Suboxone Withdrawal Really Sucks

I spotted this awesome little piece of literature while browsing the Something Awful forums. It’s regarding the dark side of drugs – the side that most users don’t particularly like to think about, and hope they never have to. But withdrawal is truly a fascinating topic, and one that’s hard to comprehend if you haven’t experienced it. To an addict, withdrawal is an invisible driving force behind their use. Even if a user genuinely wants to rid themselves of a drug, the threat of withdrawal can force them to do anything in their power to stave off the horror.

A growing trend for heroin (and other heavy opiate) addicts is to use Suboxone to help rid themselves of their addiction. In a very simplified sense, taking suboxone “covers up” the receptors that opiates would use to make you feel like sex. It is made up of buprenorphine, an opioid agonist, which satisfies the opiate urge. And since it is essentially non-recreational – to someone used to heavy opiate abuse anyway – it can be a godsend for people who have  exhausted their well of options.

nocarbon from the Something Awful forums has graciously provided the following insight, and I believe it is an excellent look into the mysterious world of Suboxone withdrawal. So if you’re wondering what to expect in your own future, or questioning if suboxone is right for you, or even simply curious about that mystifying human experience, read on…

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General disclaimer: I’m as much a doctor as George Bush is a cowboy. This isn’t medical advice. It’s my experience.

Nocarbon’s guide to buprenorphine (suboxone/subutex) detox.

Considering long-term suboxone? Read this first:

Suboxone has its place in the world. For some, it’s deserving of its name as a “miracle drug.” If you’re doing a bundle of H a day and your family, finances, and body are being ravaged by opiates, then by all means Suboxone will help you get out of your rut. Kick ass.

If you’re sitting in a nice home, surrounded by a loving family, and you want to quit your insurance-funded 240mg of oxy per day for your “legit” pain issue, tough it out. Long-term Suboxone will be a step down the rung for you. It will do more damage than good for you. You are trading 3-5 days of withdrawal for weeks of hell.

You. You’re somewhere in this continuum. You really have to evaluate your position. Despite what you’ve been told by your board-certified NAABT doctor, suboxone withdrawal is hell. Don’t believe me? Go to bluelight, subsux.com, or any of the myriad of boards with thousands of people that will say the exact same thing. You think that you’re “clean,” really you’re only delaying the inevitable withdrawal.

(Disclaimer: your definition of “clean” may vary wildly from mine. Don’t get all worked up here. My definition of “clean” is that I don’t owe my body an agonizing withdrawal if I don’t take a small strip exactly every 12 hours.)

Note: I can’t speak to a short-term (1-2 week suboxone +taper of 1-2 strips MAX) as I’ve never tried it (Can anyone weigh in?)

You’ve had enough, time to stop

My qualifications: I was on opiates for 1.5 years, peaking for 3 months with 3ml FST / ~200mg oxy per day. I tried the taper to ease withdrawal, but I didn’t try hard enough. I went on 4mg of suboxone per day and I was on for a total of 3 months. Brain fog, inability to remember words and places, and even forgetting where I was my big push to get clean.

Listen, I was not a hardcore opiate user. My habit didn’t make a fucking dent in my finances. My family didn’t even notice a change in my demeanor or attitude. I wasn’t on suboxone for that long, either (3 months). If you are a hardcore user, take my advice with a grain of salt.

On to the meat:

  • I started the taper 3 months in to a 4mg/day
  • I tapered to 2mg/day for 3 weeks
  • I tapered to 1mg/day for 5 days

I’d speculate a longer taper would help. I don’t know because I didn’t do a longer taper. Knowing what I know now, I probably would have tapered longer. When you actually see how small 1mg of suboxone is, when you can hold that in your hand, you think “hahah this is a joke, there’s almost NO effect on my body from this. It’s a sunflower seed!” Yeah, you’re wrong. According to SA user Yermaw Zahoor, even a taper to .25mg/day didn’t help him. He went through exactly what I show below.

What helped me more than anything in withdrawal wasn’t the question “why am I feeling like this?” It was “will tomorrow be worse.” This smattrering of words is more about answering the latter question. When you know what you’re in for in the future, the present becomes easier to deal with.

Day 1:T+0 – 24 hours since last dose: Prep Day

Day 1 is all about preparation. Good on your for making the choice, now it’s time to button up the smokehouse and prepare for a long, cold winter.

