Suboxone: The Light At The End Of The Tunnel

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 On Day 2 - Some Questions

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Boomer

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PostSubject: On Day 2 - Some Questions   Wed 23 Jun 2010, 9:41 am

Hi all,

Glad to have found this forum. Most of the posters here seem to be positive, supportive, and helpful. Some of the other forums I've come across seem....um scary.

I started suboxone yesterday. My backstory is probably fairly familiar to most of you all. I have a spinal injury (2 herniated discs). Was started on hydrocodone, moved up to oxycodone, started supplementing my prescription with pills purchased on "the street," and before you know it I'm taking 300mg of oxycodone a day just to feel "alright." Never got into snorting or any of the other things...just ate a lot of pills.

Had the fortunate situation of realizing that I had a major problem and wanting to do something about it at the same time as my doctor - which made the conversation a lot easier.

Doctor: "Let's talk about your opiate consumption..."
Me: "Yeah, I gotta quit."
Doctor: "Great. This is suboxone. Let's get you started asap."

That was Monday. 24 hours later...and after shredding my bedsheets and pillows during my "sleep"....I take one half of a 8/2 sub, followed by the other half 1.5 hours later. By the time the second half kicked in, almost all symptoms of withdrawal are gone. Nice.

However, on day 2, I have some concerns. I'm getting huge headaches about an hour after I take my initial (morning) dose. Is this common as you adjust to the medication? Also, I feel cognitively impaired. I'm research faculty at a university and though I am taking the week "off" from work...I'm still needing to respond to emails, edit papers, and do things that really have to get done this week. But even reading an email takes me 4 or 5 passes to comprehend. Anyone else experience this?

My doctor wants me on 8/2 2x a day for 6 months. That seems excessive to me. I stopped buying pills on the "street" about 3 months ago and I have no desire to take opiates again. I'd like to think that after I get through the first week, I could taper off the subs and be done with all this. Is that unrealistic?

I know no one here can offer medical advice, strictly speaking, but I am very curious to know your experiences with these issues.

Thanks for putting this forum together, sharing your stories, and offering your opinions and support.

Cheers,
Boomer

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nannamom
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PostSubject: Re: On Day 2 - Some Questions   Wed 23 Jun 2010, 3:26 pm



Hi Boomer
My name is Dee one of the moderators of The Light At The End of The Tunnel.
First off, I would like to welcome you to the forum and encourage you to ask all the questions you need and comment when you read something that you can relate to.

Most new members that come hear come seeking answers. The only thing they have been told about Suboxone is that it is a "miracle" drug. And to a certain extent that can be considered to be true. But Suboxone, even though it does play a large role in helping to manage opiate addiction it can't do it alone. Recovery also takes work on the patients side of things.

The headaches that you are experiencing do happen to a lot of people when they first start taking Suboxone. I have been told that it is due to the ingredient Naloxone. The headaches should subside as you body gets used to the medication. You can try taking ibuprofen for the headaches if they become to hard for you to handle.
With this being your second day of taking Suboxone I don't really want to tell you to lower your dose yet. But if the headaches still seem to bother you, you can always ask your doctor if it is okay to lower your dose just a little bit. As long as you don't start to experience any withdrawal or cravings you should be okay on a lower dose.

Your question of " Is it realistic to to think that you could get through the first week, then taper off of Suboxone and be done with all of this." is not completely unrealistic.
How long a person takes Suboxone depends on what they have been taking, for how long and method of administration.
Only you can decide this. You have to ask yourself if you are able to withstand the cravings that will more than likely set in after you stop taking it. Will you be both mentally and physically ready to go it alone?
Have you ever tried stopping opiates before? Usually by the time people hear about Suboxone they have been taking and abusing opiates for quite some time. They have tried stopping many times only to start back up in as little as a few weeks or as long as two years. This is why it all depends on the person. We all have so much in common but at the same time we are all so alike.
I like to suggest to people that when they start taking Suboxone they also look into getting into some type of counseling program to help them deal with the emotional baggage the usually comes with addiction. That way when they do feel ready to stop taking medication they will hopefully be better prepared when or if they start to feel the urge to use again.

