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    Old 06-21-2004, 06:27 AM   #1
    kitkat70
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    possible to have a controlled, manageable addiction?

    I think the answer is no- but I would

    Last edited by kitkat70; 02-09-2005 at 07:26 PM.

     
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    Old 06-21-2004, 06:53 AM   #2
    Philster2003
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    Re: possible to have a controlled, manageable addiction?

    IMHO NO Although your friend may be the rare exception the majority of the time controlled addition breaks down to uncontrolled addition. Happened to me, controlled it for 2 years with just weekends but then something clicks and you cross the line and your taking them everyday and the tolerance builds and it takes more for the buzz and it becomes a self feeding uncontrolled escalating problem. And once you taste withdrawal its hard to face that so that feeds the uncontrolled state and then its a rapid decent into the dark side. You asked, pass this back to your friend. I'm sure mine is but the beginning of feedback you will receive following the same thought.

    It would be great to have your friend come to terms with the situation before it escalates any deeper. But no matter what you are we tell them its really up to them to see the "light". If they recognize the problem and are willing to resolve it then they have a chance of recovery. And recovery from there current intake would be very manageable. Hope this helps

    phil

     
    Old 06-21-2004, 06:57 AM   #3
    dsny
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    Re: possible to have a controlled, manageable addiction?

    Its only a matter of time before he starts using more and more.There is no such thing as a "better addict" whether your using 6 a day or 30 a day.If he has been doing this for the past 5yrs I would suggest to him to have his liver checked because the acetaminophen over time damages your liver.Talk to him and see if he can stop and if he cant that will answer your question on how good of an addict he is.
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    Old 06-21-2004, 06:59 AM   #4
    sadsister
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    Re: possible to have a controlled, manageable addiction?

    Pretty interesting- i guess if he can maintain his addiction at 4 pills a day..i don't know-i do know of someone who does the same thing-she takes 2-4 pills a day-does not exceed that dose..maybe it works like an antidepressant for him-im not a dr..generally opiate addiction progresses-it took me 3 yrs. to become a full fledged addict-if he started at 2 pills-and now at 4-than ultimately it would be 6-than 8 etc...
    I can't condone taking pills here-this is a recovery board...with addicts in differant stages of addiction-active/or detoxing/tapering etc..so for me to say-its cool would be uncool-lol..
    I guess thats how he rationalises his addiction-and thats his business.
    He should post-and detail his feelings/etc..might be cathartic-just putting it into words..
    Everyone is differant-he doesn't seem out of control..yet..tolerance builds..thats the problem..and what todays 4 may be a year from now..who knows Heather

     
    Old 06-21-2004, 08:10 AM   #5
    Twinlynn
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    Re: possible to have a controlled, manageable addiction?

    Kitkat!

    You know, your post jumped out at me, because I am a carbon copy of your partner in terms of taking a daily 4-6 Vicodin pills a day....never needing to up the dose. In fact, it made me nauseous the one time I tried. At age 58, I have a pretty busy job at a newsmagazine, live on my own (pardon me--that's incorect--my twin sister lives 5 floors above me...and I share my own apt. space with two "best friend" humanoid dogs (LOL!!), I have few great, close friends...and appear to have my life in order. As long as I have enough pills not to go through withdrawals...I seem okay. Nobody has learned my "secret" except my twin--who, as twins often do--"share" the exact same addiction!! (Ever see that old movie "Dead Ringer"?!??! Aaarggghhhhh!!! :-)

    Anyway, "appear" and "seem" are the operative words in the above paragraph. Though I appear to have just carried on with life in my usual way, there have been sneaky little changes wheedling their way into my over-all personality these last few years...making me realize that I HAVE become rather a different person. (I've always suffered clinical depression and am greatly helped by antidepressants...and I haven't noticed violent mood swings.) BUT....I no longer have any desire to get out and about. And, whether it's to explore a neighborhood I've never visited here in NYC (something I've always loved to do)...or to head downtown antiquing...or out to dinner and a concert with friends--I have finally had to acknowledge that I really no longer wish to get out and be with others (except for my sister and my closest friend.) It's as if a sort of agoraphobia has crept in.)

