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Oxycontin tapering vs. Suboxone
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Oxycontin tapering vs. Suboxone

Hello folks,

I am somewhat surprised to find myself talking on a bulletin board about being an oxycontin addict, but oh well.

I have some chronic knee osteoarthritis.  I was reading an article on it, last year, when up popped an ad talking about an osteoarthritis clinical trial.  I clicked on it, took the survey, and ended up getting enrolled.  

The way it worked was 1/3 of the subjects got some new experimental medication that was an opiate, but supposedly freer of side-effects including addiction. 1/3 got oxycontin, and 1/3 got placebo.  I was sure from the first dose that I got one of the non-placebo drugs.

About a month in, my curiosity got the better of me and I broke open a capsule to see what was inside.  Inside were small round tablets I was able to identify off the internet as oxycontin.  I read about how people abuse them by crushing snorting, and, surprise, surprise, decided to try it myself.  My dose kept being gradually increased until over the last few weeks it was 100 mg per day.

I've been on it now for 4 1/2 weeks. I went in last Thursday for my regular appointment at the clinic, and the nurse I've been dealing announced, to my great shock, that they wouldn't be issuing any more study medication, and essentially I was on my own.  I had previously asked her and she had told me that, yes, I would be tapered off the drugs once the study was over, but last week she seemed to just be telling me to go off and enjoy my withdrawal.

I begged and pleaded until finally she went and got one of the doctors (not the one involved in the study, and he rather grudgingly gave me a scrip for 20 x 20mg, with instructions to take one or two per day, as needed.

Trying to stay on 40 mg was murder, and I didn't make it.  I was sick as a dog with all the symptoms I've now learned go with withdrawal, including chills, muscle twitches, horrible pain in the stomach, diahrrea, and vomiting.  

Monday I did make it down to 40 mg, but went to the doctor's office, and this time saw the main doctor, and he wrote me a scrip for 30 x 10g to help taper.  I confess I am finding it hard not to cheat and go back up with the dose, and yesterday went back up to 60 mg.

I have heard a lot about Suxoxone.  Would it be better to get off Oxy via Suboxone or to keep trying to taper down?  I was proud of myself because this doctor wanted to offer me a scrip for 60 x 20 mg, but I adjusted it downward.  That much and any slight self-control I've got going would have flown out the window.

What do folks think is the right way to approach getting off the stuff, for a guy in my situation?  I realize that by some standards my dose wasn't that high and I haven't been taking it was long as many, but the withdrawal was VERY real.  
I am not going to go looking for street drugs of lying to doctors to try to get more.  I know I'm done with it, other than the approximately 400 mg I now have left.

Any help or thoughts would be appreciated.

Richard
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49 Comments Post a Comment
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182493_tn?1348056515
I really don't think you have been on it long enough to need to take Suboxone.  I would attempt tapering first. And then if you are unsuccessful call a doctor for Suboxone.

Suboxone is also an opiate so it also must be tapered and some people do have withdrawals with it. You may be able to just do this once by getting of the oxy by tapering, instead of starting another drug that you have to taper to get off of.. You see what I am saying?
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340590_tn?1290955741
one thing to think about is if you dont sick with the taper you will wind up out at a high dose and the w/ds will be much worse.  i do undertand you r situation.  i could not taper cuz if i had pils i took them all.  i went cold turkey off 120-180 mgs.  the w/ds were deadly for about a week and then things got better gradually.  i am now 4 months clean and almost back to my old self.  hope this helps.  let me know if i can help you in anyway
cathy
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401095_tn?1351395370
Do you have someone u can confide in to dole the pills out to you daily?  I ended up doing this..I know it sounds very weak but it was the only way i could do it...i taper 10 days and quit...get the thomas recipe and amino acid protocol/and the tapering article from the health pages under DISCUSSION...I would hat to have to go on sub after a month of use...then have to wd from that...make a plan   let us know if u need help...keep posting
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477740_tn?1207949374
I am a doc who has also had his problems.  seems to me that the STUDY caused you to become addicted to oxycontin. Therefore, since they created the problem, they should be held to resolve the problem.

The easienst way would be a rapid taper with Suboxone [7-12 days].End of story.

If you keep acquiring oxy, then temptation is going to fuel your new acquired addiction. You should raise the question of them SENDIING YOU TO AN ADDICTION CLINIC TO TREAT THIS IF THEY ARE NOT FAMILIAR WITH THE DRUG.
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Avatar_f_tn
I have decided that I do need to get my wife involved in doling out the pills.  Although I made it to 40 mg two days, I went up to 5O mg yesterday and then 60 today.  In other words, I've been partying, not tapering.

I now have exactly 470 mg left.  My plan, since I've cheated, is to go to two days at 50, four days at 40, three days at 30, 4 at 20, and then to 10 mg for three days until I'm done.  I'm deliberately frontloading the wd problems a bit, because of my schedule, in which I want to be pretty functional the next week or so but have less on my calendar after that, so if I need to be home and sick somewhat during those days it's easier.  The drop from 40 to 20 is the part that I expect will be the toughest, but then again I have no direct experience of any of this.

