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1531526 tn?1330739676

Here's my (long) story of opiate addiction. Any non judgmental insight??

A history on me: I had a severe shattered leg after an injury nearly 10 years ago. I was  25 at the time. I was prescribed Darvocet N-100 post-op. Up until then I hadn't barely touched advil for migraines I suffered from. I think I was given like 60 at a time. I only took them when I absolutely had to, and all they did was help me sleep through the horrible pain. They didn't know if I would even walk again. That was how bad my injury was.
In the hospital during the recovery of my 3rd  (I've had 6 to date) surgery, before the PT came to help me navigate on crutches, they gave me 2 5/500 mg Vicodins. I did the PT, came back to my bed, never got a buzz, was still in pain, but started sweating profusely and itching. The nurse, myself and my mom thought this was because of all the activity I had, and not having properly showered in 3 days because of being in a hospital bed. I had a ton of metal and screws, etc., in my leg, so to even swing it down off the bed was mind blowing painful. So another nurse came in, and said 'well, looks like you're having an allergic reaction to the Vicodin. They sent me home with Tylenol 3s. Lots of them. I didn't start abusing them really til I realized that #1 I wasn't in that much pain and #2 I felt euphoria. My doc, in between surgeries, would refill them, 60 at a time, with no questions.
Go a year later when I met my now husband. Didnt have a problem anymore with the tylenol 3s, had a couple more surgeries and yeah, I took more than needed but could proceed to a 'normal' life when I ran out. THEN....my husband had to have a emergency root canal. He of course was given 16 Vicodin ES. He took one and passed out, being that he hardly even drinks or anything. Up til that point, I always told docs I was allergic to vics. That's what I thought anyway. But God knows why, I decided to try one of his vics. I decided to take halfMy God, did I get superpowers. I got up, cleaned, cooked, did stuff that had been being put off.Took some with me wherever I went, those last 14 lasted at least a week. Then I was out. Had been to my very credible doctor for 'back pain' (irony is now I actually have it chronically) and she gave me felxiril and told me it may make me feel as if I had a hangover the next day. It didn't, but I lied and called her the next day and said I hated how it made me feel. She immediately called in Vicodin 5/500 for me. I didn't know why it wasn't working like my husbands..? That's because I looked at the labels and he had ES, I had regular. So ok, take one and a half of mine. I was out within a week of the 30 she gave me. Then doctor shopping, pharmacy shopping, lying to everyone I knew, taking handfuls at a time, having horrible withdrawals, etc. That supply ran out and I went back to the doc that would give me some every 2 weeks. He made a deal that if I paid the $60 visit fee, he'd keep me at 15 a week. I did that for a bit til my hubby didn't trust me with $$ anymore and my family had an intervention. At this point on was on heavy doses of xanax from the same doc I just mentioned. needless to say, I was out of it and everyone knew. my mom and sis came over and were of no help in getting me help I needed; they were yelling and 'how could I do this to my baby' etc. Like it was a choice. so my sis and hubby took me to a local hospital, where after checking me in they said they couldn't help. I called a million places and found a doc that prescribed Suboxone (an opiate blocker that helps with cravings and withdrawals). I saw him, he was supportive and i was on the road to recovery. 2 problems: I didn't get any counseling in addition to the drug therapy and this new doc prescribed Fiorcet for my migraines. Those made me feel great, energized, etc. Uh-oh. Also, he wrote his rx's on a regular piece of paper that was printed out, no different than a printer you'd have at home. After a lil while, I started printing out rxs for Fiorcet on paper at home, getting it filled for cash at multiple pharmacies. Then I thought, well, that works so well, let's try to write for Vicodin. By this time I had stopped the suboxone so I knew the vics would work. I went to one pharmacy, more nervous than I ever was in my life. I wrote it for 60 with one refill...realistic enough. I went after hours so they couldn't call to verify, paid cash, etc. Got it. Was so thrilled, went and did it again and again and again. Never got caught, but if I happened to run out, would go through the WORST withdrawals. So, I kept doing it. After another ankle surgery, the ankle doc gave me percocet and vics to alternate. Wouldn't do refills though. SO back to the fake rxs. Got so selfish with it that I went during the day, cast on and all, with my 11 month old and hubby to a grocery store pharmacy. They were taking forever and I lied to my hubby about what rx I was getting filled. Told him to go to the car and i'd be right there. 