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Twinks
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 66
   Posted 1/23/2011 6:43 PM (GMT -6)   
I have been using methodone 10 mg twice a day since 2006 when I had my back surgery and I also use norco for my breakthrough pain and am now up to 4 norco a day in addition to my methadone. I also take 1 to 2 5mg of Ativan a day and use ambien for sleep. I am 67 and people keep telling me to be careful that I don't get addicted, but what can you do when you're in pain. I belong to a pain managemenmt group that I see every month and about every 6 months I have an epidural. Am I addicted or is this usual for people with chronic pain.

I had a 2 level fusion on L4, L5, and SI in 2006 and have been in pain since. I question my having the surgery, but I know I would have had to have it sooner or later. What is everyone else doing for their pain. My meds seem to not be working too great lately. Is my body becoming immune to them?

Jim1969
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 2042
   Posted 1/23/2011 8:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Addiction is a word that people like to toss around and they have no idea what it really means.

There have been many studies done and they have all found that when people use pain meds as prescribed for the reason prescribed that developing an addiction is very rare.

On the other hand it is very likely to develop a tolerance to medication after having been on it for a long time.
2 confirmed herniated lumbar discs. Spinal Arthritis. Spinal Stenosis, diabetic peripheral nueropathy.

uniquelyme
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 1037
   Posted 1/23/2011 9:04 PM (GMT -6)   
I have a BIG, HUGE problem with the word "Addiction" when it comes to Chronic Pain Patients...I mean, I can totally see that I am Dependent on my pain medications....but addicted? For a long time I thought I was an addict...only because that's what I was being told...mostly by ignorant people that knew nothing about Chronic Pain..They mostly think that anyone that relies on narcotics for any reason is a junkie. Until I started at my PM Dr. I had no idea of the difference between being addicted and dependent...

Jim is correct. When pain medications are used properly it is very rare to become an addict. To me, and I am just one of many, you aren't on a very high dose of Methadone or the Norco.. I take Methadone, 120 mg. a day, and 30 mg. Oxycodone 5 times a day...

And, come on.....you are 67 years old!!! Becoming addicted would be the last thing I'd worry about... If my own mother, who is almost 64, needed pain meds. I would be there to give them to her...not ban them...

Talk to your Dr. about your meds. If they are working for you then that's all you need to know...

Rhonda
Spinal Stenosis, DDD, DJD, HBP, Type 2 Diabetes

Methadone 120 mg. X daily
Oxycodone 30 mg. 5 X daily
Lisinopril HCTZ 10/12.5 2 X daily
Novolin 70/30 insulin 75 units 3Xdaily
Novolin R insulin 1Xdaily
Novolin R 0-50-0-0

That's all....but OMG!! isn't that enough?

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16304
   Posted 1/23/2011 9:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Twinks and welcome to Healing Well's chronic pain forum. I am glad that you found us but sorry that you have to be here. Sorry to read that you have had back surgery and as a result of that surgery you now have chronic pain, happens to so many after having surgery for one reason or another.

I get a little irritated when misinformed people speak about addiction because someone needs pain medication to have some quality life because CP has taken much of their life away from them. Its real easy for others to spout off on stuff they have no clue about. I would like to see one of them live a day in your shoes without any medication, lol. Its very true that the studies now show that chronic pain patients rarely become addicted to their medications as long as that person takes those medications as prescribed by their dr. Now that is not to say at some point a person may become tolerate to their medication and either need an increase or a change in their medication. But, with that said, its no different than my blood pressure medication stops working after being on it a few years, then we have to switch me to something different, I have become tolerant to that medication. You have had four years of I am assuming good pain control until recently, well that happens to us. Be sure to speak with your dr on your next appt about this to see what can be done. I have a pain pump implanted and need increases in it from time to time.

I do hope that you will decide to hang around and get to know us here at the forum. I wanted to pop on and tell you welcome aboard. Take care.

Addiction falls under the heading of a person that obtains the medication for illegal purposes, taking it for a high, or not taking it as directed by the dr, I think you understand what I am saying. So, to answer your question you are not an addict.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

Twinks
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 66
   Posted 1/25/2011 10:20 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you all so much for helping me understand dependent on and addicted to pain meds. I get so many people telling me I am going to get addicted, that sometimes I will stay in pain and try to go without my pain meds to make sure I am not addicted to them, but I only make myself miserable. I feel so relieved after hearing from all of you.

