My Norco Withdrawal and Addiction Story - Part 27

By sadbutglad · Jan 3, 2015 · ·
  1. So I've really tried to dicect my addiction and figure out why I'm exceeding the recommended dose ever single ******* month. Here's what I think is happening. I have legitimate lower back pain. I also have depression. My mom's death was pretty heavy and I never really dealt with it as coping skills weren't one of the gifts left behind by them for me. Coping seems to be the number one quality one must possess in order to be fully functional, drug free, and successful. We'll my coping skills suck. I am gainfully emplyed, my boss knows I use norco for back pain and he has fired numerous people and kept me because I take care of business. Do I make mistakes at work, absolutely. Some are mistakes that are going to happen no matter what and sometimes the mistakes are from being high. But for the most part my work ethic has set me apart from the rest. I am a loving, involved, mother. I am actually going to do my BEST to get to work at 7:30 am (opposed to 8:30) so I can get off at 3:30 pm opposed to 4:30) to have time to put my kids in after school sports. I also like to think I have a pretty healthy sense if who I am as I ask myself questions and self evaluate where I REALLY am in life -who and what I've been - and who and what I want to be.

    I just put my finger on the fact that I use thsee opiates for insomnia, pain, and depression. No wonder why I run out and go into withdrawal EVERY SINGLE ******* MONTH. Then I beat myself up for being at the same exact ****** spot, month after month after month.

    Now, before I ask opinions, I need it to be clear that I'm very functional, but never really happy and have always struggled with feelings of validation and finding an internal peaceful place to dwell, if just for a moment.

    My grandfather raised me primarily and always made me feel like I was never good enough. I was a great student and had a job at 16 - on my own accord (as to not ask him for a dime). Upon his death, he put everything into a trust to benefit my children. Not me. He very clearly, matter of factly, and intentionally wanted to ensure that I knew he didn't want to bless me but them. To put the cherry on top, he added a letter to the trust [email protected]$!ing off my character to whomever it would concern so that whomever read it could treat me just as poorly as he did. I so don't want to hold on to these types of hurtful things as they are destructivE and only destructive, but they stI'll hurt. I have alot to work through and I think that alot of my depression and inability to feel valid comes from my upbringing with him.

    Before I ask my question, I want to say that opiates help me function. Without a doubt. They take my pain away, both internal and external. Why would I want to stop using them? Because I dont. They make me feel better. Inside and out. Why do they have to be bad? They're not. What's bad is I run out because I'm using them for more than one ailment. Dont you think I should ask my doctor to prescribe me Soma or something for sleep so that I'm not taking the hydros for sleep?

    I am really against benzos, but those bastards work. At least with the experience I've had with them. Coming off of any of the 3 types of drugs suck-yes, but not having amy relief with the internal struggles sucks too. I don't have insurance so I don't have the luxury to sit down with a shrink. I could pay for therapy sessions, but that comes out of my pocket and I did that for a while and progress was made but at an astronomically slow pace. Am I wrong for preparing myself to continue to use norco at the prescribed dosage and ask my doctor for a Soma prescription as well? I'm afraid of the benzos because I know tolerance increases quickly and getting off of them isn't just miserable, it's scarey. Dont you think that the Somas will stop me from using the hydros to help me sleep. I think that's the main culprit in overusing my pain meds.



  1. jokerswild
    Saw your post and i can honestly say i have walked in your shoes. First off congrats on realizing that the meds have become a problem that is the first step in the right direction. It is no joke to pull away from them. I was prescribed a morphine pill that it was easy to bypass the time release enough said. I now take gabapenten for my pain and it saved my life plus it helps with opiate withdrawal a lot. What i say next may not be what you want to hear.

    You need to level with your doctor about the medications ask them for help and your desire to pull away from them. It is a scary talk to start but the fact you are honest with them will go a very long way. I will say you are not the first to fall in to the trap of opiates and will not be the last. A good support group around you is also very important people you can trust to help you when the urge to use more hits. It is a battle that isn't easy but you can do it! :D

    Also there are many previous threads on withdrawal. I found the Thomas recipe helpful.
    Chin up and keep fighting.
  2. Jungledog
    Ok. You asked for feedback so I will give it. Understand that I say these words with love and care. If I didn't give a shit, I wouldn't respond.

