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Tapering Formula
I can't believe I'm here. That is, I have been free from a heroine addiction for 9 years, have gotten married, have had 4 children (another on the way), finished degrees, certifications, become Vice President at a large bank, have nurtured a strong prayer life and have now found myself addicted to hydrocodone (approx. 200mg/ day). It all started when I was in a funk with myself/job/wife and "experimented" by trying to get a script online. It was easy. Well, it has progressed to the point where I am forging prescriptions, which seems too easy. I tried to quit a couple of months ago (this has been going on for approx. 6 months), was through the worst, and started it up again. Now, I'm so scared to quit (withdrawal was hell and I have large family who depends so heavily on my very active involvement. My wife has horrible morning sickness and I do absolutely everything home/child related before and during my bank job.

I'm rambling. Does anybody have credible advise regarding a tapering program? I've seen several "formulas" but some seem contradictory. Unfortunately, I can share this with absolutely no one. My wife is a no bull s--- type of gal, has no sympathy and would force a separation for a good long while (I don't see this as good for the kids, not to mention it would be devastating for me). I feel so selfish, so alone, and frightened that I may get caught for my illegal indiscretions (surely I must be missing something to think that prescription forgery is easy and painless).

Thank you for listening. I haven't mentioned this to anyone other than a priest. So lonely.
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Avatar universal
Yes there is help.There are professionals that come here but
withdrawals aren't my specialty.The other addicts here know I
didn't do it right and ended up with a bad marriage(I didn't tell
her for a year.)Do not do this alone.No matter what you think
there is help here,I got it all last week.You need to seek
medical help.Detox like they tell you.Don't try it any sooner than they suggest.I know,I did it my way and ended up in an
ER.Someone will help you here.
                              bmac
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What do you mean when you say that you didn't do it right and ended up with a bad marriage? Unfortunately, I know my wife's limitations well enough such that letting her know is out of the question. She has all but said to me, "if you ever get re-involved in your addiction(s), just stop immediately, I don't want to hear it and if I ever do find out, you're out of here."

I really am interested in someone's real-life experience of tapering off hydro. I need to be able to function, although I don't want to go too slow (I tried that and it didn't seem to work).

Thank you anybody who cares to respond.
Sean
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Hi Sean,

I was addicted to heroin and methadone for approximately 6 years over ten years ago.  Like you, when I cleaned up things started really going great.  I returned to school and went all the way through for my Ph.D.  The day I was leaving to return to the West Coast to begin my dissertation, I seriously injured my back (2 herniated discs, one severely between L4-L5--hitting against the sciatic nerve).  I couldn't walk without a cane for about 6 months and was in terrible pain.  I began taking vicodin to relieve the pain and stayed on them consistently for about 16 months.  Now, I never took more medication than was prescribed, never doc shopped or did any of the "addict" type of things I did when I was using heroin, so for me, using the vicodin didn't interfere as much as it does for some, I think.  But it did interfere enough to make me want to get off it.  My back is at the point where it really flares up from time to time, but I don't need to be on constant painkillers, so I decided to go off the vicodin, which I have done through tapering.  Here is the tapering schedule that I used, and it worked really well for me (when I began the taper I was using 6 vicodin per day.  I started taking Thomas's "recipe" which I found here on the forum about a week before I started the taper.


Days 1 - 4:  reduce 1 pill (6 to 5)

Days 5 - 8:  reduce 1 pill (5 to 4)

Days 9 - 12: remained on 4 pills per day, but tarted breaking pills in 1/2 to get myself accustomed to taking smaller doses. 1 1 pill upon waking, 1/2 pill at noon, 1/2 pill at 3:00, 1/2 pill at 6:00, 1/2 pill at 9:00, 1 pill at bedtime.

Days 13 - 16: reduce by 1/2 pill (4 to 3 1/2).  1 in the a.m. upon waking, 1/2 at noon, 1/2 at 4:00, 1/2 at 8:00, 1 pill at bedtime.

Days 17 - 20: reduce by 1/2 pill (3 1/2 to 3).  1 in the a.m., 1/2 at 2:00 p.m., 1/2 at 7:00 p.m. 1 at bedtime.

Days 21 - 24: reduce by 1/2 pill (3 to 2 1/2).  1/2 in the a.m.,
1/2 at noon, 1/2 at 4:00, 1/2 at 8:00, 1/2 at bedtime.

