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Avatar universal

How does this mom stop Oxys?

I have just discovered this forum. I am a mother of two living abroad in England. I started my rx addictions about 13 years ago with a few vicodins. It was just for fun at first and varied in dependence over the first 5-10 years. I moved on to Lortabs and took 6-8 7.5/500's before leaving the country. Once I came here I struggled as they don't have that med here. I settled on Dihydrocodeine which is not nearly as strong as the vicodins and took these for a few years without affecting my health very much - just helped the mental addiction. After doing my research I discovered they had Oxys here so made up a pain story and started getting them about 3 years ago. I now continue to take them along with the dihydrocodeines every day.

My routine is as follows:

Start by taking 4 x dihydrocideines in the morning around 6am, then .5-1 (chewed) Oxy (20mg) + 5 dihydrocideine around 9am, then 2 x Oxys (20mg, chewed) + 2 dihydrocodeines at 3pm. My life is on a schedule based around the drugs. No one knows and I am in denial about what my life is like as it appears normal on the outside for everyone around me, no one suspects - probably because it is not a big problem in this country. I get my rx 1 week early every month, have found which doc is ok with doing that. All was going ok until the past 6 months where I have started to feel like *&^* all the time. The only time I don't is right at 3pm when I take the max dose but now that only lasts for about an hour. I feel no 'highs' ever - only take the drugs to feel 'normal'. It is not fun. Why am I doing it, I ask myself. I have no idea but I am so psychologically and obviously physically addicted, I cannot stop. It has been a long time I have led my life like this.

So - my question here, is how do I taper and stop this myself without my family knowing or stopping my life with my children etc. They are small, they don't have a clue - but pretty high maintenance as children are, I shout at them so much more than I should as my patience is jeopardized. I feel so horrible about it - this is not the mom I want to be. I am good at times, but really not great more and more as of late. I have read through tons of posts here on how to taper and detox, but none specific to my situation. The support resources do not exist here like they do in the US, I have looked before and I cannot pay tons of cash to get help without my family wondering what is going on.

Do I take a half of a pill less a day? Do I swallow and not chew? Should I spread out the dosage more evenly so I feel withdrawal less? What vitamins should I get? Should I ask the doc for Suboxone? I am considering asking the doc for help but scared to compromise my meds that way. Clearly I need a push! Hoping I can get some advice here that will help me stop them very slowly but surely so I can continue on without being in bed for days with diarrhea and vomiting.

I also wonder, like many here, how my life will be without all these pills. On the one hand I think it will be amazing to not be a slave to them and have this enormous secret, but on the other hand, I feel like everything will be so mundane... I have taken one pill or another in the late afternoon/evening for so so long, I can imagine it will be incredibly difficult for me to get through the day with my kids and domestic life without knowing I can take a little something to tide me through. Any experienced users or clean ex-users around to comment on how you adjust to the clean lifestyle once you've been using for so long? Especially when you lead a supposed 'normal' life with husband and kids etc etc?

Any advice would be enormously appreciated!!!
20 Responses
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Avatar universal
I am new to this community and also new to trying to taper off my drug- hydrocodone. I don't as yet, have a lot of advice, since we are almost in the same spot. However, the first thing I do in the morning, and frequently throughout the day, is go to this page to read other posts for encouragement and to see if anyone else has msg'd me.. I saw your post has been up for 2 minutes and noone has answered yet, but I suspect by the time I am done typing this, you will have other answers. What I wanted to let you know by answering you, is that there are people out here, constantly watching, reading, and checking posts, who either are going thru the same thing, or have gone through the same thing, that DO read, and DO care about your situation... So you came to the right place. Keep posting. These people are awesome. And good luck to you. I will be watching your posts and progress.. :)
Helpful - 0
5986700 tn?1380791380
Hi, welcome and wow, you poor thing , completely overwhelming, I get it.
This is a wonderful place to be in regards to support, I cannot however advise you on "how" to taper.  Someone should be around soon to answer any and all questions on that.  My doc was opiates too just not what you're on.

You said you've been reading other posts before you posted so keep doing that. I understand the feelings of not wanting to tell our loved ones about our addiction but I tell you now that if you don't it will be one h*ll of a lot worse for you and you're that much more likely to fail.  A lot of us underestimate to level of support our spouses are prepared to give us.  Also it makes you more accountable....which is what I needed.  Like you my life too revolved around pills and I lived my life in "4 hour incriments"...Oh God, I'm so glad that's over.

