but I've got a few minutes and just wanted to quickly post something.....

I haven't been mentally keeping an exact track of number of days sober but I did mark that first day on my calendar and I just noticed today that I've actually got over 30 days sober now!! My first day clean/off oxy/on suboxone was December 9! A couple of months ago I was so deep into daily oxy use that I couldn't even imagine going a day without opiates, much less one month.

And not only has it been one month sober, but it's been a successful month sober bc (I know I've mentioned this before) I started a new job the same week I gave up oxy... actually I had been at that job for 3 days and then essentially gave up opiates during that first week on day 4 of my job.... and that is something I never thought I'd be able to do - I always thought I'd need opiates to help me get thru work, but that hasn't been the case and I'm just very happy to be able to back at this past month and see the good things that have been happening!

And I've been maintaining well on just 3mg of suboxone for a week now and am ready to drop down to 2mg tomorrow, although that is a discussion for another day... I just wanted to share my excitement in realizing I've got over 30 days clean!!
 

2dark2see

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Ugh so never mind my excitement in my previous post from yesterday re: having over a month sober... I'm so frustrated right now. I am still sober but I'm frustrated bc I had planned on tapering down on the suboxone today - to go from 3mg down to 2. Well that didn't happen... I had to work early today (up at 4am) which meant I took my morning dose earlier than I normally do. I don't know if this part of things was more mental than physical but I started to feel kind of like the beginning of physical WD starting, and I debated a bit over whether I should just take my normal afternoon sub dose or try a klonopin and see if that helped. Well I decided on the sub dose and I guess I'll try this again tomorrow... I've got Friday and Saturday off so I won't be taking that first dose as early as I did today.
I know things could be worse and that I'm still sober but I guess I'm just frustrated at myself for not even trying the klonopin first, and I'm sure what I was feeling was just my own anxiety for overthinking this whole process!
 

Jabberwocky

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Please try your utmost not to be too hard or rigid with yourself or what you're doing with your taper. You haven't done anything wrong - if anything you decision to put off the drop a day or two is a GOOD THING!

It shows you are listening to what your body-mind needs to stay grounded, functional and able to carry out your responsibilities in the life. That is the point of a true taper, it provides a way to detox and a taste of IRL sobriety in a way that isn't so extreme as to prevent you from fulfilling your daily obligations.

The ability to fulfill your duties and responsibilities in life are, after all, a HUGE part of how you will be able to gain any long lasting kind of sobriety or recovery. If you ask me, you're doing fucking great! You clearly have a plan and your head isn't stuck in the sand with this thing. You'll drop when you're in a safer place to do so, when you mind-body is ready to, and there will be a million ways to challenge yourself more with your taper down the road.

No rushing good things my friend, try to keep that in mind! You still have a hell of a lot to be celebrating. Don't let this overtake the significance of what you have already accomplish and what you are continuing to accomplish by sticking with a taper (no matter what form the taper takes, all you need to do is keep going with it - even if in the future that means going up a little bit on your dose for a period of time before continuing to decrease your dosage and continue on with your taper).

Be well and take care of yourself! <3
 

2dark2see

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Thank you TPD, yours words really helped ground me so to speak back into this process. I have a tendency to overthink things at times and what you said helped me relax about things.

This morning I took my normal 2mg dose but bc I'm off work today I was able to take it a few hours later than I normally would (9:30am instead of between 5:30-7:30am), which I think will be helpful when 3-4pm rolls around (that's when I normally take my 1mg afternoon dose), bc there won't be as much time in between.

I also just took a low dose of propranolol (beta blocker) to help with any anxiety that may come up due to me overthinking things again. And I've decided that should I start to feel anxious and/or think that I'm starting to feel the beginnings of WD (which I'm pretty sure would be just symptoms of anxiety and not actually WD based on how suboxone works and the length of time it's in my system, from what I've read) that I'm going to taken another dose of propranolol, and then klonopin if that doesn't help. And then if I find myself still feeling really not right about things I'll try taking .5mg suboxone dose instead of the usual 1mg and see how things go. I honestly don't think it will come to that, but at least I feel like I have a better "plan of action" so to speak for later today.

