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I am ready to quit pain pills now, but need advice on how I should do it?

Discussion in 'Sobriety Tips and Inspiration' started by USMC0317, Oct 17, 2017.

  1. USMC0317

    USMC0317 Member

    I joined the Marines when I was young, I started out as an infantryman. To make a long story short I was selected to become an 0317 then furthered my career to an even more specialized combat group. I spent much of my 10 year enlistment deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Several years ago on my last deployment I was badly injured and discharged early from active duty. I have been in pain management and physical therapy both through the VA and private practices since I was released. I was initially prescribed 10mg hydrocodone 3 times daily along with 10mg valium twice daily. Up until this point I had never taken pain pills in my life. At first the pills worked good but as time went on the pills worked less and less, I began taking 4 a day then 5 and at times even 6. It got to the point where I was taking them more for a high and as they say I began chasing the dragon. On top of all this I have an extremely difficult time focusing in school, I began taking Adderall (not prescribed) regularly on top of the hydrocodone and valium. When I would run out of pain killers due to my overuse, I would steal my mothers Oxycontin, she is a cancer survivor and often has a large amount of painkillers on hand. She has also suffered with pain killer addictions since the 90s and knows the struggle. I would make up excuses to see her and drive an hour and a half just so I could grab a few pills to get that small pain relief and high. Stealing pain medication from her made me feel horrible, but I couldn't stop doing it. This is when I realized I have a problem and it needs to end now!

    After years of taking these medications I know I have a dependency that will be hard to break, but I’m ready to call it quits. I am fed up with being a slave to a pill. No one knows I have this problem, until now I have never even mentioned it to anyone and do not feel comfortable yet bringing it up with friends or family because I am worried they will judge me. I have been able to hide it from my wife, family, friends and employer. I have learned how to cover up the effects of the pain killers while I am at work, and no one has ever suspect I have this issue. I was told I am the model employee by my superior and have even been put up for another promotion once I graduate with my bachelors. Where I work has a strict no drug policy, but only test someone if there is an incident. If my employer were to find out about my problem I would be fired instantly without question, there is even a possibility I would be criminally charged, and publicly humiliated.

    This is one reason why I do not want to enter any kind of treatment or tell my employer. I am a strong willed and hard headed person, I know it will be painfully difficult but I’m positive I can quit on my own. I’m just concerned if I quit cold turkey it could cause my body to react badly and I could end up in a life threatening situation. If I consulted a physician for advice would it be confidential? I am going to quit but I need advice on how I can without outing myself as being drug dependent or injuring myself from the withdraw symptoms. I need help, who do I talk to? Should I tell my family? What do I do????
  2. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    @USMC0317... Welcome to the community. First of all, thank you for your service to our country. It's people like you who keep us safe and make it possible for us to live with all of the freedoms we enjoy. So thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    As far as getting off the pills... It really is better if you do so under the supervision of a medical professional. Quitting on your own can not only be more difficult; it can be dangerous, too. Over the years I have seen many people try to quit on their own only to end up in the ER.

    My best advice to you is to seek out an addiction specialist. An addiction specialist is a doctor who is thoroughly trained in all aspects of addiction. They can assess your situation and recommend the best next steps for you. They can also help you wean off of the pills safely, minimizing withdrawal symptoms. You can find an addiction specialist in your area by using the search function at the American Society of Addiction Medicine website. You just have to put your zip code in. Here's the link:

    And yes, if you get the help of a doctor, it will remain confidential.

    I would also recommend finding a therapist who specializes in talking to people with addiction issues. That can be incredibly helpful, too.

    As far as telling your family... I think you should, but that decision is obviously up to you. Quitting an addiction can be much easier with a larger support network, and family is the best kind of support network. Period. That said, if you don't want to tell them, that's your choice.

    I'm sending you lots of positive, healing vibes. And a whole bunch of hope and encouragement, too. You can beat this. I know you can. And you don't have to do it alone. Remember that you can come here for help and support whenever you might need to. Good luck! And thanks again for your service to our country!
    True concern likes this.
  3. True concern

