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Recovery through tapering and some social conversation too

strangelemon

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Hey all.

Am thinking about trying a "quit" of sorts, from hydrocodone. I ran out a couple of weeks back and was forced to stop for a short bit and now I have a glimpse of what I will be up against. It isn't so much any dramatic physical wd symptoms (exacerbated insmonia, however I already live with that anyway). It's the mental/ emotional component of wd that will be the hardest to contend with and the most consuming.

Recently I've again acquired a very small amount of pills.

What I hope for is to be able to moderate. A huge feat, I know... however, my source is finished up and what I now have is all I will have for the foreseeable future. So it seems like a good time to step off the ledge a bit.

Seeing a bit of what I have lying ahead of me is not too cool, the insomnia alone is unbearable. I've been dealing with that anyway for a very long while, however off the hydrocodone it's bonkers. I have hydroxyzine to help with anxiety and sleep however, it's ineffective for my anxiety and not so great for sleep either-besides, I don't really care to take it anyway.

If anyone has advice for the psychological effects of quitting- I would be interested. Again, this is the tough part for me, nothing really physical to deal with. Just the psychological want for it.

I am unable to take benzos or have a drink- so those are a hard pass as far as dealing with things, and thc never really did anything but make me lazy, fatigued and hungry- very boring and also ramps up my anxiety no matter the strain, type or amount. Just a very dead end of an experience for me. It often exacerbates depression, so that will not do, either.

Also, my therapist has mentioned a couple times about groups and out patient programs for this issue. The dread I feel at the idea of groups and strange people being any part of this is huge. And as far as out patient, well, no thanks... it's not that serious. My habit is small, however it is true that I am quite attached to it. I would be willing to do an online group or meetings- and also would prefer one based on moderation instead of perfection and total sobriety.

I have looked around online but not seeing anything really, and most things seem to be centered on drinking or heavy opiate use- like IV drug use and managing a lot of physical wd. That's not the case for me.

Just trying to keep things realistic as far as moderation because I really do not see a life where I am perfect and sober 100 percent of the time.
 
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chinup

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you could try SMART recovery, they don't advocate total abstinence and i thin kare CBT based.

if you can make moderation work for you then there is no problem imo. you have to make sure you're being honest with yourself though. also, your brain will lie to you and move the goal posts about whether your habit needs addressing. mine did anyway, i went from being functional, having a decent job etc, so first i used that to convince myself i wasn't that bad. when i lost my job, i moved onto never having prostituted myself or IVd to con myself into thinking it wasn't too bad. when that went out the window i was like 'well, i'm not homeless and i still have all my limbs so i don't need to go to rehab.' totally fucked.

i'm not at all saying you will end up in that situation, or hopefully anything remotely similar. just be careful if you see your brain shifting things. it might be worth setting yourself some clear boundaries as to what you think would necessitate you getting more intensive help, and writing them down, and sticking to actually getting the help if you cross those boundaries.

the mental/emotional stuff IS the hardest. its why most opiate addicts will have got through withdrawals multiple times and still gone straight back to using. unfortunately, when you are using those drugs, you are numbing your emotions. this means that you aren't processing what is going on in your life. when you get off the drugs, your brain starts processing. and its horrible. it was without a doubt the hardest bit for me in getting to long term recovery. you might think you have processed stuff, cos you were aware of them, but until you rip the plaster off you don't know. the only thing that got me through that was determination, crying in NA every day for a month, crying in all my group therapy. crying some more. and knowing that i had been using for a finite length of time, therefore the number of things that could be in the post for me to have to actually feel was finite. that faith that eventually this would end and once it did i'd be through the most emotionally painful bit is what carried me in the end.

what techniques have you tried for anxiety? its trite and boring but people repeat the importance of meditation, exercise, all that stuff, because it really works. its not perfect and it takes consistent application to yield results, but it does help.
 

strangelemon

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I have kept my use at the same level for 2.5 years, so I do not see it snowballing to anything else.

As for processing, well my upbringing alone would take a life time to process LOL but I really don't think it's a good idea. That would probably destroy me, I believe some things are best left untouched.

