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Addiction: Substance Abuse Community
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Avatar universal

How on Earth are Opiates used for long term pain management?

Lets think about this.  Opiates can relieve pain by relieving the central nervous system and stimulating opiate receptors which stimulate pleasure centers.

everyone who takes opiates everyday will become physically addicted within 2 week to a couple months pending dosage.

everyone over time will be effected mentally.  While this is less then many other drugs it is there for anyone taking these for any reason.

opiates suppress your sex drive immensely.  While changing how your body produces and releases Dopamine and serotonin.  So overtime your drive for life will die, everyone will go threw this at some point if they stay on them long enough.

I really think opiates need to be prescribed for short acting pain or for people who can not function without them.

sometimes we have to deal with pain it's part of life.

Look how ****** up our lives got because of medicine most of us get from Doctors.


there should be a huge warning label on the bottle saying THIS IS HIGHLY ADDICTIVE AND WILL **** UP YOUR LIFE.

As cold as this sounds myself, my partner, and my children will not be taking opiates for anything unless necessary, I'd rather my son look at me in agony with a broken arm then stick synthetic heroine in his body.


14 Responses
Avatar universal
every post in this forum is about getting sober.

SOBER.


we have to get sober from legal meds..incredible.
82861 tn?1333453911
You know what?  I'm in pain management and happen to agree with you.  I don't care what the reason is for taking opiates - recreation or legitimate pain - at some point it WILL stop working.  At some point, you will reach a ceiling.  The pain will still be there and nothing will touch it.  That's why I'm detoxing after over 5 years.  My condition will never leave me.  After years of therapy with a pain shrink, I'm better able to cope with the pain.

Think how many generations of people have been conditioned to reach for that magic pill when any kind of pain strikes.  How long has aspirin been available?  Tylenol?  Ibuprofen?  Naproxen?  Benadryl?  We have generations of people who want and expect instant gratification.  That instant gratification plays right into an addict's hands.  

It's not just prescription drugs that are dangerous either.  Sure, they get the most attention because they're controlled substances and screw with your brain and your reason.  My mother killed herself with aspirin and advil.  I'm in my late 40's and I can't remember a time that she wasn't constantly taking aspirin throughout the day and evening for headaches.  Of course, she would never go to a doctor for those headaches because that aspirin was so easy to get.  If a problem could be "cured" with over-the-counter meds, that problem did not require a doctor.  Of course, she never paid a bit of attention to the dose recommendations on the label either.

My mother died of a small intestine hemorrhage in late March this year.  The last couple of years of her life were spent in horrible pain from a back that needed surgery a good 10 years ago.  But she had her OTC Advil so no doctor was necessary!  Little did I know she was taking 20 or more Advil a DAY.  Finally, the pain got so bad that she couldn't walk so I got her to the ER.  Eventually we discovered that her stomach and small intestine lining was eaten away due to a lifetime of OTC aspirin and Advil abuse, and she was slowly bleeding to death.  Mom needed blood transfusions of 2 to 3 units every one to two weeks over the last year until even that couldn't keep up with the damage.  

ANY drug that is abused can kill you.  Tylenol can kill you.  Shoot, you can even kill yourself by over-drinking water.  It'll fill up your lungs given enough time and you'll drown.  Narcotics just get our attention because of the horrible withdrawal symptoms.
1331115 tn?1536362140
Friv, unfortunatley there are some people that these meds actually help; myself being one of them. The problems arise when you start abusing them and taking them after you don't need them anymore. If it wasn't for pain meds I would not have made it through excruciating pain of physical therapy I needed to be able to walk again. Don't get me wrong I became VERY addicted to oxys over the course of years I took them. I am just saying PM is about getting you out of pain and the end result is usally addiction. The PM doctors sometimes don't look at the big picture and need to be more educated on the drugs they prescribe. That is the key education and that is also how we stay sober. I certainly am not defending opiate use, just saying that sometimes we have to do what we have to. No one should judge another man/woman without walking in their shoes first. If I had to do it all over again I would look to find alternative methods, but thats easy for me to say now. It is a viscious cycle and I hope someday someone can come up with a method of pain relief for severe pain that is not addictive. Sorry for getting on my soapbox it just my two cents.
82861 tn?1333453911
Try not to use the terms "addiction" and "physical dependence" interchangeably.  That's where a lot of misunderstanding develops and these are two completely different animals.  Physical dependence is an expected and normal part of opiate therapy.  The patient will go into withdrawal if he suddenly stops taking the medication.  I've known patients who missed a dose or two, experienced withdrawal and quit opiate therapy altogether because they became "addicted" to their meds.  It's a crying shame when opiates help someone live a fuller and more comfortable life with less pain, but because they weren't educated about it, they decide to stop it completely and blame the doctor for making them addicts.

