If you’re looking for information on how to taper off Suboxone…you’ve just landed on an article that can CHANGE YOUR LIFE. I’ve spent years perfecting the art of Suboxone recovery.
This is now the fourth article I’ve written on getting off Suboxone, and it’s BY FAR the best one yet. In fact, I was going to make this an eBook and sell it…but then I realized not as many people would read it and benefit from this Epic Step-by-Step Suboxone Taper Plan.
From this point on, whenever somebody asks me how to taper off Suboxone, I will first direct them to this article as a great place to start! This plan is detailed, effective, powerful, and TRULY INSPIRATIONAL.
Step 1: Make a Decision!!!
Learning how to taper off Suboxone is not difficult. Anyone can read this plan I’ve created and understand the principles I teach. That’s the easy part.
But I can tell you right now with absolute certainty…most of the people on Suboxone reading this will not get off medication and stay clean for life.
Why??? Because most individuals on Suboxone never make it A MUST. Rather, they tell themselves things like I SHOULD get off Suboxone. They hope they will be successful, and when they are not, they take it as a failure.
But I’ll tell you right now, every time you fail you learn something. You learn what doesn’t work. Then the next time you try it you have less anxiety. That’s progress in every sense of the word.
Do you think I was able to get off Suboxone the first time I ever tried? No way!!! I fell FLAT ON MY FACE.
Life will always knock you down; that’s inevitable. But it’s not whether or not you get knocked down…it’s how many times you are able to get back up, brush yourself off, learn from your mistakes, and try even harder (+ smarter) the next time.
In the end, I was successful at getting off Suboxone because somewhere along the line I made a decision that I didn’t want to be on medication.
One of my top values in life is health, so I couldn’t stand the thought of being on a medication that altered my brain chemistry…especially one that made me go though a horrific opiate withdrawal syndrome if I stopped taking it!
Furthermore, Suboxone gave me side-effects; even at a dosage of 1 mg. It gave me red and flaky skin, and even though I could still “perform,” I had NO SEX DRIVE whatsoever. 😥
Make Tapering Off Suboxone A MUST
If you’re serious about learning how to taper off Suboxone and doing whatever it takes to achieve your goal, this plan is for you. If you want to be successful, you’ll need to decide right here and now that getting off Suboxone is a MUST, not a SHOULD.
Get out a pen and piece of paper and write down all of the reasons why you MUST taper off Suboxone. Commit to your goal. Know that you might fail several times, but as long as you keep going for it and learning from your mistakes, you’re sure to succeed in the long run.
To help increase your chance of succeeding the first time, use the following strategies I’ve outlined for you. They can give your body and mind a significant boost; thus helping you feel happy and energized while tapering off Suboxone.
Step 2: Develop A Strategic Suboxone Taper Schedule
When people ask me how to taper off Suboxone, I tell them one of the things they’ll need is a strategic Suboxone schedule. This is by no means the only thing necessary (though many people believe so)…but it’s often a great place to start.
Tapering is systemically reducing the amount of Suboxone medication at regular, preassigned intervals and dosage decreases. Tapering Suboxone is preferable to coming off cold-turkey because it’s much less of a system-shock to your brain chemistry, thus reducing withdrawal symptoms.
Suboxone Taper Studies
In one large study in 2010, persons tapering with buprenorpine during a nine month period, whether initially or after a period of substantial improvement, led to nearly universal relapse.
In another study, two groups of opioid-addicted young adults were evaluated to monitor the effectiveness of different taper approaches. One group was detoxed for two weeks.
The other was given Suboxone for nine weeks then tapered for three. The results showed that the longer taper was more effective, although after six, nine, and twelve month evaluations there were increased rates of opioid use in both groups.
Note: Many other studies look similar to these. The results confirm the poor prognosis. Opioid dependence is in fact a chronic, relapsing condition. However, this is why I said that using a strategic Suboxone schedule is simply not enough. In the steps that follow this one, you’ll learn how to harness the power of nutrition, supplementation, exercise, and more to improve your chances of getting off AND staying off Suboxone for good!
