Is my taper plan any good? Afraid to ask!

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Is my taper plan any good? Afraid to ask!

Postby DietDoc » Mon Oct 17, 2016 8:26 pm

If you want to skip directly to my taper plan questions jump to the last paragraph. The first two are my back story and general info and thoughts about tapering.


I'd like to introduce myself and give a very short use bio. I'm older, probably older than most sub users at 56 years old. What amazes me is that I've been on suboxone for...wait for it...over 11 years! Oh how time flies. I have been at every possible level from 2 mg/day to a whopping 32 mg/day. I'm on my 4th provider. I have tried to taper many times making it to about 0.5 mg once and 0.25 mg about a year ago. All the times I have tapered I have been on tablets, this is important because dose reduction strength is much less reliable with tables than film, at least for me. The film gives me terrible irritation to my mucosa so I couldn't use them but now I don't care. I like them a lot better for both taking and tapering. Looking back at the last time I tapered all I can say is what the hell was I thinking! I went way too fast. It went pretty well until I got just a hair under 0.5 mg. I dose only once daily and my daily dose started wearing off after just a few hours and I was in a world of pain, the worst. OK, enough background.

There's a few things very different this time around as I taper. About 9 months ago I was also dependent on a bunch of other drugs, including fairly high-dose Xanax (4-5 mg/day). I have been 100% Xanax free for over 5 months. Did a very successful taper on the big bad benzo and won. I was trying to use some Xanax when the Suboxone taper caused pain but being already high-dose dependent it didn't help. I could take several miligrams at a time and it did nothing, now .5 mg knocks me out! I was also smoking at least a pack of cigarettes a day and stoppped that over 6 mknhs ago too, along with dramatically improving my diet, exercise fitness and over all lifestyle. I believe how toxic you are can have a dramatic effect on how well you tolerate a taper. So a lot of changes in my favor.

So, my taper plan. I am down to 1 mg/day. Not bad, but not great. I cut the film with surgical precision! I have a method for cutting exactly 0.9 mg without physically ever touching any part of the strip (which is very bad imo). I have been cutting 1 millimeter sections off a 2 mg strip every 10 days. I tapered down from 16 to 4 mg with much bigger reductions and then started this process at 4 mg. A 2 mg strip is 22 mm. So 1 mm = 0.9 mg. It will take me 110 days to taper off of 1 mg reducing every 10'days. This sounds good in theory but the reality is probably different. Almost 4 months to taper off 1 mg...can't really go slower than that. I can tweak it a bit by reducing every 14 days instead of every 10 and/or cutting 1/2 a milimeter off (0.045 mg) off at a time when I get to .25 mg. Does my basic plan seem sound? My thinking is whatever I feel going down 0.9 mg every 10 days is what I feel and that's the deal. But that's easy to say before the pain comes. I must get off this drug. Thoughts?
I have two wolves fighting in my heart. One wolf is a vengeful, angry one. The other wolf is a loving, compassionate one. Which wolf will win the fight in my heart? The one I feed.

Buprenorphine: 9+ years @ 16 mg/d ave. - Tapering over past 8 months to under 1 mg/d and counting
Alprazolam: 4+ years @ 3 mg/d ave. - Tapered to freedom May 2016
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Re: Is my taper plan any good? Afraid to ask!

Postby Qweets » Tue Oct 18, 2016 8:39 am

Everyone is different honestly, I dropped straight from 1mg, I'm 30+ days out and doing fine for the most part, the only thing I suffer from is sometimes not sleeping well, depression and anxiety. Just make sure you are ready and have the willpower. Don't let this horrible drug run you life anymore. I wish you luck!
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Re: Is my taper plan any good? Afraid to ask!

Postby Subblind » Tue Oct 18, 2016 9:30 am

You should be fine with what your proposing.you have done a good job getting where you are so taking your time will only be to your benefit.you could also convert over to the liquid taper method if necessary.many people on here have and are currently useing it and it is quite accurate.

Just wanted to welcome you,and encourage you to read as much as you can from previous posts on this forum.
Eyedotz did a very successful micro taper and her thread is very informative,she can also answer any questions you may have...best regards...SB
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Re: Is my taper plan any good? Afraid to ask!

Postby RobKYOH » Tue Oct 18, 2016 2:08 pm

Dude congrats on making this far! Your plan seems air tight to me and I wish you the best of luck!! Subblind gave you some excellent advice, there are some great people here and he's right on about asking eyedotz for advice on tapering, she is taper God in my opinion lol.. Keep us all updated, we love reading threads with positive attitudes and successful taper stories!
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Re: Is my taper plan any good? Afraid to ask!

Postby Eyedotz » Tue Oct 18, 2016 8:09 pm

Taper God? Awe, you're going to make a gal blush! Thanks though.... you guys will all be with me someday and we'll live as gods together!

