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Old 10-11-2007, 02:54 PM   #1
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wheninrome1313 HB User
Oxycodone tapering question..am I in the right place?

Hello all! I am new to these boards but have been reading your posts for some time and found them very helpful. I am not sure if I should be in this section or the chronic pain section, but here is my story. Hope someone can help me with question about my taper!

I am a chronic pain sufferer who was put on narcotic therapy during some procedures and then the issues that resulted from those, then was diagnosed with breast cancer and that was a whole other issue. The story is really too extensive to get into because it doesn't affect the result. Bottom line was I was referred to a pain clinic after going through the percocet, vicodin trials, and they put me on Oxycodone. It started off inoccently enough at 5mg tabs. After 2 years, my tolerance just kept going up and they kept increasing to to the point they wanted me to put me on other meds because I was on so much. I didn't want to add and I didn't want a change. The truth is, I stopped needing these meds a year ago. I don't know why I stayed on them. I know i am physically addicted and there was the fear of coming off, but the truth is, I became dependant on them and I didn't want to stop them. I liked the way they made me feel, and even though i was hardly feeling them anymore, it was just enough to not want to quit! I knew that it was wrong and I lied to my doc, who I love, and feel like a horrible person for it. I don't know what want went wrong. I never had problems with drugs before. But now I was an oxycodone addict and I really had no intentions at that time of stopping but I knew I had to. I have never detoxed so I didnt even know what to expect, I had only heard here how horrible it was. At the end of July, I decided to just stop them to see if I could and maybe to scare myself into stopping because I had tried and failed already. (I never got past the craving stage!!!) I was on 180 mg 2x a day. (sometimes more if I took it every 9-10 hours instead if every 12 hours) Well when the 12 hour mark hit I though I was fine. Little upset stomache, little hot flashy but nothing major. I was driving home from work and BOOM, the worst panic attack I had ever had hit. I can't even describe it. It was like something was horribly wrong and I can't even tell you what it was. My head felt huge and numb and my skin was crawling. All I knew, is that I had to get home and take my meds. It is a wonder I didn't kill anyone in my race to get home! I took them and waited painfully for 30 minutes before the feeling went away, during that time feeling so sick I thought I was dieing. That was a wake up call. That is when I knew how serious this was and I KNEW I wanted off. I didn't like the control it had and how bad it made me feel about myself and when I tried to come off seriously. What if I lose my presrcription while out of town? What if someone steels them on a weekend? I became so freaked and obessed of what could happen I bought a safe and would count my pills several times a day to make sure i had enough to my fill. I hated that feeling. But it was the wake up call I needed. I went to my doc last month and I fessed up. I told her that I don't need them anymore and wanted off. She was understanding, and assured me i wasn't alone. I had to promise to me honest and I had to sign a contract. She then asked if I wanted to rapid taper or slow taper. I first tried the rapid taper. She made it sound easy. Being that I work full-time and couldn't take time off, I found out quickly that was not the way to go. Within 1 day I couldn't even get out of bed. It was like no energy, horrible depression, eeby geeby feelings, yuck! It was much worse than I could have imagined and I finally understood why this drug is so hard to get off of! So I had her change me to the slow taper. So far, with the exception of some anxiety/panic attacks and some mild bone aches, I have been doing fine. Almost too fine! I just pay attention to my body and take it one day at a time. It has been slow but I am now 120 mg less a day! There are times where I bump up a little just to get that feeling again, and then I feel so guilty, I punish myself by dropping a lot to feel crappy just long enough to remind myself that it isn't worht it! It is hard. I do miss that feeling. I hope that I can continue at this pace. I feel like it is almost going to well right now. I am expecting the worst.

So my question is, will there be a point where I will go through withdrawals again even at this slow taper? Because I read these posts and not one person said what the result of a slow taper is. Is there a plateu like weight loss, where you have a hard time getting past? If so any advice? What happens at the very end? Will I still have bad cravings weeks later like others have said who did the rapid taper, or does the slow taper help with that. The reason I am asking, is because this is so slow. And if I am going to go through this anyway, why bother going slow? I just want to know the benefits/drawbacks from someone who had done both ways. Also, do you think I need help like a counselor to find out why I got addicted to them in the first place or is it pretty normal? Should I get on an anti depressent? Sorry for all the questions, but I am just so terrified of this and so new to it and I really feel very lost and alone right now.(maybe this is a side affect!) Thanks for listening!!

