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My Hydrocodone Addiction Story
My Hydrocodone Addiction Story
It all started last year in April of 2008. I had a head injury on my job while working out in the oil fields. I worked hard, close to 70 hours a week. A year prior I was released from prison for a white collar crime, and I was living with my parents and trying very hard to get back on my feet. I did have a lot of pain in my life, my fiance left me while I was away (I don't blame her for that), closes friends died, and I hated the fact that while I was educated I had to work for so little wage and so many hours.
I busted my head open on a valve stem. There wasn't a lot of pain. Went to the emergency room, where they stitched me up and sent me on my way. They gave me nothing for pain, and my boss who drove me questioned that. When I got home, the pain started to kick in. So I called the ER and they called me in a script for Ultram. The medicine killed the pain, but in the morning I found myself throwing up. The doctors say it was from the head injury, but I knew it was because I took close to 5 of the Ultram the night before.
A couple days go by and I go to Care Now to have my staples removed. A doctor asked if I was having pain, and I stated I had MILD headaches. She came back and handed me a script. I didn't know what LORTAB was, as I never had taken the drug. When I got to the Pharmacy and filled it, I saw Hydrocodone on the label. I was kind of shocked that I was prescribed such a strong drug for such a mild problem. I took it anyway. The feeling was amazing. All the problems, and feelings I had from prison slipped away. I felt elevated, like I could do anything. This was the first time I took the drug and it didn't stop until yesterday.
I continued to lie to doctors about my headaches. The hydrocodone scripts stopped. So I then began to complain about back problems. I saw a back specialist who actually diagnosed me with a herniated disc, which lead to me getting monthly scripts of hydrocodone. When my insurance stepped in and saw how much I was taking they put their foot down. So then I began to pay with cash. I'd go through 120 pills in a week. When I needed more, I went back to my great family doctor, who trusted me. He gave me more. I'd say I went through over 300 (7.5/325 nocro) pills a month easily. Eventually even my family doctor caught on on to what I was doing and sent me a letter stating he would no longer see me. I could go on and on about how I obtained prescriptions, but I don't want to give anyone else ideas so they end up where I did.
While life went on, and I can't lie when I say I'm better off now then I was when I started Hydrocodone. I have lost a lot of friends. I lost my girlfriend, who at first believed I had valid pain, and warned me time and time again to get off of the medicine. She watched my decline, and finally put her foot down and left me as a result. I loved the feeling and the drug more than her, and now I know just how much of a mistake that was. Friends I had for years, also abandoned me. I was told I was selfish, and inconsiderate. Two traits I never thought I had. The only good that has happened has been with my job. Hydrocodone was there when I started my own business, and it was also there when it started to grow and become successful. My fear was if I quit, that the motivation and elevation that the drug brought me would stop, and I wouldn't be motivated to do anything. I don't want to paint a perfect picture here. Even though I have plenty of business, I've made a lot of spontaeous decisions that have hurt my business, and have put me and my business partner in some serious debt as a result. When I took the medicine I thought it would help me think clearer, when really it clouded my judgement. I insisted to myself that even though I didn't need the medication for pain, I needed it to continue my success. Hydrocodone was that friend who your friends and family hate, but you just can't live without.
Yesterday, I told that friend good bye, and started my suboxone therapy this morning. I feel great already, and have NO cravings for hydrocodone at all. This drug is a miracle.
For those of you that are struggling with addiction, I know exactly how you feel. It's always just one more refill, one more week. Make the step and free yourself from the drug. Think of all the money, and time you'll save. Most of all think of your family and yourself.
Wow that's long.. If you made it this far, thanks for reading =)
Last edited by Redsoxguy81; 08-17-2009 at 10:27 AM.
