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Suboxone (Buprenorphine) Withdrawal Symptoms + How Long Do They Last?

Suboxone (Buprenorphine) is a medication that is primarily used to help individuals that are struggling with opiate addiction. This substance works as a semi-synthetic opioid agonist on the Mu receptor of the brain. In high doses it works to treat people that are trying to kick their addiction with opiates. In lower doses, it can be prescribed to help with moderate chronic pain. Since it is prescribed to many people trying to overcome their opiate dependency, there are many individuals that have been taking this drug for extended periods of time.

Although most people tend to find that this medication works for its intended purposes, it is more difficult than many think to withdraw from. In fact, some people have gone on to say that their withdrawal from Suboxone was more difficult than from their actual opiates. Theoretically it should be easier to withdraw from Suboxone, but some people get so accustomed to the drug when they come off of it, they cannot cope with life. This is a very powerful medication and a “controlled substance” (Schedule III). Most people notice that when they come off of it, they go through an intense withdrawal period.

Factors that influence Suboxone withdrawal include

There are many factors that have an influence on how quickly the withdrawal symptoms will subside. These include things like time that you took the drug, the amount you took, your personal physiology, as well as whether you plan to taper or come off “cold turkey.”

Another factor that may play a role is whether you still need the substance to treat your opiate addiction. It is not recommended to withdraw from Suboxone until you have your addiction under control and have a stress-free environment. It’s not recommended to come off of this medication unless you are prepared for the withdrawal symptoms that are in store.

1. Time Span

How long were you taking Suboxone? Generally the longer you took the drug, the more difficult the withdrawal process. Someone that has taken it for months will likely have an easier time coming off of it in comparison to someone who has been on it for years.  When you are on any drug for an extended period of time, your body becomes more reliant upon it for everyday functioning.  With Suboxone your body is getting an opiate-based response which helps lower pain levels.  Thus the longer you are on it, the longer it will take your body to build up its ability to naturally fight pain during the withdrawal process.

2. Dosage

This drug can be taken transdermally (e.g. a “film” applied to the skin), orally (e.g. pill form), and with injections. The dose of Suboxone film tends to range from 4 mg/1 mg buprenorphine/naloxone to 24 mg/6 mg buprenorphine/naloxone per day. Most people agree that even fairly low doses can be just as effective as higher doses at treating symptoms. In pill form, the dosage range tends to typically fall between 1 mg and 16 mg.

3. Individual physiology

When coming off of any drug, two people aren’t going to have the same reaction. Some individuals may experience an array of painful symptoms, while others may experience very minimal symptoms. Your individual physiology and nervous system plays a huge role in determining how you react to coming off of the medication.

4. Cold turkey vs. tapering

Suboxone tends to have a pretty long half life (37 hours) – meaning the drug stays in your system for a pretty lengthy amount of time. Despite the longer half life, it is still recommended to not quit this medication “cold turkey.” If you quit without conducting a gradual taper, you are basically leaving your body and mind in a state of chemical chaos.

Your body is used to the drug and if you quit cold turkey from a high dose, you may experience much more pain than necessary. It is recommended to follow a tapering protocol off of Suboxone so that you minimize withdrwal symptoms as much as possible.

Suboxone Withdrawal Symptoms: List of Possibilities

For many people withdrawal from Suboxone is just as difficult as the opiate that they were initially addicted to. Some people have attempted to quit this drug multiple times and are unable to cope with Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS). Many of the withdrawal symptoms are a result of the body and brain becoming reliant on the medication. Each day you are off of Suboxone, you should realize that your body will be working towards returning to physical and mental homeostasis.

  • Anxiety: Many people report severe anxiety and some experience panic when dealing with the withdrawal symptoms. Suboxone tends to have a calming effect on people, so it would make sense that when stopping this medication some people experience significant anxiety.
  • Body aches: It is common to report aches and pains throughout the body when quitting this medication. These aches may be somewhat painful, but do your best to cope with what you are feeling. Realize that these should gradually lessen as you make it further through withdrawal.
  • Concentration problems: You may feel as if you are unable to focus on any task. Work and/or school may become increasingly difficult. Your brain’s functioning was influenced by Suboxone and now you cut off the supply. It is trying to sort itself out as you withdraw from this medication.
  • Confusion: Some people report feeling a general sense of confusion when they quit this medication. Any drug that has an influence on the brain and neurotransmitters can result in a certain degree of confusion when you stop taking it.
  • Cravings: Suboxone is a Schedule III drug for a reason – it’s extremely powerful and in some cases addicting. Most people will experience some cravings for Suboxone when they first withdraw. These cravings happen because people have a difficult time dealing with the withdrawal experience – some symptoms can be pretty intense.
  • Depersonalization: You may not feel like yourself during the withdrawal, which may cause you to freak out. If you are feeling as though you have become a totally different person. And chemically, you have become a different person – your endorphin and neurotransmitters are different than they were when you started. It will take awhile to feel like your “old self” again.
  • Depression: It is very common to experience a general state of dysphoria and depression when you are coming off of Suboxone. It can be difficult to not identify with the depression – especially since it is linked with inadequate levels of neurotransmitters and endorphins. Do your best to realize that this is merely part of the withdrawal process and know that you will get better with time.  It has been found that Suboxone helps treatment-resistant depression – therefore it also serves as an “off label” antidepressant.  It makes logical sense that coming off of this medication may result in increased depression.
  • Diarrhea: Most people experience some sort of diarrhea when they quit Suboxone. This is because narcotics tend to cause constipation – coming off of them produces the opposite effect. An easy solution to this symptom is to buy some Imodium – which is available over-the-counter.
  • Discomfort: Most people coming off of this medication describe a sense of overall discomfort or malaise that they experience. If you are feeling especially uncomfortable, this is to be expected.
  • Dizziness: You may feel dizzy or experience vertigo when you quit this drug. Although this isn’t as commonly reported as other symptoms, it is still possible that you could feel dizzy – especially if you don’t gradually taper.
  • Fatigue: It is very obvious that you are going to experience fatigue when you stop taking Suboxone. This is a result of your body relying on the drug to give you energy throughout the day. Eventually the fatigue will subside and your energy levels will return to normal. Keep in mind that this may take an extended period of time.
  • Fear of going crazy: You may fear as if you are about to snap or as though you really cannot put up with these symptoms. Just keep in mind that this is the withdrawal process and your anxiety levels are high during this time.
  • Flu-like symptoms: Some people report feeling “sick” when they come off of this drug. Many of the symptoms including aches, pains, nausea, and sweating can feel similar to the flu.
  • Headaches: It is common to experience headaches during withdrawal from Suboxone. If they become extreme, you may want to conduct a more gradual taper and/or consider headache relief medication.
  • Insomnia: Many people will struggle to get a good night’s sleep when they initially stop taking Suboxone.  This is due to the fact that they are no longer receiving the same degree of opioidergic and GABAergic stimulation to facilitate CNS depression.  When stopping the drug, some individuals may experience severe insomnia despite feeling mentally and physically exhausted.
  • Irritability: Some individuals report feeling highly irritable and grouchy when they first stop taking the drug. This may keep up for an extended period of time until a person re-establishes proper neurotransmitter levels.
  • Malaise: Something may not feel right and you may notice that you just feel “off.” This is a general state of feeling ill or as if something is wrong. You should eventually recover from this feeling as time continues to pass.
  • Mood swings: Not everyone will experience mood swings, but those who do may find them very difficult to cope with. One minute you may feel as if things are turning a corner for the better, and the next you may feel depressed, discouraged, and angry. Take a step back and realize that it is completely normal to have fluctuations in mood as you heal.
  • Muscle tension: Many individuals report feeling especially tense during their withdrawal. Your muscles may feel very rigid and unable to relax. The best way to deal with this symptom is to work on guided relaxation in which you focus on mentally relaxing various parts of your body.
  • Nausea: You may feel nauseated throughout the day – in some cases to an extreme. This nausea may lead to vomiting in some cases. Recognize that this may be tough to cope with in the early stages of withdrawal, but will subside.
  • Pain: Since Suboxone is used by some people to help with chronic pain, you may feel more intense pain when coming off of it. This is because your body has gotten used to the drug doing most of the work to treat the pain and the natural endorphin production has significantly declined. In most cases it will take a good 30 days before your body’s natural endorphin levels start to rise again. Expect the pain to be more severe than prior to starting Suboxone during the withdrawal process.
  • Restlessness: Many individuals report that they experience restlessness when they first come off of this drug. Specifically reported is the fact that people have restless leg or twitching in their legs that is only relieved with movement.
  • Runny nose: When withdrawing you may experience an excessively runny nose. This is inevitable and is associated with the withdrawal process. Having a runny nose is not generally a debilitating symptom, but may be annoying in the early stages of withdrawal.
  • Sleepiness: For many people, the Suboxone contributed significantly towards everyday functioning and task performance. When you cut off the supply during withdrawal, your body is basically going to be left without any energy. You may experience excessive sleepiness as your body and mind attempt to heal.