As for anxiety well, really the only thing that even touches it are medications that I am no longer able to use. Long story but was chemically addicted to those as well as alcohol.

All the "methods" for anxiety are very triggering for me because well, reasons.

I exercise every day. Even when I was competitively athletic as a teen I was still an anxious wreck. However I was living in a very abusive home.

I won't do meditation because again, it's triggering. I have a healthy diet as well.
 
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Nurse Ratched

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Once we tickle our receptors and feel how good it can be when we take pills the urge to continue taking them is always there. You may be able to " chip " ( taking them here and there ) but most people can't control that. If they have a supply they will take it. The only time they are forced to quit is when they can't find any.

If taking pain pills isn't causing people issues they are more inclined to continue taking them. Others run into problems with either money or sourcing and are forced to quit. They didn't want to....they just had no choice barring robbing a pharmacy.

People only really quit when they want to. But the urge to feel that feeling again doesn't leave anytime soon. Cravings hit hard and we either feed them or we don't. But our brains never forget how good they felt and we either give into the urges or we fight them. I have been fighting my urges for years and it ain't easy, that's for sure. But I'm winning as I haven't relapsed yet. The only reason I am winning is that I made a concious effort to say enough is enough and stuck to my convictions. Had i not been ready to quit i would still be out there copping pills.
 

stardust.hero

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Another vote for SMART Recovery. You can buy the SMART Workbook online for $12 and work through it yourself. I wish more places would bring awareness that moderation management is a viable option if that’s what someone wants to do.

You can also make a thread as like a journal of sorts for how you’re doing and get feedback and support.
 

strangelemon

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Well, maybe be a journal of sorts.
Hard to say. I've been through a lot of this before with alcohol. And benzos. That's a gnarly trip I wouldn't recommend.

I've been looking around online and there's not much. In person and free is all 12 step stuff, been there and no ty.

I'm not going to involve my doctor or insurance, hell no lol!! So I dunno.

SMART recovery is too cbt based and that's a trigger for me.... Hm. I appreciate the suggestions guys 🤘
 

DeathIndustrial88

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How long have you been using?


In some cases, I think opioid maintenance therapy is the best.
If you've used opioids long enough, it can be really hard to come back from that.
I've used them for over 12 years & at this point, without them, I would become a very self destructive mess & be pretty useless.
There's nothing wrong with using opioids though IMO.

If you just need time to get til you get some more or til your next script, maybe try to get some buprenorphine?
It will act on your receptors much longer & make the withdrawals much easier to deal with.


Whether it's getting off for good or just wanting to cut back or getting through til your next opioid, things like buprenorphine & kratom are usually the best alternatives.
 

strangelemon

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Hi DeathIndusrial

About 2.5 years almost daily.

Only a few pills a day, 3-4, and 4 only these last 6 months or so. 10 mg norco.
 

strangelemon

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DeathIndustrial, is that a Death In June photo there?

Or the original reference they used....
 

DeathIndustrial88

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It could be a Death In June photo. lol I'm not sure. Definitely know who DIJ is though, although I was never a huge fan of them (more of a fan of noisier industrial stuff).


Yeah 2.5 years a decent amount of time. You definitely don't have an easy time ahead of you.
 

axe battler

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I assume after all this time, taking your dose more gives you withdrawal relief which does feel like a high somewhat.

SMART, rehab or ORT could all be better or cheaper alternatives.

If you can truly keep it to 40mg hydroxide and it's not costing you much then this could be your own form of maintenance.

I'm still on quite a high dose of methadone so I really am not sure of the best option, but I'm quite sure a gradual taper and never touching them again is the best thing you can do for yourself.

Even though my fixes are free on the NHS they're still a fucking inconvenience I could do without.
 

strangelemon

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Eh, been through it before, quite worse I'm sure- benzos and alcohol. Especially the nonlinear, nightmare surreality of benzo withdrawal.... goes on for months.

If I were able to obtain and maintain a script for opioids sure, I'd love that... all I've got is locally sourced, and probably my final stash.

