worried about addiction

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New Member

Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 7/20/2011 9:27 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello everyone. Short break down of my story. I cut concrete on highways for a living. Last monday. 7-11-11 I was unloading my saw from the truck, and the saw weighs 2500 lbs. The conditions were not very good but I still had to get the job done. Anyway the saw slid out of the truck and I couldnt get out of the way fast enough and the handle bar on the saw hit my leg and destroyed the top of my Tibia. I had bone graphs and reconstructive surgery Tuesday and got released from the hospital on wednesday. The doctor prescribed me roxycodone 30mg's but the workers comp wont cover name brand so they fill Oxycodone 30 mg imm rel instead. The first scrip was for 40. They lasted me until today and he wrote me another scrip for 90 today. Now I am only taking the very minimum to keep the pain at bay. Even letting it hurt somewhat to make sure i dont take more thn I need. I hear a lot of talk about how addictive these are and I am just curious if I take these as directed and as often as i'm supposed to, and for 11-12 weeks for recovery. Do i stand much of a chance to get addicted or is that not very probable because I'm only taking them for the pain and not recreational use. Any responses will be appreciated. Thank you. Sorry for the lengthy post lol.

Post Edited (mustangman) : 7/21/2011 12:05:46 PM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 3193
   Posted 7/21/2011 12:38 AM (GMT -6)   
First, I'm sorry that you got hurt.... That sounds like a horrible injury.  :( 
Re: your medication questions.... "addiction" is a word that is usually not defined properly... or, rather, is hard for many to understand in relation to legitimate pain issues.   There are very few people w/ chronic pain that are "addicted" to their medication....  But, yes, our bodies do become dependent on the meds - meaning, if we just quit them "cold turkey" - there would be some level of side effects. 
So - I think your question is more - will your body become "dependent" on these medications, if you take them as directed, for your recovery time?  (You can tell me if I'm wrong and not understanding your question!)
Everyone is different - and this is something I would advise you to talk to your doctor about.  *Usually* what happens w/ an injury such as yours.... is a doctor will taper you down on your meds as your situation improves.  That way - your body is getting used to less and less medication, as the pain improves.  And, hopefully - you'll heal to the point where you don't need medication.
I sure hope you heal quickly.... take care of yourself..... --Tina

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 7/21/2011 12:49 AM (GMT -6)   
That makes perfect sense. Thank you so much for breakin it down for me like that. Ive never been injured like this and the strongest pain medication ive ever had prior to this is percocet 5mg's fr kdney stones. So I was just a little concerned. Thanks again Tina.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 3193
   Posted 7/21/2011 1:01 AM (GMT -6)   
I completely understand your concern!  When you haven't taken something before.... and just the things you "hear" about many of these meds.... it's completely understandable. 
Again, I hope you heal quickly... and that your pain decreases quickly, too.  If you have any other questions... or just want to vent or whatever.... we are here! 
Take care of yourself.... --Tina

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 2042
   Posted 7/21/2011 6:49 AM (GMT -6)   
There have been many studies done and they all have concluded that the rate of addiction to pain medication is extremely low in people who actually take it for pain.

As Tina basically pointed out there is a difference between addiction and dependence. Addiction is primarily a psychological desire and/or need for the medication not for its analgesic effects but for the "high" of them. Dependence on the other hand is a physical need in order to "just feel right".

Addicts typically do also have a dependence on the drug but those with a dependence usually do not have a psychological need for it.

In people who truly need pain meds it often takes several months on them before their bodies start to develop a dependency. Odds are good that even if you are still taking them after 3 or 4 months that when you no longer need them you will notice little if any discomfort when you stop, and if you do feel a little "crappy" when you stop that feeling will go away within a few days.
2 confirmed herniated lumbar discs. Spinal Arthritis. Spinal Stenosis, diabetic peripheral nueropathy.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16783
   Posted 7/21/2011 9:37 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Mustangman and welcome to healing Well's chronic pain forum. It sounds like you had a horrible accident and I am very sorry to hear of this happening to you. I do hope that you will have a good recovery with the least residuals possible relating to your injury.

Tina gave you some terrific info concerning the difference of tolerance and addiction and there is a huge difference between the two. As long as you take your medication exactly as directed by your dr you may not have any problems stopping the medication after your recovery is complete and you feel you no longer need them. As Tina said all the studies I have seen concerning this issue it states a PM patients rarely ever become addicted to their medication, unless they are abusing the medication.

So what sort of a recovery is your dr anticipating with this leg? I do hope all turns out well for you. Take care of your self and keep us posted on how you are doing.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 7/21/2011 1:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you all for the info. Straydog, the Dr. told me to expect full recovery and 100% use of my leg and that the plates and graphs should actually make my le stronger than before the accident. He said the actual healing time will be around 8 weeks and then the therapy and strengthening should take another 3-5 weeks. So it could e as long as 13 weeks i guess for total recovery. I will go upload a couple pictures of my x-rays so you guys can see some of the hardware they put in. My son says he's gonna start calling me Iron Man lol. I think it looks like an erector set.