Note: The amount of time Suboxone stays in your system following discontinuation is subject to significant variation among users. Due to its long half-life, it can take up to 10 days after complete cessation to fully excrete the drug; this could be why symptoms become most severe 1-2 weeks into withdrawal.

Suboxone withdrawal timeline: How long does it last?

The withdrawal process differs for everyone – I recommend giving it 90 days before re-evaluating symptoms. There are a number of physiological and environmental factors that will play a role in determining your success when coming off of this substance. You should always be working closely with a professional who knows what to expect and can guide you through the symptoms. Some people are able to withdraw within weeks, while for others the process takes months, and/or years for their body and brains to reset to homeostatic functioning.

By waiting 90 days (3 months), you will have likely recovered some, but most people suggest that this is the turning point – things should gradually keep improving from here. There is no set time period that universally applies to everyone for withdrawal. You may feel better by the 90 day marker, or you may still feel pretty crappy – keep in mind that everyone has a unique situation. It may take one person a full year to completely recover from withdrawal symptoms and it may take a different person just a few weeks or months.

During withdrawal from Suboxone it is highly recommended to engage in healthy activities. Take the time to get outside, get sunlight, exercise, stay busy throughout the day, and socialize with good friends and family. It is not going to be easy, but do your best to push yourself out of your comfort zone. For example, even if you feel extremely fatigued, try to go for a walk or go to the gym. Even if you don’t feel like working or talking to anyone, do it anyways. Try to stay as productive and healthy as you can during withdrawal – this will ensure quicker recovery.

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{ 341 comments… add one }
  • Liz April 7, 2016, 12:10 am

    Day 4 without suboxone. I’d been on it for approx one year & had tapered off during last 10 weeks. But I wasn’t prepared for the anxiety, runny nose, headache, stomach upset of past 3 days. Today the headache is gone but the restless legs even my arms kept me awake last night. And today I feel hot/cold, and have like an electric current running through my limbs.

    Not sure whether going back on amitriptyline might help. My doc also prescribed quetiapine but I don’t want to self medicate & get addicted to another substance. I know time is the healer but this first week without subs even after a slow taper is intense!

    • Bill April 8, 2016, 4:38 pm

      Hi Liz! Sorry to hear you are having a rough time. I have not taken suboxone, but have taken amitriptyline on and off for thirty years. Just based on what you report and my experience, it seems likely that amitriptyline wouldn’t erase your suboxone withdrawal symptoms, but would ease them some. Among other things it is an antihistamine so should mitigate the runny nose.

      It has also been very helpful for anxiety and headaches. I hope you will discuss your issues with your doctor. Of course amitriptyline may have withdrawal symptoms of its own. That has been my experience. On the other hand, the side effects may be less troublesome and in many cases may be a bonus (better sleep, fewer headaches, less itching), so I don’t mind taking a moderate dosage long term.

  • Leah March 14, 2016, 3:49 am

    Honestly the sub WD was so bad I started using heroin to help for a month then just WD’d off the heroin for 3 says. Easy peasy. I’m not even kidding. If I knew subs were so much harder to get off I would have never started. They saved my life, but after 5 years I needed to get back to normal. It’s risky to start using again but it’s all I could do to get off the subs.

  • Lex March 9, 2016, 5:44 pm

    I was a heavy prescription painkiller user, up to 60mg oxycodone, morphine, and norco every single day for about a year. My life was falling apart. I started suboxone a year ago, and my life has done a 360. I am on 2mg a day, and let me tell you, going from 6mg to 2 is fairy easy. The point is that going from let’s say, 10mg to 5mg is 50% of the initial dose. But going from 2mg to .5 mg is a much higher Jump in terms of the ratio.

    I quit cold turkey from 2mg and was feeling like complete death by day 2. I am a 130 pound female who does A LOT OF CARDIO. My metabolism is VERY fast. Hence why my withdrawals began after just one day. This is very rare but the more you move, the faster your body will remove toxins. I would say that day 4 was the worse. I finally slept through the night on day 6 and was able to get up and start doing daily activities again.

    I took Kratom, an herbal leaf that helps with anxiety and pain. The Kratom seized the sweats and restless legs, although it makes the stomach aches worse. But to me the shaking, sweating, restless legs, and chronic fatigue were the worst for me. The Kratom helped. And no it didn’t get me high at all, obviously a heavy opiate abuser can’t get high off an herbal substance like that. I feel as though after a week and half I was getting better.

    I relapsed and now it’s been a year and I wish I would have just quit 6 months ago. But moral of the story is, let yourself sweat, drink water as much as possible, and I promise if you can drag your miserable, sweaty disgusting feeling self out of bed to go on a walk, do so. You will feel somewhat normal as you get moving, and sitting still or laying down brings back the symptoms.

    The key is to keep your metabolism burning as much as possible. I was also a chronic marijuana user and my levels went to zero after 9 days… That tells me how fast my metabolism is. As for everyone else- just taper. Taper down to 1/64th of a mg. I know an ex-heroin user who has tapered from 16mg to .5 mg all the way to 1/64th, as she was pregnant and didn’t want to harm the baby, and she said her withdrawals were practically non existent (besides depression and some anxiety) but tapering down that low will give you the least amount of withdrawals.

    If you plan on coming off of 2mg, prepare to face the most evil demons of your existence. But please do know and understand, many people have successfully tapered down to 1/64th, and have had very very minimal withdrawals. Your body won’t be as shocked, and you give yourself time to mentally prepare as well. Don’t do the jump. Taper down and you will have a much easier time. I’ll pray for you all, as I hope you pray for me, because I am not ready to quit altogether until my chances of relapse are very low (I feel like a year has done be a lot of good).

    I will be ready in a few months. There is no reason to quit yet and risk relapse if I am not ready. Hope this helps. Remember you’re not alone. It’s doable as I have seen worse addicts than me kick suboxone. It’s a miracle drug to me, it saved my life, and if you see it as though, it can save you’re too. But there is a price to pay, just pay it slowly and monthly as the debt you’ve buried yourself in gets smaller and smaller everyday.

    We got this. We can do it. The human body is an amazing thing.

    • Stacy April 23, 2016, 11:53 am

      What a great story! Thank you for telling it!

  • Ebbie February 24, 2016, 12:44 am

    I’m on day 14 AS (after suboxone). I was taking far more than most here, in fact my very first sub doctor (2008) put me on 32mg a DAY. His license was eventually yanked – thank god. Had I know then, I would have suffered the 3 day narc withdrawal and been done with it. So I’ve been on high doses of subs for 8 years. I finally got nailed by a doctor who said “rehab is your only choice”.

    I went in on Feb 4 and did a FAST taper over 5 days. I was doing fairly well until they made me take naltrexone (Rivia) OMG, talk about precipitated withdrawal HELL, I was puking or crapping from every orifice. I had to wear adult diapers for 3 days. When they released me, I had no business driving home, but I was NOT suffering like that on a hard, twin bed! I wanted to die at home. (LOL, I still have a faint sense of humor left).

    I was popping Benadryl and Seroquel just to sleep. I started back to work yesterday and the only thing to keeps me going is Vyvanse for ADD and my users who love and missed me. I still feel very weak and still have the occasional crawling skin, diarrhea, stomach cramps, RLS, and on and on and on. It is an EVIL, EVIL drug and people just need to jump from narcotics, suffer the 3 days and go on with their lives.

    This is a living hell. Honestly, the ONLY thing that keeps me going is the thought I can’t ever, ever, ever go through this again. As shaky as I feel now, its a tiny fraction better than 10 days ago. If I got my hands on subs today, it would just drag this out. I want it OVER. I want to be clean and live the rest of my life knowing that I beat this.

    I’m 55 years old and I beat alcohol, pain meds, Suboxone AND survived 2 bad relationships. Hang on everyone, we CAN get through this and enjoy sunlight again. Eventually we’ll get all this shit out of us and let our brains heal. I don’t ever want to use again because I know a next time will kill me.

    • Chris March 6, 2016, 12:50 pm

      Stay strong… It will pass. Took a little while but no real physical symptoms. The mental withdrawal was by far the worst for me.

