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Opiate addiction Support for coping with Opiate addiction and Opiate addiction treatment.

 
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  #1  
Old 09-02-2010, 02:47
MrAmbivilent MrAmbivilent is offline
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Need advice on tapering off otc codeine

Hi everyone

this is Swim's first post and first attempt at asking anyone for help. Swim started taking otc codeine (neurofen plus 12.8mg) around 3 and a half years ago due to work stresses and a generally addictive personality. At first it was just to get through a tough day at work then it was to get through everyday of work. At first swim was taking 6 tablets a day (76.8mg a day) just once a day, but then it increased to 12 tablets 1-2 times a day (150 - 300mg a day) and then for the last 18 months hes been taking 24 at a time 1-2 times a day ( sometimes up to 600mg a day).

However Swim became so sick and tired of being controled by the codeine to just feel normal he actually managed to taper of sucessfully in the last 2 weeks. The problem is he has no idea if hes doing it right or just prolonging the withdrawls.

Just over 2 weeks ago Swim cut back down to 12 tablets a day once a day and stuck to that for 7 days (had a relapse on the 7th day and had 24) and then managed to cut down to around 8-10 a day once a day for another week. Again on the saturday (14th day in) swim relaspsed and took 18 all at once, Saturday is swim's sport day and swim CANT play while withdrawing. So u can tell saturday seems to be a problem day for Swim. Though now swim taking 6 tablets in the morning and has done that since he took 18 on saturday morning (now tuesday). Swim can stick to 6 a day i feel but his energy levels are still pretty terrible and he feels as though the psychological aspect may get harder.

Other posts ive read of people tapering as swim is at the moment dont really tell me definitively if this method is effective. Some posts suggest smaller doses closer together rather than 1 dose in the morning and toughing out the rest of the day. Swim thinks he can certainly keep this up if he can see light at the end of the tunnel.

PLEASE any advice would be appreciated!!
  #2  
Old 09-02-2010, 03:50
malsat Gold member malsat is offline
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Re: Need advice on tapering off otc codeine

You're doing great! Don't worry about that one day a week when you've slipped up, the fact is most of the time you're on a decreased dose and sticking it out. You've got some great will power. About taking one dose in the morning rather than smaller doses spaced throughout the day - I think it may just be up to personal preference. Well actually I think it's probably better to take small doses spaced evenly throughout the day but if your way is working for you that's fine.

Smaller spaced out doses would mean less ups and downs - you'd be at a constant level of WD's all day instead of feeling better in the mornings and worse in the evenings. Slipping up one day a week will draw it out a little bit but not too much. As a matter of fact you could be tapering a little slower if it got to be too much for you. If SWIM was doing it he would decrease the dose by about 2 tabs every 4 days or so, but that's because that's all he could tolerate - he hasn't much will power!

It's basically just about reducing your dose as much as is comfortably possible. As long as you keep lowering the dose you're on the right path, the path to freedom and a new life.

If the psychological side gets to be too much, just focus on all the great things that will come when you're off the stuff. More money in your pocket. Feeling in control of your life. No more dirty looks from pharmacists No more worrying about what all that toxic ibuprofen is doing to your stomach, your kidneys and your liver. Taking N+ without extracting the codeine is *very* bad for your health my friend. Matter of fact you should go get a liver and kidney function test soon to make sure you're okay, cause OTC painkiller addiction can kill people.

Oh, make sure to take antacids regularly to minimise the damage done to your stomach by the ibuprofen.

Best of luck, keep us posted on how it's going. There's loads of great people in the R&A forums who can offer support.
  #3  
Old 09-02-2010, 05:25
MrAmbivilent MrAmbivilent is offline
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Re: Need advice on tapering off otc codeine

Thanks malsat

I gotta say its a great feeling having got that off Swims's chest. Thanks for the advice, its good to get a little reassurance.

As for the reference to the damage that can be caused by the ibuprofen etc, what sort of symptoms would u notice in that regard? Every morning since swim started tapering off he wakes up with quite acute stomach cramps but i understand that's a fairly common withdrawal symptom. He does get restlessness at night but normally a smoke (of the green stuff) alleviates that and lets him drift off to sleep. Is that wise also? Smoking Marijuana while tapering off?

