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Old 08-29-2017, 10:22 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles
643 posts, read 307,455 times
Reputation: 1463

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I ask this because I have been on an opioid for 10 yrs. Never abused - always have taken as prescribed and on a low dose. That's 10 years. I function quite well. I choose not to drink and have never been a smoker. I have RSD and Fibromyalgia.

I am so frustrated because I hear horror stories of people like me dealing with legit pain and not able to get their pain medications. Let me back up a bit...I am one of the lucky ones who does get my pain medication here in Southern Calif but there are many who are NOT getting theirs...Have we gone way too far on this Opioid Crisis? Have we forgot the people dealing with real pain that have been diagnosed?

It concerns me a lot and I worry for the folks out there being treated horribly. My pain mgmt doctor is absolutely wonderful. He does have to weed out the drug addicts - street addicts. He spent 18 yrs in the Army and worked at Walter Reed and Landstuhl in Germany. He has seen a lot.

I wonder why the media will not interview people like me who have been on an opioid for years and is still standing. Got to tell you - it makes me angry. 

Perhaps it does not fit their agenda - Drug dealers are lacing Heroin with an Elephant Tranquilizer that is killing young people. It's called carfentanil. So dangerous

I'd like to hear from others.
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Old 08-30-2017, 10:35 AM
 
Location: Wine Country
3,976 posts, read 5,083,192 times
Reputation: 6235
I am one of those people that has had opiates prescribed over the years and am now currently on a low dose. I am not addicted, nor will I ever be addicted to them. I am also concerned that a lot of people suffer needlessly because their doctors simply refuse to give them an opioid. My last doctor treated me like a guinea pig having me try different pills with worse side effects until she finally gave me what is now working - Vicodin. So I spent a week in pain and money on prescriptions that did not work.

But people do get easily addicted to these pills. Pill mills are partly to blame for the explosion of addictions and overdoses. I don't think there is an easy answer, but I do think some doctors are so afraid to prescribe them that people end up suffering needlessly.
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Old 08-30-2017, 10:50 AM
 
1,168 posts, read 476,623 times
Reputation: 1367
How can you be on a drug for 10 years and say you are not addicted?
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Old 08-30-2017, 10:52 AM
 
4,359 posts, read 5,367,326 times
Reputation: 5858
I take Tramadol, not sure if it's a opioid or not, can't remember, but I just take it on an as-needed basis, about 3 or 4 times a month, on average. I have fibro and nothing, I mean NOTHING, works for me like Tramadol. I also take Lyrica, but it does not completely squelch the pain when I have to stand a long time or work in the yard, etc.

Actually I take Ultracet, which is a Tramadol/acetaminophen mix....less Tramadol than a pure Tramadol pill. It works about as well as pure Tramadol.

I have never had any problem with addiction, but I don't take it every day, either. I think the people who have been on a low dose for 10 years do not consider themselves addicted because they have not had to up their dosage for it to keep working the same?

Hey, if a person has severe pain that nothing can be done about and an opioid lessens that pain without impairing their functioning, let them have it. Chronic pain is nothing to sneer at.
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Old 08-30-2017, 10:56 AM
 
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
4,883 posts, read 2,415,653 times
Reputation: 10829
Quote:
Originally Posted by bell235 View Post
How can you be on a drug for 10 years and say you are not addicted?
Easily. Addiction has nothing to do which how long a person has been on a drug. It has to do with whether the person craves the drug to the point where the craving interferes with normal function, and whether the person can successfully voluntarily stop the drug.

I've been on a statin for over 10 years, but I don't desire that pill every day, and I could walk away from it tomorrow if I wished to. Therefore I am not addicted to it. Likewise, a person who drinks a glass of wine at dinner every night, but who can go without it for days, weeks, or even months if they wish to is not an alcoholic.
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Old 08-30-2017, 10:59 AM
 
Location: Bloomington, IL
9,890 posts, read 4,803,207 times
Reputation: 21199
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliforniaGal View Post
I ask this because I have been on an opioid for 10 yrs. Never abused - always have taken as prescribed and on a low dose. That's 10 years. I function quite well. I choose not to drink and have never been a smoker. I have RSD and Fibromyalgia.

I am so frustrated because I hear horror stories of people like me dealing with legit pain and not able to get their pain medications. Let me back up a bit...I am one of the lucky ones who does get my pain medication here in Southern Calif but there are many who are NOT getting theirs...Have we gone way too far on this Opioid Crisis? Have we forgot the people dealing with real pain that have been diagnosed?