20 minutes later, they give me the rx, I was on a scooter since I couldn't walk, SO excited to go home and take some, and here come the cops and stop me. Spent 48 hours in a disgustingly dirty city jail cell, and went to the courthouse with all the drunks, crackheads, wife beaters, etc., that were in other cells, and they said $800 or 30 days in jail. My father in law went to the bank and got the $. Within a year, I decided I was so desperate for more I tried it again. The pharmacist kept going in the back room, it was taking forever. So I paid, signed, and turned around. There was a cop telling me to put my hands behind my back. I  nearly fainted, as I knew this time no one would care, help, etc. So Im in the back of a police car again, a new city, they searched my vehicle, and took me in. I was searched there, put in a cell, and there ya go. Because there was a cop that got shot the next day, I couldn't see a judge. So 48 hours again and I saw a judge. He said $2500 bail (it would be $250 to get me out that day).My mom put 5 minutes of time for me to talk to my hubby on the phone. THis was like 40 hours into being in a tiny smelly cell with a metal plank to sit on, with male cops looking in on you when you took a ****. I was bawling to my hubby, and I thought all he'd do was yell. he loves me just so much that he was just as distraught as i was; no lecture, etc. I begged him to come get me. He didn't have the $.  So after the judge set bail, over 2 hours later and I knew no one was coming for me this time. A cop opened the door, took me to the booking room and had me put on my shoes and coat. Wow, the relief. But then the cuffed me and said I was going to county jail. They took me in, put me in a holding cell with one other woman, who turned out to be a prostitute who thought she may have H.I.V., then another woman came in who stabbed her lover, then a crack addict who got caught shop lifting formula to cell to inner city women so she could buy crack. In the other dozen or so cells, men were yelling and hollering and joking, and one was proud he had just killed a guy. I am not someone who puts myself in any mode to think that I am above anyone in this world, but if this wasn't rock bottom, then I didn't know what was.
My uncle, who is a sheriff at the county jail came and had his wife bail me out. I'm on probation for another month. My thing is now...I still have bad pain, a slipped disc, was just diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and my shoulder come out of socket. I cannot take NSAIDs since they raise my blood pressure and unfortunately cannot just live with the pain. Right now my doc has me on Norco twice a day. I refuse to do anything to get me in legal trouble ever again, but I'mm stuck between a rock and a painful place. I exercise, I take vitamins, etc., I do what all the natural ways say to do. Anyone who's kind of been where I'm at, as far as previous opiate or drug addiction but doesn't have a choice but to take pain meds?? Thanks for reading, please no judgment!!! xo
42 Responses
1525404 tn?1291918116
No one here will judge you. Most of us have done things just as bad or worse. What you will find is a lot of support and love. Since you have real pain issues I'm going to defer to those that know more about that. I was pretty much a recreational user and I have done some pretty sneaky, crafty things to get the pills when I was panicked about withdrawals. There are some really great people here with loads of tips and advice on how you should proceed in dealing with your pain issues.
Please stick around and read posts and stay in touch. It will help you more than you know. Good luck, and we'll all be pulling for you.
1283286 tn?1312915566
Considering the fact you have demonstrated a weakness which has gotten you into legal difficulties, about the only possible option I could suggest (and to be honest I am not familar with these programs) is get refered to a pain management group. They apparently monitor one's behavior quite regularly in the form of drug testing to see if protocol is being followed along with other rules I'm sure. Being you have a record of playing with scripts, I imagine most of your regular practioners will be hesitant to take you on as a pain patient and prescribe stronger meds than the hydro you are now getting..

