How do I know if I'm addicted to my percription pain meds? And what are the the withdrawl signs?
Here is my story. I was in an accident in Sept. 06. I was stopped waiting on the truck infront of me to turn (he in turn was waiting on on coming traffic to pass). I looked in my rearview mirror and the car was so far behind me I almost didn't see it. I then looked at my sleeping 6 month old son (who thank goodness was still rearfacing). I looked back down and then WAM! Of course my knee was slamed into the dash where it had been resting while on the break. The car behind us hit me going over 65 miles per hour.....we were at a dead stop. So impact was hard, obviously...lol
So I got perscribed pain meds for my knee and went through 3 months of Physical Therapy. During my PT the doc had me do an exercise and then immeadatly stop. He called my doc and I had to go in for an MRI. I had a meniscal tear. So I had my first surgery. And 3 more months of PT. At first all was well, then WAM about 3 mths later pain back. More pain pills. That continued for another yr. Constant pain meds. I kept having the doc change the perscription because I was worried about addiction, almost everyone on my moms side of the family is addicted to something and my dads side are alcholics.....I didn't want to take any chances.....lol I started think the pain was all in my head and there was nothing wrong. Why would there be, I had the surgery to fix it. By the end of that yr it was swelling up everyday and I couldn't walk up and down the stairs in the house. Another doctor, another MRI, and another surgery. Another 3 months of PT, plus wkly shots in my knee to add a synthetic lub so it wouldn't rub and retear again. Of course that means at this point I was on pain pills for about 2 yrs. On and off, but mostly on. And then about a year after that surgery, WAM! It's now torn in 2 more spots. So again anothe surgery. This doc said he was more aggresive because of the previous surgies, but I'm now 3 wks out of that surgery, pain was gone the first wk other then being sore from surgery, now the other pain is back..... ALREADY!!! I was talking to my friend and she said that it may be in my head and my body making me think it hurts so I will take another pain pill. Also, I notice that when I don't take the pain meds for a day or so, I get very aggitated, moody, and everything irritates me. I've been depressed for the last couple of yrs and I have just related it to the stress of being in constant pain and the yearly surgeries. I don't know though. Maybe I'm addicted to the pain meds, no matter which one (I've taken Hydrocodone, Oxycondone, Darvcet, & Tamadol). I try to go as long as possible in between the pills like right now it's been 2 days since I've took one, but the pain and irritation in my leg and knee justt build up until I feel like I'm going to explode if it doesn't stop. So do you guys think it's the pain meds and my body just being addicted or is the mood swings and depression just from dealing with all this for the last 3 years. I have to know. My son is now 3 1/2 ys old and I already feel like my injuries have hindered me from being able to do things with him, now all I feel like I do is gett irritated with him and yell. My hubby too. He says he see my my mood swings and stuff too. What do you guys think?
Living in chronic pain can be a tough situation. I also started using pain meds due to back and sciatica pain. My problem was that I ended up taking more than prescribed to get the same pain relieving effects. Anyone that is on pain meds for a extended amount of time will become dependent on them. You will go through withdrawals regardless on whether or not you have a problem. Have you found yourself taking more than prescribed? Are you taking them more for the feeling than for the pain?
When going through withdrawals our brains do play tricks on us to make us think we are in pain and need the pills. A lot of times after being off of them for awhile we realize we can deal with the pain by taking advil or motrin. It is also a good idea to stop taking the pain meds every now and then just so we can reevaluate our pain. While on the pills we really don't know what sort of pain we are in as they mask the pain. That will also help with building a tolerance to the meds which in turn will help us from taking more than we need.
Living with pain is a tough situation when it last for a extended amount of time. There are many non opiate prescription pain meds that may help. I would go to your doctor and talk to him about your concerns. See what other options there are to help treat your pain. Research on the internet so you can go to him prepared. You may bring some ideas up that he may not think of at the time. So go in there with a list of questions, ideas for pain control, and see what he/she thinks. Best of luck!
i am so sorry you have gone through all of that! so that being said what were you takeing and how much? seeing as you were on pain meds for that long your bodt has gotting used to haveing them so you will more then likley have some WDs achs shakeing cold sweats dirriea that sort of thing. witch is not your fault you had reasons to need the pain meds. Do you find your self wanting to take them because they make you feel good not just to take away the pain? do you take more then you are suppose to? theres a difference you see eather way your body will become used to haveing pills cause you have been on them so long the question is ...... does your mind tell you you nned them to get up or get things done do you take then to get that HIGH feeling it doesnt sound like your abuiseing them to me it sounds like you have had a run of bad luck and maybe you should talk to your dr about tappering off them if the pain if the pain is gone for many of us it started the same way!!!
the two previous posters have some excellent ideas. I think you should talk to your doc about your concerns and see if what alternatives are available for you.