    I finally realized something was very wrong, when I was almost unable to make it out of the house this year to take my annual out-West ski trip (a highlight of my life...for 21 consecutive years, my twin and I have skied everywhere we can get to!)

    For whatever reasons...these "loyal friends" (the Vicodins!) have, over the past few years, decided that they "want me exclusively for themselves." It's a party for two--me...and my pills. And now, all I want at the weekend, is to be at home, enjoying all my hobbies (sketching, book-collecting, writing, etc). And not committing to ANY socializing (other than my sister) over the weekend. Everything I do, out in my local neighborhood, whether it's taking long walks along the river with my canine companions....or hunting down an antique brooch at the flea market etc---all of it's done in "solitary." You know the sort of syndrome? "If I take ymy pill.....then the river will REALLY sparkle...and my dogs will seem extra-happy and even more "bonded" with me than ever." Or..."If I hole up in my apt, take a pill....and catalog my mt. book collection....it will infinitely have more "meaning" and fascination--because I took that Vicodin!!!"

    And....as in the manner in which my body seemingly to calmly process the pills as "part of my day"--I am also able to convince myself that I am just a "loner"--have never wanted to go out in the evenings...or make arrangements for the weekends. )In truth, I AM rather a loner...but the reality is since I've been taking these pills, it has escalated that trait....and pushed flat that part of me that once got so much joy from each experience...whether it was hiking up a mountain....trying my hand at writing articles for dog magazines...or just hunting down that perfect old shop here in the city--the one that sells quirky antque buttons I can add to a 1950's blouse.) I was once so much more enthusiastic...curious...whatever you would call it...about life. And now it's all a fairly flat line. The "fun" part (which is no longer much "fun"--because I use just enough Vicodin to stop withdrawals)..now lasts, oh, say....about 5-10 minutes... giving me just enough time to fire up my computer--eagerly choose my opening words, for a possibly witty and jolly freelance piece--and then it's "all over". Talk about fleeting happiness! LOLO! And....of course....as the Vics wave farewell to my system...they are followed just as quickly by my initial enthusiasm for the project!!

    So....what I guess you partner needs to ask himself....does he see any "cracks" in the person he's always been? My changes were insidious....and particularly difficult to separate out from the fact that I DO enjoy working on my own, enjoying my hobbies at home! But, just as I know if something is not quite "right" within myself....your partner may also recognize some slow-moving fundamental changes overcoming him.

    This was just going to be a short note!! But your post really made me think about how life changes can slowly creep up on us....and we don't know--or acknowledge--"why." I hope your partner will be alert to the possibility. I would have liked to be of more help to you (I've got no statistics on the dangers of 4-6 Vocodins taken every day.) But I DO know that even if his addiction IS controlled and managed....you cannot take away from the fact that these are opiates--prescribed specifically for real pain-- and taking ANY amount daily, as if they were vitamins, can eventually unbalance the body's brain chemistry.

    Unfortunately, as I mentioned before....I have not yet taken that step to stop taking them, myself. I am so guilty of wanting to believe what your partner believes. "Knowing better", sadly, does not alway mean "doing better." But I know enough now to understand that I must take that step. And I hope your partner will, too.

    Please keep in touch. :-) Lynn

     
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    Old 06-21-2004, 10:59 AM   #6
    NeedANewJaw
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    Re: possible to have a controlled, manageable addiction?

    I felt compelled to answer your post as this is a question i have often asked myself over the last 20 yrs. Not specifically with opiates, although I do take them for CP...but with other drugs in the past.
    The thing that stands out to me, and I thank the last poster for mentioning something that reminded me of this (that was a beautiful post too!) is that when taking opiates daily, your brain stops creating its own endorphins...which not only help with pain but also give you a good feeling, when needed. So you are replacing those endorphins with the pills. And we all know that the good feeling you get from them doesnt last...
    it does take awhile for the brain to start making these good feelings again after going off the pills...but it will make them someday. To me that would be a good enough reason to think about living life without opiates (if not needed for pain).

