Drug Addricted

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by NyroFan, Dec 9, 2006.

  1. NyroFan

    NyroFan New Member


    I hope all are well.

    I just called my sister in Florida and generally in talking she said she thought I was a drug addicted.

    I calmly explained each med to her and she said: yes, you are are an 'addict'.

    I tried to keep my cool and explained for the last time why each med was needed.

    She said I would be better with 'all of that junk'.

    I am furious and may not call her at all. She is a cheapie
    on the phone anyway.

    It really hurt--my own sister. She has never done this before.

    I am upset about this. If it had been an old 'friend' I might have just thought: go to heck.

    I am tired of explaining.

    My doctor increased my meds, but that was based on his examination on me: hands,legs. arms feet.

    As terrible as it seems, she is all I have left in the family and I think I am now going to the last one.

    I vist her once or twice or year, but I am so upset by this. I do not know whether I will sleep tonight.

    I am so angry. So, sorry for the vent, but it was needed.

    Thank you for listening.


  2. turtlesyndrome

    turtlesyndrome New Member

    Oh wow, that it too bad. I am sorry that your sister doesn't understand. It sounds like you really need all of your medications, and if you need them then you are NOT a drug addict! At least that's my opinion anyways. Drug addicts take drugs to get high, But CFS/FMS people take them to help with their symptoms, there is a HUGE difference! Hopefully sooner rather than later your sister will come to the understanding that you really need your medications. "Go easy and if you can't go easy, then go as easy as you can."
  3. elliespad

    elliespad Member

    I don't use much in the way of drugs, but I use TONS of supplements. Doesn't mean I think people who choose the drug route are drug addicts.

    If your sisters' child was taking 3 or 4 drugs to treat cancer, and antibiotics for ear infections, and a decongestant for the fluid in her ears, and had ADD and took Ritalin, and had a severe allergic reaction to one the drugs she were taking and was given prednisone, would she consider her child a drug addict? Not likely, she'd probably be pretty overwhelmed taking care of her needs and expect sympathy and compassion from friends and family.

    Sounds like it might be different if it's her kid doesn't it?
  4. smiffy79

    smiffy79 New Member

    not that i would allow anyone else to take one of my meds but my husband and i sat down and tried to imagine what each of my meds would to a 'normal'

    one thing is for sure they would be as high as a kite - and the fact that you are not as high as a kite would tell her what?

    that each one of those meds is justified and much needed.

    people can be short sighted and cruel but when its one of our own family its harder to bear.

    right now she is set in her mind and will not be ready to listen to you but perhaps she might be open to taking it from someone else?

    copy and paste some of your answers to email and send them on to her. it might make her see sense? #just delete that bit lol
  5. apparantly she is lucky and does NOT have fibro or understand its devastation to our lives.
  6. NyroFan

    NyroFan New Member

    Thank to each and every one of you.

    I decided to let my sister call me, instead of me always calling her. She says she can not afford the phone bill from Florida to here.

    Well, she better find a few cents to call. And if she calls I will let her know exactly why I did not call her.

    I surely can use some of the suggestions you all suggested.

    thank you so much,
  7. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Family members can be the worst because they have the ability to push our buttons and hurt us emotionally. The more you play into this, the more hurtful it will be for you.

    You don't need to defend your choice of meds to anyone and she stepped way over the boundaries between people by calling you an addict. It is wrong and it is judgemental.

    It would be better to simply tell her that topic is off limits and refuse to be drawn into whatever agenda she has for how she is acting. As it is, she has you dancing to her tune. This is not your fault, but it does take two to do this dance. Just don't get on the dancefloor.

    Love, Mikie
  8. Suzan

    Suzan New Member

    It sounds to me like that is what your sister did...I am convinced that I am dependent on my drugs...but that is worlds apart from me being a drug addict. I think people don't like to be educated about that difference..because it gives them much more power to throw the addiction word out there...and it is powerful..and accusitory.

    I think that WE are the ones who have to believe in our course of treatment, it is US who suffer with the symptoms. As long as you are comfortable with your choices..and your doctors path of treatment, let go of your sisters words. They are not worth worrying about, and POSSIBILY you may help her understand..by giving her info on your illness..and the differences between dependance and addicition..but either way, just let go of what she said.

    I hope things improve with you two!
  9. Mini4Me

    Mini4Me New Member

    If my family knew what I was on, they'd freak! So, when I take stuff in their presence (I usually avoid this), I just explain that it's an asprin or supplement to help my condition. I don't get into the pain thing at all.

    If you haven't been through the pain thing yourself, you'll never understand it. So I just don't go there.

