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15290316 tn?1447023108

everyone weigh in with your stories

Hello All,

I've been on this forum for several months, but this past week was when I truly decided put all opiates behind me, and that's when I felt comfortable really posting support for others. To make a very long story short, I didn't feel comfortable to really post until I walked away 100% from the meds prescribed to me in pain management.

I've always been one to explore other people's thoughts and feelings. I'm probably just nosey. Lol, but another post on here really got me thinking about addiction, dependence and pain management. I have strong feelings about pain meds after ten years of being prescribed them! But I was wondering how everyone else felt.

So I'm hoping everyone would chime in and offer their personal stories - From the mods, to the long-termers to the newbies!

There have been some interesting  points made about addiction, psuedo-addiction, and dependency.

In your opinion, do you believe you are an addict, a person who has traits of a pseudo-addict, or are you physically dependent and why? What was the moment that defined your reason for being here? Thanks everyone!
18 Responses
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4522800 tn?1470325834
I like this post!

Yes, they have made it very strict for one to get these in my town too! They will call you in and test your urine and count your pills like Mary said.

I come from the 60s-70s when I started to use/drink at a young age. I did not do it every day. I just thought it was the "thing to do" back then. I could always try a new drug when it came around and walk away when I got tired of it. The Crank/Coke was one of my hard ones for awhile. I was 14 at the time and continued off & on for the rest on my life. Never even thinking it was that Bad!!! Lets go Party! Ha! When I got older I had some serious pain issues and I got my first opiate. I was able to do them right a few times after and walk away. However, remembering the feeling I got made me go back because of another pain issues. I went from having the hydo/oxys prescribed, up to having the Methadone prescribed. I like the Methadone because it gave me a bigger lift then the others. THIS is where the problem became so out of control. I had my surgery and knew I was going to be cut off. I got down a bit and someone turned me on to a Adderral. I do not have ADHD, so those 2 snorted together made me feel like I was on crank (meth). I would take a Benzo to come down. During the whole time on the dones i would run short too. I knew I had a big problem when I could not walk away this time. I got so Tweaked or Spun that others noticed it. I tired so hard, for so many yrs to stop. I just could not do it alone. Went and got help and this is where my Journey begun. I started to Study Addiction in a more Scientific way and had learned so much on what these substances do to the Brain. I have some info about the D-2 cell (Dopamine). I had been nursing for yrs and thought it was a bunch of BS. Well, to this day I do believe that many of us our born with this low gene. For me, I look back and never can see that I had any Mental issues going on that made me want to hide. I just liked getting wired up. NOW I can put some pieces together and feel that I might have had some insecurities or so forth, that made me want to fit in. It was the taste of a opiate that got me so out of control. They do hit certain areas of the brain and they also build up a tolernce so fast. It is most differently a Progressive Disease.

I know a lot of people who have pain issues and can take them as needed or when they are suppose to. My Hat goes off to them and I am happy for them too. NOT all will get Addicted to these meds. Like it says, at all of those meetings, "When we Use to Live and Live to Use" and/or Nothing else matters in our Survival but that next high! I could go on & on but I said enough.

