Addiction: Substance Abuse Community
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addiction to pain killers

What are the long term affect's of abusing pain killers, i.e. kidney damage, liver damage, etc.? Not only is the loved one I am writing about take more than the prescribed dosage, she also mixes alcohol with them. She will get to the point that she looks and act's drunk. She can barely function. Can you give me some advice on how to show that we are concerned about her and where we can go for help?
51 Responses
Avatar universal
Long term physical effects depend on whether the painkiller has aceteminophen.  High dosages of aceteminophen, especially accompanied by alcohol, can cause liver damage.  Also, someone getting that messed up may have an accident (driving, falling down stairs, etc.).  Additionally, studies are indicating there may be permanent changes to the brain which may result in a long-term addict being unable to fully experience pleasure due to their abuse.  Finally, the most destructive things are not physical but are psychological and social.  Read the posts here about the suffering people are going through.  Addiction destroys peoples lives, not just their bodies.  My body barely suffered but my life sure did!  If you want to read lots of stories written by addicts (and also many by families of addicts) go to www.prescriptionabuse.org.
Avatar universal
It depends what time period you are inquiring about.  My drug use lasted 22 years.  Started with pot, qualudes, acid and coke.  Ended with painkillers, first Vicodin, then Lorcet, then oxycontin or MS-contin.  Last time I quit painkillers (and I do hope it IS the last time) I was up to having to take close to 300mg oxycontin a day just to feel "normal."  Not high, just not feeling like I was dying the worst flu ever suffered.  Some other drugs here and there during the painkiller phase.  I thought I'd never be "happy" without my drugs, especially pills.  Now I can honestly say I wasn't happy (just often numb enough not to care).  Today I am pretty serene, grounded and living life.  Some days are good, some not so good but I OWN THOSE DAYS.  Really living life, good and bad, is the best reward I could ever have.  I do hope you get there too.  Best wishes, Brian
Avatar universal
I wonder if any of your families tried to get you into recovery for your addictions.  I have been trying to get my mother to get help but she insists she doesn't have a problem.  And my father just lets her take the pills and even gets her more if she runs out.  I have been working on how I deal with the stuation, but as long as mom is still using, my family is in turmoil.  My daughters don't want to see her and I really can't blame them.  And I won't force them to.  I was just wondering.
Avatar universal
I have been there and I am there now. My mother has an addiction to pain killers also, the doctor gave them to her 4 years ago when she hurt her back, the bad thing is that sometimes you can't help them. My family and I have been trying to get my mom help for quiet some time now, but until they are ready to seek help there is nothing you can do. Most of the time when you confront an addict they feel that you are judging them or that you just don't understand, the only advice I know to give you is pray that she will see the light and get help. Unil then let her know that you are there for her and that you love her and that you are willing to help, but don't let her drag you down with her. You will be in my thoughts and prayers, best of luck! Let me know how it turns out.
Avatar universal
300 mgs of oxy a day is getting up there, were you biting them?, what was wrong with you? hurt your back or somthin?
Avatar universal
I have been taking vicodin for a little over 1 yr. for pain that i have following sinus surgury that resulted in nerve damage.  My physician has been giving me steriod shots in the problem area and this has been working very well.  The problem is i still as for vicodin because i need it and am obviously addicted to it.  I take 5 per day on average and sometimes less.  I am not able to check in to a treatment center and not willing.  How do i stop taking and can i just wean myself off. What would you recommend.

Thank you
Avatar universal
I guess I'M ASKING FOR HELP. i've been taking 2 vicodan  and 1 mg. ativan along with large glass of wine on and off for over ayear.I know i'm numbing out...stress,etc. I ALSO WAS RECENTLY DX WITH HEP C...NO LIVER DAMAGE YET. wHAT TO DO WHERE TO START. please respond with anything except thats stupid....I KNOW THAT ALREADY. THANKS
Avatar universal
To Jeff;;
You can ween your self off of 5 vicodin a day
pretty easily, Do it over a months time so you
wont feal any withdraw, as for going to a
treatment center to get off of vicoden, they
would probly laugh at you all the way to the
bank, vicodin is so minor compared to what most
people go to a"treatment" center for, You might
want to see if you can get just plain
Hydrocodone so your not taking all that APAP,
They say it is very bad for your liver, Im not
sure if they make plain hydrocodone, but I know
they make plain oxycodone, {Percolone} with no
APAP,  If your not abusing them, or acting
stupid, or sleeping all day, and you still have
pain, why do you want to stop takin them?