Cheers
  #4  
Old 09-02-2010, 11:42
G_nome G_nome is offline
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Re: Need advice on tapering off otc codeine

Swiy should get some kratom and taper with that. Read swim's thread in this forum on how it can be done, totally painlessly too!

G_nome added 1 Minutes and 23 Seconds later...

Here's the thread:

http://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/sho...d.php?t=116855

Hope it helps.

Last edited by G_nome; 09-02-2010 at 11:42. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
  #5  
Old 09-02-2010, 13:09
Kristy85 Kristy85 is offline
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Re: Need advice on tapering off otc codeine

Hi MA,

SWIM says -

I've never had any problems with the drugs you mentioned but I know all about them. My DOC has always been heroin and crack but at the end of the day, an addiction is an addiction is an addiction, and sadly SWIY hasn't got too many choices here. I'm gonna list SWIY their options.

1. Stop the Codiene all together cold turkey.
Not the nicest option but definitely the quickest. SWIY will feel like shit for a week or two but if they can get over that they can move on with their life quickly.

2. Taper down with the Codiene and then jump off at a low dose.
This is probably the most drawn out route to take but the least painful. It also takes a LOT of will power (many people can't taper for shit and end up eating all their pills in one go). Also, this option is NOT pain free. SWIY is still gonna feel some w/d because their cutting back, but nothing like stopping cold turkey.

3. There isn't one.
Seriously, when you're an addict wanting to get clean there really is only 2 options. It's a fucker, right? Both of the options suck shit but SWIY has got to pick one if they want to get clean.

OK, I'll let SWIY into a secret. There is actually an option 3 but I wouldn't pick it. Get put on a Subutex/Suboxone or a Methadone script.
However, if SWIY chooses this route they're basically swapping one drug for another so they'll be back to square one. However, many people pick this route but it's normally a case of "I told you so" in the end.
Saying that though, I'm not even sure they'd put SWIY on a Sub or Meth script because both are stronger than what SWIY is already on (Codiene).

SWIM is on Methadone maintenance and it's worse than the Heroin in SWIMS opinion. Its been a live saver in one respect but not in another.

So yeah, SWIM says. Mull over your options (all 2 of them) lol and decide on which route SWIY wants to take. Both are doable. SWIM has done them both many times before. Just remember, a clean life is better than a junkie one (most of the time anyway).

Good Luck and keep us posted

Kristy85 added 9 Minutes and 47 Seconds later...

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrAmbivilent View Post
Thanks malsat

I gotta say its a great feeling having got that off Swims's chest. Thanks for the advice, its good to get a little reassurance.

As for the reference to the damage that can be caused by the ibuprofen etc, what sort of symptoms would u notice in that regard? Every morning since swim started tapering off he wakes up with quite acute stomach cramps but i understand that's a fairly common withdrawal symptom. He does get restlessness at night but normally a smoke (of the green stuff) alleviates that and lets him drift off to sleep. Is that wise also? Smoking Marijuana while tapering off?

Cheers
SWIM says -

I've always smoked the green when coming off of Heroin. Helps more than you'd know, especially when it comes to getting some shut eye.
At the end of the day SWIY has gotta use what they've gotta use to help them through this (as long as it's not addictive and you're not swapping one drug for another). But yeah, green helps.

Does Ibuprofen have Paracetamol in it? Or is it just Codiene? I'm sure it's mixed with something else.
If it does have Paracetamol in it then I'd be slightly worried about the stomach ache. That shit can give SWIY some serious stomach ulcers. Just keep an eye on it SWIY.

So, has SWIY decided to taper then?

Post Quality Evaluations:
Whilst you are trying to help, there are a lot of errors here. There are more ways to quit than you describe (i.e. alpha-2 adrenergic agonists), and a quick google will tell you ibuprofen is not paracetamol.

Last edited by Kristy85; 09-02-2010 at 13:09. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
  #6  
Old 09-02-2010, 13:23
Dickon Dickon is offline
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Re: Need advice on tapering off otc codeine

I would not worry too much about taking too much ibuprofen, at least if you have reduced to 6 a day. As gastrointestinal problems can be both a result of ibuprofen and of withdrawal it might be hard to figure out what is the exact cause.

