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Avatar universal

addicted to oxycontin and lortabs for five years! Please help!

Hi, i'm a very happily married woman, 37 with one son 7yrs. and a wonderful husband. I have everything to live for!  About 5 years ago, i started getting severe migranes and had an accident which injured my back and neck. I tried anti-imflammatory's and other med's for my pain to no avail.  My dr. put me on 2 80mg of oxycontin per day, and 1 10/500 of lortab every 4-6hrs. as needed for breakthrough pain.  In the five that have gone by, I've stayed on only taking 2 of the oxy's per day, but have escalated up to 10-15 lortabs per day!  About 2 weeks ago, i decided this was crazy, i'm killing myself! So I cut back on lortabs and now i'm taking about 8 per day.  My question is #1 i have no insurance, so who would help me? #2 How bad is this affecting my body ( liver, etc.)?  I don't take them to get a buzz because it does'nt even do that anymore, I take them when i get up in the morn, just like i'm taking a viteman, then have my coffee and go about a normal day consisting of keeping an immaculate home, make gourmet dinners for my husband and son, and basically I don't feel like a drug addict. I feel normal. I don't even want to think about stop taking them cold turkey, I know I could'nt do that.  I'm scared about the long term affects, but by the same token, am I really abusing them? I'm so confused!!! Please help me!! thank you, Sincerly, Ann
69 Responses
Avatar universal
Hi,
I unfortunatly was in the same situation with a true real medical problem..I was also taking both of the same drugs but I escalated to 10 lortab/lorcet per dose...Yes they are extremly addicting..After a couple months your body is very immune to them & getting off can be terror..However I finally admitted this week I was an ADDICT...I was caught with a bogus script..(the  script had already been filled & was caught 1 or so later)..I am now going to attend my 1st NA meeting on Sunday, I had to retain a atty but NA is there for YOU...Let me know what state you are in & I can give you a web addr to inquire about meetings...They are your best bet...I also keep a very clean home & am always cooking (stay at home mom)..I know how you feel & trust me you just took your 1st step in seeking advice/help...I fortunatly will not go to jail or face an arrest...These drugs play havic with our minds & we always think of the next dose, & were it will come from...I quit cold turkey & it has not been that bad-clean 4 days today...Hope we can become friendly to help each other through this hard time...
Sandi
Avatar universal
Yes Anne your are abusing them.  I think alot of people do.  It's just hard to be on them that long and not increase your dose.  I get 100 lortab 10m and 60 20m oxycontin every six weeks and I always run out early.  Don't think you can ask the doctor for an increase, he just might cut you off.  I figure I'd rather keep the ones I have then running the risk of becoming cut off, and I have only been getting these for a year.  A good thing to do if you can is take your husband with you.  It really has worked in the past for me.  My husband dosn't know I run out early, but he knows I need them for the horrible pain.  So every now and then (especially when I thought the doctor was going to cut me off because I've been on them so long) I bring my husband with me and for some reason he listens to my husband (is this a man thing) and continues to give me my meds.  Usually though it's  good idea if you let him make the suggestion to increase your dose, just be careful.
Avatar universal
Hello, I think every one who has responded is correct.  You can be abusing them, but don't stop cold turkey, ween yourself away.  Anything in excess is bad for you.  PLease go to a meeting.  I myself have run out of Percocets as of Wednesday and seem to be doing OK, but I feel the addiction kicking in. I was ready to leave my job a little while ago, and go to the hospitel and get some.  i would get fired though so I have to deal with it.  It's really hard to stop.  I know, I hope you get help.  Take Care
Chad B
Avatar universal
Thanks for getting back so quickly, You mean to tell me that there's someone else out there who takes as much as me? Well that's a good feeling!(not good in that way, but i don't feel so alone), My husband knows i take the oxy's and he knows i take the lortabs, just does'nt know how many lortabs i take in a day! I started today to cut it down, after coming in here yesterday and reading all these stories, it really helped!  When i got up this morning i only took 3 lortabs with my one 80mg oxy and have'nt taken anymore since the first dose at 6:30am! it's now 12:09 and i'm about to go take 2 more because i'm feeling a little funny. So Sandi and JoAnn and whoever else reads this, if you guys want to reply it would help. Thanks again, and God Bless you, I'm from New Jersey, not far from Philly
Avatar universal
I took my oxy this a.m. like i usually do but only took 2 lortabs with it instead of 4-5. So how i'm doin? Yea right, like a half a day is really going to matter!  Anyway, I was in here reading a lot and realized that I started feeling shitty, it was at about 12:30pm or so, Soooo i went upstairs and took my other oxy and also 3 more lortabs.  Here i'm thinking i'm doing better already and i've already taken 5 tabs within half a day! Who am i kidding? I don't know how i'm ever going to be able to get to just taking the oxy's???? ANY SUGGESTIONS? THANKS AGAIN EVERYONE! TAKE CARE AND GET BACK TO ME SOON!
Avatar universal