In some cases there have been some doctors that have used suboxone as a tool for detox, in these such cases the patient is put on Suboxone for a short period of time then after a slow taper they are completely taking off. To be honest I don't know the statistics for success in recovery using this method. But I imagine that with some research I could come up with something.

To read more about dosing during the Induction, Stabilization and Maintenance stages of treatment check out our Suboxone Assisted Treatment Website. We do have an area that discussed the phases of treatment and recommended doses.
The link to that area of the website is:
http://suboxoneassistedtreatment.org/42.html

Forgive me for the length of this post but I do want to try and answer all of your questions. If anyone has anything they want to add please do. I'm sure your input would be appreciated as well.
Boomer, your body is going through some tough stuff right now. Even though your not experiencing withdrawal you will need to give yourself time to get used to this medication. What your are experiencing in regards to the emails will probably start to get better soon.

Thank you for posting, I hope that you will continue to be an active member of the forum. As I have said in a number of my previous posts, we are a support forum. As long as you are a member you will not be judged, ridiculed or made fun of for anything that you may say or might have done in the past.
I have been to many other "support" forums and to be honest, I can't see where many of them can claim the "support" part of their title. In the beginning they seem to be supportive enough but then somewhere along the line the support part leaves and the telling you what you need to do begins. We are not like that.
We don't claim to be doctors or counselors. We can only answer questions to the best of our ability based on our own experiences and the experience of others.

Yours in Recovery,
Dee

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"I will let yesterday end so that today can begin."
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Boomer

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PostSubject: Re: On Day 2 - Some Questions   Wed 23 Jun 2010, 4:49 pm

Hi Dee,

Thanks for your informative and heartfelt response. It is definitely a bit of rollercoaster here on the second day of suboxone treatment. Just in the hours since my first post, I've seen the headaches and body aches disappear but at the same time I am feeling some classic withdrawal symptoms (intestinal cramping, irritability, runny nose, restlessness, anxiety, hot and cold flashes, etc.). So I think you are correct in saying it is too early on day 2 to consider a lower dose.

One thing I've definitely noticed...as an opiate addict, we have a sort of Pavlovian response to any sort of unpleasantness - reaching for a pill, rather unconsciously, every time we experience some kind of stimuli (not always negative ones either). "My stomach hurts - pill. I'm stressed - pill. I'm getting hungry - pill. I'm buzzed from my last pill - pill"

Now that I don't have that option, I'm just watching my mind triggering the response through out the day. The constant wanting - as if this moment, exactly as it is, isn't good enough. It's absurd really - the mind chasing after something that is always just out of reach.

I'll tell you what I think is different about this forum is that you have a core group of people who have had a lot of success coping with addiction who continue to post, whereas in some other forums, the only people who hang around are the ones that are in terrible agony. It's frightening to come across those forums because it seems like there is no hope...that no one makes it through to the other side. The reality is that the ones who have had success move on and stop posting. To that end, regardless of where this all takes me, I'd be happy to stick around and share my experience.

Thanks for inviting me stay. I realize I am rambling here...
cyclops
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nannamom
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PostSubject: Re: On Day 2 - Some Questions   Thu 24 Jun 2010, 8:23 pm

Hey Boomer,
I don't see you as rambling at all.
Actually it's great to see you posting. I have a strong belief that the more you post the better off you will feel. Who knows where a post can lead to. Some days I get on here and talk about one thing then before I know it I've had an over flowing of conversation pouring out of me. Smile
I will say that you are right about the response to things that are unpleasant. For me that also went for pleasant things as well.
If I felt good about something or was doing something that I enjoyed doing it seemed like I would take a pill or whatever to help me enjoy it a little longer, kind of to keep the mood going.

Before recovery I would tell myself that I would stop "tomorrow" but that tomorrow lead to another and then another. I never really wanted to give up what I had. What I had. Imagine that. What I had was an almost endless pill supply and to actually say I would stop taking them and mean it meant that I could never take another pills. I wasn't ready to give that up. Taking pills became my security and my answer to everything.
Now on the other hand I have had to learn other coping mechanisms. Taking walks, working on the website and forum takes up a lot of my day. I no longer have to allow my mind to wander into the maybe and just this once. For that I am grateful.