For the doctor who wrote about the clinic getting me addicted, let me say here that I have had previous problems in my life with drugs and alcohol, and I did have ample notification that I was going to be taking opiate type drugs (even if they study drug was alleged to be less addictive).  They're idiots, to be honest, but so am I.  But should they pay for a suboxone treatment if I need it?  I would say yes.  I'm hoping I can just taper off.  I want nothing more than to never see one of these damned pills again.

Richard
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By the way, in rereading my initial post, I realize I made a mistake.  I have been on this medication for four and a half months, not weeks.  I can see how some would have thought this was a fairly minor dependence, but it isn't.  I'm completely hooked, physically and psychologically.

Richard
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Avatar_f_tn
if your an addict wishing to get off opiates your qualified for suboxone treatment...
but do try a taper or even cold turkey first...it is best to try it on your own, some people are successful with tapers or CT...41/2 months isnt too long of a stint, but you say you had problems before, was it with opiates?
addiction is addiction at any rate, and is devastating to ones life at any length of time...
just make sure you learn all you can about suboxone BEFORE you make your decision, education is the key here...read, learn and ask everything you can BEFORE you decide which route you will take...
as far as the study paying for it...it wouldnt hurt to ask.
good luck to you!!
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Avatar_f_tn
To wait2long,

I had my first reduction yesterday, from 50 to 40 mg.  I thought it would be fairly unnoticable, but I was wrong.  First I was ridiculously sleepy, and since I didn't have to do anything work-related this morning I just kept sleeping.  I think I went over 12 hours.  Plus the usual stomach pains and cramping and that kind of stuff that I've had ever since I started lowering my dose.

But today really sucks, even though I've already had 20 mg of my dose.  Just no motivation at ALL, freezing cold, runny nose and eyes.  I can see why some do it cold turkey.  This taper seems like I'll feel crappy much of the time for weeks.  But as for now I'm sticking to it because I'm afriad of CT.  I'm glad my stint isn't too long.  My previous problems were a grab bag of pills and alcohol, including vicodin, but I never experienced anything even remotely like this withdrawal before.  Well, I better go stock up on more immodium!

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473384_tn?1210209842
if you were snorting and are used to the oxy being fast-acting, you may want to consider breaking the 20mg tabs into 1/4s (you can get a pill cutter at any drugstore) and let yourself come down in samller increments, like 20 -> 15, and even take the 5mg pieces over a period of hours, not all at once. then you have a a steadier amount in the bloodstream and the taper is less miserable.

I am taking 20mgs 3X/day right now, and I am splitting them into 1/2s and taking 10mgs first and then the other 10mgs a couple of hours later. keeps the levels more...level and satisfies that pill-head that wants ti take something every few hours.

I wouldn't split up really high dose pills (80s, for example), but if you're splitting up 20s you're basically getting the same amount of OC as one or two percocet (5 or 10 mgs).

and most important, just accept the fact that you're going to feel uncomfortable....  :(

good luck.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi Kittykat58,

To be honest, I'm been crushing and snorting my final dose of the day, sometimes my final two.  What I've got are 10 mg tabs.  The first two I take as directed, because I want the CR aspects to help get me through the day.  

Also, since I'm being totally honest, I had a small stash that I took and put in storage, and today I was just sick and tired of being sick and tired, and went to my storage and broke it out.  So instead of doing 40 mg today, I did 70 mg.  This is obviously  a flaw in my plan.

I'm sure every addict who's been through this understands the idea of having some set aside, but of course the very nature of withdrawal leads one to tap into the stash earlier and more often than one wishes.  It was my rather naive notion that I would do my full tapering thing, get clean, and then have a few pills left over for future (but rare) times I wanted to just indulge for a night or so.  I'm discovering that doesn't work at all.

I have a total now, I think, of about 120 mg in my storage facility.  I think I now have about 300 mg that my wife is holding.

Clearly tapering down doesn't work if one jumps up to 70 mg from 40 in the middle of the taper.  I'm close to just going to a suboxone doc and doing it that way.  I assume they want you to turn in all your remaining stash, something that I would find hard to do.  Maybe what I'm heading for is a failed tapering plan that gets rescued by a suboxone taper at the end..

God, this stuff is truly bad juju.  I advised some folks I correspond with on addiction issues never to take a single oxycontin even if legitimately prescribed for pain.  I went through two rehabs in the 80's for drugs and alcohol and have spend about 18 of the past 23 years clean and sober.  Nothing has kicked my but like this stuff, which I did almost as a lark.  Today, I just got so depressed at being continually sick and down, and I did get some relief tonight.  I'll pay for it tomorrow, assuming I don't cheat again.  Madness!
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Avatar_f_tn
I can so relate to your dilemma.  I was also addicted to oxys, a large amount and for about three years.  The only way for me was cold turkey.  Tapering just made me miserable and I wasn't able to stick with it anyway.  I've now been clean over a year.  My story is still up in my journal.  If you have a chance, take a look.
I think some people have to walk through the fire to get to the other side, but it's much better than prolonged agony.
You'll find lots of support here so please stay with us and keep us posted.
Good luck,
Yoda
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I respect your honesty. It will serve you well in whatever path you choose with regard to getting off your dope. My opinion is that you tapered too fast -- 70 -> 40mgs is a very steep drop and your body will be crying, "FOUL!!", big time. I would suggest going from 70mg to 65 for =at least= 3 days, maybe 4 or 5, then 60, then 55, etc.

