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Xanax
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Xanax

I have been on Xanax - 2mgs a day for 9 years.  In July of this year I started coming off this drug.  Today I am down to .5mgs a day.  But my problem is I can't seem to get any lower. I try to reduce (.37mgs a day) but the withdraw is so bad I go back to .5mgs. Any suggestions on how I can continue reducing the dose without the withdraw?
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I went through withdrawals from Vicoden ES 4 weeks ago with the help of Xanax.  Now, I am still taking 2mgs at night and maybe one more, if things get bad during the day.  What are the withdrawals like?  After withdrawals from codiene, I dread anymore withdrawals.  My therapist seems to think that I can stay on Xanax for ever, but I don't like taking pills anymore.  I want off of everything.  What should I expect when cutting down?  Neena
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You cannot escape the withdrawal of benzodiazepine drugs. A very slow detox will keep withdrawal symptoms to a minimum. A long acting benzodiazepine reduced slowly over a period of time has proven to be  the safest and produce the least amount of withdrawals.
Sincerely,
Dan...
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So Dan, what happens when you simply stop the benzos? I just take  one half of a blue each night because I can't sleep without it, but don't take them during the day. Am I going to have to pay the price, the dreaded insomnia??? I am still trying to taper off the percs, but thats a whole other story.
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Abrupt withdrawal from benzos can result in seizures. Withdrawing from percs or any other narc is miserable, but not life-threatening. However, withdrawing from xanax, klonipin (klonopin), valium and the like can be life-threatening.
Check this forum for other postings on benzos. You can read about people who have experienced seizures. This is not something to be taken lightly. Good luck.
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You are simply going to HAVE to stop, since you can't taper any longer.  The longer you wait, the worse the withdrawal will be.  Unfortunately, you just have to ride out the withdrawal.  You may find some relief by using Kava or Valerian, both available at GNC or another health food place.  DON'T start taking Kava or Valerian UNTIL you stop the Xanax or it will potentiate the effects of the xanax.
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The above post is causing some confusion. Anyone that is trying to taper off xanax should at least, advise their doctor when deciding to taper xanax.  Xanax comes in three different strengths . White 0.25,Red.05,Blue 1.0.  Use red then white wholes and halves to taper from one mgm's with the help from your physician.  This person above is advising without using they're name,do not do this. It causes confusion!
Sincerely,
Dan...
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Is Xanax basically the same thing as Ativan?
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Both are short acting benzodiazepines. Both produce equal dependence and addictions if taken daily over a period of time.
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But why would they allow me to continue to take them even just at night knowing that I became addicted to codiene?  Now that I have gotten over the codiene withdrawals, I have no shaking, etc.  The Xanax does allow me to sleep.  I was sleep deprived for a long while and even Ambien did not work.  Will I need to ask my doctor to ween me off the Xanax?  As far as I know Ativan is the same as Xanax, Julie.  I was given that also for panic attacks during a family emergency.  I am tired of PILLS.  I want my life back.  I don't want to depend on anything, not even for sleep.  But, the docs don't seem to think that it's bad for sleep for long periods of time.  Maybe they have plans to help taper me in the future.  I refuse to relive the Hell that I suffered with Vicoden ES withdrawals.  Neena
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listen to Dan regarding the dangers of abruptly discontinuing benzos like ativan, xanax, valium, klonopin, librium. Prior to back surgery in 1993, my orthopedic surgeon had me on ativan for a year. After a successful surgery that eliminated the need for the ativan, I let myself run out of the stuff during the Christmas holidays. Not wanting to disturb my doctor over Christmas, I reasoned this was as good a time as any to quit. Four days later, Christmas night to be exact, sometime in the night I went into a seizure, causing my chest and stomach muscles to contract violently. Of course, I was unconscious during the whole thing and don't know how long I was in seizure. The following morning, my wife got up and headed toward the kitchen to make some coffee. She thought she'd close the bedroom door and let me sleep in. As she was about to close the door, something told her to look back at me in the bed. As the paramedics loaded me into the ambulance, they told my wife that, had she closed the bedroom door without glancing back at me, it would have been a sleep I would not have woken from.

The chest and stomach muscle contractions from the benzo seizure were powerful enough to leave me with two compressed vertebra in my upper back. The muscle and nerve damage in my chest was so extensive that I could not walk upright for two weeks and had to literally crawl to the bathroom on my hands and knees.

It took more than a year to recover from this experience. And, as I said, I still have two compressed vertebra which will never heal.

If that doesn't convince you, how about the nurse I know who bit her own tongue off during a benzo-inspired seizure? True story.