Please will someone get back to me who cares? I'd really like to talk to someone about what i'm going to do and how! I need some advise, but i'd really rather chat private one on one, Please i'm a stay at Mom and i really just would like for someone, preferrably with a lot of knowledge about this ****, to get in touch with me ASAP! i can be reached at ***@****
Sandi, or Kathy, you guys sound like you are/were both like me, please help! Sincerely, Ann
Avatar universal
you're lucky you've got your husband to control your use. The rate is up to you. How uncomfortable do you want to feel? The slower the better, as long as you complete it. Read my post to Ann about the Valium method. I recommend it. 30 mg or so, 4-6 hrs apart, next day 25 mg per 4 hr, next day 20 mg per 4, etc. Have Imodium AD handy for the runs, take lots of jacuzzi's or hot baths for muscle aches and anxiety, eat healthy food, remove yourself from stress and responsibility, watch movies, relax, sleep, for about 10 days. Then get hooked up to AA and a sponsor. That's my A-list detox, and nobody knows like me. The voice of all-too-much-experience signing off. Good luck.
Avatar universal
on second thought, considering your size, you might start with a smaller dose of Valium, say 20, then 15, 10, 8, 6, etc. Try a small dose, see how you feel. Sleeping through the first few days is the most merciful way to do it.
Avatar universal
Hi.  I am sorry to interrupt this thread but the forum wouldn't let me post a new question because it was "full" already.  I've been reading all the posts and have wanted to share this and I know yall are gunna think I'm either lying or weird but this is true. Just because I don't use 10 ES's every day doesn't mean I'm not an addict.  I believe I am. I have not been able to completely go without hydrocodone for any period longer than 4 months. I started liking Vicodin 10 years (maybe 11?) ago when a dentist gave it to me because I had 2 root canals.  He refilled my script about 4 or 5 times, giving me 20 or 30 tab at a time.  Then, he cut me off.  I knew I liked it.  It made me forget about the pain I was going through in my life and I could talk to people and laugh.  I felt no pain.  Physical or emotional.  I have always been aware of how addicting it is so when I started to notice that I built a tolerance to 1 tablet, I would cut myself off for a few days and I made myself a rule not to take more than 2 tablets in a day.  (what a control freak huh?  Is that enslavement or what?)  My habit has been for the past year to use it twice a week.  This is a habit.  I am running out though from the doctor who has been giving it to me (it was in cough syrup the last time when I had walking pneumonia---he gave me 3 refills!)  although I take the med. in the rx'd dosage, I know there are times I took it just to feel better and therefore that makes me an addict like everyone else.  When I look back at how many years I have used this stuff pretty regularly, it makes me sick.  I have not had any hydrocodone in a week now.  I think reading this list has given me support, but I have extremely achy muscles in my back for the past 2 days.  It hurts very bad and not even Advil helps the pain.  I believe this pain to be a symptom of withdrawal and so I do not want to feed it Vicodin. I sort of wallow in guilt and punish myself saying I deserve this pain for being an addict.  I am sick.  But what can I do?  I am not ready for NA meetings because I do not want to be around ANYONE right now.  Thanks for reading this.
Avatar universal
Hi.  I am sorry to interrupt this thread but the forum wouldn't let me post a new question because it was "full" already.  I've been reading all the posts and have wanted to share this and I know yall are gunna think I'm either lying or weird but this is true. Just because I don't use 10 ES's every day doesn't mean I'm not an addict.  I believe I am. I have not been able to completely go without hydrocodone for any period longer than 4 months. I started liking Vicodin 10 years (maybe 11?) ago when a dentist gave it to me because I had 2 root canals.  He refilled my script about 4 or 5 times, giving me 20 or 30 tab at a time.  Then, he cut me off.  I knew I liked it.  It made me forget about the pain I was going through in my life and I could talk to people and laugh.  I felt no pain.  Physical or emotional.  I have always been aware of how addicting it is so when I started to notice that I built a tolerance to 1 tablet, I would cut myself off for a few days and I made myself a rule not to take more than 2 tablets in a day.  (what a control freak huh?  Is that enslavement or what?)  My habit has been for the past year to use it twice a week.  This is a habit.  I am running out though from the doctor who has been giving it to me (it was in cough syrup the last time when I had walking pneumonia---he gave me 3 refills!)  although I take the med. in the rx'd dosage, I know there are times I took it just to feel better and therefore that makes me an addict like everyone else.  When I look back at how many years I have used this stuff pretty regularly, it makes me sick.  I have not had any hydrocodone in a week now.  I think reading this list has given me support, but I have extremely achy muscles in my back for the past 2 days.  It hurts very bad and not even Advil helps the pain.  I believe this pain to be a symptom of withdrawal and so I do not want to feed it Vicodin. I sort of wallow in guilt and punish myself saying I deserve this pain for being an addict.  I am sick.  But what can I do?  I am not ready for NA meetings because I do not want to be around ANYONE right now.  Thanks for reading this.
Avatar universal
Ann,