I relate to your dilemma (the addict's dilemma) which is the basic trouble with tapering: you have to commit, for a number of weeks, that you will be using a perfectly good supply of your favorite drug to feel, basically, nothing but uncomfortable. and what junkie in their right mind would commit to such a ridiculous idea?? :)

the key is absolutely committing to using your favorite drug to not get any of the effects you have been so fond of! :) I have posted some other posts over the past 24 hrs on tapering -- maybe if you click on my name you can see a list of posts and see if anything there helps you.

I also have been sober for 20 yrs now from drugs (coke, opiates) and EtOH, which is why I was so determined to be a good patient and not abuse my meds. it is =very= hard, b/c I undoubtedly enjoy them. I think I have succeeded, and am now tapering down before a surgery that is supposed to fix my pain condition. I HATE tapering!! but I also feel really proud of myself as I see those numbers drop down (I keep an excel spread sheet!!). it'slike an overweight person succssfully dieting -- they miss their food and feel like ****, but it SUCH a reward to watch those numbers steadily come down!

I never used oxycontin before (it wasn't invented when I was my former alcoholic-addict self) and percs were my favorites. oxy is definitely, as you say, tough juju. it is the one med I am very eager to be done with.

if you are going to decide to go ct, you will have to flush your stash. I wouldn't be able to do that. I can't do the ct b/c I have to work and I have a child, and I wouldn't be able to bring myself to flush my supply. so I taper.

the main thing too is to remember that you won't feel crappy through the whole taper. you'll feel a bit racy and rushy and unfocused at times, but most of the time you'll feel pretty good. if I have a particularly bad time I allow myself an extra 5mg to take the edge off, and then go right back to the lower dose (or the next level down, even) the next day. but you have to be careful giving yourself permission to do that b/c for an addict, every little hangnail will feel like a good reason to take another pain pill.  :)  so it's best to stay busy and strugle through the times when you feel super uncomfortable -- it'll pass.

also watch out for the part of you that will whisper in your ear, "wow, you only took 45mgs today! surely you can have 10mgs at bedtime for a little reward!". the devilis slippery and everywhere, and will always tempting you. staying busy helps -- nothing puts the kabosh on a taper like sitting around feeling anxious and crappy and watching the clock. get out and walk, start a hobby or take a class in which you can get lost, go to the beach (or hills, or woods) and walk walk walk...spend time with other people, do whatever you can so you're not just sitting around feeling every pang of wd.

try to remember you are doing this for YOU and to have a better life -- it is in your grasp to do so, just fight and struggle and keep pushing forward. you are worth it!!

good luck, and God bless.


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Avatar_f_tn
Yoda and Kittycat,

Thanks to both of you for your responses.

Yoda, I went and read your story and it is amazing and inspirational.  I may go and reread it from time to time as I go through this.

Kittycat, you are very wise as to the mental shananigans of an addict.  It probably won't surprise you that I went and raided my stash yet again today.  You could officially say I am no longer tapering.

It's obvious that I can't do this and still have access to my drugs.  If there were 100 miles away I would probably drive that to obtain them, so having them a few miles away in a storage place is almost the same as having them in my house.  I either have to give everything to my wife (who is doling out the pills to me now), or give it all up and go on some other program such as suboxone.  

Today I took 80 mg.  I will cheat again tomorrow, I feel certain, because I still have part of the stash I took out of storage.  

Although it feels kind of good to not be in withdrawals, had I kept with my plan I doubt my day today would have been much worse.  But when it comes to this stuff, I am more or less powerless.  So I have to make a decision.  I feel confident I will not start doctor shopping or otherwise trying to obtain more drugs, so I'm either going to end up in a bad withdrawal for a week or more by running out, or I'm going to resume tapering by giving my stash to my wife (as you say, flushing seems out of the question), or I'm going to try the suboxone method and see if that is easier.

As for doing stuff to distract, yes, I've found that to be helpful too.  But some of what you suggest I can't do right now, including walk longer distances, due to the same pain issues (and some new ones) that caused me to check into the osteoarthritis study in the first place.  Yes, I was drug-seeking to a great degree, but I do have major joint problems and today a new one arose that was rather excruciating.  I don't offer that as any kind of excuse to take more medication because my pain is strictly when doing stuff, not while sitting around for the most part.  

I have one other question for you folks.  Since I've been on the oxycontin, I resumed drinking after having a few years without it. I've been mostly sober for the last 23 years, although I have had some relapses before this.  I've been telling myself that if I need to drink while getting off the oxy that that is the least of my problems, and to be honest on the worst days I can't even think about drinking much because my stomach feels so bad.  But does it make sense to allow myself some beer while withdrawing or does that makes things worse?  I know for  sure I can quit the drinking because I have spent years and years sober and usually don't have much trouble giving it up when I decide to do it.  