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Just out of curiousity, anyone know how much oxycontin 40mg goes for on the street?  Doc just gave me script for 200!!  Bet you're all drooling right now. :-)
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To sick and scared
You came to the right place. Everyone here has, is, and will be going through the same thing you are and that is what this is all about.
Vicky, you said you were sorry yet you keep this going by making comments in your last post that NOBODY else seems to want to answer "sicks" question. Maybe because you are the only one sitting here checking on the posts, waiting to attack someone else. My god you are sick in the head woman. GROW THE HELL UP!
You are not worth this. I hope nobody else responds to your posts and argues back with you. You have a serious attitude problem!!!!!
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pal...take your game somewhere else. 200 oxys my arse. there are sick people on here.what's your game? it's people like you who will make this drug unavailable for those who need it.street value...get help sicko
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pal...take your game somewhere else. 200 oxys my arse. there are sick people on here.what's your game? it's people like you who will make this drug unavailable for those who need it.street value...get help sicko
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Ditto, no one here is drooling for any more fucken pills. We are all here to help each other get off these mothers. If you put 200 oxys in front of me right now I'd probably throw up, I'm so sick of looking at pills and am going to get off them or die trying.
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In your previous post, you advised "listen to Dan" regarding benzos and the dangers of seizures. Just to let you know, Dan did not mention the threat of seizures with abrupt withdrawal from benzos. I did. Dan gave a detailed post about the color of xanax and corresponding dosage, along with some other rambling information. I wrote the short post about seizures. And I stand by my guns, as proved by your anecdote. To the person(s) withdrawing from xanax (or any benzo)--get help and be informed about the serious dangers that accompany this withdrawal.
(I'm just clarifying this because there are other folks out there who have professional and academic experience with addiction and/or medical concerns. Not just so-called-"Doc"-Dan)
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Whats the problem no name? Why are you threatened by my posts? I try to give creditable information. Now that I removed my nickname after many complaints. You still have some sort of problem. Would you please stop being so petty. For heavens sake, Tom is just agreeing with what I am saying. There is room for everyones' comments and remarks. Also, small doses of benzo's DO NOT produce seizures. For example I have helped several people with the help of the treatment centers physician to detox small doses of valium,xanax and ativan without any seizures. LARGE DOSES of these drugs generally will cause seizures upon withdrawals. A doctor should always help with all detoxes with benzodiazepine derivatives! Above poster quit being so petty and let people comment with being such a whiner!!
Dan...
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I look forward to dan's,toms and all comments. So quit complaining and make you own contributions. Like dan said quit being such a whiner! If you have something important to say just make your comment.  We can all get along here. So please!!
Peace Everyone
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Got a free minute from baby.  Are you OK?  Have you done the withdrawal thing yet?  Are you still using?  I've steered clear so far, but have been having a beer or two at night.  Still taking Xanax at night.  I wish these people would not fight on this board.  We are here to share, not fight.  Imagine if we were sitting in one big room.  I have no cravings for codiene, per say, but I do have nervous moments.  My head is soooo much clearer now, but I am still trying to get my life back.  Things had gone downhill around the house, etc...while I was using, so I am seeing how neglectful I had become.  Do you need some help?  Some encouragement?  Remember, Nothing, Absolutely Nothing, Happens in Gods' World By Mistake.  He is allowing you to suffer, while giving you choices.  I'm here to help you make the correct choices if you want.  Neena
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Ugh, I feel like I got smashed with baseball bat. I'm so tired, no energy, and YES still using, only 3 in the morning and a xanax at night. But the drugs are still in my system and I can't detox.  I can't, I really need help. Were you tired, and is your energy slowly returning?
To the person who told me about Dr. Lance Gooberman,(sorry, the threads are so long to scroll through) I called his office, its a 3 hour drive from my home, and the nurse said they were only there in the morning. Have you actually been there? How long did it take from where you live and have you relapsed?
I have to get up and do something every day, whether its work, or  take care of my animals, or go places, so I can't be zonked out on clonodine. There is no easy answer for me, is there?
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Damn it, get down to Gooberman's office!!  So they're there in the morning, THEY ARE ALSO THERE SATURDAY mornings!  I drove nearly 3 hrs. to get there.  I too have animals, responsibilities and the like.  I got up at 6 am, got my ass there and got home.  Sorry to be rough here, but YOU NEED HELP! Let them help you.  Clonididne isn't worth **** in my view.  It helps, a little, but not much.  Also zonks the hell out of you.  Buprenorphine works FAR better.  PLEASE make an appointment with them!  It can save your life.  No, I haven't relpased since getting off the narcotics with help from the buprenorphine.  Go there, get off the narcotics & start living again!  Please!  Phil
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Hi guys.  I'm back from the dead (almost dead!).  Got back recently from a treatment program out in the beautiful desert Southwest.  It really was nice having the cash to shell out for a $500/day "addiction resort."  Met some interesting people and a few celebrities (which, of course, I'm bound by anonymity not to reveal).  I learned a hell of a lot there.  As I posted before I left for treatment, I relpased primarily because I wasn't working any sort of program.  I have never been big on NA, not because I didn't fit in, but because I'm just stubborn and a few things bothered me (the whole higher power thing).  I reached some new realizations while away, and believe I've tapped into a new spiritual part of me that I didn't know existed.  I also learned that I was using this board as a substitute for a program.  By helping others I thought I was also helping myself.  Instead, I was neglecting myself.  My "treatment team" was torn on whether I should still come back here.  Eventually they agreed that, with limitations, I could.  In fact, I befriended one of the docs who I had met at a conference once, and he even let me use his computer a few times to get on the internet (against the rules).  I checked in here but didn't post.  You guys have had some really interesting stuff going on lately!  And Tom, must say I love your posts.  You've given great advice.  Dan too.  Nice to see different perspectives, etc.  I'm going to try to step back some and not "dominate" any discussions here, though I like to step in now and again.  And to all of you who wished me well, thanks from the bottom of my heart.  It made me feel sooo good while I was so down to read those posts during treatment.  Finally, please learn a lesson from my relapse.  This board is fantastic, BUT, it isn't a substitute for working a program.  I know that term is cliche, but the reality is, you have to do something consistent to keep fighting this addiction, or it will come back and bite you in the ass when you least expect it.  My best to you all.  Brian
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Please look in the post way down this board, from Patrice to you.  She is on buprenorphine and lives in Calif.  SHe has info. for you.  Take a look.  Phil
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It's called tough love, baby. Thanks.
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Brian, are you sure you didn't come back to this board to brag about your stay at the celebrity filled cushy resort? Please, spare us.  And Lynn, you give all addicts  a bad name.  Get off your lazy ass and get to the doctor for help or shut the hell up.  Here is a perfectly good place for you to get what you want!!! RELIEF!!  from your last postings you have shared that you lost a job because you couldn't handle withdrawal, so Its not like you have anything PRESSING to do.  Could it be that you would rather think about doing more drugs than actually having to stop?  Also, please don't lets acknowledge that loser Curious.  All he wants is attention. I know all you Lynn sympathizers are going to hate me, but at least I have the guts to post my name!!!!  Lynn, been there, quit being a non-hacker.
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Brian, are you sure you didn't come back to this board to brag about your stay at the celebrity filled cushy resort? Please, spare us.  And Lynn, you give all addicts  a bad name.  Get off your lazy ass and get to the doctor for help or shut the hell up.  Here is a perfectly good place for you to get what you want!!! RELIEF!!  from your last postings you have shared that you lost a job because you couldn't handle withdrawal, so Its not like you have anything PRESSING to do.  Could it be that you would rather think about doing more drugs than actually having to stop?  Also, please don't lets acknowledge that loser Curious.  All he wants is attention. I know all you Lynn sympathizers are going to hate me, but at least I have the guts to post my name!!!!  Lynn, been there, quit being a non-hacker.
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Lynn, i tried to ammend my ***** statement to whiner, but unfortunatley it already posted.  I do regret that word and I am sorry.  Please forgive me.  However, I am not sorry for calling you a lazy ass, or Brian a celebrity *****.  I am just pissed off.  Happy ******* thanksgiving
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Look lady, I'm not going to lower myself to calling you anything. But I will tell you this: You have some major issues to overcome yourself. Lynn has never said that she doesn't have a problem and has been extremely self-depracating as far as admitting her utter weakness in terms of her self control and Percoset. She isn't here to impress you or please you. Sounds to me like you're having a bad day and decided to vent here. Well, we've all "been there" too woman. You're mood swings are clearly obvious in your post. Maybe it is you who should shut the computer off and get some help. As far as Brian goes - you have really put your foot in your mouth on this one too. You obviously haven't been here to hear and see all the time and effort and caring Brian has put into people here. I don't need to defend him one bit and I'm going to try not to. He is far above your contempt. His bit about "celebrity" I BELIEVE was to illustrate how far deep this disease reaches - money, fame and fortune and they still are addicts - just like you and me. That's the first step in getting better: Knowing that you are NOT special and that this disease we have is just like the one everyone in our predicament has. Stop pointing fingers unless you're looking in a mirror. I really didn't want to give you the time of day, but the venom and ignorance in your post just begged for response. I'm sure that's what you wanted anyway and in essence I am enabling you here and reinforcing your need to "act out" But I won't stand idly by while someone who has so carelessly ingored the facts here shoots off her mouth. Lynn has a disease - nothing you said or will say is telling her something she doesn't already know. If it was as easy as getting off her "lazy ass" and going to the doctor don't you think she would have done that? You are lost and/or completely ignorant to the ramifications of this disease to even post what you did. I wish Lynn and Brian HAPPINESS. I hope Lynn finds the strength to do what Brian just did. And I wish success and sobriety for both of them for the rest of their lives. You should try some good karma sometime Vicky instead of being a "vortex" of bile and hate. It does come back around and if you've been a decent person, good things will happen to you. Good luck to you and your problems. You've got a lot more work to do than the people you are pointing your finger at.

