I wish I could force you NOT to take methadone because I made the same mistake 4 years ago. I have never done "street" drugs and only became addicted to prescription opiates after tearing a muscle in my lower back. I obviously continued to take way too many pills even after the pain was gone. I was looking for a way out of my daily pill routine when I stumbled on methadone. To make a long story short (if you want to read my whole tale then click the search icon and query: Subutex my story, and mine will be the first link) I started on the methadone program with 40MG and soon was up to 90MG's per day. I decided I had to quit this after about a year. I had gone through what I can only describe as "mild" withdrawals from my pill habit whenever I ran out. At that time I had nothing else to compare it to so the withdrawals were the worst thing I'd ever experienced either psysically, emotionally or psychologically. That was until I went cold turkey off of 90MG's of Methadone....
I thought the methadone withdrawals would be similar to the pills with being immobile for a week or so until I started to feel better. I had even planned ahead, got the vitamins, Gatorade and a week off work. I don't want to scare you, I really don't but I do want to warn you! I didn't get out of bed for a month, and that is no exaggeration! I went through the most painful withdrawals anyone can imagine. I had even visited an addiction Dr. who prescribed be the Clonopin, Xanax and Subutex. NOTHING worked, after day 3 I thought I was going to die, after week one I was scared I wouldn't die, after week two I thought I was going crazy, after week three I couldn't imagine or take anymore pain and then finally one day I was able to get up. This was in December during Christmas and it was by far the most horrendous experience of my entire life. Methadone has the longest half-life of ANY opiate and trying to kick Methadone will be one of the toughest ordeals any individual can experience. It will test your body, spirit, soul, mind, heart, and brian to the limits and beyond.
Please understand that I'm not saying any of this to freak you out but instead to hopefully warn you before you have to experience what I've gone through. I would take Subutex and Oxy withdrawal at the same time rather than take another Methadone withdrawal THAT"s how bad it was. Remember, I did this for few months so maybe if you are on a 28 day program it will be a lot better but I don't know from experience. I do know it's always best to taper as quickly as possible before an addiction develops and you definitely DO NOT want to get addicted to Methadone.
If there is ANYTHING I can do to help you please let me know, even if it's just chatting online or answering any questions I can. Just please be careful, I wouldn't wish what I went through on anyone. I hope to hear from you soon and maybe you can elaborate a little more on how long and how much Methadone you take. Thanks and good luck if I don't hear from you!
I re-read your post and Suboxone/Subutex will 100% help you with heroin withdrawals! I am not speaking from experience but I have read numerous posts from heroin addicts who swear by Subs. There are a number of downsides with subs and one of the first being that you have to experience significant withdrawals from you DOC BEFORE you take a Sub or you will go into precipitated withdrawals which is a normal withdrawal x's 10. This happened to me a week after quitting methadone (it was still in my system) and taking a sub which was HORRIBLE. Anyway thought I would share that with you before you decided whether or not to start the Methadone treatment.
This morning is my Day 4 of absoloutely ZERO Subs and like many of you have written it is the start of the toughest portion of the withdrawals. I've been keeping the same routine (listed on my first post above) with the addition of 2 OTC Benadrils last night which I substituted for the 2 50MG Ttamodols I have been taking right before bed time.
I slept decently through much of the night although I did wake up every couple of hours to urinate (I've been drinking massive amounts of water and protein shakes to clear out my system). When my daily alarm went off at 5:00AM I felt an immediate and fairly potent anxiety attack. I also felt extremely uncomfortable in my own skin. I also had a pretty vicious headache.
After waking up I grabbed an Atkins chocolate shake and a handful of vitamins (again, listed above if anyone is interested) and downed everything with a few swigs of my shake. Along with the vitamins I took four 50MG Trams for a total of 200MG's and two 5/325 Norco's. I laid in bed watching a couple of episodes of The West Wing until I has to start getting ready for work at 7:00. I'm able to work from home today since I have to knock off early for my GF's b-day (UGH, last thing you want to do is go hangout with a bunch of happy people) but I HAVE to do it for her. BTW: if you haven't read any of my earlier posts my addiction is a BIG secret and know one knows other than you fine people.
I feel better than I did three hours ago but I'm still writing this from sitting atop the old porcelain thrown if you know what I mean.
