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Addiction: Substance Abuse Community
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Avatar universal

Vicodin trouble

I am 40 year old writer and word processor.  I have used opiates for about two decades, but I stopped using any "street" ones after having a child 3 years ago.  The problem is that my dependency on vicodin is very severe.  I actually have back pain so I can obtain the es vicodin from my doctor occasionally.  But I can also purchase them black market easily, which I have been doing constantly for the last year and a half.  I started taking Vicodins to stop doing Percocets and Dilaudid.  I have used Percocet on and off since 1983.  When I had dental trouble early this year, I had access to about 200 Lorcet and Vicodin in one month.  Legitimately.  Otherwise I can purchase anything on the black market very easily.  

The problem is that my dependency builds and I become very difficult and horrible to be around when I try to space the doses.  When I take the drug at first I function fine and am able to   I usually build up to about 7 vicodin es a day and then have to stop cold turkey (2 in the daytime, about 4-5 at night).  The stop/start happens a lot, even with so-called occasional recreational "weekend use".  It is shattering me the cold turkey.  There are periods where I use narcotics about a 4-6 weeks (vicodin and lately oxycontin) then I have to stop and it is so shattering.  

Many years ago I tried NA and it doesn't work for me.  I also do not want to be put on shrink meds by a psychiatrist. What am I doing to myself medically?  Because of life circumstances I don't see myself being able to stop soon.  What is happening and what can I do?
111 Responses
Avatar universal
I can plainly see and feel your addiction to opiates, It doesn't take a rocket scientist. You want to see a shrink and be put on meds and are asking what you are doing to yor health? Think about it for a minute. Buying street drugs? Well, you get the picture I'm sure.
Avatar universal
Hi Bill. I have never posted on this site but I have been reading it (among other addiction sites) faithfully for about a month now. I too have an addiction to vicodin, with a legitimate reason for use. I sufferd a back injury that won't give up. Fortunately and unfortunately I don't have access to them on a regular basis. But I need and want them. I feel like the people at this site understand that even thought they don't know I exist.  The reason I am writing is to answer your medical question. I am a nurse (a blessing and curse). Vicodin es has 750mg of tylenol in it- I'm sure you know that. The maximum dosage your kidneys can handle is 4000mg in 24 hrs. I'll do the math for you, that's 5.33 pills per day granted you are taking nothing else with tylenol in it.  It is well known among health care professionals that tylenol is one of the most harmful drugs to your vital organs. Specificly your Kidneys. Have you noticed you are bloated after a day of meds?  tylenol will kill you, narcotics will constipate you and make you feel like **** when they wear off.  How ironic that narcotics are much safer alone! My advice to you-- if you wish to continue using- ask your doctor (or supplier) for lortab 10/500 (or generic). It will reduce the tylenol intake. Try spacing your doses out longer and using Ibuprofen inbetween. Although don't go overboard with this either since it damages your liver. Vioxx has worked well for me in taking the edge off- for those times you don't wish to use V.  However that med is understudied and I can't tell you the long term effects.  Quitting cold turkey rots!!  When I start getting low I lenghten the times between my doses. I wait as long as I can until I can't handle the w/d anymore then I take a dose. and again. and again. Then they are gone. The docs where I live have a major narcotic phobia, even for legitimate users. It's a "crunchy" area. Sucks for me. Xanax helps for the grumpies of w/d. I don't know how you feel about that and I don't want to start you a new habit. I use them and have no desire to abuse them. I don't even want to take them unless I am having panic attacks or feel like kicking anyone who comes near me.-- a whole other topic.  Anyway, hope I help a little. If you have more questions let me know. Happy to help. (goes for anyone reading this!)
Avatar universal
I like V and L tab and have just recently been RX'd 10mg with 650 apap. Was off of meds for over five weeks. My ankles have swollen so bad that they hurt. It feels like they are full of water when I walk. I have had an on going liver problem that all this apap certainly makes worse in a big hurry. I'm not sure that even 4000mgs is a safe dose for those of us with kidney and liver disease. I take one every six hours as needed for pain, but you know how that goes. Have tried all the new nsaids and nothing seems to work.

Thanks, Marty
Avatar universal
I need someone like you to scare me into detoxing! You sound like you know what you are talking about, please tell me what the HELL  I am doing to my poor body by eating anywhere from 2-20 percs a day, every day? I've been very blah about wanting to quit, sorta like yeah, someday, not now. But now I am really concerned about my health. Come on, I can take it. It may not be what I want to hear, but what I need to. Yes, I feel like **** when they wear off, tired and miserable, which is why I just keep eating them. Thanks for helping.
Avatar universal

I was really thinking codeine was going to help my pain problem and now that I've obtained it I find it works now better than Motrin, it only makes me feel spaced out or high I guess you call it. I tried three and the same result. I quit taking them.

I know there are addicts out there that would probably kill for them and I don't even want to finish the stupid things I have left unless only to kill myself if this depression continues to intensify.

