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So many questions about drug addiction..i don't know where to begin
My boyfriend has had a drug problem for a couple years. He says he wants to quit, and he's been cutting down tremendously. His main addiction is Oxycontin, though i know he's done more, depending on what he can get. I'm not 100% sure how much he was taking, he said 40mg a day..but i really don't know a lot about this stuff. He says he cut down to only a pill every day, sometimes skipping days.
He's afraid to just stop, because of the withdrawls, and he wants to do it on his own, no rehab or anything like that. I told him i'm there to support him, and help him.
Is there any advice you can give for quitting and going through detox alone?
also, i have 50mg Tramadol, and i now think he is stealing them. is this just because he's trying to help with the withdrawl from oxy? how can i approach him about it..or should i just leave it alone?
I'd greatly appreciate any advice..i know i didn't give a lot of information, since i'm pretty out of the loop with addiction and he doesn't like to talk about it a lot because it's embarrassing to him. i tell him over and over not to be embarrassed with me, but he still kinda is. i love him and want to do whatever i can, so please help!
It sounds like he is pretty addicted. And Oxy's are VERY, VERY addictive! If he was cutting down to one every other day, you would know it because he would be going thru withdrawels after about 8-10 hours of not taking a pill!! He would be very irratible, even flu like symtoms.
I know that when I would withdraw off of Lortabs, Tramadol's would help with the flu like symptoms. If you think that he is taking those too, then start either counting them and writing down the exact number that you counted and when some come up missing then ask him about them. See what excuse he gives.... Of course he will know nothing about it. OR you can always hide them...
Hi there - just wanted to acknowledge your post and your difficult situation really. I'm not experienced enough to give any advice but there are plenty of lovely people that are and they will be along probably soon. Take care of yourself.. Love Jay xx
Originally Posted by Looking.4.Advice
I am also an addict who was addicted to prescription pain killers for years. I understand the embarrassment your boyfriend must be feeling. I feel like such a failure to all who love me when I am taking pills. This is probably the way he feels also.
Originally Posted by Looking.4.Advice
You first have to understand that addiction really is a disease. I am a medical professional with a master's degree and I was naive to the ravages of addiction and did not take it seriously. I used to look at people addicted to pain medication with disgust and shame. It didn't matter to me if it was street drugs or prescription drugs people were addicted to, I didn't want to be around them. Now I am eating my words cause I became HORRIBLY addicted myself for almost ten years. I lost my job, my dignity, my money and most importantly, the respect of my peers.
My point is that I wanted to stop so badly I would have done anything to be able to quit. Quiting drugs is very difficult and I could go into the medical and psychological reasons for it but just know, it is difficult. Thinking of it as a disease is crucial if you want to help him. He can't just quit being an addict anymore than someone can quit being an asthmatic or a cancer patient. He CAN be drug free the rest of his life but will always be someone who is an addict. He will go through some painfull withdrawal symptoms for about a week then adjustment periods that can last up to a year. Being there for him will be a big help and if he can he should talk to a doctor.
Medication like Methadone and Suboxone will help him but he will just have to get off that as well so if he decides to go cold turkey, he may as well just do it. Do not use the tramadol to help with him go cold turkey. It will help his withdrawal symptoms decrease dramatically, especially at high doses. But Tramadol also has some affects on the brain that mimic medications used to treat psychotic patients so probably best to throw it out to reduce temptation.
I myselft am trying to recover from my own addiction and talking about it helps me. I will be glad to help if you need it. Encourage him to talk about it as well as there is a lot of information in these forums and people help each other here with there questions. Good luck and my prayers are with you. God bless and Peace......
he is..he's always really tired, and starts getting headaches and stuff, so we just lay down, and he sleep. He's complaining how he's not sleeping that good at night, so i do notice when he takes them vs when he skips. and i notices the bottle moved from where i had it, so this morning i counted them. after he came out of the bathroom, i went in shortly after and the bottle was moved again, so i know he's taking them. I wasn't sure if i should leave it alone cause it's helping him, or if i should ask. i don't want to make things worse for him, or harder. i understand that he's going through a lot.
