1200mg a day Codeine mess! Dr's appt Wednesday what can I expect

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Hi all, I was hoping for some advice about my codeine addiction hopefully UK based due to different rules etc country to country. I have used for 7-8 years and am currently using around 300mg at 8am, 11am, 2pm and 5pm so a daily total of around 1200mg. I went to may gp around 10 weeks ago and a week after that I received a referral to local drug clinic i put it off for 7 week and eventually after driving to the clinic several times sitting in my car physically unable to get out car an walk through the door but last week I did it. I had a half hour assessment from a drug worker then was urine tested for all drugs. She then made me an appointment with the doctor which I have this coming Wednesday. Anyone have any ideas what to expect? I really hope he will consider alternative prescribing as this has ruled my life far to long. I've read the NICE Guidelines on treating codeine addiction and it seems the recommendations to prescribers is to prescribe methadone or buprenorphine. Any advice or help would be greatly received

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8 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Fluffy, I hope it goes well for you on Wednesday. The doctors in drug clinics are usually very switched on and will give you good advice. I am a recovering alcoholic(and was dependant on valium ) and know it is very difficult to give up alcohol/drugs but its definitely worth it.

    You will get control of your life back.

    Sorry, I am a bit tired and not sure if I am making sense but I really wanted to encourage you. Best wishes, Anthony

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    • Posted

      Hi Anthony you made perfect sense and I very much appreciate your reply, I hope your doing well yourself and wish you continued success with it.

      I am hoping for some form of supervised alternative prescribing as this cannot go on as is, I have been reading the NHS NICE Guidelines on substitute prescribing in codeine addicted patients and it recommends Buprenorphine or methadone which if I had been advised 3 years ago I would have laughed and run a mile but living thru the constant acquiring of codeine products has left me broken and I would welcome either of these 2 medications with open arms. I also suffer from bipolar disorder and Borderline Personally Disorder so the addiction hinders my mental health treatment. Anyway best of health mate and I will report back soon

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  • Posted

    Hi fluffy i'm also in the UK and had a codeine addiction, My doctors never suggested any alternative drug but a codeine taper however I tried and failed twice at that any excuse and i would take an extra tablet! In the end up I did it the tough way and went cold turkey, I'm not going to lie and say it was easy I had 2 weeks of feeling awful first week was mostly physical and second week was more emotional and mental effects which my GP did prescribe me a very short course of diazepam and sleeping tablets to get me through. I know cold turkey isn't for everyone but it was my only option, that was back in February so I've been 8 months clean now and i can't explain what it's like to have my life back, i wish you lots of luck whatever route you decide to go down and will say you don't have to agree with your doctor it's your withdrawal and you need to be the one in control of it, doctors aren't always right! One month of being clean and i went to my doctors and they tried to give me codeine for it! Proudest moment of my recovery was telling that doctor what an idiot he was! If you ever need a chat along the way from someone who has been there and got through the other side feel free to give me a shout

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    • Posted

      Hi Lulu thanks for your reply an may I say how very very proud of yourself you should be, do you mind if I ask approximately how much u where typically using? I got upto 1000-1300mg a day and as am sure you know only to well the time, effort and toll it takes on your life obtaining codeine on a daily basis. I tried a taper dose but could never stick to it, tried cold turkey but having used such high amounts for so long and also having to be there for my wife (she knows about it all as I never hide anything from her) and 3 young children plus also having bipolar disorder and BPD I found it impossible. So yesterday I finally had my appt with my substance misuse consultant and he has started me on a methadone script (he said between me and him we will get this all sorted and off any kind of opiate as soon as we can). I have this morning commenced on 25mg methadone rising to 35mg from Saturday and decide between us next week Wether 35mg is enough or if more needs to be added. I feel quite tired and dopey at the moment but I can honestly say for the 1St day in the last 8 years I have no desire for codeine
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    • Posted

      Hi fluffy. I'm in an almost identical situation s you. Our stories are really similar. It's good to think there's someone out there and I'm not alone.

      I'm the same, no desire for codeine. I'm feeling dopey too and sometimes abit nauseous too.but I'm determined to stick it out a few days and try and adjust. I'm so determined to use this methadone as an interim measure to get off everything and get a new life

      Feel free to message me if you want.

      Good stuff on you for getting here!

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    • Posted

      I was using approx 1000mg a day, and like you said it took over my life I know every single chemist within 2 hours of my house plus all the online chemists it was a daily task just to get enough tablets for the day! My husband had no idea, I have no idea how I managed to hide it from him he knew something was wrong but upsettingly thought it was that i didn't love him anymore which couldn't have been further from the truth, the codeine had just taken over my life. I told him on my second day of cold turkey, he thought i had flu! Sounds crazy but he was actually relieved it wasn't that i had fallen out of love with him or was having an affair! It was the scariest moment of my life telling him but he was amazing!

      It sounds like you have a brilliant doctor and wife, i've also done a methadone programme a long long time ago (different drug you'd think I'd have learnt the first time hey! So if you every need any advice with the methadone especially as you start to cut down I'm here, my advice is do the cut down very very slowly even a ml a week or fortnight and you won't feel a thing I was in 140ml as my maintenance dose so did cut down in higher amounts till I got to about 50ml, you will hear lots of horror stories about coming off methadone, i can honestly say I have none managed properly it was completely withdrawal symptom free.

      Feeling the way you do with the dopeyness is normal when you first start it, it's a good thing as means it's doing its job and working! I'd have taken that over the 8 days I had zero sleep for any day wink Please please stick at it this is the start of your new life and i promise you it's such a better life. Always hear if you need a chat or are worried about anything at all smile

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  • Posted

    Thanks lulu for that great post.

    I'm only new to methadone (6 months) but the few people I have told completely freak out when I tell them. There is so much ignorance around this as a life saving drug and I am really happy to hear the positive stories about it. I don't tell the general public about me being on it but I really try and educate the few people I have told. And I think people in general need education too.

    The Internet is full of horror stories and worse still, unhelpful conspiracy theories that the drug is dispensed to make profits for companies. It's all really sad but the truth is that methadone is a life saving drug that helps countless people when it is used properly and the patient wants to help themselves.

    When my doctor first suggested it to me I was shocked. I would never even have considered it. I thought it was purely for junkies, homeless people and people in jail. The real truth is its being used successfully by people in all walks of life. Like me, I'm a middle class person with what would be considered a good job, from a good background and a family with no problems. Obviously it's not all as pleasant as that sounds but anyway, to sum up, it's a drug that must be used at the right time in the right way, and then it really is a good option.

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    • Posted

      You are absolutley spot on, problems with methadone detox happen when people start mixing with other drugs, most to be fair through no fault of their own as they are either not getting enough support or are just not at the right time in their lives to become clean, hence the hororr stories! I'm a strong believer that if your not in the right frame of mind it won't work, for me both times I had to hit rock bottom and decide for myself enough was enough. If you have a good support system in place even groups like this and the strength and will which it sounds like you have then you'll do great! And you know what, if you have a bad day put it down to that a bad day as tomorrow is a new day! I really do wish you lots of luck but I'm sure your going to do great! When i was going through my methadone detox I honestly had no withdrawals whatsover and if you ever do then speak to your doctor and ask for your taper to be done slightly less/slower and you will do great smile

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