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Old 09-24-2004, 09:10 AM   #1
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painman123 HB User
unsure addiction vs relief

hi all
i am a chronic pain patient / addict i imagine. how these 2 things come together is very confusing to me. how can one get relief without becoming addicted. i have still not found any relief but have been on pain meds 2 years. i now am on 390mg oxycontin a day, still no relief or very little. i have just started 20 mg methadone with hopes of tapering off oxy and finding some relief. i know this is all wrong and yet need to get relief from pain. the dilemma is confusing the crap out of me. my bp is very high but can be better when pain is better. which one will kill me first? not feeling like i'm being clear but neither is the problem. its been a long road to get here and maybe this is just another bend. any comments??? thanks

 
Old 09-24-2004, 09:23 AM   #2
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windysan HB User
Re: unsure addiction vs relief

Tough question. Heck, if you need the relief....then you gotta do something about it. I heard an interview with Jerry Lewis about his pain problem....he got some kind of electrode thingie installed in his back. Have you looked into that?

 
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Old 09-24-2004, 09:25 AM   #3
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Cali... HB User
Re: unsure addiction vs relief

thats what tolerance is. Your body gets so used to the drug that you become dependent on it just to get through the day. Keep your BP down....try other alternatives.

 
Old 09-24-2004, 09:39 AM   #4
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RubySlippers HB User
Re: unsure addiction vs relief

There is a HUGE difference between addiction and physical dependance. Check out the Pain Mangement board.

I suffer from chronic pain and while I'm physically dependant on the pain meds I am NOT addicted to them.

Addiction is defined as: Habitual psychological and physiological dependence on a substance or practice beyond one's voluntary control. This means that you take something to get "high", or you take more pain meds than you need to control your pain or as directed by your doctor. If you are addicted you will come up short on your meds toward the end of the month or when refill time comes around b/c you are taking too many to get high. You may doctor shop, or get to the point of trying to find the meds on the street or over the internet. The pain med "high" will take control of your life.

Dependance is defined as: The state of being dependent, as for support. This means that you take pain meds to control PAIN. Not to get high. You don't end up short at the end of the month (or whenever you are due for a refill). You don't get "high".

Please don't think that because you need to take a medication for pain that you are automatically and "addict". NOT TRUE.

This has nothing to do with tolerance. True chronic pain sufferers do acheive a tolerance over time to certain medications. A good Pain Management doc will titrate you up to the dose that works best for you and keep you there. When and if (and I do mean if, b/c not ALL cp'rs become tolerant to thier dosage), the doc will reevaluate you and possibly switch meds.

A good relationship and good communication to your doc is essential to combat chronic pain. Please research more on the subject and do check out the Pain Management board on this site.

I am really tired of being labled and addict because I take meds for chronic pain that allow me to live my life.

Last edited by RubySlippers; 09-24-2004 at 09:42 AM.

 
Old 09-24-2004, 12:25 PM   #5
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windysan HB User
Re: unsure addiction vs relief

Yeah....I understand what you are saying. Addict/dependant....I think there is a difference too. I just wish they could come up with safe pain relief for you guys.

 
Old 09-24-2004, 06:53 PM   #6
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painman123 HB User
Re: unsure addiction vs relief

Quote:
Originally Posted by windysan
Tough question. Heck, if you need the relief....then you gotta do something about it. I heard an interview with Jerry Lewis about his pain problem....he got some kind of electrode thingie installed in his back. Have you looked into that?

 
Old 09-24-2004, 06:57 PM   #7
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painman123 HB User
Re: unsure addiction vs relief

thanks for reply. yes i have looked into,,not sure if thats an answer. i do use a tens unit which can hurt more than help. at times its something i do. i quess its a bigger issue as i am here so i question my use.

 
Old 09-24-2004, 07:08 PM   #8
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painman123 HB User
Re: unsure addiction vs relief

thanks rubyslippers. yea i understand what you are saying. my problem is i am not getting relief after 2 plusyears . yes i do end up short of meds not by much cause i am careful not to. but if i had the opportunity i would take more. and yes i have bought some on the net but can't quite rationalize the cost or thats the reason i can deal with. but again if i could i would. when i hurt which is 23.5 hours a day i am consumed or close to it. i havent bought off street but do think that heroin would be a choice i unfortunately think would help.. i hate the feeling of being looked at as addict or drug seeker but then again its a fine line. i have used the oxys lately in wrong way and that is also not helping but i know is wrong. i'm all confused and if i wasnt in pain i wouldnt be here but now it would be alot tougher to figure it all out

 
Old 09-25-2004, 08:58 AM   #9
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Zoie97 HB User
Re: unsure addiction vs relief

Painman...I hear you!!!!!

