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Avatar universal

Managing pain when addiction has been a problem

A lot of you have already read the novel I posted about my Narcotic dependency. (it was erased off the board!)
I am currently in the process of breaking a dependency cycle from Vicoprofen 7.5. My menstrual period is coming up, and the severe cramps associated with it. The Narcotics were originally prescribed to me for the purpose of alleviating the cramps, but then I began taking them for Fibromyalgia which in turn became a daily thing. (You know how it goes)
Anyway, I am on 4 Darvon a day with the intention of tapering down to none. This is part of a plan set up by my psychiatrist and me to get off Vicoprofen.
So now how do I manage the painful cramps?
Is it okay for someone who was once dependent on something to take it again? Could that be playing with fire?
I don't want to take any steps back, but I also don't want to be doubled over in pain for the next 4 days.
Have any of you had this problem?
40 Responses
Avatar universal
I'll never undestand why some threads remain for an eternity, and some mysteriously disappear.  I had posted a response under your question, and now I am curious...did you have a chance to read it????  If not, I will try to re-post/respond.  As I recall, You had a great deal of responses.  It may reappear again....who knows.

Avatar universal
Thank you for responding, and yes, I did read your last response as well. I probably got to read them all before they vanished, but I really wanted my husband to read them too. Oh, well.
So my period has begun and I'm terrified. The cramps are steadily worsening, driving towards the hellish peak that will occur sometime tomorrow night.
I called the psych that is handling my situation and he definitely wants me to handle it with Darvon and Ibuprofen.
Most people know that Darvon is a sad sad excuse for a pain reliever.
I have had a baby via natural childbirth. I was in labor for 50 hours (no joke). I'm not a wimp.
The menstrual cramps are nearly identical to mid-stage labor pain when you dilate to about 4 or 5 centimeters.
This runs in my family as my mother proudly declares that the Doctors in the 60's stoned you out with whatever it took to get rid of the hurt. Is my Doctor being a bit medieval, or is this the bed I made for myself when I told him I may be dependent on Vicoprofen? Do I suffer every period from this day forth? Hooray, I have to go lay in the tub now before I pass out.
Avatar universal
.....Pain medicine is a wonderful thing, if given under the right circumstances for the right reasons.  You have an established history. I think you more than qualify for the medication.  You know what the best part is??  Your symptoms will subside when you no longer have periods.  Then I would say worry about coming off of the pain medication....at that time.

Doctors have been mis-informed due to the negative stigma brought on by the war on drugs.  If medicating yourself helped and brought some quality of life to you....I say...take it.

Good luck, and I hope this helped.