Hey red...good on ya for taking that first step! just take it minute by minute if you have to..and watch out for the Sub...that in and of itself can be quit the monkey on your back..i have heard alot of horror stories..but i wish you well and if you need to vent then post post post..as i was told =)..shine on brother
Wow, congrats on your decision! Its a hard one, I know. I have been addicted to hydro or oxy for almost two years now. Never thought I would be. My biggest problem is my husband. He always agrees that we need to stop. Then, when we run out, he gets cranky and nasty and asks if we can get some. It is SO HARD to say no. Especially when I know if we get some, he will stop being so freaking nasty! And, I have to be honest, I like it too. But he has been unemployed for almost a year so all of the financial burden is on me. I am too smart for this! Why don't I just say no and make sure our bills get paid instead? But, nope it doesn't work that way. We ran out yesterday and in my head, I'm glad. Yay! We can start to get off this ********. But I know later today he will ask (he is already being quiet and keeping to himself) and I will say, no we can't afford it. And he will ask again and get nastier and I will give in. (He isn't nasty TO me, he just gets a bad attitude). Because I am out of pills too. I read the other thread about if you had an unlimited supply of your DOC would you stay on it? Ummm.... yep. How sad. How stupid. What a mess!!
In many ways you just told me story. I started a business hooked on Hydros and made a lot of bad choices in the beginning. I am struggling out of them now but it didn't have to be this way. It is too bad that feeling so good (as when on the drug) has to be soooo bad. I'm glad you started the suboxone and I hope you have read enough on this site to know that you really need to monitor your use and have a plan for getting off as quickly as possible. I ran out of money and had to jump off a really high dose and paid a huge price that I don't want ANYONE to have to go through. You can read my posts to know what I went through, but most importantly, my advice would be to read what Robert_325 has to say about 1) induction of suboxone and 2) the tapering off after not too long of a time. Don't stay on suboxone for very long. And don't necessarily "trust" your Dr. Many of them out there only see $$$$.
You have taken a very good and brave step and I know you can do this. I will be following your progress. The VERY best of luck.
When I read this, I seriously wondered if it was my wife posting, this is exactly our situation, I started taking oxy for pain 2 years ago (still do), my wife takes it for much lesser pain, but ended up hooked on it. I was laid off a year ago, she's been supporting the family, we end up spending bill money on prescriptions, I get nasty when I'm out (well, nasty is an understatement, I actually wish I were dead when I'm out, its so bad). Weird to think that we're not alone out here. It's actually comforting to read your post, we're not the only ones!
Originally Posted by BeavisMom62
Nope, you are right universe, we are not alone! I have been prescribed hydros for pain, but can't get them often. My husband doesn't really have pain, he just likes the pills. I think he may have been using before we got together, but I couldn't tell. A few years ago, before I got addicted, he was being sneaky and taking pills behind my back. He got into my check book and forged over $500 worth of my checks. He has also sold some things, including a generator, which is very important to us as we live in hurricane country. He won't admit to selling it though, he says someone stole it out of our garage. Whatever. I don't even remember how we both got started using. I think he wanted to buy some, needed some money and "promised" me he would be honest about any drug use. Well, since I knew he was buying some for him, I wanted some too and the rest is history. It really sucks. Our stories do sound similar. Glad I could be of some comfort.
Be easy on him (as I'm sure you are), it's hard to not want the stuff when you're out. We always talk about weaning down and off (which I probably couldn't due since my pain acts up too often), but I'd still like to. I'd like to get to a point where i just took them when I needed to, or if my wife wanted to do a little recreational poppin on the weekend once in a while. I always plan it, but it never happens, I need a little more will power, I need to be an adult about it.
Originally Posted by BeavisMom62
Well, I don't know that I'm easy on him, but thanks for the confidence! (I can be quite b*tchy). We do the same thing as you. I say we will wean then stop and he just yesses me to death, but I now know he doesn't mean it. When I first joined this board, I thought he was serious too. We weaned from oxy to hydro then done. Well, I weaned. And I did well. Got most of the stuff from the Thomas recipe, tried to give it to him but he won't take it. He won't even attempt to. So of course he ran out before I did and needed more, wanted some of mine, which I didn't want to give up. I held out for maybe two days at the most, but as I said he gets cranky and its easier just to give in and get more. And every single time, one of us (usually me) says, this is the last time. And here we are two years later, in the same place. I feel like I should be the one to take control, mostly since I'm the one with the money. So, obviously I have a problem too. But I really don't think I'm addicted. I didn't have much trouble the couple of times that I stopped, I just like it too much. If I was alone, I know I could do it. But when there are two of you its next to impossible. I feel for you guys too. I also wish I could just take "as needed for pain" and maybe as you said, on weekends recreationally sometimes.