Maybe someone else in here has more experience in situations like yours that will spot your post and comment too, but my best guess would be a pain clinic as your only hope for getting meds that are more suited to handle your medical problems....
1531526 tn?1330739676
Hey guys,
Thanks for the responses. I just wanted to give a full background as this is my first time on here. Awesome site, very happy it exists. Most of the other ones are doctors giving the advice you'd expect to hear at office visits. A pain clinic is a very good idea; I believe that is what I will look into for the next step.
Use in the recreational area or 'legitimately prescribed/needed' is a tough subject for me. I'm sure I can speak for about 98% of people when I say that I WISH I could be one to take motrin and be ok pain-wise, and if not, get a small supply of something stronger, take one as needed and make them last and lead a normal life. It's just nice to know (not nice to know, but you know what I mean) that there's so many others who struggle like I do. Another problem is that I have a bad reaction to so many meds; when I first went into the hospital after my accident, they gave me morphine. I kept asking for something for pain, and they kept telling me they gave me morphine. They tried again recently when I had my gallbladder out. Same thing = no reaction. Ultram makes me throw up, tylenol 3s make me itch, even at the prescribed dose. I was on the Darvocets but they just got recalled. I was taking them as prescribed for my RA; I was just so upset when they took them off the market, as there's not much of anything that can compare to them, they worked, and I didn't abuse them..frustrating!!
Of course I would love to hear from some one who is in the predicament I'm in - in legitimate pain but stuck as to what they can take. Pain management clinics are a good idea, although my RA doc is good about not over-prescribing, finding what works best and I would still need to see him on a monthly basis. i don't want to go to more than one doc at a time, as that, for me, would be too great a temptation.
On another note, the pain issue aside, I would appreciate words of wisdom, experience and support. I'm in tears right now looking at my little boy taking a nap and just wanting him to have a normal Mommy..one who is not addicted, one who is not sick and one who can run around and play with him without needing or thinking of pills. Thanks all for listening and commenting. Bless you all!! xo
1331115 tn?1536365740
Wanto, I was in the same boat as you with the pain problem. After an accident in which I had a severe spinal injury and several surgeries, I was put on high doses of oxycontin for about 7 years. I finally got sick of living in a drug haze and went CT. I still had to deal with the pain issuses without opiates so I researched natural and other pain relief methods.  Now I get nerve blocks from a PM doctor, acupuncture and do yoga. These things have helped me cope with my pain. Another thing I found out was that after I got off the oxys I was only in half or less pain than when I was taking those evil pills. So what I am saying to you is there is hope and other ways of handling pain without using opiates. I know its easy to say all of this but I am living proof that it can be. I will pray for you and hope you take the plunge to get clean as you will get your life back. God Bless---Rick
1531526 tn?1330739676
Hey Rick,
Thanks for the insight. I'm really trying to exercise as much as possible, and this darn rheumatoid arthritis makes it really hard to move. Last night I tried doing some basic stretching and such, but my joints just don't allow me to be flexible much. I do have a 2 and a half year old, which, thanks to him, I HAVE to get up and move and lift and such. I live in a state that has about 5 months or so of harsh winter weather (20 degree highs and lots of snow, etc.) so it's not so easy to get out and walk..! In the months when it's nice out, I go for 1-3 mile walks with my son and dog. Other than that, it's really hard for me to do more than is required, but I am starting PT within the next week. It's just so hard to imagine not having to take anything at all. Things are more complicated with my ankle I've had 6 surgeries on too. I'mn so scared for this cold weather to really set in, as it just makes everything hurts even worse. I'll see what else my rheumy recommends, and I appreciate the advice and the prayers, keep 'em coming, I sure do need them. Thanks so much, glad to hear you're doing well!! Bless!!
1331115 tn?1536365740
I know it looks like a long road right now, but you have to take it day by day. RA is a tough one to get through as far as pain is concerned an I hope your doctor can figure something out for you (other than opiates). You should give acupuncture a try it may help. I know what you mean about the winter cold, it kills me. I think once you go through CT and get it overwith you may feel better. I am pulling for you God Bless---Rick
1525404 tn?1291918116
It sounds like you're having that "oh my God, I'm gonna lose it all"  moment. I can feel the desperation in your post. I had that moment earlier this year myself. I was out in the back yard with my grand-daughter who was one and a half yrs old and will be 2 yrs this Christmas eve. I was playing with her and I could see my wife and daughter thru the kitchen window laughing together and preparing dinner for us and I started looking around at my neighbors houses and my own and thinking life is really good. For some reason the thought of just how large of an addiction I had to pain killers and the sources I was using to get them collided with how fortunate I was and I the thought of losing it all was staring me in the face. I realized the next step down from where I was, was going to be the one that took me to rock bottom and see it all be taken from me. My home, kids, job and my beautiful wife of 21 years. That was when I got desperate. 9 years of wasting opportunities, money, and most of all my dignity. I got clean late this past summer and was really struggling with relapses, used a couple of times and then I finally reached out. I had to finally admit to myself that I was not strong enough to do this in secret. I found this website by pure accident and thankfully so, too. It was like recieving a sign or something because reading about others that were sharing the same problems and mental anguish became my new DOC. This is therapy I can access 24 hours a day 7 days a week. I bonded with a couple of people here more than others and you will too, it's just a matter of finding who you can most identify with and they are a great source of inspiration and courage.

