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Codeine addiction
  1. #1
    Louise84 is offline New Member
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    Default Codeine addiction

    Hi everyone, I hope this is ok to post here, I don't feel as though I have anyone I can talk to about this.. my husband isn't very understanding about things he hasn't experienced, so I haven't mentioned to him that I'm concerned..

    I started taking codeine when I had my son 11 years ago, it was an emergency csection and that was the pain relief afterwards.. I wasn't dependant on it then, just used it for migraines etc (as intended I guess!)

    Skip forward 9 years and another csection, (2 years ago now) afterwards they gave me 60mg every 6 hours and I loved how relaxed and happy (?) it made me, other people have told me that they feel so sick and dizzy after taking codeine, but it honestly made me feel amazing! They sent me home with LOADS of 30mg tablets..

    I found myself taking them when I was a bit stressed, I could just lay back and feel myself relaxing, like a warm massage!

    Once I had run out of them I started buying co-codamol, then realised you can get more codeine in solpadine max and nurofen plus.. at this point I was taking them daily, as I felt so stressed without them.. (at this point I didn't realise I was dependant on them)

    By now my daughter was 12 weeks old, I went to the doctor as I thought I had postnatal depression, he said I did and gave me some AD's and a course of CBT.. whilst I was doing the course, discussing negative thoughts etc, I was constantly thinking that I wasn't experiencing what they were saying, it didn't seem like I was depressed about anything, just really sad.. I stopped work, started becoming a stay at home mum.. this is still my current situation..

    But now I realise that I am addicted, I am not taking a lot, literally just 25-50mg per day.. but if I don't take them in the morning, then the side effects kick in by 10.30am.. I have no willpower with them at all, I say to myself not to take them, but my body seems to reach for them itself..

    I stopped a few months ago, immediately I had the worst tummy for a few days, felt so angry and short tempered, had horrendous restless legs (whole body) from about day 3-7.. and literally ZERO energy..

    Thinking now, I think I never was depressed (mentally I mean) I think it was the codeine making me feel this way? Would that happen? I feel as though this is really putting a strain on my relationship with my husband, and friends are non existent now..

    I'm not sure why I am even posting here, not sure what I am asking for.. just confirmation I'm not mad I guess?

    I've taken 25mg today, I've got more.. shall I bin them? Use them to wean off?
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  2. #2
    zebra1961 is offline Member
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    Default Louise84

    I quit drugs cold turkey, that was best for me because if i had i took them, some people can taper down this lessens withdrawals,my where prescription also not codeine but none the less they where opiates.I was given them for back and knee pain, When i quit there was pain still but it actually improved when i stopped, hard to believe but over time it was causing more pain!! you can quit!! just like i and many others have. First week was tough same symptoms you had, but after that withdrawals lessened and lessened, life on this side is much better!! In about two weeks you should be much much better like your self before drugs. Look up Thomas recipe when your gonna quit get the items listed there and follow the plan it really helps. DO NOT GIVE UP you will make it. Ask your Dr. to give you some meds to help if you think you need help. I think cold turkey is the best because it gets over much quicker, when you taper it takes longer but you do what works best for you keep us posted. will pray for you.
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  3. #3
    Louise84 is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by zebra1961 View Post
    I quit drugs cold turkey, that was best for me because if i had i took them, some people can taper down this lessens withdrawals,my where prescription also not codeine but none the less they where opiates.I was given them for back and knee pain, When i quit there was pain still but it actually improved when i stopped, hard to believe but over time it was causing more pain!! you can quit!! just like i and many others have. First week was tough same symptoms you had, but after that withdrawals lessened and lessened, life on this side is much better!! In about two weeks you should be much much better like your self before drugs. Look up Thomas recipe when your gonna quit get the items listed there and follow the plan it really helps. DO NOT GIVE UP you will make it. Ask your Dr. to give you some meds to help if you think you need help. I think cold turkey is the best because it gets over much quicker, when you taper it takes longer but you do what works best for you keep us posted. will pray for you.
    Thanks Zebra, I just seem to get so far, then something stresses me out, or I get anxious about something and go buy some, then it's daily again!

