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Detox? Or Not to Detox?

Hello, I am new to your site. My psychiatrist the other day suggested that maybe I should go inpatient and medically detox off all my meds. She said that way I can have a new baseline and then go from there. 

I've been on pain medication steady since 2012. It doesn't work any longer and hasn't for a long time. I'm also on a lot of mood altering medications for depression , anxiety and all that comes with chronic pain, those too have stopped working for me. 

I have thought about detoxing for some time now due to the amount and different meds I take daily. It can't be good for my body. My question is though, if I went through detox, would my pain management doctor still work with me? I don't want to be labeled an addict or anything negative. But like my psychiatrist said, I'm only going up from here. If I detox, I can start fresh on lower doses of meds possibly. 

I do not feel any side effects of my meds. Like I don't get euphoria or anything like that. And I don't sleep even when I take Ambien and other medications. My xanax for my panic attacks doesn't work either. 

I can remember a time when I would just take a bite of my .5mg xanax and that was almost too much to function.  Now I can take 2 (1mg) tablets and it's like I've taken candy. My panic attacks are not stopped and I don't get sleepy. 

I plan on talking to my pain management dr on April 12 at my appointment about this. But I'm afraid he will think I'm abusing my meds. I am not. I have never run out of medications before it was time to refill, they've never been stolen or lost. I take urine drug screens almost monthly at my PM Dr appt. And I've never failed or had any issues.

 I just read about these detox places and they all talk about "your addiction" and 12 step program,  etc. It is extremely possible I have a dependence on my medications because I've been taking them since 2012, but I don't "crave" my medicine. I take it when its needed for pain. I've never been one to have an addictive personality. No issues with alcohol or street drugs ever. (To be honest, I'm afraid of getting in trouble, lol, yes even at age 43) I have many police officers in my family and it would kill me if I let them down by breaking the law. I don't get a "High" when I take my meds either. Which is good because I'm a control freak and you can't be in control if your high. I did feel loopy back in 2008 and 2012 when I first started taking them. But now I've built up a tolerance to them I guess and that is why they aren't as effective in controlling my pain as they were in the beginning. Ppl say to me why don't you smoke pot? Well, comes back to control. One evening my son was a year old. My husband was working a midnight shift I was off work, so, after I put our son to bed I had some beers while watching a movie. Well, my son woke up just as I was making my way to bed and he had a fever of 103 and a bad croopy cough. He needed to be seen by a dr. But I couldn't drive I drank 3 or 4 beers.  So I had to call 911. That day I swore I'd never do anything like that ever again. And I haven't. I was an EMT and I had to call someone else for help. That destroyed me, I felt like a failure an idiot. I punished myself for a very long time. So now you know a little bit about me. And how things affect me. 

So, if I do this detox, will I then be labeled an addict? Would I have to do a 12 step? What i want to get out of detox is this, i want to be on less medications and lower doses that will control my pain. If I don't do detox, I can only go up from here. More meds, higher doses, etc. I'm hoping detox will rid me of the tolerance my body has built up. 

Has anyone done this? Know of anyone who has? Can someone please help me with this?? 

Thank you so much, sorry it's so long, but I need you to understand my psyche. 




  • Veronica,

    Is there any reason you can not taper, under your doctors supervision at home?

    I understand wanting off the meds, being on them so long that doses become ineffective, feeling like it's a choice between pain management and ever increasing dosages.

    I have tapered off at home several times and done properly, and with strength and determination , it can be done in relative comfort with minimal withdrawal symptoms working with your doctor.

    I talked to my PM and explained my reasons for wanting to try ( get a better idea of my baseline pain levels, whether the meds were really helping, fear of increasing dosages, ineffectiveness of the meds over time), and what I hoped to gain..

    What would happen if at the end I found I still needed pain meds..he was actually happy I wanted to do this, and reassured me if I found after that I did in fact need some meds , he had no issue putting me back on or changing to something more effective.