Ps...We are all addicted to something.....chocolate...coffee(my mother), cigarettes, candy...food and so on and so forth.  We are talking medicine here...w/ positive benefits.
Avatar universal
I think it would be hard to avoid becoming dependant on the source of your relief. Was it just your statement about dependance that made him take this away? Darvon can be just as addictive as hydrocodone but, as you said, it doesn't provide much relief. Maybe you need to change doctors rather than medications. Take care.
Avatar universal
I have to agree with Annie and Patrick,  I am on this kick about the docs being so mis informed about pain and the medication it takes to alleviate the pain.  We, as people in pain are being degraded, humiliated and made to look the scum on pond scum if God forbid we should have to take narcotics.  Well, there is really nothing that is effective on moderate to severe pain that does not have side effects or the potential for dependance.  Even Ultram is found to be addicting when at first it was the best thing since sliced bread.  I am soooo tired of docs and pharmacists and even nurses (in I think it was Annie's case,) lecturing us about addiction....No F&%#&ing **** narcotics CAN be addicting but so can prednisone,nasal spray,  Come on , Pain Medication was invented for a reason!!!  to treat pain,  so what's the problem?  I don't get it.  Now we have pharmacists refusing to fill schedule 2 narcs because they don't feel like it.  I have a question to throw out,  Ok, so many people are being denied proper pain management, do you think this could be the reason why alot of people start to buy their "meds" from the street?  My friend's husband has a few herniated discs in his neck which is causing him a great deal of pain, he has been to several docs that have confirmed this but they have put him on NSAIDS, so in order to live a close to normal life working etc, he has started to buy narcotics from people that are selling them, and why if we need the medication so bad are we being denied and these people that are selling it can just go and pick up a script at the drop of a hat?  One doc in my area is known to give Oxycontin to addicts and people that see him for legit pain are given darvocet?  go figure.  Ok,I'm done, sorry i went off on this tangent but this is a very sensitive subject.  Have a nice night and find a new doc.......cindi
Avatar universal
The types of periods you mention are very real... this is for the benefit of anyone out there who thinks since it's menstrual it's not REAL pain... and I would not for a second undermine the positive effects of using pain meds... quality of life should have a precedent over dependency issues, so I would say to go on using them. However, if it's a problem not using them when you are not menstruating then perhaps you are struggling with the beast again. My daughter is in recovery and I dread the day when she may need narcotics.... being human it happens to all of us sooner or later. My personal take is that you will be dealing with menstrual cycles until you are possibly 55... seems it gets later and later as we women stay younger and younger !! If I were you I would see a women's health specialist and determine what can be done for your condition.. if anything. I know of many women over the years who have had debilitating periods... different things work for different people.... dosing with the pill and other medical procedures such as d&c and something I think is like a cervical stretching ( ?? ).... my sister in law had a few shots to mildly suppress estrogen.... I think they try to decide what causes the problem to begin with and then decide which route to take. Radical as it may seem, for a woman who has had all the children she ever intends to have, a removal of the uterus, leaving the ovaries in place, may be a permanent option.. I think it's called oopherectomy or something like that... NOT hysterectomy. I had this done after my second child for a condition that I did not want to agonize over. I have working ovaries to this day and have not had a period for 22 years.... ask me if I miss it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Avatar universal
What EXACTLY do you mean by "Dependant",please list all negative and positive attributes.
You know like what "depended on what",ie my whole life depended on continuous daily doses of the drug,otherwise I would feel like ****,or maybe I needed them to function or I loved the feeling they gave me and I took more and more and eventually screwed up real bad,etc,etc.
Opioid Addiction is easily treated,whereas a bad life is much  harder to fix,when Doctors try to help a person having a bad life,who is also using Opioids,they usually blame the Opioid.
This is their definition of Opioid Addiction,sad really,one may say a disgrace to the Medical Profession.I found that when I got a good life I could nolonger get "Addicted"to Opioids and believe me you ,I have tried.I feel like a complete failure,like I am not even a successful Drug addict.....whats a person meant to do?.
Actually,I was able to get a sizable Physical and Psychological Dependance,so I don`t feel like such a freak after all.
Avatar universal
I am a concerned mother of a 23 year old mother of two. She has migrain headaches and anxiety attacks and stresses out easy. She recently had an accident and nearly cut her hand off. It severed nerves and muscles in her wrist but she didn't hit the artery, Thank God ! My concern is , my daughter takes hydrocodone #5 like they were candy. She goes through them within a couple of days. She now takes 3 or 4 at a time every four hours. She says she needs them for the pain. I don't know how to reach her. I know Lortab #5's are not strong but that many is way too much and that often. I Know she has real bad migrains but  I know an addict when I see one. I myself have to rely on 7.5's for my own pain. I was diagnosed with a rare disease 10 years ago and I've had 3 surgeries to remove part of my small bowel to make a pouch for a bladder when mine was destroyed and removed from this disease. I've had 3 large tumors removed from my abdomen and a large tumor off my spinal cord. I also had a damaged disk removed two years ago. I know pain. I've had atotal of 14 major surgeries in the last ten years. So I don't judge her harshly or without reason. but my daughter is the reason that people that suffer real pain and take meds the way they should are deemed addicts when we seek help for our pain. I was being given two pain pills a day until I was told about the doctor I'm seeing now. He listened to me and looked at my history. the other doctor never examined me and told me the only thing wrong with my back was I was walking on two legs instead of all fours the way we were intended. I didn't mean to start on my life. But my point is this, she accuses me of being addicted because I confront her and try to make her see she's in over her head. I want her to be able to take her pain med the way she should but I'm afraid we're beyond that.She can really covince doctors to give her more than she needs. I raarely take my meds more often than one pill every 6 or 8 hours. I really suffer intense pain everyday of my life. Am I addicted because I can't make it through the day without the pain meds. I can do it. But it's very hard and life is very difficult. I want to help her but I don't know how to reach her. I fear for her health. She kicked alcoholism three years ago and said she could quit if there was a problem . She says I just think I'm the only one in pain. The one thing I haven't said is , when her medicine is gone she harrases me for mine. If I refuse she makes my life hell. Help. Any ideas? Please.
Avatar universal
It's hard to judge someone else's pain.  Without going into great detail....read these threads, and you will see both sides of addiction.  Some people function well all their lives on pain meds.  I was not given any for 8 years.  I was your daughters age when I first got hurt.  To spare my fellow forum buddies my dreadful story over and over again....why don't you read some of my postings.  You will see my point of view.  

