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Physical Dependence/Addiction

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  • DanaW
    Good post Pain_Man! Thanks. It helps to be reminded of these facts. I no longer feel any guilt with my pain meds. I have recently built up some tolerance with my meds. and thankfully my Uro. responded by upping my meds. (also he realized that my 30 pills a month were not cutting it) I really don't worrry about becoming addicted bc I would be a total zombie with no memory! (I find I have some memory problems with narcotic meds.) I do a home business and am quite successful with it but, I wouldn't be if I couldn't treat my pain. And, if I took too much, I wouldn't be able to do my home business. Thanks for your info. on pain meds. and addiction.

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  • tigger_gal
    ICN Member

  • tigger_gal
    Hey Pain_man,
    great post I am glad that you posted this.. too many people think you can become addicited by a bottle of pain meds... over the last 3 years I have alternated between darvocet, ultracet, and vicodine... however, it takes me a couple months to take 30 of any of them...
    take care

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  • Pain_Man

  • Pain_Man
    started a topic Physical Dependence/Addiction

    Physical Dependence/Addiction

    There's a lot of concern on these boards about "addiction."

    Let's clear some stuff up with facts (always helpful) instead of media-driven fear.

    First: Less than 1% of patients (without previous illegal drug use histories) become "addicted" to pain killers. The medical term is "iatrogenic addiction" ("iatro" is the Greek word for doctor).

    so, unless you used to be a junkie or a coker, you're in little danger of addiction. Even with the latter (or meth, etc) you are in little danger.

    Second: Physical dependence

    EVERYONE WILL DEVELOP PHYSICAL DEPENDENCE if you take narcotic long enough. They alter your body chemistry so, if you try cold turkey or run out (as I've done twice) you will go into "withdrawl".

    This is NOT a sign of addiction.


    Withdrawal is hell on Earth (why do you think junkies become theives, burglers and hookers???). As Emily Dickison wrote, "It's all we need of Hell."

    Physical dependence is inevitable. If you had a cureable condition (say some milder form of cancer or serious injuries) then you have to eventually face withdrawal, but it can be managed gradually. Tryin cold turkey is for lunatics, in my opinion. (If You've done it, power to you; you are very rare!).

    So, if you run out of your meds a few days before your next appointment and begin to feel withdrawal symptoms (they vary so I won't list them you can look them up or ask a pharmacist if you wish to know) it does not mean you are (necesarily) addicted. As I said above, addiction in "non-drugoids" is less than 1%.

    So the odds you aren't an addict are 99%.

    I've been taking large amoungts of narcotics (far, far larger than the supposedly "deadly" amounts Rush Limbaugh allegedly took; I love Rush, but when it comes to narcotics, he's an amateur and getting shafted politically, but that's not an argument for this board so for you Liberals, I do apologize and do wish to start a political fight).
    for five years.

    I am physically dependent. But I am no addict. I was a meth user and constant pot head for almost ten years before I came down with IC, so I KNOW addiction. You dream about the drug. YOu fantasize about it. You fondle it like a baby.

    I have NONE of those problems with narcotics.

    Therefore, please understand, the overwhelming odds are that you are NOT an addict.

    PS: Pls remember I'm not a doctor or pharmacist and this is not specific information; consult such a professional about YOUR specific situation. I'm just laying the generic facts out in the hope of calming some of the media-driven fear out there about "Hillbilly heroin" and other nonsense like that.

    Peace and painfreeness to you all!!!