Keys to today

  • Get your affairs in order. Take 2 weeks off work. Tell your loved ones what you’re doing. Give them a copy of this post so they know what to expect. Pay your bills, set the phone to airplane mode. You have ceased to be a functioning member of society; you are now a bag of meat and bones solely focused on getting better.
  • Go shopping: You’ll want 2 bottles of liquid loperamide (Immodium AD), 500mg pills of L-Tyroseine, Magnesium+Calcuim, a case of electrolytes (any of the “-ades”), and a good multivitamin. Ask a doctor for some Ambien (sleep medication).
  • Get some sleep: Nap as often as you can. Sleep in. Soon you will forget the beauty of a good night’s rest.

Day 2:T+25 – 48 hours since last dose: False Start

Hey remember when you were on oxy/H/hydro/etc and you’d wake up in agony right about now? This is fucking CAKE! Slight discomfort, sure, but nowhere NEAR the hell that you’d normally be going through right about now. Don’t get your hopes up, buttercakes.

Keys to today

  • Find some “friends.” For some people, it’s going to AA/NA. For me, it was a stupid bulletin board (which I’m posting this on now) of people that went through it. Surround yourself with positive people that have already beat this.
  • Pitch your opiates. Give a friend your wallet. Take away your mechanism to score a quick fix. Flush the remaining suboxone you have.
  • Get some more sleep: Again, nap as often as you can.

Day 3:T+49 – 72 hours since last dose: Halfway to Hell

At some point today, approximately ½ of the suboxone that was in your system when you took your last dose has been processed by your body and squeezed out of your dick (or whatever mysterious hole you have amidst the roast beef).

Sleep may start being a little more difficult, but don’t go nuts with the Ambien just yet.

Keys to today

  • Eat: Go wild while you still can. Avoid junk. East stuff that would make your momma proud.
  • Drink: Lots of water today
  • Be Merry: Start with the supplements. I took 1 gram of L-Tyrosine every 8 hours, 1 multivitamin in the morning, and magnesium every 12 hours.

Day 4:T+97 – 120 hours since last dose: It begins

Okay, this is what we prepared for. You don’t need me cracking jokes about how you feel right now. I genuinely feel your pain.

You’re going to have any number of these symptoms (and others): Vomiting, Diarrhea, Chills, Restless Legs, chronic sneezing, headaches, profuse sweating, jerkiness, insomnia

Your muscles will feel like they’re tearing from your bones. You can do this. Hang in there.

Yes, it does get worse.

Keys to today

  • Friends: AA/NA/Messageboards (the Crackhead Clubhouse at forums.somethingawful.com is a great group), just talk through it
  • Loperamide: Yes, it’s an opiate. No, it does not cross the blood-brain-barrier. Yes, it does help with the nausea and diarrhea. Ranges vary wildly on this. Personally, I found magic at 10mg’s every 6 hours. Start small and small steps.
  • Hydration: The most critical thing today is to replace all the fluid you’re losing. Keep drinking.
  • Showers/Baths: It gives a good amount of relief temporarily.

Day 5:T+121 – 144 hours since last dose: Circle #9

This is what you prepared for. I know you didn’t sleep last night. I know how bad it was. Today, you’ll peak. Make it through today and you’ve got this licked.

I’m going to plagiarize SA user The-Mole here. This helped me tremendously during Day 5:

quote:

More than just breathing or meditating… probably the best thing you can do in the moment for [physical or mental] anxiety/fear is to just relax. Blah blah, easier said than done, blah blah, but that’s why you should practice it when you aren’t anxious/scared, so relaxing the grip of fear/anxiety becomes second nature. Practically speaking, make sure you aren’t hunched over (you can’t breathe deeply hunched over/slouching). Now relax your body (how mentally anxious you are is incredibly influenced by how tensed your body is). Start with your toes, when they’re relaxed, move onto relaxing your feet, then let your ankles relax, calfs, knees, thighs, groin, stomach, abs, lower back, chest, upper back, shoulders, arms, neck, fingers, hands, wrists, lower arms, elbows, upper arms, and then relax your face. While doing that, take slow, deep breaths in through your nose and out your mouth. Keep breathing and go over your body again, trying to find any places that are still tensed, relaxing them as you find them.

