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Avatar universal

Tramadol is going to kill me

I have to stop this. I am a chronic pain patient. Have access to anything from morphine, percocet, most recently Belladonna/Opium and pure oxycodone. nothing I take compares to my drug of choice for the past 3 years.. that evil little white pill, Tramadol

I am not a " high" type person. never enjoyed the stoned feeling. I have extreme lethargy from several chronic diseases and when I found this little speed pill that gave me super energy and feeling like a normal person again , I was hooked.  I was able to get out of bed and have strength, clean my house , go out with my kids, be a normal mom again.

So here I am now , and have been for awhile now, desperately trying to make it until my next script, doctor shopping, E.R. visits just for the purpose of getting more tramadol because my pain managment doctor would cut me off if they knew id taken 150 tablets in a week ... Thats my usual now...  its always been 4 at a time , at least 12 per day,  but for the past year its usually 15-20 per day.  

Ive tried to w/d on my own... its literal hell and I cannot take it. Ive used other drugs to replace tramadol ( vicodin, norco etc)  and ive sucessfully done it , but I always go back to tramadol, only because of the energy it gives me.  If I didnt suffer from debilitating fatigue, I wouldnt have ever started this junk. All I wanted  was to be pain free and have a normal energy level. I once had ambition, I could do anything, Now , there are only 3 magic words I wait to hear, " your prescriptions ready"

Ive conned so many doctors, pharmacies, some at the same time... anything to get that pill that controls my life. Im so tired of being slave to a drug that is destroying my body.  its exhausting...  literally scared to look at my bottle, in case its getting low... then the anxiety sets in ," ok I have to start figuring out how to get another script before that runs out."  Im running out of options....  and Im just TIRED.

and to top it all off , last week, I swore I would stop again ... BUT I NEED energy, because I DO suffer from chronic fatigue and I conned some Adderall....  I took the whole bottle of 40 in 3 days.

Thats when I realize , nothing is going to work , because , I AM AN ADDICT. thats the reality. I think it really set it when I was researching on google "  how to call in your own prescriptions" AND I almost went through with it. If I had I probably would have been arrested.

So the question----   HOW do I stop this? Ive been trying to drag myself to the rehab clinic for methadone/suboxone.... I cant be chained to a methadone clinic... just wont work for me . and im scared that subuxone wont give me the energy I need. SO im literally terrified that I will move onto adderall , no matter if I do manage to quit the tram....

I need help
39 Responses
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Avatar universal
Hi!! OMG your story sounds so similar to mine! Tramadol was also my drug of choice, my neurologist would call them in and they'd be gone in days. I was taking 50-60 pills per day, I had no choice but to cold turkey it, however, I wouldn't recommend that because of the high risk of seizures, tapering is the way to go if you can. The withdrawals from tramadol are horrible to say the least, but mine got a little better around day 30. I'm 5 years clean, so I'm proof it can be done, just be strong and keep posting to let us know how your doing. Good Luck!  ~Sherry
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Avatar universal
Wow. I don't think I've ever seen a first time post that so perfectly describes active addiction. You are among people who will read every sentence and say "yep" "that was me" or "that is me" "exactly" "been there." In/patient rehab may be best for you if it is at all possible. Tramadol is tough to kick on your own at those doses and (only because I relate so well to everything you've said) I think that (like me) you are probably not a good candidate for tapering down on your own. There are much wiser people on this forum than me though - I'm sure you will be getting lots of input soon. For now - hugs and prayers your way.
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Avatar universal
You need to get in treatment.  That's #1.  You've admitted that you can't do this alone and are going to die.  If you continue conning doctors and pharmacies, you will end up in jail, which is NOT a fun place to detox.  

Secondly, you need to figure out why you're so tired to begin with.  Drowsiness can be a symptom of opiate withdrawal...did you suffer from fatigue BEFORE starting tramadol?  What other reasons are you self-medicating?  Quitting drugs is easy, but you won't be able to STAY off them until you address the reasons you started abusing them in the first place.  An addiction specialist or psychologist can help you work through these issues.  

Tapering gradually off the Ultram will reduce the severity of withdrawals, but you're still going to feel like **** for a while regardless.  Maybe for a month or more, but it DOES get better.  You just have to be willing to ride it out.  

Tramadol is nearly identical in structure to the antidepressant Effexor.  They act on the same parts of the brain and both have an energizing effect.  Perhaps you should talk to your doctor about trying an SNRI like Effexor once you're off the tramadol.  (You can't take them together due to the risk of serotonin syndrome, so wait until you're off the tram before trying this).  

