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Can doctors just stop prescribing pain medication to patients after yrs prescribed them?
I have been diagnosed with lower lumbar degenerative disease back in 1997. Back then it was only classified as arthritis, I am now only 36 an back then 25 and I was given Motrin 800mg 3 times a day. This worked for a few years but working at jobs being on my feet 8-10 hours a day the medication was just not doing the job. I went to my primary Dr. who unfortunatly where I live is a small clinic with mostly residents who leave after a year or 2 having me to start all over with another who most always has a different opinion of what treatment is best. After 2+ years of trying multiple medications and being without insurance at the time I went through medications like Celebrex, Vioxx, Peroxicam, and every NSAID there was with little to no relief. Well I was eventually fired from my job due to the fact my productivity was showing decline do to back pain. I had 1 MRI done in 1998 an then another 4 yrs later at that point I was put on 7/325 mg Hydrocodone 3 times a day. This was amazing how much relief I had gotten after all these years. I still have been on the Motrin 800 for the past 12 yrs which they do nothing but following doctors orders. Last year I had been given a new Doctor/Resident and I asked if I could have a recent MRI done, she responded no because you have degenerative disease that its only going to show more degeneration why should the money be spent on it and continued to prescribe the medications. On July 5th I was in another vehicle motor accident adding upper back pain to my current condition so my doctor, at this time was a new resident, who had increased my hydrocodone to 6 at 10/650mg per day. After 2 months of this I felt this just was too much medication and spoke with her about some type of long acting 12 hour pain medication, She mentioned Methodone, I agreed with the methadone due to the fact it can also get me off or minimize the narcotics I was on and the Hydrocodone was dropped to 3 a day an given 2 methodone per day. 4 days later I started having memory loss, I was bloated and had huge red blotches all over my body. I was taken off the methodone immediatly. But instead of offering something to try an help me get off the narcotics she put me on MS Contin which in my opinion was yes may help with pain but not help me get off the narcotics. As of last week my 12 yr old daughter who is bipolar and now in a treatment facility for medication review had decided to run to the doctor an throw out a long tale of how I am not myself anymore an the medications have changed me. Even though my daughter stated to her that she is a pathalogical liar and lies constantly. The only reason I can think why she did this was because me an her mom had a large argument the night before because she wanted to go out with friends on a school nite an she threw a tantrum and eventually tried to jump out her 3rd floor window, I stopped her but was injured by getting kicked in the groin and abdomen but made calls to her therapist and was making appointments to get her into a Pediatric EMH program to get her help. The Doctor had child services take her and again she is getting the help she needs but after hearing a 12 yr olds story she called me in and proceeded to decare that I am officially to recieve no more narcotic medications ever again. She has even claimed that she is going to mark my charts in bold letters "NO NARCOTICS". This doctor wanted nothing to hear what I had to say about the incident believing my daughter 100%. have been on the Hydrocodone for over 5 yrs and the MS Contin for 3 months there are days I will admit I may take an extra 1 for a long day working outside an then other days I may take less but I guess my original question is...Is a doctor allowed to just stop you dead on all your medications just like that and not to offer you any help either finding a detox facility or any help...it has now been 7 days off my medication an I can barely get out of bed or I get woken up multiple times per night because of my back pain. I have tried every place that does inpatient or outpatient detox by use of Suboxome but all are full or not booking until January. This doctor has taken my home and my family an torn us apart an had made our lives just each day more an more stressful, I cant go running from ER to ER because that is wrong and I know I shouldnt but when my Doctor said if I dont get to a detox facility I could end up looking for heroin on the street. What kind of Doctor says that to a patient?
Are doctors allowed to stop narcotic medications immediatly even if I have a documented medical back problems? and who can I contact because of this.
Mike
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228686 tn?1211558307
You're in a very grey area here. As long as you don't die or suffer a stroke, of have a suicidal episode then the doctor can claim that by his medical opinion you were in no danger. If any of the above happened...then the doctor's judgement would be called into question and he would be punished/fined accordingly. Or not, if he can "cover *ss" effectively.

Sorry, this sounds harsh, but it's the facts of life. this country's methods of dealing with pharmaceuticals, heck, the whole health care issue, is in the toilet. it's no better than it was two centuries ago. I'm surprised they aren't torturing psych patients for being possessed of demons still. (Oh wait...depends on how you look at the treatment).

Okay, now that I've ranted :)  I'll say this;

Regardless of how you got to where you are, you have to take responsibility for what happens from here. These drugs will change you, if taken over time. After all, you're "dying" without them, right? Physically? And That's affecting your mental status too?

