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Opiate Addiction- Commit and Quit. Withdrawal from Ultram Codeine Morphine Tramadol Hydrocodone Oxy

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posted on Jan, 17 2012 @ 08:47 PM
I have a great solution of those of you struggling with addiction. After 14 years on physician-prescribed tramadol (Ultram), I kicked the demon-on-my-back. I had a week of misery, but keep in mind, I took tramadol for 14 years straight. If you take any substance consistently for 14 years (even a particular food), without fail, you will have some type of withdrawal. After hours and hours of research, I found a solution that I would like everyone to have access to. I was the guinea pig, and after 4 months with no assistance from a physician (or the methadone they wanted me to titrate off of the tramadol with), I am successful. I am not a physician, and I highly recommend you consult a physician first.

Tramadol, for those of you who are unfamiliar with the drug, is a generic name for a drug called Ultram. Ultram was marketed in the early 2000's as a pain drug without the addictive properties of the Schedule 2 drugs including the opiate class (Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Codeine, etc...). Tramadol is a Schedule 5 drug (you need a prescription, but it isn't classified as addictive per se).

After 13 years of usage, physicians have discovered (and addicts too), that tramadol has a narcotic-like action similar to opiod drugs. In fact tramadol binds to the mu receptor, the same receptor coc aine binds to. Tramadol may deliver less dramatic effect and liability than pure narcotic opiates, but new labeling warns that tramadol “may induce psychological and physical dependence of the morphine-type”. The labeling didn't go into effect until 9 years after I had been on the drug....had I known of tramadol's addictive properties I would have stayed way clear of the drug. I was prescribed tramadol, because I was getting hives from the codeine I was prescribed from contracting chicken pox at a mature age.

To complicate matters further, tramadol also acts similar to an anti-depressant, increasing serotonin and to a lesser degree, norepinephrine. Any one stopping an anti-depressant cold turkey, can tell you the hell of coming off of an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor). Thousands of posts on the internet state that tramadol withdrawal is much worse than opiate withdrawal because of the pain/antidepressant properties of tramadol.

In researching my options to slay this addiction, I discovered that my pain was probably a result of a condition physician's call 'rebound pain'. It was very possible that the horrible pain I experienced every day was no longer a reaction to 'real' pain, but by my body's inability to produce it's own opiates when the dose of tramadol wore off after six or seven hours. This occurs with all opiates. I was caught in a vicious cycle of feeling good for three hours after my initial dose of tramadol, and then the gradual increase in pain until my next dose.

The 'rebound pain' I experienced twice daily when the drug wore off, was enough to drive me to find the tramadol. The few times I ran out of tramadol I ended up in the emergency room because the withdrawal was so horrible. The rebound pain was debilitating. I literally became obsessed with securing my next dose of tramadol. First of all I would start sweating, I would be pale as a ghost, and I would get these horrible restless leg pains until my next dose. Strangely enough, after stopping the tramadol the pain I thought I had, is gone, although I do have some resulting pain as I continue to withdraw from tramadol. I have no idea how much more withdrawal lies ahead, but I can still feel the drug in my body.

The Withdrawal

The first five days of withdrawal weren't fun. They were pretty terrible, but every day after the third day gets better. Withdrawal symptoms may include:
Goose bumps
Fever chills
Respiratory symptoms.
The initial withdrawal will take 3 to 5 days. I suggest you plan on beginning the process before a long weekend, and plan on calling in sick several days if you work. You will need a friend to be there for support, access to a hot bath, lots of blankets, and some type of activity that gets your mind of your discomfort. You must also force yourself to go outside and walk for at least fifteen minutes a day. You have got to find a way to begin making your own natural endorphins. Your body is completely reliant on chemicals to feel good, and your natural system has shut down in response

