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Old 02-26-2006, 07:59 PM   #1
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Is this a decent taper plan?

Hi everyone,
Hi Jam, thanks for your help on the benzo thread. I didn't want to post there again because the moderator asked that the thread not be replied to?

I have two legitimate prescriptions. One is for Valium, 10mg, 120 a month. I never take the 120 in 30 days. I take anywhere from 20 to 35 mg daily. I was prescribed Valium about 13 years ago and have been taking them daily, apart from when I was pregnant in 2001. I didn't have any w/d symptoms when I stopped taking them in 2001 and I swear I didn't touch them while pregnant. Before getting pregnant, I had lowered my dosage in anticipation of getting pregnant so perhaps that is why I didn't experience Benzo w/d? I didn't even crave them (that I can recall) as I was swept up in the pregnancy. Thank you Jam for your help on that thread.

I'm also taking 40 mg of Vicodin HP daily. Some days I take only 30 mg, other days I may go as high as 50 mg, but never more than that. I started the Vicodin daily in 2002.

I'm thinking of holding off on the Valium w/d until I deal with the Vicodin w/d as the Vicodin is my drug of choice. I take the vicodin for stage III endo and back pain. The Vicodin control me mentally more than the Valium do. Perhaps because I've been taking Valium for so long? I'm not sure but I can get by with 10-15 mg of Valium with no real cravings. I crave the Vicodin though.

I don't get high anymore from the Vicodin that I am aware - I take them to numb me. I rarely double dose on the Vicodin. As I'm able to get a monthly prescription of 100 pills easily enough, and after reading, reading and some more reading here on these boards.........my plan is to take 40 mg of Vicodin for the next 10 days, then 35, 30, 25, 20, 15, 10, 5 then none. That's 80 days - 3 months of scripts.

Do those of you who have successfully tapered think this is a good plan? I've started taking Vitamins in the last month. I don't have much of an appetite. I was at 35 mg daily just last week but have taken 40 mg for the past 2 days. I do not notice a difference in my physical dependence at 35 mg versus 40 mg, apart from being incredibly moody.

Once I'm off the Vicodin, I'll start the Valium taper as I guess I'll need the Valium to help me through the Vicodin withdrawals?

I do have legitimate pain and I am dependent on the Valium as well. I want to kick one addiction at a time.

I've read the home detox threads. Can those of you who have successfully kicked this monkey off your back please give me some insight and share your experiences? An example of my addiction to Vicodin. I've recently begun counting the pills. I have never ran out of pills before my next prescription. Another example, when I get my next script, I will be 50 pills plus (ahead of the script). I guess I am hoarding as I always make sure I have a 10 day supply on the side for the Vicodin (in the event my doctor won't prescribe them anymore, which I don't see happening after almost 4 years.

He upped me from Vicodin ES, 60 pills to Vicodin HP, 100 pills about 1 and 1/2 years ago, at my request. At one of my visits last year I asked him to increase the script to 150 monthly (it's really every 25 days) because I pay the same amount of money for 30/50/100 through my insurance. At that visit he suggested Pain Management and I declined so we carry on with the 100 Vicodin HP every 25 days. He has no idea that I am addicted and thinks, I believe, that I've become tolerant. That is true, but once I started counting my pills and ensuring that I'm never lower than 40 pills before my next script, I realize now I'm addicted in addition to being tolerant. Having said that about my doctor, that he doesn't think I am addicted, that is just my opinion - I've never asked to see my medical records.

Jam, thank you for your insight regarding how to address this with my doctor regarding the Valium. For example, my permanent medical history and records and future employment and/or insurance needs. I've decided not to say anything to my doctor at this time and to continue as I have been for the last 2 1/2 years with the scripts. I've decided to try to do this on my own.

Any ideas/experience would be appreciated. In the meantime, I'm still reading and researching the boards for further information. I've had a tough couple of years and have lost one relative after another. My mother-in-law is currently dying of cancer. I've had 2 immediate family deaths in as many years and quite a few close relatives die from cancer in almost the same time period.

