My story- Codeine addict! I hope it helps you!

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im 34 years old, i was First prescribed 30/500mg codeine for a back problem 15 years ago. As the years went by i became addicted. the doctor prescribe me 100 tablets every three weeks. However, it was never enough! So I started searching the Internet, started going to local pharmacies, and when that wasn’t enough I would travel 30 miles plus Just to get some Over-the-counter medication i.e. Co-Codamol. It was basically taking over my life, I would wake up in the morning and the first thing I would do is take eight tablets in one, two hours later I will take another eight and so on... I started getting into debt I was spending roughly £14 a day on over-the-counter medication (nurofen plus) as well is having 100 tablets prescribed from the doctor per month....My mood changed I became depressed and I even left my job as i didnt have time in the day to go and find more codeine.. About six months ago I decided enough was enough and I made an appointment with my doctor. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done admitting I was an addict. The doctor told me I could either slowly decrease the amount I was taking (tried that) or refer myself to turning point (NHS drug misuse clinic) so that’s what I did, I referred myself to Turning Point and I’ve never looked back . I spoke to a practitioner in Turning Point about how much I was taking and it was decided that buprenorphine would be the best course to take. In order for buprenorphine to work you have to Withdraw from codeine for 24 hours once you have withdrawn you are then prescribed buprenorphine. I started on 12 mg per day the first couple of days were difficult however once it was settled in my system, I then started to feel a lot better. you have to Withdrawl from codeine for 24 hours, once you have withdrawn you are then prescribed buprenorphine. When you our prescribed buprenorphine, you are supervised by The pharmacist and you have to attend every day until your practitioner at turning point feels you’re able to be put on collections. I was Supervised for 6 months. I haven’t touched a codeine Tablet since day one of the 24-hour withdrawl. The buprenorphine changes the way your body reacts, it makes you think you’re taking codeine when you’re not and helps with the symptoms from withdrawal. Today I have started my buprenorphine reduction I am reducing half a mill every two weeks to make sure that I don’t relapse and dont feel the withdrawl symptoms.. I am 100% committed to never touching codeine again. I nearly lost my family, my home and my own sanity. Buprenorphine is only addictive if you misuse it. You’re practitioner will put you on the right amount so that you don’t become dependent on it. Be honest with them, so they can work your dose out! ANYONE CAN REFER THEMSELVES TO A MISS USE DRUG CLINIC

i hope this helps 😃 and good luck to everyone!! please reply if you have any questions!

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  • Posted

    Hi Zoe yes that sounds great but you are now addicted to buprenorphine which is an opiate similar but stronger than codeine. It may take some time to successfully reduce on it and may not be as easy as you think. However I wish you the best of luck. John

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  • Posted

    Well done for taking that first step and admitting it to your doctor - that's a massive step.

    Is that correct - you took 8 at a time?? How many tablets were you taking a day in total? I would have been more worried about the paracetamol content. Did you have any problems with your liver?

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  • Posted

    Thank you so much ZOE for taking the time out to respond. Even though i wasnt taking as many as you, i was still addicted!!! i have done exactly the sane as you! i made a self referral to FORWARD, our local drug misuse service and spoke to my gp as well. i did it cold turkey and today starts week4 with no codeine. i had to tell my friend at work as she sometimes uses 30/500 cocodamol and ive told her not to ever give me any! i also confided in my mum and husband. ive really faced my demons but it had to be done. im feeling a bit flat at the moment though but thats to be expected after being on an artificial high for the last 5 years!!

    BULLDOG

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