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Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms + Timeline

Opiate withdrawal refers to stopping or tapering down from a substance derived from the opium poppy plant (e.g. narcotic opioid alkaloids). Some major psychoactive opiates include substances like codeine, morphine, and thebaine. Many people consider semi-synthetic drugs like heroin, hydrocodone and oxycodone to be opiates, but they are not direct opiates, rather they are derived from opiates (e.g. opioids). People use these drugs for a variety of conditions, but most commonly they are used to provide pain relief.

These drugs are also used to achieve a recreational “high” by other individuals. The fact that these drugs make people feel less pain and stimulate the reward centers of the brain make them addicting. Most people also feel physically relaxed and no discomfort while they take this class of drugs. It is also believed that some people self-medicate with painkillers to block emotional pain associated with depression and anxiety. Others simply run out of opiates and/or cannot afford to get their prescriptions refilled. In any event, most people that take opiates will eventually want to (or be forced to) withdraw from them.

The withdrawal process can be very debilitating, but physical symptoms typically subside between 7 and 10 days of withdrawal. During the withdrawal process, the body tries to function without stimulation from the opiate drug that has been constantly supplied. When it doesn’t receive the same amount of the drug or none of the drug, it reacts powerfully with an array of physical and psychological symptoms as it attempts to restore normative homeostatic functioning.

Factors that influence opiate withdrawal

There are many different factors that are thought to play a role in determining the severity of opiate withdrawal. Since everyone is in a different situation, it is impossible to know exactly how long the psychological symptoms and/or post-acute withdrawal symptoms will last. Additionally the severity of the physical symptoms that are experienced may be significantly worse for one person than another.

1. Time Span

How long have you been using opiates? Someone that has been using opiates to function for years is going to have more difficulties coping without them than someone who used opiates for a month or two. There are people that have been using high doses of opiates daily for years as a means to continue functioning with chronic pain. Someone who has been functioning on opiates for years (or decades) is going to have a significantly more challenging time quitting than someone who took these for a month or two.

2. Drug / Dosage / Tolerance

The type of opiate that you were taking can play a big role in determining how addictive it is. For example, someone that is injecting heroin may not only become addicted to the drug, they may also become addicted to the ritual. Therefore certain drugs may be more addictive than others based on many factors.

The dosage of the drug that you have been taking as well as whether you have built up a tolerance is also going to influence your withdrawal. If you have developed a tolerance to a high dose of an opiate, you may want to consider tapering off of them so that the physical symptoms aren’t too unbearable.

3. Addiction

Whether a person is psychologically addicted to taking an opiate can have a big influence on how well they deal with withdrawal symptoms. Someone who has used opiates as a crutch to help them make it through difficult aspects of life is going to have a much tougher time getting through the withdrawal process.

Additionally someone that has been taking opiates to deal with chronic pain may have an even tougher time coming off of them because their body’s endorphin supply and natural ability to fight pain has been depleted by painkiller usage. Someone who is seriously addicted will likely need to either: go to rehab and/or work with a psychiatrist (possibly for opiate replacement therapy).

4. Cold turkey vs. Tapering vs. Replacement therapy

There is really no “best” way to quit taking opiates. It is always recommended to taper down (i.e. wean yourself off the drug) over an extended period of time in order to minimize withdrawal symptoms. People that drop down to nothing after taking a high dose every single day for a long-term may experience powerful and potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms. The tapering process can be relatively simple – just cut down your medication by about 25% every few days or every week until you are down to nothing.

However, if you discuss things with your doctor and it’s alright to quit “cold turkey,” just know that some people think cold turkey is the best way to go. By quitting cold turkey you face the pain head on and will have tough symptoms for about a week, but they will go away. Most people that are serious about kicking their habit quit, deal with the symptoms, an don’t look back.

A third option which many people take advantage of is that of replacement therapy. The idea behind replacement therapy is to go on something like Suboxone or Methadone (e.g. a less powerful opiate) to get off of the opiate that you were addicted to. The problem associated with replacement therapy is that many people become severely addicted to the drugs that they were prescribed for replacement. Realize that if you want to be “drug free,” sooner or later you will have to face the pain.

5. Individual Physiology

Why do some people have an easy time coming off of opiates while others can barely function? The answer has to do with individual physiology. Everyone has a different degree of social support, a different environment, and a unique nervous system. One person may have healthier habits and more mental toughness to cope with difficult withdrawal symptoms.

Other people may simply not be affected as severely as another person because they had a lower tolerance. Realize that your withdrawal process is going to be somewhat unique to you. The physical symptoms may be similar to that of other people, but your psychological healing will be a unique process – especially if you experience PAWS (Post-Acute Withdrawal Symptoms).

Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms: List Of Possibilities

Below are a list of the symptoms that you may experience when you stop taking opiates. These will vary in severity depending on how long you have been on them, the dose, and whether you withdrew cold turkey. You may experience a few of the symptoms, most of them, or all of them. Most of the severe physical symptoms last a little bit over a week before they clear up.

  • Agitation: Withdrawing from opiates can make people very agitated. They no longer have their drug to stay calm and the physiology is chaotic because the person is trying to function without the drug.
  • Anxiety: Some people report severe anxiety when they first stop using opiates. This has to do with the fact that most opiates help induce a feeling of calmness. When a person stops using them, it is common for them to feel anxious, nervous, and panic.
  • Concentration problems: Due to the array of symptoms that you may experience, these can take away from a person’s ability to concentrate. You may experience clouded thinking and poor cognitive function until the withdrawal starts to clear up.
  • Craving: Many people report strong cravings for the drug when they first quit. These cravings usually become easier to deal with as more time passes. Even when you make it through the difficult physical withdrawal symptoms, the psychological cravings may persist for a long period.
  • Crying spells: Not only will your eyes probably water, but you may become so depressed that you cry. The withdrawal process is very intense especially in the first few days. If you breakdown and start crying, just realize that things will improve.
  • Depression: Many people report pretty severe depression when they come off of opiates. This depression can last much longer than the actual physical withdrawal process. If you have been abusing opiates for a long term, it can take your body a long time to restore natural production of neurotransmitters and endorphins.
  • Diarrhea: Since being on opiates tends to make people constipated, many people report the exact opposite when they come off of them. For this reason, it may be helpful to keep some Imodium on hand so that you can deal with the stomach aches and constant bowel movements.
  • Dilated pupils: When people use opiates, their pupils tend to contract and become very small – almost like little pinpoints. When they stop using, their pupils retract and can look very dilated.
  • Dizziness: Most people report that they feel dizzy when they first stop. This is a result of physical withdrawal that can feel uncomfortable, but it will eventually subside.
  • Fatigue: You may feel extremely tired, lethargic, and fatigued throughout the day. In fact you may have a difficult time doing something as simple as getting out of bed. Work with your fatigue to get as much accomplished as possible, but recognize that your body needs some rest as it recovers.
  • Goose bumps: You may notice that you have goose bumps all over your skin. This is a very common symptom that most people have when they come off of opiates.
  • Headaches: It is common to experience pretty severe headaches when you stop taking opiates. These headaches may range from being constant and mild to severe, painful migraines. Do what you can to suck it up and realize that the pain will clear.
  • Heart palpitations: Many people notice changes in their heart beat when they stop opiates. They may notice palpitations and/or an increased heart rate. Do your best not to freak out and realize that it is your body trying to cope without the drug. Normative functioning will be restored.
  • High blood pressure: Opiates tend to lower blood pressure by depressing activity in the central nervous system. When you stop taking them, your blood pressure may shoot up for a temporary period of time as your body attempts to fix itself. Doctors may prescribe Clonidine to help target the blood pressure and anxiety symptoms upon withdrawal.
  • Hot flashes: It is common to experience hot flashes when you stop taking an opiate. These are usually caused in hormonal fluctuations and our body trying to reset itself.
  • Insomnia: Although some people report severe fatigue, tiredness, and sleepiness, insomnia can easily strike during withdrawal. If you feel as though you cannot fall asleep, focus on trying to relax and just get sleep when you can. Eventually your sleep cycle will be restored.
  • Irritability: Most people will experience feelings of irritability and mood swings when they quit opiates. Any drug that has an influence on our mood can result in us experiencing the opposite when we withdraw from it.
  • Itchiness: It may feel as though your skin is crawling with itchiness during the withdrawal. This shouldn’t last for an extended period of time.
  • Memory problems: It may be pretty frustrating that your short term memory seems a little bit off during withdrawal. You may have difficulties with memory retrieval – this is due to the fact that you are experiencing an overwhelming amount of symptoms. Don’t freak out about your memory not working correctly, it will work normally again.
  • Muscle aches: Opiates do a great job at treating muscle pain and other aches. If you are someone who was taking them for chronic pain management, you may notice that the pain comes back worse than before. Individuals that were taking opiates for alternative uses still report aches when they stop usage.
  • Nausea: Many people report feeling extremely nauseated when they stop an opiate. This may lead to vomiting if it gets severe.
  • Panic attacks: Some people experience anxiety to the point of causing panic attacks when they stop opiates. If you are experiencing panic attacks, do your best to focus on doing what you can do to calm down and relax. If deemed necessary, you could get medication to help you through this process.
  • Paranoia: This isn’t necessarily a “common” symptom, but one that some individuals exhibit. Usually feelings of paranoia will last only a couple days following usage of the drug and then stop.
  • Runny nose: This may feel worse than having a cold, but your nose is likely to run. Be prepared for a constant runny nose by having plenty of tissues around.
  • Suicidal thoughts: My guess is that many people experience suicidal thoughts when they come off of opiates. This has to do with the fact that most opiates actually elevate and stabilize mood. When a person withdraws from them, they may feel suicidal. If you feel this way, make a promise to yourself that you will not harm yourself and/or talk to someone else about it. Some people end up acting on their present emotion because they don’t think that the painful feelings will ever go away – despite the fact that they will.
  • Sweating: You may sweat profusely throughout the day and/or during sleep (i.e. night sweats). The sweating may feel uncomfortable, but just keep in mind that it’s from the withdrawal – it will eventually subside.
  • Vomiting: Some people end up experiencing extreme nausea and actually vomit. With all the symptoms the person experiences, they may conclude that the withdrawal process feels “flu-like.” If you have an upset stomach, do your best to soothe it.
  • Watery eyes: In addition to having a runny nose, your eyes may water. Just recognize that it is your body’s way of responding to sober functioning.
  • Yawning: Many people report excessive yawning when they quit opiates. If you are constantly yawning, just recognize that this is part of the withdrawal process.

Rare symptoms: It should be noted that people also experience other, rarer symptoms as a result of opiate withdrawal. These include: cardiac arrhythmias, dehydration, seizures, strokes. If you are concerned that you might experience any of these symptoms, consult a medical professional.

Note: Most symptoms are pretty painful and can be extremely debilitating within the first three days of withdrawal. However, most people find that within a week they are feeling much better.

Opiate Withdrawal Timeline: How to Manage Symptoms

There is no set duration for the withdrawal process – especially regarding PAWS (Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome). For some individuals, the post-acute psychological withdrawal symptoms may linger for an extended period of time (e.g. months or years). For most hardcore addicts, it can take many months of being drug free to fully overcome the psychological aspects of the addiction.

A majority of people will have severe physical withdrawal symptoms that will be debilitating for up to 10 days. For shorter-acting opiates most physical withdrawal symptoms are overcome in as quick as 7 days (one week). For longer-acting opiates, the physical symptoms may be present for up to 10 days. Most people will notice that these symptoms become more manageable after a few days.

Many people withdraw, but then fall back into the trap of using opiates. The best way to help yourself stay off of these drugs is with professional help and personal will to overcome this battle. If you are experiencing severe anxiety, a doctor may prescribe you with clonidine to help ease these symptoms. If you are experiencing diarrhea, you may want to take some Imodium. Additionally if you were addicted to opiates for years and need some sort of additional support, you may want to consider Suboxone (Buprenorphine).

Suboxone has been proven to ease symptoms of withdrawal by working as a partial-opioid agonist. Other people have success using Methadone – work with your doctor to find a solution for yourself. In the meantime, allow your body to begin the healing process. Make sure you are engaging in as many healthy activities as possible during your recovery process.

Examples of things you can do for yourself include: physical exercise, eat healthy, socialize with family, see a therapist or support group, engage in online support group (forum) chat. Your physiology has to get used to functioning without the constant supply of an opiate and will be readjusting. The readjustment process can take a long time for many people, but it’s a battle.

Once you gain some positive momentum after being off of all opiates, you will start to see the light. Realize that the process of coming off of opiates is painful (psychologically and physically) and difficult. Most people have a lot of depression and struggles when they first quit, so try to take things one day at a time. Focus on what you can do right now (i.e. this exact moment) to ensure the fastest possible recovery.

Eventually sober days will turn into sober weeks, and sober weeks will turn into sober months. Bad days will start to turn into slightly better days, and eventually, you’ll have a good day. This single good day will be a sign that you are recovering and starting to regain your happiness and livelihood. If you keep doing your best and trying, you will make a full recovery in your withdrawal from opiates.

It should be noted that some people end up withdrawing, weathering the storm of symptoms and recover relatively quick within the first 10 days or so. For others, they have difficulties controlling their cravings to use the drug. Feel free to share your experience if you have withdrawn from an opiate successfully, are in the withdrawal process, or are planning on withdrawing.

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{ 126 comments… add one }
  • julie February 23, 2015, 8:44 am

    I had been taking 20 mg a day for a period of 7 months approx for a pain related problem, I want to stop using morphine because my pain and health had improved so I reduced the dose to 10mg a day for a week then stopped taking any morphine at all. I am in day 8 now still not able to sleep well, had restless legs for first 5 days, constant runny nose and sneezing for the whole of the 8 days. It’s starting to get a little better, felt anxious and suffered with an upset stomach, but this passed after 4 days. I am now starting to feel better, just need to go with it for a bit longer. Good luck to anyone who finds themselves in this position. Try to stay positive and your sights on the end goal.

    • Joseph McGrath March 13, 2015, 11:49 am

      Thanks for posting, I just awoke to day 10 off of pills. Not sure how I ended up reading your post. If your still around, wanted to say THANKS and Best Wishes.

      • Joe McCulloch July 16, 2016, 12:54 pm

        I quit methadone cold turkey. I was at 53 mg. It took me ten days to be totally over it and it was not bad at all. As long as you have a strong will you can do anything.

        • Chris August 26, 2016, 3:59 pm

          That’s right Joe McCulloch! Can do anything you put your mind to. I’m impressed as well inspired 53 is a lot to cold turkey it, but you know if it don’t hurt you don’t learn. Hope you’re still well. Keep on keeping on. Positive thoughts bring about positive results! And pass on your knowledge and helping others is the best thing you can do! ✌🏻️

    • Taz November 15, 2016, 6:20 am

      You are one tough cookie.

  • Bree March 18, 2015, 11:12 pm

    I am commenting to perhaps help someone who’s been in this position before. I was an opiate addict for several years. I tried countless times to get clean cold Turkey to no avail. Then I was placed suboxone and it saved my life. I was able To address my addiction problems but the problem is it only prolonged the inevitable – I didn’t want to be physically dependent on ANYTHING anymore so if I wanted off of it I’d still have to face the withdrawals.

    I’d never have been able to taper off heroin because it was too addicting and this is also where the suboxone helped. I made a taper plan and went from 8mg a day and cut my dose down to nothing gradually over the next month and a half. I stuck to the taper plan no matter how bad felt and was able to get off of the suboxone successfully with minimal withdrawals. I haven’t felt this good in years. Best of luck to anyone struggling… You CAN do it!!!

    • Jana July 7, 2016, 2:13 am

      You basically just described my story. Only I tapered but I’m still really struggling. I’m at day 4 night time and my arms feel like they weigh 90 pounds each and I have a constant headache. I can’t sleep but when I do I wake up feeling like a truck ran over me.

      I have dark circles under my eyes, I look & feel like a zombie haha! I’m praying I wake up tomorrow feeling significantly better. I want to be sober so badly. I’m tired of being addicted to pills! They almost ruined my life. I hope you are doing well, take care!

      • jesse September 20, 2016, 6:49 am

        Well I hope things worked out for you. I was taking 10-14 30mgs of oxy a day. It helped my pain. But it was more like a prison. When I ran out of my script I’d have to turn to family friends. I would spend hundreds a month on norcos and oxys. It was how I coped with my stressed and pain. A few years ago my wife left me and it through me into a huge depression.

        I started taking somas and Xanax, almost anything I could find. One night she was out late and still living together and I was in so much pain without her I just wanted to sleep. I drank 2 bottles of mad dog. Something I hadn’t drank since my high-school years. I also popped 5 or 6 somas and probably some oxys too. Anyways I aspirated and was in a coma for three days. In the ICU for a week. Them were some tough times. But coming out of all this imprisonment and being selfish and needy.

        I am on my 6th sober day and using clonidine to get me through. It works miracles. I probably would of never of stopped but somehow a good friend of mine caught wind that I abused pills and told my wife it was time I quite. He has helped financially since I can’t work. But without his help I would of never got through this. O also have my wife by my side. It’s a lot easier if you have support. Oh I am almost 100 percent. But I have been getting very dizzy and disoriented when I stand up.

        Hopefully it goes away. But anyone that’s been in my shoes, seek the help, get the advice, stock up on clonidine, some people use antidiarrheal meds. I didn’t I figured that is how my body is getting rid of the crap. And the sweats too. That is your bodies way of getting rid of the waste. The poison. I would probably recommend a mild muscle relaxer. I’m no doctor but I started feeling better and able to sleep night 4.