    You are addicted to your opiates. Running out each month because you use them to handle your emotional pain as well as physical pain is classic addiction. Opiates are NOT good for you long term. Opiates suppress the HPA axis and with chronic use fuck your endocrine system resulting in adrenal insufficiency, suppressed sex hormones, suppressed seretonin and dopamine levels and hypothyroidism. They cause and worsen depression. Yes, it is easy to convince yourself that they help you as obviously they get you high and feel good but in the end this really is skewed thinking. I was in the exact same place. I told myself the same lies.

    You don't need soma. A classic symptom of depression is difficulty sleeping. I have been in denial about my opiate use and depression. This past month my thoughts turned to death. It finally scared me enough to get help. Cymbalta had turned my very life around. I feel joy again. I am sleeping like a baby again. I mean 8 hours and wake feeling rested. I haven't felt this good in years! My energy has returned and I am off the opiates.

    I think you are taking the first step and realizing you have the underlying issue with depression. The next step is coming to terms with the fact that you overuse opiates and that they are not an appropriate treatment for depression. Denial is a very strong entity. If you need opiates for physical pain, then use them but be aware that using opiates to numb emotional pain leads to nowhere good.

    As always I wish you the best. Treat the depression. Take valerian or clonidine for sleep and avoid adding another addictive medication. Your kids need you.
  3. sadbutglad
    But isn't Cymbalta just another Benzo that your body depends on? Doesn't that **** with your body in some way or another also?
  4. Jungledog
    No, Cymbalta is not a benzo nor is it addictive. It is a drug called a SNRI or a serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor which helps stabilize and fix abnormal neurotransmitters responsible for causing depression. There are also drugs called a SSRIs...selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. These are first line treatments. For most people, these medications work very, very well. Basically people with depression have abnormally low serotonin levels. The drugs simply helps the body more effectively use what it makes.

    I most certainly was using opiates to lift my mood, to help me sleep, and to cope. I was not using them only for pain nor as prescribed. If you are running out monthly and repeatedly going into withdraw, you are doing the same thing. Been there, done that, and got the Tshirt. It sucked. I finally decided enough was enough. I can't live my life alive only 2 weeks out of each month.

    Anyhow, each person needs to figure out how to manage their depression. As a health care provider, I was simply educating you about what opiates do to the hypothalmic-pituitary- adrenal axis and how they long term will likely worsen depression and cause endocrine issues. Most people on long term opiates also develop hypothyroidism and a bitch of a thing called opiate-induced hyperalgesia. This means opiates actually worsen pain with time. Do not take my word on these things. Research them yourself. You may be very surprised with what you find and of course speak with your doctor.

    Wish you relief from your depression and from your current use cycle. Love to you.
  5. smith9666
    Hey there,

    I've been following your post since you first started and I'm very confused with your question that now arises.

    You have said that you use them for sleep and other ailments and that is why you run out early? I'm sorry but I don't think that is true. Remember, this is coming from someone who has been there and down the same path as you. You run out early each month because you abuse them and are addicted. You even supplement the very large amount you are already getting and still run out. Even if you were taking some to help you sleep, you wouldn't be out 2 weeks in to your script. I'm sure you go through 1/2 of the script the first week just as I did?

    Getting somas to help you sleep will NOT fix this issue. Coming to terms with your addiction will.

    I apologize if I am coming off too harsh but honestly, you have changed your attitude completely on this and you are going in the wrong direction. Ive been following your journal and waiting for the day that the light bulb goes off. Im confindent it will happen with time, but at what cost?

    If I hadn't been where you are now, I would think that you just didn't care what this is doing to your life from reading your posts. You openly admit to loving the pills and said you can't imagine your life without them. I don't think you truly believe that at all. I think you know exactly how great life can be without them and you fear the process that it takes to be off of them... Rightly so. I had the same fears.