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I hate to get on a religious kick here but God doesnt allow anyone to suffer. He destroyed the earth once and after that he sent his son to die so we dont have to suffer. We all chose our own destination. We chose what path to take.  Well so much for the bible class. I just had to add that.
Happy Thanksgiving ( and I didnt have to use the "eff" word to enforce that statement)
Maybe Vicky has more then just an addiction problem? She seems to stick her nose in everywhere she can and she cannot wait to jump down someones throat for asking a simple question.
She is as nasty as good ole vicodin girl A>K> Hydrocodone queen!
See ya peeps later
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Of course Lynn has a disease, we all do.  And I apologized for calling her a *****.  However, If I lived three hours from real help, other than methadone and cold turkey, I would at least give it a try and not make excuses.  I have been addicted longer than most of you:  10 years.  I have learned how to live with withdrawals and addiction.  I do not expect sympathy.  I realized a long time ago that If i did not have the ability, will or just plain tolerance to quit taking pain pills I would need to live with the consequences.  What I don't understand is that noone seems to realize that withdrawals are going to be a part of the addicts life.  so you have to plan for them.  If you can't deal with it, keep a job, be a parent to your child then it is time to go to a doctor that can offer a solution.  I would give anything to live on the East Coast.  I was born in Morristown and now live in the midwest, where it truly sucks.  That is where my whining ends.  My sympathies do lie with Lynn, but I don't see where she is trying to do anything to help herself.  Brian went to rehab,however, When someone posts how lucky they are to spend 500 dollars a day at a resort where they brush with celebrities, I am sorry, there has to be a line drawn.  Not every addict is a Friend in need.
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How dare you?!  You come in here recently, not knowing who the hell WE are, and you dare to attack people just becaue you are in a bad mood?  You've obviously got some SERIOUS mental problems above and beyond your narcotic issues.  Why don't you go get yourself some help, and don't bother coming back here until you get your **** together.  You owe those folks an apology, but I'm sure you're too self-centered and petty to bother.  The rest of us here are here for each other, not to attack each other.  If you can't get that through your thick head, leave.  No one will miss you.  Joan
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Wow!  I'm just back here and getting attacked by someone I don't even know or recognize as a "regular" here.  Not that I need to defend myself, but I felt the need to set the record straight.  I wasn't boasting.  Far from it.  I was, as Mike suggested just mentioning the celebs because this thing hits everyone.  I must admit it was kind of neat meeting people who are celebs, so sue me if I'm like most people who get a bit "star struck."  As to the $500 a day thing, again, not boasting, I just thought some of the people who know me here might be interested to know where I've been.  You see, unlike you, I've been coming here for over a year.  I come here because I like to support and get support.  I humbly suggest that is what this board is for, not for attacking people.  Perhaps you need some anger managment therapy?  Brian
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For god's sake, How many times do I have to apologize.  Jeez, aI made a mistake.  Amazing how you have selected sympathies.  I have been reading this board for several months.  I am sorry, but no one owns it and guess what? you can't kick me off.  Now, for the last time, I am SORRY!!!!! Can we get past this?  If not, then no one apparantly has any forgiveness in their heart. Of course I have problems, and yes I am thick-headed. If I was perfect I wouldn't be on this board.  By the way, I am also concerned for Chad.  So there....
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Vicky
How sick to boast that you have been an addict for 10 years, like you deserve some trophy for being "the person addicted for the longest time award".  And how do you know that you hold the title anyhow?  That statement you made was almost like your cry for some kind of sick recognition for your long time addiction.
Get a life. Go make your stuffing for tomorrow or bake a pumpkin pie!!
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I came here tonight to just check in and found all of this turmoil.  All the better to the person who reaches out for help, no matter the cost or the avenue.  For me, it was lonely detox at home in Hell, but if I could have afforded a nice spot in the Southwest...damn straight I would have been there in a minute flat.  It's not how you get there...it's just that you made the trip successfully.  This board is beginning to sound like our Race for the White House.  Too much politics and bad mouthing.  Lynn...only 3 in the morning? All day, then Xanax at night.  That's not too bad.  Your not taking any other time?  Next morning, try 2 and a half.  When you feel the withdrawals begin...go for a walk...or just step outside and look up at the sky.  Better yet...when you feel at your worst, hug an animal.  I'm here for you, even through all of these vicious postings. Neena
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Hi: I have been reading some of the comments and  I feel kind of stupid asking a question that's sort of been asked a million times, but how do I cope with life while I am going through withdrawal?  I have been on vicodin for a year, and this is the first time I haven't had any, and I imagine the awful flu I have isn't really the flu.  I have to cook tomorrow and act like everything is fine, but it isn't and I don't know what to do. Please help me.
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sorry, I would love to help, since no one else seems to have the time, but apparantly, I am not allowed to even be nice to someone who is going through pain because I was told to shut off my computer!!  well, I am going to say something anyway since I don't see anyone else posting to your plea.  You will get through this, think of this time as a body cleansing ritual.  Try to take a xanax or another kind of trank, do some exercises and know that God is not punishing you.  In a few days you will be fine, unless you continue to use, then you may be in for a bad time.  You are scared because this is new to you.  This is your body without any kind of pain relief.  The natural endorphins have been replaced by the vicodin.  However, all is not lost!!! They will return.  You are scared because this evil cycle of addiction has become real to you. Take motrin, Immodium, even if your stomach troubles aren't too bad, because it is an opiate.  It has the same chemical structure as hydrocodone, but you cannot get a buzz off of it.  Be strong and believe that it will be over  in a week.  Good luck
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is it the holidays or what...people are freaking...brian always good to hear from you...what is happening here? dr. steve has a patent answer for everything.brian very helpful but sounds like he has his hands full fighting his demons. it seems a lot of us come here wanting to be told everything is going to be ok...and for some of us...it's not. this new woman needs sympathy because she is obviously flipping out here because she probably can't discuss it with her people.let's chill for t-day. if brian is having this much trouble, christ what are we in for. i have similarfeelings about "GOD" making it all better.you live you die, watch CNN people are sheltering their children from bullets and we are trying to get off narcs...good luck...maybe some of us will make it. dr. steve...forget it.

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it sturned into a place where no d.s come anymore...tom has even split...toobad, helpful once..see you all in hell...or at chad's
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I have been usuing anti-depressants and sleeping pils for many years now, and I visited this site for some advice, as I am an ex-pat English guy working in Thailand.
Will someone get off their high horse and answer the question that is asked by so many of us.
Can we get off these pills and how long does it take? I am taking 2 mills every night and feel like hell when I try to even taper off.
At one time I tried stopping altogether but did not sleep for 15days.
PLEASE HELP!!!!!
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Just to get through the day is enough.  I suffered horribly.  As Vicki suggested, take Xanax or Ativan, if available and the Immodium.  I could not function at all...but I had to for my baby.  The only thing that kept me going was a little physical movement when I felt good enough.  Try walking up and down your driveway, a hot shower.  Ask for help with the holiday cooking.  If you have to, tell them you have the stomach flu and insist on help and go to the bathroom.  Taper off the codiene if you have any left.  If you cut off completely you may have real problems, not life threatening, but just pure Hell.  Tapering is the key.  If you want your life back, you must TAKE it back, yourself.  God is watching and cheering you all the way.  I am here for you and don't become humiliated.  This is where God wants you to be...asking for help and scared.  You have a choice.  Good luck and hang on, as the next couple of days could be bad.  Neena
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I am a codiene abuser/recovered one month or so, but I was told by my doctor to NEVER stop cold turky on my anti-depressents, as they can produce withdrawals, just as anything else.  I too am taking a sleep inducer and am wanting to stop.  I would talk with your doc....all I know is that stopping anything all at once is not the way.  TAPERING IS THE KEY.  If you feel you are not strong enough to taper, ask for help and have someone administer them to you, as my hubby did.  Your sleep patterns are all off now, they will have to return on their own naturally.  What anti-depressent are you on?  Neena
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Hey everyone.  Happy Thanksgiving.  Today is for being thankful for what we do have, so let's put all the bickering to rest!  Vicky isn't perfect, and I'm not so pleased about her jabs, BUT, I'm not going to judge her either.  Probably just going through a rough time.  Vicky, please let's try to keep the "mood" here positive.  I apologize for my rapid defensive response to your posts.  God knows we could all use some help and we do come here looking for it.  Your apology is accepted, let's all forget about it and go forward.  Sick & Scared, it is very scary going through withdrawal, especially the first time.  Without knowing how much you were using, it's kind of hard to know how bad it will be.  It also differs in everyone.  The GOOD news is the worst of it is over in 3-4 days.  Expect those days to be filled with: hot/cold sensations; sweats; cramps; diahrrea; lack of appetite; mild fever; elevated blood pressure; insomnia and agitation.  It feels like you're dying but you're not.  If you do have some pills left, the tapering idea is good.  IF you had enough, you could taper your dose by about 10% per every few days until you hit zero.  Immodium is good, but I'm not sure where the idea came from it is a narcotic.  It is not.  It does help the runs though.  IF you are willing to seek medical help, you could look for a physician or outpatient program using buprenorphine, which is great for withdrawal.  Many others use clonidine (a blood pressure medication) which helps a bit.  Also, if you have access to Xanax/Valium or the like, this helps.  Finally, it isn't life threatening, but you feel like you are gonna die or want to.  Hang in there!  Expect some mild to moderate depression and anxiety for several weeks after you quit.  Consider what led to your addiction or dependence and whether a program such as NA, or private addiction therapy would benefit you.  Good luck and post again with any questions.  Brian.
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when did tom split? I must have gotten stoned and missed that one ....


Hey, Brian, check this out about Immodium:
"Mechanism of Action:  .... Although loperamide is chemically related to opioids, it does not exhibit analgesic or opiate-like effects, even at high doses. Tolerance to the antidiarrheal effect of loperamide has not been observed, and it does not appear to produce physical dependence."

This is an extract from a monograph on the best site I've found yet for straight drug info:
http://cp.gsm.com/fromcpo.asp


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Thanks for the site, it really looks great and will be of help to me in the future.  God I love the internet, and I can't even remember what it was like before it existed.  All I know is I can't seem to do without it now.  Perhaps another addiction developing...?  Yes, it is chemically related; however, without attaching to the opiate receptors it can't be considered an opiate, or even to have opiate like properties, whereas a "non-opiate" such as tramadol (Ultram) does attach to the bind to the opiate receptors and hence has opiate like properties (such as analegisic effect AND tolerance/withdrawal).  So, although I still say loperamide isn't an opiate and doesn't act like one, I now understand where people get the idea it is one.  Thanks.  Hope you had a great Thanksgiving.  Once again I am living proof that turkey contains tryptophans--I'm falling asleep already.  Brian
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I was wondering. Does the DEA watch this forum and screen these posts? I mean, they can find out who is posting just by tracing us through when we have to register. Can they trace us back?
Just curious.
Thanks hope ya'll had a good Thanksgiving!
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Hi Everyone!

I've been reading this site for several weeks and feel I've gotten to know seveal of you - even though I've yet to post a note myself.  Your stories have been a genuine inspiration to me...Lynn, Brian, Neena, Brighty, especially...I can sense the concern and compassion you have for eachother and others, and wanted to say thanks for helping me keep it together through a battle of my own.  It's encouraging to hear how you are trying, to read when you make progress, and how you all deal with times when there's a setback too.  I really felt alone this past year, and though I knew there must be others out there in a similar condition, it is good to know they are keeping it together as they progress.

