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first taper 03-10-2013 12:54 PM

tapering Norco… here is where I am now… help!!
I have been taking 8-Norco a day for the past, well at least 6-8 years…scary to put that in writing! I have a great opportunity to spend about a year in Europe and I don't want to spend it trying to figure out how to maintain my addiction. I did it last time I was in Europe and it was so stupid…not to mention expensive!! So, last Sunday, I went from 8-pills (2-every 6-hours) to 6-pills (2-every 8-hours)…then Wednesday...I now have 50 pills left..., I went from 6-pills to 4-pills (2-in the morning and 2 at night)…yesterday I went to 3.5 pills (1.5 in AM and 2-at night) and I was going to go to 3 on Tuesday…Friday, 2.5, Monday, 2 and then Thursday to 1…until they are gone which will be monday if my calculations are correct…but they could be wrong, because today, I'm having a bad day and going from 4 to 3.5 has been the hardest jump… Thank goodness I have my boyfriend holding the pills or I would have already given up!! He kicked cold turkey about 14-years ago. So, while I appreciate his help, it annoys me when he says, "if you just go cold turkey, the worst will be over in about 3-4 days…but you're just dragging it out"… I swear, I'm not a violent person, but I want to tell him to STFU and punch him in the face!! That being said…I know that I could not go C/T, because I can barley handle these W/D issues!! I really have no one to talk to and found these boards, so I thought I would ask for advice. If you're going to advise me to go to NA meetings, I know I won't do it… Groups just aren't my thing and while I know it is a great organization…it's not for me. My thoughts aren't usually rambling, so I'm sorry, but my head is cloudy right now and I can't focus…yeah me is how I want to feel, but all I feel us UGH!!

first taper 03-12-2013 07:58 AM

Re: tapering Norco…here is where I am now…help!!
Okay…so today I'm supposed to go from 3.5-Norco to 3, and I will do that…but I had a horrible night last night and woke up this morning feeling incredibly yucky!! Shouldn't it be getting easier? I do okay through most of the day, but morning and night suck!!

reachout 03-12-2013 11:19 AM

Re: tapering Norco… here is where I am now… help!!

Glad to meet you, but sorry you are in such dire straits. :(

I can not tell you it is going to get easier, but I can tell you that withdrawal is a process with a beginning and an [U]end[/U] and that evetually you will truly feel better.

It is getting harder at this point because you are cutting a larger percent of the dosage now. It is a pretty fast taper you have undertaken. This is the path for some; others take a slow taper. In a slow taper, the dosage cut is about 10% and we saty there until the body and brain level out and then we make another cut of 10%. It is not symptom-free, but is less stressful as we go along.

There is a sticky at the top of this board that is named "Suggestions for Tapering." I think you will find some useful things there.

I know it is miserable for you right now. However, try to see each symptom not as suffering withdrawal, but as a symptom of healing. Each that you endure is bringing you closer to a restored, renewed life.

AA is not for everyone. What [B]is[/B] for everyone, though, is a plan to get to the root of why we would abuse a drug to begin with. Please do not neglect this! If we don't find, face and deal whatever is laying in our subconscious that we are trying to hide from, we will fall right back into this unhealthy way of coping. See a private counselor, a psychologist, a certified socail worker (that who helped me the most)... we need a live, 3-D person to help us reach sober thinking and sort things out.

Wishing you the best

first taper 03-12-2013 12:10 PM

Re: tapering Norco… here is where I am now… help!!
Hi Reach…Thank you for your words of encouragement. Since I've never had to go through anything like this before, I just had no Idea what it would be like. Most of my adult life I was the one enabling others, until I joined Alanon (which was very helpful). The funny thing is that I always said that I would NEVER get addicted to anything, because I never wanted to have anything in common with the people who I share the same DNA. Sucks!!