    No one has noticed a change in my mental state. They have noticed I can't do as much physically as I used to do. If they only knew that I'd be in bed all day without my meds.... but it's not worth going there as I said before.

    Keep it to yourself and you won't have people accusing you of being an addict.
  10. abcanada

    abcanada New Member

    Sorry to hear you are having such problems. I have to admit that a year ago I never would have imagined what I'd be taking today. My pain has hit an all time high. I now take about 8 Percocet a day.
    Both my mom & my sister are EMERG nurses, and all along have encouraged me to keep myself out of pain. Even when I was reluctant to embark on the whole 'World of Narotics'. To this day they both still encourage me to keep myself out of pain and at the same time ensure that my docs are doing everything they can(which I wonder). I can't imagine not having thier support.
    I think the best thing for you is to concentrate on what's right for you, and maybe DON"T discuss your health problems with her. I know that will hurt, but try to find someone else even all of us on this board to deal with that part of your life. My in-laws aren't supportive or understanding at all of me and I find that staying away is the best. My circle of friends has diminished to my Hubby, 4 children and and mom & sister. This is my support group. Pretty small, but they all support me. Nyrofran you're in my thoughts, your FM bud, Laura
  11. Lynna62

    Lynna62 New Member

    MCD56 - thank you for your excellent definitions of addiction vs dependence, too few people realize there is a BIG difference

    Mikie, when I was on the boards a couple years ago someone posted an excellent article on this topic (I thought it was you?) but I can't seem to find it. Perhaps if you remember what I'm talking about and know where to find it you could post it again?

    Nyrofan, you have been given lots of good advice. If you have the energy you might try to educate your sister on the subject, if not, she overstepped her boundaries anyway.

    Take care,
  12. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Addiction Versus Dependence and Tolerance 10/29/06 04:18 PM

    There is so much misinformation regarding opiods and potential addiction. Addiction in those taking opiods for chronic pain is very rare except in those cases where one is already addicted to alcohol and/or drugs. I don't think those who fear addiction mean you any harm or disrespect. They are acting only from their own fears, which are not supported by the facts. Still, they have a right to make the decision not to take opiods just as we have the right to take them. I just hope that when people make these decisions they are based on good research and not irrational fear. In every case where we take any drug or use any treatment, it is our responsibility to perform due diligence to weigh the potential risks versus the potential benefits, even when the docs recommend them. I think instead of taking these things personally, perhaps we could use the opportunity to educate. Here is a copy of a post I did a while back.

    Love, Mikie


    Addiction Versus Dependence And Tolerance

    From The National Institute On Drug Abuse 07/12/06 11:55 AM

    Even many docs cannot agree on what constitutes addiction and there seems to be a lot of confusion regarding this topic. I went to the National Institute On Drug Abuse and got some info regarding these terms. I posted this in another thread, but it's so important, in view of the fact that so many of us need pain meds and other heavy hitter medications, that I decided to give it its own post.

    Because this article is rather lengthy, I've added bold and italics where the article emphasizes the definations in question. I hope this helps when trying to make informed decisions regarding meds. Certainly, the potential for abuse, tolerance, and dependence are all germane to performing due diligence.

    Love, Mikie


    Definitions Related to the
    Use of Opioids for the Treatment of Pain

    The American Academy of Pain Medicine, The American Pain Society and the American Society of Addiction Medicine

    Consensus Document


    Clear terminology is necessary for effective communication regarding medical issues. Scientists, clinicians, regulators and the lay public use disparate definitions of terms related to addiction. These disparities contribute to a misunderstanding of the nature of addiction and the risk of addiction, especially in situations in which opioids are used, or are being considered for use, to manage pain. Confusion regarding the treatment of pain results in unnecessary suffering, economic burdens to society, and inappropriate adverse actions against patients and professionals.

    Many medications, including opioids, play important roles in the treatment of pain. Opioids, however, often have their utilization limited by concerns regarding misuse, addiction and possible diversion for non-medical uses.

    Many medications used in medical practice produce dependence, and some may lead to addiction in vulnerable individuals. The latter medications appear to stimulate brain reward mechanisms; these include opioids, sedatives, stimulants, anxiolytics, some muscle relaxants, and cannabinoids.

    Physical dependence, tolerance and addiction are discrete and different phenomena that are often confused. Since their clinical implications and management differ markedly, it is important that uniform definitions, based on current scientific and clinical understanding, be established in order to promote better care of patients with pain and other conditions where the use of dependence-producing drugs is appropriate, and to encourage appropriate regulatory policies and enforcement strategies.


    The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), the American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM), and the American Pain Society (APS) recognize the following definitions and recommend their use:


    Addiction is a primary, chronic, neurobiologicneurobiological disease, with genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors influencing its development and manifestations. It is characterized by behaviors that include one or more of the following: impaired control over drug use, compulsive use, continued use despite harm, and craving.