99% of people would find that relaxing, it’s just difficult to remember to do in stressful moments if you don’t do it sometimes when you aren’t stressed/anxious/scared. So do something like that (even if it’s just a slow deep breath or two) whenever it crosses your mind. If you want, you can literally get yourself into a habit of doing something like that any time you get scared/anxious/stressed… to the point where it becomes second nature to you. I.e. you’re relaxing yourself as soon as you feel yourself starting to get a bit dicey.

Keys to today

  • Know that today is the worst. Tell yourself this over and over.
  • Hydration: the only think that’s going to kill you here is a lack of fluid. Don’t be lax.
  • The knowledge that others have done this. We’ve been there. You CAN do this. Hang in there.

Day 6:T+145 – 168 hours since last dose: The Waves

The worst is over. Now it’s just waves of horribleness with the occasional smattering of a few minutes of complete relief. You probably won’t sleep again tonight. You’re prepared, though. Keep the Tyrosine, Magnesium, and Imodium flowing.

Keys to today

  • Hydration: Yes I keep harping on this. It’s important, dammit.
  • Ambien: Use it sparingly before you think you’re able to sleep. I was able to catch the sporadic 30-45 minutes here and there

Days 7-8:T+169 – 216 hours since last dose: Oh god, when can I sleep

You’re noticing more improvements.

You slept maybe 30 minutes last night, it’s really hard to tell. Everything’s kind of blending together. The cumulative 3-4 hours of sleep in the last 3 nights coupled with zero appetite is really starting to take a toll. You feel like a shadow of your former self in every way.

The “waves” are about 15 minute cycles now. You’ll feel good for 2 minutes, bad for 10, REALLY bad for 3. It’s manageable.

One of these days you’re going to go to bed thinking “this will be it” and the next thing you know the alarm will be going off and you’ll be all AWW YEAH because you just slept all by yourself.

Keys to today

  • Hydration: Yes I keep harping on this. It’s important, dammit.
  • Showers and rest.
  • It’s all uphill from here.

Week 2:The Fuzz

It’s going to be really hard to get sleep this week. This week is what the ambien is for. You may get 15 minute naps, some people get several hours at a time. It varies wildly. The “cycles” are really starting to diminish now. Keep drinking, eat when you can. Relax. This will be all done soon.

Week 3:Normalty returns

At some point in this time, you’re going to be back to normal

Work in progress.

This is creative commons, if you want to steal it, just give me credit for it. Have a ball.

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I think we’ve all learned something today. And thanks again to nocarbon for the awesome write-up.

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71 Responses to “Suboxone Withdrawal Really Sucks”

  1. subkicker1980 Says:

    i have 1/4 of a strip left, tried the taper thing and just cant get down lower than that. ive been on subs for over 5 yrs, and to top it, i shoot it. crazy i know. for the last 2 years ive hated everything about who i am and what i do. ive wanted off this drug, although it serves its purpose, for so long. i know its going to suck, and i know im not going to sleep, and i know my girlfriend is going to notice. ill play the flu card or something, but she thinks ive been off it for over a year. i dont have a job to go to so thats a plus, but i still have things ill need to force myself to do. im going to try it, ive tried before and made it to day 4, only to go score more down the street. this time i dont have that option, and if i can not ask for the car tomorrow, thatll be that. we all know the mind tricks us into things. i really want this, i need this. i wont lose her, i wont lose myself, well i will for a little while, but ill come around again. wish me luck, gonna give it a go starting saturday i think.

  2. subkicker1980 Says:

    ok, so my plan did not work, mostly due to the fact that i enter full on panic mode as soon as i wake up each day, not to mention my using has taken on a routine basis. every morning, while my girl friend is in the shower, i do my sub. then halfway through the morning, i do the cotton. and everyday after she gets home, i tell myself, tomorrow will be the start of my kick. i admit, my anxiety gets the best of me. and because i shoot the subs, i start getting sick as soon as i wake up everyday. im coming to this site, and to you people, because i need help getting through this. maybe someone could respond with some words of encouragment, or try talking to me through comments about what to expect. in my opinion, and experience, shooting subs allows your body to absorb it faster, which is why i think im getting sick on day 1, rather than day 3. opinions on this would be great! the last time i kicked subs, i relapsed on heroin, so it wasnt really a kick, more of a replacement. i dont want to go back on heroin, and even if i wanted to replace for a few days, ive done the heroin in upstate ny, and its nothing compared to the dope in nj. so that would be a waste, and a bad thing to do none the less. does anyone know of anyone that kicked shooting subs? has anyone ever heard of it? are the withdrawals more intense? do they last longer? anything you can say would be of great importance to me, and very much appreciated. ive searched for shooting withdrawals, and have come across virtually nothing aside from the fact that it destroys your veins, which i alreadt know from experience. once i get my kick underway, i do plan on writing a journal, to help anyone else who is stuck in my personal situation. all the forums on suboxone withdrawal are great, but not one of them mentions those who are stupid enough to start shooting them, and decide they want to kickafter 5+ years of doing so. i am stupid for thinking this would be less expensive, that i didnt have to taste the suppossed “orange” flavor they claim to have. ill just shoot it, i said, ill spend half the money i said, and i wont have to taste it, i said. stupidity. if youre thinking of shooting subs to save money, dont. trust me, dont do it. ive had more circulatory issues, cotton fever episodes, and arterey injection problems(which if you dont know, hurt like a bitch for about 2 weeks, rendering the extremity you injected into, virtually unusable, and imobile). i have 2 addictions to kick, subs, and needles. both are hard, but both are possible, with some help from those that have gone through similar experiences. im asking for your guys help with this, i know i cant do this by myself, if i woke up everyday and checked this site and saw someone had posted something to help me keep going, i feel, would make all the difference in the world to me. you dont know me, but you know what its like. please, someone, respond…thankyou in advance….

  3. Lotus Says:

    Hey subkicker1980, I don’t have much time right now to write a detailed reply, but I’ll try to do one as soon as possible! In the meantime… hang in there! I can tell you desperately want to quit, so you’ve won half the battle already. Now comes the part where determination and willpower is King. First, stop shooting the subs. It’s gonna suck really bad, but you have to stop sometime and now is better than later. I know how good needles feel, and if you still crave the needle you can put some purified water in there and inject it to get the sensation (I’ve done that before). But the main thing is to stop injecting the sub and start taking it orally.

    Once you’ve done that for a couple days, start scaling back on the sub. You might not be able to hide how sick you are, but it’s better than the alternative of hiding an addiction.

    I’m pulling for you and I wish you the best!

  4. subkicker1980 Says:

    thankyou, i will try that. my biggest problem right now is getting my dose down low enough to safely make that transition. if i shoot a 1/4 a day, thats the equivelent of taking 1/2 or more orally. i tried making the transition before, and i know how much i had to take to feel right. this week i only spent $20 on subs, i figure the less i have, the less ill be able to do. my goal this week is to get down to 1/8 a day, the equivelent of 1/4 orally. if i can succeed in doing this, i feel the transition from i.v. to sublingual will be much less noticable in my body. truth is, i love needles, and i hate needles. i hate the fact that i use them, and have become remarkably proficient at finding veins where there are no veins, all of mine are now thread-like remnants of vascular pathways, yet i manage to find a new spot every few days and abuse it until it too, becomes a hard useless vessle for blood movement. im not proud, far from it, and i dont hate myself either, suboxone has given me my life back, granted im technically still a junkie, and im still dependent on a substance for daily activity. i has served its purpose, and it is a miracle drug, if used correctly for a maximum of 5-7 days. i understand people feel they need it for a long-term solution to staying off drugs, but in all honesty, if you want to use, you will, no drug can prevent that. people dont give themselves the credit for what they do anymore, you get off drugs, its a program or a prescribed medication that did it, thats completely wrong. YOU got off drugs, not the program. they may have helped you along the way, but ultimately you are responsible for your own outcome, you are accountable for your actions. people do help, and kind encouraging words can be of assistance, such as in my case when i asked for some of you to write back to me, it has helped, and i do thankyou, but know this, nothing you say will matter, if I dont do what is neccesary to get off subs. dont stop responding, please by all means, give encouraging words, they do affect what decisions are made by me, and anyone else. none of us can do it alone, but the individual has to make their own decision to stop, and continue to stop, or just give up and keep on going on the way they were. ive started preaching, ugh, ramble ramble, and i forgot why i wanted to write back, and what i wanted to say. whatever the case, who ever decides to stop doing subs, regardless of what youve been told, its going to be hard, and its going to suck. fight for it, kick, scream, claw(at your legs, hahaha), because youll be a better person for it. anything worth having, is usually hard to obtain. change sucks, and getting off subs is a huge change in many areas of life. i want it so bad i cant stand that i have to continue for just a little while longer, or maybe i dont, well see. if you decide to get off subs, its YOU getting off subs, no one else. make it be for you, because its you who will have to live with what comes as a result. remember its always darkest before dawn, there are people to talk to, forums to read through, and programs to go to, but ultimately, its all about you.