About 8 years ago I had some health issues and surgery that resulted in me taking the pain meds. Since the Dr kept re-uping the meds, I assumed it was okay to continue (or I told myself that). About 2-years ago, my BF got an offer to work in Europe for 6-months and he wanted me to quit my job and come with him. My biggest concern was, I want to, but how will I get my meds…That is what I really knew I had a big problem. So I did go with him, but I spent a lot of money to ensure that I could get the meds. Fast forward to now…we have the opportunity to go back for around 10-months and We don't leave until next month, so I decided to bite the bullet (I guess C/T is really biting the bullet). I do know I need to deal with the mental side and I plan on doing that one-on-one with a therapist,. but I want to get off the meds first.

In this computer age, sometimes it is hard to remember that we do need more interpersonal relationships (thank you for reminding me of that). Because I travel a lot anyway, I spend so much time with my friends and family on Skype…I can become a bit of an agoraphobe when in Europe and never leave the hotel…

I am so glad to have found this site and THANK YOU for your response!!


reachout 03-12-2013 04:14 PM

Re: tapering Norco… here is where I am now… help!!
Hi First :)

I think that the tough thing with opiates for pain(and Norco and Tramadol as well because they act the same) is that we need more and more to reach the same result. It is how I started out myself. By the time I finally began tapering off, I was on Oxycodoen, although along the way I had been on morphine, Fentynal patches, you name it.

My biggest problem came when I started using for mental pain as well as physical pain. There had been a lot, and I mean a lot, of death in my family in a very short time as well as a total over-abundance of cancer in a very short time. I was trying to deal with it a bit when I was hit with cancer and many subsequect surgeries and loss. That's when the pill abuse began.

Funny, whether we are dealing with addiction or dependence, withdrawal is the same. Withdrawal is withdrawal is withdrawal. The difference comes when we have become addicted because we are misusung the drugs for emotional pain, hiding from something we feel is too hard to face. I had to face the grief for the people in my life that I lost and grief for my own self because of all that cancer did to me. That is where the counseling comes in. Inter-relationships with real people is invaluable. :) You are so right when you recognize the trap of the computer age here. However, when we talk, really talk, with another human, all the facial expressions, the intonations, the body all adds so much to the exchange. If I were with you right now, I would probably give you a true hug and tell you that you are going to be okay. :)

How very exciting that you will be going to England soon! My son spent a year at the University of Sussex in Brighton and loved it. Going there clean will make it all the better.

First, you are going to be okay and make it through this. Seems like you have a good head on your shoulder and accept that the mental component is so important to deal with in all of this. Do what you need to do and you will be happy again and not have this weight on you. My life is so much better now and I promise yours will be also. Yes, addiction is a part of who you are, but don't let it be the only thing that identifies you. there is a whole lot more inside of you.

Stick with us and keep us in the loop of how you are doing.
With hope always

first taper 03-13-2013 05:38 PM

Re: tapering Norco… here is where I am now… help!!
Thank you for your words of encouragement!! I'm still on track (physical issues are only bad in the morning, but today I got a little depressed in the afternoon)…I just can't wait until I go 24-hours pill free!!

reachout 03-13-2013 08:10 PM

Re: tapering Norco… here is where I am now… help!!
Hey There

Going good there, my friend. Keep on keeping on. :-)

The depression. Sigh. It is yukky to say the least. It is a very normal part of the withdrawal process. Be super aware that it is [U]normal[/U] in withdrawal. Accept it as a part of getting better and learn to ride it out.

We can hasten the process concerning the depression by helping the brain to start producing the feel good chemicals that it didn't need to produce when the Norco took its place. How? By forcefully taking control and doing the things that help it rejuvenate. Get up and dance around, go for a walk, sing, accomplish a household task. Even if we have to fake it, the brain [U]will[/U] start working at full capacity sooner if we do these things. I did one thing I read about and felt silly doing it, but it worked! I would force myself to smile. Sitting at the computer or washing some dishes, I would paste a smile on my face. This signaled my brain to feel happy and it produced those good endorphins and stuff. :)

The depression is only temporary. Again.. take it as a symptom of healing.
My family doctor gave me a mantra that I used many times a day as I was tapering...

[CENTER][COLOR="Blue"]Every day I am getting stronger and better[/COLOR][/CENTER]

This was good... it embedded in my mind, I believed it and it was true. Even when the world felt lonely and blue, I would say it over and over. Try it.

