How do you avoid Vicodan Addiction?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by vinetti23, May 29, 2003.

  1. vinetti23

    vinetti23 New Member

    Hello - I am occasionally prescribed vicodan for severe flare ups (basically for use when I can't fall asleep due to pain and then get more sleep deprived and end up in a vicious cycle...).

    However, I find the relief granted by vicodan to be so peaceful and overwhelmingly potent that I am afraid I am going to begin to crave the drug and become addicted.

    The same exact thing happened when I started on klonopin 3 years ago for "occasional use only for severe anxiety." Now, I am on 1 mg per night for racing thoughts and bc I am physically dependent. I can't take it for anxiety anymore bc I refuse to go up in dosage. If I go down in dosage, I basically just go nuts...

    Thanks in advance :)
  2. horsegal

    horsegal New Member

    I think this is a question I'm struggling with right now. I also don't think it's a fair question....My point is,...are you or I struggling with addiction to a drug or addiction to feeling normal or even GOOD. I think it's hard to separate the two. I want to feel good, I need meds to feel good, so which am I addicted to....feeling good or the drug that makes me FEEL good. Personally, I don't care if I'm physically addicted to the drug, I just know I need it to be normal. That is, until a day like today, when I'm out and I'm climbing the walls with PAIN....I don't think I'm craving the drug, I'm craving the normal feeling. Does all this make sense?

  3. Princessraye

    Princessraye New Member

    I don't think you can get addicted for instance taking it 1 week out of the month.
    I take codeine everyday and have for 2 years and have no doubt I am addicted. But I don't know how else to keep going especially since I must work full time. I refused pain meds for about 13 years or so but could not take it anymore.
    This improves my quality of life, even though I am still in pain.
    If you are feeling any high from the medicine, I have found that goes away when you take it regularly so a high is not why I take it.
    Good luck
  4. Princessraye

    Princessraye New Member

    What is the difference between addicted and dependant?
    I use the word addicted because I have withdrawel symptoms when I have tried to wean myself off. I have physical symptoms. I don't take the medicine to get high , I take it to take the edge of the pain so I can function somewhat.
    I don't understand and would appreciate if someone can tell me?
    [This Message was Edited on 05/29/2003]
  5. Baboo1

    Baboo1 New Member

    As I understand from my doctor whom is the kindest doctor I have ever met (I know I am extremely lucky), Addiction is when you take a drug when you don't need it to feel good and dependence is when you take medication to get rid of the pain, or at least make the pain bearable. I was concerned about that myself and felt much better when this was explained to me. I am not a professional so I am telling you what I was told by my doctor. I hope this helps.
  6. Princessraye

    Princessraye New Member

    If that is the case then I am dependant.
  7. Lox

    Lox New Member

    I was really concerned about this topic and posted something along the same lines. I also did a huge amount of research on the net about addiction versus dependence and the following is from some of the information I found. If you would like to see the whole article let me and i will post it, it really is interesting -

    It's from the following article -

    Current Thoughts on Opioid Analgesics and Addiction
    David E. Joranson
    Associate Director for Policy Studies
    Pain Research Group
    University of Wisconsin Medical School
    World Health Organization Collaborating Center

    Extract -

    "Recognizing the confusion between addiction and physical dependence on pain management, the Medical Board of California made the following statement in its new policy on "Prescribing Controlled Substances for Pain":

    ...addiction should be placed into proper perspective. Physical dependence and tolerance are normal physiologic consequences of extended opioid therapy and are not the same as addiction. Addiction is a behavioral syndrome characterized by psychological dependence and aberrant drug-related behaviors. Addicts compulsively use drugs for non-medical purposes despite harmful effects; a person who is addicted may also be physically dependent or tolerant. Patients with chronic pain should not be considered addicts or habitu├ęs merely because they are being treated with opioids 45)."

    I hope this ads a little light to the subject, now if only I could convince my GP that there is a difference!