I've had BAD problems with pain pills for several years.  Started a long time ago as a result of numerous racing accidents and related injuries.  For about 15 years, the trouble was limited to percocet and vicodin, at 'reasonable' quantities -not more than 10 pills a day, and limited by access more than anything else.  (That was all I could get RX's for.)  I was careful to ration my pills, because I knew I couldn't function without a few to get oit of bed, a few more at mid day, a few around dinner, and a few to go to sleep on.  I went through withdrawal more times than I can count....when a planned source fell through, or an early refill was denied.  But I never went more than a few days without, and that didn't happen more than once every few months or so.

In the past 4 years it's gotten way worse.  After a few bad car wrecks and more injuries (auto racing this time) I've escalated my use of pills to a point I can't see a way out of other than to give up.  The quantities I am dependent on are so high, withdrawal is no longer something that I could tolerate - I have no doubt it would kill me or I would kill myself before lasting even a day.

Vicodin doesnt touch my pain, nor does Percocet, or anything else except large doses of morphine or oxycontin.  I feel backed into a corner into a situation I created but cannot correct, and have no clue what to do about it.   If I didn't have a wife and kids I would have ended things several months ago.  The only way I can deal with it it to put it out of my mind and go on, but I know that's not the answer because nothing changes then...

I now am at the point where I need at least 320mg of Oxycontin an hour before getting out of bed, that much again at mid-day, and 160mg or so again at night.   And that's a minimum.  I have hit 15 pills and as many as 20 once or twice(80mg Oxycontin or similar total mg in the 40 or 160mgs) a day, and that's a reduction from this spring where my use was 25-35 per day.  I know that may sound unbelievable, but it is true.  Honest it is.

I am hoping there's someone else out there who has a similar experience or knows someone who has because I've never found anyone who came down from those levels or the amount of time I've been using opiods.  

This year I've drained my savings, lost a few good doctors (including an excellent family doctor that took care of my kids for years), and got myself into legal trouble (a first for me) too as a result of seeing 2 docs and a few questionable scripts.   That still isn't resolved either, and is another large problem to deal with....but another story I guess.

I tried detox.  Went into what was supposed to be a 3-5 day inpatient stay, and 10 days later was released with the Doc stating "this is as good as you're going to feel".  These so called professionals admitted they had no exerience at the levels I was taking, and the most they had seen before was someone taking "as many as 10 80mg per day, but not every day".  I was consistently at 3 times that!   They treated me just as they did everyone else, except doubled my clonodine and phenobarbital for 7 days.  When herion addicts were leaving in 3-4 days and I was still screaming in withdrawal after 9, it should have registered with me that they weren't doing enough.  The Doc told me to come back in 10 days for some counceling and try NA or AA meetings as soon as possible.  Well that wasn't good enough.  I couldn't have possibly driven or sat through a meeting in my condition.  That I made it home at all isa miracle.   I came home, laid on the floor and cried til my wife gathered up the kids and gave me 2 hours to "get my act together" when she would be home again.  

I don't blame her...the kids hadn't seen me for 10 days..and the Docs at the Detox told her I would have the drugs out of my system by then, so to her, I should have been better.   But I wasn't.  The pain was back 1,000 times worse - to a point where my mind felt like it was going to explode from trying to deal with it.   I was so shakey (shaky) it felt like I had drank 10 pots of coffee, I was throwing up, and went for my gun locked inn the garage.  Fortunately it was gone.  I then called a friend for help. I took a single 80mg Oxycontin, and within 30 minutes felt like a new person.  

I quickly found that Detox had taken care of a lot of my tolerance problems, and instead of 6-10 80mgs at a time, 1-2 would do the trick.  No buzz, but no pain either.  I felt wiped out from all the benzos they gave me in Detox, but with little pain, I was able to get back to work and lead a normal life again.  

Unfortunately 4-5 80mg pills a day has escalated to 10 per day again (over 3 months)and I am deathly afraid I will be back where I was before if I don't get a handle on this quickly.  

Problem is, I do have legit pain...bad pain....and with nothing, I cannot function.  That 10 per day is a legit scrip.  But the Doc recently said he wanted me to cut back, so I am going to have to.  But with that, comes the pain again.  And probably withdrawal.  And I live in constant fear he will cut me off all together....

Everything I read about addiction states I can no longer safely take pain meds, but without I am definately not going to make it.  I need to work, to be a dad, a husband, etc,   I am the sole support for the family so toughing out a withdrawal is not an option.  If 10 days inpatient didn't touch it....what will???  If I knew 30 days would do it for sure, I could probably arrange it.  But I don't know that.  And my 'gut' tells me it won't...after reading the many posts, I am convinced I destroyed my body's ability to make endomorphins probably forever.   Which means I will never get better, right?  

Does anyone out there have any advice or experience that could help?  I am SO scared!!!
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Your story is very sad.  I would say compared to you, my problem is nothing.  I really don't know what you can do, but I do feel for ya.  It has gotta be tough!  I bet you wish that you never started taking those damn pills...I know I do.  I've been reading the posts for a while too, just posting now after reading yours.  When you have pills, your world is wonderful.  Then when you get down to just a few you realize you're about to run out and the fear that hits is unbelievable.  That's the part about this I hate the worst.  Right when you run out, wondering what the next few hours or even days will be like.  I've heard of people just being alone for a few days to tough out the withdrawal.  I used to say that I could handle the mental withdrawal if I could just get past the physical part.  Now I've found that it's the other way around.  The mental anguish is almost unbearable.  For anyone that is a smoker, I can say this to you.  Imagine dying for a cigarette...that's what it feels like.  You can't breathe, and that's all you think about.  Hey Tom, this is probably a stupid question, but have you ever gone through the first hours or day of a withdrawal at work?  That is horrible.  I feel like if I don't stop someone will eventually figure me out, and then what am I going to do?  I keep telling myself that this will be my last bottle, only to do it again.  Now I've gotten to the point where I don't think I can stop.  I totally know how you feel.  The amazing thing about this website is that all of us go through the same things.  We can relate to each other without judging one another.  I hope you can find help.  You take the most amount of pills I have ever heard of.  Most likely that means your withdrawals will last a lot longer than the norm.  It will take longer for all of the toxins to get out of your system.  There are herbs and stuff you can take that supposedly flush your system of all toxins, but I've not used them myself nor do I know anyone who has.  It's a suggestion, but honestly I don't think you're going to be able to do this on your own.
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Does anyone know which has more codeine in it....vicodin or tylenol #3?
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Thanks Laura, for your kind words.  I work as a field rep, and make my own schedule, so withdrawal at work doesnt happen because I wouldnt schedule my work that way.  I can say, other than the detox last summer which was so bad I can remember little of it, and a few times when I went from waking up at 6am til noon with nothing, I havent had any lasting withdrawal.  Those few times I went from waking up til noon it was so bad I went in and BEGGED a pharmacyst to loan me a dozen or so til the next day, and he/she did because it was obvious I woouldnt make it without them.  What a mess I got myself in, huh??

BTW - Vicodin is 5mg hydrocodone which is synthetic codiene that gets into your bloodstream faster than codiene (T#3), so the Vicodinnis definately stronger.  My expwrience from years ago was it took 2 Tylenol #4s to equal 1 Vicodin, and a t#4 has 60mg of codiene versus 30mg in a t#3, so that's the relationship. (Vicodin ES is 7.5 mg hydrocodone and Vicodin HP or Lortab 10 is 10mg hydrocodone)

Have a good evening and thanks again!
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this post is to Daryl if he is still reading here,
I just left a post to you from one of your posts you made at the end of October about your migraines, I think the name of the topic is question about vicodin/darvon or something like that. I didn't want it to get lost because you posted so long ago, so please go back and read what I just posted. I had some ideas on your headaches and some questions to everyone on being treated at the ER less seriously if you are a woman.
Beanie
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man oh man ... Tom -- what are we going to do with you? At least no one can accuse you of only doing things half way! How much oxycodone did you say you were using? After you got done filling your triplicates, I dare say every other user in the county had their oxy prescription backordered into the next week. You must be on a first name basis with every opium warlord in the Golden Triangle! I don't mean to make light of your situation. I just needed a moment to pick my jaw up off of the ground. Where most people have blood types like O-negative, yours must be Schedule II-Positive.

When I was arrested for rx forgery and thrown into the county jail detox ward in 1993, I was using 75 to 100 Vicodin 5mg's a day (yes, I said 100)! I was removing the Tylenol before I consumed it,  but my urine was then being bottled and sold as Tussionex Hydrocodone cough syrup. (now you know why Tussionex is yellow!)

Sorry to joke, but some things are so bad you can't address them without paying homage to this deity of ours that allows such things to happen in the first place.

