Addicted/reliant to dihydracodiene/diazepam

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I have been addicted or as others prefer completely self reliant on pain killers. I've had in double figures lots of surgery, two of which where major and landed me in intensive care, just painting a picture to illustrate why I started taking pain killers. I started on tramidol and took 2 x 4 times a day and swapped to dihydrocodeine 30mg at 2 x 4 times a day with 2 500mg paracetamol at each dose, I recently started to take diazepam to help with depression and to relax me, I'm now reliant on these to make me sleep.

It has been 7-8 years and it has ruined my life, I am now 31 with a 2 year old (my pregnancy was the only time I came off but I took tramidol for 2 months of my pregnancy when I didn't know I was pregnant, he was born poorly and the gp has confirmed it was highly likely he was on a come down)and he really is the only thing keeping me going, I have had thoughts that I no longer want to live but id never take my life because of my son, but thinking it is just as painful. I get hot & cold sweats all the time because my body is craving something stronger, it's only self strength that has stopped me taking more, I am constantly angry, irritable, irrational and nasty towards close ones, I cannot control my behaviour it's the strangest thing but I feel utterly useless. My mental state is complete paranoia, I hate myself, I think other hate me, I think people are constantly having a go at me and I simply cannot stop the paranoia, not to mention I get the shakes all the time and feel sick, I feel like my stomach is full all the time and obviously this drug comes with constipation, I must go once a week and that's a good week! I can not sit and relax I'm always on the go because I can't just sit down, yet I can't be bothered to do anything, I had lost all interest in anything, I don't go out and I don't do anything, this was never me I have changed completely, I don't know who I am anymore!

I saw the doctor 3 weeks ago and started a reduction, I am finishing this especially difficult, I started a new job 5 weeks ago and paranoia has already kicked in! I get the shakes at work and I'm trying to hide all my symptoms, this is very difficult as I am a secretary to 3 directors I have a very busy precise role everything I do needs to be accurate and I simply cannot concerntrate. I find every day a battle with my physical and mental state, last night I couldn't get a film to work on iTunes and I burst out into tears and had a complete meltdown, it felt childish after, luckily I have a great friend who happened to text and I thought il just tell her what happened and she called me, I cried and let it out and felt better.

My reason for posting this is because I need help and advice my relationship is suffering and my life feels a million miles away from what it should be. I am however very good at disguising my problems to others, my friends/family where shocked when I wrote to them all to explain, the gp advised it would be good to tell your close friends and family to gain the support, some simply so not understand and thing I'm being ridiculous like it's just paracetamol and I can't stop taking it!

I want to come off for myself but most of all my partner as he is suffering the most, my son is the only one I hide my true self he sees me as "big momma" and I will never take my emotions out on him, so why can't i do that for my partner??? I suppose those closest to you take the hit!

If anyone has a similar story or support I would be most grateful x

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  • Posted

    Hi there , I was on dihydracodiene for 6 years and it ruined my life , it was only just this christmas past that I realised I had lost everything so I went cold turkey as I knew tappering down was not gonna happen when your addicted especially if you are in control of the tablets . Your Dr should be giving a lot more support than you are currently getting . For me it took 12 days of withdrwl symtoms to go and even though I crave now and then I am in control and feel like ive been reborn if that makes sense. If you feel you are not strong enough to go cold turkey(theres no shame init) please Ring your local NHS direct and ask for help with addiction dont be ashamed of it there plenty of us in the same boat sadley drs just hand out the medication and have no idea what it really does to us.
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    • Posted

      Hi guys. I have just stumbled across this site obviously looking for info and education on DHC. You have all educated me well and I like to say well done to you all for your effort and strength..

      reason I am looking is my partner has an addictive personality and I was prescribed DHC after he got me a few for pain I was in. It worked well so called my gp and and got 100 DHC unknown to me the addiction risk and he began taking a few after rugby etc.. he has previously taken heroin but looks and acts nothing like an addict. I am an abuse victim/survivor now and have gone from 2-3 last few days. I have been accusing him of being back on heroin but reading your detox symptoms he is telling me the truth and he has tried to deal with it on his own..he has been really nasty in his tone to me of last few days. I better stop them now before its to late for me. Just wanted to say thank you and well done to you all. Keep it up!!

