Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by lc1971, Jul 30, 2008.

  1. lc1971

    lc1971 New Member


    i am feeling like a drug addict. i take ambien, flexeril, aspirin, and sometimes elavil for my fibromyalgia and cfs. here is my dilemma, when i am in a flare, i need like an a half of ambien to have any type of quality of life during the flare. so i usually run out before the month is out. i had been getting refills about 2 days before the 30 days are up. so of course, the pharmacist flagged my account. i have been honest with the doctor but ambien is a controlled substance and there is nothing she can do. i have tried other sleep aids but they don't work like ambien. they usually make me sick or don't help at all. i have tried natural sleep aids and nothing.

    i honestly feel ashamed that i need the pill. i tell myself to shake it off, pull yourself together but that doesn't work. when i don't sleep well, i wake up in pain and am offbalanced. and when flares come i don't know what to do. when i go to the pharmacy, i go fearful that the police is going to come take me away. it is not a logical fear but i feel it along with intense shame.

    i am in a flare now and there are a few days gap between my next refill. i have returned to work because we can't afford for me not to. i also don't have any insurance so i can't go and talk to my doctor or any doctor for that matter.

    could i be a drug addict? is this what my life has come to? begging doctors for meds and having them and the pharmacist think i am fiending for drugs. i swear i wish i could live without meds but they are the only way i can have any quality of life. i don't know what to do. i am reaching the point where i want to order my meds over the internet. but i don't know if that is legal or safe. PLEASE HELP ME!
    [This Message was Edited on 07/30/2008]
    [This Message was Edited on 07/30/2008]
  2. lc1971

    lc1971 New Member

    Ambien used to leave me with hangovers. They were better than the dizziness, nausea, pain, sore throat i would get almos daily. when i sleep deeply, i wake up with less pain. i think because i have been on them so long, my body has acclimated so i don't have the hangover feeling like i did in the beginning. i really want to find something else, find a way to suffer through this or be healed. i am sooo tired of feeling ashamed of myself. i returned to work last month and when people ask what i did the past three years i am too ashamed to talk about my illness. i have been rejected and treated badly by family, doctors, etc. i just can't open myself up to that type of rejection again. they don't even know i am ill.

    i just want to be off the ambien. i get treated like a crack addict when i ask if i can up my dose by 1/2 during a flare which is about 3-4 days a month.
  3. jasminetee

    jasminetee Member

    you are not a drug addict. You have a right to treat your pain. I know how bad this pain gets and I'd be taking anything that would work if I could handle medication.

    I hate that the medical establishment is making so many of us feel like drug addicts. We need to educate them about how bad this pain is and how many different kinds of pain these DDs cause us. I know how hard it is to do that, no one but my dad and my hubby really understand how much pain I deal with and even they don't always get it. I can't believe it's so bad myself. I stay as cheery as possible too so that makes it more unbelievable to others but it keeps my spirits up.

    The fact that it comes and goes makes it hard for others to understand how much we truly suffer too. I think using the words "relapsing, remitting" can help give us more credibility and keep stressing that this is chronic to the doctors. I wish we could just drill that into their heads. People out there just have no idea how it is for us.

    Hang it there sweetie, and don't let anyone make you feel bad about doing what you know is right for you.

  4. bellydonna

    bellydonna New Member

    Yep, I know how you feel. I understand that pharms have to be alert but sometime those of us in real pain who are using the stuff ourselves get falsely trapped in suspicion.

    First, I hope that you get blessed with a flare-down.

    Second, physical problems can't be shaken-off. CFS/FMS are real physical illnesses (not character defects or anything to be shamed about).
    Please try to be easy with yourself; you are doing your best to cope with a very painful condition. ( I know you probably "know" this but sometimes it helps to be reminded. : )

    Third, how do you pay for all these rx without insurance? Are you aware that there are orgs to help? (something I've recently learned and am going to explore.