    True concern Moderator

    This is my story of addiction.I was born in the early 80's at the age of six year's old i was diagnosed with that time there was a new F.D.A.approved drug by the name of Ritalin.At first it seemed to be a miracle pill,I was on this pill until the age of 18 at that time i decided i was no longer going to take this pill and it began just under a year passed and someone said "Have you ever tried crystal"which i had not at that time but i tried it and instantly noticed that it was 100% the same effect i got from Ritalin only difference was it lasted longer,or seemed to but honestly it was probably the quantity i was doing was greater than that of Ritalin i struggled with meth on and off for roughly 20 year's,not only meth but i was as well consuming 750ml of Jack Daniel's a day plus a 12 pack of beer.For those who don't know when you mix the two you don't appear to get drunk which is very deadly because infact you do get drunk however you don't realise it until it's too late meaning alcohol poisoning.I experienced this a few times and actually died on a hospital bed due to this fact,it took 3 hits with a defibrillator to restart my heart and i was told the only reason I was hit 3 times was because i was only 19 year's old,but usually after the second time if your heart doesn't restart you are then pronounced dead,but a nurse pleaded with the try one more time and he did and my heart started back up.I didn't know at the time but that nurse was actually the mother of the lead singer of Sublime who just lost her son to a heroin overdose.I am forever grateful for that nurse without her plea i would be another statistic.Unfortunately I didn't quite using drug's at that time i just traded substances.I started abusing pain pills heavily and increased that addiction to catastrophic proportions,it got so bad i started injecting heroin which i quickly traded for oxycontin because it was much stronger than heroin.I abused fentanyl as well but nothing compared to the oxycontin.At my worst i was injecting 240-320mg's of oxycontin a day,feeling i wouldn't survive another month i decided to seek help.I'm poor and i come from poor parent's so my options were limited,i ended up at a methadone clinic for help slowly decreasing my extremely high tolerance.At the clinic i had an interview with a drug addiction counselor and an addiction physician,i was hoping for good news but what i heard shock me to my core.I was told by both the same thing,"Sir we are sorry to tell you but your addiction and tolerance is beyond the point of return,whether you quit or continue either way you cannot survive you have if your lucky a month to live"My heart sank and i decided at that moment if i was going to die i would die trying.I went home and prayed and then i called my wife into the room to tell her the news.At that moment i apologized to her told her how much she meant to me and made her promise if i didn't make it she would move on re marry and live a happy life and she noded yes.After that i quite cold turkey and suffered pain and sickness i cannot describe,for 27 straight day's i did not leave the bedroom,i did not eat,i did not sleep,i hallucinated,i screamed in intense unimaginable pain,i lost over 50 pound's in that time frame and had to be rushed to the hospital 3 time's where they would rehydrate me and try to give me pain shots to stall the detox which i refused.On day 28 I took my first steps after i quite and by the grace of God i survived and this May im married 18 year's to my beautiful wife and guardian angel.This is the first time I've shared my story of addiction and i did it for one reason alone,i want everyone to know i understand what you are going through and no matter how bad it gets there is hope.I'm here for each and everyone of you,if you ever need someone to talk to,if you ever feel no one understands im all ears and i do understand.Stay Strong We're rooting for you.i post this simply for stories like yours because it's exactly what i did and this is the hell i went through.It literally nearl killed me minus any exaggeration @deanokat is giving the correct advice.You try cold turkey you may not live and God knows the respect i have for service men and women is one i would gladly give me life to protect in any situation,you did it for us please let us help you it would be our honor.Infantry runs in my family and god bless your love for us and your country,please seek the help you need you more than deserve it.God bless you.Stay Strong
    deanokat likes this.
  4. True concern

    True concern Moderator

    Great advice @deanokat odd that the date you posted this i was day 5 in a deadly detox.Wish i found this place sooner,i guess the lord work's in mysterious ways
    deanokat and Dominica like this.
  5. Uncertain

    Uncertain Member

    I am in same situation and trying to figure out best options to avoid the horrible detox, and I cant miss work because its my own business and support my family, so I am looking at trying suboxe to help with cravings and withdrawal but dont want to trade one for the other but Iam also strong willed and minded and hopimg I would only need suboxene a short time than ween off that, how did you end up amd how did u clean up and still clean?, I have no one to share with do to embarrassment of this addiction now and I just want off pills, but dont want to cold turkey detox again, I did last july for 25days and went back about time I was feeling normAl again, and really upset with myself for relapsing and once I kickit this time I am done for good. Thank you for your service to this country..
  6. True concern

