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Opana ER Addiction
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Opana ER Addiction

Hello all...I'm a senior...66 years old (hard to grasp that)...had neck fusion and now severe back pain...I have been on Opana ER 10mg 3x for about 8 months and I want to escape...I realize I am addicted...my first question...is withdrawal  harder if you have been on a drug a long time...or is it harder if you have been taking large doses?...and...do you suggest I taper or go "cold turkey"...I don't know if many of you realize how many "seniors" are on these powerful drugs...can anyone fill me in on what I am about to do and go through?...thanks, and I'm glad I found this Board...Tony
Tags: Opana ER
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Avatar_m_tn


   If you have been on a drug for along time it becomes a dilemma. Can I quit, do I want to quit and finally how do I quit.  If you quit cold turkey this can be dangerous to seniors and others.  I learned in college from a addictions class that some take there on lives because the withdrawals are to much for some to handle.  I would not quit cold turkey go to a lower dose and then try to quit it wont be as bad as the strong dose.  And then get into a rehab center if you need to .    Hang in there.
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thanks for the response...I do want to quit, but when all is said and done I also don't want the PAIN...at times I think I'm 66 and my life as I knew it is "over"...I really don't know if this "depression" is a side effect of the Opana or my own "sorrow" of being in this situation... am I going to be better off handling the Pain "on my own?...so confused
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406584_tn?1399591666
Hi Tony.. Welcome to the forum.. I do realize how many elders are on these meds and I find it very sad.. not only do the opiates make ya loopy they make ya tired and not as active as one could be. it is the activity like walking and such that helps the pain naturally with over the counter meds they would live a much fuller life. also the pain meds have a way of tricking the brain into wanting more drug so the body produces more pain.. it is a never ending circle and to live your life watching the clock for your next dose so you do not get sick is no fun either. they become prisoner's coupled with the belief their Dr's words and suggestions are above reproach.. my heart goes out..
If you have stuck with the amount prescribed over these 8 months more then likely you are dependent.. addicted is when you can not control your intake our your drug takes precedence over everything including family work ect.. I would suggest you taper although we are not allowed to give a taper schedule you could ask your Dr. for 1. just tell them  you want off they could offer you clonidine for BP it has been used for wd for many year it help with the shakes bp these things.. also something for anxiety and sleep. if you do not there are natural meds like Valerian Root. Melatonin. and Hylands Restful leg These will help you thru. they can be bought at walmart. if you taper you will feel a lil off while you are cutting back but it will help you not to feel as bad as you could when you stop for good.. Hot baths with Epson salt our Hot showers will help also and if you can walk as much as you can this will help the most.. I'm sure you will get more responses and support keep reading and I'm glad you found us.. lesa
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi there, and welcome! You'll get a lot of information from all these nice people at the forum, but only you will choose the direction you'll take. I recommend that you do a slow taper IF you have good control. Most people here do not! The fact that you have legal access to these drugs is good because you can taper slowly without being miserable. Could you answer a few questions? The more we know, the more we can help.
Why exactly do you not want to be on pain medicine? What is it you're looking for, exactly? To quit totally? To find alternative, safer treatments for your spinal problems so you don't have to depend entirely on the pain medicine for relief?
The one suggestion I have for you: do NOT quit cold turkey, as seniors are more fragile. And you might want to share how you feel with your doctor, as he/she might have some helpful ideas, some of which can be covered by Medicare, like physical therapy, a TENS unit, etc.
I'll be watching for your posts. I wish you all the best in your quest for a higher-quality life!
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Avatar_m_tn
thanks Lesa...your comment on me being "dependent" rather than "addicted" is so interesting...my Doctors are trying to convince me that taking the Opana as prescribed should be considered "medicine", not "addiction" as you have stated... I cannot deny that this drug has given me "relief" and I do feel great (mentally and physically) for about 5 hours or so...then...flat, out of sorts, moody, etc...when I take the next dose these symptoms sometimes go away and sometimes don't...I have an "inner voice" that is telling me to stop...but my Doctors don't want me in pain...am I rambling?...thanks for listening
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have tried PT...massage...tens... acupuncture...have gone and done it all...to answer your question, I just don't like how I feel "mentally" between doses and feel like the drug has changed my personality...as to what I'm looking for I guess to manage my pain without the opiates as a daily drug...but this is against the advice of my doctors...I hope I'm not sounding like a whiner and if so I apologize...I see that many here have problems that make mine feel "small" to me...God bless all
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406584_tn?1399591666
No you are not rambling and I do understand your delima. only you can say if you are receiving more of a benefit then not. some have the need for pain med. it is good you are here and it is good you are educating yourself for knowledge will help you a great deal.. our inner voices can get pretty loud :) and if you find that the moodiness and such can not be tolerated you can try pain relief thru other methods as mentioned above.. we also have a good pain management community you may want to check out. I agree with your Dr that you are not a addict but even dependent peps will suffer the wd when the meds are stopped.. just keep in mind that the body does become accustom to opiates quickly and will crave more this is why they bump up the strengths.. keep reading keep gaining knowledge of opiates and you will be better prepared to speak with your Dr.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi Tony..welcome

