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Thread: Positive side effects of stopping opiates and what made you want to stop?

  1. #21
    jandagoldman is offline Banned Reason: Copying other members' posts
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    i have been trying to quit recently. ive just found that on opiates I just feel so much more normal and myself and alive. I guess maybe i just havent been taking them long enough to have them just feel all bad but yea.

  2. I've been taking hydro for almost six years and have seriously been thinking about cutting way back but it is SO hard. I am prescribed 4 per day but end up taking 6 or 7 so the end of every month is a real pain in the a$$ (no pun intended).

    I will start with the positives for stopping, at least for me.
    They make me hungry, especially for sweets, and I used to never eat junk food.
    I get moody and have been known to bite the head off anyone that disagrees with me; I have made several friends and family members really mad at me.
    The cost and risk of supplementing my monthly subscription from other sources.
    I used to exercise when I felt stressed or had tight muscles or needed a little extra energy, now I just take another pill.
    My tolerance is so high now there's no euphoria or high, they just make me feel normal again.
    As someone else already mentioned, I seem to miss important ideas and I don't think quite as clear anymore. Sometimes I think "how did I miss that?" It's scary!
    Oh, and probably one of the most important, sex is just not all that important and exciting as it used to be. Age may have something to do with it but I used to at least think about it almost everyday

    But on the other side of the coin, without the drugs the pain can be so excruciating! I've actually teared up after waking in the middle of the night, not always because of the pain itself, but because I know it'll probably never stop hurting.
    Last edited by BrightDay; 02-19-2014 at 07:53 PM.
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  3. #23
    What a good thread.

    So many things to relate to in here. From the rationalizations to running out two weeks early. Been there time and time again over the last 5 years.

    I've never quit longer than it took me to get my next refill. This is the first time I'm thinking of quitting.

    Anyways, thanks for a great thread. It helps to read the positives and be reminded that many people have gone through it all and came out alive and well. If you, why not me?
    Likes Jazie, Mrs Parker, Lost1 liked this post

  4. #24
    I've also been thinking of cutting down on meds recently. I have several different disorders that I take meds for...migraines, fibromyalgia, depression and anxiety. So I take relatively small amounts of 4 different meds. But I did notice when I first started taking hydrocodone for my migraines and fibro pain, they did give me a boost as well as take away the pain. But now I notice I feel hyper some days...kind of agitated and angry, after I take a hydro...and I don't like it. I feel like they have changed my personality some after 6 years of using them. I wish I could go into rehab to get off everything...but don't even know how to go about it. Or should I just start tapering on my own? The problem is, if the pills are there and I'm having a bad day..or even the start of a headache, I take something. It feels like a crutch now. But some days I really do need them to get any work done.
    Do people suggest going to an addiction specialist? And will this be something that goes on your record and follows you around forever? I still want to be able to get pain meds when I really need them. I just don't want to always be thinking when I can get the next refill, and these days, if I can even afford it! Plus I want my old personality back.

    Any suggestions for finding an addiction specialist? And is your privacy guaranteed? Thanks in advance.
    Likes Mrs Parker liked this post

  5. #25
    My suggestion is to research "addictionologists" in your local area and arrange for a consult with 2-3 of them.
    During the consults, discuss your privacy concerns and how they would be addressed. It's nothing they haven't encountered 1000 times.
    There is a wide variety of ways available to discontinue a problem drug pattern and these specialists are the best first step on that course in my opinion.
    But don't put this off if you are serious. Start today.
    Helpful Mrs Parker, Mooya, DulyNoted, Jazie Rated helpful

