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Addiction: Substance Abuse Community
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Avatar universal

Hydrocodone Addiction and alcohol, etc!!!

I am very scared of the possibility of having done serious damage to my liver or kidneys!  If anyone could please help with some advice or info I would greatly appreciate it!
I had some serious back problems about 2 1/2 years ago and was given Norco (10/500) for the pain.  I was taking 3 per day for pain even after the pain was gone for 1 year.  When that source ended I got a hold of Oxy IR (Oxycodone 5mg) and was taking 6 a day for 6 months.  Then I started the Norco again- at least 2 a day for another year.  Now, last month my doctor was shocked when he realized that "I was taking 2 Norco's a day and that was WAY TOO MUCH!"  (He didn't know about my supplemental supplies) Now I  am panicked about my past dosages and what to do.  My doctor has prescribed 2 Vicodin per day to reduce the amount of Hydrocodone intake.  On top of all this - I a have been on Prozac and Wellbutrin for 5 years and have a drinking problem (2-4 beers per day).  I know I need to just STOP and I am trying.  Reading the posts here have really helped!  I am down to 1 Vicodin per day and 2 Wellbutrin and I try to not drink at all - IT IS HARD!!!!!!!  I really want info on the possibility of permanent damage and should I try to get a blood test for it? and is there anything I can do to help the situation? (ie.  drinking excessive water, certain foods, vitamins, etc)
33 Responses
Avatar universal
I HAVE HAD SOME BACK PROBLEMS AND WAS PUT ON VICODIN I WAS TAKEING SOMETIMES 6PILLS ADAY 1.5 MONTHS I HAVE NOT TAKEN THEM OFR 3DAYS SINCE THEN I HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO SLEEP AND I AM VERY NERVOUS  IS THIS A WITHDRAWL,HOW LONG WILL IT LAST,WHATCAN IDO TO HELP THIS ALONG
Avatar universal
i know how you feel believe me, i have been on hydrocodone now for just about 2 yrs. i have herniated discs in my neck. one wk ago my doctor took me off of them to see what would happen. i got severe headaches i was totally mean, sweating, couldn't sleep i found myself totally feeling alone and desperate to do what i could to get my medication. i called my dr. he immediately put me back on them but also gave me klonopin to help with the withdrawls. it helps alot belive me so if you want you could try those. it will get better for you belive me. im trying to get off the pills but right now they are the only thing that helps my pain. call your dr. he may be able to give you klonopin to help ya out. i hope i have helped you some. feel free to write me if you want to talk. i would like that there isint to many people who understand what you are going through.
Avatar universal
Recently, My girlfriend and I had a baby,,,,she is healthy and doing fine. We have been addicted for just over two years.....taking at times 10 (10/500) a day lortab,lorcet,viccodin,zydone, whatever we could get. I do have some Info on a friend of mine, he has taken up to 4 (10/500) a day for the last seven years, he is legitamint. His Dr. does liver test every year to make sure no damage has occured....need less to say he still gets them(no liver damage).
   I was reading up above.........IT IS VERY HARD,I had one Dr. try to gradually lower our dose....it worked for a while , but when we got down to a couple a day we went right back up.NOw we are going cold TURKEY.....(INSANE) I related to the sleepless nights , body aches, and the plain old urge that if you take one you'll feel better. We have went from 10 pills a day to 1-2 a day. we are also using Valium10's...for sleep, and Pherenol 3(like tylenol 3) just a little codiene.....I'm clean for three days,and this has been much easier than cold turkey! I hope I could help....this is something I really want, so If any of you know how long this will last or have any other info, PLease let me know.
Avatar universal
Recently, My girlfriend and I had a baby,,,,she is healthy and doing fine. We have been addicted for just over two years.....taking at times 10 (10/500) a day lortab,lorcet,viccodin,zydone, whatever we could get. I do have some Info on a friend of mine, he has taken up to 4 (10/500) a day for the last seven years, he is legitamint. His Dr. does liver test every year to make sure no damage has occured....need less to say he still gets them(no liver damage).
   I was reading up above.........IT IS VERY HARD,I had one Dr. try to gradually lower our dose....it worked for a while , but when we got down to a couple a day we went right back up.NOw we are going cold TURKEY.....(INSANE) I related to the sleepless nights , body aches, and the plain old urge that if you take one you'll feel better. We have went from 10 pills a day to 1-2 a day. we are also using Valium10's...for sleep, and Pherenol 3(like tylenol 3) just a little codiene.....I'm clean for three days,and this has been much easier than cold turkey! I hope I could help....this is something I really want, so If any of you know how long this will last or have any other info, PLease let me know.
Avatar universal
Recently, My girlfriend and I had a baby,,,,she is healthy and doing fine. We have been addicted for just over two years.....taking at times 10 (10/500) a day lortab,lorcet,viccodin,zydone, whatever we could get. I do have some Info on a friend of mine, he has taken up to 4 (10/500) a day for the last seven years, he is legitamint. His Dr. does liver test every year to make sure no damage has occured....need less to say he still gets them(no liver damage).
   I was reading up above.........IT IS VERY HARD,I had one Dr. try to gradually lower our dose....it worked for a while , but when we got down to a couple a day we went right back up.NOw we are going cold TURKEY.....(INSANE) I related to the sleepless nights , body aches, and the plain old urge that if you take one you'll feel better. We have went from 10 pills a day to 1-2 a day. we are also using Valium10's...for sleep, and Pherenol 3(like tylenol 3) just a little codiene.....I'm clean for three days,and this has been much easier than cold turkey! I hope I could help....this is something I really want, so If any of you know how long this will last or have any other info, PLease let me know.
Avatar universal
I have been taking up to 10, 10/500, a day for about 1 1/2yrs(Sometimes less).   I now someone who has been on them for 7yrs, taking up to 5 a day....each year he has lab test done and so far no problems. as of Mon.23/00 I have quit for the third time...Once with the help of a Dr.(lowering my doses every month...second time cold turkey (not Good)....but this time I use Valium 10's for sleep, phurenol #3's for the aches,(they have a little codiene) It's been 3 days and I've only taken two pills...this might work!!!I hope.YOU may want to talk to your Dr. about something like this?otherwise I think It's REHAB!.....I Have a Question......does anyone know how long these Withdrawls LAST??????? GOOD LUCK ALL, Jason
Avatar universal
The worst part of the withdrawal is over after 3-4 days.  Then you have another 4-6 days of feeling fatigued and generally like you're mildly sick while getting a bit better each day.  After that you feel better but still have some trouble sleeping and often have some mild depression and strong cravings for as much as 6 months (although usually less).  Remember, although it doesn't seem like it now anyone who has relapsed a few times will tell you WITHDRAWAL IS THE EASY PART, STAYING CLEAN IS THE HARD PART.  I kid you not.  You will soon forget how bad you felt and will start thinking how much you miss the drug.  Without some sort of program or structure to assist staying clean, your chances of relapsing are very high.  Good luck.
Avatar universal
Do the aches and pains that you originally start taking the hydrocodone for ever get better??  I feel like when I don't take the tablet(s) that I feel more pains in more places and they are more amplified than ever before.  That is to say, my original pain was concentrated in the low back...now, my ankles hurt sometimes, my hands, fingers, wrists hurt (for 2 mos. straight), then my neck and shoulder area feel the pain.  It seems that either I'm more sensitive to any anomaly than I would be if I'd never taken the medicine in the first place.  I'm trying not to take more than one a day, but I guess we all know how that goes. We've just remodeled our entire 1600 sq. ft. office building and I did all the wallpaper, painting, decorating, etc.  Since Feb 9th of this year, I have taken almost 130 tablets.  You do the math...today is May 16th.  I want help from all these pains, but am fearful of what I'm doing to my body (liver, kidneys, brain). I don't mind taking the medicine.  In fact, I feel I look forward to that point in the day when I decide, "I can't take (this or that) pain anymore.", and, in essence, give myself permission to take a pill.  Does taking this hydrocodone chemical have any long-term documented studies?  What do other people do who feel like this day in and day out?
Avatar universal
dont panic, stop drinking, that will kill tour liver, as for the vicodin, all you have to wory about about is the acetemeniphen, the hydrocodone wil not hurt your liver, i have ben taking 10 to 12 pills a day for about five years and my liver blood tests are tottaly fine, dont  believe everthing your dodctors panicks about

