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Avatar universal

Pain pill abuse..PLEASE HELP

I need help with my sister. She has fibromalgia and in my (and the rest of my family's) opinion she 100% abuses her pain pill's.

I understand that people with "fibro" have pain that can sometimes feel unmanagable. My sister however has the tendancy to over dramatize the pain (to the point of clenching up and non-stop crying out) when she doesn't have her med's. This happen's every month because she uses her pill's up before the month is out. I think the dodctor is over medicating her in the first place. I am not sure of all the pill's she takes a month but I once paid for her script's and they came to almost seven hundred dollars. I know she takes oxycodine (about 200 a month or so) perkaset (also in or above the 200 range) anoth3er pain pill (about a 120 of these a month) and she must also take zanax and hormone pills along with some other's.

I know that some of you may try to stand up for her when it comes to how "real" the pain is. I don't need to hear from you people. I know my sister and understand all to well one's ability to over-dramatize pain to get to this point.

Another thing you should know is this... She has to go to a doctor that lives an hour and  half away because the doctor's in our city will  not perscribe her as many pain pill's (most have cut her off all together, along with the emergency room) as this doctor. I really believe she is going to die. Not get sick and have problems but DIE.

She has three kids that depend on her. How can we really help her? I really need some help please.
I love my sister and don't want to lose her or have to have her kids going without their mother. She has been taking these med's for the last three years. Before the trhee years it was gradually growing.

Please help me and my family.
20 Responses
82861 tn?1333453911
If your sister is truly abusing her meds, there really isn't much you can do.  She has to see the truth of her life before she can help herself, and GET help for herself.  You can't force an addict into treatment and expect it to result in a lifetime recovery.

The "clenching up" and "non-stop crying out" are withdrawal symptoms.  It happens whether one is addicted to opiates (a mental problem when taking opiates for the high) or physically dependent on them as any compliant patient in opiate therapy will be.  As you have no doubt seen, acute withdrawal is not pretty - and can be dangerous depending on what underlying medical conditions exist.  Blood pressure skyrockets during acute withdrawal.

About all you can do is talk, talk, talk and try to get through the fog.  Can anyone hold her meds for her and dispense them as prescribed so she doesn't run out early?  I guess that would be the first place I would start - getting her back into compliance and taking her meds as prescribed.  No doubt she's going to have a big problem with even doing that, so be prepared for a fight.

I'm so sorry this happened.  I would hesitate to speak with her doctor right off the bat because she'll just find another one to prescribe or go to the streets.  Best case would be for sis to speak to the doc herself and begin weaning off some of the meds slowly.  Right now, she appears to be chasing the next fix rather than dealing with her pain, and it's probably going to be a long time before she sees the difference.  :-(
Avatar universal
You would get a better response to your question if you put your question in the addiction forum. There is a girl in there who is 69 days clean with the same problem as your sister. Re ask this question in the addiction substance abuse forum.
Avatar universal
Sorry to hear about this problem. I too,am in the same boat. Have been
prescribed huge doses of Oxycodone and Methadone for my chronic
pain for 5 years now. I have abused the Oxy on a regular basis,which
is only because my body has become very tolerant of the meds,not
because I enjoy popping pills to get high. I guess you could say that
I'm "Dependant" on my meds for pain releif. You should talk to your
sister and ask her what her real reason for taking so many pills is?
I bet she will say that they just don't work like they used to,and she
has to compensate by taking a ver high dose anytime she takes them.
I know that's my problem. I take a days supply every time I dose,just to
get a little,if any releif. I wouldn't put her in the "Addicted" crowd just yet,
until you see what she says. There is a common misconception about
people abusing drugs that have a legit pain issue,as being "Addicted",but
it goes deeper than that if that person truely needs the meds for pain releif.
So,don't be too hard on her,because she will retaliate and take more,just
to spite you. No offense,just stating the realiy of your situation and hope
this post has helped you some,som you can help your sister. God Bless.
256169 tn?1191685315
Well you're the one that said "She has fibromalgia" so I don't have to.  Maybe she does overdramatize, and maybe her doc is writing scripts he shouldn't write, but the truth is, you need to find out what the truth is, not just what "you" think it is.

