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    Old 08-04-2009, 08:06 AM   #1
    ReD4Life
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    Thumbs up Update on Taper from Lortab

    Hello everyone. I had posted about 3 weeks ago about my addiction to Lortab and how it had controlled my life for SOOOO long. I am going to post three entries on this thread here. The second one is a repost of my story. I had deleted it and many people might not know the story. It might help them with their own journey, and it puts where I am NOW in better context. So, post 2 is my original post and cry for help. And post three with be my update!!

     
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    Old 08-04-2009, 08:09 AM   #2
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    Re: Update on Taper from Lortab

    And here is my story:

    I am confessing for the first time ever to another soul my long addiction to opioids. I am a 40 year old mom of 3, and I think I first realized that pain meds gave me a wonderful high after I had a tooth procedure done in my early 20’s. It would be years before I would actively seek drugs and become addicted, but I just remember the first time I became aware of LIKING it.
    When my second child was born, I had a severe complications and had to be on for about 4 weeks afterward. When I went off it (doc didn’t think to tell me about withdrawal!) I felt awful for several days, but thought I had the flu. I guess if I’d know it was withdrawal, I would have made an excuse to need more meds.

    It would be after my 3rd child was born that I began to take it for the high. I get terrible migraines. Before I found Maxalt, I’d have to either go to the ER for a shot, or take a couple percocets. I got to where I was addicted psychologically. I had a terrible marriage to an emotionally abusive man and I think it helped fuel my drug seeking. I felt happier on the drugs. When I had trouble getting enough of them from my docs, I started ordering some type of narcotic from overseas. I was able to quit after a few months and stayed off for a while, but then had a knee surgery (and eventually 2 more knee surgeries) and used that as an opportunity to indulge again. This would be the start of a long relationship with Percocet and Lortab. Over the years I have used online script services to keep myself supplied with Lortab and my local doc writes me about 30 percocets every 4 months or so for my headaches. The pills became a way to feel good, normal, at peace. I do feel more at peace and relaxed when they kick in. I hate the feeling when I am coming down…SOOO tired, sneezy, watery eyes, legs like lead…and all that before the REAL withdrawal sets in. That and the mental jitters and anxiety is what drives me back for more and keeps me from quitting.

    5 years ago I had my script that was mailed get “lost” somewhere. It wound up taking nearly a month to get my new one, but by that time I had carefully cut my pill use and tapered, not in an attempt to quit, but to avoid withdrawal while waiting for my meds to come. A wonderful thing happened. I actually quit. I decided I would try to go without them at all one morning, and I did! All day! (I was down to about ˝ of a 5 mg. hydro twice a day by that point) . So I went another day, and when the meds arrived, I let them sit there untouched day after day. At the end of 3 weeks of not taking them, I flushed them. It felt great! I was so happy to not be beholden to those insidious pills. Then about 2 months later, a shock to my world caused a tailspin. My husband of 13 years left for another woman half his age and married her. I started drinking…every day, earlier and earlier in the day. I was consuming about a liter of vodka every 2 or 3 days and I got my pills back again. For a year, I drank myself to sleep every night and got up shaky every morning, taking pills to help get me going. I’d say I was a functioning alcoholic. I didn’t miss appointments, work or kids activities, but I did drive drunk a few times, and that scared the heck out of me even as I was doing it. I wasn’t able to go a night without drinking, even if I had to drive an hour and a half to find a place open. Every day, my thoughts centered around whether or not I needed to run to the liquor store. All the while, I thought of the three of my four grandparents who all died alcoholics and was scared for my future. The alcohol scared me worse than being on the hydro. I was also scared I’d just not wake up one morning, my kids would find me dead, and then they’d learn the truth about their druggie, alcoholic mom. I went to an AA meeting. Everyone was very supportive and said they were surprised to see me there BEFORE anything tragic had happened on account of my drinking. Most only come after they’ve lost things very important to them or are forced by the courts. Hearing all their stories scared me. I quit the alcohol that night. I’ve had maybe 3 drinks in the year and a half and no desire to pick up alcohol again. I immediately went back to college after 22 years and have been on the Deans List every semester since! I am happy to be free of the alcohol, but I want to be free of the hydro. I am very psychologically addicted to it. I also do need Percocet for migraines every now and then when Maxalt doesn’t work (I can’t afford the thousands that it costs to go to the ER without insurance). I’ve been off pills quite a number of times, but it was usually because I ran out and couldn’t get more. I always was wanting to get more meds as soon as possible during those times, even though it did gnaw at me.

