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EVERYONE LETS GET SOME VIEWS:
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EVERYONE LETS GET SOME VIEWS:

This issue is driving me nuts: CHEM-DEPENDENCE--VS--ADDICTION.
I used/booze off and on most of my life because it was the party...but when the opiates got me, I went up the latter to more and a mix to match...So I did not think of addiction until I no longer could control myself and could not give them up do to fear of w/ds. As most I feel we came to a Chem Dependence.The drugs got me up and going........but what in the world is the difference between the two...I read and listen to people but ?????
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480448_tn?1403547723
"No difference at all. Addiction...substance abuse..it's all the same. Each is as bad as the other. If you have to ask the question...there's a problem either way."

I respectfully disagree, there IS a difference.  There ARE a lot of areas where the two are similar and even interwine for some people, but there is a big difference between someone who is just physically dependent on a drug and someone who has the mental dependency aspect.  

Someone here once described it very well, and very simply...dependence is PHYSICAL, addiction is MENTAL.  That does pretty much describe the difference in a nut shell.

The way I look at it is...a person who is dependent but not an addict doesn't display those maladaptive behaviors that an addict does.  There's no "romancing" the drug, no mental NEED or desire to take them.  People who are not addicted would not seek the drug out other than for their pain (or whatever a med is Rx'ed for).   Even when they KNEW that skipping doses would lead to w/d...they still really don't have that mental need for the medication.  A physical one, sure, because of course they don't want to have to experience w/ds.  Besides the w/d, they can just walk away from it, and never look back, never having a need or interest in tsking those pills again...whereas an addict has to struggle with those desires and cravings for the rest of their life.  

The mental and behavioral aspect of an addiction is what differentiates the two.  The two terms are often used interchangeably, where is where a lot of confusion comes from, IMO.

Both are issues that need addressed, but even that is appraoched differently.  A person who is dependent doesn't need the aftercare, doesn't need to explore why they are taking the meds...they just need help getting off of them when the time comes.

I think this is a great discussion, I feel strongly that there needs to be more awareness and understanding about the differences between the two.  I think people who are just dependent need to be sure they're not being treated as if they have an addiction.  Like,I personally strongly disagree with Suboxone being used for someone who is only dependent.  ACTUALLY, Sub docs should NOT be treating them, as there is very specific criteria a patient has to meet in order to be accepted for sub treatment...and some of those criteria involve the addictive history and behaviors...which would not be present in a person who is only dependent.  I never saw any patients like that in the clinic I worked for.  The doc I worled with took those criteria seriously.  One of the guidelines is (or used to be) that a person had to be abusing drugs for at least 12 months...she was adamant about that, unless a person was very close.  If a person had only been abusing opiates for a couple months, she told them that sub treatment was not appropriate for them.  

And,  lastly it shouldn't be about one (dependency vs addiction) being "better" or "worse" than the other (as we see a lot of times in people's attitudes), they're just different.  Apples and oranges.
53 Comments Post a Comment
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1827057_tn?1397523877
for us addicts there is no difference.It is just semantics.
When speaking of a pain patient in medical terms,all addicts are dependent but not all people who become dependent are addicts.My neighbor for example is dependent on morphine for severe back issues.He does not get high when he takes it.If it is not working he does not take more meds,instead he makes another doctor appointment and addresses it.If they take him off of it he does go through withdrawal symptoms but he does not have the mental obsession of wanting the pills.When he is withdrawing he does not speak of mental torture,only of increased pain.He does not count the pills he has.
Another big thing is,He says He would rather not take them at all because of constipation drowsiness etc. Us on the other hand,we get jacked up on them and we really don't care about the negative side effects.We view them as a very tolerable exchange for the increased euphoria and carefree feeling they give us.
This is by no means a concise definition of the difference but just an observation of one person who I know who is opiate dependent.I know others who are also what I would call dependent and they are much like him.   The example above does not reflect myself in any way because I was addicted and not dependent.  Hope this helps   lol
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4522800_tn?1405696702
So it would be like for me I know I have become an addict. So then for that said, I came dependent on it. Which in turn, made be go fishing for it anywere, and many many mile to find and lots of money when the script ran short...So it is the way we go about it in the long run that turns us into addicts? You know lie-steal-cheat-ect- We get sooo out of control..
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1827057_tn?1397523877
I guess the main criteria is.......did it make you feel good in your mind when you took it.Did it give you a euphoria or just kill physical pain.
If the answer is yes it made me feel happy and carefree then yes you are an addict.
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480448_tn?1403547723
While there are some gray areas, there are definitely some big differences.  Addiction has to do more with the mental cravings and the behaviors involved in getting the drug.  An addict will often do things very out of character to obtain more and more, and also disregard their own health and safety.

