Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

What are symptoms of addiction?

angelanicaangelanic Posts: 256
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:47 AM in Chronic Pain
So this morning, decided to wait a few hours (1 to be exact) to take my morning (Q12) oxycontin. I have been taking it at 7pm and 7am but wanted to wait till I drove to my working location to take it and I was feeling okay. Well, half way there in traffic I started with leg pain (AHHHH) wish i would of just took it especially since it doesn't bother me that much. Then I started getting nauseous...then I got suspicious. Is this a symptom of addiction (nausea) or was I just hungry? The nausea resolved on it's own. I got to the location, ate and then took meds.

Thoughts overall? When did you know you had to wean yourself? Note i have only been taking this med since Tuesday of this week.



  • I echo a lot of what Tony said. Sure certain medications we get put on and then when switched have to 'wean' off the previous drug. Don't mix medication needed to control pain with addiction. E.g.

    If your addicted to said drug, and come off of it, your body will possibly react negatively.

    If your taking medications properly for medical issues, the issues reduce or go away, you then wean off it, and your body will possibly react negatively to it.

    Same end result, but not a sign of 'addict/addiction'. Hope that helps. :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • before the oxycontin? I don't feell you were having nausea b/c you waited an extra hour to take your morning dose. Once you stop taking a narcotic, it "usually" takes about 48 hours before withdrawl symptoms come full swing. But I was just wondering what you were on before Tuesday? Could it be w/d symptoms from that? If it was a similar opoid, then probably not.

    And I agree with a lot of what Tony said :)
  • I really can't answer your question on why your meds make you feel the way you are. That's something that you should discuss with your doctor and/or pharmacist.

    One of the greatest obstacles we, chronic pain patients, face in getting adequate pain relief is the difference between physical dependence on a drug and addiction.

    Addiction can be characterized by one or more of the following behaviors:
    • Poor control over drug use
    • Compulsive drug use
    • Continued use of a drug despite the harm that it can do to you
    • A craving for the drug
    Physical dependence is the body's adaptation to a particular drug. You get used to receiving regular doses of a certain prescription. When the prescription is abruptly stopped or the dosage is reduced too quickly, the person will experience withdrawal symptoms.

    Don't beat yourself up over having to take something to manage your pain. You have enough to worry about. This will take care of its self in time.

  • ask yourself some questions .do i need to be on this medication because i am in pain ?is the medication helping with the pain? i have been on oxycontin and the instant version oxynorm for about 5 years now .and i can tel you that the 12 hour one may not give you 12 hours pain relief that's why they make oxynorm {and other drugs} for brake through pain .{the 12 hours tablet will stay in your stomach for 12 hours but after about 7/10 hours it will be doing nothing on serious pain ..i have to take the 12 hour version every 8 hours and the instant version every 4 hours i take 300mg a day now ..i was on 500mg but my doctor has put me on a lower amount {due to new government advice about prescribing on none cancer patients} the max amount in the uk at the moment it 400mg a day for a none cancer patient .the upper limit is almost endless for a terminally ill person but lets not go there !.back to you ..you may notice a few unwanted side effects when you first start on oxycontin like itching and sickness this will pass and drink tonic water if you feel sick .constipation is a given with narcotics but your doctor will give you something like movicol {take in a coffee mug with boiling water just enough to dissolve it the put orange cordial in it to kill the taste then top up with cold tap water ..this make a very nasty tasting drink take like warm Orange ..not perfect but at least you will be able to take it }.if you feel that you are not getting adequate pain relife then go to your doctor and tel him/her that you feel that you require a higher amount or /and brake through medication ..but be honest and tell the truth ..also if you can manage with what you have got then stick to it because when the time come to come off it ..it will be so much harder ..i myself need the oxycontin for pain relief i have never gotten high on them and that's not my intention ..also don't ever take an extra pill or adjust you medication without consulting your doctor first .and NEVER admit to taking an extra pill on a live forum as you will be torn apart by some members ..there has been a recent episode that i asked Ron to close down and he did .so be careful what you so in public .hope that helps
  • Another common sign of addiction is having to take more and more of the pain medication to get a "high" from the drug.

    Unlike those that get high on pain meds, those of us in pain who take pain meds don't get that high when we take them, we get pain relief.

    As a side note, here in Colorado the head ER doc at Children's Hospital was arrested this week for having 6,000 unlawful prescriptions filled and he was taking, get this, 60 pain pills a day - while working on children in the emergency room. Now, THAT'S a major addiction. It makes you wonder where in the world he was getting all those medications...?

