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Norco addiction; trying to stop
Norco addiction; trying to stop
Let me first off say how helpful it has been for me to read through a number of these threads today. I have been taking 8-10 10/325mg norcos per day for over the last 5 years.
I have gone through one day without them before and I found myself desperately finding more the very next day. This time I feel/hope I have the power to get off completely. I fully anticipate the withdrawals that are occurring and will be occurring later.
Over the last couple of weeks I have been trying to taper off the pills. As I write this (Saturday night/Sunday morning at 12:30ish) I have gone about 34.5 hours since the last half of a pill I took on Friday at 2pm. Today has been tough as it's absolutely beautiful here in the SF Bay Area this weekend and I'm inside fighting the runs, hot and cold spells, and mental issues (mostly anxiety and depressive thoughts).
I am way more emotional than I normally am (I don't consider myself a very emotional guy). I almost cried watching some stupid movie on tv this afternoon, and this almost makes me feel like I should maybe attempt to get outside tomorrow and do some walking or something. It's scary to hear how people say the first 3 days are the worst when I am basically in between days 1 and 2 right now.
As for my self treatment to get over this: I'm waking up and taking a One a Day Men's vitamin so far. I have also been taking some Immodium AD for the runs (I finally found a box of them in a drawer late this afternoon).
I am hoping that tomorrow will be better, but from everything I've read it sounds like I should be looking to get through my first week instead. Tough! I really have no support for this right now and it's killing me.
Also, for people who are just now figuring out how to properly taper. I was literally taking 10 norcos a day as of 3 weeks ago. My plan was to take one less each day and try to fight my regular schedule each day. I would allow the aches to come each day and would set a goal of waiting one more hour, or to take one more appointment at work before I took another one.
There were definitely some rough days there, like driving home from work in a lot of pain, but I would wait until I got home to take another...just little things like that.
I know I have a long week+ ahead of me, but I feel ok right now. I am taking Ambien around 9pm every night and it really helps for its anti-anxiety relief. Looking forward to waking up tomorrow and trying to get outside for a walk or something.
Bravo, Hurting - for making a smart decision and starting on the path of recovery! Tapering was a wise move, to make this final step much easier. You're on your way, and, as much as you don't like it, you're right where you're supposed to be at this point. The symptoms you are having are completely 'normal' for early detox, and will pass, I promise. Best yet? You NEVER E-V-E-R have to feel like this again. Comforting thought, I believe.
Originally Posted by hurtinginba
Right now, the best you can do is to TRY to turn your thinking into a "friend" rather than an "enemy." What I mean is, you can control your thoughts. Your thinking can go either way - for you, or against you. If you allow anxieties about what's ahead to consume your thoughts, your body will react with increased anxiety - and more symptoms. If you try to "catch" yourself when you're thinking is creating problems - and focus on thinking positive - you'll get through this much easier.
Try not to think about how it is 'going to be' tomorrow or the next day. Just deal with what is right here, right now. This moment is tolerable; anticipation of future possibilities may make it seem intolerable.
Walking is an excellent idea. Here's a suggestion or two... while you're taking that walk, make an intentional decision about what you'll think about while you're walking. You can practice "mindfulness" - which is focusing entirely on the moment at hand ("I can feel the breeze in my face, smell the fresh-cut grass.. and hear my feet on the pavement...") or you can try a "gratitude list" - making note of all the amazing things you have to be grateful for, starting with two legs that are healthy enough to take you for that walk! Another thing I like to do is a walking prayer... just have a chat with the "man upstairs," while I'm walking... it's like having a buddy along for the journey.
As "hokey" as these ideas may sound, they make a difference. Otherwise, our addictive thinking may just take off on its own... and we'll think ourselves into untold emotions and conflict - we're darned good at that! [Ever heard it said that the brain of an addict is like a photographer's dark room... where negatives develop?!?]
Congratulate yourself - on your courage, your honesty, your strength to take this on, rather than continuing on a path of self-destruction. You deserve to feel good about this decision. Don't haunt yourself about the past - that's over, it can't be changed - but the future ahead is bright, as long as you keep away from that ONE first pill... back to the insanity.
