Addiction: Substance Abuse Community
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Avatar universal

Needing advice

I've been reading a lot of the posting in this forum on and off all day.  I've started at least 3 questions and was interrupted...I'm hoping to get this one through :)  My situation is very similar to many here.  I started taking prescription pain meds in December 2006.  To date, I take over 15 pills a day because of my tolerance.  Long story short, I had a long talk with my specialist yesterday.  She pulled my pharmacy records, which dated back to 2006.  I was shocked, embarrassed and very defensive.  After sleeping on her advice, I decided she was absolutely right, I need to stop taking the medication NOW...regardless of my pain level.  I've known for quite sometime that I had developed a problem, however, wasn't ready to face it.  The addiction has taken over most of my life.  I can't travel unless I have enough to last for several days, I can't do a lot of things simply because I am worried about running out of my meds.  So, instead of focusing on the real problem, which is my back, I've allowed the vicoden or the vicoprofen or the percocet dictate how I go about my daily life.  I realize I am cheating myself out on so much of my life because the drug has consumed me.  I have never had a problem with alcohol or drugs, therefore, I never believed something like this could happen to me.  My specialist gave me another prescription...to taper me off.  Yea right...someone who takes over 15 pills a day is not going to take 4 a day when there is a bottle in front of them.  My decision is to go cold turkey..starting within the next 24 hrs.  In the past, I've gone 24 hours without the medication in my system...so I have a good idea what the withdrawal is going to feel like...however, I have never made it beyond that time frame.  My husband seems to think it would be a good idea to keep a few pills in the house, in case the "anxiety" from the withdrawal is too much for me to handle.  My opinion, if they are here, I am going to find them, take them and lose my battle.  Does anyone agree?  I'm here because I really appreciated how everyone is so willing to help the other out.  I am hoping someone will be able to hold my hand via Internet (lol) over the next 72+ hrs or so.  I do not "think" it will be a problem for me if I can make it past 72 hrs...simply because I am determined to get my life back...but, I am afraid of caving in because we get soooooooo sick from the withdrawals.

Any advice given is so greatly appreciated!
88 Responses
209656 tn?1272297065
Isnt funny how we get so defensive when someone confronts us with the truth....

The greastest thing you did, is that you face the cold hard fact, eye to eye..and you seem to have the perfect motive.

My story with hydro's is about the same is yours. Right now I am on day 6 from 18-20 a day...c/t.

I have quit in the past, I know all the withdrawls..like getting all the flu like symptoms, being colder than usual, diareha, sweets, nights sweets, sleeplessness, emotional up and downs..etc

For most, you start to see the light after the 3-4 day is over...but believe not just me, be prepared to go thru 3-4 days of hell. I am not saying this to discourage, but to let you know what to expect.

Do yourself a favor, and get some Immodium AD...that way you wont have to drag a toilet with you!

You just keep up the right motive, and we all have to go through hell to reach paradise...and thats what you want, your life back 100%.

It is the same with me...I had to pop 5-6 in the morning just to function, then more just to live and function normal...so I know where your coming from.

This time for me, what has the biggest difference, is that my heart was ready and I asked God to prepare a way out for me, and He did...so all my trust and faith is in Jesus Christ, Who has given me the strength unlike anyother time before!

If you have any questions, just keep posting, or you can PM anytime!
May God Bless You and Hold you tight in His Loving Arms!
209656 tn?1272297065
By the way,

Let me guess...your doctor gave you Ultram  (Tramadol) 50mg 4x daily

Let me know if you doc did.

Avatar universal
Your in good company here, as it seems you've already determined by what you've read so far today!
My personal opinioon is this - I agree and admire the determination to do a Cold Turkey, but, quite simply, I believe it's a little too ambitious to go from 15 to 0 without putting yourself through a little bit of Hell (Been there - never going to that travel agent again), and, ultimately, risking your health (seriously).  It sounds like your husband is on board with the program, which is great, so here's what I would propose:  I've just begun a cold turkey (not my first, but with help will be my last) after getting myself down to 4 a day from just north of your neighborhood (about 20 most recently).  This ended up being uncomfortable but reasonable for me.  If you and your husband can work together, you can make this a pretty comfortable withdrawal.  There will be someone else here shortly, I'm sure, that might have their own advice regarding where exactly to start, by I would begin with 12 a day and see how you feel in 3-4 days.  Again, this is my opinion, and reducing my number immediately by 3 is what worked for me - as I'm sure you've read, though - we're all different in how we handle this.  The key is to have your husband and you make a plan, put it in writing, and have him agree to dose you as you both determine BEFORE you start.  Crankiness is bound to happen when you taper, so your plan and your focus are your tools.  These are the tips I learned, in abundance, from the wonderful people here, and I'm beginning to feel so much better. You will too.  Just don't go cold turkey from that many pills a day.  Ouch. .... good luck; I hope I helped a little, and God bless ....
209656 tn?1272297065
one more thing..if you have already started your cold turkey....if you take even just one...99% chance youll be right back where you started.

Please dont think "i will just take 1 to ease up the pain"...trust all of us in here...you will not stop at 1.

