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5082295 tn?1371250911

how long does it take to get off vicodone & how to?

I've been on & off hydrocodone for 2yrs (on more than off..starting bc of two knee surgerys in the past 2ys now can't stop completely) . I've never taken (regularly) more than 3 tens a day. I've been thru withdraws b4 but only made it a couple days bc the leg cramps were unbearable. (That's the worst besides anxiety) & being so fatigued. Plse if any1s been thru this I need help. I also take valium at night so that helps..but other than that idk what to do to get off these & really need to. Ive tapered off as much as I could but I'm gonna be out probably tomorrow. so any advice? More the withdraws & how to keep myself from taking them again..ever. thanks
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4810126 tn?1503942735
Hey there psychdegree! Thanks for reaching out.

I couldn't agree more with both ariley13 & kyle505 -- They are covering two different angles of this. You must be prepared to do absolutely everything it takes to get & stay clean. That's simple fact. Nothing else will work. You have to really want it.

What ariley13 is referencing is opiate-induced Hyperalgesia: This might really help you to understand -- a Wiki link explaining it:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opioid-induced_hyperalgesia

You can do this if you want to, my friend! We're pulling for you.

Helpful - 0
5347058 tn?1381188426
Hi and welcome! It is possible to get off of vicodin. I have 50 days off of them today. The withdrawls are the worst for the first 3-5 days. You are on a fairly low dose, so the withdrawl symptoms shouldn't last too long. Main thing you can do is stay hydrated. There is a link at the bottom of the page for the thomas recipe. It has all kinds of good vitamins and supplements that help lessen wds. Take hot baths with epsom salts. That will help you relax, help restless legs, and also help draw the toxins out. Be sure that you cut off your access to the pills. Whether it is a doctor or a dealer, you won't make it if you have access to them. Also, check into NA/AA, or counseling. Aftercare will help you to maintain your sobriety after the wds are over. Stay on this site for support and encouragement. We have all either been through it, or are currently going through it. We are here for you. You are not alone.
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5082295 tn?1371250911
Thanks sooo much for the fast response! I never saw myself as an addict but I guess taking it w out a cript & wd's shows. I've been trying so hard for I'd say 4-5 months to just stop but once I do it seems like more comes around & I get them..saying every time..I'm going to use these to taper off & quit. After the 3rd time now doing it I think I don't have the power to do that w out taking them. I am in real pain..its not just for the high or to stop the wd feeling, having knee pain & bursitis which a month ago doc gave me 40 5's as a week supply (1-2 every for hrs) took it as it said. I never thought I'd b like this. B4 I took them regularly, I only took them on occasion when I had pain. Now its when the tinys pain starts etc. I hate I can't stop now.
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5347058 tn?1381188426
A lot of us have legitimate pain. I have a crippled back and had a script for vicodin. I never bought them on the street or took more than my prescribed amount. I found I was dependent on them and they didn't really help anymore. I could feel the addiction starting to take hold. It is very hard to quit, but it can be done. I think you will be surprised how much better your pain is once off the meds. Our brains trick us into thinking we are in more pain than we actually are so we will take more pills. I was taking 6-8 10mg vicodin a day. I went cold turkey and did it in a semi truck! My bf is a truck driver and I am on the road with him. If I can do it, so can you!
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5082295 tn?1371250911
Yeah I absolutely agree! The meds barely help & sometimes I realize when I stop then start takin them again I think my actual pain is worse but the w drawles are gone. I need to c a doc about this bursitis & c if they can treat it w pain management none narcotics tho..bc those obviously aren't helping or ill just need more. It's just not worth it..wish my nervous system thought so too!
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1970885 tn?1435860428
You are the only one who can stop putting pills in your mouth. When you stop using, you get clean. There is no other way. Now, there are things that you can do to move you along the road to recovery, but you have to really want to stop. And being out of pills tomorrow isn't a great reason. Will you be getting a refill in the future - do you have access to meds?
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5082295 tn?1371250911
I'm suppose to get a refill but almost to scared to get it bc I don't want to keep going like this..I'm trying to taper but that doesn't seem to completely stop. Plus I soon will not get refills unless the doc sees no other way..the pain is bad but by taking it like the other person said u need more & more & then it really stops working anyway
Helpful - 0
1970885 tn?1435860428
Tell your doc. IF you have legit pain issues then you may, in fact, need some sort of medication. However, if you're abusing it, then your doc needs to get involved. You can't self medicate; it will only push you into dependence on pills. Tell your doc.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Hi psychdegree

Many of us on here are chronic pain sufferers and have found natural methods to control our pain.  We were "tricked" by the drugs and believed that they were the only way to reduce or eliminate the pain.   The longer we were on them the worse our brain became.