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Avatar universal
Thank you ALL for your responses! I cant say how thankful  Iam to have people that understand! ive been off tramadol for 4 days and been taking my usual lopermide combo to fight off withdrawl. Now I have a migraine and i can hardly open my eyes. I stopped my Topamax a few weeks ago and they come back like clockwork. SO of course my neurologist wants me to go pick up his script for Percocet. Lovely...  I mean that half sarcastically.

Well , the reason im so tired is that I have fibromyalgia, systemic lupus and a rare blood clotting disorder, along with a bladder disease that ive had 3 surgeries for in the past year, including bilateral sacral nerve implants. Im on coumadin for life, along with 8 other meds that arent narcotics.

im seeing a new rheumatologist to try and get help with the fatigue and weakness and have another EMG tomorrow to see whats wrong with my nerves/muscles. Probably looking at another diagnosis... nothing new for me.

This is how  I have rationalized my drug use. " My doctors say I need it"

I tell myself its about quality of life now. and I will do whatever I have to do to feel good. To have a normal energy level. When im taking tramadol , you wouldnt even know im sick. My doctors words were always music to my ears... " You need lifetime pain managment"  Im 30 years old now.... I would give 10 years of my life to feel normal without meds.

Im glad that someone said that what im feeling/doing, is typical addict behavior, IT jus reinforces what I KNOW to be true. Even though I tell myself ( even yesterday) that its not that bad.. that Im functioning, I take care of my kids,  I pay my bills , and am not out doing illegal drugs..

I woke up this morning with every intention of going to the outpatient detox/rehab clinic. I just couldnt get out of bed. I know I have to go . I have to do something.

Methadone  maintenance would be perfect IF I didnt have to go everyday. It solves the pain management issue as well.. But it may interact with all my other meds anyway. Im on 2 anticonvulsants , zoloft for nerve pain, coumadin for my blood issue, valium for muscle spasms ( low dose and I hardly ever take it) , baclofen for muscle/joint pain, and more that I cant think of the name right now.

I know I have addict tendencies, even without all the medical problems. Its a perfect storm.



Helpful - 0
10996785 tn?1432812977
Wow, the chronic pain you have. BTW, Welcome to the community, great choice to "get your life back." Without question you have enough problems to warrant pain control meds, but is that anyway to walk through life? I'll answer for myself. NO! The energy you feel from Tramadol is false energy. Your high. No doubt your doing more harm than good. You need counseling more than pills. Change doctors asap.There is a better life out there. Your not as trapped as it may appear. You've stopped other meds, so we know you can do it. Talk to you soon. Good Luck. If you want it, you can do it!....ike
Helpful - 0
1235186 tn?1549257619
COMMUNITY LEADER
Opiates produce more pain when used long term
Hyperalgesia -- opiate induced pain.
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11318065 tn?1462984479
Hi and Welcome!  Isnt it amazing how many people can relate to your story!!!  My drug of choice wasnt tramadol but I can relate to all the other addict behaviors you posted about!  Detox isnt easy and with all your medical issues it will really S**K!  But getting off of them is so much better than ending up in jail or dead!!!  If you can get into treatment that would be such a great option for you!  You just need to find a way to get off the trams without effecting all your other meds and medical problems!  We are all here for you and will help however we can!!!  Keep on posting!!
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Avatar universal
So I'm fighting nausea and a feeling that I know all to well.  I feel like I'm about to freak out. Anxiety is miserable.  I called the only treatment center around and they said it will be 2 weeks before I could start if I want methadone , their suboxone program is full. Anxiety is even worse now  because I was expecting to be able to go there in the morning and get help      I feel like crawling to the ER    

Helpful - 0
6990909 tn?1435275816
Welcome to MH....lots of compassionate, supportive, knowledgeable folks here.  First and foremost, we need to cut our sources when we are ready to be clean.  For you, this is a long, honest, open discussion with your Dr.  Your Dr. knows your medical history and can work with you figuring out non-addictive meds to help with your illness's.  Your Dr may also be able to refer you to an in-patient program.  The qty of pills you are taking is pretty high...I had to reread those amounts.  Quitting CT is gonna be really rough.  IMO, you need to talk to your Dr asap....if you are truly wanting to get clean and break your chains of addiction and get off the roller-coaster ride of pill chasing, then the last thing you need to be worried about is your pain management Dr cutting you off by finding out you are abusing.  
Somebody with your medical history should talk to your Dr.
Wishing you the very best and sending you prayers!
Keep posting for support. You can do this.:)
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Avatar universal
No methadone, no no no!!!! Go back and read some of the others histories like Weaver and Gnarly. From everything I've read, getting off methadone is yet the NEXT drug to get off and that one is a b*tch. Besides, that's just using another substance to fix a substance problem. The problem has nothing to do w/ the pills we chose. It's our addict brains and why we can't live in reality.

