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My Codeine problem by

I am writing this as a way to document my progress but also maybe help others. How did I get in this mess? Most people who are addicted to painkillers usually have a 'trigger event' Mine was 3 broken ribs, for which I took co-codamol. I noticed at that time a euphoria and also removal of all the worries. And believe me there are a few: As a parent of 2 small children (2 and 5) with a very demanding job and wife that is retraining and therefore earns very little we have money problems because of a massive mortgage and nearly a grand is paid a month in childcare. I am on my own with the kids most of my waking hours that are not at work, because my wife is a trainee teacher as spends every waking hour lesson planning or marking. She makes £800 a month after tax which is crazy. She works 3.5 days a week and spends the other days socialising. I am trying to be ok with that. Hence Codeine was a form of escape. It took 3 years to get from occasional abuse through to the very serious situation of of taking nearly 600mg codeine a day as codeine phosphate tablets. I found an easy way to get them from online pharmacies. They cost a lot of money and i must have spent 5 grand at least. I also drink a bottle of wine a night and take diazepam too. This situation was obviously unsustainable. But, amazingly no-one knows as far as I am aware. You will be thinking - how could I let this get so bad, but those of you know that codeine resistance builds in plateaus - one day 90mg will do nothing at all and you need to up your dose to get the same feeling. What now I am now absolutely case iron determined to sort this out. Obviously I feel ashamed for spending money like this and being so irresponsible, but that works as a motivator for me now. My taper is going to have a lot of discomfort associated with it - but will drop quite quick then slowly reduce after that. This is mainly because of the expense of the tablets, and because I want to get to a safe dose as quickly as I can. Where am I now? Totady I am down from 600mg to 330mg. This is almost a safe amount to take a day (allegedly 240mg) so that's something. I will now reduce to 90mg a day and then drop 15mg a day. There has been a lot of symptoms - all of the ones you read about. But the worst has been the depression - its been difficult to get out of bed even. Especially as you gather your thoughts and know you face a day of discomfort. I take 5-htp and this helps a lot. Exercise really helps, and vitamin B seems to help too. The other golden rule is to keep continually busy until the end of the day. Having 2 small children and a wife that works all evenings has both filled this time but also made loneliness a bit of an enemy. If there are any positives I have a sex life again and also am enjoying going to the toilet (sorry if this is oversharing). My stomach bloating is massively reduced and I can see my abdominal muscles again. For alcohol - I strictly limit my drinking, but I do allow myself 2 glasses of wine, because its dangerous to stop straight away. After a week, I will cut this out completely - that will save £3 a day (I was buying a bottle a day). The only way I could reduce my drinking was to wait until later in the evening before I started. For me, this is 9pm (we go to bed at 11). Hopefully I can keep posting here as a progress the bumps along the way. I have noticed no two days are the same - some are not too bad - today is OK. Yesterday was terrible. There's only one thing missing for me now - that's someone to talk to. I'm too ashamed to talk to friends so the anonymous forum is worth a try....?

I dont know how to be anymore by

I watched my sons mother die from an operation , soon after that my son was diagnosed with cancer and i watched him battle through that, he is fine now but i just dont know how to be anymore. Ive had people tell me " we all lose someone" , it has affected every aspect of my life, i drink and take drugs too much and dont know my limits, i have embarrassed myself, i cannot hold down a job for longer than a year, i have got myself into debt, i have lost my home. I feel so dissapointed in myself, i have tried to get help but because i was working it was hard to get the time off as the counsellor could only see me at specific times and places. I do not give up easily but it just seems like i never get anywhere