Well gotta run, keep strong everyone and God bless!
I think it's important to describe some of the withdrawal feelings in as much detail as possible. Something that's helped me a great deal has been reading hundreds of posts from folks from all walks of life that are experiencing the same thing I am. Remember this is my only external support outlet as know one in my life; friends, family or significant other knows what I'm going through nor what I've been through.
I think one of the toughest aspects of withdrawal is the dreaded time. It seems to be the number one question out there; "how long will this last", "when will the withdrawals be over", "when will I feel normal again", etc. I think it's different for everyone, although we are all human none of us are wired exactly the same way. I'm tough as nails when it comes to emotional issues or physical pain (such as spraining an ankle, hurting my hand etc.) but I'm a giant wuss when it comes to "internal" pain like what we experience with WD's. I've been this way as long as I can remember. Whenever I've had the flu I turn into the biggest baby. For me, withdrawals are 10fold worse than any horrible flu I've ever had. When I read Dr. testimonials of withdrawals being like "flu symptoms" it angers me a great deal. It is NOTHING like the flu. I've never had a flu where I'm unable to sleep for days, in fact often it's the opposite, when you're sick it's easy to sleep with the help of some OTC meds like Tylenol PM or Nyquil. When in WD's only strong prescription sleep aids or benzo's will do the trick and most only work for a short amount of time.
Emotionally I become really depressed and even worse than the depression is the extreme anger I feel. I'm pissed at myself and my body for putting myself through the WD's. And unlike more than a few people on here I don't blame my Dr.'s or anyone other than myself. I'm a grown man who makes his own decisions know one tied me down and forced me to take massive amounts of opiates. It often baffles me how I could be so intelligent when it comes to work yet be such a m***n when it comes to my own body, mind and spirit.
It's my GF"s b-day today as I mentioned in my earlier post and I'm waiting for her gift to arrive from Tiffany's before I drive the hour + to visit her. I have to get some work done this morning, drive to FedEx, stop at the bank, wrap her gifts, go to the flower shop, and then meet her, her parents, sister, brother, and sister in-law. I obviously have to "act" as if everything is hunky dory which is a feat in itself. I HATE having to lie to everyone, you'd think after having an opiate addiction for 6 years and lying to everyone in order to keep this rather large skeleton safely in the recesses of my closet would get easier over time but it hasn't. If you knew me you would have no idea that I was an addict. It's been exhausting keeping this a secret and NO, it isn't something I'm able or willing to come clean about. We all have different situations and KNOW ONE in my life would by okay and supportive about this. Again, it's my cross to bare, know one else's.
I don't know how much time this WD will take but my goal is to be back to at least 80% by August 20th. My GF and I are going back home (where I grew up on the east coast) for a wedding. We will be gone a week and since most of my life-long friends either still live there or are flying back for said wedding I HAVE to be back to normal, there is no other option.
It's nearly 9:00AM and I've been up since 5, I feel significantly better now that the meds and vitamins have had a chance to kick-in. Hopefully I'll feel no worse than I do now for the remainder of the day, especially since this is my GF's day and I can't let my baggage damage that. Wish me luck everyone...I'll update again soon. God Bless!
Waiting for the worst to start soon.
I am 45. I have done this three times and I have a wonderful wife, two great kids, a career and a wonderful life. When I am up all night I think long and hard about things and in many ways I treasure this time as it really helps me plan for my life w/o pills. When you realize you are an addict embrace it and never let your guard down. If you have to take subs or bupo again, it beats jail, heroin, Oxy or any of this new c**p out there that will steal your soul. If you ever need a friend, I will be happy to correspond. I think we all need this but I don't want self pity or p***y behavior. You win only by facing this like a man on a mission to Hell and you are planning on coming back. So thanks for sharing your method and I realize the Benzo thing is not for everyone but I agree that those things can make you a bit crazy. Although I have never felt the pain that people describe from the amount I take. Just never jump without preparation. People that do this must not have as much to lose or do during the day as I do. If you have some vacation time, use it. Make this project as easy as you can and never let anyone tell you they know the best way...only you know what works for you but I will assure you that exercise on a daily basis is a common theme from everyone I know that has survived 6 months or more w/o popping a pill. Go kick some ass!
