Stuck on Prescription drugs!

Posted , 5 users are following.

I would be most grateful for any help/advice. sorry if this is in the wrong place or too long a post but I thought it might help to give the reasons I am in this predicament.

I have been taking a concoction of meds for nearly three years, this came about as I was very depressed after a my girlfriend boke up with me soon after being made redundant and this hit me hard and left me feeling lost and heartbroken. She moved on very quickly and became pregnant within a month of the breakup(sorry for sob storry, it happens everyday I suppose to someone and worst but it hit me hard)

I tried to just work my way through excercise etc, but I just couldn't lift myself out of it after seeing numerous therapist with no relief, I went to a 'highly regarded and exspensive' Pscychiatrist about eight months after the breakup. He prescribed me about four or five Anti Depressants none seemed to help but gave me unwanted side effects(inability to orgasm being one), to cope I was also prescribed Diazepam and Zopiclone(sleeping pills) I quit the AD but was stil depressed and just wanted to not feel the pain and anguish I still did. I carried on taking the Diazepam and Zopiclone at night and was given Lorazepam as well to take in the day to try and help. I became very tolerent to these and was given more(3mg of Lorazepam in the day and 20mg of Diazeoam at night and 15mg of Zopiclone for sleep).

I found that none of these relieved the torment I was feeling so I resorted ignorantly to Physeptone(methadone pills which did relieve me of the pain and anguish of the whole situation, i took this of my dying father as he had lots more then he was prescribed and it did seem to make me not care about anything much and gave me a weird energy, at first, just a 5mg pill now and then this escalated into me taking more as my tolerance built up. My father who had been addicted to opiates(morphine, heroin, methadone etc) for most of his adult life died from his life of excess and smoking(lung disease) which left me feeling very sad and stupid that I had done the one thing I said I would never do, resort to strong drugs and become addicted, having seen the effect it had on my father, over all these years.I am know starting to feel very ill and week after the last few months and rather hopeless as my life resolves around taking all these pills

Physeptone/Methadone(30mg tablets) for a year and a half Diazepam(20mg)and Zopiclone(15mg) for Sleep and Lorazepam 3mg a day I have become very stuck in my flat and dont see my friends much as they have all moved on as I am 35 and there all married with kids all over the world and Im just stuck here addicted. I think the bottom line after my rambling is that I feel I need to come off these but am very weary of 12 step programmes and total abstinance as I did and still do like to go out for a drink socially andndo not want to swap one kind of dependance for another which I feel it is in a way ,you may feel differently and thats fine, but I dont think its for me. I suppose I will have to try and taper off slowly but that is going to be very difficult so I know I am going to need help but I have tried my local centres and they are just a goverment front it seems to show there doing something to help it feels like nursery school with crayons etc, not helping. I have a worker who says she will punch my rip off quack psychiatrist but much as I wouldn't stop her I dont think it will help and for all her good will and exhuberance she just gave me a leaflet about the usless local centre I have tried and my 'rip off psych wants me to go to South Africa from the UK to be 12 stepped for 6 months at £60,000 cost and no doubt a little bung for himself and the sales women who rings me ten times a day spouting sound bites. well if your still reading I thank you for hanging in there but I have no clue what to do, anyone manage to get off a combination of meds without 12 steps and get back to some kind of fufiling life. without dependance of any sort(drugs or 12 step programme and constant meetings)? if so I would be very grateful to hear from anyone with something that may be positive. thanks and all the best to anyone in a difficult situation.

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20 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Billy

    well done for writing and sharing. I am no health expert but have been in a similar situation - hooked on zopiclone, dihydrocodeine and diazepam. I was referred to a specialist GP and am now on a reducing dose of subutex. A combination of specialist support on the NHS and some regular social activities (voluntary for charities, helping at Citizens Advice, etc) combined with some exercise and healthyish diet are best ways of combating isolation and mental health issues. It is far from easy but there is no magic wand and it won't happen overnight. Take one step at a time and - because you say that you have a worker - ensure that she either assists you in creating a structured plan to achieve this OR begin by seeing what is available locally what things are available. Maybe start by trying to find a specialist GP service which will begin by looking at yr addictions and then other forms of social support.

    I really hope that helps in some way or other... Just don't give up and try to be less isolated if you can. And dump the psychiatrist, too, by the sounds of things!! 

