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I desperately need help with codeine addiction
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I desperately need help with codeine addiction

Hi there, Can anyone out there PLEASE help me ? I am a 33 year old woman and have been addicted to codeine 30/500 tablets for 15 years for chronic back ache. Over the past few years I have seen my life slide out of control but I need to change it now. I didn't realise there were other people like me out there. I feel as if I want to end it all now. I have tried to wean myself off the tablets gradually but it doesn't work so am now on first day of cold turkey. I relapsed once before but I can't do it this time as I am frightened I will die soon cos of my addiction. I know I face a hellish few days and am in tears as I write this. I am a worthless human being who has allowed myself to become addicted to a drug I genuinely didn't know was addictive. Can ANYONE out there please offer me some words of advice or motivation ? Has anyone out there beaten their own addiction to codeine ? I'd love to hear from you as I am in the bowels of hell at the moment. Thanks  Poetrybabe xxx
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you sound as though you have made up your mind to do this, and as they say"what ever you want begins in the mind".
Yes you will go thru some hell at first, but you will be free if you want it bad enough. You can do this, people have kicked all kinds of drugs YOU CAN KICK CODEINE.
Keep posting, This is where i get my inspiration.
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303824_tn?1294875001
I ended my addiction (Norco) by using suboxone. Have you ever heard of it? I posted information about it on my profile. You are NOT a worthless human being, that is the addiction talking. You, just like so many of us, have actual pain and probably had drs. hand the meds to you like candy. Addiction can be overcome! So many of us have done it, or are trying to do it. this forum will really help you through it, so if you have any questions, don't hesitate to keep posting away!!!
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Thank you SO much for replying to me ! Now I don't feel quite so alone. You sound like such a strong, confident, wonderful person. May all your days be filled with love and laughter and happiness !
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Thanks for your powerful words of advice and wisdom ! I haven't heard of suboxone but I'm just about to check it out now ! I'm forever in your gratitude and you are forever in my thoughts
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I don't know you, but I can tell you a couple of things:  1) You're not worthless; and 2) You did not "allow" yourself to become addicted.

Addiction is not something we allow.  It's a thing that happens regardless of what we want.  Nobody intends to become addicted.  They may think they can beat the odds or they may, like you, not be aware that they are playing with fire.  It doesn't really matter - nobody chooses the living hell of active addiction.  

I used to condem myself for "ALLOWING" my addiction.  I thought that somehow I should have been better than that . . . stronger than that . . . smarter than that . . . .  It was clear to me that I was worthless.  Morning after morning after morning, I'd lock myself in the bathroom to start my day the way I needed to, by taking two and snorting one.  Then look at myself in the mirror and say "You, my friend, are a worthless drug addict." I meant it.  I meant every word, every time.

My secret joy had become my secret shame.

I was in Recovery for quite a while before I came to understand something that was important and true:  I wasn't a bad person that needed to become good again, I was a sick person that needed to become well again.

By the time I realized that I was getting in trouble with pain killers, there was no "getting" about it.  I had actually been in trouble for far longer than I knew and I was already in WAY over my head.  I almost killed myself trying to fix it myself.  My addiction lasted for years, I lost all my money and "things" and I almost died.  I think that was necessary for me -- at least it was a dynamic tutor.  Perhaps it won't be necessary for you.

Ask for help, poetrybabe.  Becoming honest, open and willing with family, friends and people in Recovery will save your life.  Living in shame, secrecry and fear will kill you.  

CATUF
Day-889
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See! How can such a sweet individual be so worthless? And thank YOU for the kind words, it made my day!
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Thank you for posting that!! You just described everything that I felt too and seeing it in words puts it into perspective. Thanks again!!!
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Catuf you always post the most inspiring and truthful things. Im so glad you are here for us all.  
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I always enjoy reading your post...What exactly ws your DOC?
r2r
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306455_tn?1288865671
You are not a worthless human being!   If you are, then all of us are too. AND we're NOT worthless.
CATUF, great post!
Poetry, You can do it. And we're here for you.
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Glad to help...and there is alot of help around here.......so keep on posting.

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52704_tn?1387024397
WOW - I just accidently deleted a LONG post with an inadvertent glance of the escape key.  Well, the short answer to your question is hydro – lots of hydro.  By the end I was taking 35 to 40 10's a day.  
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Me too! Sigh....
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Avatar_n_tn
I have not beaten mine, yet, but I can tell you this. We are, in a sense, responsible for our addictions, because we are the ones who took the pills. No one forced them down our throats. Having said that, you had legitimate back problems. You found relief from a living hell called PAIN. And in doing so changed your brain chemistry to need this drug. Although you took them willingly, you did not ask to become an addict. Like previous posters have said, none of us thought it would happen to us. And we blame ourselves and feel hopeless, helpless, worthless, and all of the other terrible things we say to ourselves. You CAN beat this. Many others here already have, and I'm on my way to joining them. Realizing you need help and that you ARE an addict is the first and most important step, because you cannot remedy a problem you don't think you have. So congratulate yourself! You are well on  your way to winning one of the toughest personal battles you will ever face!!!
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I am on my first day of codeine detox, so I will be happy to keep you company with it all and share our expereinces, our feel-better ideas and just plain old support. I don't know how many you were on, that will affect to some extent how bad your w/d are - and you have been on them for quite a long time, so your body is probably well used to them. Have you had experience at w/d before? Are you familiar with the symptoms associated with it? Would love to hear more of your story.

