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Dose Dropping 101

This article details my experience and is in no way intended to be medical advice.

Dropping my dose was something that took me a little trial and error.  Its never a good idea to stop going to the doctor with the plans to ride it out over the weekend thinking “Ill be fine by the time I go back to work on Monday”, don’t do that.  This short article details my personal taper schedule and the realization that dropping my dose wasn’t hard and I did not get sick during the taper.  The real trouble came later.  Going from 16mg to 1mg was a walk in the park compared to going from 1mg to 0mg.

Getting Past The Fear

There was always this psychological torture going on in my head.  I was always scared to taper because I was afraid of getting sick or being tired but I found a way around it.  It was all about proper planning and execution.  I figured since I was on 16mg per day that I could take 8mg in the morning and 8 mg at night.  I mean that’s still 16 mg in a 24 hour period, right?  I took my 8mg morning dose, went to work and after dinner took the other 8mg dose and I was fine.  I realized that I made it through my work day on only 8mg and got myself past the fear of trying to drop even more, it worked! In the following weeks I continued to drop my dose as I felt comfortable.  This is a model of my taper schedule.

  • Week 1 – 8mg morning , 8 mg at night.
  • Week 2 – 8mg morning , 4 mg at night
  • Week 3 – 4mg morning , 4mg at night
  • Week 4 – 4mg morning , 2mg at night
  • Week 5 – 2mg morning , 2mg at night
  • week 6 – 2mg morning, 0 night.

As you can see , in a very short period of time I took myself from 16mg per day to 2mg per day.  I did not experience any withdrawals or significant fatigue.  I mean, I was tired at times but that’s normal.  People get tired from working and taking care of the family but narcotics are not the solution.

Trouble Ahead

I made what I thought was a solid plan and took a week off of work.  I was on less than 2mg at the time,  crushing the tablets and just putting what I assumed to be 1mg under my tongue and it would hold me for a full 24 hours with no withdrawal sickness.  I thought “Ill be fine by the time I have to go back to work”,  day 7 of withdrawal was so intense that I knew I would not be going back.  Ever determined to be done with the physical addiction I stayed in my apartment vowing to never take another dose.  I made it to day 45 before I tapped out and used again.  So, what can be done to get over this monster that is tapering from 1mg to 0mg?

Finding Success

I never found success doing any of this alone or couch surfing.  First, I went to a beautiful medical detox and they were able to take me off of my dose comfortably but I did not follow up with therapy, treatment or 12 step recovery.  I remember thinking “if I can just get through the withdrawals I will never use again” , wrong! So, a couple weeks after detox I was in full blown addiction again.  This time I had no insurance and no money.  I ended up in a homeless shelter that had a detox 12 step recover program attached. I’ve been clean since waling into that shelter in January of 2013.  I work in private treatment and I wish everyone had access to a private facility but that just not the case.  Did you know that you don’t have to have private insurance to go to a medical detox and 30 day treatment center?  You can use your free state funded medicaid or if you don’t have it you can easily sign up and find a facility in your state.  I recently wrote a short blog that explains that process called Free & Medicaid Resources , please read it.

If you have questions about our facility or how to use the Free & Medicaid resources you can go to my website JamesSweasy.com and fill out a contact form.   My office will reach out and schedule a private call.

Side Note:

I am not against anyone that uses methadone , suboxone or any other form of MAT.  There are providers in this country that do it the wrong way and aim to keep you hooked indefinitely.  However, there are providers that see MAT as a tool to help you achieve long term recovery.  If you are with a good provider and you are happy then this post is not for you.  If you feel stuck, feel like your not getting the help you need or you’re buying these narcotics illegally off the streets, feel free to reach out and let us help you with some planning.

I would like to hear about your personal experience in the comments down below.

Until next time,

James Sweasy