Pain Concern
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Oxycontin, the legal Heroin!

Hi everyone.

I'll keep this as short as I possibly can so please bear with me! 😊

I'm Ritchie, 50'yrs old from the UK.

I was diagnosed with Degenerative Disc Desease in my back when I was around 36'yrs old, but have suffered from neck & back problems all my working life. The DDD I've been told was caused by a very manual job I did for 20+yrs hand stacking over 3k concrete slabs per shift, weighing 125kg each on a daily basis.

Anyway, to keep it as short as i can, I became addicted to Oxycontin for around 9'yrs, taking 1500mgs per day for the last 2'yrs that I was addicted to this drug.

I'm very happy to say, that after being free from Oxycontin now since August 2015, I'm still here, even though I don't know how after taking as much as I did over those years but, I'm still here!!

I never took any illegal drugs of any kind before the prescribed Oxycontin that just kept increasing in dosage month on month!

There is so very much more that I want to say but, for now, I just wanted to introduce myself & give a very brief description & also to say that, I swore that if I ever got free from the Oxycontin, that I would do everything I could do to help others in a similar situation to what I went through, as I found the help was almost non existent for those like me, who found themselves addicted to prescription drugs!

I went from working from aged 14 every weekend, to leaving school aged 16, very manual labour for over 20'yrs to working my way up the ladder to Operations Manager paying 40% tax, company car etc, no money worries, to losing absolutely everything, all down to my prescription medication addiction, and I'm still suffering from many side effects to this day.

I'm by no means qualified in anything medication wise, just want to help others as much as I possibly can, even if I can just be there for someone to talk too, as I have been there & done it.

Thank you

Ritchie

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Hello Ritchie and welcome aboard.

Sadly your story is all too familiar and not just from addiction to prescription meds. So many people have ordinary lives, family, job, 2 weeks hol in Bognor then...wham. It comes to an abrupt end. Sometimes illness or an accident but nothing will ever be 'normal' again.

The loss you feel is immeasurable.

Did you have medical help coming off Oxycontin? It is, apparently, the hardest drug to stop taking but under proper guidance it can be somewhat easier.

My David is almost off it now after 2 years reducing.

The thing with all these strong opiates..Fentanyl included, is research has shown they do nothing for chronic pain patients. Invented for short term palliative care. Stronger or more often makes no difference.

But good for you. There is a life without them

x

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Hello Bananas5,

Thank you!!

It always strikes a chord with me as some people who've never actually experienced any of this, always seem to think it's just the "druggies" & they deserve it!!

As you very rightly say, it can happen to anyone of us!

I've Never touched drugs before, I even turned Morphine down as pain relief as I was so worried about the strength, later finding out it's nothing compared to the Oxycontin!

I decided I wanted my life back, as apart from destroying it, it was ruling every minute of every hour of every single day.

I changed Dr's because the one that put me on it just said, "if you want to come off it, just cut down" I said sorry, but that's just like putting a bottle of Whiskey in front of an alcoholic &. Saying, don't touch it!!

My new GP started me on a taper program, I was doing really well till I got down to 320mgs per day & then I hit a solid brick wall. I became so very depressed, I wouldn't go out, didn't want to speak to or see anyone. Didn't want to live anymore, just wanted it to all go away! I lost all interest in my hobbies, one being playing guitar, the other was polishing watches, removing scratches bringing back to looking brand new again etc.

I wrote to my MP as I couldn't get any help anywhere.

My new GP put me in touch with an addiction psychiatrist who actually said: "I would give you Methadone to stop all the withdrawals but, as you're not a Heroin addict I can't. If you came back & said you're addicted to Heroin, I could help you"

So he was basically saying, go get illegal Heroin off the streets & I'll help you, even though you're taking stronger than Heroin, legal medication wise!!

I managed to find a charity based in London called "Release" Claire, the lady there was absolutely amazing & I can honestly say, if it wasn't for Claire & Release helping me, I don't think I'd be here right now!

They spoke to the addiction psychiatrist on my behalf & actually got him to change his mind! They helped, (after I signed a confirmation paper) to talk to my GP also which helped!

