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Stepping off Bup

Discussion in 'Detoxing From Buprenorphine/Subutex/Suboxone' started by pinkie, Jan 14, 2004.

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  1. pinkie

    pinkie Guest

    It seems like we are always dealing with this issue, so I wanted to just do a quick summary post of what most of us are saying.

    First there seems (to me anyway) to be this issue of reframing your detox. Sure, you need to step off when you're ready, but for some junkies that answer when faced with discomfort is never. In answer to this problem, It's important to keep in mind how your detox off Bup compares to cold turkey. I have yet to hear anyone who says it even comes close. Keeping that in mind, it may help some of you with particular fear to try to think of stepping off as if it were not detox, but rather a flu. I know people talk about detox being flulike, cold turkey was always way worse than that for me. Stepping off Sub, you can expect some fatigue, lethargy, minor anxiety, mild insomnia, and/or minor stomach symptoms. All of these have been managable for those of us who have stepped off, especially when compared to cold turkey. Most of us have used some other medication to help us through, clonodine, valium or sleep aids. It's a good idea to have something on hand, but again, use only what you need, no more! So, it really is worth the risk, and keeping a good mindset about any symptoms you do have WILL diminish them, fretting over them WILL exaserbate them. You pick.

    As to how to taper, most of us agree that you should do what your body tell you. There seems to be some minor disagreement about the length of time you need to take and the dosage at which you should step off. With detox from Methadone, the taper needs to be longer, as the Methadone stays in your system for about a month. With shorter acting opiates, you should probably only take what you need. You may find this amount to be much less than your doctor prescribes. The general consensus is to get off Bup (from H, or pills) within a month. Some people talk about stepping off at miniscule amounts, maybe. I personally think that 2 mg sublingually (IM is different) is an alright amount to go from, I think that after that, your may be recieving diminishing returns. This is up to you, it's a balance between staying on longer at smaller amounts or going shorter with a little more. Remember that your junkie mind will not want you to step off. It will make every minor ache and pain an intolerable event that can only be remedied with more opiates. Your healthy mind needs to step in and take over at this point. It's your healthy mind that's going to get you clean and keep you there, so learning to say no to your inner junkie goes hand in hand with this detox experience.

    I maintain that your body will tell you what it needs. NO ONE, not us, not your doctor, not your inner junkie can tell you what you need to take. If you let your healthy mind lead you, you can decide what your body needs without the help of anyone. If you can wait until you are actually feeling minor detox symptoms before dosing, and then use small amounts at a time until you feel well, you can more easily manage the dosage, making sure you're only taking exactly what you need. Bup is longer acting, so logically, you should only need to dose once a day, some prefer splitting their dose. You should do what works for you. Having said this, it's important to define detox symptoms. Since stepping off creates some minor symptoms, you need to be prepared to suffer those. So when dosing yourself, do what you need, but eventually, get your nerve up (it really doesn't take much, you'll see), and risk the consequences. This is not a ocean cruise, this is detox, and you will probably have some MINOR discomfort (a couple of us haven't had any), even if that discomfort is only missing your opiates. Keep this in mind, but don't blow it out of proportion.

    At the point where you step off, hopefully, you will have support set up for post detox. This includes some sort of exercise, a plan for eating right, and some kind or emotional support, whether that be friends, counselors, or groups, and a long list of things you can do to occupy any time you have (you may find you have a lot, not having to scram
  2. joberri

    joberri Active Member

    right on to the above!! would just like to add that even after long maintenance on bup (I was on for 2yrs) the withdrawal is very manageable. Other benefit of long maintenance is time away from dope scene, time to change the way you were living your life, and hopefully time to iron out some of those behavioural loops our minds try to drag us back to!

  3. SlipMan

    SlipMan Well-Known Member

    Awesome summary of what this experience entails. Thanks alot for posting it Pinkie. I do want to ask you what you meant by "feeling OK for a week before the cravings start"? Are you saying the cravings don't really start until after week 1? I'm at 1 week today and I've had cravings everyday I think? Could you clarify? Again, we all appreciate you're undying devotion to these boards!
  4. Jon

    Jon Well-Known Member

    To my hero in a nutshell :)
    You know I sorta,Kinda used you and BF for inspiration.... And after untold hours of reading and studing case studies. You know I agree with what you say with my whole heart. Though I would be scared, The best studies I've read to date show that a Seven day max use of Bupe and most people Detox easier from short term dope ie; Herion, pills (othewr than sustained release) Dillaud and the like. Bottom line whatever works fine!
    I am just glad I did it fast and low dose. It's just fear friends, just fear.
    I hope all are well,
  5. spring

    spring Administrator

    Yes Jon..you sure said it right....it's just fear...usually worse then the detox itself.

    Thank you once again Pinkie for taking the time to post. You are a great inspiration to many, including me.

    ~~~Do the right thing and risk the consequences~~~Spring~~~
  6. new

    new Active Member

    Hello fellow Suboxonites, Today is the 8th day without suboxone and I feel fine. I was just wondering if I still have some in my system because I have Hep C and Cirrhosis of the Liver. It may take longer to process the Suboxone. Anyone have any input about that? I was at 8mg but never took a whole tab only took half and skipped days. The longest I had gone before was 5 days. I try to keep active. This morning I had to go out and use my snow blower and snow shovel. All this cold weather and snow is new to me as I lived in So. Calif. all my life and have just moved here to Pennsylvania. I had never even seen a snow blower before. I didn't think I would have the energy to do all that work at 5:30 in the morning. I have a huge circular driveway and it takes about 30 to 45 minutes to clear all the snow so I can get my car out of the garage. This is amazing I felt no w/d's at all maybe the onset takes longer. I know that when kicking methadone sometimes I didn't feel bad for a couple of weeks then it would hit me and kick my ass for a month.I've been taking the suboxone for 6 months but was very cautious with it. I tried not to take my dose back to back always skipped days and I think that helped.
  7. sunshine

    sunshine Well-Known Member

    Welcome to PA! Where I live in this fine state we have the lake effect snow. Which is just extra snow on top of the Alberta Clipper that has been dropping the white stuff. HAve fun! I miss Southern CA where I didn't have to worry about any of that.
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