    The problem is that nobody is going to try to support you getting clean and we won't he able to give you advice on that until you actually want to.

    I really care about you and hope that you sit and think about the route you are going. Every person that has posted on your journal has cared enough to read it and post but these are only words and you have to make the choice.
  6. Cmenot
    All of the side effects listed by JungleDog: depression, hyperalgesia, + relationship difficulties all happened to me personally as a result of hydrocodone. This narcotic will screw up your thinking-make you think its helping your job performance (not), make you think it gives you energy (it sucks the life out of you), make you think life is so much better with it. It even exaggerates your pain.

    You will continue to need higher and higher doses just to maintain a feeling of normal (i.e. not sick).
    I got dependent on this medication after a back surgery. I was, at one time, taking 100 mg hydrocodone/day. The FDA is revising the tylenol maximum per day to 3000mg, especially in chronic/daily use. It will be even lower in the elderly and those with liver problems.

    I tapered down to 40mg a day and took that for an additional two years, the whole time I just felt like crap and I didn't know why. It was the darn hydrocodone... constant state of mild withdrawal + depression + an intestinal bug that had been masked by the narcs. My back still hurts but its a heck of a lot better than it was while I was taking the Norco. The narcotics rob your brain of the ability to naturally control pain. It comes back in time, fairly quickly in my case. I control the pain with motrin and an occasional baclofen. Its my plan to start yoga. I take Pristiq which is a non addictive SNRI antidepressant. I have never to my knowledge had a problem with depression before narcotics with the exception of after the deaths of my parents (4 weeks apart-it was bad).
    I think the longer I took the pills, the worse my mood and outlook got and then when I quit cold turkey, I became severely depressed after about 2-3weeks. It was horrific. My mood lifted within days of starting the Pristiq.
    Thats my story...the drugs are seductive and they fool you into thinking they help. But they suck the life out of you, they rob you of quality time with your family. They dull and steal all of your joy and love because they blunt ALL of your emotions. I know you are afraid of the withdrawal, but its really NOT going to kill you. You have a supportive spouse, think about all the money you are spending on the drugs-between the Dr and the RX and the street drugs. Spend that money on 2 weeks OFF work. They will not fire you if you have a Doctors note.
    Come clean to your Dr or just tell him you want to stop taking the pills and would like some gabapentin and some clonidine to help you with pain and withdrawal. And ask for a Dr note for work. Tell your hubby you're going to be sick for 2 weeks. Get your life back! Stop letting a pill run your life... WHO is in charge of you?

    I HAVE been where you are.... Narcotics are not an effective sleep aid nor are they an effective depression medication.... just the opposite. They are effective for pain short term.... they are a really crummy solution for pain long term.

    You asked for other's experiences...mine couldn't get much closer to your own. I took the Norcos for 4 years.
    My pain management Dr let me take my script as I saw fit as long as I didn't run out of pills early. Some days I took 4 10mg tabs, others I took 3 or 5. Toward the end of my was more 3/day... nuff said. But really, I was taking these pills because I felt like shit if I DIDNT take them... its no way to live.
    I hope you decide to take your life back! All of us here will support you in any way we can.

    Since I quit taking the pills (August 14th give or take a little) I have genuinely laughed...and I mean tears rolling down my face laughing where you can't breath.
    I have cried BUCKETS...all the sad things I've stuffed over the last 4 years.
    I have realized that I was unfair to both my husband AND my relationships with both have improved.
    I have had coworkers tell me I seem less anxious and more confident/relaxed. And I FEEL more confident.
    It really sucks your self esteem feeling impaired and hiding the fact that you are dependent/addicted to narcotics.
    I don't worry that I'm making mistakes or forgetting something because I'm either taking narcotics or long overdue for a dose and have lost my focus.
    I don't have to go to the Dr every month, nor worry about Pharmacy hours, etc.. or what day it is and how many pills are left in the bottle.
    I don't take meds for constipation anymore.
    I just feel better about myself.. Do this for yourself and for your family. I've never heard ANYONE say "Gosh, I'm really sorry I quit taking narcotics..."
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