I don't know what to do or where to turn. I've been on and off opiates for a very long time due to severe back, muscle and joint pain. I have a combination of Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Arthritis that's mainly settled in my lower back and now Lyme disease again! It's been a battle fighting to get off these drugs every time. I'm drug free for eight months now but I'm in so much pain I can't stand it. Is there anything I can do? Any medication that is not addicting I can take? Are there any new drugs outside of the US? I need help! Please, someone, get back to me! Lois
Sorry to hear that you have all these health problems!I too suffer from chronic pain due to tumors on my spine ,etc.I also understand addiction and if that is still a problem for you ,it can be really hard,I've been there to!!!! I do know Lyrica can help the Fibromyalgia alot !!! I know people that it helped!Maybe the best thing though is to be honest with your Dr.and tell him your problems<Or find a Doctor who is a specialist in treating people in recovery who have these pain issues!! God Bless YOu,77grace
I would really think about whats going to happen in the your future regarding pain management if you come out and say you have an addiction problem to opiates.Even if it's the truth the way the system is now you will become an outsider in pain management. This is the way the system is. You know what I am talking about. If your pain becomes unbearable you will need opiates...
Grace, Annette and RJ, thanks for writing! I have tried all sorts of things over the years, one of which was lyrica. It didn't help all that much and I gained 40 lbs! Not a good thing since I also have diabetes on top of everything else. I've been going to a pain management Dr. who gives me shots of the same stuff women use in their faces to stop wrinkles, I forget the name. Anyway, he puts that in my muscles in my upper back and neck and it does help. And yes, I am addicted to opiates. I will take them if I have to but I really don't want to go through that whole scene all over again. Been there too many times, know what I mean? Besides, they really don't work! Maybe the first few work but after that they don't do squat unless you take more and there you are right back on the merry go round. I wish they would come out with a breakthrough pain medication for people like me. I'd be happy to be a guinea pig!
Hi Lois, It sounds like you have many different health problems and the pain that will not go away. Do you have a dr. that will prescribe you pain meds? If you do, why don't you want to take the medications?
Maybe you should get a pain management dr. to help with controlling your pain. I don't know much about Lyme disease at all.
There are meds that treat arthritis that are not opiates, but I do not think that they would help much with controlling your pain in the other problems that you have.
I am not a dr. for sure, but it sounds like you need a good pain mgt. dr. and maybe some type of therapy to talk to someone might be helpful.
Are you truly addicted to them, or just become dependent on them? Addiction happens rarely to folks who use opiates for pain. Addiction includes the compulsive use of drugs to get high as opposed to managing your pain. Tolerance is also a normal side effect of opiates, so over time you may need more to get the same effect.
If you find they just do not work well for you, try other things. The Botox injections do seem to gain in effect the longer you use them, what else does your doctor suggest? I did not find Lyrica to be useful, but did find gabapentin to be very good for my pain, especially nerve pain. I have slowly but steadily lost weight while I have been on the gabapentin, over 50 pounds.
Thanks Annette for the info on gabapentin! I have to run this by my Dr. You don't have to use the drugs to get high to become addicted to them BTW, they become addictive all by themselves just by using them. The more you use the less they work and the more you need. Never ending story! Addiction! I've had a long love/hate affair with opiates and I would never sugar coat the dangers of using them to anyone! Opiates are sneaky and deadly and they get harder and harder to get off the longer you stay on them. That's why I'm looking for other methods of easing my chronic pain. I've never heard of gabapentin but I'm willing to give anything a try. Thanks again, Lois
You really need to research the difference between addiction and tolerance/dependence.
Addiction is a psychological issue. Someone who is addicted to pain meds or benzos is someone who take them to get high and not for their intended use. They will take more than prescribed, they will buy/sell them on the streets. Or Dr. shop or go to the ER a lot to try to get different prescriptions.
Tolerance is when a person takes a medication...any medication...for a long period of time, the effectiveness will be a bit less and usually means that the dosage needs to be tirated up.
Dependence is for certain medications where if one were to stop them suddenly...their body will have a negative reaction or withdrawal. This can happen with a seizure medication...or blood pressure meds...etc. Not just pain medication.
So the latter two have nothing to do with addiction. A medication cannot "cause" addiction. Only a person with addictive tendencies and who starts to do the things I listed is considered an "addict".
Anyone who is taking their medication as prescribed by a reputable Dr. and needs to go off the medication for a particular reason will get tirated down slowly to where they should not be uncomfortable or have any withdrawal symptoms.
So the medication itself is not "sneak" or "deadly"...Someone who absues the medication is considered "sneaky" with it and can be deadly if they are taking more than prescribed, mixing with benzos without a Drs. knowledge or adding in alcohol or illegal drugs.
If you have addiction issues and were truly addicted to your meds...then you can either find a Dr. as was suggested, that knows how to handle addiction and usage of pain meds. Or find other ways to help your pain levels.
