Citation: Detox Doc . "A Story About Detoxing: An Experience with Buprenorphine with Naloxone (Suboxone) (exp94357)". Erowid.org. Oct 3, 2012. erowid.org/exp/94357
I am 24 year old male who once used up to 6 to 7, 30mg Oxycodone's and 2mg of Xanax a day. I have smoked pot for the last 8 years and still do. I have tried other various mind altering substances and I have done just about everything in the book. After being on Oxycodone for a couple years, I one day decided to seek help.
I was referred to your typical Suboxone Doctor Center. I went in, met the doctor and he gave me some anti diarrhea pills and sleeping meds and said come back for your induction (when one is in the first stages of withdrawal and the doctor induces the recommended 8mg Suboxone pill under your tongue). I came back the next day, after being off all opiates for 24 hours. I was on my way to receive my 'Induction' and I felt very awake and alive. I was sneezing again, and with every sneeze it felt so great my whole body got goose bumps, it was a feeling I hadn't had in two years. Similar to how my mind was feeling. It was as if my mind had been locked up and stuck on a small island for the last 2 years. Then entering back into reality was like being told everything in those last 2 years all at one time. Everything I was thinking about was building up and creating an overwhelming feeling of anxiety. It was almost a joyful feeling of Anxiety. I was anxiously awaiting to see how the Suboxone was going to affect my overwhelming symptoms I was having after only being opiate free for 24 hours.
It was time and I received my 8mg Suboxone pill from the Doc and Induction was over. About 30 minutes later I felt like I just took 10 Adderall at once or just did a whole bunch of cocaine. It was a crazy feeling, I had this very clear vision of what 'normal' was again. I was instructed shortly after that I would need to take another 8 mg later that afternoon and up to 16 mg the next day. I was confused when I heard this because of the large dosage amount, considering the way I felt from only having 8mg. It could have lasted me two days. I was fine from just the induction till the next day and I never took the second dose. I did not need it, the first 8mg's at induction was more than enough for a couple days worth!
The next day after a great nights rest I followed the doctors orders and took my 8 mg Suboxone as directed. I didn't feel the need to take one and nothing changed when I took it. It was still that same feeling of Normal, no euphoria similar to a good Adderall like buzz, yet I could sleep on it. The next day I followed up with the doctor, an told him the truth, that I only needed 1 dose yesterday. He told me that I was 'rushing' through this trying to get it over with quickly. I agreed with him and he told me the most startling thing I had heard so far. He told me that I would need to be on Suboxone for the next year and possibly for the remainder of my life… from that moment on I was skeptical about this drug and its detox protocol method. I didn't want to be on Suboxone for more than 3 months. So I played along with the doctor and told him what he wanted to hear so I could continue to receive my prescription.
By day 3, I cut my 'recommended dosage' down from 16 mg's to just 4 mg. I continued on 4 mgs a day for the next month and eventually cut down to just 2 mg by my second month on it. I eventually cut down to just 1 mg every other day then down to .5 mg then down to .25 mg. midway through the 3rd month I stopped completely. I had mild withdrawal feelings mainly just sweatiness and being irritable. This was a mild withdrawal and I was convinced I could get though it. I figured it was going to last like normal opiate withdraw 7-10 days, 12 days being the worst. After 3 weeks of this sweatiness and being irritable, I broke down and took 1 mg of Xanax which I would occasionally still take as needed.
I never experienced any withdrawal symptoms from the Xanax. This helped tremendously. My sweatiness could be controlled with just a small amount of Xanax. when my sweatiness was gone I didn't find myself as irritating. I eventually stopped sweating and was off all opiates. I felt alright. I was slightly depressed and was prescribed 20 mg of Adderall a day to help me through my legginess. This helped slightly but I felt like I was never going to feel normal again. The slightest feeling of withdraw still existed now 7 months later all from the 3 1/2 months of Suboxone. I tried a couple of antidepressants during the this time but none of them worked.
After a year of being clean I decided to start taking the Opiates again. I had a new perspective on Opiates and their power at this point, and decided to only take a 30 mg Oxycodone once a day. I would do so by breaking them into 4 even parts equalling 4 − 7.5 mg doses a day. The euphoria was present at first because my tolerance had diminished. After a month I started to feel no euphoria from the small doses. I felt no need to increase the doses because the feeling and state of mind I was in was better than the 1 year Suboxone withdrawals I was having. It was just more of a stable state with no anxiety or unpleasantness. I was happier, and felt somewhat normal. The morning's were sluggish and once the day got started after I got my next dose in, I could continue on with some clarity in my mind. After about 1 year of this routine, occasionally upping my dose on the weekends to a whole 30 mg Oxycodone, I couldn't feel my 4 − 7.5 mg dosages a day I had been doing. The morning Sluggishness turned into a half-a-day sluggishness! I then decided I was going to stop for my final time.
