2.5 years on 32mg

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2.5 years on 32mg

Postby Lucy » Sat Jul 01, 2017 8:26 am

Hello, all. I'm so glad I found this forum! Although I am now very worried about how I'm going to fare coming off bup. I was put on 32mg two and a half years ago to curb the beginnings of a brief relapse of opiate use. I now am beginning to understand that this dose was an extremely injudicious recommendation by my "doctor".

Six weeks ago I jumped from the 32 straight down to 28mg, and even considered simply just stopping altogether as I was under the impression bup is really easy to come off. After experiencing unusual cramping in my thigh muscles when doing my usual yoga class this week, I decided to do some research. Five days ago I dropped to 26mg. I now realize I may have done that far too soon. I've read several threads here all the way through, but I'm still not sure how to taper from such a high dose. My pharmacist recommended dropping 2mg every 2 weeks, and once I reach 2mg dropping 0.5mg each fortnight. From what I've read here the taper from 2mg down should be longer.

I'm pretty sure I've got a mild bug atm, so it's difficult to know what may or may not be withdrawal symptoms. But the muscle cramping I experienced doing an exercise that usually gives me no sensation of stress at all is definitely not something I've ever had with a mild cold before.

Any advice on a tapering schedule from 26mg would be appreciated. Initially I had it in mind to come off as rapidly as possible but after reading a few people's experience here I think I will take it slow and steady.
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Re: 2.5 years on 32mg

Postby cheeps » Sat Jul 01, 2017 10:38 am

Lucy, you are a smart woman to research this shit. How old are you and can you stand some minor changes and possible body discomfort?


Depending on your youth, exercise, and excellent health....you may have a very manageable time getting off. This place has some horror seeming stories but it's because people get impatient and go to fast. The Drs should be SHOT DEAD for putting you on that high dose...totally unnecessar!!!! You may have to depend on the experience here to guide you as the Drs are very poorly trained to get clients off. It's a big money market for them and big pharma. You eked to get off and find other ways to manage issues.


Welcome to SS!!! We are small but you can use Pm to any poster and if they get a notice, they usually reply quickly.
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Re: 2.5 years on 32mg

Postby DietDoc » Sat Jul 01, 2017 11:04 am

32 mg of buprenorphine for 'the beginnings of a mild opiate relapse'...that assclown. What's done is done. 2 mg reduction per week is the basic company line, as it 'buprenorphine is much easier to stop than agonist opiates and opioids'. At low doses the literature reports buprenorphine is 30-50 times more potent at the mu and kappa receptors than morphine. Temgesic, the pain medication version of buprenorphine comes in 200 ug strength...that's 0.2 mg for moderately severe pain. One day, years from now, we'll all be part of the class-action lawsuit against Beckett Pharmacutical.

If you don't have time pressures then the only schedule should be set by your body and mind. A lesson I just painfully learned. I do believe you can be more aggressive at higher dosages but everyone is different. You have to find your own pace. You've made tremendous progress with benzos and that says a lot. You'll do this. There's a bunch of great, supportive and knowledgeable people on this forum, many of whom have made it off of this drug. As will you.

Starting at 32 mg doesn't really mean much. Just a little more time. Once you find a pace that works you'll be in the single digit dose. I've gone from 32 to 16 a bunch of times and didn't really notice a difference. Over 10 years I have been all over the place with dosing.

So in the words of John Oliver: Welcome, Welcome, Welcome!
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 @ < .5 mg/d
Alprazolam: Tapered off May 2016 - Started again October 2017 currently tapering again
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Re: 2.5 years on 32mg

Postby Subblind » Sat Jul 01, 2017 5:23 pm

Welcome Lucy,I too was on a high dose of this poison and was able to reduce down from 20 mgs a day down to 4mgs a day within a few months time.i would drop 2 mgs at a time and it really wasn't too much of a struggle.this medicine is EXTREMELY powerful and at the level your on your body is saturated with it and will be for a while.if you can try to drop 2mgs every 10-14 days and see how it goes.once you get down quite a bit you will realize how powerful this shit is.right now most of what your taking is being wasted because you are well over the threshold of what's effective.that by the way is @8mgs...anything more than that is being wasted and stored in your fat cells to bother you at a later date.