     
    Old 06-21-2004, 12:06 PM   #7
    Nervous Nellie
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    Re: possible to have a controlled, manageable addiction?

    Kit,

    You've received a lot of good thoughts here, and they have helped me as well.

    Does your partner still have the original physical pain condition that necessitated his use of the drug Vicodin in the first place...5 years ago?

    I think the terms "addiction" and "manageable/controlled" may be an oxymoron, because the two negate one another.

    I am curious. How long has this person been your partner? I guess from what you wrote, you did not know him before the addiction, so therefore you wouldn't really know what he was like.

    Thanks for posting. You posed some very good questions and some folks have responded with some very good answers.

    Karen

    Last edited by Nervous Nellie; 06-21-2004 at 12:09 PM.

     
    Old 06-21-2004, 12:41 PM   #8
    Twinlynn
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    Re: possible to have a controlled, manageable addiction?

    Dear "NeedanewJaw" -

    Yes, having disturbed...destroyed....my natural endorphins by drug use is exactly what has kept me from just stopping. As a depressive (whose life has felt "saved" through antidepressants), the sudden onslaught of clinical depressive symptoms each time I taper down further has been the most difficult to deal with.

    I just about feel I'd rather lose a leg than go through another clinical depression (that's the only kind of awful analogy I can think of to relay the "horror" of the three depressive episodes I've experienced since 1975. )And I only wish I was just being overly "melodramatic", when I make this analogy. But I'm not--and it's the only way I can try to express just how the fear of another clinical depression is so deep in me.

    The terrible loss, sorrow and grief when my father died in 1977 was NOTHING like clinical depression. With my Dad's death, I was, at least, feeling SOMETHING--an endless sadness--a sort of disbelief that he was gone...and an overwheming need to share memories with others who had known and loved him. It was a real "grief."

    Whereas, my clinical depression was a total loss of connectedness....a hellish "nothing"--where the only emotions that got "through" were waves after waves of this dark horror, anxiety and emptiness. They just washed over me 24 hours a day. There was no logic or reason that I could apply to understand it...it was just pure unbearable despair...a world of nothing but mental pain. In fact, the "real" world seemed on some distant plane from where I was standing. I felt completely separate and apart from the person I had been...and the world I had lived in. I felt stuck in my own black nightmare. So difficult for me to explain here.

    All my senses were so overloaded that the ticking of a clock....or the sound of a radio program...doubled that sense of anxiety and horror. In fact, until the medication began to take effect (about 3 weeks), I literally lay in bed, completely curled up, unable to talk more than the barest minimum, or get up, get dressed...or even leave the room other than to get to the bathroom. (I lived in London at the time and my twin, flew over from New York to be with me for several months.) She fielded all the questions, phone calls, etc. trying her best (using her skills as an actress!! :-) to explain to friends and work colleagues that I could not even bear to hear the sound of their voices!!

    This was 1975--not one person I knew over in England was familiar then with the term "clinical depression"--or what it was. As my doctor, then, told me (he had actually experienced clinical depression himself...and knew how hard it was to explain it to others), the brain had been hit by a "storm"--and would require some months to recouperate--to rewire itself--so that it could produce the endorphins (seratonin) that I would need to feel "normal."

    Anyway! Didn't mean to get off onto such a "Tales of Horror" story. Sorry! (Have I cheered anyone up, yet??? LOLOL!) :-) So..anyway....my problem with cutting off the 4 to 6 pills a day I've been taking is that each time those clinical depression symptoms start up....I just cave in right away. I need to be much stronger.

    And what you said here is so true.....it takes time for the brain to heal. And, if I stop all the pills, I would just have to wait and see if, over the months, those natural endorphins ever come back. But it's been real hard for me to even attempt that.

