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Have become highly dependent on my Oxycodone please help
  1. #1
    charlottemay is offline New Member
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    Default Have become highly dependent on my Oxycodone please help

    I am new to this forum. I have always come here to read posts and forums and to be honest was always scared to write my own thread. I have been on percocet and now 15 mg oxycodone for over 5 years. I started with 5mg percocet then 10mg percocet and I am now on 15mg oxycodone 4 times a day. I have been on the 15's for about 2 years and they have honestly taken over my life. I suffer from extreme arthritis in all of my lower back, bulging discs and sciatica nerve pain. I live at about a 8 level of pain everyday in life and some days a 10. There are days that I can barely walk, get out of bed and even dress myself. My pain pills have stopped doing anything for me and I now for months have been taking more and more everyday. I am so ashamed of the person I have become on these. I never saw something take over my whole physical and mental being as these have. I take more than double then prescribed to me and still only find moderate relief from this. I have over 2 weeks left in this script and I have about a day of pills left. I have become so lost and confused on what to do. Do I reach out to my doctor and explain to him what has happened or will he just see me as an addict or junkie. Which I really don't believe I am. I feel that I have become so dependant on these and I don't know how I will even be able to get through the next two weeks without some kind of help. I am a general manager of a restaurant and I cannot afford to loose my job over this. The stress and anxiety this all has given me is ruining my life. My fiance has tried to help me through all this but he doesn't truly realize how bad these pills take over your life. I'm feeling trapped by them and so scared of the withdrawals I'm going to be having in a day or two. Any thoughts on how I should move forward would be highly appreciated and thank you for hearing my story.

  2. #2
    Josh0213 is offline New Member
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    I've struggled with Oxies before and it was hard. If you can taper yourself do so. I recommend letting your husband do it as I could never control myself. I recently went to a methadone clinic for my addictions and it did me wonders. Currently coming up on eight days sober. If you want it you can do it. Oxy wds tended to last about three to five days for physical symptoms to fade. After that it was mostly psychological. You'll keep telling yourself one won't hurt but you can't give in. Hot showers heating pads and keeping yourself busy will help.
    Catrina likes this.

  3. #3
    Catrina is offline Diamond Member
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    Welcome Charlotte,

    I'm so sorry that you're going through this. It's the worst possible time when our pill bottle is almost empty and our script is weeks away. It's terrifying.

    Now for some of that advice you asked for. Get ready. You're probably not going to like it. I've got this "right between the eyes" way about me because that's the way I want it. Sugar coat my dessert. I want to know what I'm up against.

    I have had some fairly serious back issues that sound similar to yours for years--like almost 30 years (I'm old!) I began my love affair with opiates in a most legitimate manner--for a while. Well like most of us here, I'd run out early and I had to get creative in a very expensive manner. The streets. I was an adult professional for Pete's sake and I was that junkie running down pills with the mortgage money. All the while my back didn't feel any better and in fact felt worse and worse. OK, I said. This is the progression of what's going on. What else can I do? Take more pain pills! Yeah. That's a good idea. Then I found this Forum.

    I read for weeks hours on end. An endless number of threads from start to finish and I began to see people saying that Motrin or Aleve was helping more than their opiates did--once they were clean. Yeah. Right. What a bunch of BS. But I kept seeing it. I started to Google terms like rebound pain and things began to make sense to me. I got so excited to get off this Merry-go-round that I finally jumped cold turkey for like the 100th time. Admittedly, most of the other times were forced on me because that dang pill bottle was empty. That was almost 7 years ago. I take Aleve for my back pain and it works BETTER than any opiate ever did except perhaps in the very beginning. I finally had enough and had surgery this past February. Guess what? I took only Motrin when I was in the hospital but was discharged with a big fat bottle of oxy. I took 1 5mg tablet twice. Then I went back to my Motrin and got rid of the oxys. My back still isn't perfect and never will be but I have to tell you, it really was worse when I was on pain pills. I wouldn't lie to you.

    It doesn't happen overnight. You will have to get through 5 days of fairly intense flu like symptoms and then you'll begin to feel better. Then let the mind games begin. It is very much like losing a best friend. You may be an addict or you may be physically dependent. The path to living without opiates is exactly the same. It can be done!

    Oh I hope that you will at least give this a try. You might be very surprised at the relief some over the counter things will give to you.