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  • Posted

    Hi, I myself like Gary decided to go cold turkey, as by what I've read you will get withdrawal symptoms when you stop. It was really hard for the first week you really need to start near the weekend because the first five days you may need to be close to the loo, it's not pleasant, but every day does get better I too stopped just after

    christmas and can say it's now I'm beginning to feel more like myself everyday.

    you have made the decision to stop so I think mentally you are ready it's good to have

    loved ones support. This site is really good for support as well. Please beleive you can do this it's hard but not impossible just think each day will get better you won't 

    regret it it will be the best thing you've done. Also you have diazepam I have not had

    any experience of these but have seen they can help with sleep during withdrawal so

    maybe you won't suffer that as well. I am now sleeping much better it does get better 

    all the time. Good luck with it all keep us posted and we help all we can.

    tStay strong Ann 

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  • Posted

    Thank you both for your responses I didn't expect anything so quickly and it is comforting to know that there are people out there with the same addiction, symptoms etc. I think in your head you almost feel very alone and I certainly feel embarrassed to talk about it, it's come to a point where I've given in to my stubbornness and admitted I have a big problem and illness, because that's what it is. I am annoyed that the GPs have just re prescribed for so many years unquestioned, it might have taken just one time years ago for a recall to the gp to be assessed and then dealt with.

    I am back at the gp a week Monday and I'm going to unleash my shear emotional and physical pain of the past few weeks. I've only reduced very minimally and I'm completely feeling the affects and I feel I cannot cope.

    How did you do it, going cold turkey? How did you feel, what where your symptoms?

    What would you recommend? I am taking diazepam to sleep and relax I'm going to discuss this with the gp because I'm now relying on those.

    X

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    • Posted

      You have nothing to be ashamed off at all I would say a High percentage of this country are on Opiots and as Ann says you have done the hard part by admitting you need to stop thats half the battle . Yes tell your GP everything when you go , The symptoms I had were non stop backwards and forwards to the toilet with diarrhea for about 4 days(drink plenty of fluids) as well as hot and cold sweats jumpy legs when you are laying down you feel like you have to keep moving your legs (restless leg syndrome Dr can give you medicine to stop it), Insomnia and just being very emotional the smallest things were making me cry as I stated above after 14 days you should start feeling normal again in control of your own mind. Diazepam will probably counter some of the withdrawals anway especially sleeping and jumpy legs so it may be a good idea to keep them for a while until you feel better and stronger. Good luck with your GP God Bless
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  • Posted

    Hi, just to say what my experience was five days of feeling as if I had very bad flu lots 

    of aching upset stomache cramps hot and cold sweats not sleeping well. But after

    that every day got a little better and I kept thinking every day I was not taking a pill

    that kept me going knowing one day I would feel back to normal, it does happen even

    though at the time it's tempting to think I could maybe just take one and be ok You 

    know deep down it won't be, as I say it's not easy, but if you've made up your mind

    You Can Do it I'm sure. Just take one day at a time it won't be easy but it's not impossible it's uncomfortable but it WILL pass its not forever. I wish you well I'm sure

    you will do what's best for you. I shall be thinking of you and I know you are half way there already good luck keep us posted. Stay strong Ann

