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Avatar universal

Using opiates for anxiety and depression?

So I have had pretty serious anxiety and depression issues for as long as I can remember. I am 22 years old, and I have spent everyday of those 22 years obsessing over things that are completely out of my control. I have been diagnosed/misdiagnosed as having multiple disorders; GAD, agoraphobia, borderline personality disorder, and finally as manic depressive, which I think is the most accurate.
During college, I saw multiple university mental health doctors, most of whom just offered me a bottle of xanax, clonopin, or ativan and sent me on my way. Among these meds, I have also tried: lexapro, paxil, zoloft, seroquel, lamictal, xyprexa, buspar, and welbutrin. Currently I am taking depakote er, which actually seems to be working fairly well. It makes the anxiety bareable, but doesn't do much for my depression.
However, there has always been one thing that has relieved all my symptoms; pain medications. First I would like to say something that Im sure everyone knows; these medicines are very addictive and should not be abused. Unfortunately, they are the only things that work for me. The make me completely calm and relaxed, and not wozy and out of it like benzos do. I have never tried to obtain them illegal or without reason, but have come to this conclusion on occassions when I have been given them for legitamate pain. I am curious to know if someone can offer any scientific or medical explaination as to why opiates are so effective. I am also curious whether there are any anxiety medications that incorporate opiate therapy.
62 Responses
Avatar universal
What opiates are you taking?
I have major depression. I think it all started when my doctor put me on ADHD meds when I was a kid. Anyway, I have run thru the gamete of all anti-depressants and nothing has ever worked for me; until I tried a small daily dose of Fentanyl. I cut off a strip (of a 100 mg patch) and take it in my mouth where it stays until the following morning. It's like night and day how much it completely alleviates my depressive symptomology. A 100 mg patch may last me 2 weeks. I am lucky to have access to it as everyone looks down on those who need it. Good luck to everyone reading this-depression really sucks!
Fortunately this is a very old post and probably nobody is paying attention, but seriously, recommending Fentanyl for depression?  First, how do you know that's what you're actually taking?  I know you didn't get a prescription for this very dangerous drug, so I'm assuming you're getting it either from someone who does have a very rare prescription for it or you got it otherwise in an illegal fashion.  Which is why I say, how do you know what you're actually taking?  Anyone who reads a newspaper or watches any TV news knows that most fentanyl is made in China by shady groups who sell almost all of it on the black market and that the purity of it is never known.  Its medical use is almost all for immediate pain relief during and following surgery, as it's much too potent to take regularly.  Addiction is almost a certainty with it, because it is so strong.  This is what's killing people in our current opioid crisis.  Now, I'm not one to say that every time we hear about a drug crisis there actually is one.  We have an aging population, and therefore more people taking pain meds, and therefore more overdoses either from abusing them or being cut off of them and having to go on the black market, where fentanyl is being used without people knowing that's what they're taking and it's much much stronger than the heroin or the pills they usually are getting illegally.  So, death.  But most of these people are in terrible pain anyway.  Young people are a different story.  You do know that while in the short term opioids can make us feel less depressed, in the long run, as you need to take more and more to get the same effect. they become depressants for many people.  It's not that people look down on those who need it, it's that almost nobody needs it.  It's also very unlikely your depression started when you were a kid and put on speed for ADHD.  While it's unlikely you had that problem or needed the med, as this is one of the most over-diagnosed disorders out there, the speed should have made you feel less depressed at least initially.  But of course, speed has a similar problem to opiates -- the longer you use it the less it does what you want it to as you become used to it and addicted to it.  I don't personally care about what you do to yourself, and if this works for you for now, it's your life.  I'm not judging what you're doing, but that you're encouraging other people to go down the same road.  That is where you cross a line for me at least.
Avatar universal
i have taking vicodin and percocet in the past. I am not taking anything currently.
Avatar universal
Not to my knowledge.  My mom is bipolar and she does the same thing you do.  She has been on all the meds you have listed.  Have you been on Lithium though?  Anyway, she seems to like opiates better than anything, but she gets into ALOT of trouble with them:  buying from neighbors, jail for one week, was locked out of the pain clinic, doctor shopping, pharmacy shopping, etc.  I feel sorry for her, so bad, but on the other hand, I have anxiety and depression and I just stick with benzos and antidepressants (lowest dose possible).  I have to say, I have anxiety/depression issues all the time, but I try to forge through them and use as many coping strategies as possible.  My mother is fried from years of drug use (never non-prescription either) and I don't want to end up like her.  Be careful about those opiates, you may end up miserable if you depend on them.  Give yourself the allowance to feel a little bad/jittery some days.  A lot more people are doing the same thing at the same time and feel the same way we do, so try to remember that you aren't alone.  Try to be as positive as possible - I am working on it, so I am no guru on how to fix it, but I am just speaking from personal experiences.  Take care!
Avatar universal
Why do you think people become heroin addicts?  It's an opiate for christ sakes.  If it were legal & acceptable why would anyone walk around without it?  Drugs, especially opiates give you that feeling where you just don't give a ****.  Unfortunately honey, it's not reality.  
Avatar universal
Hi. I have done the exact same thing as far as seeing University Doctor's and having them precribe me benzo's that do not work. What's weird is that some benzo's make me feel like I have the flew where your body is aching all over.  I am diagnosed with BPD, Panic disorder and Bipolar II disorder and am currently taking Lamictal, Prozac and Lyrica for sleep.  I am also taking percocet for the horrible panic episodes that I have because that seems to work as well for me.  I think I know why this works for some people.  In an article that I read a couple of years ago,(unfortunatly I lost it) they said that the brain produces it's own morphine. Some people's brain are actually deprived of that which is why we need opiates to feel normal and balanced.  If I find this article again I will post it.
Avatar universal
It seems to be the only thing that makes me feel stable and normal. I am very productive on opiates as well; not manic - like a lot of adderall, but really levelheaded  and calm-  not drowsy-  just the way I think you should feel-   probably what most 'normal' stable feel like when they wake up.  Tried everything else-  its the only thing that works for me.