    Right now I am seriously contemplating a taper. I really want to quit, but fear withdrawal and failure. I have 20 of the 10 mg hydro’s left, and about 70 pills of 100 mg Darvocet (which I don’t ever take if I have Lortab). I either have to go back to the doc for more (which now requires a drive of 4 hours since the new laws about face to face doc visits went into effect) or quit now. I’ve wanted to quit for oh so long, but so scared. I can’t tell anyone. No one knows. I don’t want my ex to find out about my problem. No family or friends know. I don’t have anyone I feel I can tell or turn the pills over to. It would help if I had someone to call up for support.

    I am hoping some of you might have some helpful advice. 20 Lortabs isn’t much, but they are 10 mg. I could split them. I was prescribed them at 3 a day (one every 8 hours). Instead, I’ve split them in half and then taken a half plus another 4th for a total of about 7.5 mg hydro every 4 hours. At this rate, I usually run out a little early so I use the Percocet I get as well to take me thru. Would the Darvocet be an effective drug to go to and taper from to prevent withdrawals? If I feel too awful, I am probably going to go seeking the drugs. I recently started Wellbutrin to try and prevent my migraines. Will this help some with the anxiety and withdrawal? Does anyone have recommendations on tapering that might work? I am not sure if that can be posted publicly, but maybe others can post what worked for them.

    I’m just so tired of feeling like a prisoner, worrying about and counting pills, feeling like a fraud, spending much needed money on drugs and expensive online consultations, worrying about the years going by and whether or not I am missing something wonderful. I’m tired of being a liar to my kids, telling them the dangers of pills, yet taking them myself for recreational purposes. I’ve even avoided dating and relationships because this secret would be unfair to keep from someone. Who wants to get into a relationship with a drug-addicted 40 year old single mom? I won’t even date until I am “clean”. I don’t want secrets like that.

    There is a feeling of relief and hope in posting this and admitting my problem to someone else. Heck, I spent months in counseling after my divorce, and I never admitted the problem even to the counselor.

    Thank you for taking time to read my LONG post, and I look forward to hearing your advice.

     
    Old 08-04-2009, 08:22 AM   #3
    ReD4Life
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    Re: Update on Taper from Lortab

    Now, update to today!
    I had posted on another thread (the original one by me) my plan to taper. It went better than I expected. The first few days of cutting back (which were the largest reduction at one time) gave me a little bit of physical discomfort, but not too much. My mental addiction was the one I really had to fight. I stayed motivated, and there was only one day I took an extra half a lortab, but I really was being driven by a bad headache that day. I felt bad as soon as I took it and got right back on track. My taper was really smooth. I thought I was having insomnia due to the taper, but in reality, it was the Wellbutrin my doc was trying me on to control the migraines. I stopped the wellbutrin and my sleep returned within 2 nights.
    I feel so good mentally and physically!
    If you are trying to quit and you can taper, man that is THE way to do it! I had the discipline because I knew if I didn't, I wouldn't be able to get my hands on more pills in time to keep from having to go without for a couple weeks, thus suffering terrible withdrawal (something I have been thru and would rather walk thru hell fires than do again). I also was determined to leave the prison of drug addiction behind.
    I kept reminding myself of how it had fractured my soul, made me a dishonest person, kept me from having whole, open, honest relationships, and was taking away something of myself (though I wasn't entirely sure what it was) from my kids.
    Now, all that said, this is only day 3 being clean with NO PILLS!!! I am afraid of slipping down that treacherous slope again. I want to STAY free of the pills this time. I know I can, but I still know how evil and insidious the addiction can be. Still, I already feel more alive, more free. I experience more emotions and more connection to my children and my friends. I have more desire to call up my family and friends and be engaged with them in their lives. I am excited for my future, where before I felt that burden of everything revolving around that next dose, and I'd cringe, picturing myself as some old lady junkie dying in her bed of overdose one day. I refuse to let that be my fate!
    I know each day is a battle and I look forward to hopefully having the pills mean nothing to me when I am faced with them, so I must keep strong.
    Thanks to everyone here for their valueable input, their stories, their struggles and their strengths. These drugs tell us we are losers and worthless for being addicts while at the same time telling us we must take them to BE worth something and function. THEY LIE!
    I pray for all of our freedom and continued sobriety.

