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Withdrawl from long term use of narcotic pain killers

I am thankful to have found this site, as I find this a very difficult subject to talk to anyone about. Reading eveyones stories helps me feel not so alone. Here's mine. I was diagnosed with a life threatening cancer about five years ago. I was treated aggressively and apparently successfully, but the treatment left me with some chronic pain. I have been taking ms contin and oxycodone for breakthrough ever since. In addition to controlling the pain, I liked the feeling it gave me. Rather than feeling tired all the time ,I seemed to have more energy, plus a feeling of wellbeing when facing a very difficult time. Well, it looks as though the cancer is not going to get me and I want to finally put that chapter behind me and get on with life. Through it all I have maintained a busy professional life as well as being a wife and mother of school age children. So, about three days ago I cut my dosages in half, and its been rough. I think what I am experiencing is textbook withdrawl; leg cramps, diarrhea, feeling cold all the time, and inability to sleep. I think that is the worst, when the whole house is asleep and I am up and down, in the bed, on the couch etc, etc. I suppose I should ask my Doc about this but I have to admit I am ashamed to. My docs and the nurses have been great and have never made me bad, so I guess it is just my hang-up. I had to laugh when I read on one of the postings that this tendency to try and do it yourself is often part of the problem! Thats me, hard headed. Thanks for listening.



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Avatar universal
Here's my piece...

My Doctors have prescribed me just about every possible Rx out there ever since my L5/S1 Lumbar Fusion (2001) and follow up exploratory surgery/hardware removal about one year after that.
I went into a 30-day inpatient program about 4+ yrs back, as my Rx at that time was Methadone. After 30 days I left there feeling sooo much better off the Methadone and onto Subutex.
I WAS on Subutex for chronic back pain for the past 4+ yrs, and it always worked great. Relieved the pain, no euphoria, no bothersome side effects, and no need to increase my dosage over the yrs.
Over these last 2 months me & my Doc have decided to taper down my dosage and get OFF of the Subutex altogether. I was on a dosage of 16mg per day and began to cut my daily dosage in half every week over these last 2 months (approx). It was not easy, but definitely do-able! I speak to you now after being completely off of Subutex for the last 9 days now. If you are taking any harsh narcotic pain Rx and would love to be free of it all, Subutex / Suboxone is DEFINITELY the way to go! I've been on Methadone and looking back now, I would NEVER recommend anyone get onto that s**t!

The worst part over these last couple weeks is/was the inability to sleep except for a couple hrs at a time throughout the night (getting better already). My Doc kept asking me over these last many weeks if I'd been feeling nauseous or experiencing any diarrhea and up until about 5 days ago I had not... until it came all at once. It can be best described as having Flu like symptoms, and it is not pleasant. It will likely sideline you until those particular withdrawal symptoms go away. I'm feeling a bit better every day now in regards to that. Oddly enough, it's not the back pain/soreness that's the worst part now, it's those damn digestive issues that suck!

I would love to know if anybody has been thru this and can tell me about how long those Flu-like symptoms hung around!

Thanks & Plz comment if you have anything to add/share.