If you feel you just can't work any kind of program right now for what ever reason (and you don't have one good enough honestly) then at least get everything you can from the kind folks here. The physical part is going to be all you and that is hard but there are many tips and tricks and natual remedies to be found here to help through that part.

But the mental part can't be done alone. I've tried for years and failed every time. I consider myself to be pretty smart (don't we all lol) and after having read thur 60 pages of posts and comments I can confidently tell you that the ones that get clean, get help. The ones that relapse time and again, don't.
Be proud of yourself, as your are taking that first step.  
1416133 tn?1351126817
Eyeofhorus2010 is right about reaching out.  I quit for the first time back in March, thought I was okay, and relapsed toward the end of May.  It wasn't until the end of July that I finally quit for good.  And it it weren't for this forum I would have failed again.  Eye is right when he says you have to reach out for help.  I truly believe that its impossible to get through all of this without all of the support you can get.

I have RA and was also prescribed darvocet, initially, before the horrible tramadol made it's appearance.  And I can not tell you how much better I feel without any opiate help.  I will take aleve in the a.m. to help with the joint pain and an excedrin, if need be, for any additional pain.  I also thought there was no way I was going to be able to manage the pain without narcotics.  I could not have been more wrong.

Congrats on getting here!  :-)
1531526 tn?1330739676
Hey Eye,
Wow, really does take one to know one. I was just about to come on here and say I am just having a BADDD day. I feel on the verge of a panic attack and I'm fighting back the tears after reading your post. I have my OK days and my bad ones, like tonight. My husband is about to go to work, and he is so supportive it's wonderful, but you'll never understand unless you've been right there. I've been 'addicted' to Netflix lately to pass time and get my mind off things, now it looks like I'll be here - which is a good thing and far more helpful than watching old shows and movies..A distraction is nice, but I need to face reality.
God, I get so angry with myself. I have this amazing son (2 1/2 yrs old), a wonderful husband, my freedom, not the best of health, but that could be worse..and what am I doing?? Obsessing about pills. Shortly after my trouble with the law, I went to an amazing group therapy. Insurance only pays for 4 weeks of that (went 4 days a week for 4 weeks), and had a new lease on life. Then the gallbladder came out, then the RA diagnosis in the same week. I was so proud of myself, when, at the hospital awaiting emergency gallbladder removal (it nearly burst and I wouldn't go to the doc for fear of pain meds), I was by myself when the surgeon came in. He spoke to me for 1 minute and told me he'd send my home with pain meds. Like I said, I was by myself and told him 'NO VICODIN - I was addicted!!!' and he said 'ok, I'll give you Darvocet' which I was honest with my whole family, etc., and they were all great (except my mom, that's a WHOLE other story, the woman is as motherly as Hitler), and took them as directed, still had mountains of pain, but held out. Then the RA doc wanted to give me vics, I said no, that i was allergic (just hate repeating in front of 3 residents and nurses that I was addicted; allergic ensures I won't be given them and goes on a red sticker in the chart), and so he gave me Darvocet as well. Well, since it was taken off the market, I wouldn't admit, but knew I'd be back here...obsessing, rationalizing, etc. Then he told me to try to Norco. I did, and 1000% honestly, it just wasn't the same as the vics. I know it's stronger as far as the hydro is concerned, but it just wasn't giving me that 'same old feeling'...But I took my last one last night (ran out 1 day early which for me is unheard of, it used to be 29 days early, lol), and now I'm freaking out. No w/d, thank God, but the mental thing is there. the panic is there. So maybe they did effect me like the vics, but not in a physical way, if that makes sense? I'm just 'thinking' aloud here.
