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4 year hydro addict finally ready to quit but worried about my liver
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4 year hydro addict finally ready to quit but worried about my liver

Hello everybody I'm very nervous about this whole thing but I figured that I need some form of support while going through this. I'm 22 years old and have been using consistently since the age of 18. I've been taking whatever strength of hydrocodone I could get my hands on for the last 4 years. They're not prescribed, I buy them. In 2010 I was taking a lot of 7.5/750's but most of the time I get 10/325s. My habit was much worse when I was younger because I had a higher tolerance. As I got older I began to have panic attacks and would freak out if I got to high which resulted in me taking less. I think at the peak of my addiction the highest amount I've taken was five pills max. At this point I can't stand being very high but I'm so used to taking them that I take 1/4 of the 10/325s throughout the day. Two weeks ago I realized that it wasn't even worth doing anymore so I quit. I had no withdrawals other than being kind of at a loss with what to do with all my extra free time. I was clean for a little over a week and then bought some because I started my period. Now I feel like crap and all sluggish once again so I'm throwing them in the toilet and quitting! What I'm worried about is the possible damage that I've done to my liver. I've never thrown up while on these or taken a huge amount but I'm nervous because four years is a long time. I'm going to the doctor some time this week and asking for a liver panel. I'm scared because I still live with my parents and they don't know about my addiction, nobody does. I'm going to lie and tell my doctor that my previous doctor had me on the meds and never tested my liver so I want to be sure. Has anyone had any experience with getting the liver panel done? What happens? Am I likely to have liver damage after using for this long?
20 Comments Post a Comment
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1551327_tn?1389046959
It is the behavior that causes relapse a lot.  I had a harder time getting clean once I started snorting them because I was so use to the taste of it.  I stay away from certain sodas and foods that I used to enjoy because the only time I had ate or drank them was using.
Stop taking them now or you are risking takking more.  This usually happens when stress builds up to the point where you think that the only way to cope with it is to take a pill.  You have a unique chance that most people do not have.  Stop this now and never look back.  If the anxiety gets to be too much talk to a dr about trying a non narcotic medicine to take as needed for anxiety.
Let us know how you are doing.  You will find a lot of support here.
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Avatar_m_tn
A liver panel test is very basic and isn't anything to be nervous about. 1st off- Don't lie to your doctor because all they have to do is look into the state database that compiles all the information from all pharmacies and doctors and he will know that you have not been prescribed the medications.

Second- There is no way to tell that you have been taking Hydrocodone after a few days it is out of your system. All you have to explain to your doctor is that you have been very anxious and worried about your liver due to different things you have been reading online and many things you have done in your past that you are mentally uneasy about.

Third- The liver is a very important organ, but, it is also a self-replenishing organ (to an extent). So, if you have not had any symptoms, problems, or issues that have caused you to be afraid, do not be scared. Obviously demolishing your liver unkowingly scares the crap out of EVERYONE that has been in your position and it is not something you can just shrug off. But, just remember whatever damage may or may not have been done- IS already done.

A liver panel is a simple set of blood tests for that test the functionality of your liver at current. For a more thorough and complete understanding of your liver, an ultrasound and/or CT Scan would aid in settling your anxiety as well.

I hope this helps. Take Care :)
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Avatar_f_tn
Bubulous - thank you and as of a few hours ago I officially quit! It's strange how enticing food becomes while on pills. One of the things I've noticed is that my appetite increases dramatically while using which is something that I hate because I'd love to lose the extra pounds I'm carrying around. There isn't really anything that I associate with taking pills besides smoking cigarettes and I gave those up at the beginning of the year. I mostly take hydros so that I can be complacent with sitting around and doing nothing. That's sad, isn't it?

ReaLifEntreprenuer - You've certainly helped ease my nerves about having damage but did you have to throw in the part about what's done is done? Lol my anxiety will take that and run wild with it! My previous doctor did have me on a bunch of medication so I feel it isn't too far of a stretch but I do like your idea about how to explain this to him. Thank you very much for your response.

Hopefully the next thing I post will be good results from my liver panel!
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1551327_tn?1389046959
That was a good decision and it likey saved your life.  Also congrats on quitting smoking.
What times of the day do you usually eat?
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Avatar_m_tn
lol. When saying whats 'Done is Done' means that if it WERE something major, you would ALREADY know about it because you'd be having massive issues. lol... Not meaing "Oh well, you f*cked up now!" LOL....

So, trust me, I had the SAME exact worry as you and I have taken WAYYY more than you daily (of the acetaminophen value, which is the part that damages your liver) and for WAYYY longer in durations and I have a perfectly healthy liver.