Once you have gone through the initial withdrawal, you will need to deal with a syndrome they call 'Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome', also called PAWS. PAWS is a set of symptoms that occur when your body begins to re-regulate, and continue to withdraw from the drug. Tramadol and opiates are stored in body fat, so over several weeks to six months, these substances will continue to be released. It has been four months for me, and I am still experiencing PAWS. PAWS include:
Aches and pains
Inability to regulate temperature
Cold- or flu-like symptoms
Loss of appetite
Mood swings/depression
Sleep difficulties

The worst issue I have faced has been cold and hot sweats all day, every day for four months. Opiates impact your brain's hypothalamus-pituitary axis resulting in a disruption in the way your body thermoregulates or regulates other autonomous body functions. The hot and cold sweats are slowly getting better. Keep in mind that every one is unique, and depending on the duration of drug use, body fat, overall health, and how you choose to detox, your symptoms will be unique. I believe the tramadol poisoned my body and was actually very toxic. I haven't been sick in 12 years, and I have been sick four times during the four months. I don't feel like 'me' yet, but every week gets easier now. The most bizarre aspect of PAWS is that every evening at six-thirty when I would take my evening dose; my body starts sweating profusely and I get pale. It is almost like my body is screaming for me to take the missed dose. It is a very uncomfortable hour, and I can't wait for it to end.

The Solution

So what is this magic formula that made withdrawal tolerable? It is a sequence of natural supplements, several over the counter medications, and one very incredible and legal plant called Kratom.

These items should be purchased prior to withdrawal:

1. Red Hots or Fireballs- pain in your mouth is proven to release endorphins
2. Immodium (Loperamide)- an over the counter anti-diarrheal medication. Loperamide is actually an opiate that
is too large to pass the blood-brain barrier, but can bind to the vacated opiate
receptors assisting with both diarrhea and withdrawal symptoms. Because the
loperamide molecule is too large to pass through the blood brain barrier, you cannot
get high from loperamide.
3. Vitamin B-6-
4. L-Tyrosine (500 mg caps)- L-Tyrosine is an amino acid that increases brain dopamine. May help with
anxiety and stress. I swear by this supplement.
5. Wide-spectrum mineral supplement with at least 100% RDA of Zinc, Phosphorus, Copper, Magnesium and
Potassium. It is important to get your electrical system regulalated.

posted on Jan, 17 2012 @ 08:56 PM
So it stands,
thanks for the info.

edit on 1/17/2012 by MeesterB because: proven wrong

posted on Jan, 17 2012 @ 09:06 PM
I sincerely hope they let this thread stand. I am printing it for my Wife who has been on narcotic pain killers for many MANY years for Diabetic Neuropathy. It's something we both want to see her come down and detox from, but as you's hell on earth getting there. Maybe your story and inspiring experience will prompt her to give it another try. I've never been on Opiates myself...not that drug, for any reason. It sure looks like hell from a 3rd person perspective while watching someone else though. A vibrant and energetic woman turned into someone you'd think was in the depths on profound depression..naww, it's just the Hydro and Tramadol.

S/F and THANK YOU for having the courage and time to share your first hand trip off the Rx.

posted on Jan, 17 2012 @ 09:06 PM
Textreply to post by lostviking

If you are addicted to Opiates of any kind, don't suffer through withdrawal and don't let people tell you you need rehab. Find out abou Suboxone and find a doctor that prescribes it. I was on OxyContin for 10years due to pain from sports injuries. I have 5 cadaver bones in my neck along with a hinged plate and screws. I made the switch with no trouble. Yet when on oxy's I'd suffer for a week every month due to my tolerance level going up an docs afraid to give larger Rx for legitimate pain.

posted on Jan, 17 2012 @ 09:07 PM
6. Milk Thistle- A liver cleanser and strong antioxidant to assist in the removal of the opiate and byproducts.
7. Kratom- a plant from Indonesia that binds to the mu receptor. Kratom is legal in America, and I have found very
very effective in stopping withdrawal symptoms. During the first three weeks, I took approximately 1/2 a gram of
kratom and it took the edge off of the withdrawals. Kratom acts as a weak opiate, and thus, binds to the
receptor site that is vacant from the opiate withdrawal. The key is to use kratom to titrate slowly off of the
opiates. Kratom should not be used as a substitute for the tramadol or opiate or you will find yourself with a
possible kratom addiction. I was easily able to discontinue the kratom, but I think I have the ability to
regulate my intake. I never increased my dose of tramadol, or abused the drug in any way. Kratom can be
purchased online. Private message me for my source. It is the highest quality, and by far the cheapest price I have found online. I have no financial ties to this company, I am just a loyal customer.