I'll stay with my 8 mg's of Klonopin anyday. It's much better and doesn't give me that groggy feeling.
Avatar universal
i think tapering if you can do it is the best way.  and when you get down to a smallish dose, then taper very very slowly.  good advice, but i can't seem to follow it myself.  cn't get below 2 or 3 percs a day.  dman it.  i want off, but i'm a sissy when it comes to feeling dope sick.
Avatar universal
Marty- You are absolutely right. 4000mg is way too much for someone with kidney or liver function problems. NSAIDs burn a hole in my stomach. Have you tried vioxx? 50mg once a day took the EDGE of the pain off for me and made (maybe it was in my head) the V much less fun.  Wish I could invent something that worked. sorry.

Lynn- The minimum amount of tylenol in perc is 325mg. I can be much higher than that depending on the brand etc.  AT 325mg and 20 percs per day thats 6500mg of tylenol. Re-read what I wrote above. not good. what makes the difference in your day that causes you to take 20 as opposed to 2?

Joanne- I'm a sissy too. My average (when I have them) is 2-6 vics per day. I think one reason I am able to finally put up with the dope sick is I have no more.  My suggestions above are only what has worked for ME in the past. Everyone is different. I also have the threaght of losing my licence if I am caught obtaining drugs illegally. I worked too hard to let that happen.    

Keep trying everyone!  wish me luck too.
Avatar universal
Are you on antidepressants?  What kind of pain do you have?
Avatar universal
i got a hold of some 10 mlgrm methadone.  if i use these, say, 3 one day, 2 next day, 1 for a day or two, then 1/2 then off, will it work?
Avatar universal
You know, codeine doesn't work the best for me either...but compared to having NOTHING they work great. If you ever feel the need to get rid of them - let me know. I'd be more than happy to be pain free for a couple of days.

Mike
Avatar universal
hi everyone, it really helps to read all your post.knowing i,m not alone in this ***** of a addiction on pain meds..i have been on a rollercoaster ride for 10 long long year now.i,ve quit many times which was not to hard to do...yes right that is what i said..the hard part of it is <STAyING OFF THEM> and the depression that sets in..i go to lenths in getting them that i drive to canda now just to get the 8mgs boy talk about desperation, 600 miles each way...i think its time to get my act together and stop this once and for all. glad i found this site it really helps reading what other people are doing...well i,m planning to go cold turkey starting friday...thank you all for listening and good luck to us ALL your friend and fellow addict joe>>>>
Avatar universal
oh it didn,tcome out on my last post its staying off the stuff thats the hardest part...joe
Avatar universal

I tried Depakote first for mood and seizures. I got realy sick from the side effects. They figured tegretol would make me sick too so they put me on Neurontin and Klonopin which worked fairly well to control the seizures for the most part. Somewhere in between I tried Trazadone and felt like I was choking to death the next morning and I even deliberately only took half the dosage.

I tried Celexa for a while and it seemed to be working but after one month gave such severe diahrea I could not reach the bathroom. The Klonopin constipates me badly now so maybe the two could work together and negate one another.

I seem to remember my last psychiatrist telling me I could not mix Neurontin and Celexa. Celexa is basically the same as Zoloft, Paxil, and Prozac.

I don't know but it is hard to get hold of my psych doc when not in session. I guess she doesn't get paid for telephone calls.

Anyway I am on no anit-depressant only Ultrum, a pain killer, now for the pain which supposedly also has a mood elevator. Neurontin is also a mood stabilizer.

Well, I was never depressed when I drank but now that I quit and have been sober over four months, I just want to die almost daily lately. I've come close to going to the jungle and laying down and just looking at nature and taking one Klonopin or Codeine every fifteen minutes until I finally pass out. I don't think I would wake up because I have a high tolerance for both and the time would allow enough to get into my system slow enough to feel somewhat comfortable before I passed out. My A.A. sponsor has been a big help at stopping me and keeping me praying but the depression just is getting worse. When I have a seizure attack, it really brings the depression out and is usally when I crashed and burned trying to stay off the booze. Now I just think of the jungle instead.

The pain is a chronic problem I have dealt with for years. Diagnosed Fibromyalgia but symptoms of Deiters syndrome or even Lupus although blood tests for Lupus were neg. I am seeing a pain specialist next week again and will discuss the Deiters. They don't have good facilities or medical care here on Guam but I refuse to move anywhere else. I have to live in the hot and humid climate to help keep the pain down. I live alone and don't let the pain stop me. I still mow my own yard, cut hedges do house work, work 40 hours a week etc. I just have this mood swing problem that developed when I quit drinking and seizure disorder that developed along with it. I have partial complex and they break through about every three days. The Neurologist is working on raising the dose of Neurontin, maybe doubling it. So anti-depressants are difficult at this time I guess, no-one has mentioned them lately.

