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I originally posted the following on another thread in response to someone. Seems that it should be on this thread as well as part of the Hydro Hell Cycle, so adding it here for the benefit of those reading in hopes it may help others recognize patterns before they worsen.

The following phases are based only on my own personal experience, and perhaps my perspective is a lil different than many on here because it seems my actual experience maybe was a lil different. It seems that many here may have progressively chased the euphoric feeling which lead to addiction. I did not. My experience is more from the prospective of the hell one still goes through even you chose the other fork in the road...staying within your rx. Experiences like mine, I think really demonstrates both roads lead to Hydro Hell. Let me explain what I mean, and of course this is only my own perspective based on what happened to me, but here goes.

There is a very dangerous murky zone where for a period of time in the cycle that dependency and addiction is crossthreaded. Folks either catch the alert signs and jump off the merrygoround w/taper or CT; [U]or,[/U] they escalate from dependency into addiction.... and then end up in taper or CT eventually anyway. So, either way both roads lead to same end. Assuming that, then there is a case to be made for more effective dependency management before it escalates into addiction.

This is what I experienced with "the cycle", and again there will undoubtedly be variances among individuals based on their own history, length of use and level of use, etc. I was prescribed hydro for pain management for back pain and fibromyalgia. The following is my experience with "the cycle":

[B]Phase 1, Euphoria Phase: [/B]
In addition to the pain management properties of hydro, we all know in the beginning there is a "euphoria window"…everything is great…lots of energy, the world is wonderful, sex is great, can life just get no better??? During this phase, I would “miss” the pills but didn’t get sick without them. I thought....pffffft, what is all this s**t about being bad for ya…not for me, man I feel great…(sound familiar?…read on).

[B]Phase 2, Blunted Phase aka Dark Hydro Haze Depression: [/B]
Window #1 began progressively closed as my tolerance grew. Euphoric feeling as well as the pain management effectiveness slowly fades away and is replaced by emotional blunting and detachment from people and things. During this phase I was headed for trouble but not a clue. Begin experiencing mini WDs between doses. I was functional but miserable. I was able to work and do things….but enjoyed nothing… I began to mechanically go through life…just wanted to go to bed and pull the covers over my head and frequently did so when no one was around to see me….would stay home from work and just go to bed….a very dark Hydro Haze depression set in.

[B]Phase 3, Mini Hydro Hell:[/B]
The crazy sounding phase that most might find incredulous unless you have experienced it. The Drug Demon gets ugly and plays dirty pool. At this phase, my body was in full dependency. Every morning I would wake up feeling sick with feelings equivalent to Day 1 of WD cycle---the very first waking thought before I ever lifted my head off the pillow was needing to take my pill. I had now reached the phase where my current rx level was only giving me short term WD relief pain management/no euphoria. Worst yet, I now had a pain level that far exceeded the pain level for which I was prescribed the stuff to start with!!! My body sensories were hijacked…boomeranging on me….giving me sharper pain signals DEMANDING for the pain to be treated. When I didn’t comply by giving additional drugs, the response was MORE PAIN and misery….anything to MAKE me give it what it needed. My brain started thinking .....seeeeeeeee, you HAVE pain...go know that you REALLY NEED it...go ahead. While I did [I]"rob Peter to pay Paul",[/I] going from 4 daily to 5-6 on some days. But, that shorted me on my rx which lead to constantly counting pills, splitting pills to make it stretch till my refill date; a forced taper of sorts. Thank God I never escalated to buying "additional sources" outside of my RX. God knows how I avoided that....I sure thought about it......a lot. But I didn't do it. Found myself looking up info online on how to get other sources. Lord knows what snapped me into my senses, but thank God something did and gave me the strength to home detox.

[B]Phase 4: Hydro Hell Detox WDs[/B]
For the benefit of others reading...much is posted on this phase throughout many threads. This phase is about 5-7 days with Days 2-3 usually the worst for most. Some folks are able to manage work and handling responsibilities; some are not. Best advise is plan a week off or plan detox where the 2 day worst days are on your days off, but be aware you may call in sick a day or two beyond that. There is a post-detox mini WD period, but you will be able to resume work, functioning ,and meeting your responsibilities. During post-detox WDs, you will feel much better, but probably not great. It took time to get you here and it will take time to build back your system.

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