Days 25 - 28: reduce by 1/2 pill (2 1/2 to 2).  1/2 in the a.m.
1/2 around 2:00 p.m., 1/2 around 7:00 p.m., 1/2 at bedtime.

Days  29 - 32: reduce by 1/2 pill (2 to 1 1/2).  1/2 in the a.m., 1/2 late afternoon, 1/2 in the evening.

Days 33 - 36: reduce by 1/2 pill (1 1/2 to 1).  1/2 in the a.m. and 1/2 in the p.m.  After 4 days on this dose, I stopped completely and felt very little withdrawal.  The harder for me was dealing with the pain in my back.  I used Trazadone for sleep, exercised almost every day, did yoga and at very healthy food throughout the detox.  

This worked really well for me; I have a lot of self-will, though and tapering doesn't work well for a lot of people.  If you don't have the control to taper, then give the pills to someone you trust and have them dole them out.

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I meant my marriage suffered because my wife is just like yours.
She is a nurse and has to deal with 40 doctors and an operating
room 24/7.She does not like anything to do with drugs.If
you can't tell her,then don't.I did and jesus that was a
mistake.I tried methadone and didn't decrease right and took
myself off wrong.From what you say you are looking for a quick detox with hardly any withdrawals.I can't help you there.
But these boards will.Be patient,someone other than me will answer you.If you need me I am here.
                      bmac
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Sean, Tapering is not easy, there is absolutely no quick way to go about it.  My suggestion to you is to decrease your pill usage by 1 per day.  Have you given any thought to going to a doctor and explaining that you have become addicted and need a script for Clonidine?   I did and boy am I glad that I went, the clonidine really helps with the WD process, makes it so it is tolerable!

Hang in there, you'll be alright.  I have done the same thing as you by altering scripts and getting them online.  I am deeply ashamed of it too.  

Keep posting and talking about your addiction, it helps to know that we are not alone, you can easily make friends on this forum who will help you every step of the way.    ChiGirl.
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Clonidine is a blood pressure med.It will help the creepies,if you know what I mean.That shakey plugged into a electrical outlet feeling.Some of the other post in the last week
explained exactly what it does,But believe me it made my withdrawing from methadone much much easier.I took the pill
form but I hear the patch is good too.Good luck and I am here
when you call.Just be honest with the doc you see and if you have to force him to listen then do whatever it takes to make him/her realize just how serious you are.Have faith in God,for he willnever put on more than you can take.His words not mine!
                           peace,
                            bmac
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Looks like you got some pretty good tapering advice. What I want to talk about is the forging. Before I "retired," I was busted 3 times in 15 years for telephonic rx forgery. All it takes is one suspicious pharmacist, and you've had it. Being bank VP will only make it harder on you. The more "accomplished" you are, the less sympathy, and more enmity, the court will have for you. They can charge you with a misdemeanor or make it a felony at their discretion. Did your heroin days include any busts? If they did, that will slant things toward the felony side. A forgery conviction will almost certainly finish your banking career. From the sound of it, you better have someone other than your wife to make your bail. It will be between 10 and 20K.

This kind of stuff is driven by the desperation you feel when WD makes its appearance. I know. Just keep in mind, you can do everything right on the script and still get busted. All you need to do is go to the wrong pharmacy too soon, and you're busted with a single phone call, led out of the pharmacy in handcuffs. They may or may not put you in the hospital ward. If they don't, well, you can imagine what WD will be like then. That phone call to your wife is going to be fun, too. If your wife divorces you over rx forgery, think of how you'll look to the court.

Sean, I'm not trying to scare you. You're obviously intelligent and educated (the two don't always go together, look at me), so I know you're capable of anticipating all this on your own. I'm just here to tell you that sooner or later they'll get you unless you shut it down now. The way it happens is, WD forces you into taking chances. It wills you to the pharmacy even if you know it's dangerous to hit that one on that day. Eventually, you just won't care. Then, they have you.

To us, or to me in any event, rx forgery doesn't mean much because I know addiction. I'm surprised, but relieved, that more addicts don't do it. But to anyone else, rx forgery sounds like quite the crime. People don't understand, and you can't make them understand.