Suboxone Taper Schedules
Based on the outcome of the second study mentioned above, along with my personal experience helping people taper off Suboxone while working as a counselor at an Opiate Treatment Program (OTP), it appears that 2-6 months is an optimal time to taper for most individuals.
I’ve learned that most people can generally taper off Suboxone with ease until they reach about 2 mg.
At this point on the taper, it usually becomes increasingly difficult to get energy, and many individuals end up stuck on medication for fear of feeling sick and exhausted.
The following tips can help you taper off Suboxone until you reach the 2 mg mark:
- Use the least amount of medication possible to feel well enough to get through the day.
- Resist urges to use a little extra when you’re not feeling great – This messes with the taper.
- Try to take it only once every 24 hours.
- Listen to your body and adjust tapering speed as needed.
- And don’t obsess about it like this lady in the picture below!!!
Note: Tapering is usually not too difficult for most people until somewhere around 2-4 mg. At this point, any decreases are usually noticeable and can be difficult to adjust to.
A conservative Suboxone taper schedule I recommend from 2 mg down is:
- Days 1-14: 2 mg
- Days 15-28: 1.5 mg
- Days 29-42: 1.0 mg
- Days 43-66: 0.5 mg
At this point you start dosing on every other day, rather than daily:
- Day 67: 0.0 mg
- Day 68: 0.5 mg
- Day 69: 0.0 mg
- Day 70: 0.5 mg
- Day 71: 0.0 mg
- Day 72: 0.5 mg
- Day 73: 0.0 mg
- Day 74: 0.5 mg
Next you start dosing every third day:
- Days 75-76: 0.0 mg
- Day 77: 0.5 mg
- Day 78-79: 0.0 mg
- Day 80: 0.25 mg
- Days 81-82: 0.0 mg
- Day 83: 0.25 mg
- Days 84-85: 0.0 mg
- Day 86: 0.25 mg
To taper off Suboxone completely, you go three days with no medication, then take one last dose:
- Days 87-89: 0.0 mg
- Day 90: 0.25 mg = “Final Dose”
Note: If this is too drawn out for you, simply adjust the frequency of decreases to every 10 or 7 days from 2 mg down to 0.0 mg. I used 14 days as an example of a very conservative taper. Also, you can jump off at an even lower dose (.125 mg, .063 mg and down) of Suboxone if you want. Click on the link below to watch an awesome YouTube video showing you how to cut your Suboxone strips down to the desired amount.
- This is just a sample of what a Suboxone taper looks like – You might want to change it up to fit your individual needs.
- I broke up the Suboxone dosing to every other day and every third or fourth day at the end because this method works wonders.
- If you don’t harness the power of the following steps with this Suboxone taper schedule, it won’t be nearly as effective.
Step 3: Learn How Suboxone Affects Your Brain
If you really want to know how to taper off Suboxone effectively, I believe it’s important for you to have at least a basic understanding of how brain chemistry can become deficient while taking Suboxone or other opioids.
The following information can help you to better understand why it’s so difficult to quit Suboxone and stay clean long-term.
There are essentially two primary disruptions in the body from the continued use of Suboxone:
- Endorphin deficiency
- Dopamine deficiency
Endorphins and dopamine are neurotransmitters, which are substances that transmit nerve impulses across a synapse. The brain uses neurotransmitters to tell your heart to beat, your lungs to breath, and your stomach to digest.
They also play a HUGE role in mood, concentration, sleep and weight, and can cause a number of negative consequences when they become out of balance.
Brain chemistry can become disrupted in the following ways:
- Prolonged use of alcohol, drugs and cigarettes
- Toxins in the environment
- Physical or emotional stress
- Genetic predispositions
- Nutritional deficiencies
Note: It is estimated that 86% of Americans have suboptimal neurotransmitter levels, and in opiate abusers…I’m sure it’s 100%.
There are two types of neurotransmitters:
- Inhibitory – Calms the brain and acts as a mental relaxant
- Excitatory – Stimulates the brain
Note: As I stated earlier, the continued use of Suboxone or other opioids causes two primary deficeincies: endorphin (inhibitory) and dopamine (excitatory and inhibitory).
