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Addiction: Substance Abuse Community
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Avatar universal

Why do painkillers enhance my joy of life and better my career?

I have been on this board off and on for about 3 years doctor, and this is the first time I have been able to finally post my very own question. I am 48 years old, female, and I am now divorced(4 years) after 21 years of marriage.  I started taking pain meds really full-time when I was 40, but, I have had severe back pain since I was 23 when I had my second fall. I raised 4 children and would never have used illegal drugs or drank(except for an occasional glass of wine), even though I had severe pain.  My children were my life and I do not believe in doing anything illegal.  I still don't.  However, I have been on first just vicodin and now I take 4 vics a day and 2 percocets a day.  I also take ativan when I have extreme anxiety.  I have stopped many times, but, my pain is great and also, I feel so much more comfortable and more joy than I ever did as a chiid.  As a child, I was the one hiding in the corner, never talking, and scared of my own shadow.  Now, I am confident and people love me.  Everyone wants me to speak at conferences and I do so much more for my clients than I ever did before.  Yes, I am mad sometimes that it takes meds to make my brain chemistry work, but, my question is this! Am I wrong to continue taking the meds when I need them not only for pain, but, for anxiety.   I havedoneso much more with my life since beginning these meds.  I take my meds as directed, and I am a therapist and feel because of my childhood experiences that I can help people.  My final question, is it OK to take the meds for both physical and emotional pain/feel joy?
41 Responses
Avatar universal
I have never looked for a therapist for anxiety, just recently, my own family doctor.   What I will tell you is that I never participated in play , swimming, anything that was the least bit scary as I was always filled with anxiety. My mother was mentally ill and yelled and screamed all the time and my father diedwhen I was 6 from alcoholism.  Most children would have friends and play and smile and laugh, but, I never did that. I knew when I was young that something was wrong and I begged my mother to take me to a doctor.  She wouldn't.  My one family doctor I had to go to once asked my mother why I was so nervous and he gave me pills and she threw them away.  Ativan, I have found in last year, works wonders.   I can talk to anyone and feel happy about my life.  I am divorced and alone, but, I do have friends and date some.  Thank you doctor for your response.  I guess I asked this question, because I do have guilt that I have to take meds to make me feel like a whole human being.  Thank you for all your support on this forum.
Avatar universal
When I go C/T, when do I start the receipe?  Obviously the tapering does not work for me!  Don't know if you got my post about the water or not.  I will find out the name tomorrow.  this little "LostGirl" is pretty lost right now.  Did not do well with the tapering at all.  Got that big bottle and it sparkled and twinklked right into me.  Little blue devils.  My mother gave me an ultimatium so I really don't have any choices or excuses any more.  So if I don't make it thru next week, good luck to you all!

R
Avatar universal
I am not judgemental.  More power to ya.  I take valium for anxiety and it works great.

I was like you with mild opiates for years.  Then I ended up like everyone else who posts here.  Read all the posts and see what could lay in store for your future.  I NEVER thought it would happen to me.  I took valium for 15 years and never got addicted nor built a tolerance.  Years of coke...no problem.  Opiates are a whole different story.  

Don't get me wrong.  I agree with you and don't blame you for your perspective.  I feel the same way, but then some.  I am struggling and will be for the rest of my life as a result of opiate use and the permanent receptor and brain chemistry changes.
Avatar universal
There is a lot of press out there about opiates or opioids being excellent for depression, so I can definitely see where Sugarbeans is coming from.  Don't be surprised if, in the future, we see more use in that area.
Avatar universal
This was a great post, and I really appreciated your reply Dr.

Wow, it is interesting because the pain meds do seem to have that effect. One of the known documented effects of opiates is euphoria, feeling good. And yes, for some it can even have a positive effect psychological problems such as low self esteme, depression, introvertedness etc. I am not an expert, this is just based on myself, and the people I have know that use opiates.
However, very importantly, and the doctor stated it very well, there is a dark side. You do build up a tollerance to them. And, like many, you may eventually get to a point where you no longer want to take them and will have a very difficult time getting off them because of their addictive qualities. This is a quality that can not be ignored and I imagine that is why they are not prescribed for psychological reasons. The doctor was very wise to promote other alternatives to getting to the bottom of your problems.

I am currently using pain pills for psychological reasons also. While they do help in the short run, I do forsee a problem train heading my way. I am taking 4x what I started taking to get the same effect, only after 4 months use. And when I stop taking them for several days I already see the addictive qualities - my depression is amplified (and the things that caused my depression are still there, as fresh as the day I started using the meds, I have not gotten past them one bit), and I have trouble sleeping. And well that's it, but those are horrible enough.

