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Hello, I am glad I found this forum. I know that many people share the same problem that I do, and I really need to know what I can do. I am hooked on narcotic pain medication and benzodiazepines. I have fallen into a deep depression and I really don't see any hope for me to get thru this. I want to know if there is a way.

This is my story-

Two and a half years ago my girlfriend of 4 years dumped me for another man. I was madly in love with her, and I was heartbroken. Not too long after that, a very dear friend of mine passed away.

While I was battling with depression, one day I threw out my back lifting some boxes. I was in extreme physical pain, along with the emotional pain. I saw my doctor and was prescribed Vicodin for about a week. When I took my first pill, not only did it greatly help the pain in my back, but it helped me to forget about the emotional pain I was dealing with. I'm sure many of you know what I am talking about.

Once the pill would wear off, I would start to feel the emotional and physical pain again. All I had to do was take another pill, wait 15-20 minutes, and magically all the pain disappeared. I could think about my ex girlfriend and not be sad. I would think of my friend who died and would not break down into tears anymore.

When my prescription ran out, I had to get more. My doctor became aware that I was severely depressed and would not prescribe any narcotic pain medication to me anymore. For my back pain he put me on 800mg Ibuprofen. He recommended antidepressants, which I refused.

An accquaintance of mine had a friend who was a pharmacist. He overheard me mentioning in a conversation with another friend that my doctor took me off Vicodin, and he pulled me aside and asked me if I wanted to buy some. I bought 30 of the strongest 10 mg tablets, which lasted me about two weeks. When I ran out of the pills, I started to feel ill. I knew nothing about withdrawal at the time, and didn't think I would become dependant taking only 2-3 pills a day for a couple of weeks.

Needless to say, the minor withdrawal along with the mental trauma was too much to bear, and I started buying more and more vicodin. One year later I was taking 10 Vicodin per day. I had tried tapering down, but I was unable to do it. I couldn't handle the withdrawals. I saw a psychologist, and he got me checked into detox.

Detox lasted a week. When I checked out of detox, I did not sleep for 6 days. I was steel feeling withdrawals, depression, and anxiety. My legs ached so badly. On the 7th day of absoloutely no sleep at all, I started to hallucinate, and was starting to go crazy. I spoke with my doctor, and he prescribed me Halcion.

Although I was able to sleep taking Halcion, I still felt withdrawals from vicodin for over two months. For sleep medication, I went from Halcion to Ambien, back to Halcion. When I stopped taking the sleep medication, I would go another few days without sleep until I gave in and got my prescription refilled.

Although I was building a dependance on Halcion, gradually the remnants of Vicodin withdrawal started to go away. I still had the chills and restless legs.

Around that time, my bad back started to act up again. I was in extreme pain. Ibuprofen didn't work, and I couldn't function. I spoke to my doctor in desperation, and asked if there was any pain medication that was non narcotic, that would help with my back. He told me about Tramadol (Ultram). He said it was a non-narcotic medication that was fairly strong, and there is dependance only in very rare cases. I jumped at the opportunity.

When I took my first pill, I immediately thought that it was too good to be true. The pain relieving effects of Tramadol were similar to vicodin, but on a milder scale. My mood was also slightly elevated. My doctor reassured me that there was nothing to worry about. I took it for two months, and when I stopped taking it, sure enough I went through withdrawal.

I did a search on the internet, came across a few websites that said that Tramadol has no withdrawal, so I was puzzled. After a more in depth search, I read testimonies of people who were dependant on it. Turns out it's just as bad as vicodin.

I talked to my doctor about it, and he told me to just stay on the Tramadol, because it was helping my pain, and that we would worry about tapering down later. I didn't feel confident, but I took his advice.

I have been taking 6 tramadol per day for about a year now. Two months ago, my doctor admitted that he was not aware that Tramadol was addictive, and that he had kind of been fooled. He told me that Tramadol turned out to be a narcotic pain medication. It wasn't helping my back pain anymore since I had gotten so used to it, so my doctor prescribed me Darvocet to be taken with the tramadol. Now I am at 6 Tramadol per day, along with 3-4 Darvocet. At the same time, I have been taking benzodiazepines for sleep, for close to a year now. I don't take Halcion anymore, now I take Restoril. This is the worst I have ever been with addiction. My doctor doesn't really know how to deal with my dependancy, except for tapering down, but he knows I am unable to. Withdrawal from benzos is just as bad as withdrawals from the pain meds. Both of them combined, I know can kill me.

I am really starting to fear for my life now. I am a young man and in such a horrible mess. I still have strong back pain, but I know that my body cannot handle these drugs much longer. How can I get off both pain meds and benzos??? I need all the advice I can get.





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