Thank you so much for your advice. I've read a lot about addiction online, so i have a decent understanding. He's opened up to me a lot the past month about it, so i don't want to push the subject too much. Good luck with your recovering as well.
Originally Posted by mwalker63
I hope this post gets to you. The tramadol will help ease the withdrawal symptoms but are even more difficult to get off of. Try to see how much he is taking. Some people trying to get off opiates will take doses of tramadol as high as 300mg two to three times a day. It will be help for him to wean off that. Tramadol also has a lot of psychological problems associated with it and mimics the affects of a drug called Effexor which is used for depression along with other psychological problems so I would hide the tramadol.
Originally Posted by Looking.4.Advice
Keep him away from any benzo's like ativan or valium; also stay away from meds like ambien or lunesta. Those are pharmacological juggernauts and will make him even worse in the long run cause they really SUCK to detox from. Good luck and I will be reading to see how things go with you two. God bless and peace....
Well today is the first time i've counted to pay attention, and so far he's only taken one, and it's a 50mg tablet. I'm afraid to say anything to him, i don't want him to get offended and think i don't trust him. I'm just partially ocd, and notice when things aren't how they were before, that's how i realized he was taking them. So i counted them all before he got home and once he got home he went into the bathroom, and sure enough, one less was in the bottle. So i think i'm gonna wait and see if he takes more, then say something tomorrow. thank you so much for the advice.
Originally Posted by mwalker63
I talked to him about everything, and he appologized and said he only did it because he thought it would make him feel better and he was afraid to ask me for a couple. He said how he's afraid to go completely without anything cause he's been through withdrawals before. But the asnwers you all gave me earlier helped out soo much, so thank you.
Now, he wanted me to ask you guys a question. He wants to know what the worst day usually is of the withdrawals. His drug councelor told him day 5 is usually the worst. He is on day 2 of nothing, and he said it's not that bad compared to last time he tried quitting. Keep in mind he slowly weaned himself down this time..
just so you know, tramadol, IS A NARCOTIC ALSO..... it has anti depressant qualities as well, but of course it is going to help him, coz its also a narcotic.
so him saying he is on day 2 is a crock, coz he still is using your tramadol.
google the 'thomas recipe for opiate withdrawl' it may help him get thru...
and yes, the worst is days 1 - 5... usually day 3 is THE worst. this is from memory, coz i hardly ever made it past day 2 to be quite honest.
p.s ive been clean since december last year.
ok whatever you say denny.
but let me rephrase then what i said..
IT IS NARCOTIC LIKE. has abuse potential. has risk of seizures while coming off.
there are plenty of threads on this forum devoted to getting off tramadol, so regardless whether it is not a TRUE narcotic. it has addictive properties, and the reason the posters boyfriend is taking them, is coz it releives withdrawls.
so you cannot call yourself clean while taking tramadol...
and truly, has no e....
Bro, you need to be more careful w the advice or rather opinions you throw around here....
Is Tramadol A Narcotic?
Yes and No. No, Tramadol is not officially classed as a federal narcotic by either the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) or the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). The original classifications created by Controlled Substances Act of 1970 are now monitored and changed by the DEA and the FDA, but neither recognizes Tramadol as a narcotic. Instead, Tramadol is in a class of medications called opiate agonists. However, Tramadol is classified as a narcotic in some states such as Virginia and Kentucky.
Should Tramadol Classification Change?
Given the addictive nature of all opioid drugs, it might make sense to class Tramadol as a narcotic. In a legal sense, most opium, opium derivatives, and their semi-synthetic substitutes are already considered narcotics. Furthermore, Tramadol can be addictive and is prone abuse and misuse. One argument that manufacturers of Tramadol is is that the medicine is rarely addictive in people who genuinely need them to control pain, and is slow acting.
But given the efficacy of Tramadol, its physical dependence and necessary withdrawal when you stop taking it, I believe that this drug should be classified a narcotic, in order to create legal consequences for those who are taking Tramadol for non-medical reasons. Here is a list of why I believe this:
PROS – Why Tramadol should be a narcotic
* technically a narcotic b/c it binds at opiate receptors in the brain * high potential for non medical abuse * current high rates of misuse * easy to obtain, sell or distribute
CONS – Why Tramadol should not be a narcotic
* legitimate medical use of Tramadol may be affected
Tramadol hydrochloride (Ultram, Tramal) is a centrally acting opioid analgesic, used in treating moderate to severe pain. The drug has a wide range of applications, including treatment for restless legs syndrome and fibromyalgia. It was developed by the pharmaceutical company Grünenthal GmbH in the late 1970s.