    • John May 6, 2016, 11:30 pm

      Chris, I’m, 66 and started going downhill after my wife of 25 years was murdered by a doctor, then her children from a previous marriage were trying take everything. Then my daughter came to stay with me and stole from me. Then our farm hand stole about 15K of tools while I was away and to top it off, her life insurance wouldn’t pay off, our homeowner’s wouldn’t pay and my lawyer was caught working under the table with the hospital.

      So, after I woke up I sought help with Suboxone. It worked and I quit spending hundreds of thousands of dollars chasing the next day’s fix. So don’t get depressed… there are worse situations you can be in. I tried to taper off the first time but didn’t understand so went back after 39 days. It’s a hideous drug because of its half life is so long… probably engineered that way to increase dependency and profits.

      The next time I had tapered down to 1 mg which means that I jumped off while my blood serum level was at 4mgs. Technically to jump off at 1 mg you must taper to .25mg/day because of the extremely long half life. Most people don’t understand the math. After studying the big pharma it’s most likely engineered that way. Chin up… beat big pharma… don’t let them use you!

  • Dan February 23, 2016, 8:09 am

    I was taking about 3 80mg OxyContin and about 4 or 5 30 mg Roxie’s a day for over 3 years. I couldn’t quit and never made it past 3 days of withdrawals. I took suboxone to stop those pills. It probably saved my life. I was taking 2 12 mg strips a day for about 4 months. Then gradually lowered to 2 mg strips.

    I was supposed to taper a quarter every 2 weeks and quit but when I ran out I didn’t go back to dr. The withdrawals were tolerable. I ached and was really tired and slept the first two days. Then I couldn’t sleep at all for next week or so. I’m now about 35 days clean and not too bad. My legs still hurt and stomach is messed up at times after eating. But I guess it’s worth it. I’m now living a normal life and will try to continue. But it’s not too bad either.

  • Cassi February 2, 2016, 9:53 pm

    My wife and I have been on Suboxone for 5 years. Both from a Dr. We have tried to be tapered down numerous times, from a few different dr’s because none would do it. They would say, “hey let’s taper” and nothing happens. So, as crazy as it sounds… Today is the beginning of going on a very fast taper.

    Half a pill between 2 people within 2-3 days. We have no other choice. We have no family or friends, so its just us. We are accountable for ourselves and one another. We didn’t do any last night and I must say… Definitely no sleep. I tossed and turned. Restless legs. I saved mine for this morning for work… And still felt bad.

    Mostly just body pains. Anyway, I’m rambling. Wish us luck and lots of prayer. We need it. Our mind is right, as of right now. And it’s saying you can do it. Ask me in a week what it’s saying then. Hopefully, the same thing.

  • Kathy January 17, 2016, 6:50 pm

    I am a 25 year old woman, and I am on Day 12 of no suboxone. The first 9 days were not too bad. There were waves of good, and then waves of bad. I jumped off from 2 mg a day for about two years. Days 10-12 have been great! I feel alive again and so much better. Still only sleep about 6 hours a night and wake up in the middle of the night for about an hour, but other than that, nothing too crazy…

    Just wanted to share the Things that have helped me get through the day:

    -Clonidine 0.1 mg (1 in AM and 1 before bed first 9 days)
    -Ginseng (2 a day)
    -Alive Multivitamins (2 a day)
    -Vitamin b12 (4 a day)
    -Magnesium (2 a day)
    -Lots of water and coffee (caffeine isn’t for everyone though. I’m a coffee-Holic!!)
    -Imodium AD (3 a day for days 4-9)
    -Valerian Root (3 at night)
    -St John’s Wort (2 a day)
    -Vitamin D & C ( 2 a day)
    -Walking the dog, exercise, sunlight (helps with fatigue/RLS)
    -Hot showers
    -Keeping a routine everyday.
    -Loud music!! (Works wonders I promise! )
    -Being around friends and family
    -NOT laying in bed or on the couch ( makes all symptoms worse for me!!)
    -A beer or glass of wine before bed (only one)

    Sub withdrawal is very doable, as long as you take good vitamins, drink plenty of water, and keep your mind and body busy! The clonidine needs to be used carefully because it lowers your blood pressure. I was very adamant about quitting, and that has really helped with the mental aspect of the process. For everyone out there going through this, you can do it!!! Stay positive and keep going! :)

  • Jon January 17, 2016, 7:31 am

    I’ve been on oxys for about 7 years and switched to suboxone for the last 7 years. So 14 years total. Now I’m 2 & 1/2 days on nothing. But I can’t sleep because of these leg pains. I haven’t slept in almost 3 days cuz of this. Any suggestions for the leg pain??

  • N January 15, 2016, 8:49 am

    I’ve been on 10mg patches for around 4-5 months and this is my second time trying to stop taking it. I suffer bad withdrawal every time I stop taking a medicine (I am a chronic pain/nerve damage sufferer, so I have been on more than 6 opiate based medications in 2015). So I get so fed up with feeling like sh*t – that I failed cutting out Buprenorphine the first time. Can anyone suggest when it is ok for me to take a codeine to deal with the pain? Or will it make my body wig out more due to the WD?

  • Nancy December 30, 2015, 2:06 am

    I really enjoyed reading everyone’s stories and decided to tell mine hoping to get some advice. I was on H for 5 years and was put on subs to stay clean. Back than when I was 22 the doctors never warned me I was trading an addiction for another. Yes, being on subs changed my life. I never relapsed and completely turned my life around. The only issue is I was feeling normal but still tied down to something. This drug had a grip on my soul. Slowly taking it away piece by piece.

    After 5 years on it I decided to quit cold turkey. None of my friends know. Not even my boyfriend. I’m currently on day 16. Most of my physical WD’s are gone. Day 12 is when the mental part kicked in and I felt like I was going crazy. I felt like I was plugged into a light socket. I had no appetite which I can’t afford BC I’m 5’6″ and weigh 110. I lost 7 pounds in 2 weeks.

    Anyways, I stumbled upon a website that suggest Kratom and Kava for WD relief. I been taken little Kratom and Kava for 3 days now. I feel weird when I take it but relaxed and my anxiety is completely gone. I plan on stopping tomorrow. If I quit taking this will my WD’s start all over again? I don’t want to repeat the last 2 weeks? I didn’t know Kratom can become addictive and act as an opioid for my brain. I want to continue this journey with a clear mind and body.

  • Red December 23, 2015, 11:44 am

    Day 30 update. Max sleep is 6 hours. Still get chills and goosebumps also slight temp changes. Nightmares. Still wake up with a pounding heart and anxiety. Still sneezing (literally just did again). Just started to get dizzy last night and woke up feeling dizzy as well. The diarrhea let up two days ago finally. Bad taste in mouth and sense of smell is very heightened.

    Tired and lazy but it’s the price I pay for a decade of being on sub and prior to that abusing opiates. I wouldn’t have it any other way because if it were an easy thing to withdrawal from it would be easy to pick up again. I have to deal with the bad to appreciate the good. And I will continue to put up with this BS until it’s gone never looking back. That drug sucks and should only be used in EXTREME circumstances.

    Looking back 10-20 a day lortabs, percocets, norcos etc…yes was extreme to some, but I should’ve dealt with that withdrawal and never got on this drug. It almost ruined my life. At first I thought it was a savior of a drug but looking back if only I knew then what I know now about it I would not have got on it. Everything always happens for a reason though. Good luck to everyone who is walking thru hell with me. There is a light at the end of the tunnel… they say you just have to find it.

  • Steve Geng December 23, 2015, 9:16 am

    After thirty years or more of on-again-off-again opiate addiction I would like to add my encouragement to anyone trying to quit. I’ve kicked oil-burning junk habits cold turkey in jail, methadone, suboxone after short periods of use, and for me, the worst enemy was my own fear—I bought into every old-wives tale of the kicking junky writhing in pain. Addiction is like a living entity between your ears with its own survival system—it tells you that if you let it die, then you’ll die.

    It’s all illusive bullshit designed to keep you strung out and the addict in you alive. The worst physical part of withdrawal is the discomfort of a bad cold, mixed with weeks of insomnia due to fear and the obsessive illusion that a fix will solve your problem—if only for a short while, you don’t care. It’s extremely hard, if not impossible to conquer that internal addict alone (enlist help of friends, family, GOD (whatever that means to you, pray to Jesus or Vishnu or Allah, doesn’t matter—just the act of prayer will help defeat the addict within you) drug counselors, and 12 step groups.

    They will constantly remind you that the discomfort will end and you’ll never have to go thru it again—because the big lie your inner addict tells you is that the discomfort will NEVER END. When in reality, all you got to do is get through the next five minutes, or hours, or days. Believe me—your greatest enemy is not the drug—it’s your own mind, and no one is a victim of their own thinking unless they want to be. Get some good books to read for the long nights of insomnia, or binge-watch TV series that take you to another reality, or are at least well done, like Lost, or Person of Interest.

