There is no reason to be afraid! (I quit cold turkey)

How to stop Suboxone? How long should I be on buprenorphine? Is Suboxone withdrawal bad? How do I detox?
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Re: There is no reason to be afraid! (I quit cold turkey)

Post by wannaBdrugfree » Sun May 05, 2019 7:33 pm

wiichongo_mhngy wrote:
wannaBdrugfree wrote:
wiichongo_mhngy wrote: Just so everyone knows why I stopped cold turkey, it's because shortly after taking my increased dose (as I said I went from 2mg to 6mg) I would get what is called "pseudo dyspnea" or "fake shortness of breath". I can't really describe it too accurately but basically I felt like I couldn't take a deep breath. It's like halfway into a breath, it would just stop. This led to panic and I even went to the ER. All tests and x-rays came back fine which is how I narrowed it down to the subs. I was afraid to take even a really small dose as my last dose was actually 2mg and not 6mg, and that was the worst I ever felt the breathing thing. It has gone away since I quit. It is also a great reason to discourage me from ever wanting to do an opiate again. I'm way too afraid of feeling that breathing thing. It was horrible.
Ok,so after reading wiichongo_mhngy’s 2 year anniversary post today (congratulations wiichongo_mhngy), I read some of his earlier posts describing his experience on this topic.Surprisingly I ran across what he calls the reason he quit cold turkey as being breathing related or shortness of breath. Among other side effects while trying to go without he mentions hot flashes.

Just to clarify,I am still taking suboxone, actually Zubsolv. I am currently on between 6mg and 8mg each day. I rotate,6mg one day 8mg the next, this has helped me taper a bit and I hope to keep going lower! Not to low though,maybe 4mg. Also when I say 8mg, I really mean 5.7mg of Zubsolv which is equivalent to 8mg of suboxone.

I have had both,the hot flashes are just annoying or uncomfortable and are short lived for me, 2-3 minutes maximum and they do not happen each day. I have also encountered the shortness of breath or breathing problem he speaks of and they are more difficult to get thru. The breathing problem hits me after waking up from a sound sleep about midway thru the night.The shortness of breath makes it difficult to go back to sleep and it is almost identical to what wiichongo_mhngy describes.

Thank God the feeling passes eventually and it does not occur each day,in fact the breathing problem only happens maybe once every month or so. But I’ve had a few bad ones, they are similar to panic attacks and it seems like the more I reduce the dose,the less both the hot flashes and shortness of breath occur.
Hey wannaBdrugfree, I am sorry that you are going through this. The breathing thing is best described as not getting a satisfying breath in and feeling air hungry. When you feel like you don’t get a satisfying breath, you start to dwell and panic on your breathing. These are the wrong things to do. First of all, I can promise that even though it doesn’t feel like it, you are breathing fine. Second, a good tip for better airflow when you are lying down or sleeping is to lay on your side. I always got more satisfaction with my breathing while laying on my side. When the breathing issue occurs just do anything to distract yourself from thinking about it, like I said, if you dwell it’s just going to feel worse. I was also taking Zubsolv when I quit. But I had experimented around and it didn’t matter what brand I used, the breathing thing would happen. When I took my final dose (which if I remember correctly was actually about .2mg less than what I was taking daily) the breathing thing was actually at its worst. That’s when I went to the hospital for it. The good news is, each day I never felt the breathing issue until I took the sub which helped me narrow it down to it being related to that. Also, 2 years clean now and I can tell you it was 100% sub related as it doesn’t happen to me anymore. I’m happy that nightmare went away and I wish you luck on your journey and to rid yourself of this pestering breathing thing.
Thank-you wiichongo_mhngy, I will try laying on my side next time,I did not know this helps.I’ve learned over time the techniques you speak of,without them these breathing episodes would escalate and maybe lead to a visit to the ER! Back when I was abusing prescription pain meds, there were periods when I went months without any pain meds.This equated to what I perceived as a serious health condition, a feeling of doomsday.I thought it was a stroke or heart attack. I learned after one or two trips to the ER that these were nothing more than anxiety or maybe panic attacks.Much later a Doctor told me they were quite likely withdrawal related.

I do not like to get to far into blaming buprenorphine as the primary underlying culprit,however IMO a constant effort to reduce dosages makes sense. Of course the question comes to mind,at what point does one say well I’m down to say 4mg/day or 2mg/day etc. and I’m calling that my maintenance dose or for that matter maybe instead, I’ll reduce even lower and then jump? IDK. It is up to the individual to make progress with their recovery. But keep in mind, treatment with buprenorphine/naloxone comes with consequences,that cannot be avoided completely.