Tramadol possesses weak agonist actions at the μ-opioid receptor, releases serotonin, and inhibits the reuptake of norepinephrine.
While its action is not like that of other opioids, Tramadol is a synthetic analog of the phenanthrene alkaloid codeine. Tramadol is converted to O-desmethyltramadol, a significantly more potent μ-opioid agonist. Opioids are chemical compounds which act upon one or more of the human opiate receptors. The euphoria and respiratory depression of opioids are mainly caused by the μ1 and μ2 receptors; the addictive nature of tramadol, as well as other opioids, is due to these effects, but tramadol's serotonergic and noradrenergic effects may contribute to possible dependence as well. The opioid agonistic effect of tramadol and its major metabolite(s) are almost exclusively mediated by the substance's action at the μ-opioid receptor. This characteristic distinguishes tramadol from many other substances (including morphine) of the opioid drug class, which generally do not possess tramadol's degree of subtype selectivity.
seeing as you put up a link it got me curious. i still stand by what i said. respectfully agree to disagree then. algudz...
aw thanks bluey my friend. i like to think i don't go making statements i don't know about. good on ya mate.
No doubt! Been at this a long time and have turned into "a student of the game" regarding most drugs, not just opies. It's ok to admit you dont know something, but acting like you do know everything can have some negative consequences!
Originally Posted by cheekysod
I never acted like I know everything! Geeez. Just making a statement I happen to know to be true. I've also been at this a long time. I'd like to think that I do know a little about a drug that I have taken in the past for several years.
Originally Posted by azul diablo
This thread has turned from helping someone into a petty argument about whether or not Tramadol is a narcotic. I suggest we get back on track here.
There is ALWAYS hope
Originally Posted by Looking.4.Advice
It is extremely difficult for a drug addict to taper down and quit all on their own. The basic premise of addiction is the "loss of control." So expecting an addict to somehow control tapering down and stopping is a bit like asking them to suddenly speak Greek. It just isn't possible on any meaningful basis.
The LAST thing your bf needs is a readily-available substitute for his drug of choice. Think about it this way: Would you leave a bottle of wine on the counter, if your bf had a problem with whiskey and was trying to stop? No. This is no different. The tramadol attaches to the opiate receptors in the brain, thereby replacing the oxycontin. If you want to truly help him, then hide that tramadol in the last place he would ever look.
For him to truly recover from addiction, he needs to be completely clean of any mood-altering, mind-altering, addictive drug. Our brain chemistry can not recover until we stop teasing the opiate receptors, plain and simple. In fact, when we continue to trigger those receptors, we are taunting our disease to return to its drug of choice.
He can't get an accurate picture of when the "worst" of this is over, as long as he is continuing to medicate the symptoms of withdrawal with tramadol. Once he stops all drugs, then he can expect that the detox will be pretty much over by about 5 days. Generally, most addicts find that day 3 is the worst of it.
Personally, working with newly clean addicts on a daily basis, I think tramadol is bad news. Regardless of the debate about how it's classified - the fact is, I have worked with countless clients hooked on it, especially after stopping other narcotics. Doctors are confused by it, as it was originally marketed as a "safe" painkiller - yet, over time, we've come to see that it is, indeed, quite addictive. Right in the tramadol literature it states that this drug should not be taken by anyone who had been addicted to drugs. That should be sufficient warning.
And the detox off tramadol is actually far worse than the detox off the oxycontin.
Your bf needs help to do this - and I strongly urge him to go to NA or AA for more guidance and support. Few addicts can recover on their own. This disease is far more complex and powerful than he probably realizes. Every aspect of his life has been affected by the drug abuse, and he needs help to re-learn how to cope with life without any drug.
You will know the truth - and only the truth can set you free.
