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Quitting Oxy, need a support forum
  1. #1
    TrishNeal is offline Member
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    Default Quitting Oxy, need a support forum

    Hello.

    I've been on oxy hard for 4+ years due to a botch back surgery. At my highest I was taking 160 mg per day. I got down to 40-60 mg per day earlier this year. Then back up to 80-100. I'm at 70 mg now. My plan is to take

    70 mg tomorrow
    Day 2 70 mg
    Day 3 60 mg
    Day 4 60 mg
    Day 5 60
    Day 6 50 mg
    Day 7 50 mg
    Day 8 50 mg
    Day 9 40 mg
    etc

    The problem is that I have family and work responsibilities so I can't "baby myself" like I have the flu and check out for a whole week. I need to perform and do this at the same time. I've been down this road before and I don't think I can do it without conversing in a forum like this and just be alone, accountable only to myself.

    The other problem is that I still deal with serious flare-ups of back pain pretty frequently. I'd love to get down to where I don't take daily oxy, but maybe take 20 mg on a given day, maybe once or twice per week. Can I do that without using daily again? I hope so. But right now, I have to focus on the here and now, and get way, way down.

    Chime in please!

  2. #2
    Leah987 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrishNeal View Post
    Hello.

    I've been on oxy hard for 4+ years due to a botch back surgery. At my highest I was taking 160 mg per day. I got down to 40-60 mg per day earlier this year. Then back up to 80-100. I'm at 70 mg now. My plan is to take

    70 mg tomorrow
    Day 2 70 mg
    Day 3 60 mg
    Day 4 60 mg
    Day 5 60
    Day 6 50 mg
    Day 7 50 mg
    Day 8 50 mg
    Day 9 40 mg
    etc

    The problem is that I have family and work responsibilities so I can't "baby myself" like I have the flu and check out for a whole week. I need to perform and do this at the same time. I've been down this road before and I don't think I can do it without conversing in a forum like this and just be alone, accountable only to myself.

    The other problem is that I still deal with serious flare-ups of back pain pretty frequently. I'd love to get down to where I don't take daily oxy, but maybe take 20 mg on a given day, maybe once or twice per week. Can I do that without using daily again? I hope so. But right now, I have to focus on the here and now, and get way, way down.

    Chime in please!
    Hi, Trish, welcome to the forum. I don't know anything about oxy. I got off hydros and somas just over 3 months ago, so I feel your pain! I'll be here to listen when you need an ear, and cheer you on. So glad you decided to do this...Chances are, you'll be much better off without those pain pills! There are many great folks on the forum, so I'm sure you'll have plenty support, and someone is sure to know more about oxy than I do! Again, welcome!
    .....Ryka-Leah

  3. #3
    TrishNeal is offline Member
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    yeah not feeling that optimistic. I'm going to give it a try but I have a conference this weekend, road trip next week, and flying my kids to see their cousins second week of August. Maybe I'm wrong but neither cold turkey nor taper sounds like something I can pull off. Maybe I'll surprise mysielf.

  4. #4
    Ricky71 is offline Advanced Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrishNeal View Post
    yeah not feeling that optimistic. I'm going to give it a try but I have a conference this weekend, road trip next week, and flying my kids to see their cousins second week of August. Maybe I'm wrong but neither cold turkey nor taper sounds like something I can pull off. Maybe I'll surprise mysielf.
    Trish - you can do this if you want it bad enough! Saying that, your taper is too aggressive! You should taper between 10-20% every 7-10 days or so, you can speed up or slow down the taper as needed depending on how you feel? As you get lower in dose you will slow your taper down even more and reduce the amount you taper by! Tapering is a very slow process, you'll want to taper slow enough so your body can adjust to the new lower dose so you can avoid or at the very least minimize any withdrawal symptoms?

    Tapering is very difficult and not many people have the discipline and willpower to do it. Most addicts will not be able to ration out their pills, if the meds are around they will justify taking them freely!