    Physical dependence is a state of adaptation that often includes tolerance and is manifested by a drug class specific withdrawal syndrome that can be produced by abrupt cessation, rapid dose reduction, decreasing blood level of the drug, and/or administration of an antagonist.

    In the case of sedative drugs, spontaneous withdrawal may occur with continued use. Tolerance Tolerance is a state of adaptation in which exposure to a drug induces changes that result in a diminution of one or more of the drug's effects over time.


    Most specialists in pain medicine and addiction medicine agree that patients treated with prolonged opioid therapy usually do develop physical dependence and sometimes develop tolerance, but do not usually develop addictive disorders. However, the actual risk is not known and probably varies with genetic predisposition, among other factors. Addiction, unlike tolerance and physical dependence, is not a predictable drug effect, but represents an idiosyncratic adverse reaction in biologically and psychosocially vulnerable individuals. Most exposures to drugs that can stimulate the brain's reward center do not produce addiction. Addiction is a primary chronic disease and exposure to drugs is only one of the etiologic factors in its development.

    Addiction in the course of opioid therapy of pain can best be assessed after the pain has been brought under adequate control, though this is not always possible. Addiction is recognized by the observation of one or more of its characteristic features: impaired control, craving and compulsive use, and continued use despite negative physical, mental and/or social consequences. An individual's behaviors that may suggest addiction sometimes are simply a reflection of unrelieved pain or other problems unrelated to addiction. Therefore, good clinical judgment must be used in determining whether the pattern of behaviors signals the presence of addiction or reflects a different issue.

    Behaviors suggestive of addiction may include: inability to take medications according to an agreed upon schedule, taking multiple doses together, frequent reports of lost or stolen prescriptions, doctor shopping, isolation from family and friends and/or use of non-prescribed psychoactive drugs in addition to prescribed medications. Other behaviors which may raise concern are the use of analgesic medications for other than analgesic effects, such as sedation, an increase in energy, a decrease in anxiety, or intoxication; non-compliance with recommended non-opioid treatments or evaluations; insistence on rapid-onset formulations/routes of administration; or reports of no relief whatsoever by any non-opioid treatments.

    Adverse consequences of addictive use of medications may include persistent sedation or intoxication due to overuse; increasing functional impairment and other medical complications; psychological manifestations such as irritability, apathy, anxiety or depression; or adverse legal, economic or social consequences. Common and expected side effects of the medications, such as constipation or sedation due to use of prescribed doses, are not viewed as adverse consequences in this context. It should be emphasized that no single event is diagnostic of addictive disorder. Rather, the diagnosis is made in response to a pattern of behavior that usually becomes obvious over time.

    Pseudoaddiction is a term which has been used to describe patient behaviors that may occur when pain is undertreated. Patients with unrelieved pain may become focused on obtaining medications, may "clock watch," and may otherwise seem inappropriately "drug seeking." Even such behaviors as illicit drug use and deception can occur in the patient's efforts to obtain relief. Pseudoaddiction can be distinguished from true addiction in that the behaviors resolve when pain is effectively treated.

    Physical dependence on and tolerance to prescribed drugs do not constitute sufficient evidence of psychoactive substance use disorder or addiction. They are normal responses that often occur with the persistent use of certain medications. Physical dependence may develop with chronic use of many classes of medications. These include beta blockers, alpha-2 adrenergic agents, corticosteroids, antidepressants and other medications that are not associated with addictive disorders.

    When drugs that induce physical dependence are no longer needed, they should be carefully tapered while monitoring clinical symptoms to avoid withdrawal phenomena and such effects as rebound hyperalgesia. Such tapering, or withdrawal, of medication should not be termed detoxification. At times, anxiety and sweating can be seen in patients who are dependent on sedative drugs, such as alcohol or benzodiazepines, and who continue taking these drugs. This is usually an indication of development of tolerance, though the symptoms may be due to a return of the symptoms of an underlying anxiety disorder, due to the development of a new anxiety disorder related to drug use, or due to true withdrawal symptoms.

    A patient who is physically dependent on opioids may sometimes continue to use these despite resolution of pain only to avoid withdrawal. Such use does not necessarily reflect addiction.

    Tolerance may occur to both the desired and undesired effects of drugs, and may develop at different rates for different effects. For example, in the case of opioids, tolerance usually develops more slowly to analgesia than to respiratory depression, and tolerance to the constipating effects may not occur at all. Tolerance to the analgesic effects of opioids is variable in occurrence but is never absolute; thus, no upper limit to dosage of pure opioid agonists can be established.

