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Drug Detox Drug Holiday? When is it time?

kcrozkkcroz Posts: 33
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:46 AM in Chronic Pain
I have had chronic pain for years. Had cervical double fusion three years ago. I was never pain or opiate free but life was manageable with gradual increases in meds. However two months ago pain became unmanageable. MRI revealed another herniated disc above fusion. I take a blend of 3 Oxy ER 80 mg, up to three 8mg hydromorphone for break thru pain, up to three 1 mg of Xanax, two 250 mg Soma, and Neurontin. I hate taking neurontin, the side effects are terrible. I am unable to take it during the day.

My PM will not increase the opiate meds but is willing to switch back to the patch or Opana. I don't want to increase the opiates. Within the last five years I have gone from Vicodin to this! What will I do five years from now?

My question...is it possible to detox from Oxy and start over again?
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Comments

  • I detox from meds, about once a year. I have to plan it out, be away, not vacation, off work, a bunch of things for myself, and I need my sweetie, to look after me for a bit, until I crash and then restart the opiates afterward. Takes me about a week to crash and another to rebuild - slowly titrate to a comfortable level.

    I also chat with my Dr beforehand. I have 2 meds specific for this kind of thing. One is a strong sleeping med and the other is a nerve pain med - not opiate.

    Other will have good advice!

    Edit - BTW - I have been on the same opiate and max allowable dosage - for 3 years. Yes - I have had some issues, but I have managed to get through them. One point I would ask is that if there is further damage, there should be a re-evaluation of meds and analgesia. In other words - are the meds prescribed, actually providing the needed comfort.
  • why do you want to stop taking pain killers ???i take around 500/600 mg of oxycontin/oxynorm a day as the pain without them is unbearable i am waiting for a multi level fusion i have already had 2 failed back operations if it was not for the oxycontin /norm i would not get through the day i only sleep for 2 hours as it is ..i thought that if you are in pain you would need MORE pain killers not less!
    STRAKER
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  • I understand where you're coming from. I have run this through my head over and over. Partly because I don't want to become dependent on huge quantities of opiates. Its a little like smoking. My meds control my life to a great extent and I hate it. I get massive anxiety if I start to run low even though I have enough to get through. Also, when I get my scripts, I get them filled right away for fear that the pharmacy may be out of something (which they have done on several occasions). I am terrified of running out. The withdrawals on top of the massive increase in pain levels scares the holy crap out of me. I see my wife and naturally, she thinks that these pills are all I care about anymore. She calls them my new mistress. She says that the pain rules my life. When I think about it, it pretty much does. Its not by choice, however. I absolutely love my family and if they understood a bit better, they'd realize that I take these things so that I CAN be there for them. Without my meds, I wouldn't be able to get out of bed and eventually, really bad things would happen. I'm sure people who aren't in a chronic pain situation wouldn't understand but my state of impairment is much greater without my meds. The pain I have to deal with is so overwhelming that I truly cannot think of anything else. I can't work, drive, speak, nothing. When I take these meds, I can do these things in a relatively normal way.
    The big thing you need to ask yourself and I ask myself all the time is if I go through all the trouble of taking myself off the meds, can I function long enough to clean out my system enough so that a smaller dose would actually help? If I do get through this point so that a smaller dose helps, I have noticed that it takes an extremely short amount of time for my body to ramp back up to where I was when I started. I don't get any highs or weirdness. It just seems like my tolerance level doesn't change very quickly and I wonder if you would be able to be off the meds or on a low enough dose for long enough to even make a difference. Are you doing this for yourself or someone else and is it just about the meds or do you really think your body has healed enough that you aren't experiencing the same amount of pain as you were before? If its the latter, it might be worth a try and might even work but I really only see it working in the situation where your pain level has dropped and you are still taking higher than required amount of medications. This is a choice that only you can make. Be careful and don't make yourself miserable just because you or someone is afraid of opiates. Think it through carefully and make a decision that makes sense and not just one based on passion and fear. I've tried it and it doesn't work.

    Sorry about the novel. Its late, I'm tired, and I hope this made some sense. lol

    Best of Luck!!
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,271
    My first response has always been, IF both you and your doctor agree that you need the current level of medication to control and manage your pain, then there really isn't anything to do.

    Many people need to remain on medium to high level of narcotic medications for years. Some 10 or more years.

    When it does come time, for some, maybe not, any decreasing of pain medications has to be done carefully and under the supervision of your doctor.

    Never attempt to go cold turkey or try to detox yourself. Thats where many problems are created.

    I've come from a high level of Oxycontin down to zero of a time period of 8 or so months and had zero negative effects. Since then, I have had to go back on Oxycontin or Opana ER to regulate a major flare up.

    My total medication management situation is supervised by both my Physiatrist and myself.
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • post removed voluntary by me }tony}
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  • My pain management doctor does not have a problem with my dosage. Although I am at the max dosage he will allow. These last two months of severe pain in my neck was probably caused from doing things a person with double fusion should not do. I was normal for awhile and enjoying life. My body will not adjust to Neurontin. It helps so much with neck pain but my mind is mush and coordination is very wobbly. I have seen my PM for over a decade. It is the second opinions who say the Oxy dosage is making my pain worse. How do you know?
  • All I can say is I feel your pain. Frustrated with being dependant and often have little unplanned detoxes even when I follow schedule. Hope something clicks for ya and helps. Just make sure to take it easy even if you're not in pain, I always end up srubbing the floors when I feel decent and it brings me back to reality.
  • kcroz said:
    I have had chronic pain for years. Had cervical double fusion three years ago. I was never pain or opiate free but life was manageable with gradual increases in meds. However two months ago pain became unmanageable. MRI revealed another herniated disc above fusion. I take a blend of 3 Oxy ER 80 mg, up to three 8mg hydromorphone for break thru pain, up to three 1 mg of Xanax, two 250 mg Soma, and Neurontin. I hate taking neurontin, the side effects are terrible. I am unable to take it during the day.

    My PM will not increase the opiate meds but is willing to switch back to the patch or Opana. I don't want to increase the opiates. Within the last five years I have gone from Vicodin to this! What will I do five years from now?

    My question...is it possible to detox from Oxy and start over again?
    If your Dr. wanted to switch you to the patch maybe that would help your pain. I take Oxycontin myself and my PM Dr. is going to mention switching to the patch to see if it helps more. Hope your PM Dr. is working with you. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
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