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Re: There is no reason to be afraid! (I quit cold turkey)

Post by Muledunn » Mon May 06, 2019 11:59 am

I'm really interested to hear about how you have done with no bupe for 2 years.

Have you replaced it with exercise, or something else? A mixture?

My plan is to stay on a low maintenance dose, but only because I always relapse when I stop, and I've not heard of anyone successfully stopping everything for years

Thanks
Sam

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Re: There is no reason to be afraid! (I quit cold turkey)

Post by wiichongo_mhngy » Tue May 07, 2019 5:45 pm

TeeJay wrote:Congratulations on your 2 years man! That's a huge milestone. Not many people make it to 2 years! The times I've tried abstinence I seem to have stumbled between 18 months and 2 years. In a few months I intend on having another go, and hearing your story is further inspiration.

I'm interested in hearing what exactly feels better in yourself and your life now you're clean off opioids compared to when you were on maintenance. Do you feel your mood has improved? What about your libido etc? Motivation? Stability? Do you feel like you have more of a life?

Also what, if anything, is more difficult?

Thanks for checking in. I love hearing people doing well post maintenance.

Are you involved in any programs to help you stay on the path of righteousness?
TeeJay, I overall just feel better. I have more energy, more motivation, more of a desire to go out and do things, more of a desire to hang out with my friends and family, and I found a love interest. When I was still on bupe, all I ever did was take it and be reclusive. If I wasn’t working then I was curled up in my bed binge watching Netflix or playing video games. I had no interest in the outside world. I definitely feel like I have more of a life.

Also, yes, my libido has improved by a millionfold. Honestly, maybe this is TMI, but after I believe my second or third full day of being off bupe entirely I could tell my libido had improved tremendously. Now, two years later I am very sexually active with the girl I am seeing and I haven’t had any problems.

I honestly don’t have any complaints when it comes to anything being more difficult. In the past three years I’ve quit smoking weed, smoking cigarettes, opiates, and vaping. By far the hardest out of all of these things for me was smoking cigarettes. I still find it a tad bit difficult to see someone smoke a cigarette without craving it a little bit, whether it be on tv or in real life. I do not feel the same way about opiates or weed, however. I’ll admit, I can reminisce on days me and my buddies all did opiates and had fun days, but I don’t miss it. They’re silly memories now and I have thousands of memories that don’t involve opiates that I would much rather relive any day.

To answer your last question, no I am not in any programs. When I first quit I saw a therapist for a few months, but that was more because of health anxiety I got from withdrawals than anything else. I do not go to church or NA meetings or anything along the lines of those. I’ve been to one NA meeting in my life and I can assure you it is not for me. I would never talk negatively about programs or the steps though. I know how much they help so many people and I am very happy that they do. It just isn’t for me. I’m just one of those people where when I say I’m going to do something, I do it. I said I’d stop smoking weed and I did. I said I’d stop smoking cigarettes and I did. I said I’d stop taking suboxone and I did. All cold turkey and all successfully.

I hope that I cleared things up for you and answered your questions. Thanks for the support.
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So, is there a way where I can find peace while still numbing my pain?

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Re: There is no reason to be afraid! (I quit cold turkey)

Post by TeeJay » Tue May 07, 2019 5:57 pm

Thanks mate appreciate your response. Sounds like things are going heaps better for you! You're an inspiration.

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Re: There is no reason to be afraid! (I quit cold turkey)

Post by wiichongo_mhngy » Tue May 07, 2019 6:00 pm

Muledunn wrote:I'm really interested to hear about how you have done with no bupe for 2 years.

Have you replaced it with exercise, or something else? A mixture?

My plan is to stay on a low maintenance dose, but only because I always relapse when I stop, and I've not heard of anyone successfully stopping everything for years

Thanks
Sam
Hey Muledunn, to be honest, I didn’t really replace my bupe addiction with anything, at least not consciously. I did begin to exercise more when I quit but it was nothing like the stories you hear of people fully switching from opiates to exercise. I think my driving force and I guess you could call a replacement is my family. I was so reclusive when I was on bupe and I see my family every Sunday. While on bupe I wasn’t very social and a lot of the times I would just sit in another room away from them. Now every Sunday I am so excited to see them and I participate in just about everything we do. I also regained my interest in having friends. So actually to answer your question, I replaced bupe with my friends, my family, and a lover. Everyone is so incredibly supportive of me and it’s wonderful.

