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hi. Gosh i can totally sympathize with you as i have been on rx meds for years. First, i became addicted to large doses of valium, a tranquilizer as well as fiournal and darvon. This was when i was from 18 to 35 years old. I was given these meds for debilatating migraines that would last 3 days with the whole nine yards...throwing up etc. I got off of these "cold turkey." don't advise anyone to do it this way as it was absolutely horrendous with hallucinations, a siesure, vomiting and the list goes on.

I am writing this because i have had several experiences with rx withdrawal and hope i can shed some light and help you come to a well thought out decision.
After i was clean for approximately 14 years, i had a heart attack, heart surgery, a spinal fusion that did not help, surgery for adhesions that wrapped around my upper intestines. That last surgery led to a stroke. Well after all that, i had been on quite a bit of painkillers, the last two morphine and then now, 80mg twice a day of oxycontin and 30 mg of oxycodone twice a day for break through pain.

I have attempted to cut back on the oxycontin and oxycodone and before the morphine. I did it as my own experiment of sorts to see how i would react by cutting back. When i cut back in small doses so that i would not get very strong withdrawal symptoms, i found i could function well and keep away the restless leg syndrome as well. For me, i think cutting back small amounts over a longer period of time works. The reason it works for me is that i can still sustain a decent quality of life while doing this. I did this with cigarettes. I took about 4 months to get off using the patches, and i progressively cut back the doses by using a regular 24 hr patch. Every 3 weeks i would measure and cut off tiny portions till i finally had nothing to cut. I hardly had any physical withdrawal.

I know that getting off cigarettes is less difficult, but it's just an example. As a person who went cold turkey, i can tell you cutting back on the drugs is a much better way to go so you dont have to put your body through so much hell.

I'm not ready yet to stop because my pain is terrible, but i am hoping that if someday it gets better, my dream is to get off these meds.

Well, i hoped i helped. It's just a thought and of course everyone is different in how they experience withdrawal and how they want to do it.

One more thing. Going to a hospital or treatment center is another choice. I dont like the idea because i would rather be at home.

You will be in my prayers and good luck in whatever decision you make.

Sincerely, trtorise
[B]Thanks so much [I]everyone[/I] for your replies...[/B]

[B]NotPerky[/B] - Darvon (also called Propoxyphene) is highly addictive, as I can attest to. I've heard that it also falls into the opiate category but I'm not certain. It's typically prescribed for migraines. Somehow I think the Drs look at it as a lesser addictive drug than oxy and the like, so they tend to prescribe it more freely. I've used it extensively over the past 25 years to the tune of an avg 10 - 12 65mg caps a day. One known side effect is that it can cause serious stomach ulcers and it's only by the grace of God that I've had no problems there. I can tell you though, that the taste is the most incredibly bitter taste I've ever encountered. Even a tiny granule on your tongue (or a burp after swallowing one:o) will be tasted for a long time ..horrible! With something so potent I can only imagine what it's doing to a person's digestive system (think Draino)! I do wish you well with your taper efforts. I'm beginning to look into Suboxone. Perhaps that might be a good alternative for you as well? Thanks for your kind remarks and hang in there.

[B]trtorise[/B] - It's unbelievable the medical problems you've been through. My heart goes out to you. Makes my little ol' lumbar surgery look like a cake walk. But the worst break is that you had to lose 14 yrs of sobriety over it. It's not easy living with pain. It effects your entire life. Ya know, after covering up my pain for all these years, I have a feeling that the pain is not really as bad as it used to be anymore. Otherwise I would have been feeling it when I went into Fentanyl w/d. Perhaps that will happen with you in time. I also gave up cigarettes just 2 weeks ago and it was a breeze compared to drug w/ds. No comparison! Please take care of yourself, I'll be pulling for you.

[B]56789[/B] - Actually I have been researching Suboxone. There seems to be two schools of thought on it: Some report that it saved their life and the transition was a breeze w/ no w/d symptoms (if used in proper dosage). On the other hand, I'm reading that sub is highly addictive with a long half life as well and the w/d is hell. It's those reports that bother me. If it's so addictive, aren't you just trading one addiction for another? (basically that's all I'm doing right now with the Fentanyl-to-Darvon) If I could be assured of a w/d free detox I'd be using Suboxone right now. Still researching. Did your friend have bad w/d from it? I may look into counseling but honestly, I'm the type of person that if I actually get clean, the thought of going back to dependency would scare the hell out of me. I have a strong will power once I make up my mind. I'd avoid it like the plague. Thanks for your reply, Scott.

