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Withdrawal From Prescription Painkillers

I have a condition called Avascular Necrosis in my left hip. It was diagnosed 4 years ago. During a protracted wait for hip replacement surgery, I have been taking Vicodin (currently about 3000MG/day) and MS Contin--or Morphine Sulphate-- (30MG, 3X/day), for a period of about 18 months. It has helped manage the severe pain in my hip.
I am finally scheduled for surgery in about a week. I'm very concerned about what I'm up against in withdrawing from thes opiates! I've been told that if one takes these meds for actual pain, there is no problem, but how many times have we all heard about someone who took painkillers for, say, a herniated disk, and ended up hooked and unable to stop?
Does anyone have any experience with this situation? I should add that, even though the doses have steadily increased over time, I have never experienced a noticeable "high." Does that make any difference? And if there IS difficulty ahead, what would be the best way to go through the withdrawal?
6 Responses
182493 tn?1348056515
OK first i think your math may be wrong you said 3000mgs of vicodin a day... that can't be possible.

Most of us on this forum are pain pill addicts. I was vicodin and percs mainly i have been off for almost 4 months.

271792 tn?1334983257
Wow...that's a heck of a lot of pain meds. One would think you would be dead by now.

I have heard it so many times, and it makes me crazy..the doc says "If you are REALY in pain, you can not become addicted to the pain meds". I have heard it over and over. It kept me in my addiction a long time. I believed it. Sad, but it is not true. I have stopped the meds and I am still in pain..and I had w/d's.

I never had a "high" either. I just never felt that warm, fuzzy feeling ppl talk about, but that is no excuse for the fact that I WAS addicted. That is an excuse to continue the meds. Just like the statement the doc said.

I suffer with chronic back pain. I do empathize with your pain.

I think that because you are going to be hospitalized for the surgery, it is in your best interest to let the doctors know everything up front..such as how much pain meds you are actually ingesting daily. They need to know this for several reasons. You could have problems with the anathesia..amongst other things.

Once the surgery is over, and after the period of physical therapy..you should be able to get off the meds.

Good Luck to you. I hope you get the help you need. I also hope to see you posting in the future..let us know how you are doing.

Take care.
Avatar universal
WHEW.  Seems like a ton of Vicodin 3000MG per day are you sure that's what you're taking?  

And yes, I have had the same thing, avascular necrosis (AVN) only it was in my right shoulder. The pain was excruciating and my RA doctor, the Orthopedic doctor, me, we all thought it was only my RA based upon the x-rays. It wasn't until during the shoulder replacement that the surgeon discovered the actual bone was dead and disintegrating due to AVN - so yes, I know somewhat of the pain you are suffering except that you must be in waaaay more pain as it is in your hip which is a weight bearing joint. I was on heavy duty pain meds at that time for months but guess what? As soon as I woke up from the surgery, that pain - you know the one I'm talking about, was G O N E. Just gone. It was such a relief, such a blessing. After the joint replacement surgery, because the pain was different, completly different,  from the other dead breaking bone pain, I needed a lot less pain meds than before. I continued with pain meds throughout my physical therapy and the incision healing process . As the pain of healing lessened so did my use of pain meds. I have had both my knees replaced too, not due to AVN, but RA and each time, after each replacement surgery, that pain... was gone and just having that gnawing, unrelenting  pain gone and dealing with the recovery pain and PT was sooooo much easier .

WOW, it just hit me. My RA doctor must also be very savy in the pain management/addiction department because the only pain med she prescribed for after the shoulder surgery was methadone to be taken one hour before PT which I had every day for a few weeks, then 3 x week then 2 then none for about 6 months so, after reading all the posts on this forum, perhaps she prescribed a taper off the other pain meds.. .

The very best to you for your upcoming hip replacement. It will be easier than you think. I am so sorry you have had to wait so long too. Take care.
Avatar universal
You should be pain free on 3000mg, i hope that is a mistake on your part but if thats what you take, you will need to go for a 30 day or so detox to clean your body out and have your liver, kidneys and other organs checked for damage because you would be close to a coma every day on that much meds. No matter what you are taking, you will want to taper down before getting off and if you can get the a doctor to help and supply the comfort meds, that would be great. You will be fine after you quit.  
Avatar universal
unfortunately, it doesnt really matter why we were taking the drugs, they are in our body and our body reacts to the drugs because they are in there. you are PROBABLY going to have some serious work in front of you to quit, this forum is a good resource. your body and mind will 'miss' the precence of the drugs (and complain) some people can walk away easily in 2 weeks and be free from it all, some people never make it and take something for ever. weather or not you quit the pills is up to you. you can try taking 1 drug to quit aother but that might just leave you addicted to a different drug if your not very careful.

its a hard road full of pitfalls, but it can be done if your intention to quit is NON-NEGOTIABLE.

Avatar universal
Hello I have been clean off of opiates (vicodin) for about 72 hours. I have been addicted to them for about 4 years. I would take anywhere from 2-10 a day. I was once clean for about a month, then BAM!! I was right back into it again. I also have clinical depression and anxiety. I came clean to my Psych. about my opiate addiction, and the irony is my father runs a Methadone clinic in pittsburgh, he has been in recovery  AA for 25 years. and is now a substance abuse counselor. I am 30y/o with a 5 year old son and happily married. I myself do not believe in methadone, suboxone or any other meds like that to help someone stop. That is just my opinion. I am feeling ok...alot better than the first time i quit CT. My question is....I need someone to help me understand the 12 steps. I read it I was raised around it...ie my father. I just dont get it? I hope that you guys dont think bad of me. I also went to a NA meeting once and I didnt like it. Everyone there was either in recovery for crack, cocaine, heroin, meth. I just wanted to meet someone in recovery like me, like I see on this website. I want to be a better person. I hope my ramblings havent made everyone out there think im cukoo.

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