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Taking the first steps to quit painkillers
Taking the first steps to quit painkillers
Hi ...this is my first time trying this...I have been addicted to painkillers oxycodone, hydrocodone, oxycotin. It all started out innocent enough,,,I broke my ankle about 9 years ago now (OMG i did not realize it has been this long)!!!! and from that point on, I slowly and gradually started taking them more often, but the past two three years have been almost on a daily basis. more recently I have been up to 80mgs a day sometimes more. I really want to stop but then I get up in the morning, kids need this or that, the house needs to be cleaned again, the food needs to be cooked, I need to go to work, my back is killing me, my ankle feels like it is broke again and then I reach for the pills again. It is a vicious cycle I have been going through each and every day. Did I mention that my boyfriend is going thru the same thing? I give him credit, he did quit for about 6 months, but I wasn't any help, I kept on using-I tried not to in front of him, but he knew. when he fell off the wagon I could see he was disappointed in himself. We keep talking about quitting, but what keeps popping up in my mind are all the horror stories I hear...I have one major question right now....if we quit cold turkey, can withdrawal effects actually be so severe to kill you? I have heard that people who quit without tapering off can have heart attacks because their bodies need the meds because we are so used to them and become dependent on them, what will my body do when I don't take anything tomorrow? Please help...we want to quit but kinda scared of what might happen...thank u in advance for your advice, comments....sincerely yours, Ready2Quit.
I'm going to put up some info for you...I know this is not easy but it is doable...I was addicted to oxycontin and every other pain pill there was out there and Im clean now...
First of all, opiate withdrawals are uncomfortable, but rarely life threatening. You may think you’re going to die, but most of the withdrawal symptoms are just very uncomfortable. If possible, take some time off work or schedule a week or so in order to fully detox. You will honestly not feel like doing much anyway. Opiate withdrawal symptoms usually start 12-24 hours after your last dose. But, the timing of withdrawal symptoms depends upon the drug taken, length of time you’ve been taking it, and how you react to medications. The physical withdrawals usually last 3-7 days, with days 3 and 4 being the worst. Once again, this is all dependent on the person. You can expect these symptoms. Dilated pupils, diarrhea, runny nose, goose bumps, abdominal pain, stomach cramps, sweating, agitation, anxiety, nausea, vomiting, leg cramps, general aches and pains, and sleeplessness. This list is not absolute. You may experience all of these symptoms, only some of them, or other symptoms. Again, we are all different. Below is the famous Thomas Recipe. It gives some general information along with supplements that help with the withdrawal symptoms. The only thing I would add to this list is a blood pressure drug named clonidine. It effectively lowers the blood pressure and lessens many of the withdrawal symptoms. Most any doctor will prescribe it if you’re honest as to why you need it. Discuss dosages and frequency with your doctor.
Im going to put up the Thomas recipe for you in the next post
I am curious about the Thomas recipe myself. I am on day 6 of cold turkey quitting Hydrocodone (10/325). The only reason that I am not taking them is because I ran out early, but at this point, I don't want to go back. It isn't so much the pain meds, but the monthly counting and planning and running out that I hate. I have been on them for 2 years in an attempt to prevent neck surgery. I think I am ready to just have the surgery.
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.
Thank you Melinda, for your reply. I do have plans for next week t actually begin...I am tapering right now...down to a 40mg oxy and 3 5 mg percs..today, then tomorrow a 40 with 2 percs, then a 40 w/ 1 perc then just the 40, then 1/2 of a 40 then I will be on day 5 and probably really cranky and to tell you the truth just wanting to take what I normally take---BUT I want this cycle to stop...!!! I will be able to be off work next week-so by monday I will be on day 6 and completely out of everything...Just thinking about this makes me excited to because I know I will be done with this ... But a huge part of me is scared to death of failing... what if I can't do it? I know I will be very cranky and irritable not to mention very hard to live with( I am already feeling bad for my family!!!) I am trying to potty-train my little guy-I think I will have to put that on hold for a little bit...This is my priority right now to get clean and then be the best mom I can be-like I used to be...I can't even remember what it is like to be "normal" ...that is what scares me-How did I get so far gone? I don't do any other drugs, no alcohol, smokes cigarettes occationally,...I ask myself "how did I get like this? I used to really think bad of people who did drugs and knew I would never be "like that"... I beat myself up about this every day. When my boyfriend I first met, he quit smoking pot because I didn't do drugs...he quit for me... am I that selfish that I can't do this for him and my children? I need to do this...Do you think this tapering thing will work for me? or Should I just go cold turkey? I am kind of wanting to find out more about any alternatives (would methadone or suboxone work for me)... Thank you again for your support. It really means alot to know that there is someone out there kind enough to offer me some advice. Sincerely, R2Q.