Endorphins are our natural painkillers (natural morphine). Our bodies release endorphins when we exercise. Perhaps you’ve heard of “runners high”, which describes a euphoric feeling produced by the massive production of endorphins after running long distances.
Endorphins promote joy, euphoria, and contentment; and that leads us to why opiates make you feel so good…
Different drugs mimic different neurotransmitters. Suboxone and other opioids specifically mimic endorphins. That’s why opioids are so beneficial at relieving pain and producing euphoria. When Suboxone or another opioid is taken, the body produces massive amounts of endorphins in quantities our bodies weren’t designed to handle.
If you use opioids consistently over a period of time, the body starts making more opioid receptors, and that’s how tolerance is developed. Now the brain has become dependent on opioids to produce endorphins, and it stops making them naturally.
The problem arises when someone on Suboxone or other opioids lowers their dosage considerably or comes off completely. You are now supplying your body with less endorphins from the drugs, but your brain doesn’t supply you with the rest.
Your brain short circuits, and therein lies the problem. What results is a massive endorphin deficiency leading to increased sensitivity to physical and emotional pain, among other problems.
Dopamine is our main focus neurotransmitter. Dopamine is also responsible for our drive or desire to get things done…our motivation. Dopamine lifts the dark clouds of depression, is responsible for feelings of pleasure, and plays a role in the “reward system” in the brain. Prolonged use of Suboxone or other opioids leads to continuous spikes in dopamine levels.
Over time, the brain eventually adjusts natural production of the neurotransmitter to compensate for the presence of drugs. Due to both the over-activation of dopamine during periods of opiate intoxication and long-term changes in brain chemistry, natural dopamine levels become lowered and depleted. Once your dopamine levels are depleted, it’s virtually impossible to experience pleasure without using the drug.
Things that used to provide you with pleasure no longer do so:
- Job promotion
- Your kid does well in a soccer game
- Listening to your favorite music
You no longer derive enjoyment from these activities. It now takes a huge spike in dopamine (drugs, sex, gambling etc.) to feel pleasure. This is one of the top reasons why individuals often relapse within a few months of getting off Suboxone…they have anhedonia (pleasure deafness), life basically sucks, and they are also sensitive to physical and emotional pain due to the endorphin deficiency.
Enough is enough…they feel like they can’t go on feeling so bad every day, so they use…thus, the cycle continues. Fortunately, you’ve read this far…and now I’m going to teach you how to break the cycle!
Step 4: Harness The Power Of Nutrition
Nutrition plays a critical role when you’re trying to taper off Suboxone. A big reason why some people turn to addictive substances in the first place is because they are not getting the nutrients they need from their diets.
This can result in a variety of health problems. When this lack of nutrition leads to disruptions in brain chemistry…anxiety, depression, and other mental issues can develop. If you’re serious about learning how to taper off Suboxone like a champion, the following nutritional guidelines can help you achieve your goal.
Amino Acids & Neurotransmitters
Tapering off Suboxone puts a huge strain on your brain chemistry. Remember learning about the opioid-induced endorphin/dopamine deficiency from Step 3? You might have thought to yourself: “Well that’s just great! But how am I supposed to correct these imbalances?! 🙁
There are several ways, some of the most powerful being:
- Regular exercise
- Supplements that restore healthy neurotransmitter production
- A healthy diet rich with quality proteins
Note: I will cover supplements and exercise in the following steps…but for now, let’s really dive in to the basics of a Suboxone taper nutritional protocol.
There’s so much information available on different types of diets that it has actually made my brain hurt! Oh my oh my…which one to choose?! After years of trial and error, I finally found a great way of eating healthy for my unique biochemistry, and I urge you to do the same.
At this moment, however, let’s concentrate on a solid dietary plan to restore healthy brain function, shall we? The foundation of this nutritional protocol involves the regular consumption of high-quality proteins. Protein foods are made up of amino acids.
The body converts these amino acids into neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are responsible for many functions, and many of these chemical messengers significantly affect our behavior and moods.
