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Addiction & Recovery Message Board

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I recently had a discectomy for a herniated disc which I suffered with for 5 months. I was on a progression of painkillers to deal with the pain, starting with Vicodin, to Norco, to, finally, Percocet. At the end, I was taking about 10-12 pills (10mg/325mg) per day.

After the surgery, my doctor gave me only 40 pills of a lower dosage (5mg/325mg). He told me to taper down my usage. With that small of a prescription, I assume he means pretty quickly!

I've tapered down to 1/2-3/4 of a (5mg) percocet every 4-6 hours now but I'm in an almost constant state of anxiety and headache pain. I need to get back to normal FAST for my job - I can probably take the rest of the week off but will have to be back to work a week from today, and can not possibly imagine dealing with what I'm dealing with now, at work.

So I'm wondering if, since I'm suffering already, I should go:
COLD TURKEY (and just sweat it out over the next 5-6 days or so)
CONTINUE TO TAPER - either at the same pace, more aggressively, or more gradually (meaning I need to beg my surgeon for more pills which I really hate to do for a number of reasons)

Reading on the net, it seems there are entirely different schools of thought - some people that absolutely think cold turkey is the way to go, others that think you must taper. I don't see any middle ground. And I don't see any reliable information on programs - they all seem to be for-profit detox clinics.

Any advice? Many thanks in advance. :)
I have tried to quit cold turkey and it was pure hell! I can't go through that again. I've gone off Fentynal patches cold turkey, and norco cold turkey and they both were hell. Ironically, the first time I went cold turkey (from norco) I didn't know anything about withdrawals - I just thought you could stop taking pills and the only thing that I would struggle with were urges. So, being so naive to things, I thought I had the flu during withdrawals, along with insomnia. I didn't connect the "flu" feelings to my stopping the norco for some reason. I learned about withdrawals quickly after that!!

If you can find someone who can prescribe Suboxone (most primary care docs can't), that will make your withdrawals SOOO much easier. At least it did for me. I know there are differing opinions on Suboxone and I'm just sharing my experience with it. However, Suboxone is also something that you can't just stop cold turkey, but for me it's always been a very easy taper. Just a thought. It also helped with the cravings which was really my biggest challenge. You didn't mention if you are addicted or not, or if you just have a physical dependence, so if you're not addicted the Suboxone probably wouldn't be the best route to take.

Good luck with things!

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