Your addictive mind is making you believe that your life will be "mundane" without them....you watch how many of us will tell you otherwise.  Life is so much easier, I don't get angry as much, your stomach isn't upset anymore, oh ya, I can handle stress so much better...it's unbelieveable.

I've been abusing my doc for over 27yrs. but pills in general for almost 40yrs.  wasted my life.  Get out now.  

Hang tight girl, stay close and keep the faith that you can do this, esp. with all of us behind you...We are all in this together really.
peace hope and hugs.
xo
Helpful - 0
5986700 tn?1380791380
oh ya Mum, I'm 72days today off of something that I thought was eventually going to kill me ....soon....

so it's doable

faith...will be rewarded. :o}
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Avatar universal
Thanks guys, I really appreciate the support. This is the first time in over a decade that I have put down in words what is happening here with my addiction (man, feels so weird to admit I have one) so it is really helpful to know there are others out there who understand!
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Avatar universal
And forgot to say, an enormous congrats on getting off of it for months now after so long! Amazing - gives me strength!
Helpful - 0
1235186 tn?1549257619
COMMUNITY LEADER
You should get your doctor on board to help you with a taper plan. he can also prescribe some meds to help with the withdrawal symptoms.
Yes to slowly drop in your dosage is recommended.  Yes also swallow and not chew.
Tapering requires a strong resolve. Look at the bottom of this page u set health pages at the Thomas recipe for info for detoxing.

You will need some support where you live. AA/NA, counseling, pastoral counseling. As much support as you can get.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Doesn't if feel good to finally compose your story and share it?? Great piece of writing. I got a lot out of what you just wrote.

Good info written for you above. A physician is entirely necessary for a tapering program. They know your medical background, have your charts and can monitor your progress. Don't be in a hurry. Look at this as; every day I'm going to make progress step towards freedom. As you make progress, hang on to the headway you've made, never going backwards.

Like atthebeach mentions, tapering an opiate requires resolve. Sticking to your Doctor's plan until you can finally get to a safe point to stop all together is completely doable, but you must completely surround yourself in the atmosphere of recovery. This means support from others who have gone before you. All of us on this forum are clean from some substance, mostly from opiates. Stick around here and also get into an aftercare group in your neighborhood. I wish you the best recovery.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Thanks for your responses, reading each one really helps to get my mind around shaking this thing.

I agree with the fact that I need to get my doc on board with the tapering. We have discussed it before because they don't like that I am on it - here in the UK, really only terminally ill patients go on Oxy - unless you are American! The thing is, do I admit I chew them? How will she really know how to help me unless I give her the facts of how much I have been taking? It will be incredibly hard for me to admit I have been abusing the drugs over the past 3 years that she has prescribed them....to her, I am a respectable mother who has a severe back problem! I don't think I can do it.

