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Soaking in codeine
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Soaking in codeine

Hi everyone,

   I've been taking codeine for over two years now, for pain caused by a permanent injury. Though if I'm being completely honest, I have taken it to feel euphoric before, but that's not the main reason.

I take 300 mg's every other day, with hardly any negative side effects. I guess this post won't be as devestating as other heart breaking tales I've read on this site, but. I would like to know if taking this much codeine, on it's own, long term, will cause any health problems.

I need this drug, without it, the pain from my injury causes major problems, but I don't want to make things worse in the long run.

As a side note: I see a lot of hostility towards doctors, who initially prescribed drugs which have turned out to cause problems. I don't understand this. Pain must be controlled, and there is no perfect way. I love my doctor.
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29 Comments Post a Comment
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410221_tn?1227635437
I've never felt hostle toward my doctors just mad at myself. You're right pain must be controlled but do you abuse your prescribed amount and it sounds like you have been on it a long time, 2 years.  You have a permanent injury does that mean you have permanent pain that cannot be controlled by something that is not opiate and extremely habit forming? The opiates can make your pain worse or less bearable over time. You also admitted you have taken them to feel high so you should really seach your heart about this. Since you really like your doctor i recommend you talk to him. Also read the post on this forum and see how opiates can take hold of a person's life.
take care:-)
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm with you on the doctor view.  They are trying to help their patients for the most part.  We would be mad at them if they didn't give us drugs and then mad if they do!  We took the drugs.  If we don't want to take the drugs, we find ways to stop!

My suboxone doctor did not warn me of the w/d's from suboxone..I can say that they were worse than w/d's from norco.  Everyone is different.  

We need to take responsibility for our drug use and stop looking for someone else to blame!  Not sure if your codeine use is abusive.  You sound like you are monitoring pretty well, and since you have concerns, try taking less and less and/or speak with your doctor about it.  Long term drug use can cause liver damage, emotional challenges, and mental issues.  Not sure your dosage is an issue.  Your doctor can address that with you.  take care!
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410221_tn?1227635437
how long were you on Suboxone? So you do have WD's from it. I thought so but yes everyone is different. Glad I made it through CT.
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Avatar_n_tn
No, I don't take more than prescribed, in fact I take less. Since codeine affects me very well, it can last ages, upto 48 hours, so I don't need to take it every day.

The thing is, I've gotten into this habit of taking a huge dose, like 300 mg's, all at once, getting absurdly high, controlling my pain, then waiting 48 hours, so my tolerance drops a bit so it will hit me again next time.

If I take it as prescribed, 30-60 mg's every four hours, my tolerance towards it just rises and rises, until it ends up making me feel worse instead of better.

Also, I've not been taking my prescribed codeine. I've been buying elite brandname tablets and extracting it myself. It's hard to believe, but codeine phosphate has different grades of quality, and the stuff they give you on prescription is usually the lowest. Buy premium tablets and you [i]know[/i] where that extra money goes.

I don't tell my doctor that, I'd just like to find out if I'm at risk of doing damage from taking codeine in this way.

Take it easy, and get back to me.
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Avatar_n_tn
Yeah, I've heard about the liver damage concern, but I haven't really found any evidence, online at least, that this is true. It's my main concern though.

I have to ask the question, 'is controlling my pain in this way worth the risk of waking up with a ruined liver in twenty years time?'

Not exactly the kind of question I ever expected to have to ask myself, but hear we are. So any sites or stories you could point out to me would be appreciated.

Thanks for your reply.
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Avatar_n_tn
What concerns me about your post is that you aren't taking what is prescribed and buying premium tablets.  I don't even know what those are or how you buy them, but if you aren't taking what your doctor ordered, isn't that a problem?

My problem started innocently enough - as so many do - and escalated to tolerance then dependence.  When my doctor stopped prescribing them - 8 months after my surgery - I was left scrambling to find a way to get more.  Given my husbands profession, I couldn't go to the streets or buy on-line (although I've been so tempted, but visions of the police showing up at my house with a cruiser parked in front of my house scared me out of it), I was left creating problems and trying to get my family doctor to give me some.  But he doesn't prescribe them easily.  Take 800 mg of Advil if you are in pain, etc.  So it was tough, but somehow I managed to get them.

I don't blame the doctors at all.  They were trying to help a patient.  I'm the one that let it get out of control.  

I think you should take a hard look at yourself and only you can make the determination for yourself.
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm British, you can get as much codeine as you want, without prescription, here. It's a lot better if you buy the expensive tablets than the prescribed codeine too. It's stronger, or seems to be, so you can get the same effect from a smaller dose, and its very clean. No side effects, no headache, nausea, etc. that you get with cheap prescription codeine.