    You can do it, so find people who support that truth. Worst comes to worst, get my book Thick As Thieves and read it and you’ll see I’m the real deal. Steve Geng

  • jerramie December 20, 2015, 9:58 pm

    Suboxone was no walk in the park. I had pretty much the exact same symptoms with the exception of puking. I did not puke from Suboxone withdrawals. I took Suboxone for well over 10 years. I started taking Buprinex via injection administered by the doctor. After a year – Suboxone came out. DON’T believe everything you read about withdrawals and freaking out or going crazy.

    Because I have PAWS, I knew I was in for a lengthy ride. By day 8 I started to take Loperamide (Imodium) in large doses with grapefruit juice. It stopped my withdrawal symptoms dead. I could not believe it! However, the anti diarrhea medication dehydrated me pretty bad. I had to drink a lot of water. I lowered the dosage every day and I am doing great. But without the loperamide the symptoms come right back.

    It somehow even eases the anxiety and “doomed” feelings as well. I lowered the dosage over time and currently take very small doses. I am on day 15. You can NOT get high on the medication, please do not die trying. Dehydration can kill you!

  • Jules December 20, 2015, 10:35 am

    TODAY- I am approximately 6 and a half months post my detox from ‘Suboxone’. I am not going to lie: ‘it’ was HELL! – especially the way I ‘went about’ the withdrawal process – however, I am now SO glad I undertook ‘the journey’. Bit of background: I am a 55 year old woman with an extensive ‘history’ of alcohol and other drug obsessions and ‘misuse’. My ‘home’ drug is heroin – and the last time I used ‘her’ was about 5 months ago – in the last throes of my withdrawal from ‘Suboxone’.

    I was completely in obsession, desperate to distract from both the mental and physical agony of the detox. I live in a small community in the country: I enticed another ‘user’ to come on my mad journey to a larger city – nearly four hours drive away. I hadn’t used for just on a year at the time of my brief foray back into heroin. I pigged out over a night and a day on heroin, alcohol and gangha : adoring the brief respite from my life and living in total chaos by introducing even more chaos into my life.

    One day post my binge – my withdrawal symptoms from the ‘Suboxone’ we’re SO intense I was overwhelmed with pain again and ‘mad as a meat axe’ as I fought going back to using heroin yet again. I was ‘able’ to not use again – and it took another 2 months to really notice I was beginning to feel ‘well’ again. There were other variables at play in my life during this last year of my life: detoxing from specific psych drugs designed to treat the bipolar I live with, changing psych meds, mental illness and chronic hep C (which I have lived with for nearly 34 years).

    You will have already read enough of the hideous effects of withdrawal from ‘Suboxone’ – thus, I won’t bore you with repeating what has already been written and/or experienced. I will talk about what helped my withdrawal from being ‘on’ 32ml of ‘Suboxone’ for 2 and half years, gradually withdrawing to 22mls – and then – without any discussion with ‘my’ doctor, chemist, family or friends – I cut down how much I was ‘taking’ to 14ml – only taking my prescribed dose of 22mls when I pick up my ‘take away’ doses once a week.

    I experienced significant clarity and an improvement in my depression with every drop in the amount of ‘Suboxone’ I was ‘taking’ – thus, I was inspired to stop – and fearful of the long process ahead of me if I reduced and/or reverting to going up in my dosage level – I just stopped taking the ‘Suboxone’. Over the first week or so – when the pain got too much – either physically, mentally or emotionally- I had a few ‘binges’ on the ‘Suboxone’ I had saved from my ‘takeaway’ doses.

    Then the REAL sh*t hit the fan! I binged on ‘Valium’ a couple of times – but until my ‘pig out’ on the aforementioned on heroin – and a few binges on alcohol- I stayed ‘clean’ of ‘altering substances’ (!). I had huge difficulty in eating: I subsequently lost 10 kilos over the period of the detox. I found it essential to drink liquids – for quite a few months – it had to be a sweet drink and/or water or tea – to give me any energy. If I could manage to ingest food: I ate whatever I could ‘bear’ – eating and even cleaning my teeth made me gag!

    I tried to shower every day: but in all honesty – there were periods of time in which I didn’t leave my bed except to go to the toilet and/or drink something sweet. When I couldn’t sleep – I took long, long hot showers – and I attempted to burn either fragrant candles or oils regularly to ‘defuse’ the gut wrenching odor that was seeping from my body and ‘shrouded’ my clothes, sheets, towels, mattress and rooms. The process of lighting candles and/or burning oils helped enormously -especially with my mood of despair and desperation.

    Praying helped – although I am not religious. Seeking support from my doctor, chemist, family and friends – and – eventually – the ‘mentalhealthdaily.com’ site – also helped enormously. Reading and/or watching films or comedy or listening to music during the long days and nights I couldn’t sleep – helped a lot. Kindness’s shown to me helped me heal in many ways and being grateful for ALL I do ‘have’ texting, phoning, talking, emailing and social media – helped enormously.

    Distracting allowed me not to be SO lost in the pain. Eventually – being able to do ‘things’ for others and being other person focused helped me feel ‘human’ again. Spending time with dogs and cats also helped. There is probably a million different ‘things’ I could say about ‘my ‘Suboxone’ experience- but! – I think I have said enough!

    PLEASE DON’T LOSE HOPE! ‘IT’ WILL GET BETTER – MUCH, MUCH BETTER! All of a sudden, you will realize you are NOT in SO much pain – NOT SO crazy, fraught, fearful, anxious, self loathing, despairing or depressed: YOU will realize you can walk a little further, that you are not losing all your possessions – that you are eating healthier – that you have hope, gratitude and/or dreams again. HUGE LOVE and LUCK, my friends.

    Jules X! ❤️???

  • MM December 15, 2015, 1:20 am

    Ok… let me tell the hell I’m in now, but first, 6 years ago I was doing 6-8 bags of dope a day. An old GF gave me 3, 8mg suboxone pills. I waited until I was sick, took the 1st one. Saturday felt great but I took half a pill to sleep. Sunday no pill at all. By Monday morning I was off dope. Boom 1-2-3 done. Fast-forward 4 years, now I’m back on dope. Then on methadone 110 mg of methadone (dope was getting to be too expensive).

    I stopped taking it this March… it was really messing my body up. So I started doing a bundle a day, then eventually tried the suboxone again in august. I could not get pills, so the strips I thought would help… felt great at first. I was cutting them up in 5 little strips and would take the tiny cut up one whenever I felt a knot in my stomach. But… these strips are giving me the worst hemorrhoids possible to man.

    Everyday it feels like there’s a knife in my sphincter, total hell. So I tried to get off after week or so… my ass felt way better, but I had no idea it was going to be the worst withdrawal ever. It’s been over 3 months, I go back and forth with suboxone. It’s pure hell. I’m getting on methadone, screw this. It’s total hell. Sorry if it wasn’t helpful.

    • Josh A December 16, 2015, 11:59 pm

      MM, The difference is the first time you used subs to detox, they had not been in your system at all. When going to a detox facility, that is exactly how they ease your WD symptoms. 2 to 3 subs over the course of “normal” opiate withdraws seems to float you through the worst of it. It seems that methadone and subs have around 10 times the withdrawal duration as normal opiates.

      I am sure some people will think I’m crazy for saying this, but if you could go a couple months without taking methadone or Subs, and go back to your dope, or any other normal opiates during that time, you should be able to do the same thing you did a few years ago. The worst thing anyone can do is be on subs for longer than a week. Methadone and suboxone were made so the government can get your money instead of you giving said money to the drug dealers.

      If anyone is on oxy, or dope, or any other conventional opiate and have had no sub or methadone in your system for at least a month or two. Stop the opiates for 2 days, then take a whole suboxone 8mg every 2 days until you have taken 3 8mg strips or pills. By that 6th day your in the clear. If you have taken subs or methadone in the past couple months, your fucked until you stop taking them for at least a month or two. And the only way to do that is get back on whatever dope you were on before until that government shit is out of your system.

      Also, cutting the strip up is counter productive, take the whole damn thing, it last longer and seems to do better for floating yourself through your detox.

  • Josh A December 14, 2015, 7:10 pm

    I am currently 55 days in after coming off 4 years of using H and then 3 years of 4 to 6mg of sub a day. I’ve always bought off the street. I wanted to quit but I couldn’t get to the right mindset and couldn’t take time off from life. When buying what I thought was subutex off the street, I was forced into about 2 weeks worth of withdrawal in about 60 minutes.

