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Old 06-15-2008, 03:14 PM   #1
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Motorcyclist HB User
question about opiate withdrawal. Please help.

Hi everyone. Okay, I'll keep it short and to the point. I'm prescribed 120 percocets 10/325 per month, plus 60 Opana (Oxymorphone) 20mg/month. I've been on the Percocet for 3 years and the Opana for a few months. The first year on the opiates, I was fine; no withdrawal, nothing... But, now, when I run out of opiates several days before my next appointment, I go through hell. My friends call it my 'period' - and I'm a male, so I shouldn't be having my 'time of the month'. Here are my symptoms: First of all, I can't sleep - I squirm all night like I have restless body syndrome or something. I get anxious and just ruffed-up feeling, you know? Usually, the next day after the first night of restlessness, I get the chills and a strange shiver all over my body for the next two days I feel generally sick and feverish, though I have no fever when I take my temperature; The nasea is so bad, I dry-heave (no vomiting) all day, especially when I'm smoking a cigareete.
After reading a bit on the web about opiate withdrawal, I confirmed that indeed all my symptoms match-up with the site's list almost perfectly, including the sneezing, yawning and dialated pupils.
Here's my question: How do I ease the symptoms? I want to sleep tonight and I don't get my prescription again until Tuesday. My withdrawal seems to be worse now that I've started the Opana. My hands are even shaking. Give me some help here, please guys.
By the way, I can't quit the opiates. I have intractable pain from head injuries and I need it to work. I also want to go to law school, and there's no way that will happen if I don't have something to treat the pain. The doctors tell me that it is a trade-off, and that I have exhausted all alternatives, so opiates is the only thing that will keep me going.
Thanks and God bless. -jpd

 
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Old 06-15-2008, 04:49 PM   #2
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Sherbear38 HB User
Re: question about opiate withdrawal. Please help.

Hi - I"m sorry your doc said there were no alternatives. I have been in your place where I had that 3 to 4 day wait, and it was definitley hellish.
I can only give you some suggestions of what worked for me.....

For sleep , I took, and actually still take, Benadryl. The directions say take 2, and two may make you drowsy if your not used to it. I take 3 to 5. I think its important to note that I did run this by my docs first, and they OK'd it. Even now, I still take benadryl for sleep. I start wi. 3, give them an hour to kick in. Then if I think i need more, I take 1 more,... and then maybe the fifth. Usually 4 do the trick for me. They may also help with your other symptoms, you may feel a bit calmer, less shakiness, However, sometimes from taking these, I may feel a bit shaky in the morning, or hungover. But I get a pretty good sleep!

Also, and I'm not sure why, but chilled chunk pineapple, or pineapple rings out of the can, (cold) really helped... I felt so much better, no nausea, healthier, even. Don't know why, but they worked for me.

Third, and I know it might be the last thing you feel like doing, but excercise. I don' t know what your physical limitations are, but I took a brisk walk.... at night, when the streets were pretty empty, by myself. Clears the mind, and gives you a little bit of an endorphin rush when your done, to feel better ... Calmer.

Also, I for anxiety,... talking on the phone helped, and gives you a little bit of control, so you can end the conversation when you want to. It allowed me to "get out of my head". Because I used to tend to isolate during those 3 or 4 days, and that didn't help at all.

I wish you luck... hope you feel better.... Sherbear

 
Old 06-15-2008, 08:08 PM   #3
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Motorcyclist HB User
Re: question about opiate withdrawal. Please help.

Thanks for the reply. I took Nyquil and Immodium AD and a Clonopin to help me sleep. I'm still awake and every time I'm about to fall asleep, I start squirming.

I wasn't 100% honest with how I use the drugs. Sometimes (three times a week), I snort the crushed Opana. I understand that Opana is a very strong narco. I guess the withdrawal is a lot worse because I snorted too many in the last week. I don't want to tell the doctor's that I misuse the drug, because I need it for injuries from a motorcycle accident. I just don't think I need as much as I've been asking for.

I don't even know how someone could handle heroin withdrawal. If my symptoms were just a notch above where they are now, I would go to some type of clinic where they would taper me off the drug.