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  • Posted

    Probably going to an in patient facility is the smartest and safest answer to wean off and get back on track. I dont know much in the uk health system but private hospitials or institutions are costly. Maybe call around or do some searches for drug rehab places or availaboe counselors to guide you. Even a hospital might be a le to guide you.
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  • Posted

    Hi billy

    You ought to be really proud of yourself for writing your post. You know you've got a problem and want to get your life back on track.

    I can relate to you with your dads medication. Four years ago, I moved in with my 90 year old mum so that she didn't have to go into a nursing home.

    She had cancer of the stomache and was prescribed oramorph syrup (low dosage morphine) to start with. She had bottles and bottles of the stuff. I couldn't sleep one night so thought I'd have a dose to see if it helped.

    yes it certainly helped, I felt fantastic, happy, away with the fairies, but still able to function well. Like you I needed more and more and more!

    Anyway one day, mum was asleep and I literally stepped out of her house for about 5 mins to have a ciggie. Went back and found the district nurse collecting all the  oramorph up as the doctor had decided to give her pain relief intravenously. My magic potion had gone. If I'd known she was coming I would have kept some.

    The next day I felt real withdrawal symptoms and had no choice but go to my GP and explain everything. He prescribed diazapam and NITRAZAPAM for night time. Gradually I felt better, I didn't want the 12 step thing either.

    took about six months to be free of diazapam, it was reduced slowly. Some days were good, some not so. You can do it.

    I couldn't have done it on my own, I needed professional help to withdraw. My advice would be don't try on your own, visit your doctor and explain all. I had to have weekly prescriptions which my husband kept, in case I took more than I should.

    good luck and stay in touch

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  • Posted

    Hi Billy, the fact that you've acknowledged that you need help to fight this is fantastic, its a huge step.

    My situation was a little different, I'm on prescription meds now but my addiction was with the illegal stuff. I managed to get clean 22 months ago but only because I fell pregnant. Prior to this I saw a councillor and attended one to one meetings with a drug support worker thru Addaction but it was never enough to stop me.

    Even now, I'm still struggling with it. I'm finding it hard to adjust to a completely new way of living my life without the drugs. While I was looking online for forums to try to find like-minded people to talk to I came across Smart Recovery UK. It's a 4 point program of recovery, there's an online community (I use it a lot because I find it so much more helpful to write stuff down, for that reason I liked your rant it!), they have online meetings where you can take part either by using a headset & microphone or you can just listen. They also have peer led meetings across the UK. There's a lot of reading and exercises/CBT based worksheets so it's definitely a program for somebody who wants to do it for themselves and has the motivation. I haven't been brave enough to attend an online meeting but I will do. Even joining them so far into my recovery they have guided me and advised me on ways to hopefully avoid a relapse and deal with my mental torture.

    It might be worth a look, its another option for you to consider?

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    • Posted

      Thanks ☺

      I've never been 1 for going to group therapies or anything like that (stereotype of that happy-clappy bs put me off) so I find forums & online programs so much easier. I'm not sure i'll ever stop thinking about it all or the cravings will ever go away but i've got the tools and enough support around me to know that i can do something about it if I can feel it creeping up on me.

      Billy, I was a mess, I nearly died, I was using so much I was having fits & being brought back around by strangers and I didn't give a sh*t. Something will click one day & you'll make that firm decision to change. I still need prescription meds, regular GP visits & I'm waiting for another lot of CBT but it all stops me from going back there. I agree with Andy, dump your psychiatrist he sounds like a con artist there's plenty of free help available.

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    • Posted

      I wrote a long and heartfelt reply which may have contained a very mild swear word lol so its waiting to be moderated. Hope it gets posted because there's no way I can remember what it is I said! Never mind. Billy, hope you find your way x
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  • Posted

    Thanks you all for reading  my rather 'war and peace' length entry, Its good to know that people do read such things and offer their stories and opinions, all of which helped and offer me some hope that it can be done. Thank you all, it is much appreciated from those who know what its like and realise how easy it is to find yourself in this mess. I pretty much have dumped the Psych, although I still really on his prescriptions (diazepam,zopiclone and lorazepam, from his PA, he can't remember what I'm on, idiot pusher/quack and doesn't have time to chat only at 3 weks notice and £150 per 15min call! I have rang my GP again and he said I must go through the local addiction centre again, maybe I should try again, but it was quite depressing/patronising being handed crayons, treated like a 5 year old. I thank you all again for your quick and helpful responses.