Below is a list of the most important neurotransmitters for mental health:
- Endorphins/enkephalins – Our natural painkillers; they promote feelings of physical relaxation, joy, and produce a natural high.
- Serotonin – Responsible for feelings of being emotionally relaxed and happy.
- Gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA) – Mentally relaxing, your brains natural Valium.
- Catecholamines – Dopamine is in this class of neurotransmitters; responsible for concentration and euphoria.
Note: A deficiency in these neurotransmitters can lead to you experiencing the opposite effect. For example, if you aren’t producing enough catecholamines you will tend to be tired and have a hard time concentrating. If you are deficient in GABA this can easily lead to anxiety. A lack of serotonin can cause depression. Become deficient in endorphins and you risk becoming overly sensitive to both physical and emotional pain.
Drugs Mimic Neurotransmitters
If someone were abusing amphetamine or methamphetamine drugs, they would become deficient in the class of neurotransmitters known as catecholamines. Alcoholics and individuals taking Xanax or other benzodiazepine drugs find themselves suffering from a GABA deficiency once they stop using these substances.
To view an epic table showing the relationship between drugs and neurotransmitters, click on the link below:
When you start to taper off Suboxone, there will come a point along your taper in which the endorphin/dopamine levels in your brain will diminish.
This is the main reason why many people end up stuck on Suboxone for years; when they taper off Suboxone they feel horrible and life basically SUCKS, so they up their dose to feel good again…and the cycle continues.
Whenever someone asks me how to taper off Suboxone, I teach them about the benefits of eating a diet rich with quality proteins. Protein contains amino acids, so it has a powerful effect on enhancing mood by increasing neurotransmitters in the brain; including endorphins and dopamine.
While you’re tapering off Suboxone, it can be very helpful to consume a high amino acid diet. You certainly don’t have to eat like this for the rest of your life, but it can boost your mood and energy levels a great deal while coming off Suboxone.
Here are some examples of foods that are high in protein:
- Cottage Cheese
- Greek Yogurt
Here are some examples of Suboxone taper meals:
- Breakfast: Three-egg omelette with sauteed veggies, two pieces of turkey bacon, and homemade breakfast potatoes; or a smoothie with apple juice, strawberries, banana, and whey protein powder.
- Lunch: Grilled chicken sandwich on a whole wheat bun with lettuce, tomato, mayo and melted cheese, and a garden salad on the side.
- Dinner: Baked salmon with a sweet potato and steamed asparagus.
Note: For healthy brain chemistry functioning while tapering off Suboxone, consume at least 20-30 grams of quality protein 2-3 times per day. If you’re vegetarian, choose foods such as legumes, quinoa, eggs, etc.
Consume Fruits, Veggies, and Healthy Fats
If you want to learn how to taper off Suboxone the healthy way, make sure to consume plenty of fresh fruits, veggies, and healthy fats. This nutritional protocol is all about boosting mood, increasing energy, and overall health/well-being. Therefore, don’t leave out the fruits and veggies!!!
They are packed with nutrients, fiber and water, they provide the body with alkalinity…and they taste delicious. Healthy fats such as olive oil, coconut oil, hemp seed oil, avocado, nuts, and seeds can help boost brain chemistry functioning, along with many other health benefits.
These nutritional guidelines can help you learn how to taper off Suboxone like a champion:
- Focus primarily on organic whole foods.
- Reduce or eliminate processed foods, refined carbohydrates, sugar, caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine.
- Drink at least 8-12 glasses of high-quality water per day.
- Choose wild-caught seafood and free-range/organic meats as much as possible.
- Eat your food at a slow or moderate pace (not fast!) and chew it well to absorb as much nutrients as possible.
- Don’t drink with meals because it slows digestion. You can drink beverages 15 minutes before or 30 minutes after meals.
- Avoid ice-cold beverages because it puts out your digestive fire; you can drink cool beverages if you like.
- Don’t overeat at meals! Eat to the point where you have a little room left in your stomach…this helps digestion and increases energy levels.