        • jesse September 20, 2016, 11:47 pm

          So this morning I woke up day 7 in a great mood. I’m still very dizzy when I stand and now my ankle is swollen, red and in a lot of pain. I used to get gout but too often. I haven’t ate but a few bites since my detox from oxy. So it can’t be the food and I haven’t drank any alcohol. Does anyone know if it can be caused by withdrawals?

  • Sandy April 26, 2015, 7:26 pm

    I have been in constant pain daily due to health problems. Got into a pain clinic and have tried many narcotics. Have just about gone crazy. I am now trying to gradually detox myself. It’s hell with all the side effects. Determined to make it though.

    • V November 4, 2015, 11:23 pm

      Dear Sandy, I was on opiates for a long 7 years, tried suboxone twice to get off the pain meds; however, it only made my chronic pain more severe. This time I checked myself into a detox clinic at my local hospital and it was the best decision. They helped with my withdrawal symptoms, but they also made sure that I didn’t have any bad side effects as I have passed out before trying to get off by myself.

      This time I refused to take Suboxone and it was much easier of a withdrawal, no leg cramps, my neck doesn’t hurt as bad, my symptoms and pain are getting better. Stay determined and make a good goal and stick to it no matter what even if the pain drives you crazy, start icing, heating, epsom salt baths, topical ointments, Gabapentin if needed or maybe even Voltaren. Best of luck to you!!!

  • Elsienore May 3, 2015, 5:07 pm

    Hello, I am on day 9 of cold-turkey withdrawal. I just woke up 2 Fridays ago, after decades of daily use, realizing this just isn’t working for me. I still have frequent bowel movements, thank God the restless leg crap has subsided, but my biggest concern is how extremely tired and heavy my limbs feel, as well as being unable to get more than 2 hours of sleep at a time. I’ve done lots of searches regarding vitamins, Imodium, etc. – but not wanting to go to an MD for more pharmaceutical help, how much longer will I feel like the walking dead?

    • Jason May 8, 2015, 4:00 am

      Hello I’m on day 2 from oxycontin and oxycodone. I think I’m losing my mind. I’ve been taking them for about 2 years with the past few months going through withdrawals anywhere from 1-2 weeks because I take the entire script in about a week and a half normally. I’ve decided to quit for good. And reading everyone’s posts helps me when I get real low. People are looking for help, and ways to quit. I’m going cold turkey. Any idea about how long the withdrawals will last? Thanks. -J

      • Adam February 8, 2016, 9:34 pm

        Hey man I’ve takin percs for 4 years I’m on day 33 clean! At this point it’s your mind that will drive you crazy, it’s like walking around looking for 1 needle in the whole world! Takes months for your mind to get normal, maybe years. But it beats looking for them everyday! You can do it. Keep your head up be a solider!

      • Chris May 3, 2016, 11:05 pm

        Jason, you sound just like me, I get 120 (10/325) oxycodone month and 60 (20mg XR) month and they are all gone in 7-10 days, then I have withdrawal the rest of the month, it sucks! I can’t continue doing this!! I either need to get off completely or learn to manage my medicine every month, have been think of giving my wife my medicine and let her give me my pain meds for the day so I can’t mess up!

        How are you feeling? I’m not sure how I even got here to read your post, but it really hit home with me. Just curious as if your are off pain meds altogether now and how you did it? I’m on day 3 it’s getting better for me but still can’t sleep over a few hours at a time and then I’m tossing and turning for 3 more hours, it’s horrible. Also the usual diarrhea, can’t focus on anything, my body just feels to heavy to stand for long periods of time.

        • Jay May 24, 2016, 1:46 am

          Hey Chris, I know what you’ve been going through and from experience I can tell you that even giving them to your wife won’t help. I tried the same thing and at the end of the day you’re an addict like me and you will find a way to lie and steal them regardless. I didn’t think I ever would but when it came to going through withdrawal or getting another pill I chose the pill every time.

          The best advice I could give is find a way to get off them. I’m on week 4 of finally being clean after 13 years and everyday sucks! Lol but the days are getting better and I know eventually they will be great. And as hard and as painful as it is to give the pills up, the thought of my wife and my son having a junkie husband and father makes it worth every second of this agony to finally become pill free.

          Find something worth quitting for buddy and it will happen. Best of luck to ya.

        • Sconnie Opiate free August 6, 2016, 8:27 pm

          I’ve been a user for 20 years. The last doses of pills were 90 mg methadone per day and 80mg Percocet per day. Every month the Percocet would be gone in less than 10 days. After realizing 20 years of abuse, I realized I have wasted a very large part of my life. I am on day 7 of quitting cold turkey and am still not doing too good.

          A lot of withdrawal symptoms are still strong. The worst is the not sleeping more than 1 hour of sleep at night followed by the feeling of having a million centipedes running around throughout my body and lastly the restless legs. This SUCKS, but my pain level is actually much reduced being off the opioids being on them. I WILL NOT GO BACK TO HELL!! NO MORE PILLS!

          Although my Dr did prescribe some valium for the butterfly/centipede problem. That did help. Wishing all that have recovered and those seeking advice..STAY STRONG!! THERE ARE MUCH BETTER DAYS AHEAD. Best wishes, ex-opioid user.

          • Gary August 31, 2016, 4:10 pm

            I am on day three of being off extended release dilaudid – 32 mg down to 16 for a month and now none. Because of chronic pain, I still need an occasional short acting one, but the w/d routine is the same as coming off completely because my receptors don’t have the steady supply they have enjoyed for several years. I have a severe anxiety disorder and clinical depression and I can assure you that his has been worse and I would imagine that anyone w/out these issues would experience it to a lesser degree.

            But, I am more hopeful about the future than I have been in more than 10 years of battling chronic pancreatitis and my mental health issues. I am certain the opioids made both of my psychological problems worse as does chronic pain. Thanks to some excellent docs at MUSC, the pain is now intermittent and less severe; 5 as opposed to a constant 10! I have already seen my physical symptoms improve and believe I will feel almost normal, whatever that is, in a week. Please, stick with it or seek help, you’ll love yourself for winning the battle!

          • Mel C October 26, 2016, 10:54 pm

            OMG Sconnie just told my story. 10 years on Oxy SR and Norco. Got down to 30 mg Oxy SR and 4 Norco and called it quits. I haven’t had an opiate for 9 days now but the restless leg and insomnia are killing me. I feel like I’m going insane. Also driving my husband crazy with anywhere from 2-4 showers, or baths a night.

            I just read about this stuff called CALM which is magnesium and helps with muscle or restless leg syndrome and insomnia. Took my first dose this am, we’ll see. Also neurontin 300 mg and a clonidine 0.1 mg helped me sleep some! I can’t wait till this is over. Worst experience in my life up until now. I pray that anyone going through this process, peace and light. 🙏

    • Emily October 1, 2015, 9:01 pm

      Restless leg syndrome lasts f*cking weeks with me! Same with no sleep, or just severely LIGHT sleep. That’s my biggest complaint. I just started to clean up and am on day 18. Only first week or so with suboxone…but still feel mild withdrawal symptoms (i.e. yawning, watery eyes, muscle aches, and the whole sleep thing) I feel better mentally than physically, however, lack of resources in a new state could be playing a role in that.

  • lost and confused May 18, 2015, 5:27 am

    Hello everyone. I’ve been doing heroin for about two years straight and it’s killing me. I’ve tried so many times to stop but don’t have the guts to go through the withdrawals. I’m scared of the pain because it kills me and makes me an angry person towards the one I love. I’m so stuck and don’t know what to do anymore. I don’t want to die and I feel that’s what’s going to happen if I don’t stop. I don’t have any insurance to help me out with my problem. I’m so tired of using like you wouldn’t believe. I’ve lost everything because of this drug and going through all of that I still can’t get away from it.

    I’m just so scared of the pain of going through the withdrawals and seeing the person I become when I’m going through it. I don’t want to waste any little money I get on anything that might not work from over the counter because then I’ll be stuck. I really need someone to please help me with my problem so I can finally get off and move on with my life. All I have left is my wife who has stuck by me through thick and thin and if I lose her I’m dead. But like I said before the pain of going through the withdrawal is murder and I don’t know what to do anymore… This is the longest I have ever been on it and I’m really scared and don’t know what to do. Please can someone help me… Thank you so much.

    • Joe May 20, 2015, 10:55 am

      What has happened since your last post? There are many programs to help you get off drugs smartly and safely so cold turkey and going alone is not wise at all.

    • P June 8, 2015, 4:41 pm

      If you’re in the same trenches that I came from, you’ll get this. I hope it helps. In my mind, it was never about the drug. It was always about the pain. I just wouldn’t stand for it. If I was hurting, I was losing the war. My husband asked me if he married the drug. I was only as good as the drug would allow me to be.

      That pissed me off. Who is this dependent person I see in the mirror? It was all about the drug. My belly began to overflow (a process of work taking a couple of years.) I had a god-smack, when I shook and had problems holding the drug in my hand. I realized the true ‘war’ had begun. I had been without before so, I knew what to expect with the physical withdraws. Patience!

      You must be Patient with yourself but firm in your decision to stop. The withdraws are temporary! They will test you and test you but when they do leave and you will still be standing here, stronger than before. I wasn’t going to let “It” win. I stuck to my plan, (for the most part) and tapered off. ( With my successes and failures, the only one I was truly hurting, was myself.) You said your wife has seen you without so, she’ll know what to expect, too.

      The above symptoms are spot on. However, keep in mind, not everyone is different nor the same. Find your local methadone clinic. It’s less than the cost of 2 bags. Taper that way, if you need. From heroin to Oxy to Hydros to Tylenol/weed to eating better, stretching, drinking plenty of water (it flushes the toxins in your muscles), exercising and being You.

      This is all about you. Whatever the case, or route you chose, this war is about Will. It is about your Will to Live. The ball is in your court, buddy. Be Strong, sweetheart. Stay Strong.

    • Bella313 September 27, 2015, 8:59 pm

      Dear lost, I was on 90mg of morphine, and two other drugs for over 7 years. I was terrified of the withdrawals! So much so, that it took a drastic landing in the hospital before I finally cried out for help. I had to do a replacement therapy using suboxone. But one day my doctor tricked me and put me on an extremely low dose patch, not letting me know that he was basically taking me off!

      Best thing he could have done for me. He had over a period of 3 months weaned me with suboxone, then boom! The barely there butrans patch. Within a few days, and with much reduced symptoms, it was finally over. I could not do it alone. That was the first thing I had to admit. Secondly, I had to admit that I was dying slowly and painfully from these drugs. They had to go, or my husband was gone. And he too has stuck with me through thick and thin. As hard as it is, facing that fear is worth having your life.

      If you need replacement for awhile, there is no shame in that. You know what you need. Make sure whomever is supporting you, will be tough and compassionate. You need both. And everyone needs prayer. If I had not had one person praying for me, wouldn’t have made it. If you would like prayer, I can do that for you. But many behavioral health clinics are supportive in helping those who are DONE. Even financially. So you can do it. It’s not worth dying for.

      • Melissa May 28, 2016, 5:35 am

        Please pray for me as I go thru withdrawals again. This time I’ve only been using for 4 days. Luckily I’ve caught myself soon and withdrawals shouldn’t be that bad. I hope this is the LAST TIME.

      • Pain free life September 8, 2016, 9:23 pm

        Please pray for me too. Thank you. Loved the feedback from real experiences.

    • Kelly March 6, 2016, 8:40 pm

      Lost and confused, I’ve been using/addicted to hydrocodone (and whatever other pain meds I could get my hands on) for 8 years… and I have absolutely HAD IT with that lifestyle. It has left me a shell of my former, and much stronger self. Like you, my spouse has stuck in there with me this whole time (we even survived a brief separation and near divorce 2 years ago), because he knows it’s not truly who I am. It’s the drugs.

      I had my big “awakening moment” (as I call it) only 2 weeks ago. It was the most terrifying moment of my life, finally coming face to face with this demon that had plagued my life for so many years. Utterly terrifying. It is a moment I will never forget. Since then, I have been tapering, quite drastically, in fact, because what I once loved (the pills), I have now come to despise with every fiber of my being, and I want them out of my life – FOREVER.

      I understand your fears of withdrawal, as does everyone who has ever experienced it. Opiate withdrawals are nothing short of nightmare inside of a torture chamber within a living (and seemingly endless) hell. You don’t want to put your loved one in harm’s way with your withdrawals, but is it any worse than what you are doing by continuing to use? The best way I can describe it for myself is that withdrawals are hell – but a better hell.

      The hell you are in while using will only get worse and worse (as I learned the hard way). In withdrawal hell, you KNOW it will get BETTER, but it will take a lot of work, including focus, determination, and time. The fear is what keeps people addicted. I NEVER post on these things because I’ve never felt like I could or should. I am replying to you because you sound EXACTLY like me 2 weeks ago.

      I “hear” the desperation in your words, and I feel your pain deeply. The ONLY way you will find any type of peace now is to take the leap – but you MUST have the truest desire to do this, and it must be for YOU. I was in that exact desperation for almost 3 agonizing years, yet it took me until now to TRULY want to change my life. You will know when you are ready. The first step is the hardest, in my opinion, even over withdrawals.

      There is an inner strength within each of us, a will-power that can have more impact on ourselves than we even realize. I am starting to remember how strong I truly am, and it is that force that is driving me to push through this. One other thing – you mentioned you get angry when you withdrawal. I am a strong-willed, 34-year-old red-headed female, and let me tell you, when someone describes a “red-headed temper”, I’m sure there’s got to be a picture of me around somewhere.

      It’s just in my nature. Now, I am choosing to direct that anger and rage at my addiction, and it makes it just a little bit easier to get through the days. That’s what I’m truly angry about anyway, and it’s about time! So please, get pissed off! You SHOULD be pissed off! But try to focus your anger toward the thing that really warrants your rage – your addiction.

      If your loved one has hung in there with you throughout everything up to this point, don’t you think they will stand even more firm by your side once you decide to get well and make seriously positive changes in your life? I wish you the best of luck, and I know that you CAN do this, IF you TRULY want it. NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE, UNLESS YOU DON’T TRY. My deepest thoughts and good vibes your way, Kelly

      • Minnie May 16, 2016, 12:10 am

        Hi Kelly, I just started tapering off on Friday the 13th from being on opiate for 5 years. My highest dose prescribed to me was 60mg Oxy a day. The biggest fear has been feeling scared to go through this process. How did you taper off? I am reduced down to 30mg on Friday, 30mg on Saturday and 22mg on Sunday. I am also taking clonidine to help with anxiety and blood pressure. I am determined to get this awful chemical out of my body.

    • Shay April 2, 2016, 2:38 am

      I was an IV drug user – heroin and hydromorphone… Tried to quit by myself multiple times and I couldn’t. I got on methadone and have been clean ever since!!! Everyone who has a problem quitting by themselves, try that!

      • Peter September 20, 2016, 1:09 am

        @Shay, Congratulations on your progress. When you say clean, do you mean completely or that you are clean of all opiates other than methadone? I ask not from judgment but from real concern re anyone believing they are “clean” while on methadone or suboxone.

        I was on methadone for six years and never felt “clean”. In fact, my fear of withdrawal from methadone was more intense than my fear of withdrawal from oxycodone/morphine/hydromorphone/ANY opiate (even though my ROA was very rarely IV). I think there may be a place for substitution drugs but only if they’re used for a short period of time or if you really can’t put down the needle. The advantages of methadone substitution over other opiates (for years or permanently) is legality, access, cost and (if you’re an IV user) ROA.

        It’s certainly less dangerous than IV heroin (or IV any opiate) but methadone is still an opioid monkey on one’s back. Unless you believe it truly threatens your move away from needles, I’d recommend a slow taper. If you can’t do it right now then keep it in the back of your mind to tackle when you’ve been stable for awhile and are feeling stronger.

        This is obviously only my personal opinion and others might disagree with me. Anyone with addiction issues should consult a professional re their specific situation.

    • R L Green July 25, 2016, 1:49 pm

      Hi Lost and confused! I read your post and felt my heart drop! You really want this I can tell, do you want it bad enough to feel like crap for about 7 days? I promise you that on the 8th day you won’t be 100% but you’ll look back on day 2 and smile! I’m on day 40 today and God I couldn’t imagine going through that again!

      Your wife as moral support, hot baths, walking around your house after day 3,anything to take your mind off we. On day 4 I knew I could do this. Before I knew it it was day 10 then day 13. But the mental cravings are hard, but God, prayer, music, walking further with my headphones on really help me! And this was all cold Turkey! I don’t recommend CT if you don’t think you can do it, but heck I didn’t think I could do it CT but thank God for His Strength!

      The worst part for me is now that I have extra money my mind starts going to that place, but the will power provided by God is sufficient to dispel that crap real quick! My days are calm and relaxed, I exercise mostly by just walking and experiencing nature! It’s so beautiful outside, and that alone makes look forward to the next day! I did all this alone because no one knew I was addicted, you have support so you can do this! I’ll pray for you and you go get em tiger!

      • Peter September 20, 2016, 1:22 am

        @R L Green, It’s always great to hear when someone beats this thing; congratulations. When I read your comment re now having extra money, it struck me that if your Faith in God is sincere (and it appears it is) one way to thank Him for His help would be to donate what you can afford to a charitable organization or help someone else who is struggling with addiction find the treatment they need. “When you did it for the least of these….”

  • Tim Ford July 8, 2015, 9:46 pm

    I took norco, oxy, and hydro for almost 8 years due to chronic pain from a broken leg. I would have never made it through withdrawl without Kratom. What a miracle herb!! Slept every night and didn’t have cravings. Around tenth day I did become sore and extremely tired, like couldn’t hold my eyes open while driving to work tired. I’m hoping that goes away soon. I wasted so much money and time on this junk. My doctor gave refills freely then when the law changed, my refills went away and I started buying them…8$ per for hydrocodone. I was going through a divorce and crazy custody battle at the time so I was losing it. I woke up one day with a good chance to win but no money to help. So I stopped buying pills, went to a head shop and got done kratom and two weeks later I’m off. I just want my energy back!!!

