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oxygirl 01-10-2015 11:48 AM

ongoing struggle with opiate dependency
 
I have been in an ongoing struggle trying so desperately to get off of all opiates and try to find something else to manage my pain. I was on 30 mg roxicodones 4 times a day for years. each time i would try to come off them i would be thrown into horrible withdrawls. well long story short a friend of mine had suboxone strips and i tried to take myself off of the roxies and was really doing well until several things occurred. first i couldn't get many strips and i would split them and then when they were not available i would be back on my roxies taking at least 2 to 3 a day.....got popped with a drug test and even though it had been 5 days since my last sub it showed up in my system. i was dropped by my doc of course but deep down inside it made me realize i absolutely had to get this dependency on opiates gone. it hasn't been easy. i am currently taking about 20 mg of hydrocodone split up about 4 times a day. i am constantly sneezing......not even sure why. the norcos do help my pain honestly but i don't want my body to "crave" the drug before the pain in my body "needs" it. I am not sure what to do. I know this seems like a low dose and really from 120mg down to 20mg feels like a triumph in itself and it is from oxycodone to hydrocodone which my body doesn't seem to need as much of but i am still feeling that need. has anyone ever used the blood pressure med "clonidine" to help with withdrawls. I am also calling out to "phoenix" on here who is always so very informative and inspirational. i think talking about it helps so much and you don't feel as alone with your addiction. and also, i am sure there is a fine line between addiction and physical dependency. I just don't know what that line is. I don't consciously think about it and i don't chase that "high" i just want to feel normal and get this over with. may have to look into fusion or something but really really don't want to go there.....any suggestions for my multiple issues here? please don't say psych consult. \

karlee1010 01-12-2015 07:54 AM

Re: ongoing struggle with opiate dependency
 
Hi. Welcome. I'm sorry you're going thru this. Pretty much nowadays Drs. won't give us much of a chance if they are concerned we're addicts. We have to be strict about only taking our meds as prescribed. I wish I had better news for you. Keep trying. Maybe start all over with a new Dr., and only take them as you're supposed too. I hope it works out well for you!

Whoopee 01-12-2015 02:36 PM

Re: ongoing struggle with opiate dependency
 
Sorry I don't have any earth shattering help to offer you but I can tell you that the drug clonidine is sometimes used to counteract wd symptoms. You know, the funky leg thing while you're trying to sleep, not to mention not being able to sleep much at all. Yes, it does help. I think it helps to keep your blood pressure semi-normal too, but I may be wrong??

On a good note, the reduction you've made so far it would seem to me with a concerted effort you very well may be able to taper down to next to nothing and then stop all together. I really think you can do it. I wish you all the Best!

tortoisegirl 01-12-2015 06:36 PM

Re: ongoing struggle with opiate dependency
 
Are you working with a doctor for this taper? A good one should be able to advise you on how to taper with minimal withdrawal, plus provide meds such as Clonidine to help withdrawal symptoms. FYI, sneezing is a typical withdrawal symptom, as is a runny nose. If you keep the dose steady, it should subside within a week. I've been in your shoes with withdrawal and tapering; its quite miserable.

Unless you have some reason to get off the meds quickly such as a medical issue or your doctor cutting you off, I'd do a very slow taper, as it is much easier on your system. Remember that you didn't get up to your highest pain med dose quickly, so it unrealistic to expect to get completely off pain meds quickly. Also, other pain relief methods should be able to be explored while on the pain meds, if you have a doctor to assist. So, you could do both at once.

If you can't fathom going through more withdrawal at this point, one option could be to hold steady with the dose and let yourself stabilize and add in other treatments, then taper when you are ready. Not having a plan in place to treat pain when you get completely off the opiates could be setting yourself up for failure.

Having physical withdrawal symptoms is very normal...it doesn't mean you have a psychological addiction problem. You may also find the addiction board helpful, as they are more likely to have discontinued opiates than many of us, even though it doesn't sound like addiction is an issue for you. I think having a plan and having some medical & family/friend support are the biggest things. Best wishes.

Kylekat 01-12-2015 09:47 PM

Re: ongoing struggle with opiate dependency
 
Oxygirl,

If you post on the Addictions & Recovery Board there are many folks in the same boat your in and they can give you some great advice on how to Taper off of opiates safely. If your going to use Subs you need to go to a clinic and not just borrow from your friends, it's not safe. If you choose to go the Sub route your basically trading 1 drug dependance for another....some people get on Sub's and end up on them for life because they tell themselves their not addicted to drugs anymore....

There are many things you can do to get you over the hump of the last 20mgs and you'll find a very long detailed list on the addiction site.

Good luck,

KK

backhurtz 01-13-2015 08:22 AM

Re: ongoing struggle with opiate dependency
 
Using suboxone without having a doctor to guide you is dangerous...and often, those who use suboxone to get off one medication or drug, wind up trading one for another, one that is far more complicated in getting off .
If suboxone is going to be used to taper someone off opiates[B] and[/B] there is no addiction history, a minimal dose to eliminate/reduce the withdrawal symptoms, is how it should be done , followed by a day or two at that dose and a rapid tapering off the suboxone , a week at best, and no more.....usually the dosage is minimal, then reducing it every day thereafter, so you are completely off it by the end of the week. There is no need to keep someone on it for a simple tapering off opiates.