So yeah, I'm angry that it's nearly 7:30 and all I can think about is Monday when I see my doc again. I wish wish wish there was something very similar to Darvocet, but there just isn't. It didn't make me 'high', I didnt abuse it, and I can't take more than one NSAID a day without my blood pressure getting elevated.
I just can't thank you enough for your post. Even though you made me cry, it's in a good way. It's just relief to know that I can sit here and write 'the sky is orange' and you all can tell I'm lying to myself and say 'you know the sky is blue'....in other words, like I said, takes one to know one. And to know that even one person out there knows and can read the panic in my words is a bizarre relief that helps me through the next few minutes even. Thanks for writing such an understanding post and sharing. Looking forward to hearing from  you again!!!
1531526 tn?1330739676
Hey ImDone -
Thanks so much, I am loving this forum so much. But I hate this panic. I know it'll pass, I've been through recovery before. I swear if I didn't have my son, I'd be in bed all day, just waiting til I can find an excuse to take or find more pills. I've stolen pills from anyone that had them whose house I went over, knowing full well most of the time they'd know I did it or have suspicion. I just want, like my screen name says, to be normal again. Whatever 'normal' is...But I want to get down on the floor right now and play with my son, read a book to him without thinking about the next day and how I'll get through. I hate this feeling, it's such a lonely feeling of desperation. Even my dog can sense it, it's ridiculous. But please keep the posts coming, as they're truly helping me!! Thanks all
1525404 tn?1291918116
I gotta tell ya, I'm a little relieved to now hear a little optimism and hope coming from you. As addicts we all belong to a brotherhood/sisterhood that's more painful to join than any gang initiation. Either we all succeed together or we all fail together. No one gets left behind. No matter how bad your addiction or what you did while addicted, we will always be the ones to see the beautiful soul hiding behind the mask. It's unconditional love at it's finest. I think you feel it don't you? I know I do and it can be overwhelming when we've spent so much time cut off from real emotion and true feelings. Addiction is not a character flaw or a sign of a weak mind.

I think some of your panic is a result of you finally seeing through fog and trying to force your mind to deal with everything that's wrong at the same time. That's the drugs doing that to you. Addiction wants us to feel that way, it's how it keeps us addicted. It convinces us that are problems are too big to be dealt with and wouldn't just a couple of pills make it all better.

And thing with Darvocet is that you certainly can become addicted to those. When I was a noob with the pills I started out with vics and when that became exhausted I found Darvocet and I used them over a 9 month period until I came clean to my wife and I went cold turkey. Those withdrawals were just about as bad as those I had with the Oxy 80's.

It sounds like you have so many reasons to take your life back. A great husband, a kiddo that can melt your heart with a hug, nice home,  and most of all you!  