    • Kyra October 9, 2015, 8:30 pm

      I’m so glad someone mentioned Kratom. I have a few bottles stockpiled for when I go off. I was taking a oxycodone and OxyContin for 3.5 years for chronic back pain. Started weaning off 3 months ago. I’m on 5mg of oxycodone 4 times a day now, down from a total of 120mg a day total. I didn’t expect to feel sick going down to 5mg but I guess everyone is different. How much Kratom did you take and how often?

      • Jay December 26, 2015, 4:29 am

        Kratom doesn’t help at all. I’m on day 3 which is supposed to be the peak. Someone recommend kratom. I took one capsule and it was great for about an hour then another and that lasted for about 2. After that wore off I felt as if my withdrawals were even worse. I am resorting to Valerian root. I took one capsule about 20 minutes ago and feel pretty good.

        • Jr February 18, 2016, 9:39 pm

          The problem is you didn’t take enough Kratom. 5-7 capsules for low dose and 7-10 for higher. You also need to look into the strains of kratom. Some are downers and others are uppers. I also don’t recommend to use it for more than 5-7 days. You can have a slight WD from it if you use longer. But it beats your standard WD IMO that’s for sure. It knocks out about 70-80% WD symptoms if the dosage is correct.

    • R L Green July 25, 2016, 1:52 pm

      Be careful because the kratom can cause WD symptoms also!

  • DJ July 31, 2015, 4:29 pm

    I have been on fentanyl patches, codone, morphine for 15 years. Quit the patches a few years ago to reactions. But have been on large doses of the other two because of chronic pain, arthritis and fibromyalgia. My husband has been on the last two for arthritis and chronic pain four four years. We both went cold turkey, we did not want to live like that anymore or more important we did not want to die that way either.

    I am 30 days out and he is 28 days out. The first two weeks were a trip to hell and back. We do not crave the drugs, we made up our minds to never get into that life ever again. I have gone to my primary doctor and had complete blood work. All numbers are fine for the first time since my gastric bypass (1988) I am not anemic. We are concerned because we are still so weak, it it hard to walk across the floor. Our attitude and drive and interaction has returned, but we wonder when the weakness will get better.

  • JV August 7, 2015, 5:27 am

    Hour fifty six..struggling. Taking percs from back surgery over year. Back still killing me but tired of taking pills. Worst symptom right now is skin crawling. Cannot sit still, especially in my shoulders. Just horrible right now…confident it will get better but my God I’m struggling.

    • CM August 12, 2015, 2:42 pm

      JV, and all posters/readers- keep going. You CAN do this!! You WILL do this!!! I said a prayer for you that God comforts you in Jesus Name! You are loved. This too shall pass. I am on day 8 and suffering through anxiety/panic/depression. The physical is much better. Still a bit restless. Trouble sleeping. It has terrified me. I won’t ever do this to myself again, so I will never go back to addiction again. I’m clinging to God and prayer and my husband. My husband is trying real hard to help, but I see it’s hard for him. Say a prayer for us please.

    • PJ October 29, 2015, 11:24 am

      I’ve been finding that my worst symptom when I’m trying to withdraw is that I want to physically hurt other living things. Animals, people. I don’t do it, I’m not an angry or aggressive person. But while I’m petting my dog, all I can think of is squeezing a handful of skin until he yelps. It makes me so sick and terrified of myself that I smoke some more heroin just to make the thoughts go away. I feel like I could deal with the physical pains but the mental health or “lack there of” while coming down is what keeps bringing me back. Has anyone else ever experienced this? I feel like I’m losing my mind.

    • Kelly March 6, 2016, 10:08 pm

      JV, IME, the RLS is the absolute WORST of my withdrawal symptoms. I, too, get it it my arms, shoulders, and chest, and all I want to do is rip the flesh right off my bones, so I completely sympathize with you there. Give me constant vomiting ANY DAY over that RLS nightmare. I have a legal prescription for Xanax, and it does help to take the edge off just a bit.

      I’ve found that hot showers (or baths) really help – and I mean HOT, as hot as you can stand without hurting yourself or passing out from too much heat. It helps your muscles relax naturally, so do this, if you are able to. I’ve also found that simply walking around will ease it a little bit, as you are using your arm muscles when you walk (you know, just the natural motion the arms make when walking). Plus, it gives you a bit of exercise, which is key to get your natural endorphins to start producing naturally again.

      I know, the very LAST thing on your mind right now is exercise. But, what IS at the forefront of your mind is getting the RLS to to subside, or at least ease up. Try these two things, seriously. Look into supplements for opiate withdrawal online. I don’t know if we’re allowed to post specific products, but if so, I would try Calm Support. I’ve been detoxing for 2 weeks now (I’m a chronic pain patient suffering from IC and recurring kidney stones; I’m a 34-year-old female, and I’ve already passed 36 stones, and have had 2 stones surgically removed since being diagnosed in 2008; IC misdiagnosed/undiagnosed for 3 years; finally diagnosed in 2008, also), and I did a pretty fast taper.

      In week 1, I went from taking 80-100mgs of hydrocodone daily (I would switch to my morphine ER 30s, sometimes up to 6 a day, when I ran out of my hydrocodone), down to 15mgs of hydrocodone (and completely eliminating the morphine), then slowed it down in week 2 to 5mgs, then 2.5mgs, then “jumped off” yesterday morning, so I’m now 28 hours since last dose – and I’m actually doing okay (which is surprising because I’m such a baby whenever I don’t feel good), and I feel that I owe some credit to the Calm Support.

      It does not eliminate withdrawal symptoms – and it doesn’t claim to do so. It just helps to ease them up to a more bearable, tolerant level. I’ve been through W/Ds 2 other times in the past (not by choice), and the difference has been night and day. I believe that this supplement has helped me with some of my most unbearable symptoms, but it is only one piece of the puzzle. Now, because this is something I have CHOSEN to do for MYSELF, my mindset during the W/Ds is completely different.

      I’m not just trying to “hang on” until I get my next scripts. I visited my PM doc last week to officially tell them that I want OFF of ALL narcotics, and to bring them up to speed on where I was at with the taper plan I had set in place for myself. They didn’t seem too happy that I wanted off the pills, nor did they really approve of the fast taper I had already done in one week. So they wrote me a prescription for the weakest available hydrocodone and directed it for the rest of my taper.

      At that point, I was already down to taking just 1 7.5mg pill a day, yet they directed that I go on this taper that started me WAY back up at 4 pills (20mgs total) per day x3days, then 3 x3 days, etc. Needless to say, I got the thing filled, along with my morphine, but I have yet to touch either of them. It’s just not worth it. Even the pharmacist agreed with me.

      There is no one set plan or schedule for everyone, because our body chemistries are all different in one aspect or another. Find what works for YOU. Customize a tailor-made plan for yourself that you believe will be manageable, AND will result in success – YOUR FREEDOM! You CAN do this! NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE, UNLESS YOU NEVER TRY! Hang in there, and STAY STRONG! REMEMBER: THIS PAIN IS ONLY TEMPORARY!!

    • Jay May 24, 2016, 1:58 am

      Hey JV, It may sound stupid but one of the things that really got me through the worst of the withdrawal was music. I just put my head phones on and focused on the music. Maybe it won’t work for you but I wad a hardcore addict for 13 years and I’m now clean 4 weeks.

      Hope this helps buddy. Just remember this pain is temporary and when you finally get to the light at the end of the tunnel you’ll finally realize how worth it it really was. Best of luck.

  • CQ August 15, 2015, 4:42 pm

    Day 6-7 of Suboxone Withdrawal. Addict for 20 years. Have went through withdrawal off oxy then Roxanol, then Fent Patches. Relapsed after each and went to next. Then got on Sub. Saved me at 1st. But then became another Substance I was a slave to. 3 years on subs. Have tried to taper – failed. This time, jumped off from 16-24mg a day. Like I said 6-7 days with out dose. Sweaty, achy, fatigued, lethargic, tired but can’t sleep. But trying to stay determined. I want my life back. But it sounds like others have stayed clean. How I hope I can be one of those.

    • Tiny Tim August 27, 2015, 4:34 am

      CQ you got this…. It’s extremely hard the first 10 days from what you been taking. But you will get through this. Hang in there. Keep water with you at all times. Take walks, bike ride for 5 mins at a time or longer if you can. Don’t let the reaper get a hold of you! Show him who’s Boss! You will feel you when it’s all over. Trust me. It’s the best feeling ever..! Your friends & family will notice. Good luck!!!

    • Jo October 29, 2015, 11:19 am

      CQ I’m just beginning my battle. I haven’t been using nearly as long as you and I know mine will be hellishly painful. I can’t imagine yours. I truly hope that you stuck with it and made it through, just as I pray that I have the strength to. As you said, it seems others have beaten it, why can’t we?

    • Jerry June 17, 2016, 11:04 pm

      I totally understand Suboxone is just another drug you become a slave to, but probably necessary at your high dosage. I’m 6 days clean cold turkey from being online 200 milligrams of oxy per day it sucks. Getting off Suboxone for me a few years ago nearly killed me and I wasn’t right for 9 months. I think the only thing you can do is touch this out. Good luck brother.

  • Shirl August 29, 2015, 8:14 am

    I wanted to share my experience in the hope it will help anyone that is considering or trying to get clean of opiates. In March this year I had rotator cuff surgery which included a muscle tear being screwed back in place, bone shaving, calcium deposit removal and muscle trimming. Pain after surgery was through the roof but due to hernia I couldn’t take Naproxen and allergic reaction to Tramadol ruled that out as an option. Co-codomol makes me vomit so as I was literally climbing the walls my doctor prescribed Oxycodone 5-10mg every 4-6 hours.

    I then developed an unbelievably painful Pseudomonas ear infection and so my doctor helped me up my dosage to about 60-80mg a day as I wasn’t coping. Four months later after waking up one morning having missed a dose and realizing I was dependent due to nasty withdrawal effects, I started the slow, painful tapering process. Also, if I’m honest…I’d grown far too fond of that beautifuly warm and reaasuring feeling I’d get after taking my dose. Having had addiction problems in the past I instinctively knew for the sake of my 9 year old daughter I needed to end this.

    You DO NOT need to be on Oxycodone for years or on particularly high doses to become dependent and/or addicted. So, on 17th August I decide to jump right off from about 25 mg a day. Two days of hell, restless legs, muscle aches, headaches, diarrhea, sweating, acute anxiety and more. Then at about day three I noticed I wasn’t better but wasn’t getting worse either and very slowly over the next few days the worst symptoms calmed down. I suspect if you are on a higher dose and have been on Oxy longer than I was these symptoms may last a little longer.

    Nearly 2 weeks later and I cannot believe I’ve actually done it. My day is no longer planned out based on what times I need to take my tablets and I no longer have that gut wrenching panic feeling when I realize I forgot a prescription and could run out of Oxy! I still have some side effects like diarrhea, mood swings and some trouble sleeping but they are not acute, just more irritating and I know I have turned the worst corner now. I can’t tell you how pleased I am with myself for having done it.

    At the time the best way I can describe it to you is like this…remember a movie where everyone is fleeing something really bad to get to some sort of oasis or promised land? And they have to go through hell and back to get there? Sounds nuts but that’s what it feels like and I guarantee if you get past the initial first few days of withdrawal you literally feel like you’ve reached that safe haven you were searching for. It feels that good!

    Please, please seek medical help first before just jumping or even tapering because everyone’s situation is different and you will also need the support of a good doctor, friend, local religious person, local volunteer, helpline or whoever! Use them! I found Epsom salt baths, sleeping tablets or diazepam at night (strictly only for the first few terrible days as these are also habit forming) anti diarrhea tablets, swimming(or any excercise to help with depression as well as physical symptoms) and someone I could talk to helped me through the worst of it.

    Please be prepared but not overwhelmed by your feelings of depression or anxiety as this is normal and will calm down. However see your doctor if you feel you’re going off at the deep end as they can help you until your endorphins regulate. I wish anyone going for this all the success in the world and much peace of mind for the future. You can do it I promise and it will be worth it to get out the other side.

  • Jesse September 7, 2015, 5:14 am

    We did it. Luckily I had wife support and three weeks off work and total bed support. I was on Subs for 8 months after high dose oxycodone following shoulder surgery. Jumped at 2.5 mg. I contacted a sub doctor (new one) to help in the process and prescribe benzodiazepines and clonidine. I also have gabapentin. He had me return once per week and I paid cash. It was bad and on week three, I still get restless creepy crawlies. Now I’m tapering the benzodiazepines to stop it all for good. You all can do this just using the good info above, just set it up first. Save $12k and don’t risk hallucinogenics and you’ll get there. No mater how bad my shoulder ever gets, I hope to be done for ever. God Bless. -Ryan

  • LM September 16, 2015, 4:54 pm

    I’m currently in the process of WD from Methadone. I was put on the medication as a replacement therapy for my addiction to opioid pain pills. I was on the pills for about a year and a half and then on the methadone for about 8 months. I will say, it’s been hard. After 2 weeks of tapering down, I’m on day 4 without any and I personally think that the Methadone WD have been worse then the pills.

    It may be because it had a longer half life and it is more drawn out. I’ve had all the typical symptoms. Aside from the really rough physical, I’ve experienced constant panic which has been quite debilitating. I’ve continued to eat three times a day, that’s helped significantly. Also taking Imodium and drinking lots of water.

    Everyone is different, but as an addict, it’s a gamble going onto replacement therapy. Either way it’s not going to be fun. Hopefully this is my last and successful attempt at getting my life back. Good luck and love to anyone else struggling with this too. <3

  • marie September 22, 2015, 5:09 pm

    I am a recovering oxycodone and Norco addict as of 3 years and 3 months. I am also a police officer of 17 yrs when I got injured on the job, was prescribed these meds by the city doctor for pain management for a period of 6 to 8 yrs. These opiods hijacked my brain. By this I mean that I never got to choose whether to stay or go off the drugs. My brain chemistry suffered, my injury was in severe pain when I skipped a dose.

    I now know this was withdrawal pain. But I could not decipher this while my brain was under the influence of this horrible drug of opiods. The paranoia was so much more for me as a police officer that experienced fear everyday because of what I did for a living. This exacerbated my symptoms. I thought my husband, a police captain was out to kill me, and I lost privileges to my 16 year old son. I was dying a slow death. Please learn from my story.

    I am still trying to get back a life that I lost to what started out as a simple prescription from a pain management doctor. I trusted him. That how I was raised. I lost a 17 year marriage, a beautiful home in an affluent community and the best little boy in the world. Because of 13 pills a day for 6 years or there abouts. I’m lucky to be alive. Not thriving as yet but alive. -Police Detective veteran of LAPD.

    • Jane D'eau October 31, 2015, 9:44 am

      Were you on the job as a Los Angeles police officer while taking opiates? Because that blows my mind. With everything we know about opiate drugs today (nearly twenty years after Perdue Pharma unleashed Oxycontin on an unsuspecting American public) one would think that’d be an impossibility, a cop, with a loaded firearm, flying high on OC’s!!! That’s flippin’ mental! I hope the irony here isn’t lost on you- a cop arresting people for possession of opiates while high on opiates! Only in America!

      • Fitlady January 3, 2016, 12:39 am

        This breaks my heart, addiction does not discriminate. Officers on the job, doctors operating, bus drivers driving. An addict isn’t always a stoner sitting on a couch playing video games. Is it ironic that she was busting people for doing what she herself was doing? Yes. But how awesome that she is now clean and can use her experience to help those around her. Good for her.

  • Dinesh September 27, 2015, 10:55 am

    I was addicted to opiates for 2 years, not because I wanted that euphoria feeling but because I was preparing for an exam, later I noticed that I got addicted to it so I decided not to use it anymore, after 3 days of not using this I got moderate pain in my chest , blood came in stool, hard to sleep and concentrate, eyes went blurred, I went to do doctor and he took a X-ray which was normal, ECG also normal, endoscopy was also normal with little problem.

    Than I realized that I’m going through withdrawal symptoms. It’s been 2 months now but still am facing problem with my memory, pain in abdomen, a little pain in chest and back, and eyesight. My recovery expedited because of exercising regularly and healthy diet. I would suggest anyone who is using to stop taking it and start exercising, it will help you a lot.

  • Tina October 21, 2015, 6:02 am

    I am in the process of weaning off all my pain medications that I take daily. I required neurosurgery on my back, but it took a year for me to get the surgery. At my highest doses ever, I was on 60 mg a day of Oxycontin, 32 mg of Dilaudid, 16 mg a day of tizanidine (muscle relaxer), and 30 mg of diazepam a day. As of today, I am down to only 30 mg of Oxycontin a day, 8 mg of Dilaudid, and 2.5 mg of diazepam every other day.

    I will always have to have a script for severe pain exacerbation. I am dealing with awful headaches and severe insomnia when we reduce my dosing. But I became a shell of myself when I was at my high dosing and my husband almost left me because of it. Now, he is my biggest support, motivation and lets me cry when I get really bad and upset. I almost lost my job as well. I’m very lucky.

    • Austin October 22, 2015, 12:43 am

      It’s really hard for me because my fiancé has never had an addiction and I’ve struggled with it for over two years. When I go without and am sick she still wants me to keep her company and do stuff with the family and sometimes it gets hard to explain to her that I physically can’t. Only way I can get around this is suboxone and that’s just temporarily. Then there’s withdrawals from suboxone so I just need answers be with my family always needing me. It’s hard to quit cold turkey.

