Avatar universal

Will i be an addict for life?

Will I be an addict for life now or do i stop being one now im quitting codeine?
86 Responses
Avatar universal
of course u should stop being one.have u made the decision to quit or still in a delima?I know its easier to be an addict for life than to quit at least for now.I myself quit codeine coz I didnt feel it was worth bein a addict.But then its a very difficult situation im in rite now.Howevr the best is yet to be,that is life without codeine.
480448 tn?1426948538
It depends, if you are an "addict" in the true sense of the word, where you abused the medication, took it for reasons other than what it was prescribed for, did things that were out of character to get it, and experiences mental cravings for the drug, then yes, you are an addict for life.  

That doesn't mean you're in active addiction forever...you can get clean and stay clean, but once someone has ben identified as being an addict, they really need to stay on their toes, as addiction is cunning, and sneaky.  Some people are clean for decades, only to have it sneak back up on them.  Just because a person stops using, those addictive tendencies don't just vanish forever, they are always there...what changes is how an addict reacts to those.

Try not to get too stuck on labels, what's important is that you have recognized that you have a problem and want to fix it.  That's where your focus should be.  How long have you been using, and how much are you taking?  What are your plans to quit?  A taper?  Cold turkey?  Have you thought about seeking help in the context aftercare?  Aftercare can come in the form of AA/NA meetings, private therapy, or more than one of those resources.

Good luck to you!!
Avatar universal
Sorry i worded this wrong. I am being weaned off codeine by my doctor (see other posts). What i mean is does this make me an addict for a lifetime?
Avatar universal
Nursegirl i have abused codeine just under a year taking up to 700mg daily. Doctor has put me on 15 mg x 4 codeine phosphate daily as of last Friday so been experiencing w/d etc. and being referred for help.
480448 tn?1426948538
If you abused it, and had the classic mental cravings that come with addiction, then you're likely an addict.  Like I said, in the end, the label isn't as important as what you do to address it.  The one advantage to accepting that one is an addict is that it keeps them on their toes...to help prevent relapse.  

If a person convinces themselves that as long as they have stopped taking the meds, they aren't an addict, then they are at higher risk for relapse, because they aren't grasping the power of an addiction.  They are underestimating how easy it is at any time for those cravings to turn into using.

It's great that you're seeking help!  It's also great that you've enlisted the help of your doctor to guide you through this process.  That will help a lot.

Keep us updated on how you're doing, and try not to stay focused on being an addict, but rather being in recovery!!
3129624 tn?1366029908
I have been addicted to two different substances. The most recent one being vicodin and oxys. I have been clean for eight months now and I have to say that you almost have to tell yourself that you will always be an addict. Knowing that has made it easier in a way that I know I can't take anything or try anything that could knowingly hurt me. I have just found new safer addictions. I think once you know mentally that you are an addict, you can step back and know that you just can't be ok just taking one of something or trying new drugs or medications. I have been prescribed one medication since I quit and even though it wasn't a narcotic or anything let that, I let my fiance control when I was suppose to take it. It was just a way for me to handle seeing that pill bottle again. I think everyone can be an addict to an extent, some just choose the wrong things to be addicted to.
Avatar universal
I'm an addict. I can't control the use of drugs, even for medical purposes. Someone like my mom wasn't an addict. When she had to take pain medication it made her "dizzy". She didn't like the feeling. Me? I loved the feeling and wanted more.
480448 tn?1426948538
These quotes sum it up nicely!~~

I have been clean for eight months now and I have to say that you almost have to tell yourself that you will always be an addict. Knowing that has made it easier in a way that I know I can't take anything or try anything that could knowingly hurt me.

I'm an addict. I can't control the use of drugs, even for medical purposes.
Avatar universal
Thank you very much for comments everyone. So to clarify this codeine addiction I got if i was to have codeine again in say 30 years i would be addicted again????
What about alcohol?  Ive never been addicted to that but when i start on a night out i dont want to stop n end up making a fool of myself.