I too, suffer from chronic pain and for the last 4 years, have done EVERYTHING (ie. anti inflam's, tens unit, pt, steroid injection, oxycontin 250 twice a day, stole meds, gotten extra's from friend's) I was just about to get the surgery I supposedly needed(Deg disk fusion) and what do you know? It seemd I dont HAVE D.D., but A SI joint problem, so am going to a CP doc now, and he is going to try a different shot, in the SI area.

So I am ****** off, for 4 years I have been trying to treat a problem I didnt have (and was getting no relief).

But....Have you tried the Duragesic patch? It has worked wonders for me, in fact, I was getting less relief from the starting dose, and they bumped me up to the next dose, I was unable to handle it ( after years of being tolerant to pills), so now I change the patch every other day instead of every 3 days, and I get SO much relief, in fact it amazes me....I all of a sudden think, I havent taken a b.t. pain pill today, it really is a great feeling for me!!!
__________________
Susan

" An insane person does not question their sanity"

 
Old 09-26-2004, 07:11 AM   #10
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painman123 HB User
Re: unsure addiction vs relief

hi Zoie
yes i tried duragesic patch. was on it for a year and unfortunately got less help with it. they kept bumping me up but it just didnt touch pain. it did make me more drowsy. glad its helping you though. the drs suck i've had some real losers and have been to so many. i have a bunch of useless incurable diagnosis and the pain just gets worse. i am so fed up and i know i'm tolerant to meds completely by now. i can do a whole lot and never even get a drop of help anymore. by the end of day i do get an hour where things are bearable then i take my sleep meds. i just feel like giving up at times and really can't talk to anyone about it cause what is there to say even. i used to be an active guy and had a business that has slowly gone in toilet. i do want to be high now to escape this misery but that may be both stupid and impossible. i don't drink anymore and really try to be productive but thats become a joke. ok i've whined and bitched more than i should.. i still know there are people much worse off than me so i shut up

 
Old 09-26-2004, 08:42 AM   #11
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RubySlippers HB User
Re: unsure addiction vs relief

Oh Painman...I feel your pain (no pun intended )

It sounds like you are not being treated properly. That's why you are finding other ways to get pain meds and taking more than the prescribed dose.

When we cp'rs have a med that's no longer working it's just human nature to find other ways to combat the pain. In my case I started drinking way to much...go figure ... drinking to help a gastric condition??? At least it put my mind in another place.

Where we get into trouble with addiction is when we are getting adequate pain relief (I don't mean pain free unfortunately as that is rarely acheived, but pain management that gets to tolerant levels). The addiction part happens when our pain is being managed so that we can function but we go ahead and take the "little extra" to get high.

It doesn't sound like that is what you are doing. It sounds to me like you are truly trying to manage your pain because your doctors are not doing thier job to help you.

Can you find another doc? You may be tolerant to certain classes of pain meds, but there are sooo many to try all combat pain differently. There is also an implanted pump that has worked for many who have felt "hopeless".

I stronly urge you to post your story on the Pain Management board. There is a WONDERFUL member who posts there - (Shoreline is his member name). I'd swear he's a doc....he's not, but he's been dealing with cp for a long time and has been thru it all. He is very kind to share his thoughts and is very helpful.

Again, you don't sound to me like you are out there taking too many meds just to get high. You sound like you are just trying to relieve the pain. That's not an addict.

It saddens me that you cannot find better medical care. And don't feel like you are whining....all of us have whined and ranted at one time or another and it really helps!!! And yes, there are probably other people out there who are worse, but that doesn't belittle your situation at all.

My best advice to you would be to find some other doc or pain management clinic if you can. Please let me know how things are going!!!! (And don't worry about whining ....we ALL do that. I'm not whining right now cause I'm not in tons of pain - I have a GREAT doc!!! But I've been known for my share of whining and ranting and it DOES make me feel better!!!