    Have you ever tried quitting before and if so were you successful for any length of time?

    As for you being able to control your pain meds in the future on a "as needed basis", most likely no! If you were able to control your narcotics you would of done so all along! Many people think that after they quit their pain meds that they can take one here and there and keep it under control, this is a huge misconception and a big reason for many relapses!

    Opiates are not that good for long-term pain management, opiates can actually cause more pain! You can research opiate induced pain (hyperalgesia) to better understand what I'm referring to? Alot of people often find that once they are off the opiates for a few months they are able to manage their pain with otc pain relievers! I wish you the best of luck. Keep us posted? God bless us all!

  5. #5
    TrishNeal is offline Member
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    Thank you for your reply. I do think you're right about the taper schedule. And also right about pain tolerance- I've noticed that. Do you think there's a difference between being dependent and being an addict? My pain situation is pretty bad and totally legitimate, I've always thought of myself as more of a dependent than addict, but maybe I'm fooling myself. I have such a strong, obsessive desire to get off oxy daily, I was hospitalized for my last flare-up and my dosage seriously spiked, but I'd say 90% of the last 4 years I've been takin the meds as directed. So I hope you're wrong about my not being able to use a pain pill once in a while as needed, but I do fear you're right. Maybe when I get to that point, I can have someone hold the pills for me. But I gotta get to that point first! Again, thank you for your reply, it will surely help me today. Trish.

  6. #6
    Autumnhopes is offline Member
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    Hi Trish!
    Welcome!! I agree w Ricky that the hardest thing is letting go completely of the pain pills. We think (I know I did) that I can just take once in a while, as needed. I also only took as the scrip prescribed. Never more then 4 pills a day. I thought I could control things. I was just dependent on my meds. Yea...was I fooling myself. Wne I stopped I thought I would go mad. I wanted them so much. I was willing to do anything to get more. Tapering was ok, but when I was completely w/out them I was sad... & angry. Not to scare you but be prepared. Have the "Thomas Recipe" on hand. Be ready for emotions to surface. Don't run away from them. It is good to face everything you need to & in a few days/few weeks you be surprised how much better you feel. Physically, mentally & emotionally! It's true OTC meds will help most pain better then you would believe. Life will taste better day after day!!

    YOU can do it Trish!!! Keep us updated

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    TrishNeal is offline Member
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    You're probably right but I need to cross that bridge when I get there. I first have to get down to 40 mg. With work and family obligations, taking a week to myself to go colt turkey isn't plausible. Thank you for your post, it will no doubt help me. Trish.
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  8. #8
    Ricky71 is offline Advanced Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrishNeal View Post
    Thank you for your reply. I do think you're right about the taper schedule. And also right about pain tolerance- I've noticed that. Do you think there's a difference between being dependent and being an addict? My pain situation is pretty bad and totally legitimate, I've always thought of myself as more of a dependent than addict, but maybe I'm fooling myself. I have such a strong, obsessive desire to get off oxy daily, I was hospitalized for my last flare-up and my dosage seriously spiked, but I'd say 90% of the last 4 years I've been takin the meds as directed. So I hope you're wrong about my not being able to use a pain pill once in a while as needed, but I do fear you're right. Maybe when I get to that point, I can have someone hold the pills for me. But I gotta get to that point first! Again, thank you for your reply, it will surely help me today. Trish.
    Yes, there is a difference between being dependent and being addicted. There are different interpretations of the two as well?

    My interpretation of the two are -
    Dependence is simply tolerance and withdrawal to a drug. Addiction is more based on behavior where their doc (drug of choice) is the main priority regardless of consequences!

    Dependency can lead to addiction!
    Last edited by Anonymous; 07-20-2017 at 11:41 AM.