People who are physically dependent do not have that mental aspect, they don't have cravings, they don't take more than prescribed...basically, they just experience w/ds when they stop taking the drug.  People who are dependent could easily walk away from a medication, never think about it, or crave it again.

An excerpt from a link that explains the differences very well:

While tolerance and physical dependence are physical changes in the body, addiction is defined by aberrant changes in behavior. Addiction is compulsive use of drugs for nonmedical reasons; it is characterized by a craving for mood altering drug effects, not pain relief.[8] Addiction means dysfunctional behavior, in sharp contrast to the improved function and quality of life that result from pain relief. Aberrant behaviors which indicate addiction may include: denial of drug use; lying; forgery of prescriptions; theft of drugs from other patients or family members; selling and buying drugs on the street; using prescribed drugs to get "high."[8]

http://www.whocancerpain.wisc.edu/?q=node/245

So, a person who is an addict is also dependent, but someone who is dependent is not usually "addicted".  They can certainly interwine in some cases.  
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3225128_tn?1347137598
I became addicted to pain pills thru medical need . I had surgery and my pain was eased ,about 90% less , I no longer needed the pills for pain , i needed them because i was addicted . For an extra 2 months i took them before my wife asked if i was still haveing pain , I said no real pain i am addicted and can't stop .
This site helped me get free of pain pills , i am almost 6 months off (Norco) .
After the first few days of W/D were over I have had No craveings or thoughts of wanting for pills .
Yes i still have some days where pain is a problem , but heat Advil and hot showers seem to help . Now i get thru the pain in a few hours it eases up and no pills needed . No addicted life 24/7 .
I feel so much better now that i no longer take the pills ... Ron

The
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5059248_tn?1363574593
As I posted in another column, this is perhaps a corny example, but it is the best way I have to put it:

I take Vicodin.

I take Ambien, a sleep drug.

Vicodin Addiction: If I don't take Vicodin, my body and mind start to suffer withdrawals. After I pop some pills (actually I have tapered down to one pill now), I feel all normal, again. The withdrawal symptoms vanish.

Ambien Dependence: If I don't take an Ambien nightly I do not physically suffer. There's no "feed me" screams going on inside. But, I am dependent on Ambien to get to sleep. If I don't take Ambien, I'm staying up all night. When I take an Ambien, I am asleep in 20 minutes.

Sidenote: I am glad I am not addicted to Ambien. Can you imagine: taking an Ambien every 8 hours because my body and mind suffer WD symptoms if I don't poop an Ambien every few hours.  I might as well stay in bed 24/7.

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5059248_tn?1363574593
Oops, please strike "poop" and insert "pop" in the second-to-last sentence :)

Unless "poop an Ambien" somehow makes more sense to you. ;)

Bonus Tip: if you are pooping Ambien, please consult your doctor.
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4522800_tn?1405696702
Hi guys just so you know I have been here awhile. I am days away from 6 months. I did see the thread jordan that is why I posted this...What nurse girls make akot of since on what we talk about at the meetings....So yes I do agree with it....Yes ron I am 3-4 days behind you...Ha! ha!
god bless us all
vickie

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Avatar_f_tn
No difference at all. Addiction...substance abuse..it's all the same. Each is as bad as the other. If you have to ask the question...there's a problem either way...
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Avatar_m_tn
In my NA book in the chapter "Who is an Addict" what grabs me is: "It's our reaction to the drugs, not how much we use."
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4522800_tn?1405696702
Yes open mind it does say that huh!! I know I became an addict there is just a reason why I posted this. I wanted to here from other people. Some people will not say the word ADDICT...or even know they have a on going disease and if they play with fire they will get burned......and Andie I do not have to ask the question I just wanted to hear what other people thought about this..Dependent vs Addiction...
Thank all
vickie
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470217_tn?1360568961
Jordan, Haha at your "pooping Ambien" comment. That would be alarming indeed, unless you're a pharmacy. Then it would be useful.

I agree that addiction reflects behavior--obsessive behavior. Binge drinkers aren't physically dependent on alcohol in my view, as they can go days, weeks, or months between binges. But they can still consider themselves alcoholic, which I believe is addiction in booze-speak?
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4958267_tn?1372589589
Yes I see where you're coming from I can go awhile without taking anything or drinking anything but once I start drinking then it's over and I'm gone for a couple weeks at the very least and it's just the way my alcoholic/addicted mind works.
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4522800_tn?1405696702
OK For my experience I think It is a Fine Line......
I became Physically & Mental to NEEDING them...
Then it turns into a Obsession and Surival to WANTING them...
So be it said I went from chem/dependent to becomming a addict/addiction.......
No one takes that first drug of choice and becomes and addict in 1 Hour or a Day................
I did not say I wanted to be an addict when I grow up..........