    Lauren :)
  8. Princessraye

    Princessraye New Member


    I hope if you can't convince your Dr. you will seek help somewhere else.
    I don't like taking the pain medicine but I honestly don't think I would still be here if I didn't take it.
  9. judywhit

    judywhit New Member

    I too take oxycodone for pain and was worried about addiction. However, I need this med for quality of life and to continue to be a productive citizen. I want to tell you that I took elavil (very old, safe antidepressent 50mg for two months, I had to go off due to bladder problems. (was really helping my sleep and pain)
    doc told to just go off! Wrong! I was so sick for 4 days last weekend. flu symptoms (all of them) so i think that what i am trying to say is that even with so called non addictive drugs- Our bodies get chemically dependent.
    The ONLY thing I worry about is if my doc quits or dies! not addiction.
  10. Lox

    Lox New Member

    I want to get it all sorted too, it's already a hassle getting to the doctors and we are moving soon to a mining town which is 2000kms from the major city here.

    I just want to get everything working properly before we go as i really don't fancy a 14 hour drive, although the mine doctors will probably just give me what I ask for lol so it may not be such a bad thing.

    I have collected lots of information like I said earlier and have all the relevent information marked so my doc can just flick through it all - hope she reads it with an open mind and just takes the plunge, heres hoping!

    Lauren :)
  11. LadyDragon

    LadyDragon New Member

    I am addicted to Mountain Dew.... but cannot function without my pain meds. I take myself off of them every several months or so to clean out my system, and to keep the potency level of my meds where I need them. During this time I take Ultram.... gradually replacing one with the other until I'm off completely. Have quit "cold turkey" before (drs. orders) and will never do that again. I still have a full time job and young children to support. Yes, I'm dependent... and glad there's something out there that will help me.
    (My 2 cents worth)
  12. jka

    jka New Member

    i've been taking it for 3 yrs for pain.some days i take 3-4 others i take 1-2.i've even had a few really good days when i havn't had to take any!i don't feel like you can get hooked on them.maybe on the feeling they give-but that's something you need to fight or discuss with your doc.if you only take them when needed for pain-i think you'ra ok.

    kathy c
  13. Lynda B.

    Lynda B. New Member

    It depends on how much and how often you need to take it.

    My pain came to an extremely high level while taking Vicodin and it eventually quit working even though I was taking high dosages (prescribed by my doctor) every day.

    I needed a pain specialist and a longer acting medication like oxycontin, methadone, duragesic patch, etc.,

    Just be careful and watch what your body is telling you it needs in the way of relief. It may need more pain relief which is no weakness on your part, just your body sending signals.

    You might want to read up more on pain and pain meds. I know it helped me in making decisions.

    Take care.

    Lynda B.
  14. Lynda B.

    Lynda B. New Member

    It depends on how much and how often you need to take it.

    My pain came to an extremely high level while taking Vicodin and it eventually quit working even though I was taking high dosages (prescribed by my doctor) every day.

    I needed a pain specialist and a longer acting medication like oxycontin, methadone, duragesic patch, etc.,

    Just be careful and watch what your body is telling you it needs in the way of relief. It may need more pain relief which is no weakness on your part, just your body sending signals.

    You might want to read up more on pain and pain meds. I know it helped me in making decisions.

    Take care.

    Lynda B.
  15. momkatmax

    momkatmax New Member

    The feeling that you have is from the relief of your pain, you have had it so long you don't know what it's like to feel good!

    The amount you are on is so limited. Please don't worry. I am sure that you are watching yourself. And by the way there are other things to use for the anxiety than the klonopin, do some web research and ask your doc.