[B]brianpain33[/B] - You can say that again! Getting off the Fentanyl patches has been a nightmare.:eek: On hindsight, your advice of tapering would have been easier but I'm about 9 days into it now with no patch so I don't think I better look back. (I'm aware that the gel-filled patches cannot be cut in half - great advice to anyone considering it). The problem I'm finding is that going back on the Darvon is really a poor substitute. I'm still going through w/ds anyway, although not as bad as it would be CT. Seems I pop a few pills, it take 20 - 30 min to feel "normal" again, then within 2 hours my entire body is jittery inside and I'm not functioning mentally or physically. I try to stand firm and watch that clock like a hawk till my next scheduled dose. So I'm spending a lot more time feeling rotten than normal. up/down/up/down Do you suppose that I should up my dosage a bit, perhaps dosing every 2 hrs? What is so beautiful about the patch is that you get 2-3 days of nice even sailing without thinking of dosing. I have a feeling that the extent of time I've been using pain killers has created a situation that will require a very gradual detox. Part of me wants to get it over with quickly. I just want to be back to my old self again asap. What mg are you on? I was on 75. I hope you're able to get off them eventually, they're SO addicting. Tapering would definately be advisable. What are your thought on Suboxone? Thanks for your reply, Brian.

~Barb~
Hi [B]Barb/Artgal[/B], to answer your questions -- the taper is still going well. I think I'm actually going to start a new thread about it. Even if it's not successful, it is helpful for me to read my old posts from a "lessons learned" standpoint for the NEXT taper attempt.

I am avoiding suboxone or any other addictive drug. I was a heroin addict back in the 70's and was on methadone maintenance for a number of years. Getting off methadone was WAY harder than getting off heroin. I was in rehab at the time....I had been in detox for a few days before that, but all h*ll broke loose once I was completely off it....it took a good month before I felt back to normal. I remember the sleeplessness, and being freezing even though it was July, and coughing fits....etc. So then, after 27 years of being drug-free, I start down the same road again by taking Percocet for tooth pain, then back pain....and here we are.

Anyway, that's why I'm (for now at least) trying to do this without Suboxone. My dr. did give me Klonopin (I had asked for Valium, as that works wonderfully to ease WD, but he wouldn't write for it). Then I started reading all the crap about Klonopin -- side-effects, WD symptoms. And I thought, I do NOT want to go through this again. What if I like the Klonopin? Then I'll be off the oxy and abusing the Klonopin. So I'm trying to taper so gradually that the WD symptoms aren't too bad and I don't feel the need to supplement with another drug. Oh BTW, I went through h*** getting off Cymbalta (after only three weeks on it) so I'm truly gun-shy about getting "hooked up", so to speak, with any other drugs for pain-management. (Cymbalta is for depression but also supposedly helps with nerve pain. It did not, in my case, and had other side-effects.)

I hear ya with the "strong willpower"....I'm the same way! I cold-turkey'd from a pack and a-half a day 22 years ago. I KNOW I can do this, if I can only get through the process of tapering then quitting. The problem is, it's such a looooong process, and when the s*** hits the fan, it's very easy to just say the heck with it.
Thanks Artgal7,
Since I am new to these boards it gives me comfort that I am not alone. Yes, I was very upset to be back on meds after the struggle with valiuim and pain meds. I went through so much to come off of them and now this. But, with the kind of pain I have, I will continue to take them until the pain eases or I heal. I believe I can find healing and I am working on it continually.
I am pulling for you as well. Stay strong.
can u cut the patches down like u can with cigarette patches if so that might work but slowly slowly and always keep trying so at least u get used to the pain, and the average dose will be lower.u know how long the pain lasts roughly after a drop, so do drops when u are wellish and don't go backward(after a week at that dose, i don't after 3day ) no matter what ur body is moaning about, u will find loads of reasons to take ur normal full dose, and only one not too, but the light at the end of the tunnel gets ever closer, and life starts again there, and the love of life...
[QUOTE=artgal7;4014919]My story starts out like so many: back surgery led to pain management with prescription pain killers. But unlike a lot of posters I haven't just been on the stuff for a few months or a few years. My surgery was on April 18, 1984. I've lived every single day since then, for the past 25 years, on one prescription pain med or another. I started out on Percodan for a few years, then to Darvon 65mg both on dosages 3x higher than prescribed. It's been back and forth or a combo of those two drugs until about a year or so ago. My Dr. switched me to Fentanyl patches. First the 25mg and working up to the 75mg patches. If I thought I was dependant on the Percs and Propoxyphene, it was nothing to the Fentanyl. It has grabbed ahold of me in a way I never would have thought possible. About a week ago I decided I wanted to get clean of ALL this stuff and my plan was to get off the patches first and just use a "realistic" dosage of the Darvon (basically trading one addiction for the other in a taper off method). I discontinued the patch and put myself on 2 Darvon/65mg in the AM, 1 pill 3-4 hours later, 2 pills 3-4 hours later, and 1 pill some time in the night when I couldn't sleep from the w/d and restless legs. This past week has been a living hell. My body is shaking inside almost constantly, I simply can't function normally, generally feel in a depressed, confused fog and not sure what to do from here. I've been reading the boards most of the week, printing info and keeping a folder, desperate for answers. I've considered going into a rehab facility but my husband expressed that he'd be willing to help me through a home detox. Throughout my research and the rotten withdrawals I'm going through, I'm starting to develop some questions that I hope to find answers for. Hopefully some of you may be able to offer suggestions.

