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Addiction & Recovery Message Board

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Checking In
Jun 21, 2005
Hi all-
I have started reading some posts, and have to say that it is great seeing all the new people that are starting to go through can do it! For those of you that don't know me: I went cold turkey off of an extensive habit of 20+ Norco a day. I started my addiction approximately 10 years ago, when I was introduced to narcotics for a bad back that was the result of an old football injury when I played D1 college. I'm 40 years old, single, teacher and coach. I'm pretty athletic and enjoy backpacking and hiking in the mountains here in the Pacific Northwest. I'm the proud owner of 2 wolves, and a coyote that accompany me in the mountains on extensive 15-20 day trips when I will often hike over 150 miles. I'm also writing a book on a local wilderness area (Trail Guide). My back has always been a source of pain, but it is funny; when I backpack it feels the best.
My addiction started slowly, but I soon realized I had a ton of more energy when on the hydro. I worked harder, got more accomplished, was a teacher of the year and coach of the year. I have probably gone cold turkey 7-8 times over the past 10 years, but never lasted longer than a month or two. The withdrawals (using the Detox recipe (I posted here about a month ago) actually made the withdrawal process fairly easy, so it was easy to always go back). I always felt like I could "kick" it whenever I wanted. I was diagnosed with cancer about a year ago, and as you can guess was given a whole slew of narcotics (Oxy, Perc, Hydro, Morphine) and coupled with the depression that resulted from chemotherapy allowed me to spin farther into the oblivion. Like many of you, I had to pop a couple of pills just to get the energy to go to work. (BTW: I never missed a day of work, while on the pills or going through the Chemo). I have always been a functioning addict.
Sometimes I would binge taking up to 50 norco a day, although this was few and far between. As my tolerance grew, I would be taking 3-4 at a time. I never hit a rock bottom; but I know I was headed for it. My doctor in town is a friend, and would prescribe me as many as I needed, but I would use Online Pharmacies to get most of my supply, or have my Oncologist fill a script. It was too easy to keep my supply up. I'm not married, and have no family living close by, so it was easy to keep my addiction going without affecting others.
The pills were getting to the point where they weren't doing "their" job anymore and I could see the road ahead. I knew that my days of hydro were over. So, I quit.
It has been [B]66 days [/B] since my last hydro. I didn't taper and didn't follow the Detox Recipe. I simply told myself that enough is enough. I loaded up on vitamins, Immodium, and OTC sleep aids (simply sleep). I won't lie; my detox and withdrawal was hell (you can read about it as I kept a daily journal). It wasn't until about Day 50 that I started feeling 90% on a regular basis. I never had the intense cravings, but my gastro-intenstinal tract and lethargy, along with leg spasms and runny eyes stayed around the longest. I also wrote a "things I would do different" and really believe that the way I went about it this time is why I felt like crap for so long. I wanted to feel the pain to always remember. It has helped me anytime a small craving starts to come along. I just got back from a 12 day trip in the hills and feel great. I'm convinced that sweating out the residuals was the key that I had been missing. I don't miss the pills at all. NOr do I ever want to go back to those withdrawals.
Many people use different ways to get off the pills. I think whatever works for you is what you should concentrate on. Sub, taper, meth, etc. A lot of well meaning people will encourage you to use NA, and for some it is a great program, but it shouldn't be shoved down peoples throats as a cure-all. You can beat this thing on your own, if you have a strong will. Don't let these people tell you that you will be a failure without it. That is not true, and I have seen many of these people come on this board and look down on people, while being very pessimistic about ones chances of recovery without it. Like I said, just because it works for some, doesn't mean that it is the only way to recover.
I wish you all luck on your journey, and I was where you are at not so long ago. I still remember counting the minutes, then the hours, then the days. Now I look at it more as in weeks. I'm determined to stay clean from these opiates. I have 5 norcos sitting in my medicine cabinet, and only have been tempted maybe twice. I need them there as a reminder. To each their own! My word of advice is use the Detox Recipe, Exercise, Drink lots of water, and stay strong mentally.....this too shall pass!

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