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opiod addiction withdrawal

i started smoking and vaping when i was 13 and have now decided to quit, at 16, using any kind of nicotine as its hella expensive and counteracts my anxiety meds so was making me very anxious. i was having a hard time quitting but i got there eventually, its been over a month. only problem was now i had nothing to use to cope when things were going bad, and they got bad. i remembered about a year ago i got access to some prescription opiods nobody uses anymore and took some just to feel numb for once. well i threw up everywhere and decided not to use it again. but here we are it was my last resort and i thought i was going do it once but i didn’t get sick this time and it felt amazing, my anxiety was gone so i did it the next day, and the next and so on. my dose slowly got more as i got used to it and every time i take its just a sigh of relief because i know the day will be great and nothing can stop me from feeling good. but i went to grab some yesterday and found that there was only one pack left, thats enough to last less than a week, never thought i would get to the point of it completely running out, i have no way of getting more. i had a massive panic. i know it’s probably for the best but i can’t imagine stopping, im lowering my dose but even now im feeling some withdrawals effects. today was the first day in 2 weeks where i haven’t used, been busy all day so being distracted helped. has been 36hrs exactly since last dose, its still been on my mind all day, and have noted withdrawal symptoms chills, excessive yawning, anxiety. it hasn’t been TOO bad but it peaks on days 2-6 so will probably take some tomorrow. wish i never got myself into this.

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    JustVJustV Community Manager Posts: 5,306 Part of The Furniture
    edited March 2022
    Welcome to The Mix community @samantharat! Fab to see you reaching out. 💚

    Firstly, I just wanted to say that posting about this shows real courage. You've done a great thing to ask for support - these things are never easy and it's something to be proud of.

    A huge well done on quitting nicotine, too! What an achievement. Regardless of the place you're in with opioids right now, that's worth recognising. 😊

    Circling back to the main point of your post... I'm really hearing how powerful that feeling of relief is for you. One of the most natural impulses is to numb ourselves when we feel emotional or physical pain, and it's honestly understandable that you needed that coping mechanism. I know a lot of people can make us feel bad for it and there can be guilt and shame attached to using drugs, but we all have coping mechanisms and we don't turn to them without a good reason.
    only problem was now i had nothing to use to cope when things were going bad, and they got bad.
    No pressure to share this if you'd rather not, but I'm curious what got bad? This is a good place to unpack that a little more if you want to talk about your situation more widely, or what triggered the use of opioids in the first place. It sounds like you've really been going through it.

    On the medical side, there are things to help you through the withdrawal process. If you drop into a pharmacy and ask to go to their consulting room (a private space), you can explain your symptoms and they'll be able to either provide advice on how to manage your symptoms, or potentially prescribe you something if they feel it's necessary. If your symptoms start to get really bad or you feel worried about them, you can call 111 or even 999 (you won't get into any trouble).

    Of course, you can also continue to post here to keep chatting about things. 😊

    How have your symptoms been for the last couple days?

    This isn't your fault and you're doing exactly the right thing by asking for help and talking about it. Well done again for posting and keep us posted with how you get on. ✨
    All behaviour is a need trying to be met.
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    samantharatsamantharat Posts: 4 Newbie
    @Mike thank you for your reply. it’s difficult explaining when things go ‘bad’. its not usually one big thing its lots of little issues that build up and just get too much to handle, and my ways of coping are probably the ones seen as the ‘worst’ like sh, drinking, drugs, anything to help me escape reality is what works for me.but its not permanent, i can escape for like 4hrs when im on opiods and its great, but then the rest of the day is shi* and i just want to sleep.
    i started to sh in year 8, when my issues with trust and anxiety just started. then, things were pretty stable in year 9. it got worse in year 10 and 11 again when i started using/trying substances. anxiety spiraled due to this probably, multiple obsessions, addictions. then with that comes getting caught, and then the horrid withdrawals. when i tried to stop using one thing, i would be on the next.
    sh was also a coping mechanism for me, school caught me in yr 10 when someone saw my arm in a food tech class and snitched. i then had therapy for about a year which stopped last october, it really helped to work through sh and some other issues. i dont feel like sharing these though, a lot of it is abuse related and very personal. i also went on medication which did help but has kinda stopped working recently. so it just went downhill again, as well as the fact my childhood cat passed suddenly and i cant sleep, im getting 3-4 hrs usually. but ive decided to book the doctors again and try to get my meds changed, so thats one step forwards.

    also, with the withdrawals i haven’t had many the last few days as i have used but its definitely had some effects its had on me mentally. yesterday at dinner i randomly felt like i couldn’t breathe and got upset and started hyperventilating. then today i was so irritable, i got in trouble at school, that then made me super anxious and i had to go home it got so bad, whether its got anything to do with it idk. but its a slow process, im getting there trying to taper off em.
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    AislingDMAislingDM Moderator Posts: 1,666 Extreme Poster
    Just wanted to pop on and say welcome also, I'm really grateful to get to read about what's going on for you. I can't even begin to imagine being under so much stress and pain simultaneously. It's no wonder you're left looking for ways to cope, and I completely hear what you're saying about that idea of 'worst' coping mechanisms, but sometimes it's all we've got to try to live this life. It's really awesome that you're here talking about it with us and not keeping it all hidden, especially after having people at school having let the teachers know about self-harming, I can't imagine it was the easiest thing to write out these posts. <3