- Practice mindfulness when eating. Focus on the taste of the food and imagine yourself absorbing copious amounts of nutrition from it.
Note: Learning how to eat healthy is a process. Start taking small steps right away, and continue to work on improving your diet. Don’t worry about overnight perfection…in fact, don’t worry about perfection at all! Don’t stress out about it; strive to eat healthy 80-90% of the time, and the rest of the time eat whatever you desire.
*Also, you might go through withdrawal while you’re cleaning up your diet…FOOD withdrawal!!! Reducing or eliminating Sugar, white flour, cheese, caffeine, and other dietary ingredients can make you feel horrible. Hang in there. Once you’re no longer addicted to these foods you will feel much healthier and energized.
Step 5: Take Supplements To Help You Taper Off Suboxone
If tapering off Suboxone were easy, everyone would do it. And while a good Suboxone taper schedule and nutrition plan can help to eliminate the most severe symptoms, it’s still very hard to come off this powerful medication with no issues.
To taper off Suboxone like a champion, you’ll need to start taking a strategic blend of supplements that can stop “tapering symptoms” in their tracks.
The Top 3 complaints I hear from people tapering off Subxone are:
- Exhaustion – They have no energy to go to work, take care of kids, and perform other important responsibilities.
- Anhedonia – They no longer enjoy things in life that used to bring them pleasure (“pleasure deafness”).
- Insomnia – They aren’t able to sleep more than a few hours per night, which exacerbates the symptoms above.
Note: This is by no means a complete list of symptoms from tapering Suboxone. Depending on your own unique biochemistry, as well as how slow or fast you’ve tapered, you might experience a different or similar set of symptoms, including, but not limited to: Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), anxiety, decreased appetite, sweating, hot and cold flashes, sneezing, sore/aching muscles and limbs, stomach distress, diarrhea, watery eyes, yawning, irritability, etc.
Calm Support (Read review…) is an all-organic, 100% natural supplement that was specifically designed for people getting off Suboxone and other opioid drugs. It contains a powerful and synergistic blend of amino acids, herbs, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that have been shown to significantly ameliorate opioid withdrawal symptoms.
Dr. Heath McAllister, a Board Certified Naturopathic Doctor and Herbalist out of Santa Monica, California, played an important role in the formulation of Calm Support’s impressive nutrient profile.
This supplement can help you taper off Suboxone in the following ways:
- Enhances mood
- Eases stomach discomfort
- Increases natural energy
- Calms anxiety
- Restores dopamine production quickly
- Reverses depression
- Reverses insomnia and helps you get more restorative sleep
More and more individuals are starting to enjoy the benefits of using DL-Phenylalanine to taper off Suboxone. DL-Phenylalanine, also known as DLPA, is a combination amino acid supplement consisting of L-Phenlalanine and D-Phenylalanine.
L-Phenylalanine is an essential amino acid found in protein rich foods. It has the ability to radically spike dopamine levels in the brain, so it gives your brain chemistry a much-needed boost while tapering off Suboxone.
D-Phenylalanine is made synthetically in laboratories. It slows the action of the enzymes (particularly carboxypeptidase A and enkephalinase) that destroy endorphins. DPA does this by acting like a “downfield body blocker” in football.
When the endorphins are trying to reach the traumatized area, the endorphin-degrading enzymes are on their way to eat them “Pac-Man” style. DPA comes right up and blocks them from reaching the endorphins, thus enabling the endorphins to successfully reach the traumatized area.
In one study, a man that took a single dose of DLPA experienced a 300% increase in endorphin levels, and they stayed that high for six days. Taking DLPA while tapering off Suboxone can result in a rapid increase in dopamine and endorphin levels in the brain, thus boosting mood and energy levels.
*Take between 1,000-2,000 mg of DLPA on an empty stomach (45 minutes before meals) up to 3x daily while tapering off Suboxone. Continue this dosing protocol (or decrease dosage if needed) for up to 3-6 months after getting off Suboxone completely. If you already have issues with high blood pressure, start with a low dose of 500 mg to see how it affects you. DLPA is also an “opioid potentiator”, so it increases the effects of Suboxone and other opioid drugs, making it a very beneficial supplement to use while tapering.