Sorry to be annoying just getting my head around this all.
Avatar universal
Hi Eveleivibe.. That is true.. 30 years from now if you took codeine more then likely you would fall right back into the pattern you have now.. I myself can not drink alcohol for I'm a addict I do not have a off switch. I'm like this with all drugs. I take till they are gone our I'm out.. I'm a addict and can not take (unless doled out to me by another) any mind altering substance as I have no control... lesa
Avatar universal
Ive told my loved ones about my addiction n they are supporting me, dishing out the codeine that I'm weening off n i know they are trying to help but part of me feels resentment n like they're trying to controlling me because they have cut off all my contacts n these contacts (websites) were like gold dust 60 mg codeine phosphate n all i keep thinking is one day they wont be here controlling me n i'll have my codeine, as much of it as I want.
What the hell is wrong with me to think this way?
I confessed all this time last week.
4522800 tn?1470325834
Hi..I just want to give you a little support..Being Honest to the Family is a Blessing..Cutting off all our sources has to be done..Also not hanging around any one that uses...It is so important especially in early recovery..Addiction is a very powerful brain Disease and it can be triggered at any moment.. I am so Glad to Hear you have Support from your love ones...You just hang tight and ride the wave..You will be walking on the beach real soon..And with a clearer and happier mind....Good Job!!!..
Avatar universal
Thank you.
Avatar universal
I have secretly been having more codeine over the last few days n my family think I am sticking to the weaning plan.
I know they love me but i feel like they are trying to control me. When i was going through withdrawals they had a go at me about not well saying i was basically doing it to myself n needed to buck up.
I really don't think they understand how difficult this is.
Plus they drink so i cant really take advice when they haven't givenn up their addictions?

Do others feel like its giving up a relationship when giving up their DOC? Life without codeine seems unbearable but my family do not seem to understand. It's like they think I will just snap out of it n that will be the end of that.

Feeling frustrated.
480448 tn?1426948538
Those are all normal feelings.  The only person you are hurting and deceiving is yourself sadly.

It's not about them "controlling" YOU, but rather them taking control of your usage, which you can NOT control, you need some help with that.  Also, as for what they do (drinking, etc)...that's not something to focus on, you should be focusing on YOU.  Also, not everyone who drinks is an alcoholic...I think you are very sensitive right now (understandably) and you're still stuck on wanting to label everyone.  The concern right now is getting YOU clean, if they have an alcohol problem (which they may or may not....just because YOU are getting clean doesn't mean everyone in your life is going to give up things like alcohol), that is something they will have to face for themselves.  Certainly, it's easier on the addict if their loved ones do not use or drink in front of them, and if it's causing you to have cravings, then you need to communicate that to them, calmly, without being accusatory.  But to expect them to give up drinking because YOU are giving up pills isn't realistic, and it doesn't mean they still cannot help you.

Have you tried looking for any meetings?  Any professional help?  It's really a great idea to get some outside help for this as well.  That will drastically increase your chances of STAYING clean (which is the harder part).

As for what you said about feeling like you're losing a relationship, people say that ALL the time, it IS a loss, you will actually MISS your DOC.  There are two amazing letters posted here that you should read, one is FROM an addiction to the addict, and the other is an addict writing TO their addiction.  They are powerful and amazing.  I'd post them for you, but I have no clue where to find them.  I'll try to find someone who knows.

Hang in there....be patient with yourself.  The first thing you should do is set a goal to stick to your taper.  You will gain so much self confidence if you start really making progress, plus like I said, you're only hurting yourself in the end.  No doubt it's not easy, and many people find they cannot taper..you've enlisted help, try to accept that help, let your loved ones help you to taper.  If you cannot, and you still seek out extra pills, you may want to consider just quitting cold turkey.

Good luck!  I'm thinking of you!
Avatar universal
You being here tells us that a big part of you wants to quit. Everyone here is extremely helpful and supports your decision to quit and will help you through it, but first and foremost YOU need to be mentally prepared to quit. I know you can do it!
Avatar universal
No but why the hell should I have to give up codeine when i dont realy want to n feel miserable ncrave it like hell? It's controlling. End of.
Avatar universal
Oh n people CANNOT help me if they are still in active addiction/alcoholism. Its hypocritical n words are cheap as they themselves have not given up their DOCC. I Am sorry but thats made me feel annoyed. I do NOT expect others to give up their DOC but I am expected to give up codeine n i feel as resentful as hell about it. Im 33 but i feel like im being treated like a small child. And im wondering how i get lots of codeine without them knowing n watching as this is MY LIFE but by eck you wouldn't think so hell no. People smoke people drink why can't i do codeine if i want it makes me happy.
I keep thinking yea ok they'll all get their way as usually, take something I love away from me but one day none of thrm will be here n i can have AS MUCH CODEINE AS I WANT!!!!!
Avatar universal
And its so annoying they call me addict too.
Well glad i got that out.
4522800 tn?1470325834
You do what you want to do..It is your life..I hope it does not take your life before it takes everything and everyone away...We here on this site see it as a very serious disease..It does alot of damage to the Brain too..Maybe look this info up on the Disease of Addiction and the Pleasures Pathway"Your real Brain is taken over by a drug/med brain..You know longer think right!!!Nor make the right decision in reality...
480448 tn?1426948538
Like I said, those are normal feelings to have...but your focus is on the wrong thing.  It boils down to whether you really want to do this or not.  If you're not at that point where you're tired of the roller coaster, tired of the lying, and the pill counting..then you may not be successful at recovery.

