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    Dealing With Pain Without Narcotics
    ljude38 posted:
    I wake up with severe pain every day. The minute my feet hit the floor I feel pain on the soles of my feet up to my ankles that debilitates my walking for a good period before I really get moving. I am getting a little older now and if I didn't stay active every day I have a feeling things would be worse. A lot worse. My pain is controlled at this time with Aleve or Motrin. Since I literally never take narcotics or anything stronger than a Benadryl every once in a while to sleep, NSAIDS are effective for my pain. I blatantly refuse to take narcotics. Pain happens! Sometimes debilitating pain, unfortunately. If I don't learn to deal with pain in a non opiate way I really feel I would be on the merry go round of opiates, which ones, dosing, looking for a MD to prescribe it, preventing chemical dependence, hyperalgesia, defending my right to use opiates and all the negatives associated with controlled medication use. Its not worth the battle. I feel I have my freedom now because I choose not to take controlled substances. Pain is a part of life and I have to learn to deal with it.
    tuloud54 responded:
    He Jude, I love your attitude.I broke my neck in 1990 and had 2 laminectomies.Since them my neck has always felt like I slept on it wrong.Painful but I had the same attitude as you.After mt surgeries my life only got sweeter.I should have been paralyzed but wasn't.I never even took aspirin because it didn't help. Click my name to read my story because the last thing I wanted was opiods. The are a lot of alternatives out there.What do you do when you have tried them all and would rather die. Hope you never need a narcotic but until you have been in my shoes, you would have eaten dog crap if it took aware some of the pain.You insult anyone who has pain that can be controlled no other way.Love your attitude though.It used to be me.Stay well! Tom
    cweinbl responded:
    The percentage of chronic pain patients taking opioids who become addicted is under 3%. If you take from that group pain patients with a prior history of addiction, the percentage getting hooked on the meds is 1% or less. Don't take my word for it. Here are links to some of the the latest government research: and here .

    Therefore, if you have a history of addiction disorder, you have a very low chance of re-addiction with opioids. But if you've never had an addiction disorder, your chances of becoming addicted to them now are something like the chance of getting hit by lightning or dying in an airplane crash. Now, knowing that doesn't stop you from walking in the rain or boarding a flight, does it?

    Of course, if you are a recovering addict and you just decided not to tell us, then I deeply apologize and you probably should consider other forms of pain management.
    ljude38 replied to cweinbl's response:
    You are the perfect example of what I listed in my post. Thank you!
    cweinbl replied to ljude38's response:
    When I thought my university career was over at age 45 from four failed spine surgeries, just one opioid gave me 9 extra years during which I created, staffed and led my own division leaving a legacy that I never imagined possible. Just one drug.

    Yes, tolerance takes a toll after many years. But I've had the opportunity to discover what my life would feel like today without the medications. I would not decide to go on. With the medications, I've turned to writing in my retirement. Surprisingly, I have had five books published and I have a literary agent.

    All of this unimagined reward is only possible with my opioids and pain management techniques, gleaned from two pain clinics. Using pain medication does not make me a weak person. Weakness is in not trying anything that could help, not pushing yourself to do more... be more.. enjoy more. About 1% of chronic pain patients using opioids become addicted (see above). Not much to fear there. Tolerance and withdrawal are managed quite well today.

    My heart goes out to pain patients who refuse to take or who cannot benefit from medications that can help them manage chronic pain. It's not an end-all. Powerful mind-body techniques like biofeedback can also help. So can acupuncture, injections ,TENS, spinal cord stimulator and the intrathecal infusion pump. They are many tools to help us manage chronic pain. But the most effective one is the safe and effective administration of opioids.

    Here is a very useful site showing the most comprehensive recent research on the all of the interventions we use today to manage spinal pain, along with the efficacy of each rated at six and twelve months:;12;699-802.pdf .
    77grace replied to cweinbl's response:
    HI cweinbl ,
    I have read a lot of your posts and you have been very helpful to a lot of people !But ,as far as your info on addiction I have to disagree!
    Many years ago I was not an addict !I went to a Dr. for chrnic headahes and was given 2 different meds.!Pain killers !
    Anyway after probally a year I already had become dependant and then it crossed over to addiction !
    There is not enough room here to tell everything ,but it does happen !
    77grace replied to 77grace's response:
    To cweinbl ,
    To continue !Many years latter I goty into a program like AA called PA which is for pill addicts and ZI heard my story 100 's of times !!It all started with chronic pain and the same with these other people !
    Now a lot of time has passed aand because of my pain aI have to take narcotics and Thank God he has helped me be able to do this ,but I still remember that I have to be careful!
    Take care,77grace
    _swank_ replied to 77grace's response:
    As cwienbl pointed out, addiction happens to about 3% of people that take narcotics for pain. You're one of the 3%. I've been taking them for years and they have allowed me to be productive. I take them when I need them and have never taken more than prescribed. Without them I'd be sitting at home. With them I'm able to go to work.
    cweinbl replied to _swank_'s response:
    Many people misunderstand "dependence" and "withdrawal," which are physical reactions to medication that are very temporary and can be dealt with easily, with "addiction," a psychological disorder characterized by using medication to get high rather than for pain, by stealing it, obtaining an Rx from different physicians, buying it illegally, etc. Addiction, occupying about 3% of the chronic pain population and only 1% of the "never addicted" chronic pain population (we've probably said that enough now) which requires the power of the patient to heal. A doctor or therapist can only point the right way.

    I congratulate anyone who can beat addiction disorder. Having counseled in the field, I know how difficult recovery can be.

    And, I accused no one in this discussion of being an addict. I simply pointed out that people who have never experienced addiction disorder before have absolutely no reason to fear using opioids and becoming addicted.

    I also firmly believe in pain management programs that are comprehensive (not injection mills). I would say that my pain was vastly reduced with them. But I learned how to use biofeedback and it puts a dent in my pain. Some people obtain relief with other treatments. Those who don't can often consider a surgical implant. Their track records are not awesome, but what do you have to lose by trying?
    77grace replied to _swank_'s response:
    Hi swank ,
    Thanks for your input too !!!!It just seems like such a lo0wpercent when I have met so many people who became addicted to narcotics after taking them for chronic pain !They always took it as prescribed at first and then in time many of these started to abuse them ! I think a lot of these were taking vicoden ,which kind of gives some people a buzz ! Reason ,the drug stopped working so they take more and THEN it crosses to addiction ! But you seem to have researched this so I guess you guys know the stat's !
    Take care, 77grace
    ctbeth replied to 77grace's response:
    Hi Gracie,

    If you're meeting people who attend NA or PA meetings, of course you are among groups of the 3%. Studies have been repeated, subjected to peer review, et al, and the 3% risk is accepted as legitimate

    I suspect that those who have become addicted and are in a 12 step program of recovery are far more vocal about their experience than the 97% who use opiate therapy without addiction problems.

    I, being among the 97%, have no desire to tell anyone (outside of this online community) about my experience with opiate therapy and how it has enabled me to function as a nearly-normal human being. Without opiate therapy, I'd be home bound and miserable

    Please search for academic articles that scientifically and objectively discuss this topic

    ljude38 replied to 77grace's response:
    Hi Grace77,
    I have seen many many MANY people who start off on narcotics for legitimate pain then become physically dependent then cross the line over into addiction. It happens.
    Even if a person isn't psychologically 'addicted' chemical dependency is just hell in itself. Just don't want to go down that route. You seem to get it,

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