Opiates are funny in that tolerance at a certain point seems to make dosages almost irrelevant. Let's just say you've turned your body into an oxycodone metabolizing factory and leave it at that.

I think you already know you're going to need the full 90-day residential treatment program. There just is no way around it now. I think you should start lining up just such a situation now. And since this all started with what sounds like a constellation of chronic pain issues to rival Evel Kniviel (are you sure you're not him?), you surely should start by finding the best pain management/addiction specialist you can afford (or promise to pay later, whatever it takes).

It also sounds like there's a wife situation that might have to be put on the back burner for at least the 90 days. There's just no way you can cope with the emotional load of maintaining a marriage and deal with all you're about to be facing.

The thing is, you're going to need to address these different aspects one at a time. A good 90-day detox and recovery program is the only thing that's going to give you a fighting chance with all this load you're carrying. Don't try to solve it all at once. That will just break your back (if it isn't already). Take this on in stages, my friend. Get truly detoxified before you try to solve all the other issues. A man can shoulder just so much at a time.

But don't let the dosages discourage you. It's all relative when tolerance enters the equation. The solutions are the same. They just may need to be spread out a bit more, that's all. I came back from 100 vics a day. Of course, I can't play the violin now - but, come to think of it, I couldn't before I started using, either.

Get a hold of the big book of AA and read the biographies therein if you want t see what some people have overcome with the help of they're fellow addicts. Believe it or not, but we've all been where you are right now. The dosages your fixated on ultimately don't mean squat. This disease we share isn't much interested in quantity.

I don't know your life story, but it sounds like there's going to have to be some amends made to family, friends and employers somewhere down the line. But that's what the 12 steps are for. (don't think about them now, though, first things first)

Tom, you're not alone in this struggle. Not for one second. The right 90-day program will include 90 meetings in 90 days and those meetings will introduce you to the community of us addicts and alcoholics that, whether you know it or not, you've already joined.

There is a way out of this hell you're in and all you need to do is stand up, say your name and offer your hand. We will take it and lead you out of hell just as you will be leading us out.

Your enemy now is your isolation. Go to the first AA meeting you can find (the drug of choice really doesn't matter - most alcoholics are pill users, too). Introduce yourself and tell the meeting you're there for the first time and don't know what to do next. I promise you the response you will get will change your life.

There is a nobility in suffering and a profound power in the fellowship that flows through AA meetings that can bring you life and redemption, no matter how low you might feel yourself to be right now.

Pick up the phone and make those clinic arrangements now. It's the only way, but it's a way that can and will save your life. Good luck. I will look for your posts on this site and will always listen and respond to you. (just to keep things straight, spell yourname Tom wit a capital T to distinguish it from my posts as "tom.")

Get started now, Tom. It's time .
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Man I really feel for you tom and Tom. Are just NOT reading my posts. THIS degree of addiction is  best treated by opiate agonist therapies. Tom,I thought you agree'd. Relapse is so high. Unless you want to spend the rest of your life's in treatment facitities. Some actually become addicted to treatment. I am gonna save my breath. Mildy disgusted. OPIATE addiction is a disease and MUST be treated accordingly> I must say opiate agonist therapies are NOT for every opiate addict,but one who consistently fails in ABSTINENCE is a good canidate.
Confused,  
DAn
ps:DSM III code 304.0 ??
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I MUST echo Dan's sentiments.  Here you have: 1. true chronic pain from clear injuries, documented in your medical chart 2. huge dependence on a narcotic 3. a doc who will soon be cutting you down.  Your CLEAR choice, in my opinion, is simple.  You need to be on methadone or LAAM (both long-acting narcotics).  These will allow you both to get pain relief AND to feel comfortable without the constant high/low of short-acting narcotics.  My suggestion would be to have your doc refer you to a good pain clinic, and make sure they put you on one of these.  The reason I suggest a pain clinic rather than a methadone clinic is you need treatment for your pain, and in a pain clinic your pain will be the most important consideration.  Furthermore, you are far more likely to be given adequate "take home" doses of methadone, rather than going to a methadone clinic each day for a long time until they trust you enough for week long take homes.  PLEASE go do this quickly.  You are the PERFECT candidate for long-acting opiate treatment.  It is, in my considered opinion, the ONLY true option for you.  It will take care of all your problems, you will feel pain relief and relief from your opiate seeking, and can get on with your life.  I'm surprised your doc hasn't suggested this, but then again I'm not surprised because so many of my colleagues know so little about narcotics!  Of course I "supplemented" my knowledge a bit too much through my own personal experimentation.  Anyhow, please post and let me know what you think about this plan.  Brian
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The idea of getting methadone from a pain clinic is an excellent idea. The problem there lies in the fact that when an addict gets  quantities of methadone they usualy start abusing the methadone.
If the person has CONTROL of his addcition this may be possible. The clinic offers support and watches very closely to make sure the patient is not increasing his/her dose for other reasons. A good addiction doc may provide this supervision. But most pain doctors will not act in this manner. Pain/addiction doctors may
a solution to this problem but these doctors are not at the average person's disposal.
Dan.
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Excellent point.  This is why I suggested a reputable pain clinic.  The docs there are familiar with addiction, and many of their patients have had addiction/dependence issues.  So, they should be well versed with dealing with methadone and the propensity of some patients to seek a "high" from their dosage.  I do believe that the majority of legitimate pain sufferers have been able to regulate their dosage, with their docs help, to keep pain and withdrawal, as well as abuse, under control.  I would rather he (Tom, with oxycontin prob.) use a pain clinic than a maintainence clinic because they will be better versed in other methods to add to the methadone to control the pain issues, and will also be less likely to assume his desire for increased amounts of methadone, if the original amount prescribed isn't working, is legitimate, rather than simply an addict chasing a high.  Of course, there is concern (hence your post) he may be unable to control his level of use of methadone, but I think he should at least give it a try.  Brian
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All of you sound like you have this drug thing figured out. And I can relate to all of you. I have been taking pain meds on and off(more on than off) now for almost 20 years, and befor that a pot smoker. For the last 3 years I have been taking percodan. I have cut way back on them now partly because I was fearful my doctor would cut me off and partly because I know what they are doing to me. I do suffer from migrains but very few, much less than I tell my doctor about or my wife. About a year ago I stopped taking them as much. I was taking about 120 pills a month. Now I take 50 about every two months. When I get them I will go through them in about two weeks. Then stay strait till my next doctors visit(in about 7 weeks)I have found that the bigest catch with these drugs are that they give you a way to feel, a way to stimulate your mind, and all you have to do is put a pill in your mouth. It is human nature to want to stimulate you mind somehow, to feel a certain emotion. Without drugs this takes reall work.

Without drugs- To fell a sence of accomplishment. One might take up a hoby, or seek a rewarding career. With drugs you can just take a pill and sit back or do something small around the house. That is just one of many examples.
After you take them for a long time you loose the ability to become self-motivated. The only way you know to feel anything is to just take your pill of chioce. Thats why when you stop them you don't feel anything, you just want to lay around the house and not face up to anything. When quiting drugs it is a whole reshaping of how you conduct your life. You have to learn how to feel happy, concerned, interested, motivated feel love. Any emotion you can posibly think of has to be relearned, all over again or sometimes even learned for the first time. It is a hard battle but I can say this. When you achieve happyness on you own rather than with drugs it is a deeper feeling, a feeling of treu happyness not the fake happyness from some drug.

My precription will come in 3 weeks and I will take it again. I am just now doing things without the drugs and doing well, but I look forward to that next fix. I hope some day I will get sick of this rollercoaster ride and quit but I am just not ready yet.

Success to all of you
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guys, guys, I do believe I suggested a pain managment/addiction specialist somewhere in my post. I just thought he needs some kind of supervised setting to figure out what he's got in his system. From what he says, he's got a good portion of the PDR flowing through his veins. Wouldn't you agree that that has to be sorted out in some kind of controlled setting? I suggested the meetings because, if memory serves me, Tom was talking about eating the barrel of a gun, with his wife giving him two hours before she left with the kids. I don't know about you guys, but with all that happening to me, I'd want some moral support to go with the medical expertise. The pain management doc (harder to find, by the way, than you say), may very well agree that methadone is the right stuff, but don't you start by first stabilizing a patient so you at least know what you're starting with before you begin adding more and more powerful drugs?