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  • Posted

    Sounds horrible as the other people have stated your GP should be giving you more support 7-8 years of being reliant on Dihydrocodeine and Diazepam and then Tramadol. These 3 alone are the most addictive prescribed drugs. I myself initially took Diazepam for an injury, yes it was fine at the start i took 1 2 3 4 5 then bang i was taking about 8 10mg per day its horrible.I was then given Dihydrocodeine and again these are great for pain however like any other meds you become immune and need more, all in i was 17 years on Diazepam about 12 years on Dihydrocodeine i was prescribed Tramadol but made me feel like a different person. Anyway it took 2 years to come off the Diazepam with support and counselling and a gradual slow reduction this cant be done in a week and some GPs dont understand this there is no alternative either or substitute.In the end it was 2 years for the Diazepam.The Dihydrocodeine well it was hard and i know exactly how you feel with your reduction date coming soon its a fight and i never want to meet this drug again,i had to tell my GP i wasnt ready as i couldnt stop sweating shaking dizziness sick etc.This should be done slowly also i was prescribed a long acting Dihydrocodeine called DHC 60mg in the morning and 60 mg at bedtime.After a few months i would cut out 1 usually the bedtime then after about 2 years i managed to drop the morning one too,i know ive explained all about my crisis but im sure we are all the same and i hope you get sorted,craving is something that will pass in time they say i do still crave rarely but so glad i kicked it with the support Codeine is horrible and my thoughts are its far to easily prescribed you will beat it but dont blame yourself if you need a lkonger reduction period.Take Care and good luck   
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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply and story, that's a very a long time to be taking those sorts of drugs, I feel I am heading in the wrong direction and needing more stronger tablets just to edge my cravings, this was when I made the decision to seek help with the persuadence of my partner. I can't believe the gps can possibly allow re prescribing to be made so easily. I've have 15 operations and the reason for them not assessing my file was because they "assumed" I still needed them so choose not to question it, even though on many occasions I had taken too many within my repeat dose and they just represcrived even though technically I should have had another 2 weeks worth!?!?

      Anyway my appointment is a week today and I'm going to have to break down again and explain my suffering, I'm a full time working mother and some days I can't believe I carry on, in my head I want to explode and I wish I was no longer here with the pain of it all, however I have a beautiful son and he is my focus to get better.

      The side affects of this reduction are dreadful, today has been especially bad ivd had dreadful stomach cramps, feeling sick and aching all over my limbs not to Mention that sweats as you say you had, also I keep smelling eggy smells none stop to the point it's driving me insane, did you have this?

      I do appreciate your message it's a comfort to know that done one truly understands x

      Keep up with your freedom! X

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  • Posted

    Mrs. Burke, I know exactly what you are going through, because I am going through hell myself as I type here..

    But let me tell you, its hard .. but you will do it, just stick at it.

    I have been reading various internet drug (opiates) forums for years now, but this is my first post, so sorry if I go on a bit.

    Ok here goes.. I have been dependent on Dihydrocodeine for over 6 years now, I was also using tamazipam, diazipam, morphine, tramadol, gees linctus (opium based cough syrup) and drinking a load of alchohol in the evening including a bottle of whisky in 3 days.. I drank a lot to get me to sleep because most nights I just lay wide awake sweating and stressing about negative things, problems with life in general.. family, work etc.. The tablets used to help me sleep, but now they do the oppisite.

    My health has suffered drasicly and I have took the massive step to get off the lot by tapering gradually. I have been telling myself to do it every day for years now, but I have decided it wont kill me and what can I loose.. life cant get any worse than it is being on these dreadfull tablets.. things can only get better, but you have got to do it yourself.. other people can support you, but unless they have had an addiction to opiates or other sedatives they wont fully appreciate what hell you are going through. 

    I am a married 40yr old man with two children and I am a professional carer.

    I used to be the 'picture of health'.. mentally and physically, that is until I found Dihydrocodeine ..

    I was born with club feet and had corrective surgery when I was a child, which causes me agonising pain after walking, especially in winter time.

    Anyway, around 10 years ago I took a few Co-Proxamol from my mothers med cabinet for some pain relief and I found it to be a nice warm soothing sensation and gave me a stress free euphoric feeling like a sense of well being.

    So that was my first (accidental) experince with opiates..

    So a few years later I got some Dihydrocodeine given by a friend who has back pain, so I took a couple and experienced total bliss.. pain free and happy, just like the Co-proxamol I took years before. So when I finished the strip a few days later, I went to my friend for more.. and he gave me more, infact he had box loads of them which he gave me. So after I took them for a month or so, my friend gave me the bad news that he had no more of these tablets left.. I was down to my last strip and as soon as I ran out I felt like my life had been destroyed.. chest felt like it was being crushed, abdomen pain, cold sweats.. paranioa, aggressiveness etc.

    I had to get help, so the next day I went to my doctor and came clean.. I told her I got the tablets from a friend and they were the only thing that could help my pain, well I done well because I got the prescription straight away.. and I got repeat prescription on my next visit.