Nice to meet you dietdoc.... let me know if you have any questions! I'll be glad to help in anyway that I can.
7 months clear and free today!
Eyedotz Spotify playlist (EDM Detox Mix)
https://open.spotify.com/user/eyedotz/p ... luHItCVAiQ
13 Year Sub survivor - Jumped at .03mg after 9 month taper from 4-6mg.
JUMP DATE MARCH 18th, 2016

Forgive yourself for not knowing what you didn't know before you learned it.
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Re: Is my taper plan any good? Afraid to ask!

Postby DietDoc » Wed Oct 19, 2016 12:51 am

Thanks to all for the kind words of encouragement and advice. I read for like five hours yesterday including the entire 6 month journal of Sindysun and Jules et. al...it both enthused and scared me. Obviously it was great to see two nurses become chemically emancipated (just made that up but I like it) but I am amazed at how low a dose you can go...0.02 mg...wholly crap!

Can you do a liquid taper with film strips? I have intentionally cut myself off from being able to get any more prescriptions without establishing a new doctor relationship. This is very motivating to me, knowing I can't get more...it scares me much more to reverse course and run out than to continue to taper. Sub is funny in terms of prescriptions, needing the X classification for your DEA number really changes things. I'm friends with many doctors and I can get just about any agonist narcotic I want all day long as the expression goes, but if I ask a friend for sub they'll say they can't do it. Fentanly: yes (Actiq 1600 mcg my all-time favorite). Dilaudid: no problem. Morphine: how would you like that sir. Subutex: no way, we can't write for that! Life's so weird.

Anyway...aqueous suspension of film? Possible? Another thing that's weird, I have a shoe box stuffed with unfilled Sub prescriptions, literally 1000s of tables, and I can't fill a single one (to get tablets to make a solution) because they're all over 120 days old. I was getting prescriptions for 180, 2 mg tables per month. I told them I prefer 2s over 8s and they just never questioned it. I would fill one script and even though I had 2 refills (saw them every 3 months) I never filled them because I was taking way less than prescribed. Another wild thing, I was never prescribed buprenorphine for narcotic addition but for pain. But it was totally for narcotic addiction, just not in paper. They wanted me to use the buprenorphine transdermal patch and I refused. I'd never get off that.

Speaking of doctors...I can't seem to educate any of them despite having the same damm education and training. They just don't want to hear it. I tell them about bioequivlency and at low doses bupe is 30-60 more potent than morphine and they literally laugh at me. Insanity incarnate! I wonder if anyone has put together a good packet of presentable data that one could give to a doctor to help them understand that there's a much bigger biochemical and pharmokenetic difference between .2 mg and 2 mg than there is between 2 mg and 32 mg. Starting at any dose above 6 mg I'd say 1 mg is about the half way point. Try telling an addiction medicine specialist that when tapering a patient starting from 32 mg qd that the half way point is less than 1 mg...its good for a laugh. But I'm preaching to the choir.

Anyway, I'll keep reading and if I have anything positive to contribute I'll try to do that too. I did think of one last thing. Tamagesic is ubiquitously prescribed in over a dozen countries. It is the exact same preparation of buprenorphine as subutex and suboxone. The median dose is 0.2 mg...and that's the strength of one tablet. Can you imagine how much easier tapering would be if that was available? I don't want to sound like a conspiracy theorist but I believe Beckett et. al keeps it from being available for that very reason. Big Pharm notoriously places profit over people and this is a good example. We used to use Thebaine, a very similar drug and that has been removed too.

I'm going to make it and spring of 2017 I will be unshackled. Peace to all.
I have two wolves fighting in my heart. One wolf is a vengeful, angry one. The other wolf is a loving, compassionate one. Which wolf will win the fight in my heart? The one I feed.

Buprenorphine: 9+ years @ 16 mg/d ave. - Tapering over past 8 months to under 1 mg/d and counting
Alprazolam: 4+ years @ 3 mg/d ave. - Tapered to freedom May 2016
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Re: Is my taper plan any good? Afraid to ask!

Postby DietDoc » Wed Oct 19, 2016 1:08 am

I just read my own post and sorry for all the typos! I can spell, I swear. I went to coledge and eferythang.
I have two wolves fighting in my heart. One wolf is a vengeful, angry one. The other wolf is a loving, compassionate one. Which wolf will win the fight in my heart? The one I feed.

Buprenorphine: 9+ years @ 16 mg/d ave. - Tapering over past 8 months to under 1 mg/d and counting
Alprazolam: 4+ years @ 3 mg/d ave. - Tapered to freedom May 2016
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Re: Is my taper plan any good? Afraid to ask!