Did you get rid of ALL of the extra pills you had? That is essential. Just knowing that the pills are there, available to you, will wreak havoc on your emotional and mental well-being.
God bless - keep posting - it will help you... and help others.
Thank you very much for the support! It seriously made my Monday morning a lot better. I am still 100% hanging in there, not a single pill since Friday at 2pm. This morning was my first day back at work sine stopping and I had a lot of anxiety. My job requires me to be sharp in front of clients, and it took a long time to get my brain warmed up.
My main struggles right now besides the occasional aches and pains (which have gone down considerably) is the anxiety. Sometimes I feel like my heart is beating way too hard. A coworker gave me an Ativan before lunch and that completely turned my day around. I felt calm and like I could collect my thoughts again.
Music has been amazing to me ever since yesterday for some reason...I used to listen to sports talk radio when driving home from work but today I was blasting music the whole way. I have not been in that good a mood in years...I seriously feel like I'm starting to feel how I'm supposed to feel again.
Day 3.5 is in the books...I will keep you posted tomorrow on how I'm feeling. I get upset when I think how I have been living these past 5 years.
Last edited by hurtinginba; 04-26-2010 at 09:29 PM.
Hey there, Hurting,
Sooo glad to hear you're still hanging in there... it will be getting better soon. It's so encouraging to feel those moments of "feeling like I'm supposed to feel again." That's the goal - and as time goes on, as long as you stay clean, you'll feel more and more of them.
Oftentimes, while we're active, we lose sight of the little blessings of life... like the music - and I'm so glad to hear you're finding those nuggets of joy once again. I recall I spent a lot of time at the beach when I was first clean, and just marvelled at the beauty of nature, as if I was seeing it for the first time.
You're doing great - working while you're going through this is quite a challenge, but you're succeeding. It could actually be helping you to distract your mind from some of the symptoms. Many folks seem to say that 'day 3' is the toughest... and that's the day that is behind you now... take comfort in that!
Keep us posted on how it goes today...
Through day 4.5...feeling a little better every day. Still no pills at all since last Friday...I even flushed the two pills I had left that I felt gave me "comfort" while going through the weekend.
You know, I always thought the pills made my job easier, I thought they made me more talkative with clients. With how I've been feeling in the mornings I can officially put those thoughts to rest. My mind has felt clearer than it has been in years, that is until I start to get a weird fog that sets in around 3pm every afternoon. Still, I did notice that this "fog" has been coming on later and later in the day now.
I honestly don't even think about the pills, taking one simply doesn't get into my mind at all. I think this is a good sign. My birthday is this saturday and I am looking forward to having some drinks with friends without having the pills in my system. It will be weird to have some drinks and not feel really tired right after, which is what the pills always did to me.
Right now I am very happy...
So glad to hear you're doing well!! It sounds like the worst part of this hurdle is behind you, and you're already seeing some of the "clear thinking" benefits that come with recovery.
Originally Posted by hurtinginba
I do want to mention... for you to consider... addiction is addiction. Once we are addicted to ONE mood-altering, mind-altering substance, we are not safe using others. That includes alcohol.
Many, MANY folks relate to me how they NEVER had a problem with booze in the past, it was *only* the pills -- and I try to caution them, but they resist. Inevitably, they come back months later, surprised to find that their consumption of alcohol is no longer under their control. That's the nature of addiction.
Just as you wouldn't NOW turn to, say, morphine or demerol, as you are detoxing off norco - the SAME goes for alcohol. It's just another substance of abuse. Just another addictive path that we need to avoid.
Basically, addiction is about escaping reality - escaping the emotions that we don't want to deal with, and replacing them with "artificial" emotions, from the drug. Booze does that as much as Norco did that - and you'll be feeding your addiction to use either of them.
On top of that, once we are under the influence of alcohol, our inhibitions lessen and judgement falters; it is MUCH easier to turn back to pills, once we have some alcohol in us. It's a dangerous slippery slope - you are best to avoid.
