How to Detox From Suboxone At Home

george-portraitBy George Catlin, CEO of Withdrawal Ease

In the following post, I’m going to do my best to explain how to detox from Suboxone at home. It CAN be done.


To be perfectly honest, I’m shocked at the amount of people who are looking for some solution or way out of their long term Suboxone use. I even went onto Google and looked up the average number of searches for “Suboxone withdrawal” as opposed to “opiate withdrawal” and the numbers are similar. Amazing. Roughly 25% of my customers are people who are desperate to detox from Suboxone more comfortably from home. For the purposes of clarity, Suboxone is the brand name for a combination of Buprenorphine and Naloxone which is now available in generic form.

As opposed to some of my other posts on Suboxone, I’m not going to discuss the injustice or the greed or why I think its over-prescribed. I’ve already said and done that. What I want to hopefully accomplish with this post is to provide a systematic way for people to plan and conduct a successful detox from long-term Suboxone use. Of course, I should note that if you are doing well on the drug and feel no reason to be off of it then by all means, stay on it. I would say the same thing about opiates; if they are working and you are taking as directed for real pain then there’s no reason to stop unless your doctor recommends that you do so. Suboxone is not indicated for pain and is a pretty poor pain reliever but if it works then that’s fine too.

Having said that, there are many of you out there who would literally give their left arm to be off of Suboxone (for me it would be the right arm since I’m left handed and need it more). I feel strongly that if you want to be off of a drug and it’s not serving a vital purpose such as keeping you alive then you should have the right to be off of it. People should be able to make a choice as to whether or not they want to be on Suboxone for a long period of time. If one cannot stop taking a drug due to withdrawal there’s no freedom there. That’s called enslavement.

So the normal disclosures apply to this article that apply to the other content that I write. I’m not a doctor and do not profess to be trained or licensed in any clinical field. I have been on Suboxone and I have spoken to thousands of Suboxone users, clinicians, Suboxone salespeople and just about every other type of person that is somehow affected by Suboxone. The method that I will describe below is directly related to those conversations along with my own personal experience with the drug. It has not been vetted by any clinical trials or endorsed by the AMA. This is just a step by step description of what I would do if I had been on Suboxone for an extended period of time (over 3 months) and wanted to detox from it as comfortably as possible.

Hopefully, some people will find this useful as they try to detox. Of course, I believe that Withdrawal Ease can be one useful tool to help because I’ve seen it work for customers. I’m biased not just because I sell it; I’m biased because what I will describe below is the most successful strategy that I have seen to comfortably detox from Suboxone. Perhaps if we’re all lucky enough, another drug company can come up with a cure for Suboxone detox…ha…hahah. Alas, nothing would surprise me at this point.

Suboxone Detox Introduction

There are a LOT of pet notions and conspiracy theories about Suboxone out there, and the first thing that I want to do is dispel them so that you can calm down and not worry so much. Worry leads to panic, and panic makes detox a lot worse. Panic and anxiety can only harm you.

It’s not rotting your brain, causing permanent liver damage, making you impotent, rotting your teeth, or any of the other horror stories that you may read on message boards on the web. I have asked clinicians who have no affiliation with Suboxone whatsoever and they have assured me that there’s no evidence that any permanent damage can be caused. Stay off of the message boards! All you are doing is making your eventual detox worse. Ultimately, there’s no research out there to indicate that Suboxone will do any permanent damage to you (other than the psychological trauma of trying to actually quit).

There’s a perfectly reasonable explanation why Suboxone is hard to detox from. I’m not going to go into the chemistry or physiology of it because it would be boring and hard to understand. Essentially, Suboxone detox is more difficult for some because it takes longer. Period. Does that make it worse? Sure! It sucks! But that’s really the only difference that I can tell having spoken to thousands of people and clinicians about the subject.

