A back injury from work gave me an addiction to so many pills – Flexeral, Percocet, Tramadol and more.
My name is Allison and at 35, after almost 20 years of working as a cashier at a warehouse club, my body is wrecked. Too many years of lifting improperly has left three of my vertebrae compressed, along with 2 torn rhomboids that never properly healed. But what was worst was my percocet addiction.
First I was diagnosed with CRPS (chronic regional pain syndrome), sciatica, and neuropathy. It gives you numbness in all of your extremities.
So I started with just Advil to take the edge off, but by the time I was 33 years old, the pain was severe (mentally and physically) and my doctor referred me to a pain clinic. Then I had to sign a contract that I wouldn’t take any unprescribed drugs or alcohol while I was taking their drugs… the irony.
Every Month I Needed To Take More
Fast forward a year and I was on: Percocet, Flexeral, soma, Ibuprofen, Tramadol, and Lidocaine patches. Every month, I needed to take more and more to kill the pain, but also to reach that euphoric feeling I first experienced.
I started to know what was happening to me…and it was with the help of my family that I realized I was abusing my medication. It honestly disgusted me that I let myself get to that point. That feeling drove me to very painfully and dangerously detox myself. It was the worst 9 days of my life… And I wouldn’t do it again without medical supervision.
But I was just so tired of being a zombie and counting my pills AT ALL TIMES so that I could count the days to my next refill. I was absent and forgetting everything. It was the lowest point of my life.
Living in a legal area, I believed that there was a light at the end of the tunnel. I got my card and I have not touched a prescription since! Cannabis has also helped me get off of anxiety, depression, and high blood pressure meds.
My Go To Chemovars
I stick with indicas because sativa increases my anxiety. My “go to” strains are Northern Lights and the various Kush strains. I vape because I am asthmatic, plus consume edibles and use tinctures, oral sprays, and a CBD salve (BEST STUFF IN THE WORLD!) for body aches. In the morning, I start with a tincture and vape pen (live resin) along with the CBD salve. I will continue dosing every 4 to 6 hours (mints, hard candies, and gummies). Before bed, I drink tea with flower in it.
When I first started medicating with cannabis, my doctor and family were VERY against it. A couple of years later, they all accept. Who I was on pills vs cannabis – two totally different people. I am grateful to be where I am today.
From RxLeaf: Fighting Percocet Addiction
Allison did everything right. She did the work her bosses wanted her to – and it hurt her. She managed her pain with over-the-counter medicine until it wasn’t effective, so she went to a doctor. The doc sent her to a pain center, which loaded her up with painkillers and anti-depressives. Her body reacted in a predictable way, and formed an addiction.
For so many Percocet addicts, the story is the same. It’s an innocent and accidental journey from following orders to following a prescription to combatting addiction. It’s not their fault; the healthcare system is often focused on Big Pharma profits instead of effective treatment.
And, because opioid addiction is so poorly understood, help can be hard to find. Many addicts not only face the terrible side effects of Percocet addiction (confusion, mood swings, trouble sleeping) but face public shaming from friends and family members.
This is happening while the opioid crisis is raging out of control. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention received $475 million in 2019 to help combat the problem, but the rollout of new programs is still months away.
In the meantime, it’s up to individual patients, their friends, and families, to fight off the scourge of Percocet addiction one person at a time.
How to Manage Percocet Addiction with Cannabis
Percocet addiction may take a while to manifest, but once it does, it takes over everything in life. In the same way that Allison spent her days in a drugged-up fog, counting pills, and waiting for her next refill, many addicts find their once-vibrant lives begin to revolve around a little bottle of pills.
A new study, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry (2019) 1)Hurd, YL. (2019). Cannabidiol for the Reduction of Cue-Induced Craving and Anxiety in Drug-Abstinent Individuals With Heroin Use Disorder: A Double-Blind Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial. American Journal of Psychiatry. 176(11):911-922. found that CBD can play a crucial role in reducing cravings and anxiety in opioid addicts. That can be a huge help for patients trying to kick the accidental habit.
Allison went through nine days of hell to get over her Percocet addiction. That should give other addicts hope that they can do it. But it should also provide a cue for people who are just starting opioid therapies or considering taking them: There is a better way.
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||Hurd, YL. (2019). Cannabidiol for the Reduction of Cue-Induced Craving and Anxiety in Drug-Abstinent Individuals With Heroin Use Disorder: A Double-Blind Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial. American Journal of Psychiatry. 176(11):911-922.|