Glad your making the choice to get yourself off this crap.I,unfortunately am a chronic pain mess and need to be on something to help me function and stay off the disability line...but I did reduce myself down a shitload and that's gotta count for something.(I must apologize as we are a cursing bunch here...and it gets worse...)

It's been a pleasure to make your acquaintance and I hope we can help you out any way possible...my best to you
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Re: 2.5 years on 32mg

Postby Lucy » Sat Jul 01, 2017 7:35 pm

Thanks so much for the welcomes and support, all of you. I'm going to really need this place.

A little more about me: I'm in my 50's, so don't have the resilience of youth to help me through this. My physical fitness is something I have been working on doggedly since late last year. At that time I had been pretty much debilitated due to long term depression that finally lifted. I've been attending yoga or gym classes religiously at least 3 times per week as well as walking a lot. I'm still have muscle weakness though. My weight is fine. My health is otherwise quite good. (Cured of hep c last year which may have contributed to coming out of the depression.) I have done cold turkey detoxes from SAO in my twenties and have a high tolerance for pain and discomfort. But I have just taken on some infrequent commitments that are very important to me and couldn't tolerate having to drop those due to being incapacitated. I can time things so I'd have at least 2 weeks where I would be commitment free though.
Reducing from 32mg. Dropped from 26mg to 16mg 8th July 2017. August 1st 12mg.
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Re: 2.5 years on 32mg

Postby Eyedotz » Sat Jul 01, 2017 7:56 pm

Hi Lucy and welcome to SS. I have bumped my taper story to the top of the SubSux section so you can experience how a taper should go. It is NOT the nightmare people will tell you. I tapered to .03g after a 9 month taper and walked off with no acute w/d's. I did suffer from PAWS due to 20+ years on long acting opiates but it was very doable.

Wow, 32mg is insane.... there is no medical reason EVER that someone should be on that dose unless the doc is trying to make money. Subblind is the pro at tapering high doses and he did really well getting down from a high dose to a more acceptable pain management level. Can I ask you a few questions so I can get a better feel for where you're at?

Why are you quitting sub? Are you experiencing long-term side effects? Is it financial? Do you have a sober lifestyle...do you have a handle on relapse risk? I'm asking these questions because you didn't mention it in your OP. Also, what is your dose currently and are you stable? Did you tell your doctor that you're trying to quit (I wouldn't if you haven't because it will allow you to stock pile).

It's important to know these things in order to offer advice that would be helpful. A lot of people come here not understanding that this is a long grueling process (if done correctly) and you will need a lot of patience and discipline. This is not easy and you have to be able to handle discomfort, cramping, lack of sleep, and anxiety for the duration of your taper. You will not be comfortable... when people say, "lower and stabilize" that does NOT mean you will feel good because you won't. You will feel like you're on the "Sunny side of absolute shit". This should not scare you. I am encouraging you to be realistic about what you're getting ready to face.

So for now, drop 2mg every 2 weeks until you get down to 6-8mg. Once you reach that level, you can begin to transition to the next level of tapering. Do not go faster. You also have a shit load of sub built up in your system from the enormous amounts you've been ingesting. It will slowly unwind as you taper lower and lower.

Trust me, if I can do this after 13 years (and 7 methadone prior) then anyone can. I was virtually comfort med free throughout the entire process. I just rolled with the punches and kept my eye on the big picture.

Please feel free to PM me or ask any questions you need... It's also helpful to keep reading people's stories. You'll start to notice that the people who tapered slowly had the best results. Again, welcome to this little band of misfits... ~Dotz
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JUMP DATE MARCH 18th, 2016

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Re: 2.5 years on 32mg

Postby Eyedotz » Sat Jul 01, 2017 7:59 pm

Also, high doses of sub CAUSE depression and muscle weakness. I saw your update after I posted mine.
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Re: 2.5 years on 32mg

Postby Lucy » Sat Jul 01, 2017 9:13 pm

Thank you for the advice, Subblind and Eyedotz. I will drop another 2mg on July 11.