So why does it take so long to detox from Suboxone? Well for one thing, Suboxone occupies your opiate receptors quite vigorously and is clinically engineered to remain there in order to block other opiates from having any effect. So Suboxone has a much longer “half life” than other “full agonist” opiates. The “half life” (as you may know) is the time it takes for a drug to reduce its concentration in your bloodstream by 50%. A drug with a longer half life has longer detox periods. That’s why some people detoxing from Suboxone may experience withdrawal symptoms for longer periods of time than withdrawal from Vicodin or Percocet. This is also why people complain so much about Suboxone withdrawal because withdrawal symptoms are ALWAYS uncomfortable. If the withdrawal lasts longer, then the perception that they are worse makes exquisite sense. It’s almost as if the maker of Suboxone wanted to make the perfect drug for withdrawal. Which brings me to the symptoms of Suboxone withdrawal.

Are the symptoms more acute than regular opiate withdrawal symptoms? Well that all goes back to the length of time and perception thing. I don’t see any evidence that would suggest that Suboxone withdrawal symptoms are any more acute (or intense) than other withdrawal symptoms. And remember, I’ve been on both and detoxed off of both. If anything, evidence suggests that the symptoms are milder — not more acute — than full agonist opiate withdrawal symptoms.

Everybody reacts to drug detox differently. Some people have terrible restless legs, others have horrible sweats and still others have really horrible stomach issues. Suboxone seems to cause all of the common opiate withdrawal symptoms that people experience with Vicodin or other opiates however, some symptoms do seem to rise to the top: depression and insomnia are the two symptoms that I hear most about. For me personally, those are two of the worst ones. Not only are they uncomfortable in their own ways, but they also have the ability to extend the detox period in my opinion. If you aren’t sleeping and you are depressed all of the time, withdrawal can seem to last forever. I’m a BIG believer in the mind’s influence over withdrawal symptoms and Suboxone definitely pushes the right buttons.

The other issue that is often associated with Suboxone detox is called “Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome” a.k.a. PAWS. PAWS is essentially the residual symptoms from the acute phase of withdrawal that can last for a while. PAWS can be particularly acute for long-term alcoholics and those dependent benzodiazepines like Xanax. This syndrome usually manifests itself in the form of depression, lethargy, insomnia, short term memory loss and anxiety — just to name a few. It’s also theorized that PAWS can be exacerbated by periods of stress and strenuous activity such as a busy work schedule. As is the case with the Suboxone acute detox phase, the PAWS from Suboxone withdrawal can last longer than PAWS from opiate withdrawal/detox. The truth of the matter is that PAWS is not fully understood therefore it’s almost impossible to say how long it will last for an individual. For most long term Suboxone users that I have talked to, their PAWS usually lasts a month or two and then begins to taper down. The severity is very subjective and varies from person to person.

Am I still on the introduction? Sheesh. This is going to be longer than I thought. Ultimately, there are chemical and psychological processes at work with Suboxone detox that can prolong the detox period and also create the perception that it is more acute…. but again, you have the right to be off of a drug if you so choose. Suboxone withdrawal can take longer than other withdrawals…does that make it worse? Perhaps. But it’s not going to turn you into Shrek or anything…when you detox from it, you’ll be fine.

I’m far from being a stooge or apologist for Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals but it’s important that you, my reader has the facts. It’s important to remain calm, collected and focused on recovery to give yourself the best chance for success. Attitude is everything…as they say. On to the strategy…

Part One: The Suboxone Detox Strategy:

It’s no revelation by any means but the strategy for Suboxone (sometimes I’ll call Suboxone “Sub” for short) detox requires determination and discipline. Tapering your meds on a strict schedule over a long period of time is not an optional detox strategy here…it IS the strategy. As I discuss in my post called “The Art of Opiate Tapering” , there’s a right way to taper and there’s a wrong way to taper. You must taper Suboxone correctly…no questions, no complaints; that’s the way it’s gotta be.  After the taper you have what is commonly referred to as the “Jump” which is the point in time when you stop taking the drug completely. We’ll work on physical and mental strategies to make sure the Jump is not a big occasion to get all worked up about…you’re in control. My goal for this detox method is to get you to a point where you can make this jump safely at any time. That’s the goal.