Post Edited (mustangman) : 7/21/2011 12:30:49 PM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5028
   Posted 7/21/2011 4:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Part of the report on pain was about controlling pain before it becomes an entity of its own. 

"The institute emphasized the importance of prevention and early treatment, a novel concept for many doctors who try to diagnose the source of pain before treating it or advise patients to wait it out in the hope it will go away on its own."

“Having pain that is not treated is like having diabetes that’s not treated,”

"Patients, too, need to be educated about the importance of early treatment of pain rather than gutting it out or waiting until it has become severe and chronic."

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 816
   Posted 7/21/2011 7:56 PM (GMT -6)   
I totally agree with everyone else, and hope your recovery time is not lenghty.  It sounds as if you have a good doctor I think you will be just fine when all is said and done.  I certainly hope so, that accident sounded awful.
So good luck to you, take care, go slow until you are completely healed.
degenerative disc disease, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, neuropathy, lumbar laminectomy july 1998 no help, rechargeable neurostimulator unit low right back w/lead wires to left side and right leg unit not working just sitting there.i am 57 years young in may will turn 58. i have 2 grown daughters, 25 and 29. i have 2 grandchildren, 9 year old grandaughter and 5 yr. old grandson

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1289
   Posted 7/21/2011 10:44 PM (GMT -6)   
i have been taking percocets for about a year now due to severe pain from Crohn's Disease...I experienced my 1st feelings of dependence the other day when our flight home from vacation was cancelled and I did not have my meds for almost 36 hours...I started to feel VERY uncomfortable. My arms and legs started to feel really "weird"- i know horrible descriptor but things just weren't right...plus i had to deal with the Crohn's pain- horrible. scared me a bit to know that i'm at that point where my body "misses" the pain meds. i was kind of surprised bc the percocets do not give me any narcotic feelings- they just mitigate the pain for me so i figured dependence was not going to be an issue- guess i need to talk to the doc cause i don't want to head down that road!
37 year old male living in AZ. Diagnosed with Crohns at age of 15.
Currently on 20 mg prednisone. still taking Asacol. Done with Remicade- antibody level was over 8! Waiting for scope results to see about Humira or Cimzia.
In the middle of a bad flare now for 2 years...it's been one heck of a ride!

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 9249
   Posted 7/22/2011 1:01 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Mustangman~

And Welcome to the Chronic Pain forum. I think your questions is a great one and even though it's been asked often I think bringing it up on a regular basis is a smart thing. I sure can see why your son wants to call you 'Iron Man'...that leg is/was a mess. Just tell your son not to get too close to you with strong magnets...lol

One thing you might consider is how you take your medications. (pardon me if this has been mentioned...it's very late and I didn't read every word already posted) My doctor and several nurses have tole me that when taking pain medications make sure to take them before the pain gets too unbearable. What happens then is it takes more medication to return you to the comfort level you were at before. If you take your medication on a regular schedule, even though you're not in horrific pain yet, then in the long run you will take less medication. Stay 'ahead' of the pain and it will be much easier on you plus your pain level won't get out of control.

Keep in touch~
Moderator on the Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain forums
Fibromyalgia, Insulin Dependent Diabetes. Ulcerative Colitis, Rare form of Dermatitis, Collapsed Disk, Osteoarthritis (especially in right hand and neck) and a few other side dishes
Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.
Mark Twain

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 7/22/2011 1:09 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you all for the comments. I enjoy checking back and seeing so many views on my thread and activity. I really think this whole forum is a great idea. It really seems as though a lot of people find comfort here and help dealing with there personal problems. And yeah aout the magnet lol. Ive thought about that and am kinda stoked about trying to stick a magnet to my leg. Thanks for the input everyone. Gave me peace of mind.

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 463
   Posted 7/22/2011 2:14 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello, I'm Serenitee, and its nice to meet you. Welcome to The Healingwell Site, this is a wonderful forum and amazing members in this community. I am so sorry to hear about your terrible accident. Sounds very painful. Sending get well wishes your way.
I am a Recovering Meth Addict/Alcoholic. I've been clean for 9-years and sober 322-days. Regarding your questions to becoming addicted to your pain meds. Everyone that posted back to you said some great things, and I really agree with what Chutz said. Just to add a couple things... If you have an addictive behavior then it can become easier to become addicted to anything. But since you are so aware and on top of how your taking it as directed, I'm sure you won't have any problems at all. Taking it as directed and not anymore you will be fine.
I really admire you for being concerned and reaching out for support. You sound like a very strong person and I'm sure you are going to heal quickly. Good luck to you, and wishing only the best for you.
Your Healingwell Friend,
Mother of 7-kidz.
Loop ileostomy, Pelvic & Bladder Trauma & Dysfunction, prolapsed colon and bladder, 2x bladder lifts, 2x rectoceles,

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 7/24/2011 8:13 PM (GMT -6)   
Things are going really well. I get my staples out wednesday. Start therapy and the doctor said im doin perfect. So glad, it could have been so much worse.
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