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New to this whole forum thing and have questions about withdrawal
  1. #1
    lakerDman5 is offline New Member
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    Default New to this whole forum thing and have questions about withdrawal

    Hello to whomever reads this,
    A little background on the situation, I'm a 23 year old college student who had to recently quit playing hockey due to injuries. Those injuries were the reason I got myself into this mess to begin with. I have had numerous concussions, along with torn ligaments in my knee (twice), and a shoulder separation. However I never took anything more than what they gave me in the emergency rooms or urgent care (my dad's an oncologist in the small area I live in so I was given dilauded after the shoulder and the knees) until the last concussion happened and the the Post-Concussion Syndrome reared its ugly head and became more than just a myth to me. Suffered through the headaches and mood changes for about 4 months until the fall semester started back up in 2012 and I finally saw a neurologist. He told me that I had to quit playing (which ordinarily wouldn't have been an option due to athletic scholarship but I was fortunate enough to have an alternative way to pay for school) and started me on a plan that basically turned me into a walking pharmacy with Elavil, Topomax, and Propranolol every day, with fiorcet, norco, and imitrex prn. I tried really hard not to take more than I needed, and never got quite too carried away. I got 30 in a refill and rarely had to refill more than once a month. But this past summer I tried making a conscious effort to pull completely away from the hydro crutch with all the new laws coming down from the FDA changing the scheduling and all that, and because I could feel my consumption starting to get higher.

    Which brings me to where I am at today. I'm currently at day 8. It's not the first time I've been here. I went almost a whole month from around Christmas to January 30th without any norco. However every time I go without for an extended period of time I get symptoms of withdrawal. I'm not stupid, I know that my body was getting dependent on it and knew it could trick me into taking some by producing a debilitating migraine/headache.

    I notice the the first couple days without having any I struggle to get much quality sleep and feel a little malaised along with being hit with random bursts of EXTREME congestion. The diarrhea hasn't really hit me hard like I've seen on other people's lists of issues, but the restlessness and anxiety hits me at random times too.

    Does anyone have any good way of avoiding the congestion and sinus issues? And has anyone else who has ever had concussion issues figured out a good way of fighting those headaches with something other than opiate narcotics? Because I'd really like to not take them and just let this opiate ship sail for good, but when I'm in the middle of a physics lab and all of a sudden I can't concentrate on anything or see out of one eye it's pretty hard not to take them when they're the only thing that can stop it if I don't get to the imitrex in time.

    I understand there's people that have it worse off and probably won't appreciate me bringing smaller issues to the table, and I don't mean to offend anyone. But I'm trying to balance a lot of things and I can't really raise the issue with my parents because I don't want my doctor of a dad (and nurse of a mom) look at me like one of the drug addict pill seekers they see in the hospitals. Any help is appreciate, especially on the congestion issue.

    Thanks for your time,
    Drew

  2. #2
    Iwant2help is offline Junior Member
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    No one addiction is lesser or greater than another to me although time,duration and dosage certainly play a part in recovery.I can't speak for every one but one reason my problem got so out of hand was I kept down playing my addiction.
    I tried tapering before but couldn't because if I had them I would take them but the last time I had no choice.I had to reduce wd's as much as possible because that's what always broke me.Self control is a large part.Some people can jump cold turkey and are strong enough to fight it.Others like me are a different story.Once I reached a point to stop all together if after two days it was too much I would take .5mg but lucky for me I only did that twice and it helped with wd's and some anxiety.My biggest help was moving and exercising trying to make my body produce natural dopamine and adrenaline.This helped the most because it helped me sleep.I can't say enough about getting out and pushing yourself.Its good that you're an athlete.Its time you won the game against the drugs.
    Best of luck

  3. #3
    Catrina is offline Diamond Member
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    Drew,

    I know your pain when you talk about migraines! I suffered with those for many years and treated them with opiates as well. At some point, I was told that opiates in fact exacerbate migraines and don't help them at all. I didn't believe them. However, turns out I can say this is true! If you haven't already, Google rebound headaches. That is a real thing.

    The symptoms for a true migraine are more than extreme, debilitating pain. It's the vision thing like you describe as well as intense nausea, the kind that you can't hum through or try to depress. Vomiting is going to happen whether you want it to or not!