    Problem was I was only prescribed 8 per day, which was ok at first.. but after a year or two they wernt doing the same for me, so I was taking five at lunch and five at 6pm .. just to feel normal.

    After a while, I was asking my friend to go back to the doctor to get some more for me and I would pay him 20p each.. so he did.

    I was taking 15 a day up til now, I feel terrible .. cant think straight, I cant concentrate, everyday chores are like solving a puzzle, my libido has gone, no interest with anything, appetite has gone and my sense of humour with it.. my wife thinks I dont fancy her anymore .. but these blasted tablets have changed my whole life for the worst.

    The major thing that gave me the kick up the a##e to stop was a shock tactic.. I reccomend anyone who wants to get off any kind of this medication to watch the Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley autopsy programmes .. they gave me a big wake up call and made me think about ruining my life any further.

    I have took up cycling and walking, even though I dont want to.. but I wont sleep, so moderate excercise is my aim to tire me out for bedtime..

    I have dropped one tablet per fortnight and I am down to 7 a day from 15 a day..

    The best way for me was to endure as long as possible without taking any at all, then wait until I couldnt bair it any longer I took four instead of five, then my body went calm after the termoil I put it through.. then a few days later 4 is normal.. then two weeks later, do the same again until your dosage shrinks.

    The first few days are the worst, but cold turkey is too hard on the body.

    I hope you get through this bad time in your life Mrs. Burke, but please keep in mind that your life and health should improve when you have finally got yourself free of this terrible dependancy.. Opiates are probably the worst drug to come off and I am sure there are 1000s of people going through the same hell as we are, but please stay strong and focus on your goal.. the future, and being happy again.

    Same goes to anybody else out there.

     

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    • Posted

      Hi John, you have done so well. I myself had DH for pain although i

      didnt take more than theight I soon became dependant on them.

      they are hard to come off you are doing it exactly right,I got down to one 

      just after christmas,then stopped had five very bad days flu like cramps

      not sleeping well. I can honestly say every day gets better, this is what kept me going, it's now six weeks after about two weeks my sleeping started to improve I then got lots of sneezing fits that are just stopping.

      its six weeks now and I feel really well back to my old self my sleeping

      is good I try to get out walking most days and a regular sleep routine

      has really helped. I just wanted to say all the withdrawals are worth it just

      take one day at a time think positive and you will never look back.

      good luck to everyone going through this it's good to post on here as well.

      stay srong Ann 

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    • Posted

      Hi john

      Thank you for your very touching message I would like to spend a bit of time replying, therefore over the next few days I will aim to do just that.

      I have a 2 year old and work full time and my grandads funeral was yesterday so I'm really not so good I just wanted you to know I had read it and I will reply when I have the time to sit and concentrate x

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    • Posted

      Hi Anne, sorry I havent been on here for a few days.. but thanks for your reply and I reckon you have done yourself and your family proud smile .. its very kind to have your inspirational support and I am sure that everyone reading this will appreciate you giving them a bit of hope to get their lives back to normality again, because there is light at the end of this dark tunnel.. you done well Anne.

      Thank you, John

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    • Posted

      Hi John, you are doing so well. You have given excellent advice to others

      on here. You have to be mentally ready as well to want to stop enough

      which you are, I to saw the Elvis documentary it was very informative about

      thease drugs. They do give dyhydrocodeine to addicts when they sometimes

      get off heroin to manage their withdrawals. That shows how strong they are.

      lLike you said it really is one day at a time, I'm glad you are getting out and

      some exercise, it really does help with the sleep. It will all get better and I 

      know you will make it untill you are DH free. Keep strong good luck to

      everyone, I look forward to your updates take care Ann 

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  • Posted

    thank you everyone for your comments and stories, I too wish everyone all the best to rid themselves of this terrible "hidden" addiction.

    John your story moved me, such a long time to be dependant I can't possibly imagine your state of mind and physical well being, as 8 years seems so minimal compared to you, however although I'm sure that side effects are the same its the mental impact it has as to be on them for that long must be just brain numbing.

