Addiction: Substance Abuse Community
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Avatar universal

Vicodin... can't live with it, can't live without it??

Hi gang. First I want to say that I've been lurking here for about a week and your posts have been invaluable to me in helping me understand what is/was going on with me as I withdrew from Vicodin and Valium.

I'm 25/male, and I have ulcerative colitis (inflammation of the colon). This past January, I came down with it although this time it was preceded by inflammation of the iris in my left eye. It was extremely debilitatingly painful, and i was prescribed vicodin for the pain. During the course of the colitis which lasted about a month or so this time, I kept taking the vicodin and was also given a script for valium/5 to help me sleep while i was on the prednisone (steroid). Once things got better I kept taking the vicodin because I felt it helped me feel confident to re-enter the world without a fear of having to run to the bathroom all the time, it lifted my (situational) depression, gave me loads of energy and basically made me feel like a better than normal human being.

I was using 2-4 vicodin/5 per day, and 10mg valium at night for approx 2 1/2 months - a total of maybe 190 vics + 120 darvocet and maybe 120 valium/5,. Tomorrow at 7am will be 2 weeks since i cold turkeyed. When I stopped i immediately was thrown into a deep depression, anxiety, fear, shaking, cant sleep cant eat, no energy, but no stomach probs or anything too serious. Thought i was losing my mind until the doctor told me i was having withdrawals. They never advised me of anything, they just cut me off and im thinking of suing. Yesterday was the 1st day i started feeling almost normal again.

49 Responses
Avatar universal
Well I just wanted to say that there is a light at the end of the tunnel with withdrawals. I literally thought i was losing my mind and would never survive what i was going through. Now I can start to see the fog lifting from my head. I'm a programmer so its very hard to work when being depressed, cant concentrate, migraines, etc. I can finally see it starting to lift. What i did was acupuncture, herbs, vitamins, eating good, forcing myself to jog some after work, stretch and do some pushups and pullups in the morning, etc. I am still doing this and hope things continue to improve. I still think about pills a bit, but I dont crave them really. I have some street connections and obviously know how to get them online easily, but I am choosing to go drug-free... even if i can see it having a benefit to me medically with the colitis and so forth. I can see it being your best friend and worst enemy in a lot of ways.
Avatar universal
Hippy ===  I so need your dear advice. I hope you get this message, and I hope you are doing well.  I feel like I'm dying, Hippee.  Not because of withdrawals, I've got a duragesic patch on right now.  I just feel so down.  Do you think I may be bi-polar?  And that's what's led to my addictions?  I hope you are out there listening and can respond to this.  I trust you and I am sitting here crying, not sure what to do.  I have a doc appointment tomorrow --- switching back from the patch to the oxycontin.  I hate myself.
Didn't mean to butt in to this post. Withdrawals are so painful, and I feel for you.
Avatar universal
hey bell,
i don't know if i even buy into bi polar,
seems to be the latest fad, it used to be
manic -depressiv then it was  that one where you cant consintrate
attention defict disorder that was big in the ninties.
one thing about A D D nobody has in jail, cause everybody
is at full attention or else ya get your ass kicked.
my sister was tagged with bi polar, she is a real jerk one day
and tries to act normal the next, i think she is just a cruel
sel centerted person who needs to grow up.

sorry to rant, how are you bell, sounds like you got youself in the fire storm of addiction.
sounds like you are heading down a road where you will need a rehab sooner or later, you are just an addict your not crazy,
find an addiction doctor, steer clear of the shrink untill ya
get clean, or get to point where you stabilize you meds with a doctor.
peace !!!!!!!!!hippy ---be back tonight
Avatar universal
Hey there. :)  I am also a geek and I have Crohn's Disease, Fibro, and some OB/GYN probs, probably caused by the Crohn's.

You didn't say if you went cold turkey off the Pred at the same time you stopped the Vicodin and Valium. Prednisone withdrawal is a real *****. (Why the valium?  Makes no sense, best drug to help relax the gut spasms and help sleep is Donnatal.)

You are correct that the Vicodin can help the D (diarrhea) that you get when you are in a flare, but if you aren't having pain, you can get just as good, if not better, relief from Imodium AD.  I *always* have a box of that on my desk!

You didn't say if you needed surgery for your UC or if you went into remission after the course of Pred. (Another thing I don't understand, why weren't you on IBD drugs along with the Pred?)  I gave a little over a foot of my small bowel to the 'cause' back in 2000.  My last flare was about 4 years in length and I finally got into remission this past year.

I post on a forum with others who have UC/Crohn's and you are more than welcome to join us.  Send me an email and I'll give you all the instructions on how to find us.  My email addy is:  ***@****
Avatar universal
Glad to see you back and posting again.
ON the patch now? How is that working out for you? I hope it is doing alright.
You will experience some feelings and different stuff due to the type of drug and strength. It is extremely potent.
So hopefully after you get stable on it, some of these things you are experiencing will calm down.
What dose are you on now, and what did you switch to it from?

Avatar universal
I hope you don't mind me butting in to your conversation... I'm kinda new around here and I really like this site. It makes me feel like I'm at home with people like me.

Ya know belle, I don't believe Bi-Polar or anything "caused" our addiction. I really belive we were addicts before we picked up our first drugs. I mean, millions of people every day take the same drugs we do and they don't become addicted... why?? What makes us different?? We have a disease, a real medical disease called addiction! I think most addicts share alot of the same traits in common, mostly that we have very little self esteem and drugs make us feel good about ourselves (for awhile) but then when we can't quit, we sink into massive depressions, think about suicide, etc...