Another major part of the strategy is finding your “pharmacist.” I’d like to think that everyone can be disciplined enough to manage their own tapering schedule but that doesn’t always happen and you cannot take the risk of messing up your taper with Suboxone. Please consider having someone who you trust that can dole out your meds; there’s too much at stake and you could drag it on forever and not get anywhere. I know that this might be problematic for some people but I believe it’s almost essential because suboxone is addictive and we do what we do. I wouldn’t trust myself either if that’s any consolation. Of course this person doesn’t have to be an actual pharmacist but you need someone who is NOT on drugs themselves (an enabler), is trustworthy and perhaps most importantly someone who cares enough about you that they truly want you to succeed. It could be a friend, a family member, a husband/wife, your doctor or even your real pharmacist (after all, they played an active role in your dependency for right or for wrong…they need to man up and help you get out of it!). A pharmacist who cares would do this…and they would do it with impunity. Sure it will be a pain to get your dose from them every time but it’s really that important that you follow the schedule. I’ll be referring to your “pharmacist” throughout the post but I also understand that -for some- this may not be possible. That’s OK but just remember that what I am trying to do here is give you the best possible chance to comfortably and completely detox from Suboxone.

The other issue that is very important to bring up is that this schedule is an outline for a detox strategy. It is not meant for everyone and obviously not everyone is on the same dose that I use as an example in this guide. Therefore, you will have to use the information below and “make it your own” to the extent that you can. If you feel like you don’t need to take as much time as I recommend or, if I am suggesting something that is not applicable to you then feel free to ignore it. I’m just trying to give you the guard-rails for how I might approach the process.

Part Two: Find Your “Pharmacist” and Put Together Your Taper Schedule

As I explained previously, due to the critical nature of the taper schedule that you’ll need to map out, it would be nice to have some help. You’re welcome to try it alone but why leave anything to chance? Heck, -if you have to- tell your friend, “Listen Margaret, I need you to do something for me. If you can help me get off of this medication, I will buy you that Neil Diamond Box Set that you’ve always wanted!”. Maybe a little incentive would grease the skids…so grease the skids. Even if this person can only help you the last couple of weeks, that’s better than nothing.

The job description for your pharmacist is simple: “Give me my medication at exactly the right dose and exactly according to schedule that I give you. Do not deviate from this schedule unless I am clearly in acute withdrawal. I will give you “rescue doses” for those times that I may need it if withdrawal symptoms become acute”.

So hopefully you can find your pharmacist and they are standing by awaiting instructions. Good.

Now you need to put together a taper schedule. As I mentioned earlier on, this schedule is based on some of the fundamentals of the “Art of Opiate Tapering” but with a couple twists thrown in. The goal is to slowly -very slowly- rid your body of its dependence on Suboxone without suffering from acute withdrawal symptoms. After all, what’s the point in tapering if it’s just going to extend the withdrawal? If you need to, go back and read the guide on tapering to get the fundamentals down.  Ultimately, you will have to put your own schedule together; I cannot do it for you. I can only give you an example of how I might do it based on a certain dose.

So lets make it easy and assume that you have been taking 8mg’s or above for over a year. You are now on 8mg’s a day (morning and night at 4mg each) and want to put together your taper schedule. I will give a detailed schedule for this below. Please bear in mind that this is for reference purposes only and as I mentioned, I’m not a trained physician or licensed addiction counselor. By following this schedule I am making the assumption you are of sound mind and will use common sense if you feel you are in danger or endangering someone else. Suboxone withdrawal is not considered life threatening especially if you taper slowly as we recommend here. Depression is really the most potent threat which is another good reason to have someone whom you trust acting as your sounding board. If you have any issues that you are concerned about always contact a doctor. Just be safe and smart.