 
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Old 10-11-2007, 07:11 PM   #2
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spark-o-cet HB User
Re: Oxycodone tapering question..am I in the right place?

no matter how long or how slow a person tapers down with opiates there will always be w/ds once the final pill is done.sorry to tell you what you dont wont to hear but that is just the way it is.the w/d is much easier by tapering down long and slow,but all the feelings and aches and pains that you had the other times will be back when you decide to completely quit.w/d cannot be avoided no matter what a dr tells you.they are not the ones goin through it.you are facing one of the toughest,if not the toughest,challenge in your lifetime.you have no idea what lies ahead.the longer you stay on the pills the tougher it is to get off them and stay off them.BUT IT CAN BE DONE.even if you fail the first time get right back up and start again.never ever just give up if this happens the addiction has won.i wish you all the luck in the world.good luck-spark

 
Old 10-11-2007, 07:38 PM   #3
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Join Date: Sep 2007
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granny0 HB User
Re: Oxycodone tapering question..am I in the right place?

Hey there WhenInRome,
First I want to say how sorry I am for the health problems that led to your addiction. My addiction to hydrocodone started after a surgery. It went on for 2 yrs but I never had easy access to it -fortunately, so I took 2 most days, 4 some days. After reading alot of posts, I know while I had an addiction, it was no where near the high doses alot of other people were taking. Well, I ran out of the hydro in September and went cold turkey. I did not experience horrible withdrawal. Just body aches, stomache issues, complete loss of appetite, fatigue, insomnia all followed by major depression. Since I never did the taper,I can't really speak for that other than to say if you get your dosage low enough, It may not be as horrible as some people have experienced. My physical withdrawal only lasted a week or so but the depression hit big time. I was on Paxil for anxiety and switched to Cymbalta for depression and body aches. I had every side effect listed. Saw the DR this week and am now tapering off the Cymbalta and starting a low dose of Lexapro. I am actually starting to feel better. Today is the first day in about 10 days that I have not had horrible headaches, which I attribute to the Cymbalta. Sometimes it's hard to find the right anti-depressant but I would recommend you try one if the depression gets too bad. Your dr would decide which one is best to start you on. Best wishes in your recovery!
JB

 
Old 10-12-2007, 01:17 AM   #4
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Join Date: Oct 2007
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wheninrome1313 HB User
Re: Oxycodone tapering question..am I in the right place?

Quote:
Originally Posted by spark-o-cet View Post
no matter how long or how slow a person tapers down with opiates there will always be w/ds once the final pill is done.sorry to tell you what you dont wont to hear but that is just the way it is.the w/d is much easier by tapering down long and slow,but all the feelings and aches and pains that you had the other times will be back when you decide to completely quit.w/d cannot be avoided no matter what a dr tells you.they are not the ones goin through it.you are facing one of the toughest,if not the toughest,challenge in your lifetime.you have no idea what lies ahead.the longer you stay on the pills the tougher it is to get off them and stay off them.BUT IT CAN BE DONE.even if you fail the first time get right back up and start again.never ever just give up if this happens the addiction has won.i wish you all the luck in the world.good luck-spark
I am definately feeling the aches and pains today. Woke up tonight 2 hours before I am scheduled to take my next dose. My right calf and my arms are feeling like growing pains. Not sure why because I didn't take a huge leap this week. I have been trying to stretch the hours a little more. Maybe it is catching up. Also feeling a little wheepy. Crying easy, that sort of thing. It isn't unbearable yet. Just not an ideal day for me. Just makes it hard to wait to dosing time. I will try to stay busy until then.

Thanks for the info. Can I ask? When you say I have no idea the long tough road, what do you mean? WIll I hit a wall or something. Because so far, I feel this is do able. I mean it is taking an incredible test of my will power each time I jump down a step, and I dont always do it with success. BUt I am making progress. Does it get harder? Or are you just talking about the inconvenience of the whole thing? I am one of those people who can handle something if I am prepared, and know what is going on in my body. THe section in here about detox was aweseome because I now know what that anxiety is (all the nuerons starting to spark up slowly that have been asleep and such) and that helped for some reason because I know that when I feel that panic, as bad as it is, it means something IS changing! So any progress is good right?

I made a calendar today that shows what I should be doing daily weekly etc. and I gave it to me doc and my husband. I gave him my pills and asked him to hand them to me by the schedule, and I would promise to be honest if I felt something was too fast,too much etc. I decided to make my biggest leaps on Fridays so I can lay in bed all weekend and sleep through the cravings, aches pains, etc and use the week to level off so I can manage work still. I hope this plan works.