I warn you to be very careful, they are not exactly the wonder drug you may think. Take careful notice of the posts in forums like these, of stories (some not unlike yours), people a bit further along on the useage timeline, along with the Dr.'s professional advice.

Kind regards,
Thomas050

Avatar universal
good morning, it's sat.
just wanted to say that my experence was the same in the begining
,when i started taking vike's , they  worked for my pain , and
had a very helpful hand in taking away depression, and made me feel great and energetic.
after a few years tho the pills  began to cause depression,
you could say they turned on me , and began to suck any
good feelings i had right out of me.
i do not know if this is the same with everyone, for me
after taking them for a few years  i got no good feelings,
i did not get high on them , i had to take them to just feel
normal , and function enough to  go to work.
Avatar universal
Suzy,that was beautifully said you are kind and to the point.I haven't been able to catch up to you since I went on my CT trip.I have a question for you about the nasal spray. I did pretty good with detox (only on day 7) but I used the spray 4 time once every 24hrs. I wasn't going to use it last night but at the usual time I took it at bedtime I started to ache all over and had rls. do you think that is still the WD from vikes or did I go to for with the spray? would value your oppion
Avatar universal
I could never taper, either. That's how and why I developed the recipe -- lots of CT's off those Vics!

And you're right, timing of therapies is very important during WD. Here's the recipe text with all of that spelled out. Hope it helps you.

Thomas

Thomas Detox Recipe

PLEASE NOTE: I am not a doctor, simply a long-time Rx opiate junkie who has had many opportunities to develop a way to detox. This is a recipe for at-home self-detox from opiates based on my experience as well as that of many other addicts. It is not intended as professional medical advice. It is always wise to make sure none of the recipe ingredients or procedures conflict with medications you may be taking. Likewise, if you have any medical condition, disease, allergy or any other health issue, consult your doctor before using the recipe. Thanks, Thomas

This recipe is designed for cold turkey opiate detox. It assumes that you can get about 5 to 7 days away from your job or household responsibilities during which you can sleep, veg and act as miserable as you feel. Opiate WD mimics the symptoms of the common flu, so, if you need a smokescreen, hide behind a bad case of the flu.

If you can't take time off to detox, I recommend you follow a taper regimen using your drug of choice or suitable alternate -- the slower the taper, the better.

For the Recipe, You'll need:

1. Valium (or another benzodiazepine such as Klonopin, Librium, Ativan or Xanax). Of these, Valium and Klonopin are best suited for tapering since they come in tablet form. Librium is also an excellent detox benzo, but comes in capsules, making it hard to taper the dose. Ativan or Xanax should only be used if you can't get one of the others.

2. Imodium (over the counter, any drug or grocery store).

3. L-Tyrosine (500 mg caps) from the health food store.

4. Strong wide-spectrum mineral supplement with at least 100% RDA of Zinc, Phosphorus, Copper and Magnesium.

5. Vitamin B6 caps.

6. Access to hot baths or a Jacuzzi (or hot showers if that's all that's available).

How to use the recipe:

Begin your detox with regular doses of Valium (or alternate benzo). Start with a dose high enough to produce sleep. Before you use any benzo, make sure you're aware of how often it can be safely taken. Different benzos have different dosing schedules. Taper your Valium dosage down after each day. The goal is to get through day 4, after which the worst WD symptoms will subside. You shouldn't need the Valium after day 4 or 5.

During detox, hit the hot bath or Jacuzzi as often as you need to for muscle aches. Don't underestimate the effectiveness of hot soaks. Spend the entire time, if necessary, in a hot bath. This simple method will alleviate what is for many the worst opiate WD symptom.

Use the Imodium aggressively to stop the runs. Take as much as you need, as often as you need it. Don't take it, however, if you don't need it.

At the end of the fourth day, you should be waking up from the Valium and experiencing the beginnings of the opiate WD malaise. Upon rising (empty stomach), take the L-Tyrosine. Try 2000 mgs, and scale up or down the next morning, depending on how you feel. You can take up to 4,000 mgs. Take the L-Tyrosine with B6 to help absorption. Wait about one hour before eating breakfast. The L-Tyrosine will give you a surge of physical and mental energy that will help counteract the malaise. You may continue to take it each morning for as long as it helps. If you find it gives you the "coffee jitters," consider lowering the dosage or discontinuing it altogether. Occasionally, L-Tyrosine can cause the runs. Unlike the runs from opiate WD, however, this effect of L-Tyrosine is mild and normally does not return after the first hour. Lowering the dosage may help.