The ONLY thing controlling you for SURE is the codeine.  I GET what you're saying about your family, and I understand that their words sting, if they themselves have addiction issues, but again, that just cannot be your focus.  You have to just take the help for what it is, at face value.  If you cannot get past that, then seek a different type of help.  There are many different ways to go about recovery.

As for this:

People smoke people drink why can't i do codeine if i want it makes me happy.

ARE you really happy though?  You surely don't seem like you are, and you seem like you know very well WHY addiction doesn't work.  Addiction can only have TWO outcomes, if you REALLY think about it.....recovery, or failure..and failure usually comes in the form of death, or jail.  If you didn't need more and more, if the pills weren't controlling your thoughts, and if you weren't a slave to these pills, you wouldn't be here.  And if those things didn't apply, you COULD take codeine with no problems, but then you wouldn't...because you wouldn't be an addict, so you wouldn't care.  They would mean nothing to you.

YOU can seek whatever kind of help you think would benefit you..I personally think you should try a few meetings, to be around people who DO understand what you're going through.  I also think professional therapy, from a therapist well versed in addiction would help you too...because you need to work through all of those emotions, the anger, resentment, sadness, and grief over giving up your "friend", the codeine.  I sure hope someone comes along who knows where those letters are.  I think you should read them.
480448 tn?1426948538
Ok, I found the one, it was in clean_in_ks's journal.  This is very powerful, I hope you will read it carefully, and a few times.


Dear ****
I’ve come to visit once again.  I love to see you suffer:  mentally, physically, spiritually & socially.  I want to make you restless so you can never relax.  I want you to be jumpy, nervous and anxious. I want to make you agitated  and irritable so every thing & every body makes you uncomfortable.  I want you to be confused and depressed so you can’t think clearly and positively.  I want you to hate everybody and ESPECIALLY YOURSELF!  I want you to feel guilty & remorseful for the sins (mistakes) you have made in the past that you will NEVER be able to let go of……..I want to make you angry and hateful towards the world for the way that IT is & the way that YOU are.

I want you to feel sorry for yourself and blame everybody but ME for the way things are.  I want you to be
deceitful and untrustworthy…..to manipulate and con as many people as possible.  I want to make you fearful & paranoid for no reason at all.  I want to make you wake up during all hours of the night screaming for me.   You KNOW you can’t sleep without me!  I’m even in your dreams.  I want to be the FIRST thing you think of every morning and the LAST thing you think of before you blackout at night.  I’d rather kill you, but I’ll be happy enough
just to put you back in the hospital or in another institution, or jail……but you know I’ll be waiting for you when you get out!!

I love to watch you slowly go insane.  I love to see all the physical damage that I am causing you; I can’t help but sneer and chuckle when you shiver and shake; sweat and freeze at the same time! When you wake up and your sheets & blankets are soaking wet.  It’s amusing to watch you ignoring yourself….not eating… not sleeping….. even your own personal hygiene……yes, it’s amazing how much destruction I can be to your internal organs while at the same time working on your brain……destroying it bit by bit.

I want you to know, I deeply appreciate how much you’ve sacrificed for me…… the countless good jobs, all the fine friends that you deeply cared for….you gave up FOR ME!!  What’s more, the ones you’ve turned against yourself because of your inexcusable actions.  I’m even more grateful for them!   And especially your loved ones;  your family;  the most important people in the world to you….you threw them away….for me!!  I cannot express in words the gratitude I have for the loyalty you have for me.  You sacrificed all these beautiful things in life just to devote yourself COMPLETELY to me.  But do not despair.  You can ALWAYS count on me.  For after you’ve lost ALL these things, you can depend on me to KEEP you in a LIVING HELL…..to KEEP your mind, body and soul….for I will not be satisfied until YOU, my friend, are dead!