    I just want to be happy

  4. #4
    zebra1961 is offline Member
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    Default Louise84

    Once you get clean you will be happy and it last without more drugs I thought the same way, but now being clean for 7 months, this is much better. Stress comes and goes, and its easier to handle for me when i think clearly,You can make it because if i can anyone can,good luck keep us posted and it wont be long and you will be free, it can be done dont give up!!

  5. #5
    freeme47 is offline Junior Member
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    Hi Louise, just read your post and I can so relate to you. I also started an addiction to codeine after caesareans (one emergency and one elective). I didn't know what codeine was but I knew taking these small pills made me feel so much more able to cope with 2 small children. Fast forward 9 years and I spiralled and ended up taking up to 80 codeine/ibruprofen a day, was referrred to a drugs clinic by my doctor and put on methadone, still taking tablets on top. 5 years ago I was put on suboxone and 41 days ago I came off and am free from all opiates.

    The reason why I'm telling you this is i don't want you to end up where I was. Have you tried talking to your doctor about starting a taper plan with him, gradually weaning yourself off? Just try and get as much support as you can from someone who knows what you are going through. post on here and use it as a diary and way to vent if you need to. There is life after these pills and you will be happy again. Sending lots of support your way. T
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  6. #6
    Louise84 is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by freeme47 View Post
    Hi Louise, just read your post and I can so relate to you. I also started an addiction to codeine after caesareans (one emergency and one elective). I didn't know what codeine was but I knew taking these small pills made me feel so much more able to cope with 2 small children. Fast forward 9 years and I spiralled and ended up taking up to 80 codeine/ibruprofen a day, was referrred to a drugs clinic by my doctor and put on methadone, still taking tablets on top. 5 years ago I was put on suboxone and 41 days ago I came off and am free from all opiates.

    The reason why I'm telling you this is i don't want you to end up where I was. Have you tried talking to your doctor about starting a taper plan with him, gradually weaning yourself off? Just try and get as much support as you can from someone who knows what you are going through. post on here and use it as a diary and way to vent if you need to. There is life after these pills and you will be happy again. Sending lots of support your way. T
    Wow that's a coincidence! I have spoken to my doctor, who is useless to be honest, but he said to just stop as it's such a small amount.. but what I tried to explain is that regardless of the amount, for me it is controlling my life, and I can't stop it.. I don't see the difference between 25-50mg daily or 250-500mg daily, both have the same issue..

    I just feel so silly! I am an intelligent person! I have worked with medicine for years.. but it got me..

    So basically I had 25mg yesterday at 11am, that's the last dose, I'm already feeling so so lethargic and down.. and really bloody hot!
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  7. #7
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    Hey Louise, my thread is on the Need to Talk section but I saw your post here and thought I'd jump in and say hi. I totally get where you are coming from with the over counter opiates. I'm coming off morphine and stronger pain killers but I have had a problem with the over counters in the past and to be honest it was just as difficult trying to get my head around stopping them as it was/is morphine or Subs. The depression/fatigue thing is part of opiate withdrawal and can continue for some time after stopping. I guess the thing we need to remember is our brains can not begin to heal if we still giving it the drug that has caused it to become depressed in the first place, from experience, it doesn't matter how low the dose is! How are you doing now? can I ask if you are I the UK?
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  8. #8
    Elcey is offline Member
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    And I'm saying Welcome as well Louise, my addiction was also codeine, the prescription ones, approx. 300 - 360mg per day. I tapered fast and then stopped when I was about 2 days of 120 mg. You mentioned feeling depressed. I was depressed all the time I was taking them as I knew how I was taking them was wrong and not the way they were prescribed. Legally prescribed for pain, but I used them for the 'relaxed' feeling you spoke of; kind of a little mini vacation a couple times/day.

    Anyway I'm now (almost) nine days off and will be trying to get a handle on what my real pain levels are. I'm also in the Need to Talk section.