      • Kelly March 7, 2016, 12:56 am

        Austin, I’ve always said, “Those that play together, stay together”. I say this because 9 times out of 10, any given couple most likely shares a deep connection, even if it’s an unhealthy one, like substance abuse, or even smoking cigarettes. I am amazed by your ability as a self-admitted AND struggling addict to be in a serious relationship with someone who has never experienced any addiction of any kind.

        Does she try to relate to you, or empathize with you? Does she seek knowledge about your addiction in order to be there for you for support or encouragement? My husband and I have always used SOME kind of substance ever since we started using as young teenagers (he is 15 years older than me, yet we connect like you wouldn’t believe – and NOT because of substances; We were both each other’s first normal relationship that WASN’T based on using).

        However, we did not head down the opiate path together. My husband has watched helplessly from the sidelines as his wife slipped further and further away from him, and moved closer and closer to pills. As much as he absolutely despises pills now, he has stuck by me, no matter how difficult and painful it has been for him, even though he doesn’t fully understand all of the inner workings of opiate addiction. Some people are more pro-active than others, and in a similar situation.

        I’m sure there is someone who has a spouse that is dragging then to rehabs and support groups constantly, trying everything they can to make their partner better. Others, like mine, know that it doesn’t work that way, and all they can do is hope and pray that the clarity for their spouse or loved one will come swiftly. The best thing you can do, IME, is to be honest with those whom you trust, such as your family and friends. The more knowledgeable they are about your addiction, the more able they will be to support and help you.

        I would avoid sharing with people who might tend to get pushy about rehabs, therapy, meetings, etc. That could possibly hinder your self-improvement. I would recommend that you find some detailed literature (online or paper books) about this particular addiction, as it, IMO, is so very different (not to mention one of THE HARDEST substances to overcome) than other addictions. Knowledge is powerful, and you will breathe a huge sigh of relief when you no longer have to carry this entire burden alone.

        Yes, it is YOU who ultimately has the only power to overcome it, but no one said you have to do it alone. People love you, no matter what! Remember that, always! You may be surprised at just HOW supportive people are who love and care about you! Everyone makes mistakes in life, and some are bigger and have more impact than others. It doesn’t make you a bad person; It just means that you’ve made some bad choices, as we all have! There may be underlying problems, or even genetics, that led you to this point, but nothing is un-fixable or a lost cause!

        One thing I’ve learned is that you probably won’t get any help if you don’t ask; But asking for help and support means you have to be honest, and being honest means you will truly have to come face-to-face with this thing – and that is scary as all hell…but I tell you now, it is worth it. Find your inner strength (it’s there, I guarantee it), start being honest, TRULY honest with yourself.

        You will know when you’re ready. I was using responsibly (legally) for the first few years, then it progressed into a mental addiction over the next year or two, then it progressed into full-blown physical dependency along with heavy mental addiction, which is where I have suffered in silence for the last 3 years. It can take quite a while for a person to get their moment of clarity, even though they are suffering in agonizing pain on a daily basis.

        That’s how NASTY opiates are. You CAN and WILL make changes when you are ready. Best of luck, and remember that YOU ARE NOT ALONE IN THIS, NOT BY A LONG SHOT! There are SOOOOOOO many people out there who are suffering in this way every single day, despairing about their lives and not knowing what to do or where to turn, and scared out of their minds… There is ALWAYS a choice. You just have to make it! FIND YOUR STRENGTH! Lots of positive thoughts coming your way!

  • xoxo October 24, 2015, 1:15 am

    Hey Everyone! Usually I would never comment but I really want to help anyone who is willing to listen. My long time boyfriend and I had a bad H habit that took complete control of our lives. It was pretty scary to loose control so fast, loose everything so fast. We were heavily addicted for 2.5 years. We both knew it was time for change, time to wake up out of that hazy nightmare. We planned our last time using and made a doctors appointment for the next day. We were prescribed 8mg Subutex two times a day.

    SUBUTEX SAVED OUR LIVES. I am so serious when I say that. Subs gave us the opportunity to break our habit and get our mind right, get stronger mentally… We’ve been on Subs for a year exactly now. And, once again we both knew that we needed to stop. We tapered down together over a few days taking 25% less each day. We are on day 5 today of being 100% clean. It feels AMAZING. I see colors more vividly and I actually feel emotions again. The veil has been lifted. Its super hard to get a good nights sleep but EVERY DAY GETS EASIER.

    I promise. Nobody is going to do this for you. If you want to take you’re life back, prove it and take action!.. Or sadly it may never happen. I went through some heavy depression, crying, insomnia, RLS, Chills/Hot flashes and all that good stuff. STAY DETERMINED. TRY YOUR BEST TO STAY POSITIVE. It’s gonna be a bitch, be mentally prepared. You CAN do it!

    My Miracle Tips I want to share:
    KRATOM-Is a Leaf you consume it is NOT an Opiate. You can find it online or in Head shops. Kratom is a F-ing MIRACLE. It really helps with withdrawals. Research it and only use it during W/D time.
    EAT- Carbs and Sweets help you with good mood.
    LAUGH- Lay around and watch as many funny movies as possible.
    SUNSHINE- Go for a walk outside. You need this, it will help keep you positive and motivated.
    St. JOHNS WART- Herbal supplement for Good Mood.
    GINKO BILOBA- Herbal supplement improves Brain Circulation/ Concentration. You need to feed your BRAIN again lol, but fr.
    GABA- Relaxation and Anti Anxiety.
    MELATONIN- Helps repair Brain and Inner clock/ Sleep.
    MAGNESIUM- Energy/Relaxes Muscles, helps with sleep.
    VALARIAN ROOT- Sleep Support.
    B-12- Energy.
    MILK THISTLE- Repares Liver, Liver function and DETOX.
    DMAE- Mental Alertness and Positive Mood.
    5-HTP- Relaxation, Deep Sleep, Improves mood, Increase Dopamine levels and Boosts Serotonin.
    MUCUNA PRURIENS- Amino Acid; Mental Alertness, Energy, Healthy Mood, Appetite and Rebuilds Production of key neurotransmitters of Dopamine.

    You might look like a Vitamin Junkie but Remember to make this easier on yourself, these will help get your body and brain healthy and up to speed again. I wish everyone luck our journey to be opiate free. Stay strong and trust in yourself. Lots of Love – Kimberly

    • xoxo October 30, 2015, 9:13 pm

      Just a little update today is day 11 of being 100% clean. Finally feeling like myself again. I haven’t had any WD symptoms for a few days. I have some trouble with staying energized later in the day but nowhere near as bad as it was during WD. I am taking melatonin at night to sleep better and 5-HTP really helps with the depression and restoring all the lost serotonin. I know I can do this and I know it will be worth it. EVERY DAY IS EASIER AND EASIER. Good luck guys! Kimberly

  • bruce October 27, 2015, 10:33 pm

    Hey guys and gals. I’m clean from opiates for two months and 4 days now. My addiction was 4.5 years of morphine, dilauded, hydro. Whatever I could find. At the end my habit was 250 mills a day and costing me $150 a day. I drained the thousands of dollars I had in my account. Borrowed money from absolutely everyone I could think of. Sold everything I owned to support this brutal habit.

    The last year I finally quit I spent 12 grand. Lost all my friends. The withdrawals were brutal for 8 days. Then day 9 it was like it all went away. It took 15 days to finally get a full night sleep then on day 20 I finally felt like I didn’t want to blow my brains out from depression. 1 month after I was clean an old friend stopped by and had some morphine with him. My cravings never stopped but each day they got better. But seeing it right in front of me I lost all control.

    With all the brutal crap I just went through I put that junk back in my body. The next day I felt ok. So I continued to do some then stop for a day or 2. Then do some more then more then more. After using again for 2 weeks I was back up to where I used to be. But I stopped there. I had mild withdrawal for a couple days. So my message to you is if you go clean. Don’t think you can go back for a taste…. or a treat as I called it. Because it almost had me again. Good luck and god bless.

  • Maribeth P. October 28, 2015, 5:07 am

    I am so HAPPY that I found this site today!! In Sept. 1997 I was injured on the job when one of my patient’s (I was a Nurse at the time) began to faint and I tried to catch him to prevent him from hurting himself. He had just recently had a heart transplant. I injured my neck, right shoulder and lower back, however continued to work (divorced, 3 kids, no choice), for the next 10 months when the pain in my neck became so severe and I began losing feeling in my hands.

    Long story short, my family Doc told me I had a neck strain and put me off for 3 weeks. Then he told me to “get over it” and released me to work. To sum it up I demanded a CT Scan which showed several ruptured discs and 18 mos later after numerous painful tests to prove I wasn’t faking, I had a 3 level fusion, followed 18 mos later by rotator cuff surgery twice in 12 mos. They tried me on countless non-narcotic meds after the rehab from surgeries and after 3 years of finding nothing that worked for the pain, sent me to pain management where I was started on Oxycontin 80 mg 2 times a day.

    I requested to have my dose lowered to 60, them 40, then 30, then 20mg, but pain got worse at 20, so they put it back to 30 mg. I had no feeling of being high, no euphoria, not even complete pain relief but I did at least have quality of life. I stuck to my pain management contract, never once taking a higher dose even when pain was much worse!! In June my work comp insurance company said they would no longer pay for it and demanded I be weaned off, even though I had re-injured my neck in July, and my Mom died ON THE 13TH, they began the weaning process July 15th.

    I am now 3 days away from being totally off all medication, and according to my Pain Management Nurse Practioner should be feeling MUCH BETTER OFF THE Oxycontin. My pain level is a 6/10 all day/night, severe spasms in my neck, radiating pain down both arms and constant headaches due to spasms. This is no way to live. The sweats/chills 24/7, restless legs, headaches, thirst, muscle twitching and such, not to mention 3 hours of sleep per day and subsequent fatigue is overwhelming.

    I take 2 to 3 hot baths a day to help with the twitching, but that is all. At least I now know I am not alone, thanks for all the tips, and I wish you all WELL!!

  • Jo October 29, 2015, 11:10 am

    I’ve been smoking heroin daily for about 4 months now. My sister started me on it but the withdrawal symptoms seem to hit me much sooner and harder than her. I want to quit so badly, I’m tired of being sick and I’m often too sick to go to work to make the money I need for the dope. But I currently live with my sister and everytime she says she’s going to quit with me, she caves and goes and buys some. I need to quit but when she gets it and is doing it in front of me I can’t say no. I am utterly at a loss and feel lost myself. I wish I had never tried this filthy drug.

  • hopeful and determind November 3, 2015, 8:23 pm

    I’m 31 years old and I was on percs and oxy for 6 years due to a back injury…when I was that young I didn’t realize what those pills do to you…they end up taking ahold of your life…I went on methadone and did great for a long time but then when I couldn’t get to the clinic I went to heroin… I’m a single mother of three and I was struggling on heroin…I’ve never felt so low in my life!! My plan was to do it until I could get back on the clinic but they made it very difficult.

    One day I was out of money and burned all my bridges. The withdrawals I got were so bad my son called his father and they called 911!!! The hospital of course treated me like crap because it was my own fault for being there…they gave me clonidine and Valium and sent me home. I disappointed my children and my mother took care of them while I kicked it on her couch. It hasn’t even been a month yet but the worst is over and I’ve come this far and I’ll never go back!! My loss of energy and loss of appetite is all I’m dealing with now and its very hard to deal with kids and have zero energy.

    I have stomach pains but IDK if its hunger pains so I try to drink supplement shakes when I can…if you think you can’t do this you won’t so you have to keep telling yourself you can and will overcome this!! The temptation is still there, but as soon as I look at my beautiful children it goes away! This will be the hardest change you will go through in life but you will come out on top stronger, happier, and more financially independent! I’ve lost too many people to this horrible drug.

  • Ramesh November 7, 2015, 7:21 am

    I’m in 15th day now without opium. First 2 days I had .4mg bupin along with Imodium and a painkiller a day. Then half pain killer a day for 3 days. Now I’m completely off medicines except an Imodium occasionally whenever I eat heavy food. Everything is alright now except that I still don’t have a healthy stomach. Guess that is because of prolonged use and should be alright.

  • Worried November 22, 2015, 3:15 am

    Why am I so paranoid day 4 from opiates? Almost day 5 and my anxiety and paranoia are absolutely terrifying. I think people wanna attack me, everyone is looking at me, and I can’t go anywhere without feeling nervous. My goosebumps are bad, but my mental state is absolutely terrifying. When does the anxiety stop? I hate this I just wanna feel normal again. Maybe someone can help and I’m sure my past is making anxiety a lot harder on me. Been through hell and back, but this anxiety is killing me. What do I take?

  • Brianna December 10, 2015, 3:39 pm

    I have been clean for three years now. I’m 25 and pregnant now and am so thankful every day that I took the chance to get off of opiates. For five years I struggled with being addicted to opiates. Towards the end of the five years I eventually went on Suboxone which was a nightmare I could of never imagined and would never wish on any one.

    I decided one month that enough was enough, I don’t know what made me snap but I had a huge confidence shift that pushed me to do it. I’ve researched ways to withdrawal and I came up with a strategy to get off and pretty much took a leap of faith hoping my plan would work. My plan was to taper off of Suboxone and use hydrocodone as a taper for a month that it can take to withdrawal off of the Suboxone. My plan worked!

    So I tapered using that but kinda ran out towards the end but I literally went threw two days of bad withdrawal and it started to go away after that. I was so happy I was laughing and crying and probably looked like a lunatic but I had finally beaten it and didn’t have to go threw the extreme withdrawal I’ve been sent to the hospital for.

    I try to help a lot of people but a lot of the time they’re always to scared or using it as a emotional crutch to get off of it. I’ll still keep trying though cause everyone who’s addicted and wants off should experience that feeling that they are alive again.

  • Scott December 14, 2015, 2:56 pm

    For a dystonia related (spasmodic torticollis), pain condition, I had been taking the equivalent of 540 mg’s of morphine, every day, for 23 years. All prescribed. Too many horrible side effects. Now, six weeks clean, I am clearly going through post acute withdrawal syndrome. No major ups, no major downs, just feeling vacant. Also, the transient tingling in my legs, and feet is driving me crazy.

    Restless leg syndrome? As well, my eyes are chronically sore, and red. Additional symptoms that are persisting, are as follows; 1. Still sneezing violently 2. Chronic insomnia 3. Major irritability, not typical of my personality 4. General apathy 5. Tinnitus 6. General lack of energy/motivation 7. Extreme gag reflex 8. Aversion to touch, light, and water against my skin

    I could go on, but I am suffering. I would estimate that 23 years of massive, chronic opiate dosing has taken an immense toll on my neurochemistry. Things have gotten better over the six week clean period. I am otherwise healthy. Exercise is not a problem. Motivation to start any task, is my obstacle. Going back on any opiates is not on my menu. I’m in this for the long haul. Best Wishes All. S.

  • Jeff S. December 23, 2015, 2:29 pm

    I have Lupus, and when I have flares, the pain can be, (and usually is unbearable) more like 12/10 scale. I have been on Oxycontin er 60 mg. 2x daily (like every 12 hours) and that usually gets me through the day, for some 5 years now, and I have to take Dilaudid 4 mg every 4 hours as well. If that doesn’t help, it’s on to the hospital for pain control and another 1,000$ bill to pay.

    Dammit all, I have asked the doc. several times, that I want to get off the stuff, or at least taper, and all the docs insist if I try to detox now, I could become seriously sick, even fatal. Some nights, I forget to take the p.m. dose, and found I could go about 18 hours without!!!! But yet I still need it. My doc sent me to a psychiatrist, and she thinks I’m doing just fine, because there’s no evidence of abuse.

    Of course not, you dumb shit, I’m scared to death of the stuff, especially of accidental OD which almost happened once. If I forget to take it, I start withdrawal symptoms, and of course, I can’t tell my family, they are totally un supportive of me, and call me a junkie cause I take so much stuff. They don’t understand that eventually the lupus will kill me, and maybe then they’ll believe me.

    I just hate going through the withdrawal and just needed to voice to others who I know would understand. I know there is nothing I can do about it now, but thanks for listening, and if anyone has some advice, I would really appreciate it. I guess we’re all in this thing together. Thank you and God bless you. Jeff

    • Jrdoodles January 10, 2016, 1:11 am

      Jeff, you sound like you have a similar situation to mine. Although Lupus is an autoimmune disorder, totally different than a pregnancy. My opinion as a fellow auto immune family member (I have IC), is to push and push and push hard for your doctor’s to educate you.

      If they continue to brush you aside like they are, fire them! Find a provider who is willing to provide you with support to try getting off this stuff. It is probably surprising your immune system further and causing more inflammation and nerve damage (cuz that’s all you need!).

  • VeronikaL January 8, 2016, 10:40 pm

    I am on Day 6 of a nearly 1 year Hydrocodone/Oxy addiction. This is unfortunately, my 2nd relapse, my first time getting sober- I lasted almost a year until I had surgery for a Tonsillectomy. One of the most painful recovery’s of surgery i’ve ever endured and I was given Norco in pill and oral form. Once I started recovering from the surgery itself – I found it less and less easy to stop taking the pain killers.

    1 year later, here I am, trying to get clean again. On Day 2 the restless legs was what I thought was going to kill me. I couldn’t keep still for more than 2 seconds without feeling like I was crawling out of my skin and my anxiety shot through the roof. I found that soaking my legs in the tub in as hot of water as you can stand – was the only relief I got for my restless legs and the only reason I was able to fall asleep at night, with also the help of my Trazodone sleeping pill.

    After day 2, everything got marginally better. VERY SLOWLY, but surely – I’ve felt better than the day before. I prepared myself for this withdrawal and knew what to expect since I had unfortunately gone through it again before. I did cold turkey because I’ve tried tapering several times and realized that once I was high, I was no longer in control of how many pills I could stop myself from popping, so tapering didn’t work for me.