But, don't get me wrong, I was shaking my boots, terrified, to the point of driving myself insane WORRIED about how bad I messed up my liver and if I was going to die and everything else you could think of worrying about... But, low and behold, I was fine.

A Dr. explained it to me like this: Your liver is a magical organ. It can be damaged over and over and over and it rejuvenates itself (obviously you can only damage it to a point). So, as a young person in your 20's I would say that you have not done NO WHERE NEAR the damage as a chronic alcoholic in their 40's. So relax, and realize, if you really had some severe damage you would definitely have some other symptoms to go off of. Not just your fear but actual physical anomalies going on.

I hope this helps! Take Care :)
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1551327_tn?1389046959
If someone has liver damage aleady or a liver condition they don't have to take as many as someone without it,  Please don't compare yourself to any one.  It doesn't matter the dosage you were on.  We have to talk to everyone like they are unique because their recovery will definitely be different.  No offense I am not trying to disagree with you in this post or any other.  I just have been recovering for a very long time and on here for a long time with over 160 days in treatment so I am trying to help you.
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Avatar_f_tn
Bubulous - It just doesn't produce the same energizing effect that it use to and I have so many issues with panic attacks that I'm better off quitting for good. I figure that if I can quit smoking then I can do anything. Hm, I've never thought about what times I eat. I try to get something in my stomache about 30 mins after waking up and have 3 solid meals a day with a couple of small snacks. If the pills get to me I turn into a ravenous beast and end up devouring an entire bag of salt & vinegar chips. When I'm on pills I crave junk food and when clean I mostly eat whole foods.

ReaLifEntreprenuer - That clarification is much appreciated! I have to admit that when it comes to things like this I'm a bit of a hypochondriac and sometimes I wonder if the pills have played a part in that. I'll be a little less worried now.. until I actually go in and freak myself out all over again lol.  
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1235186_tn?1339127464
Hello and welcome. Congrats on quitting hydros and cigarettes. Addiction is progressive and will only get worse if you continue.it ends in death, jail or institution. My daughter is 21 and went to a Christian rehab 6 months ago she was doing roxys. She has a felony charge her and her bf went into a target and stole things to sell. The drugs change who you are.
I am so proud of you for stopping.  You were using to give yourself something to do? Do you work, go to school? Find something productive to do with your time, volunteer, find a new hobby. Have you considered any counseling?
Relapse is very real. Please stay away from anyone you got pills from or used with.
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1551327_tn?1389046959
I was the same way and I noticed the worst weight gain if I ate right before bed, and I usually did.
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Avatar_m_tn
You must be clearly mistaken... I was not comparing myself to anyone, lol....? I was simply stating something that would give her a little more mental relief. It had nothing to do with 'look I took more than you and I'm fine'... But, more of an explanatory statement so she can understand that I have been in the same boat because I took a ton of the stuff too.

I am still unclear as to why everyone keeps complaining about my posts? lol.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you so much for your encouragement and sharing your story! I hope that your daughter gets the help that she needs and is able to break free of her addiction. Drugs do indeed change who a person is. I had a best friend that I had known since elementary school start abusing pills. That led to heavier drugs and pretty soon she was doing sexual favors to get her fix. People do things you never would have thought they'd do.

I was addicted to heavier drugs for a year right out of high school. When I quit that I pretty much replaced it with the pills and marijuana. I've used it as an excuse not to do anything with my life.  Two years ago I quit smoking marijuana and got into a lottery for a medical program. I finished that up a few months ago so now that I'm quitting the pills I will finally be able to go out and find a job without worrying about the drug tests.

I had a group of friends that were all users and hung out at my house all of the time to smoke marijuana and do drugs. They truly were terrible people. All they would do is gossip about others and get trashed. There was one in particular who liked to refer to me as her best friend. When I quit smoking cigarettes she would blow smoke in my face, the same thing when I quit marijuana. I ran her and the rest of them off in December and don't plan on talking to them again.
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4522800_tn?1405696702
Hi pen...I am 56yrs and was on all the opiates and then went to the methedone plus...I had not had a test in I could not remember..When I came clean in Sept I was p**ing all the time..Every min it seem like..Then I got real weak for months..I just wanted to play it safe and I did a complete blood work..It will check all the kidneys, liver, panc, sugar level, white/red blood count, cholest, ect..It is a good thing to do..I feel you will be just fine..You are young and did not use a real high dose...The liver can heal ...except in the scar areas..You will be just fine...I am doing great now and do not have to run to the bathrm all the time...It is part of the healing process...
Good Job..It will be ok..
vickie
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229538_tn?1300381367
Hi there ! Just wanted to say that the daily max for acetaminophen is 4, 000mgs a day and no more then 1, 000mgs in a dose  . So if you where taking five 10/325s a day you were still under the FDA max for one day . Still I would have a physical to be sure . I was taking 3 10/325s for about the same time and I am fine . Take care , Jimmy
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4522800_tn?1405696702
Hi its OK what u say just keep on..We deal with alot of people and not every one is going to agree...I know I kinda of snaped at u in another post..Sorry do not take it to heart..We have our mood swings too!!!  lol
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4113881_tn?1401895587
Hello :) Im just going to comment on the last part of your post:

