Codeine Withdrawals

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  • Posted

    Hi All,

    I sit here writing this in the hope that it helps others going through what I have. 

    I am 3 weeks into codeine withdrawals (21 days today), I find myself looking back on everything I've went through the past 3 weeks and now it all seems to be a distant memory. Don't get me wrong this has been one f the biggest obstacles of my life. 

    It all started a few years ago, my mother was diagnosed with Cancer and the Doctor prescribed Co-Codamol to help with pain and to encourage eating. My mother didn't want anything to do with them so I took thm once when i had a headache and instantly became addicted to the buzz. I took about 100 over a couple of weeks and that was that. No withdrawals nothing. 

    Well fast forward a couple of years and I have a bad back, the Dr prescribes me Tramadol, long story short got addicted to them but was only taking them for a few weeks (one prescription and that was that), Once prescription was out had no choice but to go cold turkey and 4 days later was right as rain better than normal, motivated, happy and in control. 

    So then fast forward 12 months I have sciatica (I think thats spelt right but oh well). So I get some co-dydramol, I start to take these and then for some strange reason I took Neurofen plus, this is when it got serious, 8 months later I'm taking almost 32 a day (£7 a pack it's an expensive habit). I'm in deep here, I don't think i'm addicted, "I just like the high". Then I realised how much of my wages I was spending on these things and I see the video about the Australian rapper that almost died from N+ and I think to myself "I have to get off these". As this thought emurged within the next 2 weeks I come down with the flu (genuine not withdrawals) and I think to myself "i'm ill, i'm going to stop taking the N+ now and just get this out the way". The first 2 days weren't too bad, the flu I had anyway made me sluggish and sleepy and then day 3 & 4 hit, it was hell, I got no sleep what so ever and to make matters worse I constantly felt very very sick but I would only throw up from 9pm -5am and then I would stop but still feel very sick. I didn't get any sleep for 2/3 days, I then went to the Dr on day 4 and explained all, he was very supportive and prescribed me sleeping tablets (which I didn't use, I was determined to do this with just me). I forced boiled vegetables down my throat during this time.... I also made myself take my dog for a walk. Exercise is very good for the brain which is trying very hard to sort itself out during this period.

    On day 5 the physical symptoms cleared up mainly, still had diorhea but a couple of Imodium kept that at bay. This was certainly not the end though.... what I was left with was this empty feeling, I mean I just couldn't be happy, like I didn't know what happiness was and I can tell you now this emptiness was worse than the physical withdrawals to me. I had no energy, no time for anybody, I just wanted to be alone and feel sorry for myself I guess (I wasn't depressed though more like extreme boredness). I thought "is this feeling ever going to go? Am I ever going to be normal again? What if I don't? What if I need the pills to be happy now?" Well my answer now is Yes, I am going to be happy again and I am now. Everyday gets better and better and now I hardly ever think of Codeine, sometimes it pops into my head but its literally for the shortest period. 

    The reason i write this is because I see alot of forums with people saying "i'm on day3, i'm on day 4" etc etc but then they dissapear. I struggled to find help for these longer lasting issues I was having. 

    I am now 21 days sober from codeine and I feel almost back to normal, I love life again, I enjoy music, I enjoy films, I enjoy company. I've got in touch with alot of friends that I Neglected while I was taking N+ and I'm now making the effort to see them and get out and about. 

    Withdrawals are hard but I assure you it is temporary, it is! And if you're feeling down get in front of the mirror and tell yourself to man the f**k up haha! At about day 10 I had to have a stern conversaton with myself. It basically went "This isn't you, you're better than this, you'e never been a p***y so whya re you acting like this now, man up". Self motivation really helps me, i don't know why it just does, convincing myself i'm better than all this was jsut something I had to do".

    One thing to remember though is we're not superman its not always going to be 5 days and we're back to normal. You have to give yourself and your body time to heal and it can take a few weeks but it will happen.

    I would recommend when possible to have the first week off work, there was no way I could work, not efficently. I was a mess for the first week but it just has to be done. 

    I am here for anyone with questions. Everyone's different and withdrawals can vary but ultimately our bodies and minds are beasts!!!! You will get better and feel normal it just takes TIME!!

    If this helps even one person I will be happy. I just wated to make it clear this isn't always 4/5 days and then you get up feeling normal. If you are in later stages of withdrawal and feel down IT IS NORMAL but again IT IS TEMPORARY!