I like the attitude you expressed in your comment, that's exactly how I feel. I think there are two types of opiate addicts; highly disfuntional, and highly functional. Thankfully I'm the latter. It's day 7 for me without any Subs and the regimine I listed above has kept my secret, my career, and my life intact. When you have everything to lose then one must do whatever one has to in order to protect both what you have and those you love. I stopped the Hydro's day before yesterday and still haven't taken an benzo's (honestly because I didn't have access to any). The only prescription drug I'm currently taking are the Tramodols which certainly help with the anxiety and depression. I had one night of crappy sleep but that's about it. I do find myself less motivated in the morning because I no longer have my morning Sub ritual but that's to be expected.
I think as long as you realize what changes are coming and prepare for them the getting off any opiate becomes more of a mind game than a physical dependency. So much of my WD's from Subs has been in my head. Each day that passes I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop from the horror stories I've read here. The only deference was that I was prepared for what was to come and it was planned instead of forced which I think makes a big impact. I tapered, purchased the appropriate vitamins and prescription meds and formulated a strategic plan. I've not missed one day of work or had any major withdrawal issues.
I think that you're right about a number of the points you made. What struck me the most about your reply was the attitude you expressed and how important it is to really man-up, take responsibility, accountability and most importantly to take back CONTROL.
I wish you the best in your upcoming detox, please contact me if I could be of any support. I doubt my 7 days is enough for me to be out of the woods but I am at the point of no return. The journey to where I want to be is shorter than the journey back to where I was.
Good luck man and let me know how it goes! I'll try to update this as much as possible becaus I think these posts help others who are struggling with similar circumstances, I know try helped a great deal in my case.
All of us have inner strength, for some it's harder to find than others but it IS there if you look deep enough.
Well it's the beginning of day 8 and I woke up with more than a bit of anxiety this morning but that's subsided quite a bit since I first woke up. BTW: Sorry about all of the typos in my last message and this one as well but I'm writing this on my iPhone and the autocorrect doesn't always choose the correct word.
I'm going to take your advice and workout this morning. I'll do some weights and maybe some mountain biking cardio tomorrow. It's tough to get motivated but as you said know one promised a bed of roses!
Something I've discovered that may or not be obvious in regards to the anxiety: NO MORE COFFEE (at least for the next week). I typically have two shots of expresso each morning and I've been experimenting with how I feel with a morning of coffee and a morning without. I've found that the caffeine adds to the anxiety so I recommend laying off of any caffeine while you're going through withdrawals.
Anxiety is by far my worst WD symptom, I freaking despise it with a passion! And as I stated I don't have any benzo's to hide the inner anxiety although I do a fairly decent job of covering it up externally. I'm not sure I'd take any even if I had access because I've come this far without them, what's another week?
My hope: I really, really, really hope this is over by the time my GF and I go on vacation (out of town wedding) next week. It will be a week of debauchery with all of my friends (drinking no drugs) and I'll also be spending significant time with my out of state family so I have to be as close to "normal" as possible. By the time I leave it will be 17 or 18 days since I started my detox with zero subs, in your opinion and from your prior experience do you think I'll be back to normal by then? I know it's a loaded question and difficult to answer because everyone's physiology and chemical makeup are different but I was hoping to get your opinion. Thanks in advance, I'm looking forward to hearing from you.
I am on day 7 of sub withdrawal and had it all- Freezing cold, Clammy, Hot sweats, No sleep, Restless legs syndrome, headache, Very emotional (i have cried at silly things several times this week), back pain, stomach cramps. No apetite at all. You name it, i got it!
Thru my keyworker i have been prescribed Lofexidine (not available in US) which has helped a great deal with some of the symptoms, but not all. i dont think there is any miracle cure out there to be honest!
