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Withdrawals. My experience
  1. #1
    livelearnknow is offline New Member
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    Default Withdrawals. My experience

    Long time lurker and as I go through withdrawals for probably the 20th time, I wanted to give some insight from my perspective and what to expect for those that have not gone through this and are looking for lots of information from different people beforehand.

    I hope this is the right area. If not, please move to the appropriate forum.

    I'm 40 years old and have suffered from a back injury since highschool. The pain is always with me, but there are better ways to manage it. I used to be big into weightlifting, and for those 6 wonderful years....I had very little back pain. More muscle = more support = less pain.

    pain killers are the easy way out, and for most of my adult life since 18...I've been on them. This is a summary of scale of misery from withdrawals I've experienced over the last few decades. This is only for physical withdrawals. The mental part that persists for months after is hugely apart of genetics/personality and your mental state even before you became dependent on these meds.

    Cold Turkey / usage length for each between 6 months and 2 years

    Hydrocodone (Misery level = 1 to 6)
    - Timeline (3-8 days)
    - How long is based on usage amount and I would assume your age. In my 20s I was over it in 3 days. Now it takes 7.
    - Symptoms:
    - Day 1 (Aches, Cold Sweats, Diarrhea)
    - Day 2 (Cold sweats, Diarrhea, Aches, Mild RLS, Insomnia, Possible stomach cramps)
    - Day 3 (Same as above + Possible Vomiting(heavy users), Bad RLS)
    - Day 4 (Irritable, Emotional, Bad RLS)
    - Day 5 (Honeymoon feeling, Heightened senses, Mild RLS)
    - Day 6 (probably some lingering issues like RLS for those that are susceptible to it, but otherwise you're over the physical withdrawals stage)

    Oxycodone (Misery level = 2 to 7)
    - Exactly same timeline and symptoms as above if equal dosage. Most oxy users are taking higher amounts, so extend the timeline by 20%.

    Morphine (Misery level = 2 to 8)
    - Timeline (3-10 days)
    - Same symptoms as above, but heavy usage will present a very rough day 2-4. Take immodium and anti-nausea medication if you have it as the diarrhea and possible vomiting could be severe.

    Methadone (Misery level = 5 to 8)
    - Methadone has a much longer half-life. It's going to be rough...
    - Timeline (20-40 days)
    - Symptoms (Same as above)
    - You may need some sleep assistance around day 7. Your body will be shutting down from exhaustion yet you still can't sleep.
    - Expect complete insomnia for 6 days. Bad insomnia for another 6 days. and mild insomnia for the rest.

    Poppy Tea (Misery level = 8 to 10)
    - Over 100 active alkaloids with morphine being the highest amount. This is some very nasty stuff. If I had known how horrible it was going to be to come off this stuff I would have never tried this 'natural' alternative. This is basically opium straight from the plant.
    - Timeline (21-90 days)
    - Symptoms are the same as above yet multiplied by a factor of 10. You will have to have immodium AD with you unless you want to be hospitalized for dehydration. Your body will not process anything. Blue Gatorade going down, will come out Blue Gatorade.
    - Complete insomnia for 3 weeks. Your brain will 'shut off' to protect itself from failure. basically you will lose track of time for 10-20 minutes and have no idea where it went.
    - RLS everywhere, not just your legs, but your arms, hands, fingers, even you head you will have to move from side to side for hours on end.
    - I've heard others liken it to an extremely heavy >>>>>> user going Cold turkey and then extending those bad withdrawals 3 times longer.

    Tips / Observations:
    - If you take xanax in the short term to 'try' to get sleep, when you stop taking xanax, do not take B vitamin supplements for 3 days. They invoke panic attacks for me while the body adjusts to no xanax and I read it somewhere online as well when I researched it. If someone knows why, please respond!
    - Limit caffeine during withdrawal. It will make it worse
    - Adderall/Ritilin will help for mild withdrawal since it boosts dopamine, but make a bad withdrawal worse. If you are prescribed ADD meds, take this into account.
    - Alcohol raises serotonin so it 'can' alleviate a mild withdrawal to an extent, but you will feel worse when you sober up since your body is now trying to recover from THAT. If it's a bad withdrawal (heavy usage) stay away from alcohol period.
    - During the diarrhea stage, eat light foods that are easily digestible. I use frozen yogurt shakes.
    - Exercise if you can muster the energy
    - Get outside in the sun
    - Call in sick to work for days 2-4. For methadone and Poppy Tea.....well, good luck. I worked through it and it was absolutely miserable but we do what we have to.
    - Immodium AD for the upset stomach period. Don't take for longer than 5-6 days straight.
    - Aleve during the day for Aches, but don't take after 4pm as this and Ibuprofen will make RLS worse.
    - Nyquil makes RLS worse
    - Hot showers helps temporarily. During the bad days I would take 10 showers a day.
    - After the severe diarrhea stage is over start taking supplements that boost dopamine, serotonin, and those that activate neurotransmitters to get your brain working again faster.
    - FYI, from several medical professionals I've talked to: It takes 4 months for the brain to normalize Dopamine production. So the mental fight after the physical stage is over will last 4 months for most people. Knowing this now will hopefully help me set a goal.


    I have no idea if any of this information will be useful for anyone. I just wanted to pass on my experience on what withdrawals I've suffered so that others may have an idea on what they might suffer.
    Last edited by Anonymous; 02-02-2018 at 12:34 AM.
    ForMe30 likes this.

  2. #2
    asp44 is offline Member
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    Hey live, welcome to the forum. That was an exceptional piece of writing and very informative.
    Unfortunately I too am going thru withdrawals from oxy for about the 10-12th time. And of course it sucks.
    Yes the showers are helpful but only short lived. Im in my car as i type this so restless i dont know what to do with myself!! Why in the world do i keep doing this!? Pure insanity. Only about 30 hrs into this one. Misery

  3. #3
    livelearnknow is offline New Member
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    Hang in there asp44, it will be over soon as you already know. The toughest part for me is the RLS. It takes over my life during withdrawal. I can't hardly function. Nothing can take my mind off it.

    With the above I wanted to point out some taper plans that actually worked for me. Bear in mind this is only with something you can be exact with. This excludes Poppy Tea or any other 'dirty' opiate like H can be.

    Example 1:
    Hydrocodone or Oxycodone user
    Amount: 100mg a day
    Plan:
    Drop 20mg every 4 days until down to 40mg a day
    Drop 10mg every 4 days until down to 10mg a day
    Drop 2.5 mg every 4 days until down to 2.5mg a day
    Do 2.5mg a day for 2 days and then quit

    The 4 days is based on how long it stays in the system. With Morphine you can drop faster. With Methadone you must drop slower, etc.

    Example 2:
    Hydrocodone or Oxycodone
    Amount 100mg daily
    - Prereq, fast taper
    - Day 1-2 Drop to 80mg
    - Day 2-3 Drop to 60
    - Day 4-5 Drop to 40
    - Day 6 Now it gets fun. Don't take anything for at least 24 hours. When the Cold Sweats start to come on strong but Diarrhea is still a few hours off, take 20mg and go to bed immediately when the cold sweats somewhat subside.
    - Day 7 Do the above again but only take 10mg and one dose of Immodium
    - Day 8-10 Take 5mg daily (at night) with one dose of Immodium on day 9. Try not to take Immodium on day 8 or 10.
    - Day 11, Off

    You will still suffer from withdrawals, but they will be much milder.

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