The Trick to Quitting Buprenorphine Naloxone with Minimial Withdrawal Symptoms
Withdrawal from Buprenorphine Naloxone or other Opioids
Quitting opioids really sucks, for lack of better words. I’ll never forget the many sleepless nights spent kicking my legs because they hurt so bad. I’ll never forget the opioid withdrawal symptoms where my body would change from hot to cold in a flash, literally. One minute I’d have ten blankets on and be shivering and the next I’d be sweating profusely. And the clock watching I’ve mentioned in other articles… that is something I’ll remember to the day I die as minutes went by they felt like hours. I’ve got another article called war stories of quitting opioids where I describe my “war story” in more detail.
The Trick to Quitting Buprenorphine Naloxone (Suboxone)
As I promised, there really is a way to quit Buprenorphine Naloxone (Suboxone) that involves very little withdrawal pain, and I suspect you can handle some pretty intense withdrawal pain if you are here unless you had an unlimited supply of money and drugs and somehow remained alive. I used the word “TRICK” on purpose because in a way this is some sort of trick or decption that we play on our mind.
(deception n) (d-spshn)1. the act of deceiving or the state of being deceived2. something that deceives; trick
[Middle English decepcioun, from Old French deception, from Late Latin dcepti, dceptin-, from Latin dceptus, past participle of dcipere, to deceive; see deceive.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Yes you are going to deceive your body, play a trick on it by weaning it off of opioids to taper off of the drug so slowly that your body doesn’t notice it.
This may sound crazy but it really works, it reminds me of a similar method of deception that I played on my daughter when she was a child. As a parent we used a pacifier to keep our daughter satisfied when we were too busy to do it ourselves, it sounds evil but it is quite common and not really mean at all. If you don’t know what a pacifier is… well a plastic rubbery sucking thing that a baby sucks on to “pacify” themselves and deceives them into thinking they are sucking on a bottle of milk or the mothers breast.
, The baby becomes emotionally attached to them especially if you use them too often, and when the baby starts to grow older it can become a challenge to make the baby stop using the pacifier without driving you crazy by crying too much.
So, I got creative and decided to try something other than cold-turkey and just taking the pacifier away. I took out the scissors and cut a very small portion of the tip off of the pacifier and gave it to my daughter… as I expected she took to it like an addict would take to a couple crushed Oxycodone 30 and a straw. Bingo! I thought this just might work, but the key was going slow I made the mistake of cutting off too much a few days later and my daughter made a funny face, spit out the pacifier and started crying.
So each day, I would cut a sliver of the pacifier off and there would be no problems. As the days went on the pacifier would start to fall out of my daughters mouth but it was gradual so she got used to picking it back up and putting it in her mouth, or she would hold it with her hand. This is the way to quit Suboxone or any other addictive substance, by tricking your body very slowly and gradually. Several weeks had gone by and the pacifier was cut so small that my daughter had to hold it to keep it in her mouth and we found that she didn’t cry for it very much at all. Eventually she stopped using it because it wasn’t worth the effort of holding that nub of a pacifier in her mouth!
The Tapering Plan – Plotting your Taper from Buprenorphine Naloxone
The tapering strategy will work for any opioid, from Oxycodone and Hydrocodone to Morphine, Methadone, Heroin & Hydromorphone. The reason you don’t hear of many success stories of persons tapering from Oxycodone is because it has too short of a half-life, meaning that the time it takes for the drug to be eliminated from your blood stream is short. Buprenorphine Naloxone is an extremely long lasting opioid with a mean half-life of 37 hours. The speed at which you taper is different for everyone.
Tapering off of any drug should always be planned and completed under supervision of a doctor. I will be writing about this subject soon, and will go into detail about the actual tapering plan. You can use my Suboxone Taper Charting tool to plot a taper plan off of any drug!