  9. #9
    Leah987 is offline Senior Member
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    Trish, you CAN do this! We, here at the forum, have all been where you are, dependent or addicted (whatever you want to call it) to our drugs of choice, most of us, prescription meds that we were put on for legitimate reasons. But, addicted or dependent,is addicted or dependent, no matter how you got that way....Just know that you can do this. It won't be a walk in the park, but you can, and it will be well worth it. We're a bunch of good folks (except me....I'm just a tad weird!) that want to help any way we can. If you do this, you will have plenty folks in your corner here on the forum! Keep us posted!
    .....Ryka-Leah

  10. #10
    TrishNeal is offline Member
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    So I've asked my doctor for something for my bad pain flare-ups that is mild and non-narcotic. I'm certainly not going to be able to deal with w/d and gnarly pain. My pattern has been every time I make progress w oxy, it gets retarded or undone by a pain flare-up. Although I'm still way lower than I was at my peak (down to 70 mg from 170, but I've been as low as 40). Anyway, I just picked up Tizanidine. Anybody know about it? So far I can say it is NOT helping my pain, but I'm sticking to my plan thus far, and enduring some serious pain and discomfort.

  11. #11
    Ricky71 is offline Advanced Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrishNeal View Post
    So I've asked my doctor for something for my bad pain flare-ups that is mild and non-narcotic. I'm certainly not going to be able to deal with w/d and gnarly pain. My pattern has been every time I make progress w oxy, it gets retarded or undone by a pain flare-up. Although I'm still way lower than I was at my peak (down to 70 mg from 170, but I've been as low as 40). Anyway, I just picked up Tizanidine. Anybody know about it? So far I can say it is NOT helping my pain, but I'm sticking to my plan thus far, and enduring some serious pain and discomfort.
    That is generic for Zanaflex which is a muscle relaxant! I've have used Zanaflex before and got nothing from it! I wouldn't expect it to do too much if anything for pain relief!
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  12. #12
    TrishNeal is offline Member
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    Yeah I hate to say it but I'm going to need the pain meds for the next couple of days. My kids are young and need full care. I left work early to go to the grocery and ended up coming home bc I'm just in too much pain. And I know it's because I cleaned out the garage on Sunday. Hopefully it passes in a few days. When it's on the mend, I'll accelerate the taper. Still though- I'm taking a lot less than I have during previous flare-ups, which I think is an accomplishment. I'm not taking nearly enough be painfree, just enough to go from "suffering" to seriously hurting. Which is still hard. And probably still not comfortable enough to grocery shop. Rice and canned peaches for dinner

  13. #13
    TrishNeal is offline Member
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    Well, hope I have a good night. I'm optimistic because I haven't felt the need to take anything since 2:30 this afternoon. Pain is reduced but I'm anxious about what tomorrow will brin since I'm supposed to have a long day w lots of driving. But we'll see! It does feel good to only have taken the bare minimum today and the previous 2 days. Hope you all have a good night too.

  14. #14
    Leah987 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrishNeal View Post
    Well, hope I have a good night. I'm optimistic because I haven't felt the need to take anything since 2:30 this afternoon. Pain is reduced but I'm anxious about what tomorrow will brin since I'm supposed to have a long day w lots of driving. But we'll see! It does feel good to only have taken the bare minimum today and the previous 2 days. Hope you all have a good night too.
    I wish you a good night, too, Trish. Hang on to that optimism, and keep on tapering. Get that dose down as small as possible, and the jump won't seem near as formidable! Good luck!
    .....Ryka-Leah

  15. #15
    TrishNeal is offline Member
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    Well as expected, I woke up around 4 am with cravings, but I didn't take my next dose til the planned time of 7 am. I'm now on my 3rd day of sticking to my plan. I also don't have to drive into the city til afternoon so the day is looking more manageable. The days ahead are going to be a real challenge with my busy schedule- and weekends are always harder. But with 3 days under my belt, I have real incentive to keep on track. I don't want to undo what I've done. I think I am going to modify my taper, however, and hold at 50 mg for a few extra days, and hold at 40 for a good week or more. Also, my pain today seems MUCH better, but the pain can always tear it's ugly head as the day unfolds. But for now, I feel pretty good about where things stand!
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  16. #16
    Leah987 is offline Senior Member
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    You're doing great, Trish!
    by all means, stay where you are in your taper a little longer if you need to! You're rocking this! ((hugs))
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    .....Ryka-Leah