The best thing you can do is get your family to advocate for you, and contact whoever is the PA at the hospital/clinic you're going to.
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I think that sounds very dangerous to your health.  Your in a very bad situation and I wish I knew just exactly who you should turn to for help.  Maybe go back to him or someone in his office explaining that if it is possible for you to get paion relief without narcotics that's great and you are all for it, but that you need help getting "safely" off them.  Your body is "shocked" to say the least with a sudden withdrawal.  I would threaten legal action if you suffer any ill consequences (heart attack, stroke etc. from the sudden withdrawal).   I take only a couple of lortab a day for chronic pain.  I take half of a 10 each time and usually spread it out every two hours during the day.  I have been on this for several years and have found that even with only 2-3 pills a day, if I spread it out to ever;y 3-4 hours my blood pressure rises into dangerous levels  (150/105).  My body is use to the sedation effect I suppose and it can not take the sudden change.

Good Luck,
Alexander
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I thank you for your comments as of now.. Just seems wrong in my book to stop meds then tell you to go to hell an deal with it. Thought doctors were here to help? The withdrawls are starting to get easier but the back pain is returned. I dont get how a doctor can not offer you any help even with a proven medical problem, I know I wanted off the narcotics but I also did not want the back pain to return. Now i am 1. in withdrawls 2. in real bad back pain and 3. stressed to the point I want to go out an find some drugs because of being afraid for my daughters heath and safety. Dont misunderstand just because I said I want to find drugs does not mean I am, just feel like it at this point. Does anyone know about a medicine called LAAM or Levo-Alpha Acetyl Methadol? Again being severly allergic to methadone I am trying to find an alternative that can be prescribed by a physician but not require a long wait like i am doing now trying to find a Suboxome provider?
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228686 tn?1211558307
I'm not familiar with that one. You have to remember that there's the equivalent of a war between doctors, insurance, and DEA over medical treatment in this country, heck, most of the world.

Also remember that there are some things doctors just can't help with. With your kind of pain, there's no way to medicate for it forever. Opiates aren't designed for long term use. Over years, the body adapts and they stop working. So if you could try another way of dealing with it, it would be best. Otherwise 5, 10, 15 years from now, you'll be on a methadone derivative that's not working anymore and being told they can't give you a working dose. Then where will you be?
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Problem is with degenerative disease in 5-15 years i am looking at anywhere from 1-5 surgeries. Almost all I spoke with who have this say the surgeries do not last more than 5 yrs before your back with pain an mobility problems. This scares me the most just because now i have probs standing for 30 minutes or more and I am not a sit down type of person. I have to move about or do things...My summers consist of gardening, pool maintenance and yard work...I have been out of work since i was terminated and what sucks about the employment issues in my state is you can be hired or fired at will with no reason...i tried sueing former job an only got unemployment for 30 weeks..thats it. I
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Problem is with degenerative disease in 5-15 years i am looking at anywhere from 1-5 surgeries. Almost all I spoke with who have this say the surgeries do not last more than 5 yrs before your back with pain an mobility problems. This scares me the most just because now i have probs standing for 30 minutes or more and I am not a sit down type of person. I have to move about or do things...My summers consist of gardening, pool maintenance and yard work...I have been out of work since i was terminated and what sucks about the employment issues in my state is you can be hired or fired at will with no reason...i tried sueing former job an only got unemployment for 30 weeks..thats it. I just dont want to be immobile not able to move about or my worst fear not being able to do things an spend time with my daughter. There has to be options out there but why is it that no one is willing to point me in a proper direction...note a proper direction that works...I need to sleep, thinking of all this just makes my head spin. all the money put into this states medical facilities an so on an not one person can help make this issue go away or at least help with it.
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228686 tn?1211558307
I hear what your saying. Using western medicine has left me with pins and rods in my leg and a non stop pain that won't ever go away. Until I looked into other ways of dealing with it than western medicine...well, I'd still be walking with a cane now.
   Maybe the pain your in is just too great to overcome in any way. But where does that leave you? At least if you try to find other ways, it may lead to something positive. I think this is one of the hardest things for a western/american attitude person to get around idea wise (was for me). I'm not saying run right out and join a tibetan monastery  (!), but at least consider the possibility.

The alternative is to spend all your time gonig to clinics and doctors and being treated like shite, a criminal, a misbehaving child. Havbing your freedoms and rights stripped away because of an addiction to a drug.
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321007 tn?1195888806
Nothing surprises nowadays. My uncle has been on Vicodin for 17 years for the same back problems you have. He had surgery which DIDN'T help him in any way. The surgeon who did it told him he wanted my uncle off of the pain meds for good. He told his primary doctor what was said and his doctor said he was not taking him off the Vicodin because nobody should be in pain daily. Which I personally think more doctors should feel this way instead of being scared. But it's like a double edged sword also. Some people like myself get addicted so it could go either way.