by Clara1

2 posts

I want to help my partner but don't know how by

I've been trying to help my partner, we have been together 2 years, he only had a small problem when we got together which i managed to help him cut down. But then he started drinking more and more. He drinks everyday and always has an excuse. It got really bad a couple of weeks ago when he got completely drunk and next day had to work very early and was still over the limit (his job involves driving all day) I told him pretty much our relationship was on the line, not those exact words. To be honest I dont drink at all and not known someone with a drink problem before so not sure how to handle it. He told me he would cut down... he lasted 4 days which i told him i'm proud of him for, he was getting happier. But then his friends (they also know he has a problem) invited him out drinking so he went straight back to it, drinking everyday. His friends continuously invite him out to drink, not to do anything else. Even when he tells them he don't really want to go out they say things to make him feel bad such as "i will just go see someone else then since you cant be bothered" I do know that if we lived together i would be able to help him more but we are not in the financial situation to move from our parents house. I can't tell him not to see his friends because i don't want to sound controlling. We argue a lot about his drinking, i don't know what to do or how to talk to him. His never been violent but he does get moody. It's causing a big strain on our relationship and i'm worried about his health so much, I want him to see a doctor but he wants to do it on his own. Is there a way i can talk to him or any right phrases to use ? I don't want to walk away from this relationship, everything is good and its much better when he don't drink at all. He said his been AA before we met and they didn't help him. His 29 now. We did argue last night through messages and think his getting annoyed with me keep bringing it up, maybe i do sounds controlling :/

What’s next? by

I’m happy, successful professionally and have a great support unit, issue is my social circle all recreationally take use. Usually on a night out , few beers then the bag comes out. My issue is I can’t stop, it’s the beer that gets me thinking if it and I can’t get it out of my head until I have it, then it’s a continuous drive to keep going, so much so my partner goes to bed tonight she’s asleep and I sneak off and keep on it more, I’m sat in the patio after taking more and googling wtf am I doing? Chain smoking and reassessing my choices. My relationship and social circle is drink and then inevitably gear, they seem to enjoy, drink and know when to stop, separating the two for special occasions, indont. I had 6 months t total and everything seemed to go ok. I’m with my partner now and I’m madly in love but she likes a drink and I won’t want to change her, but it’s becoming too much, I cannot stop. Is this relationship poisoning me do I need to leave to find clarity and be sober now? I can’t separate alcohol and substance then it’s all I fixate on. I go abroad and know I can’t find it and I’m my old self, enjoy a drink and I’m ok, back home everyone I socialise with does it, but these friends are like family. I can’t have a life without them but i can’t separate the two in my home city. Any advice welcome . Feeling trapped in a loop