  • I agree with Dave and Cathie. There is a difference between "addiction" and "physical dependence". IMO only, addiction is more psychological, when you start craving the drug, or start to think that you need more of the drug, more often, when there is no physical requirement for it. You quite possibly could have been feeling the symptoms of withdrawal, because your body is used to having that drug that you stopped taking. Withdrawal symptoms, however, do not necessarily constitute addiction. As long as you take your meds responsibly, as prescribed, the risk of "addiction" is actually quite low. It's when you start to take an extra pill here and there that starts a person on the very slippery slope. It is inevitable though, that our bodies do get used to the dosages that we take, and may have to increase the meds to get the pain management that we need, but that is "physical dependence" as our bodies have got used to that dose and it does not work as effectively.
    Anyways, after all that, do I think you're addicted? As long as you take your meds as prescribed, no I don't think so. I think, IMO only, that you were just going through withdrawal symptoms from the med that you stopped taking. The anti-depressant that I take, within a couple of hours of not taking it when I usually do, I feel wonky, nauseous and like I have no equilibrium. It's weird though, because I don't feel any withdrawal symptoms with narcotics, I guess I'm pretty lucky that way.
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • Please google "dependence vs. addiction"

    Addiction is when you take a drug to get high, take more than prescribed, take it even though it causes problems in your life, etc.

    Dependence is when you have withdrawal symptoms if you discontinue too rapidly.

    Many drugs have dependence- I'm currently on 4 of them. Only 2 of them are very addictive- the narctotics. The others are the ambien, which doesn't tend to be addictive, but which has a discontinuation effect (inability to sleep) and Cymbalta, which is HELL to get off of for some people (namely, me), but nobody takes for fun.

    So getting off of a med on which your body is dependent, and being addicted to something, are very, very different things. Almost all of us will become dependent on opiates if we take them for long enough. Most chronic pain patients who are taking them with proper supervision will not become addicted (according to research which I'll be happy to link if requested).
  • something else to remember if you wait til your pain gets bad your meds will not be near as effective as if you take them right when your supposed to. I used to be bad about telling myself it doesn't hurt that bad you can wait then it takes 2 days to get it back under control. When you take your meds on time everytime and your pain starts to diminish and you start you think know maybe I should slow down or stop taking this, MISTAKE! big mistake. I'm not a medical proffesional by any means just relaying my experience if your Dr. gives you meds take them. As one of my Drs once said it was his job to watch for addiction and he'd let me know if I needed to cut back.
  • Hiya >:D< Through all this, its awful when pain comes on sudden like that ~X( , i can totally emphasize with you :''( In my experience, when pain does come on so sudden, it can make you feel nauseous :? If you do have any concerns about your medication you should go back to your doctor and discuss it with him :? I am sorry i can not be of much help to you :B >:D<

    Angie x :H
  • Great points everyone. I agree that the sudden onset of the pain probably caused the nausea. Also it is a good point to take the meds exactly 12 hours aprt even if the pain isn't so bad. I have been doing the I don't really need this right now I can wait awhile thing.

    With that said I thinl I am just generally scared anxious and depressed right now. I am not ready to have surgery. I want to work for a few months {as I just transfered from one district to a district closer to my home} but I know my health is more important. I also hate to admit being weak. It drives me crazy that I can't do anything..especially cleaning up around the house..and my sex life is getting non existance {this is not good since my hubby is stressed doing everything around the house}.

    Thanks for your thoughts. Feeling much better about the meds.

  • I have been cutting down on my meds so that when I do take them, they'll have a better effect in treating my pain. I do this on relatively low pain days. My morning meds always remain the same as that's my worst time, but it's the rest of the day where I vary the amount. I've been on the same med and dose for over a year and I try to wean myself down so that if I'm having a bad pain day, I can take an extra (still under the max dose on the label) and get the extra pain relief that I need at that time.

    I believe that there are those that do the same thing so that we don't have to up our dosages, where others will change what med they take every few months to keep the strength of each med the same and still get the effect they need to control their pain.

  • Not one but there are number of EDIT articles/alcoholism">symptoms of alcoholism like Profuse sweating, Tremors, convulsions, or uncontrolled shaking of the hands, Seizures,Hallucinations, Nausea or vomiting, headache and Extreme agitation or anxiety are some of the main symptoms of alcoholism. It is better to take care of our health and try to avoid alcoholism.

    Standards agreement and posting rules
    Please note that Spine-Health reserves the right to edit any messages posted or submitted or e-mailed to the Company and use them for content on the website or in other company materials. No e-mail solicitation or advertising of other companies, products, services, or web sites is permitted in the Spine-Health.com forums.

    Post Edited by Authority Member Liz
  • My PM Doc and I had a discussion about narcotic medications, etc. and one thing that he wanted me to understand, is that addiction and dependance are 2 completely different animals, and he put it this way;

    An addict takes their drug; whatever it is to get high. They will steal, lie, Doctor shop, or whatever they need to do to get their next "fix". Addicts NEED the drug in order to be able to "function" in their disfunctional world, and they usually start with a gateway drug, and then get into harder ones to get their high.