Oh, and Dan? You can take you mild disgust and shove it up your ass, you judgemental son of a *****. Happy Thanksgiving.
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I thought Oxycontin's were long acting=time release.  Why add another that's just as bad and easy to abuse?
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I must apoligise for that entire post. I try so hard I feel like I get no where. I had a talk with my chemical dep. instructor about my overwhelming feelings lately. He said dealing with addicts on a daily basis day in day out can cause these feelings. Sometimes I get a little judgemental. I am working on that. Also I think I told you I am on a slow detox and I have problems with anger. I have to be off methadone to take my state board exams. I  have to face the board in an attempt to change this ruling. I don't know. Oh well, I humbly apologise. I will try to make it right by you. Dan..
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Thanks All, for your time and advice!   It is definately encouraging to know that I'm not alone in this.  An extra thanks to tom for all the time and thougght obviously given to your advice.

I have considered a 30 day program, never gave much thought to 90 days though, because 30 isn't possible right now.  One piece I left out is unfortunately my legal problems are far from resolved and I have to be in court in a few weeks.  Am facing several big charges and one nasty prosecutor who would like to see me on the top of the "10 Most Wanted" list.  He just REFUSES to accept that I could possibly have been taking the amount of drugs they have documented, and insists I must have been selling them.  Nothing could be further fromm the truth - there isn't enough money out there to pry these pills out of my hands!  Fortunately for me, he didn't do much a job investigating and the quantities he has documented arent nearly the true totals, or my job would be even tougher.  

With all the $$$ I've layed out in legal and medical bills this year, and a stay-at-home-Mom/wife, I have no choice but to keep working to try and stay afloat.

Once this is over and I PRAY I get probation, I may consider some sort of longer term treatment program.  The time I lost in Detox and aftrwards trying to find a Doc to help was all I can afford to take off for a while though...for more reasons than just money too.  

When I decided to go to Detox I asked any questions and was assured that like you said Tom, the quantities were not going to affect my treatment - basically and addict is an addict is an addict.   I was given promises that I would suffer severe withdrawal for 3-5 days and then it would start to improve.  Told me to expect to be able to work again in 2-3 weeks at the outside.  Said I might not be sleeping well yet, but I could expect SOME sleep at least.

They weren't even close.   With twice the top dose of phenobarbital, clonodine, uptram, and whatever else they give for Detox (280mg of Pheno was a number I recall), I was STILL up and pacing the floors for 10 days straight.  Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE else in the Detox unit would wait for their midnight dosing and catch a few hours sleep.  Not me.   The nurses confided that they had never seen anyone ever suffer as I had.  And after 10 days the Detox MD said "this is as good as you're going to feel for a while" as I cried and wanted to die.

Not to discount at all a 100 Vicodin/day habit Tom, but it still isn't near a the quantity of oxycodone I was taking just to stay level.  Doing the math quickly 100x5mg of Hydro=500mg of hydrocodone.  30x80mg of Oxycodone is 2400mg - and mg for mg, the Oxy is stornger.  My point isn't that one is worse of more painful, but that there just are very few people with experience at those levels, and I haven't found them yet.  In fact, I have yet to find anyone with an Oxycontin habit of as little as 5 or 6 of the 80mg pills per day for any length of time (say 3-6 months at those levels) that has been successful in getting clean.  Thats what scares me so much!

Geez, I feel like I am dominating the site here with my problems and am sorry for it.  I sat silent for weeks and now can't stop typing!

I do sincerely feel for anyone with an adiction (addiction) to these pills - whether Oxy, Morphine, Vicodinm Codiene, or even Ultram.  MAN this is tough!   My humble advice for anyoine out there struggling is stop now before it escalates, because the longer you wait, the harder it gets.  (Guess that's what you all told me huh!!??)

I still am scared...ok terified.  But a little better now that I've "spoken" to people about it.  Does that make any sense?

Thanks again for all your time and advice.
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Thank you all for your posts. I really am benifiting from them. I have been on pain meds for 15-20 years now. And as you have read in my last post I am still strugling. I just got a scrip today for 60 percs. I can go for weeks without them. Not by choice but only so my doc doesn't cut me off. I hate this and I have been keeping this inside for so lond. I am so glad I found you friends, and I just know we can all beat this thing. Read my last post please so you can know how I feel, and that will  catch you up on me, and I will be posting again soon please keep those letters coming

                    John B.
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Kind of like big Tom little tom here.  Anyhow, Tom with the huge oxy problem, what do you think about going on methadone?  I assume you have given it some thought, just interested what you think.  I really don't see any other solution for you.  And tom, your idea regarding residential treatment is great; however, my point is simply until he is stabilized regarding his narcotic intake, NOTHING in this world is going to help him.  Clearly he would benefit from a long-term treatment, but it seems he can't do it now.  So, first things first, I do believe he should get on the methadone.  Well big Tom, what are you going to do??
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Hi Phil,

This thread sure is diverse... wonder if you'll see this. I am curious ... are you talking about Lance Gooberman in Merchantville, NJ ? Anyway, how long have you been using the buprenorphine and how do you take it.. and how often ?? How long do you project to continue with it ? You may have explained this elsewhere but I can't find it. Just curious... ands I think this will be helpful for others to know also. I am happy to hear you are meeting with success. God bless you. Love, Brighty
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Hi Phil,

This thread sure is diverse... wonder if you'll see this. I am curious ... are you talking about Lance Gooberman in Merchantville, NJ ? Anyway, how long have you been using the buprenorphine and how do you take it.. and how often ?? How long do you project to continue with it ? You may have explained this elsewhere but I can't find it. Just curious... ands I think this will be helpful for others to know also. I am happy to hear you are meeting with success. God bless you. Love, Brighty
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Hi Tom and Tom... this is for the new Tom who was thinking of long term treatment.... go for it!! I do realize that if you have to support yourself and a family this may not be an option. But if you are tied up in the legal system this may go a long way to get you a better deal... particularly with a tough prosecuter. FWIW, my daughter was in and out of the 30 day programs like most of us change sox. For the really "challenged" opiate addict ( thanks Dan... good term !!) 30 days just isn't enough for the brain to return to a quasi normal state.. thus the repeated relapse syndrome. And believe me... if she had not been mandated with a house arrest as well, she would have left. I agree that mandated does not work...the person has to want it.... BUT.... if the brain can settle down long enough for a person to begin to feel somewhat normal ,then they also can begin to feel hopeful... and really want to stay that way... in my humble estimation ... the longer the amount of clean time the better the possibility of long term success. So if you either choose or get "sentenced" to long term treatment consider it a good thing. Time is a big player in the healing game. Love, Brighty
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Reply to Nina
Thanks for your advice. I am taking Amitrylline 25mg tab. one at night. The problem here is that my local hospital does not have Prozac, which I used to take, without any side effects.
I am getting better each day, and sleeping a little better too. How or when I should reduce my dose of Xanax I will discuss with my doctor thi coming Tuesday as I will be out of tabs then.
Thank you so much for your interest, it really helps me to know that my symptoms are not going to last forever.
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Calm Down. There is no amount oxycontin that a methadone program cannot stabilise. For the addicts that see no light at the end of the tunnel,there is methadone. I do believe most 200.00 heroin addicts have you beat tom and they are maintained daily. Oxycontin is not stonger than heroin. MMT will allow minumal withdrawals in the shortest amount of time. Two days tops and you will be on your way to a stabile life. There are many pill addicts at my clinic being maintained on methadone or LAAM. Methadone is probably one the safest opiate type drugs out there.
Long term or short term,methadone IS your answer my friend.
Dan
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http://cp.gsm.com/fromcpo.asp  

This is a good site to get drug info. Thanks to who ever posted that for us.


             John B.
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the legal aspect of your problem is/was a carbon copy of mine: I had developed a scam for "legally" purchasing boat loads of Vicodin from reputable pharmacies -- all to feed my own habit (I've never sold a pill to anyone in my life). But the quantities were so high, the rx's so numerous that the DA refused to believe I was just feeding my own addiction and insisted on prosecuting me for felony possession with the intent to sell. Making matters worse, the judge said it was the most sophisticated small-scale operation he'd ever seen. In any other circumstances, I would have been flattered. Anyway, one reason I suggested the 90-day house-arrest detox and recovery program is because even some pretty hard nosed DAs will accept this in place of jail time. It kept my ass out of jail and, really, while I'm not the model AA member, in the physical and mental shape I was in at the time, anything less than 90-day residential with morning-noon-and night 12-step meetings just wouldn't have solved anything. I can truthfully say that, while I still have a long way to go, those 90 days taught me more about myself, my disease, why I used and why I had always failed to recover in the past. Those 90 days also gave me my first taste of true sobriety since I was a teenager. Up until that time, I thought sobriety was just withdrawal without the runs.