    I was wondering Andy how did you get reffered to a specialist GP as all mine don't seem to fit that description, even mine who is an intelligent but....

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  • Posted

    Hi Billy

    I'm glad that you found the comments/replies useful and I really hope that this will be the first step towards a full recovery.

    in response to your direct query to me re a Specialist GP then (1) I referred myself (as most places these days seem happy to accept self referrals and cut out any unnecessary middlemen) and (2) I only heard about them through a friend who is a Community Nurse.

    As I don't know where you live, I can't give you any specific advice re Specialist GPs.... I live in Teesside (NE England) where there a lot of support/specialist services because there is a huge problem with all sorts of drugs in this area. If you are happy to let me know the REGION/TOWN in which you reside, I can ask my GP if he can let me know of any similar schemes in your particular area. No need to be too specific as I know privacy is of the utmost importance.

    i hope that helps... Feel free to contact me via this site anytime.

    kind regards 

    Andy

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  • Posted

    Cheers Andy thats very kind of you, any information is much appreciated.

    I'm in the South East, up the A1, North Hertfordshire. I have had a meeting with my volunteer lady and she said she will go with me back to the local addiction centre and see if that helps to get things moving in the right direction, she is very ethusiastic, so hopefully there is some good local advice and support available.

    I have also asked a good friends mum who worked in drug rehab for many years about any places that might be suitable for some kind of detox/rehab treatment. I guess Ive got to try and figure out a plan with the help of speciallists, so that I can get off the meds but have things too keep me busy at the same time as you mentioned, the two are inseperble to a more positive future, that is for sure. no good trying to get of drugs with nothing else to fill your time. Thanks again Andy.

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  • Posted

    Hi Billy

    I'm really sorry to hear of all your issues you are going through mate. I am in a similar situation to you where I am addicted to Oxycontin (Hillbilly Heroin) & have been for around 6yrs now.

    I decided I'd had enough in July last yr & was put on a tapering program through my GP. I was firstly prescribed 800mg's of Oxy per day for Degenerative discs in my lower back, though I was actually taking closer to 1500mgs per day, constantly running out, going through the most horrible withdrawals etc etc.

    I have now managed to taper down to 320mgs per day after changing my GP as she refused to see me anymore but I'm terrified to go any lower due to withdrawals. Come 9pm at night I get the aches & pains, muscle cramps, eyes streaming, constant yawning, hot & cold sweats etc etc etc.

    I was refered to the substance misuse service who also refered me to "talking mental health" which is counceling. After 8 sessions of counseling I was worse than when I went on my first appointment!! the counceler saying I should be in hospital on a methadone maintenance program. But after going back to the substance misuse service & telling them what the councelor said, they refered me to their addiction psychiatrist who said he couldn't (or more likely) didn't wanna help me.

    I know that know one held a gun to my head & forced me to take this crap (which by the way the GP that put me on this stuff never told me how addictive it was & how it could & would destroy my life) I had never even heard of opiates at this point as i've never touched drugs in my life. I now feel totally lost, I don't live, I just exist & I feel the NHS has very badly let me down. After putting me on this stuff & after me going back to my GP 3yrs ago saying I had a big problem with it, I just can't find anyone willing to help me. I feel like the NHS has just given me the middle finger & left me to struggle daily.

    I really hope you find the help you need mate. I am in Derbyshire. I hope you have better luck than I am having currently.

    Take care

    Ritchie

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    • Posted

      Hi Ritchie,

      It sounds terrible that the services are not being provided to you, even when you have been tapering off the drug, (which is more then I have managed to even attempt) so I for one find your story an inspiration that it can be done, I just hope you can find the right person to help or refer you to a service to help the good work you have put in already, and help finish the job and get past the painful period, I dont know but maybe some residentilal help just to take care of you when it kicks in?

      It seems wrong that they send you on one path that seems to be working and don't follow on the job till the end. I think you must make them see sense somehow? I wish I knew how but someone must.