    Fourth, I don't know enough about "controlled meds" to be any help. I'm sorry. But I have experienced this same situation with pharms treating me like a criminal/addict while I was filling and refilling and refilling legitimate rx that I was using myself (not selling them or sharing them or anything crazy) even though I wished to not take them- but had to for any quality of life.

    My final 2 cents: addicts ruin their lives trying to get high; CFS/FMS/ other ill people try to improve their lives their lives by getting some relief.

    Just thought of 1 more story: cold medicines that used to be OTC and on the shelf are now behind the counter and more controlled since they are used to make meth. I worked at a drugstore when this policy was implemented. A customer under age 18 came in to buy med for her grandma so I had to deny her and inform her that new policy = only sold to over age 18. (I tried to be gentle since I didn't want her to feel suspect). She went and got her grandma who was waiting in the car: sick. Very indignant, the gramma came into store to purchase and asked about new policy. I explained to her the policy and reasons and that while I did not doubt her legitimate need this was now standard policy with our store/soon to be all stores. I couldn't implement policy based on my own discretion; had to apply to every purchase/customer.

    I hope you feel better soon.
  5. dragon06

    dragon06 New Member

    You are not a drug addict. You are not even close to a drug addict. I fill my prescriptions a couple of days early all the time, even if I still have pills left so I won't be out if I can't get out on the day of the refill. My pharmacist has NEVER flagged my account and I am on heavy narcotics and sleep meds. I am not sure why your pharmacist felt the need to flag your account...especially for Ambien. You must have an over-zealous pharmacist.

    The police are not going to come and arrest you or take you away.

    You have a valid prescription. You are doing nothing wrong.

    The next time you go and see your doctor you can maybe ask if they can up your prescription to a higher dosage so you have a little bit of wiggle room.

    Either way you are not a drug addict you are just treating your sleep and your pain and that is something you need to do.

    Let yourself off the hook and stop feeling bad about it...that can't be helping you.
  6. caffey

    caffey New Member

    I don't think so. I know your system is a lot different than ours CDN. Do you have a good report with your docs? My docs know me and they trust and they give me a few extra pills to account for flares and they allow me to adjust certain meds. Are you allowed to do that? It sounds like your pharmacists have a lot of power. Same thing do you have a good report with them? Mine will do favors except narcotics for me.

    Don't feel guilty. I know it sucks but keep searching until you find a doc and pharmacy that you are comfortable with.
  7. Michelle_NZ

    Michelle_NZ New Member

    Please please please..... I cannot stress this strongly enough to anyone who is reading this and asking themselves the same question..

    If you are in PAIN and you need MEDICATION to function... you are NOT a drug addict. You are DEPENDANT on medication to help you lead as close to a normal life as possible.

    I myself take 120 pills per day - a combo of medications, vitamins, minerals, herbs, supplements.

    There are are a few that I cannot stop without tapering down slowly, and if I forget my dose I feel it - that is because my body needs it. It is dependant on this substance to help it be more "normal".

    If you are seeking out drugs / meds for a "high" then yes, you may have a drug addiction problem, but there is a difference between DEPENDANCE and addiction.

    Please - if you NEED medication to help you function, then take it. Of course consult with your doctor to make sure you are not mixing up herbs etc with drugs that could be harmful.

    Take care
  8. Tell your doctor what happend.Have him up the dose and go to another phamacy, Ruthie
  9. Manaleon

    Manaleon New Member

    My husband works for a pharmacy and he's seen 20mg of ambiem at night. Your doctor can up the dose if you really need it. It just needs to be written on a new script from the doctor. Controlled just means it needs to be monitored by the doctor. I don't think you're a drug addict. I feel the same way about my controlled meds. My mom and gramma have an addiction to percocet and vicodin so I'm always paranoid when I have a flair and have to take several in a day. What makes me feel better is that I may take a lot during a flair, but if I'm feeling well enough I can go weeks with out a single pain pill and no withdrawl symptoms. Trust yourself. You know your body better than any doctor or pharmacist.

