I'm inspired by JungleDog and Nefret and Roaddog and Cmenot and all of the great support at this forum so I'm going to share my taper travels with you all.
I had a heroin addiction as a teenager. I went through lots of withdrawals. I finally quit at age 20 - with a klonopin patch in a detox ward. I did not do drugs for 15 years. I hurt my back 6 years ago and was given vicodin. The Dr kept giving it to me. Tons and tons.So I got hooked. I ran out when I was on a cruise ship and went to mexican pharmacy and asked what they had for pain and they sold me a bottle of tramadol. I could not believe that you could buy this without a prescription online and so that's how it all started.
Like all good things that are "too good to be true" the tramadol train had a very bumpy ending. For those not familiar with Tramadol- it was easily obtained through "internet pharmacies" and as a result- enormous amounts of it would arrive in the mailbox like clockwork. Tramadol has always given me enormous amount of motivation. I could clean the entire house and I was like a superhero at my job. There were very few negative physical side effects except for when they ran out!
The second week of August - the govt finally cracked down on tramadol and the internet pharmacy thing and they upgraded Tramadol so that it could no longer be obtained online without prescription. ( I do believe people are still getting it overseas but I had to make the decision that I cannot break those laws. I simply cannot let this drug ruin me in that way)
It's been about 4.5 years of taking 20-24 of these 50mg pills every day. About 1200mgs a day and even more sometimes. There have been ups and downs. Ive run out here and there and have had murderous withdrawal. All the while living with a big huge Monkey on my back. And the secret of it. The secret of needing handfuls of these pills every day. And the panic that I could have a seizure at such high doses. Every night for over 4 years I laid awake wishing I could be free of the tramadols.
So here is where I am at. About 3 weeks ago I started to taper from the 24 (50mg pills) a day. I was down to 12 (50mg pills) a day for a week. Then I went to 6 a day for another week. Then 3 a day for about 10 days or so. Now I am down to 1.5 pills (75mgs) a day and holding. Not going UP only holding steady or dropping lower. That is the mantra.
What is helping is Kratom. I've taken about 2-4 grams of Kratom in place of my usual Tramadol doses. One other thing that is helping is xanex - which I am taking to go to sleep. And lastly- I got an antidepressant from my Dr - its Effexor- which is an SNRI. From what I have read and learned here at this forum is that Tramadol has a lot of serotonin and so I felt that these drastic decreases in dose would be a lot of my emotional state. (I have lost 4 of my close family members to suicide so I need to watch that) The effexor is only .37mg right now and in 10 days I am supposed to "double " that dose to the normal dose. By that time- I will be at the end of my taper from Tramadol and it will be more safe to do more effexor. I also bought loperamides as well as Rhodiola - both which I learned about here. I will use the immodium ONLY if needed on the first 2-3 days when I stop taking any tramadol because some of the stories on here are scary for those who got addicted.
Kratom has been a major lifesaver. I simply cannot even believe that Kratom is working as well as it is. I am not only NOT depressed- my spirits are pretty ok. My body feels a tiny bit achy but my body really feels pretty good considering the enormous dose I started tapering from. I feel pretty hopeful that I will finally be free of the tramadol and I can re-learn who I am without it. I know that many get addicted to Kratom too but as long as its legal - I will cross that bridge when I come to it. Im trying to use just what I need and not try to "get high" from it.
I simply cannot believe that I am finally almost free. I am so relieved that there is help with the withdrawals and that I may actually get out of this alive! This forum has taught me so much and I am just so incredibly happy to have found a place here.
Anyways- thanks for letting me put all this out there!