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Hi. I just wanted to share my expereinces with regard to codeine addiction. I have noted that some threads talk about codeine not being addictive - I could not disagree more. I have been taking dihydrocodeine and co-codamol on & off for about 4 years. It started by self medicating - I had a nerve infection in my face that doctors or dentists could not treat, until I was given some co-codamol by my relatives. This worked - wow!! it really numbed the pain. I began taking 2-3 at a time, until the infection passed. I still had 10 or so left, and I decided to take them to cure a hangover!! they worked - they numbed the symptoms and left me feeling calm and dreamy. I loved the feeling it gave me.
From this point on, I began to see the benefits of the drug and it made me feel nice - but i was stealing dihydrocodeine and co-codamol from my relatives, taking the odd pack of 10 at a time.
I began training for a half marathon, and found that taking co-codamol after a long run had a soothing effect on my body. I began stealing more & more tablets until it ran out, and then I embarked on searching companies on the internet that could supply me it.
I began to order 100 co-codamol at a time, regularly taking 8 to 10 or so in the evening to draw my mind away from stressful days at work. I would wake up fine the next day & look forward to taking them again in the evening.
About 2 years ago, I went on holiday for 7 days and forgot to take them with me - i secretly panicked inside!! I noticed that after 2 days of not taking it, my body began to ache and ache - mainly my legs, and I would have cold sweats at night. I also suffered confusion and began to ruminate a lot about negative things on my life.
One good thing was that I managed to kick the habit that week - I told my future wife & my son that I had caught an infection on holiday, but secretly i knew the truth.
I went about 8 months clean of codeine, until events in my life pushed me towards taking them again, as I yearned for the dreamy numb state the tablets gave me. Codeine is good at making you numb - especially to relationships which it secretly destroys.
I was gradually becoming so dependent on it that I started taking them at work, as I could not function without them or think straight. It gave me confidence at work, but at the same time it also meant that I cared less. I even gave up my safe job when redundancies were being offered, knowing that I had no job to go to and a mortgage to pay & family to support. But hell, the redundancy money meant i could take time out and take codeine whenever I wanted.
Which brings me up to now.
I have just returned back from a weeks holiday from my new job, and I treated this holiday as "rehab" "cold turkey" . I just needed to be clean for the sake of myself and others. I have been clean of codiene now for 11 days. I spent 4 days of my holiday going through horrible withdrawal (aches, pains, nausea), blaming it on a viral infection.
I had an email from my online pharmacy/doctor last week stating that they would no longer be selling me dihydrocodeine unless I had a prescription from my GP - maybe this is the push I need to stop using?
Must admit, I feel great now that the physical symptoms of withdrawal have passed, and I am now looking to moving forward in life. I have rejoined my local gym, started focusing on new things and have told myself that there is no going back to codeine ever.
I am really really hopeful that I have kicked it this time. I do miss the feeling of taking those small round tablets, but I do not want to ever go back to them.
My advice to anybody who feels that there is no way out is that there is! Think of the harm they do to you and what you will miss in life when you are both alive and dead from codeine addiction.
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