My primary concern right now is dealing with getting off oxycontin, by far the most addictive substance I've ever encountered.  Any suggestions or support will be appreciated.

Richard
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Richard, I don't think it's a good idea to drink while you are on the oxys.  And face it, I think you realize you are not going to be able to get off of the oxys until you get rid of them.  I was the same way; if I had them, I'd eat them.  So I think you should make your quit plan, flush your oxys and stay away from the booze.  I just think it will make you feel worse when you go thru withdrawals.  My father was an alcoholic, as was his father before him, as was his father, etc, etc.  You get the picture.  So there was a period in my life when I struggled with alcohol and it just made me feel worse the next day.  I think you deserve to know what it's like to be sober and free.  That's my opinion of course.  
Thanks for your kind words about my story.  I will be here if you need me.
Make that plan now.
Good luck,
Yoda
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401095_tn?1351395370
The only way i could taper is when i did not have access to any pills...and it was not comfy...i went ct after 10 days...i did not enjoy tapering and for me it prolonged the agony somewhat...i did get my dose down a bit when i wasnt finding ways to cheat...you will have to taper and quit the subs one day as well...just a thought and it is not a piece of cake to do that either...give it your best shot quitting on your own...get rid of your stash or give it to your wife...dont snort any pills if at all possible...you will one day have to face the withdrawals whatever route that you choose...make a plan and stick to it as best you can...keep posting
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Thank you all for advice and your wisdom.

I looked into the suboxone a little more today, and actually went to a Dr's office where they prescribe it.  I didn't have an appointment and just picked up some literature.  It's fairly expensive.  

Since I'm not really tapering very well, I'm going to have to face CT before long, and when I do, I'm hoping my dose is down around 30 mg or lower for at least a few days.  I'm curious if anybody has any thoughts about how bad it could be with that low of a daily dose?  If it's not going to be horrendous, I'm thinking I could save some serious bucks by just going off all the drugs right then as opposed to going onto yet another drug and tapering off of that one.  At the rate I'm going, the drugs will be done some time in about a week, including my supplemental supply.  When my supplemental supply is done (in a few days, at the rate I'm going, I will undergo something close to a CT because I'll go from maybe 60 mg to 30 or 20 in a hurry.  That still sounds better than going to zero.

Any thoughts are appreciated.

Rich
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well, you won't die of ct, so if that's where you're headed, you'll survive it.  :)

me, I just hate it so much that I'm willing to give a taper my best shot. it is very hard not to cheat, but that is the dilemma -- "well, I'm going to have to feel some wd sometime, so why now when I have a perfectly good supply?". the thing is, as you predict, ct off of 30mgs is far preferable to ct off 80 or 100mgs.

I admit that tapering really sucks at times, but you do get used to the discomfort. it's annoying, like "ughk, how long do I have to keep =feeling= like this?", and on the days when I allow myself the extra 5mgs it's like, "ahhhhhh, all better now...".   :)

you sound very intelligent and I think you know what you're doing. the key is making a plan and making a commitment. it's not easy -- but it is simple.

and amen to that "driving" 100 miles" -- me too. I was planning in the week before my surgery I would leave whatever I have left at home and go check into a hotel with spa services to take some of the misery off the final ct -- but I know where I'd be driving the first night (80 miles away) to pick p a few "edge-taker-offers" -- HOME!

I seriously would advise against using EtOH as a edge-taker-offer. you have been in recovery from it, which tells me you at one point in your life found you were powerless over EtOH. I doubt you will find it easy to control that, coming off of oxy. now you'll be an active alcoholic with ct oxy wds -- what kind of decisions do you think you're going to make in that condition? my bet is it'll suddenly seem like a good idea to go cop some heroin and go shoot up. that's what I did when I was 18. and got raped for it by the dealer (and his friend).  :(

I really think, richard, your mind is too slippery to outfox this. you have to make a decision, and admit you are powerless, and seek help. if you are not on too high a dose now, flush the stash. ask a friend to walk to the toilet with you. you will probably feel very angry and even maybe cry. but you will feel so good after! (and then, probably kick yourself 6-8X a day when wd sets in). try to ease your wd with the oxy you reserved for a short taper. don't snort it. break the smaller ones (10 or 20) into smaller pieces and chew 5 or 10mgs if you have to, just to get a little relief meds in your system faster, but take the bulk of it AS DIRECTED.  :)

I have pain issues too (total joint replacement next month) so I can relate to that -- I know it sounds silly, but if you can't get out and walk, get a jigsaw puzzle or a book of crossword puzzles for when you're not feeling too bad. sit outside and watch people walk by and the spring beauty begin to bloom. take up knitting (seriously! it's very relaxing and mindlessly repetitive). when you feel like sh*t, take a bath, wrap yourself in a blanket and curl up in bed, stay there as long as you need to and watch cartoons. sip some soup or tea. there are great suggestions here for nutritional supplementation that won't make you feel like an oxy, but will help your body/brain get through the discomort of wd. tell yourself you are getting bad juju out of your system with every minute that passes, and tell yourself that the devil is visiting upon you his worse to hold you under his sway. tell him to go chase himself.