How to use these supplements:

Start the vitamin/mineral supplement right away (or the first day you can keep it down), preferably with food. Potassium early in the detox is important to help relieve RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome). Bananas are a good source of potassium if you can't find a supplement for it. Potassium is critical in evening out the electrical charges in your body that will be disrupted from your withdrawal of the opiate. Opiates alter your brain and body chemistry in ways you can't imagine.

Begin your detox with regular, small doses of Kratom as needed throughout the first five days. It is safe to take up to an entire tablespoon of kratom every four hours as needed. Before you take the kratom, make sure you're not driving, have someone to watch the kids and you slowly titrate up to the smallest effective dose. I add a small amount of water to the kratom, make a paste, and then refrigerate. When I need kratom I make a small ball about the size of a gumball, put it in my mouth, and chug water to get it down. Actually, I like ginger ale because the bubbles force it down. It is a very green taste that I actually like. Taper the kratom dosage down after each day. The goal is to get through day 4, after which the worst withdrawal symptoms will subside.

Kratom thereafter, should only be used when you feel you are having severe Post acute withdrawal symptoms. You don't want kratom to become a new addiction.

During detox, hit the hot bath or Jacuzzi as often as you need to for muscle aches. Don't underestimate the effectiveness of hot soaks. Spend the entire time, if necessary, in a hot bath. This simple method will alleviate what is for many the worst opiate WD symptom.

Use the Imodium aggressively to stop the runs. Take as much as you need, as often as you need it. It might block some of the other withdrawal symptoms.

At the end of the fourth day, you should be lessening your use of kratom and experiencing the beginnings of the opiate WD malaise. Upon rising (empty stomach), take the L-Tyrosine. Try 2000 mgs, and scale up or down, depending on how you feel. You can take up to 4,000 mgs. Take the L-Tyrosine with B6 to help absorption. Wait about one hour before eating breakfast. The L-Tyrosine will give you a surge of physical and mental energy that will help counteract the malaise. You may continue to take it each morning for as long as it helps. If you find it gives you the jitters consider lowering the dosage or discontinue it altogether. Occasionally, L-Tyrosine can cause diarrhea. Unlike the runs from opiate WD, however, this effect of L-Tyrosine is mild and normally does not return after the first hour. Lowering the dosage may help.

Continue to take the vitamin/mineral supplement with breakfast. On the third day, add the milk thistle if your stomach can tolerate it. Continue to take milk thistle for the next several weeks.

I welcome any questions. The kratom was the key to surviving withdrawal. Without the kratom I wouldn't have been able to end this cycle of addiction. Please p.m. me if you want my kratom contact, or have any questions. Nothing destroys your quality of life more than a dependence on a substance. This is one effective way to achieve freedom from opiates.

posted on Jan, 17 2012 @ 09:08 PM
reply to post by PMNOrlando

What happened to your pain levels and daily discomfort when you were fully detox'ed off the Rx load? I keep wondering how much of her pain is a result of her body adding reasons to insure the pain killers never stop or slow down.

posted on Jan, 17 2012 @ 09:09 PM
I was diagnosed with post-herpetic neuralgia from the chicken pox. I have no doubt I was in real pain for several months, the problem was that once I went on tramadol, my pain was from when the tramadol was wearing off. NOT because I was in actual physical pain. Pain drugs and opiates CAUSE pain. It is a wicked cycle to become enmeshed in. Good luck to your wife and please write me if you have any questions.

posted on Jan, 17 2012 @ 09:11 PM
It would help if you could supply some
sources. I take tramadol and have been
on and off of it in the pass with very few
complications when I withdraw from it

If you are hurting or having symptoms
after 4 months how do you know it isn't
something besides tramadol causing
this. Show me a source that tramadol
works as you say it does.

