This is going to sound rediculous, but this is getting serious.
I've been on a steady stream of Vicodin for three years now, and it may not seem all that much to some, but it's slowly killing me. I have serious spinal issues, due to a birth issue that left one leg noticably shorter than the other, and has affected the way that I walk. My PCP started me out on Vicodin ES to help manage the pain, and to sleep. Problem is, the vicodin doesn't make me sleep, it makes me chatty and hyper, and the euphoria side effect is why I take the meds. I forget the pain, and I'm pleasant for that hour or two. Problem is, I'm taking up to ten doses a day. And it isn't just 7.5s. Ive been on Norco, also. <removed> I know what drug does what, and its not hard to get my doc to perscribe what I need.
I don't take the meds to just get high. My pain levels are so bad even walking is hard, but I want to stop the vic. I can't take Ultram, and I've tried a lot of other meds, but nothing else helps control the pain. I can't take the withdrawl effects though. I want to die when I run out, like all of last week. But, I have to hide that I am taking the meds from my boyfriend. Its stupid. I feel like I'm a junkie, and maybe I am. Can somebody please tell me, what can I do?
Last edited by mod-anon; 05-28-2008 at 04:30 AM.
Reason: peer sharing only
Your post does not sound ridiculous at all. It sounds like a lot of our posts here in that many of us started on narcotics for legitimate pain issues, but somewhere crossed the line into abusing the meds. It is a serious issue and you are a wise woman to recognize that a major problem has emerged.
I also have major issues with walking causing great pain. What I have learned, the hard way, is that I can not use drugs to accomodate what I want my lifestyle to be, but rather must change the lifestyle to accomodate the unchangeable fact of pain. My first crossing of the line between use and abuse was that I started taking more and more painkillers to accomodate working, which involved a lot of time on my feet and walking around. Instead of getting off my leg, I simply popped a pill and kept going.
Crossing that line led to crossing others. Evenyually, I began popping a pill no matter what the pain was... headache, achy bones, whatever. I used heavy duty narcotics as a substitute for more appropriate pain meds like aspirin and such. I allowed myself to accept nothing less than total numbing for every little ache and pain.
By then, crossing the line became simple for me. I started using the pills to block out things I did not want to think about... like the fact that I was taking more and more narcotics and getting in deeper and deeper, like emotional pain that I did not want to deal with, like hiding from life in general.
Finally, I crossed the line into a total breakdown physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. That was the line that was crossed that led to a choice of getting off the narcotics or dying.
Young friend, gently I say to you that you have already begun crossing lines. You are upping the amount taken daily and you are enjoying the euphoric side effect of opiate, you are hiding the amount of narcotics you are ingesting. Wiser than me, however, you have come to recognize the problem before reaching the point that I did.
Gettting off the Vicoden will be no picnic, but compared to where you are headed, it is the choice that should be made. For me, I worked with my doctor to withdraw. Small cuts were made every couple of weeks and when I leveled off from the withdrawal effects, another cut was made.
The biggest mistake I think we can make is to think that we can do this alone. Attempting to get off Vicodin without professional help is simply another form of self-medicating. It is dangerous and totally not fool-proof. get to your doctor, tell him the truth and let him work out a plan of withdrawal for you. Stop hiding the secret and a huge burden will be lifted that will allow you to move forward in getting off. Please don't try to be an island in tackling this... if any of us were that strong, we never would have gotten to the point of addiction. And yes, Sweetpea, you are addicted. Addiction is not a shame in life; not doing what needs to be done to get out from under it is the shame.
I wish you all good thoughts as you workt through this. Post out your questions and concerns and there will be support for you here.
I have a call into my doctor to talk about it, and people at work are understanding of where I am at this point. it's still going to be hard to come clean to my boyfriend, but I need to.
Your words have been a light at the end of the tunnel. I think support is what is going to get me through this. And I know what you mean about taking heavy meds for simple problems. I even take Vicodin for RLS.
So many of us have this same exact story & then worry that it is unique to us when it gets out of hand. I know I did & I didn't want to expose my "weakness" to my loved ones. I'd bet you feel the same.
I was on vicodin for back pain & my Dr. would prescribe 2 a day, 60 pills once a month. I went through them in 2 weeks, then 10 days, then 1 week & finally in a day or 2. I would w/d harder the more frequently I took them & finally started to find other sources so I would not have to be out of them. If I couldn't find them perc's were fine, or oxi & then finally roxi 30's, up to 10 + a day. That was my undoing. That pushed me over the edge & to finally ask for help. Otherwise I knew I'd either be in jail, hospital or dead before too long. I know how close I came to too late.
Don't let yourself get there. Family, boyfriend, girlfriend...whoever! You must have that support system there. I tried a hospital detox program, but it was only 3 days & I left worse then when I went in. I bought again within 2 days, but I had to take 3 30's at a time to just not feel sick. After another 2 days I told my wife again & gave her the pills I'd bought. I was sick for days & watched my wife wiping tears as she called doctor after doctor trying to find help for me. Finally she found one that put me on Suboxone & the w/d's stopped. I have been able to manage ever since.
It is my hope that you're not that far in yet. But I want you to understand how quickly you can end up over the edge. I am a father of 2 in my late 30's. I have a descent job & a great family. We are just a normal middle class family & I spent thousands of our savings to get pills, any pills. Sometimes I had no idea what they were or what they were actually supposed to treat. I pushed my body to the limits & many days had no idea how many mg's I was taking of anything. It grew slowly over 3 years or so & then suddenly I was a full-blown addict. GET HELP NOW before it happens to you.