I sincerely wish the best for you -- keep writing.  :)

kittykat58
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To Kittykat:  Awesome post.
To Richard:  As long as you don't give up the desire to quit, you'll make it.
Peace,
Yodes
And yes, I'm very fuzzy this morning and functioning on about 2 hours sleep!
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g'morning, have some coffee  :)  
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Hi Yoda and Kittykat,

Today I had a wayward thought, and I thought I'd post about it rather than acting on it.

My thought was to call the clinic tomorrow, admit that I hadn't followed the taper plan too well, ask for a few more, tell them I'm having my wife hold them, yada yada.  In other words, typical addict bargaining to avoid withdrawal as long as possible.

In a certain sense, my situation is sort of hopeful, if I don't somehow acquire more meds.  I have about enough of my extra secret supply to last me, at most, through the weekend.  So early next week the dose I'm getting from my wife will be about 20 mg per day, and I will have dropped down from a dose more like 60 mg per day (and even higher yesterday and the day before).  So it's going to be a rapid taper and will probably feel lousy, but at least it won't be pure cold turkey.  Over the next week I'll run out completely and I will be on the road to normalcy.  I'm guessing that I won't feel so hot for  a week or longer, but since my total time on this medication is going to turn out to be less than five months, I'm hoping the transition won't be as bad as it is for some who have been on higher doses or on it for longer.

But, the mind is weak, so I gotta avoid the temptation to seek more drugs.  Yes, more drugs might make it more comfortable, but the reality is that I can't trust myself with them, can't trust myself to give them to my wife, can't trust myself not to find her hiding place (I already did, and it took me about 30 seconds).  I just have to stick to the plan and any extra discomfort I feel because I cheated is just too bad.  

As for the alcohol, I haven't been able to face the evenings without at least having one thing to look forward to, but if my prior experience is any guide, I won't feel up to drinking during the sharp drop down in dosage.  I couldn't drink or eat last weekend, which has side benefits (since I'm always trying to lose weight).  I exercise daily and that is my one saving grace, the one thing that makes me feel a little better for a while.  It's weird that I've somehow mixed up my oxycontin addiction with the exercise, as I'm very used to popping my first dose and then going to the gym.  I'll get used to doing everything naturally again, I feel sure, and hopefully within a very few weeks I'll be myself, clean and sober and healthy and not obsessed with stupid pills.  God, I hate this stuff and what it's done to me.
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Avatar_m_tn
Yes it is sad and strange how far this addiction will take us. Isn't it?
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228936_tn?1249097848
with your drinking and pain problems and for the amount (short time





Because you haven't been on oxy long it shouldn't be that hard to kick. Don't be intimidated into thinking you can't do it and need sub. The main concern is that you have chronic pain and are drinking. all the best







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Your honesty is SOOOO refreshing.  Glad to have you here.  Sounds like your having a hard time kickin this.  I would recommend suboxene.  
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228936_tn?1249097848
I think sub or methadone is sometimes like a holding pattern . Is that bad? maybe not is some cases.. There aren't always drug solutions for drug addiction. all the best
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473384_tn?1210209842
hi rich, I didn't see this until today. it's saturday. I hope you are hanging in there! I think it's great that you post and state your feelings/temptations/thoughts, etc.

what they say in recovery -- "you can't think your way into right acting, but you can act your way into right thinking"...  :)  meaning, make sober decisions, one decision at a time, and it will turn into right thinking over time.

I know how hard it is. I saw my pain doc on wednesday (for the last time) and he kind of surprised me b/c he said I don't really have to taper (the last time I saw him he said I should taper off before my surgery in may to get better pain control post-op), and the pharmacist I saw on tuesday for my pre-op testing said I don't really have to taper either. so I have kind of stalled my taper at 60mgs oxycontin/day plus 1.5 percocet 1-3X/day for bt pain. it's still less than I was taking at my peak (90mgs oxy/day plus 4-6 percocet/day for bt).

I am allowing the stall for now, partly b/c I'm (weak!!) and irritated with it, and partly b/c of pain. I will see this week if I feel ready to taper more. take a deep breath and push forward a bit more. I am glad to be taking less and feel better overall. maybe sometimes I need to give the taper a rest bc it IS stressful! I am mostly committing to not taking more than what I am taking now....

I did some gardening yesterday and helped my daughter and her friends with a sidewalk store they created. today I have a music lesson and will hang out with daughter. maybe I'll start a new jigsaw puzzle on the dr table. hubby is out of town.

richard, if you really want off I would just end it after your 20s, but only you can decide what is best for you right now, and what you (honestly) need. I know you are capable of honesty, so make your own best assessment. best is not to abuse any drugs, even if you take a holding pattern. just don't lie to anyone about anything!! the healthiest thig is to be really transparent with family, medical people, pharmacy, etc -- it keeps you "telling on" the addict part of you, and keeps it from sprouting gnarly roots that enmesh you deeper into addiction. and even though it feels like the last thing you want to do, I always find that being upfront with where I'm at with everyone involved is the best way to get the help and care I need, and keep that devil in a small corner.

kittykat58


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Kittycat and others,

I'm hanging in there and kind of hopeful.

