First of all I have read and reread all the posts about detoxing and understand the process, but when you are considering it for real, you just have to ask things so I hope some can just bear with me.
I started on Norco about 3 years ago for severe pain. I was taking 2-7.5/325 three times a day for 2 years but the last year I have ended up taking anywhere from 9-20 a day. I have NO idea why I did this to myself.
I am 43 years old and am just now suffering the effects of being terribly emotionally abused as a child. I have hidden so much of this from myself but as a mother of a 14 year old son, I have seen my parents now emotionally abuse him and it has all come to a head.
I am so sick of these pills and they do nothing for me but now I have to take them to even function. I don't know how I used them as prescribed for 2 years and then let myself get into this mess and I am furious with myself!
I don't want to take them anymore, there is nothing about me that wants any part of this anymore. I am in counseling now for my emotional issues, I have gotten back in church and the last thing I need to do is kick this crap.
I have long suffered from severe panic attacks from the childhood abuse so I have access to xanax. I have taken xanax for 14+ years and have never abused it or had to change my dose. That is another thing, how can I have used xanax responsibly for so long and yet I did this to myself over the Norco.
I just want to do the home detox plan and get on with my life. These pills are starting to take over my life because I have to get about 6 of them in my system in the morning to even get going and I hate them!
Now, I have gone from being a high energy perfectionist to being a couch potato. I still keep the house in total order, but I don't do anything else. I have lost myself and do nothing with my life.
I just want to climb in bed with my Nyquil, xanax, heating pad and muscle cream and just do this. I started on the supplements 3 months ago to prepare for this so I know they are well established in my system. I have my slim fast in, my gatorade and soups and easy eats.
The only thing I have left to do is do it! I even did a 2 day trial 2 months ago to see what it was going to start to feel like. Yeah, it was hell, but not more of a hell when you are literally facing taking a big handfull of pills to just get started in the morning. I also never sleep because this point in addiction has ruined my sleep.
I have a script for Trazadone ( anti-d) that I used to take. It is very sedating so I have that I can start up again for sleeping and to help with wd's and it will also help with depression.
I am totally set, why can't I just make myself do this? I mean I know I am not only serious, but ready because I have put all this effort into getting ready to detox, why can't I make that last step? I am even dreaming of flushing the 240 Norco tabs I have sitting on my kitchen counter!!! That would be such a victory feeling!
If anyone has any advice, tips or just support, please, I need all of it.
Thanks in advance and thank you for all the wonderful posts this board offers!
It is very wise and perceptive to understand and acknowledge that no matter how much 'book knowledge' we might have about how to do anything, coming down to doing it is still a new experience and support is the best way to make it through it, whether baking a cake, cleaning a house or detoxi and withdrawal. Glad to see you preparing so well for this new experience. Others have done it before you and that in itself shows that it can be successfully accomplished.
Your preparations are off to a wonderful start. These are the two main things I see missing from your preparations:
1) a doctor's involvement
2) the plan for aftercare either with an individual therapist or a group like NA or AA.
These two things are vital, absolutely vital. We can not do this alone, ever. We can not stayed successfully detoxed without aftercare support, ever. For now, I hope you can accept both of these as truths in faith from someone who has gone before you. The same as we would not try and treat cancer or heart disease on our own, we can not treat the situation of drug abuse on our own. The failure rate is so high if we try it on our own that I would say it is probably a 100% chance of failure solo.
Detox is hard... staying detoxed is 100 times harder, Karen. I would not advise throwing away the Norcos at this point. I would not advise starting Trazadone at this point. To do either keeps you in a cycle of self-medicating. I know this can be hard to swallow, but anytime we take or stop taking any medicine that is drug-like without doing it under a doctor's care, it is self-medicating. And that is exactly what got many of us into this mess to begin with.
Come back and talk some more to us. It has helped greatly to have you write your story already so we know where you have been and where you want to go. Let the Board bounce some ideas back and forth with you so you can get where you need to go most successfully.
