Im about to cold turkey from codeine and im scared!

Posted , 11 users are following.

Hi from Australia guys and girls! Ive been addicted to codeine for about 10yrs taking up to 60 tabs a day which is crazy i know, but ive go down over the last week to about 10.

Here in Australia codeine has been banned from sales due to the affects on ppls live which is a good move BUT!! has forced me to go cold turkey as im not getting a script for it i refuse!!

Now im about to detox from it and it frightens me as i am a full time worker who cannot take time off from work, so life is about to get hard real fast! And what worries me is how i will perform at work. Ive read a lot off the story's on here and it great to see ppl have kicked this nasty habit, but now its my turn to step up to the plate! ive just deposed off the last off my tabs so with in 12-24hrs it begins.

Anyway its Saturday atm and in a few days ill find out how strong i really am and all i can say is, id be liying if i said im not scared.



0 likes, 46 replies

46 Replies

  • Posted

    Hey Nathan, 

    Firstly good for you, I won’t lie it’s hard I’m 10 days in and it’s my second time kicking the habit, the first couple of days is the hardest, by day 3 or 4 the worst of it starts to be over. I suggest get your self some immodium and some beacon ibuprofen, ibuprofen will help with the muscle aches and pains I’ve been taking 2 ibuprofen and 2 panadol and it’s helped heaps. It’s a hard road but stay as mentally strong as you can, I shed a lot of tears over the last week. But know your not alone, don’t try to push your self to do to much sleep when u can, I got some over the counter sleeping tablets and some magnesium for the muscle cramps,  hot showers help do what ever u can to make yourself comfortable. It’s a big step going CT, but if I can do it you can defiantly do it too. Keep me posted on how your going if you need to chat I’m here. 

    • Posted

      Thanks Neena for you're reply, its going to be real hard as im a PT instructor in the Australian Army training new recruits so unfortunately i cannot just chill out and take thinks easy! Its so ironic me teaching others how to be their best when i cannot get my act together.

      The worst part is im going on training exercises in a few days so imagine how thats going to be lol. All this started from a back injury i suffered from lifting heavy weight in the gym years ago...

      Anyway thanks for the reply it means alot because as i said im a combat soldier and its a lonely life...


    • Posted

      Oh gosh that’s going to be tough, yep I know what your saying I’m actually a nurse and should have known better myself. It’s funny how we can teach others others but can’t teach our selves. Mine started from breaking both my legs in multiple places, and my hip, I got to a stage I was taking 30-40 tablets a day to keep me going and able to function and work. I do have to say I was glad that the laws changed here in Australia because I knew I could finally kick the habit. These 10 days havent been the easiest I e had good days and bad, I’m just really good and faking it through a work day. The most I’m dealing with now is just still feeling a little unbalanced, and the chills at times, legs are still a tad restless at night but the magnesium helps heaps. I can’t say I would have kicked this habit had laws have not changed. My biggest fear is not knowing how to deal with life with out it so to speak, i was on it for so long I don’t remeber who I was with out it. I do hope you will be able to hold it together while your away. 
    • Posted

      Hi Neena, I read your reply to Nathan, I had same problems as you when I did cold turkey, I can't take ibuprofen at all but I was interested to see magnesium , which magnesium because I bought citrate and they cause laxative symptoms so on top of coming off codeine the magnesium caused that as well .

      Well done to you .

    • Posted

      Hi Marry, 

      My pharmacist is actually a compound pharmacist and she made these magnesium tablets for me at they are Magnesium Glycinate 1000mg, I started taking two in the morning and two half an hour before bed a week before going CT, now they don’t get rid of muscle cramping completely nor the RSL’s completely but they have made it tolerable. I shouldn’t be using ibuprofen at all either.m, but when I was taking 30 -40 Neurofen plus a day with that amount of ibuprofen, i figure if I’m only using two standard ibuprofen tablets every 3-4hrs well that’s a whole lot less than what I was taking, with the amount of Neurofen plus I was using. It’s ok if you have access to be able to do a medical supervised detox but in Nathan’s predicament that’s not going to be able to work when the choosen method is using suboxone which u have to visit the chemist daily to be administered. Due to his working away with the defence force I doubt that would be possible, but yes I agree it is a safer route. I decided to go CT because I felt the only way I was going to learn my lesson and stay off these drugs was to feel every horrid withdrawal to ensure I wouldn’t want to go through it again. The first time I came off it I was in a medical induced coma because I had peotic ulcer burst (use caused by these tablets) that nearly killed me. But I never felt the withdrawal so as soon as I was back on feet, and back at work my hips were giving me hell so I decided to just grab some to help ease the pain, next thing I new I was hooked again. I had been on these things for 12 years, and I’m so god damn thankful I’ve been forced to get clean due to these laws. Withdrawal is scary if you don’t know what your going to face as some people don’t get all the symptoms, but then others get the lot it’s just how ever your body is going to react. 