It concerns me a lot and I worry for the folks out there being treated horribly. My pain mgmt doctor is absolutely wonderful. He does have to weed out the drug addicts - street addicts. He spent 18 yrs in the Army and worked at Walter Reed and Landstuhl in Germany. He has seen a lot.

I wonder why the media will not interview people like me who have been on an opioid for years and is still standing. Got to tell you - it makes me angry. 

Perhaps it does not fit their agenda - Drug dealers are lacing Heroin with an Elephant Tranquilizer that is killing young people. It's called carfentanil. So dangerous

I'd like to hear from others.
The problem with most people and most government programs is they can't see in shades of gray - it's either all or nothing so the pendulum swings wildly just so we can have simple slogans!

Not everyone needs opioids - there are other options so they shouldn't be the first thing tried. If needed, they should be for the shortest time possible and the lowest dose, etc. But when the system "rewards" things like patient satisfaction the depends on people feeling good, it's easiest to shovel out the pain meds and keep people happy short-term even if it is far from healthy long-term.
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Old 08-30-2017, 11:01 AM
 
1,168 posts, read 476,623 times
Reputation: 1367
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aredhel View Post
Easily. Addiction has nothing to do which how long a person has been on a drug. It has to do with whether the person craves the drug to the point where the craving interferes with normal function, and whether the person can successfully voluntarily stop the drug.

I've been on a statin for over 10 years, but I don't desire that pill every day, and I could walk away from it tomorrow if I wished to. Therefore I am not addicted to it. Likewise, a person who drinks a glass of wine at dinner every night, but who can go without it for days, weeks, or even months if they wish to is not an alcoholic.
Gotcha - i agree. i always thought painkillers were a little different than a glass of wine (or a statin) everyday though. i thought you'd go through physical withdrawals if you were taking painkillers for 10 years. i definitely could be wrong, i was curious about it.
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Old 08-30-2017, 11:11 AM
 
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
4,883 posts, read 2,415,653 times
Reputation: 10829
Quote:
Originally Posted by bell235 View Post
Gotcha - i agree. i always thought painkillers were a little different than a glass of wine (or a statin) everyday though. i thought you'd go through physical withdrawals if you were taking painkillers for 10 years. i definitely could be wrong, i was curious about it.
You do go through physical withdrawal if you quit opoids after a longer period of use - but physical withdrawal is not an indication of addition. Addiction is psychological. Tolerance and drug dependence are physiological. A person can be dependent on a drug without being addicted to it.

If you're a heavy coffee drinker and you stop drinking coffee today, you'll have a headache for a few days. That's a physical symptom of withdrawal, but caffeine is not an addictive substance for most people; most folks will just tough the headache out for the few days it lasts and go about their business. Someone who's bee using opoids for a long time will need to taper off of them to avoid more unpleasant withdrawal symptoms (such as diarrhea), but as long as they lack the intense psychological craving that compels them to keep taking the drug, they're not addicted to it.
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Old 08-30-2017, 12:24 PM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
18,895 posts, read 49,748,977 times
Reputation: 16822
Easily 15 yrs ago there were already lab studies showing that people with actual pain did not get addicted to an appropriate dose but those not in pain did.
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Old 08-30-2017, 12:39 PM
 
Location: Middle of the ocean
21,100 posts, read 13,935,068 times
Reputation: 29749
I think we have done a knee jerk reaction to far in the wrong direction. But that always seems to be the case. I would prefer science over science run through the public opinion mill.

I have had pain related things since I was in my twenties starting with gallstones (really bad ones). During that time I was on a crazy amount of Demerol, doc said I would be addicted by the time I could have surgery and gave me the choice of cold turkey or titering off. I went cold turkey and was fine. This was also during the time where if you didn't tell the hospital you were an 8 or higher, they wouldn't treat the pain.

Then the hospitals went with stopping any pain as it is not good for healing, which I always thought was great.

Then there were studies (I think by the pain Rx companies) that said addiction was not a problem and prescribe away!!! Then we had problems.

DH was addicted to morphine, due to the length of use, but it was necessary. But he went through withdrawls and it was hard. BUT, he did what he needed to do and in the right way. Heck, he barely took them when later he had shoulder surgery.

It's a complicated situation, because I have had bad pain, that the cause couldn't be immediately identified, and it's only because my doctor knew me, and that I am not a drug seeker that it worked out well. He had an intern that made a remark that "isn't it odd that I wasn't in pain for my doctor appointment" I laid into her, I had been in pain the previous appt. and all my vitals showed it.

I take tramadol pretty regularly, never the amount that I am allotted (always have lots left) and it really helps take the edge off the pain of my RA (not bad now) so I can do things like go to the gym.

I hate to think some people cannot enjoy a quality of life due to pain, when it is "curable".
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