    It's good that you're going to try to get off the opiate train. It might however mean that you'll not only have to deal the withdrawal symptoms but deal with the rebound pain from your headaches as well. The timeline, I think is about 5 days for the rebound thing--just about the same as for opiate detox.

    Good luck!

    Peace,

    Cat

  4. #4
    Anonymous Guest

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    Hello and welcome,
    To me there is never a small issue when it comes to addiction. By trying to solve the problem before it gets bigger, you are giving yourself a better chance to grab the bull by the horns and stop the cycle before it gets worse.
    Remember to nourish your body with vitamins, good healthy food and lots of water! LOTS Increasing my liquid intake helped with my headaches.
    Ive also been prescribed medication for migraines and cluster headaches so there are other non addicting medication for headaches out there. I didn't find percocet helped with my headaches too much when I was taking them.
    Seems like you're on the right track with asking questions and educating yourself. Keep up the good work and good luck!

  5. #5
    lakerDman5 is offline New Member
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    Thank you butterfly love, cat, & Iwant2help.
    I appreciate the support and the answers. Even today everything seems back to normal except for those random bursts of congestion, which I don't know what triggers them or how to get rid of it. And I really don't want to use Afrin more than once or twice a week because of all the issues with that. Sounds like I only have a couple more days to get through with the physical rebound headaches, and then it's just getting past the mental part of not using the norco as a crutch.
    Butterfly - which meds did you get prescribed? I'm curious so I can bring it up with my neurologist at my next appointment.

    Thanks again,
    Drew

  6. #6
    Joe-JustJoe is offline New Member
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    So Drew, I think I may be able to add something to this discussion. This is going to be a long post because there's a lot to say but if you take the time to read it I think it will clear a lot of things up for you.

    I'm a methadone patient. I have a very rare condition that causes chronic severe pain and I'm fighting for a disability claim which they don't want to give me for some reason and my only option for a very small amount of cash is a Methadone clinic on Medicaid. In case you don't know, a Methadone clinic is a specialized clinic that dispenses Methadone and sometimes Suboxone as well to patients as a maintenance therapy or to treat addiction or dependency. I've been taking painkillers daily for 12 years now and I don't know if I'd even be alive without them.

    So now that you know a little bit about me let me explain why this is relevant. Everyone has an opinion about these things but so few actually understand them. Your parents being medical professionals do, however, understand these issues. Not every doctor or nurse is entirely rational about pain management or narcotics but most are and it's a pretty safe bet that they'll have a pretty good idea what's going on. If you don't talk to them you are wasting the best resource you have. You had an injury. You're not a drug seeker. You started taking these drugs for a legitimate therapeutic purpose. Now you're having trouble stopping. This is THE most common way to get hooked on opioid and opiate painkillers.

    This is not an unusual situation. They know how severe your injury was. They know what happened to you. They're not coming at this from an ignorant point of view. I don't talk to my family about my medication use save for a few members because they don't know anything. They don't know what Methadone withdrawal is like and they don't know how bad my medical issues are. They're very very severe, if you're curious. I've been walking with a cane since my early 20s. So obviously I'm in a better position to know than them, especially since I'm under doctor's care. And that's the other thing here. You need a doctor. You're whiteknuckling it now and that is the quickest way to start using again. I'm hesitant to describe you as a "user" rather than a patient for two reasons. One, you are taking prescription drugs administered by a doctor for a medical issue. Two, I consider addiction and dependency to be medical issues. No matter how you got there, you have a medical condition that needs to be treated.

    You are not "addicted." I honestly think that term has no value in the real world but to the extent that people use it you don't fit that. You are dependent. That means your body and mind are going to try to get you to give them the drug at almost any cost. You're not desperate to escape reality. Your body has gotten to the point where it cannot correctly operate without certain chemicals. This is a common condition that you have acquired through no fault of your own. Your parents will understand that if they are a good doctor and a good nurse. I suspect they are. You may need some medication for your medical problems. I applaud your decision not to want to be dependent on painkillers for the rest of your life. You should live a long vibrant productive life and not one where you're constantly worried about the monkey on your back. That's what you deserve, not this. Your parents can help you decide what the appropriate course of treatment is. The congestion, headaches, diarrhea, pain, vomiting, etc. are all going to get very bad before they finally go away and you know that. But your migraines might not go away. You might need meds for that. You might need some kind of decongestant to help with your breathing. These things are common and easy to get if you have the right information. Your father has that information. He's a doctor.