With breakfast, take the mineral supplement.

As soon as you can force yourself to, get some mild exercise such as walking, cycling, swimming, etc. This will be hard at first, but will make you feel considerably better.

PLEASE NOTE: If you have any medical complications, first check with your doctor before detoxing to verify that this regimen is safe for you.
Avatar universal
My take is: Narcotics gave (me) the impression that the job was better, life was better, food was better, exercise was better, etc.

Now, my closest friends (friends of 20 yrs) say: You have changed. Are you depressed?  You used to always wanna do stuff, be the life of the party, "social director", the most creative  ________ (fill in job title here), and now you do nothing. You are depressed. See a doctor. You never want to do anything. (party)

I questioned that.

Their answers were: Now you only wanna stay at home and do nothing. Even when I replied that until we (Hub and I) got DDTD (Don't Do That Dog, our pedigree mutt Pit Bull (sp?):))), that even before the dawg (but AFTER the dope), hubby and I went away almost every weekend exploring all the Gullah culture had to offer.

The friends' questions did not cease. These friends wanted to know what we did now (since we have another child, DDTD- thus not able to leave for weekend forages) and I said, "We usu. eat out 2X per wk/end, go to the beach, mess w/ DDTD, etc. They wanted to know where. It felt like the inquisition.

I would be lying if I SAID that I wasn't happier on a narcotic high at work. But am I as productive now? YES. Am I as successful now? YES. Is my job of equal or better quality? YES Is there pain in my feet and back? Yes. Do I watch the clock? YES

But having life revolve, not around a pill bottle, but around life: music, books, nature, love, pets. That is living. And though Oxycodone/Hydrocoodone may have made me an ENTJ. I am an INTJ. Do a Google or other search. There are 16 personality types. I masked mine for decades with dope. No longer.

Search the net for the Keirsey Tepmperment Sorter II if you have not taken it prior. (or the Breyers- Miggs (sp?)
It will tell you a lot about why you abuse or have abused, about you work productivity/relationships..., and relationships in love and fiendship. (among other telling things)

It might even tell you why you look a gift horse in the mouth without a word of thanks. It is a Very accurate summation (for lack of a better word) of persons' personalities and why they act as they do.

DDTD, Hubby and I may be depressed in the eyes of out friends, but since ridding ourselves ('tho hubby never used, he suffered from My Abuse as much, or worse, than I... so off the 3 of us go, and to my friends I am now "that old depressed fart RWC~,"  but inside I have never been happier. I can only live today for me and for those I cherish.

Sorry for waxing on w/ little msg.

rwc~
Avatar universal
I wanted to let you know that I am on day 7 using Thomas's recipe. A week ago I was pretty upset and feeling kind of lost myself. I was trying to taper and having no luck at all it hurt my confidence and I was sure that meant If I couldn't even taper how and the heck was I going to go cold turkey. Well Thomas came to my rescue and said just about the same he told you and here I am on day 7 so keep this in mind remember your not alone. you can to this.        

Thomas where in the heck have you been I wanted to thank you for your info and the recipe so if you get this a big hug and a bigger thanks to you.
Avatar universal
Hello!  I agree with hippee exactly...Opiates are not an option for depression or anxiety because they want us dead.  Our brain chemistry is different and the opiates do make me feel normal!  Until they totally took over my life.  After nine years of total functionality: promotions, District manager in charge of 40 employees at 5 facilities, great money, huge home, volunteering...all the b s of " success" in this society...then all of a sudden i went downhill fast.  The 10th year was a total disaster:  my income went lower than it was first year out of grad school in mid eighties.  My apartment was a total disaster, neglected my child, was moraly bankrupt and became spiritually bankrupt too.  Depression hit so bad that ending life was a frequent thought Now i drive my Dad's second car, live with my 81 y o parents, not workin...totally broke...  The opiates and my thinking disease had taken over and i almost lost everything literally!  Still may lose my prescious daughter...
So plz hon beware...this disease is called cunning, baffling and powerful.  I hope you dont have to lose it all like me to find solutions...most do.
Said in love..
Suzie
Avatar universal
Hey!  Congrats on your detox work off the vikes!  Regarding The stadol...Plz give me more info.  How long have u  used it?  Did you say u took 4 puffs at once every 24 hours?
Thx!
Peace..
Suzie
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