    What I had taken was naltrexone. This is a drug that blocks your opiate receptors, look it up. I didn’t know what had happened until about 15 minutes in when I looked up the other pill I had. That night was the worst night of my life. The RLS in my arms, core and legs was so bad I thought my bones were going to break, or at least dislocate. These WDs were unbelievable.

    I decided that I wanted nothing to do with buying drugs off the street again, that experience showed me just how easy it is to get the wrong thing and die. I thought I would die, I don’t want to die. For me, after about 3 weeks things hit a plateau. I could function, but just have no energy. Things have slowly gotten better. There seems to be no point where you wake up and are like “damn, I feel like I used to.”

    After you get to week 3 expect to just deal with low energy, but you won’t feel like sh*t. Melatonin helped me for sleep. Also, I took benzos. I know people say that is the worse thing you could do, but I was never someone who wanted anything to do with them because I hated that whole downer buzz. Get through 3 weeks, and it gets better from there. Apparently people are selling naltrexone to rip people off and others have to deal without them being able to complain.

    Make sure you never take naltrexone, that will show you something so much worse than simply going cold turkey.

  • Red December 13, 2015, 10:44 pm

    Hey weeone, I have IBS also and I’m 21 days completely off suboxone and don’t take any other meds. I for the last 21 days wake up and go to the bathroom. That is normal because while you’re on suboxone since it’s an opiate it can make you constipated. That’s one of the common side effects or withdrawal symptoms. Every day is still getting better for me.

    While taking suboxone for 10 years I used to sleep all day and go to bed real late. Now I go to bed early and wake up early because if I don’t get out of bed the anxiety starts. Being on suboxone its like my brain was numb to everything and I didn’t feel emotion. Now that it’s been three weeks off I still feel numb which I know is normal, but I get glimpses of the old me coming back. It’s totally a different feeling being off of this drug after being on it a decade.

    At first I had to adjust and it was scary but now I’m getting things done I would never have done being on that crap! My advice is to get off it and stay off everything. I refuse to be a lab rat any longer. It’s nice knowing I never have to deal with another doctor or pharmacist looking down on me. And also don’t have to worry about going to the Drs every 21 days for a urine test. I guess I’m regaining my freedom and you can too! Merry Christmas to you as well!

  • Scott34 December 12, 2015, 7:51 pm

    Jus a little info for you guys! If you really want something that helps with the restless leg part of coming off suboxone, then ask your doctor about prescribing you gabapentin (neurontin). I swear by it!!! It’s the best thing I have came across that actually helps!!

  • WeeOne December 11, 2015, 1:29 pm

    Hey, I’m on sub from last Wednesday I came down to 2mg from 4mg, so far my detox has been ok. I was on 8mg from May and have been detoxing since about sept. The only thing I got was sore calfs. I’d never had sore legs before even before when I came off heroin or methadone and TBH I felt coming off the meth was easy before, but I was pregnant and wouldn’t abuse my baby so maybe I felt more will power.

    Anyway since last wed coming down to 2mg I have woke up early every morning at about 4-5 and have to go to the toilet as I have a really sore tummy. Thing is I have IBS so I’m really confused is it that or is it withdrawals from reducing. Once I take my 2mg I do feel better but I don’t want to get it in my head it’s withdrawals or I’ll end up wanting to go back up. I could go back onto meth and reduce from that but I’m not sure. I’ve heard once you try to get past 2mg it’s so, so awful.

    My drug use before wasn’t to bad on average a half gram a day. Any help would be great and it’s helped just reading comments. I know it won’t last forever but at the time you think it will. Good luck and hope you all have a Merry Christmas.

  • Red December 10, 2015, 1:32 pm

    Don’t worry. Just try and calm yourself down using breathing exercises. It won’t last a year ESP if you were not on it long. I was on it for 10 years and I’m on day 18. You have to keep your mind and body stress free. I know it’s easier said than done. Each day may get worse before it gets better but I promise you it will go away.

    It’s super super rare to be still feeling like death after a year from it. They usually say 10-90 days depending on how much you were taking when you stopped. My mornings are still worst part, but throughout the day the symptoms start to subside and eventually I know they will all go away.

  • Red December 9, 2015, 11:46 pm

    I was on suboxone for almost 10 years due to being hooked on pain pills. Over the last year I had to switch to zubsolv because my insurance would no longer cover sub. I got down to about 3/4 of zubsolv 1.4 mg a day which is supposed to be stronger than suboxone. The zubsolv didn’t work that well for me and over the last year I slowly weened down to that dose.

    17 days ago I decided I no longer want to be a slave to that beautiful lie of a drug. Talk about being numb and not motivated every day being on zubsolv. My life was passing me by and I knew I needed a change. I’m hoping the PAWS doesnt last long since I did ween down. Some days are better than others but this is doable. It’s too bad that there aren’t more doctors that specialize in getting you off suboxone comfortably.

    I saw my sub dr a couple days ago for an emergency visit and she wanted me to just get back on it and ween slower since I was still not feeling well. I asked her how long I would be sick for if I just stopped taking it on my last months apt and she said 10 days but then told me this last apt it could be up to 30 days since I didn’t ween down to .25 mg every other day. I could not split that pill into 4 there was no way to guarantee I was getting the proper amount.

    She gave me the script and I refuse to fill it because my will to get off it is much stronger than looking back. If I could rewind time ten years I would’ve only stayed on it for about 5-7 days after getting off the pain killers. The worst part of the withdrawal is getting used to not sleeping well, anxiety, depression, and frequent stops to the bathroom. In order to get off this drug you must have the will power and determination to do it.

    The difference between sub withdrawal and opiate withdrawal is sub withdrawal is less intense, but lingers over a much longer time frame. My brain feels as though it’s re wiring itself and I’m having to learn how to live and cope without the drug to fall back on. This can be intense at times but it’s def doable. The fear of getting off this drug kept me on it for almost a decade.

    If you’re reading this and are considering going on suboxone I hope it gives you some insight as to what you will be up against getting off it if you stay on it way too long. I had some Drs try and tell me I’d be on it the rest of my life which is ridiculous. No one should be a slave to this drug for this long let alone the rest of their life.

    If you’re reading this and you think you can’t make it through the withdrawal just know it will get better no matter what stay positive and when you get your energy back think of things that make you happy. For me listening to music really helps. Staying active will definitely keep your mind off it. And staying hydrated. Good luck to everyone, I hope my story helps.

  • Michael November 14, 2015, 1:47 am

    Hello everyone. This is my first time commenting in a forum about suboxone and it’s nice to finally find a place I can voice my concerns. I currently take 2 mgs of suboxone a day. I started taking subs in March to get off dope. In the beginning it was like a miracle drug. No w/d’s and no cravings. I’ve been clean from heroin since then but Im trying to get off suboxone. I was taking 3-4 mgs up until the past few weeks.

    Since then I’m not allowing myself anymore than 2mg. I am very discouraged after hearing how long it will take to feel normal again. I certainly don’t want to go through life feeling like hell for months. If anyone can tell me their experience with the taper I would appreciate it. I’m not sure how fast to taper off 2mgs. I’ve heard so many different things. It seems like doctors don’t even know.

  • Cliff November 9, 2015, 9:20 pm

    This is time TWO for me getting off suboxone. Everyone want to know, HOW LONG? Well, I’ll tell you my little story. I first kicked off Feb 13, 2013 at 4mg a day, after 6 years of use. I took a week off work to “recover” and had a very hard time getting off my couch the whole time. Constant headache, starving but a hard time eating, cant sleep for more then 3 hrs, confusion, cross eye vision, freezing lower legs, restless legs, weakness, depression, etc. I had to go back to work on day 8, 3rd shift, freezing factory and running around all night.

    It sucked. I drove the 25 miles to work with 1 eye closed so I see clearly on the snowy roads. We got hit with a blizzard on day 10 here in R.I. I had to go out and shovel nearly 2 feet before go back to HELL. I told my wife every night before going to work, “I’m off to hell now”. As time went on, I felt better and better then one day I suddenly realized I felt completely normal.

    I started to think my brain is like a “virgin”. I could take a small dose of anything and feel the effects. The drug addict in me was speaking. I introduced a guy at work to suboxone since we both had serious opiate addictions. He was still on it and I began getting a little here and there from him, MISTAKE! I was CLEAN for nearly a year! FOOL! My mom had died and I used it as an excuse to use again. NOW, after a 1 1/2 year relapse, I’ve been off for 2 weeks.