Be Safe, Be Good and always keep your Guard Up!
PS There have been a few post put up like this, so do not take it to heart. These post have many different opinions.
Bless
Vickie
Helpful - 1
2107676 tn?1388973859
Not at all puppies.  I understand where you're coming from.  I just started pain management as I have chronic pain.  My pain is unbearable at times.  I have water on my knees but I think that can be fixed.
I'm actually going tomorrow to have my first lidocaine infusion and hopefully that helps with the pain from fibromyalgia.
My pain doctor agrees with you.  He will not prescribe opiates because he believes everyone gets addicted to them and will eventually abuse them.
It must be very frustrating for the non addicts but percocets are so damn addicting that doctors are very hesitant to prescribe them any more.
Helpful - 0
2107676 tn?1388973859
If I wasn't an addict, I wouldn't be posting in a forum titled "Addiction Substance Abuse.  I know we do have a couple of nurses here that have really had great advice on addiction, especially subs.  Many people don't know a lot about subs so they've been a great help to many.
If someone comes here looking for help, I'm assuming they're an addict and will give them advice to help them get through withdrawals etc.
Why would I try to tell someone who comes here looking for help, that they may not be an addict?  Most addicts would love to hear that and use it as an excuse to go on another binge.  Just sayin.....
Helpful - 0
1 Comments
Great point.  im here because i crave it and think about it 24/7.  that why i decided to stop and not lose my family and everything i worked hard for.
Avatar universal
I am here because i was an addict and i know i will be in recovery for a long time.  Listen,  when the bottle says take 1 pill every 6 hours for pain and im poppin 3-4 pills a time for the great feeling it gave me...i have a problem.  in the beginning it was great i would pop a pill for my back/leg pain and i noticed it made me happier less anxious and worry free.  i became a social buy, i talked more and i started to believe my own lies.  thats the scary part.  as time went on and i started taking a lot i started isolating myself.  friend and family would call and want to come over or meet out i would say no.  all i wanted to do was pop my pills lay down on my sofa and point for the perc to kick in.  THAT WAS IT.  no more back/leg pain but every month i would make that appointment tell the doctor about all the pain i had.  i became a pro at it.  i would google pain point for L4-L5 herniated disc and i knew exactly what to say hurt.  even when he did a physical exam i would know where it SHOULD HURT.  walk out with 180 sometime 240 pills.  i would run to the walgreens fill it quick and wait there, buy water get in the car and pop 3 pills right away.  the pharmacist started to get suspicious and started asking me how my back was feeling ever time i went in.  eventually she said this might pop up as a red flag all these pills every month.  just a ****** feeling walking out of walgreens and knowing the pharmacist is on to me.  really F'd up feeling.    
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I am here because i was an addict and i know i will be in recovery for a long time.  Listen,  when the bottle says take 1 pill every 6 hours for pain and im poppin 3-4 pills a time for the great feeling it gave me...i have a problem.  in the beginning it was great i would pop a pill for my back/leg pain and i noticed it made me happier less anxious and worry free.  i became a social buy, i talked more and i started to believe my own lies.  thats the scary part.  as time went on and i started taking a lot i started isolating myself.  friend and family would call and want to come over or meet out i would say no.  all i wanted to do was pop my pills lay down on my sofa and point for the perc to kick in.  THAT WAS IT.  no more back/leg pain but every month i would make that appointment tell the doctor about all the pain i had.  i became a pro at it.  i would google pain point for L4-L5 herniated disc and i knew exactly what to say hurt.  even when he did a physical exam i would know where it SHOULD HURT.  walk out with 180 sometime 240 pills.  i would run to the walgreens fill it quick and wait there, buy water get in the car and pop 3 pills right away.  the pharmacist started to get suspicious and started asking me how my back was feeling ever time i went in.  eventually she said this might pop up as a red flag all these pills every month.  just a ****** feeling walking out of walgreens and knowing the pharmacist is on to me.  really F'd up feeling.    
Helpful - 0
15290316 tn?1447023108
Pat - I'm definitely not trying to solicit responses that might give an addict an excuse to use. My motivation in this thread was quite the opposite.

I recently posted on another thread where many of us saw warning signs from the OP. Basically, it looked like the OP was heading down a road towards addiction. I responded with a post that basically said that everyone on here with chronic pain probably curses the day they let pain meds enter their life.

I was surprised by some of the responses on that thread. I won't get into the specifics, but it made me think about pain management, chronic pain and addiction. Specifically, I feel like chronic pain patients get very defensive about addiction, and that I think there is a lot of denial going on with CP patients.

I also feel like there is this counter movement in pain management education where chronic pain patients basically convince each other that it is nearly impossible to become addicted to their medication.

I have a great deal of interest in the mental aspects of chronic pain and addiction after being in pain management for 10 years. I was trying to elicit discussion about this, not give people a mental ticket to use.

Helpful - 0
1855076 tn?1337115303
I found this forum when I was looking for help for someone I loved was addicted.  I'm also a pain patient.  I had 9 surgeries after an implant in my thumb failed.  It left me with RSD.  I also have fibromyalgia and had brain surgery.  

At one pain clinic, they had me on boatloads of meds and wouldn't helpme come off.  This forum helped me tremendously.  I changed doctors and now am on a much lower dose.  I do taper down and take a medication hi day from time to time and it helps keep my tolerance down.  I've been through CT withdrawals and mild to moderate withdrawals when I taper.

