On March 31,2008, my son started suboxone. He had spent two years on methadone after a long time addiction to pain pills. He tapered from a high of 95mgs methadone daily down to 10 mgs, went through three days of withdrawals and then started Suboxone. He quickly built up to a high of 16mgs and then began an immediate taper.
He tapered slowly down to .25 mgs a day and then began skipping. First every other day and then two, three. four and five skips between doses. Toward the end he did experience some withdrawal symptoms- mostly some sleeplessness and a few days of strong craving.
To make a long story short, he is now 129 days off Methadone/ 126 days on Suboxone with thirty of those days skipped AND He was DONE. He hasn't taken anything for the past 13 days and has felt wonderful for the last 5 days- "normal" he says! His plan was to be done by his wedding which took place on August 8, 2008. Looks like he made it. He knows there will be challenges ahead but he is just so happy and thankful to be free and feeling well!
I would like to thank the many people here who have provided guidance and inspiration. And I hope this post will provide some reassurance to those who are still struggling - YES YOU CAN!
I thought some of you would like to hear it can be done. I want all of you to know there is nothing to be ashamed of if you must continue on it for the remainder of your life. Each one of us are unique and different and your experience will be different than the others. If you have just started taking Suboxone then I wouldn't even begin to worry about tapering off of it. I have read many success stories of people tapering off successfully and of others staying on it and living a happy life.
In answer to Barbara's question if I understood correctly, staying on Suboxone is not going to harm your respiratory system. Yes, it depresses respiration if you take too much but if you are stabilized on a dose then it is not harming you, especially with naloxone. (I would check out other factors like possibly smoking cigarettes). I have taken methadone for over sixteen years and will remain on it because of the chronic pain I have the rest of my life. It doesn't affect my respiratory system but if I can began to have any problems I would certainly look at the cigarettes I smoke every day if it was affecting my breathing.
Methadone doesn't harm any of your organs no more than Suboxone but you do need to have your liver examined on a regular basis (once yearly). If you have Hepatitis C then in my opinion, methadone is the more appropriate medication to take. I am not saying you can't take Suboxone, because you can and I would highly recommend it but you need to have your liver examined more often and you need to be more closely monitored. Why? Read the information written below which is on http://www.SuboxoneAssistedTreatment.org
Elevation in liver enzymes (AST and ALT) has been reported in individuals receiving buprenorphine (Lange et al. 1990);(Petry et al. 2000). There also appears to be a possible association between intravenous buprenorphine misuse and liver toxicity (Berson et al. 2001). See Johnson et al. (2003b) for further details. Mild elevations in liver enzymes have been noted in patients with hepatitis who received long-term buprenorphine dosing.
TIP 40 Clinical Guidelines For The Use of Buprenorphine In The Treatment Of Opioid Addiction