    I tapered down to 1mg a day for a couple of weeks before kicking off. My wife got sick of my lack of sex drive, I don’t blame her. That DOES come back, by the way! I don’t feel bad, I don’t feel good [whatever]. I’ve been getting out everyday. I’m an old man is school and don’t have to work right now [thank god]. Its only been 2 weeks and I feel better every day. MY BEST ADVICE for anybody kicking off suboxone. It seems a lot worse then it really is.

    DON’T give up on yourself and take anything. You will only have to start all over again. Shut the TV off, get up, take a shower get dressed, and get the hell out into the world where you belong. I started going for long rides [be careful if your vision is bad]. I’ve been on long walks the past few days and I always feel better afterward. I started sleeping through the night 2 nights ago [day 10].

    You will slowly start feeling better and better after about day 10 if you get active. FORCE YOURSELF. Its just a thing, your mind playing tricks on you, laugh at it. Your body isn’t weak, you mind it making it think it is. The more you just do normal things, the faster you are going to feel “normal”. Don’t wallow in self pity and “wish” you felt better, BE BETTER! Hang in there all!

  • Heather October 29, 2015, 2:43 am

    You forgot insomnia in your list of withdrawal symptoms. The inability to sleep, along with that mysterious creepy crawly feeling that withdrawing from virtually any opiate brings, and the restless legs are the trifecta for me. All the rest I can deal with.

  • Danielle October 28, 2015, 10:26 pm

    I’m struggling, it’s almost like this is bringing back memories of how I felt going through detox. The pain, and tension, anxiety is unbarable. This stinks.

  • Lauren October 19, 2015, 2:01 am

    I am on Day 15 off suboxone. For a few days I thought maybe I was going to get lucky and it would be manageable and I could continue my normal routine. Until about day 5, which is when the withdrawal symptoms started. I still feel like a wet noodle on day 15. Haven’t been to work, and my boyfriend works in the medical field in administration and can’t take time off like I can as a bartender.

    We have a 2 year old and it was taking everything in me just to take care of him. So I came up to my family’s farm in the country so I could have some help with my son while I go through this. At this point I’ve had almost every symptom listed. After taking roxi 30mg for only 5 months when I was 20, I couldn’t handle the opiate withdrawal so the family physician referred me to a doctor that was licensed in suboxone therapy.

    He had me on 2 doses of 8/2mg for freaking 6 YEARS!!!!! I never had any idea that this is wayyyyy too long to be on suboxone. I trusted that he knew what he was doing. My sister took the same pills I used to take for much longer than I ever did, did her Suboxone program in 6 weeks and said she never had any discomfort and even turned in her extra boxes B/C she didn’t need them. And here I am like a useless bump on a log.

    I just want to know how long these post acute symptoms are going to last, how can I be behind a bar, bartending when I can’t focus, I get dizzy constantly, I don’t even want to get up. I have zero energy and motivation and I can’t stay out of the restroom. I can’t be debilitated for a month or longer. I have a wonderful, normal, functioning life that I need to uphold. I am tired and embarrassed of my young and dumb days BC it is now affecting me and my family, my boyfriend who has an amazing, respectable job and my beautiful healthy little boy that keeps saying Mommy is sick.

    Breaks my heart. I guess the whole point of me writing this is to tell anyone who is thinking of the suboxone program, no matter what your doctor says, please insist that you want to get off as soon as possible. Don’t be stupid like I was and take the script every month for years, BC when you do decide to quit, you’re life will be totally different.

    And your detox will affect people who were not around when you made the decision to start and stay on this medicine BC it makes you feel what you believe at the time to be “normal”, which is a load BC it made my depression incredibly worse. Even though I was functioning day to day BC I had to. I hope these symptoms pass soon, I just want to feel like my old self again.

  • karen darvin October 10, 2015, 6:27 am

    Checking in slightly over a year later. I’m OK now, so yes, the withdrawals are worth it in the end.That is the main point. I have ever gone back to suboxone. I still have not forgotten the whole experience, so I do come back and read new comments and try to be helpful. This site helped me quite a bit, there was no where else to go. I am glad to see that this thread continues on. I think that it is important to remember that every individual will have a different experience. But it is not easy for most of us and it’s important to remind everyone that the symptoms are real…it is difficult.

    It can and does feel hopeless, it seems impossible. I remind myself and others that our brain chemistry has been messed with for a long time since usually an opiate addiction was there before the suboxone. This drug did give me the ability to put some distance between the drug use and obsession. Unfortunately I was led to believe that there was no consequence and of course there was. So continue to remove yourself from this drug, a year later and you will be OK if not sooner. We are stronger than we think. If you found this site you can do it!

  • Subs a lie October 1, 2015, 4:27 am

    Jumped off 24 mgs, after 11 years, cold Turkey for 32 days and still a MF! Hardest thing you will ever do. Banged H for 15 years prior, quitting that was cake compared to the Suboxone Lie/ Detox! How to do it? If you are like me and were on 24 mg for 10+ years and just jump! Plan on nothing else but a minimum of a 30 day WAR! Bad WD kicked in hard at 5 day mark and persisted hard until day 19, now keep in mind I’m 46, but workout like a MF, played college football and train 5 out of 7!

    I did not train the first 7 days, could not. Get your ass up, no matter what, day 7 and train! YOU WILL NOT WANT TO. Walk, crawl, don’t be weak! Remember I jumped cold turkey from 24 mg after 11 years and I am an old MF! It sucks to no end! But suck it up. No excuses. RLS, no sleep, panic and anxiety are the enemy here. I slept a total of 8 hours the first 18 days, mainly due to RLS, stomach issues and anxiety, but it will not kill you and you have to get pissed off and be mentally strong.

    It is a f—— marathon, not a sprint. REMIND YOURSELF OF THAT EVERY MINUTE! Accept the pain, you have to! I had no pain meds, anti’s, benzos, sleeping pills, etc. I’m still alive, but still pissed! And I live only 3 hours from Reckitt B. in Richmond Va, MF’s. if this sh#t ain’t right by day 90, I’m gonna take a ride and visit with their R&D and see how they like me, but we will cover that come November ’15, if need be.

    Anyway, day 32, still a MF! way better then the first 3 weeks, but “come on man’, enough is enough. I have been training, 2-3 times daily, 2 hours cardio and 1 hour of Cross-fit, 5 out of every 7 days and this sh#t won’t leave my body, still! No bad physical WD anymore, just not a single endorphin, despite all the training. 120 grams of protein a day, 4 gallons of H2O daily, multi- vitamin, B-6, B12, melatonin and valerian at night, branched chained aminos daily (Met-Rx), etc.. Still nothing!

    Anyway, f— it, I’m all in and I’m gonna ‘Beat me out of Me’… Thanks, Kurt Cobain. I’ll keep you all updated, and like I said, come November, if this sh#t ain’t right, I’ll pay a visit to Richmond, from all of us! P.S. Buy a foam roller and roll your legs out all night, 1 inch per second and stop where it hurts till the pain diminishes by 50% or more. Then, if you can’t sleep, don’t fight it, get pissed and keep fighting!

  • scott September 16, 2015, 8:53 am

    If you do a TRUE slow taper, you can literally walk off Suboxone. I’ve done it twice…once was on it 3 solid years. You can’t read into all the negative posts or you’ll drive yourself crazy & freak yourself out. There’s plenty of people that slowly tapered and walked off Suboxone forever and never looked back. You don’t hear about it as much cause they’re out living life, not reporting to message boards. I’m not minimizing the people’s pain from the comments above, but I promise you if you do a slow taper…you will be fine.

    Suboxone really is a good clean drug if you take it the right way. Me personally..I don’t see how anyone could ever need 24-32mgs. I think that’s a little bit of that addict behavior still. I think 8mgs should be the max. But thats my opinion. I’m not a doctor. If you’re on 8mgs…go to 4 mgs for about 10ish days. Then to 2 mgs for about 10 days…then 1 mg, .5mgs, and .25 mgs before you completely stop. This all varies on body type. But I know it works and its not as bad as everyone makes it out to be if you taper the right way. Good luck!!

  • blytk September 13, 2015, 12:09 am

    I was on it for five years. Tried to quit several times, cut my films into sixteen pieces and still got sick quitting. I did deep research and read the company’s prospectus. It started that if could take up to two years for the brain to rewire. Fact: This drug is only another addictive drug being sold to make money. Shouldn’t be on the market. All you can do is fight the symptoms. Sweating will get the medicine out of your body quicker but the damage it done your brain could take up to two years. I say fight it. It’s worse coming off of then dope. I’m on day three trying to quit again. Four percs so far to help with the edge. It’s working. I quit.