    I did cold turkey and decided to be miserable for a week, rather than continue in this downward spiral. The withdraw gets better. I’m on Day 6 and my physical symptoms are lessening, but the anxiety, exhaustion and moodiness is now what I am battling. I remember the first time I went through this, I cried so much because I couldn’t even recognize myself off of the pills. When I got off of them, I had no idea who I even was anymore, and I journaled about it.

    I recently went through that journal to remind myself of all the stages of my withdrawal and what they looked like so I can remind myself that it DOES get better, and eventually you start recognizing yourself again, you start waking up happy, and you start going to sleep happy… without the need or worry of when your next dose is, or how much money you’re going to need to spend to get your next round. So, although I am ashamed I am here once again, I am also proud that it is Day 6, which is better than no day at all.

    I can promise you ALL- this horrifying process DOES GET BETTER. You have to stop expecting so much in such a little amount of time, and remember to be kind to yourself and proud of yourself for deciding to quit. My life savers: -HOT HOT water leg soaks as many times a day as possible. -Odwalla Juices packed with SO many nutrients, vitamins, and can count as meal substitutes since during withdrawals, nausea and vomiting are also an issue. Odwalla goes down smoothly and helps give our body the vitamins the drug has depleted.

    -EXERCISE IS MY SAVIOR. And trust me people – I don’t mean go run a marathon right now when you’re feeling totally awful. I mean, go walk 1 block and back, or half a block and back. I promise you, it gets the endorphins going, you have to push yourself to do this. This was my toughest because the exhaustion is so debilitating, but I did it! -Journaling/Meditation. Journaling helped me from my first time getting addicted, because now this time, I read back and remembered everything I went through and knew what to expect and knew at what point it started to get better.

    -Imodium for the G.I. symptoms. I took 2 in the morning and 2 before bedtime and it helped with my stomach SO much. ***I don’t condone using other drugs, but in my own opinion, I do not feel that marijuana is a drug. I used marijuana after work in the evenings of my first week of withdrawal to help with my anxiety. Although my Dr. gave me a prescription for Xanax to help with my anxiety, I declined.

    I did not want to get an addiction to a Benzo in exchange for my addiction to opiates. I smoked marijuana in the evenings to help with my anxiety and appetite since I couldn’t seem to catch an appetite. By Day 6 or 7, most the physical W/D symptoms should be gone, but the exhaustion and crappy sleep lingers on for maybe 2 or 3 more weeks if not longer. It gets better each day but it won’t go back to complete normal for several weeks.

    I am proud to almost be at my 1 week mark. 1 week seems like nothing when I once accomplished 1 year, but I simply couldn’t start my 2016 carrying this with me. My resolution is to take care of me, for once. Well wishes to you all. WE can do this.

  • Jrdoodles January 10, 2016, 1:06 am

    How do you know you are past the acute withdrawal stage? Please don’t think I’m insane, it’s been a crazy week. Also, I found that a heating pad helped with my restless legs. I put socks on and a heating pad by my feet or legs. Anyway, I was on norco for over a year, taken as prescribed. Now I’m pregnant and am wanting these gone from my system without harming the baby. (Fetal withdrawals).

    I fired my one doctor for trying to force me into inpatient drug replacement therapy (and for other reasons) and found a great group of doctors who are willing to let me give tapering a try (since cold turkey can be awful and potentially deadly for the baby). Just knowing I have a medical professional willing to educate me and allow me to try it this way makes all the difference in the world. I feel like I’ve got my life back!

    So day 1 I took 2 10/325, 36 hours later I took 1 (because I’d been out that long), 12 hours later I took 1 and 12 hours later another. So day 2 I took one, day 3 I took 2 (even though script was for 3 per day). Day 4 I saw my new and current doctor. I asked if I could drop dose to 5/325. They said, let’s go for it, 5/325 2x a day.

    Day 4 I took 1, today is day 5 and I have yet to take my 5/325, but I’ve been starving all day, since my doctor visit yesterday mentally I feel great. I have tons of energy, my memory is back, I feel like myself again. Since the day I ran out (day 1 up there) I have had zero pain. The first night I had restless legs, but the past couple three nights I have apparently been thrashing like a mad woman but I wake up bright eyed and bushy-tailed, feeling fully restless.

    The thrashing doesn’t wake me up. When am I going to be sick? After I stop the 5/325? Will be asking the doctor on Monday. Hope you all have found peace and gotten the help you need. I don’t think I ever developed a mental addiction but the doctors said my body developed a dependence. However, I have not been professionally evaluated for any kind of addiction. Anyway, anyone have any ideas for me?

    • Laura October 25, 2016, 1:21 pm

      I have no idea when this was written, but I doubt you’ll have any additional symptoms than what you have already mentioned. You were on quite a low dose of hydrocodone to begin with, then you tapered, and, at this point, you more than likely have experienced the worst symptoms for your specific situation. Also, as for you asking about timetables and when things will happen, I would expect your w/d will be a quick one. Maybe even 3 or 4 days at the most once you’re completely off. Great job tapering! And congrats on the baby!

  • Chris January 10, 2016, 6:00 pm

    Hi everyone my name is Chris. And I’ve had a problem with opiates for 6 years on and off. The last 2 years were really bad. I would eat 5 to 6 – 30s a day. When they were too much a friend introduced me to some dope fiend. For the last 7 months I’ve been on suboxone. I’m in withdrawal going on my 6th day drug free and sub free. But the hot and cold flashes, and being so lethargic, I can’t sleep well…

    Does anyone have an idea when things will get better? I refuse to give up and use again. I have two beautiful kids. I should have discontinued subs slowly, went from 4mg to nothing. I was taking 8mg of sub a day for 7 months. If anyone can help, I just want to be normal again. Thank you.

    • VeronikaL January 12, 2016, 3:49 pm

      Hi Chris- Congrats on your Day 6! (Which is probably now Day 8)! You are probably close to being past the Acute Withdrawal Symptoms (Diarrhea, Restless Legs, hot flashes, etc…Although the hot flashes and goosebumps take a little longer to go away. The lethargic and horrible sleep is what takes the longest to come back, so please bear with yourself. IT DOES GET BETTER.

      I am on Day 11 and this was the first night that I was able to get a “Decent” sleep. And by that- i don’t mean that I slept beautifully- I mean that it was a hell of a lot better than week 1 of sleep. The lethargic/lack of energy/moodiness takes several weeks and sometimes even months to get back to normal. Think about it – your brain was dependent on a drug that provided your brain with synthetic (or what I call “fake”) endorphin’s.

      This means that your brain no longer saw it necessary to create its natural endorphin’s because it was receiving it from the opiate. Once you stop the opiates- it will take your brain some time to start realizing it needs to produce it on its own again. As a 2nd relapse for myself- I can tell you that exercise will be your savior in getting your brain to function back to normal as quickly as possible.

      If you read my previous thread above, I also mentioned this. As I said then- I am not saying to go run a Marathon or train for a race, I mean to take a 1 block walk and back. Whether you feel that it’s helping or not- is not important. It IS helping, though you won’t feel the relief of the symptoms until you continue on a very light exercise regimen. Your body will begin producing the endorphin’s it needs, your exercise will start giving you energy, and it also helps with sleeping better.

      Don’t give up. I promise that you will begin to feel better, even if its just marginally- you will. Also keep in mind that after the Acute symptoms go away, there comes P.A.W.S (Post Acute Withdrawal Symptoms). Those are the mental and emotional withdrawals. (Research that if you haven’t already). But – in all my research, they have pointed at the importance of light exercise during a withdrawal. I also highly recommend that you don’t do this alone.

      I found it nearly impossible to go thru this withdrawal alone. You will need the support of friends & family, and I also highly recommend visiting a therapist to help sort out what got you here in the first place. Recovery is more than just coming off the pills. It’s a lifestyle change and you have to be willing to do the work for it, both emotionally and physically. WELL WISHES TO YOU! Proud of you!

      Please contact me if you have any questions or need advice or anything at all. Unfortunately- this isn’t the first time I’ve gone through this, but I can offer some tips!

  • Tyronn Smith January 14, 2016, 10:51 pm

    I just come off an eight-month run of heroin, I’ve been clean for approximately 32 days, the easiest way for me was to taper down in my last 7 weeks. At that time I bought Pedialyte, ensure, and a vitamin called l-tyrosine, and a few other over the counter medications. By day 3 I was in the middle of a storm as far as nausea and stomach pains went.

    I’ve never used a needle, I snorted it, so my stomach caught a wild Jones… I stocked up on vitamins mainly vitamin b..to those fighting the struggle, it could be done! you have to want it, and I can honestly say that I am done! 42 years old with a 3 month old baby I had no choice but to get my s*** together.

  • James February 10, 2016, 9:18 pm

    Keep up the good work. I tapered down and have been 15 days free of it all. I still get some muscle leg pain. I wonder if it’s due to the fact I am 52.

  • dave February 12, 2016, 11:51 pm

    Thanks for all the info. Six years of Percocet for bad back then my doc retired. Been tapering from nine daily for a week, then eight, now at four. Glad to know what to expect. Survived the sixties without ever getting addicted. Now I’m in my sixties. Not too excited by the withdrawal effects, but realize they will pass. Respect to all who decide to make the journey to recovery.

    • VeronikaL February 16, 2016, 8:31 pm

      Good job, Dave! Tapering definitely helps with having a more tolerable withdrawal, though it does draw the withdrawal out a little longer, but it works for some people and if it is working for you, then that is awesome! Hang in there! If you get a chance, buying supplements like L-Tyrosine and Valerian root will help a lot with the restless legs (along with very hot baths to soak in) and will help with your energy/anxiety levels too.

      Eventually when you come off of the pills completely, you will experience the withdrawal symptoms, though not as terribly since you have been tapering. I still highly recommend that you begin doing a little bit of exercise as I mentioned above in an older post… it helps tremendously, even if it is just for a short & brisk walk. If you struggle with P.A.W.S (Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome) which is more of the mental withdrawal which is what lasts a lot longer than the physical withdrawals, then you may want to talk to your doctor about getting on Suboxone.

      It will take away ALL side effects and help with the anxiety, depression and cravings that we seem to get after coming off of opiates. Suboxone has saved my life. I am happy to answer any other questions. Keep up the great work!! You are getting there slowly & surely!

  • Scared February 18, 2016, 2:45 pm

    I was a passenger in a shuttle bus accident almost 3 yrs ago. Herniated my neck so bad, have permanent nerve damage to my arm and hands. Also herniations, bulges and osteoarthritis, in my lower back and neck. Since that date I’ve had 2 surgeries the last one a fusion in my neck in Dec 2015. I’ve never abused pain meds, but know people whom have and it’s a horror story one I never want to be a part of…

    That has probably been what has kept me from ever going off the edge. After the fusion I was on 100 mg Nucynta ER, and 70.5 hydrocodone a day. Nucynta ER didn’t do anything for me so I stopped the end of Dec. But been taking 15 mg hydrocodone every 6 hrs for pain, I have been slowly weening myself past week to about 30 mgs a day.

    I have been on hydrocodone for 2+ years, for pain maintenance only after the surgery was the dosage upped. But I want to stop cold turkey today. Someone please tell me is the pain in my body going to be as bad as I think it will? I’m sure all of you on here had medical reasons to taking the stuff in the first place.

    Sometimes the pain just makes me cry or is it a side effect of coming off the medicine? I don’t crave the meds but I do crave relief. Is that part of the lie? I don’t know what to believe. I think the only time I have been truly pain free is when I was in the hospital.

    I was thinking about asking for Toradol instead of going without anything, because some days it’s just too much. I have tried to get up and move around do little things. The pain is the worst 1st thing in the morning and night time. Can someone please tell me what to expect?

    • VeronikaL February 19, 2016, 9:34 pm

      Hi, Scared! First of all- I don’t blame you for feeling scared. My hope is for everyone to understand the difference between drug dependency and drug addiction. They are two very different things. Even if you don’t believe you are addicted to painkillers, that doesn’t mean that your body and brain have not developed a dependency to the drug and therefore, there will be a physical withdrawal from the drug – like it or not.

      My first thought is, it seems like you are in some physical pain that does need some pain relief. I would have your MD refer you to a Pain Management Clinic to go over your options for alternative pain relieving medication. There are medications such as Tramadol, Lyrica, etc. that work wonders for chronic pain. My 2nd thought is – if you are saying you are not addicted nor are you abusing the drug – then why do you wish to stop using by going cold turkey?

      Physical withdrawals are absolutely awful- and especially if you have really bad physical pain that needs to be treated, the physical pain you already have will be magnified ten fold during a withdrawal. I would not go cold turkey if I were you, but I do think you need to consult your doctor first if this is the route you will take.

      Physical withdrawals include: very bad muscle pain, leg pain, Restless Leg Syndrome, heightened anxiety, diarrhea, insomnia, vomiting, cold symptoms like sneezing/runny nose, and horrible nausea. I highly recommend that you wean off with the help of your doctor and see a pain management physician while beginning this journey.

      If you choose not to, and you do cold turkey, then I highly suggest you do some preparation for it because it is almost impossible to do it alone and you more than likely will not be able to get out of bed the first 3 days, so my advice would be to begin your detox on maybe a Friday so that you have the weekend as part of your bed-ridden days. Best of luck to you, please let me know if you have any other questions.

      • Scared February 20, 2016, 7:18 pm

        Thank you VeronikaL, for your wisdom and kind words. I have to come off this stuff because someone I know has an addiction problem. I cannot have these around this person, I also have a younger son that I don’t want to encourage to go the route of medication for maintenance. Today is day 3 for me :).

        You were soooo right about the restless leg syndrome it’s horrible! The fear of having the stuff in the house, though is enough for my will to get through this. I am also allergic to Tramadol – pretty bad stuff for me. I have spoken with my PC and he is aware of what I’m doing though he doesn’t think I will be able to bear the pain –but I’m awfully stubborn and he respects that.

        I was also seeing a pain management specialist after surgery but have told him I’ll get shots down the road if necessary. Yes, you are right about sneezing, runny noise though my muscles have always been in pain so it’s not as bad as I thought it would be. I have had the pills right with me and had no desire what so ever to take any of them so I have disposed of them.

        I will have to say sleep is the hardest part of this process. I am forcing myself to get out of bed and do things just little things, take care of kitties, a couple of dishes, I find I am out of breath frequently though and that’s tough. How long will this go on? I expected it to be unmanageable to be honest with you but so far I’m doing remarkably well :) – determined more than ever to stay away from opiates.

  • Scared February 20, 2016, 4:56 am

    So it’s been cold turkey for 48 hrs now, the only thing I’ve noticed is an increased awareness of bone/joint pain not unmanageable though, and horrible sweats. Anyone have any idea how long the sweating lasts? I’m mostly cold even when I’m sweating which is a bit weird and my hands are always cold, though I feel sometimes like my blood pressure is up.

    Anyone know how long these symptoms last? Also last night was horrible trying to sleep. The body is exhausted, however, it’s like the brain just has an “on switch”, you can’t turn off. I’m extremely determined to get off this medication.

    • Minnie May 16, 2016, 1:15 am

      Hi scared, with the blood pressure and your anxiety you may want to consult with a doctor about clonidine which is helping me a LOT during my tapering. Hang in there.

  • Scared February 20, 2016, 8:56 pm

    I just want to thank everyone for posting on this site! I find my encouragement reading your stories, yeah about twice now lol. I think I’m going to go get some of that Valerian Root everyone mentions. No cravings for the medicine, but the restless legs (that’s what happens at night right?), soaking the sheets with sweat, and clothes in the daytime too.

    I feel a bit more emotional than normal, but I’m in a situation that is forcing me to stay strong for my family. I’m looking to God for help here and getting it. Prayer works everyone. Honestly, while I could not have taken the pain after the fusion and bone transplant without pain medication, it is just the worst to have your body dependent on it!

    I refuse to ever allow myself regardless of what happens down the road to ever take pain meds again! I’ll go daily for shots of Toradol if need be, but opiates No way Jose, I’m never ever going to allow my body to get dependent on that stuff ever again! I never got that high and the pain always crept through the medicine but that’s when the bed/couch and heating pads helped.

    I can also vouch for hot baths or even sit in the shower with only hot water blasting, it really does help with the bones and muscles. Fatigue, is very hard but force yourself to do something (for me it’s proving I can do it). I’m pretty strong willed so I know I can beat this, but I know someone I love very much that is suffering so much from being an addict, I want to be an encouragement to him.

    Don’t give up people – it is taking it one minute at a time, and be glad after you have completed an hour. Look back and say hey I’ve done good so far I can do this, it will not beat me. Yes, from reading all of your posts, it looks like I’m in for a real storm here shortly. But I’m going to do this, nothing will stop me. Make that true for you too, have a little faith in yourself and watch it grow.

    Pray and ask God to help you – He will :). I know so many people seem opposed to God now days, but truthfully He waits for us to ask for help from Him, like little children wait for us to give them food. They know and trust that you will take care of their needs. Hang in there everyone we can make it!!! One minute, one hour, one day at a time… bring on the storm!!!

  • Scared February 21, 2016, 11:09 pm

    I don’t know if there is anyone out there now. But I’m on day 4 CT off Hydrocodone, and I’m still sneezing, runny noise and bad mood swings… ugh. Most of the time I’m okay, have a can do attitude, but I am going through this alone. I have no support of family/friends or outsiders even. This is tough, man it’s not easy.

    For the first time today, I thought about taking just 1/2 a pill, so glad I don’t have any! Sleep is just non existent! I am probably surviving off 2-3 hrs of sleep a day and it’s not deep sleep filled with fears/issues. As I have a heart condition, I take BP/Arrhythmia med and .5mg Xanax for when very stressed as that worsens my condition.