      I am new to all this but it is good to hear from someone who is in a similar situation, but has made progress, I can't believe the NHS  is just passing you around like a football that has to be wrong on their part. There must be some rehab or care that can help you finish the work you have put in, on the NHS or by referal?

      I have all this to come and am fairly ignorant I am afraid but with the input of others such as you're self it does show that progress can be made. You surely must be a priority as you have done the tappering and need some help to keep up the good work. I know very little but I guess swapping one drug for another seems weird, like saying to take methadone but I have no real knowledge and just took what stopped me emotionally feeling awful, only to wind up feeling physically and emotionally awful. but I am no doctor not that I have much faith at the moment in the proffession but thats just our experience and I hope they see sense and do what should be done. I wish you well and thank you for your input as someone who knows as with the other people that have responded to my ramblings.

      I find it inspiring that you have manged to do what you have done already so I hope someone maybe on here or in your local area can find the right solution, I dont know what that is but I think I may try a rehab as I doubt I have the will power to taper on my own, I dont know if you would do a rehab? but I'm with you on the amount of therapist that just don't help and use long words in their title but sit and say nothing for week after week and leave you feeling like your a difficult exception, when youre pouring your heart out! Sorry I am rambling again but hang in and find the right Doctor/specialist or whatever service can help.

      I have found every reply useful, more then most therapists and docs! so thanks and I hope you can finish what you have done so well to start and get the help you deserve.

      Take care too and I wish you the best.

      Billy

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  • Posted

    Hi again Billy

    Thanks for replying. I'm pleased to hear that you have got some support via a volunteer lady and a friend's mum... The more (non-judgmental) people you have supporting you, the better. 

    I spoke with my GP today who mentioned the national organisation CRI which I used a couple of years ago. Please don't let the name put you off (it stands for Crime Reduction Initiaitive, as it deals with a lot of people who shoplift, steal, etc in order to purchase drugs off the street.... I have never been into that 'scene', as all my drugs/problems have been prescibed medications, commencing with my family GP who thought it would be a good idea to put me on codeine and morphine at the age of 12 - all for an in growing toenail!!! But that's a whole different story...)

    http://www.cri.org.uk/find-service?map_keywords=Hertfordshire

    Anyway... If you take/regard CRI as some sort of 'gateway' service who are able to support you, be totally confidential and non-judgemental AND - most importantly - be able to provide you/liaise with any relevant services in your area including any Specialist GP services, then they are a good source. You don't have to commit yourself to them as they assisted me by giving me various options and putting me in touch with other agencies.

    I'm so pleased that you came onto this forum as it is the first step in the right direction. And I really hope that you will find the right support services who are able to help you get better. There is plenty of help out there and lots of nice, supportive, non-judgmental professionals who will assist you.

    One final word before I shut up: regarding my own experiences, isolation and guilt are two huge barriers/obstacles which are constantly on my back, trying to bring me down, time after time. They are both difficult foes but CAN be defeated with the help of others. Don't waste your time on people or emotions which bring you down and make you feel worthless... You are far more important and worthy than that.

    I'm not going to wish you 'good luck', because (1) I don't believe in luck and (2) folks like us can't rely on such notions... We are the ones who have to face up to reality and deal with it as best we can. So, instead, I shall congratulate you on your progress thus far and hope that you continue making small steps towards a full recovery. You've already started, so don't give up!!!!!!

    Stay focused and positive and I really do wish you well.

    kindest regards

    Andy

     

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    • Posted

      Hi  Andy,

      Thanks for your kind words, sorry I didnt reply earlier as my connection has been down for a while. You put things in perspective very well and speak a lot of sense, bloody hell an ingrowing toe nail! I have never had one, must of been bloody painful to give you morphine at 12!!  But I'm no doctor as you may of guessed.

       

       I have got in touch with CRI and my mates mum also who  told me what CRI stood for when I spoke to her. I guess anyone who drinks coffee is a criminal then?!(although of course a lot of crime is drug related I suppose, but I hope they didn't pay someone too much to come up with that name) and about its origins in Brighton 20 odd years ago under a more fluffy name which I forget, and that it was very effective and has been taken on nationwide now with its catchy new title!

      I did go to them before but I or them didnt work well together, but I am know more open to discussion and treatment at a different centre locally and have a meeting on Thursday. I also have my mates mums advice and she knows me and is a very kind and sensible lady, and gave me good advice as you and others have, and how to go into my meeting with the CRI, and to be sensible and not just follow but put in my own input, so to speak, as I am also like you not really there average case if there is such a thing.

