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When are you addicted??
  1. #1
    wildewoman is offline New Member
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    Default When are you addicted??

    I have a herniated disc L4-L5 - and have been on norco for 2 years. I take 3 to 4 a day.

    3 weeks ago I had an epidural for the pain - didn't really help. So when are you addicted? After a year or a certain amount?

    Thanks!!

  2. #2
    iloerose is offline Platinum Member
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    Are you in pain? Are you taking the amount prescribed by the doctor and no more than that? Do you have the feeling that you need more and more? Do you use them to get the "high"? Those are addictive behaviors if you answer yes to these questions. Are you dependent at this point on the pain killers? Most likely. Meaning if you stop taking them you may have w/d symptoms.
    Hope all is well with you.

    Peace.

    Iloerose

  3. #3
    wildewoman is offline New Member
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    I do have pain - but not to the degree that it was initially. To be honest - I haven't "felt" anything for a while.

    If I just stop taking them - what will happen?

    PS - I work FT - am a manager and can not afford to be off sick.

    Thanks!!

  4. #4
    iloerose is offline Platinum Member
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    If you just stop taking them you may experience flu like symptoms for about a week, with days 3-5 being the worst of it. Usually day 3 is the worst, but then you begin feeling better. You may experience hot/cold feelings, restless legs, diarrhea, mood swings, and then gradually you should even out around days 5-7.

    You can also start tapering off of them slowly. The rule of thumb is .25% every four or five days. That way your body will gradually adjust. You may have slight symptoms or none.

    Iloerose

  5. #5
    wildewoman is offline New Member
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    I usually have 1 with my coffee before work - today I am trying not to take that first 1. Just thinking about it last night made me restless & fussy.
    I didn't sleep well.

    I will take them with me to work & see how long I last.

  6. #6
    wildewoman is offline New Member
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    Is there anything - non narcotic I can take to feel better? Green tea or long walks?

    Thanks!! Monday is probably not a good day to do this . . . . .

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    surfdog is offline Senior Member
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    Wildwoman, Meloxicam works well for some people, are you having to take more of the drug for the same effect? Give you give us a little more history on drugs/alcohol, Surfdog

  8. #8
    iloerose is offline Platinum Member
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    Your brain is going to fuss with you. However, if you are sticking at 3 or 4 that is not an awful lot. See how you do. But if you want to taper we need to do this right and not just willy-nilly. If you just take them when you feel uncomfortable or have symptoms of w/d that is addictive behavior. So, if it works out that you get to your next dose time doing fine, you can keep it at that. Skip that one in the morning. Hear you on one with the coffee. Been there. Done that.

    Peace,

    Iloerose
    Last edited by iloerose; 06-18-2012 at 08:08 AM.

  9. #9
    wildewoman is offline New Member
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    I decided to stay home from work today. I took 1 at 4 am - then another 1 just now at 8 am. The bottle says "Take 1-2 every 6 hours as needed".

    My ortho Dr. told me that 3-4 a day is not bad. But I have been on them for 2 + years. Before that I took nothing - ever. Now I take these pains pills & I want to stop.

  10. #10
    wildewoman is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by surfdog View Post
    Wildwoman, Meloxicam works well for some people, are you having to take more of the drug for the same effect? Give you give us a little more history on drugs/alcohol, Surfdog
    I was taking 3-4 a day for almost 2 years. Then my back got worse - and I started to take more. Last week I took 5 a day for most of the week.

    I am an alcoholic - haven't had a drink in 15 + years.

  11. #11
    wildewoman is offline New Member
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    If I only take 4 today - then 3 tomorrow & so on - maybe I will off of these by the end of the week?!?