After Releases intervention, the addiction psychiatrist agreed to put me on 115 mils of methadone per day, I'm now pleased to say I'm down to 10 mils per day & reducing by 1 mil per wk & my aim is to start 2019 methadone free!!

I'm still not on any pain relief as I don't want any, but I am in agony most days. Im waiting to hear back from the pain clinic regarding a course on how to deal with pain etc, also to get my nerves burnt back to help the pain.

The effects of all that Oxycontin has now left me, well, not good to be honest.

But, the main thing is I'm not a statistic.

The many thousands of innocent people in America this drug has killed through overdose is incredible!

Purdue Pharma have been found over $700million to date by certain states in the USA, wiping a whole generation out in Kentucky alone!!

The senator for Kentucky even helped with his words when I contacted him, that's another story!!

You & your David are doing amazing from what you're saying, and please, if ever I can help either of you in any way, then please don't hesitate to ask anything, if I can help you, I will. I have the contact details for Release if you should ever need them.

Take care of each other & thank you again!

Ritchie xx

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We could be twins in alot of ways.I was on methadone 20 years for severe chronic pain n took 6 yrs on my own coming off it.done its damage too.wow..least I'm not alone :)

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That's really weird because I was just thinking the same!

At the end of the day, it's great to know that there are people that have gone through similar to each other & to know that at times, as lonely as we may feel, there is always someone going through exactly what we're going through!

Good to know we're not always as alone as we think we are & there are others out there going or gone through similar that we can relate & talk to, to help each other through issues!!

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Crazy but all true

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Hi Ritchie I just wanted to let you know that I am glad you are on the upswing. 😀

I have been dealing with MS they say for 14 years but with this disease it probably is much longer than that. I have been having pain for a very long time but have tried many prescriptions but yes some work too much or just were too strong. So in the end I just don’t use any of the strong stuff. Because in reality they don’t get rid of the pain. Let’s face it nothing gets rid of numb feet.

I hope you have a good day!

By the way I live the the USA.

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Hi ssdw1958.

Thank you for the welcome.

Appreciate it & no doubt we will catch up later at some point!

Thank you!!

Ritchie

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Latter

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👍

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I forgot to tell you I was put on Oxytocin about 4 years ago before I really new what it was all about, I had been in the hospital for 8 days with pneumonia I was given it while I was in the hospital and given a prescription when I got out I am one of those people who don’t like taking drugs so I did take it for a two to three days and decided to stop taking it. After I had stopped that’s when I started to here what was going on with that medicine I am glad I did stop. Then my neighbor whoatthe time was only was 19 years old almost died I am glad those medicines and I don’t mix. I had spoken with him and he had gone into a rehab which saved him. I’ve known him since he was 3 years old and I spoke to him and I told him I was glad everything was working out for him. I think I surprised him and he told me every one he spoke with was trying to tell him what to do. All I said to him to stay on the straight line but if he thought he was going to stray from that just get back up and get on that line again. He was glad to talk with me and he said that is what the plan was to do. They have moved and he went into the military so I pray that is what he is doing. It’s hard to live in these times but you got to know that there are people out there looking out for you.

Oh I did it aha talk, talk——

Bye for now

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ssdw1958:

With me being in the UK, at the time I was put on Oxycontin, I didn't know anything about it.

It was only after I started to realise I was hooked on the stuff, that I started doing some research on it.

That's when I started to find out about Purdue Pharma, how their sales people were being paid massive amounts in bonuses by selling this drug to Dr's in the USA, stating that one tablet would last & give pain relief for 12hrs. From my own experience I realised (for me) i was needing it far more often than that, if not I would feel like death, just the most horrible side effects, I later found out it was withdrawals!

I didn't believe I was getting withdrawals, I couldn't possibly be as withdrawals are what only Heroin addicts suffer from, right??

Then, the more I looked into it, that's when I found out that Oxycontin was actually Heroin, synthetic Heroin!!