285332 tn?1196554435
Well let me say this. I also have MAJOR anxiety issues. But I am also currently heavily addicted to percocet. I was prescribed them for pain from a car wreck and have been on them steadily for at least 2 years.

Its funny you say that about how you feel "pain killers" help you cope with the anxiety issues because at one point I THOUGHT the same thing. I even said to my doctor, "man these things really are helping my anxeity"...well WATCH out!!!! If you feel that way and start using these drugs your anxiety WILL increase 10 fold....What will happen is, sure, you'll feel "good" for a while because of the opiate but its all diguising and hiding the anxiety by making you "feel good" Then before you know it, you take more then viola, you're addicted to opiates.

Now you think anxiety is bad now? wait untill your heart skips beats and you face goes numb and all these adverse side effrects start happening to you and here comes the onslaught of anxiety caused by the opiates. Then when you'll find yourself WORRYING about:

How am I going to get off these?
How am I going to work and make a living using these pills?
How am I going to sleep at night?
How bad are the withdrawls?
How sick am I going to be?
How much damage did I do to my body?

You get instense headaches, cant go to the bathroom(constipation) they rob your brain of ceretonin(not sure how to spell) dizzyness, and on top of that WILL do damage to your body organs. Then your motivation level drops and even more depression sets in. More stuff to "worry" about

and the list goes on and on and on. You'll find yourself running out of your pills to early because you'll take them to often, and when I say "you" I mean in general, not actualy "you", I dont want to come across that way. You'll find intense headaches and pain caused by the same pills that are sopposed to stop that.

I find now, in my situation, these pills at first yeah I thought they were sub-siding my anxiety but in the end they cause more because now I still have the anxiety and now have to face the battle of fighting a mental and physical addiction to these pilss, the devil.

I'm telling you this because I dont want more people to fall into this trap with these pilss, they are NO GOOD, the do NO GOOD, they are EVIL aqnd NOT the answer to anxiety. I hope this post will be read by you and I truely hope it steers you away from them as a treatment for your issues. I hope you come out on the winning end, we're all here to help and intervene with. good luck to you....
Well said Thank you!!
285332 tn?1196554435
I know its a lower level drug but Valium and Xanax seem to be great treatment for anxiety...I've been put on Paxil and Zoloft and Buspar and all those "anti-depressives" to me thats the doctors just writting off scripts to get paid from the pharm. companies...

next time you go into an office look at all the "promo" stuff there is for all these meds....doctors use the anti-depressants on people as if you're being tested. its like a science test to see IF and only IF it'll work for you jumping from anti d to anti d and guess what, you STILL find yourself in intense panic attacks and anxeity.

