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I am addicted to prescription painkillers. Watch

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    Not entirely sure what I expect to get out of sharing this but it hit me today I'm actually addicted to painkillers. Before I begin I will state the painkillers I'm addicted to are dihydrocodeine. Opiates.

    In the beginning I took them for pain (obviously).

    Then once the pain was gone, I kidded myself into believing I was still in pain because I liked the feeling I got from taking the pills.

    Now the 'buzz' has gone unless I take huge unsafe doses. Now I just take the painkillers to function; to feel normal. Without the dihydrocodeine I feel awful. I feel fatigued, I get awful headaches, shakey, I even feel flu-ey. I don't want to take them anymore but I can't deal with the withdrawals. I've been taking them regularly for the last six months.

    I would rather not tell my doctor but I know I need to wean myself off them. My question is how? And has anyone else dealt with something like this before?
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    First of all, let me say well done for realising you're addicted and you want help. They say admitting you have a problem is the first step.

    Whilst I'm not a doctor, I have worked with doctors specialising in addiction medicine and I've a few things that may be useful.

    Don't go cold turkey with painkillers. If your body is addicted to the drugs then just stopping taking them could be quite detrimental. As you said, weaning yourself off them seems like a good method however, I would advise you to go speak to your doctor or a mental health specialist.

    Just remember that your doctor is there to help you, not to judge you. They've gone through med school and training etc so that they can help people with their problems.

    I wish you the best of luck!
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    You need to tell your doctor- they can advise you on a starting reducing dose and an appropiate care plan
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    (Original post by PaulMcCormack)
    First of all, let me say well done for realising you're addicted and you want help. They say admitting you have a problem is the first step.

    Whilst I'm not a doctor, I have worked with doctors specialising in addiction medicine and I've a few things that may be useful.

    Don't go cold turkey with painkillers. If your body is addicted to the drugs then just stopping taking them could be quite detrimental. As you said, weaning yourself off them seems like a good method however, I would advise you to go speak to your doctor or a mental health specialist.

    Just remember that your doctor is there to help you, not to judge you. They've gone through med school and training etc so that they can help people with their problems.

    I wish you the best of luck!
    (Original post by Subcutaneous)
    You need to tell your doctor- they can advise you on a starting reducing dose and an appropiate care plan
    Thank you for your advice it is appreciated.

    Unfortunately I can't tell my doctor (or anyone really) due to my occupation. It could destroy my career.

    So the plan is to start reducing from tomorrow. I am used to taking 480mg in total throughout the day I aim to reduce this to 450 within the next few days and see how I feel.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Thank you for your advice it is appreciated.

    Unfortunately I can't tell my doctor (or anyone really) due to my occupation. It could destroy my career.

    So the plan is to start reducing from tomorrow. I am used to taking 480mg in total throughout the day I aim to reduce this to 450 within the next few days and see how I feel.
    Hi, how sure are you that it would destroy your career?
    Its not like its an illegal drug, unfortunately pain killers can be addictive and anybody, from any walk of life can end up addicted to them.
    In no way does it reflect on your personal or professional nature.
    To try and deal with this yourself could potentially be dangerous if you tried too much too soon, so working with a health specialist would definitely be the best way to beat this.
    How about ringing NHS and asking what your options would be and tell them about your situation?
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    (Original post by **debbie**)
    Hi, how sure are you that it would destroy your career?
    Its not like its an illegal drug, unfortunately pain killers can be addictive and anybody, from any walk of life can end up addicted to them.
    In no way does it reflect on your personal or professional nature.
    To try and deal with this yourself could potentially be dangerous if you tried too much too soon, so working with a health specialist would definitely be the best way to beat this.
    How about ringing NHS and asking what your options would be and tell them about your situation?

    Not necessarily. Would you want your pilot or surgeon ot taxi driver hooked on opiates?

    OP, I would have a talk with your GP to start with. You don't have to tell them everything and you can talk over the issue of confidentiality with them.

    Have a think about it seriously through. Why would it ruin your career? I was just specualting as to which careers it could be a problem. If you can satisfy yourself honestly that it is not a problem with work and that there is no potential for trouble then carry on.

    Good luck.
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    (Original post by Egypt)
    Not necessarily. Would you want your pilot or surgeon ot taxi driver hooked on opiates?

    OP, I would have a talk with your GP to start with. You don't have to tell them everything and you can talk over the issue of confidentiality with them.

    Have a think about it seriously through. Why would it ruin your career? I was just specualting as to which careers it could be a problem. If you can satisfy yourself honestly that it is not a problem with work and that there is no potential for trouble then carry on.

    Good luck.
    I didn't mean as in not having any time off

    Anybody can end up with a addiction to pain killers, but I would presume that an employer would support them while they receive treatment and have them back, once they can satisfy they are fit to work. In the same way they would honour time off for bereavement, depression, or any health condition that would temporarily impact their ability to work.
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    (Original post by **debbie**)
    I didn't mean as in not having any time off

    Anybody can end up with a addiction to pain killers, but I would presume that an employer would support them while they receive treatment and have them back, once they can satisfy they are fit to work. In the same way they would honour time off for bereavement, depression, or any health condition that would temporarily impact their ability to work.
    Agreed!
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    (Original post by **debbie**)
    I didn't mean as in not having any time off

    Anybody can end up with a addiction to pain killers, but I would presume that an employer would support them while they receive treatment and have them back, once they can satisfy they are fit to work. In the same way they would honour time off for bereavement, depression, or any health condition that would temporarily impact their ability to work.
    (Original post by Egypt)
    Agreed!
    Again, thank you so much for your input.

    Sorry for being so vague and sketchy around the subject of my career. I really don't want to 'tell all' in public. The general jist of it is, not so much the addiction to the opiates that could damage my career, but the method in which I've acquired the painkillers..? As in, they were once prescribed by a doctor for my pain, but no longer are and that will be questioned. Putting two and two together with my occupation this could seriously damage my career.

    Anyway, I have taken one less tablet (30mg less) today. I am quite proud Although I noticed no difference. I'm going to stay at this dose for a few days then cut another one out. I hope so badly I can do this on my own. It feels good to talk about it here thanks..
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Again, thank you so much for your input.

    Sorry for being so vague and sketchy around the subject of my career. I really don't want to 'tell all' in public. The general jist of it is, not so much the addiction to the opiates that could damage my career, but the method in which I've acquired the painkillers..? As in, they were once prescribed by a doctor for my pain, but no longer are and that will be questioned. Putting two and two together with my occupation this could seriously damage my career.

    Anyway, I have taken one less tablet (30mg less) today. I am quite proud Although I noticed no difference. I'm going to stay at this dose for a few days then cut another one out. I hope so badly I can do this on my own. It feels good to talk about it here thanks..

    So I'm guessing you're a pharmacist or chemist, in which case I can see why you wouldn't want to tell anyone. :rolleyes:

    Maybe the UKNA site can be of use.
 
 
 
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