If you want to start tapering now, but have to forge another scrip to get the meds needed, know that you can do it cold turkey. It's not easy, but the worst of it is over in less than a week. Also, the WD symptoms, as you know, mimic a very bad flu. If my life depended upon it, I know I could sell that to my wife. Think about it before you're in the squad car. If you want to write me privately, I'll give you any help I can managing WD. I'm at ***@****.

Thomas

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Thank you to the folks who have responded. I plan to start tapering tommorow. I will make an appointment with a doctor (my insurance for my new job kicks in in two days) to see about the clonidine patch that was mentioned. Could someone please explain what exactly the patch alleviates?

Also, that is some clear and sobering missive regarding the forgery aspect of my addiction. Clearly, life as I know it would be over should I get caught. Although, I have no legal record to date, the process alone would destroy so much of what I've worked towards. I'm known as a strong Christian, loving husband and dedicated father. To live so far from that misperception has me isolated in every way.

To whoever can remember, please make note of me in your prayers. Thank you.
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Hi everyone...

I have been reading along for the past month regarding all of your comments and advice on drug addiction. I have been on Lorcet for 2 years. I cannot deny I have mostly abused them, taking up to 10-12 per day, Although I do have severe back pain. I have decided that I no longer want this opiate addiction in my life.
Just recently, I had told my Doc the Lorcets were not working so he put me on Fentanyl patches. I cannot even describe the withdrawl symptoms I experienced last week when I went back to pills. Take the hydrocodone withdrawls and times it by 10. It was harsh, but now I am back on the pills, taking alot a day. I get about 120 a month or more, so they are easy to abuse. Anyways, my question is, and I have experienced the worst of the withdrawls from this drug, How long will it take for me to feel "normal" again? I hate being a slave to this ****, panicking when I am almost out. I am down to only about 20 to 24 pills, so today I will take only 6, but im going to have to do this fast with only a limited amount of pills. So if I take one less pill a day until I am out, will I be ok? Or is this not enough?

The good thing is that I finally admited I have an addiction and I m no longer justifying it by my back condition. Regardless, it's a severe addiction and I want out! Since I made this decision, will this make it easier? I only no life on this drug for over 2 years. I am afraid I will not be able to work if I do not have this drug in my system...ANY ADVICE FROM ANYONE?


HELP~ PLEASEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE~
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I'll help you taper, just send me all your pills. lol, I know, I'm terrible. But oh well.... I'm out and I'm pissed! Donate to the Sis fund! =P What's the deal with the Ultrams sites, has anyone actually ordered them Online before? -Sis
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I was hit by a car.

I started on Lortab for 2 years and after it stopped working I was put on Duragesic.  When I started to get better, I stopped, underestimating the power of withdrawals.  Then  I was placed on methadone for a month.  I weaned off of that and back on the Lortab because I had such severe stomach pains.

Now I have been switched to Buprenorphine and doing wonderful.

I will be weaning off this as weeks progress.

Hope you are doing fine, it sounds like withdrawals won't get the best of you!  Keep up the good work!

Leah
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Wow, hit by a car...At least you're alive.

It sounds like you are on the right track..I feel so guilty, I just popped two more Lorcets!!!!!!!!!!
****!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The thing is this...I am a carreer women, 29 yrs old, I am, for the most part, healthy, come form the best family on Earth, college educated, the whole 9.  So why do I continue to self indulge in this false sense of happiness?  Do you feel this way also?  It is like I want to feel no pain, physical or mental, and it sucks...WHY WHY WHY

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Actually I have only taken 4 today.  The probelm is I am physical dependant, for my back problems, but I do like the high, that is why I am addicted.  It is a no win situation for me.  If i stop, I'm in back pain hell, If I continue, I abuse..It's so hard.  But I have only taken 4 today.

You know what you should get, since you are not a true addict?  Get some Ativan for your withdrawls if you can.  It is like Valium and it helps alot.  if you ask, the Docs will work with you..

MsBlacey~

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I personally never felt like that.  I always took my medication as directed, but I used to hate the withdrawal feelings.  That was the worst.  I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

If a "high" is what you are looking for, then I think it'll be hard for you to taper down, if that's your goal.  

When you are really ready, you will know, and even though you "crave" it, you will be strong enough to take just enough to get you by the withdrawal feeling.

Addiction is a disease.  It's a very fine line between dependency and addiction.  Neither one is fun.  Our bodies get used to the fake endorphines and it takes awhile for our bodies to produce them after we stop taking them.