Thanks again, jpd

 
Old 06-16-2008, 07:54 AM   #4
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Re: question about opiate withdrawal. Please help.

hi motorcyclist, i understand that you are in chronic pain, BUT c.p. patients DO NOT snort their morphine! addicts do! it sounds as if you have a pretty severe problem and you need to tell your doctors! and you wouldn't be running out of your meds if you weren't addicted and abusing them. time to wake up and look at the big picture here. opiates CAUSE rebound pain--especially rebound headaches! i am a recovering addict with a 20 year addiction to opiates--so i know what exactly you are going through. if this addiction keeps escalating, you can forget law school. your whole life will be consumed with drugs--how to get them, how to get the money, constant withdrawls everytime you run out etc.. before you know it, you will lose everything and wonder what the he!! happened! do something about it now before it ruins your life! and yes, i had medical reasons in the beginning, and could justify all the pills--but you can't keep fooling yourself--you're headed for some serious trouble--i hope you do something about it now, before you lose everything!

 
Old 06-16-2008, 12:35 PM   #5
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Sherbear38 HB User
Re: question about opiate withdrawal. Please help.

Hi Motorcyclist - Thanks for being honest....I completely agree with kellibear. You have already shown 2 positive things, whether you know it or not.... First, your here. Your reaching out, and starting to get honest.
Secondly, you have already made reference to a clinic. So somewhere in your mind, you do know the truth. You said you pick up your script tommorrow, so I really hope you get to read this today. I suggest that you gather some information on addiction doctors, or clinics near you, as you have already thought about. Get their phone numbers, do they take your insurance, what are their policies. Once I found some addiction doctors, it was difficult to find one accepting new patients. They already had too many. Same with the clinics. For example there are 2 clinics around me, one has a first come, first serve policy, where you gotta be the first one there in the morning , in a little bit of withdrawal, and hope like crazy someone was discharged, or left, last nite or that morning. THe other clinic will only accept transfers from the ER or straight from a Doc's office. You are not alone, there are sooooo many people out there going thru the same thing.

When you finally do make that split-second life changing decision, and I think your heading towards it, you will have that information at hand. All you have to do is reach for it! Doesn't hurt to do some research, right?
Keep being honest, and take care of yourself.... sherbear 38

 
Old 06-16-2008, 02:22 PM   #6
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Motorcyclist HB User
Re: question about opiate withdrawal. Please help.

Thanks again both of you. Okay, here is my MAJOR concern. I know how medical insurance works, and I understand how they raise rates and will deny coverage if certain things are 'exposed' I am worried that if I do go to a clinic if my habbit gets worse, or, even if I just admit that I have been having problem with the drugs and they're starting to scare me a bit, I'm worried that my insurance company will red flag me and two thing will happen: First, I don't know how much these clinics cost. I certainly can't afford the total cost out of pocket (I'm just doing part-time technology consulting right now). How much do these things cost? Second, will I be flagged and never be able to obtain opiate-based pain medicine in the future. The 100% truth is that I have very debilitating pain, and receiving no pain medicine is not an option for me. I woulnd't be able to even work or get through law school if I'm denied any pain medicine. And so, what I ultimately want to do is withdrawal myself from the high quantities and stop insufflating the Opanas, but remain on a lower maintainence dose. Also, I don't know if I can face my pain doctor after they find out that I have an abuse problem, you know?
Thanks, jpd

 
Old 06-16-2008, 11:09 PM   #7
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Sherbear38 HB User
Re: question about opiate withdrawal. Please help.

Hi Motorcyclist, As for the cost, every clinic will be different.... you can call your insurance company and ask what your mental health/substance abuse benefits are, sometimes they will pay for so many days in, or so many visits if its outpatient, and sometimes they will pay a percentage.

I'm sure every insurance policy is different, but in my experience, they don't do a case history on you, they just cover what they cover. IF they do that, like, I'm on suboxone now, Lets say I break my leg in 3 places. Obviously I'm going to need some pain management. If they deny me, there is an appeal process, and my doctor can call or write them, and deem the pain management necessary. Usually that does it. For me anyway. and thats been the case with other insurances that I have had.

As far as facing your pain Doc, I'm sure he or she has dealt with this before. Most pain docs have heard it all. Just be honest. He's not going to "judge" you as a person, and hes not the police.

Sorry I can't answer your questions more directly, but I did want to get back to ya, and not leave ya hangin'! Everyones situation is unique. I would call the insurance company, or look thru the catologue they supply, if you lost it, get one mailed, most of them do have an appeals process, if you even need it. Best of luck.... Sherbear

 
Old 06-17-2008, 01:57 PM   #8
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Lou1 HB User
Re: question about opiate withdrawal. Please help.

Divulging a problem with opiates does not nesessarily jeopardize your future in pain management as far as insurance goes. A year ago, I went to my primary care doctor and revealed that I had a problem with narcotics. She helped me get clean and the whole process was covered by my insurance.
Now, here it is one year later, and I am in a pain management program that includes the administering of narcotic medications...and all of this is paid for by the SAME insurance company.

--Lou

 
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