Part Three: Getting Started

What You Will Need:

1. Suboxone

2. A calendar or some sort of schedule program on your computer that you can use to map out your dose schedule

3. 2 (two) Empty pill bottles: one marked “Weekly Supply” and the other marked “Rescue Doses”. Both bottle should be strictly in the hands of your “pharmacist” or someplace safe

4. An X-Acto knife or razor blade for cutting/shaving your pills OR strips

5. Withdrawal-Ease Night and Day Time Formulations (Of course this is optional) and the Withdrawal Survival Guide

6. Your “Pharmacist”

Part Four: Sample Suboxone Detox Schedule: From 8mg per Day to Zero in 4-6 Months

The first week of tapering will bring a bit of anxiety because you will be nervous about possible withdrawal symptoms, cravings, pain and all of the other things you worry about when you begin to taper meds. The thing to be cognizant of with suboxone is that the first few milligrams that you taper should have very little effect on you. That is, if done correctly. So as a result, we’re going to taper more aggressively in the beginning of the schedule than we will at the end of the taper process. So make sure that you make the appropriate adjustments in the dosage as you see fit if you are taking more than 8mg’s per day; perhaps your prescribing physician can work with you on a schedule. As I mentioned, this is just an example of one taper schedule. You may have a different dose and schedule so you’ll need to calculate your own dose. One of the main keys to this strategy is to keep the dose consistent at all times except when you taper down to your next dose level. For instance, if you take your medication once a day then keep doing so…and if you are taking it twice a day then you need to keep taking it twice a day until your schedule dictates otherwise. Consistency and the gentle progression of the dose changes are critical and I will emphasize both ad-nauseum.

For the purposes of the demonstration below I’m breaking the doses up into two per day, which is common for people taking 8mg Suboxone per day.

Week 1-Week 2: Lower daily dose from 8mg to 7mg (3.5mg per dose) with a total intake of 98 mg’s over the period of 14 days

Notes: Take 7,  8mg pills and “shave off” one milligram as I demonstrate in the pictures below. If you are using strips, that’s even easier to cut into the right sizes (see figure below). Make sure to save the pieces from the pills or strips that you cut off and put them into a separate pill bottle that you have cleaned and saved for this occasion. This extra bottle will hold your “rescue doses”

Cutting the Right Doses

With the Suboxone film, you can use a sharp pair of scissors or even some small manicure scissors. The medication in these pieces of film is evenly distributed throughout so your dose will be directly proportionate to the size. I have attached a great image that I found on the web for reference purposes. You can use this image to estimate how much to cut for your specific dose. I’ve tried my best to make the “Dime” in the picture “actual size” but it could be larger or smaller depending on your screen settings. Nevertheless, a good diagram to use when cutting your films.


If you are still using the sublingual tablets, I would recommend using a straight razor blade, x-acto knife or something else that’s sharp and thin. Suboxone tablets tend to crumble when you try to cut them so the sharper and thinner the tool the better. Be sure to not cut your fingers off in the process! You’re not going to get it exactly right but as you can see in the pictures below, I’ve shaved off one of the corners which I have estimated to be about 1 mg each. I could be off by a few fractions but you get the point. This Sub “shaving” method will become increasingly more important as we go along…but don’t worry, you’ll get plenty of practice.

Use a straight razor or something similar to “shave” approximately 1 mg. off of an 8mg pill

An 8mg Suboxone pill with approximately 1mg shaved off

**Word to The Wise: Did you know that 8mg Suboxone pills are less expensive by milligram than the 2mg pills? So if you can and depending on your insurance make sure that you are paying the least amount by milligram for your Suboxone…although the 2mg pills may be more convenient, the 8mg pills might save you some money.

2. Now that you have cut the film or shaved off one milligram and stored it away, repeat this for the other 6 pieces of film or pills and you will have your week’s supply set aside for your “pharmacist” which should be placed in another bottle marked for the week or “Week’s Supply”. Cut the remaining pieces of film or break each of the remaining pills in half and take one half, twice a day as usual. This should be 7mg per day total. Do this for 2 weeks.

What can you expect from the first 2 weeks?: Nothing. Other than the systematic approach that you are taking to decrease your intake of Suboxone, you should not feel any strong withdrawal symptoms going from 8mg to 7mg.