Do you still have pain?
If the answer is no then you are addicted to the pain meds.

If you have pain, then you need to stop taking the lortab for breakthrough medication as the tylenol is that many tablets (15) exceeds the maximum dose of 4000mg per day.

If you still have the pain, then ask your doctor to switch you to Oxycontin IR (instant release for break through pain). It is the same pure oxycodone that is in your oxycontin but it isn't a time release formula, it is instant. However, if you are taking 80mg twice a day of the oxycontin, then the oxy IR which only comes in 5mg capsules, will not be enough for breakthrough pain. You would need to take 2 to 4  every 4 to 6 hours for the med to do its job.

If you truly have pain, do not worry about taking these meds (except for the lortab due to the tylenol).

I have been taking oxycontin for three years and I only take 20 mgs three times a day. But I need it for my pain.

Another suggestion would be for your doctor to increase your oxycontin to three doses a day instead of two with no breakthrough meds.

So do you still have pain?
Avatar universal
After reading Gingers plead for info & help-I cant believe you "Ronnieg" would tell her to ask for Oxy...This women is in pain as all of us addicts are when we start withdraw, there are other meds including Ultram (not a NARCOTIC) that will help, also Prescription Motrin...I myself am an addict & have been for to many years-quit the 1st time-terribly addicted-COLD TURKEY & now I have also stoppped , for reasons you can read in the postings..GINGER PLEASE LISTEN-These drugs WILL ruin your life..And if you have a family,husband,kids it will be total hell..NA I will be attending (my 1st meeting since being clean 4 days now)will help,Just remember everyone there is an addict of one drug or another...I didnt think I could do it,but I HAVE TO much to LIVE MY LIFE FOR......I myself have had way to many breaks in the same ankle 4 times in 2 YEARS-not only breaking it in 1 place but 2 each time ,plus 4 surgeries to correct the problem, including 1 surgery that was 10 hours in lenght...Please these drugs will & can be nothing but total hell...If you want to reply (post) please do..I am here very very often (10-15 x) per day..
I hope I can help...RONNIEG I did not mean to offend you but you must understand this person is looking for help & you should know the DRUGS are NOT THE ANSWER......
Sandi
Avatar universal
I know where you're at very well. I am a recovering Vicodin (Lortab) addict myself. At one time, I was taking 75 to 100 Vicodin per day (yes, I said 100). I was removing the tylenol, but was still taking about 12 to 15-tablet doses. With narcotics, tolerance over time renders dosages pretty much meaningless. You reach a point where no dosage really has the effect that got you hooked in the first place.
At your dosage rate, you're taking this oxy-lortab cocktail just to avoid getting sick. I'm afraid your run on Lortabs, etc. is over -- at least, the relationship you had with the drug has forever changed. But with the amount you're on, Ann, tapering is not going to work. Sorry. You need to be detoxed in a hospital over about 10 days. Do you have access to medical care of this kind? Take my word for it, just from reading your posts I know you won't quit by tapering. You're just fooling yourself to think so. The best way out is at a clinic where they start you on clonidine patches (for narcotic withdrawal symptoms) and a pretty high dose (around 40mg) of Valium, administered on a regular schedule, and gradually reduced over a week to 10 days. They generally give you access to a jacuzzi, which will help with the body aches. While you detox, the Valium makes you eat a lot, which is good, and, usually after the first couple days, you'll start going to AA/NA meetings right in the hospital, which you will have to continue indefinitely after you get out. But it's the only way, Ann. To pretend you're going to taper down on your own, considering what you're giving yourself now, is, frankly, preposterous. Save time and just accept it now: you need the full in-house medical detox after which, if you're smart, you'll continue with daily meetings, the more the better. If you give it all you've got, it will work. There is a way back from all of this.
I was in hell. I absolutely knew I would use until I died. When I went into rehab, I had lost my family, job, freedom, everything. AA brought me back from hell. It's as simple as that. I took to AA meetings, rather than NA, because the "street" environment at the NA meetings just made me uncomfortable. For whatever reason, right or wrong, it's important that you find meetings where you feel you belong and can communicate with the people there. You sound like a candidate for this approach. Don't get hung up on the narcotic thing - it makes no difference what you're addicted to. We're all the same. Find meetings that work. They're all over the place, night and day. AA has a web site which will plug you into the right meetings. But you aren't going anywhere until you detox completely. At your stage, there are no half measures.
Make the call. Use the AA web site to get some numbers and just start calling. But you can't keep it secret from those closest to you and still have it work. Recovery will become your way of life, or, well, you'll just go on as you are until you die.
Life is a precious gift. Don't waste it. Make the calls. Good luck.
Avatar universal
Hi everyone.  I've been taking Lorcet for two years since a car accident.  I take between 5 and 8 per day.  I stopped for 3 months in that two year period (went to NA/AA) then had surgery and the vicious cycle started all over again.  In a few weeks it will be one year straight that I've been using the above dosage.  For reasons I will not get into, I can't go into Medical Detox.  My husband knows everything and holds my medication - he absolutely will not allow me to take more that 6 most days - sometimes 8.  He told me if I was ready to taper them down, he will help me do it.  The 1st time I quit was cold turkey and I had insomnia and bad body aches for like 3 - 5 days then I actually felt relieved it was over and was SO HAPPY with recovery that I didn't feel bad after that. Then the surgery and well, here I am again.  For some reason this time when I tried to quit cold turkey I began to have SERIOUS anxiety (felt like running down the street screaming and pulling my hair out), I sneeze, yawn, hiccup, get restless, depressed, etc.... it wasn't like this the first time.  My husband thought I should taper them to a couple a day and then quit - and just deal with it like I did last time.  I'm really suffering - I don't want to take these things anymore but I'm not sure how long and how much to take for tapering...I'm about 160 lbs and 30 yrs old. - does anyone know?  Please write back ASAP - I will be waiting...Thank you and God Bless all of you out there who are still suffering.  Much Love to you all. M.
Avatar universal
woops, that last post, obviously, was for Mary. The Valium taper method, in my opinion, is significantly better than slow-tapering down with the drug you're trying to quit. Here's why:
At the end of a ten-day Valium detox from, say, Lortabs (Vicodin), you've got ten full days already in with no Lortab (hydrocodone) going into your system. The other way, after ten days, you really haven't gone any time at all without hydrocodone in your system. The fun is just beginning.
I say, get it over with. 10 days zonked on Valium ain't half bad anyway. Also, the eating binge the Valium puts you on really does help you feel better, providing you eat good stuff. Just remember the Imodium and take all the hot baths you possibly can.
Avatar universal
did you say twice a WEEK? You know, hydrocodone (Lortab) is out of your system in about 4 hrs. If you were really hooked physically, no way could you just use two days a week!

