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Thread: Oxy relapse after 8 years sober ...

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    Oxy relapse after 8 years sober ... 
    #1
    Greetings, my friends. I posted over on the tapering thread a week back, and I'm glad I did. I simply wanted to expose myself (no pun intended) to a larger group of recovering folks. I'll try and make my story brief: I entered rehab in April of 2010. I was hooked on oxycodone - taking approx. 200-250mgs a day. Luckily, I had only taken that amount for 4-5 months, so I was able to get clean after a 3-week stint in rehab. I loathed rehab, simply because I was 44 at the time (I am 52 now) and taught at a local college ... I felt like I was swimming in an ocean of teenage (and early 20's) kids doing their 5th rehab run on their parents' tab. But it worked - no way in hell did I EVER want to return. I got out of rehab, went back to teaching and writing, and dove into 12-Step work. After the typical "brain depleted of opiates" depression wore off, life was pretty good. I threw myself into Program. After around year 7 of sobriety, I began seeing cracks in the system, so to speak. No offense against Program - it works, but the "tribe" of folks I hung out with just seemed too narrow-minded and judgmental. And often, downright mean-spirited. The hypocrisy of hearing their honest sharing, followed by their behavior out of the rooms turned me off. I should have tried other meetings, but I didn't. Anyway, I won't bore you - I stopped going to meetings, started micro-dosing edibles of pot, and as you can guess ... I thought I'd have a quick dance with Percocet again. Luckily, it never got that bad. It started around last April or so, and I began mixing them with rum and cokes, etc. As a writer, that old, familiar euphoric feeling was inspirational - like reuniting with an old lover. Poetry seemed to flow from my fingers, so to speak. But, as summer came to an end, I knew that I HAD to stop. Currently, I'm teaching an entirely new curriculum (a promotion of sorts), and I have to be on top of my game. I won't go back to rehab, and luckily, I've tapered down to 25 mgs. a day (with the exception of Fridays - I allow myself to take more pills Friday evening ... I know, it's rather stupid).

    So, here I am. I'm trying a VERY slow taper. Obtaining the pills isn't a problem, and I just changed from 10mg Percocet to 5mg. Today, I'll be taking 22.5 mgs for the first time, and I'll try to taper off at about 2.5 mgs a week (or every ten days). Again, it's going to have to be a slow taper, and I'm working out, jogging, etc. If anyone out there has ANY feedback, I'd really appreciate it. Again, I simply can't afford to go through withdrawals at this point - I've been given a special teaching position, and I have to be "ON my game." Thanks for reading this, and I apologize for the wordiness - but again, any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks!
    Last edited by uncle_jocko; 16-09-2018 at 01:55.
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    #2
    Hi Uncle_Jocko! Enjoyed reading your post. I'm 21 days free of tramadol and did it as a taper. I had some hiccups at times - I'd taper down to really low doses, then have a setback, then taper again - that was the cycle for awhile until this last time when I finally did a quick taper to be done with it (I recommend a slow taper ). It was hard but could've been much harder. I'm still having a few physical symptoms, but nothing too bad. I really identified with your post in that I love to write poetry and music. I can remember when I first took tramadol (for chronic pain issues), I could play piano for hours and write late into the night...it was great, at first. Eventually the tables turned and I no longer felt very creative on it. After the turbulence of those first few days of withdrawal settled down, I began to feel like my old self again and started having phrases and musical ideas flowing freely throughout. The insomnia makes it a little difficult now, but I'm really loving having that back. You can absolutely do this! I saw where you wrote rehab wasn't an option this time...do you have a good support system of trusted friends or family? A physician to lean on if you needed withdrawal support meds? It sounds like you have a plan and I wish you all the best. Please keep us posted on how you're doing and your progress. You can do it!
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    #3
    Bluelighter
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    Quote Originally Posted by uncle_jocko View Post
    Greetings, my friends. I posted over on the tapering thread a week back, and I'm glad I did. I simply wanted to expose myself (no pun intended) to a larger group of recovering folks. I'll try and make my story brief: I entered rehab in April of 2010. I was hooked on oxycodone - taking approx. 200-250mgs a day. Luckily, I had only taken that amount for 4-5 months, so I was able to get clean after a 3-week stint in rehab. I loathed rehab, simply because I was 44 at the time (I am 52 now) and taught at a local college ... I felt like I was swimming in an ocean of teenage (and early 20's) kids doing their 5th rehab run on their parents' tab. But it worked - no way in hell did I EVER want to return. I got out of rehab, went back to teaching and writing, and dove into 12-Step work. After the typical "brain depleted of opiates" depression wore off, life was pretty good. I threw myself into Program. After around year 7 of sobriety, I began seeing cracks in the system, so to speak. No offense against Program - it works, but the "tribe" of folks I hung out with just seemed too narrow-minded and judgmental. And often, downright mean-spirited. The hypocrisy of hearing their honest sharing, followed by their behavior out of the rooms turned me off. I should have tried other meetings, but I didn't. Anyway, I won't bore you - I stopped going to meetings, started micro-dosing edibles of pot, and as you can guess ... I thought I'd have a quick dance with Percocet again. Luckily, it never got that bad. It started around last April or so, and I began mixing them with rum and cokes, etc. As a writer, that old, familiar euphoric feeling was inspirational - like reuniting with an old lover. Poetry seemed to flow from my fingers, so to speak. But, as summer came to an end, I knew that I HAD to stop. Currently, I'm teaching an entirely new curriculum (a promotion of sorts), and I have to be on top of my game. I won't go back to rehab, and luckily, I've tapered down to 25 mgs. a day (with the exception of Fridays - I allow myself to take more pills Friday evening ... I know, it's rather stupid).