Welcome Karen - You've come to the right place for support and advice. Reach is a great source of wisdom, she has a lot of solid advice and it comes from experience. I was where you are back in mid April. I was taking 25 Vicodin 10/500 per day and could not function without taking 3 of them before getting out of bed. At that point, they weren't helping me at all, I could barely function, even WITH them. My life was so screwed up and I decided to quit. I hadn't found this site and did not have any of the items listed on the self detox plan. You are definitely doing the right thing in preparing up front. Make sure you have lots of Immodium on hand as you will most likely experience severe diarreah. I would also recommend making some jello beforehand and getting some popsicles for fluids and sugar intake. I found that I craved sugar, but I didn't necessarily feel like eating so these items were great to have. I also experienced severe hot flashes and cold sweats. I literally changed my clothes many times per day. I took Black Cohosh supplements and I really do think they helped. Menopausal women take this to help with the hot flashes. Get some dvd's or videos to watch.......after a couple of days I was so sick of tv. Reading material is good to have, even though the first couple of days you probably won't want to do anything at all. I also agree with Reach on not throwing out your meds, for now. Do you have a good support system in place? It's good to have someone to talk with, even a counselor. Don't lose hope. Things will get better. It's not going to be easy. Please check back and let us know how you're doing!! Be strong!!!! You are in my thoughts!
You have no idea how much they meant to me and I have read and reread and reread them both over and over.
I think just posting it and writing it out for me to read was another huge step in this process.
I guess my biggest issue now is why did I do this? I am such a smart girl and I don't say that to pat myself on the back, but because I can't believe I did this to myself.
I also don't understand how I was able to take them as directed for over 2 years and how I am able to still take my xanax as directed and have done so for over 14 years.................why would have I done that?
I did not mean I would throw away the Norco. In fact, I want to get them cut down to half before I quit. Get my body used to the 6 a day I was prescribed, then hit this detox.
As for the trazadone, I am allowed to take that as needed. I wouldn't self medicate. I am going to my panic counselor on Friday to discuss getting back on it, I will not just start it. Do you think I should start it Friday though once he gives me the ok so I have that established in my system as well? It really helps with depression.
The xanax I take as .50 3 times a day. Usually skipping the midday dose. That has been my routine since 1993.
I guess my confusion as to why I can handle addicting meds for so long and never play with them, even the Norco and then do this without even realizing it has me confused.
I know it was to cover mental pain, not physical because my physical pain is under control now and was with the normal dose of the norco.
I want to get down to the 6 prescribed because then my insurance would pay 100% for a dr to help me withdraw. If you are on a prescribed, dr given dose of an opiate, my insurance will pay 100% for any treatment, followup, long term counseling............all of it. If it is at your own hands, you are out of luck. They will only pay 80% of a 5 day treatment!! 5 days????? Are they kidding me, who is done with addiction in 5 days?
My husband had a guy under him who did this "5 day" plan and sure, he got in house withdraw that cost him $1500 out of pocket after the 80%..........he was still in withdraw on day 6 when he was sent home and then he was left to his own.
The $1500 was a waste because he could have done the detox in his own bedroom for nothing! It is all scam as far as I am concerned. Insurance could care less about addiction being a medical disease. If they can't "see" it, they won't treat it.
Now, they consider physical addiction as another story and that is fine because this all started that way and until last year, I was only on my dr's dose.
So, I am planning on going down to the 6 a day which is a cut in half of what I am taking (actually a little more on some days).
I am going to start the 6 a day on Saturday because I will be getting my xanax refilled on Friday when I meet with my panic counselor about getting back on Trazadone. The xanax helps stave off the terrible anxiety and the horrible dreams that come with withdraw.
I also want to give my body time to get "used" to a normal dose again. I don't want to go cold turkey from a huge amount, I would rather do it from 6..........
I am a good quitter I quit smoking, a 2 pack a day habbit of 14 years cold turkey and never looked back. When I get something in my mind that I am going to do, I do it. I have never failed so I am holding on to that hope.