I've been in pain management since 2008.  Never have I taken my meds other than directed.  I don't get a buzz of them.  They just take the sharp edges off my pain.  I've never run out early and I never have cravings.  They help me do the basic things in life.

As for pseudo addiction, I think it would be very hard to distinguish between the two.  Uncontrolled pain can make people crazy, suicidal even.  And doctors are very leery of prescribing pain meds these days.
Helpful - 0
1855076 tn?1337115303
I certainly am not in denial.  Most CP patients take there meds as directed.  And I'm not a baby about pain.  I've had 4 kids.  I've had root canals without novacaine.  I've had teeth pulled and only taken advil.  I'd prefer to not take pain meds.  But every time I come off them, I'm unable to participate in life.

My ex husband would pop a Percocet because his back felt tight.  I don't agree with that.  Without pain meds I couldnt have a simple conversation because the pain was overwhelming.

I am hyper aware that addiction can happen to everyone and reading posts here is helpful to me.

And just for your info, I think the person who posted is addicted.  I don't think she has pseudo addiction.
Helpful - 0
15290316 tn?1447023108
Mary, I definitely meant no offense to you whatsoever. I wasn't directing anything towards you, I promise! I was talking about chronic pain patients in general and relating my own experiences to things I've been taught in pain management over the years.

I apologize if anything I said was offensive!
Helpful - 0
15290316 tn?1447023108
I had never heard of pseudo addiction until Klean in KS posted a link defining all three terms. I bet she's going to read this and post that link for us because I can't find it. :)
Helpful - 0
1855076 tn?1337115303
Good luck with your lidocaine infusions.  I loved them!  All my pain wS gone.  But it only lasted a few days.  The only thing I didn't like was as they infusion, you feel drunk.  I don't drink because it makes me sick and I didn't like feeling that drunk feeling.  But it passes quickly.

That's the other thing about pain management, it's not just about the pills.  There are many therapies, procedures and treatments that go along with it.  Serious CP patients are using other modalities other than pills.
Helpful - 0
1855076 tn?1337115303
Puppies15, I'm not offended.  I think there are CP patients that have crossed over to addiction.and are either consciously or subconsciously fooling themselves.  But I think there are more patients that  have legitimate pain that need medication and a lot of them are under treated.  There are very strict rules these days when you're in patients.  The DEA and the insurance companies are.dictating what's appropriate care and it's leaving Cancer patients under.medicated.
Helpful - 0
1 Comments
I don't know about this... There are so many pain clinics that prescribe hundreds of roxicet for vague pains to say that the DEA is being too strict. I think it's more the doctor's attitudes. The good doctors are hesitant to just throw pills at a problem, and then there are doctors who just want to write scripts and get you out the door. As far as the DEA goes, they can't do much to keep a doctor from writing prescriptions.
1855076 tn?1337115303
The DEA has shut down a ton of pill mills where there were a ton of pill mills, particular in Florida,.  There are very strict rules that s doctor had to follow if they're prescribi opiates.  And patients have to have urine screens snd if it
Dorsnt show exactly what it's supposed to, the patient is immediately dropped.  And doctors have limits as to how much they are allowed to prescribe.a certain amount of opioids.  If someone like a cancer patient is at that amount is still having pain, they're out of luck.  There are lots of patients that the DEA gets involved with because they monitor pharmacy records.
Helpful - 0
5783082 tn?1374177161
I'm interested in this "pseudo-addict" concept. I know I'm an addict because it's mental, not just a physical dependency. In the "big book" from AA, the definition basically comes from two questions... Can you control your usage? And do you crave it? Being chemically dependent and being addicted are two different things, but what is your definition of "pseudo-addiction"?  I'm here probably because I watched my mom die from the disease of addiction and realized that's the direction I was going. Today I'm 34 days clean from suboxone.
Helpful - 0
15290316 tn?1447023108
That was super-informative Vickie!

Looking back at my long journey with pain management, I have to say, it wasn't really about geting high for me. It was about not feeling like crap! I have chronic pancreatitis among some other issues. Before August, I was on the same dose of Oxy for five years. I don't think I could have gotten high with my tolerance even if I wanted to, but my dependence on the drugs got me so mentally twisted. I absolutely could not stand the crappy feeling I had when I was in between doses. Because of the tolerance I had built up, I started feeling lousy for large portions of the day. I would feel well for about three hours after taking a pill, and then the beginning stages of WD's started creeping up on me. As a result, I did a lot of clock watching and would lay around and/or try to sleep until it was time for my next dose. I hated myself for that. It was like I was wishing away time.