Right now I'm feeling good about things, and also very thankful that I've got enough suboxone to allow myself to do this longer taper and as TPD has mentioned, even enough to allow me to increase a tiny bit for a day or two if I feel I need to.

I'm also very grateful that I started this new job when I did... at first I thought the job would make things more difficult in the beginning, but it's actually been the exact opposite. I used oxy my first 3 days on the job (and actually that third day I kind of had a screw it attitude of why not take a ton of stuff bc I knew I was going sober the next day, so that third day I snorted 150mg oxy and took about 12 norco 10/325s).

But I'm going on a tangent here lol.... I think what I'm trying to say is that it helped having a brand new routine that has no association with my previous drug use introduced into my life my first week sober. I have found it extremely helpful that my job (this current job, I've certainly been using while working previous jobs) has never really been a part of me getting high, those first 3 days aside. And I believe this has played a huge role in helping me maintain my sobriety. I've found that it really is true when people say that developing new patterns and routines is key to maintaining sobriety! And it's great to look back and see that something (a new job) I initially thought would be a challenge to my recovery has actually turned out to be an important tool in my recovery :)
 

the last dose

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2dark2see, You can do it i was on oxy for over 20 years everyday and much higher doses than you. You gotta stick to just subs if you really want to end this, its not that bad when you go to .5 your half way from ending .25 is good to jump from. Really you wont get much wds going down to .5 a little discomfort. I actually didnt mind going into wds on my ween i believe as i would ween and get into wds a couple hours before next dose i was building my own dophamine and endorphins because in the end when i jumped it really didnt have much for me. I was worried to death about it and as my dose times past i was in disbelief im sure high dosing lyrica during wds had alot to do with it no im sure it did. Make sure you get your hands on lyrica its a godsend. You already have a beta blocker for bp mine went way up during my ween and wds you gotta keep an eye on that. I had clonidine which helps more during wds than propranolol, i also made weed brownies for wds that was actually all i ate for 3 days. I really was walking around stoned as hell from lyrica and weed brownies parts of my ween were worse. You got this bro! you gotta let go from snortin roxys ive been there if you want to end it you can and will. best of luck TLD
 

Jabberwocky

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Detoxing and tapering is different for everyone. While many, if not most, don't have much difficulty decreasing their dose of buprenorphine by a small amount like 0.5mg or 0.25mg, everyone is different. There isn't a simple, sure fire way to detox that works for everyone, which is why it is so important to listen to your own body and give yourself the space to be flexible with the dosing in order for one to stay functional and maintain one's responsibilities.

It is the ability to keep fulfilling one's responsibilities in life that can give us the feeling of accomplishment and fulfillment on a daily basis that is, if I do say so, the key to any successful taper and maintaining forward progress in recovery (regardless of how small the step is, any step in a positive direction no matter how big or small is cause for celebration when it comes to tapers as well as recovery at large. Growth, not perfection, as they say :)

When going down, consider the significance of a 0.5mg drop when you're only taper 2mg or 3mg a day. That is a 25% or 17% reduction, respectively - significantly higher than the recommended 10% reduction suggested by competent medical professionals. Add to this the fact I believe the OP has been dropping their dose more frequently than once a week, the interval recommended by said professionals in order to minimize any discomfort in dosage reduction, AND the fact the OP hasn't been on buprenorphine very long at all (normally about 3-8 weeks are recommended to allow you to stabalize on the medication before a taper is initiated).