Me - I have lost count how much I am on because the last couple of weeks my consumption has been variable, but at its peak 5 months ago I was takig up to 600mg codeine per day. I anticipate detox will s u k but frame of mind and firm decision to quit are both a big help. I have been using for about 2 -3 years, I truly don't remember exactly, tried half heartedly to quit but was pretending my problem was not so serious. Had prevoious recovery from heroin addiction so I can assure you that getting clean IS possible, and absolutley like everyone said, you are not worthless - you have a problem, the condition of addiction, that takes over your brain and runs the show.

So that is just a quick welcome - keep posting, I will keep my eye out for you, hope your detox is not too rough

Alex
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Thank you thank you ! I am at work today - I'm a teacher - and have just read your posts. Were you made by angelic fingers ? Surely someone with a spirit so strong and illuminating was sent to earth by the powers that be to help those in dire need of help, like me. I'm finding today dificult and I have the galloping trotskis too but reading what you have written makes me realise that at the end of all this torture I might actually get myself one of those things called a life !
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Thank you so much ! You will never know how much I appreciate your kind words and thoughts at the moment !
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It took me a long time to admit to being an addict but now I have I truly appreciate your kind thoughts and words of sheer brilliance ! I have to beat this I know that ! You are amazing !
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Alex, I hope you get all you desire from life because your compassionate words are touching to the extreme. I was probably taking about 900mg of codeine a day for about 5 yrs. I almost killed myself on more than one occasion but then again I felt I had nothing to live for anyway. Knowing that you are going through the same thing actually gives me comfort - I know that sounds selfish, sorry - but I hope you are having a much easier time than I am. I tried to do this once before and failed miserably. This time I know I HAVE to do it. I've lost too much of my life already. I hope you contact me if EVER you need to chat about ANYTHING at all. The next few days are going to be so tough for us !!!
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Poet: I am glad you are taking action against your addiction.  Codeine is horrible.  That drug brought me down soo fast at one point it scared me to death.  Do yourself a favor and do not say you have failed miserably regarding your other attempts to stop.  Addiction and Recovery are journeys.  They are not races, contests or olympic competitions.  For some people relapse is part of their recovery.  It doesn't have to be, but sometimes it is.  There is no perfection in recovery either which is awesome because I am so not perfect.  Your addiction will always be there but you only have to recover once from it if you want to. CATUF is a wonderful example of what can happen when an addict recovers.  Its beautiful!  And it reminds me of how lucky we all are to have this very moment in recovery.  It doesn't matter if you have 10 minutes or 10 years clean, all of us are learning a little more about ourselves, maybe even learning to like ourselves again.  For me, recovery has been the hardest thing I have ever had to do.  I thought burying my parents, being sexually assaulted or losing my best friend were hard but finding out who I really am and learning to love that person has been all at once the easiest and hardest moments of my life.  And I wouldn't trade it for another drink or drug.  I had no idea I could feel soo fulfilled by just sitting by myself.  Its amazing.  And you have the opportunity to experience that for yourself. You know, if recovery wasnt so great there wouldn't be soo many of us here.  Reach out when you have to and keep us posted.
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Uber - very well put, beautiful, and very true.

Poetry - gosh, 900mg, that is a fair whack, and I'm sure you are feeling it well and truly by now. I have posted on the forum about how I am doing, so wont repeat here - but I will say, by all means take comfort from the fact that at this exact moment, as you are feeling so lousy and aching all over, there is another person (actually probably thousands) going through pretty much the same. Except for the galloping trotskis hahaha, so far I have been spared that!

I also really want to repeat what uber said above - no such thing as failure, the only failure is to stop trying to quit. It took me umpteen times to stop heroin, ten or so hospital detoxes, many more at home detoxes, methadone, counselling, meetings - year after year with no success. I hated my guts and thought I was the weakest piece of s h i t loser on this planet. But I did not stop trying, I kept doing NA meetings, kept trying to get fit, read self help books, constantly trying to stop and hating myself for not making it.

Until one detox, I did make it.

And was clean for 5 good years before migranes (migraines)/stress headaches led me to codeine. Took it correctly for ages, and then one day crossed that boundary and took too many, and here I am hanging out from opiates again.

I really believe that from each of your attempts, you learn something, and each attempt is you telling yourself and the universe that you want to quit. Delete failure from your addiction/recovery vocabulary :-)

How are you doing on the mental/emotional front? How are you going physically? Any thoughts for an after care plan?