I'm curious if anybody else has the side-effect of withdrawal of being able to sleep endlessly.

This is something that, unlike the other effects, I would pay money to experience ordinarily.  I go to bed at something like, say, 1 AM, and I wake up periodically in the morning, starting around 8 AM.  Okay, at 8 AM, it's reasonable to sleep some more if you don't have to be somewhere or do something early, but I wake up periodically, sometimes for up to fifteen minutes at a time, get on my computer, check my stocks, do various things, and then go back to bed.  I can sleep, I swear, 12 hours, and often do, and all of the last five or six hours are deep REM sleep with dreams and such.  

My wife says she doesn't see anything wrong with it, and neither do I while I'm withdrawing, but it's weird and feels indulgent.  I've read numerous accounts of folks going through oxy withdrawal and NOT sleeping, so I feel fortunate, but I have never slept like this in my life ever before, and I'm 55 years old.  Part of me feels guilty, but only because I haven't had much to do (I'm self-employed and haven't had any early AM appointments, etc.).  I could get up fine if I needed to but I just allow myself to sleep because waking life doesn't have much appeal for me right now.

I eventually get up and have no appetite for breakfast.  I drink coffee, and instead of enjoying it I break out in a huge and uncomfortable sweat.  I finally take a shower and I emerge freezing to death (except for the last couple of days in which it's been broiling here).  And so on.  So I just let myself keep drifting off to sleep until something close to 12 PM or sometimes later.  It's ridiculous, but I figure it cuts down on the waking hours during which I might miss or crave oxycontin.  

Kittycat, I wish you the best in getting ready for your surgery.  I have several surgeries that my orthopedic guys thinks he should do (torn meniscus, right knee--chondral defect, both ankles, and exploratory surgery on the left knee, the arthritic one), but I am afraid of not being able to control the pain until I get off of this strong stuff and get drug free.  

I fear for you if you go into joint replacement with an already existing oxycontin tolerance, but it's better than where you were a few months ago, right?
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I was taking 40 mg/day for pain relief.  Tried to quit c/t. The ache in my spine was unbearable and I broke down. Pain had been at lowest level in years, now its at its worst
in years. Good ideas always backfire on me.
Good luck whatever approach you use
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Franco,

So, did you resume the oxycontin, or switch to something else.

I'm planning to go forward without opiates as most of my pain is upon use, and clears up when I rest.  I just love to do stuff so much that sometimes pain is unavoidable.  Last fall I went to Europe for three weeks and spent all or part of every day walking, going up and down numerous stairs (some in ancient ruins with no rails, etc.,) and that was when I first began to take pain meds over and above Celebrex.  I believe just taking a few darvocet here and there made me much more susceptible to the lure of joining this study.

I'm down to 20 mg per day for one more day and then to 10, and then nothing in a few more days.  I've gone through all of my supplemental supply so this time it's for real.  I think I'll be okay.
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hi rich --

I think getting lots of sleep is GREAT, especially if it's deep, healthy REM sleep. your body is probably just telling you what you need. I hope the next few days go really well for you! I've been getting much better sleep (including dreams) since cutting down. I think it'sreally healthy for (your, my) mind(s).

my own plan is to continue to plateau on my (60/day plus 15-20 mgs for bt) for a little while and then make another stab at decreasing. I'm not motivated anymore AT ALL since I've been given permission by both pharmacy and anesthesia to continue to allow myself pain control....

the way my doc put it is, "you decide (rrrrip of the prescription pad). it's good to bring the levels down a bit but you still have to function". so I have a couple of rxs I can fill next week if I want to. the pharmacist at the hospital said there are people who come for surgery on lots higher levels, so I guess they know how to manage it...but I have to decide what is best for ME, not make decisions based on favorable comparisons to others. the truth is, though, that mostly I'm just hearing what I want to hear, without manipulating to get these recommendations (and loving it!).

I made a reservation yesterday for a hotel at a beachside community not too far from home, one with a spa...the reservation is for the week before my surgery, for 3 nights. the only thing is, if I'm not really tapering anymore it feels like kind of a waste of money, b/c the main reason was to give myself a retreat with a deep tub and available massage, nice places to walk, etc, to help manage wd. I don't know how I'm going to get motivated again (truth) to cut down if they're telling me I don't really have too...

ideas?
kittykat58
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how are you doing, richard?

I've gotten back on track now, and yesterday got down to 50mg oxy and only 3 percocets. this is the best I've been since probably november. I hope you are doing ok...  :)

it actually happened b/c I ran out to make my physical therapy & blood bank appointment at the hospital, and forgot to bring my day's allocation of pills (I keep them in a little pill case that fits in my pocket). so I went from 11:30am - 4pm with nothing at all, then decided when I got home to just take a low dose to take the edge off the pain and wds. I took one more 10mg in the evening b/c my pain was kicking up pretty good again, and actually could've used more, but then decided at 10 just to go to bed. so today my plan is to stick to that dose.

