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Need to quit.

Discussion in 'Detoxing From Buprenorphine/Subutex/Suboxone' started by GottaQuit, Jan 5, 2004.

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  1. GottaQuit

    GottaQuit Guest

    Hello all,

    Just found this message board. Seems like a lot was deleted. Sorry for your loss there. Let me explain my situation and believe me, I'm open to all suggestions.

    I have found myself addicted to heroin. Again. It's not as bad as it could be. I've been doing up to three bags a day for about two to three months. While it may not be breaking any record books, it's enough usage to have given myself a nice little physical addiction.

    I have one thing on my mind: QUIT.

    The question becomes how? A little bit of background on me.

    When I was a teenager I was a junkie. I was doing 10-20 Bags a day and that routine lasted about two years. I nearly lost everything. Thank God, my parents thrust me into a detox unit.

    I did a short-term methadone detox (painful beyond words) and then spent around 30-40 days in a rehab. I came out and was clean from heroin for SEVEN YEARS.


    Then three months ago I messed up.

    **** happens.

    Anyway, before this gets any worse (and we all know it will and fast) I gotta get myself clean. Again.

    In terms of aftercare, I'm prepared. My big fear is DETOX. I'm so scared of withdrawal it’s sad. I just really can't take very much pain. I'm not a strong man. I’m a *****, I'm asking for any and all advice people have because I have to do this on my own.

    There are no friends I can turn to. I did this little get addicted to smack project all by myself. I also can't turn to family, as they're not in a position to help. I'm on my own here.

    How do I get off this stuff with as little pain and as quickly as possible? I know, the junkie’s dream? I’m asking for the impossible. Still, these seem to be my three options:

    1) Cold Turkey. Not going to happen. I’ll never make it through.

    2) I have a bunch of painkillers. Percocet. About twenty of them. Will they help or would I just be prolonging the sickness? I'm sure they'll take the edge off somewhat but at what cost? I also might be able to get some valium. I know they will be helpful. If I choose this method, any advice on how to do it right?
    3) Find some money (unfortunately sans insurance) and give this Buprenex stuff a try. I've read a lot about it and I'm 50/50 on the whole thing. Sounds like it eases the pain like gangbusters. But what happens when you finally kick the Bupe? How bad is that kick? I also need to find a doctor in NYC to prescribe it. Any tips or ideas on that? I’ve just started to look around and I’m a little overwhelmed. God, and how much will the whole thing cost me? I’m just curious because, the back of the Village Voice doesn’t seem like the best place to seek medical advice.

    Well, I hope I’m not intruding on your group. I just really need some help and answers. Does anyone have thoughts?


    gonna get it taken care of and gonna do it quick.
  2. sunshine

    sunshine Well-Known Member

    There are no easy quick fixes but you have some options. I am currently on Suboxone and it worked great. I had the same size habit as you. YOu could use the pain meds you have but that could be hard because of self control which is always hard for us addicts. What you could do is give the percs and valuim to a friend to help you by doeing them out to you. I am sure there will be people here that will give you some ideas. Good luck and welcome!
  3. cgdg

    cgdg Well-Known Member

    Hey GQ...

    The Buprenorphine (Subutex/Suboxone) route is w/o a doubt the best wtg...I detoxed in a little over 30 days, and today is my 2nd day w/o it...and other than not sleeping real well last night, I'm feeling pretty good so far. If you cannot do the 'cold turkey boogie' --we all know how much fun THAT is-- I would highly reco you find a Bupe doc in your area, and check it out.

    Costs range from about $300 - $950 in your area if I remember correctly...you can find a list of available docs here: www.buprenorphine.samhsa.gov

    Call around and get some prices...check out the FAQ Buprenorphine sticky on this site as well...
  4. Apheana

    Apheana Well-Known Member

    Sabutex I think is your answer. If you can find a doc- check out the links and there is a guide that will give you LOTS of doc in the NYC area- Short term there are little side effects. I think you could use perks but I dont think 20 is enough to kick a couple bag a day habit. And then there is the addiction to them, thats where I started and its just as bad to come clean from as dope after only short term use. I pay mine out of pocket and it is killing me but not as much as using would. I was into oxi's and pills but went through a detox in a hospital using sabutex and was as sick as the biggest dope head in there. (was sick one day before they started me on it) Sooooo...whatever you choose to do we all will be here checking in so keep us posted.

