Codeine phosphate addiction for 3 years what can i do?

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Hello fellow forumers,

Im elma from london and about 3-4 years ago i discovered co-codamol in pharmacy for painful periods i started taking it as i was told to and when i noticed the pleasant sensation that follows i started swallowing more and more until i reached about 2 packs of 18 per day but about a year a half ago i got admitted to hospital due to some health problems and i discovered the codeine phosphate 30mg and 60mg and i started lying about having pain just to have it prescribed and since that admittion i have other health problems and chronic pain but because of the addiction i have to take up to 22 tablets of 30mg codeine phosphate a day to take away the paine but also to "feel good" .

About 2 weeks ago i told my doctor about my addiction and he prescribed gabapentin to help with the restless leg thing but it's not working and for the pain he prescribed tramadol which i am taking up to 20 tablets a day to replace the codeine. Now i realise how bad this is as i got my liver damaged because of the cocodamol and i want to stop, to get my life back on track, i can not go cold turkey i can not bear the restless legs and the chills and my moods so i wanted to know if anyone stopped the addiction and how and if any medication prescribed by GP could help? I don't want to end up in the drug misuse centres or rehabs and have my name in their files forever. And if there is any tricks to avoid the restless leg thing which is the most annoying for me. Thank you guys for reading me through and any help is more than welcome.

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  • Posted

    Elma you are doing serious harm to your kindneys and liver. Please pm if you need informationon how to extract the acetominoiphen and isolate the codeine. Once weve done that we can begin to worry about the codeine but you have to live long enouigh for me to offer any assistance.

    Please google acetominophen or paramecetol toxicity and overdose  or whatever its called in your country.

    6 grams of acetominophen a day can be fatal

    22 tablets with 50mg acet + 11 grams or 11000mg

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paracetamol

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  • Posted

    ooops sorry, glad you are off the codeine!
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  • Posted

    sorry for all the short replies...

    any opiate withdrawal is uncomfortable but the lenght and severity of the discomfort can be exponenetially mitigated by tapering slowlt to the lowest possible amount before deciding to quit. It is not a race. For some people it can take a year other much less but it is ALWAYS better to jump off at the lowest tdose you can manage. I just tapered off buphrenorphine which is often consided less pleaant thqat a CT herion withdrawal. It oll me over a year and by end I was taking 0,125 mg evry other dasy and the nlowest available dosage in canada is a 2mg tablet. I took my time and suffered no discomfort whatsoever and have no evidence of PAWS.

    I know the horror of resltless leg, insomnia. GI distress, anxiety, chills, sweats, sneezes..been there done that by trying to get off any form off opiate to fast.

    Hope this helps. I can help you with a taper sch3edule but you should probably do mthat with your prescribing MD>.

    sorry for the acetaminophen rant earlier..I doidnt read your whole thread before I launched into that. Please forgive me.

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  • Posted

    gabapentin is a realy good choice to help with RLS. Pregabalin is the newer version but it may not be generic in your area yet.

    It is really only helpful as an analgesic for nerve pain so it is no surprise it did not help with your pain. 

    Tolerance to gabapentin and pregabalin happens vey quickly. If you do not need it for the RLS because the tramadol is relieving it then save it until  you come off the tramadol. It can be a lifesaver.

    It can be off label precsribed at much higher than FDA approved limits if necessary. I take 900mg Lyrica (pregabalin) a day for my PTSD but have been prescribed as much as 4 grams a day (pregablin is 2X the strength of gabapentin so that would be 8 grams of gabapentin.) for WD relief.

    OTC aids are lopeamide for diarrhea (loperamide is aslo an opiate derivative but will not interfere with your withdrawl process as it does not cross the BB barrier)

    and any anithistimine with sedative properties may help with sleep but I would ask for 10 or 12 valium tablets from your dr to help get a  little rest.

    Don't discoun the thebenfits of endorphins. Even if you feel like you are walking through JELLO a 20 minute walk/swim/jog can do wonders for wellbeing and sleep ...even if it feels impossible do it anyway.

    I found baclophen and/or clonidine to also be helpful but need to be presecribed.

    Good luck!

     

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    • Posted

      last thought..promise.

      Another common medication for RLS is MIrapex 

      Pramipexole (Mirapex, Mirapexin, Sifrol) is a dopamine agonist of the non-ergoline class indicated for treating Parkinson's disease (PD) and restless legs syndrome (RLS).