    Now, after reading up on Xanax , I don’t want to become dependent of that stuff either! Thank God I’ve never been prescribed Valium the half life of that stuff is insane worse than Methadone! I’ve started to feel the stomach issues yesterday and a bit more severely today. The restless legs, well lets put it like this – since I wake up around 1:30 AM and CANNOT get back to sleep until around 6:30 AM then wake up an hour later it’s horrible!

    Sweating, yeah still happening, though I would have to say not nearly as severely as day 1 and 2. The hardest part of this struggle is feeling like you just can’t talk – like people don’t understand you. It feels like you got to push through this alone. I’m waiting for the sneezing and runny nose and sweats to stop, for the bone/joint aches to subside; energy, mood, and sleep to return.

    Okay well I guess that’s it. It’s been a tough day today. Have to make it through though. If anyone can give me some hope of when some of the symptoms will start to subside, so I will have something to look forward to I would really appreciate. I thought I would be through the worst of it by now… it does not feel that way at all today.

    • VeronikaL February 22, 2016, 9:23 pm

      Hi Scared…Congrats on making it past Day 3! As I said before in previous posts above…the restless legs and the non-existent sleep were extremely hard and also takes the longest to get back to normal, (the sleep especially!) The mood swings and irritability are also very, very normal. The reason for this is…we naturally have opioid receptors in our brain.

      Majority of us are born with about 4 or 5 opioid receptors, and what painkillers do is; they create extra synthetic opioid receptors that end up multiplying in our brains the more we take painkillers, and with each painkiller, they fill our opioid receptors and once they are filled- they create the “high” we feel off of them, because they create synthetic dopamine.

      So when we stop taking painkillers, we are left with all of these extra receptors in our brains which are no longer being filled by the painkillers, so they are now empty which is what causes us the withdrawals, because our brains no longer had to create the natural dopamine they used to create because the painkillers did it for us. It takes several months and sometimes even years for these extra receptors to “fall off”, but the initial 2 weeks are the roughest on our bodies.

      This is why I have said in a previous post above, that exercise was my savior during my withdrawal. Exercise helps our brain speed up the process of releasing natural dopamine and gets our endorphin system back up & running slowly. The irritability and mood swings happens because we have all these extra receptors in our brains which aren’t being filled, so it causes depression, anxiety, etc…

      This is also why I have mentioned that the physical withdrawals are one thing, but the mental withdrawals (also known as Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome or P.A.W.S.) are a whole other story. P.A.W.S. is the mental withdrawal and that is what lasts the longest and takes the longest to go back to normal. The most important part of this journey is to remember that this process takes LOTS of time.

      You must stay strong and not give into the moments of weakness when your brain tries to convince you that just “1/2 pill will make everything better”. It won’t. It will send you spiraling down this vicious cycle. If “just 1/2 a pill made everything better”, then no one would say that coming off of drugs was hard. I am proud of you for getting the Valerian Root and I highly recommend you get the L-Tyrosine supplement too.

      Valerian Root is a calming agent which can help with sleeping and L-Tyrosine helps with restless legs. Though, my own personal experience, I think hot bath water soaks was the only thing that really helped with severe restless legs. Day 2 and 3 are the absolute worst, after Day 3, you will begin to feel a SLIGHT improvement on most of the other symptoms like body aches, diarrhea, etc…but please keep in mind that the non-existent sleep and restless legs will take much longer.

      The chills are absolutely awful too, so I sympathize with you. There is really not much you can do about those other than keeping a change of clothes near your bed to change into during nights when you soak through them. Anything you can do to take care of the discomfort! I also highly recommend (since I am sure you don’t have a huge appetite) that you buy Odwalla juices.

      They are JAM PACKED with vitamins and can be a good meal replacement during days that you have very minimal appetites, but please don’t substitute those for H2O! STAY HYDRATED! You can always contact me on my personal e-mail (v_leva[@]yahoo.com) if you need any more advice or an ear to vent to. I truly sympathize with people who are on this journey and can serve as guidance, mentoring, or even a simple reminder that I am living proof that recovery happens. STAY STRONG! I KNOW you can do this!

  • Scared February 23, 2016, 2:44 am

    Day 5, made it through. I am hoping the worst of it is over. If I could get more than 2 hrs of sleep tonight I will be the happiest camper tomorrow. Prayers answered today, feeling better emotionally – physically taking its toll on me.

    Aches tonight are pretty bad – if I don’t get a good nights sleep going for a doc’s visit tomorrow. Nope not going to ever get back on opiates after all I have been through these past couple of days I’m NOT going to throw that away. Still sneezing so hopefully the Benadryl works tonight for both sleep and sneezing.

  • Scared February 24, 2016, 3:37 am

    Made it through day 6! Wow, feeling pretty exhausted now. Finally got a better nights sleep – though probably due to finally being able to relax about things. Feeling like these past five days I’ve been running on adrenaline as had so much going on and now finally able to relax. Will say, sweats, and sneezing are not letting up.

    While better than first two days still having those symptoms. Body aches are not much fun now – still I’m pushing through. Not giving up this fight. Hope everyone out there continues to push through as well. It gets rough and some days seem harder than others, but where there is a will, there is a way.

    • VeronikaL February 25, 2016, 7:09 pm

      Great job, Scared!! Congrats on Day 6 which is probably Day 7 now! You are past the worst of the worst, each day will seem marginally better than the previous day, but don’t feel hopeless if maybe one day in the future seems a little harder than the rest. That is completely normal!

      You will have your highs and lows, but the worst of the lows is over! Very proud of you for pushing through and your commitment to continue pushing through. Your cold like symptoms (sneezing, runny nose, etc…) do last a little longer, as does your sleepless nights.

      Both of those things take the longest to get back to normal. I started finding relief at the 30 day mark, but you already have 1 week down and I KNOW you can make it another 3 weeks! Wonderful job! Keep up the great work, and keep me posted on your progress!

      • Scared March 1, 2016, 4:24 pm

        Hi VeronikaL, Tomorrow marks TWO weeks without any pain killers! Feeling much better. Bones still hurt a bit, and sleep is still rough, but over all I’m so much better. The clarity that comes from being off this wicked stuff is absolutely amazing! I feel like I’ve got my brain back, not full swing like I had before the accident but overall much much better.

        I’m keeping busy just doing little things, as much as I can and then sit down and catch my breath but I can say your right get up get moving even if you don’t feel like it is SO important. We brought an inflatable hot tub, and it does make a huge difference! Before I could not even take a hot bath because the hot water heater wouldn’t fill up the sunken tub.

        Now I can submerge and it really makes a huge difference! Heat helps with the muscles and bones, also helps with some of the anxiety. Prayers have been answered these past few weeks and I’m so grateful almost on a high just because of that! I am still having trouble sleeping through the night and last night the legs were going but overall I’m feeling much better.

        Thank you for your support and words of encouragement and wisdom! Take care and by the way VERY proud of you too for making it and staying on the path!

        • VeronikaL March 2, 2016, 4:50 pm

          Hi Scared!! Your update made my day!! I am SO proud of you for your 2 week mark!! That is HUGE!!! You should be SO proud of yourself too!! I am so glad that you found relief with the hot water soaks, that is what saved me back when I first began my journey! Each day will seem marginally better than the day before, but if you happen to have a rough day, don’t let that discourage you – rough days are expected and part of this big journey, and learning to have patience and compassion for ourselves is a huge key factor in getting through this.

          Practicing mindfulness (the art of being in the present moment – because that is all we have anyway) is also something that has helped me in my journey. I am over 2 months off of opiates and can 100% agree with you that I feel such a natural high from being so clear minded and no longer a slave to my pain killer routine/schedule. Being that this is my 2nd time getting off of painkillers – (The first time I made it 1 year without using -but then had a separate surgery and got hooked on them again), I strongly suggest and hope you continue to work at your sobriety each day forever.

          Many people have the misconception that getting off of painkillers and getting through the withdrawals is where the work ends, but it couldn’t be further from the truth. It is important that we keep up and maintain our sobriety, whether it be through journaling, online support, in-person support groups, meetings, and also having a plan for those unexpected moments where using painkillers may happen (i.e. surgery). It is important that you have a plan ahead of time so that you don’t fall back into the same cycle.

          Sobriety is a lifestyle which needs to be maintained and worked on. I am certain you know a lot of this stuff already, but if I can help anyone readying this from falling back into that awful cycle again- then I will be happy. Again – SO proud of you, and please keep us updated on all your amazing progress!! :)

          • Scared March 7, 2016, 6:23 pm

            Hi VeronikaL, Thank you for your words of encouragement! Today, boy did I need to read this! I’ve come down with some sort of virus/flu and boy it’s tough. Nope am not ever going down the road of painkillers again. Wednesday will mark my 3 weeks CT of Norco/Hydro. It’s funny because until I started reading all these posts of withdrawal and now I have more clarity, I realize I was experiencing withdrawal symptoms from coming off the 100 mg ER Nucynta and I had no idea lol.

            I just thought darn hope I’m not getting cancer with these night sweats LOL! I’ve had so many stomach problems that I take meds for when I get cramps didn’t think to ascribe to withdrawal but just now realizing I must have been. It’s funny because I didn’t crave that stuff at all and didn’t even relate that med to reducing pain. Like I said took as prescribed and now realize how much whether you take as prescribed or not your body builds a tolerance to the meds.

            I never got the high, it was just like taking Motrin – just reduced the amount of pain. Never in a million years did I realize just how much it dumb ed me down, and made me into a zombie. I think if folks can just get through the 5 day mark it’s all downhill from there. Your right having a plan to take one day at time is very important. As getting sick is not fun and you’ve just got to plow through it.

            I read a post earlier that cracked me up. One lady while she was experiencing the withdrawal symptoms said Big Pharma co’s had made the new drugs so that your hooked on them and said something to the effect of they should be shot and called them BStards. I had to laugh it was the only post I have ever read that was just so funny.

            But then you think about it after and I wonder –is there some truth to this? Regardless, this is one person they will never have hooked by mind or body. Congrats to you being off 2 months now!!! So proud of you too!!

  • VeronikaL March 8, 2016, 4:10 pm

    Hi Scared! So darn proud of your 3 week mark coming up!! Awesome job!! Time is going by so fast… I remember reading your Day 2 post… it’s always so great to read back and see in words all of your wonderful progress!! In an earlier post I had talked about the difference between drug dependency vs. drug addiction.

    I think you fell into the dependency category since you were taking it as prescribed and also did not experience a high from it, but the unfortunate part is that whether you are drug dependent or drug addicted, you still experience the same chemical withdrawal. It’s also unfortunate that many people who aren’t very educated on this topic (I was one of those people prior to all of this happening to me personally), often times look at drug dependency/addiction as a character flaw or bad behavior; when really – this all ties back to science and the brain and how each unique brain responds to opioids very differently, and in fact – statistics show that it usually begins with people who are taking painkillers under the care of their Physician and end up in these types of situations.

    I used to be really hard on myself prior to being as educated as I am now about drug dependency/addiction, and have learned to weave compassion into my situation as this all began from a car accident that required major surgeries, which required major painkillers. I hope we can all learn to weave more compassion into our stories and become more proud of our efforts and choices of coming off of these medications. So good to hear from you, Scared! Please keep us updated on your amazing progress! & again, Congrats on week 3!!

  • Angela March 10, 2016, 12:19 am

    I was taking 30mgs OxyContin per day, plus 20mgs oxycodone for breakthrough pain. I have a debilitating bladder disease. I was on meds for one year. Where I lived, there was no access to the treatment I needed to battle this bladder condition. (Imagine razor blades slicing you open from the inside, never getting relief, never being able to sleep, and trying to care for 5 children).

    I moved my family to another state to get the treatment I need. In two weeks, I cut out the 20mgs oxy IR, then during the following week I stayed at that dose, then the last few days I took no more than 15mgs, the last day, I took 5. the first day, I was agitated and my body was craving and I couldn’t sleep due to restless legs. The 2nd day was worse, but not even close to having the flu, no nausea, no rebound pain, no diarrhea, just a pretty uncomfortable feeling of my body craving the pain meds.

    I had a much better time sleeping. Luckily, I have Xanax for anxiety. I’m on day 3 and do not feel any withdrawals aside from no appetite, and I feel faint when I stand up. I’m glad I tapered myself, it saved me a lot of pain. Good luck to everyone, you can do this, if I can do this.

  • Dave March 12, 2016, 11:15 pm

    You guys all are lucky to have spouses that have stayed with you. You are not alone. Some of us have isolated and driven everybody out of our lives because of addiction. How I wish I had a spouse. They gave up on me. And I don’t blame them. Count your blessings. What are you complaining about?

  • k March 15, 2016, 8:34 am

    Thanks for the article. I just got to say though that calling suboxone/subutex and methadone “less powerful opiates” is a huge error. The half life of heroin is roughly 12 hours (meaning that in 12 hours, half of the heroin is gone from your body, in another 12 hours, half of THAT half is gone etc). That is why one goes into withdrawal from heroin in about 12-24 hours. The half life of subutex/suboxone is 72 hours. I personally was on sub for a week in rehab and jumped off at 0.25mg.

    I felt fine for almost two weeks and then my withdrawal became so severe that I had to go to hospital due to dehydration from vomiting. That isn’t to scare anyone, but just to be truthful. Subutex is NOT a weaker opiate than heroin. By a very long way. The withdrawals in my opinion are worse than heroin because they last longer but I found that I was constantly exhausted and would sleep whenever I could, the only time I’ve ever experienced severe sleep disturbance in withdrawals was when withdrawing from methadone.

    I think that although people say that the withdrawals are worse from subs than their original DOC, the point is that hopefully subs will have helped you to get away from the drug life and at least develop some kind of stability. As an aid to doing this sub is great but you have to realize that when coming off any opiate, you will have to go through withdrawal. Taking subutex will not mean you skip withdrawal and jumping off sub from even 1mg is not a good idea.

    I don’t want to sound ungrateful, but I also want to comment about your withdrawal symptoms advice – just telling someone to suck it up and “try to realize its just part of withdrawal” is not helpful and is stating the obvious really. Why don’t you state what helpful things people can do? For example what OTC meds can help. For example I had terrible back pain during withdrawal, probably worse because I have an existing injury and I found that using a TENS machine provided great relief.

    Also things like wrapping your legs tightly in a towel or something really helps with RLS. Also something that might just be personal to me… coz its a bit weird lol… when going through my most intense withdrawal, from methadone, I couldn’t sleep and the body buzzing, heart pounding, adrenaline feeling was awful. I literally couldn’t sleep for more than a few seconds. I found that kneeling down with my knees tucked under my chest, my face forward between two pillows so I didn’t suffocate, with my arms stretched out in front of me (a bit like “child pose” in yoga) enabled me to sleep for half an hour or so at a time.

    I think it has something to do with subduing the heart rate, much the same as if you’re having a panic attack, the advice they give you is to put your arms above your head… it stops the blood pumping so strongly. Anyway, whatever the reason, it worked for me and we all know that when no sleep is forthcoming, half an hour of sleep can mean the difference between success and relapse. Anyway you can all do this, your body will not give you anything that you cannot cope with and probably the best advice is to surrender to it and not fight it, “sit with” the pain instead of fighting it.

    Also, although I don’t like this type of music normally, I found listening to chilled trace type music on headphones zoned me out to the point where I would realize I’d slept for a few minutes. Good luck to you all, kiss goodbye to the evil drugs and kiss hello to a life of freedom. It’s beautiful!

  • Nick April 14, 2016, 9:45 am

    Hello everyone. I’ve been physically dependent and addicted to opiates for nearly ten years. I took my first 7.5 Lortab after excruciating pain due to the physically demanding work I performed at the time. This eventually led to getting my own prescription of Lortab 7.5 3x per day and I remained on that regimen for three years. I thought I had discovered a wonder drug, if you will.

    However, due to all the other meds I take, I decided I was absolutely sick of the daily ritual around May 2009 and began a pretty decent taper finishing off with daily exercise and Xanax. It seemed almost effortless, though not to say I didn’t have bad days. And, before I knew what PAWS was I found myself making an appointment seven months later to be placed back on my medications.

    I began as I had always taken them, strictly as prescribed. By summer 2010 I was taking 4 7.5s/daily, so my doc increased my dosage to 10mg 4x/daily. I was ecstatic and remained as such for another six months. By early 2011 I changed to 10mg Norco and began taking one or two more per day. I began to experience withdrawal, of course. Hardcore. However, I wish I could go back!

    Fast forward to December 2012: My grandfather passed away and my mother and I were and remain horribly grief-stricken. During that one month I consumed over 400 pills. I was a complete wreck and didn’t have time to grieve due to the care of my mother, so I self-medicated. March 2013: I consumed my entire script in one week and began a nightmarish withdrawal, though I thought I would be over the worst by day six, but no. So, I went to a new doc.

    April 2013: My mother broke her shoulder and suffered a nervous breakdown nearly causing my own, as she still has issues three years later. Anyhow, ff to January 2014: I couldn’t get out of bed without first taking five 10s followed by two more within an hour. By evening I would have consumed up to 35 10mg Norco and 15 Xanax to the point of passing out in my dinner or nodding off with a lit cigarette.

    Since then I’ve been through countless bouts of withdrawals, though I have gotten my dose to around 7-10 per day and two Xanax or Valium. I’m tired. I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired. I have a mother who depends on me 100% and I have ruined myself financially. I know the root of the problem, so I’m trying to get help with that in order to begin the healing process.

    However, I have heightened WD symptoms more so than most due to underlying health issues and I have to work to survive at all. I want to stop. I REALLY want to stop! I have no other family and I’ve removed all the “friends” I do not need in my life, so you guys are my only support. I’ve tried tapering to no avail, so that’s out and I haven’t the money for vitamins and other helpful OTC meds. Any advice is much appreciated.