I've had a good deal of mental pain in my life. I have used the Vicodin to mask this pain (and the Valium as well). I would end this post by saying that I'm tired of the pills being too much a part of my life. I want to feel again. My childhood doctor prescribes the Valium and my internist prescribes the Vicodin. Neither doctor knows about each other or the two prescriptions monthly. Sorry this post is so long. I'm extremely nervous posting it.
Thanks.
Sincerely,
Elizabeth

Last edited by vmom; 02-26-2006 at 08:09 PM.

 
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Old 02-26-2006, 09:06 PM   #2
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Re: Is this a decent taper plan?

Hi Elizabeth, You are quite welcome hon. I know it took a lot of thought, courage, and time to construct your post. You are going through so much, bless your heart for having the innerstrength to pursue detox. My thoughts and prayers are with you. There are many folks on this board who will reach out with support and ideas. Since I did a CT home detox and you understandably want to pursue a taper, others who have been more successful with taper can help you with that than me....unfortunately, I failed miserably with taper attempt, but (on plan suggested by my doctor) my taper failed because it was too fast (4-5 daily down to 0 in one week)...where I just decided to jump off and end it w/CT...just so mad and frustrated...angry at the world and even more at myself ...maybe it took that anger to get me through it all. Anyway, since I failed at a taper I'm not the best source of advise about that. Worry not though...others will read your post soon and respond I am sure...just hang tight. Constant has posted some taper help on another thread to help another person; she will see your post as well.

The Sample Home Detox helped me---without it I would not have prevailed. But what helps one may not help another. You just have to find what works for you. A couple of people that I know of on this Board, and many others on another Board, have benefitted w/ the OTC WD coping options outlined in the "sticky post" found in the Moderator's section; Calforney and GSX, perhaps others?....hopefully they will read your post and reply with their experience. They have already posted positively on other threads on this Board so you may want to do a search for their posts.

I think you are wise doing one drug taper at a time. I would think that will be less harsh on your system. Hopefully you will not have too difficult of a time with either of them. Post your progress, your fears, your thoughts/concerns and we will try to support and guide you through....best wishes hon.

Last edited by jam338; 02-26-2006 at 09:11 PM.

 
Old 02-26-2006, 09:52 PM   #3
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Re: Is this a decent taper plan?

Thank you Jam.

I'm praying that I have enough willpower to successfully taper. If I find that I don't have the wllpower, I wll own up to each doctor and spill my guts. I've been numb for too long - my son needs Mother who is with it and not just going through the motions.

There is a good chance that cold turkey might be the only way - if I cannot find it inside me to taper, to end this cycle of abuse.

Thank you for being there. I'm doing my best to read as many posts as possible. As I'm just coming out, I don't feel I'm fit to support others in a crisis as I'm on a learning curve, but if I do reply to anyone's post, it will be on the level of cheerleading and such. As you know, I had no idea that cutting the benzo's completely could be so dangerous which is another reason I'm doing as much research as time will alow while I comtemplate how to deal with my life's upheavals such as my mother-in-law's prognosis (not good).

Thank you again for the search tips Jam. I'm going to bed now but will be back tomorrow or when I'm during day work breaks or not working to read up on others' experiences and hopefully I'll learn more daily.
You're so kind.
Elizabeth.

Last edited by vmom; 02-26-2006 at 09:56 PM.

 
Old 02-26-2006, 10:41 PM   #4
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Re: Is this a decent taper plan?

I think you can do it!!! Just remember to not give up!!! You're dosage isn't that high so I think you can do it if you were taking more it would be alot tougher. You will feel some discomfort for sure, if the discomfort gets bad level off for an extra 10 days since the main goal is to quit as long as you're tapering down that's the most important thing. If it takes a few more weeks so be it, just make sure you don't go up after going down.

GOOD LUCK!!!

 
Old 02-27-2006, 12:50 AM   #5
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Re: Is this a decent taper plan?