Codeine Addicition Experience by

This is the first time I have opened up about my addiction to any living soul, so bare with me whilst I attempt to gather my thoughts into words whilst I type this (I get that this is targeted towards someone else’s addiction but it’s ridiculous to limit the forum when I know for a fact that my own experience could help someone else). I have been addicted to codeine phosphate for three years. It started after completing my MSc course at a world renowned university. I felt like I was on top of my game. It came about through using it as a means to achieve a high as a direct treatment for my mental health debilitations of BPD, PPD, GAD and depression. I had started to experiment with drugs such as MDMA, cocaine and speed (solely when going out with friends to raves and clubs). I would never use them outside of these environments. But the feeling they gave me whilst I was high made me completely forget about my mental health issues. I have always been the most self deprecating, self destroying person. I hate myself. I still do. I hate the way I look. I hate my personality. I hate my overthinking mind. I hate my stupidity despite my intelligence. I hate my life. I hate EVERYTHING about myself. I will never ever say a good word about myself. Ever. Now I am a very meticulous, logical oriented person despite my disgusting everything else. Being in the UK, I started off by just going to my local pharmacy and buying a pack of co-codamol. At this point, I had already tried co-codamol (quite recently for the first time back then) and had the most amazing euphoria following popping two 30/500mg tablets. But there is that thought in the back of your head of “what would a higher dose feel like? Would it be more intense or would it last longer?”. Now, I knew the risks of respiratory depression but I was smart about it. I would never go too high to the point that it would shock my body into gasping for breath like an athlete on Mount Everest. But not low enough that I wouldn’t get a substantial buzz out of it. But the issue was the paracetamol. My method of extracting the codeine and separating it from the paracetamol was cold water extraction. I won’t go into the specifics of what I did and specific amounts because I do not want ANYONE going through what I have. This started off harmless enough. First it was one strip, equivalent to 64mg of codeine. Then 128mg. Then 128mg twice a day. 256 mg twice a day. With the most I’ve ever taken being 500mg five times a day. That’s 2500mg of codeine in one single day. It consumed me. All aspects of my life revolved around the codeine. Whether I have enough to last me the day. Whether I had enough to last me tomorrow. Whether there were pharmacies in close proximity that I could go to (as most pharmacies will only sell you one per week). Whether I have been to them recently and would question me. Whether the pharmacies in close proximity were even open to start with. I had to plan everything around that. I would stop eating for the entire day so as to not line my stomach up with food, thus decreasing from my high and so I would only eat after my last daily dose wore off right before bed. I stopped speaking to anyone because my mental health deteriorated. I stopped caring about anything. I lost that motivation that made me such a driven person and instead, it was replaced with laziness as all I would want to do is lay in bed whilst high. Away from the stresses associated with other humans. Three years this lasted. Three years of nothing more than this. The most important years of my life, whittled down to nothing more than driving to 4-12 pharmacies in a day, going through the process of extracting the codeine and numbing myself. If I didn’t take codeine, I would start withdrawing. My time-span was 10-12 hours from my last dose. Any more than that without codeine, and the first thing I would feel are the hot flushes and sweating. Within an hour or two the diarrhoea ensues with the most intense cramping known to humanity. Not even loperamide can save you. Within six hours, the inscessant leg shaking happens where you feel as though your legs cannot sit still and you just have to shake them back and forth. This was my experience. No nausea. But trust me when I say that the cramps and the diarrhoea was enough. But the leg shaking puts you over the edge because you can’t sleep as a result. You want to continuously move your legs until they fall off, to the point where you’ll find yourself crying in the middle of the night because you’re so frustrated and sick of having legs. No one knew. I hid my addiction well. It’s a functional high but the second I would do something, I would feel as though my high diminished. So I tried to do as little as possible. I have spent so much money that I could have used for something better. I have wasted so much time that I could have used to better myself. I have neglected my friends and family. I have neglected myself. I tried to stop multiple times to no avail. I couldn’t do this on my own. Cold turkey lasted two days. Then I tried tapering. I managed to get it down to 256mg twice a day. That’s two boxes of co-codamol a day. Once when I wake up and once in the evening. But I didn’t want to lose that high. Losing the buzz that became so habitual for me was devastating in my mind. But I wanted to quit at the same time. It contradicted substantially and I didn’t know what to do. But then I had a thought. Maybe the quantity was just in my mind. I could achieve a high on lower doses before so why not now? I know that I could still achieve a high on 220mg so how far could I push it? This is how I’ve started beating my codeine. The knowledge that the high still stays at lower doses. This is aimed at anyone who wants to quit but does not want to lose the high instantly. I tapered my dose to three strips, twice a day from my two boxes a day. That’s 24 tablets of 8/500mg co-codamol. High is a little less intense but still there. Still very much noticeable and enjoyable. There was hope. This was the lowest I’ve ever been in three years. I kept this up for a week before tapering down to 128mg, twice a day. That’s two strips in a box. Still have the high. Still have the buzz. Doesn’t last AS long but hey, I’m happy if I’m not gasping for breath because the cramps get so intense. This is where I am now. I’m three days away from one strip. A measly 64mg. Basically equivalent to the very first dose of 60mg that I ever had, three years ago. I have so many plans after I beat this. Things I want to do. I’ve started cooking more instead of eating ridiculous processed foods. God, I love making asian food. I want to work out again. I miss the feelings of weights in my hands and the buzz after a 5 mile run. I want to see my friends again. I haven’t spoken to or seen my friends in three years. I’m in my mid twenties and I don’t see my friends. I don’t even know if they want to see me again but I will try. I want to spend time with my family. I miss sitting with them and cracking jokes and bombarding mum with my silly humour. I want to work. Three years without work in the most amazing field in science has taken its toll on me. I’ve tried applying for jobs for two years and no one wants me. I don’t know why. I’ve tried but scientists are better preferred with PhDs. God, I would love to do a PhD. This is a message of hope. From the most pessimistic, human hating, mental health debilitated individual. But the only thing keeping me going is what I can start doing again. That all of this is temporary. I’m still in the midst of my tapering (without diarrhoea thankfully) and its going. I don’t want to jinx it. I’m not superstitious but I just don’t want to jinx it. I hope that I can be better. I hope that I can work out and finally feel comfortable in my own skin. I hope that my confidence can radiate and make people like me more. I hope that I can finally feel free from the grasp of this pathetic drug. I don’t know if anyone will read this. It’s pretty long and tedious. I don’t know if anyone will care. It’s hard to find forums online about codeine tapering how-to’s. It’s not like Wikihow does a step by step in addiction. But if it even reaches one person who is addicted or one parent of an addict, I hope it helps. We’re not bad people. We’re just severely severely in pain. Sometimes it’s the environment we’re in. Sometimes it’s genetic. But don’t hate us for doing what we do. Don’t hate us for rejecting your support and help. Don’t take it personally. We want to do things ourselves is all. But we’re the same people on the inside. No matter what you think or hear. All I ask is that if this reaches you and you read it, please say something. Let me know that everything will be okay. Let me know that what I’ve said could be taken in and used to help someone. I guess it’s more for self gratification than anything. That I’ve done something right by opening up. It’s so hard to open up. I haven’t had anyone there for me for three years so I hope this does something positive for someone else and for myself. Maybe it’s just for my ego. I don’t know. But say something. Anything. Tell me I’m an idiot for all I care. It would be nice to talk to someone. TL;DR: How I got off codeine without any help despite not wanting to lose my high. I tapered whilst managing to maintain my high. Just read it, it’s helpful. It’s long. But it’s helpful. I’m sorry it’s long. I’m not good at opening up. God I love asian cuisine.