Thanks to you all for your comments! Only 1 1/2 more hours. I can do it!!

 
Old 10-12-2007, 09:04 AM   #5
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Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 406
mk7657 HB User
Re: Oxycodone tapering question..am I in the right place?

Hi.

It IS a test of your will power. The long, hard road ahead is your ability to persevere (90% fail). Don't you wonder why so many fail?

You will become "battle weary," and will need the help of your teammates (not only on the board but also out in the field, like AA, NA, or whatever) and, of course, your higher power to be victorious. Opiate addiction is a tough opponent and won't go down easy.

Search the board for reachout's posts. She can help you.

BTW, my DOC is hydrocodone.

Stay strong.

mk

 
Old 10-12-2007, 12:24 PM   #6
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Denver
Posts: 72
wheninrome1313 HB User
Re: Oxycodone tapering question..am I in the right place?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mk7657 View Post
Hi.

It IS a test of your will power. The long, hard road ahead is your ability to persevere (90% fail). Don't you wonder why so many fail?

You will become "battle weary," and will need the help of your teammates (not only on the board but also out in the field, like AA, NA, or whatever) and, of course, your higher power to be victorious. Opiate addiction is a tough opponent and won't go down easy.

Search the board for reachout's posts. She can help you.

BTW, my DOC is hydrocodone.

Stay strong.

mk
So true! I am already getting battle weary. Last night I cracked 30 minutes before my scheduled time. My doc gave me valium to help with the anxiety aspect but it didn't seem to help last night. I wasn;t prepared for how bad the anxiety is. The funny thing is, when you read the literature that comes with your drugs under the section that talks about stopping and tapering, It really makes the side effects seem like not that big of a deal. I was even reading one article from the manufacturer that was telling people that your body only needs 20% of what you had the day before to avoid side effects. What a crock!

I wrote a letter to a friend last night apoligizing for being so judgemental and unsympathetic. She was/is an oxicontin addict who was on them legitamtely and then started buying them off the streets and snorting them when they cut her off. ($4000 a month habit!) She used to call me at 3am from LA asking me if I had anything because she knew what I was going through and wanted my medicine. She would lie and say she was in so much pain from her fibromyalgia or migraines to try and make me feel bad. I used to get so ****** at her. I thought she was weak and couldn't believe she would ask someone with cancer for their drugs. But now, I feel sorry for her and although I haven't had to resort to those levels, I can relate to the desperation. It just really takes over your life doesn't it! I just want my sex life back. My labido is at 0. Less than 0 even. My poor husband!

I dropped about 7-10 more mgs today. (hard to tell when you are breaking up a 30mg, but it was about a quarter of it) I am going to do another 1/4 by tomorrow. Sometimes my body lets me, and sometimes it doesn't. Keep your fingers crossed!! Thanks for the support!

 
Old 10-12-2007, 06:31 PM   #7
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Virginia, USA
Posts: 136
JoJo921 HB User
Re: Oxycodone tapering question..am I in the right place?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wheninrome1313 View Post
Hello all! I am new to these boards but have been reading your posts for some time and found them very helpful. I am not sure if I should be in this section or the chronic pain section, but here is my story. Hope someone can help me with question about my taper!