I really wouldn't change your strategy of tapering either. You could do other things, but I really don't see the point. The fact that one person once had a painless detox using a particular method is no argument for using that method, since how painful or painless a withdrawal is depends very much on the individual and the particular circumstances of the withdrawal in question. I can't see why switching from codeine to Kratom would prove of much use, since codeine is a fairly weak opiate. It's maybe something to consider if the tapering method proves difficult.

It might be worth trying to settle at 6 pills for a while and see if you can get through Saturdays without upping the dose. Then reducing by a pill every few days would be one reasonably sensible way to go. I'd stick to your current dose regime, simply because you're used to it. Again, if things go wrong, changing this might be something to consider.

Realistically, if you can get used to taking 6 pills once a day and then drop by one pill every few days (4-5 is sensible) it should be manageable physically, but addiction is not a simple condition, and what "ought" to be relatively painless may not be for any number of reasons. Sometimes this cuts the other way too, when people seem to have painless detoxes. What I'm saying is that there is no one-size-fits-all that works for everyone but I think your instincts about tapering seem pretty good.

Do not under any circumstances (at least at this stage) get on methadone or buprenorphine (Suboxone, Subutex), since these may prove far harder to withdraw from than the codeine.

I hope things go well.

Dickon

P.S. As for cannabis, it seems to help some people especially if withdrawals are not too serious, but if withdrawals are bad it can, for many, make matters worse.

P.P.S. ^ ^ Ibuprofen has ibuprofen in it. It is a NSAI (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory) drug somewhat similar to aspirin.

Last edited by Dickon; 09-02-2010 at 13:27. Reason: P.S.
  #7  
Old 09-02-2010, 14:56
Kristy85 Kristy85 is offline
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Re: Need advice on tapering off otc codeine

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dickon View Post
P.P.S. ^ ^ Ibuprofen has ibuprofen in it. It is a NSAI (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory) drug somewhat similar to aspirin.
Yeah, I was thinking of Co-Codamol. Got them mixed up. Still, taking that many Ibuprofen is not good on the stomach, not at all.
  #8  
Old 09-02-2010, 17:00
malsat Gold member malsat is offline
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Re: Need advice on tapering off otc codeine

The cramping is a normal withdrawal symptom. High doses of ibuprofen can cause stomach ulcers though as it wears away the stomach lining. Heartburn/indigestion would be a symptom of ibuprofen causing stomach problems. Antacids can help to prevent this - it's probably a bit late to be getting this advice though, as you're getting onto a much lower dose, but this is something to think about anyway, especially on those saturdays when you're taking more than 6 a day.

By the way, there is an option 3. Go to a doc and ask for lofexidine - it's not technically an addictive drug and it will ease some of the symptoms. Loperamide is OTC in most places and would help with the stomach cramping. You could also ask for a benzo for short term treatment but benzos are addictive too so that's not the best option, although it would certainly make the withdrawal much more comfortable and along with the lofexidine or cold turkey it would be the fastest way to come off them.
  #9  
Old 09-02-2010, 17:19
G_nome G_nome is offline
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Re: Need advice on tapering off otc codeine

Eat plenty of vegetables if swiy is siuffering from heartburn or acid stomach, all veg are alkaline.
It works, trust swim!
  #10  
Old 10-02-2010, 06:41
MrAmbivilent MrAmbivilent is offline
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Re: Need advice on tapering off otc codeine

Swim would like to thank all for the advice provided and feels sure the added support has helped stick to the tapering. Swim feels great to keeping at it FOR THE FIRST TIME. Not that swim feels normal yet, but he feels a lot stronger and almost ready to come off all together.
  #11  
Old 10-02-2010, 12:33
Kristy85 Kristy85 is offline
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Re: Need advice on tapering off otc codeine

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrAmbivilent View Post
Swim would like to thank all for the advice provided and feels sure the added support has helped stick to the tapering. Swim feels great to keeping at it FOR THE FIRST TIME. Not that swim feels normal yet, but he feels a lot stronger and almost ready to come off all together.
SWIM is very happy for you SWIY is definitely going down the right path, and SWIM says, keep it up!!!

Keep us posted...
  #12  
Old 10-02-2010, 16:23
G_nome G_nome is offline
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Re: Need advice on tapering off otc codeine

Aye, it's a pleasure to help swiy in any way swim can.

Just keep up the good work mate, it DOES get better.

And yeah, keep us posted.

Take care,

G

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