    Anyway....thanks for reinforcing what I HAVE been told by others, wanting to help me--that the brain IS capable of relearning how to make those "feel good" chemicals....it just takes time...and patience. :-)

    (Hope you don't really need a new jaw?!? And that your health is good!) :-) Lynn

     
    Old 06-21-2004, 06:55 PM   #9
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    Re: possible to have a controlled, manageable addiction?

    If absolutely believe its possible to have a controlled manageable addiction..and I wouldnt even use the word addiction in this case. Its exactly what I have. I take a couple of teaspoons of the hydrocodone cough syrup in the evening..about 5:00 pm..I have been doing this for about 5 years ....not every night but many many nights...I use it for my allergies/asthma..I can stop at any time...I just came back from being out of town and did not have any for 72 hours and didnt really have any withdrawal symptoms to speak of...maybe the reason for this is I have never taken the drug closer than a 24 hour interval...never ever ever...I guess if your body gets 15-20 mgs..only once a day every 24 hours and none in between..it doesnt get addicted or dependent..I dont know...this is just my story...maybe other people on these boards have similar stories to share...I sometimes think its like taking a glass or two of wine at night to relax...no more no less...feel free to comment...thanks

     
    Old 06-21-2004, 08:14 PM   #10
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    Re: possible to have a controlled, manageable addiction?

    thanks all for replying, it is great to get so many different perspectives.

    Last edited by kitkat70; 02-09-2005 at 07:28 PM.

     
    Old 06-22-2004, 12:40 AM   #11
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    Re: possible to have a controlled, manageable addiction?

    I've never heard of controlled addiction.But,there is a difference between addiction and tolerance.

     
    Old 06-22-2004, 01:15 AM   #12
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    Re: possible to have a controlled, manageable addiction?

    I am sorry that I disagree with most of the answers on here. But I am someone who has been taking 2-3 vicodins a day for about a year and a half, on a rare occassion I take 4 in one day. There are probably a variety of reasons why people don't go to complete out of control addiction. Mine for instance is that I am deathly afraid of respiratory depression. I don't know why but it has kept my dossage down. For better or for worse that is the honest to God truth.

    But at the same time I can't get off these things for the life of me. The vicodin for me works as an anxielitic (anti-anxiety). Part of me really wants to stop and the other part is not looking forward to looking to dealing with the non stop worry and anxiety that has plagued me my whole life. I am talking horrible terrifing panic attacks.

    Also nobody looks forward to the nasty wd's although once I always get past them I do feel alot better of couse until the anxiety starts to kick in again. I hope this helps.

    Keith

     
    Old 06-22-2004, 01:17 AM   #13
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    Re: possible to have a controlled, manageable addiction?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by madhatter
    I've never heard of controlled addiction.But,there is a difference between addiction and tolerance.
    Yean it is kind of an oxymoron. I do not think that I have a "controlled addiction" but a very low tolerance for vicodin. I am absolutely positve if I took two or three at one time it would kill me. or at the least I would end up in the hospital.

    Keith

    Last edited by doggreensector; 06-22-2004 at 01:19 AM. Reason: incorrect grammar

     
    Old 06-22-2004, 02:58 PM   #14
    Nervous Nellie
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    Re: possible to have a controlled, manageable addiction?

    To have an addiction, in my mind, is different from having a legitimate useful need for a certain drug so that you can "live" without asthma or heart palipitations or panic attacks while driving down the freeway.

    I am sorry if my post sounded as if "addiction" meant necessity. To me, an addiction is a need for a substance long after the original physical or psychological "bridge" it provided has since resolved itself. Folks who use puffers, or opiates for chronic pain, or anti-inflammatories for arthritis...those are necessary and useful.

    The person who uses artificial mind-altering drugs for the purpose of just getting up in the morning and getting through the day...well...what does that indicate, if there is no mental, emotional or physical deficit? Where is the line drawn?

     
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