Avatar universal
The real problem starts slowly as it did for all of us who got addicted to painkillers.  There was a time we ALL got off on 1 or 2 a day.  The problem is it NEVER stays at that level.  You will gradually increase until you get to a level you never imagined was possible.  When I heard people took 30 or more Vicodin a day I thought "they're crazy!"  Eventually I was taking almost twice that amount per day!  And, you can't look at me and say I'm some drug addict idiot or loser.  I have a post-graduate degree and am a highly paid professional.  This disease does not discriminate.  Please stop now while you can easily.
Avatar universal
i want to wean myself off of vicodin es i take from 6 to 8 a day, what withdrawls will i have please help i have been doing this for 2 and a half years
Avatar universal
Having done this more times than I wish to remember, I can advise you of the following.  You are taking a relatively low level per day, so you can taper.  The best way is to start by going from 8 per day to 7.5 per day for a few days, then down to 7 for a few days, etc.  Divide the dosage as you normally do, although best is to evenly divide during day (if taking 8, take 2 every 6 hrs.)  At the end of this detox you will likely feel like you have a mild flu, some agitation and depression for 3 days.  It will then get better around day 4 and most symptoms will be gone in 7-10 days.  Many people have a mild or moderate depression following the detox.  This can last for a few months.  You may want to try to get clonidine and a benzodiazepine for the end of the detox.  Finally, if you want the true pain free and easy way to get of painkillers, find a doctor or outpatient program using buprenorphine.  A taper using buprenorphine will, at your level, get you off the narcotics with little or no withdrawal.  Good luck.  Brian
Avatar universal
i got addicted while taking hydros for tooth pain (i have a bad mouth)...what will help with withdrawls are METHADONE/DOSE...it's the stuff they give to heroin addicts to help them get off the drug...  take a minimal amount, ONLY enough to help you sleep..  roughly 10mg at night for 5 days...then take 3/4 of 10mg pill for 3 days..then 5mg...slowly work yourself to 2mg....you will feel crappy for a couple days no matter how well you wheen yourself...i've done it many times...like someone said up top, STAYING CLEAN IS THE HARD PART... an.d do NOT get addicted to methadones...you'll get yourself in a messed up downward spiral....  good luck everyone, and God Bless....
Avatar universal
For two years, I took anywhere from 5-10 hydros per day.  I was not a heavy drinker, but would occasionally have a few beers on the weekends... BIG MISTAKE.  This all began innocently enough with me taking 1-2 hydros for back pain and fibromyalgia (but of course my tolerance grew).  Oh God.

