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Avatar universal

Forced vicodin withdrawal

I need help and have no where to turn.  I had a major back injury in 2004 and had surgery.  The surgery was successful, unfortunately I reherniated a few weeks later and have been on vicodin ever since.  In the beginning I took 1-2 pills a day, that inched up to 2-3 and then 3-4.  The real downturn started in December.  I was given a 120 a month prescription for 3 months.  Needless to say, I ran through  these pills 16 days early. I went to the pain management specialist yesterday and received a refill, 120 a month with 2 refills, but noticed on my way to get it filled (I used my last pill yesterday morning) that the prescription couldnt be filled until 3/10, which would be 3 months from my December appointment.  I have now been without my pills since yesterday and starting to freak out. I am scared, not only that I will be in massive pain for 16 days (right now having minimal to moderate pain, but am afraid of doing anything at all physical for fear of major flare up as well as a major change in weather which always causes a major flare up) but also afraid I am addicted to these pills beyond the need for pain relief. I cant speak to anyone about this and dont know what to think about all of this and what I should expect over the next 16 days.  I want a 2nd surgery and get away from these damn pills, but my surgery insists on me waiting to see if my body absorbs this new herniation,but its been 4 years.  I gues I need to talk
29 Responses
Avatar universal
I know what your going through right now.  I too had back surgery almost a year ago and have been in recovery since.  I had four levels done (back fusion) and realized when I stopped taking my hydro's for 8 days straight, that I really didn't need them for pain, simple tylenol and moltrin worked fine.  The first couple days of w/d's I had aches and pain and thought, I really need my hydro's, but as day 4 and 5 came around, the pain I was having was tollerable with reg moltrin.  I know its hard especially when we are in legitimate pain.  funny how these  pills control our every  thought, and consume our minds.  We think, we need these pills to survive our daily lives and do our normal activities, but it's not true, Don't think about next 16 days (I know easier said then done) but try to keep busy, try to sleep most of the time, do some exersise light walking the next couple of days are going to be tough, hang in there you can do this, who knows maybe after 8 days or so, simple tylenol or moltrin might be enough for you too.
Avatar universal
your withdrawls should only last 7-10 days.  The emotional part usually lasts a bit longer. Don't u think its worth it to end this once and for all? Seize this opportunity to make a life changing decision. all the best.
Avatar universal
PArt of me is glad that this happens,  as I have wondered for a long time how much of my pain was real and how much of it was related to the vicodin cycle.  16 days should tell me for sure. I sit here watching the clock, constantly thinking, how can I make 16 days and wishing I just had 16 pills, so I could have half in the morning and half in the evening to get through it, nd that signals to me I have a problem.  I know I can get some, and if I have a major flare up I will likely have to, but I hope I dont. I really want to know is it the pills or the back or a combo of both.  I have been reading the posts of others here, and I cant imagine taking the amounts that many say they take, but wonder was I going down that road. My neurosurgeon assurred me over and over the past 4 years that if you are really in pain then you cant get addicted, but I am not so sure anymore. While I m in mild to moderate pain at the moment I focus more on getting the pills again (both as I want them and also for fear of a flare up (when I have a major flare up, I start walking with a pronounced limp and the pain shoots down the leg like a lightning bolt, at present it is just in the back, and the leg feels numb and uncomfortable, and the pain is secondary.   I also wonder/worry what will happen when the 16 days are up, do I go back to the cycle, will my body be reset and I will only need 1 to 2 pills a day again for pain, I hope the latter.  I must admit that the euphoria felt good and I would take a bit more to get it, and the times of a bit more has expanded especially in the last year, which has now resulted in this forced 16 day of cold turkey.  I just wish the constant thinking of getting pst the 16 days and getting the pills again will go away. I have looked at that script several times, thinking maybe I misread it, of course I know  didnt, but yet I still do.  It ***** knowing that my back is a wreck, with a multitude of other problems besides the herniation, and dont want to have this balancing act forever.  I hope toomanytimes72 that in a  week or so that tylenol or motrin will do the trick, or at least my daypro and muscle relaxers, I guess we will see.  The euphoria is fun, but the price is too damn high.

I wish the others on here well and that they can conquer this.  I also that people for responding and reading, it is good to have an outledt.
496208 tn?1271342676
If you had 16 pills left would you really be able to take 1/2 in the morning and 1/2 at night? I know I wouldn't.  Sixteen would be gone in a day and a half--two at the most.  And then I'd be freaked out about how I was gonna get through the other 14 days.  Also, how many times have you run short in between your RX's?  The answers to those questions could probably tell you if you're addicted.  As addicts we can fool ourselves into believing almost anything to justify why we have to take them.  I think it's actually a bit harder for those of us who started out taking them for actual pain cause we could simply say "Well I'm being prescribed these by my doctor.  Therefore it's legal and I'm doing what I need to do for my pain."  