    The bottom line here, Drew, is that you're trying to get control of your life back after a severe injury and a resultant drug dependency. You're still young. You can do this. But you have to do it right or you may well make it worse. You're not a junkie who's trying to kick >>>>>> or something like that. You're a person who had something bad happen to you. You did not ask for this and your parents will know that. You need to get a doctor to help with this. Your father honestly should not treat you himself. It's unethical. Many doctors don't have a big problem with treating family members but I think it's distracting and compromises judgment. So he'll probably refer you to a colleague. This is your best chance and you need to take it if you expect to be successful. Please talk to your parents.

    Let me tell you one more thing that I really want you to think about. You may think I'm totally off the mark here but I am not. This is the truth and I 100% guarantee that. You not wanting to talk to your parents is the drugs talking. The areas of your brain that are affected by the drugs are trying to get you to sabotage yourself. You know deep down you need a doctor and your parents can help. You on some level want to keep taking these meds. And you're building a case for an unsuccessful recovery. You will try and you will likely fail unless you do it right. Don't let the drugs boss you around and take away your best chance at success. They've taken enough from you. It's time for you to take the power back, don't you think? Don't you think you should be in charge of your life and not a chemical dependency? You're setting yourself up to fail and then it will be "Well golly gee, it didn't work. I wonder why I couldn't make myself quit. Hmm.... I wonder." This is BS. This is the drugs. Not you. You need medical treatment because you have a medical condition. Talk to your parents, talk to your neurologist, and talk to your GP. They can all help. If you want this to work, I guarantee you have to have a doctor present. The pain will get very bad and you'll be driven back to the pills. I've been there. I had to accept it was just going to get worse no matter what so my doc finally convinced me medication was the course for me and others with my condition. But that's not the case for you, it sounds like. You need to address the migraines, you need to address the pain, and you need to address your life. Talk to your family. It will not be as bad as you think. They know what happened and they've seen this kind of thing hundreds of times. So many people get hooked on pain pills after they've been injured. They get that. Please talk to your family.
    Thisweekforsure likes this.

  7. #7
    Thisweekforsure is offline Advanced Member
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    Joe just joe said it better than I could. The only thing I will add is go get checked for sinus infection. When I got off an opiate I got the regular sniffles and congestion but after a few weeks it turned into a bacterial sinus infection, 10 day course of antibiotics cleared it up. That could be contributing to your headache. Also, get evaluated for night teeth clenching. I realize that is a different type of headache from migraine type or post concussion, but it could be contributing. You are stressed. Stress causes clenching which can only make headaches worse.

    You are in the middle of a physics lab; you get an extremely severe headache. The idea to take a painkiller in this situation is NOT addiction, it might be the only rational choice you have. BUT if you get comprehensive help giving you multiple tools to help you, then you can rely on opiate pills LESS often and have less problem with becoming physically dependent. Taking them every day will get you dependent. Using them as a tool when needed for situations as you describe in the lab is another matter entirely.

    Joe is correct, medical professionals understand all these issues although I understand your reluctance to admit you have recognized physical dependency issues. Because you are recognizing it so early and are so concerned about becoming dependent, you are a step ahead of becoming an addict. Do beware and stay vigilant, but don't fear being open with your parents and your doctors. Share with them the extent to which things are or are not working for you and let them help.

  8. #8
    Ellie1771 is offline New Member
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    I'm new to this whole forum thing and I'm not sure if I'm in the wright place, I can't find how to put my own post in the forum. please help

  9. #9
    Ricky71 is offline Platinum Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ellie1771 View Post
    I'm new to this whole forum thing and I'm not sure if I'm in the wright place, I can't find how to put my own post in the forum. please help
    Here's a link to the "Need To Talk" forum - https://www.drugs.com/forum/need-talk/

    At the top of the page click on New Tread and post away. Give as much detail as you can so we can better help you!

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