Divorced - Full Time Dad =-)
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Avatar universal
Ive been dependent on pain killers for almost 8 years..oxy, dills, morph and any other downer that will stop the pain...recently i quit cold turkey...it was the hardest few days of my life...constant aching in the back, diarrhea, cold sweats and very strong cravings....i set my mind to it and did it..if i can do it anyone can do it..there was days i spent 600 bucks and would have nothing left for the next morning.. then my fathers unexpected passing sent me down a path i thought would kill me....but i sucked it up and changed so i could be there for my family...and for me
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2333944 tn?1342912367
If  you want to quit, start a new thread, so it will more easily be seen.  
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Avatar universal
im taking aprox...28-40 lortab 10s a day.....i just ran out this morning. im broke til payday and dont know what to do....ive been taking them very steady for the last 6 months...its starting.
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Avatar universal
their is one here who are also doing just what you are. I am doing the detox from methadone right now. it suxs but not like i am dieing like i read from others here. its a lot in the mind. thats the bad part our mind tells us for as long as we will listen to our own mind tell us we hurt then we will fill the pain! Not cause it is there. I have extensively researched this. For the longest I didn't even want to try to stop the methadone. Due to every person saying they were feeling like they were dieing and heck i am a chicken and if i weren't i wouldnt be stuck on this s**t ! But now I have a baby boy "healthy" thank our heavenly father. Both my parents were on methadone all my life and are both gone now. my mom this year even. I knew it would be me next. So, I had to atleast try! And I am doing it. I have went from 110 mlg of methadone a day to 20 this week and 15 next. things aren't that fun and I am trying to be a good mommy even thru this but i am lucky to have a husband who quit and still had me taking methadone next to him daily. He even quit when he was in the hospital having 7 surgeries to fix the 1st the Dr. messed up. But he quit with all that pain going on and never looked back. hmmm wounder when he will stop smoking lol jk but for real hun U CAN DO THIS! please dont make my mistake and read all the scary things u have read other wright on here and make ur decision based on them scarring us out of being sober! i am here if u wanna talk babe!
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495284 tn?1333894042
COMMUNITY LEADER
Hi sara, this is sara......Copy what you just wrote and then go to the top of this page and you will see Post a Question, click on that and paste.  That way you will have your own thread and will get more responses.  The one you posted in is an old thread.......
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Avatar universal
I'm a 22 yr old mom and I have been taking Vicodin for almost a year now. It started out with a back problem that happened at work and then I was buying them from people I know cuz my doctor would give me anymore. After a while the vicodin turned into norcos and I was take any where from 7-10 a day. I ran out and I'm deciding to stop taking them. I kind of tappered down but not enough for it to really help. Today is day 2 without and my one main side affect if anxiety. I can seem to sleep because of it and I can't sit in one place for more than 20 minutes. Other than than that it's cold sweats and diaherra. I decided to stop on a long weekend. I don't think it's going to get any better. I also just quit smoking cigarettes recently and I think that has a lot to do with it. Please if anyone has any information about how I can ease the anxiety side effect that would be greatly appeciated!
Thank you,
Sara
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Avatar universal
Methadone withdrawl was absolute hell! took a good 14 days untill the symtoms subsided. I took percocet for the first time at age 15, and was addicted ever since. I chased the "Dragon" for the past 9 years. I could never have enough. Could never get high enough. I kept looking for this "serenity" in the drugs. When I was high, I was KING! In all reality, I was nothing more then a coward. It took losing my brother to a dui car accident at age 20 (he was 21) and losing my apartment, my car, my possessions, and damn near my own son .. untill I realized that the path I was taking, wasn't working. I needed a change. I had to hit MY rock bottom untill I was ready to get clean. Even then, my only "friend" I had left, was that bottle of methadone I had just scored the evening before. My addiction was in FULL rage!!! I had no money, and no friends, and no food.. I took every pill I had left and hoped I wouldnt survive.. I did, and I HAD to go through the withdrawl.. It was in NO WAY easy, yet I DID IT. I have 30 days this tuesday, and I have a new found LOVE OF LIFE. I have money, a job, a car, and most importantly, I HAVE MY SON! Life is GOOD! Love yourself enough to make the change, I can PROMISE you will never regret getting clean! Theres ALL sorts of help out there for recovering addicts. These support groups and the people in it, have BEEN where you are rite now. THEY WILL HELP! Life is good, GOD is GREAT, and sobriety is AMAIZING! Love yourself enough to take that leap of faith .. YOU WILL MAKE IT, and the grass is ABSOLUTELY greener on the other side. Put down the mask you wear everyday, and learn to love yourself again. If you are reading these posts, you have already took the first step and you ARE on your way to recovery! GOD BLESS ALL of you!! - Thanks for listening
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Avatar universal
i've been struggling with pill addiction for over two years off and on...i have quit twice and this time i am now 3 months clean and its harder than i ever thought!! my moods change my depressed moments are devastating and i search for pills when i know there are none here! My body aches sometimes so unbearable i drink to numb it or just go to bed to forget it because all i think is how easy of a fix it could be.  I was clean for over a year and relapsed this year! i felt like a failure and even turned tococaine at times.  Its been rough but i moved to utah, took a new oppurtunity and now am clean and happy and finally getting healthy!  The side effects are still there....its a daily fight of pain, agony, and depression but for right now im winning!!