Multi-Vitamin & Mineral Supplement
Multi-vitamin/mineral supplements can help supply your body with the building blocks it needs to create an abundance of neurotransmitters.
Plus they are packed with B vitamins, which are essential for increasing natural energy and reducing stress.
Note: Take one capsule daily with breakfast or lunch while tapering off Suboxone, and for at least a few months after getting off completely.
The “Morning Tonic”
If you truly want to know how to taper off Suboxone like a champion, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND drinking the “Morning Tonic”. This beverage will supercharge you with ENERGY and happiness, and most importantly, it will help your body adapt to the stress that lowering your Suboxone dosage is causing. There is nothing better on this planet for treating fatigue.
The Morning Tonic consists of the following:
- Shen Nong’s Ginseng – A root that helps the body adapt to physical and mental stress.
- Raw Reishi – A mushroom that acts as a powerful mood booster.
- MacaForce – Boosts the endocrine system, promotes natural energy production, and increases libido.
- Good Belly Big Shot 50 – A probiotic drink that boosts digestion and enhances immune function.
To make the Morning Tonic:
- Pour 4 ounces of water into a glass.
- Add 3-6 droppers of Shen Nong’s Ginseng.
- Add 3-6 droppers of Raw Reishi.
- Add 1 Good Belly probiotic drink.
- Add 1 tablespoon MacaForce.
- Mix it all together and drink tonic first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.
Note: Drink the Morning Tonic while you’re tapering off Suboxone, and for at least the next 30 days after coming off completely. After that you can either reduce your dosage or discontinue it. Take it any time during your life where you need an extra boost, but never take it while you’re sick or recovering from an illness.
*Also, the ginseng and reishi tinctures are very expensive. If you can afford it, I encourage you to take 6-10 droppers of each daily. If money is an issue for you, you can still get great benefits by taking 1-3 droppers per day. Enjoy! 😎
After reading how to taper off Suboxone with all of these supplements, you might be thinking: “How many pills do I have to take?!”
I know it’s a lot of stuff, but this article is about learning how to taper off Suboxone like a champion…not like an average person.
The following supplements should also be used to help you taper off Suboxone:
Note: Vitamin C and alpha lipoic acid are powerful antioxidants that can help you taper off Suboxone with less symptoms. Fish oil is a great source of essential fatty acids (EFA’s).
*Research has shown that omega fish oil could possibly play an important role in substance abuse recovery, since a deficiency of these omega-3 fatty acids can lead to low levels of dopamine and serotonin, often resulting in depression and tendencies to abuse addictive mood-altering substances.
Step 6: Exercise!!!
If you really want to know how to taper off Suboxone effectively, I suggest you make exercise an integral part of your life from here on out. There is absolutely no better way to get your body pumping endorphins into your system.
To taper off Suboxone like a champion, you’ll need to start stimulating your endogenous opioid system by exercising on a regular basis.
But first, let me differentiate between a human’s natural painkilling system and opiate/opioid drugs:
- Opiate – A drug with morphine-like effects, derived from opium.
- Synthetic opioid – Any synthetic narcotic that has opiate-like activities, but is not derived from opium.
- Endogenous opioid – An opiate-like substance, such as endorphin, produced by the body.
Note: One of the main reasons I was finally able to quite opiates for good was because I made exercise a huge part of my life. I started surfing, swimming, and circuit training about 3-4 days per week. As a result of this dramatic increase in natural opioids flowing through my brain, I had next to ZERO cravings for opioid drugs.
More About Endorphins…
Endorphins are chemicals (peptides) made by the body. They are released by a number of things, including exercise, or even eating certain foods like chocolate or spicy peppers. Endorphins also reduce the appetite for drug and alcohol seeking behavior.
If you don’t exercise, eat enough protein, or take DLPA while tapering off Suboxone, you’re at risk of developing Endophin Deficiency Disorder (EDS).
