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Therapeutic vs. Recreational Use

Is there a difference between using a drug for a medical reason and using a drug to get high.  Do the lines between the two blur together in some cases?  Is is possible to just take a drug as prescribed or is tolerance always going to develop leading to more and more? Do you take the drug because it alleviates your discomfort and is that the same as taking it to get high, (discounting pain)... I mean more like releiving anxiety. So many folks here on pain meds who need them trying to get off.  Why?  Why am I trying to stop since I feel worse now than before?  I realize this is not just one question but a whole series and I may be the only person here interested in the this so feel free to ignore this question and talk about anything you want.  Although, I would appreciate feedback if you have any.
62 Responses
Avatar universal
I've posted many times  about the same thing you are asking about.  With me, it is a fine line between therapeutic and recreational use.  After a few weeks, I get to feeling miserable as my tolerence increases.  My solution has been to take a "drug holiday" for at least two weeks.  I do all of my work out of my home so this is a lot easier than it would for someone who had to show up at the workplace everyday.  Sure it takes a lot of willpower and strength to just quit every so often, but a lot of us do it.  

As a disclaimer, everything I've just said is against all NA/AA philosophy. If a person can stay clean and manage the pain for two weeks, why not just quit altogether?  Some can.  J.B. can't.
Avatar universal
Dear kstuebin, and everyone,

I'm so sorry to bust into this thread as your question is an important one.  My life experiences have told me that at times there is a very fine line between taking a particular drug as prescribed for pain/anxiety or whatever the reason the medication was prescribed in the first place - and it blurring into chasing that proverbial high.  I firmly believe that there are certain conditions that warrant relief via narcotics or benzos.  The problem arrises when we start to experiment with the dosages.  Most of us end up on that treadmill.  If I can please take the time to try to explain my situation maybe you all can help me put things into perspective.

I've been here at this forum for years- vocal on and off but mostly silent as I read and read everything you all have to say.  Some of you might remember me, I hope so.

Here is some background- I'll try to be brief.
I'm a chronic pain patient with RA, Fibromyalgia and RSD.  I've been sick for about 7 years and on some form of narcotic pain relief the entire time.  I'd never abused my meds and most times have taken less than the prescribed dose.  As my condition deteriorated I was put on oxycontin.  30mg or 40mg twice a day.  I did at one time start to experiment with my oxy, chewing them and running out before the end of the month.  I went cold turkey-had some withdrawal and cleaned up my act.  I talked to my doctor and it was decided, mutually , that it was in my best interest to take my oxycontin as prescribed- and I've done just that.  Funny thing - I never got high from them - even when I chewed them.  Here's where the HELL starts...
A year ago I was noticing that although I wasn't abusing I was running out of meds before the end of the month.  My husband suggested that maybe *I* was taking extras.  I am so stupid to have fallen for that.  I turned my pills over to him and guess what?  

He admitted to stealing from me.  We went to therapy.  Lies, more lies and promises all broken.  Last week I got a new script for my oxycontin.  I locked them in the safe in my closet only taking out what I would need for the day.  His behavior was erratic and I knew in my gut he was using.  Friday night I sat on the floor in my closet, counted my pills and came up 30 short.  30!!  He'd eaten 30 10mg oxy's in 5 days.  AND LIED about it.  He lied right to my face that he had no idea why they were missing.  Two days of torture and I finally got him to admit it.  He's been using on and off all along- dipping into my meds - and when I come up short for the month there is always some logical excuse on his part and HUGE denial on mine.

S0 - here I am.  Betrayed, heartbroken, lied to, confused.  Not to mention, our 3 kids suspected he was using and now they have lost all respect for him.  

Am I being stupid in thinking we can work this out?  Can this be fixed?  He is setting up therapy which I will attend with him.  What do you think I should do?  I cry all the time now and I feel so very alone.  I feel like my life has been built on a huge lie.  I love this man but what kind of love does he have for me when he can steal from me and bold face lie about it?

Please help me.

deja
Avatar universal
Deja,

Oxy's go beyond love and into the phisilogical realm of craving. He probably started because of some underlying problems. The fact that he is willing, even arranging therapy, is a very good thing. If you find a good therapist this may be a chance for your husband to overcome the mistakes he made. Your feelings seem valid to me and I am sure compassion for him is hard to come by now. However, if you want your life to go on with him, really try therapy, give him a chance and hang in there. Don't stay away so long. Come back here where there is usually some very good and insightful support.

Keeping you in my thoughts,

Frank
Avatar universal
JB:
just one quick question. is it drugs or is it pain that is your
master. Lately i've noticed when i skip my oxy for a couple of
days i don't get the typical withdrawal. I do have intense pain
of 7.5 or above. the pain doc i see claims that intense pain
can shortcircuit with drawal. the last pain doc i had claimed i
wasn't telling the "truth"

the way i see it for me right now, is physical pain is my master.
no matter how much dope i take it is always lurking, waiting for
the drugs to wear off. sort of like the chicken or the egg thing.
Avatar universal
Is it addiction or preoccupation? is it that we don't have anything else going on in our lives, or that we can't deal with what's going on in our life? is it that your were born with a morhpine deficiency and me with a valium void?

"My best friend my doctor won't even tell me what it is I got."

We make choices, that's about it as far as I can tell. Choices may lead to having a cup of mocha or shitting you pants w/o your junk, but it starts and ends with choices.

Turn your back to the sun and walk in to the cool darkness. Whatever, time's a wasting.

Begging everyone's indulgence for my tangential take here,

Frankster

Avatar universal
Hi Kip,
Yep, we can agree to disagree my friend.  :-)
At least somewhat.
I do agree that addiction is a metabolic disorder, and that it is a physiological experience.  I think I just accept a broader definition of when the behaviors of compulsion cross over the line to addiction.

What I do know, is that whateverthehellitis, Love helps me manage it, and your love Kip, and that of everyone here, has given me my life back, at least for today...and for that I am eternally gratefull.

By the way...thanks for the angel on my shoulder. He hangs out there a lot since you've described him to me, and I've named him Harry.  :-)

lots of love,
WW
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