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Old 04-06-2010, 02:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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New - Percocet Addiction


I'm completely new to the site, stumbled on it while doing a search for substance abuse forums. At the start, I had access to Vicodin, and I would take maybe one every other day, than one per day. Two years ago I was diagnosed with a pinchsed nerve, and they gave me a prescription for 120 10/325 Percocet per month. Problem is, over the last two years, I've found myself running out of pills too early, to the point where over the last 5 months, my 120 pills are gone in two weeks. Every month I tell myself that I'll take my four pills per day and that's it, but next thing you know, I'm out. I have zero self control.

Also, I originally smoked pot for 12 years basically non-stop, and when that stopped, the pills came into my life not long after.

My wife and I had a talk about my problem over the weekend after she realized I was running very low on pills, and today is my first day attempting to quit. I've done some reading here, and I really admire so many of your stories, which give me hope.

I know I just started, and I expect it to get worse before it gets better. On the bright side, I have a job that keeps me busy, I go to the gym every day, and I have a wife who's very concerned and there for me. I just need to find that place that lets me realize life can be normal without being high, and that's the worst part for me.

Anyhow, I just wanted to introduce myself. I wish those of you trying to recover the very best of luck and success.
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Old 04-06-2010, 02:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't know how many you were taking a day? My husband was taking I think 14 or so. When he tried to stop cold turkey it got very ugly. There are many risks, including seizures. Had to get two guys over here to convince him to go to the hospital. Which he did and detoxed for four days before going to rehab.
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Old 04-06-2010, 02:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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During weekdays, I would say about 6, and on weekends closer to 10. Overall, 120 pills in about 14 days, so about 8-9 per day on average. I'd then spend two weeks without any pills at all, and refill when I could. I'd think about not refilling and riding the two weeks spent without, but I'd just go and get more. I wasn't willing to do anything illegal to get more while I was out.
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Old 04-06-2010, 03:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm glad you made it to this point! My husband was just a shell of a human being wandering around for two years on those things. You'll no doubt feel so much better when all is said and done! :-)
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Old 04-06-2010, 04:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Well you know how you will fell when you stop. You do it every 2 weeks. Once you stay off the pills for some time your brain will readjust and you will start to enjoy life without being high again.
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Old 04-06-2010, 08:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Well, the bad news is that percocet is exactly the same as oxycontin, which is one helluva addictive drug. The worse news is that it is mixed with acetaminophen, which if used continually can cause liver damage.

The good news is that you are only using 10 pills a day which for an oxy addict isn't very much at all. You would have to take 16 percocets a day to match an 80 mg oxy user, which is still a pretty low dose compared to some of the folks on here. So your withdrawal shouldn't be anywhere near as bad as most of the stories on this forum.

That doesn't mean it won't suck! Best of luck to you.

What are you going to do about the pain? I assume the pinched nerve hasn't miraculously healed itself.
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Old 04-06-2010, 09:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Welcome to the Sober Recovery community.
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Old 04-06-2010, 10:50 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I found that it's really not how many pills you take but how much you want them.
After that I new I had a problem.
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Old 04-07-2010, 06:35 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Day 2 - I had a dream last night that I had a bottle full of pills, and I was struggling to make the right choice, but ultimately didn't take anything. I don't have any dire physical withdrawal symptoms, it's mostly very mental. I can't find interest in anything, so I'm just lying on the couch watching TV, feeling miserable.

The dangerous date will be next Friday, when I would normally be allowed to refill. My wife and I discussed emailing the doctor, stating that I'm going to try and deal with my pain without the pills. I didn't want to admit addiction to the doctor, because I would imagine they flag you, and if I ever have any serious medical issues that require pain management, I'd prefer to have that option available. Thoughts?

As for the pain itself. I'm taking an anti-inflammatory every day and Ibuprofen, which makes it tolerable.
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Old 04-07-2010, 10:25 AM   #10 (permalink)
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"I didn't want to admit addiction to the doctor, because I would imagine they flag you, and if I ever have any serious medical issues that require pain management, I'd prefer to have that option available. Thoughts?"

Okay I have a thought! Okay, I don't know you at all so I'm not saying you're doing this. Many of us have these strings. We don't want to cut all strings (at least our drugs don't want us too). We sometimes don't realize that's what we're doing.

So, ask yourself "what is the right thing to do?" "What is the responsible thing to do?"