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Polygraph View Post
    I had a long stranding prescription for a low does of lortabs (2 7.5's a day) after a major injury about 4 years ago. I was on them forever. As one of the previous posters mentioned, they quit working and I found myself taking more and more each day. I never got up to a ridiculous amount....Maybe like 5 a day at the worst, but then I would run out after 2 weeks and then have to wait for my next refill. It was a terrible cycle and made me feel guilty. Plus, I noticed that taking the meds seemed to sap my energy and I was always hungry. Did anyone else notice that? When I finally gave them up, I didn't go through a formal withdrawal but I did go through what I think was PAWS. I just loved the way they made me feel, but I feel better completely off them now. Plus I lost weight....they gave me the munchies.
    I would be a total hypocrite if I didn't admit that I was back on them for the time being. The coldest times of the year cause major pain flair-ups. I am being careful to limit my dosage and take a couple of days off every week. I honestly don't enjoy the lazy feeling that comes with opiates. Just did not want to mislead anyone.

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    Simple financial gain. You getting to keep your hard earned money instead of handing it over to Big Pharma or dealers. Even when legal, but especially when NOT an opiate habit is mighty expensive with costs increasing with tolerance. The pressure and stress of the pursuit of them gets old too and runs it course. All your life's plans revolve around making sure that you're well, and not dopesick also take a toll. You can't let anyone know, so you'll need to be secret all the time constantly watching your back. Then when you do run out and get sick, that's a horrible monkey of its own to deal with. Extreme stressful if you have to work full time and/or have children to take care of as well. It can and has been a nightmare. People who can afford to keep up the habit often OD. I feel that if you ever have the opportunity to get clean and can continue to control your pain through many other methods, please do so! At the very least do yourself a favor and try, just give it a shot to try to making it successfully in your battle with addictive narcotics. Who knows what the future holds for you? But at least level the fields. I appreciate , encourage, and applaud your efforts.
    Helpful Jazie, mes amis, Cash Rated helpful
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    I used to drink opium poppy tea daily for 4 years and quit cold turkey when it got too expensive. The positive effect was losing massive amounts of weight without trying. Unfortunately the psychological effects were pretty rough and lasted nearly 4 months. Physical symptoms weren't too severe, luckily. No diarrhea or vomiting.

    After about 6 months clean, I decided I missed the effects of opiates in my life (minus the physical dependence). So I started using kratom in super-low doses daily. Now I alternate kratom with tianeptine--an antidepressant with opiate-like effects. Works well and I can quit anytime without withdrawals. Yay!

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by wazup View Post
    For me, actually properly "wanting" to do things is the best most immediately positive side-effect of quitting opiates. Likewise, I usually reach a point during my use where I say to myself, "I really am a zombie," not doing anything of my own accord, and feeling very much like the world around me has stopped moving (or the world keeps moving but I am stopped).

    Usually when I reach the point where I say that to myself, I take steps to quit and enjoy the feeling of having my own will power return. Of course, this has been a repeated cycle for a long time now, and I'm resigned to the fact that I might never be off opiates 100%.

    Do opiates still provide you with pain relief?

  10. #30
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    I gotta say lortab stoked working for me after a month and a half. I could take 1 or 4 and not have any difference in pain. I had to make the jump to oxy to get real relief, but I hate the feeling when I stop taking them of just not enjoying the world and people around me like I used to. Though my main hobbies all involved hiking , backpack ING , which I currently can't do. Hopefully soon. I always feel better on a mountain top. Puts life into perspective for me.
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  11. #31
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    This is an awesome thread and I can feel the pain (no pun intended) of trying to stop a med. Having had migraines and other issues that go with them like anxiety and depression you can begin to wonder am I an addict. Can my liver take it.

    Back in the good old days I would get 90 hydros each month n my OP was faithful on overnight delivery.

    My PCP always gave me fioricet, then hydro, the oxy.
    The only way I let go of the hydro was I couldn't get it anymore.
    I tapered off when I saw the drought coming. Went to my doctor and began the usual migraine drugs (non narcotic)
    I use tramadol for breakthrough migraines and 1-2 oxy if needed. My doc prescribes 90 for 6 months. I don't go over and they do the job.
    The plus side -- I know longer park my car leave it running go into the store then have store security search high and low for my keys! Basically I'm a little less dopey lol.
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    "It is what is, do what have you have to do, suck it up".

