I forgot to mention that I became addicted to pain meds

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Leora, May 20, 2006.

  1. Leora

    Leora New Member

    In my decade long struggle to get rid of my almost unbearable pain in my shoulders, joints, hands, feet and legs, I was taking 10mgs of Norco 3x per day. The doctors who didn't know that much about Fibromyalgia just wrote me prescriptions instead of trying to figure out my problem.
    Anyway, I really got addicted. I had no idea how it was affecting me or how doped the meds made me look to my family and friends. I tried methadone this past December, and I don't even vaguely remember the holidays.
    I ended up stopping all pain meds. in Feb. of this year. It has been a huge struggle, but I have such a clear mind now. Those pain meds just really messed me up. Now I go to physical therapy once a week and it is helping with my shoulders, which are the worst. (Knots and lumps in the muscles, a ripped rotater cuff, too)
    I want to find out what natural remedies are the best. Any suggestions? I have been reluctant to try anything,until now.
    Sometimes I do desire a quick-fix pill, (like Norco) but I don't want to risk addiction again.

  2. marilynb

    marilynb New Member

    I have been on Norco for a couple of years. I started with 1 10mgs 3Xper day & was up to 5 a day. My pain Dr. has now lowered it to 4 a day, which at first I really struggled with. I am doing ok now with only 4 a day, but when I try not to take the 4th one, my stomach starts hurting really bad & the flu symtoms are really bad. How did you stop the Norco? I would love to be able to stop this. I also was taking Robaxin muscle relaxer 2xper day & then they uped it to 3x. Now they have backed my down to 2 a day. I have not been compliant with that one. I still have been taking 3 a day & now I only have 2 left & cannot get a refill until May 27th, which is another week. I sure hope I can make it until then.

    At least now that we are looking at my Adrenal & Hormone levels, I may be able to supplement those & get those working, which I really hope will be an answer to everything.

    Sure wish I could help you. Let me know if you find anthing that helps.

  3. julieisfree05

    julieisfree05 New Member


    I just wanted to ask you if you ever took the pain medication when you WERE NOT in pain?

    That is the true definition of a pain medication addict - someone who takes it even if they don't need it - usually to deal with other issues.

    Many of us have terrible reactions to lots of different types of medications. If you were taking the Norco as prescribed, for pain, that is NOT true addiction! It's an unfortunate reaction to something that might have been able to help you..

    I know that people who beleive that they are or were "addicted" to drugs can feel incredible guilt over it, and I want you to know that unless you were taking these drugs for reasons OTHER than what they were prescribed for, you are/were probably NOT a true addict!

    At one point I was taking close to the daily limit of 12 Norco tablets every day, but if I didn't need it, it never crossed my mind to take it. That's how my doctors knew that I wasn't "addicted". I was taking it for the pain that it was prescribed to relieve, and if I wasn't in pain, I didn't take it.

    I had a similar experience with a "bad reaction" when a quack doctor decided that the Norco was "dangerous" (even though I was well below the "safe" daily limit") and put me on Oxycontin.

    I was so out of it that I couldn't function, but that didn't make me an addict. It made me a victim of malpractice by a doctor who wanted me to have to pay for an office visit every 30 days, so he put me on a triplicate (no refills) instead of the pain medication that was working - that he could write refills for and I wouldn't have to see him every thirty days.

    I an NOT trying to convince you to start taking pain medication again!

    I just want to be sure that you understand the difference between addiction and medication that is just not right for YOU!

    God Bless,

    julie (is free!)

    It's a mighty big word
    for such a small man.. - Rebecca Lynn Howard
  4. erfula1

    erfula1 New Member

    Even if you take the meds as prescribed your body can become dependant on them and then you have withdrawals from it. This is different than being mentally addicted to meds. It is a horrible illness. I went through it taking meds that I was prescribed and exactly as prescribed. I am now med free. And I feel better physically and mentally.

    The Dr at the ER when I broke my ribs gave me 20 vicoprofen and he told me that when I followed up with a regular Dr to be careful taking pain meds cause if you are on them for a long period of time you can become physically dependant on them. I didn't tell him that I had already been through that but I did tell him that I didn't want that to happen and after those few to get me through the worst of the pain I didn't want anymore.

    And I didn't follow up with another DR. I got through it. I am not condeming anyone who is on pain meds and I know that I could get to where I have to have them again. I just know that I feel better now than I did when I was on 12 meds. But that is just me.

    Here is a list of some natural treatments for you. Hope this helps. I know that White Willow Bark and Devil's Claw work. Ginger also works. I take the pill form. I also use St John's Wort. Some of the other ones I haven't tried yet.

    Herbs can be used to help alleviate fibromyalgia by reducing inflammation, stimulating hormones, providing immune system support and eliminating pain.

    St. John's wort is a natural antidepressant and influences the adrenal gland hormones to help relieve stress. St. John's wort affects nerves and is effective for sharp, shooting nerve pains. It also has antiviral properties. (Caution: Do not take if you are taking conventional antidepressants.) Choose a standardized extract containing 0.3 percent hypericin and take 300 milligrams three times daily.