1. I've been on this stuff for such an incredible number of years. I was a sharp, young, Art Director in the fashion industry when it all started and now I'm ..well, an old woman who hasn't worked out of the home in over 15 years. I'm praying that I can rid myself of this dependency in time to enjoy a few good years traveling in retirement. I suppose my first question is in regards to my age and length of time using. Is it realistic to think I can detox in a month or is it more advisable to do it gradually over a year or so? Even more importantly, might I have gone beyond the point of being able to restore my sense of clear thinking again, making my detox efforts "too little - too late"?

2. I've especially been interested in this Thomas Recipe I've been reading about. Is this a realistic approach for my situation? I'd love to hear anyone's experience with it.

3. Has anyone actually gone through a successful 30 day detox in a professional rehab facility? If so would you be kind enough to share your experience? I'm very interested in knowing what goes on in there and what to expect if that should end up being the best path for me.

I have many more questions but in fairness, let me stop here and express my gratitude in advance for any help or suggestions that anyone can offer. I'm sincerely serious about doing this. I used to have the attitude that if it was a choice between living with chronic pain or being dependant on meds, the latter was more conducive to quality of life. I'm not so sure anymore. Now I realize, through some pretty blunt remarks from my sister, that years of using has dulled my mind. I've lost organizational skills and the ability to think quickly and clearly. And that, IMO, is not a fair trade off. I want so desperately to be clear headed and filled with natural energy again.
Thanks for listening.[/QUOTE]

Hi,

I think at this point it is dangerous for you to try and do this on your own, it is extremely dangerous for someone to try and stop taking medication of this type without a professional detox and can result in death, stroke, and many other adverse reactions. I not sure what your experience has been with the VA, but you also have a problem of once you enter a detox program they wont be willing to treat you for any type of pain you are having. So it ends up being a damned if you and damned if you don't. So a slow decrease may be your only option, any admission that you believe you have problem will only lead to more problems unfortunately, even if you have been taking the medication as prescribed to treat pain as needed, the new pain management system in place at the VA is not really in place to help patient such as yourself. I have worked at the VA, I am a patient at the VA or I should say I was a patient at the VA but after seeing what was happening to so many patient I have chosen not to get treatment for my service connected disability.
[QUOTE=anniedunn81;4590518]Hi,

I think at this point it is dangerous for you to try and do this on your own, it is extremely dangerous for someone to try and stop taking medication of this type without a professional detox and can result in death, stroke, and many other adverse reactions. I not sure what your experience has been with the VA, but you also have a problem of once you enter a detox program they wont be willing to treat you for any type of pain you are having. So it ends up being a damned if you and damned if you don't. So a slow decrease may be your only option, any admission that you believe you have problem will only lead to more problems unfortunately, even if you have been taking the medication as prescribed to treat pain as needed, the new pain management system in place at the VA is not really in place to help patient such as yourself. I have worked at the VA, I am a patient at the VA or I should say I was a patient at the VA but after seeing what was happening to so many patient I have chosen not to get treatment for my service connected disability.[/QUOTE]

Is this true? In almost all the reading I've done it says that opiate detox cold-turkey is almost never life threatening, and is only so if the depressive thoughts cause suicide. Everything I've read says that although a cold turkey detox may not be possible due to how painful it is, it's certainly not life threatening in most cases.





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