If my calculations are correct, you've only taken 5 today, that is still good.  I don't blame you for wanting to take some before bedtime, that's the worst time for me.  I hate feeling the "creepies" at night!

Don't be ashamed and keep your chin up.

Leah
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I had the exact thing happen to me

Fentanyl is a very powerful drug - it is measured in micrograms instead of milligrams.

I, too, was placed back on Lortab when weaning from the Duragesic patch.  Wasn't a pretty sight and I could not do it. I was put on methadone to help with the withdrawals.  It took me a month, but I finally weaned off of meth and back onto Lortab.  Then I was switched to Buprenorphine to help me taper completely off.

If you are determined, I was told to lower a dose every three days to wait for your body to stabilize.  If you don't have that many left, then quicker is possible, but you have to be regimented and know that you will still experience a little withdrawals.  A lot of people can't taper, but there are A LOT of success stories out there.

If you are stong willed, you can definitely beat this.

We are all here for you if you need to talk.

Leah
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PLEASE HELP! i HAVE BEEN TAKING 2-3 TYLENOL #3 WITH CODEINE FOR  6 YEARS. Upon learning I was pregnant I have taken a month to taper off. 4 days have gone by with no codeine in my system. It is maddening and unbearable. I feel like I have a very bad flu and can hardly function. The restless legs at night are absolutely maddening and I can get no rest. Each day I tell myself the the next will be better, but in fact it is worse. Today I have been crying a lot- don't know if that is part of the withdrawl or that I'm just so sick of being sick. Is there an end to this? Will I ever be able to sleep?
Over the years I have told my MDs my problem with codeine but they say "It should not be addictive". They keep giving me more refills. Initially if I missed a dose I would get diarrea so the MDs told me I needed it. I did get a lot of diarrea initially the first 2 weeks of tapering but none now. My regular MDs do not care. Is there some kind of professional who does?
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Koalabear

Hey thanks for replying...and I know what you mean about the duragesic.  When I stopped it, only having been on it for 3 weeks, I threw up for almost 24 hours.  I did'nt experience the normal withdrawls, but the vomitting was so severe.  As far getting off the Lorcet, I am so worried that I will not be able to function.  Those pills make life easier.  

Like today I have only taken 2 pills, i'm getting some hot flashes, nothing major, but I am cravingggggggggggggggg more.  It is so hard.  And like I said I do have a condition with my back, but I cannot lie about abusing them, very badly.  What can I say, I do have an addictive personality.... How long have you been on opiates and for what reason?   Are you currently on Lorcet?


Talk to you soon...
MsBlacey~
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I am taking a new drug called Buprenorphine.  It helps tremendously.  I am a new person.

I am not having any withdrawal symptoms at all!  It's great because I am not "buzzed" and no withdrawals!  I couldn't ask for anything more right now.

You only took -4?  You're doing great!  Keep it up, K?

Leah
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What is that drugged used for?  Wihdrawls or pain or???
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This is something that I found online. Looks like a pretty good medication for opiate addicts, especially those which the addiction has been long term. 5-10yr +



Buprenorphine, an opioid mixed agonist-antagonist, is a potent analgesic that appears to be effective for the treatment of opiate abuse. Recent preclinical studies have shown that buprenorphine also significantly reduces cocaine self-administration by rhesus monkeys for periods up to 120 days. This unexpected finding has led to clinical trials to evaluate buprenorphine's effectiveness for the treatment of dependence on both cocaine and opiates, as defined by DSM-III-R criteria. Buprenorphine's safety in combination with cocaine and opiates and its effects on electroencephalographic sleep patterns and regional cerebral blood flow were evaluated during inpatient studies. Buprenorphine (4 or 8 mg/day given sublingually) did not accentuate the cardiovascular and respiratory changes induced by an acute challenge dose of cocaine (30 mg given intravenously) or morphine (10 mg given intravenously) alone. In an outpatient open trial, buprenorphine significantly reduced both opiate and cocaine abuse by patients who had abused these drugs for more than 10 years. Most of these patients had failed in other drug abuse treatment programs. Reports of needle sharing also decreased significantly, and no patient tested positive for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The apparent safety and effectiveness of buprenorphine, combined with a high level of patient acceptance, led the Food and Drug Administration to grant a compassionate extension of the approved period for outpatient buprenorphine treatment from 26 to 52 weeks. Clinical trials of buprenorphine are ongoing. Possible mechanisms underlying buprenorphine-cocaine interactions are now under investigation.
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This is the medication I am taking - it is working excellent for me!!!!!!!!!