I guess I can have her help me taper down without her knowing exactly how I have been taking the pills? I mean, in reality - I am actually only taking a half - one extra 20mg/per day over what she prescribes...the only thing is the chewing. I don't know how much that raises the dosage! Plus, the docs here are relatively clueless when it comes to these pain pills....people really here don't abuse them much (like in the US) so the doctors understandably don't have the same first hand experience with the addiction.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Agreed, time release Oxy isn't possible to taper from after you get down to a certain daily dose, unless you start missing a dose and learn to stabilize on that daily amount, and then miss another dose... But your doctor does know how much she prescribes to you, and how to go about monitoring you while on them,  and should have some experience with patients finally coming off of them. I'm sure if you go about simply saying you want off of them and how should you go about it, you won't be judged. Just know that getting addicted to opiates is what happens to everyone, if taken long enough. All medical professionals know this fact. Opiate addiction has no boundaries, even doctors themselves can easily become addicted. Don't feel shame, feel proud that you're taking action, and that you've recognized that you need help. I too arrived on this site feeling completely powerless over my prescribed pain meds. Mum, You've arrived from "I can't" to "we can". Keep up the willingness and you'll free yourself. Willingness to get help is half the battle, following good orderly direction is the other half.
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Avatar universal
Thanks so much, really!!!!!! :)
Helpful - 0
6538759 tn?1386250196
Congratulations on wanting help and welcome!  
I too am a mom-single parent and I was using the opiates to get some relief and escape from all the stress parenthood and life in general brings.  I finally realized I was doing all the wrong things and not only doing my daughter a huge disservice, but myself as well. I was putting the pills before my daughter and was just so guilty about the parent I had become.  She deserves a better mom and we deserve better lives- ones not spent chasing pills every waking moment.
I don't have any advice on tapering- I never had the strength to do it, I went cold turkey, but if that's your plan your dr. definitely has to be involved.
I know it will be hard to admit the truth, but cutting our sources is a huge priority.  We have to close that door.  I made a huge mistake in not doing that, went to 2 different drs for pain meds and my primary dr. found out and cut me off completely.  At first I was so angry, but now I am grateful.  I didn't have the courage to shut that door, so God stepped in and did it for me.  
I'm on day 16 and each day I feel a little better.  This is a long journey that will be filled with both good and bad days.  This site is filled with loving supportive people who understand what you are going through.  Keep posting, reading, and know we are here for you.  
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
First off congratulations to you on being clean, really an achievement and I am jealous of all here who are on the 'other side'! I do have a question for you - what is life like now that you are not on anything? What is your emotional state like when dealing with family - better or worse? I know it must be up and down but do you have someone who you talk to about it? Did you need extra support when you were going through detox? Thanks for your message and support!
Helpful - 0
6538759 tn?1386250196
I am not totally on the other side yet, but each day gets a little better.  Some better than others; and I'm still having cravings- all to be expected.  
I went cold turkey off the opiates, but am being tapered off Benzos; so I'm still on those at a very low dose for anxiety.  It is dangerous to CT Benzos
My emotional state dealing with my family is all over the place.  I was lucky and had someone take care of my daughter the first 2 days of WD, the 2nd 2 days I called in sick to work and she was in school during the day.  
It took all I had to take my girl out on Halloween, but I did it.  I was lucky she got tired and cranky about the same time I did.  It is very hard trying to go through this and parent, some days I have no patience because I'm so achy and stuck in my own misery, but some days I see the glimmer of hope sobriety will bring.  I'm looking at my daughter as the bright light I need to be sober for; she is a very high energy and dramatic child, but she's amazing.
The pills were really turning on me at the end- I was irritable, angry, paranoid, and impatient with her and everyone around me.  I think my interactions are getting better as I get better.
I love this site but also go to 12 step meetings when I can for support.  Are there meetings you can go to?  You will def need all the support you can find both physically and mentally.  
Glad to see you posting, stay strong.  We're in this together!!
Helpful - 0
5986700 tn?1380791380
Hi mum, I'm not trying to be a big downer, cuz God knows how I wish I could just step over to "the other side."  I think it's different for all of us, even taking into consideration the age, amount used, length of time, etc.
I still think the majority of it is a mix of the individual and their determination.

......but once you are clean, even if you're having the most terrible day ever, it's still easier to cope I find rather than being numb and hazy and wobbly.  I just feel stronger mentally. I feel more capable.

One of my worse fears when I was abusing was that there would be some kind of natural disaster one day and even the thought of a drugstore being an option, I just wouldn't be able to get there.  Yikes gives me shivers.  Now
at least if there is a disaster, I'm not scrambling for drugs and trying to cope with being sick on top of it.  (a little fatalist but you get me right?)

Of course it's up and down still but uber more manageable and it's only going to get better.  Extra support is always a good thing whenever, wherever you can get it, but seeking out is ideal.
Keep reading and posting.
hugs.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Your post really helped me - I can relate so so much and it really does give me courage to know there are others who are dealing with the exact same thing. I have felt so entirely alone here. Especially because I tried to look into finding help about a year ago without success (here in the UK) - every time I googled something for Oxy help, it was an American site which left me feeling stranded. Anyways, although I am still using, I feel more of an inner calm now - I know what I need to do now, how to do it and where to turn while I'm doing it - I just have to get on and do it.

When I read what you wrote, I think - how did she do the school run on Day 3???? Day 3?? Wow, hats off to you - seriously!!! You are strong. And Halloween...and bedtime, and homework, and everything. But the same is happening to me now, the pills are turning on me and they don't bring me much positive rarely at all anymore.

