When a mum from my Facebook support group messaged me to tell me she was an addict to co-codamol and wanted to share her experience anonymously here on the blog I felt my heart sink. I personally know all to 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 An Addict After Giving Birth
After I had my 1st child and a really traumatic birthing experience I had very bad back problems. I will admit I am a hypochondriac so when my doctor gave me a repeat prescription for co-codamol 30/500 I remember sitting in his office asking will I not become an addict? His reply was “would you rather have an addiction or a bad back?”.
This was almost 7 years ago and he has since been sacked for another issue within my surgery. Me, however, 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 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 this feeling and to feel 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.
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 not only in my back but all over my body left me sobbing in agony.
I had to accept that I was an addict
I googled and learnt it was the paracetamol that was giving me the headaches. I was an addict, I was addicted to the pain killers. The anxiety was over welcoming and there have been the times 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 no more. I used every excuse to my doctor to get 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 .
But then I think am I an addict now I am taking just 3 a day?
That’s the normal limit isn’t it?
I am scared of what will happen because I need pain relief when I finally stop taking them, but I pray to god I don’t have to rely on painkillers for the rest of my life.
I know addiction to painkillers 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 and how they coped, if they ever got so they didn’t need any at all and how they did it and how long it took. Any support would be greatly appreciated.