God Loves us anyway!!!!!
vickie
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Avatar_m_tn
Wow Vickie, you're up early this morning :-)

I was born an addict. I had an emptiness inside that was impossible to fill by people places and things. Contentment and fulfillment were impossible. I was full of self-obsession. Starting at age 13, drugs and alcohol took care of that, but I had to keep using more and more to fill that empty hole of self-obsession. I had drug choices. I did them all except opiates and cocaine. My main DOC, over all other hippy drugs of the day, was alcohol, #2 was weed. The most available drugs of the day. I got clean at age 36 and thru the 12 steps of AA, I worked on changing that empty hole. I learned to get my contentment and fulfillment from a power greater than me. It all worked very well until around age 63. That's when my lower back blew and I took Vicodin for pain maintenance. Long story short - I was addicted again before I knew it. All my DOCs came marching back into my life. Moral of the story: only complete sobriety can make us and keep us normal. That is if we are true addicts. I can't speak for someone who doesn't have the disease of addiction, like my wife for example.  
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4522800_tn?1405696702
Hi yes I got up for a bit my mind was wondering around. Have to go to dentist this AM yek...OK now I played with the drugs/booze since I was 14. I would do it stop for a long time. Then try a new one and drink and stop again. It was like everyone was doing it so lets party...Now my point is If we are born with the addictive gene (D2) It still takes using over and over and over with out any breaks to build up the disease of addiction..So be that said. When I was prescibed pain pills for pain INEEDED them then after and into 16yrs I WANTED them. It became a survial thing now. Thats when the addiction started for me the last 12-16yrs. Although I have always had the addiction gene or whatever it took many, many yrs of doing it over and over to become a addict. That is what my point is. It does not happen over night...
Open---Did you do your drugs every day? over and over for yrs and yrs?
All your life?
Thanks and God Bless us addicts anyway..I walk closer with him then I have ever....
vickie
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm sorry...I didn't mean that in a nasty way. I was just saying there wasn't a difference.
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Avatar_m_tn
In the early years I did my DOCs every day I could get my hands on them, but usually after my responsibilities were met that day. Somehow my parents instilled a sense of responsibility in us kids. They were 2 for 3 with addicts for kids. Me and my little sis. She studied under me lol. I hadn't started drinking in the morning, but I did on lunch hour if I had an easy day going. When I got home I got lost on the stuff. But by around age 36 I NEEDED that drink in the morning to straighten up. I was about to lose my career that I worked so hard for. So I stopped at age 36. At age 63 I was retired from that career that spanned over 40 years. So when I started back up I was in deep deep trouble. I used every day, all day. It proved to be the worst time possible to be practicing my addiction again.

Oh, my little sis has 30 years completely clean in AA with a good career still going.
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4598399_tn?1363710935
I've been thinking about this for a while now and will admit that I don't have an answer that I am confident is correct. For me, I have a personality that enjoys the high of smoking pot, the joy ride of taking acid (when I was so much younger), the drinking party, and then the euphoria of opiates.  What I do know is that I tripped when it was available.  When it wasn't I just didn't do it anymore. I have plenty of pot in the safe today but haven't smoke it for about a year. But maybe I will for a night or two then not for another year.  One day, more than a decade ago, I just didn't drink any more. Then the opiates, which were prescribed by a doctor and worked for the daily migraines, were fun so I did it to excess. However, the opiates were different for me. I began getting them from two doctors because I enjoyed the euphoria. Today is day 7 of not taking any but I know I could call one of the doctors and have 180 by lunch today.  I just don't have the mental desire to do so.  I was worried about the WDs but they were actually tolerable. Noticable but tolerable. I know as I was tapering and then during the first few days I was questioning the ability to not take them but once I got to day 3 it was more just getting through the fog but no desire to take anything.  So, is it just binge drugging or does the dependacy or fear of WDs keep an individual using? Can there be signs of both? With respect to opiates, I feel like I got caught with my hand in the cookie jar. Actually, I say I was getting them from 2 doctors, which is true, they each knew I was doing it. I told doctor A that I was getting a Rx from doctor B and told B about A.  I will admit that I didn't accurately tell them how many pills I was taking per day (nice way to say I lied) and after 15 years or so maybe doctor A figured it out but as the ability to obtain the pills became in question I told doctor B I didn't want anymore (doctor A told me).  So would I be inclined to take pain medication again? I don't think so but more out of the stress I have at the possible liver damage, not liking the affect they had on my life the past few years, and not wanting to go through the WDs which may be far worse next time.  Opiates were then hardest thing to finally stop over the others. Will I get stoned again. Probably. Maybe not. I'm way to old to drop acid again even if it's still available. I know I have no desire to drink anymore. So, I don't know what my situation is. I can honestly say that had I not found this site and all the information and support I received I would probably still be taking the pills. BUt did this site help me stop the dependacy or the addiction. To me it doesn't matter because I stopped a drug I lost control over when the other drugs didn't present the same issue. I like the philosophical question. Thanks.
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480448_tn?1403547723
"No difference at all. Addiction...substance abuse..it's all the same. Each is as bad as the other. If you have to ask the question...there's a problem either way."

