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your words are a godsend.

Discussion in 'Detoxing From Buprenorphine/Subutex/Suboxone' started by japanther, Mar 5, 2008.

  1. japanther

    japanther Member

    you have no idea. this has been awful, i can't believe we only JUST now found this place.

    here's the situation:

    my husband has been on methadone maintenance for about four years, following a two-year stint of very heavy heroin use. in the past few months he's sort of been all over the place, in terms of dosage. he jumped from 140 mg to 100, to quitting cold turkey for a week(which was awful, but he just wanted to see if he could do it). this was in anticipation of being able to do a short-term inpatient bupe detox. after telling his drug treatment counselor what he'd done, his takeout privileges were removed because he had broken his treatment protocol, but his counselor was very impressed and started him back on 20 mg, and after stabilizing, put him on a milligram-a-week taper. it's only been a few weeks, but it's been the worst few weeks of his opiate-addicted life, and as of yesterday, he's on the waiting list for Providence hospital's drug treatment program. he has to call every morning and check in, and they'll tell him whether or not they have a bed open, and if they do, he has to grab his bags and head up there. we have yet to be told how long his stay will be, and what their treatment plan is. on the website it looks like their typical inpatient treatment last about fourteen days, which according to this forum is about seven days too long.

    questions, questions, all of which i'm sure could be answered by scouring every thread here, but bear with me, please. if there's one thing can you can't do too much of, it seems, it's talk about recovery and help one another:

    1. is there anyone here who has been through a similar methadone detox and been successful?

    2. how long after completing your chosen method of treatment has it taken you(whoever chooses to reply) to feel "back to normal", even just mentally? weeks? months? years??

    3. what specific supplements have you found the most helpful? from my research it seems like the most needed vitamins are good ol' calcium and vitamin c, as methadone seems to, quite literally, steal from your bones. i'm under the impression that a lot of the achiness and withdrawal symptoms are from a lack of calcium, at least so far as methadone is concerned. is this a fallacy?

    4. any other advice? best piece i've read thus far is that the shorter the duration and the lower the dose, the better. is this still true for someone coming off of another maintenance drug like methadone?

    thank you so much, guys. you're all so strong and i only hope my husband and i can report the same kind of progress and strength.
  2. dogpaw

    dogpaw Guest

    Hi japanther,
    Welcome to ODR. I'm sorry, I can't answer many of your questions, because I've only been on H and sub (no meth). There are several members who've switched to sub from methadone, so hang on. They'll show up. I just didn't want you to think no one was listening.

    <center>*I'd rather pay the piper than pay the dealer*</center>
    <center>* If nothing changes, nothing changes *</center>
  3. jdude

    jdude Well-Known Member

    Welcome japanther........while I commend hubby for wanting to go IP, in most places it's not necessary to start suboxone. But for a smooth transition from meth to sub, hubby should ween/taper down below 30mg.

    Then use the COWS scale to determine the correct timing for the induction. But the longer he can wait the better. For some it was days....or longer. Then start with a very low dose and wait for at least 90 minutes B4 assessing the need to dose again.

    But the IP treatment can be a huge step in the right direction...just go informed. Read up on the clonidine and some of the sub stickys.
    You may even want to check out the methadone forum?

    Godspeed and the best to you.

    <center>You can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking that caused them in the first place.</center>
  4. japanther

    japanther Member

    thank you for the responses! i've spent all morning reading and bookmarking just about all of the stickies so far, all are very helpful.

    currently he's on 17 mg. of methadone-- hoping for a quick, supervised detox. we're going to use this info to make a "battle plan" to take with us to the doctor when he's inducted so they know we mean business, and that we won't be tricked into any kind of maintenance deal.

    i haven't read too much on IP experiences here, it seems like most people just get the 'script and go home.
  5. Parachute

    Parachute Well-Known Member

    [quote thing can you can't do too much of, it seems, it's talk about recovery and help one another:



    All Best
  6. T-HAZ

    T-HAZ Well-Known Member

    Hey japanther -

    Last year I switched from methadone to suboxone and I would recommend sub over 'done any day. I used to do over 100 mgs. a day (easy) and dropped down to 30 mgs. before the switch. Problem is, I didn't wait until my W/D's were full-on, so the transition became somewhat tricky. Being IP, the switch will probably go a lot smoother - even seamless with the proper comfort meds, etc. Remember, sub too is a strong opiate with addiction issues involved. However, switching over to sub is a good move, especially when it's used short term.

    If your husband gets into this program I can almost gaurantee that good things will start to happen for you guys.


  7. sudokudee

    sudokudee Well-Known Member

    Hi Japanther,

    It makes it rather difficult for you to make plans when they won't tell you how long he'll be IP or what their sub protocol is. Something you need to know is that many doctors are unfamiliar with many things about using sub....usually, rehab staff are more knowledgeable about these things, but it's no guarantee.

    One of the most important things related to starting the sub is that he MUST get most of the methadone off his opiate receptors. The normal protocol is that one must be down to at least 30 mg. and then stay off methadone for 48 hours. If there is still too much methadone on the receptors, he can go into precipitated withdrawal, which can be quite miserable. IMO, it is even better to stay off methadone a bit longer than 48 hours.....more like 3-5 days.