Take good care,
Angela

 
Old 09-27-2004, 03:59 PM   #12
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painman123 HB User
Re: unsure addiction vs relief

Thank you very much Angela
i will try and post on PM board. I just appreciate you sharing
life sure can be cruel but i have no doubt its the best alternative out there.
take care of u
Peter

 
Old 09-28-2004, 04:26 AM   #13
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atibbert HB User
Re: unsure addiction vs relief

RubySlippers is very wise!! And I too feel your pain. I am a recovering addict and have been sober for 15 years. For the last year I have been on various pain meds for severe TMJ (that is where I usually post) I have had 4 surgeries on my jaw in the last 10 months and still suffer pain 24/7. I also still consider myself sober. I am not taking these pain meds for the "high". I do not get high from them, I am trying to get pain relief. I too grapple with this issue daily. There are those in recovery that would tell me I am not sober and clean, but let them walk a mile in my shoes and see what they would do. Sobriety is a state of mind and spiritualness not a state of cleanness. I too have thought about street drugs for some pain relief because the doctors I go to cannot seem to find anything that will help me. I am trying to get into a see a pain management specialist, but it has not been easy because many of them won't treat facial pain. Stop beating yourself up over this. I too, dread the inevitable withdrawal. I have experienced it to some degree when I have had to have surgery and not have anything to eat or drink for 8 hours. My bones will begin to ache and I will feel shaky and crappy. I sincerely hope and pray the doctors will find something to end our suffering of constant pain.
Amy

 
Old 09-28-2004, 07:23 AM   #14
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painman123 HB User
Re: unsure addiction vs relief

Thanks Amy. I am on my 4th pain Dr and have just moved into this area after 25 years in same location. I have found the dr to be a big hurdle and most don't care or understand. I went the shot path a few times because they said it was worth a shot..lol then they bill you ungodly sums which might be worth something except they did more harm than good. I wish they would hear me and not be so stingy with the meds. My latest PM Dr is at least trying after raising oxy she says a new med methadone should be tryed. so far i only take a small dose at PM and she wants to wean me off oxy. Time goes slow with pain and the clock ticks till next dose my chest hurts from BP and i do fear dying before any resolve comes my way.

 
Old 09-28-2004, 11:01 AM   #15
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RubySlippers HB User
Re: unsure addiction vs relief

Hey Amy and Painman,

Methadone is not a "new" drug - it's been around for a looong time (maybe I misunderstood your post and your doc was saying it will be new to you).

I was on oxy 20mg 3 times a day w/vicodin 5/500 up to 4 per day for breakthru when I had insurance. The oxys were great for the pain, although I would wake up in a panick attack every morning. Did not know why.

Since I lost my job and my insurance my doc switched me the methadone (costs pennies per day instead of dollars per dose ). I take 20-30mgs of meth 2 times a day and still the same breakthru dose. Strangely with the meth I don't wake up in a panick attack nearly as much. I think maybe the oxy was the culprit.

Anyhow...Amy, I understand you when you say many people would not consider you sober. I'm guessing you are speaking of AA folks right? Well I couldn't have said it better... Sobriety is a state of mind....what a powerful statement!!!! Love that!!!! Let them walk a couple of FEET in your shoes and see how they feel. If AA helps you then it's no one's business WHAT you are taking for chronic pain, only what you are on to be high or how clean you are in your mind ... if that makes any sense. AA was not for me. I couldn't get a handle on the "helplessness" of it all. I don't think I am helpless. It is MY choice to go to the store and buy the beer, then drink it. I know it's wrong for me, and yes I have accepted Jesus into my life (finally). He knows what's up with me...he knows I wrecked my sobriety last night by drinking.

I am rambling....so I will close by saying painman...keep on keepin' on by trying to find a medication regimen that works for you. I know it's out there. Once you find it you'll feel soooo much better.

Both of you...don't even THINK about beating yourselves up for taking pain meds for pain releif. You know in your own heart if you are taking too many, or the reasons you are taking them. Remember...it's only human nature to try to NOT be in pain. It takes over your WHOLE life. Everyday things that non cp'rs deal with all the time absolutely put me in a depression (I'm even talking about as little as checking the damn mail and finding extra bills from docs and dentists for my daughter....I just fall apart and cry and cry).

People on the "other side" don't understand...they may try, and I mean really try to know what it's like but they can NEVER understand completely.

Please keep up the faith. I'll say a prayer for you both (No...I'm not a religious fanatic, in fact I'm still trying to resolve the whole religion thing for myself but I know (I can feel it in my heart) that it's the right path for me.

Angela

 
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