If you truly want to quit tell your doc.  But you have to really want to stop.
Have you had enough?

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5082295 tn?1371250911
hey guys! Thanks so much for the replies! I am prescribed these but every month I run out a little more sooner each time bc as most of us know, our bodies continue to need more of this awful mess. But Im on them temporarily so I wont have anymore. At all. & b4 when I ran out like I said I went thru the w/d symptoms & that really scares me. Also I "know" I will be in pain so its like a catch 22 kind of. I believe after this (bc this doc is treating only my hip not all the other issues) I am going to some type of specialist (don't know who deals with pains all over so may be just my general doc, whos a registered pharmacist too) & see what he thinks. He's been my doc for years & even goes to our family's church & spoke at my uncles funeral. He has never prescribe me anything for pain & tries not to. So I think I can trust his opinion. But I don't know how long it will take to get in & I also don't know when these w/d will happen. As this doc said I need to tapper, which Ive done my best in the past 2 weeks (slipping every now & then) but he said regardless bc I have been on them this long I will have w/d symptoms. But I also don't think he realizes I have b4 when I ran out & they weren't just minor (tho thank goodness I had no throwing up or didn't have to go to the bathroom at all..but everything else was a mess) I don't know all this is scary esp trying to tell anyone I know bc I don't want them thinking Im a druggy. I have my B.S in psychology, and I don't drink or anything & for someone to know this would be very upsetting to me. So I don't know if I am in denial or that Im not addicted or I am, but have a cript, or what. Bc theres no way I could think of my self as an addict, walking around looking for my next fix and not be in a depressive state. Just need some positive feed back bc Im really not hiding this (from you) but I know somethings gotta give I cannot be on these forever. Thanks again for ALL your help!
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1 Comments
Don't feel bad.  I'm a Christian and I go to church and was prescribed hydrocodone when I started having severe back problems.  Went to the back surgeon and he did and MRI and told me I needed back surgery.  That was 3 years ago because of heart issues that kept me from having the surgery.  So now 3 years later I'm still on pain meds, but 3 days ago I went cold turkey.  I feel horrible, I mean absolutely horrible but I'm determined to be off these.  I even gave the rest of the pain meds to my sister and told her to take care of them and destroy them so I wouldn't be tempted.  I did not ask to be dependent on any pain meds it just happened and I am like you!  I feel awful and don't want anyone to know but this is something I will have to get over.  I've started making a journal of everyday and what I'm going through trying to get off, hoping I may be able to help others with this problem that they too didn't ask for.  I pray you'll not feel bad but realize this pain medication is given too freely and people aren't aware just how badly it can effect you.  Same thing for this medication they are giving for depression.  It is worse getting off that more than the pain meds.  My mind has gone blank and I cannot think of it but just don't feel bad.  It is happening to many, many people.  I would say there are many people in your church that have had or they are going through the same thing.
1416133 tn?1351123217
We need to remove the SHAME associated with being an "addict"!!  Enough already.. it happens to the best of us and all we can do is (hopefully) realize the problem and do what we need to do to fix it.

And don't get me wrong, that takes a lot of work.  But the LAST thing you need to be thinking about is what "others" will think of you.  All that matters, right now, is that you find a way to become well, whatever that takes.  It's not an easy road, but one worth traveling if we get a good plan in place and commit ourselves to a better life.

Hang in there - where are you now in your taper?  And when do you plan to quit for good?  This forum can be a huge support for you right about now, so welcome.  I'm glad you found your way back to this place.  :)  (and I promise, you will be too!)
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5082295 tn?1371250911
Im now down to between 3-3 1/2 of 5mgs a day. This can be kind of confusing of how I was suppose to take them to explain what the starting amount was. So ok...I was prescribed 5mg hydrocodone, its said I could take 1-2 every 6 hours. Which meant I could take either just 3 5mg every 6 hours or 6 5mg a day. I ended up doing both not 6 every day but normally around 4-5 was my average of the 5's. (equaling 6 pills which made it 10mgs) So I've cut it in half, never taking 6 pills a day (15mg I think it'd equal too) But like I said it seems if I get lower than 3 (bc ive tried doing like one in the morning, half at lunch half when I got off work) the w/d's still happen. & I know I use to say the same to ppl..addiction is a disease one that needs to be treated in a healthy way not a shameful way. But for some reason I cant see myself as that person Ive talk to who was/has been an addict. So where do I go from here? B4 I was in pain I did enjoy taking them every now & then but could always stop. But now bc of the pain ive been in I thought this was what I need now, I need my God and if not for Him I'd just be taking what ever I could get my hands on..but seems like I still don't know what to do right now at this moment. If the pills r in front of me, esp if I am in pain I will take them. :( just at a loss
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Your an addict just like the rest of us.  Now you simply need to decide if you are "ready" to quit?  Have you had enough?  Are you sick of being sick and tired?   Sorry to be harsh but until you decide you are spinning your wheels.