Anyway, not one suffer, I have been online researching and researching and researching, and i decided to head to the health food shop on friday-I had to take a friend as i was terrified i would collapse on the way there (that's how weak i was). I purchased some EXTRA STRONG vitamin B12 tabs (about £8), and some multi-vits with Ginseng (about £4). I was told by the shop assistant that i couldn’t ‘OD’ on the B12 as its water soluble and will pass straight through you, so i thought great. Headed back to my office (yes, still trying to work) and took 4 (it’s supposed to be 1 a day) and took 4 of the Ginseng/ multi vits. It took a while (i took the tabs about 3pm) but by the time i got home from work about 6pm, i began to feel some semblance of normality/ energy. Wow! I even managed to wash my hair and style it (totally impossible before). I also felt a flicker of appetite! (not much, but i did manage to eat a patty)
So, I was well happy and thought ''i have found a cure!!! ''... Not so... yesterday, I woke up and felt half normal for the morning, but by afternoon i was as useless as a new born baby and i dont mind admitting that i spent most of the afternoon crying... in fact i cried so much i eventually fell asleep from the exhaustion.
Maybe because i had used up so much energy on Friday evening, it took its toll on Saturday??? i dont know...
The other things I have also found have helped me (temporarily) are-
*When i got back pain, my partner used Ylang Ylang oil. I don’t know what it was supposed to do, but it was the only one i had to hand, and he massaged it all over my back and boy did it work. Afterwards, the pain dissipated and i felt a .lot more relaxed. The difference was unbelievable. I am sure other oils will work too- you just need to research them.
*I have also burnt essential oils in a burner- lavender, lemon, peppermint, clary sage- they all seem to lift my mood in one way or another and help me feel more positive and less groggy. Essential oils can be costly, but i get mine from brilliant retailer on eBay. They cost about £2 or less for 10ml. Cant go wrong there!
*Finally, like you, I have tried to eat well. It has been hard because i have literally had to force it down i have had no apetite. But, when I do eat, its been fruit/ veg, salads and other healthy bits. Under normal circumstances, i would want pizza or Chinese, but neither of them inspired me at all, so I thought hell, if I HAVE to eat, i may as well eat healthy eh?
*Oh, and yeah, Protein Drinks. when i have found it hard to eat (the lofexidine dries your mouth and throat really bad), i have had a protein drink so i dont miss out on all my vits and minerals and end up feeling even worse.
So, those are my tips- i realise that some are the same as yours........maybe, just maybe, if i have enough energy, i can head to the shops later and stock up on some of the other bits you have suggested,
thank u sooooo much- u r a lifesaver
I'm so sorry to hear that you've had such a tough time with the Sub withdrawals. I was curious; how long we're you on the medication? Was it Subuxone or Subutex or something else with bupe? And finally, how many MG's were you on when you stopped taking the pills?
Have the withdrawals peaked for you and if so on what day? It's about 1:00AM my time (California) and its the very begining of day 9. I have a holiday planned with my girlfriend on August 21st and I'm PRAYING that I'll be back to normal by then but I won't know until a few more days pass.
I'm glad that some of what you've taken has worked for you because I know first hand how debilitating WD's can be. In 2008 I jumped from a 120MG per day Methadone addiction and I was literally in bed for a month. It was an epic nightmare and I don't wish it upon anyone. I know what you're going through now seems to be so very difficult but you to are at the point of no return. Your journey to sobriety is closer than your journey to addiction, stay strong and preserver. Please write me if I can be of any help on a support level or otherwise.
My story (sorry to bore everyone)- 9yrs ago, hooked up with my (now) ex, fell in love, not realising that 6 months before we met he had been released on life licence for 1st degree murder/ 15 yrs (stabbed someone to death when he was just 17yrs old during a gang robbery). Whilst he was inside he took and sold crack and heroin.
I know ppl reading this are gona think -what the f*** is wrong with u? y didnt u walk away. I mean I am not from that kinda background- i am from a well off family, i finished school and went to university, but hey, there is no point trying to defend myself now..... yeah, i was really stupid
to cut a long story short, me and him spent every second that we could together. i got onto crack and heroin big time. i was earning ok money at the time (about £35,000 per year) so could fund it at first, but as i got more and more hooked, i needed more and my wages started running out 2 wks after pay day (plus i was funding the ex and some of his mates- most of whom had raps for murder/ manslaughter, etc- yes, such a glam life- NOT)
worse, my job was affected. i stopped showing up- sometimes for days at a time. i began to sell stuff so i could buy crack and heroin got involved with some other risky things which i wont put on the WWW!!!!
it got to the point where i knew i had 2 choices- carry on taking drugs, start selling my body and become a full time crack wh*ore. OR get out NOW. I chose the latter.
