Unexpected codeine withdrawals - please need some advice

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Hi all

I have been using codeine for the last 2 years which started out innocently enough being prescribed by my GP for an injury. However slowly but surely I became more and more dependent on the drug and without really even realising it I am now taking huge doses each day, mainly before bed and sometimes a top up in the afternoon to satisfy my addiction.

I am ashamed to say I hadn't really even intended on coming off the drug, I love the feeling it gives me and I have become depdendent on it. I know I need to stop but suppose I don't feel ready just yet or that I really want to.

However, my last prescription has been refused unexpectedly. This was not what I was expecting and had used pretty much all of my tablets just assuming that the next prescription would be approved and I would have my next months supply. Apparently the decision is final and cannot be changed.

I am going out of my mind. I found this out last night and don't know what to do. I hadn't planned on this and am now really not looking forward to riding the withdrawals that are about to come. I only have 2 30mg tablets left which is nothing. I am already feeling agitated, needing to swallow a lot (weird) and think it's starting already.

Please can I have some advice for coping mechanisms. Maybe this is a blessing in disguise and is the start of me stopping these awful drugs. But as I say, I was not prepared or in the frame of mind. Any tips on things to take/do to help would be so welcome.

Thanks

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8 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi AMK88 , I have taken them for about 8 years now on and off , 30mg and get my prescription every month also , I tried to go cold turkey so many times and just can't handle the withdrawals, best option is either go see your gp make an emergency appt , and explain the situation if you have an understanding gp they may give you more and taper you off them , or codeiene phosphate even , which does not have the paracetamol in , but same amount of codiene , failing that if like me you just don't want to come clean about it all just yet , go to chemist get solpadeine max over the counter they are half the strength , and start to wean your self off. Them slowly , or the cheap cocodamol ( I cold water extract ) them , it is much safer way , ( YouTube the way to do it correctly ) I use baby wipes for filtering the codoene .. hope this helps .. personally after 2 years of being on them I wouldn't just stop straight away x

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  • Posted

    Hi there 

              the first thing you need to do is stave off anymore withdrawls .... codeine can be purchased over the counter,however they are only 8mg( with 500mg of paracetamol ) ... but 16mg ( 2 x tabs ) is better than nothing and will at least decrease any withdrawals ... granted you wont get the effect that a 30mg tab will give you but 16mg is at least a start .. note : dont take more than 2 tabs due to the paracetamol 

            however codeine addiction is huge in the uk and all drug services will support anyone with a codeine problem ... but be careful .. guidelines say a codeine addict should be placed on methadone ... were as my way of thinking is a codeine addict should be tapered down slowly until completely free 

          i reduced off methadone which i was taking for 8 years ( and methadone is 10 times stronger than codeine ) and tapering worked with that allthough for many months after i wasnt too well ( as my brain chemicals readjusted ) 

         whatever you do ( and i mean ) this do not accept a methadone program .. it will be jumping from the frying pan into the fire ... ask for a slow reduction . for example 15mg every 2 weeks so your body can adjust to each reduction 

           finally ( and only if required ) you could also get codeine linctus which has 15mg in each 5ml spoonful and this again can be bought over the counter ... but be careful 

            make a emergency appointment tommorow and explain to the doctor the truth .. they have been prescribing the codeine so its their morale and legal responsibility to help you get off it 

            i wish you all the best and keep us posted 

               best wishes 

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    • Posted

      Hi I was placed on subutex 11 years ago after a 6month addiction to codeine ,I feel this was so wrong as is such a stronger tablet I'm still battling to come off out well done you for getting off the method that must be so tough any help you could give me for getting off this subutex had 2 failed detoxes as when I came out I thought I was going crazy and was extremely ill 6months layer relapsed just to malkr myself feel normal and then back on the subutex being tapered down much quicker but just want to be off the dam tablet

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  • Posted

    Hey there,

    I know exactly how you are feeling, codeine withdrawal is a truly brutal experience. But it does get better and after a couple of weeks you will start to feel normal again, you just have to ride out your symptoms.

    I went cold turkey because I found tapering just wasn't working so I know how tough the next few days will be, just keep at it smile

    Perhaps see about getting some sleeping pills to help combat the insomnia, just make sure you're not taking something else you could get addicted to like benzodiazepines. I used antihistamines for about the first 2 weeks.

    Try making meals that can last a few days, that way when your energy is low you can just heat something up and stay nourished. I made big pots of chicken and vegetable soup so I could just scoop it out and heat it up smile

    Most importantly, hang in there! It absolutely gets better and you will come to realise that your life is so much better without it! I've been off the pills for nearly 6 months and I will NEVER touch it again.

    Good luck smile

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  • Posted

    The same thing happened to me 11years ago to my shock I was referred by my gp to the drug and alcohol team who prescribed me subutex at way too high a dose and no way do you want to go down that route as I'm still battling to come off subutex today it has ruined my life.Bite the bullet the withdrawals are like a bad case of flu with a hideous drop in mood ,try and get some sleeping pills ,get plenty of rest get lopermide for tummy troubles drink plenty of greater and give yourself a month to start feeling normal.do not go on method or subutfex as it will wreck your life like it has mine .good luck

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  • Posted

    If he wants to quit cold turkey. Call this number. They helped me through a private natural remedy solutions and its a hundred percent effective. Call 6475370543. Its a small price to pay to get your life back.
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