Good luck.
H.F.
Helpful - 0
5347058 tn?1381188426
You remind me so much of myself. I had a script for norco 10/325 for a serious back injury. I was up to 6-8 pills a day. All prescribed. Never bought them off the street. I was definitely dependent on them and pushing slowly into addiction. Addiction runs heavily in my family, and I have had a problem with alcohol in the past. I had to admit that I was an addict. It is very hard to do.It took me quite a while to entertain that thought. I think that there is such a stigma on addiction. These pills are addictive. Even if you don't have an addictive personality, you will become dependent on them after a while. You will experience w/d symptoms. I know that in your heart you know the answer to this. Are you an addict? If so, you need to address that. Tell your doctors what is going on. There are many other ways to address pain issues without resorting to narcotics. Set up a plan for recovery, whether it be NA/AA, or counseling. I'm sure that you know the drill, especially considering your educational background. We are here for you, and want to see you succeed. Good luck to you!
Helpful - 0
1416133 tn?1351123217
OK well, than that's why the pills can NOT be right in front of you.  Look, I know how hard it is to see your life ahead clearly right now, believe me, I remember.  I too was at a loss and nothing seemed to be the solution for me.  But I was wrong.  And you are too.  You CAN live a life without the meds, like I said, you just need a good and sound plan in place.   And most importantly, that plan needs to include a non-narcotic way to treat your pain (and there are dozens of ways to do that).

Can you connect with a Dr. (current or whomever) who can help you with this?  You don't have to do this alone, nor do you have to do this with any "grace"... f that.  It's hard, and the withdrawal isn't easy, but it's doable.  You just have to want to be free more than you want to be high (or medicated, or pain-free. whatever you choose to call it).  It's up to you.. and I think you have it in you, don't you?  A little belief goes a long LONG way.  :)  (and even with my current situation (OA), after I quit, I realized living a day in some pain (which btw is treated very effectively with OTC meds) is a hell of a lot better than living a day chained to some bottle.  It's just NOT worth it, and you know that, or you wouldn't be here.