Staying on a low maintenance dose is not a bad thing, especially if you aren’t ready to come off completely. But I believe in you, and I know one day you’ll be able to come off completely without relapsing. It’s definitely a challenge, however, others have/had it much worse than I did. If you’ve read my whole experience with withdrawals, I definitely got lucky. They were so minor. But that was the point of me starting this thread, I wanted people to read a simple withdrawal story in hopes that it would inspire them to try and cut back or quit without being scared. I’ve said it from the beginning and I’ll always continue to say it: I think the biggest reason people are scared to quit is because they read all of the withdrawal horror stories. But not everyone’s experience is like that. In fact, I’m sure much more people make posts regarding their hellish withdrawals than those who made it by easily. I think I belong to a small demographic of people who shared their easy withdrawal story.

Good luck on your journey, when you’re ready to quit, I know you’ll be able to do it and you’ll be so proud to look back and see that it’s been two years as well.
Thanks for your support as well!
Here is my own family tradition; following footsteps into addiction
So, is there a way where I can find peace while still numbing my pain?

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Re: There is no reason to be afraid! (I quit cold turkey)

Post by Muledunn » Sat May 11, 2019 7:38 am

Thanks for your reply. I'm not too scared of withdrawals, I know I can taper off subutex fairly easily. It's the long term staying straight that I know I find difficult. The reason I started in the first place comes back.

Family and exercise sounds good. Started running...

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Re: There is no reason to be afraid! (I quit cold turkey)

Post by wiichongo_mhngy » Sun Jun 02, 2019 3:47 pm

Meant to post yesterday but forgot. Yesterday marked my 25th month clean. I am out of the hospital and I am doing well by the way. My update is that everything is great and I am simply doing wonderful.

Sorry this was a very brief update, but I am being honest and don’t have much to tell. Hope everyone is well and thanks again for all the support.
Here is my own family tradition; following footsteps into addiction
So, is there a way where I can find peace while still numbing my pain?

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Re: There is no reason to be afraid! (I quit cold turkey)

Post by jennjenn » Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:07 am

It may have been a short post but when you say you’re doing wonderful what else is there to say :) sums it up pretty nice imo!!
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Re: There is no reason to be afraid! (I quit cold turkey)

Post by wiichongo_mhngy » Mon Jul 01, 2019 5:13 pm

Another month down. Today marks 26th months since I quit.

Honestly, I don’t have much to say again other than I’ve been doing great.
The only complaint I have is that I’ve been having abdominal pain, but that’s because of my Crohn’s disease.

I hope everyone is doing well!
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So, is there a way where I can find peace while still numbing my pain?

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Re: There is no reason to be afraid! (I quit cold turkey)

Post by jennjenn » Thu Jul 04, 2019 6:08 am

26 months! AMAZING! Keep updating Wii! No matter what we never get tired of counting with you!!!!
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Re: There is no reason to be afraid! (I quit cold turkey)

Post by wiichongo_mhngy » Tue Oct 08, 2019 5:40 pm

Hey everyone! A week ago marked 29 months. Life is pretty damn great apart from having Crohn’s disease. Anyway, I will update more thoroughly next month.

Love you all!
Here is my own family tradition; following footsteps into addiction
So, is there a way where I can find peace while still numbing my pain?

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Re: There is no reason to be afraid! (I quit cold turkey)

Post by jennjenn » Fri Oct 11, 2019 10:56 am

Your updates are very inspiring! It’s reaching more ppl than you know! Congrats again!!
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Re: There is no reason to be afraid! (I quit cold turkey)

Post by Amy-Work In Progress » Sun Oct 13, 2019 9:57 am

I'm looking forward to a more thorough report at 30 months!

Congratulations!!

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Re: There is no reason to be afraid! (I quit cold turkey)

Post by wiichongo_mhngy » Tue Nov 05, 2019 12:01 am

Hey everyone! Four days ago marked my 30 month mark. Two and a half years. Wow. I’m amazed.

I was encouraged to make a more thorough update at this mark, so, here it is:

I have no withdrawal symptoms anymore. The weird breathing thing I was experiencing prior to quitting comes and goes very occasionally, but it is nowhere near as severe as it was then. I’ll take that as a victory. I feel like it will only continue to get better anyway.