Some of the possible symptoms of EDS include:
- Depression (chronic or intermittent)
- Difficulty finding happiness in life
- Low tolerance to physical and emotional pain
- General body aches
How To Taper Off Suboxone With Exercise
There are many different types of exercise to choose from while you’re learning how to taper off Suboxone. The trick is to find something you enjoy, that way you’re more likely to stick with it.
If at first you have trouble getting motivated, listen to some upbeat music while you’re working out, as this has been shown to boost performance and enjoyment. Also, exercising outdoors produces more endorphins than doing so indoors.
Some popular forms of exercise are:
- Cardio on elliptical machines
Note: Starting an exercise program is sometimes hard in the beginning. But once your body and mind get used to it, it keeps getting easier. Furthermore, after you’ve been working out for about six weeks or more, your body will need it (CRAVE IT), and you will look forward to your workout days. 😀
After I get done with a good workout, I feel like this woman in the picture below (only I feel like a man). 😉
Step 7: Take a Week-Long Vacation From Responsibility
If you really want to know how to taper off suboxone like a champion, I encourage you to take time off from ALL responsibilities. When planning out the dates you will taper off Suboxone completley, try your absolute best to get a week off from work, taking care of kids, school, or whatever responsibilities you have.
At the bare minimum, make sure you schedule at least 3-4 days of “alone time” when you’re coming off Suboxone. I understand this is not always possible. Just do your best to eliminate as much as you can from your day-to-day life. The less you have to do…the better.
The methods I teach you in this article will eliminate the most severe withdrawal symptoms, so it’s possible to continue with your day-to-day life while coming off Suboxone completely, but I don’t recommend it. A relaxing, stress-free, and quite environment will help to promote a smooth transition off Suboxone, thus increasing your chance of success.
Step 8: Make a Suboxone Detox Shopping List
Before I knew how to taper off Suboxone like a Champion, I made the mistake of being unprepared. The difference between a severe Suboxone detox and a mild one is “planning”. A few days before you taper off Suboxone completely, you’ll need to go shopping for some Suboxone withdrawal remedies.
The following list of items can help to reduce symptoms during your Suboxone detox:
- Water – Maintains hydration
- Gatorade – Replenishes electrolytes
- Peppermint tea – Eases nausea
- Ginger ale – Relieves stomach pain
- Imodium AD – Stops diarrhea and stomach cramping
- Advil – Relieves pain
- Icy Hot – Soothes aching and restless limbs
- Dark Chocolate – Produces endorphins and other “feel good” chemicals
- Heating pad – Eases pain
- Epsom salt – Add to hot baths to relax nervous system
- Whey protein powder – Supplies amino acids that improve mood
- Apple juice – Use as base for protein shakes
- Bananas – Rich with potassium to help relieve RLS
- Berries and other fruit – Quick energy
- Healthy food to cook – Proteins, veggies, healthy fats and carbs
- Saltine crackers – Easy to digest for quick energy
- Blindfold – Helps you sleep
Now that you’ve tapered off Suboxone, got time off from responsibilities and gone shopping, you’re finally ready for the Suboxone detox. Typically, the first 24-48 hours of Suboxone withdrawal induce the less severe symptoms, due to the drugs long half-life…but then all of the drug starts to leave your system, and the symptoms get worse; especially fatigue.
However, that being said, if you’ve done a good job tapering and following the other steps in this article, you should be fine.
The following schedule will give you an idea what a typical day during a Suboxone detox could look like:
- 7:oo am: Wake up and drink a glass of water. Go for a walk, jog or swim.
- 8:00 am: Drink a glass of water or Gatorade. Eat breakfast. Have something like a fruit smoothie with whey protein powder or a breakfast sandwich. Eat a big piece of dark chocolate.
- 9:00 am: Take a long, hot bath with two cups of epsom salt. Taking a hot bath during Suboxone withdrawal soothes aching muscles and limbs, relieves anxiety, and promotes relaxation. Adding epsom salt helps you calm the nervous system even more, while also stimulating the production of ATP and serotonin, improving the absorption of nutrients, and flushing toxins out of the body.
