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Low back pain / Red-flagged / Pain Clinic

LotsatroutLLotsatrout Posts: 2
edited 01/29/2015 - 8:47 PM in Lower Back Pain
Hey everybody... First time poster from the result of (2) discectomies (sp?) at L5/S1. I will make this brief... I am currently having my pain managed by my PCP and for the most part it is under control. Here's my issue... After 4 months of being prescribed pain meds (percocet) my doctor decided it was time for a contract so he UA'd me that day so I was honest with him and told him he would find THC which he did and no, I am not a pot head.

He also found hydrocodone (left over from my 2nd surgery) and wasn't happy about that. He told me at my appointment a week later that he was giving me another UA and that if he found anything there that shouldn't be there including alcohol that he would be tapering me off and no longer prescribing meds. He didn't mention anything about "red-flagging me so I guess that's my question because he is going to find low amounts of alcohol and i didnt mentionon it to him.

That may sound pety but understand that he is very strict. IF he chooses to discontinue my meds does that mean I am red-flagged? And, if so, does that mean I will not be able to pursue medicinal support from a pain clinic? Thanks in advance for any productive comments you may have. I appreciate it! :)


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    Welcome to Spine-Health

    Use that above hyperlink to help you get started with Spine-Health and navigate through the system.

    If there are any questions, you can always post them here, send Liz or myself a private message or contact Ron rdilauro@veritashealth.com

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • TarenTTaren Posts: 525
    edited 01/29/2015 - 10:54 PM
    Well, if he finds anything that should not be there, including alcohol, then yes you may very well be flagged. On my prescription bottles, it says "May cause drowsiness, alcohol may make this worse" Is there no such warning on your bottle?? They aren't fooling here... You are very lucky that he continued to give you anything after finding THC in your system & then on top of that you were taking hydrocodone from your first surgery.

    I would have to say, if I were a dr., I would be scared to continue treating you, I would not want to loose my license. If you knew he was going to find alcohol in the second UA, why didn't you say anything? I would guess that if he finds alcohol after he said he better not, then yes he will discontinue treating you with narcotics. But maybe if the alcohol level is low it wont show up--how long before the 2nd UA had you had alcohol?

    If you get through this, you should let this be a lesson and learn from it. If you have real chronic pain then you need and have got to take this seriously. You cant smoke pot, you cant take any meds other than what you are prescribed for your current condition. Its a big NO NO to take meds from a previous surgery (did you not know this was wrong?) And you can't drink alcohol while taking opiates. Those are 3 biggies and you have done all 3. This is the kind of stuff that makes it hard for others that need this help. All the hoops that CP sufferers have to jump through is because of people doing this kind of stuff.

    And yes, you can pursue pain treatment if your dr chooses to not treat you with opiates. But, you need to understand that there are other ways to treat your pain besides opiates....your dr's may choose to treat you with injections, physical therapy (which I highly recommend), RFA, TENS, etc....
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,875
    that you must face up to all the rules associated with managing that.

    Patients so often only look at things through their eyes. , whats best for them, what works for them, etc.

    But remember, its the doctor who provided with what was needed to control that. They know exactly what they have prescribed, so when they find other substances in urine tests, that is one of the fastest ways to get red-flagged. The alcohol, depending on the level and the doctor may be somewhat tolerated, but the use of hydrocodone thats the bigger problem. That medication was prescribed for a specific reason, you can not decide to use it for something else.

    If something isnt working, you need to discuss it with your doctor before taking things into your own hands.
    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
  • itsautonomicitsautonomic LouisianaPosts: 1,817
    Could a doctor lose his license if there is alcohol in the UA ? Did the doctor say THC cause dangerous combinations with pain meds?
    Do your due dilegence, trust you know your body and question everything if it does not fit. Advocate for yourself and you will be suprised what will be revealed trusting your body and instinct.
  • LotsatroutLLotsatrout Posts: 2
    edited 01/30/2015 - 4:40 AM
    Thank you for your replies. I had 2 beers between UA's and yes, my prescription bottle says to not use alcohol but I did not use them at the same time. I had a couple beers at bedtime but wasn't rinsing my meds down with it or anything like that. As for the hydrocodone... I was honestly not aware that I couldn't take it if I had an older Rx for it. I ran out of oxycodone a little early and finished off the week with a few of them. Chaulk it up to ignorance I suppose. Its just unfortunate because there is no room for an ignorant decision. As for the THC... He was concerned about it but it wasn't a deal breaker as long as the levels are coming down which they have to be since I haven't touched it again. Thanks you guys for your comments and thanks for not being too hard on me. I just feel like a fool.
  • itsautonomicitsautonomic LouisianaPosts: 1,817
    It happens, you could take any anti inflammatory from past and I doubt they would care its just a pain med. I really dont understand the alcohol part, yes it can be dangerous if you do it but its not illegal and you know the risks. Many people have a glass of wine or beer occasionally on pain meds, not saying its the thing to do but it happens. Would it even show up on a UA , i would think unless you drank right before it would be flushed out. Not everyone follows what the bottle says either, how many people drive when taking new med before knowing full extent of what it does. It happens. The THC does not sound like a concern any more. Now you know, best to move forward with that information and be honest. Chalk it up to a mistake now try to recover and dont beat yourself up.
    Do your due dilegence, trust you know your body and question everything if it does not fit. Advocate for yourself and you will be suprised what will be revealed trusting your body and instinct.
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