It's all the same..senior or junior..i think of myself somehere in the middle. I stuck with the prescribed dose until I got to where you are or at least I know I felt just like you..and that is a mere 28 days ago. I don't know Opama ER because I was prescribed oxycodone 15mg. 3 x's a day. Anyway, I came here with my hat in my hand so to speak..not a clue what to do. I chose the taper method..and within 7 days I went from 45mg a day to the lowest possible and then as is said here, i jumped. It was definitely more an emotional/mental challenge for me than a physical..and no doubt the tapering helped that situation. I used a notebook..I wrote down day/time/mg..and any supplements, mutilvitamin etc..I believe this was absolutley necessary for me because my memory was awful. (I think it's getting better :) If you have family that would hold the pills..well that's even better. I'm not saying you should do this within 7 days, you need to talk with your dr. about a schedule. Just want to let you know what I did. So, i now have 21 days opiate free..pretty much amazes me..and I do not have cravings..but I have to force myself to do things...lethargy..etc. That's okay with me..I'm choosing to be gentle with myself..not beat myself up as I have for a long time. It took me 4 years of daily use to get me to where I was 28 days ago. So congratulations on choosing to live without being chained to the bottle of pills. I have learned so much about dependancy/addiction here..and I am allowing my body/mind to heal..and when I need something for pain..i will run toward alternatives (acupuncture, chi gong, massage..I used to do all this..and it helped) and will never forget how broken I was when I found this forum.Keep posting and let us know how you are doing.

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Avatar_m_tn
thank you...Day 1 taper...skipped my dose...waited until 5pm...(it was a hard day, went for a long walk and listened to an audio book)...am keeping a log...will do only 2 doses a day for a week...then 1 1/2, etc...as a person who lived during the drug fueled 60's I am no innocent...but this Opana WD is not of this world!...the people who replied to my post have inspired me to get myself back...thanks so much
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Avatar_m_tn
In my experience the intensity of the withdrawal depends on several factors. First and most significantly, how long you have been taking it will have the most effect on the withdrawals. The longer you take opiates the worse the withdrawals are (in my experience). The withdrawals are also affected by which opiate you are using as well as how high of a dose. Opana is one of the strongest opiates, I would say in the same league as fentanyl, far stronger than oxycontin or morphine. The stronger the opiate, the more intense the withdrawals will be. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but opana withdrawal is one of the rougher withdrawals.

Keep your head up though, the withdrawals only last a week or so in most cases. I dont know what to tell you as far as the chronic pain issue goes, as ive only done drugs to get high and never with a legit medical reason.
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Avatar_m_tn
Also I forgot to mention your dose of 10mg x3/day is not a terribly high dose compared to what ive seen some people (including myself) take. At one point I was sniffing 3x 40mg opana a day and managed to come off that cold turkey although it sucked.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi there..............I am new here but wanted to say hello because we are the same age, 66.  A lot of forums are only younger people so it is nice to "meet" you.  I realize that addiction has no "age" so I am not thinking that we will get dependent any harder or easier than someone younger but some seniors are on a lot of different meds so interactions are more of a problem.  Dependent sounds better, doesn't it? Anyway, I just started tapering so we are sort of at the same stage.................we "old" gals have to stick together.  Hope to see your posts again.  Hang in there............we can do this!
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Sorry Tony, I am sorry I assumed you were a woman...........don't have any idea why I did....................call me embarrassed!
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Avatar_m_tn
for some reason when you highlight my user ID it says "female"...I will figure out how to change it...good to have you on this journey with me...I'm not going to worry about the "real" pain until I beat this...only then will I be able to think clearly and come up with a DIFFERENT PLAN...
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Avatar_m_tn
from what I have read Opana ER is 2x Oxycontin...I have been on it about a year...when I first posted thought it was only 8 months or so but I've since checked...
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi Tony..........your comment about not worrying about the "real" pain resonated with me.  Right now I am craving carbs and as I am always struggling with obesity, I get stressed out over too many high cal foods.  I NEED to get off the drugs first; then work on the weight.  If I can do this I will feel better about myself and so will you.  Hang in there, we can do this.
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Avatar_m_tn
we can...let's deal with the one problem...then I think we will be better equipped to make better decisions...it's Day 2 ...I took a dose at  11:30am...next 11:30pm...that will be 10mg less a day...
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Avatar_f_tn
I am also 66 and have been free of opiates for 2 years Sept 16.
I have learned that opiates cause more pain that what they relieve.They cause rebound pain between doses.
Since stopping opiates I have  felt less pain and it is controlled with otc meds like ibuprofen and acetaminophen.
Use these in recommended doses for rebound pain .
I have just learned to live with a different pain threshhold.
Good luck in your withdrawl (withdrawal)
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi Tony!  I just wanted to say hello and wish you well. I. also, would like to mention two things:

1) Please speak with your doctor and let him/her know of your feelings. It sounds like you want to taper so it's best to have the doctor plan that for you.

2)  You've started to taper but it's too much and too fast. For the best result, cut out a small portion of the drug (you've cut out 1/3 !! ) and don't drop again until you're fully adjusted. That gets the job done with the least amount of unpleasant side effects. We've been asked (told) not to give taper advice on the forum so that's the most I can suggest.

Good luck to you!
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Avatar_f_tn
Tony ... LISTEN TO VICKI!!!!  I tried tapering too fast in the beginning and it really caused a lot of problems.  And really, talk to your doctor.  THey can set up a reasonable taper plan.  Sometimes we're in a real hurry to come off these meds.  I know I was.  But if you do it the right way, you'll have a much better time with it.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi Tony,
Yea, definitely talk to your dr. I hope I wasn't giving the impression of how to do your taper. Just wanted to encourage you that it can be done. Isn't it interesting to read about rebound pain. I had no idea until I read about it on this forum. I wrote more yesterday to you but as i was typing a huge banner advertisement popped up and I had to leave the page..and lost whatever I had typed. So how are you feeling now, with (as vicki who knows what she's talking about!) this very large drop? Please be careful..blood pressure can go way up..and that can be dangerous. The whole point of tapering is that it is gentler than c/t physically. This is not a race but a marathon.

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Avatar_f_tn
Good analogy by donewitis about this being a marathon.  And he's right on about blood pressure, which can very often be symptomless.  Everyone wants you to have success but also make sure you're not putting yourself in any jeopardy physically.  Hopefully you'll be doing this under a doctor's supervision.  It really is safest, though I know the feeling of "just wanting to be off."  I did it too quickly and paid the price.  Just don't want to see that happen to you!!!
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Avatar_m_tn
thanks all...my wife was very concerned today...just took a dose (my 2nd) 2 1/2 hours early.....felt horrible, nervous, anxious, you name it...going to see my Doctor ASAP...thanks for the warnings...33% less was too drastic I now realize, but my desire to get clean took over my reasoning...thanks for being there for me...
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Avatar_f_tn
Tony-  Yes!  Good job taking the med earlier!  Just stay at the current plan until you speak to the doctor. It shouldn't be uncomfortable and you should not suffer, my friend!
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Avatar_f_tn
So glad you'll be seeing your doctor!!!  It's the best way to go.  I don't believe you're addicted but dependent and make sure he knows that!!!  Also ask him if it's okay for you to take Valerian Root for anxiety.  It really works great, for me anyway.  And ask him about melatonin and/or Alteril for help with sleep.  Sometimes when you detox or taper, sleep can be an issue.  I find Alteril to be fantastic.

Vicki is right; tapering shouldn't be uncomfortable.  She told me the same thing quite a while ago because I was feeling lousy.  But I had tried to cut my dose and spread out the hours in between way too much and too fast.  We often are in such a hurry to get through all this and get off things that we go too quickly.  Slow and steady is the better way.

Right now, unfortunately, I am stuck on a very low dose.  I've promised my primary care and pain team that I will stop my taper until they get to the bottom of what's going on with me physically.  And I am frustrated and very tempted to cut back anyway, but I won't since I know what can happen.  For now, I'll wait it out and start tapering again when it is safer for me to do so.

I'm glad you took your dose when you needed it.  Your symptoms could have got much, much worse.  Once I wound up in the ER getting IV fluids and trying to get my blood pressure down (and I don't even have high blood pressure as a rule!)

