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Avatar universal

KansasSunflower Requests Advice Weening Off Opana ER ROA

Hi.  For purpose of this post, my name is KansasSunflower.  Aside from "nickname," everything else is painfully true.  I am a 58 year old, retired, grandmother.  At age 16 I broke my neck in a dreadful car accident.  Thank God I wasn't paralyzed.  Over the years, I have had to have a number of cervical spine surgeries and procedures.  In 2003 I had a cervical spine surgery where the surgeon entered from the back of my neck and in 2004 I had a anterior spinal fusion C4 - C7.  Both of these surgeries were successful.  However, my neurosurgeon told me 10 years down the road bone spurs would grow around the instrumentation in my neck, and these bony spurs would press on nerves and/or nerve roots, and cause me pain.  That is where I am now.
About a year ago I began getting cervical epidurals of corticosteroids.  These epidural injections help quite a bit.  Prior to the steroid injections, on a pain scale of 1 to 10, I stayed at an average of 7 to 8.  With the steroid injections, my pain average went from 7 to 8, down to a 3 to 4.  At this time I was prescribed Opana ER 40 mg, one every 12 hours.  With the injections, I asked my doctor to put me on the Opana ER 20 mg, so he did, but added one more a day, or 20 mg every eight hours, three a day.  Unfortunately, I can only get 3 steroid injections in a row, then have to wait six months before I can get another epidural injection.  I try to save the injections for the winter, when I hurt the most.  This summer the air conditioning caused me a lot of pain.  Meanwhile, my pharmacy started giving me the Global Pharmacies generic Opana ER 20 mg.  I was in a lot of pain, so I did something new to me--I crushed a pill and snorted the pill.  I felt more pain relief from snorting than from taking them orally.  I understand the bioavailability is only 10% when taken orally, versus 30% to 40% intranasally.  I was originally prescribed Opana ER in 2011 or early 2012, and until the last few months I always got the Endo TRF version, which I never considered snorting.  I think I got the generics for three to four months before deciding to try snorting one.  So now I have been snorting my prescription for about two months, can tell my tolerance is skyrocketing, and know I need to quit snorting and go back to taking them orally, as soon as possible.  I know there is going to be some serious discomfort doing so.  One time I had to go one whole day without taking any Opana (pharmacies ran out!) and I got shingles (this was when I only took them orally).  Several weeks ago on a Monday, I tried to just take my three pills orally.  I was really sick the whole day, couldn't sleep, started to feel the burning racing up and down my arms, like shingles, again, so about 12:30 a.m. I snorted a tiny line and began to feel so much better, immediately.  That experiment showed me how much trouble I am in.  When I first started snorting my pills, I thought two pills a day was plenty.  Now three is barely enough.  I rue the day I began snorting my pills.  I knew better and I definitely know better now.   The time I got shingles, the rash started on my neck and I caught it before it blistered.  The burning racing up and down my arms and upper back feels like Hell's Fires, and it is like Satan is saying "you enjoyed the Opanas, well now you get to deal with her withdrawals."  That day I felt like I had met Satan's mistress, her name is Opana, and she can go back to Hell and stay there.
I have read methadone is very hard to withdraw from, but I have a friend who did it, cold turkey, after years of being on methadone.  She used mind over matter.  She didn't focus on how hard it was, she just did it.  Next Wednesday is the first day I don't have appointments or anything, so I think I will bite the bullet and take my three pills orally, no snorting.  If I get the shingles again, or it's totally unbearable (which it shouldn't be, I will have three pills to swallow), I will start taking two pills a day orally, and only snort one pill, then only snort half a pill, till I am only swallowing all my pills again, hopefully, without too much discomfort.  Did I mention I just started on the nicotine patches today too?  Yes, I have changes to make, and I will be praying to the LORD all the way through it.
If anyone has gone through this with Opanas, and has any advice, it will be greatly appreciated.  Although I make this post anonymously, it feels good to confess my huge mistake, which I will pay for, and already am paying for.
24 Responses
4522800 tn?1470329434
Hello & Welcome to our Forum.
First I want to say I just Love your Screen Name..Hug!

This was a wonderful post for me to read. You have so much in-site on what it is all about.
You & I have so much in common except the OCH! on all your surgeries!
I went c/t off of 3meds back in 2012. I was 56 when I did. I ended up getting so out of control with my Methadone (prescribed for pain) that I was Snorting it with Adderral (do not have ADHD) and taking a Benzo at night to come down. I ended up getting surgery and NO longer had a reason to get pills anymore. I knew it was a matter of time!

