I'm new to this forum and I'm in need of some feedback please.
Approximately five years ago my husband was prescribed oxycontin for back pain and osteoarthritis. He immediately began abusing this med by snorting it. At one point he was abusing more than 380 mgs. on a daily basis. He then switched to fentanyl patches and immediately began abusing these by freezing and eating them. During these times he was also prescribed oxycodone for break through pain. He detoxed twice and was off pain meds for nearly a year. about a year ago he made the decision to go back on pain meds. He made his new doctor aware of his history of abusing pain meds and his doctor prescribed 15 mgs. oxycodone 3 x daily and 15 mgs. methadone 3 x daily for pain. Since being prescribed these new pain meds, he has not taken them as prescribed. Instead, he takes 6 oxycodone and no methadone per day for the first two weeks of each month and then when he's out of the oxycodone, takes methadone for the remainder of each month to keep from getting drug sick. He tells me he does this because when he takes the methadone with the oxycodone it makes him too sleepy, and that the way he takes it at least gives him two good weeks out of each month, and that this way he takes less methadone than prescribed each month. I have also caught him snorting his oxycodone on occasion....he tells me this is NO big deal! It is a huge deal as far as I'm concerned, especially given his history!
My question is......am I crazy, or IS there need for concern here???
Thanks for your speedy reply. I truly appreciate any feedback I can get as these past five years HAVE been a nightmare.
My husband hasn't taken oxycontin or fentanyl for three years, but has been taking six 15 mg. tabs of oxycodone daily for the first two weeks of each month. When he runs out of oxycodone, he then uses methadone the last two weeks of the month to keep from getting drug sick. He sees nothing wrong with doing this, and tells me that's what works for his pain. He also occasionally crushes the oxycodone (not oxycontin) and snorts it. He tells me he hardly ever does this and that when he does it's NO big deal. What do you think of the way he takes these pain meds?
My husband does have chronic pain from back problems and osteoarthritis. I have gone to his doctors in the past and he has been discharged from several practices, only to find another doctor. He always tells his new doctor of his history of drug abuse. I am prepared to go to his doctor again. My concern is what will he use for pain control when and if he comes off opiates? He has tried nerve blocks, high doses of ibuprophen, prednisone shots etc.
Thanks for your help Chutzie.
Hazel and Gramps,
Thanks so much for your responses. You are wonderful people to take the time to respond to my situation.
My husband tells me his pain got worse when he was off pain meds and that's why he decided to go back on them. No, I'm not sure he wasn't getting pain meds someplace else during this time. If I talk to his doctor and get him to come off pain meds, I'm going to insist on periodic drug tests???? Does that seem reasonable?
Does anyone have any suggestions as to what he might try next for his pain?
Gramps, why is it unsafe to start and stop methadone?
Thanks for all the feedback. It's sooooo helpful. And, thanks for just letting me vent. That is also VERY helpful.
I am also new to this site, I have learned so much about pain management from the people who seem to understand it more than the Dr's. as all who search for support and answers they can not get from the medical field this site is a blessing. I myself have suffered ongoing pain issues and have tried many meds for releif, it saddens me to hear stories such as this, as I am not an addictive or abuser type of person (not judging anyone) so when I hear about all of the ways people can find to abuse the meds that they are prescribed for their pain, I am just trying to understand and educate myself & seek support. I am so thankful I have not secummed to trying such activities. As I don't have a sollution to your dilema, all I can do is pray for you and your mate. Hope things turn arouind for you. we are all here to support each other.
I truly feel for the situation you are in. I know you said that both of you have told doctors what's going on, but have you been specific? Like freezing the patches and then eating them, or snorting the oxi. If he's just told the docs he's had to take more than prescribed, they might not be getting the whole picture.
Have you looked into an addictionologist? They are better eqquiped to deal with addicts who have valid pain issues. Please do something before he hurts or kills himself, he is on the edge with these behaviors. I know you love him, but don't love him to death.
My thoughts are with you,
Thank you all so very much for your help and support. I've learned many thiings in the short time I've been at this forum.
My next question, now that you are all aware of our situation, is......what would someone who has tried large doses of ibuprophen, nerve blocks, etc. use for pain control use if opiods are no longer an option.
Last question...promise...does anyone feel that once a person has been addicted to opiods that they can/should ever take opiates again for pain control? To me it would be like an alcoholic trying to drink just one beer??????
Thanks again everyone!
Post Edited (03Mach) : 1/31/2008 10:50:44 AM (GMT-7)
Thank you Gramps for the FDA warning. I'll pass it along. Maybe it will make a difference if my husband reads this for himself.
03 Mach....My husband has osteoarthritis, stenosis and degenerative disc disease. He's had several back surgeries. I'm wondering if anyone suffers with this same type of pain, and if they have any suggestions for pain control other than pain meds. And, does anyone think that once a person has crossed the line and abused opiates, that they can/should ever take them for pain relief again? My feeling is that it would be like an alcoholic trying to drink just one beer?????
Thanks again for all the posts.
I think he uses all his oxycodone the first two weeks of each month, and then uses the methadone for the last two weeks to keep from getting drug sick, but I also wonder if he takes his meds this way to be sure to keep his tolerance to both meds from increasing????? I also know he has traded some of his methadone with our son for some of our son's oxycontin during the second half of each month when he's (my husband) out of oxycodone. Our son is also prescribed pain medication for chronic pain, but has also abused his meds in the past. This situation scares me to death. My husband tells me he has only done this once or twice. If I ever do go to my husband's doctor, it will be because of this situation. Don't see how I can sit back forever worryinig about something happening to either my husband or my son. If anything were to happen, how would I ever live with myself, knowing I could perhaps have prevented it? Does anyone think I should go to my husband's doctor? I know if their doctors cut them off, they could get their drugs on the street, but then at least if anything were to happen to either of them, I could go on knowing I did everything I could possibly do. I wish I could feel confident about what the right thing is to do, but I NEVER can!