I am a chronic pain sufferer who was put on narcotic therapy during some procedures and then the issues that resulted from those, then was diagnosed with breast cancer and that was a whole other issue. The story is really too extensive to get into because it doesn't affect the result. Bottom line was I was referred to a pain clinic after going through the percocet, vicodin trials, and they put me on Oxycodone. It started off inoccently enough at 5mg tabs. After 2 years, my tolerance just kept going up and they kept increasing to to the point they wanted me to put me on other meds because I was on so much. I didn't want to add and I didn't want a change. The truth is, I stopped needing these meds a year ago. I don't know why I stayed on them. I know i am physically addicted and there was the fear of coming off, but the truth is, I became dependant on them and I didn't want to stop them. I liked the way they made me feel, and even though i was hardly feeling them anymore, it was just enough to not want to quit! I knew that it was wrong and I lied to my doc, who I love, and feel like a horrible person for it. I don't know what want went wrong. I never had problems with drugs before. But now I was an oxycodone addict and I really had no intentions at that time of stopping but I knew I had to. I have never detoxed so I didnt even know what to expect, I had only heard here how horrible it was. At the end of July, I decided to just stop them to see if I could and maybe to scare myself into stopping because I had tried and failed already. (I never got past the craving stage!!!) I was on 180 mg 2x a day. (sometimes more if I took it every 9-10 hours instead if every 12 hours) Well when the 12 hour mark hit I though I was fine. Little upset stomache, little hot flashy but nothing major. I was driving home from work and BOOM, the worst panic attack I had ever had hit. I can't even describe it. It was like something was horribly wrong and I can't even tell you what it was. My head felt huge and numb and my skin was crawling. All I knew, is that I had to get home and take my meds. It is a wonder I didn't kill anyone in my race to get home! I took them and waited painfully for 30 minutes before the feeling went away, during that time feeling so sick I thought I was dieing. That was a wake up call. That is when I knew how serious this was and I KNEW I wanted off. I didn't like the control it had and how bad it made me feel about myself and when I tried to come off seriously. What if I lose my presrcription while out of town? What if someone steels them on a weekend? I became so freaked and obessed of what could happen I bought a safe and would count my pills several times a day to make sure i had enough to my fill. I hated that feeling. But it was the wake up call I needed. I went to my doc last month and I fessed up. I told her that I don't need them anymore and wanted off. She was understanding, and assured me i wasn't alone. I had to promise to me honest and I had to sign a contract. She then asked if I wanted to rapid taper or slow taper. I first tried the rapid taper. She made it sound easy. Being that I work full-time and couldn't take time off, I found out quickly that was not the way to go. Within 1 day I couldn't even get out of bed. It was like no energy, horrible depression, eeby geeby feelings, yuck! It was much worse than I could have imagined and I finally understood why this drug is so hard to get off of! So I had her change me to the slow taper. So far, with the exception of some anxiety/panic attacks and some mild bone aches, I have been doing fine. Almost too fine! I just pay attention to my body and take it one day at a time. It has been slow but I am now 120 mg less a day! There are times where I bump up a little just to get that feeling again, and then I feel so guilty, I punish myself by dropping a lot to feel crappy just long enough to remind myself that it isn't worht it! It is hard. I do miss that feeling. I hope that I can continue at this pace. I feel like it is almost going to well right now. I am expecting the worst.

So my question is, will there be a point where I will go through withdrawals again even at this slow taper? Because I read these posts and not one person said what the result of a slow taper is. Is there a plateu like weight loss, where you have a hard time getting past? If so any advice? What happens at the very end? Will I still have bad cravings weeks later like others have said who did the rapid taper, or does the slow taper help with that. The reason I am asking, is because this is so slow. And if I am going to go through this anyway, why bother going slow? I just want to know the benefits/drawbacks from someone who had done both ways. Also, do you think I need help like a counselor to find out why I got addicted to them in the first place or is it pretty normal? Should I get on an anti depressent? Sorry for all the questions, but I am just so terrified of this and so new to it and I really feel very lost and alone right now.(maybe this is a side affect!) Thanks for listening!!
Hello,

So sorry to hear of your predicament but past experience tells me that no matter how much you taper when you quit altogether there is the dreadful withdraw. Sorry to make it sound so harsh because I have truly found a real compassion for those of us who are in pain and have to take these kind of meds in order to have a decent life, but it is what it is and if as you said you really dont need them anymore its better to go through it and step off the train at once. Over a period of time your guily feelings will go away and you will be suprised at how different your life is without it. I have a very good friend that went through the same thing and she has been of pain meds for 8 mos. now and is beggining to realize just how much better off she is. GOOD LUCK

 
Old 10-12-2007, 07:10 PM   #8
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: ky
Posts: 987
spark-o-cet HB User
Re: Oxycodone tapering question..am I in the right place?

what i was talking about was after the detox (w/d) period is over,then comes the hardest part of it all.everyday for the rest of your life from here on out you will have thoughts about pills and being high on them everyday.some days will be worse than others and it does get better as time goes by but it will always be there.the brain is always wanting to feel that rush from the opiates.it is so much stronger than the natural painkillers we have called endorphans.the high is permanently etched in the brain and it is always craving it,sometimes alot sometimes a little,but it is always there.a friend of mine that has been hooked on opiates for over 15yrs told me one day about 5yrs ago that once a person has been addicted to opiates and been on pills for a few yrs that you can never get off the pills all the way.i laughed at him at the time,but now i look back and see how true that statement is.i myself have been addicted for over 10yrs and will be the rest of my life.i wish you the best of luck in your journey.good luck-spark

 
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