I'm sorry but the linkage between anxiety and depression makes not a whole lot of sense to me as I dont really feel that my anxiey is brought on from depression. Yes I have bouts with depression but I dont thing that brings my anxeity....Worry about health and money and paying bills are a big mainstay of causes of my anxiety. maybe I'm just speaking on behalf of myself.

Try getting a strong dose of Valium....when you feel an attack coming, take it, it works for me hopefully you guys as well. and its HIGHLY less physically addicting....and its only 1 pill to deal with. let me know what you guys think about this? hope it helps :)
Avatar universal
as a former opiate addict ( or rather let me rephrase, chemically dependent on opiates) I must respectfully disagree with some of what you said. I realize that your experience may have been very diff from mine. i have suffered crippling anxiety attacks for years. My boyfriend will come home to this day and find me on the floor crying because im terrified and cant breath...happened just last night.i have recently been diagnosed with ADD and OCD as well as major depressive disorder and anxiety. Opiates were the ONLY THING THAT EVER EVER made me feel normal...or what i think normal is supposed to feel like, I could work, I could go to college, I could keep appointments and multi task, I had my creativity again, I could function socially for the first time in my life and my panic attacks were few and far between. Once I voluntarily withdrew from opiates and began therapy....all that is GONE. AND I MEAN I FEEL WORSE THAN I EVER HAVE. My phychiatrist has tried zyprexa, seroquil, nuerontin....im already on xanax and have been for about four years....but I feel like I am going crazy. Nothing helps me feel any joy even though I do take celexa as well. So now that Im off of opiates I have lost my TWO jobs because I cannot funtion, have gotten into a car wreck because Im completely out of sorts, cannot go outside because of my anxiety....cannot sleep.... so please know that  I have been through the opiate phase of self medicating for years and have been off of them as well for a good amount of time...and I have secretly suspected all along that the opiates were the thing tht made me feel normal. they did not get me high. they got me to a point where i could function....so I completely feel for the people  on this board that have said the same thing Im saying.......sorry for the long reply
Avatar universal
I have seen both sides of the opiate issue.  I have been on too many psych meds to list here to help with depression and anxiety I have suffered for many, many years.  About 8-9 years ago I suffered a compression fracture of T12.  Upon taking opiates for pain I noticed instant relief from my depressive symptoms that I had never experienced through numerous meds and years of therapy EVER before.  After several years of opiate use for back pain I had become physically dependent on opiates.  They are difficult to stop in the short and long term.  I started reading about opiates and all of the horror stories from those who became addicted freaked me out.  I was convinced I had become an addict even though my prescription remained the same, I did not take more than my daily allotted dose, I never Dr. shopped, and did not run out early.  It turns out I am not an addict in the traditional sense.  I tried Wellbutrin to see if I could mimic the increase in dopamine receptor firing, but it only agitated me.  I have now been on opiates for my pain for over 8 years and still get the benefit of having my depressive symptoms, which in the past were debilitating, kept at bay or nonexistent.   Is it a great idea?  Maybe not, but opiates have changed my life for the better.  Opiates do alter brain chemistry in multiple ways as do SSRI's, SSNRI's, etc.. My opinion is that they seem to be better understood in their action than many of the newer meds that "are believed to work by" descriptions in their explanation of the way they work.  I will say that using opiates for depression is not something I would recommend, but they have worked for me.  