Do not feel bad about stating your health problems.....we all do that.  We are here to help one another.  Sometimes we just don't feel comfortable talking to family.  They tend to be judgmental at times.  This is the best advice I can give you.  Good Luck, and God Bless.

Avatar universal
I can really relate to your experiences with menstral cramps. I have severe endometriosis and have had two surgeries, tried all the hormone therapies (estrogen,progesterone,and testosterone), NSAIDS, EMDR, meditation, self-hynosis, and finally narcotics.  Yep, it is only the narcotics that help relieve the pain at all.  And when the pain is really bad, they only work to a point.  I don't know what you suffer from, but if it's also endometriosis, there are a few good internet sites on the subject.  There's an Endometriosis Association, Center for endometriosis care, and ***@****, to name a few.  I've never had children, but have also heard women say the pain can rival child birth.  For me, it involves laying on the bathroom floor in excruciating pain, pooring sweat, and praying to God to please take away the pain!  It's at those times that I promise myself I'm going to call my gyno first thing in the morning and schedule a hysterectomy!  However, much of what I have read says that a hysterectomy won't guarantee a cure, because the endometrial tissue may have already grown/spread to other organs, which my last surgery revealed in my case.  Sorry to go on and on.  I know this isn't an endometriosis site!  Girl, you need to find whatever medication you NEED to alleviate the pain.  I guarantee any doctor who suffers that kind of pain would be taking more than freakin' NSAIDS or Darvocet for the pain!!  Just my 2cents.

Avatar universal
Look at this post above mine!!!  This is why I want to do this.
So many people suffer.  Notice she stated, "and finally narcotics."  
I must confess though,  I feel a bit selfish in my endeavor, at times.  I can't forget the agony that addiction/drugs has placed on your life.   Although, my pain is very physical, and long term, I can't help but think of what you have gone through.  I guess I'm questioning my position on the whole matter.  All I can think of is never ending releif, and all you can think of is treatment w/ Bup.  You are actually my flip-side.  If that makes any sense.  I may be sitting where you are one day.  This is crazy.  Are my arguements valid???  Was all the suffering I experienced worth not being dependant.  Maybe this is why we are in this crisis/mess.  Now I'm really confused.  
Let's speak hypothetically:  Ok...doctors are free to prescribe, and patients are getting the meds that work for them.  Will the addiction problem be worse than it is today???  Maybe.  ****.....I'm going nuts.  Did I mention that I'm in a lot of pain today??? lol.....The hip socket is killing me.  I guess my thoughts are somewhat distorted.  I just want to consider you and my friends here.  I'm seeking less prohibition on drugs, but look at the agony these drugs cause.  Yep I'm crossed and confused.  I really want to do the right thing.

