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I've been a chronic pain patient for 7 years. I have went through the worst of addiction and dependency.

As an addict, the slow taper is next to impossible. It was for me anyway. As someone that was dependent on the medication, the slow taper was easier but still hard to accomplish. I know the difference between addiction and dependency is blurred but there really is a difference.

I have went cold turkey, not by choice but by the fact that I was just plain old out of meds and the refill was weeks away.

Withdrawals from the pills, like Percocet and Oxycontin, are horrible. Terrible horrible. Suffering is an understatement. It goes on for 4 days usually, the worst of it, but the first 2 days starting with 24 hours after your last dose are undescribeable. It really is a testament to the human spirit to endure it alone, or even with help.

That said.... withdrawals from Fentanyl are even worse imo.

I have went with Suboxone three times. Of course, and obviously, I have relapsed, but the Suboxone is without a doubt the most comfortable way to come off the meds.

A lot of people say the withdrawals from the Suboxone are as bad as the stuff you were trying to get away from, but I didn't have any problems at all.
The doctor will tell you that you need to stay on a dose for several weeks or even months, and they may be right (I am sure it's different for everyone), I dunno, but I only used it for a week at the most and started a taper after the first 4 days. When I came off I was fine. Very, very minimal withdrawal symptoms, if any. NOTHING like the withdrawals I was facing that led me to the Suboxone after years of abuse.

The Suboxone also helped with the pain a bit. With that and some Tylenol, Aleve and a Flexeril here and there I was able to keep my pain to a manageable level. Sure, there were days when I would hurt pretty badly, but it was better than where I was at when I was using the meds all day every day.
It kept the withdrawals away and the cravings to a minimum.

When you first go in for the Suboxone treatment you have to be in full withdrawal. This, of course, if extremely uncomfortable.
The best way to go about it is to call a place that offers the Suboxone detox and see when/if they are accepting new patients. Many of them are booked full to capacity, surprisingly enough. :)
Make an appointment for the first opening that they have or the first one that you can do. With Fentanyl, I would suggest waiting until your patch needs changed after 48-72 hours or whatever your time frame is, then scheduling an appointment for 24 hours after you take it off. That way most of it should be out of your system and you will be in full withdrawal. It is important to be in that stage of withdrawal, the crawling skin, etc, for the Suboxone to work right.

What to expect:

The drive there will be uncomfortable since you're in full withdrawal. I would suggest having someone to drive you there. Once you arrive they will have you fill out about a dozen forms. Heh. That sucks. Some places have an online set of forms that you can complete at home and print them off if you have a printer. Do that if you can.
They will take you back to a room where they will assess you to make sure that you are in the proper stage of withdrawal. If you are, your body should be showing the signs. If not they will have you wait there or even send you home for another day and have you come back when you are ready.
Personally, when I went I was in full withdrawal but not showing all the signs other than sweating and being an emotional train wreck, but they treated me anyhow.

They will ask you what dose you were on and of what kind of medication. Once they assess that they will administer the Suboxone accordingly.
You'll be given a small pill that you place under your tongue and it dissolves within maybe 5 or 10 minutes at the most. I was always given the orange flavor and didn't have any problem with it. Some people say it tastes horrible, but to me it could have been an onion for all I cared as long as it took away the withdrawal.
Maybe 20 minutes later you should feel much better, as if you took a dose of your regular medication but without the high.. just, normal.

They will probably want you to come back in every other day or so to pick up your next few days worth and perhaps have you attend a group meeting once or twice a week.
It's worth it though.

Some are very expensive, some not. I would look for a place that charged $300 for the first week or so and then another $100-$200 after that for the rest of the months [b]outpatient[/b] treatment. $500 total should be a fair deal. I've seen them go for over $2,000, so shop around.
Inpatient is much, much more expensive, and in my opinion you can do it outpatient pretty easily.

Best of luck to you.

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