Originally Posted by melinda7.5
I so want to talk to you about this...I was addicted to all the same tings as you are...your going to make it I will make sure of it...
I have to go to work for a bit but i will be back later...I need to find out how you are taking your oxycontin....before you start cutting them in half...
OK talk soon, Melinda
You have taken the first step. That is so awesome. One way or another Melinda and you will come up with a plan to get this done! You are so not alone. This site is filled with people like us who are spouses, parents, grandparents who have gotten ourselves into temporary trouble. I never thought I had the self control to quit. I was taking vicodin given to me by my doctor and had an unlimited supply. It was $5 for 100 at my pharmacy and he would give me 5 refills at a time. When I decided enough was enough I did a google search and found this site. It saved me. The support I got here to go cold turkey (which is no day at the beach lol) was incredible. I've even had a few temptations since (I quit almost 3 months ago) and I posted here and the temptation went away. Robert and Melinda gave me the very best advice and that was to eliminate my source. I flushed all my pills and called my doctor and said to please cancel any remaining refills. That was tough believe me. But it was also the breakthrough point for me. I took control instead of being controlled. Do this for yourself. You will be so glad you did. No one will ever judge you here so use this place to vent. You will be astonished how not alone you are!!
Originally Posted by Ready2Quit
I need to know how you are taking the oxycontin ??? are you cutting them to taper or do you take them whole... do you have 80mg or 40 mg ???
Let me know...
Hi Melinda. First of all I want to apologize for not coming back sooner...I was trying to do this thing cold turkey,,,I wanted to taper off, but soon found that was not working, I just went right back up to my usual dosages(misuse)-with everything happening, I just did not have the energy or desire to do anything...this is my major problem. It seems like the medication make me into superwoman and everything gets done. When I sit and think about it, alot of people depend on me for different things, When I was trying to quit this thing, I shut off my phones stayed home and honestly tried to stop. But then everyone was talking and coming over because I wasn't available tothem for this or that...So i got up out of bed ---took my meds and started all over again. I sit here and type this realizing that I am sick and tired being everyones rock...they come to me for everything-from their family problems to work issues to school registrations and what classes to take to actually going to court with them when they need me to...How did I get here? I do have a very demanding job that I am not at right now because of really really really bad withdrawals last night--restless legs and arms, toss and turn---no sleep. I finally just took a 10 mg hydro at 6 am and said to heck with it...I finally fell asleep about 7 and was up at 10 with my kids...summer is here now and all the responsibilties of their care for summer months falls on me...who's gonna babysit, who's gonna make sure the older ones get breakfast, and lunch, get supper on the table, clean the house, wash their dirty clothes....clean my dirty bathroom cause my little guy is potty training and goes all over,,,how will I ever find the time to do this? I am so frustrated right now with myself and with what I have done to myself and family...I just want to give up on this whole idea of quitting, but to be completely honest, I don't even get a script anymore...we get them off the street now, wherever...I feel beaten.
Thank you Melinda for trying to connect with me and all of your advice...you guys are really great here. I will be back I just put all my business out there and don't want to look back because I will hit the backspace button...but I want to tell you that it is really hard...It is really hard to go through all of this and if someone out there is reading this and you are starting to take pills or you know someone, STOP!!! IT IS NOT WORTH IT...EVEN IF YOU ARE IN PAIN, FIND ANOTHER ALTERNATIVE...I SURE WISH I HAD...MY LIFE IS FOREVER CHANGED BECAUSE OF STUPIDITY... I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN WHAT I WAS GETTING MYSELF INTO-BUT I DIDN'T AND NOW I PAY THE PRICE.
Thank you again for all your time you put into this ...it is really helpful to get everything off my brain.
I understand what you are saying, I own my business so there was no calling in sick...and I as addicted to so many pills. It was the hardest thing i have ever done in my life.
I think you might benefit from the subs here is a link to it read it and let us know what you think...
I will talk to you soon, Melinda
A familiar story....