    I saw some commonalities in the codeine, depression, and running out, that's why I'm responding. I was forever counting, counting endlessly. At your current level, I would definitely just jump off and do whatever withdrawals come your way. I do not think you'll have too much difficulty, except for the habit, mental part. But that's where this forum comes in for you to share, read, talk. Imodium (loperamide??) does a great job and everyone mentions the Thomas recipe that you can google for.

    Really hope to see you around.
    Elcey
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  9. #9
    freeme47 is offline Junior Member
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    Hi Louise, just wanted to check in and see how you are doing? Hope you are ok. T

  10. #10
    Louise84 is offline New Member
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    Hi everyone,

    So I first posted a week ago, and unfortunately I didn't manage to stop.. I decided to take just one co-codamol at a time to try and cut down.. but it didn't happen, I just took them more frequently.. I have no willpower!

    So yesterday morning I flushed them all, went to the pharmacy and got some vitamins for energy and wellbeing (B12 was my main aim and these have 400% recommended daily dose) to hopefully make me feel a little less lethargic/lazy..

    I stashed the empty packets in next doors wheely bin so my husband wouldn't see them, but the bright red solpadine max wouldn't flush! So there is still a red blob at the bottom of the loo!


    I'm feeling positive, got a headache but just took some ibuprofen and asked my husband to get me some forehead stuff..

  11. #11
    Catrina is offline Diamond Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Louise84 View Post
    Hi everyone,

    So I first posted a week ago, and unfortunately I didn't manage to stop.. I decided to take just one co-codamol at a time to try and cut down.. but it didn't happen, I just took them more frequently.. I have no willpower!

    So yesterday morning I flushed them all, went to the pharmacy and got some vitamins for energy and wellbeing (B12 was my main aim and these have 400% recommended daily dose) to hopefully make me feel a little less lethargic/lazy..

    I stashed the empty packets in next doors wheely bin so my husband wouldn't see them, but the bright red solpadine max wouldn't flush! So there is still a red blob at the bottom of the loo!


    I'm feeling positive, got a headache but just took some ibuprofen and asked my husband to get me some forehead stuff..
    Hi Louise,

    Good decision to flush and get on with it. This has little to do with will power and you're not alone. It's actually a rarity that some people are able to successfully taper. Hang in there and hang in here. Post often and read! Buddy up with Elcey--she's doing so well but still struggling with the mental part of this. I know that others have told you that it makes little difference which opiate you are taking and not much difference in how much of it they're taking either. So true! The physical part of detox is in my opinion easier (? not a good word but you know what I mean) than our mental and emotional healing. Just like I said to Elcey and will now say to you--I don't envy you the fact that you can just drive to the store and get more tablets if you want to. When I was actively using, I of course hated how hard my drug of choice was to get. Now, I'm grateful.

    Read as many threads here as you can stomach--especially the long ones. You will identify with what others have gone through in order to get through this and it helps to know that what you are feeling is typical and expected but most especially that it's totally doable once you commit to it. Don't worry about later today, tonight or tomorrow. Just for now, stay strong and refuse to take anything unless it's to treat your symptoms with non-narcotic supplements. Ice for your head. I used it on the base of my head on the back of my neck, and heating pads for my back and legs. Hot baths and stay as busy as you can both physically and mentally. Take a time out and be good to yourself. The world will wait a few days for you.

    Keep posting.

    Peace,

    Cat

  12. #12
    Louise84 is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catrina View Post
    Hi Louise,

    Good decision to flush and get on with it. This has little to do with will power and you're not alone. It's actually a rarity that some people are able to successfully taper. Hang in there and hang in here. Post often and read! Buddy up with Elcey--she's doing so well but still struggling with the mental part of this. I know that others have told you that it makes little difference which opiate you are taking and not much difference in how much of it they're taking either. So true! The physical part of detox is in my opinion easier (? not a good word but you know what I mean) than our mental and emotional healing. Just like I said to Elcey and will now say to you--I don't envy you the fact that you can just drive to the store and get more tablets if you want to. When I was actively using, I of course hated how hard my drug of choice was to get. Now, I'm grateful.