209656 tn?1272297065
Enough...I would agree with you, to an extent...a year ago tapered from 10 a day down to 3-4..and it was not that hard..

But now, I am so addicted taking 18-20 a day...I tried to taper so many times at this level and just could not taper at all..only very few can.

Newbie if you know yourself, have you tried to taper down before? If you had no success, than I would just keep going..this is my opion, and you well go thru 3-4 days of hell, but we all did, and made it...

Just think really hard, you know yourself..

Avatar universal
Todd -- the advantage I was keying on was that Newbie has a potential support here that can help her.  I agree - I was never able to taper the first few times by myself, and the bad first days you speak of are exactly what drove me back.  Would you agree that, although she may not be able to taper herself, she should try with the help of her husband?  It reads as though this is her first attempt at a complete withdrawal, and even at my toughest, I wouldn't try to go cold turkey from 15.  Newbie, you have an advantage that many here, including me, did not have, and that's the guy in the other room with the ring on his finger.  Again - just my advice for a first time taper.  I'm a single guy, and I've written here (Aug 14) about what I went through with no help from a pretty bad place, with ridiculous doses.  Be good to yourself, if you can, is all I'm recommending.  Wouldn't you agree, Todd?
Avatar universal
Tapering is difficult.. especially when you are going from 15 pills a day to 4... but when you are taking so many pills a day you need to taper, cold turkey can be dangerous in some situations. I went cold turkey the first few times I attempted to quit and got bad insomnia, cold sweats, nausea and anxiety. My doctor put me on an SSRI (zoloft) and it helped with the anxiety and all around "feel better" feeling. I felt great and i've been on zoloft for almost 2 months now and I am 30 days clean today. You can do it, you just need to get past the first few days. Those are the hardest... especially day 4! Beware the day 4. It can be pretty tough but once you get to day 6, 7, 8... time just seems to fly by so quickly! Before you know it you'll be back to normal living your normal life again. [= Good luck and keep posting and letting us know how you are doing.
209656 tn?1272297065
Enough..okay I see what your saying, on her having the advantage of having support.

Unlike us, both single males...we have to go with it.

I'm not sure what she should do..she's already 24 hours into it, maybe she should just go for it and see if she will pull thru.

It already sounds that the doc, red flagged her with her pain meds...so how is she going to get more to taper anyway.
I understand what you are saying now, but I guess we will have to wait until she replies with a little more info.

God Bless,
372416 tn?1242665752
If I had to do it all over again, knowing what I know, I'd give the pills to someone to distribute in a taper.

I have detoxed many many times.  I always had to go c/t, because like you said, if they're in front of you, you'll take them.

The withdrawal just has to be much easier with a taper.  My body went into shock basically, and my heart rate was not good!

Best Wishes,
209656 tn?1272297065
God is my witness...I came off 18-20 hydros a day...and I past thru the worst..and I am not looking back to those hydro's ever again.

It doesnt really matter how many you cold turkey from 10 and above is the normal in here, and plenty have been successfull (with many relapses also)

To me, I am approaching Day 7, from 18-20 and that was cold turkey...and its getting better everyday...the biggest thing that differs this time is that I really wanted to quit, and had a pure heart and motive.

All the other times, I was quitting because I was forced to due to running out of them...and that is not the right motive.

This time I had almost 2 full bottle when I made up my mind, and gave it to God..and that is what made all the difference in the world.

We all have to go thru the worst 3-4 days of our life...it we want to reach the other side, wether its c/t or taper...its just the the truth
Avatar universal
I am so new to this sort of thing I am trying to figure out how to reply to everyone without sending separate messages.  I think I've got!!!  If not, I'll keep everyone laughing with playing a new hide and go seek "where to newbie post this time" theme :)

First of all, I want to thank you for taking the time to respond to my concerns. This is the first time I've looked for outside help when trying to stop this insane addiction. It's so nice to know I have a place to go...tomorrow through most of next week is going to be extremely hard for me.  I greatly appreciate knowing, when I log on to the computer tomorrow morning, there will be someone waiting for me.

I look forward to the kind words and advice, which will be much needed tomorrow and many days to follow!
Avatar universal
You've got a great attitude!  You've chosen a tough path, and I respect that - Just watch yourself and be safe.  Stay strong and God Bless ....
Avatar universal
Keep posting, we're all here for ya! [=
209656 tn?1272297065
You just  go for it and dont look back!  - You will be in misery (but just for a short while)...so expect, no energy, symptoms I described above, and the roughest part in the first 3-4 days..is your body wanting relieve from misery so bad, that your mind can tend to bounce back and forth on what to do...that is the part where it gets us all.

As long as you keep your positive attitude up, and you want your life back 100%...and you are willing to go through hell to obtain victory,...you will come out with Victory!

After reading your PM, make sure you stay in much prayer and just ask Christ for His help.

I will be praying for you all the way long!
PM anytime...and Keep Posting!!!
May God Bless You with all the strength and comfort you need to get thru this!