You mentioned that you can go a couple of days without taking any....so that tells me that your body isn't that addicted to them, otherwise you would be feeling some of the classic withdrawl symptoms that Some_life mentioned.....the upset stomach, diareaha, shaking, lack of sleep, etc....
I would talk to your doc about your concerns....before you do become dependant on the pills.
I don't use them because I feel like I get more done, though I've started noticing the difference of when I use them I do get more done. The days the pain is tollerable I feel so drowned. Tired and I would love to spend the day on the couch. Which I do when I have no where I have to go. I do find myself feeling like I need more then perscribed. I still feel the pain even after taking th meds, they help, but don't get rid of, and I feel like that is because my body had built a tolerance or that it's because it's it my head and my body is making feel like I need more when I don't. It's so frusterating. I don't know if i really need them or if my body just thinks it needs them. I have an appt with my doc and plan on talking to him. I just don't know what to do until then. I have started trying to use tylenol instead of the pain meds. (Oxycotin or condone, Hydrocodone, Darvcet, and Tramadol are what I've been taking...alternating between them). I just don't think it's going to work. The last 2 days it's helped, but not fixed and I feel like i'm at that bursting moment, where if I don't take one I'm not going to make it through the pain. But I've been trying no to take one so I've been using Tylenol. I just don't want to give in to the exploding feeling if it's a withdrawl and not real pain. That is where I'm confused. I mean feeling this pain after 3 wks after surgery is new, normally it doesn't come back for months. I'm so lost and confused and scared.
Thank you for your help and concern though. I very much appreciate all the input you have to offer to help me.
well i do believe some people can take the pain meds and not have any problems. i am sure that your doc has told you by now, not to take them everyday. and if he hasn't listen to that. if this is something that is never going to better or stop hurting, than you are going to have to find other ways to deal with the pain. save the pills for when it is something that cannot be avoided or maybe something special that you do not want ruined by excrusiating pain.
it is a fine line that many do cross.
accept your limitations and if you are needing the drugs to exceed them---- well than you should not be doing that thing.
you will know if you are physically dependant. you will be waiting for the next dose always and counting your pills all the time. you will notice that you have to take more for them to work than before. dependancy is like a prison and it will run your life.
also if you are taking the pills all the time, they will stop working for pain. soon all that is helping is the tylenol that is in them. and too much of that is really bad for your liver.
i suffer from chronic back pain. it is much less severe in a dry, low humidity area. that has been my solution and i do not take even tylenol ever. back pain is once in a while instead of everyday like it use to be.
best to you
Definately evaluate your situation & try to figure out if the pain meds are actually giving u "withdrawel pains" etc... like previous posters put.
The majority of painkiller addicts all had a story just like yours. Most of us all had some sort of accident(car accident 4me) or needed some type of surgery to fix a problem and slowly we progressed to taking more for relief & on & on & on til one day.. we realize we have gotten too deep.
I recommend to not take any Rx Narcotic pain killers for at least 1 week! If u or your body is addicted to these nasty lil pills, you will know it in that week. Read up on the withdrawel syptoms posted here & on the Health pages. It's not pretty. But try to get thru that week, most people get better after the 3rd or 4th day, but ya gotta bare down & get thru it. Take the advice of taking tylenol, aleve etc... and heating pads, hot baths etc...Let your hubby know u will be doing this & that he needs to bear with u b/c u will probably have a short fuse & irritable. It's a good idea to try to see if he can take on house/kid responsibilities for the most part for that week so u can try to focus on yourself. I believe at the very least your body could have some issue with the meds.
Other ways of knowing, like other posters put... do u run out of meds early? Do u tend to take meds when u are down, aggravated, upset etc...? Do u hide your usage from the people closet to u b/c u take too much? You can ask yourself these questions & if u say yes, then u have a problem.
I was pretty much in your situation a couple years ago, i knew i was taking the meds for pain, but also felt maybe i was starting a bad habit. Now as of today, i can't stop taking them. It has progressed to a full blown bad habit & u can read my Journal entries & see where it came from, in a nutshell.
Good Luck to you! Try to alternative Tylenol & Aleve/Ibuprofen as much as possible! Yes u may have to breakdown & take Rx Pain killer every once in a while. But thats where u have to discipline yourself & keep it at every once in awhile when the pain is unbearable. And try to do the other alternatives at other times. Also, don't wait for extreme pain! When u start to feel a lil bit of pain, take an OTC med & put heat/ice on it. Try to relieve the pain before it gets too bad!
Sorry so long, but I was in your same situation pretty much, wish i would have stopped back then.
Good Luck!!!!!!!!! Keep us posted!
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