    Love ya'll xx

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  • Posted

    Hi Sweat. I am glad that you got through your codeine withdrawals, and feel OK again now.  As your experience shows, you can use opioids every day for a couple of weeks without any withdrawals, but when you use them for a minimum of 4 to 8 weeks, most people develop physical dependence, which includes craving, tolerance and withdrawals. Before I say anything else, I have to emphasise that people vary a lot in how they respond to opioids, so getting hooked and getting off them can be quite different for people using different opioids, with different genes/personality, etc.. Also, withdrawals from different opioids share a lot of common symptoms, but there's also some notable differences.  A lot of the withdrawals are the 'opposite' of what you feel on opioids like codeine and heroin. Most notably, the opioid high involves euphoria (intense happiness), whereas the withdrawal feeling you describe of nothing making you happy, that is dysphoria.

    But just to focus on one key point, you say a few times that withdrawals are temporary and handleable.  That again depends on the type of opioid drug and the pattern of consumption. Codeine is not as potent as heroin, so heroin is regarded as harder to come off. Also, some withdrawals are so intensely dysphoric and painful, and get worse over days or weeks, that people can't handle more than 2 to 4 days of them (which is why withdrawing bloggers often disappear around the half-week point).  Some opioids have longer-lasting effects - such as methadone (24-30 hours), and consequently the withdrawals last hell of a lot longer - with methadone this can be a month to 3 months, compared with a week or two for heroin.  To cut a long story short, many people, for the reasons just discussed, will find 'cold turkey' undoable, and will need to detoxify with reducing doses of opioids in order to successfully abstain. Others just stay on the same dose indefinitely (called 'maintenance'), which is not a big problem if you can afford them or get a free/cheap prescription, because most opioids are fairly non-toxic. Anyway, good luck with your new opioid-free existence!

     

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    • Posted

      Hi BadNews,

      Thank you for your post, I agree with you 100% when you say different drugs can give you different withdrawals but this post was aimed at codeine users. I have dabbled with drugs like cocaine and weed but I have never taken anything such as heroine.

      I wrote this post for codeine users as this was my drug of choice and I have read ALOT about people withdrawals and to be honest all of them are the same (to a certain degree). I honestly believe that anyone can get sober from this drug IF they have the right mindset and determination to put it behind them. I could never write about a heroine addiction as I have never taken it or researched it.

      I mainly posted this because the longest I could see someone from withdrawing from codeine was about the same as me 3/4 weeks.... Then they disappear, now I just can't believe that everyone relapses, I would much rather think they feel like I do and do not feel the need to carry on posting.

      My post was aimed at people addicts to codeine and people going through what I have, to give them hope and to reassure them that they can do it.

      I do not disagree with a word you've said you seem very knowledgeable but I just feel that having a life without codeine is obtainable for anyone. I do not doubt it's hard and I know not everyone will be OK within 3/4 weeks but I strongly believe they will be better again if they stick it through.

      Thank you again for your post.

      I wish you well my friend

      Sweatz

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  • Posted

    Well done Sweats 😊 I tapered from 96-100 N+ when I managed to get to 32 per day my hubby and I worked out our method....... 8 tablets every 4 hours for a week.

    7 tablets every 4 hours for a week. 6 tablets every 4 hours for a week.......

    I'm now on 3 tablets every 4 hours now and its HARD! I've literally had no sleep except. yesterday my Dr gave me some lorazepam and I had a good night. I've ordered myself some 5HPT so hopefully that helps as I have 3 children to look after lol! I hope you are doing ok.

    Take care

    Kate X

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    • Posted

      Hi Kate,

      Wow, you must be very proud of yourself! Tapering takes some serious determination and will power!

      I am now 4 weeks free of codeine and I feel really good. At one point I never thought I'd feel myself again but now I feel refreshed.

      I wish you luck on the rest of your tapering and whatever it brings after! It's hard busy so worth it!

      Sweatz

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  • Posted

    Hello. Its been awhile so I hope you successful recovered from your opiate withdrawal.

    I'm starting my recovery today. I'm going to do the taper method following a plan that my amazing doctor wrote for me.

    I think anyone who withdrawals from any drug cold turkey are amazing !! I've tried it a few times with codeine but relapsed within hours. The only way for me to do this is tapering off slowly.

    I was originally on codeine for a hernia about 6 years ago and my previous doctor prescribed me 60mg codeine 2x daily. Soon enough I was hooked. I loved it. Unfortunately as we all know the dopey high wore off and I had to take them just to feel ok. Luckily for me I never went any higher than 60mg 2x daily. I was swaped over to DHC about 4 years ago when I told my doctor I didn't want to come off it. Bizarre doctor but never mind. Now I'm sick of it. I've never been so constipated in all my life. I can't lose weight. I can't think clearly and I've lost my short term memory. No doubt its doing terrible things to my brain and other organs.

    I'm coming off this rubbish this time slowly but surely. I'm going to keep posting on here to keep me focused on my goal. Any support will be greatly appreciated and I will support anyone else that is going through anything similar be it codeine, weed, heroin or whatever. Thanks for reading and good luck to you if you're doing this too.

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