I read all your stories and wanted to share mine...addictionof any kind is super hard but its nice to have some support and understanding!
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Avatar universal
All I can say to withdrawal symptoms is keep yourself busy. I cannot stress this enough.  Go shopping, running, exercise, swimming, hot bath, something to keep you moving or occupied. If you just sit there and watch TV and loaf out on your couch your body is going to vibrate until its on fire and even the touch of your cat is going to annoy you.

I've been taking Tramadol for the past 3 years, at first for back pain, but then it turned into recreation. It made me thin, happy, confident...and I honestly believe it gave me the courage to accept a new position at my job. Yes, it made me like a god. But the side effects of pain killers do not outweigh the good in the long run. I was constantly constipated, had hemmorhoids, and the monetary means to sustain such an addiction is heart breaking! All that money flowing through your veins to make you feel better. Ridiculous.

I quit once for 3 months then relapsed. I quit again last week after I slowly weened myself off the drug. I still have withdrawal symptoms even after I weened. I've been taking tylenol extra strength during the day and nyquil during the night. I feel dizzy, achy, irritable, and I seriously want to cut my limbs off. It feels like electricity is running through them. Tylenol is definitely helping. The nyquil is helping me sleep too, along with the other flu like symptoms. It gets better. Just stick to your guns and damn it, think of something happy. Play music...the vibrations from the sound will heal you!
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Avatar universal
All I can say to withdrawal symptoms is keep yourself busy. I cannot stress this enough.  Go shopping, running, exercise, swimming, hot bath, something to keep you moving or occupied. If you just sit there and watch TV and loaf out on your couch your body is going to vibrate until its on fire and even the touch of your cat is going to annoy you.

I've been taking Tramadol for the past 3 years, at first for back pain, but then it turned into recreation. It made me thin, happy, confident...and I honestly believe it gave me the courage to accept a new position at my job. Yes, it made me like a god. But the side effects of pain killers do not outweigh the good in the long run. I was constantly constipated, had hemmorhoids, and the monetary means to sustain such an addiction is heart breaking! All that money flowing through your veins to make you feel better. Ridiculous.

I quit once for 3 months then relapsed. I quit again last week after I slowly weened myself off the drug. I still have withdrawal symptoms even after I weened. I've been taking tylenol extra strength during the day and nyquil during the night. I feel dizzy, achy, irritable, and I seriously want to cut my limbs off. It feels like electricity is running through them. Tylenol is definitely helping. The nyquil is helping me sleep too, along with the other flu like symptoms. It gets better. Just stick to your guns and damn it, think of something happy. Play music...the vibrations from the sound will heal you!
Helpful - 0
1718825 tn?1309359230
i been cycling and streching working out. Getting my *** kicked at bed time thu..but pushing on amd manin up..Let kick this together...
Helpful - 0
1283286 tn?1312911966
This is an old thread your posting in..It would be to your advantage to post your own question on the main forum page..Look at the topof the subject threads and you will see "post a question"..That way people will notice you more and be able to keep up with you and offer support as you go thru this..

As to your question? The good news is you are ablut over the worst of the physical symptoms..As to the stomach and diarrehea? Get some immodium for that. It does wonders for making things a bit more comfortable..The not so good news is you are going to have some lingering effects stay with you for a couple more weeks..Anxiousness, lack of energy and insomnia issues. Getting one's sleep back to somewhat normal can take inbetween 2 and 4 weeks..In the right hand column there are some health pages with suggestions on vitamins etc that will aid in the recovery process. The Thomas recipe for one. You may want to check out that information..Fluids..You want to drink lots of fluids to stay hydrated. I mainly went for gatorade as it has electrolye's in it..

