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Discussion in 'Detoxing From Pain Meds' started by pam, Jan 12, 2004.

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  1. pam

    pam Guest

    Hi everyone. I am new to this. I have been taking vicodin for about 4 years. I would like to know if there is someone here who has been able to successfully get off this drug without going into a treatment center. I cannot afford that. I need some advice as to how to start and what to expect. Is this even possible. I appreciate any thing you could tell me.
  2. pinkie

    pinkie Well-Known Member

    Hi Pam,
    I don't have time right now, but read as much as you can in the Buprenorphine forum on this site. It's a drug recently approved by the FDA for use in detoxing addicts. Worked wonders for me outpatient. After you've read about it, we're all here to answer your questions.
  3. Rohan

    Rohan Well-Known Member

    Hi Pam,
    I took vicodin (amung other opiates) for years and I did (temporarily) quit many times by myself. At the very least, you will need a support group like N.A or private therapy, something! Like Pinkie said suboxone
    DOES NOT require being admitted to a treatment center, but it does require spending money, but nothing like being admitted in-patient. The results you get should be well worth the money you spend, really.

    If you can't/don't want to do this, then like I said get a support group lined up, as this is the single most powerful weapon in a self-detox. Taper your vic intake a bit each day. If you can get a script for a drug called clonadine (not sure spelling) it is often used for the treatment of high blood pressure, but really helps with the symptoms of opiate withdrawl. Also, get immodium AD, for your diarrhea-this is really important-I don't consider this optional. Also WATER, WATER AND MORE WATER. Make sure you stay hydrated! This is really the only area we are at risk of any physical danger, i.e dehydration and it can cause death if allowed to get out of hand. So take the immodium, drink lot's of water and gatoraide (sp?). The real bad feelings should pass within the first 4-5 days but everyone is diffrent. Have you ever detoxed? You should be feeling much better by the second week physically. But you need to address emotional issues and triggers. Also you will have cravings and you need to be prepared to deal with these too. Maybe if you could offer a bit more info. like how many times you have tried to quit (if any), do you have any pain issues, do you use any other drugs? History like that. And welcome to the board. Hope you stick around. :)
  4. Rodrigo

    Rodrigo Well-Known Member

    Well, it's hard to give advice without information such as strength and amount, but I took hydrocodone on and off (mostly always on) for about 2 years and got to the point of taking 20-30 10mg hydros per day. Not sure if you mean you cannot afford medical treatment or if you cannot afford to go into treatment, pay for that, and miss work along with it. Suboxone is great from what I have heard, but I think you may be looking for the d.i.y. approach. I used immodium to detox. 4-5 2mg pills twice daily. It killed most withdrawls and even cravings. Only problem is I have heard of others trying this method who get "bound up". Increase your fiber a bit and if you are opiate tolerant, you'll wake up and "take a good one" every morning. I did. Depending on you, tapering may or may not be an option. My tapering consisted of 10 pills/day rather than 20-30 -- in other words, I couldn't taper. And stick around this site... Before, during withdrawls, and especially after. It's 3 weeks for me today and I'm still here. I'm *really* into this message board.
  5. pam

    pam Member

    Thanks you guys for responding to me. On the bottle it says hydrocodone 5/500. I am assuming that is the strength. I take from 4 to 6 a day. Lately, more like 6. I do have some pain issues. I have arthritis in my legs and hips. Even though I work out and stay fit, it is painful without the vicodin. My doctor would not change me to celebrex or anything like that because I have a history of ulcers. He does not think the vicodin use is excessive. But I realize that I am addicted, pain or not. I have never tried to stop before. What does immodium do for withdrawal. I think Rohan mentioned this. I would like to try tapering but I wanted to know how hard it truly is to get off of. I am finding myself wanting to take even more. I am glad I don't have a clue how to get ahold of more, because I probably would. I don't use any other drugs. I don't even smoke. I just wish my doctor had never prescribed this. Also what type of support group are you talking about. NA? If possible, I would like to do this myself. I just did'nt know if I was kidding myself. Thanks for your help.
  6. Crystal

    Crystal Well-Known Member

    Hi Pam,
    I too have been abusing pills for years. I totally abuse them tho.
    Sounds to me like you may be dependant on them.
    You said you have never tried to stop before? Have you ever thought of maybe taking less than you do now?
    Instead of taking the 6 you do now...try taking 5 for a week or two and then go down to 4, for a couple weeks and then 3 and so on.
    Perhaps with weaning and going to NA and such, you'll do fine.
    Good Luck!

