I'm sure this topic has been here before but it is important so I'll take the chance.
I have been taking opiates, in one form or another, since I was 12. It started with Endal Hd for Chronic Bronchitis (I would get it at least 6xyear). It got to the point where I could just call my doc, at 13, and they would call it in for me. This went on for years. Then at 19 or 20 I had my first incident with my lower back, lorcets for everyone!!! That went on for years as well.
When I was 24 my family Dr. (cough medicine man) decided that he needed to call my mom and tell her that he thought I had a problem with opiates. So, here I am at 41, been taking pain meds for all of my adult life, and I am wondering.....How do you know the difference between being dependent and addicted?
I know that when I take too much and run out before it's time I feel like "Shooky". I sweat,ache, all the withdrawl symptoms.
Don't people without addiction problems go through the same thing? After being on pain meds for years what is the difference? Isn't it all the same?
spinal stenosis,degenerative disc disease,bilateral neuropothy.
lamenectomy L3,L4..spinal fusion L4-S1
The difference between dependence and addiction can be found in the outcome.
A chronic pain patient that takes their narcotic pain reliever(s) as prescribed will develop tolerance and physical dependence over time. Those are biological processes and are expected with many medications, not just narcotics. Physical dependence, in and of itself, does not have negative consequences. For a chronic pain patient, the overall result of their drug use is positive; they experience a reduction in pain, which leads to improved function.
Addiction, on the other hand, is a psychological process and is characterized by continuing use in spite of consistently negative consequences. People become addicted when the drug use is no longer appropriate or adaptive. They continue to use the drug inappropriately, even though the direct result is a decrease in their ability to function and they experience increasingly negative consequences.
Post Edited (PAlady) : 11/26/2008 9:37:03 PM (GMT-7)
Post Edited (PAlady) : 12/2/2008 2:46:05 PM (GMT-7)