  5. Lotus Says:

    I agree 100% with your views on responsibility. Whether you quit or relapse there’s nobody to blame or congratulate but yourself. I don’t like many tenets of AA since it leads people to believe that if they relapse it’s because they were powerless against the drug, and if they continue recovery it’s because they were powerless to a higher power. You have all the power, and it’s sometimes frightening how much power a single individual truly possesses.

    The best advice I can give is just keep working towards your goal. Even if it takes longer than you wanted, just keep slowly chipping away. Don’t give up one day and say “fuck it this progress is so slow I’m just gonna go back to using full on” because then you’ll be starting from 0 and all that time and effort will be for nothing.

    And yeah I know that nothing I say will ever truly matter, because I cannot change your reality with my words. Even if I wrote the most eloquent, convincing piece of literature in the history of the English language (and god knows I could), you could simply ignore it and go back to whatever you’re doing. But I hope that in some way it will plant a seed or help in some small way to give you extra motivation or reassurance simply knowing that other people have been hopeless and helpless and made it through to the other side.

    If nothing else, it gives you something to take your mind off it and provides a brief distraction from the general struggle of a life in recovery.

  6. subkicker1980 Says:

    thank you for your words, they do help.

  7. subkicker1980 Says:

    ill definately keep striving towards goals i feel are comfortable for me, so far it hasnt worked, but at least i keep trying, my biggest fear is that i wont be able to get off once i find a job. im not working now, so kicking would be ideal, because at least i wouldnt have to suffer through an agonizing work day, and produce quality work, which wont happen, all the while coming off the subs. my girls mother is coming up for thanksgiving, im planning on being completely off by then. if not, i think ill be pretty screwed. rent goes up in february, and unemployment wont cut it, not that its cutting it now, but we manage. wed manage better if i didnt have ot keep buying subs every week. i shouldnt complain, about kicking, im not even kicking yet, technically. although my lowered doses do leave me lying awake midway through the night, and that disrupts her sleep, which disrupts my sleep, and so on. we dont really have a healthy intimate life, aka. bedroom activities, and im also afraid that once i start kicking, shell want it, and ill have to say no, which will make her feel like i dont love her. so many variables in my story, as is with anybodies story. everyone has their own personal hell, and particular circumstances to go with everything else. i need coffee….ok where was i? oh yeah, everyone has their crap covered stick, and a bucket of liqui-crap to stir. im a firm believer that youre problems are what define you. let me explain, and this is just as reference purposes. 2 people, same age, same sex, same cancer. one complains its not fair, bitches and complains constantly, becomes depressed, and lazy, and is basically waiting to die, focusing on the illness and its unfairness. the other realizes their on borrowed time, and enjoys what little time they have left by visiting family and remeniscing, travels, laughs and doesnt think about thier illness. i think we all see where this is going, who is the better person? no. who is stronger? no. who deserves it more? wrong again. its about what each of them did with their circumstances. you can wallow in your $#!+, or you can get over it and do something about it. one person enjoyed the rest of their life, while the other spent the remaining years of their life focusing on their inevitable death. everything in life is a choice, EVERYTHING!!! you can choose to be happy, depressed, angry, or whatever, its your choice. i know there are chemical imbalances in the brain, and traumatic events that affect mood alterations, and thats all fine, its what you do about it that matters most. the human mind is capable of so many things, most we dont have access to, but the signs are there. the mind is a muscle, and needs to be used, or it will deplete and degenerate, make choices, make the tough choice and work your way through it. you, your mind, your body, and your spiritual self will become stronger as a result. ugh ive turned this into something it wasnt suppossed to be. im done. thanks.