I won't continue, because you asked for people like me not to respond, but it is what it is.  It sounds like she is taking a lot of meds, so its worth investigating with her, in an unconditional love manner, not a preaching damnation manner.  I don't know how you approach it with her.  Good luck.

Dave W, good advice sir.
256169 tn?1191685315
The other poster was right, you may get more answers that suit your needs in the addiction forum.

Again good luck.  See you posted in the pain management forum, so there should be folks here that would defend your sisters right to deal with her pain.
Avatar universal
Some Pm Dr's just prescribe drugs,that they know are potent,so they know
they can help one's pain,but never get to the root of the problem. Anyone
that takes these meds,without a prior addiction issue,will be good to go for
a while,until they become "tolerant" to that particular drug. A good Dr.,will
switch up your meds evey now and then,so they can see what is working
better. My dr. had me on the same darn meds for 5 years,so as anyone
in my shoes would become tolerant and the meds,no matter how much
you consume,will no longer give you much,if any pain releif. In my opinion,
your sister is on 2 of the same meds,so she is even in deeper than I am
possibly. I do feel for her,your pain. If a Dr. takes away some of her meds,
she will go ballistic,I know,my Dr. took away my meds last week,and I was
traumatized.Ask your sister about why she is taking the meds,and if they are
truey helping her at this point,so you have a better understanding of her dilema.
Try not to be mean or demanding,just casually ask her how her pain is,and if
the drugs are helping,or making her hurt more? Sometimes,as I have noticed in
myself,overmedicating,will actually cause you more pain. It sounds wrong,but it
has been known to happen. God Bless you and your Sis.
Avatar universal
i just wanted to say how awful i think it is about people that do or are not willing to beleive people that have chronic pain.  it makes the people that are dealing with the chronic pain everyday feel really awful and depressed that they have nobody that they can turn to to help with the pain and i cannot believe someone would actually say that to someone else epecially someone that is a friend or family member of the person and pain i would like for the person that is judging someone that is having chronic pain to just for one day have to live in that much pain and then maybe they would understand the persons pain but maybe not there are some people that just dont care about others that way and THAT IS REALLY SAD AND I FEEL SORRY FOR THE PERSON THAT IS JUDGING SOMEONE ELSE THAT IS IN PAIN.  MAKES ME SOOOOOOO MADDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD.  
Avatar universal
I have to agree with honeybere.......chronic pain is an awful thing to live with.And then comes the medication that a person becomes tolerant to.....and of all people,a family member accusing the chronic pain sufferer od over dramatizing.CP and withdrawl is nothing to condemn a person for.I am sure that it probably more pain than you have dealt with,is it not?

And now that I think of it,if you didn't believe her...then why did you purchase those meds that she doesn't need?

It is just aggrevating how some people,much less a family member can  be so mean and unsympathetic to someone in this position.How sad.

And as for this comment:"I know that some of you may try to stand up for her when it comes to how "real" the pain is. I don't need to hear from you people. I know my sister and understand all to well one's ability to over-dramatize pain to get to this point."

This clearly shows how much you refuse to be a loving sympathetic person to another person in this situation.

I hope things get taken care of soon for her sake,and hope that you try to open you heart.

Take care
Avatar universal
I just re-read your post,and you state that your sister takes 620 pills a month.....and she still runs out before the month is up?????AND she takes Xanax and hormone,TOO????