However, I have been a Recreational users off & on since I was 14. SO by the time I even took my first Opiate I was off even worse to a Progressive Disease Called Addiction!
These type of meds can really build up a Tolerance to them Fast. Then we need more & more and then it is so out of control that we have to take our lives back. I have been reading about Addiction, Tolerance, Mental Issues and so forth regarding why many of us can get so hooked.
One of the most interesting part of the brain that I read about was the Mid-Brain (survival part, pleasure part). Just like when we started to Snort. The brain will remember that pleasure and it will want it this way or anyway it can get it! It's very powerful up there in our Head and it sure can trick you into thinking lots of things.

It looks like you are just Depending on them right now & for some SERIOUS PAIN, but you have crossed a fine line that can led this up to being Addicted to them for other reasons. HOWEVER, YOU have caught this and YOU know what is going on. That right there is a BIG PLUS!!

I sure hope you stick around. We also have a "Pain Management Community". This is a really nice site with LOTS of Friendly people from all around the World. Come on down and meet some new Folks..Ha!!
Bless
Vickie
Avatar universal
What a great post Vickie!!! I think you've said it all!!

If you really need these meds,which it sounds like you do,you HAVE to quit the snorting. Tough out them w/d's and get back to taking them normally. Like Vic said you're headed down a bad road otherwise. So much damage can be caused snorting love. Not to mention it sky rockets your tolerance. You do not want to keep taking more and more of these meds. Stick around and keep posting. Xox
Avatar universal
Thank you Vicki!  I really appreciate your comment.  I agree that right now I am dependent, anyone on such drugs automatically becomes dependent, but it is a fine line and slippery slope between dependence and addiction, and with the snorting I am afraid  I am teetering on that fine line.
Don't worry, I am here to stay.  And again, thank you.  I appreciate your time and attention.
Avatar universal
Ditto my reply to Vicki to you Krissy.  I really do appreciate your time and kind thoughts.  I will post my success any lapse thereto.  The main thing is to be completely honest, somewhere.  I don't exactly want to waltz into my doctor's office and pour my heart out.  But if I don't get a grip, and soon, that is exactly what might just happen.
4522800 tn?1470329434
Hello Again!

GOOD!

If you do not know your way around or need help setting up your Profile, just ASK.. We all  can help you.
Sometimes we talk back and forth in our Status, Notes, Journals and so forth.  On the right side you will see this come up.

Hope to see you around.
Bless
Avatar universal
Good morning.  I am really interested in the brain topics you mentioned.  Are these reading materials available on this site, by chance?  Funny, I have been diagnosed with ADHD, hyperactive impulsive type, and manic depressive, manic type, lastly hypomanic.  Everything about the brain is infinitely interesting to me.
I need to teach myself how to navigate this site.  My little Toy Fox Terrier Luci is telling me it's time to take her out.
Just want to tell you again how much I appreciate your time and attention.  big Hug to you!
Avatar universal
Hi there- insufflation is an addiction unto itself and the fact that it's with this particular drug compounds your difficulty.  How in the heck are you crushing these things?  They're like concrete!  

I'm sure you know how dangerous this is so I'm glad you're stopping. My advice would be to hang on and just do it! No tapering. No cutting back. Just stop.  If you don't, I think you'll be in for a long haul of up and down and never quite stopping.

You may need someone to physically hold the pills and watch you swallow them. I know that's demeaning but this situation with you makes drastic action necessary.  You are setting yourself up for never being able to get pain relief from any drug except IV and in large amounts.  Also, the damage being done inside your body is deadly.  The drug was never meant to be snorted or injected for that reason and that's also why it's so difficult to crush the pills. It's meant to be a deterrent.

