For some reason I have the need to preempt this by letting you know that the crux of the problem I am about to describe is that for well over 15 years I have suffered from severe OCD, depression, generalized anxiety, chronic migraines and consistent insomnia (who knew one person could be so broken…) I have been in therapy for many years with many, MANY gains to my disorders, yet I continue to have significant and frequent on-going struggles.
To get to the point, for the past 2 years I have been abusing two different medications. 4 years ago I was prescribed ambien, of which I took normally for the next two years. For the past two years however I have been getting myself a refill every two weeks (by going to different pharmacies and different doctors of course) and taking the whole bottle (30 pills) in 4 days. I do this for two reasons. Part of the problem is that once I take it I end of taking extra pills without even knowing I’m doing it even though, after I get them I try to keep them in a place I can’t have access to (something that is not always possible.) But often times the first night I have them I will end up taking up to 80mg without even remembering or knowing it until I count the pills the next day. The next three nights I usually take 40-50 mg. I LOVE the feeling of ambien. It is an escape from any emotional or physical I feel, and that makes it virtually irresistible to me despite the many many consequences I fear it has. I am scared that I am damaging my kidneys, liver, heart or lungs and I worry about that often because, though I only take it about 8 days out of the month, I am aware that I am fully abusing it. The ironic part, and the one I often choose to justify my actions is that, the nights I do not have it, I rarely stress about it. I might think about it but it doesn’t typically cause me too much turmoil thankfully—which I think is weird.
Ok, onto med. number two. My other drug of choice can be very dangerous because it contains a barbiturate and acetaminophen which I know is hard on the liver. The background to this is that I started getting migraines at 6 yrs. old (they run in my family.) My mother gets them as well and when I was in my late teens she would give me one of her fioricets if the pain was excruciating. I took this on rare occasion for about the next 6 years and never had an issue. When I moved away from home I got my own script and continued to it on occasion for the next 4 years, again with no issue. Then one day I was at work (a job I loathed) and had a horrific migraine. I took two fioricets at once instead of one. This not only demolished my migraine but I found that it literally made me feel on top of the world. I had a great buzz, incredible energy, no anxiety, an intense feeling of happiness and no headache. It was like a miracle drug. For the next 6-8 months I found myself taking two pills two times a week, as 6 pills in a week is the recommended max dose, thus I thought I was doing nothing wrong. I did this whether I had a headache or not. Soon however, my tolerance grew and I found myself taking 3 or four pills at once on those days instead of two. Unfortunatley the catch to fioricet is that when you take over 6 pills a week you can get rebound headaches. So, suddenly I was taking the pills more and more frequently to combat the headaches until I was taking 5-7 days a week. I would do this time until my script would run out and then I would to wait 1-2 months to get a knew one. Suddenly, every few months I would get a script of 50 pills and down them in 7-10 days. Problem was, once my script was out I severely craved more. That’s when I got the very sick idea that I could call various doctors for a script so I could get them more frequently. For weeks at a time I would run out of the fioricet, call a different doctor, get more and keep using it daily, every two to three weeksly. When I would run out, I would crawl the walls craving it for several days until the urge subsided, which it always did—for a period of time at least. The breaking point for me was when I was able to finagle getting enough fioricet to last me a little over two months. When I ran out I went through a withdrawl that gave me 3-4 days of the worst anxiety and depression I have ever experienced. (I would have preferred crawling out of my skin or getting hit by a bus in those days, rather than feeling what I felt.) After that I swore I would stop using it, which actually lasted for a month (longer than I’d done in a while.) But of course I got the addicts confidence back that told me I could control it—if I got just one script. I was craving it, even dreaming about it. Three weeks went by with my typical heavy use and when it ran out I barely thought of it until a few nights ago. I began dreaming about it again (this only seemed to happen after a period without it.) So, yesterday I got a script and took 9 ½ pills throughout a 24 hour period. Today I have taken 5 so far. The most ironic part is that at this point, when I take it don’t enjoy it like I use to, yet I continue my abuse for reasons I can’t exlain.