I just got my new supply yesterday - usually I take a little more on the first day of a filled script, just because - but this time I did not and will continue my taper down from here. I have gone from 1 on my morning dosage to .5 to .3. I feel better when I take less. When I take more now, I feel worse.
All signs that its time to kick this mother effer. :)
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Once again - I can relate completely. My past years have been filled with telling docs I am going away, whether true or false. What if I ran out while out of the country! OMG. The phrase "a world of hurt" comes into my head often. My fear has been what if I really do get hurt or become ill and I really do need these drugs. And then my tolerance is so high that what I should be taking doesn't work? What if I went to a doc appt with my husband (for something potentially more serious, if it were to happen) and they pulled up my history and he found out this way? I am guessing paranoia is present here. :)

You mentioned before about telling the truth to loved ones...well this I still am unsure about. Though I know it would be better in regards to helping me get off of it, I really and genuinely worry about what it will do to our marriage. On one hand, my problem started before we met, so it's always been an issue he's been unaware of...but on the other hand, we've had a lot of problems over the past 12-18 months - in fact we're trying our first couples counseling this morning - but who knows how much of our problems have been heightened because of my using. I feel like he will feel deceived and angry if he finds out and it will ultimately end our marriage. Maybe not, I know, and probably worth finding out - and yes, I know if he really loves me he will stick around, which I think he def does....but I feel like real life with kids etc is so different than without them...you do so much more, you are willing to accept so much more for the kids sake....which is good and bad.

Anyways, enough of the rant - thank you again for your post!
Helpful - 0
6538759 tn?1386250196
I'm glad I helped you; that's what we are all here for.  Glad to see your'e still posting!
I like your spirit; it is def time to kick this mother effer that has robbed us of our lives and happiness.  
My benzo taper is a nightmare; I am going through WD all over again- I'm so ready to be substance free and start living again!!!
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I posted this on another spot....but it might help here.  The best way to come off an opiate is to do it weekly.  You need to give your pills to someone else or have the pharmacy dispense them daily.  Calculate how much you are currently taking daily.  Then figure out what 10-20% of that amount is.  Decrease your dose by that amount (10-20% of your original dose) every week.  This way, every week, you will have a few days of feeling icky followed by a few days of normal, before you decrease again.  When you reach your last week - you can split that amount by 3 or 4 and taper off the last bit over 3 to 4 weeks.  So if your last week was to consist of 4 tabs a day, do 4 tabs the first week, 3 tabs the next week and so on.  The whole process may take months but it is the best way to ensure that u do not relapse or struggle greatly with the psychological part of coming off opiates.  U will be more functional ( mentally and physically) throughout the whole process....especially if u have kids to care for.   Get your doctor and pharmacist on board, too.  Explain what you are doing.   Hopefully, they will be supportive.
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Avatar universal
Welcome Mum.  Everything written before me has some great information & like others have said just keep checking onto this site...it will will be especially helpful that 1st week off.  Won't lie....its a rough one.   You can do this...!

Kbusymom made me smile thinking of Halloween.  One day 3 i had to bring my kids out in the rain, 45 degrees & windy as heck.  It was BRUTAL but now it seems SO long ago.  I'm only on day 11 & every day it seems like one of my brain connectors gets put back into "production" after being laid-off for so long.  

Just don't put any time lines on your recoup.  As mentioned by many here everyone is different & the time frames are all different.  Just take it one at a time...hour by hour if you must.  

Some of the stories about running out are so true.  I went on a cruise with the family & the rx was stolen from my bags.  Lets just say it was a rough one week cruise.  NOT one I'll remember fondly.  Apparently i was not a very good addict since i packed the bloody things.  :)

Good luck & keep checking back!
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Avatar universal
Mum I forgot to mention your statement "I feel no 'highs' ever - only take the drugs to feel 'normal" struck a cord with me.  It was at this time i knew i had to stop.  I thought to myself i need swallow more to get that high back & i knew i did not want to go down that dark tunnel.  I never thought to chew or even snort them as i have read before...again dumb addict i guess.

I was only using 2 years...it took about 14 mos before i went everyday. dumb!

Once you put this past you it sounds like England could use a Rehab Facility?  Maybe a business opportunity. ttyl.
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