Then I started to see all the news reports from America regarding certain states filing Lawsuits against Purdue Pharma for the amount of deaths through overdosing. Currently to date, they've paid out around $700 million in Lawsuits to certain states Kentucky being just one of them.

By this time it was too late for me as I just couldn't function without it. It ruled my whole life! The first thing I reached for when I opened my eyes & the last thing I thought about before going to sleep was Oxycontin.

When my prescription was due, I remember always waking up in the middle of the night having Panick attacks, worrying about things like, what if the pharmacy have run out & can't get it, what if my Dr was on holiday that week & the surgery wouldn't give me my prescription. I was living in the Twighlight Zone!!

And that's what my life was like for around 8 of the 9 years I was dependent on Oxycontin.

Luckily I have a great partner who stood by me through all this, the stuff she tells me from back then, I have absolutely no memory of, as most of it now is just one massive daze, memory loss & Brain fog.

Even though I've been free from it for 3 years, the effects of it remain.

Memory loss,

Severe sleep Apnoea where I would stop breathing 80 times per hour in my sleep.

Zero Testosterone levels so I had to have hormone injections, this led to my blood thickening so I stopped the hormone injections.

But due to the hormone boost, I'm like a spotty teenager covered in acne on my back & chest.

Depression & anxiety. Lost interest in everything I used to love doing.

B12 deficiency, folate & Pernicious Anemia the list goes on.

So pleased you stopped taking it!

I really hope your friend is doing ok.

Take care

Ritchie

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My neighbors have moved so I am not sure how he’s doing but I believe he went into the military so I am hoping everything is alright.

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Oh😱 ssdw1958...your last line...”nothing for numb feet” finding you’re right... just now trying a cream, prescription, but only lasts an hour or so...😟

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The numb feet feeling really is bad. I think if I could feel my feet maybe I could walk better if you know what I mean.

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Hey hey..newbie..welcome.I hear ya with the Oxycontin. I was on it..it made the walls move..and I was seeing little black stick figures.Not a good sign...BUT it did only help cover up my chronic pain n other hundreds of other crap I have. Doctors r really good at hiking those doses up/ ya know they gotta pay for those leased fancy Mercedes Benz cars they drive ! lol

Ur definitely right about all of it.Ive been off it since around 1998.Its some bad stuff,BUT.. for some people..it does help them.

Personally I think all pain pills do is cover up what ur going through.A bandaid of sorts.

In my case and after hundreds of meds..it was time to get off it all..wasn't doin jack for me except making new problems...and it was time to just live with what I was dealt.

Glad ur here...nice to hear someone else wants to be an ear n shoulder for others that need to see the light at the end of that dark tunnel of PAIN.

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Hey Monkeysmiles1

Thanks so much for the welcome! Very much appreciated!!

And thank you also for stating that it's nice for someone else to come along to offer support to those who are seeking it, having been through it & lucky enough to come out the other end after taking such a very high amount!⅝

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You did fantastic getting off that drug !!! I'm off Ativan and that's been quite a struggle,but getting there. I can only imagine how hard it must be to get off a narcotic ! You did it and are such a role model for others struggling with addiction to a narcotic. Keep up the great work!!

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Hi trapis2.

Thank you very much for your comments.

To be completely honest, it is the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my life!

I haven't heard of Ativan but, I believe an addiction is an addiction no matter what it may be & that addiction is so very hard to break.

Thank you so much for your encouraging words, Congratulations on claiming your life back my friend & keep up the great fight! Well done!!!

Ritchie

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Hi Richie. Good to hear you story and so glad you have turned your back on opiates ( no pun intended).

Your account t of ever increasing doses and a life slipping away due to the addiction is a familiar one. Well done for having had the courage and stuck with it.

Dee

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Hi Dee.

Thank you very much for your comments.

It surprised me just how many people in the UK also suffered from this drug, especially when I was told by the addiction psychiatrist that I was the only one in this county that was being treated, (at that time).

The worrying thing at the time also, was just how very difficult I found it to get the help I needed to get my life back!