I respectfully disagree, there IS a difference.  There ARE a lot of areas where the two are similar and even interwine for some people, but there is a big difference between someone who is just physically dependent on a drug and someone who has the mental dependency aspect.  

Someone here once described it very well, and very simply...dependence is PHYSICAL, addiction is MENTAL.  That does pretty much describe the difference in a nut shell.

The way I look at it is...a person who is dependent but not an addict doesn't display those maladaptive behaviors that an addict does.  There's no "romancing" the drug, no mental NEED or desire to take them.  People who are not addicted would not seek the drug out other than for their pain (or whatever a med is Rx'ed for).   Even when they KNEW that skipping doses would lead to w/d...they still really don't have that mental need for the medication.  A physical one, sure, because of course they don't want to have to experience w/ds.  Besides the w/d, they can just walk away from it, and never look back, never having a need or interest in tsking those pills again...whereas an addict has to struggle with those desires and cravings for the rest of their life.  

The mental and behavioral aspect of an addiction is what differentiates the two.  The two terms are often used interchangeably, where is where a lot of confusion comes from, IMO.

Both are issues that need addressed, but even that is appraoched differently.  A person who is dependent doesn't need the aftercare, doesn't need to explore why they are taking the meds...they just need help getting off of them when the time comes.

I think this is a great discussion, I feel strongly that there needs to be more awareness and understanding about the differences between the two.  I think people who are just dependent need to be sure they're not being treated as if they have an addiction.  Like,I personally strongly disagree with Suboxone being used for someone who is only dependent.  ACTUALLY, Sub docs should NOT be treating them, as there is very specific criteria a patient has to meet in order to be accepted for sub treatment...and some of those criteria involve the addictive history and behaviors...which would not be present in a person who is only dependent.  I never saw any patients like that in the clinic I worked for.  The doc I worled with took those criteria seriously.  One of the guidelines is (or used to be) that a person had to be abusing drugs for at least 12 months...she was adamant about that, unless a person was very close.  If a person had only been abusing opiates for a couple months, she told them that sub treatment was not appropriate for them.  

And,  lastly it shouldn't be about one (dependency vs addiction) being "better" or "worse" than the other (as we see a lot of times in people's attitudes), they're just different.  Apples and oranges.
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480448_tn?1403547723
Can there be signs of both?

Most definitely.  Sometimes, a person starts out with a dependency only, and eventually become addicted.  They start taking the meds for inappropriate reasons.  For example, someone may have started out on a pain med for chronic back pain, and were on them long enough that they were dependent.  However, that person quickly recognized that the meds gave them energy and confidence...so they started taking them before social functions, to help them have energy at work, etc.    At that point, they would be considered an addict, because they would be abusing their medication, taking it for reasons other than why it was Rx'ed.

A person who is addicted is almost always dependent (as far as opiates go anyway), but a person who is dependent is not always addicted.  It can lead to that though.

From your description, I would say you definitely were addicted.  You displayed those behaviors and abused the medication...you did things that were out of character, like lying about your use, because you knew you were not using it properly.

