Jun 26, 2008
1.What is the smallest amount of Vicodin that will damage your kidneys
Hydrocodone won't damage your liver/kidneys. It's the APAP (tylenol) they mix with it that will. How much depends on who you believe. There's reports out there that safe the max daily allowance of APAP is anywhere from 2 to 4 grams (2000 - 4000 milligrams) a day.
2.Is there any warning signs to look for?
One of the big problems with APAP liver damage is that there really aren't any warning signs. The liver is remarkable in it's ability to function while damaged.
3.Are there any tests than can be performed to check for damage, and if so
would I have to admit to my doctor how much Vicodin I have been abusing?
There are dozens of blood tests that check liver function. Since it's not VIcodin, but the tylenol in Vicodin that does the damage, you could tell a doctor that you've been taking 4,000 milligrams of tylenol a day for a long time (a year? two?) and say you're concerned about your liver function. They may suspect hydo abuse, but there are a lot of people out there who take way too much tylenol.
4.Are there any other substances that will aid in the withdrawal process?
Physical or mental withdrawal?
5.How long should I expect my cravings to last?
Physical cravings, 3 - 10 days depending on how much you take, and how long you've taken it. Mental cravings, a LOT, LOT longer. I still have them after three years. Controllable, but still there. I know people who say they never go away. You've got to learn to deal with them, and it isn't easy. Taking a pill is MUCH easier.
6.Will I always mentally have drug-seeking behavior?
Personally, I believe so.
7.How is the best way to handle a situation when the need for narcotics is
present? (eg accident, injury, surgery, broken bone, childbirth, ect…..)
Tell the doctor you've had substance abuse problems in the past. A lot of doctors will run away when they hear that. A good one will write you a very small script, and have strict timelines for refills. The solution I use to to give the pills to my wife and have her give them to me in the quantity and frequency required. She has to lock them up, and is VERY strong when it comes to denying me additional meds. It's very difficult on her, but she does it.
8.What is YOUR personal detox recommendation program?
Taper slowly, IF you can. (I couldn't. I'd eat whatever I could get my hands on). If you can't taper, you'll just have to tough out the WD's. But no one has ever died from physical WD's from hydro/oxy (that's NOT true for some other meds, ie: Benzo's). You may THINK you're going to die, and you may WISH you would die, but you'll make it. I can't strongly suggest seeking professional help though, especially withthe mental cravings. Some people swear by groups like NA, others use individual counseling. Either way, GET HELP!
"Does anyone believe that once you consume narcotics for an extended period
of time that your brain and chemicals are permanently “rewired” and no
matter how long you stay clean from narcotics, the drug-seeking state of
mind will always be waiting around the next corner???"
There's no question what-so-ever in my mind that's a true statement.
Good luck! You've reached an important first step!