I left the bf (who was emotionaly abusive) and moved out of the area of London i used to live. That was 6 yrs ago.
Yes, it was very tough, and i continued to take crack and heroin even after i left. However, over the years i managed to get off it by swapping it for subutex. i got the sub from a friend (the only one i stayed in contact with from my past, and still do). he would meet me once a week and give me the sub which he was legally prescribed by his GP,
its been about 3-4yrs since i used crack/ heroin and it made me sick last time, but the sub has been my crutch. Its a buzz and its kept me away from temptation. How much have i taken? god, its varied. Its not been a huge amount cos my friend needed his bit too! Maybe between .4 and 1mg per day?? sometimes more if i was out for an evening to keep me going.
I finally admitted my use in Dec 11 and was referred to a drug clinic. By the time I was referred i was only taking .4 but keen to get off.
My keyworker put me on a script and increased my dose. I am not sure why they did this- something about levelling me out, so they knew what i was on, then tapering me back down in a controlled way.
So, i was put up to 1.6mg at one point, which was awful. I had to take it in front of the person in the chemist but if they looked away for a second, i would spit half of it out. If i wasnt able to do that, I would feel sick ALL day. I wasnt used to putting it under my tounge- i used to snort it.
They then put me on 1.2, .8 and then .4. My keyworker told me to stop after a month or so on .4- he said i wouldnt feel anything as it was such a tiny dose, but i didnt. I didnt feel ready, so i cut my .4 into .2 and did that for a week (the week before this one just gone). it wasnt comfortable, but it was ok. However, when i admitted this to my keyworker at the end of that week, he offered me lofexidine to stop all together, so yeah, i stopped the subs on Monday and now we are on Sunday.
I dont know if my withdrawals have peaked- i have had some goddamn awful days, and some awful days.
Yesterday was bad but i think that it was more frustration after 5/6 days of it- i feel disabled. I cant go out to buy things that I need. I find it hard to walk up or down the stairs to get my meds. Right now i feel it will never end.
On Friday, after all the B12 and stuff, i saw a light at the end of the tunnel, but yesterday that light disappeared again.
I do hope you will be ok in time for your holiday with ur gf. Thats 9 days away so I am sure you will!
Sounds like u are doing all the right things, and have done your research! I just wish i had done my research before i started withdrawing (DOH!!!!).....
will just try hard to be strong til then...tho it feels never ending. (and i have a whole stash of subutex in the cupboard- about 15mg- i am quite proud i have stayed away!!! but it is SOOOOO tempting!!)
Thank you for sharing your truly difficult story, it seems as though you've come a long way and I'm proud of you as I'm sure are your family and friends. You could have continued on a certain destructive path but you chose to seek the light. Doing the right thing is not often easy but your decision shall soon be rewarded.
It's the afternoon of Day 9 and I felt a little better this morning when I woke up than I did yesterday. I have an extremely busy week at work so I hope to feel even better tomorrow. I have to be in some conferences this week including travel so it will test me.
It's strange because the entire time I've been WDing from Subs I have not been tempted to take any (since I stopped altogether last Friday). I know how you feel in regards to "time" and how slow it seems to pass when one is suffering from these withdrawals. Minutes seem like hours and hours seem like days and it feels like there is no end in sight. We all KNOW that this will pass but it's not too much of a comforting thought when you're feeling like garbage.
I also understand where you're coming from in terms of motivation or lack thereof. I'm doing a ton of laundry today (as a typical guy I hate doing this under normal circumstances and obviously more so when I have zero motivation to do anything other than what is absoloutly required).
It's important to push yourself to get out and about. Maybe try going on a short walk around the block? I know it's the last thing you want to do but excercise is KEY to recovery. It could shorten your time to "normalcy" by kicking your seratonin and endorphin production. I'm started my workout regimine tomorrow to facilitate sweating out the remaining toxins. I stop the Tramodol altogether this next Friday, 4 days before my holiday. Neither of us want to hear this but I've read about cases of Sub detox that could last up to a month or more. I don't think either of us will have to deal with that since we were both smart enough to taper before jumping off.
How are you feeling today? Any improvement it regression? In any case I hope this message finds you well and lets you know that you have a new friend across the pond who understands exactly what you're going through!