Forever yours,
Your Addiction

I'm going to go find an example of the letters people write to their addictions, also very powerful.
480448 tn?1426948538
Here's another one I found, letter FROM your addiction.  This one gives me chills to read

I am the one who will always hold you when your down.  I’ll love you like no lover ever loved you.  I’ll take all your pain away, make you happy for as long as I can.    I’ll never judge you or laugh at you the way people will.  I’ll always just make you feel as good as you’ll let me.  I’ll protect you from self-criticism.  I’ll always take your side against society.  I alone understand you, and I alone can heal you.  I’m magic, I can make you feel any way you want.  I can make you an artist,  I can help you to draw and write, and think more creatively.  I can give you energy so you can clean your house and be a good mom.  I can make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, and oh so comfortable.  I can make you feel like your sleeping on the clouds, so at peace that you’ll never want to wake up.  I can even make you feel like your all-powerful, like you can be anyone and do anything!  I can make you feel like your on top of a train speeding through the night.  I can make you the sexiest girl in the world, the best dancer, the best kisser, the best lover.   I can make other people like you, make you wittier and  more fun to be around.  If only you’ll let me, I promise you the world.  Just close your eyes and let me.  Why would you forsake me?  I’ll never forsake you.  I’ll just take a few things in return for all the wonderous things I’ve given you, but the price isn’t too high to pay is it when I’ve given you everything you’ve ever wanted.  First of all I need money, All that you have should do for now, and when you run out, don’t worry I’ll help you find some more, that’s what friends are for right?  Don’t be upset my darling, but  I’m going to need your self respect also, but as soon as you feed me, you won’t have to worry about that nagging little hang-up any longer.  You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours that’s right.  This one may hurt a little, but I think your children should go live with your mom.  They always get in the way, and they don’t listen to you anyway, I love you, but let’s face it you’re no mother, and I for one can do without the daily dose of guilt, they seem so happy to inflict on you.  I know you love them, and you can see them whenever you want.  You’d be a better big sister.  We’re going to have so much fun, and be so happy together, a vacation every day.  This is the life!  It’ll be like Mardi-Gras some days, when we’ll party till we’re exhausted, celebrating being alive, dancing and spinning till we’re dizzy, and some days it’ll be like we’re sleeping with beautiful angels that will never forsake us.  Remember I’ll give you all these things and more, in exchange for just a few things.  You never have to be alone, but you have to make the effort to keep me too.  You must do you part, and if you slack on your part, then I’ll have to go away for a little while, and I know you’ll miss me. You’ll miss me like you’ve never missed anyone.  You’ll long for me when I’m gone.  When I’m gone your heart and soul will feel empty and barren.  Your memory and your damned conscience will taunt and tease you.  There will be pain when your missin me, but that’s love baby.  Absence makes the heart grow fonder.  I make you a promise to be available to you day and night, I’ll do my part if you do yours ok?  Another thing I feel I should mention before this relationship goes much further, I know we have enemies, like your conscience, but I’ll do my part to fight that.  I’ll chip away at it daily with reasoning and justification. You’re mine, you belong to me.  I will not share you, or have you thinking about leaving me, if you do, I’ll find out and you won’t like the results.  I can’t have anyone trying to steal you away from me, you’re my child, and I will protect you, I am all you need, all you want, what more could you want?  I’ve loved you since you were born, I knew you were made for me.    Don’t ever think that your strong enough to fight me, you we’re nothing before you met me, you were miserable.  Unless you hold me close you’ll be miserable until the day you die, because Life hurts so bad, it always has, and it always will, but I make you a promise here and now to give you comfort and joy, and to ease your lonliness.  I’ll be there for you, if you’ll be there for me.  I leave you now until we meet again, but this I swear to you, no matter how you neglect me, or if you fight me, I’ll always be with you, I’ll never leave you.  

Forever yours,

4522800 tn?1470325834
Oh that was good ...Leave it up to Clean to word it so well..I have my own one too..Great idea to put it in my journal..That was soooo true...lol
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