At the end of thr day, I don't think the label is as important as doing something about it.  A LOT of people struggle with that label..."addict".  For some people, that's one of the hardest things to come to terms with in their recovery...admitting that they ARE an addict and being okay with that.  I can certainly understand that due to the stigma that unfortunately still exists.
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2120911_tn?1350926261
Whats in a name ?  Addiction by any other name would still jack your life up.    ;-)
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2011031_tn?1328288767
I have not been on here for a year or so. I was addicted to tramadol, and was so afraid of the withdrawal which was very severe for me. I also had an allergic type reaction to it, it made me itch like crazy at first. I discussed this with my doctor and I believe some addictions, even alcohol are a chemistry thing, because of RA and pain I am on Hydro, but I only take half in morning and half at night. I don't have withdrawals if I forget them, the only thing that drove me nuts was tramadol. I have a huge history of alcoholics in my family and after watching them for years, its one drink and they are gone. I will not touch the stuff even though I know thank god the gene skipped me. I never got high on them, however and never really feel high on hydro, I am in so much pain all the time I feel there is nothing left for a high, lol, all it does is ease my pain so I can work and live a little.
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4598399_tn?1363710935
I kinda see what you're saying and to me it doesn't matter, addication vs dependancy. But, just to play devil's advocate, don't many people drink coffee, Red Bulls, 5 Hour Energy in excess to get energy daily? Don't people wear a favorite suit or tie to feel confident at a meeting or social event? I lied to the doctors because I couldn't go to Starbucks and get all the opiates I wanted and thankfully so. I am assuming that this is not only restricted to drugs or alcohol. Addicted? Agreed. I know I tried to stop several times over the past 10 to 12 years but wasn't serious. I was having fun. Now maybe it was the addiction talking back then.  Maybe it was fear of the WDs. Maybe it was fear of not stopping once I became educated by what I read on this site. I'm not sure. If I could get them today without a doctor and without daily limits I don't think I would but who knows.  Sorry, I love discussing philosophical issues.
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1827057_tn?1397523877
At the end of thr day, I don't think the label is as important as doing something about it.    this is the most important point here
If we take one more pill it won't instantly get us re-addicted.  If we take one pill we will continue to keep taking them until we are re-addicetd
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4204073_tn?1361835076
Great tnread!  Tha. Ks for posting this.  I see alot of people come through here that I think are depadant but they think they are addicted and vice versa.   We have helped many dependent ones get off the meds, which is great since wd is hard.  I've witnessed dependent people wd and the difference was they accepted it and didnt obsess about if they just had a pill, or maybe I should call my dr and get a little bit more or call sally smith up the road to see if she has a few to spare.  They don't search the house high and low looking for a dropped or misplaced pill.  However, they may fear wd if they are about to run out, been taking as prescribed and haven't heard from the pharmacy yet.  

And addict will keep calling the pharmacy, call all their resources, and if they don't have the money for more, take it from bill money, sell something, steal money or items to sell, search other peoples cabinets, etc.  And if wd hits, they go into a full blown panic and obsess about getting more, waiting for that call to come through, for payday to score more etc.   Addicts start out using occassionally or as prescribed and eventually cross an invisible line from pnysically dependant to mentally dependant.  That invisible line is where the question of am I dependant or an addict come up.  

Dependant people might be calling their dr for refills and be worried about running out, check back because its a Friday.  Unfortunately they get lumped into being an addict because they are "seeking".   All they are doing is trying to get a fill for legiitamate reasons.  Addicts WANT and NEED it at the same time for pleasure, avoiding withdraws, etc.
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4204073_tn?1361835076
Bottom line is if you are taking pills, physically and mentally dependent on them or any substance for that matter you are an addict/alcoholic.  If you can't make it through the day without relying on your drug of choice and are romancing the idea of using, you are an addict.  If you are making sure you are stockpiled to feed the beast, you are an addict.
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Avatar_f_tn
Free2.....exactly.
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2011031_tn?1328288767
I am definitely a caffeine addict and at one time to exercise, to be honest I loved my workout, nothing was gonna keep me from it, until RA hit.
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4204073_tn?1361835076
People become addicted to all kinds of things.  It is when it causes damage not only to you but to others (family, work, friends) that it becomes a problem.  Drug addicts and alcoholics tend to isolate and emerge to seek out their DOC.  They let it rule there lives instead of being a part of their lives.  Gambling is an addiction that isn't physical it is emotional and it takes over their lives the way drugs do for addicts.   Their is such a thing as pseudo addicts where the person is dependent but stockpiles, takes more than they need on occassion for fun or extra activities but they usually don't run out before a refill.  
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480448_tn?1403547723
All very well said!

Like I said before, the LABELS aren't that important...not IMO anyway, but I think that it's important to acknowledge the difference, for both kinds of people.  People who are dependent but not addicted probably could greatly benefit from knowing they aren't an "addict"...because it's confusing and scary...plus, they may end up being subjected to things that aren't appropriate, like being red flagged, being subjected to NA meetings they don't need, etc.  It's very unfortunate that some people DO think they're an addict when they're not.  I've experienced this in the health care field.  

For those who ARE addicted, it's important for THOSE people to recognize the difference because if they allow to convince themselves that they're ONLY dependent, they probably will stay in denial and not get the help they need.