    True concern Moderator

    @Uncertain Welcome to the forum and glad you are reaching out,WOW you once went through a 25 day cold turkey detox...I feel your pain,literally.I myself have been through the insane agony of a 27 day detox and i am still alive by the grace of God and this was my second round as at 19 i was pronounced dead on a hospital table and the plea of a nurse convinced the Dr to hit me one more time and im forever grateful she did because I am alive because of that.The white sheet had covered my body completely except my face and my heart restarted.I tell you these thing's shame free as a sober man who lived a ****×y life until recently,i couldn't put enough drugs in my body i literally traded my freedom for that dope.I want you to understand im going to answer some of your questions but as well im not going to bullshit anything i say or i can't make it make sense.I was cocky arrogant and oh ya i had a strong will.That's a lie about myself my will was a fabrication of my own addiction and i didn't realize it until about 6 month's sober.i should have died twice at least and my strong will didn't teach me sh×t the first time i had to do it again,please understand I'm in no way mocking you i spend my day's and night searching for stories like mine because im grateful to be alive and i only say what i wish someone told me so please don't get offended.I see you are a loving,caring,provider for your family and i respect that more than you know,the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my life was look my wife in the face after 15 year's of marriage and tell her the Dr and addiction specialists both said either way quit or not i had at best a month to live.Now that's fuckin× pain to tell the love of your life to promise if i didn't live to re marry to someone who could give her the life i failed to deliver and with tears in her eye's chocked up and unable to speak i said again promise me and she looked me in the eye's and noded yes.I just want to show you with this info that i totally understand.Now sub is a mask basically disallowing withdrawal symptoms and effectively keeping the poison in your body its complete bullshit in my opinion because all it does is postpone the obvious,one day you will have to detox or you will end up dieing.Im no Dr,im no specialists.I lived this hell personally and i beat it.You have to want it and you have to direct true will into slowly lowering your dose as to allow your organs time to adjust,every week since you said you cant do rehab which i honestly recommend,but that being said every week you must cut the dose by 5mg per day period,and the following week another 5mg period without cheating regardless of the weakness your muscles will feel,regardless of how many rolls of toilet paper you go through,every week cut 5mg until you get down to about a 10-15 mg daily dose then you cut 5mg one last week and when you get to a 10mg dose daily.STOP TAKING PILLS.You will feel like dog sh×t at that time but you will be in control of your life once again after a final 3-5 day battle with the toilet.I know it sounds like bullshit but it work's and you live.I advise you seek addiction counseling and reach out to NA they are very supportive and no shame because well you dont know those people,but they will help you recover without judgement.How do i Stay Sober?I stay sober by trying to help other's find the greatness within that the dope has effectively denied you the right to see,i stay sober because these people in this forum help me see the lies i tell myself in a more suttle way than i do thing's,i stay sober because someone else needs someone who can relate,i stay sober because i want to help other's get sober.These people im going to tag may comment or may have already,but these people specifically for me since ive been on this site have been a huge part in my passion for other's in helping them as best i can to once again be free from the prison that is addiction.Stay Strong and God Bless you,here is my support network these individuals are amazing and have great advice @Dominica @deanokat @CMMW
  7. Dominica

    Dominica Recovery Advocate @ Moving Beyond Codependency Community Listener

    @Uncertain hi there. thanks for reaching out. i don't have experience with detox, so not much I can offer in terms of advice on that. if you can speak with an addiction specialist or doctor to help you create a plan, I do advise that. I know it's challenging to talk to others about addiction, but trust me when I say there are MILLIONS of people in the same boat and I hope that more people will come to talk about it OPENLY. i mean, it's easier than most think to become addicted to alcohol or drugs (or food or porn or sex or gambling, etc.)

    you've gotten some great insight from @True concern

    check to see if there is a clinic in your area where you can go for a medically assisted detox. call mental health facilities and ask them for referrals or options... seek an addiction specialist... see what your options are..and go from there.

    hope this helps!
  8. Uncertain

    Uncertain Member

    Thank you,
  9. Uncertain

    Uncertain Member

    iam going to try the reduced dosage every week, but I battle myself every day because its like the good and bad on each shoulder one saying you can so this and other sayin go ahead, when I detoxed last july I did it while on vacation and layednin bed for 5 days dealing with skin crawls and feeling like I had the flu and than the runny nose came and the toliet, and it took over three weeks to regain strength and energy and me askin myslef every day when will this be over but than I started out with half one a day than 1 than 2 and now Iam taking over 12 percets 10mg day and it just feels like Iam taking nothing, I do truly have back pain from 2 car wrecka and a back fusion surgery but I just have never had an additive personality and had always had control until now, but I have to run my business and work 12 hours day to support my family but I am goin on vacation first week of july so my plan is to stop than but just want to be free of this need because I dont want to permanently damage my body if I haven’t already because I know Iam taking double what I should and just cant stop, because my body is use to it and is telling me to keep taking it and my mind and heart is saying stop but I went thru hell last detox and just wanting to help with that if their is but dont want to be on something long term, so is why I was curious about suboxene if I took that than wouldnit be an easier detox off that vs now? Well thanks for the support and reply, God bless
    Cametobelieve0202 likes this.
  10. True concern

