When a mom from my Facebook support group messaged me to tell me she was addicted to co-codamol and wanted to share her experience anonymously here on the blog I felt my heart sink. I personally know all too well how easy it is to become addicted to painkillers.
I fight my own battles with Tramadol. I hope this experience will help another mom out there feel less alone and even encourage her to come forward and share her own demons.
How I Became Addicted To Co-Codamol After Giving Birth:
After I had my 1st child and suffering a really traumatic birthing experience I had very bad back problems. I will admit I am a hypochondriac at times, but when my doctor gave me a repeat prescription for co-codamol 30/500. I never thought I would become addicted to co-codamol.
I started taking them almost 7 years ago now. I have been an addict for 7 long years I feel like I am being led to hell and back by this drug. When I first took that one tablet I remember feeling so fluffy and happy and warm. So much love was felt with just one tablet. I then started taking them smarties as I needed more and more of them to give that same effect.
I soon built up a tolerance to co-codamol
I soon built up a tolerance though and got to a point where I needed 6 tablets at once to feel that feeling and to get any pain relief. Still, I didn’t think I was an addict to a prescription drug. I could go weeks without taking any but if I knew my husband was home from work early I would look forward all day to having 6 of the things to have a good night without a care in the world.
But as with any addiction, taking these pills soon turned into taking them every day and more than I was prescribed to take for the pain. This last year was the worst time ever in my life as my doctor stopped my prescription for the co-codamol and the headaches started really bad, the pain is not only in my back but all over my body now and left me sobbing in agony.
I had to accept I was addicted to co-codamol
I took to Google and learnt that it was the paracetamol that was giving me the headaches. But there in black and white I was an addict, I was addicted to co-codamol and they are a highly addictive painkiller.
The anxiety was overwhelming and there have been times when I have phoned for an ambulance because of panic attack’s, I honestly thought I was having a heart attack.
I looked white, I never slept and I stopped going out, I just wasn’t me anymore. I used every excuse I could to my doctor to give me some more tablets, then finally came clean, he said he would wean me down from them slowly.
I have gone down to only a few a day now, some days I manage to have just 4 all day, some days I have 8 in total, last week I did a few days with just taking 3 co-codamol pills, it’s been so hard and still is, but I feel like I can see a light at the end of the tunnel now. It’s the anxiety I cannot handle, it scares me to death thinking and knowing it will come.
Will I always be an addict?
But then I think I can’t be addicted to co-codamol now right, I am taking just 3 a day? That’s the normal limit isn’t it? But again that’s what’s addicts do, don’t they, they make excuses and normalize their behavior.
I am scared of what will happen because I do really need pain relief, but I pray to god I don’t have to rely on painkillers for the rest of my life.
I know being addicted to co- codamol is more common than people think, it’s so easy done, it breaks my heart though when I look at my children and know what I have done to myself when they need me most.
I became an addict after giving birth, it’s surreal to think this can happen to a new mother.
I would love to hear other people’s stories of their own experiences of being addicted to painkillers especially those who are addicted to co-codamol and how they coped with withdrawal and some hope for my own recovery.
Any support would be greatly appreciated.