Notes: If you don’t have the film, there are tons of different ways to cut up the pills and get to the correct dose. What I am emphasizing here is that shaving off the 1 mg from each pill will allow you to take the same amount each dose. Consistency during this process is important for reasons both physical and psychological.

Week 3 – Week 4: Lower daily dose from 7mg to 6mg (3mg per dose) with a total intake of 84mg over a period of 14 days

1. Divide either your film or tablets into your weekly supply and hand it over to your “pharmacist”. Keep all doses the same and remember to keep any residual pieces or “shavings” and put them into your “Rescue Dose” container.

2. Do the best you can to divide the doses into 2 equal portions for you to take on your schedule. The day time and the night time dose should be equal. I stress this because right now, your body is very in tune with “rewards”. When you receive your dose put the medicine under your tongue you never want to feel as though you’ve been cheated or taking any less than you usually do. The only time you should take a different size dose is when you are stepping down to the next step on your taper. This will help you avoid confusion on your dose and also keep things consistent and calm.

What Can You Expect From Week 3 – Week 4?: Again, probably not much. Perhaps you might have some depression or some days when you are a bit lethargic but acute withdrawal should not be in the cards. This does NOT mean that you are not accomplishing anything however. You are systematically lowering your body’s dependence on Suboxone which adds up to a lot. Most importantly, you’re making progress and by now hopefully you’ll see that it’s not as bad as you may have anticipated.

Week 5 – Week 6: 6mg down to 5mg with a total intake of 70mg’s over a period of 14 days

1. Depending on film or tablet you can divide it up into a variety of ways to get to 5mg’s per dose but the same rule still applies: keep the dose the same at all times except when you step down to the next taper dose. You want 2.5 mg per dose with a total of 5mg for the day.

2. It may get tiresome to cut these things up all of the time but the key is to remain consistent.

What can you expect from Week 5 – Week 6? Most likely more of the same. Again, you may have a few bad days here and there but otherwise this should be an easy step down that all comes down to execution.

Week 7 – Week 8: 5mg down to 4mg with a total intake of 56mg over 14 days

1. The dose should be an easy 2 mg’s per dose so that’s a good thing. You can cut a 2mg section of film, take one 2mg pill per dose or just split the 8’s in half and then again. I find that using the X-Acto knife or razor blade with the 8mg pills works better because the tablets are not “pre-scored” for dividing. In other words, you’ll get unequal doses if you try and divide them with your fingers.

What Can You Expect?: Well you’ve cut your dose down to half and it may surprise you to discover that you’re not really feeling many withdrawal symptoms. That’s because you’re taaaaaapppppeeeerrrring! Remember that tapering is supposed to slowly wean your body off of a thing it is used to having and also gradually making your “reward” smaller but not really by any noticeable difference eh?

Week 9 – Week 10: 4mg down to 3mg per day (1.5mg per dose) with a total intake of 42mg over a period of 14 days

1. This is when the scissor and/or knife wielding skills that you’ve learned over the past few weeks really come into play. 1.5mg of Suboxone is a small, small amount. You may have trouble consistently getting pieces of this size with the tablets so I recommend crushing each tablet and dividing into equal piles of 1mg each. Ditch the “Weekly Dose Bottle” and take one of those pill boxes that “old people have” which has the days of the week sectioned off and put each dose into the different sections. Now this is the point where you are going to have to be really careful to make sure that your doses are as equal as possible. as you taper down on your Suboxone, your body will become more sensitive to variations in dose which can lead to withdrawal symptoms.