    Universal agreement on definitions of addiction, physical dependence and tolerance is critical to the optimization of pain treatment and the management of addictive disorders. While the definitions offered here do not constitute formal diagnostic criteria, it is hoped that they may serve as a basis for the future development of more specific, universally accepted diagnostic guidelines. The definitions and concepts that are offered here have been developed through a consensus process of the American Academy of Pain Medicine, the American Pain Society, and the American Society of Addiction Medicine.

  13. chloeuk

    chloeuk New Member

    I really believe that people think we are hypochondriacs..I know that is how I feel although no one has actually said it. If say you had MS or cancer then she wouldnt question for one moment your need to take meds...but as it is something they cant see or be explained easily they automatically think that we are putting on our illness to get meds..I doubt she is saying what she is saying because she wants to hurt you,unless she is a vindictive sort of person...she basically just plain doesnt understand..you could deal with it in several ways..the first being that you no longer discuss it with her or just not talk to her fullstop..if you are like me you will find that hard to do..I think one of the hardest things to deal with is getting people to understand that we are just plain unwell..I also think that taking this option could cause you more stress in the long run. Other things you could try is sending her some info on the DD, write her a letter explaining how it makes you feel when she says this sort of thing to you and maybe write an account of how you feel on any given day(bit like the spoon explanation) I hope that she does begin to support you, I know it makes a world of difference..I have yet to get that full support from any family but luckily for me I live thousands of miles away from them.
  14. I agree with Suzan "I think that families are so good at pushing our buttons." just don't talk to her about your health if you can . JMO.

    Although If I had to live in horrid pain or become addicted to pills , I would rather become addicted , even though I doubt many of us are. Now my dr. won't give pain meds because he doesn't believe in them or if he does he gives 10 vicodin.
  15. caffey

    caffey New Member

    Please read my response to post addiction vs. dependency. Hopefully it will help you.
  16. 69mach1

    69mach1 New Member

    and your doctor.

  17. krchamp

    krchamp New Member

    You know the look that you get when you start to take some of your meds in front of people who think you don't need them. Well, that is the look that I get everytime I take a pill no matter what it is in front of my dad. He says that most of my problems come from being on so many different medicines. Please, did I not live with you for years and did you not see me laying in bed in pain? Yes you did and you know what? You are in pain too but think FMS is a "woman's disease."

    So, I take my meds anyway and tell him that when he is done being in denial and so judgemental then we will talk about the reason I take these medications. I know that sounds harsh but I am tired of judgemental people who think they have a say in my life even if it is my family.

    [This Message was Edited on 12/10/2006]
  18. NyroFan

    NyroFan New Member

    Hello gang,

    More good information, opinions and great ideas.

    Here it is, Sunday night and I did not call my sister, which I always do.

    And nope, she has not called me.

    Thank you to all and Mikie: good info. I printed it and added it to my 'study' notebook.

    I will see if she gives me a call. I usually call on Sundays and Wednesdays. Now I want to see how long she will go without our close communication: sister to sister.


  19. PVLady

    PVLady New Member

    I agree you have a right to feel angry and hurt. You called her and it could have been a opportunity for her to make you feel very good and loved. She could say how much she loves you, and remember anything good from childhood to make you laugh.

    Instead, she chose put you on the defensive about your medications.

    I have a brother and we are very close. He has serious problems with his cervical spine. He went on total disability several months ago at age 58. During the week he is pretty much shut-in while his wife works.

    He takes 3 Darvocette a day and I was concerned at one time, but he understood. I would never say he is addicted etc. That is ridiculous.

    I call him every day, even if for 5 minutes to see how he is feeling and how everything is going.

    I try to discuss current events,ask his opinion, and listen.

    Remind him of good times when we were growing up, also discuss bad times.

    Ask him if there is anything he needs.

    I have been blessed to have a business I started 10 yrs ago and was able to help him when his employer fired him for no cause last year.

    He was devastated and so hurt to be "let go" after 12 years of hard work for the company. Many days he really suffered with his medical condition while trying to hold the job.

    My brother is one of the sweetest people I know. I am sure you are also a wonderful person and your sister could have such a great, rewarding relationship, if she could just wake-up and appreciate you.

    The last thing she should do is make you feel worse or put you on the defensive. It almost makes you think she is discussing your medical condition with other family members. I mean, why is she so worried about your meds when she doesn't even talk to you that often?

    Sadly, after that phone call, I would never tell her, or any other family members what medications you are taking. If they cannot be supportive, you do not need the flack.

    To come out and tell anyone they are a addict is way out of line.

    She is missing out on a very loving relationship she could have with you. So sad...

    [This Message was Edited on 12/10/2006]

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