Finally, as you have found, tolerance builds rapidly. Toxic levels increase as well.  That's when overdosing occurs and you just stop breathing.  
Please just ask for help close to you and stop this practice. You're really playing with fire.  
Avatar universal
Hi....well the line of addiction is crossed as soon as you no longer take them as prescribed....  so that 3rd pill as well as the crushing and snorting is addictive behavior.....I also did that with dilodid pills for years so I know first hand just how hopeless it feels to be in your situation....  the pills stop working after years of use and abuse  and most of us here on the forum do a lot better managing pain without the use of narcotics...my advise  is take the plunge and detox yourself  this will do several things for you  first off it will clean all the cr ap out of your system so you can get a base line of the true pain  the brain will create the pain to get the drug  secondly it will drop your tolerance way down so if you forced to take the pills they will start to work again  third and most inporant it will stop the addictive behavior  witch will consume your life and destroy it  trust me I was an opiet addict for 15yrs  you dont want to go down this road  and as always I recamend going to N/A meetings  it will give you a real idea of what active addiction is like  it will also give you some place safe to share with others that understand  this is a critical part of the recovery process right now if you ketch this early it will be a lot ezer to get over it  the longer you abuse the worst it gets  keep posting here for support...........Gnarly
Avatar universal
Vicki595 I think you are right.  As to how I crush them, these are the Global Pharmacies generics, which are not tamper resistant.  I have a pill cutter that has crushing capacity.  I think you may be thinking of the Endo Pharmacy version that was encases in silicone, which, although I have read lengthy instructions on how to prepare to insuffulate, I never considered insuffulating the Endos.  In fact, my cousin suggested I go back to the Endo version which I would never try to insuffulate ("snort"--easier to type).  I am fortunate to have my mother living with me, and I think I will take your advice and ask her to give me my pills every eight hours.  Rather than tell her the truth, which would greatly upset her, I will tell her I am a mess from stopping smoking yesterday, which is true, and tell her I don't trust myself right now to keep accurate track of time.  I know everything you say is true.  Sometimes the truth hurts,  it as the Bible says "the truth shall set you free."
Avatar universal
I think your comment that once I crossed the line by snorting the pills instead of swallowing, I crossed over from dependence into addiction.  But the third pill a day was prescribed by my doctor when I asked him to put me back on the 20 mg from the 40 mg this time last year. That was when he added the third pill a day and wrote the script for me to take one pill every 8 hours rather than one pill every 12 hours.
I do have legitimate pain, but I also realize that pain medication sensitizes your body to pain.  I have thought about detoxing off pain medication altogether--going into the hospital for a rapid detox over two or three days, which insurance doesn't cover.  I am blessed to have my 80 year old mother living with me, and my 10 year old Roy Fox Terrier, Luci.  I would need to make arrangements to have someone drive my mother to her many church functions, and walk my dog several times a day.
I think for now I will address one thing at a time.  I will bite the bullet and have my Mom give me my pills.  I think that is a good idea.  The weening, tapering plan seems like too slippery a slope.  I know it won't be easy, and I may get the shingles, again, but it won't kill me. I have thought about detoxing completely off the oxymorphone and going on Tramadol, which I understand is not a narcotic, but good for nerve pain.  I would like to get to know myself again, sans narcotics.
You and Vicki595 have given me a lot of food for thought.  Good, honest, and not sugar-costed, advice, which I greatly appreciate.
Avatar universal
Vicki595 and gnarly_1: Thank you again.  I will be re-reading your comments.  I want to apologize for all of my typos.  My iPad flies and I make too many typos.
I am an alcoholic who used to attend very good AA meetings in Houston TX for years.  The scientist who invented the breathalyzer actually went to my group there.  Interestingly, it took 12 years for him to get and stay sober, and he is genius.  
I no longer drink, so I will check out NA meetings here, and AA, and see where I feel more at home.  I have been told AA works for NA folks too, but after listening to just a few of you here, I think I now belong in NA.
Plus I need to get back into fellowship at Church.  I miss my Church family.
Avatar universal
I just want to let all of you know how encouraged I feel after two days of being on this site.  I tried to sign up with Bluelight, but never received the verification email.  I was meant to sign up right here.
You people really make a difference in peoples' lives, by encouraging them to choose life.  This stuff--my stuff--really is a matter of life or death.
You are doing God's work.  I thank God for all of you.
495284 tn?1333897642
COMMUNITY LEADER
Oh please dont go the tramadol route.  That drug is very evil and in alot of states they are reclassifying it as a narcotic.  The side effects can be very serious such as seizures and the wd is brutal.
Avatar universal
I didn't know that.  I know it has an antidepressant SSRI effect, but now I am no longer interested in Tramadol with those side effects and brutal withdrawals.  I have also heard Suboxone is trading one evil for another.  Cervical epidural injections, the corticosteroids, help my pain more than pain medication.
495284 tn?1333897642
COMMUNITY LEADER
Stick with what you are doing instead of going the Sub or Tramadol route.