    I was born with hip dysphasia and a twist in my femur bone causing my whole left to face out, I couldn't walk properly for many years and I can't do much in regard to sport/exercise just yet as I had a major op last July and am still getting over it.

    Today ivd had the most dreadful day at work, I think that people dislike me and are out to get me if that makes sense, I take everything so personally and I've only been at my new job for 6 weeks and I want to give it up, I feel I can't cope, not only the physical side effects are affecting my day but the mental side effects are the worst! I'm came home and cried my eyes out to my partner, I feel like I'm having a nervous breakdown......how dramatic does that sound really! I'm exhausted by it all.

    Anyway I won't go on, I have my appointment this Monday with the gp and I'll repost my experience, I just need more help, it's almost like I need a time out from everything.

    I hope everyone is getting on well it's nice to have this support and Know I'm not alone x

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    • Posted

      Mrs Burke, I can relate to the way you feel.. honestly. I know what you mean when you say that you think people dont like you, but its just the way we think.. its probably embedded in our brain from being small children, because chances are you might have had a bit of a hard time at school.. or the other kids might have been cruel about your disibility ?.. I might be wrong, but I was a cripple like forest gump at school and got teazed and sniggered at because I walked funny, but I pretended I wasnt bothered.. but really I was.

      I turned very aggressive due to it all and its sort of stuck with me through life.. its a type of defence mechanism which is like fight or flight, disability affects people in many ways.. but some people are mentally stronger than others.

      I found out at a very early age that everyone has problems which they usually dont share, but through life you realise that nobody is perfect.. like if you wernt disabled you might suffer from bad acne, you might have been over weight or you might have had a parent die or you might live in a kids home etc.. funny enough, I was more freindly to these kind of kids when I was young, than the normal kids, because we had something in common.. we were not 'normal'.

      I mention the childhood things because its probably the root of the problem of why you think people dont like you etc.. when really its just the way we think.

      The thing is, when we are in pain and havent been sleeping etc. we are not happy.. so when we are not happy other people pick up on it and most of the time they pre judge, I get people telling me to cheer up and telling me to be more positive.. but its easy for them to say stuff like that lol..

      The Diazipam wont help you either, it just puts problems on pause.. then as soon as you stop taking it, the problems just flood back in tenfold.. Diazipam or Valium is not the best medication to be on for anxiety because in my opinion it makes you worse, it will make you feel worse than the Dihydrocodiene.. especially the day after you took it. A lot of people are taking Gabapentin these days and I had them prescribed along with Amytripteline last year.. I scrapped the Amytripteline and stayed on Gabapentin for a while, but stopped taking them.

      But a few days ago, I started taking 1 Gabapentin just before bedtime and I am sleeping like a log ! .. I feel a bit drowsy on a morning but they are a load better than Diazipam or Temazipam.. They are a pain killer and a nerve medication, so maybe you might want to ask your doctor about them ?

      When you say you are nasty to people close to you, I am too.. and I wish I wasnt, but its probably down to frustration, poor sleep, pain and of course this dreaded medication.. and its hard to explain to people who are not going through this just how bad you feel.

      I reckon you shouldnt be so hard on yourself though, infact you should try and be proud.. because you have a job, which means you are not a quitter ! .. But its no good going into work thinking that folk hate you.. they will need a really good reason to hate you and I reckon its just the way you are thinking, unless you are going round smashing up the photocopiers with a hammer or playing heavy metal music full blast haha ! ..

      You should also try and explain to people that the medication you take sometimes makes you feel ill .. also try not to hide the fact when you are having a bad day and people around you will probably be more supportive toward you.

      Just take one day at a time and keep focused on something you enjoy doing, try and take up a new hobby.. a new challenge maybe.

      I just took up photography, I couldnt work a camera for years lol.. now I am learning and summer is coming soon, so im looking forward to getting out to take some good pictures for the family to enjoy !

      I would also be as honest as possible with your doctor, tell them everything and dont feel ashamed to do so.. afterall, they are here to help us.

      I hope you feel better soon Mrs. Burke and I am sure you will as soon as you get the right pain medication that suits your lifestyle.

      So hang on in there Mrs. Burke and try and bite the bullett, especially at work.. because things are not as bad as you think, honestly.

      All the best, John.

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