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  • Why do so many people think dependence = addiction?

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    Old 04-09-2009, 06:23 AM   #1
    10sox
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    Why do so many people think dependence = addiction?

    Is anyone else getting tired of people telling you..."Oh you better watch out or you'll get addicted to your pain meds"

    or

    "Doctors lie to you. You will get addicted. I was on pain meds and became addicted. Now I choose to live with chronic pain and stay away from those evil pills"

    or

    "Narcotics will damage your body with long-term use"


    Ok, I am done. I am just so tired of hearing all these comments. I really don't tell anyone anymore about my medications. I just think it is so sad how ill informed MOST of the population is about pain management.

    If I could just stop my medications and live my life with my pain, I would. BUT...and here is the big BUT...my pain is chronic and severe enough that it impacts my daily life. I can barely function with my pain meds,....nevermind without them.

    I don't choose pain pills...I choose LIFE!!!

    Ok, I just had to get that all out there. Thanks for listening.
    10sox

     
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    Old 04-09-2009, 07:18 AM   #2
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    Re: Why do so many people think dependece = addiction?

    10sox,

    I understand your frustration. I just went to my neurologist yesterday. I told him how much my pain has been flaring up recently and hinted that I would appreciate something stronger to deal with these flareups. His response was "I will not prescribe you any narcotics, they are dangerous drugs". He then went on to tell me how safe Ultram was and that I should feel free to take it as often as I want. From what I understand Ultram does have some narcotic properties so it's ridiculous to say that Ultram is perfectly safe but other mild narcotics are dangerous. I'm afraid the real issue here is the DEA. If Ultram becomes scheduled (and there have been rumours for years that it's an eventual possibility) then I'm sure I'll then be told that Ultram is dangerous.

     
    Old 04-09-2009, 07:54 AM   #3
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    Re: Why do so many people think dependece = addiction?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 10sox View Post

    Ok, I am done. I am just so tired of hearing all these comments. I really don't tell anyone anymore about my medications.
    If you research my posts, you'll find where I'm adamant about not telling anyone about your pain and/or meds. You've obviously told some.

    The problem with telling people is that (1) They will NEVER understand what you're going through and will more than likely always JUDGE. People just don't get it. Combine disability with it, and it goes to a whole different level...."that person doesn't look like they have disability to me."......"We're paying for that person."...........and so on.

    And (2) Because one's condition and / or meds are such a juicy topic, people invariably tell others, even though you've asked them not to. Once someone shares your story with someone else, this second person is under no obligation to keep your situation a secret....it's too far "downstream" at this point....This person may not even know you that well. Then, they tell someone and your story multiplies like a bunch of wild rabbits.

    Lastly, my pain contract point blank says not to tell anyone because of risk of someone stealing my meds...i.e. breaking into your home. If many know you take meds regularly, you are now at risk of being attacked, mugged, or your house robbed. Not trying to scare you, but give you a real warning. This is reason enough for me to keep my condition a secret. In my life, I'm like "Batman"...I've got this secret life that no one knows about. The only people that know are my spouse and Dr. That's it. No other family members.

    If the cat is already out of the bag, I would strongly suggest coming up with some story that you're doing better now and not taking meds anymore...or just shots, or whatever. Sounds bad to lie, but it's the lesser of two evils in my opinion.

    Heck, we had a thread on here not long ago where neighbors were asking some poster to borrow meds...This is the kind of stuff that happens when people hear about your story. She took my advice and starting telling people what I suggested in the previous paragraph and it solved her problem.

    Best of luck to you and I'm very sorry you're having to deal with this.

    Regards,

    Ex

     
    Old 04-09-2009, 08:50 AM   #4
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    Re: Why do so many people think dependece = addiction?

    I took your advice Ex and not ONCE has ANYONE asked to "borrow" until they get their meds. Everyone thinks I am "cured" from the SI and lumbar radio ablations I have had done. The problem was I ha referred a neighbor and HE messed up his treatment and got kicked out so thank God I nipped that in the bud THEN because now that he is out of the practice he has NOTHING

     
    Old 04-09-2009, 11:50 AM   #5
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    Re: Why do so many people think dependece = addiction?

    EX-
    I know I should take your advice....it makes so much sense. But for some reason I feel like I need to tell people that I am NOT ok. I need them to understand that I am doing all I can with my back problems. I have two small children and even some of my friends who know of my bad back, still ask me to do more and more. (like outings with the kids and things like that). At the park I must rely on them to help me with my kids. For example...i needed help lifting my son onto the swing.

    I guess I could start telling them my back is still very weak and fragile, but my injections have gotten me off all pain medications. I hate "lying" to them as a few are what I consider very close friends, but I guess it's better to protect myself and my family first.

    Thanks again for the advice. It's probably time I listen! Oh yeah, I don't just tell anyone. I've stopped telling most people. It's just my close friends.

    10sox

     
    Old 04-09-2009, 02:11 PM   #6
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    Re: Why do so many people think dependece = addiction?