Here's to your victory!

first taper 03-14-2013 07:52 AM

Re: tapering Norco… here is where I am now… help!!
It is so nice hearing your advice! I do feel stronger everyday! This morning, I was in a lot of pain (physically), but I just took my time getting up and while I can still feel a dull pain, it's not that bad...Before I would have popped a few so it would go away. I always told myself that I just have a low tolerance for pain, but...I gave birth to two children (18 and 19 years ago) with NO DRUGS, so now I use that pain as the measurement (not just minor discomfort).

So yesterday I was supposed to take 3-according to my schedule...I took one in the morning, and 1/2 at around 4-pm and one at bedtime...oh yeah...only 2.5! So now that I was able to get there, I'm ahead of schedule!! I know I probably shouldn't make it a competition. But if it I'M WINNING!! HAHA. Okay, before I get too full of myself, I still can't see the finish line. It scares me to imagine not having any pills. Instill ask my BF to count the pills everyday. Baby steps...

Again, thank you for your encouragement and advice. Oh yeah...EVERYDAY I'M GETTING STRONGER AND BETTER!!

first taper 03-15-2013 03:20 PM

Re: tapering Norco… here is where I am now… help!!
[FONT="Courier New"] of one, that's me! I had the worst night last night!! I was feeling okay all day and it was day 2-of 2.5-pills. Well after I ate dinner, I got so sick!! I was throwing up all night. I took 1-pill in the morning and 1/2-about 5 PM. When I got sick at about 7-PM, I almost went to the hospital, because it was so bad. I think I finally fell asleep...I don't know when, but woke up at 3-am feeling like I was abducted by aliens, probed, drained of blood and left to die. My poor boyfriend got me a 7-UP and I my pill...but I could never go back to sleep. Today, I have been okay, but I'm afraid to eat anything. I feel hungry, but I don't think I can handle another night like that. So it's my instant karma that I claimed victory yesterday...

And... I have a friend that takes the same medication I take and in the past, we have shared when the other ran out. This morning she came over and gave me back the 2-pills I loaned her until she could get some. It took everything I had to not take them...but I told her that I was trying to taper and that I had to give them to my bf, because he was holding my meds. I probably should have just told her to keep them... But I only have 19-pills left (i still make my BF count them every day) and I only have enough to taper 1/2-pill down every three days. So...I'll call my decision to keep the pills but give them to my BF a time.

So I normally would have been done with this bottle last Monday! I'm proud of my resolve, but the voices in my head keep telling me that I should be able to relieve my pain...if god wanted me to be in pain, why would he give us such easy access to pills. I do know the logic is faulty, but its been a crappy day and now that I'm not medicated (except the taper pills which I used to take as one dose), I actually have to feel the physical and mental pain. I can't wait until I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. The day I have 24-hours with no pills...that's what keeps me going right now. [/FONT]

first taper 03-17-2013 11:00 AM

Re: tapering Norco… here is where I am now… help!!
I know I keep posting here, but I honestly have no one that is close to me (except my Boy friend) that ever knew I was on medication… and the one friend I used to share pills with, but she is not on the same path I'm trying to stay on and so I need to stay away from her. Yesterday i Went to 2-pills 1/2 in the AM 1/2-at about 5 PM and 1-midnight… I am 2-days ahead of my schedule and pretty happy about that, but my energy level is so low!! I can't drink coffee, because it makes my stomach issues associated with the w/d's worse, so I'm pretty much having Caffeine w/d's too and my head is pounding!!

Today, I'm 2-weeks into this taper and he has been dealing with my mood-swings for 14-days (and I've gone from 8-pills per day, to 2-pills…yeah!!)!! If anyone is still reading…I'm sorry for my rambling! This whole thing has made me realize that I do need to talk to someone about my mental issues that are rearing their ugly head during this magical time…Rage, family issues I've ignored, loss, abandonment, avoidance, lies,manipulation, deception and that's just for breakfast…lucky me! Yesterday, I thought…I'm so close to the finish line…and then it hit me like a ton of emotional bricks…that's not the finish line I can see in front of me…It's the START Line!! Happy St. Patricks Day!!