    [8D]There is no such thing as intruding here there more the marrier and the more stories posted the easier it is for someone else to feel like someone else understands them!

    ***Live, Laugh and Love***
  5. Jon

    Jon Well-Known Member

    Howdy Quit,
    I've got to agree with cgdg, I used buprenex for a two week de-tox, about three days clean now, minor symptoms but doable. Find a doc anywhere you can. The details of the detox can be worked out in many ways. The result is the stuff works.
    Take care,
  6. AfroSonic

    AfroSonic Active Member

    Greetings GQ (i like your nick),

    I’ve learned a lot on this board.

    My personal conclusion is to get off the opiates and onto Suboxone. Then get off that *as soon as possible* (i.e. 72 hours). I started a 7 day out-patient program with Suboxone on New Year’s eve at a local clinic. Within 20 minutes of putting the Sub under my tongue, all the terrible withdrawal symptoms were gone. Period. By my second dose (the next day), I felt almost euphoric.

    I only stayed in the program for 3 days (the clinical timeframe for most of the opiate withdrawal symptoms to subside) because I felt so good and was concerned about becoming dependent on the Sub itself. About 24 hours after I stopped the Sub I felt generally fatigued and crappy but it was very, very bearable.

    The cost of the program was $250 (roughly a week’s worth of dope). If I had to do it again, I would do a 3-day program.

    Anyway, you can check out the details of my experience under "Pain Pills" > "Greetings. My story..."

    Tomorrow will be day 8 off of the dope and day 5 off of the Sub. I’ve been back at the office since Monday and am feeling better every day.

    I hope this was of some help.

    Good Luck.


    -- No Love for the Haters --
  7. GottaQuit

    GottaQuit Member

    Thanks for all the quick replies. Well, it seems like Bupe/Sub is the way to go. Now the question becomes how to get it.

    I'm in NYC. I guess I'll start calling doctors. Is there anyone that people from the NYC area think are better or worse? Like I said, the back of the village voice scares me.

    Money is going to be an issue, but I'd sure as hell rather come up with the money to for Bupe than for more dope.

    Afro, your situation sounds ideal (well, as ideal as kicking drugs can be). Where was the program you joined located? Did you have insurance?

    Also, I'm curious why some people stay on the Bupe for 30 days or longer, as opposed to just doing a 3-5 day detox from the heroin and then getting off the bupe as quickly as possible.

    Again, thank you so much for helping me with all of these questions. I'm praying I can figure this out by the weekend so I can get myself out of this situation before I start to lose friends, family, my job, etc. I just know where it goes and I cannot go down that road again.

    There needs to be big lifestyle changes. But first...gotta get clean.

    Thank you all.

    gonna get it taken care of and gonna do it quick.
  8. sunshine

    sunshine Well-Known Member

    Hey sounds like you are finding some answers! I can answer why some of us stay on the bup. For me I have really messed things up for myself and I need time to unravel everything that I have tied up. Get the house in order, bills paid, back to eating healthy and exercising. I need to stay on for a little while longer so that I can work on the issues that started me to use in the start place otherwise I will be right back where I was. I have had no relapses since Dec 15th and feel great!
    Bup really is the best way to go.
  9. AfroSonic

    AfroSonic Active Member


    I actually didn't even think about finding a personal doctor. If I did, I probably would have taken that route – detox clinics aren’t the nicest place to spend your time (but they may very well be the most effective *and* least expensive)

    I simply surfed for some addiction resource websites for my city (my city’s about 200 miles south of yours and begins with the Letter “B”).

    I started calling places who’s missions I didn’t even know and asked them what they did and *most importantly* if they knew of the type of program I was looking for. I was given a recommendation for the program I ultimately entered on the 3rd call.

    In general, no one, I repeat NO ONE, really wants to talk to you. Be persistent and again, most importantly, ask the person on the other end of the phone if they know of a program that will meet your needs.