You have friends here, and I haven't read anything in your posts that has me convinced the sky is going to fall on you or your families head. Take a deep breath and ease up on your self a little. Don't worry so much on what meds won't work on your pain. There is every chance that the meds you are taking are now creating a majority of the pain your feeling. Weird huh? but I understand it does happen. Take pain killers long enough and your threshold for pain gets so low that stubbing a toe feels like someone chopped your foot off with an axe. Get away from the pain meds, get clean and then assess you pain level. May not be so bad afterall. Like I said earlier though I am in no way qualified to offer up any kind of medical advice since I've not had to deal with yout type of situation but others here have.

As you can tell and will soon learn reading my posts I'm long winded and tend to ramble on and on. But I'm here for you if you just need an ear to listen. I want more than anything for you to get better.
1531526 tn?1330739676
I've cried more tonight reading posts than I have when I've ran out of pills in the past. If I literally had one person in my life who said half a sentence of what any of you had, I'd be a lot better off. Yes, my husband is very supportive, but to anyone who has never been an addict, it seems as if you say 'hey, I'm having a bad day' they think you'll be back where you started. He is my best friend and will listen to anything I have to say, but it's hard to be 100% honest and open with someone who's never felt panic over this kind of situation. As for my family; well, my mom is the ultimate martyr. She can't be happy, sad, empathetic, supportive or even let you finish a sentence without relating it to yourself. When I told her I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, it was like I was telling her I lost my left sock in the dryer. When I started complaining of the exact symptoms that my aunt, grandmother and sister had with their gallballders, she told me it was gas. I've been told by multiple therapists and such that simply stated, I do not have a mother. My sister is as selfish as they come, and she can complain about her dysfunctional relationship all day every day, but if I mention I'm a little annoyed at a friend or something, she doesn't listen, and if she does, it's 'well, what are you going to do about it'...All my friends are ultra busy and don't have time for more than 10 minutes to talk on the phone every 3 months or so.

So...in other words, this forum is just everything I've been searching for in just an ear to listen, understand, and give insight. It means a lot to me, as I seem to be dumping grounds for so many people and I can barely get out a sentence about anything that I'm going through. So thank you.

I'm long winded too, and it's most likely for a combination of the above mentioned reasons. I was just reading on someone else who feels so judged for being not only a drug addict but a mother as well. I never knew how much I could love someone so much more than myself until I had my baby. He's the reason I'm here. I'm here to be his mom. So the whole drug thing is a huge thing I cannot wait to get more control over, but equally upsetting is how my shoulders basically are bone on bone with every move I make. The rheumatoid arthritis is advancing, and so many of the meds out there have so many bad side effects, like cancer, infections, etc., that they aren't worth the risk. So I'm trying to put up with the pain as best I can, and I just want to make memories with my baby other than barely being able to walk for 10 minutes without a rest. I know I know, having a mom who has to rest due to illness is way better than a doped up mom, but I'm just so angry at the situation. So much in my life has happened that I had virtually no choice but to take the pain meds, and things just seems to keep coming. I'm not looking for a quick fix answer, but a happy medium would be so nice. You'd think with all those pharmaceutical companies there would be something by now. But I'll take the earlier advice and seek out a pain management doc.

Now I'm just ranting...sorry! It just helps even getting this out to people who instantly care. I've never had that before. My stomach is in knots, and it's like I just want to go to bed and wake up refreshed in the morning with new insight. Maybe this is just a really really bad day, and tomorrow will just be really bad, the next bad, and so on. I have to believe that. But darn it, I wish it was enough to look at this gorgeous child I created and say 'who needs anything but him'? And it's like I feel that way, but something is blocking me from knowing it 1000%. And I want my motivation back darn it. I want to make dinner for my kid without having to feel chemically altered. Whew.....sorry...ranting again. But thanks for the kind and insightful words, keep em coming!!!
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