Something else that I have learned about myself, I am disappointed in myself over this. I am an extraordinarily strong person because of what I went through as a child. Yes, it caused me terrible anxiety, but that is ok, I have learned to be able to handle anything because NOTHING is as bad as extreme emotional abuse.
I have a wonderful husband of 15 years and he would stand by me through anything. He and I have talked about me just shutting that bedroom door and withdrawing. He would be there for me wholeheartedly. I have been very lucky in that regard.
He also understands that my childhood is the cause of all of my problems that I have had to deal with. He has supported me 100% and has understood me having to be in counseling for 14 years because of it. He has always supported me and understood that the kind of abuse I withstood does not go away.
I have a great network of support in place as you mentioned reach. I also have an after care support in place. In my area it is called teen challenge but they deal with all ages and all addictions. They specialize in addictions being brought on by covering mental pain.
I think what happened too is that with opiates, I felt a cover up effect from them and then you don't have to deal. Well, I had been dealing just fine and I let myself down.
Ok, I appreciate all your thoughts, input and ideas...............
I'm Kate. I just came clean with my husband (last Friday) and my doctor (today) about my addiction. Perhaps you can read my posts/replies which have been SO helpful, you have no idea.
I was taking about 500-600 mg of Oxycontin/day. Spending lots of money, cash advances off two of my credit cards (my cards, so no one could see) and also getting prescriptions from my doctor. I came clean last week when I decided I can't do this anymore. When you said you took 9-20/day, I could sympathize with you. I really have no idea where I went wrong. Somewhere along the way - I decided to take an extra pill, then an extra pill, then an extra pill etc. It got way out of hand, but I "thought" I had control over my situation. I was DEAD wrong. I was in complete denial, lying to everyone in my life about these God damn pills.
I too, had an abusive past (from my childhood) and suffer from depression. When I had my first daughter, I had post-partum depression SO bad that I lost 30 lbs in three weeks and couldn't hold my beautiful baby girl, which I had waited so long to have. I was first diagnosed with depression in 2000 when I suffered something "terrible," lost 60 lbs (yes 60 lbs, I looked like a stick) cried all day long, couldn't shower or even get out of bed. I started anti-depressents and got my life back.
BUT...then I slipped a disc in my back from a fall and started pain meds. My story is similar to yours about how I got to taking so many (even tho we really don't know how it happened, its still similar).
I am confidant to say I am not as strong as you are - you want to stop cold turkey. I am not confidant to say "please don't do that" because I am ignorant and don't have the will-power to do it cold turkey, however after reading "reachout's" response, I really hope you consider tapering instead of cold turkey.
I wish you all the best, and I hope you stay with us. I've had such wonderful suggestions/help and I've only been on this board for three days. This board has changed my life and my direction in life (in terms of my addiction). I didn't think I "needed" to seek therapy however, now I know that I do need it. I "want" the help and I want to be better. I have two beautiful daughters, aged 2 and 5 and I want to be a better mother.
So thank you for posting, you have certainly helped me as well.
Thank you, thank you, thank you. You have no idea how your post was a godsend to me. Just to know someone who is a mom and a good, decent person with a great husband is also in this spot and starting the journey to stop.
I am so thankful for this, I needed it in the worst way.
I have made an appt with my dr for next Friday to tell her what I want to do. My dentist is the one who has me in pain management and I am seeing him on Thursday to discuss me getting off this horrible trainwreck that has become my life.
I am almost excited for these appts. I am not scared, embarrassed or anything, I just want to do this so bad. I am a driven person so fear is not something I feel about this. I am so determined to get my life back and to NOT fail at this.
I am so disgusted at myself. I dread getting up in the morning because I know I have to take a handful of pills. I also know to stop the wd's I have to take even more which then make me feel sick, give me a headache and just make me feel awful
The honeymoon effect has looooong since worn off, now it is just taking them for survival. There is nothing fun about them and I hate them. They make me sick to look at,
and they have complete control over me because I HAVE to take them to get through the day.