I think it's great you want to come off and reevaluate your pain.  That's what I want as well.  If at that time it seems I really need it, I can always go back on, but my hope is I can go with a more "as needed" basis rather than an "every four hours" basis.

Let us know what the doctor says!!!  You did the right thing.
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Avatar_f_tn
Tony, you did the right thing taking your med early.  We seniors are not quite as tough as we would like.  I am tapering fairly slowly and have not had really bad WD issues.  Going to the dr. this am to get my doses and I am down to 3-4(T3's) from 5 last week.  I want off these pills real bad but am cautioning myself not to go too fast.  Cal me impatient!
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Avatar_m_tn
I learned my lesson last night...for one hour I had a "rapid heartbeat" feeling and my blood pressure (I have a cuff) was not rhythmic...better today...
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Avatar_f_tn
Glad you're feeling better today.  We all want to be off everything today but it's not the safest way to go for a lot of people.  Gnarly likes to say that "this is a race won by the tortoise not the hare."  Good words to remember.  I'm stuck at my dosage right now as I'm being worked up for CLL.  It's a little frustrating because I want to be done with this, especially now that I'm at a very low dose.  But I know that's not in my best interest and they'll start my taper up again when it's best for me medically.

Let us know what the doctor says today!!
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Avatar_m_tn
I neglected to post (and am doing so because of your post) I have CLL...which for those here who are not familiar is a Leukemia...have had it for 10 years...so if I can help you in any way please let me know...part of my problem with the Opana is my Doctors do not want me in chronic pain as this is not good for my immune system...that's part of why this is so troubling for me...desire to quit verses pain level without the Opana...
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks, Tony ... makes me feel better!!!!  And also lets me know why my primary doctor made me promise to stop my tapering, at least for the moment!!  But she is an excellent physician and I trust her implicitly so I agreed, even though I got myself down so low and was so anxious to be off totally.

Sounds like you have some decisions to make as well.  I don't know what your pain is like but maybe you can get to a point where you can take things on an "as needed" basis versus daily.  That's where I'm hoping to get, as my pain will not get better and its difficult to treat as it's mostly nerve pain.

I am glad you've decided to slow it down ... I think it can be just as hard to taper properly and slowly as it can be to quit completely.  Some may disagree with that but when you went off, you want off and initially it seems like it's not a problem but eventually, if you taper too drastically, you wind up with pretty bad withdrawals, and if you have underlying health issues like you and I, that's not a safe thing.

And I really encourage you to check out the Pain Management Forum as well.  Great bunch of people with chronic pain and often some good ideas on managing your pain.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi Tony................glad you're feeling better today.  I am, too; my dr gave me my pills (he doles them out to me Mon and Thurs) and I am down to 4 T3's/day.  Doing good so far but want a smoke (I quit July15)!  Hope all continues good with you.  Keep posting!

Diana
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Avatar_m_tn
I have decided to Detox the safe way...as a patient in a rehab hospital that offers this service through Medicare...I believe I will enter the treatment program tomorrow...I feel better being under 24 hour supervision due to my various issues than on an outpatient basis...will keep posting
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Avatar_f_tn
Good...

What did you mean about your b/p not being "rhythmic"?  Just curious...
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Glad to hear it, Tony!!!  I wish you the best with it.  There are many people who swear that their pain lessens considerably once they come off narcotics.  And even though I'm not totally off and still on a low dosage, my pain now is more manageable than it used to be when I was on higher dosages and more medication.  I still have the pain, but piecing together little things helps more.  I hope you'll find that as well. (Though a lot of people say they have a period of time where the pain gets worse, and I found that true as well as I tapered down.  Some days I hurt places I never hurt before, but it all eventually calmed down, and I feel like I'm at a place where I have a truer sense of my pain.  Maybe it will lessen more when I get off totally.)

I think inpatient detox is always better if it's an option for someone.  You have the medical aspect of it to keep you safe physically, and you'll have lots of education and resources available to you for after you get out.

