Hey Jay - I have been a chronic pain patient for the past seven years. For about two years up until about 5 months ago now (or so I think) I was having trouble taking my vicodin as prescribed. Major trouble. I finally came clean with my doctor's about it and because I cannot go OFF opiates due to my pain condition they referred me to a PM doctor that put me on methadone. I too thought sub was only for addiction and was also not meant for long-term use? I might be wrong on that.
Anyway, the methadone has worked wonders for me. I started at 30mg and was up to 50mg (back to 40 now but that is a different story in a different thread) and that was working really well for me. It works better for my pain than ANY other drug I have used in the past seven years, and I am pretty sure I have tried almost all of them. I know it is different for everyone but I have several friends on the boards here that use methadone for pain with great success.
The methadone also does NOT get me high so I have no desire to abuse it in any way. It's like I take it and I still feel completely "normal" (he he he, normal for me that is...) but my pain goes away. It's great. No buzzy head feeling, no nothing. It's liek I didn't take anything at all and the pain just started fading. It has also completely nixed my desire for the buzz I used to get from other opiates. I don't even THINK abou the vicodin or oxycodone, etc.... Also when I had some major torn ligaments and had to be hospitalized it was great because they were able to give me IV morphine and did NOT get buzzed off of it because of the methadone. I was really worried about getting that "good" old feeling back and having cravings kick back in. Well it didn't happen at all. I got out of the hosptial and went right back to my normal methadone routine with no added cravings or anything. It has been great. I feel like I have at least somewhat of a normal life back. The pain is never 100% gone but it is the best it's ever been. And I don't have to feel like I am in a coma half the time due to my meds being so heavy.
Did you talk to your doctor at all about methadone? I'm just curious because everyone seems to be saying that sub is ONLY used for addcition. I'm concerned that your doctor is going to put you on the sub and then try to wean you off completely and then you will be left at square one with no more addiction but still a ton of pain? It just seems weird that they are using this for addiction/chronic pain long-term.... My doctors told me that methadone was teh best drug for that sort of double edged problem. Granted I'm sure each doc has their own opinion. Just reading all the other posts I'm concerned that maybe they are really just trying to get you off everything. And that won't work if you have CP? One of my doc's tried to do that with me originally putting me on 10mg of methadone. Which is a "nothing" dose according to my current PM doctor. He said he was treating my pain but really he was trying to get me off opiates period. I was naive and had no idea until I complained to my OTHER doctor because the 10mg was doing nothing for my pain. She freaked that my dosage was so low and that is when I got in with my current PM doctor who told me that the "normal" starting dose of methadone is no lower than 30mg normally. Adn I completely trusted that previous doctor. Until it showed up in his notes that he ws trying to get me off teh opiates all together. My gyno was none to happy due to the fact that she is the one who has diagnosed my chronic pain and knows the details of it etc.... The other doc was primary though and handled my pain meds. So I went about 2 months like that in pain thinking something was wrong with ME because I thought methadone was supposed to work well according to the doctor.
I'm not saying your doctor is lying to you. I'm just saying that sometims they try to do what they think is "best" for us and are not always up front about it. I have had it happen to me several times over the past sseven years with all my different doctors. If everyone is saying that Sub is only used to treat addiction and that it is only APPROVED to be used to treat addiction and is not recommended to use long term for chronic pain then I think you need to talk to your doctor rigth away about what their plan actually is for you. LONG TERM. That was the mistake I made. I just put my trust in them completely. NOW I have a long term plan. The methadone for the next five years, then surgery. Has your doctor given you anything like that? If not, you need them to sit down with you and go over what their plan is. I would just hate to see you end up surprised like I did when all of a sudden they keep DROPPING your dosage on you and you are in more and more pain.
Let me know what happens of if you have already discussed long term plans etc.... As a fellow patient who has had both addiction/chronic pain problems I am interested in what is happenign with your treatment.