    Read as many threads here as you can stomach--especially the long ones. You will identify with what others have gone through in order to get through this and it helps to know that what you are feeling is typical and expected but most especially that it's totally doable once you commit to it. Don't worry about later today, tonight or tomorrow. Just for now, stay strong and refuse to take anything unless it's to treat your symptoms with non-narcotic supplements. Ice for your head. I used it on the base of my head on the back of my neck, and heating pads for my back and legs. Hot baths and stay as busy as you can both physically and mentally. Take a time out and be good to yourself. The world will wait a few days for you.

    Keep posting.

    Peace,

    Cat
    You make such sense Cat! X

    So I'm Day 2, it's been about 52 hours since my last dose.. I'm not feeling as bad as I have on previous attempts!

    I'm tired, could lay on the sofa all day, really want to sleep, like that's going to happen with a 2 year old!

    Tummy upset today, but haven't had any aches and pains yet, the one I'm dreading more than anything is the restless legs (well whole body!) that was horrendous
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  13. #13
    DravenDomnq is offline Advanced Member
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    Hey Louise, welcome and great job on you for flushing your pills!! Hyland's makes a couple products that really help me with the RLS called "Restful Legs" and "Leg Cramps PM". I think they make one other product for the legs as well that I haven't tried, but those 2 I use pretty regularly and really help me. Keep up the great work, and keep hanging in there!! Be well!!
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  14. #14
    Elcey is offline Member
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    Great job Louise. I am here for you too. I for second the Hylands Restful Legs, helped me tremendously even in the worst of it. Mostly lasted about 5/6 days (make that nights), then it settled very well. You can do this. Tapering is so-o-o hard, not physically but mentally because if they're there, I will eat them to be rid of them. So proud you flushed!

    I also used nutritional supplement drinks like Ensure/Boost because for lots of us it's difficult to figure out what might hit our stomachs right, never mind MAKING it. I know you've a 2 yr. old which can be exhausting for sure. Does your husband know what you're trying to accomplish, or is he providing some help around the house so that you can rest for the first 2-3 days?

    Keep posting when you can. You (we all) are fighting the good fight.
    Elcey
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  15. #15
    Louise84 is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elcey View Post
    Great job Louise. I am here for you too. I for second the Hylands Restful Legs, helped me tremendously even in the worst of it. Mostly lasted about 5/6 days (make that nights), then it settled very well. You can do this. Tapering is so-o-o hard, not physically but mentally because if they're there, I will eat them to be rid of them. So proud you flushed!

    I also used nutritional supplement drinks like Ensure/Boost because for lots of us it's difficult to figure out what might hit our stomachs right, never mind MAKING it. I know you've a 2 yr. old which can be exhausting for sure. Does your husband know what you're trying to accomplish, or is he providing some help around the house so that you can rest for the first 2-3 days?

    Keep posting when you can. You (we all) are fighting the good fight.
    Elcey
    Hi Elcey,

    My husband doesn't know anything about the whole situation, he has been suspicious of me taking so many tablets, but that's as far as it's ever gone.. that's why I suddenly realised I had to stop, as I was buying packets and hiding them, so the ones in the medical cupboard didn't go down so fast!


    I've just woken on day 3 and I ache from head to toe! My ankles, knees, back, shoulders, neck... so painful! Is this because the meds were covering the pain, or is it happening because I have stopped them? Surely I can't have done something to mke my whole body hurt? Must be the withdrawal?

    Is the restless leg medication available in the U.K. I wonder? I'll have a google... last time I had it and spoke to the doctor about it, he told me to take night nurse!