My heart goes out to you, Tom. With all this on your plate, you're also sole support of your family. I was in the same position and I kept telling myself that, regardless of how much help I needed, I had to "stand and deliver" to keep a roof over my family and milk in the fridge. But you know, it was just more than I could shoulder, no matter how responsible I felt or how much I blamed myself for everything. An hour after my wife left with the kids, I finally just reported to the detox ward, and four days later, the residential group home run by the court-appointed electronic house arrest outfit, and put myself in their hands. All the things I thought would fall apart without me somehow didn't. In my absence, relatives and friends came forward to help my family and I was able to focus on my immediate problem. Because it was an electronic house arrest program, after a few weeks I was able to resume work while living in the group home. Funnily enough, my employer never had a clue any of this was going on.

It sounds trite, but the way I got through that period was by applying the One Day at a Time" principle to everything I did, every single day I was in the program. I don't mean this just in terms of not using drugs, but in coping with all the other challenges I had in front of me. Sometimes, I got through the day by focusing on just the next hour, then the next, and so on. Repairing your life is like building a pyramid: impossible to do when thought of as a whole - but very do-able when attacked block by block by block.

Ask your lawyer about the residential program. Usually, if you don't have anything too bad on your record already, the DA will let you plead down to a suspended sentence with residential house arrest as part of your drug treatment plan. Good luck, my friend. Post anytime you want to talk. I'm usually around and there are plenty of other good folk here with lots of good ideas and more than a few words of wisdom to share.
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apology acepted ... hey, this methadone detox really does sound kinda tricky. Not having been on a long-acting opiate, I have nothing to compare it to. Do I take it from your post that you can't be board certified in Chem Dep. if you're still on a maintenance drug?
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Not in Texas. I am trying to change that perception. I have gone down 75mgm's w/out difficulty just now starting to encounter and having to face issues that went unsolved for twenty years. Detox is no more tricky to myself than any other opiate withdrawal. I am just trying to solve problems that I have had but never truly faced. Dealing with life on its terms is what is tricky not the detox,
Dan
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btw: sorry for calling you an sob in my previous post. I guess we're both passionate about the subject and don't hesitate to express ourselves. Besides, both being a ripe 47, I dare say we can handle a few spirited exchanges without wetting our pants. The good and the bad point of bulletin boards and e-mail systems is their fire-and-forget spontaneity.

One question on take homes: are they dispensed in little sealed beakers, like the little coffee creamers, in, say, a MacDonalds breakfast? Sounds like you have to guard those things with your life once you get your week's supply ... I still must admit to not liking the daily reporting aspect of the clinic. I know it's too important to let that stop me, but maybe it would be worth asking about LAAM to cut down on all the commuting. I certainly am looking forward to stabalizing my body chemistry and handling my pain with a safe, clean, reliable solution. I have a phone interview with the director of the Third Street Clinic in Santa Ana on Monday. I'll keep you posted. Take care.
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Dan,
I don't need methadone myself, but I was wondering what the liquid tastes like?? is it nasty tasting?? I can't take my soma or xanax without drinking it with coke because the pills are so bitter tasting, don't know why they don't put a coating on them..anyways, how is methadone for treating chronic pain? does it work better than other opiates, like vicodin or oxycontin? or do you have to not be able to control your intake of those before you would even be considered for using it for severe chronic pain? Thanks, Beanie
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No you didn't hurt my feelings just made me more of a believer of what a pompous you are.
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Wow - your situation sounds a lot like mine!  I covered myself well too, perfect scrips, well-timed dates, quantities that mirrored "real" RX's in case they were checked up on, etc..  Like you, all this the prosecutor claims is evidence of the business agnle he is trying to push.  

What he has yet to mention is that I got caught because I ADMITTED to my primary Doc of my problem and asked for advice.  If it were a business, why would I admit it and go to Detox??  
The advice I got was to go directly to Detox, which I did within a few hours.  If I had just gone to Detox without calling my Doc, or if I had not told my Doc how I was getting 3 times the amount prescribed, I would probably not have legal problems now.

I was in Detox about 12 hours when they came to arrest me.   Nice Doc, huh?  My wife was a saint.  Within a 24 hour period she learned I needed to go away to Detox which I then went to, a half day later she came home to a house destroyed by the police with a search warrant, had to hire an attorney, bail me out, and drove me right back to the Detox center.  

Anyway - you aren't the first to recommend a 90 day program.  My atty wanted to suggest it to the judge too, but I nixed it.  He didnt argue too much when he gave me another bill, and I explained if I was away for 90 days I would have no money to pay him these extra charges, and I'd probably lose my job too.

I would think of a way to make the time if I only could be sure it would work.  But I'm not convinced it would.  I'd rather try another short 7-10 day deal with this new buphenormine stuff.  Have any of you had personal experience with it?

And what is LAAM you refer to?  I've tried methodone for pain relief before - 2 x 100mg at a time I believe if I remember right - but for some reason didnt stick with it.  Might be an option.  

I did do something today that I read about on this site.  Doc gave me a month's supply of my meds, so I filled them and gave them to my wife.  (..of course I took out 10 pills for myself as a reward for today, but I gave her all the rest and my Oxyfast too!)  She will not give me more than the bottles say, and I'm not getting them anywhere else, so this may be a good interim solution.  I may regret this tomorrow but it seemed like the thing to do.  

Thanks again everyone for writing.  I read this stuff for a long time before posting the other day - I bet there are many, many people reading this that are helped or encouraged because you take time to do this.  

By the way - went to see 102 Dalmations today.  Save your money.  Even the kids were bored with it.
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Tom,I get my weekly doses in one ounce plastic bottles that are sealed after they fill them with my dose. The dose that works for me is sixty milligrams. The quicker you can find the dose that works for you the more positive results you will get from the program. LAAM, I have never taken so I cannot comment on it. My clinic does not offer it. Please do not listen to regular Joe's off the street,comments about the programs. These guys are not like you and me and they are usually on MMT because they are required. These people that I am referring to did not voluntarily enter a program and give false and opinionated information that gives opiate antagonist therapies a bad rep. They are usually comparing it to their drug of choice and use methadone for the wrong reasons. I hope I am making myself clear. Anyway, if you look at methadone for whaT IT IS A medicine to correct an imbalance in your body. I think you get the picture. TRY to get liquid methadone if at all possible. Better for dose increases and decreases. The other tom is also comparing methadone to something, I am not sure what. But its obvious to me he does not know the true purpose of MMT. Pain relief and stabilisation of an imbalance. Well Tom #1 please forgive me if I come across like I'm preaching,but I am trying to pass on info that I feel is important.
                                                                
One last statement. Never use methadone to achieve a high. That is why some people say negative things about it. They enter a program to replace a drug that was getting them high and most clinics are very observant. And will not allow dose increases if they see you are buzzed. Be honest with the prescribing doctor  at the clinic. Be prepared to give up hydrocodone. You will only be allowed(thats up to the clinic doctor)to take prescription meds that are narcotics rarely and at prescribed doses. Another thing I forgot to tell you about. You asked me about employment drug tests. Did you worry about that in the past? Methadone shows up as methadone-not an opiate. I know this because when they give random U A 's they always know if I am taking hydrocodone>> opiate positive. An opiate positive can and will cost you $$$ and a removal of take homes. Prescritions on file will save you though. After I started methadone,ALL my chronic pain went out the window. I have to stop typing Duty calls. My best to you. Dan...
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Dan, I don't mean this to hurt your feelings (but of course it probably will) but you need to stop being such a pompous ass. If you could just cool it a little and think about what you say before you post you wouldn't come off so..... Well sometimes you kind of rub people the wrong way.  Oh **** I'm not wording this the right way at all.... I think I better quit while I'm ahead.
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I come off with pomposity to make a point. This disease of opiate addiction is a killer. Only a few people here realise this. Treatment for this disease is the utmost of IMPORTANTance to save lives. Drastic measures are needed to stop this disease. This is not a game to see if you can forge a script. Anyone can achieve this with a little practice. Treatment early is necessary to save jobs and lives. Do not wait.
Dan..
ps: sorry if I HURT your feelings no name. Mine aren't hurt.
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Methadone is available in a liquid. Cherry Flavored. I take the diskette form disolved in water. They are a tiny bit bitter. I mix my liquid with orange juice and and don't taste the bitterness one bit. Methadone is very safe with a low order of toxicity. Probably the best for chronic pain.IMO
DAn..
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Thank you all so much for the caring.  However, my problem is a little more complicated than I have let on.  I am dating a doctor.  He is still an intern, becoming of all things a podiatrist.  Rarely are narcotics prescribed for foot problems, except for extreme cases. Before I met him, I had been addicted to cocaine and vicodin, which of course, he knows nothing about or would drop me fast because of his "reputation."  Love comes second after the career. I met him at a party, and needless to say, the addict in me was immediately attracted to him.  He actually is a good guy, but I have to tell you, You all have no idea how doctors really are.  They are quite aware of the power they have as far as prescribing.  While most of the ones I have met went into medicine with honorable intentions, there are so many temptations out there that they become monsters.  Here is my sad story, shortened so it is easier to read.  I have had back problems in the past and about six weeks after I started seeing him, I mentioned how my back was hurting.  Now you have to realize, he is not a fully fledged doctor yet, but able to prescribe.  He is extremely paranoid about the dea, etc.  However, he did prescribe me 20 darvocet.  He is not allowed to prescribe to himself, but he can to family and friends, if it is "legitimate."  As far as I know, he has never abused this.  I thought I had hit the jackpot.  Of course a couple of days later, I told him the darvocet weren't doing the job.  He suggested I go to an orthopedic.  I basically whined about not having the time, and can't you give me anything stronger.  He prescribed 30 vicodin and said he couldn't do any more.  I really like him and don't want him to see the addict in me, so i did not approach him again.  Here is the scary part.  He has a doctor friend that is a neurologist.  At a wedding reception, I mentioned my back problem to him and the fact that my "boyfriend" was scared to give them to me.  He suggested I stop by his office.  I did, not realizing what I was getting into.  He gladly prescribed me 60 vicodin, with three refils and then, and here is the awful part, said if I wanted more, he would like oral sex.  Yes, I did it.  I am so embarressed.  I know this story sounds insane and it is.  That is why I am scared.  How low am I going to go for this disease.  Is he going to tell my boyfriend?  Do I tell?  What the hell do I do?
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You raise a good point about how far one can go for drugs.  Many years ago in Germany I dove headlong off a moving train while in withdrawals.  My sole purpose was to get morphine for the injuries and it worked.  I also knew people who would swallow broken up bits of razor blades for the same purpose.  I could have oral sex anytime I was holding drugs by any number of women and mind you, I'm nothing close to being a doctor.  The point is that it's truly insane the lengths we will go to when numbed by opiates and the panic of withdrawals.  Take yourself for instance,  you are dating a doctor for drugs and have let one of his coleagues coerse you into a humiliating sex performance for stronger drugs.  Is prostituting yourself on the corner next?  Hope not.  You have to believe that you are better than that!  The problem with addition is that the methods you choose to obtain your drug of choice escalate along with tolerance to the drug itself.  Ever hear the old saying, "he'd kill his own mother for a fix"?
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to Tom,