It's very comforting to read everyones stories and know that I'm not alone. I am 26 and a former model. I had everything going for me. I began taking hydrocodone for severe menstrual cramps about 4 years ago. No only did they take away the pain but they gave me a drive and took away my shyness. I was normally timid and never talked to anyone. I had taken a couple of pills one day and got a wild thought that I wanted to work at Hooters. I was working from home at the time as an artist on Ebay so why I thought I wanted to do this I still have no idea. Well I went and applied and they hired me on the spot. I began taking swimsuit photos and made the calendar and was doing other modeling promos for the restaurant. The pills gave me the confidence to strip down to practically nothing and take photos for the world to see. At this point I was up to 10 norcos a day and was buying them from a guy I meet through Hooters for $5 pill. Money was no issuer and i spent hundreds a week. When I was coming off of them I woud become angry and irritable and one day at work I flipped out. My boss smarted something off to me and I started throwing mugs and acting like a total moron. I was fired on the spot. Now I'm sitting at home jobless moneyless and trying to get off these damn things. I'm taking well over 4000 mg of Tylenol a day and of I don't quit now I will die. Coldwater extraction sometimes is just too much work so I take the poison anyway. I ran out of pills yesterday and I can't get ahold of my guy. I figured maybe this is a sign that I need to a
stop now. So day one begins today. I'm restless and nauseated but I know the worst is still to come. Thanks for listening and advise on dealing with the withdrawals is welcome. Wish me luck. -Sway
Originally Posted by Haliesway
Don't be to hard on yourself...we all got sucked in on the opiate roller coaster ride...I use to take them and at first they did help me get thru work , I could work for ever on them dang things...till my tolerance went up and I was spending more money than I made and running out and going into w/d
It was such a nightmare...Im going to put up the Thomas recipe for you..
let us know if we can help...talk to you soon, Melinda
"PLEASE NOTE: I am not a doctor, simply a long-time Rx opiate junkie who has had many opportunities to develop a way to detox. This is a recipe for at-home self-detox from opiates based on my experience as well as that of many other addicts. It is not intended as professional medical advice. It is always wise to make sure none of the recipe ingredients or procedures conflict with medications you may be taking. Likewise, if you have any medical condition, disease, allergy or any other health issue, consult your doctor before using the recipe. Thanks, Thomas
If you can't take time off to detox, I recommend you follow a taper regimen using your drug of choice or suitable alternate -- the slower the taper, the better.
For the Recipe, You'll need:
1. Valium (or another benzodiazepine such as Klonopin, Librium, Ativan or Xanax). Of these, Valium and Klonopin are best suited for tapering since they come in tablet form. Librium is also an excellent detox benzo, but comes in capsules, making it hard to taper the dose. Ativan or Xanax should only be used if you can't get one of the others.
2. Imodium (over the counter, any drug or grocery store).
3. L-Tyrosine (500 mg caps) from the health food store.
4. Strong wide-spectrum mineral supplement with at least 100% RDA of Zinc, Phosphorus, Copper, Magnesium and Potassium (you may not find the potassium in the same supplement).
5. Vitamin B6 caps.
6. Access to hot baths or a Jacuzzi (or hot showers if that's all that's available).
How to use the recipe:
Start the vitamin/mineral supplement right away (or the first day you can keep it down), preferably with food. Potassium early in the detox is important to help relieve RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome). Bananas are a good source of potassium if you can't find a supplement for it.
Begin your detox with regular doses of Valium (or alternate benzo). Start with a dose high enough to produce sleep. Before you use any benzo, make sure you're aware of how often it can be safely taken. Different benzos have different dosing schedules. Taper your Valium dosage down after each day. The goal is to get through day 4, after which the worst WD symptoms will subside. You shouldn't need the Valium after day 4 or 5.