You may, however, have a psychological addiction to the stuff, but it doesn't sound like you have a physical addiction. To beat the psychological addiction, you need to identify the hole in your life the Lortabs are filling and find something healthier to replace them with. Easier said than done, but I think you know that's what you have to do. Good luck.
Avatar universal
We should all go to NA including myself. I stayed up tonight until three in the morning because I took a Percocet at 1:00 and never felt it.  I didn't want it to go to waste. hehe, damn !! Right?  Well I finally felt it at 2:30, which is very long for me, I usually feel them in about 20 mins.  Maybe it's because I have already taken 8 of them today?  Whatta Ya Think?  Should we all just get together and talk?  You know with as much drug knowledge as we have, we probably could've been chemists, making our own ****.  Take Care
Avatar universal
YES< i do still have REAL PAIN, that's the thing!  It's not as bad as it was,due to the pain med's but, I have to do something about the lortabs/perc's whatever!!!! I know it's taking it's toll on my body. To look at me you'd never know I was on anything, at least that's how i feel, i mean i don't have any puffiness in my face, i'm not skinny, not fat, i keep myself nice, as i can anyway, but how can i get into an inhouse detox without insurance. And who would care for my son, i have no immediate family, and my husband works, a lot.  So i'm really stuck between a rock and a hard plate.  Any suggestions?
THANKS AGAIN FOR WRITING BACK, TAKE CARE AND E-MAIL ME IF YOU CAN
***@****
Avatar universal
check your e-mail
Avatar universal
Boy are you out of it.  You know some of us do need oxy's and they are a God-send.  Some of us can't NSAID's and the newer drugs either do not give us enough pain relief, upset out stomach, oh it could be alot of things.  So don't be judging us and telling us not to take oxy's.  I don't know how I would handle the pain without them.  Get real.
Avatar universal

I finally managed to stop booze for four months after trying for one year this month. I initially became an alcoholic because of a severe pain problem in my joints.

