It can be done.

If you tapered off Suboxone or stopped cold-turkey, how are you now? How did buprenorphine compare to other addiction treatments for you?
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Rdphish73
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It can be done.

Post by Rdphish73 » Fri Jun 11, 2021 9:39 am

Just checking in again. I've got 102 days off of Buprenorphine today. I took 12-16mg a day for almost 6 years. I only tapered down to ~1mg in 3 months and then jumped on 3/2/2021. It totally sucked, but it was not as bad as I expected it to be. The lack of sleep in the first two weeks was the worst part.....followed by weeks of loose stools. Stay hydrated! I got off Adderall and Effexor prior to doing this jump as well, and I feel that really helped me a lot. I could not be more proud of myself (I don't say those words often!). This is one of the best decisions I have made for myself. Pretty much all of the physical withdrawal symptoms are gone. Mood is decent......I sleep great....in bed by 10 or 11pm and up at 6 or 7am. However, my brain is still pretty foggy and I"m not 100% with energy and motivation. But it's getting better by the week and that's all that matters to me. I think the most profound thing is........most of the things in life I was so passionate about, but lost them all on Buprenorphine.....have returned. It feels wonderful really. :D

McFunk
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Re: It can be done.

Post by McFunk » Mon Jun 14, 2021 10:30 am

Congratulations 73! What a bold accomplishment. I’ve been on bupe for over a decade and figure I’d have to retire first to have some free months to feel shitty before being able to get off the medication. Thanks for the post and inspiration. Nice to know that it can be done.

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Re: It can be done.

Post by suboxdoc » Fri Jun 18, 2021 2:17 pm

I've started over 800 people on buprenorphine over the past 12 years, and almost 600 of them have tapered off - so yes, it can definitely be done. Most of the people tapered off without missing work, by taking it slow and steady. I mentioned in another post that I have the process described on my blog; here is that link if anyone is interested: https://www.suboxonetalk.com/stopping-b ... ree-steps/

There are new ways to detox if you need to be done quickly, using low-dose naltrexone. There is also Lucemyra, the new alpha-2 agonist that is FDA-indicated to treat opioid withdrawal. But both of those approaches introduce side effects, and I think the easiest approach is the simplest -- very small reductions, every 2-3 weeks. People taking the mono product find it easier if they change to film for the last 2-4 mg, which allows for consistent, tiny reductions.

I'm always a little annoyed by comments about losing 'passion' on buprenorphine, because it isn't consistent with what I've seen in patients over the past 14 years. Yes, I see EVERY person I know or treat -- for addiction or any other psychiatry disorder -- go through periods of life when they let things slide. Recovery is a difficult process, and includes more than simply taking buprenorphine - and some people do more work to repair the damage of addiction than others. I see it this way: NOBODY has 'passion' for hobbies or anything else when they are scrambling for opioids. So a person spends years getting beaten down by opioids, not passionate about anything except finding heroin or pills... avoids death by taking buprenorphine... but then it is buprenorphine's fault that the passions didn't come back?

Most people on buprenorphine recognize that the medication turned their life around. When I needed addiction treatment, we didn't have buprenorphine -- so I sold my cottage on a lake and paid 60 grand to stay over 3 months in a 'facility'. Most of the people who were there with me returned to drug use. I credit the 6 years of monitoring by the Board for staying alive.... but for most people, abstinence- based treatment doesn't work. Personally it took years, and a lot of effort, to get my passions back. Blaming the drug for loss of passion is kicking a gift horse in the mouth.

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