I am going to have an epidural as soon as I get my insurance to authorize it and next time I see my doc which is next month I will talk to him about maybe increasing my meds.



2 level fusion L4, L5, SI in 2006.

spinal soldier
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 687
   Posted 1/25/2011 11:36 AM (GMT -6)   
i could not get it out fast enough on how much i agree exactly with what jim and rhonda said. although methadone is potent you are on a small dose and with post fusion pain i would expect that to be too low. four norco per day is very low also, now i am taking a dilaudid 8mg up to four times a day as needed and two oxycodone IR's 30mg as needed. today i changed medications from Morphine Sulfate 100mg q8hrs. to a transdermal fentanyl patch 75mcg./hr. q72hrs. because the morphine was not stable and i have a medium high tolerance. i also have a L4-S1 fusion done in Oct. 2008 that was good as far as back surgery goes. i had a great neurosurgeon but still i have right foot neuropathy pain as a result from surgery that i am taking Lyrica 150mg q12hrs. and amitriptyline 25mg. at bedtime. i also take Soma for muscle pain 2-3 per day and 10mg of valium as needed and a Adderall 20mg in the morning to function. i am 32 and had my first low back surgery 23, but ways still exsist to have pain control and a life, so you have a number of things to gain you added control. i wish you the best and i found the best way to talk to your doctor is brutally honest. NICK

Chartreux
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9664
   Posted 1/25/2011 1:43 PM (GMT -6)   
I wanted to say I hope the injections help..You've been given some
very good advice and I would not worry about what other people say...
well wishes and hopes you get a low pain day soon.
(((((((((((((((((((((((((((((Twinks)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))
keep us posted on your up and coming injections, well wishes and healing hugz
**********************************************
* Asthma, Allergies, Osteoarthritis, Spinal Stenosis, Degenative Disc (Lower Lumbar S1-L3 and Cervical C5,C6, C8 and T1), Fibromyalgia, Gerd,
Enlarged Pituitary Gland, Sjogren's, Ocular Migraines, mild carpel tunnel, ect.... "Would be nice if we could use the edit button in real life"...

********>^..^<********>^..^<********>^..^<********

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16304
   Posted 1/25/2011 5:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Twinks, I too hope the injection gives you some relief. But, above all, now I do hope that you will not allow yourself to suffer any further over comments made by people that do not have a clue what they are talking about. That is so unfair to you and it is not right. You should never let yourself suffer with pain when you have medication on hand that will help you. You can look here online, perhaps do a google search on CP and I bet you can find many articles that have been written on CP and pain medications. They clearly state in those articles that CP patients rarely ever become addicted to their pain meds.

Take care.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

damgalnuna
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 77
   Posted 1/25/2011 7:35 PM (GMT -6)   
If you are taking your medications as directed, and are taking them legitimately to treat pain, then you are not addicted. You probably will eventually develop a tolerance, and your body will become dependent, which is why many patients can't stop taking opioid pain medications all at once, and instead need to taper their dose before stopping. These are not signs of addiction, but instead are just what happens when you are on this type of medication long term. Many people don't seem to understand that, and would see those symptoms and think they mean addiction. Please don't let such comments bother you. You can use those moments to educate people.
Scoliosis fusion w/rods (92); herniated disc (96); partial removal of rods (97); microdiscectomy (97); sudden inc. in pain (08); tried various non-pharm treatments and take the following: baclofen, Nucynta, topomax, tramadol, welbutrin, ativan, ritilin. Considering a fourth surgery extending existing fusion to sacrum.
I design jewelry to distract myself from the pain: http://bit.ly/h3rcGT

purplereading
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 108
   Posted 1/25/2011 10:48 PM (GMT -6)   
A few days ago I watched a program on a small town close to Boston, I believe, and that they had had 134 deaths associated with heroin, and pain meds. Evidently, according to the film, the highschool students started by taking prescribed narcotics, mostly oxycontin.  Due to the expense of it, they soon went on to heroin, progressed from there. Many went to treatment, completed it, came home and overdosed. They had the surviving kids talke about why they took the meds. One said that they loved opiates, after taking a oxycontin, they absolutley loved the felling of euphoria, floating, etc, that it was the best they ever felt in their life. As a chronic pain suffer on oxcontin, I realized, I had NEVER had that feeling. IF I am lucky, I get enough pain relief to be able to make it through the day, hoping to accomplish 60% or so of what I might hope to do.  THAT is the difference is the abuse/use of narcotics.  Perhaps I am addicted, in the sense that my body is dependent on the meds, and withdrawal results in withdrawal symptoms, but I do not take more and more and more as I do not have that high that I need to keep trying to keep.  It is hard for some people to tell or know the difference.