    Communicate,Validate and Appreciate!
  7. pam

    pam Member

    Hi Crystal,
    Thank you. Are you trying to stop? I think you are right, but is there really a difference between dependancy and addiction. If so, what is the difference? Weaning is probably the way I will do it. Are there other support groups besides NA? Gosh, you all are so nice and it is great that you take the time to help others.
  8. pam

    pam Member

    Sorry, I messed up. Told you I was new.
  9. Crystal

    Crystal Well-Known Member

    I dont' know of a good way to describe the difference between dependant and addicted...but Spring or someone can.
    I just know I'm addicted. I've been addicted to all sorts of drugs my entire life.
    I've tried quitting before, but I guess I wasn't ready. I thought I was...but here I am, depressed everyday.
    I take like 98milgrams perday. That would be about 19 and a half of your 5's......thats alot. ALOT of TYlenol I might add as well.
    I really think you'd do well with the weaning process Pam.
    I know your milagrams are much smaller than most...but your concern is real and shouldn't be taken lightly.
    If YOU feel you have a problem...then now's the time to stop.
    As you are well aware of...many, many people frequent this site and will give the shirts off their backs to guide you thru. Trust in that and yourself and you'll be fine(gosh...I should practice what I preech)
    I'll be here for ya, thats for sure. I check in everyday!

    Communicate,Validate and Appreciate!
  10. gratefulgreg

    gratefulgreg Well-Known Member

    I just read about the difference between chemical dependency and addiction. The way I understood it is that chemical dependence means you have difficulty stopping using a chemical, but addiction involves abusing a drug even when it's screwing up your life. Pam, I assume you have some good reasons for wanting to quit using your medicine, but you are taking them as prescribed. Can you live with the pain if you get off them? If you really want off the medicine, I would try to taper them with your doctor's supervision.
  11. Apheana

    Apheana Well-Known Member

    If you are taking as prescribed and you need them there is a difference. Its like getting them off the street vs getting them from a doc thats well aware that you can become dependent. I would taper from the 6 to 5 and so on so forth and only take when you actually need them. Good luck.

    ***Live, Laugh and Love***
  12. cgdg

    cgdg Well-Known Member

    Hi Pam...
    If you want a taper schedule that's CERTAIN to work, all it takes is a little discipline and either a sports watch or some sort of timer so you can stick to a dosage schedule...click this link:


    and then start a thread entitled "FRED...NEED TAPER!"

    Fred is the resident master-specialist in taper schedules, and will give you a 'round-the-clock' schedule to follow that will prove to be painless!
  13. Rodrigo

    Rodrigo Well-Known Member

    Immodium is an opiate by nature... However, it does not make it to the brain, so it doesn't provide a "high" or anything, therefore it is not addictive. But it does bind to opiate receptors in other places of the body, mainly the intestinal walls. It also hits a few other places if enough is taken. So... What it exactly does is keep opiate receptors in the body "busy" while your brain can de-tox from the vicodins, therefore eliminating many of the physical withdrawls.
  14. JaH

    JaH Well-Known Member

    Pam, it really doesn't matter if you define your substance use as "addiction" or "dependency". Presumably you have tried to stop before and found it difficult, plus you feel the urge to take more.

    I don't want to minimize the discomfort you will feel because the most debilitating part of withdrawal is not the physical symptoms but the depression, lethargy and obsession with knowing that if you just take a pill you'll feel better instantly. This sense of being psychologically "undone" can be very unnerving.

    But that said, at your level of use (no more than 5 or 6 Vicodins a day), I can almost guarantee that you will have no more than 3-4 days of fairly mild physical symptoms, with maybe 5-6 days at most of feeling either lethargic or "out of sorts."

    You shouldn't have any vomiting or screaming agonizing pain at all. Just a sense that you'd have more "get up and go" if you took a pill.

    A small price to pay for regaining your freedom, don't you think?

    And you have a really unique opportunity here to get off the addiction roller coaster before it picks up speed and becomes truly unmanageable. Very few addicts seek help unless they are using between 100 mg - 300mg of Vicodin a day. You're only using 25 mg/day.

    Trust me, if you want your life back -- if you want to step back from the precipice before you fall hard -- quit now.

    You sound like you're not really an addictive personality by nature.

    Be grateful for that -- very, VERY grateful -- and please act on it NOW.
  15. Rodrigo

    Rodrigo Well-Known Member

    You know, Pam, after reading your post again, I noticed that you said you have the urge to take more. Because of this, I can probably make an educated guess that a taper may not work for you. If you *do* have the self-control to take less and less, then it is a great idea. I always found myself not being able to take less. If I had them, it didn't matter -- I would take them. I didn't care if I ran out as long as I was fine that day. I was one of the 200-300mg/day people JaH mentioned tho. With all of that said, I guess the question is this... When you get the urge to take more, do you or have you?
  16. sunshine

    sunshine Well-Known Member

    I think if anyone is given pain meds over a period of time and they take them as prescribed they can became dependant on them to feel normal. Addiction is where you continue to take the medication as you see fit. Whatever withdrawals hurt the same no matter what you call the behavior.
  17. Crystal

    Crystal Well-Known Member

    Haven't heard from you in a while, How are you?
    Please post and let us know how you are, what you've decided and that kinna stuff!
    Take care, Hope all is well!!!!!!

    Communicate,Validate and Appreciate!
  18. mary

    mary Well-Known Member

    pam please stop now u have no idea what u might be getting yourself into its good that you recognised it now. i started with vic then whent to percs then oxys[}:)] doin 4 or 5 80s a day. if u think you are goin through withdrawls now you aint seen sh t yet so get out while u can.

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