I have thought about telling someone close to me about what has been going on with both meds. but the reality is that I feel so much shame about what I’ve been doing , and the predicament I’ve put myself in, that I literally cannot bare admitting this to someone close to me—even if it would help. The people in my life see me as having a lot of strength for all that I’ve been through and the thought of them looking at me differently is terrifying. I’ve considered telling my doctor but the thought of disappointment and judgement I fear feeling keeps me from being able to do so. I’ve also thought about telling my therapist, who is amazing, but there was one time about a year ago that she told me she always refers drug and alcohol issues out and I can’t imagine having to switch therapists as she understands me and is amazing at what she does. I spin in my head about how the ambien and fioricet (due to the acetaminophen and butalibital) is damaging my liver or kidneys but I am frozen in my addiction. I am so angry that, despite my many years of struggle with mental health issues, I have always avoided drugs for fear of this exact possibility. I’m angry that my doctors made me feel something was safe and helpful when it had such dangerous repurcussions and I’m angry at myself for not having more control. The worst part is that, even when I do have willpower and avoid the drugs for long periods of time the dreams I have about them are so vivid that they are a trigger I can’t seem to avoid. I mean what do you do when you dream the feeling you adore so much? Further, I’m angry that I know, even if I were to tell my doctors never ever to prescribe me these tow drugs again, I could just switch doctors and get the pills with no problem.
I don’t know what I’m looking for by submitting this—Support and advice I suppose. To be honest, it’s also possible that I’m looking for some sort of miraculous and doubtful confirmation that, because my abuse of these drugs has been sporadic, I have not damaged my body.
Anyway, I know this was long and way to wordy but I’ve been avoiding doing this for over a year now so, even if you have no feedback to give, thank you for reading…
I'm sorry to hear all that. It sounds awful. I'm not too familiar with those drugs. I was an opiate guy..(26 days today). It may be in your best interest to get some outside help. There will be people on these forums that will be able to help ya, just keep posting and checking them. I wish I had more to say about it but I'm sorry. I'll tell ya one thing.. My habit was a total secret to my family and I came clean to everyone and it was a great decision on my part. What a weight off my shoulders and they were a great help and supportive. I'm sure the people that love you won't judge and will want you to get better. They don't want u to die. Those drugs and the way your taking them does not sound good for you. All drugs have there purpose and I'm sure with your health issues if you took them as prescribed they would be fine. It's probably too late for that since you abused them for so long but maybe your dr. can help you with other non addicting medication. I just think your best bet is to come clean and let people help you before it's too late. It's nothing to be ashamed of, this **** happens to so many people, it's sad. But just try to get some help. Good luck and I will keep checking your posts.
Hey-- You're in a bit of trouble here. What you're doing is very dangerous on a few levels:
The Ambien and Fioricet can hurt you;it can kill you. Seriously. Your need for both drugs will continue to increase substantially very shortly. So that when you try to stop for awhile,you'll end up having seizures. And you'll be a wreck physically and mentally. Also,you're doctor shopping and you will get caught. It's a felony.
I'm glad you found the forum! You really do know how bad this is for you and I know you want help. There's only one way to do get help and that is to tell everyone! I mean it! Your family,doctor,therapist,pharmacy,everyone! You need to burn those bridges and close all the doors. You're self medicating for your other issues. There's more appropriate medication that could help you!
You need recovery support! Get going and find some! Your doctor can help you with that and so can your therapist. Forget about your pride here...you're going to kill yourself if you don't get some help very soon!
Ambien causes a lot of memory loss. I hate the stuff! You need to put that with someone who can hold it for you. Also,the Fioricet: it's the drug of no return!! I have tons of experience with that little devil and it's all bad! The combination is deadly!
It's dangerous to stop these meds cold turkey! They need to be tapered. I'd start with the Ambien first. You're over dosing on that. The Fioricet use is not very good either. The max dose is 6 per day!
You need a doctor to help you taper from these meds and you need to do this quickly. I'm very serious here. This situation you're in is a time bomb!
Keep posting here and start making some decisions. Coming clean with all the people in your life will not be as bad as you think!!
Wow. I can't express how much I relate to what you wrote. I don't know if I am quite ready to share what I am going through, but I wanted to let you know that your posting made me feel less alone and maybe one step closer to taking the plunge and quitting. I wish you the best.
i too can relate all to well... different drugs though. I am so weak, i feel like i can do anything. (supermom) when i have my meds. my husband doesnt know it. i have to hide it and i hate that. then when i run out of course i feel like dying. I wish i knew an answer for us all. i will find it and when i do believe me we will all know about it. It is sad, it ruins our days, weeks, months, lives....my sister has a 2 year old that has never been outside to play with. i have 3 children so i have to function. So believe me when i say i will find an answer and help everyone I WILL>..... i will be praying for you, and thinking of you~ will talk to you later... I WISH I COULD HELP YOU ALL. anyone can message me i will talk to you and help you if i can, if only by listening and letting you know that you are not alone!
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