Try not to get tooanxious about feeling better faster and frustrating yourself with a "when will it end "type thought. Many do and all that does is make the mental aspect of this harder. The next two weeks will test your endurance to get thru the days and does get mentally draining wanting to feel better than you do faster..Just go with the flow. You may like,lets say, have a really good 8th or 9th day with lots of energy only to have the 10th make you feel you've fallen back..This cycle lasts a couple weeks. When to bad day swings back in, try to accept it for what it is and set your sights on the next. Once past the three week mark, sleep,energy, and mood start improving fast...

Keep counting days now. Don't back up. You are over the first major hurtle in this process...Dav
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Avatar universal
I have been doing roxys for about three months now and quit cold turkey 4 days ago...I have slept maybe 12-15 hours since and have severe diarrhea and constantly feel tired...are these normal side effects and how long does it typically last...is there any way to combat these side effects because even sleeping pills havent helped
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Avatar universal
my name is teresa ihave beem taking 160mg of morpine 4 7 years my doc cut me of 3 weeeks ago
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Avatar universal
I was on my 3rd day and I ended up giving in and taking some roxy's. I was just sitting here and the next thing you know I ended up takeing 4 30mg roxy's. Really dont know why, I mean ai do I was going through withdrawals and had the money and time so I took em. Now I'm back to square 1 the 1st day again all over and this morning was really bad. My body was in complete pain from legs all the way up to my neck. I stayed in bed all the way up until 1:00 p.m. I took my son to daycare but after that I came home and just laid there. That was the worse thing to do cause I felt even worse when I tried to get up and go on with the day. Taking a hot bath helped tremendously. Then I took my klonopin that is perscribed by the doctor and drank a energy shot and felt some what better. So, now I'm just chilling with my son and wife just praying that tomorrow morning will not be like this morning. That was F U C K I N G HORRIBLE I wouldn't wish that on anybody. Well take care everyone and I will keep you guys posted and leave me any comments that you think might help me out. I am opened to any suggestions or advice. Thanks
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Avatar universal
Well it's been one day and so far OK. Stomach has been giving me problems at first but the immodiam ad has really helped. I have taken 3 1.0 mg's of klonopin and been trying to stay busy buy hanging with my son and wife and doing some yard work. Now we will see if I can sleep tonight. May have to resort to some over the counter sleep aid or melatonin. Melatonin works pretty good it just gives me some wild A S S dreams so I would rather take something like tylenol pm or advil pm. I have been drinking a lot of water to stay hydrated and to replace the energy I use to get off the pain meds I have drank two 5 hour energy shots. One this morning and one around 4:00 p.m. cst. It's not like a good old pain pill rush but it does give you some energy to get your A S S off the couch and actually function and do something besides lay in the bed or just sitting on the lazy boy. So we will see how tonight goes as far as sleeping and as for tomorrow I just hope the cravings aren't worse then today, Since it has been 24 hours since my last roxy. I'll keep you guys posted and GOOD LUCK ALL. I know I need it. You might get a post later on tonight if there is no sleeping. So take care ALL and be safe..................
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Avatar universal
Hello all!!!! Let's just say my name is Hayden. I have DDD ( Digenerate Disk Disease ) in 3 of my lower disc in my back. I was perscribed 3 percocet 10's a day. At first they helped and then I needed more for the pain. Then I fell 24 feet out of a tree and was placed on more pain meds. Eventually I was hooked. Now my tolerance is really HIGH. I can take up to 350 mg's of roxycontin or any pain med. I have tried to kick the habit a few times but withdrawals were so bad, I just give up and would go buy more off the black market. Now I'm back to the point where I have to get off the ****. I have a wife a son thats about to be 2 and they are way more important then a drug. So for all who are trying to kick the habit by yourself there are a few things you will need. 1st immodiam ad for your stomach, 2nd any over the counter sleep aid or meletonin, 3rd some nerve pills like valium, klonopin, or xanax for your aggression and to fight the cravings, but becareful so you don't get addicted to them but they will help a lot, 4th keep yourself hydrated and 5th keep yourself busy as possible. I hope this helps someone because I know what you are going through cause I'm going through the samething. GOOD LUCK and I HOPE this HELPS