Pill Boxes Like This One Are Perfect For Keeping The Very Small Weekly Doses Organized

2. At this point it’s appropriate to mention that mysterious “rescue dose” that I listed up above. By now, you may have lots of bits and pieces of film or pills in your “rescue dose” container and its time to divide them into .5mg sections. The rescue dose is going to be doled out by your “pharmacist” if you begin to feel some acute withdrawal symptoms. I’m not just talking about a little lethargy which can be normal; I’m talking about being actually sick which should not be so normal if you have tapered correctly. But it can happen and it should be addressed. If you are having any acute symptoms of withdrawal and your “pharmacist” concurs then take one of these rescue doses and wait at least 3 hours to see if the symptoms subside. This could be due to a whole host of reasons but you’re getting down to a low enough dose where slight variations can cause these symptoms. I use the word “rescue” for a reason too; these are not to be taken daily…they are for emergencies. If your rescue dose becomes a regular dose then you need to start your taper from there and make sure that you keep a better handle on how much you take.

What Can You Expect?: You might start to get a bit tired but you really shouldn’t be feeling any acute withdrawal. What you really SHOULD expect is nothing…nothing at all if you have stuck with it this far. If you have some symptoms, and you really need it then take a “rescue dose”.

The Home Stretch: The Crucial Part of The Taper

Week 11: 3mg per day to 2.5 mg per day

Week 12: 2.5 mg per day to 2mg per day

1. Try to keep taking 2 doses per day as usual if you can. Right now is not the point to get cavalier or think that you’ve done it…this is a crucial part of the tapering process that most people get wrong. Most people that I talk to get to about 2mg per day and then stop completely…mistake. You will most likely have acute withdrawal if you quit taking Suboxone on 2mg per day. You need to really concentrate on this part of the process because it’s critical. From here on out; you’re playing for keeps with Suboxone and all of this work will be for nothing if you don’t execute the last part of the taper correctly.

Week 13 – Week 14: 2mg per day to 1.5mg per day (.75mg per dose)

1. By now it’s getting pretty tough to even out those doses if you have the tablets so I would recommend perhaps a rolling pin (for the love of God please wash it after you use it!) and some plastic wrap or a ziplock baggie to hold the pill when you crush it. Normal pill crushers sometimes do a pretty good job but they only do so much and you’re going to need the Suboxone to be a consistent powder.

**Word to The Wise about the 1mg tablet doses: When I got down to very small amounts of powdery substance at this dose, I would divide the 1 mg piles as best as I could into the “pill holder that old people have”, then I would take a straw and carefully suck the proper dose into my mouth. Don’t breathe in too hard or you might inhale it; just put the straw under your tongue (you might also consider cutting the straw to make it shorter) and suck it into the “sublingual” space under your tongue.

Week 15 – Week 16: 1.5mg per day to 1mg per day with a total intake of 14mg’s over 14 days

1. This part of the taper represents the first major shift in the schedule that you’ve had since you started tapering. We will be going from 2 doses a day to one. If you take your dose in the morning and at night then then start taking your 1mg dose in the middle of the day or some other time that you do not associate with taking your meds. It’s important to change your dose to a totally different time than either of your dose periods before. You want to know why? Because your body has become so used to the 2 doses and your mind has been conditioned to get “rewarded” twice a day.  We need to break that habit. By changing your dose time completely, you no longer associate those other times with taking your medicine and perhaps don’t feel “neglected” when you have to give up that one dose. Does this make sense?

2. If you feel any symptoms, use a rescue dose and make sure to give the medicine time to work…I know you may be uncomfortable but that doesn’t mean that you have to stuff your mouth full of pills to feel better. Just take the .5mg and see if it helps…it should.

At This Point If You Have Purchased Withdrawal-Ease, We Recommend That You Begin Taking The Product As Directed. We usually recommend that people begin taking Withdrawal-Ease about a week before totally stopping their Suboxone/Opiates but there may be some withdrawal symptoms at the end of the taper process and Withdrawal-Ease will help with those. Just be your own guide on this and give the product a little time to work before any symptoms manifest themselves.

Week 17: .75mg per day, once a day for a total of 5.25 mg’s over 7 days

Week 18- Week 19: .5mg per day for a total of 7mg over 14 days

Although all of the content above may make this look like a footnote, the last few weeks on the Suboxone taper are the most crucial. This is also the time when your “pharmacist” earns their keep because you may feel a bit fatigued or have some mild withdrawal symptoms but they have to be firm with you. If you have not been able to get someone to help you with the taper process then you’ll need to be extra vigilant and stay on top of your schedule at this point. I cannot stress enough how important this stage of the taper is.