      She also suggested tappering down the methadone(physeptone) and once getting to a certain level swapping for Subutex as she said it was easier to get off in the long run but could be a nasty switch for a few days. And may give me more energy to do things.

      I hope you don't mind me asking how do you find the Subutex as a treatment? and of course she said, as you did I must have something to keep me busy and aim for to start leading a more fufilling life.

       I have started to decrease the methadone pills, almost by forgetting to take them at certain times only by 5mg but hopefully it is a small start and am trying to take less diazepam and zopiclone at night but know I must be careful with doses and reduction.

      I hope you and all the others that replied are doing well.

      All the best Andy and thanks for your replies,

      Billy

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    • Posted

      Hi Billy.

      Just want to say good luck with your meeting on Thursday.

      I really hope you get the help you need mate!!

      Since my last post I was given a charity by someone to call called "Release"

      Upto now the lady ive told my story to called Claire has been amazing. Basically Claire is going to be my voice & go back to the addiction psychiatrist that refused to treat me to ask why I was refused treatment.

      The basics on why I was refused were:

      1) "you're addicted to Oxycontin, if you were taking Heroin, we would help you

      2) "Have you tried Paracetamol"

      Well, apart from wanting to give the idiot a smack in the mouth I kept my cool somehow!! Even though I said to him; "so, thank you for quite literally telling me to go out & get addicted to heroin but, I have enough issues being addicted to Oxycontin.

      Anyway, hopefully Claire is gonna help get me sorted, if all else fails & you get no help from these idiots that call themselves specialists, try Release that deal with Drug laws & help people like me that get refused the help we desperately need!

      Good luck for Thursday mate, really hope it goes well for you!! 👍

      Ritchie

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    • Posted

      Hi Ritchie,

      Thanks mate, glad to hear you found someone more understanding to help get things moving in right direction.

      I think I will have to check them out, did you find them on the net or were you reffered to them? as don't hold out a lot of hope with meeting but you never know......although these "specialis"t sometimes dont realise what it is they speclise in, generally talking **** and filling out form after form with no help. Maybe I am a sceptic but it seems like that way from my experience so far.

      Its good you have somene who wants to help and treat you like a human being and will stick up for you and help get you get the right treatment you deserve.

      I spoke with my mates mum whos a drug addicion worker in London, who was great, says she will help me and gave me some good advice. 

      She mentioned Subutex as a possible easier way to come of once I have got down the methadone pills to a lower level, as possibly an easier to come of at the end, but a tough switch for a bit no doubt. You ever heard of it or know anything of it? I'm not thinking its a magic cure but maybe a possibility of a slightly easier way off?

      Don't want to hassle with questions, but I am a bit clueless and wondered if you had heard of it, as Im no expert on the situation as have had so many conflicting views on everything so far!  to many "specialists" or not as the case may be?

      Sounds like your onto a good thing though, so good luck and hope all goes well for you. Goes to show there are some good ones out there, gives you more hope.

       I will deffinatelly have a look and see if I can find out if Release have someone near me, as sounds like a good organisation. Hopefully theres some more Claires out there, near me, as I like you I suppose have been to so many different organisations, clinics and meetings with "proffesionals" and the odd kind hearted volunteer(who sometimes may not be the most qualified to help in my case) that you don't know who or what to believe or trust with your recovery.

      Good luck to you as well, and thanks for the support. I fear they will say "your on methadone, have some syrup once a day at a drop in clinic" (which I dont think want too) so like you they think your on treatment already and don't need other help or different medicaton perhaps. Or will try and give me something I've never heard of that's cheap and nasty. I know the NHS have a budget but, I have paid for everything so far and am now pretty skint, so maybe they can give me a break, but I doubt it. 

      Cheers mate I hope I am wrong, good to hear from you though and hope all goes well, tell me how it goes with Release and Claire.

      All the best to you Ritchie!!

      Billy

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    • Posted

      Cheers Billy.

      Release are a charity and are based in London mate. I'm in Derbyshire.

      I'm not getting too excited yet but sitting here night after night with leg cramps, constantly yawning, eyes streaming & all the rest of the withdrawals that people say will only last a week, but everyone is different mate hey!

