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Is it legal for a Doctor to take you off all pain meds cold turkey
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Is it legal for a Doctor to take you off all pain meds cold turkey

7893952?1335336151
I have had 3 lower lumbar surgeries (L4-5 - S1), the first one 6/13/2001.  I now have to have C3-4 down to L5 done due to more bone degeneration (I've been a Brittle Type 1 Insulin Dependent Diabetic since 2/23/1967 and also had radiation treatment for breast cancer 1998).

After many years of trying different medications including a spinal cord stimulator (which failed due to too much nerve damage), my Pain Specialist finally came up with a comination that worked.  

Since 6/13/2001, I have been on some kind of opiate for pain.  For 2 1/2 years now, the formula that seems to work is: 8 mg of Dilaudid 3x/day...1-2 valium at bedtime to help relax me...1 klonapin 3x/day if needed ( I do not take these regularly)...30 mg of Adderall (adderrall) 1 2x/day (I take these because I have chronic fatigue due to chronic pain.  I do not sleep more than 1-2 hrs at a time before waking and having to shift positions.  Because I do not have one of the 3 sleep disorders, altho mine is medical, Medicare will not pay for Nuvigil, so Adderall (adderrall) seems to work the best).  I am supposed to take 50 mg of Dantrolene 3x/day, but am afraid to because of the black box label...I also take 120mg of Cybalta for Severe Peripheal Neuropathy and I guess it is a anti depressant as well.

Unfortunately, Medicare is not paying my Pain Specialist what they should so I had to seek out a new one.  After trying several and refused because I admitted smoking marijuana in the past (oh if they only knew...:)  I was told by my past Pain Specialist not to be so honest and to say NO to that question.  Talk about a Bizarre way of thinking...don't be honest.  Especially since Marijuana helps with pain and diabetes control...oh well...leave it to the rich and powerful to rule our lives.

Finally found a Doctor (I am hesitant to call her this), she decided after looking at my Mylograms that I should be off all stimulants and opiates and that my pain should only be minimul.

I tried to talk with this lady about what my Neurosurgeon and my Pain Specialist both saw in my latest mylograms and she just kept telling me to complete my paperwork.

She said everything looked stable and Yoga should do me just fine.  Again, I tried to tell her that I had tried Reiki, Accupuncture, accupressure, a spinal cord stimulator that failed, meditation and so far this was the only medication regiment that worked for me.

I also tried to tell her what the other two Doctors said.  That I needed from C3-4 down to L45 again.  They wanted me to have this surgery at OSHC in Portland, OR because they felt there was not a Dr. in Boise, ID that could give me adequate care due to my critical health and nerve system.

Again, she said to complete my paperwork.  She took me off all medication...EVERYTHING my body was used to since 6/2001.  Was I frustrated...you bet, to the max.  

The footnote she wrote to my Primary Physican was "take off all opiates and stimulates and patient should see a Pychiatrist".  She ruined my integrity and has caused me so much more pain and anxiety than I can even describe.  

I've written a letter to my Primary Dr. in hopes that I can at least get back on my Adderall (adderrall).  I see a new Pain Specialist tomorrow and hope he has a brain and will get me back on something that works.

Toxins in my system...you bet, but I at least feel like I can live my life somewhat.  Can't smoke marijuana.  My prescription history will verify that I am not a Polypharmacy.

Since 4/5/2012, when I saw this quack, I've lost 11 lbs, barely move from my bed, just enough to feed my dogs and try to eat.  I cannot sleep at nite...I cannot move or focus during the day...my blood sugars are all over the place because they are affected by pain and anxiety.  I have had 3 BG's over 600 and take about 9 shots per day to keep it under 450.

My Primary Dr. said she is concerned about my overall well-being, which has been affected detrimentally for sure since 4/5/2012.

Can this quack of a doctor legally just take me off my medications that I have been used to for many many years and tell me Yoga will be fine?  Isn't there harm to my body (obviously yes) by taking me off cold turkey?

I am hoping this new Doctor will be good.  Already did their **** test they require on 4/5/2012.  Won't do one tomorrow coz smoking marijuana has kept me slightly sane.  I've been told of other drugs too, but won't go there yet.

I'm numb...if there was a miracle where I did not have to take opiates or stimulates that would be great.  I am 56 (biologically I am 87 coz of my diabetes), if the rest of my life on this earth is going to be worth living and it requires the medications I have been on...so be it.

Can this Dr. really do what she did to me and get away with it?