To answer your questions, Eyedotz. I'm quitting sub mainly because I want to get my brain back. My experience of being on it (at this dose) is that it has been like losing 50 IQ points. If I manage to read something that requires analytical thinking to comprehend I have been really struggling. And that is not normal for me. I've also just become tired of being a slave to my daily dose. And I won't even go into the elimination struggles.

The only long term side effects would be those I've mentioned: inability to concentrate or think clearly, and constipation that requires daily vigilance with coping strategies.

I began attending NA meetings when I did the first 4mg drop so I could start getting into that clean and sober headspace. I rarely drink and don't use other drugs other than clonazepam, which is prescribed to me at 1mg up to 3x daily as required. I had been taking that dose for the last few years until around 7 months ago when I got it down to 0.5mg daily. I've been on that dose all year now and think I will stay at that until I'm successfully off sub. I don't want to bite off more than I can chew.

I did tell my doctor I want to come off and the last script she gave me was for the reduced dose. She offered no advice on how to taper. I have a few doses stockpiled and will gather as many as I can over the next few weeks. I hadn't given any thought to relapse risk and am glad you mentioned that. I will make sure once I get down to 2mg that I get rid of my stockpile. I'll also keep attending NA and posting here.

My current doses is 26mg. I've been on that for 5 days (down from 28mg which I'd been on around 5 weeks). I was stable on 28, but during the week when I experienced the leg pain I freaked out a little and took a 2mg dose from my stockpile. I'm not going to do that again as I don't want to prolong my taper and burn through my stockpile.
Reducing from 32mg. Dropped from 26mg to 16mg 8th July 2017. August 1st 12mg.
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Re: 2.5 years on 32mg

Postby Eyedotz » Sat Jul 01, 2017 9:41 pm

.... if I were you, I would 'play' your doctor a little bit. Tell he/she that you were too uncomfortable and paused your taper for a while... that way you can stockpile. Once you get to 2mg and under, that is when this shit gets real. You mentioned getting rid of them when you get low, but please don't. If you are tapering properly, you will need to slow down to 10-15% decreases every 2 weeks... this could suck up a stockpile quickly because it will be more drawn out. Also you want to keep doctor on the hook so you can get 2mg pills or strips when you hit 6mg. It is MUCH easier to taper with 2mg doses whether you cut the strips small like I did or do the liquid taper.

Please take symptoms as they come and try not to overthink. Just remember it is a process and keep your eye on the big prize. Would you rather taper once or get caught up in the endless circle of attempts? If you do this right, you will do this without the nightmare story. The best advice I can offer you at this juncture is DO NOT spike. Split dose if you need to but do not go over your daily dose. Be steadfast and dedicated to your goal. Do not give in to symptomic ideation. There will be good days and bad days but this process will give you the strength you never knew you had.
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JUMP DATE MARCH 18th, 2016

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Re: 2.5 years on 32mg

Postby Lucy » Sun Jul 02, 2017 12:46 am

Thanks for the advice, Eyedotz. I'm not thinking clearly and have never done this before. Without your input I'd be shooting myself in the foot already. Good idea about telling the doc and pharmacist that I've paused the reduction. It's a little more complicated here because I don't get a month's worth at once like many here seem to. My dose is given by my pharmacist twice per week and I have to take it there. On the second day of dosing I get 5 take home doses which I have to stockpile from.

I can easily palm/pocket the 2x2mg strips at the pharmacy, but the package is cut open when they're given to me. So storing those is a problem. I can hold on to them and substitute them for my unopened take home doses during the week. Once I'm down to 24mg I'll just use the 4x2mg strips for one of my 8's each week. It would have become difficult if I'd told them I was down to 24mg (3x8mg strips), so great idea to tell them I'm staying on 28mg for the time being.