There are always people on these chats to talk to, to support you, but you need real people in your life too that you can lean on. Please keep us up to date.
It's honestly hard. My PCP doesn't give a damn, just tells me to wean myself off them, won't even see me. I've reached out and told my family, but since I'm the one in the family with any medical knowledge, they just shrug. Going to a hospital would just get me in trouble, as silly as that sounds. I really do get yelled at and ostracized when I go. I have a bottle of 7.5's in my purse, and I'm trying my hardest to not have to take any, but it's so bad. I went to a health store to try and find anything to help detox, but the w/d is so bad, and my back pain flares up, which always ends up in another cortisone shot. My family thinks I'm being a hypochondriac. It takes about five pills a day to keep the buzz going wout any breakthrough pain or the RLS coming back. Thats the sign I'm in need of another fix.
I don't want my family to think I'm a drug addict. My dad cried the last time I was in the hospital for ODing. But I just don't know what to do, other than throw the pills out and lock myself in a room for a week. Hell, I can't even do that. I actually drove home to grab the bottle when I forgot it while we were out one day. Its just getting worse, and I feel like I'm screaming in a room full of people who are deaf and just want to sweep the issue under the rug. I'm supposed to be a professional. I'm supposed to know what to do in these instances. <removed> Everything I own is legally perscribed to me. I just don't know what to do. I used to joke about it. Now... I'm crying inside.
Last edited by mod-anon; 05-29-2008 at 10:18 PM.
Reason: peer sharing only
Just rereading your thread and thinking about you. Trying to think of a concrete suggestion for you. The biggest issue seems to be that it is hard to keep to a weaning schedule when we are in charge of our own doses. This is always a big problem when we taper off. Even with our doctors helping us, dosage control can sure be an issue.
Since you have already told your family, I would suggest that you ask one of them to be the pill-holder. Medical knowledge is not needed to simply be the keeper of the meds. It takes only someone who will do it faithfully and not cave in to any pleading we might do. My husband was the keeper of the meds in my own tapering. I was given a day's supply at a time and the rest he kept in a place only he knew. At the scheduled time, I took my dose. I never took more than I was supposed to because I knew I would only suffer later if I did. Even at times when the withdrawal symptoms flared, my husband would not give me extra. This forced me into learning how to cope with the symptoms. It was not always very pleasant, but I survived it. I came to look at the restless legs, the anxiety, etc, more as symptoms of healing than withdrawal. That was one of the first big changes in my thinking and proved to be one of the most important.
My doctor did work out a withdrawal plan with me. All written scripts were handed to my husband and never to me. Safety nets like that were put into place for me. I also have learned to live with some degree of pain and have changed things in my life to accomodate the pain. I rest more frequently, I use ice and heat and those types of things.
Please don't give up! There are many ways to get off and we just have to figure out a workable plan for you. I guess the first logistic is going to be to determine a keeper of the meds.
Looking forward to hearing from you
PS Be sure to read the second thread on this board... "Smaple home Detox".... many good suggestions there.
I like that idea. I think I'm going to give the bottle to my grandpa and have him control it. I cant with my boyfriend, because that just would instigate another fight. The last few days have been hard. I'm not getting the same relief that I used to get, and maybe thats actually helping in the dependence. I'm trying to find other things that are easier in relieving the pain. It's also making me tired now, instead of the euphoric high.
This is going to sound strange, but another thing that is helping is that I went and got another tattoo. It has personal meaning behind it, and the pain of that was slightly cathartic. I have the care for that to keep me busy, and its on my wrist, so every time I see it, it reminds me of who I am, and lets me know I'm stronger than my addiction.
Its a heart with the words When I love, I love inside it. That love is stronger than my need. I just wish my family would see that I need help. They kind of blow me off when I tell them I need help, call my a hypochondriac. Melodramatic, all that.
I want to just detox myself, but short of settling into a hospital, I don't know if I can. Life at home is so fastpaced, and I am needed to be the responsible one for everyone, that I doubt I'd have the time or resolve needed to complete the task. When my pain flares up, I normally pop another vicodin and keep going, I can't just crawl into bed and sleep it off, like I wish I could. I have five cousins and my brother that I babysit, and my grandmother (I still live at home while going to college) Is such a nervous wreck most of the time and I get yelled at for "sitting on my <rear end>". I'm just torn apart about what to do.
Thank you all by the way for your support. This is helping so much!
Last edited by mod-anon; 05-31-2008 at 09:25 PM.
Reason: Watch your language on the Boards.
An important thing to take into account is the toxic effect of the acetominophen in the Vicodin. Acetominophen (tylenol) has a maximum daily safe does of 4 grams. The 7.5 Vicodin has 750 milligrams of acetominophen. If you take 10, you are getting 7.5 grams of tylenol/day. That is a very dangerous level. Even a small amount of alcohol on top of that could cause permanent liver damage.
The synthetic opiate component of Vicodin, or any of the regular opiates, are highly addictive but also very safe. One solution some folks have tried is to get on an appropriate dose of Suboxone and then taper off of that. Coming off any opiate is going to be uncomfortable, but I am really concerned about the amount of tylenol you may be taking. In my opinion, that is the most serious immediate risk.