What started as tramadol for steroid induced osteoporosis 15 years ago (I’m now 40) progressed to oxycodone, I think they put me on 40mg to start with maybe 8 years ago, and it’s slowly climbed to the 80mg it is now. I’m mainly pain free, although if I’ve gone to hard in the gym or whatever then that can cause my back to hurt more but I’m pretty good. I’d say that maybe 2/3 years ago I had a real problem with the oxycodone, finishing my prescription 2 days early and be making up some bullish*t excuse to the doctor for another script, i didn’t need to take loads more to get a slight feeling of euphoria, maybe an extra 10/15 mg spaced over the whole day, but I’d also find that sometimes you didn’t get that, instead you would get growly and irritable if you took too many and I didn’t like that feeling as I’m a really positive person. I think I just hated thinking about them so much, when is my next dose, researching them on the internet, trying to validate my doses etc ! I’m now on a pretty steady dose, I’ve been on same dose for over a year, I never run out in fact I left hospital with an extra prescription and just left them in the drawer, I wouldn’t have done that a year ago. I don’t really get any feelings of being high anymore, I don’t get that rush of euphoria (which was amazing!! I remember being like super woman at the start, was freaking awesome!) the dose I am does manage my pain, so yes I’m dependant, but I think I may have beaten the ‘addiction’ element I went through, I am too wary to take anymore (think I’ve maxed at 100mg once mixture of slow release and immediate release) as I’ve read about the respiratory problems and I don’t fancy that, and maybe I’ve just grown up a bit. It did take some dark moments when I felt I was in the grip of it, but I have never bought them, they have always been on a prescription, I’ve never had to lie or steal or anything because I constantly craved more, so I’ve maybe never experienced how low this drug takes some people ? Any thoughts or similar stories much appreciated.
This is the question we chronic-pain-patients are asking now. I have been dealing with nearly the same issues as you have for just about as long. My opinion is that either a person is an addict or not. If you have tried alcohol, tobacco, or other such things and have stopped and started at will, then you are not an addict. The addicts I have known become addicted to anything and everything they use and abuse. I believe 'addiction' is a disease.
In your case you have been taking pain meds for decades for good reason, you are in a lot of pain without them. You are dependent in the sense that if you stopped taking them you would feel lousy. From what you say, I don't think you are an addict. Remember I am not a professional, just a person with a similar story in my late 60s. Let me ask you this, even if you are addicted, you need to take them anyway, right? I realize we are continually bombarded with stats and horrific accounts of people who have become addicted to opioids. Our country needs to have this conversation now, but it is very easy to doubt ourselves when we are scrutinized by our peers and med professionals. I have osteoporosis too and recently fell and broke bones. I was unable to get help with my pain because docs in my area are afraid to prescribe them. I had 5 broken ribs, and could not get adequate pain relief. Sleep was impossible.
You wonder how long it takes to become addicted. I believe if a person is addicted to a drug, it will happen straight away. Time is of little importance. The euphoric feeling that you say faded with time, I have the same reaction. I think that is probably the way most people react, from what I have heard.
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