    - June
    [This Message was Edited on 07/31/2008]
  10. its crazy, I can't get a refill on ambien because they say it is a controlled substance , the same with lyrica. I think the drug co. are getting too overbearing with meds that DRS! order for us and then they question.
  11. CKater

    CKater New Member

    I don't think your a drug addict, but if as you say you need at least a "half an ambien" your prescription should last you a month. Mine is a 30 night supply. Are you taking this during the day for naps? I guess I don't understand why you're running out before the months end. You say you don't have insurance so you can't see a doctor, how did you get all of these prescriptions? But, back to the ambien. I know doctors tell you ambien can become "habit forming", but I've been taking it for over two years, and I don't need it every night for sleep, mho it's not all that "addictive", but then everyone is different I guess. Please don't get yourself too worked up. How long have you been taking this?? I know for myself, if I'm really exhausted, my others meds do the trick and I don't "have to" to it everynight even though I've had a prescription for over two years. And just so you know YES, it can be ordered off the web through pharmacies in the UK, search the web My husband did it...but it's expensive...same stuff.
  12. stumped

    stumped New Member

    You have been prescribed a drug for your illness from a doctor. It is simple. I am a substance abuse specialist and have been working in this field for some years now. I am also a recovering addict who has been sober for some years. I was never prescribed heroin, methamphetamines, pot or alcohol but, I sure did abuse all of them. My motives were to get loaded and not feel a thing and or have a care in the world because I was selfish,self, centered and addicted. You have a prescribed medication for your pain and for other illnesses. Bellydonna is correct. Addicts destroy theyre lives by drug abuse. You are trying to improve your quality of life. Have the pharmacist confirm your refill. Maybe go to another pharmacy too. Your pharmacist might be having allot of visits by addicts trying to obtain narcotics just as I used to do. This will always raise a brow. Ease your thoughts and continue to take your meds as indicated. Maybe try a holistic approach with some of your meds. My daughter has FM and takes narcotics for pain. She is not an addict. She is trying to live pain free like you. Gentle hugs.
    Stumped Pop.......Rick
  13. Didoe

    Didoe New Member

    ambien saved my life and continues to do so. i stopped sleeping about 2.5 years ago. the most i got was 2 hours in cat naps thru the night. and i never went into deep sleep. i slept at my computer at work, falling into a state so deep i began dreaming within seconds, but i couldnt reach this state at night like a normal person. i've been in the hosptial for surgery and by the time they sorted out my maintenance meds, including ambien, it took 4 days. i did not sleep for 4 days, i spent nights staring bug eyed praying to fall asleep. this is not addiction, my sleep cycles are completely screwed up. why? its probably a combo of emotional stress and medical illnesses.
    I have RA, FM, and other medical problems that have kept me in extreme and chronic pain for years.
    My rhuematologist also has been a saint both in diagnosing and understanding i dont play with meds and she gives me what i need. i'm on duragesic, ultram and have vicoden for emergencies only. i'm so thankful for having found a doctor that hears and understands i couldnt imagine abusing that trust.
    Whatever you do, DO NOT pharmacy hop because that will get you into problems. Narcotics dispensed are kept on a computerized registery-- if your name shows up filling scripts of the same meds within the same period, you may have some one calling you dont want to see or speak to, dont do that...
    there are many options for pain, i use 3 of them. there is no reason for you to be chewing on ambien for pain or to get thru a flare. Please have a serious talk with your doctor about dealing with pain in a responsible way because the doctor and pharmacy cant take seriously someone begging for sleep meds for pain management.
  14. bre_ann

    bre_ann New Member

    NO ONE will rx pain meds and it's so frustrating for some of us who could use a pain pill now and then when the pain becomes too much. I just don't understand it. I have a friend who is also VERY dependant on her pain meds but ALL of her dr.s just end up thinking she's a druggie. She is in PAIN 24/7! and has to take pain meds just to get through the day. Some people have to live like that. She is not a druggie! I want some pain meds and can't get ANY from any of my dr.s because of the "addiction" associated with it. Then WHAT the heck are the pain pills for?????
    UUUUGGGHHH..I get so frustrated with it all!

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