During detox, hit the hot bath or Jacuzzi as often as you need to for muscle aches. Don't underestimate the effectiveness of hot soaks. Spend the entire time, if necessary, in a hot bath. This simple method will alleviate what is for many the worst opiate WD symptom.
Use the Imodium aggressively to stop the runs. Take as much as you need, as often as you need it. Don't take it, however, if you don't need it.
At the end of the fourth day, you should be waking up from the Valium and experiencing the beginnings of the opiate WD malaise. Upon rising (empty stomach), take the L-Tyrosine. Try 2000 mgs, and scale up or down, depending on how you feel. You can take up to 4,000 mgs. Take the L-Tyrosine with B6 to help absorption. Wait about one hour before eating breakfast. The L-Tyrosine will give you a surge of physical and mental energy that will help counteract the malaise. You may continue to take it each morning for as long as it helps. If you find it gives you the "coffee jitters," consider lowering the dosage or discontinuing it altogether. Occasionally, L-Tyrosine can cause the runs. Unlike the runs from opiate WD, however, this effect of L-Tyrosine is mild and normally does not return after the first hour. Lowering the dosage may help.
Continue to take the vitamin/mineral supplement with breakfast.
As soon as you can force yourself to, get some mild exercise such as walking, cycling, swimming, etc. This will be hard at first, but will make you feel considerably better.
Originally Posted by Haliesway
I rarely post here. The main reason is others here are much better writers
and I would simply repeat what they were saying. Your addiction almost
mirrors mine,so I'll say a few words here. If you can go cold turkey,it's
really the best option for hydro withdrawal. The first 4 days will be a living
hell,but it's worth it in the end.
When I decided to quit, I won't lie and say I came here looking for an easy
solution for the withdrawals I knew I was about to face. I even asked about
using morphine for a few days to help. Thank God Dave responded and said
it was too strong for the addiction I had.
Everyone is different,but this is how it went for me after taking my last pill
12-24 hours- Mild depression,flu like symptoms and a runny nose. I also had
no energy at all.
24-48- These were the worst of times. Along with the three symptoms
mentioned above,I started to suffer from the runs. I went to the store
and purchased Immodium AD. It helped tremendously. During this time,hours
seemed like days,and minutes seemed like hours. I just kept telling myself
my body is healing and these feelings won't last forever.
48-72- The worst of the physical symptoms will start to abide,and you will
start feeling better. This is where the mental struggle started happening
for me. Your body tells you "I feel better,but a pill would make me feel a lot
better". Whatever it takes,you have to resist those urges.
72-96 hours- The physical symptoms are pretty much gone,and the hardest
battle of all starts. That is staying clean. Stay strong,and never give into
the temptation of taking just one. If you do,the vicious cycle starts all
I too had a bad addiction to hydrocodone and went on suboxone therapy, and was initially very enthusiastic about it, thinking it was indeed a miracle drug.
But its still a powerful narcotic opiate, thats why theres no withdrawal or cravings, youre still getting your fix.
For myself and many others, getting off suboxone is harder than hydrocodone. If i can turn back time i would have never used suboxone, and just tapered down or even go cold turkey off hydrocodone. It would have been easier, and i would have saved much time and money.
I think suboxone would be a good treatment for those who need to get off hard street drugs as means to stay legal, and for people using it as a permanent maintenance drug, but as a tool to quit prescription pain meds, im personally against it and find it to be just another addiction.
Most people realize this and have intentions to use it short term and taper off in a few weeks or couple months, but most people cant stick with it because they have to face withdrawal, which is the reason they began suboxone.
What goes up must come down, suboxone isnt the easy stepping stone to sobriety that people initially think it is.
That is so right. But people who are addicts are "programmed" for consistent consumption of what "does the trick". We are not very easily satisfied beings. Nor are we content with recreational popping. Because of this, I feel like self-entitlement - is a huge component helping drive the problem. Our deep rooted thinking is something like, "We deserve it, we shouldn't have to do without it snd we will not live without it.
Originally Posted by universe1234