I shall keep looking out for you, glad there is someone else doing this with me. Hang in there

Alex
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Thank you so much ! I'm having a tough day and am sweating furiously and feel as if I'm getting flu. This is nothing compared to how really low I feel about myself though. I will work on my self esteem one day but for now I need to beat this hell !
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You are fabulous ! I am sweating like crazy and feel as if every nerve in my body is being electrocuted in sporadic little bursts. My head is killing me and I want to cry and go home but I know I can't. I can't give in this time. How are you ?
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This has been such a great post.  I can so relate to feeling ahamed and worthless. I read this forum daily now although, I do not post much.   It is helping me so much to hear that people actually feel exactly like I do.  And to remember, we are not bad or worthless.  We are just dealing with a disease we did NOT choose to have.  Thanks for everyone's honesty.  
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I am so glad this is helping you too ! Feeling like slime on a daily basis is not great to live with is it ? Just knowing that this is helping you makes my wd hell feel more worthwhile though. I am an addict. I will always be a drug addict but I WILL be a clean addict soon . Keep reading please . ( And remember we are in this together)
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I am on day two as well and like you I worked today and yesterday.  Today went a lot better for me.  It still sucks but not like yesterday.  I don't have the fever symtoms (symptoms) anymore, just runny nose, legs going crazy(but not as bad) and of course the pain and anxiety.  
Heres whats working for me: bananas for the legs, 5hr energy drink with lots and lots of vitamine B, and force yourself to get stuff done around the house, its hard i know, but getting around really helps with the withdrawls.  Plus you will feel good that you did something.  
I swear i thougth it would be worse, maybe thats why I am not doing so bad today, but also i just keep telling myself tomorrow won't be as bad and the next day will be even better.  
I will pray for you as i am praying for help through this as well.  Let me tell you the only people that know i am going through this is the people on this forum, so i know someone out there is praying for me too.  How else would i have made it throught this day so well, i took 10-15 1000s a day for 2years and i don't even have the chills anymore!!!!
Believe in the power of prayer, it works.
God bless, and remember you are not worthless, you were worth Jesus dying for right?
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Avatar_n_tn
You are all an amazing bunch of people!!!  I never knew there were people like you out there in the world.  I know that none of us wanted to be addicts.  For alot of you, it was physical pain.  For me, it was emotional pain.  I absolutely loved that feeling of "the world is a wonderful place."  I am so scared that I will never be able to feel that feeling without the use of codeine.  This is my first day off and I pray that I can continue.  But with people like you, and reading the amazing things you write, I might just find the strength.  I pray that God blesses all of you, and that your withdrawals become incredibly easy.  I guess I am more afraid of the emotional than the physical withdrawal.  Does anyone have any comments on that.  God Bless!!!
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The fear of the emotional part can be very hard. But trust me, it is the fear itself that is the problem. I had alot of bad things happen and were still happening during the 3 1/2 years of pill use. Was always saying I couldn't deal with it all without my pills. Just wanted to be in a fog, numbed with my emotions untouchable.
Well, I'm 4 weeks clean today and things aren't as bad as I thought they were. I think I was just making excuses to keep popping more pills.  Actually, I'm much more calm, and problems just roll off my back. They way I use to be before pills. And there are also the good emotions, like happiness! How about REALLY laughing? When was the last tme you did that? When was the last time you cried because you were happy? How about love?
So don't be afraid. There are good sides to feeling emotions.  
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Avatar_n_tn
I honestly cannot remember any day when i felt truly happy. Sure I've had dozens of days when the mind altering fug of codeine haze has given me the illusion that all is well with the world. I would love to experience true contentment for a day at least. Happiness is something I can yet only dream about. I know what emotional and physical pain feels like though. I remember a few months ago I had ran out of 30/500 codeine and was too afraid to ask doctor for more as I had finished 200 pills within 8 days. I had to go to the drug store for pain pills which only contain 8/500 codeine. after taking about 6 of these i realised it was like taking sweets - I just wasn't getting any buzz from them ! I have never felt so low and worthless and dirty in my whole life. That's why I was never able to taper ! I really hope one day I'll be able to feel anything but slimey, the way I feel now. I am 3 days into wd and my head is splitting. Is it safe to take paracetamol or aspirin ? Or should I just leave it altogether ?
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Avatar_n_tn
You are doing great. welldone and keep in there. Sometimes headache can be whats called "rebound"pain, in that your body is telling you"HEY! Im in pain, Do something!" and responds by giving you a headache. This is NOT to say its not real. It is real. You do have a headache. But codeine is NOT used for headache ( normally, usually severe pain) of this kind. But what would you have done in the past? I would take  an aspirin or panadol. Just not any with codeine in it.

I wouls also strongly advise that you check with your physician before undertaking any form of radical withdrawl (withdrawal). Especially opiate withdrawl (withdrawal). Your Doctor should be a partner in your health care and not a whitecoat Dr who says Do and not WE could.
Opiates can be lifesavers or killers, its us who chose which one, usually. Sometimes we dont know that a drug is addictive for years, and when we do every effort should be done to ensure patients are approriatly on the right medication or not and help them if need be.

Go Girl. You are doin great. Just dont do it alone.
ozboy7
P.s. Im NOT a doctor.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you so much. You may not be a doctor but your advice is so much better than any my doctor has ever given me. He once told me - 'so you're addicted to codeine. lots of people are addicted to something. either stop taking them or carry on. the choice is yours '  I know he's right but it's not what you want to hear when you just want to curl up and die !
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