White Beard
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3695
   Posted 1/26/2011 2:23 AM (GMT -6)   
Twinks

I to want to Welcome you to our family here on the Healing Well Chronic Pain Forum. I like to think of taking pain meds as the same as taking any other type of medication, you take meds for high BP and it is oftern dangerous to just up and quit taking them because your body has become dependent on the medication, same with allot of other medications, meds for diabetes, and for a host of other medical conditions. Well just as you take your meds to control your BP you take pain meds to control your pain, and yes your body becomes dependent on them and as time goes on they become less effective and your body has become tolerant to the medication, and you often will need a higher dosage. So talk to your pain doctor and tell him/her that your pain is nolonger being adequately controlled, and then let your pain doctor do his/her job and I am sure your doctor will either change you med strength or change you to a different type of medication. As long as you are taking the medications as prescribed, do not worry about becoming addicted to the medication, it is when you start taking more than what is prescribed to you, that you need to worry, also if your pain meds are controlling your pain, do not take more of the medication, with out talking to your Pain Doctor first. Call him/her if you are in bad pain and need something extra! Again I wecome you to our family!

I wish you well!

White Beard
Moderator Chronic Pain
After spending nearly 22 1/2 years in the USAF, I retired in Sept, 1991. I then went back to school and became a licensed RN in 1994, and I worked on Oncology and then a Med Surg Unit, I became disabled in late 1999 and was approved SSD in early 2002!-- DDD, With herniated Disk at T-12 and L4-5. C5-C6 ACDF in Sep 2009, C6-C7 ACDF in Mar 1985, Osteoarthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, Complex Sleep Apnea, and host of other things to spice up my life!(NOT!) Medications:Oxycontin, Percocet, Baclofen, Sulfasalazine, Metoprolol, Folic Acid, Supplemental O2 at 3lpm with VPAP Adapt SV I am White Beard with a White Beard!

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16304
   Posted 1/26/2011 1:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Purplereading made a very good and valid point about oxycontin. I too have never had that feeling the druggies love. So, based on that, I am assuming if a person had no pain and they take these meds this high will occur. But, also I am sure the amount they are taking has to be factored in too.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

White Beard
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3695
   Posted 1/26/2011 2:08 PM (GMT -6)   
Straydog
I don't think that people with out pain will get high  on the Oxycontin if taken properly! The "high" that people were getting  with the Oxycontin, and the reason that people were ODing on it, Was that Oxycontin is never suppose to be chewed or crushed  or in any other way broken, and that is what the abusers were doing with it, and often they were dying after doing that from an over dose. This is a time released medication, and if crushed or chewed or other wise broken it can release a deadly  over dose of oxycodone.  I have heard  that now it has been reformulated and even if crushed or broken you can not get this high or over dose from this medication, I do know that the tablets are a bit thicker than the old ones, and on one of the other CP forums people are claiming that the new med is not near as effective as the old one, but personally I have not noticed any difference.
 
White Beard
Moderator Chronic Pain
After spending nearly 22 1/2 years in the USAF, I retired in Sept, 1991. I then went back to school and became a licensed RN in 1994, and I worked on Oncology and then a Med Surg Unit, I became disabled in late 1999 and was approved SSD in early 2002!-- DDD, With herniated Disk at T-12 and L4-5. C5-C6 ACDF in Sep 2009, C6-C7 ACDF in Mar 1985, Osteoarthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, Complex Sleep Apnea, and host of other things to spice up my life!(NOT!) Medications:Oxycontin, Percocet, Baclofen, Sulfasalazine, Metoprolol, Folic Acid, Supplemental O2 at 3lpm with VPAP Adapt SV I am White Beard with a White Beard!

purplereading
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 108
   Posted 1/26/2011 5:50 PM (GMT -6)   
The people in the film I referred to were swallowing the tablets whole, they started with one or two, and one time a week. Like anyone, over time it took more and more to get the same feeling. BUT they did get a high from the very first dose they had taken. So more than one factor does figure in, as they begin to need a higher and higher dose, and they begin to indulge more and more often.