Postby Eyedotz » Wed Oct 19, 2016 6:30 am

Hey man,
You do not need to do a liquid taper if you have the strips. I was able to cut my 2mg strips into .03mg pieces. Eyelash sized. It's hard to believe I actually felt that when low in my taper, but I did.

You are correct about a lot of things you said regarding doctors not understanding 'the power of the drug'. Trust me, we all 'get it' on this site. Thankfully, I was on 4mg for most of my 12 years of maintenance. I wasn't forced on to ridiculous amounts like so many of us were. The best advice I can offer about a taper, just to listen to yourself. You will physically and mentally know each time that you should drop to lower dose (I personally waited 10-14 days). Try not to overthink things, just do. It's good to have a plan but my plan went right out the window when I got down the lower microgram doses. Tapering sub is about the percentage you drop each dose. The mods on this site, suggest no more than 20% drops. I personally stick with the 10% drop. I felt like I needed this after being on it for 13 years.

Anyway, glad to have you here. Ttys.
Eyedotz Spotify playlist (EDM Detox Mix)
https://open.spotify.com/user/eyedotz/p ... luHItCVAiQ
13 Year Sub survivor - Jumped at .03mg after 9 month taper from 4-6mg.
JUMP DATE MARCH 18th, 2016

Forgive yourself for not knowing what you didn't know before you learned it.
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Re: Is my taper plan any good? Afraid to ask!

Postby Subblind » Wed Oct 19, 2016 6:33 am

Dietdoc is a real dr?.?.?. I don't believe we've ever had the pleasure of having one of those on board.
I too have been prescribed bupe for pain.its a long,ugly story you can read about if you wish...
Quite a concept that .02 temagesic is suitable pain relief in Europe for cancer patients,while good old American Drs think 20 mgs or better is best for a spinal nerve condition...That's RB and the US health care system choosing profit over our chemical emancipation :shrug:...they all should share a room in HELL,right next to Hillary...fucking criminals :gaah:
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Re: Is my taper plan any good? Afraid to ask!

Postby Subblind » Wed Oct 19, 2016 6:37 am

:wave: HI DOTZ :wave:
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Re: Is my taper plan any good? Afraid to ask!

Postby Eyedotz » Wed Oct 19, 2016 4:33 pm

Hi SB :lol:
Sorry for thread interruption ... we do that. It is just how it is.
Eyedotz Spotify playlist (EDM Detox Mix)
https://open.spotify.com/user/eyedotz/p ... luHItCVAiQ
13 Year Sub survivor - Jumped at .03mg after 9 month taper from 4-6mg.
JUMP DATE MARCH 18th, 2016

Forgive yourself for not knowing what you didn't know before you learned it.
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Re: Is my taper plan any good? Afraid to ask!

Postby DietDoc » Sun Oct 23, 2016 6:14 am

So after reading even more, I'm thinking perhaps it would be good for me to write a serial post of what I believe and hope to be the beginning of the end...emphasis on beginning. The sense of community on this site is quite supportive and inspiring. I'm thinking the accountability alone is a good reason to post my journey, knowing I've put myself out there so to speak. If I need support/advice you're all out there. If I fail, I'll have a better understanding as to why. And if I succeed maybe they'll be someone else amoung us that might glean something useful or inspiring, just as I have from others here.

BTW...I am a 'RD'...not an MD...I'm a DO. I have not been in active practice since 2004. Worked as a physiatrist (physical and rehabilitation medicine) for about 10 years, had a significant injury...then the drugs came...and you all know the rest. It wasn't just the wonderful world of encumbered pharmacy access...I was always a fan of drugs...so I had the gene if you know what I mean.

I'll try not to write about my drama...although when tapering, everything is drama haha. I'll just try to check in when I do a reduction/drop, have symptoms or issues etc.

I previously wrote I am one 1 mg...that's not accurate...I am actually on 1.18 mg/day. I was rounding down so to speak...didn't think I'd be wring about it again but now the dose is important.

So the fun continues...
I have two wolves fighting in my heart. One wolf is a vengeful, angry one. The other wolf is a loving, compassionate one. Which wolf will win the fight in my heart? The one I feed.

Buprenorphine: 9+ years @ 16 mg/d ave. - Tapering over past 8 months to under 1 mg/d and counting
Alprazolam: 4+ years @ 3 mg/d ave. - Tapered to freedom May 2016
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Re: Is my taper plan any good? Afraid to ask!

Postby Subblind » Sun Oct 23, 2016 7:32 am

DietDR good morning,write about anything you like.you may find it somewhat comforting to come on here and write anything and everything,something about being among like minded people that can be really beneficial...hope you find the people here as helpful and knowledgeable as I have,it really is an excellent place to learn and share what works and what helps one get through a major life changing event...and the people here are top notch human beings who give of themselves for the benefit of others...quite a concept...I wish you success and a good Sunday dr...SB
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Re: Is my taper plan any good? Afraid to ask!