Again, the latter part is something that everyone should be doing for chronic pain management. I don't know of a reputable PM or Dr. that would tell their patient to not use any other modality but opiates to control their pain. Or who would tirate up the dosages fast and often to levels that are beyond prescribing norms.
I've been in PM for over 8 years now and have only had to raise my dosage two times. My PM is very knowledgeable about medications and we rotate through different ones as well as use dozens of other modalities to help keep my pain levels around a 5-7 depending on the day.
So, hopefully you will read other posts or do some research online to understand the difference between addiction/tolerance/dependence:)
I think you are wrong about addiction, everything I have read says addiction includes using opioids in a compulsive fashion for the wrong reason, to get high rather than for the pain. Tolerance is a normal side effect of opioids, as is dependence.
I have used opioids daily for about 15 years and never had any problem with them at all. I have gone up and down on the dose as needed. My husband has used them off an on for chronic pain and has never even gone through any kind of withdrawal syndrome when he stops using them, even after several years of use. Strange, I know, but I have lived through it twice with him in 20 years, no withdrawal at all. He told me the same thing happened, nothing, when he stopped using daily opiates after his cancer treatments, before I knew him.
If they don't work for you, I would not bother taking them. Try other things instead. "Feeling Good" by Dr. David Burns, MD has been very useful to me, as has been "Managing Pain Before It Manages You" by Dr. Margaret Caudill, MD, PhD. Both are great books written in a very useful way. You can use their assessment tools or your own to keep track of how you are doing.
totally agree.Trust me i know.i have been on sub. for 5 years.i have struggled with pain.have fybromyalgia and the whole nine yards. my pain is getting worse and i have to have several surgeries.my sub dr is aware of this.We spoke bout all my issues and thought i should try to go to pain maneg. and get back on opiates. So i went to pain maneg. and they looked at me like i had four eyes. they said they would speak with sub dr before they do anything for me.so long story short i got a message on my answering machine saying "dr will not perscribeme any narcotics,nor will he see me,nor will any dr in our office". This is unfair.i think it should be my choice and i should not have to suffer.They could of regulated the pills,etc.I am so upset.There is no hope when u have admitted to being adiccted to an opiate.u have to suffer unless someone else has any ideas.
If you are taking suboxone for addiction to opiates, it is certainly the right of any pain management doctor to opt not to give you the opiates to which you have an addiction. Perhaps you need to speak to a PM doctor who has a professional relationship with an addiction specialist. Maybe that PM office does not have an addiction specialist. You may have to go see a PM doctor in a university medical center setting.
Did the doctor who prescribes your suboxone suggest you go back on opiates? Or do you think you should? Who suggested it first? Did you ask him if he ever talked to the PM doctor that left you the phone message?
Opiate addiction and chronic pain are two very difficult things to manage by themselves, let alone together. You are a recovering drug addict, why should you get to decide what drugs any doctor will prescribe to you?
I would not give up on this, I would talk to the addiction doctor and ask him what to do next.
first of all i don't think you know my story well enough to call me a drug addict..you are stereo typeing just cuz i am on suboxone.Second of all it was these same doctors who kept perscribeing me these narcotics until the day i wanted to stop takeing them.I did not take narcotics to get high. I am physically dependant on them forever...because i was perscribe them for so long BECAUSE OF MY PAIN!.everyone is differant.I would like to see yourself and your husband never take anything/narcotic wise when u r in pain ever again!.suffer it out like i do!try that instead of judgeing people.So i tried to stop takeing the narcotics all together and got sick..I told my primary doctor about this and he turned his back on me.My only choice was to go to rehab and stay on sub maintanence program.there is no inbetween.So yes i am marked for life...like u would say a "DRUG ADDICT"!!there is only one pain manegemant place to go in my area.read the news there are a very slim amount of pain manegemant doctors.not enough to go around. i am not goin to go be a guinea pig at some college hours away!and i think it should be my choice what i want to take.i also do not think its fair to say i should suffer for the rest of my life.these doctors got me into this and they don't want to help me now that i have admitted to being addicted.you also need to do more studies on addiction before you act like u know it all.everytime you take a narcotic it affects you, and your brain and yes you and your husband will become addicted or maybe u r in denial!you cannot take narcotics and not have it affect your brain and its thinking.its a fact.look it up.another thing is everytime i have to have surgery i have to withdraw off the sub and be on a narcotic.i do not want to have to go threw that 8 times.yes i should be the one decideing for once.thanks for the help.
I have to agree with you. It's not fair that your honesty and willfulness to take charge of your health has led to any sort of "distrust" in the prescribing of appropriate pm medications.
Did the pm doctors office CONSULT the physician who prescribes suboxone? Did the "sub" doctor write a referral? I'm interested in knowing your process to learn from it. And maybe others can learn how to accomplish this too. It seems it would be optimal to have the addiction specialist working in tandem with pm doctors but that's not always easy. If you don't mind sharing, will you? Thanks.
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