Twinks
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 66
   Posted 1/27/2011 4:01 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for bringing up the thought about the high feeling associated with pain meds. I do not get a high feeling at all. My only problem as I see it is I have an extremely low tolerance to pain. And, I mean low tolerance. You try to explain that to doctors and hope they believe you and give you the adequate amount of pain meds you need.

Everyone that has commented on this subject has helped me tremendously. Even though I am 67 I have had to many people talk about addiction that it is so prevelent in my thinking that every time I take a pain med I think well, do I really need this and then I stop and think, yes I do I hurt.

I guess I need to stop thinking about what healthy people say and listen more to people going through the same thing as me.

Thank you all so much.

Carolyn

White Beard
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3695
   Posted 1/27/2011 6:36 PM (GMT -6)   
purplereading
 
I think were in agreement,  as I said if taken "properly"  anybody taking pain meds and if they take a dosage higher than they need or should, whether they have pain right at that moment or not, they will, or can possibly get that high feeling. That is simplly over dosing, as you know, most of the time a person is started off on a lower doseage  and then worked up,  to a dosage that is effective at controlling the patients pain.  The big problem that they were having with Oxycontin,  is that allot of the  people that were abusing it, were crushing it to get a "rush" an immediate intense high,  but the big draw back to that was, doing  that was proving deadly! That med gives its prescribe dosage in a slow constant controlled released method, by crushing it they were getting an immediate big time over dose!!!.  That was one of the big problems with Oxycontin.  And I had heard that they were actually considering taking it off the market, because of that. But the manufacture, has now reformulated it, so  crushing it does not work! Making it a much much less desirable drug for the abusers. I am glad they did not take it off the market as I have found this medication to be a Godsend, it relieves my pain without any major side affects like the dopey drugged feeling, that I  get with hydrocodone!  Also hydrocodone keeps me awake. You are right though there are many factors that figure in, and every one is different,  and one dosage for one person might be over the top and makes a person high and another person it might not have any affect on them at all! 
 
Carolyn (Twinks)  You might want to keep a pain log and document when you have pain and how you rate it, and what you were doing when it started and what you did to help relieve it, take your pain meds as prescribed, and if they are not effective also document that, and then when you go to your doctor bring your pain log with you, and tell your doctor all about your pain. show him your pain log.  There is no reason to worry about addiction to your pain meds, if you are taking them as prescribed. If you are having pain you should not be afraid to take them, and you certainly should not have to suffer with needless pain if you are being  adequately treated for it.
 
White Beard 
Moderator Chronic Pain
After spending nearly 22 1/2 years in the USAF, I retired in Sept, 1991. I then went back to school and became a licensed RN in 1994, and I worked on Oncology and then a Med Surg Unit, I became disabled in late 1999 and was approved SSD in early 2002!-- DDD, With herniated Disk at T-12 and L4-5. C5-C6 ACDF in Sep 2009, C6-C7 ACDF in Mar 1985, Osteoarthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, Complex Sleep Apnea, and host of other things to spice up my life!(NOT!) Medications:Oxycontin, Percocet, Baclofen, Sulfasalazine, Metoprolol, Folic Acid, Supplemental O2 at 3lpm with VPAP Adapt SV I am White Beard with a White Beard!

Trudy2
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 213
   Posted 1/28/2011 7:42 AM (GMT -6)   
I have had Chronic Pain since I had a bone marrow transplant back in 2004. When I was first referred to the Pain Management Clinic, my parents were very involved in my care as they were part of my caregiver rotation. I was 36 at the time. My mothers immediate response to my going to pain management was that I would be if not already addicted to my pain meds.

I quit talking to my extended family regarding my pain visits and the meds that I were on just because of this issue. Fast forward 6 years and now both of my parents have issues with pain (especially my father), and are prescribed daily pain meds. It took 6 years for my mother to understand chronic pain, but she does now. In a limited capacity as her pain comes and goes, my fathers is more constant and chronic.

As a result of that experience with my parents, I have let very few people know what medications I take on a daily basis. The less they know the better. I do not need to worry about judgment from others or about someone breaking into my house to try and steal my medications.

Trudy in Ohio
DX pyoderma gangrenosum, Acute Myelogenous Leukemia, Bone Marrow Transplant, Chronic Pain syndrome, Chronic Kidney Disease Stage 3, Major Depressive Disorder, Radiculopathy, Bilateral Hip Pain, Insomnia,Left Groin Hernia, Bulging Disk in Lumbar Spine, Tear in Lumbar Spine, Tendonitis and Bursitis in both hips.
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