I guess what I'm looking for is evidence, I'm looking for someone to tell me, 'here is proof, that if you carry on the way you are, you will damage yourself'.

Until I get that, I don't see any reason to stop.
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Avatar_n_tn
I should have put two and two together - other countries sell codeine over the counter, but the USA doesn't.  I've seen posts from people in Canada with similar problems.

Again, since I don't know how the codeine comes, isn't too much acetametaphin a problem for your liver?  Or since you are extracting the codeine, does that mean you are takign the acetametaphin out?

I honestly don't know what the long term effects of codeine by itself are on your body.  But too much of anything is never good.
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401095_tn?1351395370
codeine is one of the milder opiates but still habit forming....How many are you taking and what is your total amount of tylenol intake dailY?   sounds like you have researched it...only thing is a year or so from now you could have built up a tolerence and be taking twice as much
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390416_tn?1275188687
Welcome to the forum....I'm not sure about the effects of long term codeine use..
.but this is defiantely ADDICTIVE behavior...
and when this buzz/pain relief  isn't enough...you will find something else that works.

Good luck!
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Avatar_n_tn
Yeah, tolerance has been reached and breached several times. I don't take acetametaphin, only the codeine.

I don't have a problem with addiction, tolerance (seems to have plateau'ed at 300 mgs), or acet poisioning.

I'm mostly worried about long term effects of codeine only.
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Avatar_n_tn
Sorry, not effects, I should have said health risks.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for the welcome,

Yeah, you're right. It seems to work everytime though, as long as I leave 48 hours between doses. I admit, I get a kick out of it, why shouldn't I?

I HAVE to do it, is the fact that it just happens to give me lots a pleasure a bad thing?
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390416_tn?1275188687
Only you can say whether you are an addict or not, but this IS addictive behavior.
Ask your Dr. what the health risks are.....I'm sure he could enlighten you.
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390416_tn?1275188687
No, ther eis nothign wrong with wanting the pleasure...that's why we are all here...after a while it ws the HIGH we were seeking..and i can guarantee it will continue to escalate and you will move on to something else and it will become a viscious cycle...i just care about you...and all the stories you read on here...they will become yours if you continue this behavior!!  
I'm not trying to be a jerk...just sharing my experience, strength and hope...
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401095_tn?1351395370
Just check that OTC codeine for tylenol levels...I know in Canada it is 8 mg per pill with lots of tylenol so u have to take alot...check it out   I have seen people on here with swollen abdomens from liver damage from the OTC codeine due to the amounts they are taking and the tylenol content.....just because it is OTC does not mean you are scot free....it can go on and on and on and on...i can not say that too many times..on and on and on and on
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Avatar_n_tn
It has become a viscious cycle, at first it was like being set free. Now I realise I just upgraded from one prison to another. This cell has a handy switch, with which I can control my pain, but the ****ing thing buzzes all night long!

I don't have a choice though, I just can't live in pain all the time, I don't think anyone could. Especially when there's a cure in every chemist in the country just waiting to be bought.

I took 60 mgs this morning before accupuncture, I would have took 300 mgs if not for that session, and then they told me I couldn't have more treament for another 7 weeks! How much more codeine will I take in that time?

A lot.
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390416_tn?1275188687
This is a forum for people who think they may have a problem,who are thinking about quitting,in some stage of quitting,in wd's or detoxing, or have already quit.

Which stage are you in?

AND..you do have a choice...many people here have chronic pain and are finding other ways to deal w/ it.
Keep reading the posts....
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401095_tn?1351395370
Wow...sounds like u have this down to a fine art....What is your point of posting?  we need to know so we can help....Do you want to quit or do you want to know how much codeine you can take and still be ok? no one on here is going to agree with what you are doing...I doubt...if you are not ready to find an alternative or get some help...keep posting and stay in touch....that is what i did,,,til i was ready to admit that what i was doing was not normal behavior and i am a chronic pain patient as well...be careful
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Avatar_n_tn
My reason for posting was to find out if taking codeine in the way I am, and for a long time, will cause any health problems in the future.

I'm 29, I have a long time to go hopefully. I don't want this to be the end of me.
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Avatar_n_tn
I may be in the wrong forum, oops.
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Avatar_n_tn
Which forum should I ask that question in?
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390416_tn?1275188687
I don't know what forum this would fall under...........

And this WILL eventually be the end of you if you keep up this behavior..
.take care...........
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Avatar_n_tn
How do you know that? I need proof.