  8. subkicker1980 Says:

    yesterday, and today, i took my lowest dose ever!!! which may not be important to any of you but it is to me. i havent reached my goal of taking 1/8 quite yet, but i have managed to take 3/4 of a 1/4. i suck at math so i dont know what that is in fractions, but do know that it is 1.5 mg. i felt fine all day long after my dose. no chills, no sweats, nothing. appetite was fine, even managed to make home made beef stew from scratch. slept most of the night id say. woke up a bit early to some, not so pleasant feelings of early withdrawal, but dosed and was fine. my approach to this may be all wrong, but i feel getting your dose as low as you can before the big jump, would ultimately lessen the severity of withdrawal symptoms. i could be wrong but it makes sense to me. my last few posts have gotten a tad off track and i would like to apologize for it, once i get an idea in my head, start rambling, and creating side points, its hard for me to stop. i guess its the writer in me desperately seeking validation and recognition. anyways, back on topic, lotus, you have been a god send through this, youve given me the hope i needed to try again, and get back up if i stumble. i would hug you if i could, but i cant, so i wont. just know that you are helping me very much, i know its MY decision to make, and only MY action will get me through this, we’ve agreed on that much, but you have chosen some very honest, open minded, motivational, empowering, and encouraging words to write, not only to me, but for me as well. i am, and will remain, forever in your debt because of them, and can only offer a genuine thank you. i hope its enough, for you, to continue trying to help me get through this difficult time in my life. your experience, wisdom, and suggestions are whats going to make a difference in this feeble mans outcome. tomorrow, i am going to continue to take 3/4 of a 1/4 (1.5 mg), and get my body used to that dosage. 4-5 days i think is quite adequate. after that period, granted all goes well, i will lower the dose to 1/8, (1 mg), and continue to take that dosage until my body gets used to that, again, 4-5 days should be sufficient. at 1 mg, ive read its safe to jump, but i think getting lower is going to help ease into feeling like crap for weeks a little smoother. id like to get down to taking something along the lines of .5, or .25 before jumping into the fray. if what i feel every morning is any sign of whats to come, i know im not ready for the jump yet. i know, i should just suck it up and jump, and get it all over with, and i may just do that, but i have to mentally, and physically prepare for something like that, and im just not there yet. ill keep posting when i can, and good luck to anyone trying to kick subs now.

  9. amanda Says:

    I’ve been on subs for a few years and at least the last year Have been one only 1mg. I recently had a huge kidney stone and was in so much pain that I was put on Norco again. I stayed on them for two months and realized it was becoming a problem again so I went back to my Dr and was put back on 2mg sub a day for two weeks. I’ve definitely feel the heaviness in my body tired some dizziness and the restless leg. However I’m now on day 14 of completely nothing. About 5 days ago I started with the diarrhea but it hasn’t been real bad yesterday I started sneezing running nose headache and experiencing some stomach cramps from hell few times the last two days? I have been recently exposed to the flu. So my question is after 14 days are my withdrawals finally coming out?? I’ve haven’t had any chills sweats anxiety or anything like that. Did run a low grade fever for about a day or two. My cravings has pretty much also gone away. Dr gave me 10mg of valium to help sleep and med for my legs. I only take the leg med and half of the valium at night so I’ve been pretty much sleeping. Anyone have any thoughts if this is withdrawals or maybe just a bug?

  10. Lotus Says:

    Typically you’d have experienced withdrawal symptoms within 2 or 3 days of quitting. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible for them to be postponed for a couple weeks, but it’s pretty unlikely. However you can definitely experience withdrawal symptoms for up to a few months after quitting, and they will sometimes fade away for awhile, then return in cycles. Those cycles will slowly get milder and less frequent until they stop altogether.

    In your case it might be a combination of mild withdrawals and some typical seasonal cold type thing.

  11. Anonymous Says:

    If you want some good tips. Hot showers or baths will help the restless legs. Ibprophen helps also. Drink lots of water to help flush it out. Also if your on subs or Roxie’s than go backwards. Use Vicodin and taper down from them and that makes the withdraw not as bad. Sleep is like impossiable and is the worst part I think. But eventually you will just crash, or you can use a sleep aid. But the key to beating addiction in my option is switching to Vicodin and tapering down from that. I call this going back to what most likely started your addiction in the first place. I think the withdraw is defiantly easier than it is from any other drug. 3 days and your on easy street. Than it’s depression for some and all that good stuff but that all goes away also. Hang in there. You can do it.)

