my husband is addicted to oxycodone. it was originally perscribed by his dr but over the course of 2 years on it, as it began to work less for him, he began buying extra on the street. i have confronted him repeatedly about this. he has repeatedly tried and failed and lied about stopping. he has excruciating back pain from a work related accident on top of injuries from the military. his job is EXTREMELY physical, and is the only income coming in to support our family. so my question is how do i get him to stop when he is prescribed this medicine, he is in pain, and he can't do his job in pain. (he can barely walk when not on painkillers) and with that being the only income can not take months off to go to rehab. also am i even in the right trying to get him to stop when i know he is in pain. thank you ahead of time.
My husband is addicted to oxycodone. what should I do?
Added 2 Aug 2011:
other info: we have tried to get the dr to raise his mg dosage in the past but he won't.
Added 3 Aug 2011:
thank you so much for both of your help! there is alot of good info here! we have unsuccessfully tried chipractic, massage, and herbal/ vitamin therapies. they help alittle but not nearly enough. but the injections sound like something def worth talking to his dr about. he does have a pain mngmt. dr but it is through the VA. so it seems to me they are limited in what they can do. we have also looked into laser spine surgry, but we will have to take out the money from our house to pay since we have no insurance. he has had back pain for over 10 years but it has gotten much worse over the past 3. thank you again for your answers and for taking the time to write!
Pain is best treated when a multi-discipline approach is used. This means that drugs only play a small part in pain treatment. Oxycodone is a drug that one can build a tolerance to very quickly. Is he being seen by a pain management Dr or is he being seen by his primary care Dr? If he is seeing his PCP then I would recommend he find a pain management Dr. There are many therapies to add to pain medications to help reduce pain. There are non-opioid drugs like Lyrica and Neurontin which are very good for nerve pain especially. There is also Cymbalta which is good for treating chronic pain. He can also get relief with chiropractic care, physical therapy, accupunture, epidural pain blocks, facet joint blocks, radiofrequency ablations etc. If you can find a Pain clinic that has all of these approaches that is the one to go to. The one I go to offers pain management Drs who prescribe meds and do injections and ablations, chiropractors, physical therapy and surgeons if needed. It is nice if you can get everything in a "one stop shop"! Not all cities have this available though so you might have to go to several places to get treatment. I would recommend starting with a good pain management Dr who offers different injection therapies and can prescribe meds. Meds wont do it all however. If he chooses to rely on meds only he is going to be disappointed because you eventually get to a point where no amount of med will relieve all your pain. It is really important that he stick to his prescribed doseage. This will help to keep him from being abusive to his meds and reduce the rate he becomes tolerant. Are you sure he is addicted? Sometimes people who are in severe unrelieved pain will show signs of being addicted but once their pain is controlled they do fine. I know, buying off the street is not a good sign. Does he crave the medicine? Does he take medicine in spite of harm? If he is truly addicted, you might look into finding an addiction specialist who deals in pain control in addicted people. This might be his best option. It is tough, I know. I deal with some of the same things myself. I am in a lot of pain due to a back injury. My job is normally very physical. I was lucky enough to find a position that I could work on computer from home instead of being in a job walking and lifting all the time so that was a great help. I am also the breadwinner in our family. We could not begin to survive on what my husband makes only so I have to work too. I have had many types of injections and ablations to help with pain along with my meds. I have not increased my meds much over the past 8 years that I've been dealing with the low back pain. I go to a chiropractor on a regular basis. I get massage therapy which helps immensely! I try to do my stretches and get a little exercise daily, even if it is just a short walk along with my stretches. I use ice and heat to supplement my pain meds. He needs to open his mind to other forms of treatment because pain pills are never going to remove all the pain. They should be used to take the edge off to allow you to participate in life more. If they dont help you function better then they become a hinderance and should be stopped. If he does need to come off the meds there are other ways of doing it. Many have had good experiences with Suboxone and he might be able to initiate therapy over a long weekend. He could still function at work once therapy is initiated. Hopefully Pattishan can chime in on this question, her or Laurie Shay are the "experts" on the Suboxone therapies. Good Luck to you! It is a difficult situation. I hope he finds relief from his pain before he sacrifices everything that is important to him like his wife and family. Have strength and patience. You might look into Nar-Anon so you can learn to help him and to not enable him and also to be with others who have gone through and are going through the same as you so you can support and help each other. I also want to suggest you both check out some of the good websites for pain like the American Chronic Pain Association, the American Pain Society, The National Pain Foundation is one of my favorites and I also recommend pain-topics.org-it is a fabulous site for info!. They will have links to some of the others. You can also try googling "pain" just avoid sites dedicated to selling you something. Those sites have too much biased info trying to sell their products. The more you both learn about pain and what is going on the better you will understand and begin to deal with the pain. All the best to you!
If he's permanently injured, he needs pain management and may have to take the pain meds (maybe forever unfortunately like me). Most primary drs. won't continue to write pain killers. I went through hell with this (permanently disabled myself - back pain as well from a car accident). When he goes for the consult with a pain mgt. doc, tell your husband to bring his most recent prescription bottle with him and tell the doctor they are not working. If he's NOT permanently injured, pain management has many outpatient procedures that give a lot of pain relief; they can then wean him off the oxycodone. I actually cut myself back every other week or so for like 2-3 days just so I don't have to increase my dosage; so far am successful with this little trick and haven't needed to increase my dosage in over a year. It is hard, though, if you are "new" to this whole pain world so your husband should really do some online research to help educate himself.
Hope this helped... :)
- Oxycodone Information for Consumers
- Oxycodone Information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side Effects of Oxycodone (detailed)
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