  • Chris September 9, 2015, 6:48 pm

    I started taking massive amounts of codeine 25 years ago and ended up taking about 100mg of suboxone over 10 years, gradually reducing down to a maintenance dose of 0.8mg daily for the last 4 years. The doctors in charge of this maintenance dose decided (for some cash) that they don’t do maintenance doses anymore so about 3 months ago stopped the proscription and told me withdrawal would take a few days but don’t worry its only a small dose.

    And then 3 weeks later my world collapsed. I thought I might as well be dead. The withdrawal was truly awful. Everything listed for the symptoms above I went through, from the flu to the pain. The worst for me was the night, trying to sleep was awful, The muscle spasms were unbelievable and this went on for weeks. Then I had a real bit of luck I read this website and realized they had lied to me.

    I took this page to my doctor and after reading it she was horrified. My wife confirmed to the doctor what was happening so she started to look into suboxone withdrawal for herself. Thank god for her, she proscribed a Parkinson medication called Ropinirole. It took a few days to get the dose right for me(10mg daily) but it worked to stop the nightly terror. I have been off suboxone for nearly 3 months now and have just gone back to work and feel OK nearly.

    Don’t take any nonsense from the so called experts they don’t have a clue. Go to your GP and get some help, and read everything on this page over and over. I hope writing this down will help someone get off this poison, educate yourself and good luck.

  • Rossman313 September 4, 2015, 5:38 pm

    I’ve been off all opiates since November 5th 2014. I had a six year addiction to vicodin, heroin, and suboxone. I’m on no medications and I don’t drink at all. I would never have thought that me of all people could overcome the addiction I had. It’s been a long time since I’ve had even the slightest urge to take a pill or get dope. Anyone on here who wants to kick subs can do it. It’s not easy the first couple months are extremely hard and you’ll probably think about going back because of the hell you’re feeling. However, the reward is definitely worth it to just keep going through. It gets greater later. I’ve been almost a year clean off everything and I would never even consider going back to subs or any opiates. Anyone who truly wants it, you can do it. If I can, anyone can.

  • Thomas September 1, 2015, 1:01 am

    I’ve been on Suboxone for almost 7 years. I am confident that I don’t need it anymore. I have an amazing therapist. I go to NA meetings. I have a sponsor. Life is better, and I’m final ready to let go of the Suboxone. However, it won’t let me go. I’ve tried so many times to get off it. I’ve only lasted a couple weeks each time. I work and go to school full time. It’s near impossible for me to function under these circumstances.

    I’m in major need of encouragement. Most of the stories I hear about weaning off Suboxone are not success stories. I’m working down to 0.5mg/day. When I jump down to 0.25mg/day, my body can’t handle it. The withdrawals begin there. Any advice?

  • Billy August 30, 2015, 8:20 am

    Hi everyone–its almost 3am central time and can’t sleep. Was mislead to believe that just like a diabetic needs insulin an opiate addict needs subs and possibly for life. I am 53 and have been on the medicine for 7 years. About 6 months ago I was taking 1-8 mg strip per day. Prior to that I was on 2-8mg strips per day. About 8 weeks ago I decided I no longer wanted to be handcuffed to any meds because it started to mimic and bring up bad memories of “running out of lortab” days and constantly having to “keep inventory”.

    In an 8 week period I tapered from 8mg down to 1 mg in equal increments with my wife acting as the pharmacist and dispensing to me according to the titrate schedule. Let me mention that the recovery group I had been associated with never followed up once following the writing of my final Rx. It has been 3 weeks since I took my last dose and I have to say that the 1st two weeks were nothing short of hell on earth. Now the good news–the last week has been SO SO much better. (Even though I am having a restless night tonight).

    Finally for the last 3 days I have felt wonderful. The clarity is incredible and I am experiencing sensations I have not felt in years. My suggestions are this: 2 weeks prior to jumping off start taking a multi vitamin on a daily basis and hydrate heavily with Gatorade or Pedialyte and stay away from caffeine. Week one will be tough but continue with vitamin, hydration, exercise as much as possible (even if its from the couch to the kitchen that’s OK), and make yourself eat as much as you can and as healthy as you can. This is important.

    Second week after jumping won’t be much easier or different, however your appetite should begin to improve and your energy should begin to increase. You should make the effort in week 2 to force yourself to exercise (but don’t over do it) because you will still be dealing with some “restless leg syndrome” just from your muscle atrophy from 2 weeks of being relatively inactive. During week 2 force yourself to drink some sort of protein or meal replacement drink every morning. This will help with the rebuilding of muscle &subsequently help with restless legs.

    If you would like to know the protein drink I used email me & I will let you know. I am not wanting to advertise any product and lose sight of why I am writing this. Week 3 everything stays the same however, you should increase your exercise level as much as you can, (including sunshine a much as possible to help with vitamin D levels), eating larger portions of protein rich food, socializing with family and friends as well as other recovering addicts. I was never big on going to meetings after my initial 6 week intensive outpatient treatment because the subs were controlling my cravings.

    However, during week 3 and probably for the next 8 weeks or longer if you would like, try to go to at least 1 AA or NA meeting per week. It did me wonders because I ran into several people dealing with this exact issue and the comfort it gave me was immeasurable. In closing, hang in there because the end result is worth it. Treat your minor aches and pains with Tylenol or ibuprofen and most importantly put that whip away and quit beating yourself up.

    Chances are you were not informed about the withdrawal effects of subs when you were put on them s pet of your recovery. The only thing I was told repeatedly was that “you will know when you are ready to stop taking subs”. Really? Good luck and god speed and this is by no means scientific but simply my attempt to help anyone going through what I have and still am pushing through. YOU GOT THIS!!

  • Igor August 28, 2015, 11:01 pm

    Hi everyone, greetings and clean days for all of you! I on my 9th day off subutex, feel like sh!t but determine to cleaning my self from this horror drug. I used it for one year, started with 2 mg climb to 4mg and 8mg. At the end I find myself trying to take 32mg at one day and fill nothing… Crappy situation, I know… But I struggle all alone through this nightmare, praying for a better day… Don’t use this drug!!! Only with professional docs that want to help you (not to do money on your arse) just don’t use it!!! This drug has terrible detox…

  • bill August 24, 2015, 3:25 pm

    I agree. This has been hell on earth. On it for 7 years and last 6 weeks of taking medicine I tapered down to 1mg. I am 53 and obviously it has to be a lot more demanding on my body then a younger person. It has been over 2 weeks and I am trying to beat this thing with faith and nutrition but the sleep deprivation is becoming almost debilitating.

  • Brian August 24, 2015, 2:14 am

    I feel for each and every one of you! I was on Suboxone since 2010 and was given 24 milligrams a day. I was on it for 5 years and the dr never asked me if I wanted to come off. I just don’t have time for all the doctors appointments and drug test. The doctor used to give me a 90 day supply so I was hooked really good. I got sick of taking all the drug test so I started tapering myself off. It’s been 3 weeks since I haven’t taken a thing and just started to be able to sleep well. I suggest if you’re on it, slowly taper yourself off. Stay strong everyone!!!

  • annie August 14, 2015, 10:47 pm

    The newest and best way seems to be to cut down 25% every 4 days till you get to .5mg. Do not fear cutting the strip as 2mg is too high a dose to come off of. If you do not understand the issue with subs is that is has a very long half life so we never get it completely out of our system. Now here is where things differ slightly (.5mg) mark.

    My MD is having me do .5 one day skip a day then .25 skip 2 days, .5 skip a day then .25 skip 3 days until you can get to the 4th day. Once you are comfortable at .25 every 4 days for 12 days, you should have minimal physical symptoms. Depression, anxiety, and such will always be the case with us addicts and we should have an alternate plan in place with our doc for those issues regardless. Good luck and I hope this helps. Annie – used subs for 6 years on 24mg dose…feeling awesome but still have chronic pain.

  • Heather July 23, 2015, 1:55 am

    Try to remember many of us who withdraw from buprenorphine after using it for long periods, had chronic pain and depression prior to starting opiates. Life is mind over matter but when you are in the black tunnel of time called withdrawal and Paws and before your brain chemistry can repair itself, relying on a zen like approach is easier said than done. Exercise, vitamins and proper nutrition help. Spirituality is extremely important, 12 step included and also general social community of a positive nature.

    The question becomes which came first the chicken or the egg. Learning new coping strategies is important and accepting that we had good reasons to trust our doctors. Wish more long term controlled studies existed but enough people on buprenorphine for long periods exist to compile a data bank. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Time heals health habits help and psycho-spiritual assistance help. One day at a time!