For about 5 days, I have had fairly dark urine, light stools, and the very slight beginnings of jaundice are showing in the corners of my eyes.  I have an appointment with an internist tomorrow afternoon and I AM SO AFRAID I CAN BARELY BREATHE.   Today I visited the health food store and talked to a friend of mine who manages the place... she also noticed the slight yellow in my eyes, and has placed me on a 2 week cleansing program which includes milk thistle... but is it too late?

I am 42, happily married and have otherwise always been healthy... I can't believe that this could be the beginning of the end (I am sooo incredibly sad).

I will try to remember to post after all the tests are over with.  PLEASE SAY A PRAYER FOR ME AND WISH ME WELL.
Avatar universal
i will say a prayer for you tonight...

please post tomorrow and let us know how it goes, ok?  also, if you start a new thread (you posted on a very old one) more people will see it.  often times people post on old threads and get overlooked.  so please create a new one.

fow what it's worth, alot of folks were on hyrdro's for a number of years and didn't do any serious damage.  hopefully you have not either...

i wish you well.

-mj
Avatar universal
Thanks for wishing me well.  As predicted liver enzymes and bilirubin levels were very high.  For a wekk, I have been drinking tons of distilled water, and have totally eliminated all medications, and am eating a bland, organic diet (no soda, no coffee and NO alcohol).

I am seeing a gastroenterologist on 9/28.  Pray for me!

182493 tn?1348052915
Please keep us posted on how you are doing.... its not always too late to start milk thistle.. there are others that can help rebuild the liver... I will look for this post and post them tomorrow night for you... I have a great book called prescription for nutrtional healing and its loaded with info on stuff to take for this kind of thing...  have you stopped taking the pills??  or are you trying to stop??
I wish you the best my dear..
Avatar universal
I will pray for you sweety... keep me posted on what happens with the gastro.

And if you ever want to vent, I'll be around...

Be well... and try to stay calm.... I don't know much about the liver enzymes, but I'm guessing there are things you can do to help lower them, like Fladdict said above.  She's got a lot of good info...