You know, sooner or later if the pills don't kill you, you'll have to stop.  Why prolong the inevitable?  It is tough, but doable to go c/t from this awful drug.  But you really have to want to stop more than you want to simply "make it through" to your next script.

There are wonderful people here that can offer you support, advice, and their experience, strength and hope.  There are others who have been clean years who can give you a glimpse of what the rewards will be living clear-headed without the "opiate cloud" threatening to rain down on you at any moment.  Right now it may seem unimaginable but stick around.  Keep reading, posting, venting--whatever you need to do to get you through this.  We're all here rooting for you.

Get some rest.  Look at the health pages to the right of this site (Thomas recipe & Amino Acid Protocol) and see if you're willing to get some of these items to help you through.  And if you're a praying person throw some up to God or whomever your higher power is...

Keep us posted on how you're doing.

Blessing.
775823 tn?1239679722
I know exactly where you are coming from!!  I too am prescribed medication (Lortab 7.5/500) for my medical diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis.  8 days ago I too ran out of my script of 240 pills a month before I could fill again...  Honestly, it was a blessing in disguise!!!  

I was first diagnosed with RA when I was 19 yrs old (I am now 29).  I used pain killers only as needed during the first 7 years of my disease (2 pills a day, sometimes 6 pills a day if needed) then stopped taking them for about 1 1/2 years.  At the end of the first 7 years of taking the pills I did a taper off of the Lortab for about a week.  Honestly, I felt like **** that whole week that it made me not want to ever take another Lortab again.  Fast forward 1 1/2 years, I started having a lot of Arthritic pain in my hands that I needed to start taking steroids (Prednisone)  as well as the Lortab again.  This was okay at the beginning but to compensate for the pain and get off of the Prednisone I started taking more Lortab.  I hate being on Prednisone, you gain weight that is impossible to get rid of unless you stop the medication.  I am not going to lie, I am a very "vain" person and did have an eating disorder when I was in high school so any weight gain still gets me from time to time.  Needless to say, I would have done anything to get off of the Prednisone no matter how much pain I was in!!!  So, I started upping my Lortab count to compensate for the amount of pain I was having.  Now almost 2 years later from my 1 1/2 years of not taking any pills at all, I was now taking 14-18 pain killers a day for my "pain."  The pills were doing nothing for me anymore, it was more of a psych thing that I felt like I needed to take them daily no matter what to feel right!!  Yes, I still did have pain from time to time in my hands/knees but not enough pain to warrent 14-18 pills a day!!!  I knew I was abusing and going down the wrong road fast and needed to do something about it fast as well!!!  I kept telling myself, next script I fill I am going to taper down and get off...  Yeah, that never happened!!  I would continue to take the 14-18 pills a day.

As I stated, 8 days ago my script ran out.  I tried to refill my RX but this time around the Pharmacist would not refill the RX one week early.  I usually get my RX one week early and this was a new Pharmacist who would not do this for controlled drugs (good for her!!).  I truly thank her now for not filling it although at the time I was pissed beyond belief!!!  Let me say this, I am glad I did this w/d cold turkey!!  It really was not as bad as the first time around when I tapered!!!  The first day was the worst, the second day, I was out and about shopping!!!  I still feel somewhat tired from time to time but did start taking vitamins this time around which has helped a lot!!!  I am also on Lexapro (for migraine headaches) which I am also thinking is helping me through this and helping with the serotonin levels in my brain.  Be sure to take Vitamin B-12 daily, it helps a lot with the energy as well as a good Multi-Vitamin.  I have access to Vitamin B-12 injections which I believe has helped a lot with giving me energy during this time around!!  Like I said, I was shopping on day two!!  I did an injection once a day for seven days as well as take one B-12 pill.  Now I am going to do one B-12 injection once a week for 5 weeks then one injection each month after the 5 weeks.  I had a Vitamin B-12 deficency to begin with which is why I have access to injections...  So for everyone, if you are low on energy during the w/d I would ask your doctor if possible for B-12 injections!!

