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Chronic Pain 5yrs of Opioid Use - Currently Roxicodone & Norco

I've been on everything from Fentanyl to Oxy to Hydrocodone for legitimate spine and shoulder injuries.  After a couple surgeries I am left in a situation where I will always have some pain for the rest of my life...and I am less than 30.  All of my prescriptions have been legitimate but at times I have certainly taken more than necessary....or taken more than prescribed to get through a tough physical event.  Anxiety about the pain has been one of the biggest problems...the feeling of being trapped.

I'm currently the best that I have been in five years and am down to one 30mg Roxicodone (one in morning and one at night) and three 10mg Norco.  I am on disability so I have the ability to limit activity and am trying to get as low as possible and as close to the ideal number of zero narcotics as possible.  My pain in the shoulder is influenced by anxiety.  How do you differentiate real pain from the narcotic withdrawl?  Does anyone else here have experience with stopping long-term opiate use while still being in chronic pain?  Any advice would be appreciated.  Thank you.

12 Responses
Avatar universal
My experience was that I had to get off the pills before I could make a realistic appraisal of the situation.............
Avatar universal
the longer u take and or abuse opiates....the "worse" your pain will be when u get off.  when u take opiates over and over and over ur brain quits producing the "feel  good" chemicals......because it realizes/thinks it is getting it from an outside source.....which, it is.  SO, when u quit the pills.....ur brain STILL wont be making those chemicals....so, the pain u have....(like ur shoulder, back, etc)  will hurt way worse compared to someone like me who never got addicted to opiates....even if it was PROVEN that u and i are 100% the same as far as pain and conditions....

5 years of pills taking / snorting, etc  is a lifetime of damage.  

so the pain u feel, with NO PILLS, is legite......it's just magnified by like 100 times.....because of any opiate abuse.......or tolerance...whatever u wanna catergorize it.

that will be rough.........for real pain and trying to get off stuff.  hmm...people here will help u.  they will tell u to do the thomas recipe....or maybe suboxone.....because that is a pain killer too--but, lots of ppl feel it is trading one addiction for another!

Avatar universal
Thank you both for the info, it is very helpful.  It wasn't until yesterday that I really got the strong urge to no longer be on the stuff.  I broke my spine, ruptured the L5/S1 disc and dislocated both shoulders with a torn labrum on the right side.  I had an artificial disc replacement in the spine and zero pain since.  Leftover pain is all around the scapular region of my right shoulder, even following a surgery to repair the labrum.

After five years of differing opinions, I finally got a feasible diagnosis from my 30th specialist.  I am doing extensive PT and using a muscle STIM unit that are helping but there will always be some pain present.  That level of pain is to be determined and now the elephant in the room is the opiates and how I am going to live the rest of my life...keeping in mind that I am not yet 30.

Thanks again, I have never posted anywhere before and you have been helpful.
Avatar universal
Wow!  You do have lots going on! Remember tho too there is a difference in addiction and physical dependency.....

Best of luck!  And, Gosh I hope u feel better soon :(
Avatar universal
Thanks, I would say that I am in the dependency mode for sure but the way the pain and anxiety fluctuates, I feel that the line gets blurred between addiction and depency.  Drugs and the relief they provide are constantly on my mind, as they have been for years now.  At my age, and with a new wife (first and only wife ;-) I need to think about my future health.

FYI - My injuries came from a 46mph barefoot waterski fall that hyper-extended my spine causing the fracture in the L5 vertebra and rupture of the disc, along with the dislocated shoulders.  One fell swoop.  I had periodic pains for a few years but it took three years for the L5/S1 disc to degenerate to the point where it required surgery.  The problem with the shoulder labrum was masked until the spine was fixed.
Avatar universal
I have severe chronic pain. I had been on vicoden then vicoden es and 25mcg of fentanyl patches for 4 years. Then I went to a pm doctor for the first time and he took me off the vicodin es 3 to 4 , 4 x a day and fentanyl patch,somas. He then put me on opana er...didn't work, oxycontin and percocet...i hate anything with oxycodone so i got off that. I went back on the fentanyl patch 75mcg and within almost 2 months i went up to 150mcg b/c my tolerance was so high. I detoxed cold turkey and it was the worst and most painful, scariest thing that ever happened to me. But, it was the best thing that i could do for my body. I still deal with a lot of pain but I will never touch those evil patches again. I am trying to find other ways to ease my pain. I am 29 and on disability too. I can't function with my pain. If you set your mind to getting off the pills, you can do it! You will feel so much better mentally. It just takes a while for your brain to heal and your body to get back to normal. I am going to pray for you!
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