    Siberian ginseng is an energizing herb that can help resolve the fatigue associated with fibromyalgia. Choose a standardized extract containing 0.5 percent eleutheroside E and take 100 milligrams twice daily, one-half hour before breakfast and lunch. After two weeks, you can gradually increase the dosage as needed. After six weeks, take one week off, then take the herb for another six weeks.

    Turmeric helps to reduce pain and inflammation. Take 400 to 500 milligrams three times daily.

    Cayenne, echinacea, goldenseal, astralagus, myrrh and chaparral boost the immune system and improve circulation. Combine them as a tea or tincture, It may be helpful to mix it with juice for better taste.

    Calendula taken orally in high doses has a positive effect in reversing symptoms of fibromyalgia.

    A combination of burdock, slippery elm, sheep sorrel and Turkish rhubarb was shown good results in improving fibromyalgia.

    Garlic is useful for detoxification and to enhance immune system function. Take 5,000 mcg of standardized allicin three times daily. Kyolic, aged garlic is preferred.

    Ginkgo biloba improves circulation and brain function.

    Devil's claw root is a natural anti- inflammatory used to treat rheumatic disorders. Take one 400 mg devil's claw root tablet daily.

    Willow bark has anti-inflammatory properties and works as a painkiller.

    Passion flower, valerian and hops teas have sedating and muscle- relaxant properties.

    Dong quai is good for fleeting muscle and joint pains, especially if they are worse in damp conditions. Take 1 capsule daily. For women only.

    Licorice root acts in the body like cortisone, but without the harmful side-effects.

    Milk thistle extract, artichoke, turmeric and dandelion supports liver function.

    Dandelion reduces frequency and intensity of pain and strengthens the connective tissue. Take 1 tbsp. juice or 1 cup tea twice daily for four to six weeks.

    Black walnut aid in removing parasites.

    Paud'arco, taken in tea or tablet form, is good for treating candida infection.

    Skullcap and valerian root improve sleep.

    Teas brewed from burdock root, dandelion, and red clover promote healing by cleansing the bloodstream and enhancing immune function. Combine or alternate these herbal teas, and drink 4 to 6 cups daily.

    Topical applications of cayenne (capsicum) powder mixed with wintergreen oil can help relieve muscle pain. Cayenne contains capsaicin, a substance that appears to inhibit the release of neurotransmitters responsible for communicating pain sensations. Use 1 part cayenne powder to 3 parts wintergreen oil. Cayenne can also be taken orally, in capsule form.

    Licorice root supports the glandular system.
    Caution: If overused, licorice can elevate blood pressure. Do not use this herb on a daily basis for more than seven days in a row. Avoid it if you have high blood pressure.

    Pine-bark and grape-seed extracts are natural anti-inflammatories that help to ease pain. Take 50 milligrams of either two to three times daily.

    Ginger Tea. Ginger is a good alternative to aspirin to relieve minor aches and pains. Steep 1 teaspoon of the grated root in 8 ounces of hot water for 10 minutes. Strain. Add honey for taste, if you like. Alternatively, take 1,000 to 2,000 milligrams of powdered ginger a day in capsule form with food.

  5. PVLady

    PVLady New Member

    If you need to stop any opiates take Subutex. It works so you can stop with no withdrawals.

    You can actually stay on Subutex maintenance for pain relief.

    You may need to see a doctor who is a addiction specialist to get Subutex as the doctor has to be specially licensed to prescribe it.

    You dissolve it under you tongue and begin taking it when your next pain pill is due. You will never have a withdrawal.

    I went on Subutex to get off MS Contin and stayed on it for maintenance. I never have any flares anymore. I am on 12 mg Subutex day.

    It is sad so many doctors would prefer to let you suffer withdrawals rather than give you Subutex.

    You can research this med on the internet.

    [This Message was Edited on 05/21/2006]
  6. Lolalee

    Lolalee New Member


    May I ask how you got off pain meds? I have been taking narcotic pain meds for a long time and they really help my pain, but I want to get off them. I am seeing a new doc and she doesn't believe in narcotic pain med for FMS. I see that so many people with FMS don't take narcotic pain meds that it makes me think that I would be better off without them. I know I am not addicted, but my body has become dependent on them for pain relief. I know there is a difference between addiction and dependence.

    I guess my question is did you stop on your own or did you have the assistance of a medical professional?


    [This Message was Edited on 07/29/2006]
  7. TAM

    TAM New Member

    HI Leora,

    I can't really recommend any natural remedies that i know would help you because any that i have tried hasn't worked for me.

    I just had to answer your post and tell you how proud i am of you for helping yourself stop your addiction, i can only imagine the amount of strentgh it took and still takes to overcome that.

    You should be proud also, i'm sure you are. I also think it was so great of you to post this because you just might help reach out to someone who is trying to deal with the same problem but is embarassed to ask for help. Because it isn't anything to be embarassed about because when an addict is ready to help themselves then it will make it possible for your family and friends to try to help you along too.

    Anyway stay strong Leora and i'm really happy for you and proud of you. I wish you the best and lots of happiness. Take care, Tammy.

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