    • VeronikaL April 18, 2016, 5:44 pm

      Hi Nick, like your story, I had a very similar story. If you read above on all my threads – you may find a lot of helpful advice. Unfortunately with withdrawal – there is no escape route. Though you may find some withdrawal-alleviating tricks, the truth is, there is no real cure for withdrawal other than letting time pass to rid of you the physical withdrawal.

      The ONLY thing that helped me with my physical withdrawal, was taking EXTREMELY long & EXTREMELY hot baths/body soaks. The restless legs drove me damn near crazy and the anxiety that skyrocketed because of that, drove me even more crazy. The hot water soaks are a proven method to help alleviate that discomfort and best of all- its free!

      Also – I’m not sure what day of withdrawal you are on, but after Day 3 or 4 – I HIGHLY suggest you try to take short/brisk walks outside (even though I know you have no energy and you feel sick) I PROMISE – it will help. Even if its just a half block walk and back. Best of all – that is free as well. Those are the two things that truly helped me with withdrawal, and thats coming from someone who could afford all the OTC meds, vitamins, and all the ingredients that are in the Thomas Recipe (google that).

      Yet none of those things were as helpful to me as hot body soaks and a short brisk walk. I truly hope you try both of those. As for PAWS – that is the toughest part of coming off of opiates. My doctor always says that “detoxing is the easiest part of withdrawals – if detox was the only thing it took for people to come off of drugs, then there would be no such thing as addiction”.

      And that’s because even though detoxing is HORRIBLE, the mental side effects (PAWS) is where 90% of relapses happen. The mental side effects; depression, anxiety, etc… is always what drives people back to opiates. I was sober for 8 months and relapsed when I was going through a hard time, because I didn’t take pre-cautionary measures to ensure I remained sober long-term.

      This is something that everyone NEEDS to do, to ensure long term sobriety. If you possibly can – Please look up the medication, Suboxone. This medication is a miracle drug. It is used to treat people who are addicted to opiates. It takes away ALL withdrawal discomfort AND PAWS discomfort, it levels your brain out (which lets face it- opiates kill our brain), and best of all – it takes away ALL cravings.

      Ever since Suboxone was brought to the market, the statistics on addicts staying sober long-term, are astounding! Suboxone has saved my life and I highly recommend that you talk to your doctor about it. If this isn’t something you are willing to do, then I also strongly encourage you to get some counseling or go to support groups which are free to attend.

      The truth is – there are underlying issues that addicts have that need to be addressed at the root of the cause, otherwise you’re only treating the surface of the issue, which leads to failure of long term sobriety. Please update us on your progress, and keep checking into this page – there is so much helpful information that people post on here and the amount of support people give here has helped me immensely in my journey!

      Keep up the great work and dedication to be free of this disease!!

  • j April 23, 2016, 2:45 pm

    Take heed, doctors never mention the long ride back to reality. 3 years or so of fentanyl patches and God intervened. They were stolen 3 months after pins and screws put in my back. Not sleeping and still chills and leg pain, but reality creeping back in.

    I’ll deal with the pain before I do this again. Doctors are getting stinking rich off of our misery. I’m still in withdrawals but better. Not sure how long before I sleep again… but nothing I can do but wait it out. Better days ahead I hope!

  • jakline May 8, 2016, 5:50 pm

    Five years ago I was taking 350 mgs a day of percs. That’s right… 60 pills a day. Needless to say, my tolerance was through the roof . I didn’t even get high anymore from that amount of opiates, which used to really p_ss me off. I went through all kinds of hell getting my drugs from pharmacies as I couldn’t afford street prices.

    Anyway, I finally got off the Percs in 2010 with the wonderful help of an outpatient clinic, and I stayed in the program for one year. This facility was big on prescribing Suboxone to help patients get “clean,” but I wasn’t keen on that method for 2 reasons. First, I had already gone through a detox program a couple years before using Suboxone and THAT withdrawal was one of the worst experiences of my life.

    As you guys probably know Suboxone is a very strong opioid and people do suffer withdrawals just like other narcotics. I did do a very slow taper but the sickness got me anyway when I finally had no opioid in me at all. I went back to using painkillers a year or so later, at the same crazy level, until I found the outpatient program with EXCELLENT counselors who saved my life.

    In short, I refused to stay on Suboxone for more than a month and I did withdraw but it wasn’t as bad as after sub. This is only my story. Everyone is different and whatever works for you works for you. I am just offering a personal warning to be informed about drug replacement therapies that are opioid based. They can more difficult than the doctors will tell you.

    The best therapy is working out the issues that lead us to use in the first place with a supportive person (a professional or a self help group) but people who know what they are talking about and who sincerely CARE about the addict.

    • VeronikaL May 18, 2016, 3:26 pm

      Hi Jakline – Thank you for sharing your story. I commend you for all the hard work you have put in for your sobriety. Achieving sobriety for myself has been the absolute most difficult journey I have been on – but it has also been the best because I never envisioned the beautiful life I have today without painkiller addiction.

      I want to start by saying that you are correct in that Suboxone isn’t for “everyone”, but it would be irresponsible to say that the side-effects don’t weigh out the good that comes from being on Suboxone. I want to preface this by saying that your journey with Suboxone is very valid, real, and I 100% believe the struggle you may have had with it, but there is also a very big truth to the Physiological aspect of our brains (the brains we were born with-which I will get into soon), that Suboxone can be very helpful to.

      Suboxone saved my life- and continues to save my life. The statistics are astounding and cannot be ignored. Since Suboxone came into the market (approved by FDA) in 2002- the relapse rates for addicts were cut by 90%. We simply cannot ignore that. I also want to clarify one thing- Suboxone is not “an even stronger opioid”. The receptors in our brain are called Opioids… the drugs are called Opiates.

      That being said- Suboxone is also not “an even stronger Opiate” either. There are two components that make up Suboxone… The most important ingredient is “Buprenorphine” which is a PARTIAL Opioid Agonist, and the second is “Naloxone” which is an Opioid ANtagonist (or an Opioid blocker). That means people who are on Suboxone who decide to slip up and take a painkiller – actually are not able to achieve any form of “high” because Suboxone blocks those receptors by making the medication bounce OFF of our receptors.

      Suboxone is also the ONLY medication that exists today that has a “Reverse Effect”. This means- most medication (even tylenol) if taken in high doses for long periods of time- you will need to bump up the dosage to achieve the same results, regardless if its painkillers, tylenol, Aspirin, etc. Suboxone is the ONLY medication that exists that you can take for long periods of time using the exact same dose that will achieve the results (sobriety) that you want.

      In fact – over time-you actually will need less and less suboxone, until you are all the way off the medication on your own. That is the goal of Suboxone. Although- Suboxone is now being tested and treated as an Anti-Depressant medication as well. They are saying this will be the “medication of the future”. Above I also said I would explain the Physiological aspect of addiction as well.

      Half the population can take a painkiller and will hate it. They get nauseated, dizzy, vomiting, etc, when they take painkillers. The other half of the population will take a painkiller and will feel the best they’ve ever felt. (That would be us addicts). There is a reason for that. Everyone is born with a few opioid receptors in their brains naturally.

      Those receptors are what produce Dopamine- which is what makes us feel good, content, happy, and all other good feelings associated with the “high” of an opiate. People who feel wonderful after taking painkillers, are people who are born with an Opioid-Deficient brain. If you compare the brain of a person with a healthy opioid system vs. a person with an opioid deficient brain – they look very different, and that is why it would be irresponsible for anyone to suggest that Suboxone isn’t the right choice for them – when in actuality – they are struggling with an opioid deficiency, and Suboxone helps really regulate that.

      Addiction is a disease, not a lack of character, or a bad habit. It would be the same as telling someone with Diabetes that they shouldn’t take Insulin because it is a very strong medication. Diabetic people depend on Insulin to live, much like some addicts who were born with opioid deficiencies will need to take medication that treats that aspect of the brain, or their addiction can and often times, does – lead them to their death bed. I also would like to point out that Suboxone treatment is very, very, closely monitored.

      This treatment is monitored by the D.E.A, who works with the Doctor prescribing the medication, and there are very strict rules and regulations that the patient must follow in order to be treated with Suboxone. First and foremost – Suboxone treatment MUST be dual-treated with Therapy and groups like NA or AA. That is a requirement. You mentioned above that it is important to treat the emotional aspect of addiction, and I agree with that.

      All doctors prescribing this medication make that a rule. You must be in Therapy and actively joining groups in order to be on the medication. You must also be drug tested every month. The results of your drug test is also sent over to the D.E.A. This means that Suboxone must be the only medicine in your system, otherwise it will be revoked if other drugs are found in the system.

      You must also provide all the empty Suboxone film wrappers to your Doctor. This is providing proof that you are taking the medication (not selling it, and not abusing it). Again – I want to emphasize that I am in no way saying that Suboxone is for everyone. I simply want to get the facts out there for anyone who is struggling and coming to this forum for advice or facts.

      It would be irresponsible to stray someone away from Suboxone without knowing how the medication works, what it treats, and understanding the physiological aspect of it as well. Prior to being on Suboxone – I was someone who was against it. But I also didn’t know the facts. I relapsed after 1 year of being sober, and that is because I was not treating the Physiological aspect of my brain – I was not fully equipped to achieve long-term sobriety.

      For some people- therapy & exercise are not enough. Much like a diabetic person who begins to cut out sugars and eat healthier- it wouldn’t mean that they wouldn’t need to take Insulin as well. Thank you again for sharing your story. I think you are strong, brave, and amazing for finding your way into sobriety, and finding what works best for you. Many people struggle with that, and I am so very happy and proud that you have found that.

      I wish you the absolute best in your journey and your new life of sobriety! We can all do this!! Thank you!

  • JF Flo May 17, 2016, 6:57 pm

    A family member of mine has been on pain meds for quite some time now, not to mention other street drugs for at least 10+ years. Most recently was in a severe car accident that caused him to be partially disabled which just adds to the “necessity” of needing pain management.

    Anyways, he exhibits irrational thoughts, paranoia and makes these things very believable to some of the family. Is this part of the high or the coming down process? I have never had to resort to pain meds, nor do I do recreational drugs – I need to know what’s happening as I am worried. Thanks in advance!

    • VeronikaL May 18, 2016, 5:15 pm

      Hi JF Flo – The symptoms that you are describing your family member having – do not seem to be solely that of an opiate withdrawal. You mentioned that he was using other street drugs in combination with painkillers, and the abuse of many street drugs do sometimes have very permanent damage to the brain that can often times lead to paranoia, hallucinations, etc.

      This is why He or She should see a Doctor immediately to do a full length dual-evaluation and diagnosis to better understand how to treat this person. Forums are not used to give medical advice… most of us are not MD’s. I try to share what I do and have learned from the many MD’s who have helped to treat my addiction, along with my personal experiences, but I do not give any medical advice.

      Best of luck to you and your family! I hope better days are to come! Stay strong!

  • Tay May 26, 2016, 6:51 pm

    I have been using heroin for 4 months now. The amounts vary. I was clean for 15 months before a relapse. I don’t want to use anymore. I have tried to stop multiple times. Some days I will wake up with withdrawal symptoms. This week on Monday and Tuesday I used very little amounts.

    Yesterday I woke up 19 hours since last use and no withdrawal symptoms. I ended up using anyways a larger amount than the previous days. This morning I used a small amount but I don’t want to use anymore. I’m afraid of getting sick and having no energy to do my job.

    • VeronikaL May 27, 2016, 3:19 pm

      Hi Tay – Thank you for sharing your story. Unfortunately – as I’ve said in previous posts, there is no easy way out of opiate use. You will have to go through withdrawal symptoms, both physical and mental, no matter what. However – that being said- there are things you can do to make the process a little bit more bearable.

      I suggest you read the earlier posts on this very thread to get advice on how to go through a withdrawal, little at home remedies that you can do to help your symptoms, and options you can consider for achieving lifelong sobriety. All the information is on this thread in earlier posts of mine. As I have also mentioned – in order to achieve sobriety, you must WANT it REALLY bad, you must be READY for it, and you must be WILLING to go through the withdrawal.

      If you are truly ready – using will no longer be an option for you. I know first hand how hard of a commitment it is, and how scary of a commitment is, but given that you were not having heavy withdrawal symptoms as you indicated above, and then decided to use a large amount the next day just because- indicates that you may not be ready to quit yet. And in order to succeed at sobriety, you must be ready for it and serious about it, otherwise it truly wont work.

      No one on this thread can get you to stop using or tell you what to do, all the work has to come from within. We are all here to support you, give you advice, and share our own experiences with you so that you may choose to do what you want with our information, but ultimately – the choice is yours solely. As I said earlier – please read through my earlier posts for all the home remedies advice and some options on drug replacement therapies.

      I wish you the best and all the strength in the world. Please take it one day at a time, and know that you are not alone. Best of luck!!

  • Need help June 2, 2016, 2:44 pm

    I was in the hospital for 50 days and was getting hydromorphone IV for about 43 days of the stay. I had no problem going off it but now I’m dealing with withdrawal. I don’t crave the drug but I am having a hard time getting through the withdrawal symptoms.

    My whole body feels restless and I can’t sleep more than and hour or two at a time. I also have no appetite. I am on day 4 of not having the medication and I’m just wondering how much longer this will last. I cry for no reason and am irritable. I don’t want to go to my doctors either.

    • VeronikaL June 3, 2016, 4:05 pm

      Hi Help! Thank you for writing in and sharing your story! The good news is- your withdrawal will not last long, AND you will also not have to deal with P.A.W.S (Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome) the way that us addicts have to deal with, due to our lengthy addictions. You were on opiates for a little over 1 month, you do not crave them, you do not have past addiction problems (I am assuming), and you don’t seem to be addicted, you are simply going through a detox after 43 days of continued use.

      43 days is still a significant amount of time to still have a detox period, and that is what you are going through. All the symptoms you are describing are very, very normal. If you read above in my posts, you can get some advice on how to get past the physical detox. You will feel restless (primarily in your legs), and you will have very broken sleep…ALL normal!

      To ease the restlessness- I would take very hot body soaks…whether it means in a bath tub, or take a very long hot shower…the hot water soaks DO help ease the muscles and bones in your body, causing you to feel stiff and restless. I would also advice you to use a sleep aid if possible…I have a prescription sleep aid, but there are some good over the counter sleep aids like Zzz-quil.

      It doesn’t mean you will have amazing sleep after you take it, it just will help prolong the hours you stay asleep, even if its just by 1 or 2 more hours. Anything helps! I also really advise you to go on a light jog, or walk….the physical activity you do helps IMMENSELY for your brain to start producing its natural endorphins, which for 43 days- the Hydromorphone was producing for you.

      Once you come off the hydromorphone…your brain has a hard time remembering how to produce it on its own, and therefore causing you to feel mentally unstable (crying spells, depression, sadness) the more you do physical activity- the faster the endorphins in your brain start working, and the quicker you will start to feel back to normal.

      All in all, 43 days is a VERY minimal amount of time for using opiates and you will not have to deal with a long withdrawal the way us addicts do… you will get through this soon! Stay strong and keep us updated!!!

  • D June 2, 2016, 11:11 pm

    30 days clean!!!

    • VeronikaL June 3, 2016, 4:21 pm

      SO AWESOME!!!! SO PROUD OF YOU!!! KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK!!! 30 days is a LONG TIME for us addicts and we couldn’t be more proud of you!! One day at a time!!

  • Jess June 4, 2016, 6:10 pm

    Hello, I was using vicodin for 7 long, depressing years. I lost EVERYTHING!! My job, car, house, and almost child.. (To CPS) Then, I realized my 400$/week addiction could no longer be financed.. So, a friend helped me out by introducing me to Suboxone. It kept me “clean” for the past 3 years, however, NOW I was addicted to that!

    THEN, I tried subutex, then zubsolv, which I only took for about a month.. Either way, I cannot live as a slave any longer!! Yes, Suboxone saved me from losing absolutely everything, again.. But, now you’re dependent on something else.. One day, I woke up and realized I was out of everything!! So, I started spending hundreds again. On suboxone.. I REFUSE to be a slave any longer.

    I allowed myself 10 days to taper off of zubsolv. I took pieces of pieces. Well, it’s been 9 days today.. And, not gonna lie. I wanna pull my veins out of my arms. Some moments are better/easier than others, but I am COMPLETELY DETERMINED to stop. I Hate having to wonder where, when, and how I’ll get my next fix.. BTW, I was using these “replacement drugs” illegally..

    Although Suboxone allowed me to quit a 15 vicodin per day habit, instantly.. Its just another drug.. I hope this gets easier.. Does ANYONE have suggestions or comments on zubsolv? I know it’s relatively new, and I cant find much on it.. It is hard, and I do have most of the side effects, but I’m not sure if it’s easier or harder because it is new.. Thanks, Id appreciate any advice!!

  • VeronikaL June 6, 2016, 5:08 pm

    Hi Jess- Thank you for sharing your story. However, it does not seem like you were taking suboxone from a medical team, granted that you were “running out” and were having to purchase them elsewhere when you ran out. If you are taking suboxone under the supervision of a Physician, then your dose would not change, and your prescriptions will give you enough suboxone for each day of the month, so I am unsure of how you were taking suboxone and why you were running out, unless you were abusing the medication and therefore running out early and having to purchase it elsewhere.

    When you are on suboxone, you are VERY closely monitored by a physician. So closely monitored that you are seen once a month by the physician, whom you are required to return to them the empty suboxone wrappers to show proof that you are taking them, and taking them in the right dosage. If you needed to be on a higher dosage, then that is something you should have consulted with your Physician about.