I have a great support and monitoring system in place though.  I work in health care and have seen many people become addicted and opiates have made their lives worse.  I do not like the fact that opiates cause such a strong physical dependence, but I have been able to keep my use of them under control for many years.  If I would ever have to stop taking them, I imagine it would be difficult after reading about post acute withdrawal in combination with my mulitple diagnosed depressive disorders.  I have also read about many people having a problem getting off psych meds or even meds for BPH too.  Who knows what the answer is.  Opiates can be an evil drug for those with an addictive nature, but I also believe that I may not be here today if it were not for the way opiates have worked for me.  I would try everything and anything else first.  If a Dr. does prescribe, I highly recommend an agreement be arranged between the M.D., the pharmacy, and family.  
Avatar universal
I should mention there have been 2 occasions in 7-8 years I've run low due to stupidity, other than that, I find if I stay on schedule I do well and do not crave.  Discipline is needed and realize that the extra pills on some days makes you run short on your script.  It does take some discipline though.  Last time I ran short I posted my experience and I just make sure to stay on schedule.  No depression and no withdrawal due to stupidity.
1041243 tn?1375230520
My biggest suggestion is go to the addiction page on this site and you can read all about what these drugs really do.There is a reason why drs done prescribe opiates as anxiety meds. Long term use even as directed WILL cause liver problems, kidney problems, changes in your brain chemistry which causes post accute withrawl syndrome and can last up to.two years (I'm going through it from alcohol, no fun), death to brain cells that control thought (that's why people who use these drugs for years hallucinate and hear voices). It can cause other permenent problems too including addiction to harder opiates (yes this means herion). I was in rehab with people who went through this and you folks who are doing this have no idea what your playing with. You've never bought it off the street...yet. You haven't dr or pharmacy shopped...yet. You haven't spent your family savings...yet. You haven't sold your body for it...yet. These things WILL happen, it's only a matter of time. Addictive drugs are nothing to play with and if you do you're playing with fire.
1156856 tn?1262424593
I'm 18 and for a few years I have suffered from severe anxiety and depression.. which i think the depression comes from the anxiety since that's what stops me from doing what i want to do in life. This article really makes me feel less alone, i relate so much.
I'm young but i've never liked drinking, smoking pot, etc.. but realized the one thing i really liked were opiates, i would abuse them through high school and off and on for the last 2 or 3 years.. but i never felt addicted. I just loved feeling myself for once and everything was so much better. Currently i'm on xanax ER & xanax IR, they help with the physical effects of anxiety but never get me out of this slump i'm in. Moving on, my step mother is prescribed to a VERY strong opiate, 10 mg oxymorphones.. i started taking them to get a high at first but then came to realize how they made my anxiety/depression DISSAPEAR. The problem i'm having is, i have felt the withdrawals from abusing these pills, i have good self control and it helps that i'm not someone who's looking to get "****** up" all the time. My big question is, if i was to use very small amounts of the opiate to get through only my toughest anxiety attacks, which come at around this time (starting college , looking for a job) and other big events, then weaned myself off after i felt more comfortable with everything, would that be ok? like i said, i'm not looking to get messed up and i have very good self control.
sorry for such a long post & thanks SO much.
Avatar universal
The use of opiates / opioids for anxiety and depression has been suggested by many doctors and psychiatrists for decades.

