I have been having lots of private conversations about drugs especially methadone, percocet and oxycontin. Seems to be lots of confusion surrounding these drugs for some people and for whatever reason I'm getting messaged with a variety of comments ranging from support, to concern and outright "run from methadone now boy!".
I've penned one response I thought I'd share. Some of us are dedicated addicts by choice. Some of us have a life of chronic pain and poorly prescribed medications that leave us to experiment and possibly abuse just to get relief. Others of us have found good doctors and good treatment regimens that keep us relatively comfortable and allow us to contribute to our families, jobs and society in productive ways. Yet more of us are now clean and free of any medication either prescribed or abused. For those of you that are off all medications I salute you. You are quite simply the glue and the foundation that holds this place together and you shine as a beacon of hope for all of us. Some of us know that our pain has lead us to potent drugs that are hard to walk away from and when it's our time to do so all of us knows this will be where we come to take our place among people who have "been there and won the t-shirt".
This is my response to an individual the context of the conversation isn't really necessary. I believe my reply might benefit others so I leave it here for everyone. If you like it great. If you disagree with it then I'm sorry and maybe I made a mistake. Know that in my heart I was trying to do a good thing.
I'm writing this to people who found themselves in my shoes. They have chronic pain and the medicine they have been given from an uncaring physician who just wanted money. Once you are out of money they no longer care to treat you and away you go. My pain management specialist was greedy and simply didn't care about me. He bounced me back to my family doctor (a woman I hold in the highest respect) who then told me that now that the PM is done she has a lot more freedom to help me. She has now done a lot to help me and I really respect her and owe her a lot of gratitude. What I have written below summarizes my experience with her. Thanks to her and being honest I was able to avoid experimentation and possibly abuse because she got me something that when taken as prescribed controlled my pain.
So if you are in danger of abuse/addiction simply because you desperately want away from your pain as I did then keep reading. I may help you in your journey and that's my one desire. This is not written as an attack on anyone but as a desire to help those with real pain that are now struggling with abuse/addiction because they cannot find relief.
Here it is:
//=================== MY REPLY IS BELOW ===============//
I have talked with my doctor and several pharmacists about it. They all say the same thing.
"We will ease you off of this drug. Just take it only as it was written and not more. When it is time to stop we will egress you to another drug for a long time. You will stay on that drug for 6 months to a year. Then we will slide you off of that drug gradually and that should be it."
Everyone I have talked to said that when I leave methadone they will scale me off of it over a year or more. My doctor is a very smart woman who views me as more than just a patient. She knows my kids, my family she's treated all of us for 15+ years. She has promised me that she will stand by me all the way through and that I don't have much to worry about.
In all honesty it sounds like you went about things all wrong. Methadone is not a casual use drug. You start it slowly and you don't just stop when your pain goes away. Your pain went away because methadone had reached it's effective blood level in your system and was managing your pain. When you stopped suddenly like that you got exactly what the label warned you would happen. All over my package insert it says, "Do not suddenly stop using this drug." it says that everywhere.
Was methadone even prescribed to you or were you taking it without a doctors consent? Recreational drug abuse is hell for everyone because you are taking something you don't understand without the backing of a medical professional. When you take it as prescribed and have a doctor to talk with who can work with you it's a very different experience. I follow concrete rules:
1. Take only drugs prescribed for me and only take them for what they were prescribed to treat.
2. For drugs written for me I only take them as prescribed. I do not vary. To do so means trouble. Big trouble. In some cases death can result in others you run out too soon and now you have WDs you shouldn't have if you'd followed the doctors ORDERS.
4. Follow the doctors directions exactly. PERIOD!
5. Talk openly with your doctor. If the pain is exceeding the drug it's time to change. That's how you avoid addiction. The doctor adjusts your regimen to help you avoid pain and addiction.
6. Once you cross the line of taking something that is either not your drug or taking it recreationally you have effectively sold your soul to the devil and he will play out his havoc however he wishes.
I feel strongly that honesty with your doctor in most cases is the path to perfection. In a way they are the God of your pain experience. If you screw them they will orphan you to your own desires and then it's now just you against science. A science you don't understand. Some doctors will not listen, cooperate or do anything to help you. That's a tragedy. Keep looking for doctors until you find one that loves what they do. Loves helping people and actually knows how to have a conversation. If any of my doctors doesn't spend a good 10 to 20 minutes listening to me before they do anything then I won't see them again. If the walk in, write scrips and walk out then I won't keep them.
Communication between patient and doctor is a must to avoid problems. Treat it as a God breathed law, always talk to your doctor and share openly. Treat it as the unpardonable sin, always talk to your doctor and share openly. Treat it as an abomination, always talk to your doctor and share openly.
I believe that you can avoid both pain and addiction simply by being honest. In my case it took 2 full years to develop a good strong bond with my primary physician. I had to jump a lot of hoops to satisfy the powers that be before I finally got to the point where my doctor was now free to treat me. She played the game all the way out. My pain proved chronic and she crossed the line to my side of the house and said, "We need to make you comfortable.".
It may take a few years to build trust with your doctor and frankly with the stuff we take it should take that long. You all need to prove you can be trusted. Once you have done that the odds are pretty good that things will go well for you.
Trust is the oil that lubricates life and gives it deeper meaning, peace and understanding. Trust is the bedrock on which everything else is built.
For your benefit I have taken Norco, Lortab, Vicodin, OxyCodone, OxyContin, OxyIR, Avinza, Valium and now methadone and to date I've done it all safely without abuse/addiction problems. You can too!!!
Great post for explaining how to avoid falling into the narco trap - it will bite you if you dont play by the rules. My personal policy is to always be fully honest with your Doctor, Pastor, and Attorney. And try and be honest with everyone.
An addiction Doc I saw told me that virtually every patient that he has treated had a commonality.....they all thought that the rules didnt apply to them....but the rules apply to all of us. If you dont want big time trouble - follow the rules.
You know as well as I do... that some of the stuff we wind up taking that was written for us is still a bear. But what else do you do? You follow the rules and you pray that when it's your turn to get the t-shirt you can hold up, do your part and join the ranks of people who are now free of the medication for whatever the reason was they took it.
Honesty does seem to work well in life. :)
Now it's my time to hide in the clouds for a while and to rest. I'm taking her to 50,000 setting the auto-pilot and getting ready to rest up and enjoy the view. My wingman tells me that my 6:00 is all clear and he'll cover me while I rest.
I just want to say, thank you.
I love a guy who has a titanium cage in his neck, had back, knee, rotator and toe surgeries and has some neuropathy and nerve pain as well as back and neck pain....
His doctor is old and out of touch. He is looking for a new doctor. I will share what you said with him. He takes vicodin and soma. Sometimes he is okay but he works construction is 50 and he just really overdoes it. Those days are bad and he tries to find friends with extra pain pills or takes too mucj Aleve, Tylenol or other OTCs.
He just got some new insurance and is seeking a new doctor and it has been at least 5 years since he's had his back and neck rechecked and he was told back then he had some bulges.
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