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  • Posted

    I don't blame you for not wanting to go to the drug misuse centre as that's where I ended up for my codeine addiction and was placed on subutex and 11 years later still battling to come off this. It sounds like you have a good GP as he hasn't just referred you their and already prescribed gabapeton which is normally quite good although I'm on pregablin which also helps with anxiety is it possible you could with your GP come up with a taper plan with the tramadol and are you on the slow release one? I think a taper plan is the way to go personally as you really don't want to be placed on subutex for years and daily pick ups from the chemist and this is where it could lead. Cold turkey would be very difficult from this high dose sorry can't be of more help but would definitely act now and start a slow taper plan down it will be worth it but you have to be determined and strict with yourself and be prepared for some quite severe mood drops maybe starting a course of antidepressants may help you get through this. You are not alone opiate addiction is getting so common I have already been through 2 detoxes to get off the subutex and relapsed both times because of the post acute withdrawal symptoms I start my 3rd and final detox at home on the 5th June. You will get a lot of help on here please try to avoid being prescribed subutex though all the best xx

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    • Posted

      I don't want to quit something yo get addicted to something else it would be the same. I just want to get back to my normal life i had a pretty good life i was happy and everything was fine and even i remember once when i came to london i was prescribed cocodamol but a strong dosage and it was the first time ever i took codeine it made me sick so i threw the box after just one tablet and few months later i got back to it and here i am now but thank you for your help tomorrow i'll go back to my gp first thing in the morning have a double appt and discuss a taper plan . The gabapentin didn't really help even though i abused on it so the taper plan sounds the best thing i could do and i will see if any sleeping pills or anything that could help alongside the taper. Thanks a lot for your answer i feel a lot less lonely and understood. Hope everything is going well for you too and i think we all need to find a good reason to motivate us . Xox

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    • Posted

      Bless you hun I would hate to see anyone else get the same treatment as I did subutex is so much more powerful than codeine it has wrecked 11 years of my life and all I got was a apology and how it should never have been prescribed I've been on it so long it will take ages before my opiate receptors return to normal and I have such a long recovery ahead which I'm terrified about but know I have to do good luck with your apt remember maybe the pregablin it does seem to help with the withdrawal and yes sleeping pills would help as the sleep deprivation can drive you mad. Keep us posted as to how you get on it would be so good to get it sorted and put it behind you lots of luck to you xx

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    • Posted

      Oh god i really feel for you because my codeine addiction started as a treatment in hospital too and at the beginning i wasn't aware of all the crap it could cause and before i started the codeine i was on a lot of morphine IV so they though codeine would be the best and i agreed because docs always know the best but instead of telling me what it was and how it works they prescribed 100tabs and let me go home after a month being supervised at hospital so once at home the pain was sometimes unbearable and i started throwing a third tab in my mouth and after that whenever i go back to hospital or gp for a refill they would do without even asking what's for! And that was for over a year i only mentioned the addiction to my new gp of 3-4 months . Anyway i wich you all the best and even if it is not as easy as it sounds but impossible is nothing, we should be able to put an end at this new kind of slavery because for myself i feel like im a slave of a few small white tabs and it kills me but the need is so strong sometimes i just can't fight it, with that been said i am decided to come off this crap and i will do it might take time but i will come off it and this starts tomorrow. I feel so bad and ashamed as im supposed to be doing the fasting and i have to lie about me fasting when im not really . But from tomorrow all this will be changing and thanks to you guys talking about it fills me al of a sudden with a lot of confidence and motivation. Wish you the best Tez message me if you want to talk it through sometimes it does a lot to just talk. Blessing Xxx

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much for your kind words it's a terrible battle we all face but talking to others who are going through the same or have managed to recover really does help. I had no idea what subutex was when I was prescribed it and for how many years I would be on it if only my GP had given me the option of a taper plan instead of treating me like dirt really my life could have been so different I feel very angry at the way I was treated and although I have had a apology and to focus on the future not the past well that is easier said than done x good luck at your apt tomorrow let me know how you get on lots of best wishes to you xx

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  • Posted

    Hello my friends hope you guys are doing well.