All that together means that the OP will have to be extra careful in monitoring how they are tapering, considering the speed of which they seem determined to go ahead. I think, 2dark, that as you continue on with a slow taper and recognize the benefits of not pushing yourself too hard with this thing, you will become more and more comfortable with what you're doing, and begin to gain the insights surrounding the benefits of not rushing anything. An effective tapers requires a slow and methodical mindset - something that does in no way come naturally to those of us detoxing or beginning a taper.


In any case, you are in a phenomenal position with this 2dark. Your new job and the change it requires in your routine sounds like an awesome aid (just as long as it doesn't burden you with too much stress - you already have more than your fair share of that to deal with in this process). I am also glad to hear you are using propranolol. I found that medication to be an awesome aid during detox myself. And as I've been saying, the ability to be strong enough to maintain forward progress in your taper BALANCED with the flexibility to adjust you taper's schedule as required is an absolutely winning combination. That alone puts you way ahead of the game and on the road to the ultimate success you so crave (freedom for opioids!).

Of course some gabapentin would also be helpful (at smaller doses, used very sparingly so as not to build up a tolerance and make it less effective when the time comes to really put it to use once you jump off). Clonidine, at this stage, unless you are really suffering bad withdrawals (specifically you cannot sleep and have serious hot/cold flashes), is in my opinion a bit overkill - particularly if you are finding the propranolol helpful (clonidine and propranolol do very similar things to the body, so taking both at once is a bit overkill).

These medications are very personal considerations though, but if at all possible they are best saved for the tail end of your taper, especially the transition to 0mg. Saving them for the end will keep them most effective, and beginning to use them now brings up the issue of tolerance - which would decrease their effective when they are most needed at the end of the process. If you need them, you need them - I'm not going to argue about that. If it is the difference between using and keeping with the taper, definitely use stuff like gabapentin and clonidine to stay sober and on buprenorphine. But if you aren't at that point or genuinely concerned with potential substance use muddling your taper, you are best advised to say then for later.

For what it's worth, it doesn't really sound like 2dark needs them at this point, and can successfully continue to rely on their buprenorphine and propranolol.

How is the propranolol working BTW? Some people it works really well for, such as myself, others less so.

Also, what side effects of opioid withdrawal are you still experiencing? If it is just restlessness and a bit of depression and anxiety, that is par for the course considering how fast you have been pushing yourself with this taper and the fact you never really gave your body enough time to first stabilize on the buprenorphine. These symptoms of withdrawal will decrease and go away totally just as long as you don't keep pushing the taper as hard and fast as you started earlier. If you continue to experience symptoms of withdrawal, you should both increase your dose by between 2mg and 1mg and slow down the dosage reductions to no more often than once a week. Really you shouldn't be reducing your dosage more frequently than once a week, but keep in mind you're running this show.

And you can do it - you already are! :)
 

the last dose

Bluelighter
Joined
Sep 28, 2015
Messages
532
Location
Dirty Jersey
I agree with TPD you defintely want to taper at the right increments for success like he spelled out earlier but even with a slow proper taper its not pain free. The only way is to stick to taper each time you lower take atleast a week to normalize some before tapering further. I was saying clonidine seems to work a little better for wds than propranolol of course dont take both. And with my experience lyrica (pregabapetin) or its little brother nuerontin (gabapentin) are godsends it takes away so much wds! but save them for when you jump tolerance builds pretty fast, i had my lyrica two weeks before i jumped and i tried it two times only before wds i could not believe how much longer i could wait till next dose. So i knew i had something great ready in the end. Take your time but stay on course and have your comfort meds ready.
 
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Jabberwocky

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Nov 3, 1999
Messages
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Looking-Glass Land
Precisely. Used infrequently, pregabalin in particular doesn't built up the kind of tolerance gabapentin dose, or at least not nearly as quickly. Clonidine likewise, you don't build up a super fast tolerance to - although if used daily for long periods of time the side effects and eventual withdrawal related to the use of clonidine are particularly nasty.

