My surgeon has been refilling my vicodin for over a year now. She has even offered stronger meds. With all the media stories about well-known people going to rehab for vicodin addiction, and the increased overall awareness of addiction problems, I would think she wouldn't want to get herself in trouble. What's in it for them to keep refilling for us???
Marie...Welcome to the boards! Maybe your doctor is compassionate, and really believes you're in pain...and therefore wants to help. I believe that there are docs out there who really do believe in helping their patients. Also, studies have shown that less than 1% of people who are truly in pain will become addicted. Dependent, yes...addicted, no. Do I believe everyone who asks for pain meds or takes them is really in pain? Nope. Do I believe there are docs who want to keep business, so they write scripts more generously? Yep. I would hate to be a doctor, because I can't imagine trying to figure out who really needs them and who is abusing them. I think, though, that by writing so many narcotic scripts, doctors are doing a huge disservice to their patients. Some become addicted before they even know what hit them. Just my 2 cents!
What kind of surgery did you have? Is the pain still lingering from it? Also, I wouldn't kick a gift horse in the mouth....Many, many patients have the exact opposite problem....You seem very fortunate. I'm kinda surprised that your surgeon hasn't referred you over to PM at some point (may be coming). Sounds like you have a very compassionate and caring Doc. Thank her immensely.
I had to grovel to my doctor for a refill of pain meds after my hysterectomy a few yrs ago. She was right in not handing them over easily, because it was the start of my 2 year addiction and abuse of pain pills.
Painaway, I would love to see that study that says 1% of people in pain get addicted. If your doc keeps writing, I don't see how it can be avoided. That study must include people in minor pain that get one script. I don't think the makers of oxycotton would have been fined millions of dollars, if it was 1% of people in pain getting addicted.
There is nothing wrong with your surgeon...if you are not in pain then you say no thanks I don't need it. I would have to ask you the same question...what is in it for you? The people that get doctors in trouble are the ones that take the drug and there isn't any reason for it. Apparently you have a good doctor that is concerned for your comfort and god bless her/him for that. Doctors are not gods...they can't know if you are in pain or not and they depend on the patient to let them know and I am so happy that there are still some still around that actually listen to the patient.... So if you don't need it ... are you still taking it?
Sometimes I don't understand either.... I have legitamate SERIOUS injuries that definately warrant the use of some meds (which I *do* use) - but I hafta jump through hoops to get the meds most of the time. The one really degrading thing is when my doc **** tests me every once in a while to make sure I'm not using recreational drugs - or something other than they're RX'ing. After a BUNCH of years of clean tests, they still do it, and it makes me feel like a common piece of crap every time. Then there's the contracts....c'mon now.
Then ya get some docs that just write and write and write....for the minorest of injuries sometimes, too.
Sterling...I didn't think that could be true, either, until I researched it for myself. I had heard others talking about it on another board...and if you'll do a search on "The Delicate Balance of Pain and Addiction", there's a great article about it. The information I referenced is on the 2nd page of the article, I think. Of course people will become physically dependent on the drugs...and stopping may be hard. But they define addiction differently. Dependency is expected...addiction is not.
I am glad I read the article.Where it says 1%of pain patients get addicted,THAT IS IN A BROCHURE FROM THE DRUG MANUFACTURE.That's why they payed millions in fines. In the next sentence it clearly states.
The trouble, however, was that studies that looked at the experience of pain patients who used long-acting narcotics for extended periods of time did not exist. It's also just an article in The New York Times. Anyway, I just thought 1% was way low. I didn't intend to debate it. Peace~~Painaway. I am 8 months clean from a roxicodone addiction. I don't know my percentage. Thanks for responding to my post. This is a great forum. It helps keep me clean.
Sterling...Thanks for writing back! After reading your post, I agree completely. I should have researched it further, LOL. I'm really proud of your progress, and I wish you continued success in the years to come. One question...do you believe that there is a difference in dependence and addiction?
Yes, I believe there is a difference between dependence and addiction. By definition. Drug dependence is a physical or psychological state in which a person displays withdrawal symptoms if drug use is halted suddenly; can lead to addiction. Addiction is a dependence on a behavior or substance that a person is powerless to stop. So, by definition, there is no way to tell if you are dependent or addicted until you stop. For you to tell people they are dependent and not addicted cant be correct. You have no way of knowing.In my opinion. When it comes to opiate pain medication, you are playing with fire. Within a month you are going to be very dependent on it.When you stop, you are going to get sick.
If you keep taking it, you will always need more and more to get the same pain relief or high. I understand there are people who have such bad pain that they need the pills. But not many.
Back to the original post. If you think there is something wrong with your doctor for keeping you on the pain meds.,why don't you talk to him/her?There are many alternatives.Every one is different. For me, I will never take another opiate for pain unless the pain is so bad, my life is not worth living.
Sterling...Thank you for your reply. I think you have some great points. Honestly, there are many times when I wonder what will happen when I stop taking Lortab. I have gone down in dosage twice in the past few years, and I've never gone back up, but that doesn't mean stopping will be easy. And I agree that one may not know that addiction has set in until it's too late...and that no one can tell another that they won't become addicted. Again, thank you for your thoughts...definitely something to think about. I am so very proud of all of your progress. You're definitely an inspiration to others.