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If narcotics are the only drug you are taking, then it is safe to go off them cold turkey - not fun but ironically narcotics are the safest drugs to detox off of.....

Your dosage is extremely low so it will easy for you to taper - slowly off the medication.

That being said - the best way to go off of narcotics is a slow taper - for example - if you are taking 10 mg lortab every 5 hours - start out with 10mg every 8-10 hours and see how you feel - reduce once a week or once every three to four days - feel out your body and how you are feeling.

At some point cut the lortab in half and start taking 5mg - and do this as needed until you can taper down to nothing....

It is very easy to taper - be patient and don't try to do it too fast -

You may have to see this new doctor a few more times to get the medications to assist you in tapering off the is up to you whether you ask for the doctor's help in a slow taper or if you do it on your own - either way you will need a drug that you can cut in half and reduce from 10mg to 5mg etc...

If you can only get the patch - see if you can cut it into thirds - start with 2/3 patch and see how you feel - then after your body gets used to this - get the patch in half and stay at this level until your body feels okay - and keep tapeing this way....

Going cold turkey is difficult because of restless legs and anxiety and the runs etc....but if that is the only way you can do it - look up the Thomas Recipe on the internet. it lists the vitamins and stuff you should have on hand to help you through -

The first five days of going cold turkey will be difficult - be prepared and if possible take off of work for the week calling in with the flu because it will be like the bad flu.

Keep in mind that you went on this drug for a reason - is it realistic for you to go off it and still have the quality of life you currently have? Can you work and play and function without pain meds? Be honest with yourself about why you take pain meds each day every 5 hours....

Good luck with whatever you decide to do!

K from WI

I know you can detox yourself off the patches. And since you have only been on them for 19 days or so now is the time to do it.

Start by cutting off one third of the patch - keep it for later use and if you feel you need it can always put it on.

I think you could handle cutting it in half - saving the other half and see how it goes.

Make sure you google the Thomas Recipe - most that stuff you can get from the health food store and it will be expensive but worth it to have if it helps.

My biggest concern with you is your pain. If you need narcotics on a daily basis are you ready and able to live in that kind of pain without the narcotics?

If you have a library you can access, it really helps to learn how to meditate - I know it sounds silly but after 20 years of severe chronic pain from a spinal deformity I developed when I was 12 - I have tried it all and as hard as it was to learn meditation and prayer helps me the most....

So back to detoxing - be prepared to feel like you have a bad flu although if you slowly taper down you should be ok - you will be mentally low - so the tyrosine and B6 in the Thomas recipe helps with the blahs - start slow with all the Thomas Recipe items - see how you react and then increase the vitamins etc.

Before youn commit to detoxing - be sure this is the right path for you - you have to know you can live and function without narcotics - I doubt you would have been given them for 5 years without a good reason.

Also, if you don't like the patch maybe you could ask for a different type of long acting medication - if you don't like the way you feel or whatever the reason is - it doesn't matter what program you are on, medicare, medicaid - there are ways to get medications even if you have to go through the company that makes the medication - you can usually get a deal on the meds but you have to research it.....

If you have chronic pain that requires these types of meds what are you going to do when you are sick from detoxing and in more pain than when you started? You may not get sick during a slow taper but you certainly will be in a lot more pain.

What do you mean no one will listen to you? What questions are you asking the doctors? If you tell your doctor you want to get off the meds and do a slow detox, they should help you - most pain mgmt docs would allow you to try at least.

However, if you are not presenting the information in a way that makes sense to these doctors - if you are having to increase your pain meds in your case the patch and then you are saying you want to get off the has to be confusing to them.

These pain docs have seen it all - and they know if you have chronic pain at a certain level that you will be on narcotics the rest of your life - lots of money in it for them.

Let me know if I can help with anything. I am in the same boat. I hate the drugs and how I feel "caught" - captive and that my doctor controls my life in many ways - and no one else should have that kind of control over you life - but I know that the narcotics have saved my life - I can still walk most days, i can exercise, work is very difficult but the drugs get me through - not mentally or emotionally but physically.

Keep me posted - It can't hurt to try a detox slowly and see what happens - you can always put the patch(es) back on -

If it turns out the patches are not helping, keep telling your doctor they aren't working or that they are not staying on because you sweat too much or that the side effects are too much etc...and they will eventually prescribe something else.....

Not sure if any of this helped....but it is 4AM and I am wired so I rambled.

I am praying for you.
Powergrub, thank you for your help and kindness. I've decided to go into a rehab and detox off of all the pain meds and kind of see where I'm at. Yes I have some pretty good pain in my neck but I'm going to get my pc to prescribe some 800mg ibprofen to take with me. Since I've never abused my meds and I really just want to get off of them, I'm hoping it won't be too bad. It's a 7 day detox then a 28 day drug treatment that's my option if I feel like I need it after the detox. I will be going in towards the end of the month but I will sure let you know how things are going.
You have been so sweet to give me so much good advice.

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