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I've been to hell and back over the last few years with cocodamol. I became heavily addicted to these after an accident. I recently went through addiction services and after 18 months I was clean for the first time in years. At one stage I was taking up to 50 a day. Doctors didn't believe me at first saying I should be dead but my body became nearly immune to them after years of abuse. I got a new job after being off for three years, was living a fairly normal life booked a holiday to treat my wife who has been very supportive over the years knowing I didn't do this intentionally. A mixture of my personality and a doctor who would prescribe near enough anything I asked for didn't help. So on said holiday after doing a reduction plan with community addiction team and help from local charity, I fell flat on my face. I was doing a codeine 30mg reduction plan, dispensed daily from my pharmacy, from 8 a day down to 1 a day dropping 1 tablet every two weeks, I had to get my medication for a month in one go for my holiday. That was me, I hadn't even got off the plane and I had ate all the codeine. The next month was spent in a stupor. Where I was on hols, you could buy whatever you wanted in any chemist and if they didn't ha it it would be there the following morning for you. My wife caught on straight away with the usual question, "are you stoned again?" I've been back now for a couple of months and added a new drug to my addiction list. Because I couldn't get the required amount of codeine I resorted to pregabalin, using codeine one day and pregabalin the next splitting my days up. My new job is starting to suffer. The pregabalin makes me very tired and I struggle to get out of bed in the mornings. On top of that my job involves a lot of travelling and staying on my own in hotels etc resulting in the boredom kicking in and me reaching for tablets. I have managed to even avoid random drug tests carried out by my employers, (don't ask how) and even the routine ones I can produce an old cocodamol prescription and get away with it.
Most recently there I ended up very sick in hospital there and they kept me in for over a week. It wasn't where I lived and therefore they didn't have my medical records to check my background. I thought I was a goner. I said my goodbyes to my wife. I knew what was wrong. I tried to go cold turkey and failed miserably. I only came around in the hospital after a consultant instructed the nurse to give me codeine for the pain. I came round in a shot. Over 7 days I had lost nearly a stone in weight. I feel so guilty for not coming clean about my addiction taking up a bed in hospital but I knew if I had have told them I would be discharged and was really frightened I wasn't going to make it and didn't want my wife having to deal with that on her own.
But of background on me. I have worked every day for the last 20 years until my accident. I started of on morphine drip, morphine tablets, tramadol, other pain killers and then cocodamol. I never thought this would happen to me. I went from £50000 a year to incapacity benefit. My life has ended up in a real mess. My family fell out with me, I lost friends, all I wanted to do was sit in the house and eat tablets all day every day and when I couldn't get them lie in bed. My kids stopped talking to me eventually resulting in me reaching for help and after 18 months becoming clean, but boy have I messed up. I am that low at the minute if it wasn't for my wife I don't think I'd be here and even she doesn't realise the extent of this as I'm away working.
I know what I have to do. I need to get help again but the shame is almost unbearable. I am worried sick about my family finding out again, losing my job. I'm doing quite a job in masquerading this from my employers and work colleagues but because of the nature of my job, I'm my own boss most of the time and can look after it that way. I'd be immediately sacked if found out.
I'm wouldn't say I'm worse than before but I'm probably taking 30x30mg codeine phosphate one day and 14x300mg pregabalin the next and so on. Even my stint in hospital isn't stopping me.
The only thing keeping me going is trying to make sure my wife and kids are ok financially, clearing all my debts, making sure if anything does happen my mrs won't struggle.
Scared, worried and alone is how I feel right now. I know this is a bit long winded but I needed to tell someone and this forum has been there before for me. So thank you all for reading.
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