I also went to the gym and even though I'm stiff and sore today, I feel good that I'm strengthening up the muscles I will be needing the most post-op. it's so easy to sit around like a slug and wonder if it's soon enough to take your next pill!

hope you are hanging in there...
kittykat58
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Kittykat, I am hanging in.  Today is my first day with just a 10 mg dose, and then I get the same tomorrow and then that's it.

The worst part is mental, not physical, at this stage.  Normally by this time of day I've gone to the gym and that generally improves my mood, but yesterday I could barely summon any energy to work out and ended up doing what I call a BTN (Better Than Nothing) workout, and today I'm not so sure I'll even do that.  

I suppose it's okay to be lazy for a few days, but my fear is that I'll always feel like this from now on.  It's irrational, but it's something that keeps popping into my head--like I've permanently changed my brain and it will never recover.  Please, to the extent that is true for anybody, I don't want to hear it right now.  I'm trying to be positive that in a few days I'll be back to something close to normalcy and I need to believe that.

Good job on continuing to reduce your dose.  I can't help thinking that's the best bet for you if you can manage it.  
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glad to hear of your progress. today I had 40mg oxy and 4.5 tabs of percocet. I feel a little racy but basically ok. I am ignoring that little voice that is telling me I can have another 10mg of oxy b/c I've been "good". I want to get this DOWN. it helps so much to keep it on a chart (shows me my progress) and it helps to write about it here, too.

you are so intelligent. I can hear it in the way you write. and it is true that you will feel "normal" someday. I don't know when. but if you think about the emotional and mental physical strain of drug dependence, and the stress of withdrawal, it's no wonder you are tired and wanting to sleep. I wish I could just crawl into bed and sleep, but I have a job and a husband and a child and about a billion things I have to take care of every week....

I think it's awesome that you're doing a better-than-nothing work out, too. ...
anyway..., keep going, you rock!  :)
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You won't always feel like this, but please don't be discouraged if it doesn't get better overnight.  It will take time.  In a few days you should feel a difference!  ☺  
To Rich and Kitty,
I'm so impressed with those who can taper.  ALthough, I believe Kitty has turned to Sub now-which is a great tool to stay clean.

Do you think you'll need aftercare RIch?  Or was this it?  I only got the drugs from the doctors...never bought them from the streets.  But I still started going to NA meetings last Friday.  Been to 3 this week.  Just to keep positive.
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I'm not on sub -- I think there's another kittykat here -- kittykat32. I'm kittykat58, and still tapering.

it's really hard, esp the first few days dropping down to the next level, but I find I do adjust. what's really weird is I am finding I am more sensitive to the narcs than I was when taking a higher dose - I thought it would be the opposite. I thought it would be such torture tapering b/c it would be like, "well, wow - I'll be going all that time using all my dope but only feeling bad and getting no buzz". but it's not true. if I take 20 mgs oxy in the morning, and then wait 4 hours and take 1.5 percs -- I still feel it, get a little pain relief, get a little buzz, too. I thought I'd be getting bupkis. I was taking 30mgs oxy 3X/day with 4-6 percs for bt...now I'm taking 20mgs oxy in the am and 20 mgs in the afternoon, and 1.5 percs 2-3X/day -- and I get good effect.

soon I want to drop it down to 10mgs oxy 3X/day, then 2X/day with percs for bt....those are my next goals. it is really hard though b/c my body and brain constantly tell me to take more (esp since I =have= more!!), but if I stay disciplined I am finding I am still getting reasonable pain relief w./out having to go through complete wds....it's hard, but it is do-able. you have to completely commit to the long-term goal.

I find it helps me too to keep a chart -- then I see my progress coming down and can feel proud and good. and I feel like I'm waking up, coming back from the dead, being more fun to be around at work, remembering more, making more sense, etc. that's a nice feeling
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I kept a chart as well...tapered down and clean now for almost 3 months...it is worth it...tapering is not easy and  i still had some wds...but not long and not bad...good luck!  hang in there
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To everyone,

Today was not a great day but I made it through.  I confess to drinking rather more beer than I should have but it was my first day with truly only 10 mg of oxy (I found a 10 mg pill on the floor of the bathroom yesterday--you would have thought I had stumbled upon the Hope Diamond).  

I took some hydrocodone that I had around, hoping to take the edge off a bit.  I drank beer.  I made it through.  Eventually, I know, I will be without all of these chemical mood changers, but today I just needed something.  

The temptation to try to get more pills increases daily, as my dose goes down and then goes away.  I can't believe the extent to which this medication gets under your skin and into every fibre of your being.  I seriously have this belief system now, at times anyway, that life will not be worth living without my daily dose of oxycontin.  Or that once I get clean I'll just be biding time until I get to have it again.  I have spent as much as ten years clean and sober in the past and I know I can do it again, but this is damned tough to go through.  

Thank you, flutterby, for the encouraging words.  I especially need to believe that this bad feeling of lacking something will pass.  It's like I suddenly developed an oxycontin deficiency, which strangely enough I never had until I started to take it like it was candy.