As usual I went way into left field.

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233181 tn?1235186752
Welcome to the forum. I am sorry to hear of your current dilemma. Yes your doctor has the right to fire you as a patient at anytime during the coarse of treatment. It sounds as if there may be more to the story. Well lets forget about the fact that your DR. let you go, there is nothing that you can do about it know, She must have received info from somewhere, Where you picking up your Rx early.
I cant believe in a city as big as NYC that you can't find another DR to treat you with suboxone, You went on line at www.suboxone.com pick the site in bold letters, This site has a physician locator on it based on zip code. There must be several zip codes in NYC and then there is always CT. In fact it is only a short train ride away, or a quick ride down 95 or the Merrit Parkway. NYC there has to be at least 500 suboxone MD. If they have been prescribing for over 1 year the 35 patient limit does not apply to then. They may now take a treat up to 100 suboxone patients as allowed by law.
Your former physician do decide on your future care regarding narcotics as you could have an accident which would require pain relief if you should ever need it. Who does she think she is the Governor of N.Y. or what? What kind of M.D., is she anyway There must be 10,000 M.D. in the N.Y. City area.!
Then again you are more than halfway through detox what did  you think about holding out and giving sober life a try if you realy can get by without another 3 days without hydrocodone. Contact the www.suboxone.com website and use the physician locator this DR. is not does not have that kind of power unless your on medicare and she files a grievance with your medicare intermediary Good Luck New York------------------NOAH
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Avatar universal
You definately have options and don't have to take the **** from your DR. There was one time I was bogusly accused of getting scripts from my doctor and then calling the on on call doctor to get more. Ummm...#1-The on call was a P.A. and can't write scripts for narcotics or controlled substances. #2-I have known for quite some time, about two years this facility won't call in narcotics for like three years now no matter what. They say go to an ER if its that bad. #3-Why would I call the P.A. at the same office as my doc, it would get back to him the next day, how would you explain that. #4-I told this P.A. I was having severe sinus headaches due to allergies causing pain and asked for allegra-D or claritin-D. This was relayed to my doc as I was looking for narcotics, I was so flippin' mad. He kind of did the same thing but was a bit more apt to listen, especially when I told him I will call her or talk to her right now and ask why she said that.
Unfortunately, doctors get the slightest sniff of possible abuse or addiction and they don't care about you to much. They want "liabilities" like us out of there practice. With or without help getting detoxed. They don't want to lose there license. I think it is INCREDIBLY unsafe to cut you off cold with nothing, that can be very tragic to your system. Not to mention the back pain alone is enough to drive you off the egde. Either do what you have to do LEGALLY to get by to get meds or try to just keep going without. However if you are in that much pain find a Doc ASAP!!!

