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

 
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  #1  
Old 11-01-2011, 15:56
Kalendren Kalendren is offline
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Question. What is the best way to get off opiates?

My dog's girlfriend has been on prescription opiates (hydro, oxy, etc) for about 6 months. The dog thinks she is addicted, but the dog's friend is arguing that 6 months isn't long enough to get addicted to script opiates. If the dog is correct, what would be the best way to get her off them? She really wants to get clean, but can't afford rehab. Any info would be appreciated. (This is NOT me in any way, it really is a friend's friend, but I am trying to help). The dog has found this to be the most helpful site when it comes to helping addicts.

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Please use a descriptive thread title & also use the search engine or just check out the "sticky" posts & 1st page of the forum for the drug(s) in question.
Please use a better title next time.
a good question, "how to become clean without a Rehab"!

Last edited by Kalendren; 12-01-2011 at 16:40. Reason: Sorry for the bad title!
  #2  
Old 11-01-2011, 16:41
kailey_elise Gold member kailey_elise is offline
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Re: Question

Well, why is she on prescription opiates? If she has chronic pain issues, what does she plan to do to address them when she gets off of the opiates?

6 months is certainly long enough to develop a physical dependence upon opioids; however not everyone "catches a habit" right away, and she might not have even really been aware of physical withdrawal symptoms if no one told her to expect them. She might have just assumed she had a cold or the beginnings of the flu; now she's more likely to be hyperaware of any symptoms she may or may not have when she chooses to discontinue them.

What does her doctor say? If she has a doctor prescribing these to her & she no longer wishes to take them, she should really bring it up with her doctor.

People taking opioids for legitimate pain aren't always "addicted" to them in the traditional way we might think of addiction. They might be physically dependent on them, but if their pain goes away (perhaps they finally had a successful surgery or something) they often can stop taking them with little troubles at all; they don't have that burning psychological need that an addict would have to continue taking them.

Why does she really want to stop taking them? If it's just because everyone else is telling her "they're bad for you!" she will probably start them back up again, especially if she's in chronic pain.

She needs to address the issues that caused her to start taking them in the first place, be the reasons physical, emotional or both, if she wants to get off of them AND stay off of them for any serious amount of time.

Pass on some good luck to her!

~Kailey

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Important point about the difference between additction and dependence
  #3  
Old 11-01-2011, 17:02
missparkles missparkles is offline
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Re: Question

The very first question to ask (as Kailey has already said) is the "why." Cos until this is answered there's very little chance of stopping successfully. Yeah, your friend could stop taking the opiates, no problem. But it's the "staying stopped" isn't it? There are only a couple of reasons I can think of that a doc will prescribe opiates to a patient. One is chronic pain and the other is addiction.

Now if your friend was prescribed opiates for pain issues and these have now been resolved, she'll have to taper down to prevent w/d symptoms occurring. But usually people who use opiates for pain have no problem with this. If she's been taking them cos she's got addiction issues then just quitting opiates (without having resolved the initial problem that precipitated the addiction) would be futile. Which really brings me right back to my very first point...She'd need to deal with the "why" first.

It would be extremely helpful to get a little more info, cos at this point we're looking at two very different situations which would need very different sets of advice. Whatever the reasons, I think your friend is extremely brave to have made this decision in the first place. But just remember, if her problem is addiction then it must be HER decision to stop. If its not it's gonna be difficult to quit, cos as any addict will tell you, until they're ready, then it's really a waste of time even contemplating quitting, cos their heart just won't be in it. And if nothing else, when quitting, determination (after the desire to quit) is possibly the most important thing she'll need.

Sparkles.
  #4  
Old 12-01-2011, 16:43
Kalendren Kalendren is offline
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Re: Question. What is the best way to get off opiates?

At this time, the dog's girlfriend is taking the opiates for an ovary removal surgery. Prior to that, she was taking them for endometriosis (a painful female disease, for those who don't know, causes great pain around the time females have their period). Her endo wasn't extremely bad though, so she was occasionally taking them for a buzz. They just removed a 3lb mass and her right ovary and tube, so I can see why she would need them now. The dog is just worried that she will continue seeking them after she heals. Thats all the info I have. I will try and talk to my friend and get more info on the dog's girlfriend. Sorry for the bad title. I haven't posted here in a while.
  #5  
Old 14-01-2011, 07:10
caltrain208 caltrain208 is offline
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Re: Question. What is the best way to get off opiates?