Speaking of candy, someone on another list I use for general addiction issues called it "the Devil's candy."  I can buy that.
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congratulations on the way you're handling your ordeal.  I went back on my oxy 20s but
my regular dose doesn't control the pain like it did just 2 weeks ago.  Another week and it should be better.  At next dr. appt I'll ask him to switch me to 10 mg (90/month at first)
with some 5/325 percs. And I can go back to a slow wean 5 mgs at a time.  Did it to get from 160mg/day down to 40mg/day but it took a few years. I need it to be over
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Well, here we are.

I'm on Day One with no oxycontin.  I feel bad, a little worse (to be honest) than I thought I would at this point.  Yawning all the time, cold (despite it being warm), and very depressed.  But I keep telling myself these are all just feelings and can't harm me in any way.   I'm doing the right thing, the only thing.  I have a fairly short addiction so my wd symptoms should be fairly short-lived, I'm hoping.

It sounds wimpy to say, but I'm also sort of distressed that my wife is going to be gone most of the day and the early part of the evening.  I feel somewhat at loose ends, but thankfully no matter how I feel I simply don't have access to more right now nor should I get more if I did.  I just have to get through it.  It's not the end of the world.

Thanks for listening folks.
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congratulations! one thing you can tell yourself is that you have made it to your goal!! that may give you a few minutes of uplift. maybe you can go take a walk, you say it's warm? go out and take a stroll, get some air, pick up a G-rated movie (something funny, like shrek or something) and make some popcorn, go out after the movie and get your favorite flavor ice cream cone, go sit in on an NA or AA meeting, take a warm shower, read a book...soon it will be bedtime and you'll know you made it through day one and I'll bet you'll feel like a million dollars. and two million when you wake up, having made it through day 1.

I confess too that I worry how I will feel when I get off altogether..I can imagine feeling at loose ends. it's kind of scary, thinking about it, b/c I've been using these meds for 1 year and so much of my life this past year has been colored by an opiate fuzz...after my surgery, I really shouldn't need these pills anymore (apart from normal post-op pain), and I have to admit I feel nervous about how I will handle life w/out pills. I mean, I did it before -- I got clean and sober in '88 and have been so up until this last year (well, and a couple of other surgeries I had a few years back) -- but I seem to have forgotten what it feels like to live clean and sober. I really want to, I just feel like I forgot what it's like.

keep us posted on your progress, rich -- we're hear for you. I always appreciate your honesty.
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Glad u r hanging in there....if the weather is pretty..go for a lng walk and plan some things to keep you busy while your wife is out...rent a movie...clean out your tool room...dont know but is great u r doing so well
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To KittyKat and worried878,

Funny, I ended up skipping the gym today and going for a walk by the beach.  It was good.

The best thing I can say about this day is that it's going to end before long.  I'll be glad when it's over.
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good for you!!!!! all I can say is I am eating up these suggestions (my own and others) for when I drop down fast this week and next. I will be staying near the beach next week and I know it is going to be so different when I am at the other end of giving advice and needing it myself. I hope I can do what you have done, richard. keep letting us know how it going for you.

kittykat
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I made it my first day in five months oxy free.  Yay!

I slept lousy but I don't feel too terrible at this point today.  I'm off to a Laker playoff game and that should be an excellent distraction.

I'm glad, Kitty, you're going to your spa after all.  Sticking with your original plan if you can makes sense.  
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I hope you continue dope free and you did it without sub. all the best
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wow!!! super kudos to you!! I hope things continue to go well for you. I have two weeks to the day before my surgery and am still hovering ~60mgs day combined oxy/percs....but will continue to try to bring it down lower.

let us know what is helping you, or just write to express whatever you are going through/experiencing...hopefully it will help.

kitty
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I think that's good and in most cases, I think it's better to taper on the drug you are on and have someone help to dispense if possible. I don't like the idea of using largly untested and strong synthetic drugs.
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Hi everyone,

Well, I wrongly expected today to be a better day than yesterday.  Today I have been just totally down in the dumps, and I mean low, low, low.  My wife and I have tickets for an event tonight and I'm absolutely bumming that I have to get up out of my chair and go somewhere, even though ordinarily it would be something I'd look forward to.

I've had thoughts again of trying to acquire more, but each day that passes that I'm off it is, I trust, a day closer to having no symptoms being off it, and getting more would just postpone the day of reckoning that I know is coming and probably force me to go completely cold turkey and suffer even more.

I don't think anything ever sank its teeth into me quite so hard, but I'm doing the right thing and encouraged by all of you to keep doing so.  Thanks again, each and every one of you.
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Keep up the good work. You will still crave until you feel better than it will get less. You are proof that someone can taper on the drug they are hooked on and don't have to go on strong synthetic drugs to get clean. all the best.
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Mr. Lucky66, thanks for the encouragement.

This is still tough.  I had a return of some symptoms that had let up, and so have had to go back on Immodium big time today.  In no way do I feel normal yet, mood-wise, physically, or any way, but I have to trust that it will get better.  

I feel that to try to acquire more oxy at this point would negate the suffering I've already experienced.  I hope to never take one of those again, period.
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