Best of Luck To You!!!
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I, like you, have degenerative disc disease.  I cannot sit or stand for more than 20 minutes.  I am on total disability.  Have been on pain meds for 12 years.  I remember signing something at the pain med's office that says that they have the right to stop prescribing at any time.  If I went to another doctor at the same time and got the same meds, they could fire me.  If I didn't pass a drug test (which they can administer at anytime), they could fire me.  The drug test is actually to make sure you have the drug in you (they don't want you getting the meds and selling them).  I am in awful pain too.  I went all the way from the fentalyn patch 75 mg to oxycontin with percocet for breakthrough pain.  Tapered myself down to 10 mg of percocet a day for last 6 days.  My pain is bad, but I wouldn't say it is too much worse than before.  I still cannot sit or stand long, am substituting tylenol and ibuprofen (don't want to take too much of either product) for pain.  When I moved across the country 4 years ago, the new doctor wouldn't prescribe what the old one did, and it took several visits before I was back on the same meds.  I'm getting off of them for one reason.  When I tried to find a family doctor 4 years ago, I had difficulty getting a doctor that would take me being on so much pain meds.  I haven't asked my pain doctor for help in getting off the pain meds cause I fear he may give me less time to taper than I give myself.    Anyway, you might want to try getting off (I think it is quite the hassle to go to the pain doctor anyway).  Best of luck.
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338536 tn?1197557832
Have you tried spinal decompression yet?  I just stared this week and have only had two treatments, but I have noticed a slight difference in the pain level.  I have 2 degenerating discs and 2 herniated discs.  The shooting/stabbing pain has been reduced by about 20%.  I have 18 more treatments to go.  It might be something you want to look into for a long term fix.  There are also patches that contain some type of novacaine.  You wear the patch over the site of pain for 12 hours and then remove it.  It is supposed to provide 24 hour relief per patch and you can wear up to 3 patches at a time.  Hope this helps.  Love and Strength to ya!
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Thank you all for sharing your stories an also your help. As for the doctor getting wind of abuse or selling pills, I will admit days i took a couple more mostly due to the fact i love to work outdoors and i live in a duplex an my father in law lives next door, he is 77 years old an really cannot do much, though he tries but since his wife/my mother in law passes away at the end of June its been tough and the fact my daughter in in a temp foster home the stress an emotional strain here is enough to make one want to drink or find some way to forget. I am not the kind of person to drink since i dont like to or go find some illegal drugs cause again...Tried em as a teenager but never enjoyed em..always hated side effects or time messed up. But going cold turkey would be possible if i could sit an relax and do my hobby of building model kits (Japanese kits and some Auto kits) I am a big kid at heart an I belive that is the bond me an my daugher have, We watch anime an she is starting to build model kits with me...Now being almost 13 years old I feel as if I am losing her because of middle school life with friends/Boy talk. I know its how its supposed to feel but all this is like an emotional weight like 500 pounds sitting on my chest an gets me upset making those cravings worse an worse. As for trying new methods of pain management my state health insurance does not give you much to work with...I wanted the lydicane patches or even the lydacane shots and was declined due to my insurance. Physical Therapy I have tried 3 times so far. my dad said once if you hurt say your arms is it the right thing to bend it back an forth an twist it around? makes sence but the issue with PT is to strengthen the muscles around the damaged parts...but you end up in large amounts more of pain in the first few weeks which is what would i do for those few weeks? I want to move around, I want to do things, I hate being stuck in a chair or on my bed for days an weeks at a time. I evven tried for Accupuncture again my insurance thinks I should just be medicated all the time and with my other medical issues like Severe Complex Migraines they even pulled me off my Fioricet because its a barbituate compound an its has addictive properties.. Again its great for a dope of a doctor to just drop you cold off meds....Also on another note....I was never fired from her practice , she still is offering to see me and does show signs of trying to help but I cannot tell if she is sincere or just BS'n me so I detox by myself. Which i feel is unprofessional...
But thnx again all an now i am just sitting here in my mouth pain state awaiting my dentist to open monday so i may get an extraction an end up with more pain again just to get turned down for any medication to prevent infection or pain. Man I just love my states medical systems.
My things I can happily say that sorta keep me sane is my Boy 3 yr Golden Retriever (Jake), my 5 yr old Cockatoo (Casper), and my 1 yr old all black kitty with big bright yellow eyes (Lumpy) by feedin an speding time with them an they sence when i am in a bad state they do come well except for the bird who i can take out cause he worse that a big baby. lol loves being petted an help and snuggles with you. I appologize about the blah blah blah info but I am glad for all the advice an information you kind people are offering me. Makes me feel like I am not alone at this (corny yea but true)
