Diary of a Quitter wrote:
What I hear you saying is that you are dependent on pain meds, but not addicted - ie, you are not abusing your medication/running out early/snorting your OC's, etc. Is that right?
Hi - wow what incredible advice. Thank you. This is truly an amazing forum.
DOAQ - I definitely would run out early. in fact the "60MGs" of Norco was actually a handicap for being prescribed 40 or 50MG but taking it at a rate of 60MG. But it was always with the same doctor who must have known because he is the one who kept writing the scripts. He never said a word to me about it and he is a reputable pain mgmt doc. Other than that - no. No snorting/abusing the medication.
I appreciate the thoughts about work, drug screens, and sub. That eases my mind a lot.
It actually sounds like you were both giving me similar advice. What I am experiencing is PAWS from the full opiate agonists. A shorter term taper on Sub might do the trick of avoiding the PAWS while permitting a more comfortable withdrawal than I am used to. but that's not a 4-8 week proposition, it's more like a 12 week proposition. And I should get to 2 MG as fast as possible and then spend no less than 2 months tapering from 2MG to nothing. BTW, I found the liquified taper method and I will certainly use that! Some discomfort is inevitable, but it should be better than tapering from the full agonists. But the real question is whether 3 months of a sub taper is long enough for my brain to get used to not having opiates around (i.e. avoid the PAWS). I can also test if I can handle the pain without pain meds. If either doesn't work, I am flexible to go back on the sub or my pain meds.
Please let me know if I summarized this wrong. I'll definitely share this information with my doctor to get his thoughts before doing anything.
Actually on that note, I am going to see a different doctor about the sub. My current pain mgmt doc has been pushing me to "just taper" from my pain meds. Problem is I cannot! I tried! He doesn't work with Sub. I feel like this sub route is another route that might result in success. So I am seeing an addiction psychiatrist. Even though I don't feel like I am necessarily an addict per se, I figure maybe this doc can help me with cognitive behavioral therapy (in addition to Sub) or other stress management tactics to lower my pain threshold a little. Not a cure for pain, I know, but maybe another tool to help me cope with the pain without the opiates. I really want to give life a go without the opiates. If I need to go back on them - so be it. But there is no question that there is a downside to life on opiates. The ups and downs, the constipation, the general preoccupation with when I have to take my meds. I feel like I owe it to myself and my family to see if these downsides are truly outweighed by the pain control I get.
Thanks again for the nice replies. I'll probably check back in with you all if you dont mind (after I see my new doctor).