It takes so much to quit....with all the ******** i have been through in my life quitting has been the hardest thing I ever did worse than even going to war. You have to find the time and support to do this...I wont lie it will be tough and for at least a week painful but it can be done. I would turn this around...the fact that you have so much to do and so many responsibilities can be an asset. I found that during withdrawls the more things you had to do the busier and more exercise you got the better.
Follow Robert and melindas advice try the thomas recipie and or some other things to alleviate the w/ds and tough it out we are here to support you.
Please feel free to read my story at Veteran Vicodin Addict.
I wish you soooo much success on the road to recovery...get clean for yourself and your family they are worth it !!
I have been at this computer reading for hours. Your forum has hit home and now I can't stop crying. I am addicted to Percocet and I hate it. I take 4 - 7 10/325 mg. a day for my fibromyalgia and scoliosis in my neck. I have been taking meds for about 1 1/2 years now. My financial situation has been horrible over this last year and somehow I still have been able to get medication. I have complained numerous times how I hate taking pain medication. I have been so depressed it has taken over my life. I feel like it is all I think about. I'm just so tired of it and I want to be done with it. Because of my financial situation we are moving to another state to be closer to family and hopefully for a fresh start economy wise. It has crossed my mind that this is my chance at a fresh start. I won't have the convenience of a doctor right away so I can't justify in my mind how to keep taking them. Last Sept. I stopped taking them for about 5 days and it was horrible but I was proud and then had to go to doc for other meds and ended up agreeing on taking 5 mg to stop w/d. Now I am right back in the same place I was a year ago taking as many as before and am not strong enough to wean off. My husband and family are supportive in the fact that I need to take my medication and don't see the need for me to get off of it. So I am hoping to find something to help with w/d, so I can get through it and then tell them after I am past the worst part. We are moving on June 26 so I am going to need to start this in the next week. I'm scared , but I'm so tired of being tired. I just want to be the happy loving me again.
Thankyou all for putting your stories out there, has helped me feel bette as in Im not the only one.
I know this is not going to be easy, but feel like writing this is my first step to quitting the pain killers. Admitting Im an addict is not an easy thing to do.
Thanks for listening.
WOW! The counting and planning! I hate that! I hate that the first thing I think of in the morning is how many can I take today! S***
Kind of funny...LOL... I just said that same thing to you on your other thread...
Talk to you soon, Melinda
Hi everybody! Like all of you, I had an opiate addiction and like most of you, I relapsed but now I am clean and am starting to feel like my old self. It was not easy but it is not as bad for me as it might have been for others. The main thing is that you CAN DO THIS! You just have to want to do it and commit to it. Do I think about using again everyday? Heck yes! Like right now, I am sitting here and my legs hurt so bad. A couple of Tramadols or Vicodin would probably make my legs feel better but I know that I can't go there. I am not sure if it is from w/d or just plain age but I have taken three Advil and am going to get in a hot bath and will be all better in about 30 minutes. My addiction ended with Tramadol which some say has the worst w/ds. I was taking 10-50 mg all at one time. And yes, I am very lucky to be alive! I did it all alone too. I never told my husband or any of my family even though they found out after the fact. I was able to do it because of all of these beautiful and suportive people here. It is so nice to come here and vent and you will find all of the support you will ever need. When you feel low, bad or want to use again, come straight here and get it out. Write it all down!
I can also totally feeling ashamed and wondering how the heck you got to were you are. I thought the same thing too. I am a very successful person who owns her own high profile business. I have money, a nice house, a great family, a fantastic husband, the list goes on. I don't drink (other than an occassional glass of wine at dinner), I don't smoke, I have never done any drugs other than smoking pot once-basically I am, well, boring! My point is that anyone can get to this point and it is not your fault! Never feel bad or ashamed of who you are and what happened to you because it is so common and most of it starts with a simple prescription. Our bodies just take over and we can do nothing about it.