I am anxious to hear how your day went today, I hope your days are getting better.
Enjoy your evening,
Dee

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PostSubject: Re: On Day 2 - Some Questions   Fri 25 Jun 2010, 10:02 am

Day 3 started out good but by early evening I was definitely experiencing some withdrawal. Since it was too early for my evening 8/2, I decided I would lay down and maybe nap a bit. I had too much anxiety to fully fall asleep (even though I was quite tired) but I ended up having some half-asleep, half-awake dreaming. And...no surprise...I dreamed that I had a big pill organizer full of oxys. Tho even in my dream I knew I couldn't take them. When I fully awoke I found myself doing the old - rock back and forth while curled into a ball routine.

I got up and made myself go mow the lawn, which helped distract me and helped me to stop sitting there feeling sorry for myself.

Yesterday was overall the hardest day so far. I find it a bit discouraging but then again, if I were doing this cold turkey, day 3 - 4 is typically the worst.

Also, I am noticing that I do fine in the mornings but things get hard in the evenings. I don't know if this is chemical or psychological. Probably both.

Thanks for chatting with me on this thread, Dee. Smile

Seems quite around here in general, huh?
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PostSubject: Re: On Day 2 - Some Questions   Fri 25 Jun 2010, 10:05 am

Time for a more cheerful avatar... Razz
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nannamom
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PostSubject: Re: On Day 2 - Some Questions   Fri 25 Jun 2010, 10:27 am

Hi Boomer,
Love the new avatar.
Yes, sometimes it does get quiet around here then other times there is so much going on that I find it hard to keep up.
I answer a lot of emails that come in from our website daily and to be honest I wish that everyone who I encourage to come here would come and post. I find it has been really helpful to me in my recovery to be able to talk to other people in recovery.
I have found that people will come when they are in their hardest moments but when all is well, they seem to move on. Some of them come back from time to time and it's always good to hear from them.

Let me ask you a question about your dosing routine. Are you taking a full 8mg tablet in the mornings? I have a reason for asking, ( I usually do) Sometimes in the beginning doctors will have their patients take 1/2 tablet in the mornings then the other 1/2 later in the day just to cover them throughout.
Great move on the getting out and mowing the lawn. Keeping yourself busy and motivated will help. One of the biggest triggers for me was when I would be sitting around the house with nothing to do. My mind would get to wandering and we know where our minds can wander.

How's the answering of emails coming along? Is that getting any better for you? We have a lot of sun today for which I am very happy to have. Vermont lately seems to have had a lot of rain. But then again so has everyone else around the nation. But for today, I think I am going to enjoy the sun while we have it and work in my flower garden. I have many starters in small posts that need to be transplanted into larger pots. I am hoping to turn my porch into my own little paradise. sunny
Enjoy the day if you need anything, you know where to find me.
Dee

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Boomer

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PostSubject: Re: On Day 2 - Some Questions   Fri 25 Jun 2010, 12:22 pm

Thanks! I draw them on the Autodesk Sketchbook app for the iPhone.

My doctor wants me taking 8/2 twice a day. On my first day I took 4mg increments but starting on day 2, I've been doing 8mg twice a day.

I think that is probably a good idea 'cause I need to break the habit of reaching for a pill whenever I don't feel right. Breaking up the pills and taking them though out the day seems like a continuation of that habit.

However, right now it feels like I'm running on empty by about 5 or 6 PM.

The emails are still piling up and there are a few projects on hold because of me right now. It's unfortunate but I am on "sick leave" right now so, hopefully people will understand. The thing about working at a university is everyone takes their jobs home with them and you are pretty much expected to be working when sick and when on vacation. It's a strange culture in that way. But there are perks...like working from home is acceptable (I never go in on Mondays or Fridays anymore).

Enjoy the weather up there!! It is muggy and HOT here. You are sweating the moment you step outside.
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