Dihydrocodeine Wrecked My Life!

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[b:6af616e9d7]Before anyone takes Dihydrocodeine (prescribed or recreational) Please listen to what happened to me...[/b:6af616e9d7]

I have worked for a GP out of hours service/Ambulance trust as an Urgent Response Assistant been sent to cat B/C trauma, accidents or anyone who sounded \"Urgent\" when ringing the GP out of Hours Service. I did this job from 1998 (it was my childhood dream to work for the ambulance service. It took me 9 years of trying to get in!).

BUT... In 2003 my ambulance with the electronic tail lift broke down so I was using the old \"spare\" that had to use a manual ramp to get patients who were in wheel chairs etc into the rear of the vehicle.

I helped a man in an electric wheelchair into the vehicle (stroke victim weighing around 20st). However he caught the button by accident nearly sending him to fall out of the ambulance, I put my arm out to stop him and \"crack\" went my shoulder, the pain was unbelievable, but it was too late I had damaged my shoulder joint!!!

I was put on the sick by a works doctor for six weeks! I went to see my own Gp who prescribed 100 Dihydrocodeine, taking 2x4 a day for the next two weeks!

That was the start of it.... As soon as I took them it felt amazing! The pain was still there but I didn't care, I felt great!!! The HIGH from these tablets give me a new lease of life!

After a year of taking these (200 every month) the effect was not the same so I took more, 2 became 3 then 4 etc. I went back to my GP who told me that I had developed tolerance and taking a \"few more\" a day was normal and he kept on prescribing and I took more and more (I knew it was wrong but I was happy to get that prescription).

However my GP retired and new doctors took over my practice and I was called in (damn!). He was okay but the truth came out that I was taking 15 a day and he said that he would help me to come off it. The new surgery couldn't keep doctors for long so my problem became un-noticed (but I was happy at that to be honest).

I typed \"Codeine addiction help\" into google and read about *** *** removal for *** from *** *** *** *** so I started to *** two boxes of \"***\" a day into *** *** *** *** the *** *** until my next script was ready. The *** cost me £11.88 a day for two boxes. By now the problem was at its height!

In Oct 1997 I was taking 40 Dihydrocodeine a day and *** four *** boxes of *** (***/***).

That was when I knew I couldn't go on and went to see my GP.

In Dec 2007 I was sent to a substance misuse clinic, finding myself sitting next to heroin addicts waiting my turn to see the doctor (who knew me arghh!!! In fact all the doctors knew me, that is why I kept my secret for so long!) I was told that I was going on a Methadone programme (WHA???) for my opiate addiction! I was told that I couldn't drive anymore, had to inform the DVLA etc OH MY GOD I couldn't believe what was happening to me!?!?!?

In Jan 2009 I went on the sick from work (I was earning £20,000 pa) and was put on 120mls of Methadone per day! I was PAYING for each script so in the beginning it was costing me £6.85 every day!

The withdrawal is horrendous, Pains all over but the worse is the depression I have thought of taking my life over and over again!!!

It is now January 2009, I'm slowly coming off the Methadone. I have gone from 120 mls to now 21mls a day. I am on strong anti depressants to help me cope with life. I lost my job in Dec (last year) due to sickness. (They never knew what was wrong, all my GP had on the sick notes was \"Medication Problem\"wink. I have lost friends, tend to sit in the house all day on my own. I turned 40 in Dec and the big party that everyone was planning for me became just me at home with a visit from my mother and father (but hey I enjoyed it anyway). I can no longer afford things that I took for granted anymore (my car got repossessed in June 08 ) and it looks like I will have to go bankrupt at the end of the month.

I hope others will take notice of what happened to me and will \"think\" before they will take Dihydrocodeine (I'm sure that some people are prone to addiction more than some; ME one of them lol).

