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Am i going to get addicted to hydrocodone? worried

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:33 AM in Lower Back Pain
Hello folks!

I just started on pain management. I have scoliosis and am in a great deal of pain as soon as I get up in the morning. My PM doctors has me on 7.5 hydro and 350 aceta.. and I am supposed to take it 3 times a day. 1 in the morning, one mid day and one around 6pm. I am afraid of 2 things. So basically I am taking a total 23mg of hydro and 1000mg of acetaminophen EVERY DAY. First, is this a regimen that can be sustained for the rest of my life and if so, how are these meds and amounts going to affect my health? I am 30yrs old male.
My second worry is that I may become dependent on this drug and am afraid that I won't be able to quit.

Anyone has any advise for me? I appreciate your input.


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,833

    For a Spine-Health Site introduction, Click on :

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    Please feel free to contact me at rdilauro@gmail.com or send me a message
    What you are experiencing is something that so many members here go through. The most important thing to think about is that while you are in pain, you need the pain medication that your doctor recommends.
    Some people take narcotic medications for years. I've been on various types of narcotic medications for over 10 years straight and both my doctor and I are not worried about any dependency.
    But what is also very important is that narcotic pain medication alone is NOT enough to control and manage your pain. Take a look at our FAQ and scroll down to you see The Blend... That explains in more detail what really can be the solution for many people suffering from a wide range of spinal problems
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • The FDA is looking at tylenol amounts right now. Recommendations have always been no more than 4grams total a day for healthy adults or it would impair liver function. Problem is that a lot of people don't realize that some of the OTC cold meds and other drugs also have tylenol/acetaminphen in them also, so they were taking more than they realized.

    My 2 cents worth on addiction: I make a big distinction between addiction(to me this means taking a drug even though it is not medically necessary or to get a high), tolerance(to me this means you need a higher dose to get a therapeutic level, you need more cuz your body is used to the drug) and dependence(you need the drug to funtion-it is medically prescribed and your pain level requires it.) These are just my definitions. I have never worried about addiction by these definitions. I NEED my narcotics to function, they are medically prescribed for specific conditions.

    If I ever get to the point where I can taper down, I will take into account my doc's advice on how to safely wean down/off the narcs. If you are in pain and your doctor gives you the meds and they help you, why are you worried abouty addiction? The first few times you take it, you may get a "high" but as long as you don't take it to get that "high", I do not believe it is a problem. I do not take any drugs that give me a high because I have a big tolerance, though some drugs will knock me out or drug combos make me a little loopy if I have to take a lot for a bad pain day. I have never taken the meds just for fun, I treat them like gold because they make my life possible.

    Now, if I get IV meds I can get really loopy and might get a little head rush or be confused or do funny stuff, but I have never taken the drugs to get high, only for pain. If you find yourself NOT in pain and taking the drugs for a feel good effect, then that is when you have to worry and talk to your doc. In my opinion, there is a lot of media hype about a few bad eggs who take meds for the "high" effect and that makes true pain sufferers worry or have a hard time getting meds.

    I think the important things to do is to think if the pain is affecting your quality of life and has your doctor thoroughly assessed you. Trust with your medical professional is key.

    Also, I believe in a multi-modality approach. Just an example, may not apply to you: if you have back pain, you might take narcs with muscle relaxers or anti-inflammatories, and maybe some physical therapy to learn proper lifting techniques, strengthen core muscles, maybe therapeutic massage, losing weight if that's an issue, sleeping in a back friendly position, frequent position changes during the day, etc. Just other things, I don't think drugs only fix many problems, it also involves lifestyle changes and other things.

    I hope your meds help your pain, please keep us updated!
  • I agree with the 3 definitions - you have to distinguish between addiction, tolerance, and dependence. Yes, you will probably become dependent. And if you needed to go off them, you will probably need to taper and even so might experience Withdrawal symptoms. Still, if you need it, you need it - and you deal with coming off later. As long as you are taking it for PAIN and not to get high, then you should take what you need.

    As for the Oxy - I have the same thing - I am on 20 mg. Oxycontin 2X per day, my doctor says DO NOT SPLIT Oxycontin, so she will write a new script for 10 mg in 2 weeks so that I can take less if I feel I can - sometimes I might just take the 1 and sometimes if I still need the 20, I will take two.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,833
    Never Ever under any circumstances break crush or split any Extended Relief pain medication (oxycontin)
    It could result in respiratory failure and death.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Yes do not ever do that. They release through out the day and tamporing could be fatal
  • to the person that wanted information about oxycontin ..as other have said NEVER crush or brake a sustained release tablet ..they are designed to release a small amount over a given time ..in the 40mg oxycontin you will get around 4 mg per hour up-to 12 hours ..most people on this type of medication need more not less and take oxynorm as a boost for there pain ..in your case i would see your doctor immediately and get him/her to reduce you to a 20mg table ....if you dont need 40mg then dont take it ..
  • Back to your original question: Addiction.

    When I first started my journey into what is my pain story, I was not comfortable taking the medication long-term. After all, I was taught drugs are bad; drug free zone, etc.

    My doctor told me that my spine problems (and other problems)) are a medical condition, much like high blood pressure, diabetes, etc. People are prescribed medication for these illnesses all the time and have no problem taking medication to regulate blood pressure or glucose levels. Why on earth would I be worried about controlling my pain level? I had to admit she had a point.

    As long as you are taking your medication AS PRESCRIBED - no more, no less - you should be ok. There are medications that do not have the acetaminophen or ibuprofen (or not as much). The pain medication itself is not harmful to your body, it's the additives. So, if you are concerned about the long term effects of the acetaminophen or ibuprofen, speak with your doctor. ALWAYS speak with your doctor about any concerns you may have.

    TO GODSGINA - you should also speak with your doctor. Maybe he/she could prescribe you some breakthrough medication. NEVER BREAK EXTENDED RELEASE (ER) MEDICATION. Oh, and welcome aboard!

  • Is this the first time you have been on a narcotic regimen? If so, you probaly have been ramped through a host of other, lower potency meds, to see if you respond to them first. In my case, I had 5 diff meds, that were not narcotics.

    Addiction - is normally the result of using a medication, after the theraputic effect is no longer needed.

    All of us, have thought long and hard about the implications, it is with this knowledge that all of use all ot the tools that we have available, including meds!
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