Postby CheeZeeAnnDee » Mon Oct 24, 2016 2:38 pm

Hey doc, I started my liquid taper from 1mg in ...let me check my journal...end of April/beginning of May. :shock:
As you can see, it took me a long time to get here, but I also have been on bupe for years and years and years, and I can be too sensitive to meds (you ever meet one of those people who claim to feel a buzz from a single sip of beer way before it is possible to feel anything? That is me :roll:) So I am still taking it slow and tapering very gradually.

Without the liquid taper I couldn't get much lower than 0.8. I am on straight bupe pills and I believe even by cutting them as evenly as possible, sometimes I would be getting more filler, sometimes more buprenorphine, and the ups and downs were very rough. But all has been smooth on the liquid taper and I am on 0.09 AM and 0.09 PM, so a total of 0.18 mg per day. I have been using a lot of liquid- 1mg/4ml -and with a very small pipette, can get pretty precise. I mention this because of what you said about the mouth issues with strips. Hopefully you can keep using the strips, but if they end up messing up your mouth again, don't give up! There are other ways forward!

When you say you were on tablets, did those also have naloxone? Just curious.

Nice to have you on the board. I hope you have an easy progression downwards.
All you have is your fire
And the place you need to reach
Don't you ever tame your demons
But always keep them on a leash

Hozier-Arsonist's Lullabye

Telling subs to fuck off since March 20, 2017
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Re: Is my taper plan any good? Afraid to ask!

Postby cheeps » Mon Nov 07, 2016 5:27 pm

Hey doc....how's it going?
10 yrs on methadone
Meth free 10/08
Back surgery 5/12/14
Knee surgery 9/19/14
Oxy free 12/06/14
2017 taper in progress
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Re: Is my taper plan any good? Afraid to ask!

Postby DietDoc » Tue Nov 15, 2016 12:42 pm

Hi Cheeps and Everyone...

Thanks for the shout out. I am still alive. I had a period of self-sabotage but thankfully landed on my feet. In my last post I cited my then current daily dosage at 1.18mg I have done 2 reductions since then. I pre-cut films to 1.0 mg for 10 days and am 1/2 way through them. I personally have found I do better if I prepare my doses in advance.

My current plan is to pre-cut/prepare 8 days of each dose level at the time I get there. I was cutting 10 days but right now I actually feel that may be an unnecessarily protracted interval. The even number makes it easier to plan to use the cut pieces later in the taper. And if I need to add to the length of time I am on a dose I can simply cut more. I am guessing biochemically and psychologically 14 days would be the maximum length of time to become acclimated to a dose level.

I have no idea what I am talking about. I am not embarrassed to state that I am scared. I certainly am not feeling over confident or cocky. This drug will humble the most cavalier among us. I have a healthy fear, if such a thing exists.

I was thinking of starting a taper thread diary. I have read extensively the threads and posts of the brave folks that have done the same and really appreciated them. Maybe it will help me knowing I am sharing, albeit virtually. And maybe someone else might glean something useful too; that would be something.
I have two wolves fighting in my heart. One wolf is a vengeful, angry one. The other wolf is a loving, compassionate one. Which wolf will win the fight in my heart? The one I feed.

Buprenorphine: 9+ years @ 16 mg/d ave. - Tapering over past 8 months to under 1 mg/d and counting
Alprazolam: 4+ years @ 3 mg/d ave. - Tapered to freedom May 2016
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Re: Is my taper plan any good? Afraid to ask!

Postby CheeZeeAnnDee » Tue Nov 15, 2016 3:47 pm

Hey dietdoc, I just wanted to chime in and say I also found it helpful to preload all my doses for the week. I don't do it anymore but it really helped when I needed it. Since I was doing a liquid taper it made it a little trickier but I used centrifuge tubes and filled them up with the right amount and then I kept them in a tray in the fridge. It took away any thinking of how big (or how little) my dose was by presenting a situation where I just grabbed a tube and took it.

Looking forward to watching your success story unfold! You are going to rock this! :cheers:
All you have is your fire
And the place you need to reach
Don't you ever tame your demons
But always keep them on a leash

Hozier-Arsonist's Lullabye

Telling subs to fuck off since March 20, 2017
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Re: Is my taper plan any good? Afraid to ask!

Postby cheeps » Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:26 pm

Hey doc...just thought I'd bump your ass up here!
10 yrs on methadone
Meth free 10/08
Back surgery 5/12/14
Knee surgery 9/19/14
Oxy free 12/06/14
2017 taper in progress
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