30 days off after 14 years on.

If you tapered off Suboxone or stopped cold-turkey, how are you now? How did buprenorphine compare to other addiction treatments for you?
Post Reply
User avatar
nannerpuss
Average Poster
Average Poster
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Sep 02, 2013 4:56 pm
Location: Northern CA

30 days off after 14 years on.

Post by nannerpuss » Fri Apr 24, 2020 6:57 am

I doubt I can add anything to the discussion at this point in Suboxone history, but I tapered off over the course of about two years. For the last 9 months or so I was cutting off a sliver about the size of a thumbnail clipping from a 2mg strip. Before that, I tapered down to 2mg strips from 8mg strips for about two years. So, 14 years sounds insanely long, but the last several years have been me doing the ultimate slow taper. My medication is free and I only had to see my Doctor a couple times per year because one box of strips would last 4-6 months. For anyone trying to rapidly detox, I know how appealing it sounds. This shit is not meant to be long-term the way I used it. I was on Suboxone far, far longer than I was on Oxy and heroin. Suboxone was a miracle for a guy like me though who went to in-patient facilities and wasted time on methadone programs just getting high legally. I just didn't wanna be high anymore. Suboxone did that for me. Then it became a safety net, just in case. Over the years I had a couple surgeries, had a bunch of dental work done, severe tooth infections, and got pneumonia. I went through all of that with Suboxone and Advil. The sinus surgery was brutal, they had to put me under, but I made sure I had extra Suboxone in my system and told the nurse absolutely zero opiates. Had I not had Suboxone during some of this, I would 100% have been back on pain pills and worked back up to ripping and running. I'm too old for that now thankfully, but young enough to know it was time to finally quit Suboxone and take back the piece of you that it costs to be on it.

My taper was so gradual and slow that in retrospect, I had nights with withdrawal symptoms like vivid dreams and sweating, but nothing serious. Over enough time it was so gradual that the final day I took my last itty bitty piece, my anxiety about withdrawal was way worse than actual withdrawal. I slept fine after two days. After a week I had some increased depression and slept in, but no craving or physical symptoms. Thirty days out I feel like a normal person again, but it's a strange adjustment. It's like Suboxone is this rubberband you pull back and keeps you down, and with it out of your system completely your brain lets it go and you spring way up. I'm adjusting to giving a shit again, I guess. My friends think I sound like a maniac because of how depressed I've been for years and years, and suddenly I'm trying to talk to them every day and chat for hours and un-isolate myself. Ironic during a quarantine, I know.

I'm not into NA and honestly I don't wanna be anywhere near anyone who is on opiates or even thinks about them. I can't tell myself it's impossible to not go back, but this is the first time in my life that I actually believe I won't. During my clean time and doing residential and yadda, yadda, I always knew in the back of my head I had another go in me. That isn't there now. Maybe it's heading towards 40-years-old and spending 14 years on a drug because I was so afraid of using again and my whole perspective is shifted. I don't know. But that's my story and maybe someone out there will take something from it. If you want to never get high again, it's possible for anyone if I can do it. If you see the bottom coming up, you might need to hit it to understand what it means, but it's different for everyone.

User avatar
rule62
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 2694
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 10:35 pm
Location: Southwest

Re: 30 days off after 14 years on.

Post by rule62 » Fri Apr 24, 2020 11:23 am

Wow, very good story nannerpuss. So much good information for those thinking of tapering off. I too have been on it a long time and only take a little each day. (1MG) For some reason I'm just more comfortable taking my meds than thinking about getting off it. One day maybe. Or if I move and just can't get it anymore then it's bye bye for my meds.

Thanks for posting and we welcome you to the forum.
Don't take yourself so damn seriously

User avatar
nannerpuss
Average Poster
Average Poster
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Sep 02, 2013 4:56 pm
Location: Northern CA

Re: 30 days off after 14 years on.

Post by nannerpuss » Fri Apr 24, 2020 5:03 pm

rule62 wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 11:23 am
Wow, very good story nannerpuss. So much good information for those thinking of tapering off. I too have been on it a long time and only take a little each day. (1MG) For some reason I'm just more comfortable taking my meds than thinking about getting off it. One day maybe. Or if I move and just can't get it anymore then it's bye bye for my meds.