As a matter of fact, my mother's psychiatrist offered her Lortab(hydrocodone/APAP) for her anxiety, but she didn't want them because they upset her stomach.

Ask your doctor and / or psychiatrist if they can subscribe some kind of opiate.  It can't hurt to ask because SOME psychiatrists have already begun subscribing narcotic pain meds for anxiety.
Avatar universal
I can tell you what I have learned from my psychopharmacology class I am currently taking.  Opiates and benzos are both CNS or central nervous system depressants.  There many types of opiates some more addictive than others so hopefully the opiates you have taken are the less addictive kind.  The opiates help deal with anxiety reduction because they bath the limbic system of the brain, most importantly the amygdala gets a good dose of anxiety reduction.  The limbic system is very complicated, but in a nutshell it is where many of our emotions come from.  The amygdala is the fear center of the brain and this in turn is where much of your anxiety comes from.  Additionally the depatoke you are taking is a mood stabilizer and is well known to help bipolar disorder also called manic depressive disorder.  You may have found that doctors won't prescribe you benzos for too long that's because the drugs that help most with panic disorders are also very addictive.  The best methodology to help with panic disorders may be to prescribe you a benzo at first for imminent panic attacks, but long term therapy is best in handling it.  Additionally you may want to do some research on lithium for bipolar disorder.  Lithium has been shown to be highly effective in reducing the number of manic episodes experienced from bipolar disorder.  The catch is you need to get your blood checked regularly when you are on lithium to find the right dosage and maintain the right dosage for you.  You should also know that you always need to keep very hydrated when on lithium because if you become dehydrated the toxicity of lithium could become dangerous.  Hope that helps you.
Avatar universal
I have been through the feeling normal only on opiates because the anti depressants did not work, injury, long term use and abuse of any pills I could get my hands on, to full blown addiction. It landed me right in a methadone clinic, which I was told I would have to go to for the rest of my life. I went for 2 years, got my take home doses like a good little junkie, and got thoroughly sick of the whole thing. I started splitting my doses, and eventually had enough to detox myself by cutting back in increments week by week. It was the hardest thing I have ever done, but it was soooo worth it. I am now 2 years using pain meds only under doctor's supervision. The thing is now, I have cirrhosis, and will not live more than a couple more years at best. Please, please, anyone taking large amounts of percocet, vicodin, loratab, anything with acetominiphin or anything found in OTC pain meds, have your liver checked regurlarly. These things can kill you.
Avatar universal
I need to preempt this with you knowing that my panic disorder, GAD, and endometriosis pain disease I treated with Dr. prescribed Klonopin, Xanax, and Oxycodone plus every freaking anti-depressive known to man ever since I was 19. Im 40 now. . Since the anit-s didn't do much  for me, I basically stuck to the benzos  which worked and the opiates which was like a gift from above, it helped oh so much but not totally, and than I found heroin.  THE ultimate opiate. It  not just cured my stomach issues, but all pain, all anxiety and every problem I had because it felt like a soft cloud enveloped me. To wonder why opiates work better than anything is like asking why when Im in heaven why dont I feel like going to hell? because heaven is oh so sweet. No brainier right? well with opiates its not so simple  because opiates work. BUT they will kill and damage you eventually, so we have a problem. You  asked for advice in incorporating opiates into anxiety treatment. the answer as far as I know, (im a casac, certified alcohol substance abuse counselor), would only be methadone which unless you  have a legitimate pain issue that would be so severe as to need a powerful pain killer, your probably out of luck. No legit doctor will put you on an opiate to deal with anxiety unless you have or had a substance abuse problem which called for you to be on methadone. Most opiate/heroin addicts who use methadone to get off using heroin , find themselves taking an anxiety controlling agent as well, such as klonopin. The methadone gives addicts some relief as well from crippling anxiety due to being off heroin but a lot still need that extra pill. (than again, some only need the methadone to provide anxiety relief.no simple answer)   SO the point is, unless you fit the criteria for a methadone patient, unless you have a proven track record as an addict needing treatment, I know of no treatment that implements opiates for anxiety tx.  If your going to choose to add an opiate to your day for anxiety which by the way definitely does work as euphoria is one of the "side effects"' u must understand that euphoria isn't going to last long. your tolerance will build to where it becomes a habit and necessary. IMHO use them sparingly if you need them badly but as soon as you feel a a bit uncomfortable when you wake up from not having them in your system, put the bottle down and prey you didn't give yourself a chip (little habit) to contend with. I felt  heroin was the best drug I ever put into my bloodstream for ten years, I never thought an inkling of all the life/personal damage I did for a decade would matter because I was so f***** numb and content for so long. AND THAN I WOKE UP to reality and its taking me over ten years to get that human feeling back. Its a matter of choice, do you want to deal with the consequences of dependency on opiates to deal with your anxiety? I have a feeling if most of us could get away with doing heroin or whatever opiate works, we all would. But we would all be walking around in a drugged out numbed out coma and after a while that's just not fun.
Avatar universal
omg....that was an insanely long post. Im sorry!!
480448 tn?1426948538
First of all, this is a very old thread...so most likely the original poster is not around any longer.

Secondly...opiates are NEVER the answer for anxiety treatment...never...not sparingly,not moderately, nothing.  First of all, people with anxiety issues are very prone to addictive behavior and "self medicating" with substances as a means to make themselves feel better...which obviously, when you throw in something as addictive as opiates....there is only heartache ahead.  If people think they had anxiety before?  Wait until he/she withdrawals from an opiate and experiences the worst possible anxiety...compunded with horrid depression.