Just because it's common to use some of these terms interchangeably does NOT mean they are the same thing.  Sad thing is, even doctors lump the two together...and that only fuels the misconceptions out there.

I had an 80-something year old patient once who was admitted to the hospital for Percocet w/d (she had some significant heart and BP problems).  This woman was NOT an addict, but everyone was telling her she was.  She never abused her med, she took them every day for many years for pain issues...like so many, she had NO idea about tolerance, dependency, nothing.  She was DEVASTATED and scared...her family was mad at her and disappointed, and were looking into drug rehabs for her.  Her chart was flagged and everything.  She went through ALL of that emotional turmoil for nothing...over a label.  She didn't deserve that....all it did was confuse her and make her so upset.  We finally got everyone on the same page, understanding that she was not addicted but rather dependent, thank goodness.  That's a perfect example of how using the two terms interchangeably can cause unnecessary issues for people...mislabeling people (on BOTH sides of this debate) is doing a great disservice to those people.
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495284_tn?1333897642
Hopefully there will come a time when addiction is understood and not just labeled.

All i know is i believe i was born with that addiction gene!  Thankfully it is a recovering gene now~
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4204073_tn?1361835076
That's a really sad story.  And it is a perfect example of how even the medical field confuses the two.  So if they confuse the two, imagine how hard it is to decipher for people who don't understand addiction.  That poor lady.  

Something similar happened to my b/f when he had a hip replacement surgery.  Actually, they did it twice, the second one a month later because the first one failed. Leading up to it, they had him on pain meds daily (a pretty low dose of 5mg Vic) for 3 months.  I don't think he took more than 2 or 3 a day.  Anyhow, after the surgery(s) they had him on alot of oxy's and vic's.  And when I say alot, I mean alot.  Something like 2 or 3 oxy's every 3-4 hours and 2 vic's every 3-4 hours in between to keep him from having lows.  The Surgeon's assistant was handing them out to him like candy.  So one day he checks in (while his surgeon and assistant are on vacation to get a refill and the gals at the front desk reacted in horror about how many he was taking.  They were saying it isn't possible for someone to take that much and still be alive, etc, etc.   They got another surgeon to authorize a small refill of vic's a couple days later with instructions to see follw up with his surgeon, but in the meantime suffered terrible w/d all weekend til it was filled on Monday morning.  When we went to see the surgeon's assistant, she tried to downplay it as if she didn't write the scrips that way and that was way too much to be taking.  She also said that wasn't possible. Unfortunately he had tossed the bottles but we explained to her how it was possible.  Apparently she didn't understand addiction either and that it IS possible for someone to quickly build that kind of tolerance.  We later got the transcripts and there were no details about exactly how his meds were prescribed.  Go figure.  Now we joke around about her having been his drug dealer.  LOL!    BTW, he is off pain meds now.  
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480448_tn?1403547723
Hopefully there will come a time when addiction is understood and not just labeled.

All i know is i believe i was born with that addiction gene!  Thankfully it is a recovering gene now~ .


I agree completely sarah!  And, if it wasn't for the stigma still associated with addiction, my sweet little old lady wouldn't have been nearly as upset as she was.  She was very old school, and in her mind, addiction equated to someone of lesser character, etc...she couldn't understand how that was her.

Her family was also pretty uniformed.  Everyone learned a lot from that...including her doctor!
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Hey gang...I was reading this paper work from a sub doc I got some how...Any way they are saying that they might make it so the docs have to do a mouth swap on people to make sure they do not have that addiction Gene before they give them a certain scrip...
I know when I got out of control I was not going to tell any doctor I was an addict. I did it all like YesLife4Me..said............and the rest of you above here....
vickie

What do u know about this one nursegirl????
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I would doubt it, and I have never heard anything of the sort. Have they even identified an "addiction gene"?  That's not something that would be easy to do.  
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Last time i had my cheeks swabbed it wasnt looking for an addiction gene!!
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I know I was talking about that to my doctor he just smiled. I said I have to go into this and study this area. I do know I was watching a program way back when and the girls parents died of drinking so she was afraid to take even one drink. They did a swap of her mouth and said she had the gene(D2) Go figure girl go look it up and let me know.You can do it better then my healing brain right now!!!! I am laughing all the way.. I would love to know if this is real...I have read alot about it being there??????I just want it broke down in the science way of the brain.........
Thanks God Bless u
vickie
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The problem with that is, even if they DID or could find an "addiction: gene, it doesn't necessarily always have significance, other than to make someone be more aware that they are at higher risk if they aren't ALREADY struggling with addiction.  