PS:  After reading your PM....Cold Turkey really is your only option now....but that is what you want to do anyway..so just go for it and keep running right thru the Valley of Shadow of Death...and you will come out the other side!  (-:
209656 tn?1272297065
by the way, your timing is perfect, because we have a 3 day weekend...and if you work, you wont be able to the first couple days.

Dont forget to get the Immodium AD...you will need it, trust me.

God Bless,
Avatar universal
I would never advise anyone taking that much to go cold turkey without first getting down to at least half of that.
209656 tn?1272297065
What would you do, if you want to quit, and have less than a 1/4 pills left?

Go to ER..they wont give you hydros?

Nor will her doctor anymore...

So what would you do?

God Bless,
Avatar universal
Thank you so much for your concern.  My doctor is actually trying to taper me off.  However, the way she is suggesting I do it simply will not work for me.  Considering the amount I am used to taking, she is prescribing 4 a day...after this prescription is gone she said it would go 3 a day to 2 a day to 1 a day (2 week supplies).  I honestly have accepted for the first time that I have a real problem and opened my eyes to what my life was like before the pills.  I realize I am going to have to deal with my back pain daily, but I do that now.  If the pills were really working, I would not be in pain....which means I've been taking them for all the wrong reasons.  I understand the next week is going to be complete hell, and trust me, if I feel that the withdrawal symptoms are getting to the point where I feel my life is at risk, I will call my doctor immediately.  However, I strongly feel now is the time to bite the bullet and beat this thing.  Right now I am not going through the "bad" withdrawals.  I am a little shaky/nervous, but think I should be able to get at least a few hours of sleep before the "real" symptoms kick in.

It's is an overwhelming feeling to know there are so many people out there that care about complete strangers.  I seriously thank everyone....I'll thank everyone more after I get through the next 72 hours :)

OH...Todd - I haven't been red flagged just yet...I'll say I got a verbal warning lol...I think my specialist was letting me know she is on my side and is going to do anything and everything to help me get through this...but I better not screw up...the trust issue is what she is focused on...  hope that makes sense :)
209656 tn?1272297065
Good to hear from you, I was wondering about you.

Have you just started, did you take your last pill yet?

I dont know if you take anti-anxiety medications, but alot of people have found xanax to be real helpful with sleep and anxiety.

You just have to be real careful with benzo's. Xanax is very addictive, however if you can get some from you doc for 1-2 weeks, that will help alot, you just have to stop them before a month hits, because you dont want to get addicted to another drug...

So...how are you feeling right now? Are you sleepy at all.

Just remember why your doing this, and never forget it, even during the worst of the worst...and we'll be here for you thru the 72 hours and the next months to come (-:

God Bless,
Lots of Love to you,
Avatar universal
I took my last pill(s) about 10 hrs ago.  I am used to going this long, however, I am usually sleeping through much of it :)  I'm planning on going to bed in a few minutes as I know what I am in for tomorrow.  As for the Xanax and anti-depressants...I really did not like how I reacted to them.  And, it could be my paranoia, but I swore I felt mild withdrawal symptoms from Xanax after 2 days ...and that was just taking 1 before bed.  And, you are so right, the last thing I need is to get hooked on another pill while defeating another.  I went out earlier and bought Immodium and Tylenol PM.  If that doesn't work...well, we'll see what happens.  I am just going to take each hour as it comes and pray for the best.

I'm off to bed.  Hope you get a good nights sleep and.... YOU keep up the GREAT work!  YOU should be VERY PROUD of YOURSELF!!!
209656 tn?1272297065
xanax gave me the same type of feeling.

It's good you got the Immodium...and you might want to try melatonin with over the counter sleep aids. You can get benadryl...it has the same ingredient that tylenol pm has...however the tylenol may help with your pain.

Well, I soooo proud and happy for you, and I still dont get alot of sleep, so I will be here in the morning for you!

Have a good night rest, this will mark the first day, for a healthy and happy life right ahead of you.
Good Bless you, and your in my prayers.
Avatar universal
Good Morning.  I am sure you already know I am not feeling that great.  No major symptoms yet, but really do not feel like doing much of anything but lay in bed.  I am NOT looking forward to the next few days but know it is what I have to do to get my life back.  The good thing is..I have a dog (a collie) who is demanding I take her on a walk. (Everyone else in the house is sleeping)  Although I look like **** at least I am keeping myself moving in spurts...lol I am sure that will end soon too.

Hope you have a great day and I'll be back on later.
Take care and stay strong.
536882 tn?1225512859
congrats on your decision! We are all rooting for you.  We all know you have a few rough days ahead, but listen....try not to think about tomorrow okay?  Think only about getting through today.  All you need to worry about is today and deal with the rest when it comes.  Time seems to go by soooooo slow during w/d.  So hang in there!  I remember getting so excited when nightfall came!  Another day under my belt.  Believe in yourself that you can get through this.  4 days of being sick is so much better than a lifetime of misery being a slave to some dammn pill!
374690 tn?1224552589
I just wanted to wish you the best of luck & let you know that like Todd...I went c/t from the same dosage & same drug. I wanted to be done & get it over with & I survived it just fine. I am clean, sober, & all thanks to this forum. Good luck & keep posting!
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