  • Posted

    Hi Nathan, with taking that amount my first thought was how is this guy still alive, I think you are very brave to even think of doing cold turkey, I thought it hard enough doing on the amount I was on and only been on 2 yrs, you would be better off doing on supervision of your gp, wish you luck .
  • Posted

    Thanks for the replys Mary and Neena! ive been to the doctors and its wasn't what i was expecting, the first one just said well what do you expect me to do! I was quite mad at him with his response and said back well do you're job and help me thru this. The second one just gave me anti depressants which will be useless, im not depressed im withdrawing! so it was not quite what i was expecting.

    you here all the time theirs help out there for ppl to get off this stuff but when you try no one even give a dam.      Yes it will be harder for me as im going on a two week training exercise in the Northern territory for combat training so imagine how hard that's going to be lol. Ive always wondered what those ppl at the chemist are doing every morning lining up going into a small room then coming out with a little empty cup! i guess i know now...

    Thanks everyone its good too here from you and i hope alls well for both off you!


    • Posted

      Good luck Nathan and let us know how your going along the way, your right there isn’t much help out there. Just know your not going through it alone, there is others out there. Keep us posted, 
    • Posted

      Hi Nathan , After reading your last reply I really feel for you , I had the support from my gp but I am in England , I wish you all the luck in the world , it's going to be but you can do this , keep us up to date we are rooting for you .

  • Posted

    Hi Nathan,

    I feel for you. I was in a similar situation. I'm also from Australia. I was averaging 60+ tablets a day, sometimes going up to 90+ tablets a day. I ended up in hospital twice because I was taking Ibuprofen and codeine (Nurofen plus) and the ibuprofen was causing microscopic bleeding that over a long time caused anemia. My iron was dangerously low. I was quite lucky I didn't do anything worse.

    I'd been addicted for 5+ years. It wasn't always that bad but over time just slowly crept up to that level. I tried so many different things, cold turkey, taper etc, with various degrees of success. I did full cold turkey twice but only lasted a few weeks before relapsing.

    Have you ever done cold turkey before? Do you know what to expect? I think its different for everyone. For me, the biggest issues I had were lethargy, painful and restless legs, and insomnia. At some points I barely had the energy to get up off the lounge. At other points I had enough energy to jog around the block which I found helped my painful/restless legs. I found that the first 48-72 hours were the absolute worse in terms of physical pain, but then after that the physical starts to improve and it was only the insomnia that was the worst part. I don't want to scare you, but I do want to share what I experienced. Keep in mind you might have a completely different experience. The thing I found to be the biggest relief were hot baths. I'd be having ten baths a day as it completely relieved my aching legs and I was able to rest. God I loved those baths. I think the insomnia was really hard as well. It's like psychological torture. One thing I can recommend with it is to try and not stress or panic when you find you can't sleep. You just have to accept that it's part of the process. I find that if you accept it, it makes the experience somewhat less stressful.

    From what I've heard, codeine isn't one of the harder opiates to withdraw from. My best description is that it isn't excruciating, it's just extreme, constant discomfort.

    Anyway, I had seen GPs about my addiction and gotten mixed results. Most of them said the same thing. They couldn't do much. At best they were indifferent, at worst they were judgemental. But I don't think that should stop you from trying to seek help. Mostly they referred me to my local drug and alcohol facility at my local hospital. I tried contacting them but I was never able to get through to anyone. I left a message and never heard back. Anyway, after a time I had read about addiction specialists. I found one that was close to where I work. He is a GP but also a specialist that can treat opiate addictions. I went to see him and he was totally understanding. He was not judgmental, he had seen it all. He basically offered to put me on a treatment of either methadone or suboxone. You'll probably see a lot of people online that will suggest that going from codeine to methadone or suboxone is trading in an addiction from one fairly weak opiate to an extremely powerful one, but at the levels that I was taking (and you) its something to consider. 