Too often those who want to get off opiates ( in medical situations) go to those sub doctors who put them on astronomical amounts of suboxone ( dosages used to treat addiction and maintenence), and keep them on it for weeks, and months. That is completely wrong.

If you were dismissed for the suboxone, who is giving you the hydrocodone now? They should be able to guide you in a tapering plan, and done correctly, the symptoms of withdrawal should be minimal, and you may not experience them at all.
Talk to your doctor about guiding you through a proper tapering plan.

oxygirl 01-16-2015 07:05 PM

Re: ongoing struggle with opiate dependency
 
I am hoping you are right. i am actually doing even better than the 20mg of norco i am currently down to 10 sometimes 15 but for the last 2 days it has been 10mgs! I am going to try to get clonidine. I just don't understand why i am still having so many withdrawl pains being on such a lower dose. of course they are not like what they were when i was on the roxis and would at times run out a little early. i really thought i was dying..... thanks for the encouraging words.

oxygirl 01-16-2015 07:15 PM

Re: ongoing struggle with opiate dependency
 
i am currently down to 2 norcos a day....5 mg each....i think my issue is more a physical dependency issue as opposed to psychological. although i think there is some kind of thing to that natural endorphin theory. I am going through some depression and sadness sort of teary times.....starting back on my cymbalta today....i take wellbutrin in the am because i have fibromyalgia and stay exhausted and the wellbutrin helps me not want to sleep as much.... still have issues with pain.....that is a lot of my depression because i can no longer do the things i used to do....keeping my house clean is the biggest issue i am dealing with....i was a major miss clean everything had to be in a certain place type of mom.....now i don't even want to elaborate..... any nonnarcotic suggestions for pain relief.....i have a lot of osteoarthritis my spine is full of bulging discs and bone spurs.....with my neck being the worst....

oxygirl 01-16-2015 07:19 PM

Re: ongoing struggle with opiate dependency
 
i have finally figured that out about the subs......WOW is all i have to say about those. may as well have stayed on the roxis. i am definitely not going that route anymore. i have managed to cut down on the norcos.....5mg twice a day for the last 2 days.....before that it was 15 and before that the 20mgs.....i feel like i am making some progress. when i feel the first sign of withdrawl i start to panic.....i am also dealing with a lot of pain.....seems like there is just no perfect solution either way it isn't good but i think the addiction is just an added on problem......

Kylekat 01-16-2015 09:14 PM

Re: ongoing struggle with opiate dependency
 
Honestly you sound like you have a lot going on. Clonodine is not a magic drug that will make the withdrawals go away. It is a blood pressure medicine that helps you sleep some and helps some with the restless leg/body issues if they're in hardcore withdrawals. You seem to be mixing around a lot of meds without a Dr. managing it and that's a very easy way to get yourself into trouble. Your using multiple meds that are addictive, narcotics, Subs, benzo's....you have a somewhat difficult case that in no way should you be handling by yourself trying different things here and there to see what works.

At this point your on a very low Narcotic level and most tapers would lower you down one more dose to 10 then maybe one more to 5 and then cut you loose, and you deal with the few withdrawals that are left. The reality of your situation is that you are going to have to deal with some form of withdrawals at some point. The benzo's, and Clonodine won't take that away. I seriously, seriously urge you to get with your Dr. or a Dr. and let them guide you properly how to taper off this small dose of Narcotics safely without adding more drugs into the mix.

Take care,

KK

tortoisegirl 01-17-2015 09:44 AM

Re: ongoing struggle with opiate dependency
 
I agree. Please get your doctor involved and let them help & guide you. If you don't have a doctor willing to help you with this, seeing a trained Addictionologist could be very helpful, as they are the most well-versed in discontinuing opiates. Often a pain clinic at a big hospital will have one, or they work on their own.

Agreed that although some medications could be helpful, they are by no means a cure, and can often cause other symptoms (side effects), such as sedation. There is no symptom-free way to do this. Also, as a warning, often folks can have months of post-acute withdrawal symptoms, often mood-related. I assume you have a psychologist or some other sort of mental health practitioner to consult with, as you have been on antidepressants? It could also be helpful to have that support. Hang in there! Best wishes.

backhurtz 01-18-2015 07:38 AM

Re: ongoing struggle with opiate dependency
 
[QUOTE=oxygirl;5339821]i have finally figured that out about the subs......WOW is all i have to say about those. may as well have stayed on the roxis. i am definitely not going that route anymore. i have managed to cut down on the norcos.....5mg twice a day for the last 2 days.....before that it was 15 and before that the 20mgs.....i feel like i am making some progress. when i feel the first sign of withdrawl i start to panic.....i am also dealing with a lot of pain.....seems like there is just no perfect solution either way it isn't good but i think the addiction is just an added on problem......[/QUOTE]

THE worst thing you can do while tapering is to go down, then up in dosing. All that does is continue to feed the cravings for that medication. When tapering you should reduce the dosage every couple of days, depending on the schedule your medical doctor has given you. Never go back up, as it only prolongs and worsens any withdrawal.
Increased pain is normal, and in part, your body's attempt to get you to give it more. Epsom salts, hot showers, baths, topical muscle rubs and ointments can all help, as well as Tylenol ,naproxen, or advil.
Your best option is to talk to your doctor about a properly guided, scheduled taper.


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