  • Laura July 11, 2015, 5:53 pm

    I’m hoping that this post helps. PLEASE READ!! I was on narcotics for 15 years. Herion to start then methadone and lastly subutex and suboxone. I never thought that I would be able to kick this horrible medication but somehow I did it, while working full time and taking care of kids. I had tried multiple times to kick it but couldn’t keep up with it all and didn’t want to half ass my life while being sick while having to take care of everything else. I believe what worked for me was tampering off slowly. I started taking it every other day, and this is the kicker, VITAMINS!!

    I started taking B and C every day, walking and running and drinking water. I would wake up in the morning and not even need it. The only thing that bothered me later in the day was some cramping and a few restless nights. That was the worst of my Withdrawal and it only lasted a little under a week. I don’t know how it all worked out but it did and I am extremely grateful. I hope this has helped. Tapering off, vitamins to help boost your immune system and water and exercise. After 15 years off this crap, if I can do it anyone can. Good luck.

  • Stephanie July 7, 2015, 1:05 am

    I have now been off subs for over 7 months. Can anyone tell me if it’s still possible to feel wd symptoms this far out? It happens occasionally. I’ll get achy and start craving the subs. I can almost taste it. Would love any feedback! Thank you.

  • Brian June 26, 2015, 10:26 pm

    I’ve been off of suboxone for just over two weeks and am doing fine. I still have fatigue in the middle of the day but I’m a merchandiser/sales rep so it’s a lot of work. I was on it for roughly 2 years and slowly tapered myself the past 6 months. Don’t get me wrong it wasn’t easy but for anyone who is struggling it will get better, symptoms will fade. Your life starts here. Stay strong and good luck in your recovery.

  • sober bound June 20, 2015, 6:06 pm

    It’s so comforting to get on here and feel that assurance that I’m not the only soul on Earth dealing with this crap. Thanks to all who share on here that share my suffering, and best of luck. I’m 48 hours in, going cold turkey, off 2mgs of subs for about 6 months. I was prescribed 16 mgs a day, but knew the Dr was all F’d up giving me that much. I managed my own dosage from day one, and never more than I knew I needed.

    THE DRS LOVE OUR MONEY GUYS. JUST LIKE OUR DEALERS DID! It’s blowing my mind to read how they ate prescribing 16 plus mgs to a 21 year old for a 6 month opiate addiction. WTF man? It’s BS. You have to be smart. There’s the old you still inside all of us and getting completely clean beats being suboxone’s little b*tch any old day! I can do this! So can you! Hang in there! Peace!

  • Barb June 19, 2015, 2:29 am

    My daughter is on day 4 of withdrawing from 1.5 daily of suboxone. She is continuing to take her depression and anxiety meds. She is reporting fatigue, body aches, chills and sweating. She feels pretty crappy overall. She was on the suboxone for about 9 months. She is also drinking Gatorade, taking ginseng and B12. I am hoping some of the symptoms get easier to handle soon.

  • James Martin June 4, 2015, 1:38 pm

    This is one of the hardest things I have ever done but it’s worth it, finally got the demon off my back.

  • Pèdro May 20, 2015, 11:35 am

    I’m on Day 11. I would say that this drug is the hardest thing to come off of, slow, painful and not only mentally depressing, and physically draining. I would say that this drug is one of the hardest things to come off of, given its unusually large half-life. I will tell you what, I have been through a lot of sh*t, cancer included. The amount of self-discipline you must have throughout the detox and following months is something that is truly a challenge.

    All of these excruciating pains and unbearable times of restlessness when I want to sleep are a true force to be dealt with. I think these withdrawals could be implemented into torture tactics. Feels like a slow death, especially the first week. When the acute withdrawal effects first take place my energy levels were so low that I can barely get out of the bed. And I am 29, healthy, and other than this I have no current illness. As I went in to day seven, I began to feel a slight difference.

    I got a little bit of energy and did some stuff around the house, I think it’s a matter of dealing with the how slow the process is transitioning your brain’s neurotransmitters back into good natural health afterward. This is my second time quitting because three months into my last quit, I f*cked up and did some Opanas. Needless to say that got me right back on the subs afterwards. These past 10 days has made me feel like an idiot for getting back on it, I have not felt great at all, but I am now starting to come around a bit.

    I have been getting out in the yard to do little projects, it is the only thing that makes me feel better, moving around and being in the sun. I am really irritated with the way I feel mentally, I feel unlike myself. I feel like my sense of humor is not all there, like my personality is not all there. I remember last time quitting and feeling decent after about 30 days. I think a workout regiment to build strength and vitality is the number one way to regain your old self again.

    Don’t start too early into your quitting phase, you will have muscles so sore that you don’t know what to do with them, but it is good to walk around and do casual activities to loosen your muscles up. A warm shower does miracles, as does a massage. It’s not easy, but just think of the green grass on the other side. I know sometimes it doesn’t seem like it will be better, but I guarantee if you grant yourself the discipline to conquer this, then You wont regret it.

    My number one piece of his advice is to steer clear of any substances that might steer you back into the sub direction. Just realize ahead of time that this is like the saying “betcha cant have just one,” because you can’t and you’d be foolish to try. I wish you all the best of luck and hope that you can stay disciplined to get through this terrible experience and get to the other side. Stay Strong.

  • Tom April 25, 2015, 4:48 pm

    I thought I’d chime in here with a bit of positivity. I took 8-12mg Suboxone daily from 2006 to 2013, first to treat a nasty Vicodin addiction, then to help with my depression. When I got off it after an accelerated taper (meaning I didn’t cut down at the rate the Dr.’s wanted because I’m a drug addict and that’s what we do, take more than we’re supposed to) I went through an ugly week.

    Typical nasty opiate withdrawal, but no worse than it was with Vicodin. Absolutely nowhere near than what I went through with Benzo (Xanax) withdrawal, which was so bad I checked myself into the ER because I thought I was losing my mind/dying. It helps, in a strange way, if you’ve been through opiate withdrawal before – you know what is coming and how bad it gets. That was the part that scared me the most with Benzo withdrawal – I had no idea where the bottom was.

    Anyway, my point is that Sub withdrawal is different for everyone – don’t psych yourself into expecting 6 months of horror. It might not be that bad – wasn’t for me and I was on it for a long time. TIPS – That said, it’s still no fun, no matter what. I suggest the following:

    -Extend your taper as long as possible and do not attempt cold turkey unless you like pain.
    -Try to have as much free time as possible while w/d’ing…it’s obviously not a vacation but trying to get through a day of work that first few days is hell.
    -OTC meds – NYQUIL (watch out for too much Tylenol), Benadryl, DXM all helped me.
    -KRATOM – If you don’t know what it is, Google it, but trust me…this stuff is a lifesaver. One time I was in the midst of the worst of the w/d, drank a big cup of strong Kratom tea, and felt 99% normal. It’s gold.

  • Stephanie April 24, 2015, 9:09 pm

    I haven’t posted anything for a while. I have now been off of subs for almost 5 mos (145 days). I have never felt better. The first 3 months were really difficult, but each day got a little easier which is what kept me going. It is definitely worth the pain to be free of the drugs. I am no longer fixated on making sure I have enough narcs to keep me from going into withdrawal. I can now focus on other aspects of life. Hang in there. It does get easier!!

  • Tam April 19, 2015, 5:05 am

    I have no idea why someone would want to be on suboxone for so long. I took percs for 3 years. Was prescribed suboxone in October. Unlike most people I didn’t get sick when taking both suboxone and percs. I have been on just suboxone for a month and a half now. I refuse to be someone who is on suboxone long term. It’s been almost six months and I am going against my psychologists suggestion and am getting off of suboxone. He feels that I should stabilize on subs before getting off (I rarely took their recommended dose of 4mg twice a day).

    I say, I got this! I’m down to 2mg a day. Next week will be .5-1mg. Following week I’m off. You’ll see. I expect withdrawal but I know its also mind over matter. Your mind is an incredible thing. You can think yourself ill just like you can think yourself well. I got this!!! Just gotta always remember that everything is temporary and being strong is our only option. There’s always a positive side to every situation and how much more positive does it get than being sober?

  • BK April 13, 2015, 7:57 pm

    Grateful comes close but doesn’t fully describe how amazing it feels to finally be free from the clutches of Subutex! It’s been 4 months, one of the most difficult, drawn out experiences I’ve been through (the first 2 months were pretty rough) but at 50 years old I now feel like I’ve got a new life (it’s much easier to wake up and get going in the morning without them) and so much to look forward to.

    I’m surprised to still get the yawns, sniffles & occasional ickies (and the passing thought that subs used to take care of that) but I know this too shall pass…I wish anyone on this journey many blessings!

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