  12. #12
    iloerose is offline Platinum Member
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    O.K. so you know addiction. You start going up and you won't stop. Your body will need more and more. You have one choice to make. Go c/t using the Thomas Recipe (featured drugs forum or google it) Or do the taper I recommended and taper down .25% per day. If you taper as fast as you are suggesting, you will def. have w/d symptoms from this. How bad will they be? I don't know. Do you have the will power to taper as stated? If you don't then c/t is your answer and if you go as fast as you suggest in your post you will definitely have some w/d. As stated it is like a flu and you will feel like cr** for a between 3-5 days and then you should start feeling better. Getting exercise is good. But going up in dose is definitely dangerous and is addictive behavior. There is no way that you can play with this. You need to be serious.

    PS just because it says on the bottle what you can take doesn't mean you should. You can't go willy nilly up and down because you will find yourself going up and not being able to stop.

    Peace.

    Iloerose

  13. #13
    wildewoman is offline New Member
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    Thanks!!

    On Monday - I took 5. Yesterday - 4. I may stick to 4 for a few days. Then down to 3. I appreciate all the support.

    I am worried now about the pain. I had an epidural 2 weeks ago - and was pain free for a day. I need to look for other ways to relieve the pain - besides drugs. Sigh . . . . . .

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    surfdog is offline Senior Member
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    Wildwoman, our brain changes when on opiates I am pretty sure that once off the opiates you will find the pain is not as severe as you once thought. Exersise helps the brain start to produce endorphines again even if it just a short walk to begin with Dog

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    wildewoman is offline New Member
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    Thanks!! Before my back - 2 plus years ago - I was a runner - 3-4 miles 4-5 times a week. My doctor said NO running!!

    So I walk with my dogs (Shih Tzu's) every morning only a mile or so.

    Tell me how else my brain changes on opiates?? I find I am a little forgetful. . . .

  16. #16
    iloerose is offline Platinum Member
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    Surfdog can probably tell you better how opiates change brain chemistry. In my post about tapering, I said to go down .25% per day, it should be "drop .25% every 4 days or so". Sorry for the misunderstanding.
    Keep walking! It's still good exercise and will help your natural endorphines kick in again when you're off.

    Iloerose

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    wildewoman is offline New Member
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    I would so love to be the person I was 3 years ago. Up at 3am - running - happy (I'm still happy - just in a chemical kind of way)

    Now I count pills - put only so many in my container - check dates on the bottle. Sigh . . .

    I worry that folks (I am a manger at a larger medical center in CA) can "tell" or think something is wrong with me. Could just be paranoia. . who knows. . . .

  18. #18
    iloerose is offline Platinum Member
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    So, you need to quit the cycle. If you are only taking three dump the pills. You need to get to that point. Are you active in AA? If you are, then you know the signs of addiction. There are people here who have dumped habits larger than yours and worked through them. Use having the flu as an excuse. Whatever, do now what will be easier to do when you are at 10 pills per day.

    Iloerose

  19. #19
    wildewoman is offline New Member
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    Did well yesterday - held my intake to 4 pills.

    I am off work for the next 4 days (YIPPY) so am hoping to get down to 3 pills per day this weekend.3 pills per day had been my intake for 2 years plus - so that is a great goal for me!!

    I will be out of town & internet free - so I'll let you know how things go on Sunday when we get back.

    Thanks again.

    Oh - I am also trying to NOT take my first pill as soon as I wake up. My PCP said I am "habituated" (I think she is being kind - we work for the same large medical institution)

  20. #20
    wildewoman is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by iloerose View Post
    So, you need to quit the cycle. If you are only taking three dump the pills. You need to get to that point. Are you active in AA? If you are, then you know the signs of addiction. There are people here who have dumped habits larger than yours and worked through them. Use having the flu as an excuse. Whatever, do now what will be easier to do when you are at 10 pills per day.

    Iloerose
    We must have been typing at the same time.

    No - I am not in AA - I went to a few meetings 13 or 14 years ago. Quite on my own. Had a bad champagne habit (wierd - I know) I could consume a bottle or 2 before work - then DRIVE in - then 4-5 bottles when I got home. I hid it from my DH & everyone - it was actually the lie's that got me to quit
    That & the mess - I would wake up & would have painted half the walls (and my dog & a good coat) crazy behavior!!