Please, if you will, tell me how your dr appt went today. What did you say? What did the dr say and what did he offer in the way of help?
Thanks so much, bless ya!
Last edited by Administrator; 09-06-2007 at 11:21 PM.
Reason: when you see asterisks, edit the word off your post.
I think what happened too is that with opiates, I felt a cover up effect from them and then you don't have to deal. Well, I had been dealing just fine and I let myself down.
Karen, you have just written the beginning sentences of what could be the defining book for many of us. The slow slipping of using the pills prescribed for physical pain into using them as pills to escape emotional pain. As you read and become more familiar with the various members, you will see how common a bond that is between many of us. For me, really understanding this, accepting it as a big oppart of my problem, was a real turning point for me. I have had lots and lots of discoveries along the way here, but that one fact was a huge turning point in coming to understand that I could remain pill free if I would discover and deal with what caused me emotional pain. That is part of the hard work in recovery. There is a depression that hits us in withdrawal, but it is a depression sepperate from underlying depression in us. Depression from withdrawal is brought about physically because of withdrawal. The ddepression from stuffed down emotuion needs to be handled as a seperate depression. At least for me that is how it was. Like layers and layers of multiple depressions that had to be peeled away. Sometimes it has been painful, sometimes not. Always though, it is necessary to really find a restored life.
Karen, I need to gently give some thoughts here about your proposed drop on Saturday. That is a heck of a huge drop percentage wise. I think it is going to put you into a withdrawal very comparable to a cold turkey withdrawal. It is a mistake to do this with out being under a doctor's guidance is my strong belief. It is good that you are working to formulate a plan, but you are formulating it without some vital knowledge perhaps. Please let a doctor guide you in this. Also, it worries me that your timeline to implement your plan is somewhat centered around Xanax and Trazadone. There is nothing wrong with medical intervention when withdrawing, bnothing at all. However, what worries me is that intervention by medication seems to be big in the thinking out of the plan. When we have slipped into abusing pills, the whole use of pills has taken on a different role in our lives. Our thinking changes into habitual use of opills to handle life situations. It is thinking that must be readjusted in order to maintain true recovery. It is sober thinking. I know that all the changes that need to be made can not come overnight. I know that well! It was very hard for me to even relearn how to leave my house without checking my pocketbook twice to make sure I had enough pills with me to cover my time out... and then some. I just want to make sure that you are cognizant of what I seem to see in the thinking, okay? I understand the rationale, but believe the rationale could easily lead you right back into the trainwreck. I guess like forewarned is forearmed.
Okay, Friend, I need to take a break here and take care of some boring business online. Chuckles. I will be around. Stay strong in your convictions, stay strong in believeing you can do this.
I just read reachout's reply to you and I fully agree with her about how much you're tapering. Of course, its your final decision (how many to cut back) however it really does seem like alot.
When I told my doctor I wanted to do this quicker, he said "No, thats NOT a good idea." He felt that if I do it too quick, I'll resort to my previous behaviour and find others ways to get it (without disappointing anyone but myself).
I am so grateful to have you all here - to talk to, to listen, to share our stories. I am so glad my husband recommended looking for a message board to get help/suggestions.
I hope you're feeling at least a little better tonight.
Well, I did one of my many nights of not sleeping. I slept great from 1-3am then wide awake til 6am then slept from 6 til about 9. It is NOT restful but that will pass.
I have not gotten my xanax refilled for over a week and that is part of my appt/xanax/drop issue. I just know I need them to sleep and dropping will just make sleep that much worse. When I go totally sleepless I am in for a whopping panic attack and I do not want that because that alone might drive me to pop more of these devils.
I was looking at that empty xanax bottle last night( while I was wide awake) wondering how I have been able to make a 30 day supply of those last 45 days, never taking more, only less and can go a week without them, but the Norco was the devil to me. I guess it is all in how it makes us feel? That is a real stumper to me.