  16. #16
    Louise84 is offline New Member
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    6.59am - up since 4am, ready to explode! I'm so tired, children are being a nightmare! I just tried to have a super hot bath as my legs were aching so bad.. but they are jumping on beds and running around - neighbour has a small baby & it's the weekend! So had to jump out and had a bit of a rage.. now both are crying and I have mum guilt (although I didn't say anything out of line) honestly struggling to see how I can get through today with out any pills..
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  17. #17
    Catrina is offline Diamond Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Louise84 View Post
    6.59am - up since 4am, ready to explode! I'm so tired, children are being a nightmare! I just tried to have a super hot bath as my legs were aching so bad.. but they are jumping on beds and running around - neighbour has a small baby & it's the weekend! So had to jump out and had a bit of a rage.. now both are crying and I have mum guilt (although I didn't say anything out of line) honestly struggling to see how I can get through today with out any pills..
    Hi Louise,

    I'm sorry that you had a tough night. The head to toe aches and restless limbs are a part of the detox symptoms. If there's good news to be had, both of these things should end very abruptly in a day or two. For me, any many others, the relief isn't gradual, but just stops. Stay strong, you're not far away from some much deserved relief.

    The Mum guilt. Oh yeah. That's a part of it too. It isn't that we say or do anything wrong, it's because our patience is at the zero mark because we are tired and don't feel well and there's that part that is telling us that this is our own fault. Forgiving ourselves for all of this is going to be a part of our recovery and is essential or we end up relapsing to deal with the guilt. More on that later. Just get through today the best way you can. A couple more days but for right now, you are not taking those tablets and that's the most important thing. Don't worry about later today but instead just get through the right now.

    Peace,

    Cat

  18. #18
    DravenDomnq is offline Advanced Member
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    Hey Louise, like Catrina said, just have to hang in there a little longer. Takes a little while to get everything out of our system, but it does get better! Also, whenever I'd be going through a taper withdrawal, and even when I made the jump, there were days I was just a mad bear around here. My gf has put up with it all, and was always understanding, but I still would always feel guilty for the way I would snap at anything. That feeling of being on "edge" just can be so overwhelming sometimes. Just takes time for our bodies and minds to adjust to being off the pills, but once they do then things just get better and better! Just have to hang in there a little longer. You're doing GREAT, you really are, and just have to keep taking it at your pace and one day at a time!
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  19. #19
    Elcey is offline Member
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    Hiya Louise. I'm so glad Cat and Draven jumped in there with some answers - I was truly sick with sinus infection when I stopped the codeine so there was no distinction as to why I was hurting. Just knew I was. The Imodium saw me through and nutritional drinks. As for the Thomas recipe, I understand it's really good but I have to be careful about what I'm taking b/c of other medications I'm on. Definitely Google the Restful Legs and for sure some kind of England comparison will pop up for you.

    Your comment about hiding the pills from your husband takes me back so much to my liquor hiding days - underwear drawer, under sink, in my trunk, in my shoes. Had some very nasty heart wrenching mornings when I couldn't find my hiding places. Ended up buying only plastic bottles as they were quieter and easier to trash. PS Before I stopped the codeine this time, I was even hiding THEM from myself only - no husband anymore - another story.

    Cat's right. You're getting close to the time where the symptoms start easing. My legs can still give me trouble at night, but I think that's partly due to my recent inactivity during the day. Need to get them pumping again! Still a little lethargic and need to push myself - BUT compared to the first 4 days, omgosh so much better.

    I am sorry you are feeling guilty about your words re the kids. But remember what you're doing for yourself and how much more appropriate your actions are going to become day by day. I never had kids so cannot speak too much about possible feelings I for sure never experienced, so that's all on that.

    Keep going today - hour by hour. Nap if you can. I am still using my heating pad throughout the day. Do you have one? And Google that Hylands stuff.

    Hope you can post later. You can do this Louise.
    Hugs, Elcey
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  20. #20
    Krysmith78 is offline Junior Member
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    Hang in there. You got this. You are in the middle of the worst part so things are about to get easier. I have a different drug of choice but I went through the same things in December when I tried to stop for the first time. I already have chronic pain, so when I tried to stop back in December I thought the pain I was experiencing was going to be my new normal level of pain. But it mostly went away!

    I think it is normal to be short on patience and emotional during this time. Don't be too hard on yourself. You will be back to yourself soon.

