How to successfully wean from Suboxone
Tapering slowly, taking into account how quickly the opiate in your system is leaving. Keeping your blood plasma levels steady and moving slowly downward is the secret. Don’t cheat because you aren’t cheating anyone but yourself! Not your wife, daughter, son, family, friend, but yourself. You have bright life ahead of you! I am positive.
Click the image to run the Suboxone Taper Charting Tool
My personal experience with Suboxone was a positive one, after a couple failures. I was able to taper off of Suboxone without any significant problems or withdrawal symptoms. There is one key understanding that you need to make about Suboxone.
Suboxone is extremely STRONG and addictive. Your doctor didn’t share that with you when you went in for treatment did they? Suboxone is better than typical opiates in that it doesn’t produce the “high” you get with opiates but it blocks the intense and excruciating withdrawal symptoms felt when tapering down usage of an addictive opiate.
Once you realize how strong Suboxone is you can begin to wean off from it. I must remind you that changing your medication dosage is something you can NOT do without doctor approval. Anything suggested here is simply something that worked for one person and that person got doctor approval to wean in the method being described.
It doesn’t take a lot of Suboxone to kill 90% of the withdrawal symptoms, but it does take a fair dose to make you feel “almost as good” as when you were taking your opiates. What do you want to feel good or get off of opiates?
Building a Taper Charting Plan
Use the tool on this site, that was built by a developer who dealt with this same issue. You can plot out your daily dose amounts and get an idea of how much drug is still in your system as the days go by. Since Suboxone has a long half life you don’t always feel the withdrawal the day after quitting your last dose, it could take up to four days from high doses but when it hits, it hits like bricks.
You must taper extremely slowly down to below 1mg daily, which is where most people begin to feel it most difficult to wean lower. When you get below 1mg you have to be prepared to wait an hour or two after taking a dose for the pain to go away. If you are patient, the mild discomfort does go away with extreme-micro doses of Suboxone.
My doctor disagreed but allowed me to move forward with my taper plan. Once I got below 1/16th of a strip I was pretty much weaned off and any remaining pain minor. It was well worth the extra effort.
Not respecting the power of Suboxone will make you slave to it
Again, it is my strong belief that unless one respects the sheer power of Suboxone they will be forever hostage to it.
My advice to anyone struggling getting off Suboxone. Realize that doses of 24mg or 16mg are necessary at first, but after a few weeks and one is stable, one can rapidly decrease to down around 1mg daily, within a week or two max. Tapering below 1mg is when you need to slow things down big-time and you let yourself feel some discomfort during the day.
A 1mg dose after being on Suboxone for a few weeks is in my opinion just as effective as an 16mg dose during the beginning of the treatment. Once you are down to 1mg, you should plan on taking two more months taking sub-1mg doses (this means cutting a strip into more than 8 pieces, preferably 16 pieces) and only take the dose when you feel “bad”.
Just tasting the “orange” taste is enough to ease pain
If you take a dose after feeling “bad”, know in your mind this stuff is very powerful, you only need to taste the “orange” for 10 seconds or so. Then wait at least an hour before thinking the dose didn’t work and taking another. Small doses work, but they do take some patience. If you can make a strip last two weeks THEN you can think about stopping without much pain. Suboxone doctors would laugh at this last paragraph, but this author has witnessed several people learn this the hard way.
Wish you the best in tapering and quitting highly addictive opiates for ever! 🙂