Anxiety is very very common during detox. That crawling out of your skin feeling, very typical of detox. HOT bathes. Many of them. And please don't use lopermide for detox. Peeps become addicted to that. And that can do some major internal damage sooner rather than later.

Keep posting. Keep doing what you are doing.
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Avatar universal
I could make it without pain meds ...  There are good meds that treat pain like I have.  Lyrica ... Muscle relaxers ..  All kinds of antidepressants help pain...  I know that...  

I'm committed to getting off this ride.  The constant struggle and one track mind.  Everything else has to wait until I can secure my pills ... We go on vacation... And everyone is having fun , and Im distracted ....  constantly calling my Dr to make sure he's called in my script...  Its like I have to put ALL our lives on hold whole im waiting on doctors.  My life stops   because I feel that I cannot function until I have the pills.   I've spent hours at the ER while my family waits at home for whatever... Dinner ... Help with homework... Things like that.  Then I end up angry at myself because I've wasted time...  Especially when I have wasted hours and  end up with a Dr that gives me 20 tablets with no refills ...

I'm just thinking out loud here... Remembering all the dumb Sh*t I've done.

I feel like I'll never make it without the pills...  I know that's contradictory to what I am saying I want ...  I'm full of conflict right now.

The real me says its over .. I'm done with it ...  The other "me I've allowed the drugs to create says ha yeah right , never gonna happen.  
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Avatar universal
I haven't read the other responses but I have a feeling you would benefit more from ssri therapy like lexapro to replace the tram much more than meth, adderal or subs. These aforementioned drugs are elephants compared to the way less powerful tramadol. The problem with trams is that for reasons unknown, it acts upon seratonin receptors of the brain as well as the the opiate receptors.  Its also long acting. That means it has an antidepressant affect as well as a long half life opiate effect.  CT will be longer and include significant depression from the withdrawal of the AD component. Taper with the help of the prescriber, and get on an ssri like lexapro as well as nsaids like motrin. Take it slow.  
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Avatar universal
Rain, I read your posts and a few of the others. IMO please don't try to detox on your own. You are on so many meds you need to be properly detoxed by a doctor whose also an addiction specialist. The support you get going into a detox center can be very helpful. I went into a detox center and was there 5 or 6 days. They had me going to group counseling all day long and that is where I really began to learn about the dieses of addiction. I was dumbfounded when I went to a class that showed what pain meds actually do to your brain. Addiction re-wires part of your brain that keep you in a viscous cycle of addiction and makes it harder than heck to get straight. Anyway I just wanted to encourage you to get professional help. Also please don't start taking Adderall. I was in a class once with a guy who learned how to make his own prescriptions for Adderall and he was filling 10 prescriptions a month for himself. I have no idea how he got away with it but it finally caught up with him and he made a mistake with the DEA codes and came home one night with three cop cars parked in front of his house. He had legal problems up the butt after that. I wish you the best and God Bless you and all my other brothers and sisters out there in the Land of Sobriety.
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Avatar universal
Wow its been a hell of a day...

Woke up feeling OK.  Then it hit hard.  I had to take a FEW lopermide. Normally I take At least 50 mg just to get by. But I took 10mg or I would have freaked out

Most of the day spent wasted...  House is a mess. Kids need things .. Appointments missed ... Phone calls unreturned.. I've been worthless all day...  

I had enough and had a weak moment ..  

I called one of my doctors after hours and was able to get a script of 30 tramadol called in to Walgreens  

Soon as I hung up the phone , I realized I'd just messed up BIG time.  I gave the doctor the wrong pharmacy info.

Walgreens has my health insurance on file. And its WAY to soon for a refill.
So I immediately called the the store and (stop me if youve heard this one) told the pharmacist that I can't get there before they close for the night so please don't run my either of my recently called in scripts ( I always add an innocent non narcotic drug to the mix to be filled at the same time) I told the pharmacist at Walgreens that I wanted to switch to the 24 hour store and would have them call...

Of course , she said...  

So who do I immediately call to transfer the script? Not the 24 hour Walgreens like I said ( or insinuated rather)

...  But the 24 hour CVS across town... The one that doesn't know I have insurance...  

So as I'm holding my breath during the dreaded 20 minutes it takes to have one pharmacy call the other , when I know I'm in the clear.... Then the phone rings. I knew who it was without even looking and I sent it straight to vmail

It was the CVS pharmaciat letting me know that the tram can not be filled until February 15th    

I got so angry for a few minutes...  How dare that woman tell CVS that I had it filled on my insurance at Walgreens and its to soon to be filled again.