"Has anyone had any experience with getting the liver panel done? What happens? Am I likely to have liver damage after using for this long?"

Just so you know...I have a liver panel done every two weeks. If you want to know why, you can look at my profile. Anyways, a liver panel WILL NOT tell you if your liver is damaged. Basically, it checks your ALT and AST which are liver enzymes. Many things can cause them to be elevated included many medications. This does not mean your liver is damaged. An above poster mentioned having a CT scan or something. Even then, that may show inflammation or a tumor. To truly check your livers state you need a biopsy...that is the gold standard only true way to really check your livers state.

Personally, I wouldn't worry about your liver right now. Your really young and haven't been using long at all. AND...usually, high doses of hdro cause acute hepatitis which you will know you have. There will be no "hmm...I wonder" You will definitely know. But...it is best to consult your doctor as I am just a laymen liver patient. Just know that a liver panel may show elevated enzymes but that doesnt mean your liver is damaged so dont freak out.
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Avatar_m_tn
lol... Thanks VL, I was just curious as to see what I was doing wrong, haha. I didn't want to step on anybodies toes or ruffle anyone's feathers. I'm just trying to help those that appear to need and want some advice from people just like them :) Hopefully I am not stepping out of bounds :/

Thanks for the encouragement and talks :)
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4522800_tn?1405696702
RealLif....Its good to go..Just keep up the good work u r doing...
Actingbrandnew....I knew you would know this..Thinks for the great info on it...Wow that was good...to know...
vickie
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4810126_tn?1405661431
A big Hi-five to you on your decision,

                           About the liver thing ActingBrandNew said it all -- 9and he knows.) I'd like to repeat that you're young and your habit could have been a lot worse. I'd only add that if you're concerned about your liver or if you fall and find yourself doing hydros again, protect yourself by taking a reputable brand of milk thistle. (Not that this is a magic bullet - but it helps.) I'd also like to emphasize the truth of what atthebeach said above: The older you get, the more time you have in -- the harder it  becomes to kick. So, this is the time to make it stick. I hardly ever get to say this on this site & it's a joy to be able to say it to you: Quitting this will be a relative Cakewalk compared to what will happen if you don't. You won't be going through the long term suffering you see others posting about unless you stick w/ the pills. You'll feel better really soon. You Can do this. It's a great opportunity for you and I pray that you'll keep coming back here. All power to you & good luck!
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4597556_tn?1383308643
that was my drug of choice also i was getting up to 18 a day 6 years i was on them big tolerence but to much tynl.
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Avatar_f_tn
VICourageous - I'm glad you're doing better and giving your body the chance it needs to heal. I'm wondering if my insurance will cover complete blood work as they are often very picky about those sorts of things.

Jimmy1975 - I've known the max dose of acetaminophen for a while so I always felt safe using the 10/325s. I was just worried about overdosing on the tylenol, liver damage never even entered my mind but I suppose that is denial for ya. I'm just concerned about how long I've been on them and the time I was taking 7.5/750s. Those are the killers!

ActingBrandNew - You seem to be somewhat of an expert on this and I'm very appreciative that you shared this information with me. I'm second guessing asking my doctor about it now but I have an appointment for allergies and I might as well or I will dwell on it lol. I will give him the run down on my fears and see what he suggests. I certainly hope not a biopsy because that sounds painful!

EvolverU - I've heard of milk thistle but I never knew what it was used for. Do
you think this would be a good thing to take now to help clear my liver of these toxins? I feel blessed  to be stricken with panic attacks because if not I would be far worse off than I currently am. There was a point were I was taking five or six a day and when I couldn't get them I would completely freak out. I didn't know what to do with myself and I felt like complete crap. This time it's very different because I think the most I'll have is mild anxiety and a little bit of insomnia for a week or so. I read the stories of people taking upwards of 30 and I can't even begin to imagine what that wd must feel like.
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