    So, here I am. I'm trying a VERY slow taper. Obtaining the pills isn't a problem, and I just changed from 10mg Percocet to 5mg. Today, I'll be taking 22.5 mgs for the first time, and I'll try to taper off at about 2.5 mgs a week (or every ten days). Again, it's going to have to be a slow taper, and I'm working out, jogging, etc. If anyone out there has ANY feedback, I'd really appreciate it. Again, I simply can't afford to go through withdrawals at this point - I've been given a special teaching position, and I have to be "ON my game." Thanks for reading this, and I apologize for the wordiness - but again, any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks!









    Welcome to the BL community uncle. Sober living is a great sub forum to turn to for advice and support when you try to get clean.


    I am not one of the most experienced members here at BL. But since I am abt your age and currently tapering down from a huge oxy habbit (not going to rehab)I wanted to give you an input and support.


    I am a chronic pain pasient and have been using oxy both tablets and IV for approx 2,5 years now. I have a high tolerance. My daily dose has been up to as high as 1200-1300 mg a day.
    I have been tapering down to 40 mg a day and just went down to 35 mg the other day.
    I have a thread here in sober living that has more details


    http://www.bluelight.org/vb/threads/...6#post14407856


    Congrats on your tapering down. What was your original daily dose before tapering?
    And how fast did you taper down to 22.5 mg?


    It is not possible to avoid wds when you quit oxy after your body gets used to it. And science shows that its harder when we get older. Also the more times you start and quit, the wds gets more severe. I believe that is called the kindling effect.
    But if you are slow tapering you will be abel to reduce the impact. I believe the road to suxess is to take small babysteps if you are able to stick with your tapering plan.
    For some people tapering is hard and they find it easier to just quit cold turkey.


    When I reached 40 mg my wds got very severe. I stayed on that dose until my body was completely adjusted to the new dosage. That took me abt a month.
    Then I went down to 35 mg. I am considering going back up to 37,5 instead. Looks like a 5 mg reduction is to much at this point. I will stay at this dose untill my body gets adjusted again. My plan is to do this untill I reach zero. Hopefully the wds wont be to bad then and that I can manage my pain without opioids.


    My suggestion is that you stick to tapering 2.5 mg. Stay on that dose untill you feel " normal" then drop again. It might take longer then a week.
    That way you will lower your tolerance as much as possible. When you make it to zero you will have reduced the impact of the wds as much as possible. You should def not keep taking higher dose every friday. That will tamper your tapering to lower tolerance.


    When you make your final jump and get off completely,make sure you do it in a long weekend. Say if you can have thursday and friday off. That gives you the time you need to get through the first 4-5 days when the physical symptoms of wd will be peaking (day 3) And you can manage your job.


    The fact that you are working out will help alot. Brain produces endorfins when you are active.
    Yoga and mindfullness can help.
    Nutrition and hydration is of great importance.


    Do you have any kind of comfortmeds?
    I take vitamins (B, D), paracetamol, neurontin, clonidine, benzos if anxiety flares. And sleepingpills. Insomnia is very common and can last for quite a while.


    Good luck with your tapering, uncle. I am looking forward to follow your journey��

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    #4
    Greenlighter and Moscatel - thanks for the responses and support. Regarding how bad things got this time around, Moscatel, the good news is that it didn't get bad. My doctor only prescribed 120 10mg pills per month (beginning at the end of last April - about five months ago or so). At that time, I would take 1-2 pills a day for a few days, and then do 5-6 for a few. It was sporadic through summer as well. I began my taper in August (last month). I became more regimented: I went from 40mgs a day to 35 to 30 to 25. Just yesterday, I went to 22.5. I read your story ... it really is a "jaw-dropper" - you have been through a lot, my friend.