As always, I value your opinion Tom.
Avatar universal
Annie,I can only speak for myself,but I think all this addiction/abuse hype is just that,its not that bad,what we are seeing are the total stuff ups carefully screened,they do not show the other 99% of drug users who never have a problem,have you heard of Propagander?,most people do not have a problem,its like alcohol,you know some people just start guzzling down the stuff,until their liver packs it in,and other have far more moderate use.
Did you know Alcohol withdrawals can Kill and it is very damaging to the body(liver/brain).But do you you see the DEA`s running around busting people with alcohol,no,because it is legal.Why is alcohol legal,when will they ban it?.Think of all the money an alcohol black market could make you$$$$$$$$
If alcohol was banned it would be just like Opioids,you would have to go to the doctor and get a prescription for a bottle of beer,and they would say,what do you want it for?,and what are you honestly going to say?,you know,a lot of us like the feelings drugs like alcohol give us.
The DEA`s do not want most drugs legalized because then they would not have a job,so they pressure the Government with a bunch of fairy tales and when they get bored and run out of people to bust on the streets selling or using illicit drugs,they make a beeline for the legal ones,so Doctors get a lot of pressure put on them,its an industry,if they really cared about you,they would come up to you and talk to you and be friendly,like all humans should treat each other,but they are just doing a job.Like the SS guards at the concentration camps,a uniform and a job and goodbye Morals and Intelligence.
NO,oh,NO if our well being was the real motive behind this facade they would ban the drug/s that KILL/S the most people and that is Alcohol and Tobacco,see how simple it is to prove they are a bunch of ignorant brain washed fools.(but thats ok because they are doing their JOB>>>)
You just keep trying to convince the Doctors that you are in severe pain and I will keep telling the public about the absolute bullshit.Your country sounds like it has lost the plot.whats the story with all those Nuclear bombs?,did you know the NSA has an encryption backdoor on every Windows Software system,military spy satelites have a resolution of 1m(sure thing),the USA will not export 256bit encryption,but Germany is kicking arse with their own,the military is scared of reverse engineering,The CIA has been involved in the sale of more heroin than any entity on this planet.
And look at the result,why can`t people just live in peace and be nice to each other.Put them in a uniform and anything can happen.
This world is wrong,I say long live the Poppie,sativa,peyote,booze,power to the people.Be a straughto if you want but get the Government  F**k out of my life.
Avatar universal
Well, I have to tell you, "we do agree on many things!"  Here is another ex. of Big Gov't failure, spilling into the law abiding citizen's lives.  (1)You can call social services on some crack head, crazed, parents....or something of that nature, and tell them that they are neglecting or abusing their children...and what does the dept. say???  Oh we have no proof. (2) Then here are the Smith's: a normal, law abiding family, trying to make ends meat.....and they step just a little outta line,,,,,,,BAM!!!..lOOK OUT....tHEY (Gov't) WILL FIND THE PROOF, JACK!  Then this poor family will loose everything to fight against the system. This is what the world has come too.  Good is evil and evil is good.  It's always easier for law enforcement to come out of the depths of hell and arrest law abiding citizens.  Isn't it??  I tell you it's crazy.


Avatar universal
It's just my opinion, but you sound like a very conscientious person and it doesn't sound to me like you would be as prone to addiction as others. After reading many of our stories and the misery addiction has caused us, I would bet that you would be careful to notice any signs of addiction if they arose.   Since you are truly just seeking genuine relief from your severe and chronic pain, I don't think you should be so hard on yourself. However, I agree with the research that suggests that some people are genetically pre-disposed to addiction. Man, I wouldn't wish my addiction on anybody.  I'm the one who wrote above about the excruciating pain from menstral cycles and narcotic pain meds were the absolute only thing that would touch the pain. Anyway, just thought I would let you know, that it doesn't bother me one bit that you have your dilema (not being able to obtain pain meds when you need them) and we "addicts" have ours (wishing we could get off 'em). I hope you tell your story, because I know that there are many, many people like you who are cruelly under-treated for their pain.
Avatar universal
Thanks for the responce to my story Annie. I don't doubt my daughter is in pain. But she lives in my home and I see more than enough. She not only can go through 60 hydros in 2 to 4 days but she also goes through a 30 day supply of zanex and Feorenal (I think that's how it is spelled) within a few days and then starts in on me for my pain medicine. The thing is, she can be in awful pain one minute, take some of my medicine ,and be happy as a lark within minutes. I have read these letters on this forum. I hear people in real pain, tired of being treated like dope heads for suffering. I know how that is. I too have had doctors tell me 2 pills a day should do anyone. The destroying of organs from disease is painful and debilitating. I have to stay close to home because of cramping and diahrea that's  constant.A lot of doctors have no concept of pain. The doctor I'm seeing now has been through a lot himself and knows the difference in a junkie and someone in pain. I just want to help my daughter. But because I do know she has real pain, how can I do anything without making it where she can't treat her pain that's real. I feel like I'm between a rock and a hard place. Recently, I had to start hiding my medicine because it was being stollen. I'm really not judging her harshly. If I were, she'd be out the door. Thanks for your input. Again ,sorry for the book. But this is my only outlet.
Avatar universal
Hi Kerrie,  I was reading your post about your daughter,  when I lived with my mom, many years ago before i even realized i was was an addict, I did the same thing.  I was always eating my prescription and then hitting my mom up for some  and then stealing hers, she needed her meds due to alot of trouble with her back, surgeries etc. so her supply would run out early, soon she caught on and hid them from me, only for me to be the good little addict i was and "sniff" them out.  Your daughter will find yours, so maybe if you alternated hiding places, have you ever confronted her?  just a thought, i could get into more but I have to be at work in 1/2 hour and have not even jumped in the shower.   good luck   cindi
Avatar universal
Please do not apologize.  Feel free to come hear and vent any time.  Lord knows I have.