    Once I called my clinic, they setup an appointment for me within 3 days. I had to pay up-front (or have insurance) and test positive (urine test) for opiates. The 7 day program was $250 but, I’m pretty sure a 3 day program for about half that amount would have been just as effective for me.

    So basically, just start making calls and *ask for recommendations*

    Btw - My clinic was associated with a hospital. I think most larger hospitals in my city have clinics (probably subsidized by the city). That may be a good starting point for you.


    -- No Love for the Haters --
  10. pinkie

    pinkie Well-Known Member

    Sub worked wonders for me an my bf. Based on my experience, it is possible to do a very short detox usinig a minimal amount of Bup (whatever form). It really depends on your personal chemistry, but worth a try. Consider doing it as fast as you can with as little as you can (within the bounds of comfort). Prepare for at least some symptoms, it's not completely free for most of us, but when compared to cold turkey, it's perfect.

    It took me a while to find a doctor, as it turned out I ended up with a fabulous one, (sorry, I'm in S.F.). But I came upon him via a convoluted series of phone calls, so just stay on it and you will find someone. The criteria I used was that I needed to talk to the doctor on the phone before making an appointment. I needed to be sure that his agenda was helping me get clean compassionately, not lining his pockets.

    I haven't seen him around in a while, but guitardude was in NYC, (don't remember what I had for breakfast, so I could be making this stuff up. For me, life is just one giant hallucination), maybe he's lurking and can give you some direction. There have been others from NYC too, so time to step up you pushy New Yorkers.

    Yoo Hoo, Guitardude...
  11. GRACE

    GRACE New Member

  12. GottaQuit

    GottaQuit Member

    I finally got Subutex!! I have a couple of questions before I start this journey...

    Some quick background on me again:

    I've been using for a short time -- no longer than three and a half months. I'm snorting, never shot up and my use has only increased up to six or seven bags a day in the last two or three weeks. However, I've been down this road before. When I was a teenager, I was a full blown junkie. 10-15 bags a day for about two years. Then I got my **** together and stayed clean for seven years. Some alcohol, the occasional xanax or vicodin, but never, ever heroin.

    Everyone I've talked to says that it works like a charm so I'm predisposed to think it wont be different for me. I've been given seventeen 8 mg sublingual tablets to start. The doctor told me to try and stick with 8 mg a day, but if I absolutely MUST, I can take up to 16 mg. No more than that though. Obviously, I'm going to really try and stick to 8 mg. I can't imagine that wont take care of me. I'll be able to tough it out. It can't be as bad as going cold turkey.

    The doctor told me I could start to take the Subutex right BEFORE I start to feel sick. For example, if I had my last hit of dope this morning, I'd be able to start the Subutex before I went to bed and avoid the discomfort. What do you guys think about that? Sounds wrong to me. I should hold off on taking the Subutex until I'm actually IN withdrawal, right? Maybe go to sleep high and the when I wake up, instead of doing that first morning line, wait a little while and then take the Subutex.

    My big question is is what to expect on that first dose of Subutex? Will my WD symptoms go away? Of course, I expect some discomfort (and I'm certainly not looking to get high) but how much does this stuff really work on first dose? Will I be able to walk around and socialize a few hours after dosing? Or is it more likely that I'll be stuck in bed, feeling kind of lousy?

    I recognize some of these questions might be hard to answer since everyone is so different. I just want to get the heroin out of my body and then get the Subutex out of my body as quickly and painlessly as possible. I know I'll be on the Sub for at least a week to ensure the smack is out my system. Not sure how long I want to stay on Subutex though.

    When I stop using Subutex, after I'm down to say, no more than 4 mg a day, what kind of symptoms can I expect coming off of it? I've heard it's NOTHING compared to coming of of heroin but what kind of WD's are coming way and how long will they last?

    Also, do I actually get further away from WD's the longer I stay on the Sub? Or if I stop cold turkey at 4 mg after a week or two, is it going to feel the same as it would if I stopped after a month?

