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Addiction to Drugs/self detox from percocet


I want to try and get off percocet.  Since it is not possible for me to go to a detox center I want to try to self detox.  I have read about the danger of this.  I talked to my primary care doctor about advising me how to do this and I feel he made it sound like no big deal.  I am a 70 year old female and have been on percocet for 7 years.  This is the only pain medicine I can take.  My metabolism is slow.  I retain fluid which I think is due to the percocet.  I notice that as I take less, my weight will go down, and I think I read an article on the web that said weight gain can be a side affect.
I have to start off most meds at a pediatric dosage.  I talked to my local pharmacist that knows my medical history and he advised me to tritate slowly from this medication.  I am not able to take one whole table in the strength of 5/325 after all these years.  I started at 1/8th of a tablet and have worked up to3/4 of a tablet at a time.  If I take a whole tablet, I experience scary side effects.
I take the percocet 4 to 6 times a day as needed.  I have only gotten up to needing 6 times a day sometimes just in the past year and 1/2.  I get normally 120 tablet per prescription which I try to make last as long as possibe, which is around 5-6 weeks.  I try to get by on as little as possible.
My doctor only gave me half this amount when I asked for him to help devise a plan to get off , or at least try to take less as it causes severe constipation for me.  I take Miralax and Lactulose daily for this, but all I seem to do is stay bloated.  I have a lot of different pain issues going on that I take it for, and he really did not think I took enough to worry about becoming addicted.  I am very leary of taking any medicine, due to I am that one in a million that if anything can go wrong, it will.  I am not a difficult patient, just a difficult patient to treat.
My fear is I feel my doctor has cut my prescription too much as I am a complicated patient.  He just said only take it when you hurt.  I told him I have been trying to detox myself for over a year, but can't seem to find a schedule that worked, he just said I did not need to do that.  What he said contradicts what detoxologist say, as well as my pharmacist.
I feel better when I try to taper down evewry 6 hours.  I have tried to go 8 hours in between as well as 12 hours between doses.  The problem I run into is if I go a few hours past my detox schedule, I will experience severe withdrawal symptoms.  This really scares me due to my age and the length of time on the medication.  
He did not want me to  come off due to I have not been able to address any of the issues that I take it for, for ex. severe spinal stenosis, multiple types of headaches, coxcydemia, and sciatic nerve pain as well as degenerative arthritis and bursitis.  I am to have my colon removed as soon as I can schedule surgery as it doesn't work anymore and I have flare ups of diverticulitis due to diverticulosis.  Also C5, 6, and 7 in my spine have needed surgery for the past 10 years.
I have not been able to get these surgeries due to taking care of my 1oo% disabled Vietnam Veteran husband.
Please advise me as to how is the safest way to detox from percocet, or at least be able to get to where I take it only when  pain from one ofmy medical reasonsI take it for gets to be too much, and not have to take it due to the severe withdrawals.
I apologize for the long letter, but did not know how else to give you a good overall picture of my life and health.
I would appreciate your help and advice since I feel you should be able to tell me how to come off, or down safer.  I did not get to the dosageI am on now quickly, and it makes sense to me that I don't need to come down too quickly due to very serious risk.

Thank You,

Hi Carole, I can see you are in a very difficult situation, being also the carer for your husband. But because of the complexity of your illnesses, I suggest you stay into contact with your doctor. Percocet can be addictive but when you are in pain it is not true that the drug is "addictive". It may be that "reduction of pain " is addictive part, but that is something different. It treats the condition for which it was designed.

I might also suggest to have a look at hypoglycemia (, which can be treated by going on a hypoglycemic diet (

I have seen some studies that hypoglycemic people can more sensitive to pain, but I agree this is along shot.

Please discuss with your doctor.

Jurriaan Plesman, Nutritional Psychotherapist.
Hon. Editor of
The Hypoglycemic Health Association of Australia.
Author of "Getting off the Hook"
Freely available at Google Book Search
Skype: jurplesman

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Jurriaan Plesman, Nutritional Psychotherapist


I have a degree in Psychology from the Sydney University and a Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Nutrition. I am also the author of “GETTING OFF THE HOOK” which deals with the nutritional and psychological treatment of personality disorders. It is freely available on the internet at Google Book Search. I am interested in the relationship between nutrition and behaviour, and as a Probation ans Parole Officer facilitated groups for offenders, many of whom were alcoholics and drug addicts, sex offenders or compulsive gamblers, as well as the whole gamut of “personality disorders”. I am also the ex-editor of the Hypoglycemic Health Association of Australia Newsletter, a quarterly publication dealing with hypoglycemia and related health problems. Its web site, together with a shortened course of PSYCHOTHERAPY can be visited at:


Nutritional Psychotherapist

The Hypoglycemic Health Association of Australia

which is freely available on the internet at Google Book Search. My articles can be found at:

BA(Psych) (Sydney University) Post Grad Dip Clin Nutr (International Academy of Nutrition)

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