Also could you share as to why you
started taking Tramadol? Why did you
need a pain reliever such as this?

I can't tolerate codiene, it gives me
severe pain in my chest, feels like
a heart attack. What works for one
person is not always the same for

posted on Jan, 17 2012 @ 09:12 PM
i was on tramadol hydrochloride 200mg (3 pills daily for a total of 600 mg) after a severe back injury
i took this amount for over 10 years,

one day i just decided i was done.

i stopped taking it, no withdrawals. no issues.

im a bit crankier these days as it definitely made me happier. and i do suffer with pain from my lateral disc compression.

but i save $40 a month, and can take a dump every day (:

posted on Jan, 17 2012 @ 09:13 PM
I was prescribed Ultram for a back injury. Luckily I had a severe allergic reaction and had to go to the ER. I won't take any pain meds after that.

I guess its like getting caught smoking by your dad as a kid and he makes you chain smoke until you puke so you won't want to smoke anymore.

Good topic

posted on Jan, 17 2012 @ 09:15 PM
Suboxone or buprenorphine are great drugs for coming off of opiates. The issue is cost for a lot of people. I found kratom, in what literature I found, to be an equally effective mu-receptor agonist in opiate addiction. I have heard it works well in alcoholism also. Kratom and vitamin supplementation is a great way for people without insurance to assist themselves in healing. I have insurance, and access to great hospitals and doctors, but I didn't like the way they wanted to treat me as an addict. My body was dependent on a substance, but I did not have addictive tendencies. I was not doctor shopping, increasing my dose, using tramadol to get high, or abusing the drug. I truly enjoy the stories of addicts, and addicts in general- but personally couldn't relate. I also worried about my medical records and the associated stigma, especially as a prior drug rep who might want to do that again.

edit on 17-1-2012 by lostviking because: grammar

posted on Jan, 17 2012 @ 09:19 PM
You are fortunate. I honestly believe if you take tramadol for more than a month, that your body becomes dependent on it. Not only does it help with the pain, tramadol has antidepressant properties similar to Effexor (an SSRI). Once your body is dependent on an external chemical just to feel normal, you are in trouble. You were smarter than me.....of course, my docs had me convinced that my nerve ganglions were damaged from the chicken pox. Not once early on did a doctor suggest that the tramadol was causing the pain.

posted on Jan, 17 2012 @ 09:22 PM
You realize stopping the drug is easier if you have your physician titrate your dose down, and don't try to cold turkey it right? Ultra is a medication that has to be titrated up for toleration reasons, so slowly decreasing the dosage is less painful, and less risky than just stopping. Of course it takes longer too but still....

posted on Jan, 17 2012 @ 09:26 PM
This is what was crazy. After the first five days my pain levels dropped to almost nothing. I was agitated and craving tramadol like crazy, but my back pain was almost gone. I actually took kratom for six weeks, took massive amounts of vitamins, and forced myself to exercise. My back hurts a little sometimes, but it is nothing compared to the pain I experienced when the tramadol wore off. Every evening at six p.m before my next dose, my body screamed for tramadol. I would have robbed a hospital to get it. My pain coming off tramadol daily was a 9, my pain on my worst day is now a 4. The drug caused my pain. I have no doubt that legitimate pain is made worse by tramadol. It is a dirty drug. After reading thousands of internet postings, I would rather have been on an opiate than on tramadol....across the board people say tramadol is worse than heroin to detox from. Kratom saved my life.

posted on Jan, 17 2012 @ 09:31 PM
You are fortunate. I don't think you've passed the threshold yet where your body ceases to make it's own opiates, and you become dependent on tramadol. Tramadol didn't have a warning label of possible addiction, until a few years ago when the FDA discovered that people were drug-seeking tramadol.