Elizabeth, you can do it! I just wish I knew more info on successful taper options regarding opiates. As you know, I have already shared with you on another thread that I found what I think was very valuable (for me critical) information in online research regarding benzodiazepine taper guidelines. Now that I think about it you could probably just disregard the drug bridging part of that benzo detox and perhaps just follow the taper reduction part....I haven't looked at those taper guidelines in quite awhile now since I completed the benzo detox, but you might take a look at that website. The benzo tapering guidelines were developed by Professor Heather Ashton and are on her website, along with much of her research work regarding benzodiazepines (Xanax, Valium, etc.). Just type her name and the word withdrawal or detox taper it should bring it up. You might review that to see if any of the guidelines there look like it could crossover for an opiate taper. If I were going to try a taper again I might try a 1/4 pill reduction every 7-10 days...but that is just a guess as to whether that would work or not.

The real problem for me was that I was at only 4-5 Hydros a day, but for several years, where I had built up tolerance dependency and refused to increase in strength or type of drug or go over the daily...on really bad days, 3-4 a month, maybe up to 6 daily...that would of course short me on my rx at the end of the month where I was always pillsplitting to extend til my rx refill...so I guess I was conditioned to be in a perpetual recylcling taper....maybe that contributed to tapering not working all that well in the end for me. Anyway, what happened to me was even at the static rx level I experienced constant continuing WDs because of the tolerance. Because I never moved up to cope with the tolerance and feed the demon what it craved, the whiplash is not only cravings but increased pain....that is the beginning of the maddening masquerading part of the cycle.....I started taking this mess for pain in the first place and yet increased pain is the eventual punishment for taking it at all as tolerance builds. At the time the increased pain starts, you can't distinguish the difference....I mean how could you....pain is pain....it is your drug demon's way of fooling you into believing "seeeeeee you really do this drug ....you have pain!!!" Thank God I only allowed myself to think that was a reason to stay on it but not a reason to escalate up and into an addiction spiral. How in the world I got spared from that I will never know because I will tell you I sure thought about it....in a Vicodin fog/haze my thinking was not really hitting on all cylinders...of course at the time I thought I was functioning just fine....little did I know....when I found myself wondering about how do you order stuff online....thinking a vacation in Mexico might be real nice once in a while something snapped me into reality about WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING???? WHAT THE HELL WAS I DOING??? I had such serious stress in my life that I had delayed doing what needed to be done w/detox for far too long.....I was eager to get off of it so the short taper sounded great to me...until it failed. I went through continued roundrobins for a few months when finally something grabbed hold of me......my life felt totally friggn messed up....I was tethered to a damn pillbottle...running short every damn month w/the WDs anyway...so exactly WHAT was I doing...afterall I was dealing with WDs anyway for Christ's sake???? I was in the cycle dealing w/end of month WDs and finally got sooooooooo mad and angry....I just made up my mind this is it....THIS is where it ends. I waited til the end of the month cycle and then just jumped off w/CT rather than a refill. I didn't care what I had to do....but it was going to end. I was not living my life like this anymore. I was tired of thinking about nothing but friggn pills, counting pills, splitting pills...pills...pills...pills...pills. DONE. And, thank God with the help of others on message boards like this one and the nutritional supplements I managed to cope w/WDs and successfully home detox.

It took me a long time to reach that point in my life and find the innerstrength to endure home detox. I researched for many many many hours online to find coping options that might help me. Things that others posted on...if more than 2 posters said they had personally used it and found it helped it went on my list of options for my own detox....that is what evolved into the Sample Home Detox Thread. I started with the Thomas Recipe, a home detox recipe online around 2001, and planned my own personal detox from there. Beyond being an expanded list of OTC WD coping items, the Sample Home Detox does not include using benzodiazepines during the first 2-3 days. For me, I just didn't want to risk the possibility of taking the problem I had and acquiring one I didn't have. Little did I know that eventually I would use that same list to home detox from benzos after a family death and being placed on and retained on Xanax too long

Elizabeth, no one was more terrified of home detoxing than me, and I think no one could have been more determined than I was....but all during detox I came so close to aborting the detox...fearing that if it got worse would I be able to cope....and fear of not knowing how much worse it could get.......that is the blessing in message boards such as this one.....those fear questions and others can be answered by others who have been through it....and, bless their hearts, they will be here to support and encourage you and others as you go through it. They will be the angels beneath your wings to help get you through.

 
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