Sorry for the babbling but at least someone was interested in listening. Thanks for asking.
Avatar universal
Thank you Kaylin.  I was very worried about the tylenol.  I am currently taking 2-4 long acting arthritis tylelons for the back pain.  It has been maybe the third day without the vikes and I still do not feel normal.  I am taking Librax 6-8 tablets (usually take 2-4 a day).  When I take vikes I do mix them w/xanax, valium or ativan, a pill or two of each.  If I had xanax I'm sure it would help with the w/d.  I sympathize with your predictament of being in an area of suspicious people.  My doctor once gave me the Lortab 10/500 and it helped.  Unfortunately, while black market people are available, there are only certain products on it.  Vicodin I have always had an affinity to but has actually not been on the black market in my area since about a year.

Thank you again - Bill
Avatar universal
Thank you Kaylin.  I was very worried about the tylenol.  I am currently taking 2-4 long acting arthritis tylelons for the back pain.  It has been maybe the third day without the vikes and I still do not feel normal.  I am taking Librax 6-8 tablets (usually take 2-4 a day).  When I take vikes I do mix them w/xanax, valium or ativan, a pill or two of each.  If I had xanax I'm sure it would help with the w/d.  I sympathize with your predictament of being in an area of suspicious people.  My doctor once gave me the Lortab 10/500 and it helped.  Unfortunately, while black market people are available, there are only certain products on it.  Vicodin I have always had an affinity to but has actually not been on the black market in my area since about a year.

Thank you again - Bill
Avatar universal

I just got back from being off work for several hours. Today is the first in a series of three straight split shift days,,,,yuk.

As soon as I arrived my brain decided to reset itself, it took three times ti finish the job. Maybe it didn't like the iced tea I just drank down real fast while on the move. I thought it would get rid of what I thought was a lack of caffiene headache but it must of been a temporal lobe temper tantrum!

Now I feel like complete **** and will take that codiene after all.
Avatar universal

I just got back from being off work for several hours. Today is the first in a series of three straight split shift days,,,,yuk.

As soon as I arrived my brain decided to reset itself, it took three times ti finish the job. Maybe it didn't like the iced tea I just drank down real fast while on the move. I thought it would get rid of what I thought was a lack of caffiene headache but it must of been a temporal lobe temper tantrum!

Now I feel like complete **** and will take that codiene after all.
Avatar universal

I just got back from being off work for several hours. Today is the first in a series of three straight split shift days,,,,yuk.

As soon as I arrived my brain decided to reset itself, it took three times ti finish the job. Maybe it didn't like the iced tea I just drank down real fast while on the move. I thought it would get rid of what I thought was a lack of caffiene headache but it must of been a temporal lobe temper tantrum!

Now I feel like complete **** and will take that codiene after all.
Avatar universal

Holy cow!!! The machine just dumped me and set all these postings for no reason. Weird! I have no idea what I could have done typing to trigger that reaction. A computer temper tantrum I guess!!!LOL
Avatar universal
Thank you for your support.  It has been the 4th day and I still do not feel quite normal.  Kaylin, I have heard that Darvocets can help with w/d or are cross-tolerant but know of someone who died from pulmonary edema from them.  Should they be avoided? Thank you.
Avatar universal
Darvocet, in my eyes, one of the most useless drugs in existance for controlling pain. It has the analgesic effect of two tylenol but is a narcotic. I took them for a few days when my back doc decided "You don't treat long term pain with narcotics" and wanted to taper me. They made me groggy, blurry eyed and still in pain.  If your goal is to w/d and still have pain- they'll help because they are narcotic. As far as the pulmonary edema-- narcotics (all narcotics) surpress your respiratory drive. If you have a respiratory condition or are taking large quatities the effect is more.  Did that person take the whole bottle, or have a pre-existing condition?  or an allergy to them? Or mixing them with other respiratory depressants?  or you don't have the whole story?  I have never heard of this happening without extenuating circumstance.  Darvocet also contains Tylenol-I wish they would just leave that stuff out!!
Avatar universal
Did some research, any of the ssri's (prozac, zoloft...) can be taken with neurontin. I liked your entries, LOL. Really wanted to get some attention! ha! Might be worth a try to start on antid's. Get lonely in the jungle?  Keep posting. I like to read other peoples "babblings".
Avatar universal
Hi again Kaylin. Today I was introduced to a new (for me) drug called oxycontin. They are yellow with a 40 on them and they are supposed to equal 8 percs. I only ate one because I was afraid I'd OD if I ate any more than that, can you tell me if indeed they are equal to 8 percs and if they are any more addicting than the percs that I'm already addicted to? If I were on a desert island with no phone that would be the only way for me to get off these suckers because my phone rings constantly with people selling these. Why can't I just say no??? Yeah, right. Thanks in advance.
Avatar universal
Could it be that the conspicuosly absent Brian now calls himself Kaylin?  No disrespect intended to either posters. Brian was well liked here for his knowledge of addiction matters.
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