    I hear what you're saying . . . . . . . just dump them . . . . . . I'm afraid . . . . Last week when I decided to "just stop" - my brain went nuts!! I couldn't think of anything else!! And by 8 am I caved. I am up at 2:30 am most days.

    Thanks!!

  21. #21
    iloerose is offline Platinum Member
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    I'll reply to both posts: If you're determined to stay at three, try three. But I think when you taper, and take say half away from a dose, then you are "tricking" your mind. You're getting something, but not the same amount. I don't know. I guess just try the best you can to lower your dose and stick to it. Remember one thing though: Our fears are always worse than the actual reality.

    Good luck and have a good time out of town!

    Peace,

    Iloerose

  22. #22
    NoMoreLies is offline Member
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    When was I addicted? I guess that's hard to answer. I've had fibromyalgia since 2001 but from 2003-2010 it wasn't too bad and I didn't need pain medicine. In 2008 I went through a VERY stressful time and during that few weeks I took a Vicodin that was in the house to relax. That was the start. In 2009-2010 I kept injuring my back at work and eventually slipped a disk at home. That injury caused my fibro to go through the ROOF. The Vicodin I had always taken for back pain and been able to walk away from easily didn't work for my pain. Heck, the dilaudid they gave me in the ER didn't touch my pain and I had not been taking opiates daily at that point. So, they put me on 10mg Perocets and then Oxycontin. In just a few months my well meaning Dr. moved me from 10mg's of Oxy 2x daily to 40mgs Oxy 3x daily in addition to 60 - 10mg Percocet per month for breakthrough pain. So, I was taking meds for legitimate pain but I was still in a ton of pain. So, I started sneaking my partner's Vicodin in addition to my meds. Then I started sneaking her Fentanyl patches. I wish I had NEVER, EVER started the Percocet and the Oxy. Yes, I already had a history of taking pain meds when I wasn't in pain but I had been able to walk away from that without issues. I wish I had just taken Vicodin and NSAID's for the pain or something specific to fibro - anything than the Percs and Oxy's. So, that's the long and dirty of my addiction. That of course is the physical way I got addicted - I'm not taking into account my family history of addiction. Nor am I taking into the account the depression and anxiety I have that I believe made me more likely to become an addict.

  23. #23
    ARTIST658 is offline Platinum Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildewoman View Post
    I was taking 3-4 a day for almost 2 years. Then my back got worse - and I started to take more. Last week I took 5 a day for most of the week.

    I am an alcoholic - haven't had a drink in 15 + years.
    Dear Wildewoman,

    I just stumbled across this thread, and wanted to pass on a little info, hoping it may help. I work in the field of substance abuse, and have been clean and sober for a number of years - this is the "stuff" I deal with routinely.

    Once we are addicted to one mood-altering substance, we're not "safe" taking any other. All drugs of addiction (be it alcohol, pills or any other) operate on the same neural pathway in our brain. Once we plug into that pathway, it alters our thinking. This area of the brain is part of our motivational system; once it is "tickled" by a substance, we have basically turned on the switch of addiction.

    In other words, since you are already addicted to alcohol - any addictive drug, no matter if a doctor prescribes it, is going to trigger your disease of addiction. Simply put, you are NOW on a path toward either escalating drug use with the new substance (pills) - or returning to the original substance (booze).

    Your behavior and attitudes basically spell that you are headed toward addicted on the express train. I don't say that to be judgemental or mean, it's just what I see. Psychologically, the major indicator of addiction is the obsessive thinking. The counting of the pills, the planning for them, the anticipation of them, fear of running out - all these patterns indicated "addiction."

    Physical dependency occurs when our body adjusts to the drug to operate "normally" - so that when we stop, we experience physical withdrawal symptoms. Addiction is different. Addiction is signified by the mental piece. Our thinking becomes preoccupied by thoughts of the drugs. That's where you are, and you need to take heed to these warning signs as soon as you can.