  12. #32
    I have had generally positive experiences with opiates, even when taken long term. I am either blessed or cursed with being able to get a lot of euphoria out of them with very little in terms of side effects. Never got nauseous, almost never had constipation, rarely got overly sleepy. For long term use I would use small doses of ritalin to get rid of any overly-sleepy feelings and used to supplement testosterone due to the rather dramatic effect opiates have on men's testosterone levels. I kind of have it down to a science. Good energy, good focus, could always stay in great physical condition, did not impact sex either - in fact, with the right amount of testosterone I could go much longer yet still finish.

    So enough reminiscing. I notice very clearly that my emotions are more vivid when not taking opiates. It is easier for me to be moved by a piece of art or music, it is easier for me to cry, I feel volatile but it is a good feeling moreso than a bad one. I also have a tendency to take care of problems faster when not on opiates, simply because problems bother me less when constantly mood elevated by opiates. In relationships it is a tough call. I would say that with my kids, our relationship was better when I was using. With my S.O., I think we were closer when I was opiate-free. You are still "you" when you are on opiates... but it is a different shade of you. And at times I want to be back to just regular ME.

    Unquestionably though, being free of the need to constantly calculate how to get more was the greatest boon for me. Just no more worrying at all about that, or about the money, or all the other BS that goes along with it. That freedom is so very nice.
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  13. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by Mooya View Post
    I've also been thinking of cutting down on meds recently. I have several different disorders that I take meds for...migraines, fibromyalgia, depression and anxiety. So I take relatively small amounts of 4 different meds. But I did notice when I first started taking hydrocodone for my migraines and fibro pain, they did give me a boost as well as take away the pain. But now I notice I feel hyper some days...kind of agitated and angry, after I take a hydro...and I don't like it. I feel like they have changed my personality some after 6 years of using them. I wish I could go into rehab to get off everything...but don't even know how to go about it. Or should I just start tapering on my own? The problem is, if the pills are there and I'm having a bad day..or even the start of a headache, I take something. It feels like a crutch now. But some days I really do need them to get any work done.
    Do people suggest going to an addiction specialist? And will this be something that goes on your record and follows you around forever? I still want to be able to get pain meds when I really need them. I just don't want to always be thinking when I can get the next refill, and these days, if I can even afford it! Plus I want my old personality back.

    Any suggestions for finding an addiction specialist? And is your privacy guaranteed? Thanks in advance.
    I wish you the best. I am glad to hear that you are at a point where you have a desire to stop opioids. I will simply say this: PLEASE do some reading on the Internet and within this forum in terms of what privacy you may or may not have when being treated for addiction, and what the long term stigmas can be. I have written a number of long posts about this sort of thing, and think ultimately it needs to be your decision to get treatment even if there are potential privacy concerns. It is weighing pros and cons, just be informed so you can make an educated decision about what you want to do.
    Helpful Stevo2, Mooya Rated helpful
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  14. #34
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    I wish you all the best. I have been on opioids for 7 years. I'm taking hydromorphone 4 mg for pain in my arm due to an injury at work. I was taking oxy 10 mg but it wasn't doing much for me. Now I'm dealing with trigeminal neuralgia and it comes and goes. Seeing a neurologist at the end of the month. I think Cymbalta is helping me with that. Pain is something we all deal with at times , but sometimes people can't explain how bad it really gets. I hope someday I can stop with my pain medication and move on with life. I also notice a difference at times when I take kloanopin for my pain. I'm not sure why it helps but I think it's great for helping. I got to the point where I had to ask my doctor what are my options for my pain, instead of telling him I need pain meds now. I think doctors will listen to you when you ask them that. Good luck to all of you. This site is the best for information for people dealing with problems and asking friends for help. Thank you to all of you.
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  15. #35
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    I've been on tramadol for cluster headaches after trying tons of non-narcotic medications that just didn't work or had terrible side effects. Tramadol isn't very effective but it does take an edge off the pain, which in my case means staying conscious instead of passing out. The headaches became chronic at one point and I started taking tramadol every day. This lasted for almost a year and I realised that I didn't need this medication daily anymore. After a week of withdrawal symptoms, I was shocked to discover how well I can feel without tramadol!