    Thank you so much for all of your help! I'm on my way to being drug free!!!

    gonna get it taken care of and gonna do it quick.
  13. Bup4pain

    Bup4pain Well-Known Member

    My vote is absolutely not any sooner than 12 hours after using. Even at 12 hours you may go into w/d from the buprenorphine. I would wait till you start to get sick. Not puking and rolling around, but yawning runny eyes and cramps. 24 hours is the recommended time. However if your start getting to sick go ahead and dose.

    That way the bupe will make you feel better not worse then better. The worse you feel the better the bupe works.

    Remember it takes the Sublingual bupe 100 minutes to peak in effect. So wait 1 1/2 hours before re-dosing. Bupe lasts a LONG time and you don;t need to take a LOT to have it's magic work.

    I don't know what your goal is but if you plan on getting off opiates (not bupe maintenance) than you can cut your dose after your stabilize fairly quickly. Once you stabilize ONLY take what you NEED! It may be as little as 2 mg to 6 mg a day. after 2-3 days start to taper over 2-3 weeks Due to your short time on the H 2 weeks may be EASY!

    Bup is an addictive opiate. If you take it longer than 3 weeks you will develop a dependence on it (the less you take and the shorter the time you take it the less dependence). SO TRY to get off it as quick as you can. (with out getting dope sick or uncomfortable)[:p]

    You may be amazed at how fast you can use bupe to get of a short H trip. Some people do it in a week w/o any w/d! :D

    Good luck! Keep us posted!

    Don;t party on the H for your last time... Make it easy on yourself.
  14. sleepless

    sleepless Well-Known Member

    Hi GQ, welcome to the forum :) ..Let me start this reply by saying, you are NOT now nor EVER will you be intruding, everyone is WELCOME here...It looks like you have been given some great advise and some wonderful suggestion on here an how to start your life all over, so I'm not going to add anything more, honestly I could'nt even if I wanted to...WTG on being quick to find yourself a doctor to help you detox with Sub..I myself have no experience what so ever with Sub., but from all the research I've done on it (and believe me it's been A LOT) for my own FYI and being able to relate to some of the things that are discussed here on the board, I honestly think you are going to be pleasantly surprised at how well you do once you start taking it..I'm going to attempt to answer a few of the questions you asked in your last post, BUT please bare in mind this is only from the research I've done and reading the experiences from different people here on the forum that have used Sub. to detox...Yes, you start the Sub right when you begin to feel yourself going into withdrawl (I think it's something like 12 hours), it takes away your symptoms fairly quickly from what I've read/been told and you begin to feel *normal* again, your doctor may adjust your dosage by giving you more or less depending on how well your first dose works and until he/she gets you *stabilized* at a certain dose...Your dose my be higher or lower than someone else's here on the forum, BUT don't let that scare you, we are all different and the chemical make-up in our bodies are different..The major withdrawl symptom seems to be depression, there are more, but I'm gonna let the experts here handle those...I'm guessing your doctor will more than likely suggest some sort of anti-depressant or mood stabilizer (which is a good idea IMO), if not then I would be sure to ask him/her about it just incase...Some people don't experience any depression, they are the lucky ones, but most of us after detoxing from our drug of choice have experienced it...From what I've read here from people that have posted when they first started taking Sub. their doctors sent them home with an array of drugs to treat their different symtoms, also *ak* had several others have kept a daily log here on the board of the experience they had from day 1 of Sub until the last dose of it, you might wanna think about reading them and seeing what their experience was like and the meds. the doctor sent them home with to treat their symptoms, I think that's gonna give you some solid advise on what to expect...Just about everyone's experience was the same with some slight differences...Like I said I honestly think you are going to be pleasantly surprised at how well it works and how well you do on it...As far as "Will I be able to walk around and socialize a few hours after dosing" IMO I don't see why not...Sub does an has worked like a charm for many of us junkies, I believe you have made an excellent choice and are going to do just fine...Just sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride to being sober ;)...I hope you will stick around with us and keep us posted on how things are working out for you..We're here for you when you need us for answers, advise, suggestions, and support my friend, hang tough & best of luck to you :)

    p.s. if any of the advise I gave was wrong or way out in left field someone please correct me and I will delete it since I've never used *H* or Sub..Thanks

    Take Care & God Bless :)
  15. GottaQuit

    GottaQuit Member

    This is great everyone!