After I went through the worst of the w/d, I was depressed. I felt like I had nothing to look forward to and I thought that I would never feel good again. I had no energy and it was very hard to get out of the bed but when it was time to go to sleep, I was wide awake with restless leg syndrome. That was the hardest part for me. I took a couple of Advil PM's and it helped me sleep a little. I also had some Valium that I would take if the PM's didn't help out. I guess what I am getting at is that once you get through the worst part of it, you will start to see the light and become very proud of yourself. Your energy will come back and you will feel like your old self. Please hang in there and make sure to do something nice for yourself. Take an afternoon alone, take a long drive, get a massage, just take care of yourself! YOU CAN DO THIS! Just keep telling yourself that because it's true! We are all here for you
starting to quit almost three days in
like most people I started at random taking hydrocodone and oxycodone bout five years ago alot 4 depression and energy imbipolar so it helped me do what i needed ....then u get a toothache etc... and its 5 years later and you dont wanna have to b dependent on a pill so u start this hell of trying to quit .... unfortunately im very sensitive and prone to addiction when it comes to stuff it seems to effect me in a small dose as if it would someone using heavy ...im ramblin ! so what i could maintain to read its best to go cold turkey instead of a taper even if the taper is controlled by another ? I have a half a hydro and know it would get me out of this for now ...Would it just b starting me all over again and b like i havent went three days or would it help me quit i dont have access to go back to three or four a day . everyone knows its just so hard looking for a response just to feel better........and this prob dont even make sense but u guys know how you feel right now
I identified with you. I'm a lightweight - low tolerance and full withdrawal on low dose. It's been a life saver as I could never keep up with friends. That's always been OK until I had chronic pain problems. At three days C/T I was fully electrified. I'm glad that has abated. I'm day 16 now and feeling lethargic, but I don't want to go back to dependence. Careful attention, ice packs and advil are doing the job so far.
(( Prayers )) ~~~~
thnx just hearing anything at ths point is helpful im really glad I ran across this site ....that half a hydro which is all i got is calling my name bad but I dont wanna b like day one again wonder if this would happen on just a half i dont have r plan to get access to any more ... it just sux so bad but i guess i should try to refrain from even a half ? just thought it might helpp without redoing the whole cycle of the start of this ....it is so hard to write im only getting out bout half of what i want too...i do have valium and good weed ..sorry i think it helps I dont drink alcohol and dont try to b a lawbreaker but I dont really find harm n it least u can do it when u feel like and if not no problem ...but these legal drugs that are killing me are ok ... didnt mean to turn that nto a norml debate im just venting and I get these what feels like headrushes every second or so and am very dizzy anyone else get this feeling ...went blank
If you want to stay here and post how you feel you might want your own thread. Mine is "Sharing Cold Turkey". It is where people have specifically helped me and where I keep my journal of how I have felt. Just click the (NEW THREAD) button on the top left of the threads and title your own. Of course that doesn't stop visiting all over, just gives you a place to watch your progress.
If you could I could use a little more of your story. What led you here. How you are feeling. What you are dealing with.
Oh! I had some dizziness but I have high blood pressure anyway. It is something I had to keep a close watch on.
(( Prayers )) ~~~~
thnx brad I really had no idea where to post im to dizzy to read well as I am capable ...im a little sleepy actually thank god so im attempting to just chill but I will b back on here and hopefully b clear enough to get the whole story down 4 ya and others and then im gonna stay on here and b of help to the to late and hopefully someone b4 they start .... just someones perspective and reading yours and others has already been a great help ...check back with me thnx again ....blessings
dont do methadone or suboxone!!
I am in your same sitation and i started taking suboxone because the dr told me it was like a miracle drug for those with opiate additins.It changed my life for the better but then i was addicted to suboxone and couldnt stop. so then i finally went through severe withdrawls and almost died so i ended up going back to percocet because i couldnt handle it anymore. then i was put on methadone and that stuff was even harder to come off of suboxone. i wouldnt take that stuff if my life depended on it. its almost impossible to come off of! be careful! I know its hard.
Ive been going cold turkey off of percocet for 5 days now and im feeling much better. its hard but i am doing it.
The first day...
of the rest of my life.
Let me tell you guys something- I have never been so eager to get the hell away from something as much as I want to get away from pain medication.
I am so over counting, plotting, scheming, lying, sitting in doctor's office with other people that look like they are withdrawing-
I WANT MY LIFE BACK!!!
I am a girl in my early thirties and I have been on some form of an opiate for the past 7 years, off and on- but the past year became my challenge-
I was put on the dreaded oxycodone- because I have liver issues and cannot take anything with acetaminophen-
I want that year of my life back-
I have never wasted so much time in offices, in pharmacies, figuring out where I went last, who I went to last, withdrawing because I ran out early, ON AND ON AND ON.
You all know the drill. Its terrifying and it is one of the worst journeys I have ever trekked.
Finally, I have decided to be done. Done and done.
I do not feel ashamed at what I went through (thank you, Pharmacist b***h for trying to make me, though) haha
because I have LEARNED so much in the past year I feel like the Dalai Lama.
