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  • Chronic Pain and Opiate Addiction



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    Old 06-06-2007, 04:13 AM   #1
    72575
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    Chronic Pain and Opiate Addiction

    I'm at a place where many chronic pain people find themselves, I would imagine. My problem is that I am a long time addict. Alcohol, pot, narcotics... I've done it all, one substance for another, for 17 years. I never got in to heroin or cocaine, though, so I guess I am lucky for that.
    When I hurt my back and had the surgery, then when the chronic pain came along, I found myself on narcotic pain relievers. With my propensity to abuse anything that can be abused, you can imagine what came next...

    So, here I am addicted to pain meds.

    My problem is that I have tried all the other methods of pain relief out there and they just don't provide the relief that the narcotics can. Physical therapy was iffy at best, helping for maybe an hour or so after each treatment and then the pain came back, sometimes two fold. Non-narcotic pain relievers have had little effect, if any, more often than not.

    I've been diagnosed with degenerative disk disease and a dry disk, on top of minor scoliosis. I no longer have nerve pain, just a constant sharp, grabbing pain where the surgery was performed, day in and day out. I can go a day without pain meds, sometimes two days, but that is as long as I can hold out before the pain becomes too much to bear. It seems to compound with each successive hour that it remains untreated. I'm sure many of you can relate with that part.

    Where this becomes so complex for me is that I abuse the meds, taking them even when they are still working for the pain but the high has worn off. As much as I try to stop the abuse, I can't. Seems easy, I know, but it isn't for an addict. I use them as much for depression as anything else. I get bored or sad... take a few pills.
    Now it is to the point with my tolerance at an all time high that I am taking 40mg of percocet at a time, which is more than my daily allowment provided by my pain doctor. I run out early, and then have to turn to alternate sources. I simply cannot continue to do this. Yet, where do I go from here? I need the narcotic pain relivers because nothing else works for me, but I have no self control with them. I know it should be as easy as only taking as much as you're supposed to, but it simply isn't for an addict. Does treatment for addiction help with this, or is the brain wired this way forever? Are there better drugs out there to help with the pain for an addict, like methadone? I haven't tried that yet but it remains an option.

     
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    Old 06-06-2007, 04:41 AM   #2
    Minladar
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    Re: Chronic Pain and Opiate Addiction

    you can ask your doctor to try you out on a Patch form of pain medication for most you put one on every 3 days (Fentonil or Lidocain Ect) ,or a internal morphine pump,or neruostimulator implant, or Methadone, it is a very effective neruopathic pain medication but there was a recent JAMA alert saying cronic pain patients on methadone are having sudden severe cardiac problems and death so you may want to try all other options before that. also you might ask them for Imtramuscular injections of steroids instead of epiderals they seem to work better for me though most doctors do not like to give them more then 1 time every 3 or 4 months.
    so there are more options out there other then taking a pill every 4 to 6hrs
    talk to your doctor or pain managment provider about a more effective regiment.

     
    Old 06-06-2007, 09:41 AM   #3
    forginon
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    Re: Chronic Pain and Opiate Addiction

    There are loads of folks in your situation, so you are not alone.

    Probably your best bet is to get a referral to an addictionologist for pain treatment. The dr will probably put you on Suboxone, a narcotic which has some "anti-narcotic" properties, meaning it works just like other narcotics, but is much more difficult to abuse. You get the added plus that this dr can also guide you in your addiction as well.

    Methadone is an excellent med for those with chronic pain. It also happens to be the main narcotic used in methadone clinics (some use Suboxone too), for addicts wanting to get clean or out of the risk of street drugs and dirty needles. The benefits to methadone are that it truly does help with pain, it lasts a real long time, and it essentially has no high, and if you use another narcotic to get high the methadone will prevent that high.

    I admire your openness and honesty. Best of luck!

    steve

    Last edited by forginon; 06-06-2007 at 09:43 AM. Reason: Left something out.

     
    Old 06-06-2007, 10:16 AM   #4
    turtleman
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    Re: Chronic Pain and Opiate Addiction

    thats why the bottle says X# Xtimes a day
    don't take more and you'll be fine
    DON'T DO IT!