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1385057 tn?1279506343
To godschild300 bless you xxoxox and miquey i know what you went through  because i am the same age and was once a really good well rounded person with morals and standards, now i have a drug addiction that i need to battle. Pain killer addiction has had a hold on me for a long time but i think 10% tapering is a brilliant idea as i was told by the rehabilitation clinic here to go cold turkey off the pain killers even when headaches, migraines and actual pain after surgery occur which is ridiculous, its basically starving yourself if you were addicted to food or giving up cigarettes without any help at all, i know people do it but any radical cold turkey withdrawal is dangerous to your health. I am tapering down off two benzodiazepines as well which is helping me cope with the horrible withdrawals off the pain killers because once you make the decision to change, its the result at the end that keeps you going and its keeping me going. Im praying id o not relapse but wont kick myself if i do and neither should anyone else here
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Avatar universal
Hi, i have some advice for my fellow addicts, SUBOXONE.For 9 months i have been taking 9-30mg tablets of oxys a day.I decided to kick my habit to oxycodone last week, but was not planning on being sick for 2 weeks or more. i researched suboxone and found doctors in my area who prescribed this medication. i have been on it for a week so far and the only withdrawl symptom i had was anxiety and trouble falling asleep, I am not trying to say this is a easy way out! Suboxone will help you.
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Avatar universal
hi my name is shawn i have been takein pain pills for 2 years now after a bad car crash where my friend lost her life an i just left my home town to get away from them an i just wont everone to know this is the hardest thing i have ever done i feel like dyein omg this is so pain full i have took ever thing from tabs to roxycotten an i love them all but i am a strong person im quitin all by my self i was at a point where i was takein 7 to 8 roxy 30s a day now if  can do it anyone can if you do it the hard way you are less likely to start back trust me its hard but worth it after about a week you just gotta get has far away from them has you can took me 1000 miles lol but that just goes ti show how strong they become but good luck everone im feelin a little sick right now bad withdraws but im not alone i know that now because of this site an for anyone tryin to quit not to make you feel bad are nothing but good luck this is worse than death its self but if life is what you want you will do it you don't have a choice cause the urge will only grow you will not cut back are come off slowly that don't work you gotta get it all out at one time an when you do it the hard way after going throught this you won't wanna start back anytime soon that i know good luck people your gonna need it
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Avatar universal
hi! im 23 years old i just had an open heart surgery i was in comma for five days do to that n the nurses not moving me around the bed some blister came out on my hills so they became infected. i had that bactirea called cangrina the one that doctors must cut part where the bacteria is so i was in such pain that they where putting 5 grams of diloudin on me than they send me home with vicodin 1000 mgs every 4 hours after that my body got use too.so they changed to varcocet more strong narcotic but i told my doctor that i still had pain so i went back to diloudin but this was oral pill. i increased to 8 grams without telling anyone it feels good but now im not taking a single pill but i feel alot ofpain i most be having a withdrawal from all the narcotics that i took..... i have abset stomach, cant sleep, and my hold budy hurt..... can someone tell me how long this gonna last before i go n buy morfin from the streets cuz this is driving me crazy
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Avatar universal
Has anyone tried to detox of methadone after 20 years on nearly 240mg the whole time?
I also had BAD wreck in 07 broke both legs & hip-got new hip 3/09.  Rod in other leg, and grafts in aorta that was torn.  So I have to deal with pain issue.  Clinic won't let me be on other pain pills--'go to pain clinic" , pain clinic "too much at 240, go to methadone clinic.  Also no dr can find pill (on 3 now) to lower my b/p.  If anyone knows anything please tell me or point me in right direction for info. Peace to everyone.  pjp
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802179 tn?1237832985
I'm deep into withdrawls now. I'v been hiding this from my hole family.
I have a wonderful littile girl of 3 yrs of age and another one on the way.
I'm afraid to even tell a doctor. I was wondering what not to say to a doctor to make it sound like a drug seeker. I'm shore that on my chart somewhere. I just want to stop spending all of our post bill money on this ****. I also dont want to feel WEAK.
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