There are just SO many factors that play into addiction....for some, there definitely IS a big genetic component, for others, it's more situational, environmental, and due to poor coping skills, especially when there is one or more mental illnesses involved (anxiety disorders, depression, biploar, etc).

Addiction is classified as a mental illness (diagnostically), and like with all other mental illnesses, there are NO solid answers, only theories.  The scientists still haven't figured out a definitive "cause" for depression, or any other mental illness.  There's the theory that there is a chemical imbalance, there is the nature vs. nurture argument.

So, just in my personal opinion, I think there's probably a lot of other, better things researchers could spend their money on, rather than searching for a gene that may or may not attribute to someone becoming an addict.  Interesting info though for sure.

I would love to know if this is real...I have read alot about it being there??????  Honestly, while it is certainly interesting, I think, in the big picture...it doesn't make a whole lot of difference at this point.  You've already discovered so much about yourself, and while genetics may have played a role in you ending up addicted, it doesn't CHANGE that, you know?  And, really, there's nothing much you could do about it if you DID find that out.  It would be a guess more than anything...because even if you were found to have an addiction gene, there's really NO way to definitively know whether or not that was the CAUSE of your addiction, and if it is...there's no going back now.  Unless they could develop a medication that inactivates that gene...lol...not sure how useful knowing a person has an addiction gene would be.  I would rather see them spend that money on education.  GOOD education...not the crappy fear mongering education we have now.

This is just how I feel...I say a lot of the same things to the folks on the anxiety forum.  This isn't directed at you at all...just an example...but people new to anxiety spend SOOOO much time searching and ruminating over the "why"s...and most times, there just really is NOT a clear answer.  It's a guessing game.  UNLESS someone has some kind of trauma in their past that needs addressed, I feel the "why" is mostly irrelevant...the important thing is what you do about it to address it.  Now, addicion is a little different, as it IS important to address what a person thinks took them there to begin with, to try to fix those underlying problems...but people still can get stuck on overanalyzing that, and driving themselves bonkers.  :0)

Ok...I'm officially rambling..lol!!  I haven't had my morning coffee yet.  Anyway, it's a great discussion...this is a great thread.  I think there needs to be more awareness that are differences between addiction and dependency....like most everything else, it boils down to education.

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When living my life drug and alcohol free over the years, I find I don't have hobbies, I have obsessions.
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I like what nursegirl said about people driving themselves absolutely nuts trying to find this mysterious root cause somewhere in their past.
That happens way more than people would think and when someone relapses their recovery group says it is "because you have not worked hard enough to find the reason"
That kept me a hopeless mess for many years.I had to de-program from this thinking in order to even get clean in the first place.I have since been able to string together some long periods of clean time.Yes I have had a couple of relapses since then.  The root cause of those-plain and simple,poor coping skills mixed with the fact that I knew I could escape by being high.I am working on that now. I also have depression but I treat it with diet and exercise. It helps TONS
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As far as i am concerned if they ever find an "addiction gene" it will be just one more excuse to use in active addiction.  
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Absolutely right Sarah
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The GENE thing is no big thing for me NOW ..Physicains and the public are trying to understand better the interactions between genetics and addiction. The number of a certain type of dopamine receptors , known as D2, might someday be used to predict wheather someone will become addicted. Brain images suggest that people with the fewer D2 receptors are more likely to become addicted than those with many-and how many they have is genetically determined. Of course environmental factors also play a role, so propensity isn't destiny. First a person has to experiment with the substance, then repeatedly use them. At that point, genetic vulnerability helps determine who winds up addicted...Genes also account for 60 percent of tendency to be come addicted and 54 percent of one's abitity to quit.......NOW Maybe if this would save a Kid or Two to beware what can happen then YES.... I would be all for it!!! Although we can tell them but we cannot control there destiny...  Knowledge might help people to unterstand what can happen..No  one wants to be an addict... I know it would be for the ones who would Listen...and Yes alot of addiction is from deprssion ect mentall illness, but why should they not be aware and the DR too.

God Bless us we are only addicts..
vickie
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good thread-     sparks discussion  !    :)
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I read an article yesterday about an the owner of a building that held AA meetings selling Oxycodone before, in between and after meetings.  Nothing surprises me anymore!   In any case, some people don't realize that there isn't a difference between alcoholism and addiction, it's just the substance that resignates (sp?) with the user most.  In our bodies though a drug is a drug is a drug.  So a determining gene wouldn't determine WHICH substance a person would be likely to abuse.  If there was such a thing.  And I supposed if there was, perhaps they may be able to identify that down the road.  But first things first.  
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I bet the "7th tradition" basket at that meeting was looking pretty thin.
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Hey, YesLife....that is SO sad about the dual use of a "building" and just shows you how the opportunity and pull to return to ANY drug will present itself at the most unsuspecting places.  I had a counselor tell me NOT to go to a particular meeting because he said "they sell drugs in the parking lot before and after meetings".  But ya know, I am not only powerless over my addiction, I am powerless over OTHER addicts and peeps preying on the addicts, too.  Sure, I suppose there may be certain meetings where NONE of that exists, but we just have to hang with the winners, work OUR own program and avoid tempation and traps.

