I also want to welcome you to the CP forum, but sad that you have to be here. I do have some thoughts about
the issues you raise in terms of your doctor's reluctance to prescribe stronger meds. While it may have been awhile ago that you misused your meds, the body "remembers', so to speak. There really isn't an addictive personality, although it's kind of a term that's loosely tossed around. But we do have bodies, some of which can become addicted to medications and other chemically related substances very quickly. If you have any addictions in your family, that would give you a heads up that you may have a biological predisposition, but even without that when you got your body to a certain stage of tolerance of the medications, that means you will likely have cravings rather easily if placed back on similar substances. Despite your best intentions, the likelihood of falling into using more than what was prescribed is higher than for others.
I'm not a doctor and am not offering medical advice, but I've got some professional background in this area, so a couple of things I'd suggest are consulting with an Addictionologist along with a Pain Management specialist. An Addictionologist is a doctor with a specialty in addictions medicine, and if he/she worked with a pain mangement specialist they may be able to design a regimen that would be more helpful for you, but some parameters to monitor addiciton issues. Methadone is also used for pain management, although a lot of people don't know that, and it's got a stigma as being only for drug addicts. But a good pain management doc should be able to help you witih that. Delivery mechanisms like patches may also help decrease abuse, but they still need to be monitored. It might also help to talk with a therapist who has a background in addictions and pain management to help you deal with all this. Anti-depressants certainly can be helpful, as someone mentioned.
I would add there is a difference between addiction, physical dependence and tolerance. All of us who are on opiods and other substances that cause the body to become dependent will become physically depedent on the drug. That doesn't mean we're addicts, but one sign of addiction is abusing medication, which you have done. That's a good piece of knowledge for you to have so you can prevent it from happening again. If you have a genetic predisposition, your body may develop dependence and tolerance more quickly than many others, and keep "needing" more and more of the same OR a chemically similar substance to satisfy the craving. This is one reason a muscle relaxant would not be good for you, nor would alcohol. They are all chemically similar and would maintain an addiction in the body. So try to get a team of professionals with the right knowledge to help look at ways to manage your pain better that minimize future chances for abuse.
Hope this helps some.
Post Edited (PAlady) : 12/26/2008 1:11:03 PM (GMT-7)