I am happy and energetic again... for the most part. Back in April I went to the hospital because of really bad digestive issues going on, tons of abdominal pain, high fevers, and not eating. I was in the hospital for about three weeks. It was hell. I was sceptic, I was tachycardic, I wasn’t eating, I was still burning fevers, I was extremely anemic, I had fluid in my lungs, I had a low hemoglobin count and was on the verge of needing a blood transfusion, I was in a ton of pain, and I was having blood drawn from me anywhere from 2 to 6 times a day. I barely slept and I lost over thirty pounds from not eating. I developed bumps all over my body that some of the doctors presumed to be chicken pox. I didn’t believe they were chicken pox especially because they weren’t itchy. The doctors were sure I had ulcerative colitis. A very common symptom of ulcerative colitis is something called sweet syndrome which is what my bumps were. Sweet syndrome is caused by sudden high fevers and is sometimes triggered by medications. I was taking a lot of different medications while hospitalized and they kept giving me different antibiotics intravenously in case I had any infections. Eventually they started me on a steroid and a few days later I was feeling well enough to leave. I had a follow up appointment with my gastroenterologist and had a colonoscopy done. It turns out I have Crohn’s disease and not ulcerative colitis. They are both extremely similar inflammatory bowel diseases and are even sometimes classified as autoimmune diseases. The difference between the two are where there are ulcers in your colon/intestines. It is a lifelong condition with no cures. It can only be treated. I experience some abdominal pain every day but the severity varies. Sometimes it’s very dull, and sometimes it’s nearly crippling. My iron levels have improved quite a bit since I was discharged, but I am still slightly anemic. These are the reasons why I say I’m happy and energetic for the most part. Nearly every day I need to take a nap because of how lethargic I am feeling. Sometimes I dwell on the fact that this is something I have to deal with for the rest of my life and I can go into a minor depressive state. But no matter what, I am always brought back up and happy because of my girlfriend. She was there with me every single night in the hospital. She is so supportive of me and I try so hard to fight the sadness this disease brings on me, for her. All the times she cried for me when I was in the hospital and even for a bit when I got out, break my heart. She is the greatest thing to ever happen to me.

The only other thing going on which has been stressful for me (and my girlfriend) is the fact that her brother is currently homeless. Since the end of June, he has been living with us at my parents house, sleeping on our bedroom floor. We tried exercising every possibility for him to have a place to live, but everything fell through. My dad is being an a-hole about him being here and is adding to the stress. Unfortunately, stress is a huge trigger for my pain. If I am more stressed, I experience more pain and more lethargy. The good news is that there is an end in sight. He is going to be moving to Florida with his grandma in about a week and a half. When all of this is sorted out, my condition will start to improve.

Overall, I am doing really good in terms of being sober and withdrawals. As I stated earlier, I have no withdrawals at all. I am happier than I can every remember being and that’s almost entirely because of my girlfriend. I would have never taken the steps and done the things I did to meet her if I had never quit subs. I would probably still be cooped up in my room watching tv shows and movies I’ve seen a million times before if I hadn’t quit. Every aspect of my life has been better since I quit. I talk more, I feel more, I’m happier, my sex life is better, I don’t have to constantly worry about getting a fix, I’m less stressed, and even though I am still a bit of an introvert, it pales in comparison to how I used to be while still on subs.

I highly recommend anyone who is thinking about quitting to quit. If you’ve read my posts you know that I had it easy with my withdrawals. I got lucky, but I am not the only one. People who get lucky and have success stories don’t seem to ever post on these forums. You’ll always read 50 nightmare withdrawal stories for every one good withdrawal story. You’ll never know unless you try. And you will have my support, as well as all the other wonderful people on this site.

Thank you all for your support and for still reading what I post. You’re all amazing people.

I will try to keep posting once a month, but if I forget, I will definitely update at my three year mark.
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So, is there a way where I can find peace while still numbing my pain?

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Re: There is no reason to be afraid! (I quit cold turkey)

Post by Amy-Work In Progress » Thu Nov 21, 2019 4:55 pm

Thank you so much for the long reply!

I am sorry for your medical troubles, but you also seem to have come through with a great attitude. God bless your GF! We should all be so lucky to have such support!

I think your point is a good one. If you are feeling like trying to get off, make the attempt. If it doesn't work for you, you can stay on the buprenorphine.

Congratulations!

Amy
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Re: There is no reason to be afraid! (I quit cold turkey)

Post by wiichongo_mhngy » Thu Apr 30, 2020 11:41 pm

Hey everyone, I know it’s been a while. However, today marks may three year mark. It’s insane how quickly the time has gone by. I am still doing great being clean. I have also now been out of the hospital for a year which is great as well. Times kind of suck right now with the virus and everyone being quarantined, but I am quarantined with an amazing girl so I’ve actually been having a good time. I hope everyone is staying safe. Thank you all so much for the continued support. I hope you are all doing well.
Here is my own family tradition; following footsteps into addiction
So, is there a way where I can find peace while still numbing my pain?

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