I am currently on a methadone maintenance program. I've been clean for six years. I was on a one day schedule and would recieve take-homes for the remaining six days. I recently took a dentist prescribed pain pill for an abcessed gum. The medicine had been prescribed for a tooth extraction. I was in violation of the program's policy and ALL my take homes were promptly taken away. I suffer chronic pain - always have. (I've been told that I had a slipped disk as a very young child and I suffer from a condition where my immune system is compromised). My question is this: Can I switch to a pain management facility / will I be accepted into such a facility if I leave the MMT program in the process?
It is oppressive to travel everyday, in pain, AND to risk being seen as I now go everyday. (I run a small sewing business and have already been seen by one of my clients as I was leaving this facility.) It's stressful to have to jump through hoops for these people. (Two years ago, they took my take home meds from me. I appealed to the head doctor and won the appeal. For them, this is *** for tat) My primary problem now is pain and the stress caused by dealing with vindictive people exacerbates the pain). I dont want a doctor who will want to fill me up w/ percocets and vicodyn and whatever. I need a doctor or facility to manage my pain with the methadone and, ultimately, titrate me down so that I may get onto Suboxone, depending on that drug's pain killing ability.
Thank you kindly.
You could try pain management, but the one here makes you sign a waiver stating that you will not ask for narcotics. Not sure how they address methadone. I was a candidate for cervical injections since the oral meds they prescribed didn't work. The injections did not work, so I stopped going, I did not want a spinal stimulator. You may have better results than I did. I know how difficult it is to jump through all the hoops, and how frustrating and emotionally draining it is, but you need to have proper control over your pain in order to function.
You should be very proud of yourself for being clean for six years. Each day is an accomplishment. Do not let what other people think of you take this away. You have done a wonderful thing for you, and for your family, too, and in all realities, for your clients. If you feel the need to justify yourself to them, tell them that you are PROUD to be CLEAN for SIX years, and you plan on being clean for a long time to come, and this is the road you need to take to do it!! Hang in there, and best of luck!
To: Monsterjam2 and Inga511
BOTH of your statements brought me to tears (and NOO, I'm not a crybaby ! =)) Even in recovery, an addict is stigmatized, particularly when your recovery is assisted w/ medication. Any other sickness being kept in remission w/ meds is accepted. It almost seems that people who "educate" themselves so that they can work with addicts are indoctrinated to believe that we're all low-lifed manipulators. That type of treatment can't help but to deeply affect even the most level headed, emotionally stable individual. I'm SO SICK OF BEING IN PAIN AND SO SICK OF JUMPING THROUGH HOOPS FOR THESE HEARTLESS PEOPLE !!
@ Monsterjam2 - I would GLADLY sign a waiver and even take observed urine screens to be able to have this med. prescribed and to be treated with dignity. THIS medicine WORKS well enough for me that I can have some semblance of a "normal" life. Thanks for the well wishes !
@ Inga511 - The Power of Prayer - I HEARD THAT !!
Thank you both for the encouragement ! Your words remind me that there are caring folk in this ol' world.
Through the years, I've accepted the notion that I'm an addict. In my struggle to build a life free of pain, I've been TOLD enough times that I suffer with the disease of addiction. It's the same ol' tune: If a person is told a thing about themselves enough times, eventually it becomes that person's reality. I guess my question is this: Does addiction tend to go hand-in-hand with chronic pain ? ...OR, is there a special category that folks such as myself are put into ?
Maybe if there IS such a label assigned, I could use it to my benefit in describing myself to potential care providers, in addition to finding a health proffessional who understands and knows how to treat, what seems to me to be, a dual diagnosis.
Wd. appreciate any feedback !
I'm an addict (in recovery) with chronic-pain, and I'd say that the 2 definitely DO NOT go hand in hand (chronic-pain & addiction).
There are plenty of people in this forum (PM-forum) that have been taking narcotic painkillers for years and years, that would not consider themselves addicts (they don't run out early, they don't Dr.-shop, they don't ask for early refills, they know IN THEIR HEADS that they don't have a problem).
As an addict, before you "knew" what you were, you really did "know" what you were, am I right? I always knew that I was different, but just never was open about it. I've always displayed addictive behavior, even as a child... I just 'knew'.
I don't think anyone here will argue that there's a distinct difference between being 'addicted' and being 'med dependent'. I will say, from my side anyway, that a lot of people here will admit readily to being dependent on their medication to get through everyday life, and couldn't do without it.
But to reiterate... addiction and chronic-pain don't go hand in hand. I just think that chronic-pain is a gateway for addicts to realize what they are, whereas without chronic-pain, you'd realize it in a different way (ie: going to the doctor for meds for a toothache, and abusing what they give you).
It comes in all forms, and unfortunately, yours came in the form of chronic-pain. Count yourself lucky that you know what you are. There are plenty of addicts out there that have yet to realize what they truly are, and yet to admit it to themselves and others.