    I am pretty angry that your doctor didn't take you more seriously. This is how drug addicts end up with worse addictions that go on for years. The fact that you recognized it and asked for help and were blown off makes me so angry. Who cares how many mgs you were taking at a time? The effects of withdrawal are difficult and if you have had trouble stopping then you are addicted, it shouldn't make a difference what the dose is.

    Anyway, you are amazing for moving forward and doing this yourself anyway. You can do this! I am on day 3, my second attempt at this. I am finding so much support here. Just keep checking in a posting how you are doing!
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  21. #21
    Louise84 is offline New Member
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    Hi everyone,

    Thanks for your replies, I did have a little nap.. then went out for a bit to take our dog swimming..

    I haven't been to buy any pills, I have found the restful legs on Amazon, £10 I think, so have ordered some.. looks homeopathic, is that right?

    My husband is being a bit of an >>>> today, which is another issue... in fact it's probably the same issue really! Another story maybe...

    Thanks guys, love to you all xx
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Louise84 View Post
    Hi everyone, I hope this is ok to post here, I don't feel as though I have anyone I can talk to about this.. my husband isn't very understanding about things he hasn't experienced, so I haven't mentioned to him that I'm concerned..

    I started taking codeine when I had my son 11 years ago, it was an emergency csection and that was the pain relief afterwards.. I wasn't dependant on it then, just used it for migraines etc (as intended I guess!)

    Skip forward 9 years and another csection, (2 years ago now) afterwards they gave me 60mg every 6 hours and I loved how relaxed and happy (?) it made me, other people have told me that they feel so sick and dizzy after taking codeine, but it honestly made me feel amazing! They sent me home with LOADS of 30mg tablets..

    I found myself taking them when I was a bit stressed, I could just lay back and feel myself relaxing, like a warm massage!

    Once I had run out of them I started buying co-codamol, then realised you can get more codeine in solpadine max and nurofen plus.. at this point I was taking them daily, as I felt so stressed without them.. (at this point I didn't realise I was dependant on them)

    By now my daughter was 12 weeks old, I went to the doctor as I thought I had postnatal depression, he said I did and gave me some AD's and a course of CBT.. whilst I was doing the course, discussing negative thoughts etc, I was constantly thinking that I wasn't experiencing what they were saying, it didn't seem like I was depressed about anything, just really sad.. I stopped work, started becoming a stay at home mum.. this is still my current situation..

    But now I realise that I am addicted, I am not taking a lot, literally just 25-50mg per day.. but if I don't take them in the morning, then the side effects kick in by 10.30am.. I have no willpower with them at all, I say to myself not to take them, but my body seems to reach for them itself..

    I stopped a few months ago, immediately I had the worst tummy for a few days, felt so angry and short tempered, had horrendous restless legs (whole body) from about day 3-7.. and literally ZERO energy..

    Thinking now, I think I never was depressed (mentally I mean) I think it was the codeine making me feel this way? Would that happen? I feel as though this is really putting a strain on my relationship with my husband, and friends are non existent now..

    I'm not sure why I am even posting here, not sure what I am asking for.. just confirmation I'm not mad I guess?

    I've taken 25mg today, I've got more.. shall I bin them? Use them to wean off?
    Hey why don't you post a thread in the Need To Talk section... More traffic there. If you really don't have the willpower then jumping off might be the way forward. Otherwise, make a taper plan and go slow to lessen any symtoms. Unfortunately, depression and fat iu linger for a while so it's something you will have to except as part of your recovery. Google the Thomas recipie and get some over the counter comfort meds, this is totally doable if you really want it! Good luck and hope to see your thread! Edit... Just realised I replied to an older post... Not sure what happened there. See you have lots of replies. Good luck!
    Last edited by Anonymous; 01-08-2017 at 11:12 AM.

  23. #23
    Louise84 is offline New Member
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    It's been one month! Feeling so relieved..

    Not gonna lie, it's hard walking past a pharmacy, I still feel like I want that feeling one more time.. but I'm not silly enough to know what that will start again!

    Still feeling a bit like Jekyl and Hyde!

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