"God grant me the serenity to accept the PEOPLE I cannot change,
the courage to change the PERSON I can,
and the wisdom to know it's ME"

I have a loved one that is a former methamphetamine user....so he's newly out of jail and telling me.....well, I "have" to go to this AA meeting....and I'm NOT an alcoholic....he is poo pooing it before even giving it an opportunity to help him or listen to others.  I told him, "it ISN'T about the SUBSTANCE"
It's about addiction.....if you choose to listen and attempt to relate....OPEN your MIIND to POSSIBILITIES and OPPORTUNITIES....it will benefit you and maybe you won't feel like you are paying penance or something"

I think I could relate to others even in a GA (gambler's anonymous) meeting!  I am NOT a gambler, but that's my point.....they have an addiction that they are learning to live with as well.  The principles remain the same, regardless of what addiction we are using to mask our live's pain (food, drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex...)

Well, I REALLY got off topic on that run of the mouth, huh?  Hahaha!
Sorry for that......do we have a gene?  Would we have NOT walked the road we did because we were informed ahead of time?  I can only speak for me.....but heck no it wouldn't have mattered.  I had to do it MY way first.
I wasn't wise enough to learn from the mistakes of others.....or from family history, or from a book, or from horror stores.  Because at 20 something yrs old.....I had the world by the tail.....and "I" was gonna be different!  Ha!
Well, addiction is addiction is addiction is addiction.  For me, if I had a dr tell me I had a gene and watch out.....or if I had read every bloomin book in the library......it wouldn't have changed doing what I did.  
Now......as a recovering addict.....I don't expect others to listen to me either....cause when I was "young and restless" I didn't....why should they?
When something becomes important to us, we'll find a way......
if not, we'll find an excuse"
My apologies for getting so off track again....ramblin head, don't make any sense still, but hey......just for today.... it IS what it IS......
Love to all of you......hang on......somedays that's all we can do~
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great thread
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If you have ever raised teenagers, you know they are going to do it there way, no matter how we tried to tell them it hasn't worked for you or anyone else you knew.  Well, that's the same with addiction.   Nobody thinks it is going to happen to THEM.   And when it does, we are horrified to find ourselves here.  It's not like the warning signs are obvious.  They are very subtle.  When someone once said to me "you think it could be the pills you are taking" when I was out of them and sick, I was shocked at that thought.  After thinking it over, I realized somewhere along the line I had lost control. I wasn't one of 'those' people.  Even before I knew what I really was I was stereotyping addicts and alcoholics.  *I have a dream that one day people will understand the disease of alcoholism and addiction*
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Love "your dream" YesLife......

I have this flip over daily deal with a serious thought at the top....and a funny one at the bottom of each page...your teenager comment reminded me of this quote...

"Hire a teenager while they still know everything"

Man, I hated my yrs of being 14-17 yrs old.....
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Your very right in your post. I had a hard time finding a subs doctor to treat me. The subs doctor that did treat me believes that addiction and dependency are the same thing because your body knows no different. I believe there is a different. One being with a physical dependence most people take them as directed to relieve pain. Where as a addict is taking as much as needed to get high. I went to a NA meeting and hearing the stories about addiction I was actually very scared for them that they never OD'd. I couldn't believe the amounts done people took. It made me very sad for them but very thankful they were ok. I just hope those that shared their stories stay clean. It was very heartbreaking to me because I never realized how dangerous being a addict could be. I know some of you on here may not believe in prayer but I sure do. I pray everyone on this board stays safe and gets clean and stays clean. I do know the part of losing your happiness from the meds I get :(
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Every day at the NA Who is an Addict?? We came to use and use to live...
And clean I did say if they would listen...Yes I would of not..I liked to party and dance and sing....I moved out of the house at 17 and moved to tahoe with a fake ID...I had to finish 12 grade. Still on my own but had to work to pay bills. When I went to my first class my friend and I got no sleep and the teacher put us in the room to develope pics and he knew the coffee pot was in there..Oh the things we ALL did..RIGHT!!!! lol to U ALL...
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