thnx Guys
I will keep posting when i get updates for anyone else who could use this info for when they every have the same of close to the same problems.
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Well, I finally got into a program for Suboxone. Starting on the 30th i go in then like 5 other appointments after to just watch. But here is something I do really reccomend to anyone looking for help getting off of thier prescription pain medications. a website called NAATB.org. This website is where you post your current issue weather it be prescription meds, heroin or whatever and insurance and all other pertinant information. Then keep it on file an doctors from all over your area review them an if they can do anything for you they contact you. I posted my dilema and only 2 days i got e-mails from doctors an clinic within 10-15 miles of my home with immediate help. This website has to be one the best lifesavers i have yet to see...Gotten other emails sayin they can help me now but of course with a fee of like 16 thousand dollars..lol out of work 4 yrs an they think i can pay that....That is why i have insurance..lol but if anyone reads this an wishes to contact me I would be very pleased to help others with the same or close to same issues to help get them set straigt also....
This was an will be a forum you will see more of me in the future with help for others.
Thnx all for your comments an wonderful helpful attitudes
Mike
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271792 tn?1334983257
Sparky...I am glad that you found help. I only hope that you have done research on Suboxone and understand the drug, as well as the program. Suboxone is an opiate, so you will want to talk with your doctor regarding this. Decide if you are going to stay with the program long-term, or short-term and understand that there will come a time when you will have to get off the Sub, just as you did your pain meds. Good Luck.
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good luck i gave up and picked up today god bless
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I don't understand your post????
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271792 tn?1334983257
Me neither john?
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1260027 tn?1269662892
hi mike, i almost didn't read the last few post - glad i did or i wouldn't know that you found a suboxon program. i am glad you're not suffering from w/drawel. but ... geesum, are you still in pain??
did you file a complaint w/the board of medicine?
have you talked w/the suboxon dr about your pain? some docs do both pain management and detox.
where abouts are you located? and have you tried websites that rate doctors in your area?
i wish i felt well enough to read all of the responses to your post.
any way, i hope this finds you well and no longer suffering.
best wishes
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HI MIKE MY NAME IS ANNA AND I AM 25 YEARS OLD. I WAS PRESCRIBED LORTAB 10/500 MG BACK IN OCTOBER OF 2005 AND I HAVE BEEN SEVERELY ADDICTED TO THEM EVER SINCE. I STARTED OFF TAKING ONE TO TWO PILLS EVERY 4 TO 6 HOURS. BUT AFTER TAKING THEM FOR 5 YEARS MY BODY STARTED TO DEVELOP A TOLERANCE TO THEM SO I STARTED TO TAKE MORE BECAUSE IF I DIDN'T I WOULD EXPERIENCE SEVERE WITHDRAW SYMPTOMS WHICH WOULD MAKE ME VERY SICK. I AM CURRENTLY TRYING TO GET OFF OF THEM RIGHT NOW. COLD TURKEY BUT I AM USING ATIVAN (OR LORAZEPAM) 2 MG TABLETS TO HELP ME THROUGH THE WITHDRAWS. I HAVE DONE THIS BEFORE AND THE ATIVAN WORKS REALLY WELL. THIS WILL BE PROBABLY BE MY 5TH TIME TRYING TO GET OFF WITHIN THE 5 YEARS I HAVE BEEN ADDICTED, BUT I THINK AND PRAY TO GOD THIS WILL BE THE LAST. IT TAKES ABOUT 14 DAYS TO GO THROUGH THE WITHDRAWS AND THE FIRST 5 DAYS ARE THE WORST BUT AFTER 5 DAYS YOU CAN START TO FEEL YOURSELF GET BETTER AND BETTER. BUT ATIVAN (OR LORAZEPAM) 2 MG WILL HELP YOU SO MUCH THROUGH THE WITHDRAWS. YOU DON'T HAVE TO GO INTO A HOSPITAL TO GET OFF OF THE NARCOTIC ( OR OPIATE) PAIN MEDICATION. YOU CAN DO IT AT HOME. BUT YOU NEED TO ASK YOUR DOCTOR TO PRESCRIBE YOU 120 2MG ATIVAN TO BE TAKEN 3 TO 4 TIMES A DAY TO HELP SOOTHE YOU THROUGH TO WITHDRAW PROCESS YOU WILL GO THROUGH FOR 2 WEEKS. YOU CAN GET OFF OF THIS STUFF AND BECOME HEALTHY AGAIN. I THINK DOCTORS NEED TO STOP PRESCRIBING SUCH HIGHLY ADDICTING NARCOTIC (OR OPIATE) PAIN MEICATIONS BECAUSE THEY ARE SO VERY DIFFICULT FOR PEOPLE TO STOP TAKING THEM. WHAT REALLY MAKES ME MAD IS THAT THEY PRESCRIBE THEM TO PEOPLE AND THEN THEY THINK THEY CAN JUST STOP PRESCRIBING THE MEDICATION TO PEOPLE ANYTIME THEY WANT WITHOUT WARNING AND THEN PEOPLE WHO HAVE A JOB TO GO TO EVERYDAY, RESPONSIBILITIES, FAMILIES TO CARE FOR ARE PUT INTO A TERRIBLE SITUATION BECAUSE THEY WILL GO THROUGH HORRIBLE WITHDRAWS. I TRULY BELIEVE THAT NARCOTIC (OR OPIATE) PAIN MEDICATIONS MUST STOP BEING USED COMPLETELY. THE ONLY TIME THEY SHOULD BE USED IS IN PEOPLE WHO HAVE A TERMINAL ILLNESS OR AS A EMERGENCY MEDICATION ONLY, SUCH AS FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE IN A CAR ACCIDENT AND HAVE BROKEN LEGS, OR FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE SEVERE INJURIES AND SO ON. NARCOTIC OPIATE PAIN MEDICATIONS RUIN PEOPLES LIVES. AND UNTIL THE DOCTORS AND PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES STOP HANDING IT OUT LIKE CANDY TO PEOPLE WHO DON'T UNDERSTAND HOW EASY IT IS TO BECOME SEVERELY ADDICTED TO IT THEN PEOPLE WILL CONTINUE SUFFER BY BECOMING AN ADDICT TO NARCOTICS. IT MUST STOP.

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