    Anyway, I had done some research and thought that Suboxone might be the right treatment option for me. I started on 10mg daily which I had to go to the clinic to pick it up from. I've been on it for about 18 months now and slowly tapering down and am now down to 0.8mg. This has been a god send for me. The Suboxone was enough that there was no pain or withdrawal and I didn't feel the need to get high or take codeine. No more chemist hopping. No more smashing 50, 60, 70 pills a day. No more taking massive amounts of ibuprofen just to try and get the codeine. I've stayed out of hospital, my iron levels are back to normal, I feel healthy. I see my GP/addiction doctor every few weeks and he monitors me. I'm hoping that soon I can try and get off the Suboxone. I understand I've still got a way to go, but it has been such a better experience.

    Please let us know how you are doing.

  • Posted

    Thanks for everyone reply! im feeling ok i guess its been about 36hrs since i last had some, i know it will be worst tomorrow but compared to what Army life throws at you this will be a challenge for me! and im taking it on.

    unfortunately i cant take baths we dont even have them at the barracks lol so thats out, i guess my live is alot different from you guys and as i said before im about to embark on Military training in the outback in the NT were ill be sleeping in swags on the hard dirt, flys everywhere and really hot so its going to be hard!

    Ive never gone CT before so that will be fun im sure lol but i will say im very fit and like to think im mentally tough.

    Im not sure replacing codeine with a stronger drug (Suboxone) will work with me, as i cant just take off each morning to be treated its just impossible! So all i have is my will power and thats going to have to do.

    thanks for everyone support as its really helping me thru this difficult time and ill keep you updated to how im going if im still alive lol jk cheers to all off you!


    • Posted

      It sounds like you have the right attitude at least, and yeah it's not like it's not doable. Plenty of people get through it. It sux, but it won't kill you.

    • Posted

      Hi Nathan , You can do it, I was offered paracetamol and took that . you have will power , your strength , your belief, worthitin the end .
  • Posted

    Hi Nathan...I’m so pleased to see another Aussie who knows exactly what I’m going through at the moment. Unfortunately I’ve had a dreadful 15 years on nurofen plus...up to 30 a day. The past couple of years I didn’t even want to take them anymore but was terrified of the withdrawals so that on top of having to go everywhere to get them was ruining what was left of my life. Aso having to tell my husband was the worst. I also work full time in a very stressful environment...but anyway long story short...I’m nearly on day 6....but day 3 and 4 was when I realised I needed help and went to the gp....who had no idea how to help me...she had no experience...I told her she better get some because I wouldn’t be the last person she’ll see with this problem. She has referred me to a clinic and I’m going there tomoro. I’m happy these laws came in too...because like another comment I read here I probably wouldn’t have stopped. But now after going through what I’ve been though these last few days...there is no way in hell im going through this again! I wish u all the best and look forward to hearing how you get on. 
    • Posted

      Hi im still going ok no real problems yet even though its been nearly 3 days im feeling ok no toilet problems no vomiting just a bit rattled i guess so far it ok.

      what i was annoyed about was all the chemist saw me come in for 10yrs and never stopped me from buying!

      I know its my fault to off course but they have a duty off care  which was never done! and now when i think about it makes me quite mad. My brothers a lawyer so he wants me to take action against these chemist as i have more the proof i need as i kept all the boxes which have the names off the chemist on them but i probably wont,but i have been in to see them and blasted them and they all look quite frightened lol. Any way thanks for your support and i hope everyone on here stays strong as i know we can all do it together

    • Posted

      Excellent !!!! 

      Yep I know your feelings towards chemist the day before they went off the market I went to pick up script for my daughter the chemist goes how many boxes would you like seeing they are going off tomorrow!!!  Thankfully I declined the offer and said none my mind was made up... but I wonder how many others took up that offer. I was angry but I accept it was my fault I have wasted thousands of dollars on these drugs and I just thankgod I’m finally away from them. Day 12 and feeling great!!! 

    • Posted


      how are u gong. I’m on day 8...not a good day today but still mentally ok lol. 

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