Week 20: .5mg every other day.

Week 21- Week 22: .5mg every 3rd day

Week 23 – Week 24: Take .5 mg once per week with one .5mg “rescue dose” available if symptoms become acute.

Week 25 – : At this point, you’ve made it to what I would define as a “safe” jump off point. Set a jump date and stick to it so that you do not prolong the taper process any further than you might need to. Of course, only you can be the judge for when you might be most comfortable to completely stop. You may have to go through a detox period for a few days and I would recommend to continue to take the Withdrawal-Ease if you have it to help with those. Overall, by doing this taper process, you have gradually let your body acclimatize to the absence of Suboxone in the body. This should significantly reduce the discomfort of your overall detox process and help you quit with as little discomfort as possible.

Nothing’s foolproof but based on everything that I have read about Suboxone -especially the accounts of those who have done it successfully- this is how I would recommend tapering.

What To Expect Going Forward:

Whew! That was a long process eh? Well I wasn’t kidding when I said that it would take a long time but it doesn’t have to take a LOT of your time if you get the point. That’s why its crucial to get your schedule done before you start so it just becomes habit to look at your schedule and adjust your dose accordingly.

I do know how much of an arduous process this is and I feel bad that people have to go through this. I wouldn’t recommend it if I didn’t think it was important. If you discuss this with your doctor and they claim to have a better strategy then by all means, listen to them I suppose. This is just the most effective way that I have seen people detox off of Suboxone. I truly hope that this has helped you and that you can get some freedom.

It’s always important to make sure that you have other parts of your recovery in mind. This is just a detox process and not a life long cure for opiate or Sub addiction. You may need to go to some sort of psychotherapy or group therapy to help with cravings and I wholeheartedly encourage you to do so if any of these programs help. This will be the beginning of your recovery and not the end but hopefully you will have held back a long episode of withdrawal by following this process.

Please send me any comments, concerns, questions or ideas at I would love to have your feedback and also believe that those of you who go through this process can help me improve it as we move along.

“Semper D’uro” (Latin trans: Stay Hard)


Disclaimer: I am not a licensed physician or addictionologist. The information has been written using knowledge gathered by myself from a variety of sources including but not limited to: Suboxone patients, clinicians who prescribe Suboxone, licensed professionals in addiction treatment and recovery, clinical literature, personal experience and other published information on suboxone and drug cessation. This post is for reference purposes only and should not be considered medical fact or the “standard of clinical care” for Suboxone detox. The makers of Suboxone have not been asked to comment or contribute to this post. The detox methods that I use including “shaving off” or cutting up Suboxone are considered “off-label use” and are not recommended by the makers of Suboxone as far as I know. As I mention in the post, it’s always best to consult your primary or attending clinician before attempting a detox like this and -if possible- get their approval and participation.

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About George
  • Ron

    I am at .5mg Sub now (it is hard to get that w/ 12mg films)
    I have only 2 days at that dose so I am going to stay on it for a while .
    The question I have is what would be the best antidepressant to take at this time
    I have been treated for depression for a long time and the meds work for me . I am presently on 225mg Effexor and 150mg of Wellbuterin . Is there some type of antidepressant that would work better for Sub withdrawal ? Comments from anybody would be appreciated

    • George

      Hi Ron. I believe that there are some pretty good “images” of size/mg for Sub films. You just need to Google Suboxone films and I think you’ll find some images that give you a pretty good idea of what you need to cut in order to get to .5 By the way, .5 is probably a good jump off point anyways. But that is definitely up to you.