I pray you'll heed the warning - and not feel the need to prove this to yourself. God bless... keep up the great work!
One week in...
Thanks for the concerns, Ruth. I have officially made it a week without a single pill, and at this point I feel very small improvements every day. I still seem to just feel tired and achy every day around 3pm. Does anyone know when I can expect the physical symptoms to completely go away? Maybe I am just feeling the normal "non-numb" feelings of my body again...
The joy I was feeling after getting through the two days last weekend has now kind of faded away into me just not feeling that great in the afternoons. It's really a combination of mental stuff (not anxiety, more just like down) and small bouts of chills and aches. I know at this point I won't allow myself to take a pill, that idea honesty doesn't even pop into my head anymore. My thoughts seem mostly consumed with when the symptoms will go away. Some people have told me it takes about 2 weeks to feel completely back to normal...is this true?
I appreciate any experiences you can provide.
First off - Happy Birthday!! AND... Congrats on one week clean!! You've already given yourself an incredible gift, the gift of a drug-free mind and body - and the chance to begin life anew. The worst of the detoxing is behind you - and, gradually, you'll come to see how much of life you've been missing out on, thanks to the drugs. The fog doesn't just "lift" overnight, but it does lessen a bit, day by day.
It does take time for all your body systems to readjust. The brain, in all its complex chemistry, probably needs more time than most. For 5 years, you've been basically blocking its normal production of seratonin and dopamine, and it will take time for healing. BUT - good news! Healing has begun. You are on the way - and you don't want to introduce any mood-altering substances into your body, to hinder your healing process.
The late afternoon slump is a challenge - and I'd set my mind to finding techniques to overcome it. As I mentioned before, our mind can be our greatest ally - or worst enemy! As long as we anticipate a difficult "slump" each afternoon, we're going to find it. So... back to basics... ask yourself, Am I getting enough sleep each night? Am I eating 3 healthy meals each day? Am I getting some regular physical exercise in my life? As corny as it sounds, these basics of sleep, food and exercise are essential. When we're abusing drugs, none of these things are being carefully monitored.
Step up the exercise, even if it's just walking daily. You want to kick those natural feel-good endorphins back in place. (Yup, even endorphin production has been affected.) Find a way to create a mid-afternoon "reward" into your day, to see if that help. That reward can be anything that gives you a smile, but doesn't involve drugs. Check out the natural teas at the health food store, look for something that is calming, like chamomile or kava; a 2pm "tea break" with a high protein snack may help. Little baby steps can make a HUGE difference.
In time, these feelings WILL lessen, bit by bit. There really isn't a "time table" for when; everyone is different. Try to distract yourself (with something that takes some thought) during that mid-afternoon time, and see if NOT focusing on expecting it to occur might help. Or you can try telling yourself that it is lessening, and remind yourself of it - "Today I'll feel a little better than yesterday." Expect improvement, rather than expecting the slump. Sometimes, we have find ways to trip up our minds, to make them work for our benefit!
IF, by chance, these moods continue beyond a few weeks, you could be finding you have a chemical imbalance, that may require an antidepressant, or other (NON-addictive!) medication. Don't jump to do that too soon. Part of detoxing can be the mood-swings - wayyyy up, and wayyyy down. That "roller coaster" of emotions does level off in recovery. Just hang on for the ride, and do not give up. It is ALL worth ALL the effort. Promise.
Hello, Hurting. I'm in Georgia and I'm on my 19th day. I was taking 7 10mg hydrocodone daily. I was initially prescribed meds for migraines, but began abusing 8 years ago. Began with 1 or 2 7.5mg on weekends, and ended at 70 mg. daily. I think the 2nd through 6th day were the worst of my physical symptoms, but diarrhea lasted until yesterday. I think it's finally about over. I didn't take anything for it...felt like my body needed to flush out whatever was necessary. I'm struggling with depression, but I do feel a little better and stronger each day. I lost my job, so don't have any money to get away for a few days, change my environment, take up hobbies, etc. I have tried walking now and then, but still don't feel motivated. I know, that with the continued help and understanding from my husband, and mostly from God, I'll be successful. I wish you the best of luck, and please do heed Ruth's advice. DON'T replace one drug with another. I've seen that happen to people I know. You've got to break the cycle of addictive thinking. You don't need anything else...God gave us all the ability to feel happy without drugs. Think back to before the pills; that's what I do. I used to be much happier before I ever started taking them.