Let me know how things go...

all my best,
mj
Avatar universal
Thanks Marcatj and FLaddict for responding.

To answer FLaddicts' question:  Yes, I have been completely off the pills for 5 days (try doing a cold-turkey detox, while simultaneously worrying about toxic hepatitis and liver damage... extreme physical and mental anguish, I can tell you).

I am now drinking close to a gallon of distilled water daily, and taking 3 milk thistle tablets per day.  I have eliminated coffee, caffeine, alcohol, and eating only organic foods containing no preservatives or additives.

My doctor did say that the liver has amazing regenerative powers, but I did some web surfing the other night and came upon a few articles that scared the S*** outta me.  

If I could figure out how to post this in a more conspicuous place, I WOULD.  For everyone out there who is afraid of the w/d's from hydro or vicodin... THEY ARE NOTHING COMPARED TO THE FEAR YOU WILL FEEL WHEN THE DOC TELLS YOU THERE ARE LIVER PROBLEMS.   I NEVER thought this would happen to me, as I have always been relatively healthy and in excellent shape (up until 2 weeks ago, I was doing 45 minutes on the elliptical every day and working two jobs!!!)  Friends and family were envious of the excellent shape my body is in... what a joke!  The worst part is the GUILT... I have no one to blame but me  :(

MY QUESTION IS THIS:  Has ANYONE experienced a similar situation and come out okay?  Sorry to sound so desperate, but I am frightened.  Thanks for your help guys.

PS:  Could someone please tell me how to post this as a new topic?  I tried and failed  
Avatar universal
I have been clean 10 days from hydrocodone.  Took it for recreational purposes, not pain.  Anybody have any non-chemical/medication remedy ideas for the anxiety/sleeplessness? I am so tempted to go get just a few pills to take the edge off but I know will just blow the clean time I have...I really don't want to go back.  Still feel like I'm going to jump out of my skin.  Is this normal after 10 days clean?
Avatar universal
I am trying to kick this habit that i picked up from my boyfriend. He takes pills and after my surgery i soon started taking them to even after i had healed. Im trying to stop by myself but with someone popping them infront of you, it's kind of hard. Anyone in the same situation.
Avatar universal
I was addicted to hydrocodone for about 6-7 years, and at the end was taking 15-20 pills per day.  I am so glad to be off them!  Withdrawal was so awful that I will NEVER take another addictive substance again.  It  started out innocently (I have chronic back pain) but I'd rather live with the pain than be a slave to those little pills.  I know very well the feeling that you're going to "jump out of your skin".  Take heart -- it WILL go away; it took me a good two weeks (maybe a little longer) to get rid of the major miserable feelings.  I then went through a period of great fatigue, which lasted about a month.  After that, it was clear sailing.  Please, don't give up!  You've come this far and eventually you'd have to face withdrawal anyway.  It is so worthwhile to get OFF those pills.  I feel wonderful now and am literally never, ever tempted to go back on them.  I want nothing to do with narcotic painkillers...addiction is not worth it!
Avatar universal
Wanted to add some more which might help you -- if you are on day 10, you're near the end of the rotten feelings, I promise you.   That "want to jump out of your skin" feeling is about the worst one, and believe me, it will go fast now.  It is normal right now, but it won't last much longer.  You'll look back on this some day and be so happy you got off the pills.  I have NO fond memories of them!  

Please bear in mind that once these uncomfortable feelings have passed, you will NEVER have to feel this way again as long as you stay off those pills.  I wish you the very best and I'll check back with you.  Keep up the good work; you're nearing the end of the bad feelings, I promise you!
Avatar universal
It's been months since i first wrote, having developed toxic hepatitis and a swollen spleen due to using hydrocodone with moderate alcohol consumption.  As of 11/15/07, my liver enzymes were back to normal, but there is probably some scarring or damage from my ordeal which will hopefully heal over time.  The jaundice is now gone, but I still suffer from fatigue and a few other problems that are constant reminders of how dangerous these drugs can be.  PLEASE... if you are addicted to hydros, take no more than 4 grams per day, and DO NOT TOUCH ALCOHOL (not even a couple light beers on the weekends).   If you are trying to quit cold turkey, remember this: no matter how bad detox feels, IT WILL PASS!  Take a few weeks of sick leave from work or school, do whatever it takes, you will be glad you did.
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