I was talking with my pharmacist about how screwed up it is to stay on Suboxone. He then slightly agreed and said that there was a doctor he knew of who encouraged a fast taper from Suboxone. I was intrigued by this and called the doctor immediately. The number was his personal cell phone and also his office phone and he said to come by that afternoon. After meeting him and hearing his horror stories of people who suffered worse prolonged suboxone withdrawals symptoms than I was ever having, I felt relieved but scared. After all I was on it a little more than 3 months and withdrew from it for a year, ending it myself. He explained to me about those unlucky ones who have been on it for 2-3 years. He being a former surgeon and user, with sobriety for more than 34 years was more on my level of the understanding and theory of how Suboxone should be used. That differed from most doctors whom have never felt the experience of withdrawing from a substance themselves. Suboxone was just cleared by the FDA in 2002 for its new purpose of Opiate addiction… there is no wrong or right way to give this medicine yet, only time and studies will unveil the true way it should be taken.
Today is barely its 10th year in current treatment in the US. After spending over 2 hours talking with my new doctor, I felt very angry as he told me no one should be on it for more than a month. All I could think about was the other doctor telling me I could be on it for life. Obviously they want you to take it forever or else you wouldn't be coming in and they would stop making money. He explained to me Suboxone's prolonged withdrawal effects and about PAWS, post acute withdrawal syndrome. Look it up, you won't want to take Subs for more than a month after you read what it is.
He explained how he was let go from the last addiction center he worked with and told me they were seeing a couple hundred patients a day, for 5 mins at a time, $120 a visit and had them commit to a minimum 2 year treatment plan prior to starting. He called for a board meeting being one of the main Doctors there following this protocol. He argued that some of his patients would never be able to stop this medicine and how he developed a new suboxone treatment protocol. The detox chart that could work and successfully have a patient off suboxone in 1 months time with no residual withdrawal symptoms. This put nothing but frowns on the board member's face's whom mainly consisted of doctors at the Center. They told him no way and they weren't even willing to try it, and fired him because of his stubbornness towards the matter. That brings their practice down from a 7 million dollar a year to a 1 million dollar year profit margin.
So he moved on and started his own center. He then showed me the Chart, so far he had only seen 23 people at his new clinic which was a small room he rented from another doctor in a small building. He told me approximately 11 of those people had been on Suboxone for more than 6 months at very high doses, around 16-24mg per day. He sadly looked at me and said it's too late for these people all I can do is help maintain them and try to tapper their doses. Overtime he discovered that after so much tapering down he couldn't break there habit. Suboxone was just too powerful.
For the remainder of the his patients who had never been treated yet and could try his new Suboxone protocol were in luck. He had results showing his 1st month's detox program results from induction to finish. The results blew my mind. 8 out of his 12 never been treated patients had been treated so far and were already successfully tapered off Suboxone after 1 month and some sooner. Not only did they successfully stop Suboxone in under 1 month but they had no withdraw symptoms and no PAWS after 6 months. Plus they were all opiate free. 4 out of the 8 went to the recommended counseling and group meetings for additional support after stopping the Suboxone.
I myself was able to taper and start the program Induction with just 2 mg's of Suboxone and continued the chart starting from week 2 taking only 3 weeks to complete my Suboxone taper. I have been off of it for now for 3 months an I still have never felt those same withdrawal system feelings as I did the first time coming off it. So, here is his chart below. I hope it helps you as much as it did for me and the few others lucky enough to discover it.
The 1 Month Buprenorphine Treatment Protocol Chart.
(THIS CHART IS ASSUMING ONE USES ALL 2MG SUBOXONE PILLS)
EX: Day 0 of week 1 which is the Induction consist of 4 − 2 mg pills = 8 mg induction IF NEEDED*
4 3 3 2 2 PILLS
8 6 6 4 4 Mg's
0 1 3 5 7 DAYS
1 1 1 1 PILLS
2 2 2 2 Mg'S
9 11 13 15 DAYS
1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 PILLS
1 1 1 1 Mg'S
17 19 21 23 DAYS
1/4 1/4 1/4 1/4 PILLS
.5 .5 .5 .5 Mg'S
25 27 29 31 DAYS
PLASMA LEVELS : In Nano Grams
0 3.0 ng
1 3.35 ng
WEEK1 3 3.51 ng
4 2.82 ng
7 3.10 ng
9 2.66 ng
11 1.91 ng
WEEK2 13 1.47 ng
15 1.30 ng
17 0.89 ng
19 0.73 ng
WEEK3 21 0.67 ng
23 0.66 ng
25 0.45 ng
27 0.37 ng
WEEK4 29 0.34 ng
31 0.33 ng
PLASMA LEVEL DROPS ONLY 2.67 MG IN 31 DAYS OR 0.86 DAILY!!!!
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