    10sox, I can totally relate to what you are saying! I have the same problem with my mother. She asks me every single day if I'm taking pain pills. She tells me I'm addicted to them and I need to bear the pain and to get off those "pills" even though I follow the doctors orders. I get extremely frusterated with her. She tells me she has been in my shoes and just delt with the pain. I know for the fact she has not been in my shoes. She has never had a herniated disc in her neck, nor does know what spinal cord compression feels like.

     
    Old 04-09-2009, 03:17 PM   #7
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    Re: Why do so many people think dependece = addiction?

    Because people are judgemental for the most part that is why!!! It's true though. No one can truly put themselves in your shoes even if they say they try... I couldn't put myself in your shoes of chronic pain 100% just like you couldn't put yourself in my shoes.... A recovering pain pill addict!

    I am a recovering addict. I am a regular on another board here! I really do agree with Executor though about keeping your medications a private topic because people do talk and you need to always protect yourself! However, the downside of being ultra private is that for me.... that was part of my addiction problem! I had this little secret about my pills so I just kept taking more and more.... I crossed the line, BIG TIME! However, for those of you on here... that is not an issue and for that you should be forever greatful!

    I just wanted to pop in here (I hope no one minds) and say before I became addicted I completely understand where you are coming from! Because there is this terrible stereotype about people and their pills so that is when I decided to be more quiet about my pill usage.

    Well, I wish you much success and I hope you have a low pain day today!
    ~Secrets
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    Old 04-09-2009, 06:34 PM   #8
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    Re: Why do so many people think dependece = addiction?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by katlovesdogs View Post

    I took your advice Ex and not ONCE has ANYONE asked to "borrow" until they get their meds. Everyone thinks I am "cured" from the SI and lumbar radio ablations I have had done. The problem was I ha referred a neighbor and HE messed up his treatment and got kicked out so thank God I nipped that in the bud THEN because now that he is out of the practice he has NOTHING
    That's great news. You did the RIGHT thing!

    Regards,

    Ex

     
    Old 04-09-2009, 08:24 PM   #9
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    Re: Why do so many people think dependece = addiction?

    Because of this me and my sister are no longer speaking. She has a real problem with my pain meds. I have cronic neck pain, shoulder, back, knee and other things and she thinks I should "get off of those horrible pills"! I go to a wonderful pm and he is one of the best and most respected in this city. She says" he is nothing but a pill pusher and he needs to have his practice shut down". I finally had enough of her running her mouth and I told her what I thought as I had been defending myself long enough. I have never abused my meds and she knows it but she just will not let it go. Anyway we finally had a big fight and now we no longer speak and it really bothers me cause we have been through so much together but I have enough to deal with without all her crap. Honestly? I think she thinks I get high from them and she doesn't want me to "feel good". I'll admit when I first started taking them I did get high as a kite but I still didn't abuse them and now I've been taking them over three years and I take them to be able to just function day to day.
    I agree with the other posters, I need to just try to keep it to myself.

     
    Old 04-09-2009, 08:46 PM   #10
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    Re: Why do so many people think dependece = addiction?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 10sox View Post

    EX-
    I know I should take your advice....it makes so much sense. But for some reason I feel like I need to tell people that I am NOT ok.
    I can certainly understand. We all have a basic need to be cared for and to be understood. Unfortunately, for those with CP, it's only "misunderstood." Your intentions are good, but others cannot possibly understand what you are going through....Never will....Ever. Either they will think you are a "wimp" and can't take it and are exaggerating, or that you're faking or trying to get disability and etc. It's a very sad situation....One you have to try to handle as best you can. Everyone's situation is different and there is no easy answer. Do what you feel is best for you.


    Quote:
    I guess I could start telling them my back is still very weak and fragile, but my injections have gotten me off all pain medications. I hate "lying" to them as a few are what I consider very close friends, but I guess it's better to protect myself and my family first.
    I would. I'd come up with some scenario and stick with it....Anything reasonable to throw those that already know, off the trail.


    Quote:
    I've stopped telling most people. It's just my close friends.
    This is the fundamental problem. People only tell close friends and family, but as I said, once ONE PERSON reveals your secret to someone else, this other person has no obligation to keep your secret safe....it's information that has flowed too far downstream. And once this second person knows, they usually tell lots of people and then then your story gets magnified and multiplied from there. Some may disagree with me, but I think it's best to tell no one....Or only those very few that you can absolutely trust 100%.

    As I said in my case, only my spouse and Dr know....And those at the insurance company re: my disability claim. I'd love to be able to tell some folks, but just can't....Way too risky.

    This is really a tough situation and I don't envy anyone because I'm in it also.

    Regards,

    Ex

     
    Old 04-10-2009, 12:06 AM   #11
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    Re: Why do so many people think dependece = addiction?

    It is such a shame CP patients have to be so private and cannot talk with friends and family about these matters without being judged. I guess I am very fortunate to have an extremely supportive immediate family, but I too am very careful - I will send my thanks to the heavens every night. Knowing that all situations are not equal I totally agree with advice about being careful about who you tell about your treatment and medications. Just playing the devil's advocate though , when we don't openly and honestly include our closest family in our treatment, we kind of perpetuate myths and mis-information about narcotic use because then the only information they do get is the stuff they hear on the news or in the paper about drug seekers, celebrity users, and violaters! Or the people they run across that are clearly misuing their prescriptions. Multiply that by the millions of CP patients and you have a lot of family/friends that are misinformed. Such a sad state.