Avatar universal
Gnarly_1
I just read my first reply to you about dependence vs addiction, and realize I didn't articulate the main point of my reply.  Maybe it was a "Freudian omission" because I didn't want to admit it yet, so instead I sort of paraphrased what you said but left out the main point: you are absolutely right that I crossed the line from dependence to addiction when I started insufflating crushed pills instead of swallowing them whole, as prescribed.
I got a cervical epidural today, take my dog to the vet tomorrow, so Wednesday is the day I start taking my pills orally.  All I have to do is feed and walk my dog until an appointment Friday, which can be rescheduled if need be.  I am telling myself it may not be as bad as I have built it up to be in my mind.  I will survive.  And if I feel the familiar burning in my neck, arms, and upper back, that means shingles, I will call my doctor and ask him to call me in some antibiotics.  I brought this on myself.  We reap what we sow, no way around it, but through it.  I will be praying and staying hydrated.  At least the epidural will afford me some extra relief from withdrawal associated muscle and joint pain.
Avatar universal
I just made s reply to Gnarly_1 that I intended to address to you as well.  Both of you are right :). I hope to be reporting good news soon.  I doubt I will report till I'm over the worst part.  Right now I am telling myself it may not be as bad as I have built it up to be in my mind.  At least it won't kill me, like continuing on my current path will.  God Bless.
Avatar universal
Please whatever you do, do not take tramadol. I am in a horrible situation because of tramadol and the withdrawals are absolutely severe. For me personally about 15 times worse than when I came off norco a few years back. It's extremely addictive and I can't even explain the withdrawals. I've ended up in the ER because of them. Just my two cents. I am praying for you to get well.
Avatar universal
Thanks.  Years ago I was put on Tramadol, but then I was put on stronger pain meds, in the same class, so I never went through withdrawals from it.  I do recall being put on Celexa at the same time as Tramadol, and I got sick. I figured out it was serotonin syndrome.  I don't think the dr who put me on the Celexa, knowing I was on Tramadol, realized Tramadol has anti-depressant properties too.
Thank you for the warning.  I hope we both get well soon.
Avatar universal
Hey  just wanted to see how your doing???  are you taking the pills as directed???  your bound to feel some withdrawal switching over so that is to be expected....have you thought about stopping all togeather???  anyway keep posting for support where here for you
.....................................Gnarly............................
Avatar universal
Thank you.  I haven't started the switch back to taking the pills orally yet.  I wanted to wait for the first day I didn't have an appointment or anything demanding, which I figured is tomorrow.  I had an appt for steroid injection yesterday, and today I am getting ready to take my Luci to the vet.  So my plan is to start tomorrow.  I do have some errands that have to be tended to tomorrow, but my cousin can drive me.  If I keep putting it off, it will never happen.  I have an appt Friday, but if I am not up to it I will reschedule.  I am making myself sick building up this idea about how hard it is going to be when it might not be so hard.  Truthfully, I know it is going to be totally uncomfortable, but the worst thing that will happen is I may get the shingles on my neck again, like last time I went through withdrawal for one day.  But I can catch it before blisters and start antibiotics.
I am failing miserably on stopping smoking.  I went 24 hours then smoked.  I have cut back dramatically, but that isn't good enough.  I am really beating myself up.  My Mom is so disappointed I am still smoking, but I think you will agree with me that stopping this intranasal oxymorphone is more urgent.  For years I thought everyone I knew of who insufflated or injected Opanas was crazy.  Then my pharmacy gets these generic Opanas from Global and I did it!  I told myself just this once, and you know the rest.
Truthfully, I think I should get off Opanas all together.  I am feeling so much guilt and shame, at least when I suffer starting tomorrow, I will feel better about taking steps to correct the mess I got myself into.  I need to read about others and get my mind off myself.
I really do appreciate every word and thought I get from all of you.  And I appreciate getting the truth, and not sugar coated.
4522800 tn?1470329434
Hi Again!
Try to just stay in the day or min/hour if you must. It sure would be a Blessing to see you stop the insanity of snorting these before it does get too out of hand..BUT you made a Big Step by coming on here. That FIRST STEP is the Biggest of them all.

Glad to see you are trying your best!
Bless
Vickie
495284 tn?1333897642
COMMUNITY LEADER
Your poor brain is so overwhelmed right now.  You need to prioritize things here.  Let the smoking ride for now.  You need to get off these pills and stop snorting them.  Focus on that for now.  WD's are no fun but you need to get these toxins out of your body and start getting healthy.  You are so worth it~
Avatar universal
I have great friends and loved ones, very few of whom even know what I'm doing with these pills, none of whom understand, yet you people do understand, and, miraculously, actually care.  That is priceless.  You all are definitely doing God's work.  And tomorrow, when I begin to reap what I have been sowing, and when I'm feeling sorry for myself, yet a little proud of myself for doing something about it, I will be re-reading your comments and hanging onto them.  Again, thank you all.  I truly appreciate every thought and word.
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495284 tn?1333897642
City of Dominatrix, MN
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