  17. #17
    TrishNeal is offline Member
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    Last night I could have so easily taken another dose! My back was aching so badly after I got home after a long day, finaly at 9:30. I grabbed an ice pack and went to bed instead. I couldn't even stand one second longer to wash my face. Today is my first day going down to 60 mg. Yesterday was easier in terms of w/ds. So I expect I'll be back to feeling those again today with my cutback, and maybe have some relief on the third day of 60 mg. I've got to get down to 40...seems like a long difficult journey ahead.

  18. #18
    TrishNeal is offline Member
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    Leah I really appreciate your replies, and Ricky and the long Autumn too. In the category of "it doesn't hurt to ask" I would like some more interaction. Especially because of the many weak moments I have. Because honestly I serious doubts. So if you're reading this, just reply with a hello or something so I know you're there. Please and thank you
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  19. #19
    TrishNeal is offline Member
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    Annnnnd I just took an extra 10 mg. Which means I have to go all day and take 20 at the end of the day only in order to make my goal. Uphill climb

  20. #20
    Leah987 is offline Senior Member
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    You can do this, Trish! We are much tougher than we think we are. We MUST be....I'M still alive. Anywho, I know it'll be tough to stick to your plan today, but....you can do it! Do it for those children, who need their mommy clean and sober. They will survive their mommy being in pain and withdrawing for a few days, if it means she is off the pills for the long haul! If I can do this, YOU can do this! Just keep on keeping on, you are doing great! ((hugs))
    .....Ryka-Leah

  21. #21
    TrishNeal is offline Member
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    In this moment, I feel like I can do it today. On my way to the city but somebody else is driving, which will keep my pain more at bay. Right now what I'm craving isn't the feeling of accomplishment I'll have tomorrow when I wake up having another victorious day under my belt. But when the pain and cravings kick in around 3:00, which cravin will win? I've told my kids many time that I'm going to make them so proud of me- i hope when they're much older I can tell them that I did this!
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    Autumnhopes is offline Member
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    Hi Trish
    You can do this! I'm here checking in & out today. I'm home w a migraine but I will be seeing how you're doing. GO TRISH GO!!! don't give up,, minor very minor set back. Keep moving forward!!
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  23. #23
    TrishNeal is offline Member
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    Should have said I AM craving the feeling of accomplishment! Talk about a typo that changes the whole meaning of the sentence!

  24. #24
    TrishNeal is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Autumnhopes View Post
    Hi Trish
    You can do this! I'm here checking in & out today. I'm home w a migraine but I will be seeing how you're doing. GO TRISH GO!!! don't give up,, minor very minor set back. Keep moving forward!!
    Hope your migraine passes without too much suffering. Trish.
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  25. #25
    Catrina is offline Diamond Member
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    Hi Trish and Welcome!

    I just read your entire thread. Forgive me for responding to all of your posts at once even though others have already done that. As usual, I agree with Ricky about ever being able to handle your oxy only occasionally. There is a fine line between addiction and dependency. So fine, in fact that it honestly doesn't matter in the scheme of things. Either way, you will experience the same difficulty tapering or jumping. It's exactly the same.

    I have to give a high five to Leah. She's right you know. If she could do this, anyone can. (Ha! Just kidding Leah.) Couldn't resist giving my buddy a quick jab.