I definately understand what you are going through, please hang in there and know that there are people out there who love you even if they don't know you because they have lived your pain. Sometimes you have to let them love you until you can love yourself.

Again, I'm sorry for getting into your conversation, but I really identified with what you were saying belle, and I felt compelled to write.
Avatar universal
Gratz on yr one yr, hippee! I had said that on Good Friday too- but there were so many posts that day that I think the words got lost in all the many good messages. You have helped me so much, esp. when I was really goin' nuts on Day 3 or 4.. That post is one where you shared the story of beauty in nature (the tree), among other beautiful (sober) stories w/ me. Thank you so.

On bipolar.. Yes, it used to be "manic-depressive," but never ADD-HD. Add-HD is just that.. attention deficit.. yada

Bipolar, though, is a horse of a different colour. I wonder... You know Bipolar it is an addiction to excitement countered w/ bouts of depression. Extreme highs and extreme lows. I have read so much on it, and taken so many "net" (online) tests that I wonder if indeed it is not a disease of many addicts.

I, like you, am not sure I buy into it either.. but the more I read, the more I wonder. It is an interesting question and area, and thanks for giving me something to ponder yet again.

Sleep well. This is a great board.

NOLA: I once did a rehab. It was an A/A type thing (2 weeks in-house), not my cuppa tea; however, given the opportunity to do it again, I would. I do not think it was the right kind of treatment for me (or really for a lot of addicts) but I also stayed there w/ a closed mind. Had I the opportunity to do over, I would. With this teeny bit of maturity I have gained (it only took me half a century!), I have learned that i COULD have and SHOULD have taken and used what was positive from that experience.. and there is something positive in everything.. but I was stubborn.

So, I am trying to say, that if you can afford the rehab, go for it! There has to be something good you can take to the bank:)

I am soooooo glad to hear things are working better for you.

Avatar universal
thanks so much for the feedback--It has giving me something to think about!  I really don't want to make any major decisions until I'm totally finished with the physical withdrawals and my head is a little clearer!--I did the rapid naltrexone detox in 1997 (I really believe I was a guinie pig with that) and was hospitalized about a week with the usual AA/Na meetings etc.-plus I went to an outpatient intensive out patient group therapy sesssion for 6 weeks (this was before I was married)--I managed to stay opiate free for 6 months until a doctor Rx those oh so non-addicting Ultrams-HA--A few months of those little puupies ans it was back to my ultimate drug of choice hydro's.  I'm trying to keep an open mind about everything--Anything that will keep me away from hydro's I'm willing to try--anyway you are another one of my guardian angels thanks so much for caring--I hope you are well! Love,Peace, and Prayers, always Mystere/AKA N.O. Lady
Avatar universal
I think some people do actually have bi-polar.  But, I do think many feel it is so easy to put a label on disruptive behavior.....to almost excuse the behavior that is going on.  My sister did that with my nephew.  She says they are thinking he has bi-polarity (does that work?) when I think it boils down to no discipline ever and being spoiled rotten.  I can still hear their arguments....a whole different show.  I certainly don't buy it in that case.  But, I do believe it is a real phenomenon.
Avatar universal
hippee, you say your track record says that you are not grown up and responsible enough to take pain meds???

well, from what i see it is the other way around...

you ARE grown up and responsible so you CHOOSE not to take pain meds b/c you know you are an addict and will not take one pill every four hours instead of four pills every hour...

Avatar universal
Peaz- It is your "brain chemistry" that helps you choose! My friend had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after she divorced her husband because he was an alcoholic.The doctor has her on effexor and xanax.Now I feel like the doctor gave my friend a "crutch".I know her problems with anxiety are real and she does not CHOOSE to have them, but HOW she deals with them are her CHOICE!!!! Lets be honest, the difference between people who use and don't use is how they choose to deal with their problems. Either face problems head on and accept responsibility or keep lying to yourself and blaming something or someone else. So it's not about controlling how you feel-it's about controlling how you deal with it.
Avatar universal
Hey there... I will send you an email to get that other forum information from you, I appreciate it.

In response to your questions- The same time I started withdrawals I dropped from 15mg prednisone to 7.5. I am currently at 5mg now and tapering, about to go off in a week. I also take immuran and asacol as maintenance drugs. I tried entocort with much success when my flare started, but I decided to quit smoking for some odd reason and it caused my flare to get worse and i had to go on prednisone ultimately. I dunno why my doctor gave me Valium to help sleep, I dont even like Valium.. how it makes me feel. I just said "can you give me something to knock me out at night?". I will definitely look into Donnatal, and I'm suprised since the last 3-4 years of having this that i've never heard of it. I've never had surgery for my UC although once it was recommended. Each time it comes, it is very severe sometimes spreading to the entire colon, sometimes isolated to the upper left side, always causing lots of problems and lots of pain... but it always goes away within 2 months no matter what, and when its gone it is like i never had it. No scarring or damage of any kind. The doctors are always extremely suprised at the condition of my body after I recover, I am in perfect health and shape besides during the flare ups.

Also, I've never even been diagnosed. They say I have an immune system problem- that on a cellular level my problem is "like" UC and definitely not Crohns but does not match genetic UC or anything else they have to compare it to.
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