This time cold turkey has been a God sent for me in my opinion!!!  I know this was his way of telling me that I was going down the wrong road and was killing myself!!!  8 days clean!!!  I am so proud of myself!!!  I honestly feel like going up to that pharmacist and kissing her!!!  And you know what else??  Since yesterday, my pills have been sitting at the pharmacy for me to go pick up and I have no desire at all to get them!!!  And I am not going to get them!!  

You can do it!!!  Take some vitamins and try to get some rest!!!  You said you are on muscle relaxers as well??  I took one soma (muscle relaxer) that I had the first two nights of my w/d to help relax me and let me sleep and to help with the restless legs that opiate w/d can cause.  So if you can't sleep, try taking a muscle relaxer it should help some.

PS: I am a graduate nurse, am taking my test in a month to become an actual RN (hopefully I pass)!!  Anyway, with that said, I knew all of the bad I was doing to my body esp. to my kidneys and liver!!!  Please everyone if you are using at Un-Godly amounts (like I was) stop!!!  This has def. been a personal test of power for me that I am surprised I am excelling in!!!

Sorry so long, just wanted to share!!!  I found this forum 8 days ago and spent my whole first day of w/d reading everyone elses stories on here.  This forum helped me a lot through these first 8 days.  I knew I had to sign up today after reading your post to tell you that if I can do it, you can do it!!!  Also, I have never seen my mom happier!!  It brings a tear to my eye seriously...  She is so happy that I stopped taking the Lortab.  She knew I was killing myself...  She is a nurse too.

Thanks everyone :)
Avatar universal
Actually this is the 1st time that I have run out early between prescription, but I came close a few times, I would adjust the intake in the week or days prior.  I would always be out the day of the of teh appointment though.

  When I upped my prescription in Dec from 3 a day to 4 a day, I remember thinking when i was driving home that this is great, this is more than enough, now I can start to wien myself down, maybe not completely, but back to 2 a day. Alas, things were rough past few months, lost a lot of money in the market, had 2 major flare ups, and next thing I knew I was taking 4 a day and on other days 5, and given that I am 16 days in the hole, one can see I screwed up by taking too many (5) a day on 64 of the 90 day supply and now I am paying for it.  

As for the other question if i had 16 pills would I split one a day (1/2 in the morning and half at night) until the new prescription, I think I would try, I would definitely not  take them all in two days as you asked (I am concerned that I am going down that road though), the worse would be 4 days (4 a day) but likely 10 days at a minimum.  PLEASE TELL ME, AM I AN ADDICT?  I just dont know, but I know I dont want to be, but also I dont want to be in pain.  I do think I am going down the road of a major problem, and I feel for the people who post here as I have been reading so many of them today, I just dont know what to say. I feel selfish about that, but I am so scared and self absorbed right now, I am sorry.    

I appreciate the kind reples.  I agree I dont want to be on these forever, I really want my second surgery, fix this damn new herniation and feel better, like I did right after my 1st surgery an before I reherniated.  

Swandive - Great for you, I really hope I can tell the same story in 8 days or even 17 day. I still think about when I will be picking up the prescription.  Thanks for the vitamin suggestion, I didnt think of that and will take a multi and I think my wife has some b12 so I will take them too, right after I post this.  I will add that I admire you.

As an update, I was able to take a 2 hour nap late afternoon.  I slept well and when I first woke up, for 10 seconds, I felt no pain, no cravings, just peace, then the pain kicked in and what was worse a strong desire for a vicodin. So far tonight I am having a rough time. I started getting very emotional, depressed about my life and things that have gone by while I worked so hard for my family  and the things I missed. This lasted for a half hour and it sucked but at least I wasnt thinking about pain or vicodin.  I have to be in the office tomorrow, and I dont know how I will be able to do it. I am a boss, and people will be looking to me, they will see something is not quiet right, but at least if I get through tom, I am out of the office Thursday and Friday on business, but with limited interaction with people, so I will be ok. Next week in all week, that will be hard, but I am hoping that come Monday I will feel much better.  I am constantly thinking what if this pain gets real bad, what will I do, I cant take the limping pain too long, especially not until March 11 (my prescription actually can be filled March 10, but I will be out of state the whole day on planes (which will suck big as plane rides really kill me).  Anyway, I am not really eating, I tend to be urinating a lot, and the diarria is an annoyance.  I am feeling anxious, still mild to moderate pain, and I am just so cold (I have read that peopel get hot flashes, not me, just cold, and I am never cold).

I am sorry for rambling so much here, it makes me feel better and I appreciate all of you who take the time to red an d reply.  I feel like such a fool
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495284 tn?1333897642
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