I often used to think that the GP helped to put me in that mess, then stuck 2 fingers up at me & didn't want to know when i was so desperately screaming for help.

I do remember the GP seeming to take great pleasure when telling me I was her most expensive patient though, costing £3000 per month in Oxycontin prescriptions & also finding it amusing that the other GP's at the surgery were constantly having a go at her for the amount I was taking per day.

Thanks again Dee

Ritchie

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Welcome to the group Ritchie, I am also on oxycontin but have gradually reduced the amount to 15 mg twice daily, I have not experienced any medical person who has told to increase the dose, if anything it is paracetamol that has increased. I too had was working in a professional position and had to retire age 49. I am glad to say oxy kept me going and now I am poorer, but richer in life, no longer wanting to stay in bed every day etc.

I hope you find the group helpful, it is sometimes nice to just have someone to vent to, our spouses and family here enough about our pain and really do not understand the daily struggle however much they try.

All I can say is the trick is to keep on going.

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Hi dinkic,

Thank you for the welcome!

Very well done on your reduction of Oxycontin!

One thing I found quite early on, was that every GP is different, some understand better than others but, at the end of the day, nearly all look at their big book & then say, "Try this" even though they don't know much at all about the drug they prescribe, hence the term "General" practitioner!

You must be one of the lucky ones that Paracetamol actually helps, as I'm afraid it does nothing for me & very many others, but, everyone is different.

I was only working in a professional position in the latter years of my career, hence the degenerative disc desease in my back caused by many years of very manual labour, which the surgeon said caused all my problems in my back to begin with.

Oxycontin actually kept me going also in the very early days, when I too was on the very low dosage also of 15mg twice per day. I didn't ever have the option of staying in bed everyday though, as I had a mortgage & bills to pay, so just had to get on with it etc!

I have found this group very helpful thank you!

My days of venting are now long gone to be honest, now I just try to use my experience of going to hell & back to try to help others in a similar situation to what I was in through no fault of my own, as I soon realised that help for many who needed it, was virtually non existent.

So now I just try to help others struggling with this legal Heroin, just like I did.

Thanks again for the welcome!

I've now been free of this drug for over 3'yrs. I hope you will also be free from it soon, you definitely don't have far to go now being on such a very low dosage, keep on going, I'm sure you'll soon be free!

All the best

Ritchie

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Hi Ritchie, I too am a sufferer of DDD, Did you know low levels of Vitamin D and Magnesium contribute to the destruction? I barely take any meds now after checking my vitamin status's. I was low in B12, Folic Acid, Vitamin D and Magnesium

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Hi Julesnw106

Many thanks for your comments.

It's very interesting what you have said!

A few months ago, I was diagnosed with B12 deficiency, folate & Pernicious Anemia.

The MRI scan I had a few years ago confirmed the DDD & I have asked for another MRI scan as I don't believe I should be in the amount of pain I am in.

Im Just finding out about B12 & PA so not very clued up on it as of yet.

Approximately 6wks before my last PA/B12 injection around 2wks ago, I suffered almost daily with severe aching in both my legs.

I misplaced my Folic acid tablets (Brain Fog)🤔 so bought some form Boots, but they were combined with Vitamin D also.

At the weekend my legs started aching badly again so my partner asked at a health shop, they gave her some magnesium tablets for me & I have been taking 3 of them per day also, not sure if coincidence but my legs haven't been aching nearly as much!

I can't even walk a few yards anymore without the whole of my lower back seizing up, then really struggling to put one foot in front of the other, made loads worse if I'm carrying shopping etc.

I can't wash the dishes without being in pain due to standing in one position for a few minutes!

I guess what I'm trying to say after waffling on (sorry!) Is I'm now wondering if some of the pain is also due to the PA & B12 etc & not all just down to the DDD!?

Thanks again

Ritchie

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Hi Ritchie, if you are on Facebook then you must join (New Beginnings b12 deficiency information and support group) they will advise you that the 3 monthly jabs are not enough, many like me self inject but the other cofactors are also very important

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Also you Should be eating plenty of potassium rich foods as the b12 will use it up, my legs always become horrendous when this happens

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Thanks again for the info, I really appreciate it!