    1. I finally felt alive and alert, wanted to do things, meet with people, exercise, cook.
    2. My mood was finally stable- I was very irritable when using tramadol every day...
    3. I don't need to sleep 12 hours a night and then feel foggy in the morning. I sleep less and wake up more rested.
    4. No need to worry about refilling my script or stocking up on pills to have enough when going for a holiday ******** and then checking to make sure I didn't forget to pack them.
    5. No more car-sick feeling and no itchiness all over my body!

    Those I think are the main benefits for me. I still get occasional headaches and take tramadol as needed then but I don't want to ever get back to using it every day because the way I'm feeling without it is so much better!
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  16. #36
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    @karoline Thanks so much for this post. I have been taking tramadol for several years, and I have some of the same symptoms. I am depressed, don't want to socialize, exercise or cook either! I figured it was just because I am hitting middle age (scary just to type that!). I can also sleep 12 hours and still not want to get out of bed. I I just feel so bland and negative about everything, when in reality, I have so much to be thankful for and happy about.

    With all of the supply issues going on, I have been cutting back some. It is VERY encouraging to know that there is light at the end of the tunnel and that this funk I'm in is not permanent.
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  17. #37
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    @mistymountainhop I totally get what you are saying. It's hard to know what's really "you" when you are taking some medication for a very long period of time. You forget what it felt like when you weren't taking anything. And I feel so lucky that I currently don't need to take any medication every single day as I know that there are so many people out there for whom it's just not possible.

    There's definitely light at the end of the tunnel- it might take a while for your brain to re-adjust but it will get better eventually. The funny thing is that, as some people here already mentioned, I do sometimes catch myself "missing" tramadol. And this is purely insane because when I have a headache and actually take it, I just feel miserable. But that's just living what I've learnt from books- you can get addicted to something that you hate.

    I wish you good luck with tapering down and hope you get to enjoy all those normal things life has to offer again soon enough .
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  18. #38
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    @karoline I have chronic back pain, like so many others. As time goes by though, I am seriously starting to wonder if the original cause of my back pain is even still there, or if it's the tramadol. It's pretty scary when you start to second-guess everything about yourself.

    I think exercise is the way to make it through the taper. Just taking a walk with my dogs when my back really hurts gets those endorphins going and really helps. Of course, since tramadol makes me feel like doing absolutely nothing, motivating myself to exercise (even just a walk) is a huge battle. It's not my favorite thing to begin with, although I love its benefits. When I worked out regularly, I was so much happier. That ended about 5 years ago and it has been downhill ever since.

    I truly can't believe I ended up in this situation. Thanks for the encouragement!
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  19. #39
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    @mistymountainhop After a few months on tramadol I started having daily headaches, which made me think I still needed this medication. But then one day I actually stopped to think and realised that the quality of the pain was completely different from cluster headaches. And now that I don't take tramadol regularly I no longer experience that type of headache so that could be true for you too.

    That second guessing thing is annoying, I know. I used to think that I had become such a difficult person because I just couldn't help myself to make comments if something/someone annoyed me. Now I can easily keep them to myself and it makes me (and others around me) feel so much more relaxed!

    And I agree that exercise is a good way of boosting endorphins and you will have more motivation to do it once you've tapered down more.

    The journey won't be easy or pleasant but the destination is definitely worth taking it .
    Helpful MMH Rated helpful

  20. #40
    @karoline and @mistymountainhop, I hope you both find you can stay pain free and peaceful firm now on. It is so hard to taper off and medication that you've been on for years. It really does make you wonder," Is this just me now? Or was I ever different?"when it's been so long. I hope the natural endorphins kick in soon!

    Gobruins
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