Addiction on the other hand, refers to abuse of the medication - taking more than prescribed for reasons other than physical pain and taking it despite negative consequences.  

The meds certainly helped me for a lot of years, but how do I how where my "real" pain level is at now with so many meds masking it for so long?  It's my choice to taper off and see where I'm at.  So far, it's not unbearable except for the typical flareups which are unbearable anyway with or without meds.

I really do wish more pain docs would do a better job of educating their patients about these issues.  They either see ALL patients as potential addicts and refuse to prescribe any opiates, or they ignore the possibility that addiction may happen at all.  Plenty of doctors confuse the "addiction" and "dependence" terms too, so how is a patient supposed to make an educated decision with that kind of confusion?

There is also confusion about what the practice of pain management is and what it isn't.  Too many patients think of it as "pain cure" instead of "pain management."  I know I once did.  In the early days I was a typical, whiney-arsed patient crying that "it doesn't work" and getting my dose increased almost every month.  I finally figured out that "cure" has nothing to do with it.  I have to live with a certain amount of pain and faced the fact that I will never be able to do some things I used to love doing ever again.  Bodies get sick, injured, age, and they change.  Your brain has to change with it.  

Most pain docs don't make it clear that they're looking at improvement in pain levels rather than removal of all pain.  They don't make the downsides of opiate therapy clear enough for patients to make a rational, logical decision about their health.  There's a downside to anything we put into our bodies.  While I used to rely on my doctor for that education, I don't any longer.  I do my own research and make my own decisions, and feel a whole lot better for it.
Avatar universal
Vicodin is bad mmm'kay. We all know opiates are bad. Everyone here knows that, but for each of us who are going clean, they were worth the risk due to the pain, be it physical or emotional. I just hope 40% of us are lucky enough to continue on with fully operational nueral pathways. If anyone wants to chat I'm seven days clean. I'm here off and on.
1310633 tn?1430224091
Darn... Jaybay beat me to it.

I was going to say the same thing. There is a VAST difference between "Addiction" and "Med. Dependence", as any long-term pain-management opiate-therapy patient will tell you.

Be careful not to use the words interchangeably, as they aren't synonymous, and PM patients will sometimes get offended if they're referred to as "addicted" to a particular narcotic medication.

My 2 cents.
82861 tn?1333453911
That's just cuz I type faster than you do el.  LOL!   Glad to see you back!
495284 tn?1333894042
COMMUNITY LEADER
LMNO........nice to see you back!!!!  Hope all is well.      sara
Avatar universal
You are right about Losing the Drive for life ... Im a producer who writes Ambient Trance Drum&bass and Hip hop . But for the past 2 years I can't even think of making a simple Song . I lose all interest .

but im thankful for this site and all the good people on here who are supporting me to get free from this addiction . just not worth it on my end as I don't have pain issues at all ( just addiction )
82861 tn?1333453911
Now that hurts - losing your music to addiction.  Music is the one thing that gets me out of myself and pain, whether it's physical or emotional pain.  I hope you get your music back soon.  It's still in there you know.  :-)
Avatar universal
We need more studies on the physiological effects of long term opiate use.

it may be inevitable that everyone gets "addicted" at some point.

or maybe some people can have years of opiates and never crave a high once, never miss them after they quit.
1331115 tn?1536362140
Sorry if anyone got offened by my post, I was just relating my experience with long term narcotic meds. I was not saying everyone who uses pain meds are addicts I was just saying that after 8 years of taking oxycontin first I was dependant and then became addicted. I know that after taking oxy for a long period they become ineffective. Originally I was prescribed oxy 20 mg 2X/day which didn't work after a while. When I complained to my PM he just increased the dosage, the final dosage was 80 mg 3X/day and 10 mg percs for breakthrough pain. When I went to my PM the last time I told him that the oxys weren't working again and he wanted to up the dosage again. That was the last straw for me and I went CT. I am so glad I did, I still have a lot of pain in my spine and I have found alternative methods of controlling my pain. Now at least now I don't feel like one of the walking dead. So again sorry if anyone got offended but I was just stating MY experiences with opiates
82861 tn?1333453911
I don't think anyone was offended at your comment, quite the contrary.  You opened up a great discussion.  Congrats on getting off the oxy!
3164225 tn?1358973174
Ouch Proemed!!. Not sure who you were referring to in your comment, but that seems a bit harsh.
And yes, pain management using opiates does work for many people. It saves lives. It also destroys lives, whether one is taking them for PM and it spirals into something else or one is just looking to get high. There are many reasons that ppl take opiates and with a doctors care it saves lives as well, cant deny that. I dont know much about the percentage of those who get mentally dependant after using for years and years strictly by there proper dosage, but it is a very interesting topic.
Great Eminem versey by the way, drugs are bad, mmmmmkayyy
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495284 tn?1333894042
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