    I know oxy very well. I had an affair with them for nearly twenty years and I've had plenty of practice detoxing from them. I could never taper. Ever. As soon as I'd feel some pain or discomfort, I'd take that extra dose and for a successful taper, we have to resist taking it. I'm sure at some point a doctor has told you to take your pain medication as it's prescribed in order to stay ahead of the pain because if the pains gets ahead of you it will become too difficult to get it back under control. Yep. I think we've all been told that at some point. Know what this turns into? Justification. Once we begin to justify how much pain medication we are taking, the red flags starts to fly.

    Ricky touched on opiate-induced pain and I'm going to talk about it a little too. This is a for real thing so try not to poo poo it. I was prescribed my first pain pills for very legitimate pain issues just like you and in the beginning they helped. After a while, they stopped working as well. So, what do we do? The answer is simple. The doctor prescribes something stronger or tells us to take more of what we're already taking. Really bad advice but at the time, do you think I cared? Nope. I was just handed another armful of justification and on it went until I was totally and utterly out of control. Opiates are intended for short term use for acute pain from an injury or surgery and the reason is simple. It's because they lose their effectiveness quickly.

    I don't know what's wrong with your back but I have back problems too. A surgery last year (after 6 years clean) and another at the end of May this year. I just learned earlier this week that now my back is fractured. I am now on bed rest and I'm taking Aleve for the pain. That's what I used post surgery too. I can confirm for you that although it doesn't sound possible, once I had some clean time behind me, almost any of the over the counter pain relievers help more than oxy ever did. No the Aleve doesn't bring my pain level down to zero but the oxy didn't do it either so I'm satisfied with the pain relief I do get. It doesn't sound to me that it's keeping your pain under control either. I can usually keep it around a four or five and sometimes even lower than that. Of course, there are times that it's more like an 8 but that's usually only after I haven't taken anything for a long period of time. The problem is that you won't know this unless you can get off the oxy entirely for a time and give the over the counter stuff a chance. In the beginning, for me there were some mental challenges with this. I kept waiting for the Aleve to work just like everyone promised me they would and I was getting frustrated. Then one day I took it and about an hour later I was bee-bopping along and didn't notice that my pain wasn't all that bad. I sat myself down and had a good talk with myself. It was true that my pain had been relieved but what I was missing was the opiate buzz. I had learned to associate pain relief with the buzz. No buzz, no pain relief. Once I made that connection, here I am. A fractured back, sitting in bed with my laptop with a bottle of Aleve on my bedside table and my pain is absolutely tolerable. I won't be weeding my garden or mowing the lawn anytime soon but if I stay put right here, I'm fine. On a day to day basis until this new issue, my back pain rarely interrupted my life. I was out out of commission for about two weeks post surgery and then I was back to my usual routine minus lifting and doing anything too strenuous as per doctor's orders. That surgery was done through my belly so they had to cut muscle and put some hardware in. I just had to take it easy.

    Hope you are able to taper. There are folks who do manage to do it but just be aware of the pitfalls. Just like Ricky advised you, you should do this taper very slowly. It's important to be completely committed to staying at the dose you have set for yourself and refuse to take anymore than that. If you need something in between, try some Aleve. If you really want to do this, make the huge commitment to do it even knowing that it won't always be smooth sailing. No matter what is thrown at you, stay committed and don't increase your dose. Ever. If you're unable to do that, you'll know quickly enough. Begin at the beginning and just do your best to get your current dose down and go slowly enough that it's manageable.

    Keep posting!

    Peace,

    Cat

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    TrishNeal is offline Member
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    Thanks for the post Cat- I appreciate the time you put in as well as your thoughts. I just got back from the city and my back was hurting so badly I had to focus on not puking. I had to take 2 pills the second I got home. But I'm not giving up on my tapering. On this, my worst pain day in 2 months, I still took less on the day than I would've a week ago. So I have to give myself that grace. These flare ups usually don't last too long, so I still plan on staying on track with getting down to 40 mg per day in the next week/10 days. I'm not going to beat myself up for being in pain that I can't control. If anything, I'm more committed to "winning" this battle. Tomorrow will be a really telling day. The good thing is that I have become comfortable with managing the less drastic pain and the wd symptoms that come with cutting back. Having had recent success there- the discomfort has become familiar and less fearful. So we'll see what the next 2 days bring. If I don't keep the tapering goal in spite of this, I'll be pretty angry with myself. Trish.
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  27. #27
    Leah987 is offline Senior Member
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    See, Trish? I told you if I can do this you can do this! LOL! Sorry you have been feeling so bad. Hope you are better now! ((hugs))
    .....Ryka-Leah