So the sensible thing to do is quit for now, a good long break and then keep what I've got for very special occasions I suppose.

Am aware this is quite the feat.

Do not wish to involve my doctor or insurance, pretty sure the buprenorphine would require both. My dr absolutely cannot know.

Nobody really does except the current therapist. My friends know what I like but not to what degree, they don't really grasp it anyway. Which is fine because unless they can help me out, I don't want them in that space.
 
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axe battler

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Eh, been through it before, quite worse I'm sure- benzos and alcohol. Especially the nonlinear, nightmare surreality of benzo withdrawal.... goes on for months.

If I were able to obtain and maintain a script for opioids sure, I'd love that... all I've got is locally sourced, and probably my final stash.

So the sensible thing to do is quit fo rnow, a good long break and then keep what I've got for very special occasions I suppose.

Am aware this is quite the feat.

Do not wish to involve my doctor or insurance, pretty sure the buprenorphine would require both. My dr absolutely cannot know.

Nobody really does except the current therapist. My friends know what I like but not to what degree, they don't really grasp it anyway. Which is fine bweecause unless they can help me out, I don't want them in that space.
It's a lonely place to be. Sounds like you should either have one last hoorah or taper. Keeping opiates for a later date when you're rattling isn't feasible imho
 

strangelemon

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Hi axe battler

Usually I am at 3 a day. 4 is a big day for me.
If I am on a "bender" so to speak or overwhelmed- sometimes it's a 4 day with thc to accentuate (not lately though) or hydroxazine to enhance.
Last night was one such night.

I don't want to minimize what I am doing here, because I am aware. However, I am sure my habit is child's play compared to some.

Oh, how I wish I was one of the folks who adore thc. It's a very blunted (yes haha) experience for me however... doesn't do much but make me sluggish and overeat- neither which I enjoy. No matter the strain, type, form or ratio- these are the effects of thc on me.

I haven't any physical wd from the hydros beyond exacerbated insomnia. They do still get me feeling warm, fuzzy and a bounce of energy. I'll take one later and complete my work out.

Thanks for all the input, guys.
 
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strangelemon

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Axe Battler

You are correct.

It is lonely.

However, without details- I am used to having no kind of supportive backdrop in my life, no family or loving partner or anything like that- not a sibling, no one... I mean to say I have very much only had paid and transient/temporary support systems (mostly failed me, even if they tried their hardest- some but not all are not at fault there) in my life.

It has been a long and lonely trek and I am none to enthused about anything much these days but the warm euphoria that my norcos can offer for a few hours a day...
 

skipjames

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Apr 4, 2022
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Do not wish to involve my doctor or insurance, pretty sure the buprenorphine would require both. My dr absolutely cannot know.
Hi Strangelemon, have u considered kratom? It helped me a lot with the physical w-d from oxies and is good also ''mood wise". MAybe Red Bali can help you with your sleeping issues as well. Some people stopped craving more powerful- dangerous opiates altogether using kratom (not me unfortunately, but maybe it will work for you) but anyway it´s worth a shot . Lots of info0 on Kratom here
 

strangelemon

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Hi SkipJames

I am thinking about it. We have a couple shops here. The Red one has been mentioned before, that must be the one lol!

As a former drinker for many years, I have trepidation about it as from what I have read it can damage the liver, and isn't regulated by the fda or anything... I am very cautious about my hydrocodone intake as well for this reason.

But, not to shoot down any suggestions, I will do a little more reading on kratom as well as SMART (seems to be ok with moderation as opposed to total abstinenece, I think?)

Years ago when I was quitting alcohol, SMART was mentioned quite a bit. There are a few things mentioned here on my thread that I can and will look into- so thanks guys for all the input.

:heart6:
 

skipjames

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I see. As far as I know kratom can be dangerous to the liver when used with alcohol ( you stopped drinking hence is not your case) but maybe some more experienced user can give us some info ( or if the thing interest you maybe is worth opening a thread on the topic) . This SMART thing seems interesting as well, unfortunately where I live (Brazil)it does not exist...
 
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