      I have heard of Subutex yes, and also Suboxone which is similar. My mate has been totally clean for 5yrs now, he was addicted to heroin for 12yrs, got help & went onto methadone & to get off methadone he was prescribed Subutex of which he said was great & helped him get clean. So although I say everyone is different Billy, it sounds like your mates mum is much more help to you than the idiot that charges you a fortune mate.

      Let me know how it goes today, fingers crossed for you mate 👍👍👍

      Ritchie

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    • Posted

      Hey Ritchie,

      Hope your doing ok through the worst of it mate, you've been hanging in eveen when it feels horrible, so that shows mental strength to do it, in the long run It, it would seem to me. 

      As you know I'm no expert, but when you get clean, I think you will feel stronger for it and life will seem brighter, I hope for getting through a tough period in life, I probably sound like a "Happy Clapper" but I  hope you know what I mean.

      I looked up Release as well, so will try try them if latest thing goes nowhere.Thanks for heads up Ritchie.

      .

      Still can't believe they hand stuff like Opiates and Benzos like sweets, when they know the inevitable is going to happen!

      Especially when most patients, don't know really what the ramifications of addiction can be and the effect on life!

      Did they try and offer you replacement meds? although I guess that swapping one addictive substance for another iis'nt always a good thing.

      Like I was asking you about Subotex, and you said it had helped someone you knew, I'm not saying its a wonder drug but I had been told by someone I trust about it, but have no experience so can't advise one way or the other on replacemnet meds I am afraid

      Did you just want or were advised to stay on Oxy and taper off it? rather then swap about with the meds Ritchie?

      I had my meeting and it was another 'Pod  group' which I got a gold star forsmile nowing thats what they call a bunch of Dolphins! sheeesh!!! like primary school biology!!! I feel like bloody flipper or a 10 year old!!! 

      Still I am signed up again and the top Dolphin seemed slightly more pro then the last Pod so I hope she can be of help.

      I asked about seeing an addiction doctor, then everyone said they wanted too, Its there right to of course, but one lady said "can I go to rehab now as I rang up yesterday and smoke weed" righty ho!!

      (I'm not belittling honest, I stopped weed 10 years ago, and couldnt sleep well for a month or two which was hard) but come on, as if straight away after one day for free!! damn its taken me 3 years and near bankrupcy to be pestered by Privae rehabs wnting 50 grand!!! thanks to the psychiatrist!! who I had my last bill off for £200(gone up £50 quid) for half an hour from last month.where he said 12 steps i. oh damn I'm going on again!! sorry.

      I no everyone said get rid of psychiatrist but thats how I get my meds, as I haven't been given NHS prescriptions and don't see that happening for a while.

      But Hopefully in 3 weeks or so when I see their doc or who ever, s/he has some good sense and understanding, but then the lady running the dolphin society said seeing the doc is like 'gold dust' and the other two dolphins said theyre GPs said to come for the sake of it!! and where fine(maybe maybe not? but....) one lived in Abroad and said she came for no reason really at all?! maybe there all hiding massive addictions? but I would happily tell them mine then and there! for some progress and all this waiting for meeting after meeting to sign one form at a time, and hoping for who knows what??

      Oh well 3 years I can wait 3 weeks and hope, I think, they think I'm loaded (but I'm not, maybe because I don't cliam benefit, as I inherited a small flat which I am thankful for, and a bit of money which is all but gone now. I am unemployed and have gone for jobs but didnt get them and don't think I'm much use at the moment, I havent got a car anymore (broke down, wasn't worth fixing!) have to borrow a car and money off my brothers and mum. Of course there are those who are worse off, but damn, I have waisted my redundancy and inheritance on Quacks and Pills.

      Oh well, hopefully something comes of today and things start moving( I have started to try cutting down the pills but could do with qualified assistance to do it properly) I do have hope and from listening to you and others and know progress can be made slowly but surely. and must learn to be more consice with postings and less venting, apologies again!

      Hang in there Ritchie mate and thanks for your help and support, it is always appreciated, and I only wish I could offer advice to you and others, but as Its just the start for me I m fairly usueless in that department.

      And to anyone else who's feeling rough or down, I wish you well and a better future.

      Billy

       

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