As TLD said, I just can't stress enough the necessity of letting yourself stabilize before you move onto the next dosage reduction. It will make the level of discomfort you experience infinitely more manageable. And, while there is of course going to be some level of discomfort with some tapers (especially quicker ones), the level of discomfort you experience - if you're letting yourself stabilize properly between dosage reductions and slow down the size of each dosage reduction when you get towards the end of the taper (taking a week or two off here and there when the going gets really rough, IF it does) - during the taper should be very, very manageable, truly minimal compared to any normal detox.
 

2dark2see

Bluelighter
Joined
Aug 28, 2016
Messages
74
You're right in the fact that I haven't been on suboxone very long - my first day was Dec. 9. But I haven't been dropping my dose more than once a week at all. My body "settled" on 4mg a day on Dec. 11 and I stayed on that dose until Jan. 4 (24 days later), which is when I dropped to 3mg a day. I've been on that dose ever since, although it's my intent to drop to either 2.5 or 2 today (which still gives me 9 days of having been on 3mg a day). I took my 2mg dose this morning and so far things are going ok, but if I start to feel off or not ready I'm going to do the steps I mentioned above.

I know early on in my posts, going back to my first week or so, I definitely was planning on tapering much faster than I have, but I changed my mind about that after the first 7-10 days went by.

Regarding the gabapentin stuff, I've actually been taking that med for sleep for probably almost 2 years now, so while I know I have a tolerance to the dose I'm on (it's been the same over that entire time) I do have some extra that I can use if I should find I need to at some point, but so far I haven't needed any extra. I do love how helpful the propanolol can be, and I'm you've found it helpful as well, and I'm sure I'll be using it down the road. While I've never taken clondine, I feel like the propanolol has worked great for me so I haven't felt the need to try anything else.

I also have to be careful with all these meds bc I did have a stroke at the age of 34. It wasn't due to high BP, weight, drug abuse or anything like that, it was due to a genetic condition that caused tearing in my arteries. I have stents in one carotid artery but still have two other arteries with tears that are being monitored for now. Anyway, I'm 40 now and things have pretty much remained stable over these years so I've been doing well with that stuff.

TPD I def agree with you - growth, not perfection :) there's also a song lyric that I like as well ... "No longer lend your strength to that which you wish to be free from", and I try to keep that in mind as I go thru this process... lend strength to recovery, not my addiction :)
 

kickin74

Greenlighter
Joined
Jan 10, 2017
Messages
46
This thread has made me feel so much better tonight. I started my sub journey 9 days ago. Started at 8mg for 4 days, dropped to 6mg for a few days, planned to drop to 4mg for a few days, did ok yesterday but today I couldn't take the 4mg as planned, ended up at 5.5mg . I was so disappointed in myself ALL day long.

I almost felt like giving up, but reading how we should listen to our body & how its ok if we fluctuate a bit, has made me have some hope.

This is not easy. I don't want to be on the subs for too long. I have 19 8mg pills left, get another 28 next week & am praying that will be all I need.

Thanks so much for letting me jump in here & share.

Keep up the good work 2dark. I can't wait until I'm at 3mg stable!
 

2dark2see

Bluelighter
Joined
Aug 28, 2016
Messages
74
Hey jump in anytime!! We're all either in this process right now or have been thru it!

I'm glad the info was helpful, I know it helped me yesterday when I was getting down on myself for not sticking to my initial plan. And btw my initial dose of suboxone was 8mg, just like you, but for some reason that dose made me incredibly nauseous, as did the 6mg dose I took the next day, so that's how I ended up on 4mg so early on... it was just what felt right for my body. I'm learning just how hard this whole process is and I'm trying to keep reminding myself that I've got more than enough suboxone to do a longer taper... I'm trying to not put so much pressure on myself to hurry up and get it over with so to speak. And slowing down with my taper has felt more natural and easier on my body and mind.

Hang in there and keep it up - we'll eventually get there, slowly but surely lol!
 
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