  16. mamafurr

    mamafurr New Member

    interestingly enuf i asked my doc about this last week. i take lortabs 10 mgs. every 2-3 hrs and methadone 20 3x day. how can i be addicted to something i NEED to survive? and if i am who cares. i agree w/others here. if you are taking the pills to get high, then you are addicted. if you are taking them to merely function, then i guess you are dependent on them. it's really a catch 22 situation. i went off the lortabs for 3 days awhile back to see what would happen. nothing. no w/drawals. just more pain.

    my doc said alot of docs are just plain afraid to prescribe the heavy stuff for fear of the feds breathing down their necks. it took me 12 years and 4 different docs to finally find one that truly cares about my pain. they have to be wary of people coming in and requesting drugs. since he knows my case well after 3 1/2 years, we (i) decided we needed to get more aggressive w/pain meds. still in the testing stages. you can blame some of their apprehension on the patients out there that use (fake)pain as an excuse for getting drugs. they give us "real" pain people a bad name.
    take care.
  17. vinetti23

    vinetti23 New Member

    Yeah, the ubiquitous catch 22. That's the same thing my psychiatrist has said about the Klonopin. I need it due to anxiety and restless legs (while I sleep), but I can't accept being dependent on it...and I don't like the idea I HAVE to take it every night now or I won't sleep at all.

    It's funny because my psychiatrist honestly didn't understand why I considered myself "flawed" for having to take an anxiety medication. And now that I'm into pain meds, the same issue is coming up again...

    I think I know why ...

    My mother raised me to "never take drugs" (legal or illegal) - and that even tylenol should only be used in an emergency crisis situation. Vitamis were also seen with distrust. She basically acted like anyone that had to take a pill had something fundamentally wrong with them - on a moral level almost. She also has anxiety disorder herself (untreated) and assumes all drugs will only cause side effects.

    IRONICALLY - my father is a doctor! So you can imagine the arguements. These days, everyone in my family is on one drug or another. Yet STILL, it's all seen as "defects" that we have - even if its not psych related. For example, people in my family have diabetes and GERD. It's all looked upon as "something is wrong with them...." There is guilt and shame built in to taking pills in my family. Then, combined w/ how many doctors act about giving out pain get my issue. (One time I found a doctor in NYC who gave me klonopin with no subtle signals of distrust, and I actually made her ask me more questions! I was so used to the third degree when getting a scrip for that drug...One of the nicest doctors on EARTH.)

    It will be a huge leap for me, mentally, to ever say "yeah I take Drug X daily because I need it to function adequately.." Even if that day came, there is still so much stigma among people in the society about people who are on certain pain or psychiatric drugs. Not that I am obligated to tell anyone - just that the way people talk about some kinds of medicine -- like it's illicit. Even one of my best friends makes fun of me... he goes "Oy - i scraped my finger - give me a morophine drip..." because he knows how "high maitenance" about pain I am... and this is my friend...

    And also - I guess I have to ask myself - If I change my situation, would I need the drugs at all? I.e. if I slept more or got a less demanding job...
  18. AC77

    AC77 New Member

    are strange drugs. we naturally produce them. For most people who have to taken them daily, the euphoriant, relaxed state wears off in a few weeks and people then like to escalate sometimes to reproduce this effect. Most adult do not however. I understand this. I was on Vicodin ES after my accident for 3 weeks, and after 2 weeks, I couldnt get a buzz at all. So, the effects are short lived, and thats how people 'can' get addicted. Opiod withdrawl is much safer and quicker than a Benzo, such as Klonopin withdrawl for many.

    One way to avoid tolerance is alternate days and try to use the smallest dose and resist the urge to go up, unless you are in real pain, not just having a bad day. If you can't do this, give the bottle to a spouse or significant other. IF you have one, and ask for one tab or whatever if Rx'd to you every time you need it. It will help you think twice before taking it just for 'relaxation' sake. Once, again, if you need them, you need them! I no longer can get a 'buzz' from an opiod if I wanted to! Opiods also work by relaxing the person, so this a normal and needed reaction from them and one of the mechanisms by which it works.

    After being on Vicodin, and Ultram Long-term after going to the hospital and getting an I.V. fentanyl, didnt even daze me. Just a little relaxed. Didn't even help pain. I am weird like that also. I think the more young you are and healthier, the quicker your body/liver/neurlogical system adapts to the effects of a particular drug.