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Addiction: Substance Abuse Community
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Avatar universal

Multiple painful illnesses but too many meds. Starting to abuse them.

Have had ovr 30 surgeries, 6 last 6 mos. am on multiple meds & after 15 yrs am now abusing them. I want off them but sooo scared of withdrawal & terrible pain I'll be in. RXs incl fentanyl patch 75mcg, 7.5 Norco every 4 hrs, klonipen, Buspar, backlofen, halcyon, Zoloft, Remeron, steroids, levothyroxin, phenergan, Benadryl, Imitrex, Trazedone. I'm now supplementing with some vodka. The pathetic thing is I was a drug n alcohol counselor for 25 yrs (not taking all those or abusing them then). I'm on disability for all my med issues. This is scaring me and no matter how often I promise I won't do it, I do. But if I don't take these I can't live with the terrible pain I have. What can I do??
5 Responses
9880688 tn?1414115647
Wow you are on a lot of meds and as a drug counselor I suspect that you know you are on too many even with the medical issues you have.  The fact that you came here to talk says a lot to me...like you know you have a problem.

I can tell you a few things but I suspect you know this already.  Your brain is telling you that your pain is worse than it really is because it wants that drug and it wants it NOW.

I can tell you that many issues that we all have that we need pain management for can be managed with non-opiate medications; for instance, lidoderm patches, voltaren gel, thermacare heat patches...and those are just examples.

What you really need to do is get off of all the opiates and stay off of them for a few months...it is the only way you can get a really good gauge on what your real pain level is like.  I'm 2 months in and still feel more pain than I should but less than I did before I CT'd.  I was just told 6 months is typical for waiting to find out what my real levels are.  I suggest this ONLY if you are not wanting to quit but are wanting to find out what your real levels are.

If you feel that you need to quit, that you have turned addictive then all I can say is post here.  Tell us what amounts you've been taking and when, and what day and time you are going to start.  We'll be more than happy to help you figure out what over the counter and healthy herbs, etc you can take to help out with the WD symptoms.  We will also be more than happy to provide all the support you can use until you are done with the WD's and can start your aftercare program.

We will do all these things for you...as soon as you know whether or not quitting is what you really want to do.

I will pray for you and hope that God shows you the way to the right path so that you can have a happy and productive life~
1926359 tn?1331588139
I understand and empathize with you.  I have been where you are.  I have several extremely serious chronic autoimmune illnesses and for years I lived in bed, taking every prescription med that was put on me to bandaid the problems.  It took me a very long time and a lot of hard work to get my life back.  To go from just surviving the day to day in bed popping pills, to actually living again.
I cold turkey'd off opiates in December of 2011 after 6 years and multiple surgeries.  I'd tapered off Fentanyl and was just taking 150 mg of oxy/nalexone with some breakthrough hydromorphone.  I felt like my soul was dying, so one night I'd had enough and I jumped.
I made sure I had the detox supplies.  I knew I could not cold turkey the benzos that I'd been on for years, I got clonidine to help with the opiate detox.  I surrendered to the process because I knew if I continued down that path I would die.
Within 2 months I was in 90% less pain than I was on the opiates.  I managed to get off the prednisone that I'd been on for years and maintained a healthy lifestyle with diet and yoga and other exercise, things that were impossible when I was on drugs.  I invested heavily in recovery.  I did CBT and addictions counselling, along with EMDR for the PTSD that I suffered from medical trauma and the abusive marriage I'd left that was the root of me abusing my meds.
I joined SMART recovery.
Within 6 months I went back to work doing what I loved.  I became so successful that I was able to open my own business doing this.  A year later I met my soulmate and life was....Perfect.
But, in October 2013 one of my illnesses came back with a force.  I denied it's existence because I was afraid of losing everything.  When my pain became debilitating and I began missing work and backing out of social and other commitments I sought help.
I conceded to taking a low dose of opiates to get me through until surgery which was supposed to be in June.  I signed an opiate contract and stepped up my recovery support because I was afraid of sliding back to that dark place.  Unfortunately, my surgery was delayed until Oct.8th.
It's been very very difficult.  However, because of the work I've done on myself I am not living in darkness.  I have love and I have hope.

I would not have gotten here had I not first tried other ways to live without drugs.
They have their time and place but ultimately- opiates are NOT good solutions for chronic pain.  They create more pain.  I would not be taking them unless it wasn't absolutely crucial for my survival.
I would highly suggest you seek some support.  Enlist a doctor and try to get off as many meds as possible.  Go slow.  Be patient.  Get into recovery and fight for your life.
You may find that once your brain is clear and your body is free from so many drugs that life looks very different to you.
Unfortunately, we can not medicate our problems away.  We must find solutions to live and not just survive.
It is dangerous to take all these drugs and to add alcohol to the mix.  You need help and there is no shame in that.
As a drug and alcohol counselor you need to take the compassion that you bestowed on your clients and show some for yourself.  As I am sure you are aware, none of us can do this alone.  Please don't be alone.
We will all be here to support you....
Lu
1926359 tn?1331588139
PS.
If you look at this as a whole it will overwhelm you.  Write down a plan and take it one step at a time.  As you said, it's been 15 years- that's how long it took you to get to this place.  For me it was 6.  I was in great shape at 6 months opiate free and amazing shape at 1 year.  So, it won't happen overnight, but it CAN happen.  You can be in charge of your destiny.
Keep posting...
Lu
8976007 tn?1413330650
i understand,  i was on fentanyl and percocets for breakthrough pain.
i got horrible side effects from the fentanyl after many months on them,  so i got off of it.  wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy.

make sure they only drop your fentanyl by 12.5 mcg at a time.  it is a long and painful detox jumping from 50, but would be more manageable if tapered better.

pseudo addiction is what happens when the pain meds are no longer effective. do NOT self medicate.  you know better.  talk honestly with your doctor.

as someone who lives in constant, daily pain, i will tell you there comes a time when opiates are no longer effective.
at that point some turn to methodone for pain management.  depends on how bad your pain is.  i am choosing to live with the pain at the moment.  not sure how long i can tough this out.  i will have to be at end of life to go that route.  detoxing from methodone won't be something i can do.
Avatar universal
You do you along list there. And I think several are actually doing the same thing. Which at not be good.

My ex was on tons of medicine. The detoxed from the fentynal patch and it was not easy. He was on 125mcgs though. Like said above, taper from that slowly. Drop 12.5 each month.

He also took bus par, respirdone, Lexapro, xanax and flexeril. Not good combinations. Then when he told his Dr he was feeling depressed the Dr added Effexor. That is when I got mad. He was tripled up on antidepressants.

So I would do your research. What is each med for and what does it do. Put them in categories - pain, antidepressant ....  Then talk to your Dr. Can I get rid of any of these since for example the buspar and klonopin may be doing the same thing. And the trazedone.

Then get it down to what is needed. And see how it goes. Especially getting off the fentynal. Keep the norco through the taper detox though then decide on that one too.

Sometimes we have to be our own advocates bc the Drs will just keep prescribing and adding. Then you have a counter full of bottles.
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