JMO....but maybe it is you who is a little over dramatic?I think liver failure would have happened by now?????
Avatar universal
520....my bad....still MO stands
Avatar universal
Hi! I'm new,anyway,I'm not defending your sister,but just because she has a doctor a hr. away ,I mean,I know many chronic pain people who drive up to 4 hrs to go to there doctor,you said it yourself,doc. don't perscribe pain meds. in your area,and I'm sure theres people in your area who really need them.And your sis is on oxycodone and percocet? Thats what perc. is,oxycodone with tylonol.I find it hard to believe a doc. would prescribe 2 short acting pain meds to one patient.Now oxycontin is time-released oxycodone,and thats [most cases] prescribed twice a day,which would be 60 a month.I'm sorry,but I find it very hard to believe a doc. is giving her over 500! pain pills! He wouldn't be around to long.
Avatar universal
I think you would be well served to post this on the Addiction Forum.

Many there have chronic pain, and SEVERE chornic pain, however, due to the nature of the narcotics and what they can do to a person (and the tolerance buld-up) it can very well ruin someone's life.  The despair and spiral of some lives due to the addictive nature of the narcotics/addiction often becomes worse than the chronic pain that was originally intended to be treated.  And if she's been "cut-off" by a number of doctor's in her area, it is quite likely she is now in throws of addiction.

This is not to judge anyone's pain... everyone can only know what's right for themselves.  

But I encourage you to post this over there.  And see what kind of feedback you get.

Good luck buddy...
Avatar universal
So basically your sister takes 6 of one pill, 6 of another, and 4 of another everyday. Im not sure why they have her on all kinds of different pain medications, unless she is supposed to take dfferent ones at different times so she does not become tolerate of them.. Wow, confusing!! Being a chronic pain patient myself, I can tell you that it sucks royally to be in any kind of pain because the littlest amount of pain for one person is drastically worse in someone living with pain on a daily basis. I am going to go through the "testing" for fibro, because I can't seem to ever be in a normal pain free mode. Maybe your sister has too many different medications, her doctor should switch them to try to find one that works, not 3. She could have an accidental overdose. That goes for her "using" to many and running out. It is her responsibility to use them as prescribed and if they dont work, she needs to tell the doctor that so he can find one that will. It is a very difficult life to lead when your constantly in pain and cant control it, but much worse when you abuse the drugs you allready have. As her sister, you should ask her why she takes so many medications and maybe help her to talk to her doctor about finding one that works better for her, tell her that you see a drastic difference in her life and let her lean on you for support. Withdrawel symptoms suck, no one knows the feeling of that except the person going through them. She will have to make the choice not to run out of her medication, which means she has to be responsible with them. Im sorry you are going through this, it is a GREAT thing to have a sister that cares, but do make sure you dont shun her for taking medicines if she trully needs them, just help her see through the clouds so she can get on the right medications that will last her for the month. Also, why did the doctors stop writing scrips for her? Did they believe she was over using or making up pains? How long have you seen her with this pain? Ive known people that make up pains just to get the medication, often having to go to all kinds of different doctors to get medicine, and if thats the case then you are dealing with an addiction, and as her family, you will have to help her get to detox..Good Luck..
Avatar universal
Cases like this are what make doctors afraid to help those in pain. It can be hard to tell the difference between someone really in serious pain, or someone just looking to get high.

I have pretty bad pain and there's only been a couple times I've run out of my meds early, due to poor planning and such.
535089 tn?1400673519
Chronic Pain1:

This is a really old post. Please start a new thread......the poster is most likely not around anymore.
Avatar universal
Just what your sister needs, you being another pain.  You have no idea what it is like to have her pain.  You can help her by offering to do things that help her out and reduce her pain load.  Then maybe she will need fewer pain mess.  You can't help her until you believe her pain.  Otherwise, get out of her life and her business.
Avatar universal
i agree with you im not a depressed person and people that know me. know that i used to be a very strong and a tough kind of a girl could take any punch you throw at me now with all my pain i cant sit up and my meds are not working like they used to... and worse i just moved and have been to 7 dr.s whom dont want to refill my old dr's pain prescriptions let alone change it or add to it. which i think just a change will do. but after 7 doctors completely rejecting me. im getting very scared and sad. scared cause i know the pain of missing just two doses let alone quit cold Turkey. anyway now i have my family questioning that i even need the pain medication they think im being a woos  and ad-libbing  my pain that makes me sad. without everyone doing that i would be very happy. atleast have support which is so important. anyway fibro is bad ad ddd and cervical stenosis and ur introuble without meds
655875 tn?1295695107
I don't have fibro, but I do have severe neck pain and many times my neck pain is unbearable.  I'm pretty sure not every one believes me as my own family tells me to stop milking the neck issue.  Nice.  Sometimes I wish they lived with this pain for a while, so they know exactly what I'm going through.