I came off Facebook a couple of years ago as I got so fed up of the many drama queens on there that are mainly attention seeking, you know the type, "I've broken one of my nails, what WILL I DO NOW!!!" All the friends then come offering advise saying - you must go to A&E or you could die! Or, "I've just stubbed my toe so will be bed bound for a week"- oh poor you, how will you ever cope!

I'm sure you know the type 😂😂😂

I've just bought a book by Martyn Hooper, founder of the Pernicious Anemia society that I've started To read, seems like a great book.

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We have a few attention seekers too Ritchie but thankfully not on this site

x

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I have found that to be the case.

Every post I've seen on here are from genuine people with genuine issues seeking help.

Really great site with people that really care & want to offer help

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Oh okay, the book by Sally Patchlock is good (could it be b12) she also has a movie which can be watched on Amazon. Shame about Facebook as the group I’m in has a wealth of knowledge, they saved my life as I was so poorly 5 years ago and docs didn’t have a clue. BNF have just changed their guidelines for PA to every 8-12 weeks with no neurological issues, but the guidelines for neurological stands at every other day until no further improvements then onto maintenance doses. Docs seem to be giving 6 loading doses and not going by rules

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Thank you, I'll make Sure I watch that on Amazon.

I've often thought about making another account on Facebook purely for groups such as the one you mentioned as there are some very good & very helpful groups on there. And just use it purely the for specific help groups etc.

Thanks again!

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Yes you should, perhaps use a pseudo name. I also have a DDD group on there which everyone loves, I have 1,100 members so far. We all support each other tremendously

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Wow that sounds really really good!!

I will look into doing that, thank you!!

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I’ve sent you a link for both b12 & ddd groups 😊 hopefully you will enjoy asking questions and getting some relief soon

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Thanks again! 👍

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Hi.

I have rejoined Facebook starting a brand new account & have applied to join both groups.

Thank you

Ritchie

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I have just applied to join the DDD group...see if I can help my David

x

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That's great!!

Hopefully there will be loads of helpful advice that will be able to help us all.

See you there xx

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Hi Ritchie I’ve just added you to ddd group

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Looks like you added me too!!

Thank you

x

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Thank you!

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Hi Ritchie I just have a couple of questions. First of all how did you manage to get 1500 mg of Oxycodone a day? I was on 15mg and was taken off that and put on a 20mcg Bupranorphine patch. I feel like the patch must be working up to a point but I still have chronic pain. My other question is what pain meds are you on now and are they working? Lola

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Hi Lola,

I started off on Oxycodone instant release, my Dr at the time then swapped me onto Oxycontin.

The Oxycontin would work for a short time then stopped working.

The dosage just kept on going up & up.

This was over a period of around 9 years.

When I started a taper program under my current Dr, I was doing fine till I got down to 320mgs per day, that's when I had loads of issues & really struggled.

I was taken off all the Oxy at 320mgs & put on 115mils of methadone per day to help with withdrawals.

I am currently now down to 10mils of methadone per day & dropping by 1mil per week. So hopefully starting a new year totally opiate free.

I have been off all Oxy now since August 2015.

I don't & won't take any medication for my back pain at all now. It's a struggle, but I would rather struggle than to go through the hell again that I went through for 9 years, and still struggling from even now.

I'm waiting to go on a 10 week course run by the Pain Clinic on how to manage & deal with constant pain.

Thanks Ritchie

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Hey well done you for being strong enough to come off them.

I think people think “ druggies” as in cocaine and heroin they dont think there are functioning full time working perscription addicts to...

I was addicted to codeine and diazepam through same problem as u degenerative hip and bulging disc through being a gymnast till i was 19 and it has knackered my body.

I found it hell to come off and i spent weeks shaking and not being able to eat it was awful..

People think because it prescribed

It safe ... its not it is just as bad as recreational drugs when u have relied on them to function!

I now stick to a good osteopath and massage no drugs whatsoever and it has worked for me.. plus i feel so much healthier

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