  12. subkicker1980 Says:

    well, its been a while since i last wrote. nothing has changed, mostly because i panic, and because i have a needle fixation. i tried getting rid of my sets, then find one in a coat pocket, and have to start all over again. i psych myself all up for the big jump, or i try to lower my dose by the tiniest amount, and it just doesnt work. what is wrong with me? i want off this shit, and its down to the wire for school to start. march 2nd, thats the day it all has to happen by. jump off? feel horrible for a month straight? i understand its bound to happen, and that it needs to happen, but i panic every single time. withdrawals in panic mode are the worst ever. if your getting off this crap, stay calm, panicking makes it 1,000 times worse than it needs to be. but thats what i do, so how can i suggest something i cant even do myself? i cant cut my dose down from 2 mgs to 1 1/2 mgs without panicking. im out of unemployment benefits. just filed my taxes using turbotax. i have maybe 2 1/4 subs. a 1/4 a day would mean i have about 9 days left. no matter what happens, i need to lower my dose. i keep telling myself, ill start tomorrow, then wake up sick, panic, and dose myself with the usual 1/4. i managed to get my dose down from 3/4 a strip a day to 1/4. so thats some progress, but not enough. i need to get my dose down to taking an 1/8 a day, and soon. otherwise, when i run out, its going to really hurt bad. as i write this im panicking. and im already dosed for the day. crap on me, damn anxiety. can someone induce a coma for about a month, then wake me up in time for school? that would be great. everyday is the same, “ill start tomorrow, b.s.” im so sick of telling myself that, and so sick of believing myself. i know i have to do it, no one can do it for me, but there has to be something else i can do, because what ever it is that i am doing, is not working for me. any suggestions out there? i could use some advice….thanks in advance…

  13. Richard Says:

    I want to thank the author so much, and also Lotus for helping everyone with more good advice. I’m on day 8 of Zubsolv wd, and feel decent enough to to write this. Nausea, no appetite, sleeplessness and fatigue have been the biggest part of the nightmare. And it IS a nightmare. I can honestly say that this has been the worst and most difficult experience I’ve ever had. The story. Had been on oxy, for back pain, then had total knee replacement surgery. They mismanaged my pain care and I got up to about 100mg of oxy/day. I have successfully tapered off oxy on two occasions with virtually no WD. But I wanted to take a “shortcut” and so did the Zubsolv. My asshole DR, who I’ll prolly sue for malpractice, said just taper off for a couple days and then stop. I’d only been on it for 10-12 days, so I figure no big deal, particularly because the first two days weren’t too bad. Then the fatigue worsened until I was bedridden for 4 days, and complete loss of appetite, nausea, etc. the last two nights were, as the author says, ninth circle of hell. Yesterday, I had about one hour where I felt human, so I’m assuming I’ve turned the corner. Today, diarrhea has worsened. Shit the bed. The nausea has been unrelenting but today it has let up (not vanished) for the last two hours, enabling me to get out of bed, shower and drink some juice. I’m going to take some of the advice here and go to the gym for the some cardio if I don’t get knocked down again by the time I finish writing this. I can honestly say that this post was a true lifesaver for me, because it seemed the withdrawal would never end. I so NEEDED to read this schedule and know there was a light at the end of the darkest tunnel ever. So far, my WD has been a little loner, but not by much. My Dark Night of the Soul came at day 7 not five. Now I’m in the waves stage. I was going to take an Ambien tonight, but frankly, I doubt it would work and I don’t need to get hooked on that. I haven’t slept in three nights, but since I’m feeling this well, I’m hoping to catch a nap if the nausea and restlessness stay abated. I agree with everyone who said this is the worst drug ever and worst withdrawal. I was a heroin addict for many years when younger (I’m 59) and withdrawal from heroin was an absolute walk in the park compared to this: three days withdrawal, 5 days of craving and BOOM–freedom, if you claim it. I’ve been sober in AA and NA for 28 years in August. I have degenerative disc disease and would take pain meds when my back went out. Then withdraw from them or just stop if it was a couple days. My feeling of “I’ve got this” built up and I’m certain my addict brain was telling me I could get away with the “occasional” usage, until THIS. So I’m grateful in a way that this wd was so horrific. It woke me up to the enduring fact of “once an addict, always an addict.” If I require surgery, pain medication is necessary, but other than that, I’ve got to find alternative non-opiate relief. Anyway, that’s my tale so far. Hope this helps someone. I know you all saved my ass. BTW I’ll post a link to another great post that helped me tremendously. I actually had my first bite of food while writing this. Rice, but I’m very grateful.