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    TrishNeal is offline Member
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    Ha thanks for the vote of confidence, I fear it's a little too early to declare victory tho

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    TrishNeal is offline Member
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    Ok would love your $.02 on the following. I'm in a relatively bad flare-up stretch w my pain. Usually lasts a week at most. Tomorrow I leave for a road trip w the fam. 7-8 hr drive. I'm bringing only enough oxy w me to take 50 mg per day. This is really scary because activities outside my norm, like say road trips (!) are what cause and perpetuate flare-ups. I'd hate to be laid up and unable to manage my family on our trip, but I know I'll probably take more than my goal unless I don't have them w me. I filled my mom in on the plan and gave her 60 mg to carry in case we break down or something. Please share your thoughts on this plan!
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  30. #30
    Catrina is offline Diamond Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrishNeal View Post
    Ok would love your $.02 on the following. I'm in a relatively bad flare-up stretch w my pain. Usually lasts a week at most. Tomorrow I leave for a road trip w the fam. 7-8 hr drive. I'm bringing only enough oxy w me to take 50 mg per day. This is really scary because activities outside my norm, like say road trips (!) are what cause and perpetuate flare-ups. I'd hate to be laid up and unable to manage my family on our trip, but I know I'll probably take more than my goal unless I don't have them w me. I filled my mom in on the plan and gave her 60 mg to carry in case we break down or something. Please share your thoughts on this plan!
    I think that it's a really good thing that you are giving this some thought and making a plan. Having someone hold them for you is a good step. Your immediate goal, the way I see it anyway, is not to try and get off of your pain meds entirely but instead get your daily dosage down and back under control. In any event, being in the car for that long and being away from home while you are having increased pain just isn't a good time to be too aggressive with your taper. If I were you, at this point I'd just do my best to not increase the amount you've been taking and be satisfied with just staying status quo. Reducing your daily dose is going to cause some discomfort in the best of circumstances and right now that would be added to the pain you already have because of the flare up. In fact, while I'm not doubting that you have back issues for which you need pain pills to help control, I know that whenever I attempted to decrease the amount that I was taking, my discomfort would settle right into my back making my ever present back pain even worse. I do have to wonder if by reducing this past week has made your back problems worse. This would be classic rebound pain added to the pain you already had. Just a thought. I think that this would be a good time to allow yourself to stabilize after your recent reductions. The proper way to taper opiates is to do it slowly by decreasing by about 10% per week being sure that you are good and stable before making each new reduction. The plan you settled on was more aggressive than this so there's little question in my mind that you are feeling some of the effects of the reductions you have made. If you weren't having this flare up, it would be perfectly fine to be aggressive so long as you're able to tolerate it but you are having this flare up. It's probably best for you to slow down for now, get past the flare up, and stabilize. When you get back home, hopefully your back will be doing better and you can get back on track with your taper.

    I'm not sure if you mentioned it in an earlier post or not, but how much do you routinely take when you are NOT experiencing one of these flare ups? Do you take less on those days or is the amount you take each day fairly consistent? I guess I'm just asking how much you take on an ordinary day and how much do you take when you're having a flare up? Is it the same or do you have to take more than usual when you're having a flare up? I'm just trying to get a handle on your typical daily dosage.

    Hope this helps a little. Once you answer my question, maybe I'll have more or different advice.

    Peace,

    Cat

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