To carol;.
  you wrote;..;.;i've been taking 2 vicodan and
1 mg. ativan along with large glass of wine on
and off for over ayear.I know i'm numbing

  You are probly geting more of a buZZ from the ativan than you are from 2 vicodin's a day, the
ativan is a benzo, like valium or xanax,  the alcohol and the apap in the vicodin aint g00d,
but it wont kill ya, anytime soon anyway, you should consider your self lucky to be able to feal good on that little bit of meds, you must have a very very low tolerance, 2 vicodin a day woudent even keep me from going through withdraws, nevermind kill any pain or give me a ""buzz"",, you should be able to get off the vicodin with no trouble,, You might have more trouble with the wine though;.;.; good luck;.
Avatar universal
I totally understand what you are dealing with. My husband abused pain pills and mixed it with herion, cocaine, and crack. He wouldn't get help, no matter what I said. He finally went to rehab to get help. He then in there found out that he had diabetes, and that his organs were damaged. He's a mess. He doesn't feel good most of the time. He gets angry a lot still. I'm sorry, but she wouldn't seek help until she's ready. He didn't either. I hope she seeks help. Pray for her.
Avatar universal
My sister recently came to us to get help for her addiction to opiates(oxycontin) of choice and other not so addictive narcotics. My advice is that if you feel your friend is abusing drugs or alcohol, you may try talking to her about alternate help. Bare in mind addicts wont accept help until they have reached the breaking point, as with my sister. You cannot force convince someone they need help unless they realize it themselves first. Our situation was that we were aware of the problem but un able to do anything about it where there is a law here in my state against "blue papering" someone into detox centers. I have researched drug addiction for 2 weeks and have come to see it  is more serious than we may assume, it causes kidney, liver, pancreatic, and mental disabilities if not treated. My sister has pain everyday from what they call " pill indiced arthritis" she is 27 yrs. old. Try to talk to your friend but remember that addicts need to accept they have a problem before they accept your advice or input.. Hang in there......:)
Avatar universal
The combination of Hepatits C with Vicodin and alcohol is particularly dangerous.  The Tylenol and the alcohol are liver killers anyway.  When you factor in the Hep C, you are really asking for trouble.  If I were in your position, I would find a doctor who is non-judgemental as opposed to one of those idiots who think addiction is "naughty."  Discuss with this professional the possibility of tapering off which shouldn't be too difficult with help.  You are on a relatively low dose, but it isn't low to your system.  The psychological part may prove to be more difficult for you, so you may want to find some support from friends, family, or online.  Also, try to find something to replace your ritual--meditation, music, hot tea, etc.--something to help you relax in place of the substances.   I have only my personal experiences with addiction to share, and I hope this helps.

Avatar universal
I know how all of you feel with A vicodan addiction! I have chronic pain and I havent found away to make the pain go away! I take 8 to 10 vicodan hp's aday! for about 4 years now! I am so addicted it's not even funny, my doctors wont write anymore scripts! they got my this way and wont do anything to help me stop taking them, I have spoken to my wonderful doctor and he said you have to do it on your own! so I knew a guy that worked in a pharmacy and would help my fix! but he no longer works there and I have about a day of pills left, so I guess its time for the DT's, I do want to stop taking them, but I am in a position where I cant let anyone know! I work for a large state agency and they know everything! I will lose my job! I cant let that happen, I am taking care of my mom after my father passed away! what should I do? and Please wish me luck!
Avatar universal
my husband has a drug problem hes been relapsen overe and over well his back went out the dct gave him valium vicadin he say he not taking them his behavior is weird addiction sucks  tina
Avatar universal
I know about addiction.I was addicted to pain pills and nerve pills for 20 yrs.I had been to 7 treatment centers.I was taking 20 loro-cet and 20 Xanax a day.I have been clean for 3 yrs.I can only tell you what it took for me.The last time I went to treatment it was for me and no one else like the times before.I went to get my family off my back.Only when I decided I wanted to really get serious and quit did I stop.My higher power who I call God was right there to help me.I went to AA and Na 3 times a day for 3 Mo.and after that I went 2 times a week for 2 yrs.Now I have as job and have had for 2 yrs.The ironey is I work for as a receptionest for a hospital where most of the Dr.I used to get my pills.HOW WONDERFUL I can be on the other side of the coin.Thank God I live a good life today.CLEAN AND SERENE.
Avatar universal
Your all a bunch of *******. U talk about how u talk 10 vicodan a day, by the way half of u are lying and spelled it wrong i take about 10 at a time to get high still ur all weak!
Avatar universal
i need help i cant get off the painkillers i snort any thing i can get my hands on but start geting mad and pissed when i cant have a pill. when i try not to take any i cant sleep and my girl thinks im crazy what is the best way to ween myself of the pills .... it's only been 1 year . but this really sucks i want to stop but i love the feelling. please give me some ideas please