    I have been on suboxone for 7 months now and i have never once “ran out” because I am prescribed the correct dosage that works for me, each month for the entire month. It is hard to comprehend how a patient can run out of suboxone, if they’re using it correctly. Furthermore, the only way you can have a suboxone withdrawal- is by stopping the medication all at once. The same goes for any medication (i.e. insulin, antidepressants, etc…) you never stop taking those medications cold turkey, and therefore, you shouldn’t stop taking suboxone cold turkey either.

    If after a while you feel as though you are READY to come off of suboxone, then your doctor will prescribe a tapering method that is very, very slow and very gradual, thus making there be no withdrawal. Again- if you are working with a physician, they take care of how much suboxone to give you both during regular use and while tapering. As I’ve said before in previous posts, it would be irresponsible to give suboxone a bad name for people who depend on informational websites such as these, when choosing how best to become sober, when you aren’t giving them accurate information, and when your own story may not mention that you weren’t taking suboxone as indicated by a physician.

    Suboxone has cut relapse rates in addicts by 90%!! That is a statistic that cannot be ignored. I do wish you the best in your recovery!

  • Ghost June 7, 2016, 5:55 pm

    Hello, I have been a user of 10mg (Norco) to 80mg (Oxy) for 5 plus years. I would say about 150mg total a day. I’m on day 8 now and really anxious. I have been sleeping for about 5 hours a night. The first 3 nights I had some Tramadol and that helped me sleep. I always made sure I had some Tramadol around when I couldn’t get my hands on anything.

    I have gone through WD’s too many times and hated the restless legs the most. This time around Passion Flower extract was amazing. It seems to give me energy and keeps me going. The anxiety and tremors is whats killing me. Especially when falling asleep, the jerks, and tossing and turning. But once I actually fall asleep, it’s solid sleep.

    I have been taking melatonin and I think thats whats helping me sleep. After reading these posts I’m going to get some Valerian and Gaba to help with anxiety. Since my body is positively reacting to natural herbs, any recommendations for the anxiety? Today is my first day back at work pill free.

    Mind in overdrive and super clouded. Since this isn’t my first ride, I’ve been open-minded and trying not to stress out. Any calming remedies would also be greatly appreciated. This is my time! Thanks!

    • VeronikaL June 8, 2016, 5:37 pm

      Hi Ghost – Thank you for sharing your story! First and foremost- Congrats on Day 8!!! Such a major accomplishment! I also am proud of you for looking into natural remedies for sleep and restless legs! I do however, want to warn you about Tramadol. When I was actively addicted to Opiates, I used to take Tramadol with my opiates OR when I ran out of my opiates.

      Tramadol has a similar effect of opiates and can become just as addictive, and the withdrawal from tramadol can sometimes even be worse than that of opiates. I strongly urge you to stop taking tramadol (if you haven’t already). As for the anxiety and body jerks, It is a good idea to try the Gaba and Valerian Root… what helped me MAJORLY was hot body soaks. Whether it be in a tub or a jacuzzi, I strongly suggest that you try to soak your body in as hot of water as you can handle.

      This helps relax your muscles and calm the body jerks, which then helps you go to sleep much easier than without the hot water soak. I would say that the hot water soaks helped me more than any herb, vitamin, or over the counter medication I took. The clouded mind and stress; as you already know, takes a while to get back to normal.

      Day 8 is when things start to get marginally better each day. The mental side effects is what you will soon need to focus on next. Depression, cravings, un-easiness, all that stuff is normal too. I suggest you go to some counseling, talk to your physician about options with drug replacement therapies (Suboxone) and see if that could be something you would benefit from, attend meetings, and EXERCISE.

      I’m not talking about running a marathon or bench pressing 300lbs, I’m talking about light walks, brisk jogs, even if it’s just 1 or 2 blocks… the brain chemistry in your brain is WAY off because your brain has been so accustomed to the opiate producing serotonin for you. Now that you are off opiates, your brain is struggling to remember how to produce it for itself the way it once did.

      The more active you are, the more you can get a very light exercise in, the more your brain produces its own serotonin, and that is what makes you feel good. Both exercise and hot water soaks were my savior during this time. About a month into my recovery, I made an appointment with a Suboxone doctor because I was struggling a lot with the cravings and feeling so off-balance.

      I can now add Suboxone to the list of things that saved my life…(along with the exercise and hot water soaks). Drug replacement therapy isn’t for everyone, so I only suggest you do your own research and talk to your physician if that is something of interest to you. Please keep us updated on your journey, and congratulations on all your hard work and progress! One day at a time!!

  • Rod R June 13, 2016, 9:14 am

    I have not taken Oxycodone in 6 weeks (as of tomorrow). I tapered down over a couple of months until I could cut the pills no smaller. I got down to one a day of those and after a couple of days of that I just stopped. While I didn’t have terrible withdrawal but after 8 years of Oxycodone my body as definitely unhappy with the decision to stop.

    I was so tired of the pills that I really have had few cravings. I took the pills for significant chronic pain related to 5 spinal surgeries. As expected the pain seemed to dramatically increase. Parts of my body that normally are fine were hurting without the Oxy. Now I am taking ibuprofen to help with the pain.

    I probably had a couple of short periods of my day that I felt passable while taking opioids. I feel much better now. I have no interest in going back to the Oxy. I tried about a year ago to go cold turkey and I still felt terrible on day 12 and gave up. Weaning made it much easier for me.

  • erika June 19, 2016, 1:48 am

    I went from using a gram of H a day, then to half for several months. I went to court and took 130 mg of liquid methadone. I brought in prescribed 10 mg methadone tablets, 1 mg Ativan, and some percs. I was in county for 10 days. I took 20mg of m for two days, them 10 for 3 days. The next 5 days I only used when I really needed it.

    Which was at night because I could not sleep. I still had some pills when I went to state but I did not bring them with me. For the next two weeks my sleep patterns were off and lacking but I did take some naps. I kept positive and meditated and prayed for an easy recovery. It was. I did not have the kicks, or stomach issues. I had night sweats once and briefly. I ate little. No sugar, or caffeinated products. I had been using for 20 years.

    Being locked up helped. No mind games. Best thing was, it was so easy. Switching to methadone for the 5 days worked for me. Ativan for the anxiety and sleep helped on days 5-10. Had I to do it again, I would use Ativan from days 5-20. I have also had good experience with gabapentin, 300 mg. for kicks.

  • Tina June 24, 2016, 10:01 pm

    I was in a bad car accident in 2014, while in the hospital I was put on morphine. By the time I went home I was taking 180mg of morphine a day, due to our of pocket costs I was switched to methadone after just under a year. I was able to drop down to 30mgs of methadone a day and decided after two years and some change I wanted to come off these meds.

    I have been off the meds since May 12th of this year, but I am in tremendous pain. My right leg is about 80-85% medal from the wreck. My question is how long before I will know what my actual pain level is and what is my body wanting the meds? Or have I reached that point and need to possibly seek out other pain options for control?

  • Steve July 22, 2016, 3:44 am

    I am on day 5 I feel horrible, Kratom is helping but I still feel like crap!! I am not eating well as I have no appetite. I did not see this mentioned, but I feel lie food is not appealing. I forced myself to eat a Big Mac which I normally enjoy. Please tell me this will get better. I took for back pain Percocet 2-3 times a day for a couple of years I also took two or three Ativan a day for the same period.

    I guess I did not think these prescriptions were that bad, now my doctor is freaked out by the arrests of docs put in jail for prescribing to people who OD’ed but let me tell you its not the docs fault the guy knows what he is taking but please tell me this gets better. I can’t sleep but I do have access to Ambien which does help and the Kratom which is God sent. Just tell me something!!!!

  • Steve July 22, 2016, 7:03 am

    The loss of appetite is the most troubling. I have always been a good eater, but the complete loss of appetite is very disturbing. I was in ICU in 2014 for ARDS and was on a respirator. They gave me a lot of Versed, IV Librium I requested when I was awake pain meds every 4 or 5 hours, was in a drug induced coma, lucky to be alive, now I just want a pill how freaking stupid is that.

    That experience gave me a bigger tolerance and they cut me off cold in the hospital and I did not sleep hardly any the last couple of days I was in there. That is when the craving took over and I have not allowed myself to run out in the period since then about two solid years!! Now I have nothing but Ambien and am thankful that I still have them, but now I am trying to not go to the Doctor.

    As I said I tried to taper but was still at one Percocet a day and two Ativan a day when my prescription ran out. I hope to have the willpower to stay away. I never knew this could be so painful just not taking a pill!!!

  • Steve July 22, 2016, 7:22 am

    God I feel so alone right now, my wife is visiting her mom in Pennsylvania and I have a Dog and 3 cats to talk to, probably not the time to go through opiate withdrawal. I wanted to surprise her by being clean and sober when she came home lord she deserves it. I have always been not afraid to cry especially when the nurse came every 4 hours to do an ABG (blood gas analysis, hurts something terrible).

    I could not talk as I was intubated, so when tears rolled down my cheeks my wife and the nurses ask me if I hurt? Good question though! I kept shaking my head as I was sad about what happened to me to me not in any real pain to speak of it until they deep suctioned my lungs, now that hurt. So it is not a question of tolerating the pain, but the spectre of not relaxing and going to sleep.

    I went to bed one night I woke up three weeks later in ICU. So it is the fear more than anything else I think for me. I still now get to almost twilight before I can really sleep. It’s 3:10 AM and I am not in the least bit sleepy. That is real fear and abject terror, I guess since I teach of all things counseling and Psychology I should come to terms better than most!

    Heck I have doctorate in behavioral medicine (Psychology) for Christ sakes I should know I have PTSD but that is the real pain of being in this position. I should know better and still got here. We took the pills for real pain now it’s in our minds and that is the most difficult thing I think I have ever attempted.

  • Thomas Mercadian July 26, 2016, 11:03 am

    I have been using hydro since 2006. As most, it started off slow, but it was to the point, at the highest, that I was using one 30mg morphine ER, 2 hydro 10mg, one oxy 30mg. As of about 2 months ago, I was down to 3 10’s in the mornings. I am at around 120hrs, or 5 days, without and I am so scared that I will relapse. They are in my immediate vicinity and I haven’t taken them yet. Any words of advice from someone?

    • VeronikaL July 29, 2016, 2:49 pm

      Hi Thomas Mercadian- Thank you for writing in, and Welcome to this awesome community of support! First and foremost- Congratulations on your 5 day mark! That is an awesome accomplishment! Prior to giving you any advice, I’d like to ask you if you are ready to become sober and commit to a life of recovery and sobriety? If that is the case- then you must rid yourself of any temptations (e.g. get rid of the hydro’s).

      I understand that may be hard for you because flushing them down the toilet makes this whole situation even more real, but sobriety is as real as it gets, and it takes a LOT of work. So please, do yourself a favor and flush the pills down the toilet if you are serious about committing to a brand new beautiful life of sobriety. That being said, many people think sobriety simply means not taking anymore pills.

      That is definitely a major role, but sobriety is actually a lifestyle. It’s a commitment to turn your world upside down in the best ways possible. Getting clean off of pills (detoxing) is actually the easiest step of this whole process. (As hard as it is!). It’s what happens after detoxing that you must be willing to put the work in for.

      What many addicts don’t know yet is that in order to be in recovery, they must understand what addiction truly is (believe it or not- addiction isn’t simply about the inability to live without pills). There is a lot of science about the brains of an addicted person and how your brain is neurologically wired and pre-disposed to liking opiates. There is a reason why half the population can take a painkiller and feel absolutely terrible (nauseated, sick, lethargic, etc.) and there is also a reason why us addicts can take a painkiller and feel the BEST we’ve ever felt.

      That distinction has everything to do with our brains and how they are wired. So while yes, stopping the consumption of pills is important, it is equally as important to treat the brain aspect of addiction as well, in order to ensure you have lifelong sobriety. Many ways people do this is by something called “Drug Replacement Therapy”. I have ALWAYS vouched for a medication called Suboxone.

      It has saved my life. (Please read my posts above in regards to ALL information about Suboxone). Other people take a monthly shot called Vivitrol. Although most doctors prefer suboxone over the shot, as the shot does not have the mood stabilizing aspect to it like how suboxone does. In any case- I truly encourage you to talk to your doctor about your options for getting treatment.

      Cutting off pills is simply not enough to ensure long term sobriety. If it were- then no one would be addicted anymore, as it would be very simply to just cut off pills and endure 1 week of withdrawals and then it would be over. It simply doesn’t work that way. I wish you the best of luck! Please let us know how you’re doing!

  • Melissa August 3, 2016, 10:45 am

    I’m trying to stay clean as I write, I am 23 years old, I’m detoxing (day 16) off heroin, crystal meth, methadone!!! I usually take whatever is in front me. I quite cold turkey and I haven’t slept in days since the start of detoxing, my teeth are falling out, my toenails are falling off, my legs are killing me and I don’t have the patience for this long time pain. All I keep thinking is I want to take a bunch of pills (preferably Xanax) and shoot some dope and just overdose.

    I’m trying really hard to get over this toxic waste of my life!!! I don’t ever wanna go back but at the same time that’s all I think about. I’m waiting for my migraines to subside they hurt so badly that I can say that I would rather die then have all this pain, I don’t know what normal is like but I do know I’m scarred to live normal!

    I write in my journal and that seems to help a little and I’ll always look back at this every time I start to feel weak. I’m trying hard and I hope and pray that I’m strong enough to take this demon on my own. I know I need ( professional) help, I have slept, can’t keep food nor liquid down, my ears hurt my head, legs, I’m so exhausted I just want this pain gone.

    I came to Chicago to get the best treatment plan and I ended up walking out in city (scary) and DANGEROUS one too, drugs make you do stupid things. Good luck. I hope and pray that this journey of mine will end. There’s light somewhere I just haven’t found it.

    • VeronikaL August 4, 2016, 7:01 pm

      Hi Melissa – Congratulations on Day 16 (which is probably either Day 17 or 18 by now), but that is absolutely IMPRESSIVE considering that you went cold turkey. Please be proud of yourself for that. I can completely sympathize with you and feeling like you’d rather die than feel the horrible pains of withdrawal and the mental side effects too.

      I remember feeling the exact same way when I first began my journey of detoxing. I used to pray that this disease killed me. But now that I have been sober almost 1 year, I can completely and confidently say, that LIFE GETS BETTER! I promise you that. I wouldn’t trade 1 day of sobriety for a single pill or any other drug. Sobriety is a lifestyle, and it doesn’t come fast or easy.

      Your brain will tell you it wants drugs for a long time, and it will take a lot of training and work to being able to tolerate those thoughts, but also to dismiss them. And it becomes easier. I don’t know you, but I can see the strength you have by choosing to not only quit drugs, but by doing it cold turkey and making it to 16 days!

      That is absolutely wonderful, and I hope that you can be proud of that and allow yourself to use that strength in continuing your path of sobriety. I wish you the best of luck! Please keep us updated on your journey!

  • Psiotic August 13, 2016, 9:59 am

    Greetings to everyone still reading here. 42yo male here who had a really nasty accident about 3 years ago (tore every tendon and ligament around left ankle, but didn’t break it) and was put on a pretty stout regiment of pain meds. I was prescribed 30mg oxycodones, with 8mg Dilaudid and taking that together 3 to 4 times a day. I recently tapered off of the D, then took a week tapering down the oxy, and I am now on day 5 of no pain meds.

    HOWEVER, I’m also micro-dosing psilocybin (a.k.a. magic mushrooms). I can’t say this is a route for everyone, but along with natural supplements they are really helping along the mental recovery. I’ve never been a ‘drug’ taker, aside from these pain meds, but always partook in plant medicines through the years.

    I’ve quit a few times over the last 3 years and it was always rough, but this time it’s been far more livable! Definitely won’t be going back down that road again, just not worth it. My biggest complaint thus far is the bowel issues. I had no idea that opiates literally changed how your intestinal track works, but I also had no idea that your digestion system had so many neurons!! Anyway, hope everyone keeps trucking!

  • Plz help September 10, 2016, 10:04 am

    I have been on suboxone for over three years and was on opiates for six. I made the decision to quit and am two almost three weeks in. All my major symptoms are gone but my hands and feet burn like crazy. Any advice on how to cope?

  • CJK October 6, 2016, 7:14 pm

    I been on 100mg fentanyl patch and 20mg oxycodone 4 per day. and 5mg valium 2 per day and 800mg gabapentin, 3 times a day for 3 years from a gun shot to the face. Had MANY major surgeries since, over the last 3 years. I weaned myself of the fentanyl patch 9 months ago. I’m still on 20mg oxycodone 3 times a day and still have another surgery coming up in 2 months.

    Today my doctor cut me off cold turkey, because I tried medical marijuana. I can’t believe it. After 3 years, just cut off. Now I’m screwed. It’s going to be super hard for me. Both mentally and physically. It’s back to multiple migraines, chronic pain, insomnia, anxiety. And so on. This is scarier than all that I have so far been through. All the years to finally get my meds and myself right. And now just kicked to the curb.

    How doctors can do this is just so inhumane. So now I go cold turkey until December. Then back to more surgeries. Then pain meds. Then probably cold turkey again. This war on drugs, because of people abusing them. Is now going to take the meds I need away. I don’t abuse them. But I’m most definitely dependent on them now. I don’t no what to do. I don’t want to become a heroin junkie. Or criminal. Just to be normal.

    I was doing fine. I didn’t break laws. Nothing. And for some states, to ok medical marijuana and others not is wrong. Since there are many good benefits from it. I’m still baffled and in a state of shock. I don’t no what I’m to do. I’m venting now. And almost panicking. I really hope someone can help. In knowledge, ideas or prayer. Thanks. CJK

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