: Drugs, alcohol and mental health

Discuss the twin challenges of mental health and substance use

6 replies

11 Days cold turkey from codeine and doing ok!

Just wanted to put out there my story and gain any advice that people can offer me. been addicted to codeine for 5 years now and have known for ages that i had to stop, and recently ive been attempting to taper but after so many false starts where i would cut down to 5 a day etc i would cave and jump up to my more regular dose of 12-15 30mg tabs every night. i have been on the sick from work following knee and elbow surgery and I have worried lately that this would eventually affect my marriage and end up losing my family etc as i would normally sit up till 2-3 am feeling euphoric while my wife would go to bed at 10 ready for work the next day thus meaning our physical relationship has suffered. however i had not planned to go cold turkey as the fear of withdrawels petrified me. for a reason unknown to me i suddenly decided to stop on 1st of march (this had not been planned). It had coincided with me suffering a very heavy flu like cold which had started before i stopped the pills. however after the first 4-5 days in and whilst i felt relatively drained as though i just had a heavy cold but had no real desire to collapse back onto the drugs. my main symptoms at that point where lethargy, a bit loose on the toilet, feeling fluey but not too bad. a bit emotional thinking about my children and grandson (but this actually helps as i keep telling myself that i will be able to be a far better granddad to my 2 y/o grandson who idolises me and me him.) a bit insomnia waking up about 5 but lying awake till morning. other than this i hadn't felt to bad at all and what was strange is that in the past when i have just gone one day without the drug the withdrawals were awful and far worse. i am unsure why this time i felt relatively OK . luckily my appetite had not suffered at all so i have been eating well, juicing healthy fruits and eating veg, taking vitamins etc through out, so i can see the benefits of ridding my self of this drug.

I am now at day 11, i have not had any relapses and i am happy to say that i have disposed of all of my remaining codeine (over 200 pills) and also spoke to my gp to remove my repeat prescription therefore my supply is stopped.

Currently still doing very well however still have a few remaining issues with looseness on the toilet, and feeling very very lethargic almost like i have spent a full day in the gym, my sleep is still broken. but life is slowly returning to normal, I am back at work tomorrow but whilst feeling a bit anxious i know that this will help me and will probably help with my sleep as i will be back in a routine.

I would love to hear if anybody can give me some ideas as to when the fatigue will start to end. i am being sensible and doing a little exercise as im aware my body will be weak at the moment so not over doing anything.

I am so proud of where i am at and others in my situation should feel confident you can beat this too.

Good luck and thanks for reading this


replying to Neil1628

I have no experience of your addiction but I think what you are doing and have done is amazing. I am sure your advice will be useful for other codeine addicts. Stay focussed on your family and grandson as these are some of the reasons you are getting well. More importantly you are doing this for yourself and I am sure you will feel the benefits eventually. Keep up the good work and stay strong.

replying to Neil1628

Well done for goin so long without codeine. I have been through this with a family member so unfortunately I know the hold it can have on a person, the receptors in your brain will still crave the drug so you need to be on guard and have some type of support during any difficult times that might arise during the next few months just in case you feel like going back to codeine.

You will probably be withdrawing physically and emotionally for a while so you just have to make sure you look after yourself in every way. Keep working on your sleep pattern, healthy eating and light exercise.

If your wife or someone else is supportive you need to speak to them and keep open communication so that you can speak to someone if you need to.

Again, well done. You’ve made a big step and possibly saved your family from being destroyed. All the best

replying to Neil1628

Good afternoon and thanks both of you for the kind and supportive words, I am doing amazingly well now and have just passed 23 days clean. I have been incredibly lucky that my withdrawals even during the first week were relatively mild, feeling more like a heavy cold and slightly bad stomach. The insomnia being perhaps the most frustrating but my doctor prescribed me temporary relief in this area. I am not naive and am aware and have had days where for no real reason heavy fatigue has hit me out of the blue, but I am hoping that as my first withdrawals were mild that any post acute withdrawals I may or may not suffer will also be mild.

I have not and do not crave codeine at all since I quit and have disposed of my tablets and also informed my gp to remove it from repeat prescription.

I think I’m winning this battle and would like to think others can read this and believe that withdrawing isn’t always as bad as others suffer. If I had known that I would have felt this good after 3 weeks I’d have quit years ago!!

I do believe however a strict health regime must be undertaken. I have ate super healthy whilst shovelling vitamins and fresh fruit and protein shakes down my throat, there has not been a day yet where I haven’t walked a least 3-5 miles also. I think if you sit in your home and try and ride it out without pushing yourself you’ll be in for a long ride without a doubt.

Good luck to everyone trying to quit and if you need any encouragement please feel free to post I love replying and trying to help with my experiences where I can.

Thanks N

replying to Neil1628

Brilliant! I hope your positive story helps others. Very kind of you to offer your support

replying to Neil1628

Thanks for sharing this Neil. It gives me hope. I am in a mess with codeine. I hate it and really want to get out. I relapsed, as 10 years ago I was in a similar place, and went cold turkey. I would say it took about 6 weeks in total to feel completely like myself again. I am so gutted that I am back in this place all because I got them prescribed again.

Good luck!! You have done really well!

replying to Neil1628

Thanks for this Jaleigh, that is upsetting that things have turned out not so well for you, but you have beaten this once and you can do it again, maybe try and follow my routine on my first post with the vitamins etc, it just worked so well for me. I’m so glad to hear somebody say that things go back to normal fairly quickly as I really think there is so much negativity online with so called information sites saying that it can take 2 years to get your energy back. That really could put so many people off quitting, keep in touch on here we are all here to support each other.

Thanks again and good luck to you

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