I used to read a lot of pain management message boards and I felt resentment towards some of the CP patients on there because no one seemed to talk about this ugly side of long-term pain med usage that I felt. I was jealous because everyone talked as though they were so stable on their meds and I felt like I was on a daily rollercoaster between relief and withdrawal. I felt like some of the CP patients were laying out BS by saying countless times that they had true chronic pain because they didn't get any type of euphoria from opiates. I'm no biologist, but I thought Opiates "work" for pain because they attach themselves to receptors in the brain to alter perceptions of pain. It's not like the CP patient's brain is more responsible than anyone else's and it doesn't allow the opiate to affect the "reward" section of the brain that causes euphoria.

I also wondered how the statistic that only 5% of chronic pain patients get addicted to their meds came about. Because if it came from asking a patient if they mentally craved a high from opiates, I'm guessing most patients would know how to answer that question!

I am being honest here, and I hope it doesn't offend anyone. I'm venting my frustrations about this because I've held my thoughts in for a long time. For many years, I told myself that I had to be on Oxycontin to function. I'm trying to rewire my body and brain and kick my dependence on pain meds to the curb. I think a part of this is abandoning all of the pain management excuses I've learned over the years. So again, not trying to offend anyone on here, just trying to heal myself!
Helpful - 0
4522800 tn?1470325834
Very Good!
I also have been reading some of your remarks
out here and I think you are doing a wonderful job. Good info.

I was talking to a chronic pain friend who said, that it is easy to get addicted to these because we build up such a tolerance and need more. Even if they do them as prescribed, they find they need more to kill the pain. I know they are not using them for any other reason to get high or to numb their real emotions. This just comes with the pills. However, Tolerance is one reason many get addicted. Repeated drug use disrupts complex but well balanced systems in the Brain. Many drugs/alcohol activate the same brain circuits as do behaviors linked to Survival, such as eating, bonding,and sex (the mid-brain). The drug causes a surge in levels of a brain chemical called dopamine, which results in feelings of pleasure.  The brain will remember that pleasure and want it repeated. Then that person will NO longer seek the drug for pleasure, but for relieving distress.
Repeated drug use disrupts well-balanced systems in the human brain in ways that persist, eventually replacing a person's normal needs and desires with a one-track mission to seek and use drugs. At this point, normal desires & motives will have a hard time competing with the desire to take a drug. So the changes in the brain cause behavior changes.
The disease of addiction can develop in people despite their best intentions or strength of character. Drug addiction is insidious because it affects the very brain areas that people need to "think straight," apply good judgment and make good decisions for their lives. No one wants to grow up to be a drug addict, after all.
But, as we know, not everybody who uses drugs becomes addicted. Some people can become addicted more easily and quickly than others. Estimates are that 50 to 70 percent of these differences in susceptibility to addiction are Genetic..Still, the author reminds that Gens Do Not doom one to become an addict.

So the whole thing is??? If one uses for pain do they really become addicted to these later on down the road??
I think it all has to do with what, you are using what for, and what you want out of it!..Like, if I do a drug that I know is going to get me going like a bat out of he111, so I can get all my work done, then I know "Why" I took that drug. I can take a drug that will knock me out for sleep, then I knew what that drug will do. I think it all depends on "WHY" one is using "WHAT" and for what purpose. Ahhhh I just can not put it in words. I guess it comes down to when we use to live and live to use..
Input??
Bless
Helpful - 0
1855076 tn?1337115303
I think it can be very easy to slide from dependence into addiction and addiction is a cry complex disease.  I am very cautious.  My doctor increased my dose a year ago last year and also gave me a steroid taper.  It was badly needed.  But before that I never had a dose increase.  It doesn't take my pain away; it just takes the edge off so I can function.  I'm very cautious because I know anyone can turn into an addict.  One of the things that helps is reading and participating in these forums..
Helpful - 0
4522800 tn?1470325834
Amen Mary!

You have been a great inspiration around here too, for many yrs!

Bless
Helpful - 0
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