    IF you need it for your pain - if not, you shouldn't have gotten prescribed them in the 1st place

    sorry to sound so uncool, but i'm not lying
    do something else when you get bored or depressed for gosh sakes!

    i'd pass out if i took 40 all at once - sheesh! - maybe even die

    Last edited by HBMod07; 06-16-2007 at 11:45 AM. Reason: It is not necessary to quote a direct response

     
    Old 06-06-2007, 06:41 PM   #5
    Fabrashamx
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    Cool Re: Chronic Pain and Opiate Addiction

    While I think methadone has been proven to be an effective pain med, I dont think it would be the best solution here. The obvious connection is that, hey, this person has chronic pain, and is a self confessed addict, methadone treats both of those problems!
    But...methadone given for drug addiction replacement therapy is given out on a daily basis by a methadone clinic, when used in pain management, a simple prescription to take home is offered. Obviously, it is bad for you to have posession of your meds, because as you said, you cannot stop yourself from taking more and more to chase the high.
    If you do that with methadone, you will die. No question about it. Methadone is like no other pain drug, Shore and others can explain much better than I can why that is, but I do know that it builds up in your system, and using it in the manner you described would be fatal.
    Maybe you could use it for pain, but take a daily dose from a clinic? Or you can try something like the patch, although if you are determined to abuse it, no med or delivery system is 'abuse proof'.
    I agree with the other poster, you need to see an addictionologist to find a way to treat your pain without letting your addiction destroy your life.
    Best of luck to you, Please let us know how you are doing and what you decide. The addiction boards are also a great resource, not sure if you know about them, but you are always welcome here as well.
    Your Friend, Fabby

     
    Old 06-07-2007, 08:56 AM   #6
    forginon
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    Re: Chronic Pain and Opiate Addiction

    Fabby,

    Great insight!

    You're absolutely correct about the take home issue and how it would not be wise in this instance. This would simply have to be worked out between the patient and the Addictionologist.

    Good catch!

    steve

     
    Old 06-07-2007, 07:44 PM   #7
    BrittleBones
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    Re: Chronic Pain and Opiate Addiction

    Your post is long and informative.....but I think you may get a bigger audience if you post it in the Addiction section of this board. Just a thought! KathyMac

     
    Old 06-15-2007, 02:15 PM   #8
    koc66
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    Re: Chronic Pain and Opiate Addiction

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 72575 View Post
    I'm at a place where many chronic pain people find themselves, I would imagine. My problem is that I am a long time addict. Alcohol, pot, narcotics... I've done it all, one substance for another, for 17 years. I never got in to heroin or cocaine, though, so I guess I am lucky for that.
    When I hurt my back and had the surgery, then when the chronic pain came along, I found myself on narcotic pain relievers. With my propensity to abuse anything that can be abused, you can imagine what came next...

    So, here I am addicted to pain meds.

    My problem is that I have tried all the other methods of pain relief out there and they just don't provide the relief that the narcotics can. Physical therapy was iffy at best, helping for maybe an hour or so after each treatment and then the pain came back, sometimes two fold. Non-narcotic pain relievers have had little effect, if any, more often than not.

    I've been diagnosed with degenerative disk disease and a dry disk, on top of minor scoliosis. I no longer have nerve pain, just a constant sharp, grabbing pain where the surgery was performed, day in and day out. I can go a day without pain meds, sometimes two days, but that is as long as I can hold out before the pain becomes too much to bear. It seems to compound with each successive hour that it remains untreated. I'm sure many of you can relate with that part.

    Where this becomes so complex for me is that I abuse the meds, taking them even when they are still working for the pain but the high has worn off. As much as I try to stop the abuse, I can't. Seems easy, I know, but it isn't for an addict. I use them as much for depression as anything else. I get bored or sad... take a few pills.
    Now it is to the point with my tolerance at an all time high that I am taking 40mg of percocet at a time, which is more than my daily allowment provided by my pain doctor. I run out early, and then have to turn to alternate sources. I simply cannot continue to do this. Yet, where do I go from here? I need the narcotic pain relivers because nothing else works for me, but I have no self control with them. I know it should be as easy as only taking as much as you're supposed to, but it simply isn't for an addict. Does treatment for addiction help with this, or is the brain wired this way forever? Are there better drugs out there to help with the pain for an addict, like methadone? I haven't tried that yet but it remains an option.

    Methadone is an option. It works well for most people but you have to have the desire to stop taking the narcotics when you dont really need them. Dependance and Tolerance are very commonplace. You have to reach inside your heart and find out whats making you sad and what else you can do to not be bored and seek it out. Because trust me I knew someone who had the same issues and when they got cancer even the strongest drugs for pain would not help him because he misused pain meds and drank and smoked pot and such. They couldnt raise the doses because he was not terminal but in pain, they could not raise them because it interfered with his breathing. So he had to suffer for no reason except for his own inability to face a real issue at a younger age...Please seek some assistance ask for methadone and it will also help your pain without the usual high and you will get used to it. Also you need the mental help to go along with it, you know peer counsel, friends, and people you can confide in to find out what the real issues are.. I wish you the very best in your life and I do hope someone out there will take the time to help a person who is obviously reaching out fot help...Best to yu HUGs

    Last edited by koc66; 06-15-2007 at 02:16 PM. Reason: spelling

     
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