    The way it's looking, tomorrow night will be my last line of dope. I'm not a big fan of AA but I am going to go ahead and borrow their "one day at a time" motto here. I believe that's the only way to take this struggle...and I'm a huge fan of Bonnie Franklin.

    Anyway, tomorrow night is the end. I should note that I have no plans to "go out with a bang" so to speak. I'm not gonna do more drugs than I normally would. If possible, I'll do less. i've got five bags left to my name and I want them to last until tomorrow night.

    I have to take a plane during the day tomorrow and if you'll excuse the terrible pun I'm about to make, I will be "flying high." God, that was a bad pun. I really apologize. So, I'll go to sleep tomorrow night, wake up the next morning and instead of going for that first line of the day, I plan on toughing it out through a few hours of some discomfort. When it gets to be just too much, I'll take my first 8 mg dose of Subutex.

    Man, I'm nervous.

    Get together and pray, cross your fingers, do some kind of pagan ritual, whatever you you need to do out there in order to send me good vibes and good luck. I really want this stuff to work. I'm hoping that the first 8 mg tablet I take will set me somewhat straight so I can live my life this weekend without the terrible gut wrenching pain that comes with dope sickness.

    I think I will keep an online journal of my Subutex detox on this site. It'll be good for me to check in here and process my thoughts. Also reading everyone's different stories has been so helpful to me.

    Again, thank you everyone for your help. Any more advice people have would be wonderful.

    Detox fever -- catch it!
  16. diavolo7

    diavolo7 Well-Known Member

    Hi GottaQuit,

    I never read this thread until now or I would have responded sooner.
    I had the same habit as you do. 4 month H sniffy problem, 8 -10 bags a day (not very good stuff, either...benzos came up in my urinalysis as well as opiates, so I guess that was what they were cutting it with...I don't take benzos!).

    In any case, I did my last line of H at around 8:30pm on a Friday night. I took my first 4mg dose of suboxone at around 9am Saturday morning at which point I had w/d symptoms (tearing, sneezing, cramping). The 4mg sent me into acute withdrawal. So, the longer you can wait it out, the better. I should have waited until midday or evening, maybe.

    Then, I did a quick 6 day detox with little problems. So, it can be done.

    Good luck to you! Keep us posted.
  17. GottaQuit

    GottaQuit Member

    Wow. 12 & 1/2 hours and you went into acute withdrawal? That's awful! God, I really don't want that to happen to me. I guess this is yet another testimonial that backs up the fact that you should WAIT WAIT WAIT as long as you can to take that first dose of Subutex.

    Do you think the acute withdrawl you went through had anything to do with the fact that you were taking Suboxone as opposed to Subutex? As I understand it, Suboxone is Buprenorphine plus Naloxone. If Naloxone is anything like Naltrexone, it's an opiate blocker. When Naltrexone is combined with opiates of any kind, it will send you into severe withdrawal pretty quickly.

    Do you think I'm a bit safer from possible acute withdrawl since I'll be taking Subutex, not Suboxone? Subutex is just straight up Buprenorphine. Is it Buprenorphine combined with heroin that does the dirty work? Or is it the Naloxone that could screw me up?

    Either way, I guess Friday morning/afternoon is going to suck with some serious pain. I just hope when I take that first 8 mg, the pain will be lifted. I know I could make it 12-16 hours in withdrawal if I had to and I'm certainly not going to take the Subutex before 12 hours is up. I just really would love to know exactly how long I should wait.

    My doctor told me that if I took my last hit of heroin this morning, I'd be safe to take the Subutex before I go to bed. I didn't do this and I'm glad I didn't. I'm starting to think my doctor gave me some pretty awful advice and would've sent me into acute withdrawal. I'm also curious why he gave me 8 mg pills instead of 4 mg pills. I'm just of the opinion that less is more and I should only take what I need. Since I obviously can't break these pills in half or anything, I'm stuck with no option but 8 mg. But I don't know if that's a good or bad thing yet.