Best way to get off opiates? Stop taking them. Swiy won't die, though it may feel like death. How to go about getting clean? Well, Swim and many many other addicts have found lasting, enjoyable recovery through the 12 steps. Once the addict's life is thoroughly and honestly examined, especially the addict's part in reacting to events in life, drugs are no longer a temptation. Swim was able to finally break the illusion that he could control his drug use, that the world had wronged him, that drugs could ever bring him true happiness. It became very clear that Swim was wrong, not the rest of the world, specifically, how Swim responded to "normal" life events. After sharing his life story with someone else, he made a decision to stop living in misery and do something about his life, which came with surprising ease. In short, Swim lost the desire to do drugs after he did his 5th step with a sponsor.

So, if Swiy wants to get clean and stay clean and learn how to live happily without drugs, 12 step recovery (AA, NA, ect..) is a wonderful resource. No cost ever. Good luck, stay open, we'll be here when Swiy is ready.
  #6  
Old 14-01-2011, 19:31
kailey_elise Gold member kailey_elise is offline
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Re: Question. What is the best way to get off opiates?

Unfortunately, we really can't cross that bridge until we come to it, you know what I mean?

My best friend, Girlie, has endometriosis & her pain when she was younger was TREMENDOUS, and all month long, too - it just got SUPER bad when she was ovulating & during her menses. After a number of surgeries, the doctors actually put her on opioid medications for her chronic pain, in addition to injections in her spine to numb her nerves so she wouldn't feel so much pain, etc.

So, yeah, I'm familiar with the pain of endometriosis.

She has a legit reason to be on these meds, and she may be on them for a long time if they aren't able to fix her pain. It's no fun being on chronic opioids for actual pain. Especially if she's young.

It's hard to say this early in the game. I mean, someone who likes to have wine with dinner who occasionally gets stupid drunk just for fun isn't someone we'd necessarily call an alcoholic, right? So if someone sometimes takes their pain meds when they aren't in really a lot of pain...I don't know if I'd worry too much yet. I mean, if she just liked to do opioids now & then for fun there probably wouldn't be a HUGE worry, right? It's just that she has consistent, easy access to the opioids that makes the dog concerned?

It's a slippery slope to be sure, and something she needs to be aware of & watch out for (her motives for taking the pain meds when she decides to take them). Anyone has the ability to become an opioid addict, for sure. But if she really needs the meds (and endo is no fucking picnic), then she's going to take them. All that can really be done is provide her the tools to help herself if she needs it, and for her to know that she can ask for help without judgment on the part of the people she wants to ask help from.

My girlfriend started out with Percocet (oxycodone + APAP) 'scripts here & there, then she got a regular Percocet 'script, and soon they gave her methadone on a daily basis for pain, with the Percocets just for breakthru pain. After a number of years, the Percocet wasn't really enough for the breakthru pain, and they changed them to Dilaudid (hydromorphone) instead. These, on top of amitryptaline & cyclobenzeprine daily for the pain, PLUS radio-frequency injections in her spine every 6 months or so. Endometriosis is *WAAAAAAY* more than "period cramps" (just in case anyone reading this doesn't get it. ).

All the best to this girl, and those who love her!

~Kailey
  #7  
Old 20-01-2011, 23:49
Kalendren Kalendren is offline
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Re: Question. What is the best way to get off opiates?

Thank you for the help. The dog will talk to his girlfriend. He knows she needs them for pain, especially after surgery and now after reading the above post, he understands why she needed them for endo. If it takes opiates to keep her endo pain in check, the dog will understand and probably not do anything. However, she wants off them, so Kal will probably try and help her there. Other pain meds are available.

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addicted, chronic pain, drug, drugs, narcotic, new drug, opiate, opiate addiction, opiate recovery, opiate taper, opiates, recovery, rehab, taper, taper method, tapering, weaning

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