No more spiking or obsessing over withdrawal symptoms. I'm still reading through the threads here and learning more as well as shoring up my resolve to do this right.
Reducing from 32mg. Dropped from 26mg to 16mg 8th July 2017. August 1st 12mg.
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Re: 2.5 years on 32mg

Postby nomojo3479 » Sun Jul 02, 2017 7:14 am

First, welcome Lucy.. glad ur here. For someone interested in getting of bupe it's the best place to be.

Second... listen to eyedotz and cheeps.. good peoples who are experts in the art of tapering long acting opioids.
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Re: 2.5 years on 32mg

Postby cheeps » Sun Jul 02, 2017 9:14 am

Lucy, I bumped several threads for you and mojo and Steve....and of course ANYONE who wants to get educated about this process. So if you click on View Active Topics on the main page, you will see the latest posts and bumped threads.

There is so much to learn...so don't get overwhelmed. However, education is KEY to starting your process.

And I promise you...the lower you get, the more your brain fog will lessen and IQ will come back! Believe it or not, when peeps get down to 2mgs, they call it the sweet spot! The world becomes colorful and your emotions return!
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Re: 2.5 years on 32mg

Postby cheeps » Sun Jul 02, 2017 9:18 am

And I agree with all that's been said here....especially stock piling. It's best to NOT let your dr know how fast you are going. You might even say that you don't think you are ready just yet...that you had a craving. Once Drs know you are tapering, they make you fast and then cut you off. Even if your dr is nice...this is a money driven business for them....it's best to keep them in the dark.

Isn't that sad?
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Re: 2.5 years on 32mg

Postby Lucy » Sun Jul 02, 2017 6:18 pm

Thanks, Cheeps. There is an overwhelming number of threads to go through so having a few specific ones bumped is very helpful. I'll be going through them all. Also, thank you for the advice. The support you're all giving is so much appreciated. I'm now feeling like I don't have to go through this alone. (None of my friends, except my housemate, know I'm on bup.) When I see my doc for my next script I can say I need to return to 32mg for a while due to cravings and (as she is already aware) a lot of stressors coming up over the next couple of months. Although, maybe it's better to say I'm staying on 28mg so I get some 2mg films to stockpile? Will the 8's be as useful as time goes on?

The doctor/patient money mill is very disturbing. What should be something driven by simple humanity and compassion has been corrupted, and it is just evil and wrong. Fortunately, where I am we have public health, so my doctor makes no money from me personally. I believe she actually thinks she's helping me. She's just ignorant and has swallowed the propaganda that the drug manufacturer puts out. Once I'm through all of this I may have a very frank discussion with her and hopefully it will make a difference to the people she puts on bup in the future.

Last night I slept for 2 hours before waking and being unable to get back to sleep. I didn't feel right: hot flashes, intestinal pain and churning, body discomfort. Took an extra 0.5mg clonazepam and put my earphones in with some ambient music on. A few days ago I would have spiked from my stockpile. Was back asleep in about 40 minutes.I had to be up early and on my A-game for a meeting where I'm expected to do some public speaking, otherwise I would have just ridden it out. Felt fine this morning apart from sore joints, taken a tylenol for that.

It has been very interesting to read here of so many losing their love of music while on bup. I'd been a huge music listener my whole life until the last few years, and only just started listening to ambient music lately to help with sleep and anxiety. Same with reading. I'm really looking forward to enjoying those activities again.
Reducing from 32mg. Dropped from 26mg to 16mg 8th July 2017. August 1st 12mg.
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Re: 2.5 years on 32mg

Postby cheeps » Mon Jul 03, 2017 6:28 am

You Will baby you will....You are encouraged now to go and look at the music thread we have...or just put one in your thread. We can copy and paste you tube unless it's got periods in the actual address.

Such as. https//youtu.be. see the period in the middle of tube? Those won't work because they are offical...But usually you can find another without it. Then you copy and paste and take the "s" out.of https.