I took Emperin threes way back when about 15 years ago, three times a day and never became addicted and increased dosages.I took it for seven years. Finally, the HMO changed and policy changed and I was cut off. The pain started so I tried drinking alcoholic beverages and it killed the pain although I had to get fairly intoxicated to reach the medicating level.

Now, after four months dry, the f---ing pain is back and the Docs don't want to try the stuff again. I guess they don't make Emperin threes anymore but it is the same as 30 mg codeine and 325 mg asperin. I almost killed myself over the pain last week because it was so severe I felt like tearing everything down that was in my way including any human. I am not a pill freak, never have been but the booze almost killed me with withdrawal from seizures and DT's so many damn times. I had to stop drinking round the clock.

I was forwarded to a pain specialist who prescribed the stuff for me two days ago and I already feel ten times better, but once his three HMO paid visits are over it's back to the same ole run around. My psych Doc gives all the Klonopin in the world but won't prescribe pain killers????????? I am a bit confused.

I go to A.A. for the booze. It worked last night. I have a permanent seizure disorder thanks to the Docs letting me shakedown so much over the past year. I had a seizure last night and almost drank. Seizures are a trigger, because my mind associates it with withdrawal still I guess even though it is partial complex epilepsy from brain damage to my temporal lobe. The aftermath of seizures is like a delerius state of mind, almost like DT's, and it's the time someone can do dangerous things.

I hope no one ever forces me to have to try to endure severe pain ever again. I can understand why some people have to take addicting medications whether us jealouse addicts like it or not.

Yes, many alkies are jealouse they can not drink like a normal person. Well I am sure some drug addicts have the same thinking. Not all people with pain problems become addicted to pain medications. Why should they suffer for the minority that become addicted?
Avatar universal
Hi Tom, thanks for reading my post. Yes, i do have REAL PAIN! Unfortunately, but taking the excessive lortabs is my main concern. I know that oxy's don't really do much damage ( at least thats what i've read and have been told) to your liver, body, etc. But, the lortabs on the other hand do.  You said you were taking up to 100 lortabs per day. How long did you do that for, and did anything happen to you, do you have liver damage?  I don't know if you realize this, but i have no INSURANCE! So that's what the main problem is.  No one is ever going to treat me with out having insurance, that's why i have to try to do this on my own.  Tom could you please give me info, you seem to be knowledgable in this area and i'd really appreciate it!  
Thanks again, Sincerely, ANN    e-mail address is ***@****
Avatar universal
Hi Lynn, I've read your post's and have to say, that I too take xanax every night to sleep. The same Dr. who prescribes the percs and oxy's for me also gives me 1 or 10mg ( all i know is there blue and i think they're considered 10mg) anyway, i've been taking them for 5 years also.  I have very very bad anxiety, my life was a mess a while ago. What am i saying I've made my life still a mess due to me taking this **** i'm taking! Actually, i have a great life, if i could only stop taking the narcs.  I only take the xanax to sleep also. On the bottle, it says take 1 tablet every 4-6 hours and 2!!!! at bedtime. That's a total of 6 10mg per day if i wanted to legally follow directions!  See what i mean, why cant' i do that with the narc's.  I don't take the xanax in the daytime unless i'm really stressed out or over ampted from the narc's.  You said you would 50 in a weekend to clean for Fall. You sound so much like me Lynn, it's scarey.  How are you doing now, do you still take that much, please write to me so we can talk more. I have so much more to tell you!  Thanks for reading and replying to my post!                  Take care, Amy Ann e-mail address is ***@****
Avatar universal
Sandi,

I have chronic pain that is being treated with opiods. Nothing else will rid me of this pain. Opiods are very safe if taken as directed. The side effects are minimal. I asked Ann if she was truly in pain or simply addicted.
If Ann suffers from chronic pain, then there is no shame in being prescribed opiods from a medical doctor. The reason I suggested oxycontin was that it is pure and does not have tylenol in it to destroy the liver. Ann can not be taking 10 to 20 lortabs a day and feel safe about not hurting herself.
But if she truly has chronic pain, and nothing else will relieve it, then my suggestion was a valid one.
If she takes opiods to get high, then she needs to detox and go to NA meetings..
I totally feel for this woman and many others in this situation.

Ann if you are reading this, I didnt mean to talk about you in the third person, I was only trying to justify why I suggested what I wrote..
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