by Jenn30

168 posts

Waking up to reality by

As I write this it’s 03:00 on a Monday morning and I’m waiting to drive down to London to start work with my colleague. I’m currently on day five of going cold turkey from Codeine of which I’ve been abusing for over a year now. I have previous history of abusing opiates including co codamol and zapain. Coming off these seemed quite easy and I didn’t seem to experience the awful symptoms I’m getting with the Codeine. I think I’m over the worst of it now but the past few days have been tough. The worst part was explaining to my beautiful and loving partner that I had been abusing prescription meds. Thankfully she didn’t judge me, told me she loved me and had her support. The depression I’m feeling is probably the worst symptom of the withdrawal and I’m scared that I’ll relapse. I need to address my underlying issues which include depression and anxiety, low self esteem. I have tried to approach the NHS to get mental health support but have only been referred to an online support network. I need more. I need to talk to a counsellor or psychotherapist but would struggle to afford regular sessions. Any advice would be appreciated it’s good to be able to vent to others who understand

Advice needed by

Hi guys , been following threads on this for a while as I’m recovering myself from addiction problems, mainly codeine / diydrocodeine/tramadol. My problem now is that iv gone from 600mg plus per day right down to 60mg a day and I’m struggling to stop the 60mg. It’s the achy legs and rls that make me want to take the 60mg, it’s driving me crazy, just want to chop my legs off. Any suggestions as to what might help, usual paracetamol and ibuprofen don’t help for the pain or is my brain tricking me? I know it’s part of the withdrawal but I’m really struggling with it.

Clean, Sober & Miserable... by

Hey all.. Quick background, I’m in my early 30s and have been alcoholic since my first drink at 14, I loved it! Alcohol allowed me to be loud and confident etc and from the get go I was a greedy drinker and couldn’t get enough... Between ages 14-25 my drinking progressed big time, I didn’t drink all the time Infact often months apart but when I did drink I caused absolute chaos and trouble always followed. I would drink until I blacked out or fell down.. I never knew when to stop.. I had a couple sober years between 25-27 and then discovered Codeine and I was in love again.. painkillers became part of my daily life on and off for 7 years, I would still drink but maybe once every 4/5 months and I only managed to abstain between drinks due to having my sidekick codiene. I thought my life was unmanageable when my only problem was booze.. My codeine addiction grew and grew just like my drinking until I was taking up to 120 pills a day.. I shouldn’t be alive! During the last 7 years I’ve stopped so many times and had lots of days, weeks even months of being clean and sober but I could never stay stopped! By the end I was taking stronger stuff than co-Codamol and nurofen plus, I really thought I would end up on methadone. Today I am almost 6 months sober and 8 days clean of codeine and I am miserable, I know this is normal and I’ve abused my body and brain for so long it will take a while to repair but hoping by sharing on here there are others at the same stage or further forward than me who could support each other.. I have a huge desire to be clean and sober today, I want to live! By some stroke of luck I had my bloods taken after confessing to my GP about my addiction and my liver etc all came back functioning as normal. It’s taken me almost 6 weeks to taper down from 100+ pills a day to none but I’ve done it and today I can say I AM CLEAN AND SOBER! Physical withdrawals have passed but mentally it’s so hard... Thank you if you have read this far! Love and positive thoughts to all xAx