    That mental anguish that builds up slowly over the day with each little thing adding till it's finally snowballing must be so unbearable for you, the fact that you're here and putting in so much effort to think of other ways to cope, like trying to get your meds changed, is immensely impressive. If you wanted to talk a bit more about that escaping of reality and how that helps you, I'd be grateful to hear more? No pressure to reply at all though, of course :)
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    samantharatsamantharat Posts: 4 Newbie
    @AislingDM thank you for your kindness, appreciate it. things have been interesting. nearly had a bit of a setback, had really bad cravings while walking past the shop i used to get my nicotine shi* yesterday and went to buy one, they didn’t serve me so maybe they got caught selling to underage ppl idk, probably for the best as i dont really want to do it again i just got so tempted. anyway since friday ive been dosing every other day, it’s difficult but i can just about bare it. i took a dose about half an hour ago so it will probably kick in in a minute. im am constantly anxious now because i dont know how im supposed to cope, i only have one dose amount of pills left and i cant get anymore after that. i feel like i have no options, i know i have to get through it, but im just not sure i can do it alone. i want to talk to someone about it and get help but im terrified plus i dont even know who to tell. gp? school? idek. i dont think my parents would forgive me if they found out and they definitely won’t trust me anymore. if i dont get help with this i will just use something else to deal with the withdrawals, probably alcohol, its such a viscous sycle. i also had my gp appointment todry amd asked if changing meds would maybe help and they just upped the dose, wasn’t really want i wanted but ill see how it goess and they said revisit in two weeks. i not sure im ready to give up the laying on my floor feeling like im floating, blasting my fave music and feeling like im invincible. if i could i would just stay on opiods forevs man they’re amazing
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    katieelouisekatieelouise Posts: 11 Settling in
    @samantharat I'm sorry to hear that you are going through such a rough time. It seems to me that you have already had to manage to come up with the strength to overcome multiple addictions in the past and that is something to be very proud about. If the physical symptoms of your withdrawal become too much to cope with then I would recommend going to A&E. It is important that you take both your physical and psychological side effects seriously during this withdrawal process as it can be quite dangerous. Please don't blame yourself for anything that is happening due to your addiction, it sounds as though you have been through a lot of hardships, and opioids are a very addictive drug so not easy to quit at all. I feel as though the problem lies more with the education system than with the individual who has become an opioid addict. We all search for ways to cope and when the education system has failed to educate us on the dangers of drug abuse, especially opioids, this quickly will become a dangerous coping mechanism for some. You are doing amazing with your withdrawal process so far so please stay strong throughout the rest of your journey, I know that you can make it. You are so very strong, as you have previously proved by overcoming other addictions. As for your GP, you could always ask for a second opinion. I know it is difficult to make appointments these days and as a person with many links to the medical field, I am aware that it has changed significantly recently and this can be frustrating for many. But I would still recommend you ask if you could have a second appointment with a different GP if you would feel comfortable with that, or if things progress for the worse and you still don't think your GP is taking the right course of action, then I would recommend going to A&E.

    Apologies if this is not the best response or the one you were looking for. I am new here :)
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    samantharatsamantharat Posts: 4 Newbie
    @katieelouise totally understand you think that i should go to A & E if im getting bad symptoms but i have no mode of transport to get there, and, they would have to call my parents which i am avoiding at all costs. dont think the symptoms will get too bad that id have to though, the ones im using aren’t the strongest opiods out there. i was impulsive and got my hands on some more today, werent in the mood to deal with the headaches nausea runny rose and muscle aches any longer. one half of me regrets it and the other half dont. ive got enough to last a week now and then ill be back to the same problem.
    ive managed to overcome other things but only with the help of something else, i just want to stop everything completely and have healthy coping mechanisms, not use some other drug to wean off the opiods and then get addicted to that instead its an endless cycle shi.
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    AislingDMAislingDM Moderator Posts: 1,666 Extreme Poster
    That's more than alright, truly, you deserve not to be alone throughout this and whether that support comes from a GP or us right here, anything is better than nothing!! I appreciate how sincerely honest you are about your experiences with the opioids, because as you say, there is no sense in pretending that you aren't gaining some happiness from doing them. Given that, it's pretty understandable that seeking out more has been a high priority for you recently. I know that coupled with the terrible fear of your parents 'finding out' must leave you in a pretty isolated space right now.

    I do think it's very amazing that even with all the intense fear and the anxiety of this whole experience, you are still wishing for healthy coping strategies, like it's immense that you are still here reaching out to think of how life could be easier and allow you to actually thrive, not be in so much pain. <3

    When you mention wanting to talk to someone, I know you've queried a GP or the school, two ideas which I fully support, I know that can seem daunting too, so I wonder if you've given any thought to any of the more anonymised services like Frank or We are With You? Sometimes that can be an easier first step because there is less worry about judgement from others. Will just post some links to that here if you need: :)

    https://www.talktofrank.com/

    https://www.wearewithyou.org.uk/what-we-do/how-we-can-help-you/

    How have you been doing in the past few days since taking some more? <3 huge hugs xxx
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