" there's a distinct difference between being 'addicted' and being 'med dependent'. "
" I just think that chronic-pain is a gateway for addicts to realize what they are, whereas without chronic-pain, you'd realize it in a different way..."
Thank you, Very well put. And yes, I did know as a child.
I was OCD as a child regarding the collecting and hoarding of my hockey-cards and baseball-cards. None of my other friends was that way, and it always struck me as odd that they weren't.
Same thing with my toys. I was anal about how clean they needed to be, and how they needed to b put back in their correct place, just so.
I wasn't popping pills or abusing anything as a child, but I 'knew' that something wasn't quite right, although I couldn't put my finger on it at that early age. Unfortunately for me, a genetic disorder that causes me to produce numerous & large kidney-stones presented itself at the age of 18, and that's all she wrote. I took my first pain-pill at 18 for a kidney-stone, and there was no looking back. I would abuse whenever I got the opportunity, but I wasn't 'full on' at that point... not just yet.
It took going in a PM doctor for that to happen. The PM was the gateway to my addiction. I was a kid in a candy store, so to speak. "What's this? You still have pain? Here... try this. Oh, you mean that didn't work? Here... try these." And on and on and on... for 18 months. Finally came clean to my wife, and the rest is MH history. Went to rehab, cleaned up (free'd myself from having to look into the bottom of an emptying pill bottle, wondering when my next refill would be), got my life back, and have been posting here ever since. 500 days for me is just around the corner, and the people in THIS forum (the PM-Forum) have just as much to do with my sobriety as the folks over in the SA-Forum (Substance Abuse forum).
JayBay, namnam, Tuck, sandee, Jaded... all you folks have helped me more than you could possibly know. Actually, I'm just happy you tolerate an addict in your midst!!!
No, chronic pain and addiction do not go hand-in-hand. I agree with what LMNO wrote. While I definitely have the 'gene', and the very real potential to be an addict (my father died as an alcoholic, and I will admit to doing my share of drinking & other things I could have very easily become dependent on as a teenager) I have been ever so watchful of my pain meds and how I deal with my pain. I have been on morphine for more than 6 years now, and due to med allergies, this is the only one I've got, and it's got to last a very long time! I am neither med-dependent, nor addicted (and not in denial, either ;)), but the morphine does help me get up and move, and function.
I will say, though, that I believe chronic depression, anxiety and coping skills walk hand-in-hand with addiction. And, chronic depression is often a result of chronic pain. So, in a round about way, they DO co-exist and very often walk hand-in-hand, but they call for different treatments, and should really not be put in 'the bucket' together, like they sometimes are.
To answer your question, if this is the case, YES! Use it to your advantage. Antidepressants are very often prescribed for pain (and can be very effective, as can be antiseizure meds) and talk therapy has been shown to be even more effective in the long term (I have done this a number of times in my life, and I can personally recommend it. It is not something you notice right away, but down the line. They teach you coping skills, and help YOU determine what works for YOU when the pain gets worse, so that you don't have to rely on an increase in pain meds & only increase when it is appropriate) That is also why most good recovery programs include some type of talk therapy. So, give it a thought, and a consideration.
Best wishes & prayers for the absolute best outcome for you.
Well, I have an appt. to begin treatment at a PM facility. (Jan. 31st) I am mortified that once they know that I.m on the methadone, they'll think what most folks think of addicts - She's only here for the drugs. Truth is, I'm not interested in going through a list of meds that keep me off balance. I know what works for me, the methadone - with it, the level of pain that I contend with, I can live with, I can function. They MUST know, however, cuz I aint tryin' to dead myself ! (...the wrong interaction of meds) I just hope they dont give me the boot.
@ Monsterjam - I agree about the "talk therapy". I've done some really serious work on some really delicate and traumatizing issues with a former counselor at this methadone facility. Things I'd thought I'd accepted but were eating me alive. But, I think you're speaking of a more specific type of therapy - I'll give it some consideration, indeed.
You are in my thoughts and prayers. You, LMNO, Inga - Amazing how quickly one can come to care for people they've never "met".
I am new here and have been reading your posts on addiction. I myself was taking methadone for about four years from a pain clinic. Addiction is different that dependency. An addict is someone who takes a drug for the high. Your body can become dependent on almost anything that is done to excess .Methadone does not give you as much of a high feeling as Oxycontin , codeine or many other drugs.They all have side effects, some are not as beneficial to the pain as others. Taking a drug like methadone every day at the same dose eventually minimizes some of the side effects such as the high feeling but you do not crave a higher dose for the buzz . As long as the pain is under control you are happy to keep it there. You are dependent on the drug for pain but you are not addicted to the high. This is necessary to control the pain.People should be made to realize this. At least that is the way it has been stated to me by pain control experts and that's what I believe.
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