Upon reading your post again, I think your observations are correct.  She is taking them for more than pain.  I know you have read here that people tend to build up a tolerence to pain meds and have to increase the dose.  This is not something I do.  Eventhough it is understandable.  My meds are in limited supply, and I would rather have some relief, than to be cut off totally w/ no relief.  Now this is a good example of the difference between.......legitimate medicating, and well....getting high.  I am never happy as a lark (as you put it) when I take a pill.  I still have pain.  Pain that warrants strong medication....will not subside that drastically.  Am I making any sense here???  

This whole situation is finally starting to make sense to me.  I have struggled w/ it a bit.  This is one of the reasons why I continue to come here.  I am trying to make a life decision where my medical problems and treatment are concerned.  You know the funny thing???  Even if I decide to go the narcotic route as an option for comfortable living...I can
Avatar universal
Hi Spook,  I was just re-reading the post above re: the Xanax and fiorinal,  Fiorinal is a barbiturate?  I thought It was, she is in double jeopardy if she cold turkies both of them....My head was not too clear this morning,  I have averaged about 2 hours of sleep these past 2 nights. everytime I try to sleep I start coughing from this damn pneumonia and the docs tell me they want me to cough...don't keep it in my lungs,  yeah right they are not the ones coughing their lungs out....sorry to stray off the subject....ok just curious about the barbs.   love to all  cindi    ps....what is zanex?  Never heard of it...
Avatar universal
Dear Annie,
So far, I have always had a doctor who would give me just about anything I asked for. I have had to take the role of self-limiter, when it came to pain meds. For a while, I had the doc giving me OxyContins, before I realized how addicting they were. I knew that they were TOO good to be true and would have put me in the rehab in short order. So I contented myself with Darvon and the occasional Vicodin script.

I say, addiction, or habituation, is secondary when you're in daily, debilitating pain. If narcotics are your only way to a halfway normal life, than I say addiction is just a side effect of the treatment. What it isn't is some kind of moral or character failing you need to hide like some dirty little family secret. There's no shame in a chronic pain patient becoming habituated to their pain medication. When they invent a non-addictive pain reliever, then fine, we'll all use it. But until then, we're stuck with the opioids and all that comes with them. We only have so many years allotted to each of us on this planet, and it's an out and out sin to spend those years in agony when relief is waiting in a bottle at the corner pharmacy. So what if you become addicted? As long as it's out in the open, I say it's perfectly acceptable. Why should patients have to apologize to their doctors or pharmacists for being in pain, as if it was some kind of failing on their part as patients?

The only time society seems to accept liberal use of narcotics is in terminal cases. As long as you're going to die, well, then, hey, it's just fine then! Use all you want! Just don't forget to die soon!

It's like most human affairs: riddled through and through with hypocrisy.
Avatar universal
"She not only can go through 60 hydros in 2 to 4 days but she also goes through a 30 day supply of zanex and Feorenal (I think that's how it is spelled) within a few days and then starts in on me for my pain medicine. The thing is, she can be in awful pain one minute, take some of my medicine ,and be happy as a lark within minutes".

