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Azure Sonnet
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Joined: 18 Dec 2006
Posts: 123
Location: UK


PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2007 5:47 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I realise that this is something of a sensitive issue, but I have a family member who is having a world of troubles with over the counter painkillers (namely codeine), more info on these sites: http://overcount.b0x.com/ or http://www.codeinefree.me.uk/

I would like to know whether anyone else has experienced, or knows someone who has experienced this? How widespread is it? Do people know about it? Are the warnings in the packaging severe enough? Is there a problem in other countries?

It's such a hidden issue, our doctor has no idea how to help, we've been to the local drug counselling service (it's taken four years to be seen there, before the doctor actively referring us we were rejected because no laws were being broken! Way to be proactive and prevent crime!). They also wanted to treat this with Methadone, of all things!

Please feel free to post what you think, I would really like to know, and please also be as sensitive as you can, this has ruined lives.

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Stargate
Baiting Guru


Joined: 08 Feb 2005
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2007 5:52 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I have an Aunt who was really fun to be around. She was great fun, but now she's addicted to morphine after her heart surgery.

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persephone
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Joined: 05 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2007 8:18 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I think the problem is that it considers LEGAL drugs. If your family member was addicted to illegal drugs, there are plenty of help groups and programmes. You may want to look in that direction. The addiction is real, whether or not she breaks any laws.

I can understand that she is hesitant about joining a programme with people who are addicted to cocaine or heroine, because of the image this group has. But I think it would be wise for her to see the addiction for what it is: a drug addiction. It should be treated as such. Kicking the habit is difficult and her chances of success will increase with the amount of help she gets and is willing to accept.

I hope that the GP is broadminded enough to steer her in the right direction. It is not easy to get help, especially in her case, when the doctors more or less enabled her. Most countries have some sort of drug hotline, who might be able to give her some addresses of help organisations.

I really hope that she will get the help and support she needs, Azure. Good luck to the both of you.

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Mr. Green
419Eater is my life


Joined: 07 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2007 9:01 am Reply with quoteBack to top

A friend of my mother's has said that when she was young her father used to make her go out and buy cough syrup all the time. Eventually some of the drug stores refused to sell to her! So, I do indeed think this is a serious problem and wish you luck. Like Persephone has said -- it's the legal drugs you gotta' watch out for (booze and cigarettes mainly, but cough syrup and codeine too!).

I don't know where you might go for help on this, but would be surprised if there isn't a support group somewhere. Just a thought... maybe the AA or Alanon folks could help point you in the right direction?
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RedGadge
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Joined: 21 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2007 9:18 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Many years ago I remember my mate's gran was hooked on Codeine & Linctus cough medicine. It was if she was half drunk all the time... but with a very clear throat.

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windypops
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2007 9:52 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I can't offer any advice on what to do if someone is becoming dependant on prescription drugs. But I'm not surprised that people get this way. I have been taking very strong painkillers on and off for the last five years. My condition gives me severe and constant ear and head pain.

My GP gives me what ever I want, when I want it. The trouble seems to be that modern analgesics need to be in the system all the time for them to be effective. I was told that I would need to keep the dose up, even if the pain was not so bad on that day.

They gave me bad stomach cramps and made me feel so nauseous, I have now virtually given up on them. I only take them when it's so bad I can't stick it any more, and get by on Paracetamol, or nothing at all.

I've taken Tramadol, Co-codamol, the lot.
It's strange that these powerful painkillers are handed out and the patient is pretty much left to their own devices on how they use them.

Sorry to hear your family member member finds themselves in this situation. All I can say is, you need to keep banging on official doors until one is opened.

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Rodus
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2007 11:13 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I was at university with a guy who became addicted to codeine and his family managed to find him as doctor who was a pain management specialist and had experience in the addiction area so this may be a route you could try. I don't know if AA could point you in the right direction as it is not something we know a great deal about on the whole but if you are UK based then The Samaratins tend to have a very comprehensive list of support and help groups and I'm sure there are similar groups in other countries. I know how terrible addiction can be so I sincerely hope you get everything sorted. Good luck.

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Harry Bawls
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Joined: 19 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2007 11:55 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Sadly, I have a relative who is addicted to painkillers. He got to the point doctors and hospitals recognized him and would no longer supply him. He turned to forging perscriptions. He also stole his brothers identity, and damaged his credit history. Eventually it all caught up with him and he went to prison. The even sadder part is that after prison, he started it all again. I have finally figured out that I can do nothing about it. Only the person with the problem can do anything about it. I learned to stop feeling sorry for him. You really have to distance yourself from the person if they are unwilling to help themselves. It is their problem, not yours. It sounds harsh, but you cannot continue to ruin your life for a person like this. There is a program on cable TV in the US called "Intervention". I think it is on A&E network. It cronicles the life of addicts. The bottom line is that at the end of the episode, the addict is offered help from friends and family, and if they turn it down, the friends and family abandon them. No matter what you want to do to help, it is up to the addict.
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JHJH
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Joined: 30 May 2005
Posts: 8
Location: small village l0 miles from Sillie Tillies


PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2007 8:08 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I haven't posted more than twice in years but enjoy reading the site and also warning others about the scams.
Last week some one was found dead next door to us. He had been dead at least 4 days. The initial belief of the police who found him was that he had died from a mixture of prescription drugs and alcohol.
Although he had been warned that drinking while taking the pills would, not maybe but definitely, kill him, we found two large black contracter's size bags full of empty Vodka bottles in his condo.
The moral? If you are taking prescription drugs, please, please follow doctor's orders.
If you can't or an acquaintance can't stop drinking or using dangerous drugs get down to some help group immediately.
And if you once belonged to AA, as this guy did, don't quit with the idea you could start doing just a "little drinking. You can't.
This fellow went back to "light" drinking in September of 2005. Too bad that light quickly became heavy and he then lasted only about l6 months. Didn't make it to age 60.
Any addiction needs help immediately! The step between occasional use of any dangerous substance and death is a very small one. Unfortunately, the addict needs to be willing to stop at the small step. No one else can do it for him or her. The results of not being willing lay next alone door, cold and deteriorating . It was not a pleasant sight. Joan
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Azure Sonnet
Master Baiter


Joined: 18 Dec 2006
Posts: 123
Location: UK


PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2007 9:06 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Thank you everyone for your replies. She is currently being treated at the CDT, and is almost off the tablets now; she's cut down fivefold (from a hundred tablets [200mg ibuprofen, 12.8mg codeine each] to twenty a day) . She has no organ damage, although theres no telling what the future holds. She doesn't drink more than a couple of pints (three max) once a fortnight.

If you take a look at the first link in my thread, you'll see a link to the program she's on now - written by a gentleman who was in the same situation, and came up with a withdrawal program of his own since no-one else had one at the time.

It has an 85% success rate, compared with 12% for most drug treatment centres... Before she started the program, she spent three solid years trying to get treatment - Samaritans had no idea and suggested her GP, doctor had no idea and suggested CDT, everywhere we looked and called suggested either each other, the GP, or CDT.
No-one would take the responsibility. The GP actually refused outright to treat her.

She asked her GP if she would prescribe the codeine phosphate on its own whilst she withdrew, as she was taking thousands of milligrams of ibuprofen (which she wasn't addicted to and which is the most damaging of the two drugs), but only needed dozens of milligrams of codeine - this was purely in the interests of safety and reducing the harm that was being done to her body anyway.

There was also the issue of spending all the money she has on tablets, to the expense of food and seeing friends. Her self esteem also took a battering, she always told me how horrible it was walking into a pharmacist and having the staff watch you like a hawk, then refuse to serve you in front of dozens of other customers. She'd travel up to ten miles on the bus in order to visit one of the twenty pharmacies she used.

I still don't know why the doctor refused, without even discussing the possibility of it. Most people on the websites withdrawal program have had their GP's prescribe the drug for a limited time whilst withdrawing.

The warnings on the packets are ridiculous too - cigarettes have giant warnings all over, and the painkiller packets say that long term use may cause addiction, and when you stop you might become irritable. Hardly scare-mongering...

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Last edited by Azure Sonnet on Mon Jan 29, 2007 1:17 am; edited 1 time in total
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Connie L. Gus
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2007 11:51 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

^^^AS, you have PM and my prayers for your family member.

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Gnasher
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2007 1:14 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Sorry to hear about this sad situation. I'm sure it's a lot more common than we realise. If your rellie has substantially cut down on the amount of meds she is taking then presumably she acknowledges she has a problem which is the most important step in dealing with any addiction. I am sure there are organisations out there who provide support for people in the grip of non-prescription drug addictions, maybe your doctor can help advice.

Just one word of caution, do not be seduced by the promises of Narconon. It's a front organisation for the Church of $cientology.

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Seven of Nine
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2007 1:51 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Gnasher wrote:
....... Just one word of caution, do not be seduced by the promises of Narconon. It's a front organisation for the Church of $cientology.


I wondered how my brother was nearly sucked in by them when he cast off the burden of H.

Happily, he has been free for over 10 years Smile

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Gnasher
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2007 5:40 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Seven of Nine wrote:
I wondered how my brother was nearly sucked in by them


I have a rellie who wasn't quite so lucky. He got well and truly sucked in and managed to 'escape' several years later a physically, emotionally and financially broken man. He was in a worse state than if he'd stayed on the drugs. Glad to hear your brother is still doing well 7/9

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Charlie Muggins
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2007 12:14 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Pain killer addiction is quite common,but there is a lot of help out there.



Good luck.

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Dionysius
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2007 12:37 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Azure Sonnet wrote:
I still don't know why the doctor refused, without even discussing the possibility of it.


People have got to realise that doctors are just like anyother job in that you have the good ones and you have the wankers and sometimes the wankers seem to predominate. One quack I used to tell him what I wanted he would suggest the medication and write a prescription. The medication which hadn't worked was left on my repeat prescription list. I had 5 different painkillers, 3 anti diarrohea meds and I lost count of the anti inflamatories still on the list. Consultations would take less than a minute, and that was for quite a serious condition.

My doctor horror stories are numerous.

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Charlie Muggins
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2007 12:45 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Iv'e got that tee shirt my doctor once came out with the statement "It's your age"....................I was waiting to be given a leaflet advertising cheap one way flights to switzerland Wink

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