      I’m not a psychiatrist so I’m not sure what might be best for you. Based on my own personal experience with anti-depressants, it sounds like you’re on a pretty hefty dose of anti-depressants to begin with. I’ve heard that anti-depressants are something that are bit of trial and error. Some drugs work better for some people than others. I’m a BIG fan of neurontin for withdrawal symptoms and it can also help with depression. Sorry that I could not be more definitive but it seems like you are pretty well taken care of in the anti-depressant arena. But if those are not working for you, by all means tell your doctor and perhaps they can prescribe something else.

  • Kevin Tynan

    George, I don’t think you have tried this taper yourself.! I really. Don’t know. Why you would post it except to fill your sales quota are preaching to people who are at the end of their rope, you come along with. Your advice,what makes you an authority, because you’ve detoxes.people have been lied to concerning suboxone especially,because the lowest dose available is 2mg by the manufacturer,you and your bloody taper.people ought to be told truth about suboxone .not the usual clinical approach.been there done it.

    • George

      These types of extended taper schedules are intended to avoid withdrawal symptoms as one reduces the dose. I think if you ask anyone who has come off of 8mg of Sub a day cold turkey, they would tell you that they had wished they had tapered… I’m sorry but I cannot for the life of me figure out why I am the bad guy in this equation. Believe me Kevin; if I wanted to simply sell product, I wouldn’t have taken the time to write such a long article or the countless other articles that I have written on the subject. I’m not the one that lied and I’m not part of the problem. Kevin, you and I are much closer than we are apart on this subject; I can assure you that I’m not the one to blame and tapering does not help me sell product by any stretch of the imagination. At the very least, if you are going to disparage and you have a better way then by all means share!

  • Cindy

    Hi George,

    I finished my detox two weeks ago. Unfortunately, I had not read about Withdrawal Ease before; I set my own schedule and stuck to it. I was initially on 4 mgs and dropped to 2 without difficulty. I didn’t find tapering to be particularly difficult; it’s the last two weeks that have been hell. I snorted heroin for two months and have been on and off of Subs for 3 years. This was the longest stretch (18 months) of daily use. I take Klonopin as well (which I’ve never abused; I take 1/4 of what I’m Rx’d and plan to taper off of it next, but that’s another story), which I think may have helped a little, particularly with the anxiety and sleeplessness (though oddly enough, I haven’t been able to sleep well the last two nights).

    I find myself FIENDING like crazy. I have checked every handbag, wallet, empty pill bottle, drawers, shook out my rugs – everything hoping to find a piece. I’ve done all of these things a dozen times over. I do NOT want to be enslaved to Subs again. The addiction and withdrawal are worse than the reason I went on it in the first place. I should never have been put on them long-term. It should have been used to taper me off of the small amount of heroin I snorted for only two months. I went to rehab I was so afraid of the withdrawals everyone warned me about. In retrospect, I should have stayed home and sweated it out. Now, millions of other opiate receptors have been created, all begging for something to attach itself to them.

    I wish I knew about Withdrawal Ease three weeks ago. Perhaps I wouldn’t have moments of suicidal ideations or fear of leaving my apartment (note: I would admit myself to the hospital before ever doing anything to harm myself. I know it’s part of my withdrawals and quickly snap myself back into reality, or my current state of sub-reality). But, each day does get a little easier. I was able to eat a sandwich yesterday and today do dishes. I’m not so cobwebby that I can’t write a coherent comment. I’m able to tolerate being in a room without air conditioning (my bedroom is the only one that does have it, which is where I’ve spent most of the last two weeks). I just want my life back again.

    • George

      Hi Cindy. Thanks for providing some pretty vivid descriptions there! I must admit that I’ve licked the inside of a pill bottle (or two) in my day but I never thought of shaking the rug! It’s a good idea I suppose. I’m sorry I don’t mean to make light of these things but it’s amazing what you’re capable of when you really want some relief from withdrawal. You seem to be on the mend though and once that starts, you’ll begin to get more sleep and your appetite will return. Things like nutrition and hydration also help your body recuperate after detox but eating and exercise are the LAST things you want to do during withdrawal. It’s almost time to congratulate yourself on a job well done; I don’t see much rug shaking in your future. Hang in there!

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