Thank you for your time.  I am a Pisces and have a Sociology education, so to "keep it short" is not in my vocabulary.

til next time...take care...Deb
6 Comments Post a Comment
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495284_tn?1333897642
Yes she can take you off these meds.  It happens all the time.  Alot of doctors dont understand that once meds are stopped all he!! will break loose.  I hope your new doctor can help you.  We also have a pain management forum here at MH.  I would copy and paste this and put it up in that forum also.  They are very knowledgeable over there. .  Keep us posted  on how things turn out.   sara
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Avatar_m_tn
I feel for ya had the same thing happen to me after back surgery
the doctor is not under any leagle obligation to treat you although there is a moral code of ethics you best bet id to just get off all of it in the long run most of us feel much better once we do at least give it a shot you will find out your base pain line good luck with whatever you decide God bless........Gnarly  
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1271743_tn?1320896061
I can believe it but it's not right.  The Adderall (adderrall) and things like and anything for your anxiety or such... that should and normally are prescribed by a Pychiatrist.  But your PAIN Meds should come from that PAIN MANAGEMENT doctor... but once you have either admitted to smoking or had a bad drug screen that showed it, they do not have to prescribe you any narcotics for pain. Its all differs from state to state but it is basically all the same.  You might have to go back to the dr you had before and figure out some way to pay out of pocket to get your meds.  

As for the price of the meds.... try needymeds.org and see if you can find some helpful info there... otherwise... I am at a loss for suggestions.... good luck!
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Avatar_f_tn
Hello, I hope i can get some help.Last week i went to Advanced Pain Management for my 2 month appointment as always for the past few years.Normally i am always greeted kindly , this time was different. My nurse Practitioner had this awful mean look on her face , her voice was harsh. I was asked about  my RA and the Dr i seen. Then in a harsh and rude voice she said  your urine test came back negative (CLEAN) ok i didn't think anything about this.Then she said i cannot write you your prescriptions anymore .I said i don't understand. She said well the form of consent you signed said you were taking  your meds but your test said different.She said It  is the law from the DEA and the FDA and she will not loose her license. She said i can't give you meds but we can  give you injections and surgical and other pain treatments. I tried to talk to her and said but i was sick and... and so rudely she wouldn't lesson to anything i was trying to say.I asked her  to redo the urine test and if there was anyone i could talk to  , and what am i to do.All she kept saying is no , no one, and nothing.She walked out of the room  saying i will not argue with you , this was kinda  funny i was not doing this it was her being loud and rude.So i sat in the room wondering what just happened ,im thinking to myself I told the woman that took me to take the urine test and sign the consent form Put down what she wanted to.When i was asked have you taken any meds  in the last day and half i said i haven't been taking  them for many days i have been sick and  not sleeping.I did take  my dizapam. She kept asking are you positive i said i dont know , She said is there a chance you possible could have taken them. I said  well yea i mean when i take my dizapam and not get alot of sleep sometimes i wake  up and  am a little loopy and in pain take them.What was i  to say she had me so confused.And to get my meds i have to sign the form i asked her is this a problem and she said no this is just  to allow us to take the test.(1. TRUST WAS MY FIRST MISTAKE 2. WAS NOT READING WHAT I SIGNED BECAUSE I DIDN'T  HAVE MY GLASSES).I thought she had wrote  down all but nope. So what was i to do but walk out of the room and asked her again to redo the test she said  no I asked her who do i talk to she walked away. I went to the front desk and asked is the manager there they said no  but wrote down a number and told me to call. So  the next day i called and as i thought he was not able to take my call and i was asked to leave a voice message as i did.Over the weekend i was asked  by my daughter if i was given something so i dont go through withdrawals i said no and she never told me i would have anything like this.This nurse partitioner not only was rude and nasty but now i find out she put my health and possible life in danger. On Monday the manager contacted me I explained all to him what had happened again  all he said was well we can treat you with injection or surgical  ect help. I asked did anyone even question the woman  who took my urine test he said he would check into that. Then i said not only did she brake my trust but she  put  me in danger  by not advising of possible withdrawals  and  the compilations.Then his tuned changes oh we can give you something and yadda yadda yadda. I told him i am going to file a complaint and so on he said to wait a few days.I said why i now no longer have the care i need but i also found out of the outcome of not taking  my meds i said thank god i dont take them all the time not she also knew that i didnt always take them but only when i needed them. He asked me  how many do i have i did not answer. I asked  for a copy of this so called law  and  a letter from the Nurse Practitioner that has cared for me for years , and all my medical records. Today i recieved a call to come and get my medical records, and i said i still need a copy of the law that says i can no longer get meds from her he played it out wouldn't answer me.So i asked him is it  a DEA law or is it what you decide he said well she will have to tell you. It was  a back and forth game no real answers were given .So now after 20 years  of meds and as all knows with neck and back surgery the domino effect happens you don't get better.I am searching and doing everything i can to get into see someone.Thank god the same day all this happened my diabetic Dr took a urine test to show i was taking my meds. And.And my family Dr has already sent a request for a new pain clinic now it is the clock that is ticking.If anyone else has some advice of who or what i can do ,I want this woman  to be  accountable for her lack of professional and her neglect of my  care. If there is anyone that know or is working to fight the DEA and the FDA i am very interested to get involved .We are not all drug abusers,or abusing the meds we take if anything many of us  are to afraid to take  to many meds and the chance of being cut off. thank you all who takes the time to read this.
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Avatar_f_tn
Actually they can do all that legally.  We are military and I have a bunch of friends who have come home from war and are pretty beat up.  One girl in my husbands unit got medically discharged and her spine is all messed up from jumping out of planes and such.  She has had so many surgeries and everything in between to fix it and now is just on pain management.  Her docs will not give her Narcotics whatsoever.  Being a wounded vet they will not even go down that road.  I asked my doc about it (I was on narcotics and stuff for my back but not from war wounds...well kind of...I had 5 kids...haha!) and I was telling her I wanted off all my meds and asked her about my friend and she said actually a LOT of the meds they are getting way more strict on (as of just a couple weeks ago even) and no doctor is willing to risk it anymore.  More and more docs are just saying no.  She said the overdose rate has more then tripled in the last couple years and mainly from pain meds and a lot are accidental.  So now a lot of doctors are just not going that route anymore.  Her biggest argument was a lot of other countries do not have even close to the pain meds that we do and they are all having the same sorts of medical problems we are here and they are all doing it without the meds so there is just no reason for them.  I tend to trust the military doctors a little more since #1 they do not get a kick back from any pharmaceutical companies and #2 they get paid their rank no matter what so money is not influencing them at all.  So from a legal point yes the docs can tell you no.  They are under no obligation to make you comfortable...just to make you stable.  Another thing she said....a doctor would rather have you in the hospital because you are cold turkey detoxing then because there was an overdose....the cold turkey detox will not come back and bite the doc in the butt....the overdose will.  I am in no way saying you would overdose or anything like that.  I am just saying if it is a new doc who does not know you well or anything they may just not be willing to take any chances.  It isn't worth their license.
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480448_tn?1426952138
First, let me say I'm sorry you went through this.