    If you have a close person you really need support from and you think they would be receptive to a little education, there is a doctor - pain management specialist and addiction specialist, Jennifer P. Schneider, MD, PhD, who is a well known expert and written some really good in plain english stuff for folks like us. Look for her publications. One is titled "Addiction and Chronic Pain" , there are several articles that deal with getting the correct informaton to the public and also the medical community.

     
    Old 04-10-2009, 07:35 AM   #12
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    Re: Why do so many people think dependece = addiction?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by neckpatient View Post

    It is such a shame CP patients have to be so private and cannot talk with friends and family about these matters without being judged.
    Yes, it is! I second that 100%.


    Quote:

    Just playing the devil's advocate though , when we don't openly and honestly include our closest family in our treatment, we kind of perpetuate myths and mis-information about narcotic use because then the only information they do get is the stuff they hear on the news or in the paper about drug seekers, celebrity users, and violaters! Or the people they run across that are clearly misuing their prescriptions. Multiply that by the millions of CP patients and you have a lot of family/friends that are misinformed. Such a sad state.
    I don't disagree one bit. However, the big problem is that once the horse is out of the barn, it's very difficult to get him back in. So, you have to resort to lying and etc., which is very hard and not something I like to do....So, I keep it to myself and prevent the problem as best I can.

    In a great situation, we'd all get the support and love we needed, and not be judged. However, the reality is that being on pain meds is a very juicy topic and one that spreads like wild fire. Add in the potential to be mugged or robbed and it goes to a whole another level. Nothing aggravates me more than when a CP person is having a reasonable or good day, and you hear comments like "doesn't look too bad to me...That person is a drug addict." The issue of CP and PM is so misunderstood, the amt of education it takes to get one to understand is incredible. Even then, I'm sure many would "get it" due to not walking in our shoes.

    So, for me, my life is like "Batman"....A whole secret identity.

    Regards,

    Ex

     
    Old 04-10-2009, 10:19 AM   #13
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    Re: Why do so many people think dependece = addiction?

    Forgive me as I'm a newcomer her and I'm barging in on this discussion. I am a member of another board but this thread has hit a big cord with me. I am a CP person and I just became eligible for disability. Now my mom and people who know me think I am an addict. I have been on fentanyl and oxycontin and they are just now telling me that I would look like "a drug addict from the streets" OH that makes me so mad. I work with children and I trust that if the mom even thought for one second I was "doped" up she would make me go home right away.
    The thing now is that my doctors want me to try suboxone for pain management and I don't know why. Apparently there is a new pm psychiatrist who has had success with suboxone as a pain medication. I don't know about this and I wish I had read this board before I told my mom. Now she's looking it up saying I'm going to die from it and I can't go to any other doctor than the one I'm going to. I will never tell a family member again what medication I am on. I am so grateful for this thread.

     
    Old 04-10-2009, 10:32 AM   #14
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    Re: Why do so many people think dependece = addiction?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by captnanny View Post
    Forgive me as I'm a newcomer her and I'm barging in on this discussion. I am a member of another board but this thread has hit a big cord with me. I am a CP person and I just became eligible for disability. Now my mom and people who know me think I am an addict. I have been on fentanyl and oxycontin and they are just now telling me that I would look like "a drug addict from the streets"
    Welcome to this board. Many regulars have a great deal of experience and can offer lots of support and guidance.

    Personally, I would come up with some type of strategy to tell them you're no longer on meds...Shots, or whatever are now in place and working. Something...It's up to you. But, unfortunately, I've heard too many stories just like yours....This is the kind of stuff that happens. Despite how hard one tries, people just don't "get it" and play fair. I'm sorry you have to go through this.


    Quote:
    The thing now is that my doctors want me to try suboxone for pain management and I don't know why. Apparently there is a new pm psychiatrist who has had success with suboxone as a pain medication.
    I don't have much experience with Sub, but know enough to be dangerous. It's used sometimes as a pain agent, but it's main purpose is to wean those on narcotics....Sub is a narcotic...A powerful low dose, very long acting narcotic that ties up the receptors so you don't ever go into WD. Many stay on it for life, or wean from it later at some point. It also controls some types of pain, so it can be a win / win for some people. Others may know more about it than me.

    Why have your Docs recommended this?

    Regards,

    Ex

     
    Old 04-10-2009, 10:39 AM   #15
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    Re: Why do so many people think dependece = addiction?

    I don't know why they have recommended this. I have two calls into their offices. I will tell my family that I am getting shots or something so that they don't ask me all the time. My mom will think I am lying to her and tell me that I look like I am doped up. That's just how she is. I will just tell her I'm not and leave it like that. Maybe the less I bring up my pain with my doc's they will back off the sub. I haven't heard anything good about it but I know they will not be prescribing me the norco in a couple months. I just feel totally frustrated with this labeling of dependance and addicts.

     
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