It's been my experience that doctors will just be more careful with you. Rightfully so, this is for your health benefit. A good doctor will not let you languish in pain. They will monitor you more carefully.

Remember "Rigorous Honesty"

All just my wee opinion!!
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Old 04-07-2010, 01:38 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Dave- The biggest mistake I made was not telling my primary doc that I was abusing pills.

I have dealt with chronic pain and surgery since being treated for addiction. I was not "flagged" or denied appropriate medication when needed. No competent medical professional wants to see you in pain.

The most important issue you face right now is dealing with what you know is an addiction. Get that right, then you, your doctor and your wife can work together to develop any plan you need to deal with your pain management.

I also want to correct one possible bit of misinformation- seizure is not generally a risk associated with withdrawal from opiates. Big risk with benzodiazepines and alcohol, but not traditionally associated with opiates.

However, the risk of liver damage with the high levels of acetaminophen you're ingesting is very real. Even though, at 10 pills a day, your are under the max recommended daily dose of 4,000mg, long term use at the doses you're taking can cause liver damage. Be aware. (This latter information is not to be interpreted as medical advice, but rather quotation of fact as noted on poison control sites as well as OTC drug resource sites).
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Old 04-07-2010, 04:27 PM   #12 (permalink)
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"I also want to correct one possible bit of misinformation- seizure is not generally a risk associated with withdrawal from opiates. Big risk with benzodiazepines and alcohol, but not traditionally associated with opiates."

Ahhh, thanks! The 12 steppers who got my husband into the hospital did so by telling him of possible seizures. It got him to go! So I (ass)umed it was fact. :-) I did read about the acetaminophen - That's very true.
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Old 04-10-2010, 01:18 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Dave,

I would have to say that telling your doc not to allow you to refill is the first step, the second step would be to tell him you think you have become dependant on the pills and he will treat your pain with non-narcotic meds. Oh BTW Tramadol is addictive as heck also but in a different way so don't fall for (it's not an opiate) it technially isn't but it works on the same receptor of the brain so you can become dependant on them!!
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Old 04-13-2010, 05:44 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Today makes it one week for me! Been pretty rough in patches, but as long as I stay busy, I'm ok. Still have times when my brain is "mourning" the inability to get high, but I've been able to keep it together and stay positive. I put together a vision board that I placed over my desk to remind me of all the things that are important to me outside of substance abuse, and it helps.

If you're not familiar with vision boards, here's a basic summary:

How to Make a Vision Board

Example of what one may look like:

Sobriety vision board image by Foodfetishlv on Photobucket

I used pictures and photos that triggered emotions in me, and they really do the trick when I'm starting to feel anxious.
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Old 04-13-2010, 10:37 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Glad to hear you are feeling better, Dave! Though it seems like the physical w/d might be the most 'painful,' as addicts the mental pull of addiction can really get to us...esp. in times of 'boredom.' Do you have a recovery plan in place? Have you decided to talk to a dr about your issue with opiate addiction? I know I was scared of the 'red flag' too, but like others here have said - no good dr is going to keep you in pain. Pain management is monitored closely for an addict, and alternatives to opiates are used when appropriate. There will likely come a time in your life when opiates are necessary, short-term (surgery, etc.) and as long as you work closely with the doctor, you shouldn't have a problem. I'd try not to think too far into the future about this though. What can you do to help yourself, today?

Do we as addicts have a stigma attached to 'us'? Sure. But you gotta do what you gotta do to keep yourself healthy and safe, and 'telling on youself' to any possible (legal) supplier of opiates is a good call. Have you tried any AA/NA meetings or a non-secular group like Life Ring?

Thanks for the 'vision board' suggestion. This sounds like an interesting idea and I think I will make one of my own Good luck to you! Keep posting on your progress....
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Old 04-13-2010, 03:38 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I reluctantly had that conversation with him; you folks obviously have far more experience in this than I do, so I followed your advice. He was very supportive, and prescribed Clonidine for detox. Hopefully it'll help.

As for staying busy, luckily work absorbs 8 hours per day. I'm a Project Manager, so I spend my days interacting with people in one form or another. Even through my addiction, I worked out five days per week, and now more than ever that habit is really helping me cope. The endorphins from exercising hard get me pumped up and feeling positive, which is very valuable.