    Once we're on that path of addiction, attempts to control or cut back are generally short-lived. Addiction is synonymous with losing control. It would be akin to having been able to 'cut back' on your alcohol use, when you were on that path. Would you have been able to consistently cut down to 2 drinks a day, after your use had escalated? Doubtful! Once we lose control, we can't regain it - not for any meaningful length of time.

    As you probably know, addiction is a progressive disease. Despite our most earnest efforts, addiction can't go backward, toward greater control; it always builds toward less and less control. Sometimes, the progression is gradual; sometimes it's quick. But it's always going to get worse.

    Please do not compare your use with another person's use on this forum. How much - or how long - we're taking is not the indicator of addiction. The PRIMARY indicator of addiction is the mental obsession, and you need to recognize that you are already there.

    I hope this helps.

    God bless,
    Ruth

    You will know the truth - and only the truth can set you free.

  24. #24
    Crystalclear651 is offline Senior Member
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    I have fibro too and am seeking new buddies to get thru these difficult times. Im using suboxone treatment (not saying this is for u at all) n i think it would b great to get the thread together with fibro ppl for support n also hopefully get some others who have other ideas on how to deal w the pain in a non-opiate way. Anyways, i have fibro n other health conditions n maybe we can use that thread to root each other on. I understand if u aren't ready to do that yet, plz take Care of yourself first, thats number one priority! Just know u have someone there for u... Along w so many others posting here! Good luck w everything, take care!

    Crystal
    Quote Originally Posted by NoMoreLies View Post
    When was I addicted? I guess that's hard to answer. I've had fibromyalgia since 2001 but from 2003-2010 it wasn't too bad and I didn't need pain medicine. In 2008 I went through a VERY str
    Hey there, sorry to jump in your thread but I started a thread under forums-general "fibro buddies".
    essful time and during that few weeks I took a Vicodin that was in the house to relax. That was the start. In 2009-2010 I kept injuring my back at work and eventually slipped a disk at home. That injury caused my fibro to go through the ROOF. The Vicodin I had always taken for back pain and been able to walk away from easily didn't work for my pain. Heck, the dilaudid they gave me in the ER didn't touch my pain and I had not been taking opiates daily at that point. So, they put me on 10mg Perocets and then Oxycontin. In just a few months my well meaning Dr. moved me from 10mg's of Oxy 2x daily to 40mgs Oxy 3x daily in addition to 60 - 10mg Percocet per month for breakthrough pain. So, I was taking meds for legitimate pain but I was still in a ton of pain. So, I started sneaking my partner's Vicodin in addition to my meds. Then I started sneaking her Fentanyl patches. I wish I had NEVER, EVER started the Percocet and the Oxy. Yes, I already had a history of taking pain meds when I wasn't in pain but I had been able to walk away from that without issues. I wish I had just taken Vicodin and NSAID's for the pain or something specific to fibro - anything than the Percs and Oxy's. So, that's the long and dirty of my addiction. That of course is the physical way I got addicted - I'm not taking into account my family history of addiction. Nor am I taking into the account the depression and anxiety I have that I believe made me more likely to become an addict.

  25. #25
    ARTIST658 is offline Platinum Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crystalclear651 View Post
    I have fibro too and am seeking new buddies to get thru these difficult times. Im using suboxone treatment (not saying this is for u at all) n i think it would b great to get the thread together with fibro ppl for support n also hopefully get some others who have other ideas on how to deal w the pain in a non-opiate way. Anyways, i have fibro n other health conditions n maybe we can use that thread to root each other on. I understand if u aren't ready to do that yet, plz take Care of yourself first, thats number one priority! Just know u have someone there for u... Along w so many others posting here! Good luck w everything, take care!

    Crystal
    Dear Crystal,

    Just a suggestion, as there are a number of folks here with fibro... you may want to start a new thread under the "Featured Conditions" forum and label it "Fibromyalgia," if you haven't already done so. Here's a link to that area of the forum: http://www.drugs.com/forum/featured-conditions/

    God bless,
    Ruth

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