Several years ago I had access to most any drug you wanted.  I was a nurse on a surgical unit.  My using started with Buprenex and stado and gradually over a year escalated to well over 600 to 800 mg. of demerol, dilaudid, etc.  I was busted and sent to rehab.  Thank God.  the initial withdrawals lasted 2 weeks and cintinued for the next 6 to nine months.  I have no recollection of the first 3 days in treatment.  I could not do it alone without medical help.  please do not try it....get professional help.  when you pop 10 vics a day or percs the withdrawals are baby withdrawals.  like you i was on massive doses.  the nirses in treatment referred to me as a walking pin cushion and could not believe the drugs i had in me.....No, I am not boasting,  now when i look back I am scared as hell.  I too live with chronic pain,  A few years ago i did the percocet thing from the hospital and was arrested  in alot of trouble.  Today i still live with the pain and yes i do take vicodin or ultram on occassion.   I have to be extremely careful and really thank God that my dr. won't give me more than 10 at a time or whatever because I nver want that obsession to return.  Please do not do this on your own.        cindi
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my heart goes out to you.  Right now I am praying that you look into your own heart and see the path this is leading to.  This disease knows no social or monetary boundaries.  Look at poor Robert Downey Junior.  Everything to live for, a new chance at a wonderful career, and three months out of his prison cell he may have blown it forever.  J.B. is right:  prostitution is prostitution.  If you continue to see your boyfriend, you will see this other evil doctor, and he will laugh at you, knowing your secret.  Believe me, your boyfriend will find out.  We cannot tell you what to do.  Should you tell him and risk losing him?  It is up to you.  I was addicted to cocaine ten years ago and I also have done things I was not proud of.  Thank God I found a wonderful, caring man who I was able to be honest with and got out of that hellhole.  Sweetie, you are heading for disaster.  You need more than just addiction help.  Please go and see a therapist because you will lose your soul.  You are already losing your self esteem.  Your boyfriend  is going to uncover the real you very soon.  The addict inside of you is going to make a fatal error.  If you truly care for him, tell him what is going on before it gets worse.  Again, only you can make this decision.  God bless you.  Nobody here is going to judge you.  We are glad you have found a place where you can be honest.  Please keep us informed and let us try to help.
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My brother in law passed away on Thanksgiving day and I've had a headache ever since.  In-laws, etc...Short version, my headache became so interable that I actually called my hookup.  Just for one...she said whatever...THEN I SAID, NO, I WON'T DO THIS AND HUNG UP THE PHONE.  I took some Alieve and very little relief, but my knowing of my strength against the Vicoden ES made me feel much better.  Just a short positive story.  Hope it helps someone.  My pain was real...but I have an addictive personality and CANNOT put myself at risk at all.  I hope some of you can join in my release from the demon.  Good Luck, each day.  Neena
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Thanks.  An excellent and inspirational short post.  Only such severe and chronic pain that it interferes with your life for a long period of time, or has you in agony, is worth risking sobriety.  In NA they teach that once addicted, even if you have true pain and prescribed narcotics, you shouldn't use unless you must.  Then, you must have someone dispense the drugs to you.  Also, you need extra meetings, etc. to keep from "loosing the demon" by taking even just 1 of the narcotics.  Congrats on meeting your first test!!  Beware, there will be more down the road!
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Not too long ago I had to face the fact that I needed pain meds for real pain.  Motrin, Alieve and other OTC drugs were inadequate for the level of pain I have.
I went to my doctor and leveled with him about my struugle with pain and the fact that I am a recovering addict.  Thankfully he understood my problem fully.  He said that there is a big difference between drug abuse and being drug dependent.  I also take meds for diabetes and high blood pressure, therefore I am dependent on them for my health.  The same goes for pain meds.  But to be on the safe side I have let my wife have control of the pain meds.  I still do not trust myself with a full bottle sitting around!  Recently(last week)my doctor said that he wants me on a longer acting narcotic, possibly Oxy Contin because the short acting drugs like Lorcet and Percoset are too hard to deal with as far as getting the level of pain killing correct.  I told him I would consider this but that specter of addiction was always in the back of my mind. The point of all this is that with proper supervision, even hard core addicts can be successfully treated for chronic pain as many studies have shown.

Be well!
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I am writing to you in shame, as I took 2 Norco today.  I spaced them out...at least 6 hours in between.  I am so incredibly mad at myself.  I had been doing so well.  I have no excuses, other than a headache.  Now, my question is...will I withdrawal from these two that I took?  The pills did work wonderfully, as usually in my bad addiction days it took much more to relieve the pain or get the high.  I feel like guilty and am extremely mad with myself.  How long till these two Norco are out of my system?  Someone please say a prayer for me.  I had been clean for a month.  I will seek out a NA meeting tomorrow, but it has to be smoke free and I have no sitter for my daughter.  No excuses, I know...I am writing to you all for help and for hopefully someone to tell me that I have to take this day to day and not condem myself for the slip-up.  I am tired of beating myself up.  Neena.  Please, God forgive me, I will try harder tomorrow, as it will be a new day.
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You are forgiven!  Don't beat yourself and learn from your experience.  Feeling guilty is normal.

In my area we have schedules for AA and NA meetings.  They will state if they are non-smoking, open(you can bring guests and even children), closed(alcoholics and addicts only), even straight or gay meetings, women only, men only, teen, etc.  So it's all pretty much covered.  My group is AA closed, smoking and adult.  Many in the group are addicted to both alcohol and drugs so I feel very comfortable there and that is very important.  I tried NA but had a hard time connecting with the group.  You have to get around and find your home base and make friends.  Once you have made some friendships, things start to fall in place and it gets much better for you.  The fellowship will tend to keep you very busy and focused on recovery.  Give it a try, it's free!
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Woke up this morning, much stronger emotionally.  Thanks for your post. And your forgiveness.  I know the few pills that I slipped up with will not send me to Hell again.  It has only proven the strength of them to me.  I need to stop feeling sorry for myself and move on. I have life, and I should hold on to it.  Neena
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I believe that you are going to do just fine.  You already know what the answer is.  Just hang in there awhile!
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I had a female type surgery (day surgery) and was given Vics ES, only 10.  No refills.  I am only taking them when needed maybe one or two a day.  Am I going to relapse on these ten pills?  So far I feel no psychological need for them.  I feel like I can use these 10 properly and move on.  I was told that I would not have withdrawals from such few pills, but no mixing with booze.  I feel very insecure right now and frightened. Neena
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