While opiates have their place as a SHORT term method of treating moderate to severe pain, and in cases where long-term opiate therapy is needed to treat chronic pain conditions...one indication it is totally inapproriate for is the use of treating mental ilness conditions.  It will take a problem and make it 200% worse...and add on a whole host of other new problems.
Avatar universal
Please realize that though much of what you say is true for many, unless you walk in someone's shoes, you have NO IDEA what you are talking about.  There are many different people out here, and not all of them lack the discipline or integrity to manage opiate use.  I am a forty year old man who have been dealing with anxiety and depression since March 99.  I remember the day it started - with what I now know was a panic attack.  I'd NEVER had anxiety before this, and was rushed to the ER thinking I was having a heart attack.  Since that evening I've never felt normal, though it led me through the guinea pig march of trial and error with every anti depressant mentioned above.  Well, never again until after a herniated disc leading to chronic pain, I was prescribed opiates.  Initially, I had to battle the doctors' suspicion that I was enjoying the 'high'.  But, eventually after they saw I wasn't needing extra meds - and after I finally convinced them that the 'high' part would take a double or triple dose - my doctor believed me.  I found that methadone was the best thing because it stays in your system a long time, and it doesn't take much to help with the balanced mentality.
I've only since battled within myself, fighting off the feeling that I must be a junkie.  I weaned off of them at one point, and the anxiety came right back.  Without self discipline though, you WILL end up worse off.
Avatar universal
No matter how much self discipline you have opiates are still very harmful to your PHYSICAL health. People can go on SSRIs for life but opiates will cause liver, kidney, cardiovascular and all other sorts of damage to your body. They are not a long term solution.
Avatar universal
look at becca117's post!
Avatar universal
This is a controversial issue that people change their minds about a lot. I have been on too many medications to count for bipolar disorder. Eventually, I was so sick of the side-effects of the bipolar meds (Zyprexa, Abilify, and Prozac cocktail at that time) that I took myself off them and suffered the worse withdrawal period of my life... and I'm a recovered heroin addict. When I was finally through the withdrawals from those medications which made me dysfunctional beyond my normal episodes of depression and hypomania, I obviously did not feel good. The depression and anxiety came back with all that lovely lack of motivation, panic attacks, etc. I then turned to street drugs and tried just about all of them, and hated all of them... except opiates. Once I discovered those, I had become an addict in 2 years and it took me 2 years on suboxone to get off of the opiates. Now that I've been clean for 6 months, all of those bipolar symptoms are starting to come back and again my opinion of opiates is shifting. What hasn't shifted is my opinion of the major tranquilizers, benzos, SSRIs, and other pysch meds.

Being an opiate addict is and was terrible... when I became addicted to heroin. Before I was addicted and the 2 years I was on suboxone, those were the best time-periods of my mental health. So what I learned while on suboxone was that I hated the high from opiates... the nod, all that garbage - and I learned that the non-high but still opiate suboxone not only helped me get off of heroin and other opiates, but I didn't feel the need for any other drug or medication: not alcohol, not psych meds, not street drugs. In-fact, I haven't gone to a bar for years now. In short, I learned that I really don't get any stability from anything except very low doses of opiates or the partial agonist that is suboxone or subutex. I got my life together while on it, held jobs longer than I was ever able to, started a relationship that I have been in longer than any other, had financial independence, went on road trips... lived well.

Here is where things get interesting... the relationships. My psychological problems have always disappeared when I've "fallen in love" - or in other words, when my endorphin levels increased. Of course, infatuation isn't stable either. What is hardly ever discussed about opiates is that they mimic your endorphins ...your love chemicals. Yes, they kill pain both emotionally and physically and have terrible tolerance records. Yes, they are not good for your organs and they alter your brain chemistry (duh, that's the goal). But once I made this connection between the way I responded to opiates and the way I responded to infatuation, I realized that it is the endorphin levels in my brain that are low - not the dopamine or serotonin. How do I know this? Because I've been on so many SSRI's and Benzos without experiencing relief from the crippling effects of whatever this disorder is. Further, because I'm a writer and I've been documenting my life for over a decade and can reference the few times I've felt "normal" - when infatuated and when on the opiates. And finally, because I've studied developmental psychology (among other fields) for the past 10 years and this sort of relationship between the brain developing in a way that is low on the endorphin end and opiate addiction is documented in many addiction studies.

