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Hi Everyone,

It's been a while since I've been here - many months.

This is the end of day five off Subutex, and it was the best of days, and the worst of days. A while back I tapered (mostly) off of Percocets, then went to Hydro, and then realized that I could not take any time at all off work to finish the job. As Reach pointed out to me months ago, the goal is to "step" off the taper, not jump. For me, the step was off the Brooklyn Bridge (no not literally!). So, I discussed the idea of buprenorphine with my MD, and he agreed to try it. Long story short, it's been a couple of months, and I told him last week I no longer wished to take opiates for my chronic pain. I had tapered the Sub dose to about .25mg from 4mg over that time and last week stopped.

I feel basically crummy, but it could be alot worse. The reason I'm freaking out, though, is not due to the Sub. Several weeks ago I started to get panic attacks and my insomnia got much worse, no doubt due to the taper. I also found that I'm hypothyroid. So I started supplementing the Ambien I take with .5mg Ativan nightly, sometimes substituting .25mg Valium. I'm paranoid about getting hooked on benzos, and did not take them every night, until recently (e.g. last week). This week I've taken small doses once or twice during the day to deal with Sub w/d. My goal is to be off ALL drugs except for vitamin I (Ibuprofen) and the thyroid med. And to add insult to injury, I've been taking Carac (5-Flourouricil) for precancerous lesions on my face, and not only does it look like I'm an extra in a George Romero movie, it hurts like heck. It also severely limits the exercise I can get for the next week. So...

I'm really worried that I'm going to get physically dependent on the benzos. It's the last thing I want or need, but they keep me from freaking out and I'm taking the lowest possible doses. Can anyone tell me if I'm screwed or if I'm overreacting? I absolutely HATE insomnia. I've been taking Ambien nightly (10-12.5mg) for several years and I know it will not be easy to stop, but I've never really abused it. I want to stop taking the benzos sometime over the next 2-4 days, or sooner. Can I just stop taking them, or do I need to taper? What's the most I should consider taking, with zero being the objective?

I'm so exhausted just from worrying about it. The good news is I'm in total pain, but am not craving opiates. How bout them apples! Still worring about PAWS, though :-(.

Thanks for listening to my rant, guys. I'm sorry I've not been around more.

Best wishes to everyone!

Raz





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