  • The user and all related content has been deleted.
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  • nutcase007nnutcase007 United StatesPosts: 940


    Your detox/rehab question is one I have asked myself many times.  I discussed the same question with my psychologist. 

    Your the only one that can answer it.  Yes, I know the feeling of drugs no longer working.  I have taken the tapper route.  I have taken myself off of ambien and gabapentin, because the side effects were worse than the benefits.  I'm slowly tapering myself down on oxycodone, which I taken for most of the last 20 years thru my three cervical fusions.  Please do NOT start a tapper before you discuss with the  doctor writing the meds. 

    For lack of sleep issues, my doctor added Ativan, which does work for me.  I have reactions to every other antidepressants that have been tried on me.  I forget if Xanax was tried.  My lack of sleep issues had become so bad that I had heart attack symptoms (elevated troponin levels).  

    The horror stories I've heard about detox programs is that the patient is all of a sudden cured once the insurance runs out.  Having ones body put thru such sudden changes/withdraw can't be good. 

    I hope you can find a solution that works for you.


  • MikethepikeMMikethepike MIchiganPosts: 681

     Well Veronica, I think it's a good idea, I wonder if insurance covers it. If you find out more about it please post take care and God bless

  • Hello, 

    I am going to call my insurance tomorrow and see if something like this is covered. If it isn't then I am going to talk to my PM Dr about tapering off. I know I need some form of pain management my spine and nerve pain. I just want to be where it was in the beginning where I take my medication and the pain subsides. I take it now and I get very little to no relief on my Oh My Goodness I Am Gonna Die Days. Lol. If my pain level is minimal then the medication works as it should. But I find myself having more and more of those OMGIAGDD!!! I've told my PM dr this many a time and he is not willing to work with me. His older brother whom I started seeing first was very aggressive and listened to me and if changes needed to be made he was on it. However his younger brother is more skittish, not wanting to make changes. Well, once he did. I was worried about the amount of acetaminophen in my percocet and I asked to be switched to something else. BAD IDEA!!! He put me on Tramodol and it was like taking aspirin. Oh my, I suffered so badly for 2 weeks until I could see him. I've researched other pain medications and even massage, acupuncture, he doesn't seem interested. Even tho his clinic offers these types of pain management. I wish I could have his brother back, but he doesn't see PT's anymore he is on the business side. With the opioid epidemic that is going on now I'm afraid to switch drs so I'm just stuck. 

    The mood altering meds I take are not like LSD, lol I reread that and thought oops it sounded funny. I take antidepressants, xanax, etc. Prescribed by my psychiatrist. CBD Oil is now legal in my state, but u have to hold it under ur tongue (liquid) and it tastes so awful! And for that to work it needs to accumulate in your body. I just can't see taking that 3-5 times a day everyday. 

    So I thought if I detoxed off everything maybe my tolerance to the meds would subside and I could start out with tramadol. I know I'm going to be in pain for a bit without pain meds, but I'm probably gonna be in pain from detoxing anyway. I just wish I didn't need any of this. I'm blessed beyond words to have life, but I wish it was the life prior to 2008 when a dr completely messed me up for life. 

    I will keep u all updated. Thank you so very much for your responses. I do appreciate you and them!!! Have a great day!!

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  • nutcase007nnutcase007 United StatesPosts: 940


    I was introduced to the use of CBD Oil by a friend.  I tried the sublingual version and like you, could not tolerate the taste.  I also had swelling in my mouth that went away when I quit the sublingual. 

    I tried the pill version and found it to work great for me.  It took about three weeks until I felt a difference.  I now take one 15mg oral pill before going to bed.  Since my use of CBD Oil, I do not have the severe withdraw reactions as I am tapering off oxycodone.  There are studies that support my experience.

  • Ordered CBD drops myself. Will make a thread when they arrive.

    As for the detox. I would say go for it! Why? If drugs you taking now are of little help then flush them out! Start anew.

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