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Dihydrocodeine addiction

Girl-From-MarsGirl-From-Mars Mega PosterPosts: 2,822
ok. this is another post that isnt about myself. im posting on behalf of my mum.

she's been taking dihydrocodeine for about 4 years. she gets bad arthritis in her hands... she got given it first off after an operation on her hand to remove a nodule type thing from her joint. shes been taking an increasingly large amount as time has passed.

most recently, shes been taking 200 x 30mg tablets, and 112 x 60mg continus tablets, and theyre lasting her 17 days, roughly. instead of a month. now, her usual doctor is away, and the replacement one from within the surgery refused to sign her prescription and said that shes been taking too many and needs to stick to the required dosage.

now, shes been given 100 x 30mg tablets, half her other dose, and none of the continus ones which keep a constant supply in her bloodstream. and these are supposed to last her an actual month, rather than 17 days. actually... the doc asked if mum had any of the 60mg ones left, and she lied and said she had because she felt bad about having taken them all... so he thinks she has 56, again, half her previous dosage.

now is this me, or is this pretty harsh? to sudddenly cut off a strong drug like this and give no help in getting her off them? her sister took them previously, and to aid with her withdrawal she had to see a psychiatrist, and was given something to act as a replacement to wean her off. my mum has been given NO support from her doctor and has been made to feel like a drug addict, which totally isnt fair, they were the ones giving them to her in the first place, no one noticed she was taking mroe than she should. but as her pain kept getting worse, she just kept upping the dose herself. some days she was taking 20 x 30mg tablets a day, and the maximum works out to be around 8. the doctors never even mentioned how addictive dihydrocodeine is, and that it is in fact more addictive than heroin, in some ways.

shes been taking some of my kava kava tablets to calm her down and ease with the withdrawal... is this the best thing to do? is there anything better out there, herbal or otherwise, that can help? she's getting proper withdrawal symptoms, feeling irritable, tearful, and a deep frustration, as if something is missing, when she doesnt take the same amount as before. she is prone to suffer from depression, so surely something can be done? she doesnt want to phone this doctor back, she has a very strong sense of pride and wont be seen to be asking for help, or pleading, if she can help it.

i suggested the national drugs helpline perhaps... she doesnt want someone coming to the house, can counselling be done over the phone to these types of people? is this a good idea anyway?

id be really grateful for any replies about this, i appreciate it probably isnt going to be something that many of you have any kind of experience with. <IMG alt="image" alt="image" SRC="http://www.thesite.org/ubb/frown.gif"&gt; karla, maybe you can provide some links?

thank you all in advance.

I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.
~ the late, great Douglas Adams


  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hi GFM,

    Definitely sounds like your Mum needs some extra help. Here are some helplines: http://www.thesite.org/drugs/national_helplines.html

    I'd suggest starting with National Drugs Helpline as they are discreet, and can put you in touch with local agencies.

    If you don't get on with a particular GP, you could also try getting an appointment with a different doctor at the same practice.

    Best of luck
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru

    im sorry to hear that, i don't really know what to say as im not @ all clued up on drugs, but i hope she finds the help she needs soon.

    There's a girl in my mirror
    I wonder who she is
    Sometimes I think I know her
    Sometimes I really wish I did
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    GFM thats terrible...

    The national drugs line will speak with her and hook her up with people in her area, then I guess that depends on if your area do local counselling, many places hold 'annoymous' meetings and also offer prescriptions to help people in your mums situation.

    These meetings aren't too bad, it can be nervous to go and attend but in many cases they are annoymous, and people talk to overcome addiction and feel supported and confident. I was transfered to an Alcohol Treatment Unit when I was 17 in the army and it did me a lot of good...
  • Girl-From-MarsGirl-From-Mars Mega Poster Posts: 2,822
    thanks for your replies so far guys, ill show her them later on <IMG alt="image" alt="image" SRC="http://www.thesite.org/ubb/smile.gif"&gt;

    I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.
    ~ the late, great Douglas Adams
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't know if this will help, but let your mum know that she should not feel the slightest embarrassment. Doctors have been giving her high doses of a very addictive drug for four years, so of course she's addicted. As for the way that doctor behaved, it's terrible and shameful. It's amazing how some doctors will give out huge quantities of narcotics and then blame the patient for having the expected reaction.

    I hope she gets some help with the withdrawl.

    Wish her luck!
  • Girl-From-MarsGirl-From-Mars Mega Poster Posts: 2,822
    thanks burnout girl, and everyone else again too <IMG alt="image" alt="image" SRC="http://www.thesite.org/ubb/smile.gif"&gt; i showed her all your replies, and went to the page of contact numbers karla provided. i think she's going to phone the national drugs helpline at some point, but when my dad isnt here so she can talk freely and stuff. (he knows about it but she isnt gonna want to be on the phone talkin about it with him listening in like he does).

    its really good to have this site, coz now she doesnt feel as .. i dont know, alone maybe, as she did before, coz she knows that people out there who've never met her or even talked to her have given her all this advice <IMG alt="image" alt="image" SRC="http://www.thesite.org/ubb/smile.gif"&gt; so thanks to you all <IMG alt="image" alt="image" SRC="http://www.thesite.org/ubb/biggrin.gif"&gt;

    "That which does not kill us makes us stronger."
    ~ Nietzsche
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hi there, I'm new to this site and actually registered because of this message. Did your mum get the help? I am at the moment on dihydrocodeine, taking a little more, I really want to come off them, but every time I try I don't recognise myself. That's if I get out of bed. The symptoms are terrible. I want to talk to my doctor, but I want to know what to ask for. They're like that up here. Any feedback on how your mum is coping would be absolutely great. Thank you.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't think that GFM posts on here any more, i'm afraid. Sorry, maybe you should try making your own post?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru

    Hi, I hope that your Mum is doing better now??
    I am in a really similar situation to her. I have been on Dihydrocodiene for probably 13 years now, and for the last 6 years at least I have been (like your Mum) taking about double what I should've been, but I had no choice as it seemed the only way to stop the pain.. I also suffer with athritis, in my spine, hip, knees and now my wrists... Bit of a bugger as I am only 42.
    We recently moved away and I had to leave the doctor that I had been under for about 10 years, he knew that I wasn't just some junkie wanting a high and would prescribe me 224 x 30mg and 56 x 90mg(MR) tablets each month, (working out at approximately 400mg per day usually) and more often than not I would have to take the majority of them.
    I had been under the pain clinic a few years before all this and tried every painkiller from Gabapentin to amitryptoline etc, and for me the DF118's (Dihydrocodiene) worked best... When I first saw my new G.P and explained that I was on so many and why, also that my old G.P had said that he was more than happy to discuss why I was on so many, the new one just refused to give me more than 240mg per day and would not ring the old G.P..:banghead:
    So I was just left to drop the tablets by a big amount per day, as it happens, I had a few extra ones from the days that I didn't take them all, but now they have stopped working altogether and last thursday the Doc told me to stop taking the DF118's, and put me on Diclofenac, Tramadol, Paracetamol and the Hydroxycloroquine that the Rheuamatologist put me on... Not a mention of withdrawl or what to expect..
    Don't get me wrong, the painkillers are not too bad but since last Friday morning I have been very ill, it is now a week and I have had shivers, sweats, clamminess, diarrhoea, stomach pains, nausea and a general feeling of being unwell and I really hope that it gets better soon....

    I am sorry that I have not helped you at all but wondered if your Mum had found anything that helps....?

    Anybody else got any advise about this, how long it will last etc????

    Would appreciate any advice at all.

This discussion has been closed.