  14. Richard Says:

    Here is the other article that got me though this (so far):
    http://mentalhealthdaily.com/2015/03/29/zubsolv-withdrawal-symptoms-list-of-possibilities/

  15. Lotus Says:

    Thanks a lot for sharing your experience Richard! I’m certain it will prove useful to someone out there in the future. You might look into a workout program with a physical trainer to help deal with your degenerative disc pain. I have a friend with the same problem and he is a trainer. He still has pain now and then but it helps a ton working out the surrounding muscles that help support his back. Also if you aren’t opposed to muscle relaxers (they have some effect on the mind but nothing like/compared to opiates), then those can be incredibly useful for those really hard nights.

    Also I’m really happy to hear that this post helped you. That’s my favorite thing to read 🙂

  16. Lotus Says:

    Also subkicker1980 I apologize I meant to reply to you months ago. I somehow forgot and this post doesn’t get as much attention as other ones on the site. Hope you’re doing well nowadays.

  17. Richard Says:

    Thanks Lotus. Had my first night sleep with ambien last night. Tonight tried half an Ambien and Melatonin Varerian and I’m still awake at 6 am. I don’t want to get hooked on the Ambien, but the insomnia has now moved up to número uno of the continuing withdrawal. Had my first meal today and took my daughter out so I know I’m past the worst of it. But lack of appetite, slight nausea, jitteriness, Restlessness and irritability continue, but for How Long? According to the article I should be in brain fog territory. When do you think I’ll feel actually good? What do you think about the Ambien?

  18. Lotus Says:

    Well of course the article is just a baseline and the order of events and exact timeline vary from person to person. Some people will have very little fogginess but a very long period of insomnia, others may not have much trouble sleeping but may feel off or anxious for weeks. At this point in your recovery things are a lot more in your hands though. If you can get out and exercise, keep yourself busy and tired, you’re going to be a lot better off than sitting around at home focusing on the symptoms. I’d also recommend when you feel shitty to do something pleasantly distracting like watch a movie, play music, catch up on tv shows, etc.

    As far as when you’ll feel good it’s very hard to say, probably within the next week physically. Usually the physical stuff will be manageable after a couple weeks and 100% gone in about a month. For me depression was an underlying cause of drug use, so after I stopped taking drugs obviously the depression hit me harder than ever for months. So even though all the physical withdrawal symptoms were gone, I still felt like I was in withdrawal mentally 4-5 months later. What eventually got me out of it was actually riding motorcycles. I grew up on motorcycles, my first race was about age 6, so when I got back into riding it filled the hole that drugs had left. Now I understand most people probably don’t have decades of motorcycle racing to fall back into, but surely there’s some hobby or interest that you neglected for awhile that might help speed along the process of normalcy.

    About the ambien, my personal opinion is to avoid it if possible. We both know what happens when you become dependent on drugs, and given your circumstances it’s hard to avoid trading one drug for another (not that I think you’ll be abusing ambien during normal life). But at the same time, if you just use it for a couple weeks then it’s probably not a big deal. If you can I’d recommend taking a very small dose of your ambien in combination with some supplements. I always recommend 5-HTP for the mood stabilization (lots of times the things that keep people up are negative thoughts), Taurine to relax the body, and you can try getting on melatonin for a less abrupt sleeping aid. Keep in mind that melatonin needs a week or so to really start affecting you properly, which is why I recommend tapering off the ambien while you start that method (and after a month or so I’d start tapering off of everything so you don’t need anything).

  19. Richard Says:

    Thanks Lotus, great advice as usual 🙂

  20. Marlin45acp Says:

    Wow. I am on day 5. Feel like I wanna sleep. Can’t stop yawning. But only getting small naps. This in so annoying but I promise… I will push forward. I wanna hold my kids again. Sit and chat like when one was a sober man. I have chosen these boards rather than bringing this into my loved ones lifes. And this information is me to a T+. Thanks. Love knowing that people have beat this beast. Now back to mine… ty so much

  21. Lotus Says:

    Thanks for sharing, it sounds very familiar haha Which is good news really, cause even though it sucks so bad right now and maybe even for a couple weeks or months, you will finally be back to normal at the end. It seems like it takes forever, but then you’ll look back and say “well that was really no time at all!”

    We’re very happy that our site has helped you, it’s honestly the biggest compliment we get. Makes me feel good 🙂 Please come back and give us an update if you don’t mind. And if you need any help at all or just want to rant, you can always comment here or email me! lotus@(thiswebsite)

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