Kerry,there is no extra Therapuetic effect from taking more than 10mg of Xanax(zanex if that is what you mean)per day,If indeed she is taking huge doses of Xanax,it is to get high.If she is taking huge doses of Xanax and runs out of supply,she is in very serious trouble.
I have cold turkied from 130mg Methadone,done serious doses of LSD and had Horrific Bummers and Survived,etc,etc,But abrupt withdrawal from 5mg daily of Xanax nearly had me commit myself to a Psychiatric Institution,Xanax withdrawals are Incomprehendable,obscene,digusting,Horrifically DISURBING,I would be seriously thinking twice about kicking her out of the house,it is cruelty beyond imagination to withdraw from ultra high doses of Xanax.Maybe she is taking Zanex and not xanax,but I cannot stress enough,how serious this level of use is,This requires prompt professional intervention.
Avatar universal
You summed it up perfectly.  You always do w/ understanding.  I am 3 weeks from surgury, and presently experiencing problems getting a refill.  Can you believe this??  I have holes in my bones!!!  One every inch all the way down to my knee.  Not to mention the big one in the hip.  What's the problem.  Are we still in the 80s????  Reading your posts really helps me.  I usually hate to be dependant on anything or anyone.  This is also why I need the medication.  I'm not one to crawl up in the bed and wait for the pain to pass.  
I've been reading the JCAHO site and chronic pain sites.  This also helps.  It keeps things real.  Sometimes I come away from these sites in fear too.  
Hey, I started working on my outline yesterday.  I will email it to you when I'm finished.  Have you thought about your story, and what you are going through.  I'm sooo sick of seeing crack heads on TV, and stories about addiction to street drugs...then I turn on the News and hear stories about legalizing Pot.  Hey what about the readily avialable meds...that you are trying to get for recovery.  What about the pain medication being w/held from chronic pain patients???  I tell you we have a screwd up society.  

Talk soon,

Avatar universal
Reading your post again.  Man do you see the irony here.  You have been an addict for over 30 years, and look at the sense you've made in your above statements about chronic pain.  Why don't you go back to school and become a doctor.....lol  Who would ever think that someone suffering the torture that you have, would advocate opiate pain meds for suffering people.  Pat/Tom, you are so "common sense" oriented.  Maybe that is why I have a hard time dealing w/ this situation.....sooo much non-sense involved.  
I try discussing my dilemmas w/ my husband, (like today), and he stares off into space.  "Sorry to bore you!" is what I think.  My whole family is that way.  My husband gets upset, because friends and family always call me when they are having a crisis.  I keep my problems to myself most of the time, untill I came here.  I can talk to you guy s about anything.  Thanks again,  For hearing my aggravating ventilating again. lol


How are you doing these days Pat/Tom????  Waiting patiently I suppose.  Hang in there!!!!
Avatar universal
Thanks to everyone who is kind enough to give me input for my daughter. It is xanex she's on. I knew they were highly sought on the streets but didn't know why. My brother is addicted to them. Today my daughtr tried to get her doctor to call her in more pain meds. They refused. Of course she doesn't think it's fair and their being cruel. I tried so many times to warn her she was going to be without any pain meds if she continued to misuse them. I think we're about there. I already move my meds from one hiding place to another as suggested. I always take them with me if I leave home. I fear for her life. I would commit her if it were possible but it's not. Our ER here refuses to see her when she comes in except to stay in legal limits. They have confronted her and told her she will not get drugs from them. I know it's hard for people in bad pain to decide what's too much medicine. I looked forever before finding a doctor that would look at my case as an individual and see I was in real pain. I've read different sites on chronic pain and it's hard to believe some doctors think seveer pain is only in cancer patients. But , again, my daughter ha
Avatar universal
Thanks to everyone who is kind enough to give me input for my daughter. It is xanex she's on. I knew they were highly sought on the streets but didn't know why. My brother is addicted to them. Today my daughtr tried to get her doctor to call her in more pain meds. They refused. Of course she doesn't think it's fair and their being cruel. I tried so many times to warn her she was going to be without any pain meds if she continued to misuse them. I think we're about there. I already move my meds from one hiding place to another as suggested. I always take them with me if I leave home. I fear for her life. I would commit her if it were possible but it's not. Our ER here refuses to see her when she comes in except to stay in legal limits. They have confronted her and told her she will not get drugs from them. I know it's hard for people in bad pain to decide what's too much medicine. I looked forever before finding a doctor that would look at my case as an individual and see I was in real pain. I've read different sites on chronic pain and it's hard to believe some doctors think seveer pain is only in cancer patients. But , again, my daughter ha
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