Has there been much evidence of Codeine abuse causing early death? This is why I'm here, I can't find it.
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390416_tn?1275188687
Ask your DR!!!!!!
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Avatar_n_tn
OKAAAAAY!!!
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Avatar_f_tn
Catchy name, catchy habit.  One day it will catch up with you.  Be prepared my friend, kitchen labs are only ever temporary.  As habit grows, so do your needs.  Codeine is no exception.  What, will you cut off from the world to sit and extract enough codeine for your habit.  Sit and do it all week?  Sounds like you are lonely to me.  Go see your GP and talk about Suboxone.  
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Avatar_n_tn
well poppy puller yes it will destroy your health mental and physical and your life..try putting it to the test if you think you can and you will find yourself far from alright or healthy. All drugs of addiction cause damage to organs and require more for the same effect..you may be fine for years, or you may go down pretty fast..but one day if you keep going it WILL cause organs to "shut down" and health to deteriorate..remember your body has to process everything you put into it, your liver your blood ..take it from one who knows. And as it is dehydrating your looks will be affected as well..does this answer your question?
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Avatar_f_tn
Did you really just say that?well my dear, I'm gonna tell you the mere fact you are looking here tells me your starting to realize your hooked.its the way we addicts justify ourselves.it let's us keep using without admitting we have a problem.yes,I'm sure your doc prescribes theses,but if you were to come clean about the amounts?you would not get another script from me!I am in the medical field,and I know what an issue these can be.I am very careful about prescribing high doses for long term unless it significantly impacts quality of life not to be medicated.cold turkey is no fun,but it can be done.I have a history of opiate abuse.hell my nickname is House!I am a doctor and in my field am considered to be top notch.I have a wait list of over a year and STILL I have the same problem as all you here.funny thing?I am an addiction specialist.who better to treat you then a junkie themselves?I was in med school,6 years ago when I had my first fling with opiates.I had been going through a lot of stress.lots of anxiety attacks...one day the doc @ the hospital gave me a shot of morphine to calm a cough from pneumonia and voila$no anxiety!I don't need to go into detail here.you ALL know about self medication.I soon discovered percocets...and these lil babies did wonders!I was happy,no panic attacks and I felt whole for the first time in months.by the time I was done?I was taking up to 50-60 percocets a day.imagine keeping that habit fed!I took like 10 at a time and sometimes 5 more couple hours later.I could not detox myself,it was my first time through and the first bit w.d's were so bad I was too scared to fully do it and kept medicating.I finally went on a six month methadone program and did an itty bitty taper.I came off @ 2 mgs methadone and felt almost no w.d symptoms.it took awhile to sleep properly.I should also mention that it is standard practice here to use methadone in conjunction with clonidine, so I came off that c.t too.I was clean for a year and when I did relapse it was tylenol 1s!who can consider that a relapse?well that's how I justified it...its otc here after all.that was another 2 years of making sure I had the $$ and goin to different pharmacies all over town so noone would figure out just how many I took.here you can buy 200 tablet bottles otc.I went through a bottle approx every week.well give or take a day...I'd say more like take.I came off cold turkey.5 days of hell!but I did it.then about 6 months later I relapsed again.this time it was tylenol 4s.I should mention here I have rheumatiod arthritis and it is VERY easy to get pain meds prescribed.my doc put me on 100 tablets tylenol 4s a month.wasn't long before I had that old tolerance back.I was up to 6-7 at a time anywhere between 3 to 4 times a day.this is OVER 1.5 grams of codeine.as far as I have read this is the highest dose I have seen on here.ouch!I am on day 5 cold turkey and it wasn't fun but its almost done.loperimide is a godsend,if it works for you.it was originally made to compete with demorol and when they discovered it didn't cross the blood brain barrier it was then marketed as...immodium!it can does and WILL abate almost all symptoms on days 1-4.day 5 cold turkey the lope too.for sleep and anxiety I use 2mg pills of valium.sometimes taking 2mg for anxiety and sometimes 6mg for sleep.do NOT use benzo beyond day 5.if needed for further sleep aid,switch to gravol or benadryl.benzos are a mess on there own and the detox from what I hear makes opiates look like a vacation.after care is a must.I have never gotten any and am beginning to wonder if this may be why I seem to always need to do yet another detox!I'm hoping this time I learn what goes up must come down...and never go up again.so hun,there's my story and imho you do have a problem.when your ready,come on here.even if all you do is read and never post...its a godsend to hear that your not the only one.on days 2 and 3 I find it helpful to read peoples posts who are on days 6 and beyond.it is encouraging to know there IS light at the end of this sweaty nasty tunnel.when your ready.fingers crossed for us both.wish me luck!and wishin you the best.please don't make my mistakes.one is too many and a thousand is never enough!
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