Discussions that mention methadone

Addiction & Recovery board

I am a 36 year old mother of 2 and a legal secretary. I started taking vicoden 5 years ago when I was detoxing off of methadone. I had just had my 5 year old little girl, I was a single mother with no place to live and I couldn't afford the methadone anymore so the hospital where I had my daughter at helped me try to get off the meth. Well, after 4 weeks of withdrawal I just couldn't take it anymore. I met this girl that sold me vicoden and I realized that they made me feel a lot better. Well it has been 5 years and I haven't gone one day in 5 years without these pills. I can't stand it. I make good money, but since I have to buy the pills on the street I pay $3.00 a pill and take between 10 and 15 a day!!!! I have horrible moodswings to where sometimes I hate everybody and alls I do is yell and scream all day. I have no money to buy christmas for my kids and I am a month behind on my mortgage. Nobody, I mean nobody knows I am addicted to these pills, but my husband. I am so addicted that I wake up at like 5:00 in the morning because I am going through withdrawal so bad that the sickness wakes me up. AT this point, I take the pills so I don't get sick. I have read everything I can on the internet about withdrawal and I have tried to find anything that will help with the symptoms, but there is nothing. I have taken the week of christmas off of work to try and kick these pills but I am not fooling myself I know it will be the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I now that all I have to do is pick up the phone and I will feel better. I don't know what is worse the withdrawal or the craving. I lost custody of my first daughter because of heroin, so I went on methadone, I quite methadone and got on these pain pills. I think they are messing my body up physically too! I know there is nobody out there that can give me the magic words but some support would be great! I have no health insurance for rehab, besides I have tried that before. I am so frustrated about this whole thing sometimes I wish I would just die. I am not suicidal just sick and tired of being sick and tired. I wish there was something I could do to make the withdrawal symptoms easier. It is really tough for me. Please, if anybody out there has any advise, I would really, really appreciate it.
Hi Stacey,

It sounds like you have your mind finally made up and have reached your 'bottom'. If that is the case then you have a much better chance of stopping those awful pills.

In all this time have you bought them from the same person all the time? Never had a problem with the law? If that is the case then you should really consider yourself lucky in some ways.

I have a couple of suggestions for you. First off withdrawal does NOT have to be like you see on TV or maybe have experienced in the past going 'cold turkey'.

Pain patients have alot of success when they have been dependant on a medication and taper off because their pain has subsided or surgery has corrected the problem.

Addicts have a much tougher time doing this because unlike a pain patient who is only physically dependant on these meds., an addict is also psychologicaly dependant and that makes it near impossible to taper off without help of some kind.

You can design a taper program that will drop the daily dosage that you take between 5 and 10%. 5% would be a very comfortable taper and 10% not quite so comfortable but not too bad. You need to find out how many of them you 'need' to take per day to keep your body out of withdrawal. You say 10-15 per day so perhaps try taking 12 of them a day for 3-4 days and see how your body reacts.

The timing of your pills is the biggest thing you need to correct. Taking 12 pills per day on a taper doesn't mean that you take 6 at 8:00a.m. and 6 at 8:00p.m., get a buzz for a couple hours each time and then fight withdrawals for the last few hours before your next dose. You need to take the pills in a way that keeps your body out of withdrawals and doesn't give you a 'buzz'.

So for the first part you could take 2 pills at a time (that is if you have been taking more than 2 at a time before). Take them every 4 hours. So 2 at 8:00a.m., 2 at noon, 2 at 1600, 2 at 2000, 2 at midnight and yes, 2 at 4;00a.m. (keep them by your bed and set an alarm to wake yourself up. By doing this you keep your body out of withdrawals and don't have to take extra pills first thing in the morning to get back to feeling 'normal').

After you are stable you start lengthening the time between doses.

Day 1 you take them every 4hr.s and 15 mins.. So 8:00a.m., 12;15, 1630, 2045, 0100, 0515.

Day 2 every 4hrs. and 30 mins.

Add 15 mins. per day until you are taking 2 every 6 hours.

Then you reduce the dose to 1 pill and on day 1 take

1 every 3 hours.

Day 2, 1 every 3hrs. and 15 mins.

Work your way up to 1 every 6 hours and you are now down to taking four pills per day. After that go to 1/2 of a pill every 3 hours until you are at 1/2 every 6 hours which is 2 per day. You can keep extending it if you like or, at the point you are only taking 2 per day, you may find going cold turkey at that point not too bad.

Like I said though, it takes alot of work on your part as well as someone close to you that holds and keeps track of your medication.

The other thing you can do - or do in conjunctin with this - is to go and see your GP. Come clean with him/her and ask them to help you. There are meds. that you can be prescribed that will help alot. And I don't mean other narcotic meds. like methadone.

One of the things that you need to be careful with though is getting the pills. By doing a taper you will have to keep breaking the law which obviously is not a good thing. Will your GP help you out at all??

I hope you find this a little bit helpful!! Good luck!!//Woody
Thank, thank, thank you so much for all the advice. The tapering sounds like a great idea. I am going to get one of those pill dispensers and divide out the pills each day. I guess I will have to have my husband hold on to the pills so I don't go over my limit. And believe it or not I have bought my pills from the same two people for the last 5 years. One of the people is an older woman who supplements her income by selling her prescribed pain medication. The other one, well we'll just say he does it for a living but he is also very old and never had a problem with the law. I know that I never really kicked my addiction from 5 years ago. I was a heroin addict and went to methadone for detox. Bad, bad, bad idea. I would never recommend that to anyone! My addiction first started in 1992 when I had a doctor in NYC prescribe Vicoden for back pain and migraines. I had no idea what Vicoden was but he would give me a prescription of 60 with 5 refills. I have always been a depressed person and I figured out if I took one of these pills it made me "happy". When I got pregnant with my first child my OB told me if I didn't stop taking the pills my baby would be deformed, she never told me they were addictive. I took the pill bottle threw them in the trash and never thought about them again and never had any withdrawals. When I had my daughter I had a C-section and it was very painful and thay gave me Percodan. I had the most unbelievable post-partum depression, but nobody knew what is was in 1994. So I called my GP and told him my back was hurting again and he gave me the Vicoden's again. When I moved to Indiana, big mistake by the way, I didn't have anyway to get the pills, at first, but I never had any withdrawals. Anyway, then I found heroin..I know I can kick these pills but it has been so long since i have functioned, clean, I am scared. I am scared of the pain of withdrawal and I am scared that I will never feel "happy" again without a pill. I have a really, really good job, I own a home and a nice car but if I don't stop I am going to lose it all because of how much money I spend on these pills. I feel helpless. I have been to NA meetings and they help but my biggest hurtle right now is the withdrawal. I am terrified I can't do it! It is just so comforting to know that other people have the same problem I do. Sometimes I feel like the only person in the world addicted to these things. It is nice to be able to hear other people's storys. I appreciate all the advice I can get.