[b:6af616e9d7]I would hate to think that this could happen to someone else. Just think twice before you take it please and if you HAVE a problem its never too late to ask for Help! Thank You![/b:6af616e9d7]


[color=green:6af616e9d7][b:6af616e9d7][size=9:6af616e9d7][i:6af616e9d7]This post was edited because it outlined the manufacture of a illegal substance. Dr_Spock[/i:6af616e9d7][/size:6af616e9d7][/b:6af616e9d7][/color:6af616e9d7]

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  • Posted

    Hi James,

    Just a line to wish you all the luck in the future! Well Done so far!

    I live next door to two wonderful people who are both GPs. Her huband was struck off last year from the GMC due to his addiction to dihydrocodeine so I am aware of the danger!

    I read with interest that you worked for doctors/ambulance as its a well know fact that Dihydrocodeine is the number one drug of abuse among people employed within the NHS.

    You can find many doctors, nurses, chemist employees etc who have lost their job due to being hooked upon DHC. Many stories are on the net including my next door neighbour.

    Drugs DO wreck peoples lives like yourself but you are doing well with the reduction and please let me know the end of your story. I'm sure it will have a happy ending.

    ~XXX Julie XX~

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  • Posted

    Hey James. I have recently just started taking Dihydrocodeine, 3 nights ago I started taking them. I started off with taking 4, yesterday it was 5, tonight it is 6. I feel as if I need them all the time already. I saw your story and was wondering if you could help me? Please get in touch xxx
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  • Posted

    Hi, I have been reading through these messages and really wanted to just post a message of hope.

    I was prescribed 3 years ago 30mg DHC x 2 daily following the death of my grandfather. My elderly GP advised me that

    these tablets would help with the pain. He wasn't wrong! 2 weeks later having used the whole months prescription and my GP was writing me another but this time 300 x 30mg/month. Strangely he put this on repeat for 18 months! It was only when a pharmacist refused to give me the prescription and called the BMA and my GP's practice partner that i realised i had a problem. I am now under a different GP and we have been weening off these horrible pills. Although I have been signed off for 4 weeks from work I am on day 11 DHC free. I went from 12 a day and slowly reduced to 4 a day over 3 months. The beginning of this month i started on 2 a day setting myself targets and goals. I then had a couple of days taking half a tablet. The first couple of days off DHC altogether was the hardest! My advice is to keep busy and dont sit about and stock up on Nurofen plus or similar to take off the edge. I have had days where i can hardly move, my joints have ceased and i have craved the DHC but it is a mental thing that has to be overcome. I have now had 2 days without waking up with a stinking headache which feels great. I am actually looking forward to going back to work on Friday. I am not saying this is the solution for everyone but it worked for me and i have had amazing support from my new GP. Be strong if you are looking for hope - all the best......

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    • Posted

      I'm not addicted to dhc but I've been getting terrible headaches coming off naratriptan which was prescribed to me for migraine.

      How often did you get the headaches and for how long did you get them .?

      Good luck

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  • Posted

    Hey..not sure how old your post is..ive just found it.

    how are things now?

    Ive been struggling with a cocodamol 30/500 addictio for over a year ow

    My doctor has dropped me to dihydrocodien 10/500..im determined to make this work and so far im sticking to my dose but the side effect of coming down from the 30 to the 10 are pretty big..

    Have you got any advice on how to cope with the slow recovery? Any advicrfrom someone making the recovery from opiate addiction would be very welcome at this stage..

    our doing an amazing this..one day it will all be a memory..xxx

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    • Posted

      Hi, yes things are good it's been a difficult path and I really sympathise with your situation. I had to take time off work and set myself daily goals. I reduced my meds daily and small amounts. I had severe withdrawal, upset stomach and banging headaches. Sometimes I just lay in bed in the dark. But within a couple of weeks I had gone through the worst of it. I then just stopped taking the DHC one day, it was hard but I worked through it. Now no pills I hardly ever take a paracetamol or ibuprofen and I feel so good.

      I hope it works out for you if you have the willpower you will overcome the addiction. All the best Jason x

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