Wendy88 03-17-2013 01:16 PM

Re: tapering Norco… here is where I am now… help!!
Hey. Congrats on that cut u just took!!!

And welcome to the boards. You can ALWAYS post here... Sometimes I do even if no one is writing back cause it helps keep my mind clear.

I'm addicted to pills too- oxycodone. I take maybe 7-10 a day of 15mg pills. I've been getting 180 if them for 2years or 3 and before that it was 7 years of 10mg percocets.

Now I'm on a sloooooow taper. I just cut to 150 a month. Next month will be the same and after my boyfriend will stop his pills and we will cut to only my 150. And down from there. More details are on my posts below.

My point was that I completely understand pills and tapering. I usually run out of my script early and almost every month taper down to zero and have a week or two sober. I know how hard the point us that you are at right now, nut you are doing GREAT! you should feel so proud.
I'm glad your guy is being so supportive. That's a huge help. My guy wants off badly.... without his pushing for us both to quit, I know I'd have a harder time.

When I've had my few sober weeks, let me tell you, the sky opens up!! Girl, just you wait for how lovely things can be without a pill haze.
The depression that swarms around tapering and for a bit after sucks. But remind yourself it's not real. It's your mind just balancing out again. It will go away.
Find some good aftercare (I'm going to go to therapy for my anxiety issues, which is a big part of this whole thing) so you have better coping tools, and (as you are already doing) stay away from peeps who are still using pills. It's too risky now and for the foreseeable future to be around that. You gotta look out for yourself!
Keep on truckin'!! You are kicking some serious butt! As Reach has said, every day is one step to getting better. Even when you feel badly, it is your body healing. :)
Keep posting! It will help!
Have a good day!!!
Good vibes!

first taper 03-17-2013 03:00 PM

Re: tapering Norco… here is where I am now… help!!
Hi Wendy! Thank you for your post and I did read your post about you and your BF trying to share the 150 soon!! That is what I do when I start feeling bad…read other peoples posts…I think I've read about 200 different stories and it is good to know I'm not alone. Good luck with your journey!! I kinda wish I could have done a slower Taper, but I didn't want to get a new prescription after I made the decision.

It's so weird, I've been taking either vicoden and/or Norco for at least 8-years and I have never run out of pills (so I had no idea what w/d felt like!)! Now, I'm not saying I never used more then my prescription allowed, it just means that I was always able to get more from 2 of my "Friends"…one of them had an abundance of any pill from god knows where. The last time I went to Europe for 6-months, I would get them sent to me. I did have to reduce my intake at that point, because I couldn't get extra's. I was comfortable taking 7-8 norco per day…but according to my prescription, my max amount was 6. So I was extremely careful. One time, I almost ran out. I was trying to make up an excuse of why I needed to go back to the US, but then the pills came early. And one time they got stuck in Customs and I had to pay to get them released…and it wasn't cheap! I'm pretty sure the delivery company was just extorting money from me and they were never stuck in customs, because they wanted cash upon delivery…but as you probably know…I would have given them anything I had. When we moved back to the US, I swore that if we ever got the opportunity to go back, I would not revolve my life around making sure I could get my meds… I wish I could be one of those people that could find a health addiction…I have a friend that goes to at least 2- and sometimes up to 4-spinning classes every single day! With my luck, I'll just become addicted to food and gain 200-lbs or maybe I'll become a hoarder (I doubt that…my house is more modern minimalist…and I hate clutter).

Well, thanks again for your post and I can't wait to read more about you and your BF's success!!

reachout 03-18-2013 09:11 PM

Re: tapering Norco… here is where I am now… help!!
Hi First

First things first... I really hope you[U] continue [/U]to post here all the time!! Partly to keep us in the loop, but mostly because it is good for the soul! :) This board was a lifeline of support to me as I plodded along in my tapers. A great place to get out the thoughts and feelings because we don't have therapists or doctors with us 24/7. For me, the best thing about the board was that the people here [U]got it[/U],understood the fears because they had experienced them also. Peer support is such a source of guidance for us. So, my girlie girl, just keep the posts flowing. :)

Good job handing those returned pills over to the boyfriend. Keep those kinds of safety nets in place. My hubby was the keeper of my pills... I got the day's supply in the morning and that was it.