Everyone on here who is addicted, trying to quit, just quit or been clean for a while should be so grateful that we have gotten to experience something special-
it may not feel "special" when withdrawing but it is something that brings us all closer-
knowledge, power, FREEDOM.
I am so excited to read and share about this process and its rad that this forum exists for us-
HAVE A GREAT DAY!!!
We are strong- all of us-
Last edited by tatbabe; 09-03-2010 at 03:12 PM.
I am a depressed single mom addicted to painkillers. I take them because it motivates me to do simple tasks and eliminates my depressed mood. Im not prescribed them so I buy them off the street for around $30 for 30mg of oxycodone. I take atleast 1 a day. Sometimes 2 or 3 if I have the money. Today I wrote out a bad check to get 25 for one. I waitress tomorrow nite so I will be able to put the money in the bank to cover the check than ill buy 1 or 2 more depending on how much I make. I am developing a tolerance...and pretty soon Il be paying dbl what im paying now to get the same effect. I want to quit..but everyday I wake up im depressed. I spend the day in bed than ill get up an hour before work..get ready..and call my dealer asking them for 1 or 2. Ill pick them after work and stay up until 3 or 4 in the morning and repeat the cycle again and again. I make good money so im not in debt yet..however I have no extra money to do anything fun with my daughter. When im high I feel extremely motivatedto doore with my life and faimi ly..but once the painkiller wears off..im spend all my energy and time looking for more. For all the people out there who are ignorant of addiction...please refrain from telling me how awful of a person and mother I am...Ppl like u are part of the reason im in this mess. For those of u with intelligence and are non judgemental I welcome any kind of advise or insight about addiction and a way to beat it.
Hello, this is a pretty old thread...you should start your own. You will get a lot of support and education here, no judgment just honest help. Welcome, and I hope you continue to post.
There is no judgment here or at least most of us try not to. Remember we are all addicts on this board so we can relate. My wife and I were forced into quitting Cold turkey, doctor was out of town we ran out, no access to pills so we had to go without. It was not easy we were high dose 10 Percocet a day 4 -6 oxymorphone a day. Doesn't sound like your doing that much that your taking these for depression, there are better meds for depression. Do you have access to a doctor, insurance there are better things to take for depression than pain pills which actually cause depression. My wife suffers from depression big time and her doc prescribe her something for it in combo with a therapist it is working although there are good days and bad. Just think being out doing something with you kid will give you as much a lift as the pills will. The pain pill is draining your energy, it takes away your brains ability to make endorphins and dopamine which gives you natural energy. Can you handle quitting cold turkey with only taking 30 mg a day it should be doable you will have a bad couple of days but should come out of it fairly quickly and I have to tell you since we have been off of it we get up in the morning with energy, and are generally happier we don't have to worry about counting pills, or how are we going to make it to our next appointment. Today was suppose to be my refill day and it came and went no refills and feels great. You sound like we were worried all the time about not running out of pills, totally focused on it. We are a living testament that you can quit and life gets better off the darn stuff than on it. Give it a shot, post your thoughts and fears here people will answer give you strategies to get through it and before you know it the money you are spending on pills you will be spending on your daughter going out with her taking her places having a good time and feeling better about your self. Addiction is the worst but it is beatable just put your mind to it, get through those first 3 -5 days and see how much better life can bez1
Hi I was wondering if anyone can help me. My gf and I are both very addicted to pain killers. We want to stop but really don't know how to. I want to ween myself off but don't know if that will work. I also wanted to try that recipe. I just don't know where to start. I hate what I've become. And we have a 2 and a half year old son. I'm so lost and confused. If anyone here can help I would greatly appreciate it.
Welcome to the forum, I too quit with my wife, and quitting with her made it a lot more tolerable since we were both there to support each other. If you really want to quit you can, start your own thread in the need to talk forum and let us know a little more about you and your habit. This can be done you just have to want it, be willing to put up with 3 - 4 days of feeling like you have a bad flu and get clean. Then when you come out of the other side of the physical w/d get your heads straight to face the physiological side of staying clean. If you want you can read my threads they are a daily journal of my wife and I quitting a long term habit of Percocet and Oxymorphone. I am hoping you two decide to do this , it's tough in the beginning but well worth it once you get to the other side.
This sux on my second day and I feel weak. I just don't have the energy to do anything. How long will this last? cas y family needs me.