Hi Looking, you boyfriend is doing what many of us have done....he's building up the WD and making the fear of it into a huge monster. In a lot of cases, our fear of what the WD will be like is far worse than what the actual WD ends up being. Yes, he will be miserable and uncomfortable and all of that. He'll most likely not sleep, have no motivation/energy and just feel bad. BUT, the good news is that if he stays off everything, he can expect for all of that to subside within 5 days. The worst day for me physically was probably Day 3. Day 4 saw a HUGE relief in the physical symptoms, but ended up being my worst day mentally. Then day 5 came and I could see light at the end of the tunnel. 99% of my physical symptoms were gone, and the mental seemed a little better.
There are things that can help him. As someone else suggested, google the Thomas Recipe. There are things in there to help ease the symptoms. One of the main things, and in my opinion the most important, is to not just lay around. Even if someone takes time off work and has the option of just laying in bed for 5 days, that's the worst thing you can do. From Day 1 he needs to try to get some exercise. Even if it's just walking around the block. I started walking 45 minutes a day from Day 1 (wasn't doing it before), and I listened to music on my IPod the whole time and I swear it's what got me through.
Also, it's good to complete just 1 thing a day. Even if it's just doing the dishes, sorting through the mail, etc. Just 1 tiny thing, along with the exercise kind of makes you feel like you aren't the useless slug that you are feeling like.
Last edited by ddcmod; 10-02-2011 at 02:29 PM.
Thank you everyone. And yes, let's get off the tramadol subject now please. It's not an issue now. After we talked about it and I told him what was said about it being worse to take, he agreed I should throw them out. They are long gone now. He's now on day three without any oxys or anything like that and feeling bad, but he said it's tolerable. He only took 2 of my tramadol and on different days. So it's not a big deal anymore. I appreciate everyone trying to help.
Last edited by ddcmod; 10-01-2011 at 04:58 PM.
DENNY i feel i must speak up..
Originally Posted by Denny_D
i was not posting incorrect stuff. thats only according to you. there are plenty of threads on this forum, dedicated to gettin off tramadol.
it is an opiod. end of story. this is a forum full of drug addicts, and you cant be called clean while on tramadol... there are more sites on the internet saying its an opiod and you still stick to your story.
and comparing it to clonodine is grasping at straws.
did you even read the posts properly, from me and bluey. come on man.
admit when you are wrong.
(and anyone who says we are off track on this thread, too bad, i need to stick to my guns on this one. its bad advice to say its not a narcotic.)
its got nothing to do with 'liking' you or not... you have to be careful what you say on here.
Last edited by Anonymous; 10-02-2011 at 05:55 AM.
Hi Looking - hope you're bearing up; remember to look after yourself too; it's still a long road of recovery even after the physical symptons have subsided. I'm from the UK and am absolutely shocked at the no and level of opiates that are given out by doctors over the pond. Do they really know the damage their doing?
You both need support you and your boyfriend. And I hope you can find some of that here for you. Love Jay xx
This was requested from the original poster on this thread. The Tramadol argument is a valid one, but it needs to be moved to a separate thread. And yes, let's get off the tramadol subject now please. It's not an issue now.
Looking, if he is on Day 3 of nothing in his system and it's feeling tolerable then he is doing great. The worst should be pretty much over in the next day or two. (see, that fear is just the worst). Remind him to get some exercise....not only does it make you feel better in the moment, it goes a long way to your brain starting to produce it's own endorphins again.
Not sure if you are aware, but when you take opiates, particularly for a long time, your body stops producing it's own "feel good" endorphins. The pills are doing it for you. So basically your brain says "o.k., thanks, don't need to do that anymore". So the pills are what start to make you feel good. When you stop pills, your brain doesn't just suddenly start pumping out those feel good endorphins anymore. That factory has been closed for a while and it needs some time and attention to get going again. This is why we feel so blah, down and not motivated when we stop the pills. Exercising is one of the biggest (if not THE biggest) way to get those natural feelings back again. That's why it's so important. As addicts we forget that there is actually a way to feel great without something external. Please tell your boyfriend that once those natural feelings come back, there is nothing like it. So when I say exercise, just a small walk will do. But if he can do more, that's great too.
Good luck and please keep us posted...