You know, I was reading what you wrote about getting a healthy addiction. Just want to comment on that. For me, part of the thinking that changed in me was my addictive tendencies in general. Example... I used to do crewel work... I got obsessive about it and spent every moment I could doing it. Example... I played cribbage online and spent every spare ( and sometimes [U]not [/U]spare) time playing it. I would stay up crazy hours playing even when I had to work the next morning, come home from work and immediately sign on to play again.

Anyway, as I tapered I learned a lot about myself. I learned to be happy about the good things and see the need to change the not-so-good things. I learned [B]balance[/B]. In all things in our live, we must find balance. I could easily get totally addicted to the computer id I had not finally accepted the need for balance and practiced finding balance until it became a part of me. Man, life is so much more relaxed for me and productive and, well, normal. Strive for balance, First. Make it a part of your thinking. When we realize anything is getting too much of a hold on us, learn to walk away. Learn to say, "Too much of any one thing is not good for me." Not in activities, not in people, not in thinking.

Guess that is it for the night. I guess it is that balance thing kicking in. Hahahah!

Sleep well and remember that you are getting better and stronger every day.


first taper 03-20-2013 12:20 PM

Re: tapering Norco… here is where I am now… help!!
Hi Reach...thanks for the feedback..."Balance". Such a simple word, right? But such a hard thing to have. It's so funny, I used to look at my ex husband and wonder...why is he always content? I was always trying to figure out how either make more money, or lose more weight, or get my kids in better schools...but not him... That's not to say he was lazy, he was working 3-jobs when we met. We were both in college and got married and had our oldest son when we had 1-year left. Needless to say, everyone told us that we wouldn't finish, we were making a mistake...but with my competitiveness... Long story short, we both graduated. He got a job right away and I stayed home for about 6-months until I found a job. We were married 12 years and we've been apart about 10 (we are still great friends)'re probably wondering what my point is... He is still working at the same company that he started with after graduation... I have had amazing jobs, but after 2-3 years I get bored and quit. I always thought he was boring and wondered how he could be happy? It even made me mad! And it's not like his job was a fun job... Today, I wish I could be more like him...he has a peaceful balance that he got partially from the way he was raised. I grew up in chaos, and it is by the grace of god that he is the father of my kids...I dated a few losers... He is probably 1 of three people in this world that I know will always be there for me and want the best for me. I have no idea if this makes any sense to you, but I'm trying to say that you're right and I need to consciously work on balance... My boyfriend is a great guy, and has taught me a lot, and he is always struggling to find balance. He has been sober for over 12 years, but he has to continue to work on not being wrecklace. He likes to do extreme sport things and get the adrenaline high... So, that is what he is working on and hopefully we can find balance together.

Oh...yesterday I went to 1 1/2...and I'm sick today...but..."EVERYDAY I'M GETTING STRONGER"

first taper 03-22-2013 10:23 AM

Re: tapering Norco… here is where I am now… help!!
Sooooo, I really want to say something positive, but I am so angry!... But my head is just racing, and I've been sick for what seens like a month and my move to 1.5 pills was the hardest yet and tomorrow I'm supposed to go to 1. I only have 5.5 pills left and mentally that is really messing with me. I was in bed all day yesterday and today when I got out of bed, I was welcomed with every light in the house on, a dirty kitchen and no one took the trash out (today is trash day). I just want to escape, but my normal means of coping is no longer an option. So I sit here feeling sorry for the first person I come in contact with today that annoys me in the slightest I won't go completely "postal" or anything...I think I'm gonna sit down and write letters to companies that have wronged me... And I dare my son or BF to ask me if I'm cooking tonight... I. Feeling a little bit better since I wrote this...I just want to feel normal again.

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