I must admit, this question of drug addiction or drug dependency has left it's mark on me. I guess because of peoples reaction to each. My reaction, past and present too. This reaction sets off a world of questions in my mind looking for an answer.
I myself, someone who most definitely considered myself dependent, before I admitted addiction, would prefer a reasonable answer. Where did I change?
I believe most agree that someone like a heart or asthmas patient, or sorts, are dependent.
Someone who is suffering from inoperable physical pain is dependent?
Someone who is suffering from mental and/or emotional pain is dependent?
Someone who obtains their medications from a legitamate source and takes their medications as prescribed under the watchful eye of a doctor is dependent?
Someone who doctor shops is an addict?
Someone who buys their drugs of the street is an addict?
Someone who first obtains their meds legitamately and then begins to shop or buy off the street is first dependent and then becomes an addict?
Is the physical pain of someone who gets their medication from a doctor more legitimate than the mental and or emotional pain of someone who takes a different route and buys their needs off the street.
Is the answer to this question an answer for legitamency?
Is the need to ask the question one so that we can feel legitamate?
Is it really that simple?
Great post! I too, have wondered the same thing - more often lately - and would like to tell you how I feel about addiction vs. dependency and when I realized I was addicted...
The day I realized I was "dependent," I had ran out of percocet and noticed my pain was unmanageable. I could barely walk, my back was hurting that bad. I made an appt. with my family doctor to discuss how intense the pain was. We talked about dependency and addiction (I brought up both subjects). He asked me a few questions, regarding addiction and I lied through my teeth.
I actually belived my lies. I had manipulated myself to believe I was only dependent. I did not want to be addicted, so I told myself "It's ok, your doctor is prescribing them."
The day I realized I was "addicted," I had ran out of pills that morning, and by 6pm, I had inner-shakes. That's the best way I can describe it. I still remember that feeling. It felt as though my body was shaking on the inside. I was also extremely anxious/nervous. I called my aunt, whom I knew took percocets, told her I ran out and was in alot of pain. I lied. Well, she lives about 45-55 mins. outside of Toronto. I drove to her house to get three percocets!!! Three!!! That's all she had left. I remember my hubby showing some concern that I was driving so far just to get three pills. He asked me "Is everything alright?" I told him "Of course, I'm just in so much pain and cannot wait until tomorrow to get some relief." I lied. On my way there, I was excited at the prospect of getting some pills. Once there, I took two and after about 15 mins., I seemed to calm down considerably. On my way home, I had an epiphany. I realized that I'd driven far out of my way to get my drug of choice. I felt guilt, depression and shame, all at the same time. I realized that I lied about why I was going, to my hubby and to my aunt, and I realized then that I was lying to myself that whole time. On that day, it had been almost a year since I first took a percocet.
In my opinion, when you begin to lie to your doctor, family or friends, that's when you have become addicted. On the other hand, if you have taken your meds for "ANY reason other than pain and/or a doctor's schedule (according to your prescription), you are addicted. I recall alot of posts (especially from Reachout) where the person took their pain meds because they helped mask emotional/mental pain. They still took it according to their doctor's orders, however they were watching the clock and/or taking their pills because they "need" them.
I have learned alot from this post and from my reply. I hope this helps you as well. Thank you for sharing
emsmom, I think you put that quite eloquently! I think you may have actually made it simple. When you begin to lie to doctors and family the time has come to take a good hard look at what is going on. Our secrets keep us sick. Or as Dr. Phil always says, people who have nothing to hide, hide nothing. I think that is what's great about these boards, is the ability to come here and be honest with people who care about you. Great post!!
Thank you Boxer - I appreciate your reply. Thank you for sharing what Dr. Phil said. That's up on my fridge now
56789 - Some of us need to analyze, as we're frustrated with our addiction. Sure, we're all entitled to our own opinion, however sometimes it's not needed. You have every right to choose not to ask "why," but you do not have the right to make someone look bad by saying they are complicating things by analyzing everything. You never know - this thread may help someone who is trying to understand the difference between being dependent or being addicted. If your reply was that you just don't ask why anymore, then perhaps you shouldn't have replied.
subtrain - Again, thanks for sharing. This thread helped me understand the difference between being dependent or being addicted.
Thanks emsmom for running defense. What you said is so true.
It's funny though. I can so identify with what 56789 said. In a way I myself, don't understand what the concern is. But, it seems most people who are on that edge of having to deal with a drug problem are very concerned.
I believe it becomes somewhat of a hurdle.
Then again, as our very creative friend 56789 said though, bottom line, "it is what it is", and so is everything else. Blessings to all!