    True concern Moderator

    Ok so my detox of 27 day's was from injecting 320mg's a day of Oxycontin and pure hell i didn't sleep,eat,i hallucinated,i had seizures,i screamed in unimaginable pain on day 28 i left the bedroom for the first time.i mean horrible 5 gallon buckets full of everything that belongs in a toilet because the detox was killing me.I don't like to say this because you were honest with me one the fight with good on one side bad on the other i will.However i want to be very clear REGARDLESS OF SUB help you will one day have ZERO choice but to detox.Sub will help on a temporary bases but it will add yet another addiction to your already lengthy list.So do you want to FAKE it or MAKE it the choice is absolutely yours but personally i fear it will put you closer to a very sad statistic.However keep reaching out we are not here to judge but indeed to do our best to navigate.I understand this is a massive dilemma im sober now and struggling to get my life back on track but as well you have to absolutely pick life or death at some point because honestly those are the options we have as heavy opiate abusers.Stay Strong and God Bless.Were all rooting for you
    Last edited: May 10, 2018
    Dominica likes this.
  11. Cametobelieve0202

    Cametobelieve0202 Community Champion

    Hello there, thanks for posting. I have little experience with pills but I think @True concern & @deanokat are excellent people to talk to and have a lot to offer in way of advice and experience. From what I’ve read in the postings, most of what is being discussed is how to terminate your physical addiction to these pills. Ahh if only it ended there. Addiction is all encompassing. The mental part of our addiction is what is so cunning baffling and powerful. For me the withdrawals and physical addiction were the easy part. Learning how to live a good happy life without drugs or alcohol was the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. They say the substance is only about 5% of our addiction the rest is our shitty thinking, character defects and inability to cope with life on life’s terms. So yes, I order to beat your addiction you must first quit the drugs but there’s so much more to it. In order to stay clean we have a lot of work to do. Seeing a counselor, trying a treatment program or NA can all help with this. As far as honesty goes. We’re only as sick as our secrets right? Think about how much easier this is going to be if you can talk to your loved ones about what your going through. They’re support can be instrumental. Be open honest and willing and your going to kick addictions ass.
    Dominica and True concern like this.
  12. True concern

    True concern Moderator

    Yep that copeing instead of dopeing is difficult that's why i just got home from a 4 mile run and it's1:13 time.i personally just can't sleep even though I'm physically and mentally exhausted
    Dominica likes this.
  13. Josh111187

    Josh111187 Community Champion

    Hi, I was thinking that I might have some really good advice that I believe you can use to decide which route you want to take.
    As @True concern said the sub is a mask and can lead to another major addiction. And I am one of the people who have been down the heroin,cold turkey withdrawals,jail,oxycontin IV relapse then methadone clinic,then cold turkey withdrawals again and again and yes,again.
    Was on life support once,trust me there are absolutely no drug related horror stories I wouldn't believe.
    Having said that if I had used Suboxone and tapered like I was supposed to then it would be way in my past, this chain and ball of addiction. I will say that it saved my life because I was no longer able to get high from any opiate.
    But there are low mg buprenorphine patches that you can wear and they are for pain management. Buprenorphine is the opioid in Subutex and Suboxone and Subsolve,all the subs basically.
    It's also the main active ingredient in methadone,which is why methadone is so hard to come off of. Bupe is roughly40× stronger than morphine mg to mg. No exaggeration! So before taking this route know how much more addictive it is compared to what you are currently using.
    Also, it is possible to abuse it, manufacturers say otherwise but the track marks on my arms speak for themselves.
    Honestly if you believe you can taper and NOT relapse then do it.
    If you really fear for your life and need assistance this is an option,but just do it right, if you're cut off Subutex supply then you'll experience a world of hurt I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.
    You know what is best for you and you're in my prayers tonight. God bless.
    deanokat and True concern like this.
  14. Josh111187

    Josh111187 Community Champion

    How are you doing today? If you have a spare minute let us know how you feel.
    deanokat likes this.
  15. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    Hope things are alright with you, @Uncertain. Check in with us if you get a chance, okay?