    Peace,

    Cat

  4. #4
    Thisweekforsure is offline Advanced Member
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    For severe chronic pain, oxycodone works for a while, but as you found out, it eventually stops working. Then you up the dose. And of course that will stop working too, you up again, and so on. You don't want to end up at a high dose that would be extremely hard to ever get off of. It leaves you always in danger of horrendous withdrawal should you lose your pills or your doctor suddenly retires, and so on. You are about the limit I was, which was 60 mg per day. That's the point I said, well, do I want to keep increasing the dose and become a drug addict? I mean I can see where this is going. Or do I want to get off this drug and see if there is some other way to handle the pain?

    When you have a severe pain issue, if you want to get off the drug because you are unhappy with your general life when you are on it, it's a little different than the drug addict who started recreationally, or with an injury that is now healed. The biggest difference is that you do need to treat the underlying pain problem. If it is not treated, we are talking about high risk of suicide. Or at the very least greatly increased stress on your system. High levels of stress hormones, cardiovascular damage, etc. At your level of pain (8-10) you literally cannot live. It MUST be controlled. You say that by taking more than prescribed you get only moderate pain relief and I gather you are unhappy with other aspects of the drug, I would guess brain fog, constipation? But I sense you mostly hate feeling tied to the clock, a slave to when the next dose is due. That's what I hated the most. Time did not flow naturally, it was all controlled and regulated by the clock. I had to time my dose around events and activities so I would be up for them and so on.

    That factor is much worse with short acting, so extended release is actually much preferred to treat chronic pain long term. However, the extended release has all the same problems with the only difference that the ups and downs are less spikey. But they still are there, you have the same reduction of effectiveness and all the annoying side effects. But one plus I found, you are less likely to take more than your prescribed dose (if you are in fact, taking more than prescribed because of physical pain, not recreationally).

    I think you need to go to your doctor and tell him that the pills no longer work around the clock as they are supposed to and you are not happy, and the situation needs to change. But if it were me, I would be adamant that my daily dose of 60mg total NOT be raised. I would under no circumstances want to increase my tolerance. However, a switch to 60mg total of extended release might make a world of difference in reducing periods of anxiety during the day and give smoother coverage. So that is one possibility, but not a permanent solution. As I said, the extended release has all the same problems as the regular. Your goal is to get off them altogether. But before getting there, I think you need to go back and look at your diagnoses, and reconsider other treatments. Surgery for back problems has changed just in the last five years. If you have not been sent for a surgical consult within that time, then you need to get a whole new set of imaging (x-rays and MRIs) and a whole new consult with a surgeon. Maybe even a second opinion. In addition, if your arthritis is of the inflammatory kind, you may need a rheumatology consult.

    Many if not most people on this board should just stop the opioid painkillers. But when someone like you comes along with level 8 to 10 pain, I think you need to go back and take a fresh look first, and see if there are any new and better treatments for it. While doing that investigation, it is my personal opinion a switch to 60 mg per day extended release would have you feeling worlds better without upping your tolerance, but with the goal of pursuing a new treatment plan and eventually tapering off the painkillers altogether.

    Now I did read what Cat said and I agree with everything she said, with just adding this detour to get a new set of pictures and new consults. Not knowing exactly what is going on, people can have the same back issues but they can be very different. Press a tad more on a nerve and you can lose your bowel/bladder where another person can have bulging discs and never feel pain or parathesias. If you have a ragged bone spur tearing into a nerve root, getting off the drug won't make the pain better, and permanent damage might be happening. If they find there is something they can do surgically, or with disease modifying agents, great. If they tell you there is nothing they can do, then that means no permanent treatable damage is being done and at least you have that peace of mind, and it may reassure you. So then I would do exactly like Cat says (and Josh) and go through a 5 day cold turkey, and resolve to get through a month or two of probable improvement, and see if you don't end up better off than before using over the counter meds or a prescription strength NSAID.

    So what to do right now, if it were me, I'd just call the doctor and ask for an appointment. I wouldn't say anything on the phone about the pills, just that the back pain is excruciating and you want to talk about possible changing treatment if the phone lady needs a reason. Nothing to be done about being out of pills. If they can take you in the next couple of days great. If it's further out, you're going to have to cold turkey it despite everything I said about I don't think it's a good idea for you right now. But if it goes that way, you may be pleasantly surprised, and if it's more than 5 days out, you may decide not to bother going back on them at all. That would be fantastic, but I still think you should keep the appointment and get updated imaging and surgical consult, unless of course your pain magically improves a ton.

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