So after I stopped shaking , I got in my car ,and drove to Wendy's and got a milkshake lol

Then after driving around crying and freaking out , I went to the pharmacy... Picked up my regular Valium script ( that I hate) and took 10mgs before I left the store.  Then drove around in the snow, radio blasting , until it kicked in.

I'm home now... Had to laugh at myself.

What an idiotic thing to do ...  When you're caught up in the moment , its hard to not start grasping at straws. But , I guess the only straw I will get tonight is the one in my milkshake :)

I'm looking at rehab now on the computer. My options are very limited because of my insurance, and no way I could go inpatient so that's out.

Thank you all again for being here and giving me an outlet.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I AM kinda proud of myself because normally I would have just gone to the ER and gotten a paper script when the other failed...  And I'm NOT going.  

Somehow that gives me strength ... Its like , even though I failed , I really didn't fail as bad as I could have..  If that makes sense . and I'm figuring out quick that this mental addiction is WAY worse than I thought .  the only thought that gives me comfort right now is that if I really wanted it , its still within  reach ... Its hard to explain...  Almost like a security blanket..  Its still there, and IF I really wanted to , I could get it. Some how that thought makes me feel relieved..  

Strange eh?
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Avatar universal
No its not strange at all. It is a very common mistake that people who are in early detox make all the time. The safety net. The backup plan. This will backfire on you because it will be there lying in wait to get you. And you will go get it. It will be calling your name the entire time and at some point you will listen. By the way, Walgreens didn't tell CVS anything. The national database did. Your name and birthday bring up all past scripts. No insurance needed. Those days of paying cash are over. Please speak to your doctor about a taper plan and start weaning off asap.
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Avatar universal
1000% agreement w/ msdelight.
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Avatar universal
I know..  That has been running through my mind all day.  I know that script will be ready and i know I will go get it. SO.. I will be sure to tell whoever I get help from that its there and I need to let the pharmacy know to destroy it.

I've called 25 local offices and none of them take insurance.  

The last Dr I spoke with called me from his cell and he seems like he was talking to a friend when he spoke to me. Which is nice.. But he said he's never heard of detox from tramadol with suboxone .. Most everyone he sees uses heroine....  but if I want to try it then he's all for it ...so he's gonna call me back in an hour so we can talk.

Still calling other doctors in the meantime....  

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Avatar universal
Found a wonderful drbqho can see me on Monday for subuxone. Only have to come up with a few hundred dollars....  But I'm losing my mind now and my whole body hurts , brain zaps , nasuea and feel like I'm going to jump out of my skin.  

BUT I'm NOT going to get tramadol..  I'm not ..

However I do have an opportunity to get a few sub strips ... I'm probably going to break down and get those    

Lord please help me ... I've fallen in the gutter and can't get out!! Ugh
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Avatar universal
Hey, I'm confused. Why do you need subs to taper from tramadol?
Helpful - 0
480448 tn?1426948538
You have been off the trams for what?  4, 5 days right?  By Monday, that will be a week!  Going on Subs at that point would be just going backwards.  Please give it a LOT of thought...and definitely don't start self medicating with subs you get off the street.

You need a more intensive recovery plan IMO.  You're not addressing all of the underlying issues, you're only looking for relief for how you feel.  While that's understandable.....that part of it WILL get better and eventually resolve.  The addictive tendencies will not....those you have to work on.
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Avatar universal
Not sure if anyone has mentioned it yet but those doses of tramadol could cause serotonin syndrome... Please be very careful x
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Avatar universal
I know that I need a very intensive program. I am definitely getting a treatment plan and sticking to it , counseling and the whole 9 yards.

I called the sub Dr that I'm seeing on Monday and told him what I was thinking. He said he'd rather me get a few sub strips than go back to tramadol or dose myself with lopermide....

so I did get 2 8mg strips.  I took 1/2 of it and a couple zofran for nasuea and I feel perfect.  Not high, not speedy , just pleasantly comfortable.  

I definitely need an intensive treatment plan ; I agree.  But I know myself , and I know that I will need maintaince on medication to prevent relapse until I can get this whole mess straightend out. I know that without meds of some kind that I will always go back to the tram.... Always have and always will UNTIL I can get strong enough to overcome the disease of addiction , not just withdrawal...  

There are so many aspects of this problem. But for me there is even more because it have to figure out how to control all my health problems and pain etc now without pain meds...  

This is the most difficult battle I've ever had to face   and I'm feeling like for the first time , I'm going to actually make it!  I've tried and failed doing it " my way"   and I think I'm going to finally win this time!
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Wow. Where do you live that a doc would tell you to buy subs off the street?? It's to bad you couldn't have hung in there a few more days. I know how bad withdrawls stink but we all have to go through them. You were almost to the end of the physical part. Take care,whatever you choose I hope it works for you!!
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