    A person in chronic or intractable pain take their medications to relief the pain, we are dependant on those medications to go to work, or simply to get out of bed. For the most part a person in our situation, will take the medication as directed,because we know that by not doing so, we could loose our PM Doc, and maybe get "black listed", and have difficulty finding another Doc to trust us. We do not Doctor shop, and we refill our meds at the same pharmacy, again; because we respect the medication agreement, and understand that if we fail it, we could loose the medical treatment that we need.

    One thing that he re-etirated to me was to NEVER, EVER chase the pain. If I am suppose to take 1 pill every 8 hours, I NEED to take that pill every 8 hours, even if I don't feel that bad, because when we missed the dosage, then in a few hours we are in relentless pain, and then we will be chasing the pain. Another thing that he mention was to never wheen myself from any medication without his consent. If I need to get off a certain medication, he will direct the wheening process, just to eliminate the chance of withdrawals or even worst side effects. The last thing that he said was that if I ever decided to take a supplement, a herbal concoction, etc. to call his office so he can approve it. A lot of supplements can react negatively with our meds, and they can even change the result of a drug test, so when in doubt, call your Doctor.

    This is a great discussion, I really like this place!
    Take care,

  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,476
    ...the onset of acute pain can cause the nausea.. vomiting. But also, the living with the chronic pain can also cause some days to be overwhelming with N&V.

    I look at it as my body totally exhausted with every day having some level of pain...where ever it.. the pain..is strongest that day.

    I know some times my mind is having difficulty realizing..here we go..again. And my body is the what really has to deal with all the complications of pain and some days.. it's N & V...all day.

    The addiction..someone said read up on. ..good idea.
    For myself...I never get high..In fact the pain never totally disappears...only takes the edge off.

    And I use meds as directed and never as a way of escape...as was mentioned above...readjusting time or dosage to maybe sleep the day away to avoid suffering.

    those to me would be warnings that the current med regime is not working and I need to communicate clearly with doc. Then doc changes a thing or two and we hope for the best. ..trial and try again. I athink it SO important for doc to know how you are or are not responding to meds that doc worked to take care of your pain management.

    And the meds take time...sometimes weeks to work the correct way and for adverse effects to lessen or disappear.

    You mentioned...wean yourself...off of a med. I hope you would always do that under doc's care..so noone really could answer since that so individual.

    Only you know if you devolop a problem. But I would be careful not to give too much credibility to people who may judge and have no idea.

    Is a diabetic addicted to the insulin? The depressed person addicted to that anti- depressant?

    Many people and even those who love us, can hardly believe the pain we endure. They also do not or can not understand the reason for pain meds or whatever else we need to have a balance for best quality of life.

    I have loved ones who just think I'm on too many meds...should tough it out...have positive thinking.

    I've learned to just smile and know they love me.

    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • Coming from an admitted narcotics addict now, which isn't easy. It's a part of my past I'd rather not admit to.

    I was on Vicodin, than Oxycodone, than Tramadol, over a 5 year period to control lower back pain. I DID abuse them, badly.

    I came face to face with this one night when, in an attempt to go to sleep and not deal with the world, I took a bit of every drug I had available, Oxycodone, Tramadol, Sertraline, Gabapentin, and the kicker, two beers.

    I woke up with EMT's and a cop in my apartment. My boyfriend witnessed two grand-mal seizures before they ever got there, and I had two more in the ER. I came to consciousness in the ICU.

    I'd count my pills to make sure I'd have enough to last me, I'd steal any narcotic I could get my hands on. I was addicted.

    It caught up with me. The docs stopped the pain meds, leaving me with only Neurotin and Ibuprofen. I'm ok with that...now. At least I'm sane. I live in pain, but it beats the haze I walked around in while on painkillers. So...that's just my story. :D

    I moved to a different state, but I didn't "doctor-shop." Saw a doctor for the Neurotin and told her straight out I didnt want narcotic pain relievers. I've been to the ER for shots of Toradol and Ativan on the bad days, but I will never take another pill again. It about killed me. I know that a lot of people can take them and be just fine. I am one of the ones that cannot.
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,476
    Sounds like you are making quite wise decisions now!I don't know how it works...but we share with each other and we feel better..maybe not physically, but..

    We're here for each other..the questions, the doubts, the venting and the sharing of happy when things go right.

    Thanks for sharing yourself with us! I'm sure many of us will benefit to know info you shared.
    And hearing about your strength has been encouraging for me!
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • Addiction puts you in a way that you continuously feel sick if you do not get down with your stuff. The central nervous system assumes a stance where in you twitch towards that which you desire always.

    The nausea you feel is probably linked to your getting addicted to that drugs...There are other ways of curing or eliminating that pain instead of living the rest of your life on drugs.

  • Addiction puts you in a way that you continuously feel sick if you do not get down with your stuff. The central nervous system assumes a stance where in you twitch towards that which you desire always.

    The nausea you feel is probably linked to your getting addicted to that drugs...There are other ways of curing or eliminating that pain instead of living the rest of your life on drugs.

This discussion has been closed.
Sign In or Register to comment.