Leah
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I also used buprenorphine to taper for 2 weeks after quitting Norco, and it worked for me -- minimal withdrawal and since there is no euphoria involved with bup, there is no incentive to take more of the med.  It was easy to go from 6 pills to 5 to 4, etc.  Also, I find it works wonderfully for pain -- moderate to moderately severe.  For the last 4-5 days on bup, I was breaking the miniature sublingual pill in quarters and I was taking 1/4-1/8 of a pill the last several days -- I found that you really need to ease off bup slowly due to it's longer acting properties.

http://www.biopsychiatry.com/buprenorph.html
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Hi, Paige.  I purchased the buprenorphine overseas (I don't think many doctors here in the U.S. prescribe Buprenorphine, please someone correct me if I'm wrong), which I would NOT recommend doing because of seizure risk and also because it's not legal to import medications (scheduled) unless you have an import license - I was fairly desperate and shouldn't have done this in retrospect.  I think that Buprenex, which is equivalent to buprenorphine, is prescribed in the U.S.  for withdrawals so maybe you could discuss this with your doctor.

About suddenly stopping the Darvon after taking it for awhile, you are going to go through the withdrawals.  There are lots of different ways to deal with this (other than tapering) - the standard hot baths, immodium, etc.  Sounds as if you have two good meds (librium/ambien) to help you along, this should lessen the symptoms somewhat.  I've also gone through withdrawals more times than I can count (I took Norco for about a year, I was up to 9 per day before I quit), and when I was trying to quit the Norco, I would switch to codeine, which I had no inclination to take because I don't like the effects, and then taper off of the codeine -- it seemed more doable and I experienced minimal withdrawals.  It's highly individual what works for each of us, though.  Some think that going cold turkey will prevent them from relapsing because of the memory of those withdrawal symptoms, and some others are able to taper successfully off of their drug of choice.  I found it hard to taper off of Norco, so I would switch to a weaker opiate and then taper (bup or codeine).  But the real test came after I had been clean for a couple of months, the mental cravings really can be a *****, and I relapsed just recently (I've not taken any pills for the last several weeks though).

It's good if it's harder to obtain the meds that you were addicted to, so there's no constant temptation around, in that I think you are fortunate that you only have the Avon lady coming to your door ;).

If you need anyone to talk to, just let me know.
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Alexis,  Where did you get the or where can  someone get buprenorphine?  Do you know what will happen if I suddenly stop darvon.  My supply is real low, I really wanted to tapper, it isn't working, took more then I should have because I felt like **** and had to tend to the kids.  I have some ambine and some librium but I am afraid of what will happen when that last darvon is gone.  I was taking a lot a day.  went through about 240 in 10 days.  I need help! I hate living like this.  I have this double life, it is horrible. Tammy was talking about some one coming to her door to sell her stuff.  There sure as hell aint no body but the AVON lady around here, good or bad, I don't know.  I can not go back to the hospital again.  Did that once with a bad detox, convulsions, I really am afraid of doing it again!
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Thanks ALexis, I might try to get my hands on this Buprenex. I might try one of those walk in clinics and them that I am too embarrassed to talk to my own doctor about it, which I really am.  Thanks for the feed back.  I need support right now.  I am going to try the hot hot bath and see what happens.
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You are a lifesaver!  I was on nubain a few years back, stopped, and somehow ended up hooked on 'hydro,' 6 a day for the past couple of years.  I have two herniated cervical discs, but do NOT need to be on narcotics all the time.  

I thank you for posting your taper schedule.  I was trying to decrease as much as I could stand immediately, and wow, NOT FUN.  The headache was the worst, the runs next.  By adjusting to your taper schedule with a modification or two, I am doing great.  I have experienced very little w/d symptoms, which makes this 'do-able'.  I have 10/11 days to go, and I can do this.  If I had to go 'cold turkey' I don't think I would be saying this!  I am finding I can stretch out the time between doses, and at 1/2 pill doses, I love it!  I am going to do this!  

Thank you, thank you, thank you!
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