I guess even though I have been in counseling for years and years, the abuse memories don't go away and really it still goes on because my parents are alive and have still been involved in hurting me still and now have done it to my son. I now am willing to say out loud that the pills are a way to escape emotional pain and that is a big step for me.
Emotional hurt and scars will never go away, I see that now. I have to many and they are too severe. I still have nightmares about some of the emotional abuse I suffered, so I know now I have to deal with it daily, not just on my counseling days. I am seeing things clear now for some reason.
I also am starting to journal. That is a huge help, writing it all down. I used to be so faithful in doing that and I wonder if when I stopped doing that if I allowed myself to open another door to a pathway of dealing with things and this time it was pills instead of paper! I am going to keep my journal up again. I bought all new notebooks and pens so I am ready for that task and it is wonderful.
I actually talked to my pharmacist this morning and told him everything and he suggested that I switch to Vicoprofen for the long detox because he said it would give my body a long needed break from the bombardment of tylenol. He said that is the most dangerous drug out of the two! Yes, the hydrocodone is addicting, but it won't destroy any organs, there is no ceiling dose. He said to switch to something with a base of ibuprofen and start the healing now.
Ok, support is abundance is rampant. Isn't is funny how we all think so much is going to happen if we come "clean" about wanting to get clean and yet most people will be supportive and not give any reaction other than advice and help??!!!?!?
I woke up in terrible pain today which is how this whole pain management started. I have severe tmj and an opening of only 5mm. But ya know what..........I took 2 aspirin! No, that will not help as much as Norco, but it is my new drug of choice. I will deal with the pain with heating pads, aspirin and muscle cream. I would rather have a bad pain day now because I know those pills not only control pain, they end up controlling your life!
Keep the support and advice coming, I feel SO much stronger already guys.
Nope so far I have stuck to my taper, no matter the pain. I have only taken what I planned to take for the day so far.
Now I don't want to take too much credit. I am only down to 10, but still, 10 is 10 less on a heavy use day! Not too mention I was able to think ahead and take aspirin for pain since these stupid orange devils do NOTHING for pain anyway anymore. That is a HUGE step too when you can admit that to yourself, huh?
Thanks for your words of help!!!! Keep 'em pourin over me
Have you been around these last 2 days? I need to bend your ear if you care too listen to some long winded questions..............
I want to thank you in advance for all the time and dedication you give to those of us here...............I could never begin to express in a simple post what this kind of support means.
Ok, these are things I am thinking.................
When you taper, I had read that the final drop, no matter how small can really kick in the wd's.
How long does it take for your body to become clean? You know, I imagine getting off pill like this..............like when you have a glass of milk. Yeah, you drink the milk, but the inside of the glass still has the milk residue all over the inside. Isn't it kind of like that with pills? You aren't putting them in anymore, but their residue is all over the inside of your body, clinging to all your organs.
How is your day going? I am so anxious to hear how you are making out. I am headed to my dentist right now to have our talk and to tell him about what the pharmacist said.
The end of a taper.... if it is done slowly enough and the final step off is from a really, really low dose, the withdrawals are no worse than any cut along the way. It was relatively easy for me at the end of the taper from the opiate oxycodone even though oxycodone is a real strong opiate. The step off from the benzo, Xanax, was not as easy.
The milk in a glass is a great analogy! yes, that opiate gets right into the very cells that make us up. That is why pain is often felt withdrawaing... the body is searching in every minute nook and cranny looking for any trace opiate it can find. It goes into the muscle cells last and can cause muscle discomfort... back ache and stuff. Understanding what is happeneing can really help fight the pain. It is pain, yres, but it is simutaneously a sign that the body is purging the remnants of the drug.
Karen, keep that attitude strong.. come back and read what you have written about stcuking to it! This is great. Once we go down o an opiate, we never go back up. We get stronger and better everyday. ( my taper mantra).