So what's the real problem? Physical health and tolerance. Suboxone and possibly methadone (which I've never been on) solve the tolerance problem. As for the physical health problem... do you know what the typical life-span is for bipolar patients? Aside from that... do you realize that major tranquilizers (including lithium) cause terminal illnesses as well? So really - there either isn't a good psychiatric answer to this issue (when it is really this strictly related to endorphin levels) or safer opiates like suboxone are just as viable as some of the garbage that the US permits psychiatrists to prescribe.

at this point - I'm trying a non-medication approach (any sort) and trying other therapies and meditation. Doesn't work that great but to be honest, suboxone is expensive as hell and regulated rather strongly. My life isn't good... I am fairly dysfunctional and despite the numerous times I've been through opiate withdrawals (and yeah, they suck), I am fairly certain about what my real options are. I'm not willing to risk more psychotic episodes from psychiatric meds (which I've never experienced off of them) and I'm not willing to use heroin, pain pills, or any opiate that is mixed with other pain medications. I still hate even the thought of trying any other street drug, including pot (which affects me horribly). And, if I am still on the brink of homelessness in another 6 months I'll probably go back on suboxone for the sake of not relapsing.

Either way it's survival.
Avatar universal
I am 31 years old and was in a fatal car accident when I was 18, in 1998.  I was driving and my close friend who was 17, died in the wreck.  I was critically injured and actually died a few times, my heart kept stopping and the EMT's and doctors were having a hard time getting it started again and keeping it beating.  I also lost 2/3rds of my blood and broke both legs among numerous other bones in my body.  I remember being out of my body and that feeling of peace and happiness, only to come back to my physical body and be in excruciating pain.  Since all this happened, I have been on and off of pain medications, (opiates), and I have to agree with all of you that say that the opiates are the only thing that makes me feel normal.  I always suspected that I may have some OCD and bi-polar issues, even before the wreck happened.  I never felt normal and happy like people should and once I was taking pain meds, for the first time in my life, I felt normal and wanted to do things and enjoy life.  I have never had an addiction problem with it and when I had a prescription for vicoden or lortab, I never abused it; was never taking more than 2-3 a day.  I have never felt "high" off of it, it just makes me feel normal....almost but not quite to the feeling that I had when I was out of my body.  I have been diagnosed with severe PTSD and my doctors continue to force me to take anti-depressants, but I continue to tell them and try to explain to them how those only make me feel 20x worse, and that I feel better not taking them.  Right now, I am taking Lyrica and it helps to keep my feet and hands from falling asleep and going numb, and a little pain, but it does not help to make me feel "normal" and happy with life.  I am not clinically depressed, or else the anti-depressants would make me feel better.  No matter how I explain to my doctor that they make me feel worse, he just does not understand it and says, "that is odd because usually people taking Lyrica HAVE to take cymbalta too"  and he continues to try to convince me to take it even after I tell him that it makes me feel worse and makes me actually feel like I want to die, when before (not taking them) I do not feel like I want to die, I am just in chronic pain and don't feel like doing anything and am not happy with life.  I have a beautiful 5 year old daughter who I love more than anything in the world, and the only times that I feel like I have energy and want to play with her or go on walks and do things, is when I am taking vicoden or norco.  I have tried to research this online, and find a possible reason that the opiates make me feel normal, not high, and that I get energy from them and do not feel drowsy.  So far this is the only place that I have found other people who experience the same thing as I do...but still no explaination for why it does this.  I have taken a few psychology courses and still cannot figure out why.  I know that it has to be something that has to do with your brain, but I want to know why.  I cannot find a doctor that will understand me and not think that I am a drug addict trying to "score" pain meds.  I just want to feel normal, and the only thing that works is the opiates..and I have never done hard drugs like heroin, never wanted to and still don't want to.  I just want an answer for why that is the only thing I have found that makes me feel normal, and I want a doctor who will actually listen to me and understand what I am saying and not treat me like an addict and refuse to prescribe the pain meds for me.  All the doctors I have seen know that I am in chronic pain and they will treat me for a while, then decide that they don't want to be the "one" who could be responsible for me "overdosing" or something like the celebs that have died from prescription overdoses.  
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Avatar universal
Arlington, VA
370181 tn?1595629445
Arlington, WA
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