The hardest part is when I get home. I have a wonderful and loving wife, but we're on one income while she studies, so our budget is paper thin, which severely limits our entertainment options. For me, that pretty much means TV, video games, and internet. I am overdue to get my PMP certification (Project Management Professional), so I've created a study area and placed my study guides there as motivation. I'm not quite mentally ready to engage that, but I'm close. That'll definitely help.

Overall, I'm feeling better than I was a few days ago. I'm hoping the Clonidine helps me sleep at night; according to Wiki, it helps combat insomnia, so here's hoping.

For those of you new to detox or trying over and over again, I tell you to be strong, have hope, and it'll get better. It's only been a week for me, and I already feel somewhat better. Thank you all for the support and kind words so far, they are heartfelt. I'll keep updating as I go along, and will probably post a photo of my vision board to hopefully offer some inspiration.
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Old 04-14-2010, 10:19 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Awesome Dave! I know it doesn't seem like it right now, but you did a great thing for you and your recovery by talking to your doctor. That's a big move and you should be proud of that. Think back to oh, say...2 months ago or so, while in active addiction. Picture yourself calling your doctor and telling him to cut off your opiate supply. Better chance of ice skating in he!!, right? Big changes, good stuff.

I know what you mean by feeling there is not much 'entertainment' to be had when you are low on funds. The study nook is a great idea! And think of the $$ you'll be saving from not filling the Rx. You can buy yourself an ice cream cone! Or take your wife for dinner + movie night. Speaking of which...and I am a lady myself so how do keep this PC? When I was actively using, I didn't have much interest in anything other than...well, using. Soon after I stopped...my mojo came back. Hello, Time Filler! Enough said

You are doing great, Dave - keep up the good work! Please do post some pictures of your board!!! Have you thought about trying a meeting?

P.S. The last (and hopefully final!) time I detoxed, my doctor rx'ed Clonidine. I would say it cut my w/d symptoms by 50%, if not more (and I am a big baby when it comes to w/d pain.) For me, it really helped with the sweating/regulating temp., racing heart and head, and anxiety...also reduced that g-d awful cold, gross feeling in the pit of my stomach. By reducing all of these symptoms, I was less tense, so the muscle aches were more managable as well. Personally, I was rx'ed a low dose 3x/daily, however, it did make me very tired so my doctor agreed that I should take it in the evening only...unless I was really bad during the day.
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Old 04-14-2010, 11:09 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Thanks for the words of encouragement!

Funny you say that about Clonidine. Took some last night, and it completely melted away my anxiety. But like you said, I was practically cross-eyed falling asleep on the couch. Took one at work today, which wasn't as bad since I was busy with emails and conference calls. Still, I could feel the difference. He gave me a low dosage as well, I believe it's .1 mg and 3x a day.

Even with the Clonidine and the regular sleep aid that I take, I'm still waking up at 4am and not really able to fall back asleep, when I normally sleep through til my alarm at 5:45. Anyone have suggestions for that? I normally catch up some on the weekends, but by the end of last week, I was feeling really sluggish at work.

I wish I would have known about the Clonidine last week, so if you're trying to quit, definitely ask your doctor about it, it helps a bunch.
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Old 04-16-2010, 08:21 PM   #19 (permalink)
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WOW! That is awesome that you are doing this. Congrats on having the courage to speak with your Dr. you have to SAVE YOURSELF FROM YOURSELF. I had to have the talk with my Dr as well and I had to tell my fiance all my little ways of getting my DOC (drug of choice) and i found myself very hesitant at times. Ultimately had I not done that there is no doubt in my mind I would have relapsed already. It isnt easy by any frikn means but when you start to wake up in the morning feeling energized and can walk outside and the beautiful sun shining makes you want to cry cause it feels so good to feel you then realize it was all worth it! Good Luck and keep up the awesome work!!!! Maybe hit up some NA meetings, they really work! When i first walked into a meeting I thought OOOOOOOK this is weird but you know what if it works who cares!?!
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Old 04-17-2010, 08:32 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Well, I thought I would give this a try after reading. I have been using for over a year. I thought it was fairly harmless, only using one loratab or pecocet of 10 mg or less but when I tried to quit I have found that I have been having the same symtoms as eveyone using more heavily. I want to do this on my own but can't and have no one to talk to about it. My question to anyone is how long am I going to be going through this even being, what I thought, was a mild user? Are the WD the same for me.
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