- 10:00 am: Put on some extremely comfortable clothes, lay down on the couch and watch either a comedy or an inspirational movie. This will take your mind off the withdrawal and get you in a positive mindset.
- 12:00 pm: Eat lunch. Try to eat something with fish, turkey, beef or chicken if you can stomach it. The amino acids in the protein will help bolster mood-enhancing chemicals in your brain. A sample lunch would be grilled chicken, rice, and steamed veggies. Eat a big piece of dark chocolate.
- 1:00 pm: Watch another movie (comedy or inspirational).
- 3:00 pm: Take a long and hot regular bath.
- 4:00 pm: Drink a big glass of water. Eat a snack if you’re hungry.
- 4:30 pm: Watch an inspirational movie.
- 6:30 pm: Go for a long walk, jog or swim.
- 7:30 pm: Drink a glass of Gatorade and take a hot bath. Drink a glass of water after your bath.
- 8:30 pm: Eat dinner. Some good examples are fish tacos or a turkey burger. Eat a big piece of dark chocolate. 30 minutes after dinner drink a cup of peppermint or chamomile tea.
- 9:00 pm: Turn off all of the lights in the house. Light some candles and listen to relaxing music. You want to avoid bright lights, the TV, computer, and any other electrical devices after 9 pm. This is when your brain starts producing melatonin to help you fall asleep. Staring at the computer or other lights tricks your brain into thinking it’s still daytime, and this interferes with the production of sleep-inducing melatonin.
- 9:30 pm: Start writing in a journal. Write about all of the things you are going to do with your life once you complete your Suboxone detox.
- 10:00 pm: Start reading a self-help book by candle light and go to bed as soon as you get sleepy. Make sure to get to bed before 12:00 am. Also make sure the room you sleep in is cool, quiet, and dark. If you don’t get good sleep then don’t worry, lack of sleep won’t kill you.
Note: This is just a sample of what a day of a planned Suboxone detox at home could look like. You can switch it up and adjust things as you see fit. Make sure to drink plenty of liquids throughout the day. Don’t forget to take your supplements throughout the day, and avoid alcohol, coffee, and energy drinks at all costs!!!
* If the food I mentioned doesn’t sound good then don’t worry…simply eat what sounds good to your body. If you have any diarrhea take Imodium AD. If you have aching muscles and limbs take Advil and rub Icy Hot on the problem areas.
Step 10: Stay clean!
Now you know how to taper off Suboxone like a CHAMPION!!! However, the real challenge is staying clean. You are probably going to feel like using in the next few weeks or months. Don’t give in! Continue taking your supplements, exercising, and eating healthy.
Continue writing in your journal and reading your self-help book. Start another book as soon as you finish the first one. Feeding your mind is essential for developing a healthy recovery free of addiction.
Natural Pain Relief and PAWS
If you are one of the many people who were originally prescribed opiates for issues with pain, you might benefit from learning about natural remedies for pain relief. I’ve written an article completely devoted to this titled:
Also, now that you’re going to live life without Suboxone, there is a high percentage chance you will go through Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS), which is a set of symptoms that manifest after the acute withdrawal. To combat this disorder, please refer to the following article:
Learning how to live life without Suboxone can be difficult. We get so used to reaching for Suboxone to give us energy and happiness. The next few months after tapering off Subxone will test you. The first 90 days after getting clean is when 90% of people relapse. Don’t let it happen to you!
I’ve been clean for several years now, and I feel better than I have in my entire life at the age of 35. It took me about six months to really feel amazing after I got off opioids, so I encourage you to be patient. It takes the body some time to recover from all the brain chemistry imbalances that Suboxone created or exacerbated.
Find other people who successfully tapered off Suboxone to talk with and use them as your support system during this early recovery phase. I have faith that you will stay clean now that you’ve learned how to taper off Suboxone like a champion.
If you have any questions on how to taper off Suboxone, please leave them in the comment box below. I love hearing from my readers. Feel free to ask me about tapering, supplements, exercise, nutrition, or anything else that your heart desires.
I hope you enjoyed this looooooong article on how to taper off Suboxone as much as I enjoyed writing it for you! Take care…and best of luck to you.