Once you have copied it, click on post reply here, at the top you'll see a youtube button. Paste the link between the set of brackets [youtube]link[/youtube], take the "s" out of https and it should come up in the thread. I can fix anything wrong except the period issue.

Its best to get as many twos as you can but eights are fine for now.
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Re: 2.5 years on 32mg

Postby Don_Pisto » Mon Jul 03, 2017 7:19 pm

Hello Lucy y welcome,

I'm so sorry to hear that your sub Dr. dosed you up to 32mg. omg, that is a huuuuge dose ... well, you're probably a bit overwhelmed with all this stuff and wanting to get off of subs. You're also probably getting flooded with advice, so I'll add to it but it's something already perfectly said by cheeps as quoted below:

cheeps wrote:There is so much to learn...so don't get overwhelmed. However, education is KEY to starting your process.


Please do take some time to educate yourself on subs, especially to understand its half-life and stacking effect -- this will later alleviate some of the fears you probably have.

Best of luck on your journey. We're all here to help.

DP
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Re: 2.5 years on 32mg

Postby Lucy » Tue Jul 04, 2017 9:10 am

Thanks so much for the encouragement and advice, Don Pedro. I've just finished reading all 20 pages of your taper thread and it was such an inspiration. It's great that you're still around too. What a journey you were on. It was like reading a gripping novel that I couldn't put down. Seeing all the folks here who have made it through this and are now free is so inspiring. I'm very grateful for this site.

Another day on 26mg and feeling fine today.
Reducing from 32mg. Dropped from 26mg to 16mg 8th July 2017. August 1st 12mg.
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Re: 2.5 years on 32mg

Postby cheeps » Tue Jul 04, 2017 8:20 pm

Cured of hep c last year which may have contributed to coming out of the depression


Lucy, if you care to elaborate on this....I'd love to hear about your experience. My best friend is just now going in for assessment and then treatment. She's just starting. Lucky her....she's never had the depression...and has had hep C since 1974.
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Re: 2.5 years on 32mg

Postby Lucy » Wed Jul 05, 2017 2:34 am

No problem. I'm happy to answer any questions.

I was on Viekira Pak and Ribavirin for 3 months, unfortunately. Ribavirin is one of the original treatments for hep c and very very nasty. So I had anemia and a swag of other side effects. It took me 6 months after treatment had ended before I was fully recovered. My advice to your friend is use one of the single drug DAA's (direct acting anti-virals). Don't take Ribavirin or Interferon. Harvoni has been the most prescribed drug so far and a small percentage are having weird long term effects for a year or more after treatment. So, that's another one I'd choose not to treat with. There are a lot more options now, but in the USA it depends on what drug a person's insurance covers. Also virus genotype determines treatment options.

Something that was acknowledged at the international conference on liver disease (can't recall the exact name now) last year is that a percentage of those with cirrhosis are getting HPC (hepatocellular carcinoma ie: cancer of the liver) close to the end or soon after treatment. They are theorizing that this is because the rapid drop in inflammation that occurs when these new treatments kill off the virus so quickly confuses the immune system and allows cancer to form. So, if your friend has advanced liver disease her doctors need to be doing regular liver scans during and after treatment.

If your friend wants to know anything else, just ask. I'll answer if I can. There's a great community and forum for those on treatment at http://forums.hepmag.com
Reducing from 32mg. Dropped from 26mg to 16mg 8th July 2017. August 1st 12mg.
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Re: 2.5 years on 32mg

Postby Lucy2 » Wed Jul 05, 2017 8:28 am

It is Lucy here. I made a new account just to say I'm devastated to find a few hours after my last post above that I have been banned. Wtf did I do? I can't understand what I've written there that could warrant this. I need this place. The ban notice said reason:"don't come back".

I used a temp email to register my original account. I will respect the ban and not return if I don't hear back and am reinstated. I didn't want to just disappear without letting you all know.
Last edited by Lucy2 on Thu Jul 06, 2017 3:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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