Thanks for posting and we welcome you to the forum.
I used to write a lot, but haven't felt like it in years. I've been way overly verbose when I try saying something. Trying to be conscious of it and reign it back in and keep it in perspective. A month off doesn't sound like much after this long, but it was finally time to do it and do it for reals. You will get there too, take your time. That 1mg "safety-net" kept me out of a lot of trouble in times when opiates were made an option by doctors or people. Years ago I had a doctor prescribe me a bottle of norcos after taking out all my wisdom teeth. I was too ashamed to tell a dentist I was on Suboxone, but very glad I was. Gave them to my grandma to take or flush.

User avatar
jennjenn
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 3067
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2014 6:15 pm
Location: Tennessee

Re: 30 days off after 14 years on.

Post by jennjenn » Fri Apr 24, 2020 11:21 pm

I’m grateful to read your story and very happy for you that you’re in a place that you’ve worked so hard to get to. I think I differ from you in the fact that I don’t see anything wrong with remaining on a daily maintenance dose of buprenorphine for long term. If the medicine isn’t causing issues in your life and you feel that you need it and your life is going exactly the way you want it to then why stop if you don’t think your ready? I’ve taken Suboxone for over 8 years and I definitely don’t isolate, I work with other patients in suboxone treatment. This medicine doesn’t cause me anything negative other than I pay cash and have never gotten it free because I don’t have insurance. Anyway, I just wanted to say that we’re all different and not all of us see long term maintenance as a negative thing. It was best for you to stop and like a champ you did it, but for me it’s a little different and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it :) btw welcome to the forum!!
Jennifer

User avatar
nannerpuss
Average Poster
Average Poster
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Sep 02, 2013 4:56 pm
Location: Northern CA

Re: 30 days off after 14 years on.

Post by nannerpuss » Sat Apr 25, 2020 11:37 pm

jennjenn wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 11:21 pm
I’m grateful to read your story and very happy for you that you’re in a place that you’ve worked so hard to get to. I think I differ from you in the fact that I don’t see anything wrong with remaining on a daily maintenance dose of buprenorphine for long term. If the medicine isn’t causing issues in your life and you feel that you need it and your life is going exactly the way you want it to then why stop if you don’t think your ready? I’ve taken Suboxone for over 8 years and I definitely don’t isolate, I work with other patients in suboxone treatment. This medicine doesn’t cause me anything negative other than I pay cash and have never gotten it free because I don’t have insurance. Anyway, I just wanted to say that we’re all different and not all of us see long term maintenance as a negative thing. It was best for you to stop and like a champ you did it, but for me it’s a little different and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it :) btw welcome to the forum!!
I definitely wasn't trying to sound preachy, but it was getting it off my chest in one go, I guess. You are absolutely right about everyone being different, and there are other factors in play for me like a depression medication I've been on my entire life and still continue to take. I was content to take Sub the rest of my life, as well, but something inside me changed in the last few years and I started to resent the drug and wondering what kind of a person I was after spending literally half my life on opiates. Wasn't getting high from it, but got everything thing else you get from opiates. I legitimately couldn't remember how I was before addiction. I started real young at 12 with codeine cough syrup and was taking a table spoon after school each day for fun. Pretty fucked up to say that out loud, but this addiction thing we get was in me before I started middle-school. I just wanted to feel it all without anything in the way. The good, bad, and shitty. The quarantine has made it tough to get with the therapist I saw occasionally and want to start seeing regularly, but it's all good.

User avatar
jennjenn
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 3067
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2014 6:15 pm
Location: Tennessee

Re: 30 days off after 14 years on.

Post by jennjenn » Sun Apr 26, 2020 8:58 am

You didn’t sound preachy :)

You never know something in me may change and I’ll feel like it is my time to go completely off buprenorphine too, I’m totally open to that just as much as I am totally open to long term. I just don’t give myself a hard time for still taking it and feeling like it’s just what is best for me. That’s why I always talk so much about us all being different. I didn’t become addicted until I was in my 30’s so you and I are different in that way. We’re all different in different ways but whatever it takes for each of us to have peace I’m all for it!
Jennifer

User avatar
rule62
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 2694
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 10:35 pm
Location: Southwest

Re: 30 days off after 14 years on.

Post by rule62 » Sun Apr 26, 2020 11:37 am

Even our moderators have different ways of recovery. I'm on the lowest dose mainly because the medication makes me tired. Most others it does not or I'd still be on the maintenance dose of 8 mgs.

To each their own.
Don't take yourself so damn seriously

Post Reply