Cold Turkey

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Hi, unknowingly I went cold turkey from dihydrocodeine last Monday, I didn’t know I had to wean off them, I took my prescription till it ran out!! So, I’ve not had any for 9 days. How long till the sweats, sleeplessness and hopelessness wears off? I’m desperate to feel normal again!

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  • Posted

    Hi Lesleyg14, you have my total sympathy. This time last year I was in exactly the same position after having to stop my DHC cold turkey too. I posted about it but the site seems to have changed. 

    I've managed to blank most of the grimness from my mind, so it's hard to remember all the details but it was pretty damn grim! And disgusting. And exhausting. I think after the really intense immediate withdrawal ended I was shaky for weeks after but getting gradually stronger. Trying to look after myself helped, so resting loads, fluids, staying warm, not doing too much but not doing too little -getting out into the fresh air helped.  

    I think I was still 'marking the time' a month after, but was much much better! I had a lingering cough for ages (my theory being that I'd not really coughed for years after being on so much DHC that my lungs were playing 'catch up'!!) and I've been pretty exhausted ever since but that may be related to other conditions. 

    I really wouldn't recommend cold turkey, as I'm sure you're discovering (!) but a) well done for making it this far - that's amazing progress, and b) you've come this far, it would be a shame to go back, so dig in deep and do as much to look after yourself through this as possible. Also being aware of how you ended up taking regular DHC, acknowledging any dependency or addiction and plan forward without it to manage any condition you may have. I'd still love to go back on strong pain meds but daren't (allergies) and have had to accept a deeper degree of exhaustion and pain and find alternative ways of dealing with it. 

    Hope you feel much better really soon.

    Well done, Pumpkin 

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  • Posted

    hi yeah not nice coming off them l am 5 weeks clean now off them after been giving them as l was on meth for 14 years.they are nasty little pills but if u cut down it makes it bit better.but good 2 weeks of feeling crap but everyone is different hope u don't feel to s**t as l know how hard but it gets better l had no help done it on my own crap mum of 5 to good luck x

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  • Posted

    Hi All. Just some thoughts... And Lesley, I hope you were able to stick with it? It was a while ago you posted your words, and I am new to this, rarely having contributed to a forum before.

    Hmm, it's a tricky one isn't it?! I am a long-term dihydrocodeine user, not an 'addict' as such but will be addicted as I have been taking it for some years. Osteo Arthritis is a bugger, and I have a great deal of pain with it, or rather, I have less pain while taking DHC than without it. We all know that addiction comes with extended use, and that efficacy also drops after a time. But the lesser pain relief even so is worth it, for me - reduction of dose not only worsens the pain, but starts the dreaded cold turkey. Urgh.

    I have been right through it once. I too ran out of meds while on a long backpacking trip in the Scottish Highlands, having walked hundreds of miles and given quite a bit of my codeine to a friend who was with me because she had shin splints and a groin strain after doing the London marathon 2 weeks before! As you can see, I am not such a typical victim, maybe, and was super fit bar the arthritis issue. I would have had enough codeine to get me home after a further week in the hills if I hadn't 'donated' so much in order to help my friend out. I had no idea I would hit the skids with such a crash, and it was 2 days before the penny dropped - I thought I had flu..! I was REALLY, REALLY poorly for 3 days, thought I'd rather die!

    The rest, as succinctly as possible - night arm spasms, sweats, feeling cold, brain-fog etc for around 2 weeks. A period of weather at just the right temperature really helped in the second week after I got home (drove, with frequent stops although driving was a great distraction! I don't know how I managed it, was probably well into an illegal situation). So, 2 weeks, then another 2 of feeling utterly wiped out, though the feeling of hopelessness had passed and I was 'merely' tired to hell.

    Postscript - I had little option but to go back on the stuff as pain control. I didn't start taking (a slightly different formulation, and slow release so no more than average 30mg in the system at any one time, roughly) it until I had to resume work, the whole thing feeling like a dose of flu with similar recovery time with full recuperation ie a month. I am not happy to be on it. I also take tramadol (don't scream at me, please!), a well thought out regime, so I am not addicted to such a great degree to either. The addiction and cold turkey 'types' are not the same, so if I choose to come off either or both it shouldn't be so bad as being on just one or the other. Either way, should you find yourself on the typical 60mg codeine phosphate 4 x a day or 120 DHC 2 x a day it is going to be a b*****d to come off, but you have the option of dropping just one dose a day, or asking for some 30mg tablets to reduce more slowly etc etc. If you are 'self-medicating' this means you are 'an addict' and will need help to get off it - there is about a 95% failure rate to withdraw under self-medication is concerned, and help is very useful for anyone...

    Don't know if this is of any help to anyone - it can help just to have a  bit more anecdotal information. Don't dismiss the stories, real people have real experiences while the 'experts' have theoretical information. Use your common sense when selecting what you feel is real, and DON'T always believe yourself - we are all brilliant at kidding ourselves we are being absolutely honest....  

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  • Posted

    Hi all,

    I’m new. I’m addicted to dihydrocodeine and I hate it. I don’t take as much as what I’ve read others do but i have to take about 5/6 30mg pills with my morning coffee just to feel normal and then i half the rest and take one half maybe every half hour until I’ve taken 8-10 pills in a day. Recently I’ve noticed that I waken about 4-5 am with severe agitation, sweating and I NEED the pills. The pain of withdrawal is awful. Any of you had success beating this and how did u do it? The pain of withdrawal is enough to make me take a few pills so I don’t see a way out of this. I’m nearly 34 and I’m so scared I’m going to die. I drink occasionally Aswell (like once a month) but I’m

    Now starting to worry I’m gonna go to sleep and not wake up. Any help or words of encouragement would be appreciated,

    Anna 

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