    A few things I'm ashamed of: Lying to the pain management doctor. He ordered an MRI, and although there is some slight damage in my lower back (very slight), it rarely causes me pain. The fact is, I got back on pills because I just wanted to "feel that feeling" again. Doctors get so much crap in the US, and I'm sure some over-prescribe pain medication ... but I am the one who lied. It's on ME. So, after all that 12-Step work I did, I'm ashamed that I went back to lying to obtain medication. I'm cheating my doctor, insurance company, and most of all ... myself. I'm also ashamed of the fact that I allowed myself to "dance with pills again". How many meetings did I share about ALL the pain those pills caused me? How many people did I sponsor and watch them struggle, etc? And yet, I gave in. My family was (is) so proud of me for my recovery; and now, they have no idea I relapsed.

    So, onto the GOOD news. I'm at 22.5mgs. I'm healthy. I'm functioning. I'm blessed to have a great job and good friends. And, maybe the best news: the addiction didn't get THAT bad this time - I was wise enough to put the breaks on and start tapering. And, aside from my "fun Fridays", I'm making good progress. And yes, the "fun Fridays" are going to have to come to an end. It's quite difficult at the end of a teaching week - all the lectures, all the paper work, etc. I want a DAMN treat! However, that "treat" could easily lead me back and ruin my taper. I have to look ahead. I have to continue getting healthy, surfing and working out, writing, being around people, and also - posting here and making connections with others who can understand this whole deal.
    Last edited by uncle_jocko; 17-09-2018 at 00:27.
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    #5
    Bluelighter
    Join Date
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    uncle_jocko I am sorry that the fellowship let you down. The self-honesty that you built (possibly through practicing the principles of the program) is still there. Your post about your use is not riddled with justifications and rationalizations. I hope you will give the program another chance with a new set of eyes. It obviously helped you in some manner. Not using is an abnormal state for an addict. Thank you for sharing your experience with us as it could be any one of us. If you want to build a support group and give it another go feel free to private message me and we can exchange phone numbers.
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    #6
    Bluelighter
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    Quote Originally Posted by uncle_jocko View Post
    Greenlighter and Moscatel - thanks for the responses and support. Regarding how bad things got this time around, Moscatel, the good news is that it didn't get bad. My doctor only prescribed 120 10mg pills per month (beginning at the end of last April - about five months ago or so). At that time, I would take 1-2 pills a day for a few days, and then do 5-6 for a few. It was sporadic through summer as well. I began my taper in August (last month). I became more regimented: I went from 40mgs a day to 35 to 30 to 25. Just yesterday, I went to 22.5. I read your story ... it really is a "jaw-dropper" - you have been through a lot, my friend.

    A few things I'm ashamed of: Lying to the pain management doctor. He ordered an MRI, and although there is some slight damage in my lower back (very slight), it rarely causes me pain. The fact is, I got back on pills because I just wanted to "feel that feeling" again. Doctors get so much crap in the US, and I'm sure some over-prescribe pain medication ... but I am the one who lied. It's on ME. So, after all that 12-Step work I did, I'm ashamed that I went back to lying to obtain medication. I'm cheating my doctor, insurance company, and most of all ... myself. I'm also ashamed of the fact that I allowed myself to "dance with pills again". How many meetings did I share about ALL the pain those pills caused me? How many people did I sponsor and watch them struggle, etc? And yet, I gave in. My family was (is) so proud of me for my recovery; and now, they have no idea I relapsed.

    So, onto the GOOD news. I'm at 22.5mgs. I'm healthy. I'm functioning. I'm blessed to have a great job and good friends. And, maybe the best news: the addiction didn't get THAT bad this time - I was wise enough to put the breaks on and start tapering. And, aside from my "fun Fridays", I'm making good progress. And yes, the "fun Fridays" are going to have to come to an end. It's quite difficult at the end of a teaching week - all the lectures, all the paper work, etc. I want a DAMN treat! However, that "treat" could easily lead me back and ruin my taper. I have to look ahead. I have to continue getting healthy, surfing and working out, writing, being around people, and also - posting here and making connections with others who can understand this whole deal.

    I can understand that you blame yourself but you should not. A lot of people relapse on their way to recovery. The important thing is that you admit that it has gone to far and you are doing something abt it now.
    like you said,it has only been 5 months and you didnt get to bad of a habbit this time.
    Stick to your taperingplan and dont let the goal out of your sight. You got this!

    Treating oneself after a long workweek is a good thing and something to look forward to. Is there anything else you could do instead of pills? Having a beer or some wine?
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