Hope you'll post how it goes for you, and keep the Pain Management forum in mind if you need help with your pain.  Lots of people manage their pain without medication and you can often find good ideas you may not have thought of before.
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Avatar_m_tn
by not being "rhythmic"...if you listen while taking BP you hear a "beat"
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Avatar_m_tn
back from detox...being over 65 I had to go to a Medicare facility...not the most pleasant place...I was in a lock-down unit with 15 others...some much more sick than others and some with duel problems...I could go on but the bottom line is in 7 days I was safely, medically tapered down until my release yesterday...I am over the hump and now entering phase 2...feeling like a have a horrible flu...body feels like I was hit by a truck...sleeping when I can and only about 3 hours at a time...terrible RLS (restless leg syndrome)...etc...but...my mind has not been this clear in two years...god bless all here...you can do this too!
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1801781_tn?1410753824
The RLS *****!  BTW, I am 60 years young!  My doctor gave me a script for cinemet or carbidopa/levo (generic) for the RLS!  I don't know if you can take it because of your medical diagnoses, but it has been a godsend for me.  I have been detoxing for almost 2 weeks and that is what has bothered me the most recently.  If you can't sleep, you can't heal.  There are also other more natural meds...potassium by mouth, bananas, etc.  Check with your doctor to see what he/she suggests.  Don't just live with it, it will kick your butt!!  Congrats on getting help.
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Avatar_m_tn
thanks...I have never had RLS before so I hope it will go away in time...due to my CLL I do want want to add any more drugs into my system if I can help it...if anyone has tried a home remedy that worked I would love to hear it...
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1801781_tn?1410753824
I figured that Ajap, I just wanted to throw it out there!  It is a Parkinson's generic....dr. explained that they would take about 36 a day and with RLS it is only about 2-5 a day depending on the need.  She said do not worry about the stated side effects because of that.  But, with your needs...sure...have to be very careful.  There is a Hyland's restless leg from GNC (I think) that many have mentioned.  Maybe that is a choice.  Good luck!!!!!
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Bananas are GREAT for RLS - it's the potassium that relieves that awful symptom.  :)
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Avatar_m_tn
10 mg opana er 3x a day is a baby dose..... we're not talking alot of pain med here esp if you use nothing else for breakthrough  I use to take 120 mg oxycodone/day for pain... new doc switched that to 2 -10 mg opana er's and only 60 mg oxycodone.....I sorely miss the oxy... opanas just suck.. not good for pain, no euphoria, just drowsiness and nausea.  I hardly even take mine regularly cause they really dont do anything...anyway ..u want off those ...just ween...ask him for 5mg tabs and a ween plan and be happy u never got hooked on oxys..thats real addiction!
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Just came across your post.  How are you doing?
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my name is bill, i jst found out tht my girl friend has ben takn opanas 4 ovr a yr. she brok up w me on oct 1st. rght bout the time she startd takn thm, is whn things got rocky 4 us. she ben sniffn thm & i think shes ben tradn favors 4 thm. i luv her alot, i dnt want nethg 2 hppn 2 her, but i think she neds hlp. i herd tht they r worst thn oc's & almst worst thn heroine
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Avatar_f_tn
Make a new.post as this one is old. More help that way.
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1902652_tn?1321661297
my name is bill, i jst found out tht my girl friend has ben takn opanas 4 ovr a yr. she brok up w me on oct 1st. rght bout the time she startd takn thm, is whn things got rocky 4 us. she ben sniffn thm & i think shes ben tradn favors 4 thm. i luv her alot, i dnt want nethg 2 hppn 2 her, but i think she neds hlp. i herd tht they r worst thn oc's & almst worst thn heroine
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi Tony-
I'm wondering if your still reading and checking out this form also would like to know if you have cut down or just stop taking your opana?
I to am on opana, was on 40mg three times a day then my Dr decided to cut me down to 20's three times a day? I have no clue what he was thinking but it didn't work to well for me. So I just seen him last week and he gave me "a choice"? He said I can give you 20 mg 3 times a day or 30 mgs twice a day. I chose the 30 mg 2 times a day. I think it might be the medicen, feeling down and all that? I don't know but I have been on opana for a year now and it seems as though I have become depressed some what. I'm 50 years young but feel like I'm 90 and can't wait till this effin life is OVER! LOL. Kidding aside-I don't want to be on these meds any longer but I'm afraid to go off them due to, the pain mostley. Im also on percocet, 10/325, 3-4 times a day, for the break through. That sure as hell dosent help either? I don't know what to do.
My insurance pays a huge portion of the rx bill, and I have the opana er card so I end up paying $35 for 60, this time I got 60! lol. I guess it's better then paying the $600 for 60 huh? So Tony-it's been sometime-(I havent read all the posts-so if you posted how your doing I missed it.) Are you off the opana, did you stop cold turkey-and if you did how are you feeling now? GOD be with you.
Take care my friend.
HUGGS!
Pam
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1895503_tn?1332376974

tony,
I would love to discuss the Opana ER.  I am tapering now.  Thanks.
Marie
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