Hope that doesn't sound harsh, just trying to get you to see what's happening in front of you.  :)
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5082295 tn?1371250911
No, none of you are being harsh, I know deep down this isn't right I just cant see myself as an addict I guess. & I remember back when I did have severe stomach issues, I was never put on these kind of pain meds & I dealt w that (yet it was from the time I was 15-18 so most docs wouldn't put a teen on pain pills for anything like that) & That's EXACTLY how it feels! being chained to a freaking bottle that barely helps the pain, then I wait a little while & take more. Such a vicious cycle...that only I can make up my mind to end...that I do know...having the courage to do it is another story. The w/d's are my biggest worry and not knowing what to do when the pain returns. But right now I have a few weeks to figure some things out with this as I put my notice in at my work after finding out some bad things that were going on there (total different issue) so Now I don't have work to worry about & I have a lot of my time to focus on this. Admitting to myself will be another task. No matter who tells me I am I have to see it thru my eyes...which will be some soul searching on my part. & for telling any1..besides my mom (which im still not admitting how scared I really am) is gonna be a hard task. Im scared if I tell a doc that may go on some record or a flag or something idk how that stuff works & if so Id rather do it all on my own..some how. Even tho im sure it would be easier w a doc. Ive told my psychiatrist in the past how hard it was coming off of them w my knee surgery & he helped & told him this time w the bursitis & he said becareful not to get like you were w your knee..yet not saying anything about the w/d's. Ah so many mixed emotions in this situation!
Helpful - 0
5347058 tn?1381188426
I know it is scary to think of the wds. I went through wds in a semi truck while on the road with my boyfriend. I was on a much higher dose than you are on now. I also have 4 herniated discs in my back and sciatic nerve damage that causes severe pain in my legs and feet. If I did it, I know that you can. Your wds will not be too bad since you are on a low dose. You can do this!
Helpful - 0
5082295 tn?1371250911
A lot of ppl say that bc I wasn't on a high dose but whats normal to happen on the dose Im on? Plus I have anxiety normally anyway (some depression, esp thru wd's) so my emotions are crazy during that time & I don't wonna even leave my house. I feel some ppl are stronger than me thru this. The leg cramps (besides the mental stuff) is the worst! I hate that part..sometimes I felt like I couldn't walk, my legs were so weak. So eventually I give in & take them. Like last time w my knee, I was doing so good & then just wanted it (this was b4 the 2nd go round w finding half a pill) so I took one. I know the w/d's are really the easy part, but trying to mentally keep myself from going back is going to be tough for a long time. Some ppl say it stays like that for a year (even tho Im sure you have to resist alotttt longer than that!) But Ive never made it thru the whole entire w/d (like I said above that was the worst parts) so what would it be like for me (I know my doc said the w/d's could last up to 2 weeks) but ive only made it like 4-5 days...a year ago.& I mean all the symptoms...? Thanks again for your understanding!
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5347058 tn?1381188426
Symptoms vary a lot, but can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, anxiety, depression, lethargy, sleeplessness, restless legs, generalized muscle pain. That doesn't mean you will have all of them. I sure didn't. I also have anxiety. Always have. It was a mind game during wds. I had to really go with the flow and not stress myself over how bad it was going to be. I found out real quick that only makes it worse. You may have some of these symptoms, but hopefully the worst of them will be over in 3-5 days. I think that tapering down your dose will help you alot. There are supplements that you can take to help too. With hydrocodone wds, they usually peak around days 3-4 then slowly start to get better. It's not going to be easy, but there are definitely things you can do to make it more tolerable.
Helpful - 0
5082295 tn?1371250911
& that's my problem! (even w everyday stuff!) I over analyze everything! I guess bc I went to school for psychology but even b4 I think I did. So I may feel it a little & think..of my lord how bad is it gonna get?? WHATS  gonna happen next! I guess I will have to recognize that when I start to freak out. Bc I image it to get very extreme. Someone messaged me some supplements too, but I have meds for the mental stuff, what helps with the physical part & weakness & cramps? Bc I have a high tolerance for anything so a lot of vitamins haven't helped in the past unless I just didn't take enough or for long enough.& sorry one more question, what will happen if I tell the doc, will I get in trouble for being dependent?
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5082295 tn?1371250911
Hi, I meant to also ask how did you stop taking them/get off of them? & what kind of pill & mg & stuff...how long did it take? & ibuprofen & like goodys really doesn't help much for the more serious pains, plus I have stomach issues & anytime I take them I have to take a zantac too which I don't always have and cant take it as many times as you can take the OTC meds (like zantac can only be taken twice a day) .the goody powders do help for like headaches or when I catch my muscle pain quickly.
Helpful - 0
5347058 tn?1381188426
You won't get in trouble. If your doctor has any sense, they will know that you are going to be dependent on the pain pills. If you take them long enough, it's going to happen. Your doctor should be able to set up a taper plan for you. If you can stick to it, the wds will be a lot easier. For me potassium helped more than anything. It helps the restless legs and cramps. Also,. staying hydrated, like a ton of water,gatorade, and juice helped. No caffeine! It makes the anxiety worse.
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5082295 tn?1371250911
Thanks so much! Def gonna try that!
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4810126 tn?1503942735
Hi Psychdegree! I just wanted to add to the great advice that my buddy ariley13 above gave you. Please, go to the search box and look up 'Thomas Recipe'. It is a detox protocol that many here have successfully used in part or in it's entirety. There are other things that help as well that we can discuss after you take a look at it.

One of the biggest difficulties with detox is people's actual Fear & Stress. Many look for a replacement 'magic bullet' or pill. The hard fact of the matter is that there isn't one. There are, however, things that will mitigate some symptoms. You mentioned that vitamins, etc. didn't work for you. The longer amount of time you put between you and your DOC, the more the natural remedies will work. Please consider that acute withdrawals only last for a brief period of time a week or less for most pill takers. That isn't an unreasonable amount of time to put in to begin your new life is it?

I hear you on the 'over analyzing' thing. (although I didn't do it during withdrawals because I really understood the nature of what I was facing from past experience & because I really, really wanted it.) It's very important to not to overstress about this. It's the stress/fear/over-thinking instead of just planning ahead & being determined that keep so many chained and miserable. It's your actual habit that's talking to you, here & it's tricky/devious. It's fighting your common sense & 'higher' self. It's important to be on your guard and to begin to understand this when it whispers that you can't do this or you must take a pill. It's a lie! Don't listen to it.

What think ye, psychdegree?
Helpful - 0
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