    Some facilities will switch the person to a short-acting opiate for a week, often oxycontin. This is because one only needs to wait around 18-24 hours after the last dose to start the sub safely.....whereas methadone is long-acting and takes much longer. Then, while one is on the short-acting opiate, the methadone is being replaced by the substitute drug.....and then the induction is done after waiting about a day. The other possibility is that one can use clonidine/catapres for a few days....while off the methadone....and then can do the induction 3-4 days later, having used only clonidine for withdrawal symptoms..........the thing is, most people don't get withdrawal for 2-3 days when they stop methadone, due to it's long half-life....and this is what happened to me also.

    The other thing one should do when starting induction is to start with a low dose, 2 mg.....and wait around 90 minutes. In this way, one would be able to determine if precipitated withdrawal might be occurring and could stop the induction and wait a bit longer, without having caused too much difficulty. One can always take more sub but cannot subtract it once it's taken....so starting with a low dose is the safest way to do it. If the 2 mg. works fine....then no need to add more sub....and this is good because the lower the dose, the better. Some doctors will simply start patients off on sky-high doses that are not necessary.

    The other recommendation I can give is to have him only stay on it for a week and taper down. Now here is the problem with using sub to get off methadone.....because there is usually quite a long sub-acute detox period, where one feels pretty crappy, though not quite as bad as the acute detox that occurred the first week, if one uses the sub for the recommended amount of time, one week, one is still left with all the symptoms of the sub-acute detox and still feels rather crappy for awhile after stopping the sub. This is why most people who use sub to get off methadone end up on the sub for at least a month or more....and then, they still have to go thru the detox off sub....so they basically just postponed their detox.

    T-HAZ is right in terms of sub being safer to take than methadone...for one thing, one cannot overdose on it, supposedly. But the viewpoint that sub is safer than methadone is only really relevant for those who want to stay on sub maintenance. For those who just want to get through the acute detox off methadone with it.....it does not go nearly as well as it does when using it to get off heroin, pain pills, etc.

    The main thing I worry about after reading what you wrote here...would be that he would be there a week on a fast sub detox....and would then still be in sub-acute methadone withdrawal once he was discharged. If this happens, I would definitely want to have some clonidine....and for this reason, I would make sure they gave him a script for this when they discharge him.


    Dee--off MMT 9-12-06
  8. arlenewla

    arlenewla Well-Known Member

    Hi Japanther & welcome to ODR.:)

    I'm going to make another suggestion. I would suggest that he go straight inpatient and continue the detox from Methadone...and not go to the Sub at all. I see you said he was @20mg (or somewhat less by now). Why not continue the process and finish it without transferring to another opiate?

    Look hun'...no one will kid you on this site. Getting off of MMT and staying clean ain't easy. The Methadone detox is tough...and it CAN be done. I came off of 15 years @250mg.

    It would seem to me that he's just elongating an already difficult situation by going to Sub. The goal, after all, is to get C&S....and inpatient would be the right time to do it. Perfect, actually.

    A MMT detox however is not 7 or 14 days. They're longer. And when I say detox, I don't mean him coming out on Sub. I mean off of everything as he exits detox.

    You ask "how long" to feel normal? That's the great unanswerable....particularly with MMT. Sometimes months and months. You ask about the achiness...the joints and bones. It sucks....and Advil and lots of hot showers (baths) help...as does exercise. Ban
  9. japanther

    japanther Member

    his sub use is going to be limited to his time in IP-- it's going to be used as a tool to help combat the withdrawal, there are no plans to come out with any kind of prescriptions. he's going into this with the idea that detoxing off of methadone straight-up would cause him all kinds of mental repercussions(as he is schizo-affective, this being one of the reasons he started self-medicating with opiates in the first place) and he feels like he couldn't handle the "raw nerve" state that it puts you in. he tried it, for a week. granted that's not very long, but it was as long as he could hold out before he started flopping around like a fish-- i'm sure all of you know what that's like. he thinks that the suboxone is going to help repair some of the damaged connections in his brain, he seems to be on the "miracle drug" trip right now still, despite everything.

    he reads these responses and appreciates them immensely, i think it's only a matter of time before he signs on, himself. thank you all again for your support and advice, the link to Dr. Arneson's website has been particularly helpful.
  10. T-HAZ

    T-HAZ Well-Known Member

    Again, I think that IP is the best start on his road to recovery. He's also very lucky to have been given this opportunity. Hopefully you guys are excited about all this!

    Keep posting,

  11. jdude

    jdude Well-Known Member

    The miracle comes from within. Not in a bottle.

    Having him post would be good.

    <center>You can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking that caused them in the first place.</center>
  12. japanther

    japanther Member


    extremely excited and, more than anything, extremely nervous.
  13. japanther

    japanther Member

    well, he got admitted yesterday, and after 3 hours of paperwork, we said our tearful goodbyes, and he's theirs for fourteen days. so far, he says everything looks good. they're letting him get stabilized for a few days, and then they'll start the sub, and he'll start going to groups and 'classes', and i get to go see him on Sundays. he's only an hour away, but that might as well be 100 miles as far as i'm concerned.
    thank you for your advice, and i'm sure i'll update here once in a while since i won't have much else to do.
  14. jdude

    jdude Well-Known Member

    If you want to be a step ahead, you might try alanon or naranon?

    Good news on the hubby going IP![^]

    <center>You can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking that caused them in the first place.</center>
  15. billypilgram

    billypilgram Well-Known Member

    Good advice as usual. The suggestion of Narconon is of good value as it allows you to get the help YOU need.

    Hi Sudukudee and Arlene

    I'm in the hospital now and doing well except for little sleep.


    Glen AKA Billy Pilgram

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