    Last edited by ReD4Life; 08-04-2009 at 08:24 AM.

     
    Old 08-04-2009, 08:36 AM   #4
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    Re: Update on Taper from Lortab

    Hello

    What a beautiful testimony! It was an absolutely uplifting series of posts. Congratulations on your success.

    I especially felt it when you wrote that the drug had 'fractured your soul." That is exactly what I felt when I began my own journey to get off drugs. I also loved the part that says the drugs lie and tell us we are nothing. So true. Once we can see past that lie, we can begin to heal. We ARE something and we are each something valuable.

    As the days pile up of no drug abuse, there will come more and more strength to make them of little consequence in our lives.

    Thank you for a story that reminds me why I don't ever want to be caught in the haze of drugs again.

    Hugs
    reach

     
    Old 08-04-2009, 11:04 AM   #5
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    Re: Update on Taper from Lortab

    thanks so much for the words of support. I am looking forward to life free of drugs. I flushed all the darvocet today (had kept it in case the taper didn't go smooth to help with withdrawals after the hydro ran out) so I have nothing in the house to tempt me. My new semester of school starts in a week and a half, and I am eager to see if it is easier for me to concentrate and stay focused without the hydro.

     
    Old 08-04-2009, 11:21 AM   #6
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    Re: Update on Taper from Lortab

    ReD, that is wonderful news and I hope I'm right behind you! You sound great. Congratulations on your success, and continued good wishes as you begin the next phase of your life! Keep us posted on how you're doing.

     
    Old 08-04-2009, 11:31 AM   #7
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    Re: Update on Taper from Lortab

    Hi NotPerky, and thanks for the encouragement. It does keep the motivation stronger. I think I was posting on your thread at the same time you were here posting on mine. If you need some support, send me a message! I do think I have a few mild syptoms that seem like my body adjusting to being without the drug (a bit of loose bowels all the time, a sudden chill and crawling skin feeling that comes and goes, but nothing at all really bad. The bowels are the most annoying,) but they seem to be improving and I am trying to make sure my diet is healthy.

     
    Old 08-11-2009, 02:22 PM   #8
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    Re: Update on Taper from Lortab

    Just a quick update! I am on day 11 with no hydro (clean since August 1st) and am loving it! I worry about relapse (sometimes really random, strong cravings occur that are brought about by situations or reminders, like when I stumbled across the small pill case I kept them in my purse in), but I've been mostly okay. I don't have any around to tempt me and I hope to be able to keep it that way.
    Only thing I'd say is a lingering effect is difficulty getting a sound sleep. I wake a lot. But, I do at least remember my dreams now...something I never did on the hydro.
    Thanks to all of you for the support and I wish you all the best in your journeys.

     
    Old 08-11-2009, 02:48 PM   #9
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    Re: Update on Taper from Lortab

    ReD, you're fantastic!

    I'm so happy for your 11 days off lortab, and I'm so glad you both reminded us where you started out, and filled us in on where you are. You've given a powerful message with both posts.

    I'll bet you're excited for school coming up, and considering how well you did when you were using, just imagine how well you'll keep up the good work and excel.

    I'm very happy for you and you've accomplished something you probably didn't think you could ever do. I hope you're very proud of yourself!

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    Last edited by Wild Irish Rose; 08-11-2009 at 02:49 PM. Reason: clarity

     
    Old 08-12-2009, 12:45 AM   #10
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    Re: Update on Taper from Lortab

    Hey Red, I am so proud of you!! You are such an inspiration. I am trying to come off of hydros too but am so scared of withdrawals. Just like you no one knows about this so I am trying to make it as smooth as possible. <removed> Congrats and keep up the good work!!!

    Last edited by mod-anon; 08-12-2009 at 05:19 AM. Reason: Please support the original poster.

     
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