    Just came back from the pharmacy and i have seen the doc we agreed on a taper plan i'll see him every week now and we agreed that i drop from 22 pills a day to 12 now and all this week i'll be taking max 12 a day but i am determined to take even less than that . At the beginning when i started talking to him he straight away wanted to refer me to a drug centre but the idea made me cry my eyes out so he told me we'll first try the taper plan then see what could happen. I had prescribed alongside the codeine i had diazepam 5mg and lyrica ( pregabalin ) 75mg twice a day and i even told the pharmacist about it . So i hope with these meds here i can make it through and just the thought of me free of the crap makes me so happy but i might need some prayers please guys and thank you to everyone of you for what you have said it means a hell lot to me to feel so much understood and supported . Thank you thank you and 1000000000 thank you guys 😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘

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  • Posted

    Hi elma 

              codeine addiction is more common than you think so your not on your own .. however from your story it shows your keen to get off the codeine but you need some serious help 

               many gp,s now refer people to their local drug services however many are placed on either methadone ( used primarily for heroin addicts ) or subutex which is a pain receptor blocker combined with a strong opioid called buprenorphine ... both these are also addictive especially methadone and it still leaves you in the addictive cycle ..

              personally and if i was your gp i would slowly (very slowly ) taper you off the codeine by reducing you by one 30mg co-codamol per month ... and would even consider transfering you to the codeine only tablet ( codeine phosphate) and since they come in 15mg strength you could even reduce by 15mg per month .... with your current 20 x 30mg tabs a day addiction this would take around 3 years ... however if you could manage 15mg per fortnight then this could be reduced to 18 months ...

                     placing you on a stronger medication such as methadone is counter productive and simply gets you hooked on a even stronger medication ( around 10 times stronger than codeine ) 

                    ive been in your situation with a 8 year methadone addiction but have managed to kick this and been clean now for 8 months .... it was tough but can be done ( in combination with support and even counselling ) 

                    finally the liver damage is a concern but the liver can repair itself pretty quickly... 

                 i know you feel in a dark and lonely place at the moment but you need help .... and your gp is wrong by simply replacing the codeine with tramadol .... the choice is yours .. if you want to get off codeine and tramadol you should be able to .....

                speak to your gp about the codeine reduction i described above ...and insist on the codeine only tablet as this will not harm your liver which the codeine and paracetamol would 

             i wish you the best elma with your recovery 

                best wishes 

                   brian XX 

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    • Posted

      Brian,thank you so much for your answer. I am actually on codeine phosphate only i don't take paracetamol any more because the damage to my liver is done already. But now the thing is the taper plan. I droped from 22 to 12 codeine now and i do take lyrica and diazepam and i find they both don't help a lot at the doses i'm taking. I eaither need higher doses or need to change medication. And i don't want to get hooked on something else i have got enough in my plate with the codeine so this is it for me. I will come of these and after that i will never take anything without being so cautious about it. And i would never ever trust doctors again. My mistake is me believing whatever i have been told when i was at hospital they gave me a hell lot of things without me asking them or them telling me what are the dangers. Anyway now im in a good GP and i will do my best to get off this crap the sooner the better. But thank you ever so much for your answer and support i feel so much better now.

      Take care of yourself 😚😚😚

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    • Posted

      hi elma 

            yeh,the problem is back in the 80,s ( and 70,s ) a doctor was a person you could trust ... and if he said take these tablets we would happily do so,however drug companys are now pushing gp,s to prescribe tablets to A) make the drug company money and B) make the gp and pratice money .... the patient isnt included within this and is simply ( im my opinion ) a guinea pig ....  

                you will be able to do it ... and with your good and supportive gp there is light at the end of the tunnel 

                   i wish you well wink

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    • Posted

      We seem to all be guinea pigs with this problem i can't wait till Monday to begin my detox off subutex madness put on subutex for a codeine addiction then 11 years later still battling then will go on lofexidine for subutex withdrawal then hey ho slide into paws I find it very hard to trust a GP or drug worker again but what I do know is what ever happens never again will I turn to opiates been hell of a journey and cant wait to be free xx

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    • Posted

      This is true tez ..but the only person you should trust is yourself. ..like I mentioned gp,s and drug companies are profit incentified and this is probably why many codeine addicts are put on long term meds such as methadone and subutex. .no quality of life for the addict but healthy profits for the drug company. ..what a sad would we live in
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    • Posted

      Yes your right on all accounts and yes what a sad world is it true that the chemists who prescribe the subutex and methadone get more money for these patients sure I heard that someone but boy the judgemental treatment we get the disapproving stares having to wait longer etc for being in that que! !! X
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    • Posted

      Brian I can't unscramble my head to dm you I'm really struggling now been detoxed off the subutex for over a week but still got physical symptoms sweats bad stomach now mental crash zero energy can you give me any tips on anything which will help please 😣

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