    Can you tell I'm nervous?

    gonna get it taken care of and gonna do it quick.
  18. Nancy04

    Nancy04 Member

    I found this thread very helpful and did say a prayer for the guy who requested it and then one for us all, I go to the doc in two days for the Subutex, I was afraid to go on it. Now after reading this thread , [:I]I am convinced if I don't stay on it long it will be the way to go,I send much love to you all. We can do it and at least here, we are not alone, God Bless you all.......Nancy
  19. sleepless

    sleepless Well-Known Member

    Hi GQ, you've got my prayers my friend, and please do keep a daily log it helps so many people here and the hundreds and thousands that read this forum but never post...You're gonna do just fine, so try not to be nervous and worry, you'll see that you were nervous over nothing :) ..
    Nancy, I'm SO glad you've been able to find some comfort and piece of mind, also you may keep a daily log here and share your exerience as well...The more information that people that read here have the more they are armed to make the right choice for them...You also are in my prayers and I will be looking forward to reading you guys daily log..Best of luck to you both on starting a new life :)

    Take Care & God Bless :)
  20. GottaQuit

    GottaQuit Member

    Just reading through all the posts on this site is making me feel better about everything. It's good to be informed. I know I'm writing/posting a lot and I hope it's interesting to people and not a waste of bandwith.

    Here's my new questions/thoughts...

    I'm a little confused as to why I've been given 8 mg tablets of Subutex as opposed to 4 mg tablets. My doctor told me that I cannot break the 8 mg Subutex tablets in half. I asked because I'd obviously like to take the least amount of this drug that I have to down the line I've read so much here about splitting their doses. Am I reading wrong?

    Are these Subutex pills okay to break in half? If I break them in half, will it release some sort of nasty stuff that will make me sick?

    Don't worry, I have NO plans to shoot or snort it. I just want to know if they're safe to break in case I want to give a lower dose a try.

    The thing is, I'm not so sure I trust my doctor. Sure, he DOES want to help and he does know about this drug...but let's face it, he also wants to make a few bucks. I'm paying cash, you dig? He specifically said that we're doing a DETOX and not a maintenance situation. But I get the vibe that he's into a longer detox program than I'm interested in. He's talking three months. I believe that if I'm on Subutex for a week and the heroin is out of my system, it's time to start tapering the Subutex as quickly as possible.

    I'm amazingly in a great position in life right now. While I know there's going to be depression and anxiety with coming off drugs, I don't know if I'm going to need this massive amount of time to make adjustments to my life and get things together. I have one junkie "pal" and if I never spoke to them again, it wouldn't bother me in the least. Also, I will never understand how some people get a thrill out copping drugs. Like, that's supposed to be half of the rush. No way, man. I've been dealing with a pretty nice guy in a fairly mellow situation and it's still totallyAWFUL. The whole "scene" is NOT fun. The sooner I'm away, the happier I'll be.

    My number one super big concern right now is making sure I don't put myself into acute withdrawal. To be sure, I'll be taking the first dose of Subutex around 12-14 hours after my last use of heroin...or as long as I can hold off. I know I keep saying this over and over again. I'm just so terrified of what's going to happen. I hope the switch goes smoothly. I don't know what I'll do if it doesn't. There's nothing that would make me happier than to feel my symptoms go away after taking that first does of Subutex. At the same time, there's nothing that would make me feel worse than taking that first dose and having the withdrawal get WORSE! I'd love to hear any advice or stories people have on starting this process.

    When was your last dose of heroin before you began a Subutex detox?

    How many mg of Subutex did you take to start?

    Did you need more to stabilize yourself? If so, how soon did you take it after your first dose?

    If by some horrible reason, I do enter acute withdrawal, how long can I expect it to last? Will taking more Subutex ease the pain or make it worse?

    It's really ****ing scary to be messing around with a new drug that doesn't have a lot of hard core information on it. But you know what else is scary? Doing 8 bags of heroin a day. Standing in a hallway with a dealer, watching him go up to a black SUV and coming back with bags. Ugh, I hate it.

    More soon. I'd love to hear what people have to say about some of these questions.

    Thank you everybody.
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