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Fear of getting addicted...

Sammiles12SSammiles12 Posts: 4
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:56 AM in Pain Management
My Doctor has given me Oxicodon to work out the pain I have in my back. (I have a rare arthritis) I'm supposed to take a pill a day, but I've heard that Oxicodn is extremely addictive, and I don't want to find myself addicted on some random drug. I've only been taking the medicine every couple of days, when the pain gets to where I can't get up.

Is this fear, a bad fear to have, or am I doing the right thing to prevent any chance of becoming addicted?


  • Is this the 1 st medicine they put you on for your condition or what other drugs have you tried before?
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • I've gone through lots of medications. First starting out with lortab (hydrocodone). And going through each set of medications getting stronger and stronger. Unfortunately nothing has really taken the pain away until now. It seems to run in my family a lot, where medications don't take much of an effect on our bodies.
  • Ultram or oxycodone, if you take it for more than a couple of weeks, your body will become physically addicted to the drug. It is, what it is...and that is the pharmacodynamics of opiates. In other words, if you were to stop the drugs after taking them every day, you will have some withdrawal symptoms.

    I never smoke, drank or took any drugs before my fusion almost 2 years ago. The pain has been so intense that I have had to take pain meds to moderate the pain and be able to care for myself. I don't take the meds and drive, and try to only take what I need, but I've decided that lying in bed 24/7 suffering is not practical either. It was a difficult transition because my work ethic forbidded me from taking these drugs. Now that I am unable to work, I can't worry about the addiction issues, although I do want to make sure that I don't have additional health issues due to the meds.

    What are your concerns specifically about taking these meds? How will it effect your life and your family positively if you take the meds and are able to moderate the pain?

  • I see this was started in 2011. Thought I would bring it back to life. I have a fear of addiction myself. Mine is personal, my sister became addicted to pain pills over 10 years ago and they have completely ruined her. She went from being a lovely woman and wife and mother who never smoked or hardly drank to being addicted to oxy and Vicodin and now drinks and smokes, no longer has custody of her child, got divorced and is living day to day on handouts. So yes, I have a real fear.

    On the other hand, I am in pain. I started out on ultram last year. When I started going to pm doctor, he gave me Vicodin. That helped somewhat, it was better then ultram, but still didn't tackle the pain. Then as he performed each injection procedure, the pain got worse and worse instead of getting better. The rhizotomies really made things bad and I told him the 5/325 Vicodin wasn't working. He didn't raise it up but instead sent me for another MRI and then subsequently, referred me to my NS.

    My NS raised the dose of the Vicodin to 10/325 and also added tramadol 50mg. So now I can take up to 6 Vicodin a day nd up to 8 tramadols. Well after the discogram I had on April 3rd, is when I started taking the maximum. Before that I was taking 4 1/2 Vicodin a day and 4 tramadols.

    So here I am, surely should have recovered from the discogram by now, but I am finding that sometimes even taking two Vicodin at a time doesn't help. Now mind you, I also use Ice/ tens unit, heat, biofreeze, etc. usually when it is really bad I take 2 vicodin, and throw and ice back on.

    Today I woke up after sleeping 8 hrs and I was completely stiff and hurt to move, like an 8 on the pain scale. I hobbled to my recliner, took 2 Vicodin and slapped an ice pack on. Here I am 2 hrs later still at a 6-7 on the pain scale.

    My question is, should I ask the doctor for a patch or something stronger? We have discussed my fear of addiction and the last time we were there, my husband asked if there was anything else I could take in addition to what I already had that would help the pain relief last longer, without going up to the stronger opiates like Oxy. The NS said no, that the only thing was fentanyl or Oxy and that I would be "crossing over into the addiction zone" with them. It didn't help that I told him at the time that taking 1 1/2 Vicodin made me loopy, which they do. My concern at the time and even now is, I work as a software engineer from home and I told him I needed my wits about me so didn't think I could take the stronger meds. Hubby was just trying to see if there way anything that maybe gave me relief for a longer period of time.

    This week is my last week at work, then surgery on the 7th. I go in for my pre-op Wed. I will also be out of refills then for the Vicodin. Anyone have an opinions as to whether I should try to hold out with the Vicodin or if I should ask for something stronger? Is there something else I can take in conjunction with what I am taking that would help without "crossing the line"?

    Grade 4 tear in l4/l5 was missed in first MRI so did injections for a year
    SI joints "messed up" not sure if I will get them fused at a later time
    Had Open PLIF L4/L5 5/28/13
    Woke up to permanent nerve damage in legs and feet.
  • wow! I don't blame you for being unsure as well as confused as to the right thing to do.

    I may very well be wrong so please consider that possibility ;)

    What I watch for when taking my meds (to try to not become an addict) is am I taking them for actual pain or am I taking them for the "feeling" I get. I can honestly say I have never ever been high.
    I take what I consider some pretty heavy hitters. Fentanyl patch 75 mg every 48 hrs and 8 5 mg Oxy tablets in a day.
    I asked my Dr about this and he said my pain is "eating" the meds hence why I don't get any effects.

