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Re: My Story
Sep 16, 2007
Hello dmqr

I read your thread here and do admire your determination to get off the oxycontin. As Ozzybug wrote, it is not an easy road, but it absolutley can be done. For me it took close work with my doctor and a lot of support fom family, friends and the board. I see that you have children. In all honesty, I do not think you can cold turkey ever from opiates and expect to be able to care for little ones at the same time. Even in a taper, as you progress, it will be difficult, but more practical if you can not go into a detox center.

I tapered from oxycodone, which is very similar to oxycontin, but is a short acting med. The short acting med could be broken into pieces so that the taper could be done in very, very small increments. I did have a tough time even tapering lilltle bits at a time ( towards the end I was tapering by eighths of a table). The oxycontin can [U]not[/U] be broken. It is very, very dangerous to ever even think about this! I was on oxycontin at one point to manage pain and this was made very clear to me by my doctors.

I truly think you need to see the doctor and talk openly and frankly with him about the entire issue. Professional guidance is needed. Depression is probably the biggest issue in coming off narcotics. In tapering, I would have intense periods duringthe day when my body was screaming at me because it wasn't geting all of the drug it was used to, but it was the depression that was the hardest to deal with. The craving calls pass in 15-30 minutes and staying very busy physically and mentally helps the time go by. It is making the effort to be busy when depression is calling so loudly to hide somewhere from everything that was the hardest to fight. After each cut, I rode it out until I leveled off somewhat and then I would make a cut again. when the first few days after a cut were rough, I would have to constantly remind myself that I would level off again. I made cuts approximately every two weeks or so. Small cuts. Sometimes I could make them sooner and once I had to stay on a cut for three weeks before I leveled out. For me, it was a firm and unbreakable rule in the opiate taper ( unlike the taper from Xanax)... once I made a cut, there was no going back. Ever. If it was worse symptom wise, then that was what it was. It takes absolute discipline to stick with a taper or else, if we up a cut dosage, it becomes to easy to do it again until we end up right back where we were.

Once I began working with my doctor, each script was filled by my husband and doled out by my husband. While I did not think I would ever cheat, I knew the possibility was always there and so a safety net was put in place... the pills were hidden safely. Another safety net put into place at the get-go was that I called all doctors who work with me and notified all that I was withdrawing from opiates of any kind. It is no big deal to do so, but protects us from getting pills from another one of our caregivers. I know that doctor shopping is a problem for some of us, but for me, I was just so determined to get off the pills that I never considered it. Evryday I would run through my mind many times, "I am getting stronger and better everyday." This was a mantra given to me by my family doctor ( who was the overseer of the tapers). It especially helped me when the going wa rough. Every time I repeated it, it would help me remember the bigger picture.. the gial of being rid of the pills and the horror they had caused in my life. It gave me courage and competence to push forward.

dmqr, I want to share with you that withdrawing from those drugs has been the hardest thing I have done in my life. I was treated some years back for a rare cancer. The treatment was so rough, but this was harder. And you know why? Because in cancer treatment, we do what we are told and pray to God we survive and that the doctors have the wisdom to prescibe what is needed. In withdrawal, much more is left up to us to control. We can not really cheat on cancer treatment, but we sure can on drug withdrawal. If we cheat in drug withdrawal, we aid our own destruction. That is what needs to be remembered as we go through it. Get the will to live and to live with joy and happiness once again a top priority in the brain there. That is what is going to be the key to success. It seems tyou already have this thought loud and clear and working for you. Stay strong and get to work on all the things you find written on this board that are helpful. Read the Sample Home detox thread near the top of the list on this board. Many of the things there helped me greatly throughout the tapers.

Wishing you the best
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