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I've always been a competitive athlete reaching the highest level in many different sports all of which were ended with injury. Needless to say I've been on and off pain meds much of my life. Now I have no disk at L5/S1 which is causing chronic pain. I need a fusion but I'm trying to put it off as long as possible. In order to pursue my current outdoor passions, I've been taking Norco 1.0/325. Over the last couple years my doses got large, 10-12 per day. On February 1st I decided to quit cold turkey and here is what I experienced.

Day one was pretty easy. Slept ok that night.

Day two was real bad. Time went by so slow I wrote down every hour. I live in high, snowy mountains and I was so cold I couldn't warm up. I took 10 baths a day which gave a little relief. I cried a lot. I tried to get out and go for a walk but I was just so weak. I hurt too bad to watch movies or do anything. About all I did was watch the clock and try to survive.

Day three was the worst. Severe restless legs and pain from my knees down. Couldn't sleep at all. Still couldn't really do anything but watch time slowly tick by. Still freezing all the time and taking 10 baths a day.

Day four was a little better. I stopped writing down hours at 84. Time started going by faster and I was able to get outside but I was still very cold all the time. I should have bought an electric blanket.

Days 5 through 18. Didn't really sleep more than 3 hours/day for 18 days. I had sleeping pills (klonopin) but they did nothing. I'd toss and turn all night until about 3 am and I'd awake at 6 am. During this time I was able to do some activities but I was extremely weak. The good thing was that every day was ever so slightly better and slightly warmer.

Days 19 - 24. I got my first decent sleep after day 18 and have slept well since. Day 24 was the first day that I felt relatively normal.

Now I'm at day 30 and I feel 100% normal. Those days were so awful I'll never go through that again. However, I'm in a lot of pain and I'm aggressively pursuing alternative pain relief methods. I have taken two percocet a couple days and they worked as well as 6 norcos before. I will never take them two days in a row and only after 4pm. My wife is in control of my pills and will not allow me to abuse them again. My doc wants me back on them daily but I won't. I'd rather suffer than be addicted like before.

I've learned some things:

1. Getting off 10-12/day is exponentially worse than getting off 4-6 per day which I've done many times and was just about 3-5 days of flu-like symptoms. This was so difficult I couldn't survive it again.

2. Don't quit a big habit cold turkey. Tapering must be better. Nothing could be worse.

3. If I had to do it over I'd probably fly to miami and hang out on the beach for a week. I don't really have to work much so I had nothing to do but suffer. It would have been much better if I had something to occupy my mind. I couldn't have worked hard or done anything strenuous or complicated but laying in the warm sun, people watching, and drinking pina coladas would have helped.

4. In the midst of my addiction I was extremely effective in business. The fact that they improved my performance greatly is one reason why I was taking so many. My accomplishments during the last couple years were staggering. Now I have to learn to do the same without 12/day.

5. Don't allow your intake to get to this level. You'll be so sorry.

6. Lastly, a friend of mine is on day 3 of a similar habit detox. He tapered for a month and is getting daily O2 treatments, massages, steams, and every thing else you can imagine and was doing much better than I on day 2. I haven't talked to him today so I'm a bit worried but I'm anxious to compare experiences once it's all over.

Good luck to all !
Hi All,

I'm still clean (pretty much). My wife has control of my percocet and I take a couple here and there when I'm really hurting. Afterwards I don't have any w/d's or any great urge to take more the next day. Considering my lifestyle and back problem, taking nothing forever is really not an option.

My friend quit a similar habit to mine the right way with tapering and every other treatment money can buy. Except the other day he told me, "God didn't punish him enough". So he's back on...

Good luck to all !


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