    Honestly I could not function at a 7 pain level that you seem to remain at. 5 for me is my max. BUT I also think everyone defines their numbers differently. Like for me a 7 or 8 is agony as in I can hardly talk, walk etc. a 9 or 10 is take me to the ER NOW.

    After your surgery what pain meds coverage does your Dr plan to use? This could be important towards your choice of what to use now before surgery.
    I am always worried that my pain after surgery won't be covered as of the meds I am currently on - make sense?

    Back to the addiction - I don't know your sister but I do have a friend who is also addicted to pain meds after being in a accident. She admits that she started to take them to feel better in her mind - aka high. So I would say be your own best judge as to why/when you take the meds.

    I AM dependent on my meds! I think most of us are. Without my meds I would live curl up in a ball screaming. I would have no quality of life. Dependence and addiction is different in my opinion. We depend on food and some become addicted to food - see what I mean?

    When I went from Vicodin to my current meds I was in pain 24/7 and at the Drs office I could not complete a sentence without stopping to gasp in pain.

    That does NOT mean you need to wait until you are that bad off!!! High pain levels mess with your blood pressure and such. I was pig headed and did not want to up my meds. I was very wrong!

    If you can't even do basic functions due to pain - it's time to switch.

    please let me know how you do and if there is anything else I can try to explain/share with you :)
    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
  • sleepgirls post reminded me that YES I am depended on my meds BUT I am also addicted. My body is addicted but not my mind. Meaning (like she said) if all of a sudden I was taken off everything I 100%would go through withdrawals and may end up in a hospital.

    I guess what I was and still am trying to say there are classes of meds that DO cause physical addiction, but I watch myself for the "high" type addiction. Hope this makes sense ;)
    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
  • No it is not an odd topic here.
    Only a very small % of people who are on narcotics long term(less than 4%)ever become addictied. Even people on opiates long term ever become addicted.

    But you must always take your meds just as your Doctor perscribed. DO NOT ever double up on your pain meds unless it is written on your script. If your pain meds no longer help, switch to something else. Do not take more of the same med! That is one step to addiction.

    If a member of your family is an addict thare is a good chance you may become an addict too. It's very important that you follow your Doctors orders to a T!! As long as you do that it cuts down your chances of becoming an addict. Almost everyone becomes dependant on pain meds. What that means, you can go into withdrawal if you suddenally stop taking a certain drug. This can be avoided if you slowly cut back on that med. Your Doctor can help you.

    Drug addicts do not take drugs to get high! No, they take it to avoid withdrawal!! Yes they first starting taking drugs to get high but soon learned they could not stop because of withdrawal. but they tood the same drugs we take but they took it different than we do.

    Take your pain meds just as your Doctor prescribed and you will be fine, even Oxy!!

    Patsy W
  • Pat I never looked at addiction that way.

    I can say that when I have had a sickness like flue or something when I could not take my meds I did not go through any withdraw signs.

    I "ASS"-umed lol that with my meds I was automatically addicted as of the type they are?
    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
  • You hear so much about addiction on these forums so I began to research the subject and I have learned a lot. No expert mind you but now know so much more than I did.
    It was a comfort to learn that those of us on long term pain meds need not fear becoming addicted, even opiates. Large studies show that only a very few(less than 4%)of the people ever become addicted and those are the ones predisposed to addiction.

    The sad fact is that even some Doctors believe we will become addictes!! But that is just not true.

    All of us can become "dependant" on some drugs. That means that if we suddenaly stop taking a certain med we will go into withdrawal. But that is a horse of a different color. Nothing to do with addiction. To avoid withdrawal we must taper off the drug very slowly.

    Do not worry MsHD you are not an addict!!

    Your friend
    Patsy W
  • By definition an addict is someone who takes drugs for no other reason but to get high. When you have to take medication for chronic pain, you just want to feel normal again. I personally have never felt like an addict even though that seems to be a surgeons major concern. They can make you feel like the operation was a success but the patient is a failure. Don't buy into it. Find a good pain management Dr. preferably one trained in anesthesia. Surgeons should never be used for pain management in my opinion as they do not want to believe that what they have done did not work or possibly made it worse. Good Luck everyone.
  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,364
    That would imply addiction:

    Selling all you stuff and/or you body to get $ to purchase illicit drugs.

    IV drug abuse

    Lossing valued friendships

    Taking more and more of what ever rat poison your getting on the street and sticking in you veins.

    THe ugly list goes on.

    For those of us that have a relationship with a good physician .... The meds situation is closely monitored, and altered when nessacary. This is referred to as HABITUATION - Not addiction.

    In the past two moths I have "lost" 3 friends to Heroin overdose. Most were found whith the needle still in their arm.

    Pray Hard,

    Spine-health Moderator
    Welcome to Spine-Health  Please read the linked guidelines!!

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