Avatar universal
Hey thejones-

I am almost through the tapering and I found 2 things that I could not have done without.  I have tapered in about 2 weeks completely.  Those 2 things:  Hylands Restful Legs, and a heating pad.  The resful legs make the real pain I take the pills for feel a little better, and when I start getting chills it really helps with those too.  It also helps any areas that cramp or feel painful so that you will take another pill.  Your body will do anything to get you to take a pill, even create psuedopain to make you think you NEED the pill.  The Hylands restful legs for that terrible RLS, those creepy crawlies in your legs while you are trying to rest - it is a miracle for that.

Anyway, that's my 2 cents.  Good luck!
Avatar universal
hay oxy thank's you naild it right on the head when i try to sleep my legs twich and jerk . drives my lady crazy i told her what you sead and she is going to grab me some... can i just by that stuff at my local market ....oxy how long has it been for u and does it get easer . i wish you all the luck in the world.... if your going thrue what im going thure .then any thing will help.........thank you i will try it
Avatar universal
I got mine at Walgreens.  I would imagine you could get it anywhere but you might have more luck at some kind of drug store.  As soon as I feel those twitches starting I disolve 3 under my tounge and in about 15 minutes it is gone!  

I have been on Norcos for about 3 years, varying between 8-10 per day to down to about 3 in the last few months.  The Oxy I have been on for about 5 months.  I take them for legit pain but last month I increased my oxy on my own.  So it was getting to a point....  like it always does and will.  I am now pregnant which is why I have to get off the pills otherwise I wouldn't be here.  I have talked to my dr. and they cleared me to take the meds while pregnant, but I can't risk the baby being born addicted. I have not followed a regular taper plan but have gone down a half a pill per day.  I am totally off the norcos (which are the 10mg vicodin) and down today to 1 oxy.  Tomorrow will be half, and the next day nothing.  That's the plan.  I have been listening to my body and I have been able to decrease quickly with some, but not too much, discomfort.

Good luck to you!
Avatar universal
thanks your a sweethart. im just glad someone will talk to me about the stuff. let me no how your doing... just talking to you has helped my so thanks ...........
Avatar universal
Avatar universal
My boyfriend has quite a history....he used to be quite the pill popper and he would take anything else he could get his hands on. I have never dealt with any type of addiction so i don't know what i am looking for. Lately his kidneys have starting hurting him again and he has been passing kidney stones at least twice a month for the past couple of months. When he starts hurting, his first solution is to get some pills off the street...oxycontin, perkiset, vicodin, anything to help the pain. It has gotten to where he needs the pills to kill the pain every week. When he starts hurting he also tends to have cold sweats with out the medication. Are these signs of addiction? Or what would you think?

Please excuse any misspellings!

Avatar universal
i od and now no more pain meds or my xanax to help me sleep and i am still having jerking feeling and neck and back pain at times is crazy any suggestions regular tynenol even pm doesn't help real well i as well jerk and am very restless been almost 2 weeks since i had any oxycotion and xanax . will this feeling go away soon.?
Avatar universal
try hylands restful legs it will help you with the jerking filling your geting when you go to bed and as for not sleeping join the club i havent slept for at least 2 months but that hylands will help so try it you can get it at wallmart or walgreens.good luck                      

                                                  the jones
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