It will take me a little while to post studies, but there is empirical evidence that tramadol is highly addictive and that the withdrawal should be mediated with another opiate. Tramadol is structurally an opiate. Opiates are addictive. I don't know when my body crossed the line from tramadol being useful to tramadol being a full blown addiction, but it did happen. I will get back to you within the hour.

posted on Jan, 17 2012 @ 09:32 PM
This is an important thread. If for no other reason than to hilight the extent corporate Rx has insinuated themselves into our lives. Narcotic addiction is the end all beast. It requires the greatest deal of empathy for those who often deserve it the least. wish I felt more comfortable sharing.

My prayers are with you. Signed, Sam Stone

posted on Jan, 17 2012 @ 09:37 PM
Absolutely. We tried titration. Before finally quitting I was on 25 mg. a day....a tiny, tiny amount. The issue was when I dropped to zero, my withdrawal pain was intolerable. Not only physically, but I felt that I was feeling psychotic. One time I actually ended up hospitalized by titrating down that way. I am the exception though....I was on tramadol for 14 years. I have yet to encounter anyone anywhere that has taken tramadol as long as me. However, I have read enough internet posts about people who are full blown addicts after a year, that are taking 800 mgs. a day. I was actually on 600 mgs. for years, and the last year had titrated down to 100 mgs. a day. I don't know why some of us just can't titrate down like you state. I tried. The sweating, freezing, goose bumps and agitation were beyond my ability to tolerate. Without kratom binding to those receptor sites, and then quickly titrating off the kratom I couldn't have done it. My doctor's solution was to use methadone to titrate off of tramadol. Kratom is natural and mild, where methadone is synthetic and potentially very toxic like tramadol.

posted on Jan, 17 2012 @ 09:43 PM
You are the exception. Google 'tramadol addiction' and you will find millions and millions of posts about how addictive and how horrible withdrawal is. I don't understand why some people can simply stop. When I did that, I was in the fetal position in tears. You are the exception, not the rule. It has been over four months since I stopped, and I can guarantee I am still having mild withdrawal issues (long term opiates damages your ability to regulate your body temperature, and I am still struggling with daily sweats and chills- although I am nearing normal).
This post is for those of us who are unfortunate, and our bodies scream for the drug. I am telling you, had I not had access to tramadol, I would have gone to great lengths to obtain it.....I might as well have been on heroin. My body WANTED it bad and I was helpless to quit because the pain was so intense.

posted on Jan, 17 2012 @ 09:45 PM
reply to post by lostviking

How long were you on the 25 a day for? 25 is actually the very starting dose. Did your doc suggest 25 along with say an NSAID for a while? You're right though, I've never heard of tramadol for that long. Either way it sounds like you're through it now which is good.

posted on Jan, 17 2012 @ 09:46 PM
I went off cold turkey from 70 mg of hydrocodone per day down to nothing. Keep in mind that a normal single dose of hydrocodone is 5 mg every 4 hours. My doctor gave me some Librium for the horrible anxiety and a blood pressure medication to keep my blood pressure from shooting up while I was withdrawing.

It was dreadful. I sent my kids to friend's houses for the week and had a friend sit with me for the first two days and nights.

You have to really want to stop, otherwise the physical distress and illness you will feel will drive you to keep taking them. Withdrawing cold turkey without bringing the dose down gradually is brutal and not for the faint of heart.

Your skin hurts terribly all over, every single bone screams from pain, you sweat, you freeze, you get horrible gastric symptoms like severe diarrhea and some vomiting, and you thrash around from the pain and confusion like a fish out of water. Not a pretty sight.

I wanted to make sure the experience was so awful that I would never go down that road was, and I didn't.

BTW, these were legally prescribed to me for my condition.

Addiction to legally prescribed drugs is a huge problem and most people don't think they can kick the habit. Yes, you can, if you want to. Addiction is a dead-end road. Literally.

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