If your sister is going through the medications faster then she is suppose to, it could be that she is tolarent to her medications.  She needs to tell the doctor she is in pain, then he can prescribe the right dose.  I get 300 a month of one of my medications that you have listed up there, I'm allowed to take 10(2 at a time) a day for breakthough pain, I also get another long acting medicine closely related to my other one and I take it twice a day.  You bet I take them all, I don't take more then allowed, but my pain is still unmanaged.  I don't want to be kicked out of PM as they do pill counts.  I'm assuming she is taking percocet 6 times a day for breakthought and oxycontin 4 times a day.  I'm assuming she is on the 10mgs of oxycontin.  

If your sister was addicted to the medications, she'd be buying them off the streets and taking medications she is not suppose to.  That is what I heard anyways.  It sounds to me like that her pain is not being managed, if she is depressed or have anxiety, her pain will be worse.  

Talk to her and don't accuse her, even if you think she is abusing her medicines.  Ask her how she really feels.  I know how it is to live in such severe pain unmanaged.  I have no family to talk to, they roll their eyes at me.  I permanently damaged my spinal cord in my neck.  My pain goes all the up to the 10 on the pain scale.  I drive an hour to my doctors office also.  It's worth the drive to see a doctor who is willing to help.
547368 tn?1440541785
Runningmom and imhurt, the origianl post is from 2007, an old one. I doubt these ppl are still on MedHelp.

imhurt please post your question or concern as a new question. We can relate.

Avatar universal
My sister is exactly the same way. She doesn't have fibromyalgia but she has an addiction to pills.  She moved to heroin after years of pills.  
It is appalling that any doctor will give her that many pills at once.  The doctor can give her  a 3 month supply of written prescriptions.  The pharmacy and her insurance will not fill them aheard of time and if she tries to fill ahead of time her doctor will be alerted.  Her doctor is over medicating her. You sister most likely sought out this doctor because of his/her reuputation of doing this.  My sister was an expert at finding docs who would do this.
I would do a family intervention. Talk with a specialist that understands fibromaylgia pain. She needs to go in to detox and a rehab facility.  The facility will not allow her to suffer, they will help her with the pain.  Then she needs to understand what she is doing through rehab and hopefully recovery.  
Xanax and the fact that this doctor is giving her this drug on a regular basis is also a huge red flag.  My sisters doctor did the same thing. It is highly addictive and should only be used temporarily and short term.  It changes her personality. My sister and brother were both addicted to it.  My brother had bouts of such violent behaviour and detoxing from it is very hard and dangerous.
So try and get her to a facility that can do this under medical treatment.  
I have fibromayglai and have had 7 surgeries on my spine. I take oxycontin 40mg per day  and percocet for break through pain. I have NEVER run out of my pills. I would never abuse these pills, it's an awful feeling having to take them.  There is something called "tolerance" to these pills and I have a tolerance what you are descibing is addiction.  And the doctor prescribing them is at fault. He is responsible for being hyper vigilant in monitoring how she takes these pills.  Having her fill 200 at once is irresonsible.
I wish you all the best. You must also be sure to take care of yourself. After years of trying to care for my sister our family got so crazy and the family of an addict often gets sicker than the addict. So Al-On meetings would be great and counseling.  Co-dependency is often what happens.  A great book to read is "Co-dependent No More" it is written by an ex-addict and a chemical recovery specialist.
Take care.
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