I could use some help.....Thank god I have found this forum.
ok Im not sure about using real names on here so I just call myself C.D...gay Probably but I cant really think straight...This all started 8 long years ago...I am 26 now when I was 18 and got my first kidney stone that actually passed that was 8mm in size and it actually came out..Ever since then my life has been a living hell..I have been to every urologist in my state and not a single one of them can figure out why my kidneys are producing mass amounts of stones and wont stop... they have simply labeled me a chronic stone former and that there was nothing they could do for me but manage the pain with opiate therapy.... Ok they started me out on 4 lortab 10 4x daily that worked for about 2 years...then switched me to norco 10/325 which i took for 3 years 2 pills 3x daily....well here comes the downfall.... they stopped working so they switched me to percocet 10/325 4x daily and Kadian 30mg2x daily I was on that up until a few months ago when I could no longer bear the sideeffects of the morphine..well I got weened off the Morphine and Percocet and he put me back on Norcos except this time it is 2 pills 4x daily..... And i feel like I am in a living hell....How in gods name can i ween myself from these...I have tried and tho i still have pain I would rather be in pain than take this stuff any more ... any kind of opiate....If i dont take them i get DEATHLY sick to the point where i cannot function.....i have sever anxiety issues and also take 1mg xanax 3x daily i have been on those at that dose for about 4 years... and I am terrified that i am going to die.....If anyone could give me some advise it would be great.....I am only 26 and i do not want to die.....thank you and god bless ...I know this is prolbably rambling but i am so panic stricken right now i cannot think straight ...thank you all and god bless happy newyear....for those that can find the joy...
Last edited by ddcmod; 01-01-2011 at 10:35 PM.
CD, welcome! You've come to the right place for help. I'm in the same boat, prescribed the same amount, and want it to be over. It would be to your benefit to start your own thread. You will get more responses and your needs will be addressed. I can honestly say I do know how you feel though I'm much older, and that there is a way to beat this. At present I'm indecisive as to how I'm going to proceed. I just know it's going to be soon, as my nerves are shot. Those with experience and knowledge will come along side you and offer guidance. Be patient. Help is on the way. I'm praying for you tonight. Marta
Thank you im going to try to lay down now.. as I do every night and pray to god I dont die in my sleep.... Also I didnt know how to really start a thread I will try tomorrow and I wish you well also I will pray for you hopefully we can beat this and live to what we consider to be normal lives.
Originally Posted by HelpMeDownFromHere
CD, may God bless you with peace that passes all understanding while you sleep. I will look for your thread in the morning and if you are having trouble, I will help. Everything is going to be better than okay. Love, Marta
keep in mind...
Just something to keep in mind, which is something that I believe unfortunately only comes with experience. someone put it spot on - addiction is addiction. Once we turn that switch on in our brain, it can never be "unswitched". I am a therapist, who also happened to develop an opiate addiction (after I began my career, that was not my motivator). I work with alot of high risk teens and I always tell them that you cannot feel that good for FREE. you pay. you pay by knowing what drugs feel like, and even though we detox and get our lives back, we never forget that feeling which is how so many relapses begin. the best gift you can give yourself, is to be honest with yourself. you are not different. I am not different. an addict can NEVER recreationally use. I tried that several times, unsuccessfully and led right back to full blown addiction. I was on sub for 10 months and now on LDN for months and doing great. i can never use recreationally again. i want to, but cant. its a choice. opiates, or everything else. as much as we want to have BOTH, we cant.... also remember that addiction has NOTHING to do with character, morals, intelligence or willpower. NOTHING. dont beat yourself up, know the facts and be your own best advocate. Im here to help!
Right on mwalt thanx that was just what I needed to read while perusing others stories while living my own