You probably won't want to hear this, but I agree 100% with army wife's post above.  There is no "law" anywhere stating that a doctor has to do certain things before stopping prescribing a medication (especially a controlled substance).  It's always at their discretion....same with pharmacists, they can also refuse to fill a script if they're not comfortable, because in the end it IS their behind on the line....their license, DEA #, etc.

This is why these kinds of pain clinics have very thorough contracts and many of them have a "one strike, you're out" policy.  While I understand that certain things happened that led to this that were unfortunate, honestly...from the way you describe it, it would kind of sound some alarm bells.  Hindsight is 20/20, but if you were sick and not taking your meds as prescribed, you should have informed them to note that in your chart.  The whole urine collection situation sounds odd, and it sounds like you were not giving the tech a straight answer, and then you say you didn't read the consent you signed.  That too may have raised some red flags (your vague/unclear answers to her asking about if you had been taking your meds).

Your best option at this point is to find a new doctor, because it's HIGHLY unlikely that you will be reinstated for narcotics again, or even prescribed enough to taper, because the NP's fear is diversion, that you're giving your meds to someone else, or selling them (which sadly, is all too common).

It's good that you're getting your medical records, you'll need those.  I really hope you figure something out.  I can understand your concern about w/d, but the way you describe not taking the narcotics regularly, you shouldn't have too rough a time, if an issue at all.  I mean, you were able to skip enough days where the drug was no longer in your system....and I'm assuming you weren't withdrawing then?  You didn't say you were.  If that's the case, you should be okay.

As for not informing you of withdrawals...that doesn't make any sense, as you seem to acknowledge that you are well aware of the w/d when abruptly stopping certain meds?

So, which meds exactly was she prescribing for you, and what were your doses?

Best of luck to you.
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