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Oxycodone Addiction - Taking WAY TOO MANY

Hi everyone.  I have a severe oxycodone addiction and don't know what to do about it.  I am literally at the end of my rope.  I am so afraid of the pain I would have without it and so afraid of the withdrawal symptoms I will have if I try to get off of it.  Since so many of you have been through this, I am appealing to you for your suggestions and expertise on what I should do and how to do it.  I am afraid to tell my pain treatment doctor about my addiction because I am afraid he would cut me off any and all pain relief medication and I cannot live in pain.  My doctor currently has me on 10/325's 5 times per day, but I get extras off the street and am taking usually 3 times what he prescribes and sometimes 4 times that amount.  Yesterday I took around 5 to 6 times what he prescribes and quite frankly, it scares the hell out of me.  I have been on pain medications for around 20 years, starting out on hydrocodone.  My addiction didn't really get out of hand until the last 3 or 4 months - which is when I began to supplement what my doctor prescribed with pain meds that I have been buying on the street.  I began to supplement what he was prescribing because of many failed attempts to get him to increase my dosage due to the lack of adequate pain relief.  I will be moving to another state in the very near future into a large community which I am sure will have many more resources available to me there than the current small community in which I live.

About me:  I am a male in my later 50's and have severe arthritis in my back due to a motor vehicle accident I was involved in nearly 40 years ago.  I finally had to take my disability a few years ago because of the pain.  I have a few other issues and medical conditions too but my back pain is by far my worse problem.  Below is copied from my "About Me" page which I copied and pasted here.  I just joined this forum yesterday to look for some help.  I have read numerous postings thus far and am very impressed with this forum.  I hope someone can offer me some good advice.  I'd very much appreciate that.  Thank you for taking the time to read this and thank you especially to anyone who may offer some advise or their opinion.   I am happy that I found and selected this forum.  Thanks again!   toncatN75

Like most of the others here, my usage of narcotics began due to chronic pain.  I take way too many MG's per day and of course I am concerned about my health due to the amount of meds I take.  I do have very legitimate chronic pain and am in a pickle in trying to figure out what to do about it.  I don't see how I can live with the pain if I don't take the narcotics but I also know the narcotics are going to kill me if I don't do something about it.  So far I've been telling myself (justifying it in my mind) that I don't care if I have 30 days left to live or 30 years left to live, I just don't want to live it in pain.  And although I don't have a "death-wish" that is pretty much just how I feel.  On the other hand I wish there were alternatives to taking narcotics.  I wish there was a new wonder drug that was non-addictive that would take away the pain so that I and other people like me could live a "normal" life.  I can't deny that I love the feeling of euphoria that narcotics offer, but I have such a high tolerance for opioids I rarely get that feeling nowadays.  I would love to get off the drugs but I am afraid of the withdrawal symptoms too.  I start getting withdrawal symptoms if I haven't taken more meds within a 12 hour period.  I am so very close to being forced into doing something about it though.  I am broke and can't pay my bills now.  I am behind on virtually every bill I owe and am probably within less than a week of having my utilities turned off due to non-payment.  So yes, as you've probably figured out by now, in the last few months I have been forced into buying drugs on the street to feed my addiction and to try to stay out of pain.  And as most of you know that is quite expensive.  I was never a "drug user" but I did use to drink quite a bit of beer.  I've always taken pride in the fact that I was an good, up-standing, law-abiding citizen.  Not perfect, but a cut above average or most in that respect.  I never once thought I would be one who would be buying drugs on the street because my doctor wouldn't prescribe enough for me be without pain.  Well, I am sure that if you are here and reading this then you understand exactly what I'm saying.  It's a shame that the Department of Justice and the DEA are being so hard on doctors that they are afraid of being locked up for prescribing enough medicine to keep their pain patients comfortable.  It's that, the laws against (legal prescription) drugs and the enforcement thereof that has created, for the most part, a black-market for prescription pain medications.  And we as good citizens are having to pay our hard earned money to keep these so called "criminals" locked up when their only crime is to try to not be in constant chronic severe pain (or the medical professionals who try to help them).  If our law makers and law enforcers had to live with severe pain for a few days those laws would be changed very quickly.  It's just not right that legislation controls and dictates "proper" medical treatment that should absolutely be left up to the medical professionals who have the education and experience to treat pain.  In today's society there is absolutely no reason for anyone to have to live with chronic pain.  
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271792 tn?1334979657
Hi & Welcome,

Since you are at a fairly high dose your best bet would be to slowly taper and find the sweet spot where you could jump off. That being said, tapering is not easy for us addicts because as soon as we drop and feel any discomfort our first reaction is to take more pills. So many fail at tapering. But not all. So if you are really set to do this then that may be the way to go. It would be best if you had someone to hold the medication and dose them to you according to a set schedule to avoid any temptation. Also, before you do this find pain management alternatives. I have seen way too many people stop only to return because of the pain. You need to set yourself up for success before you begin this journey.

Let us know what route you plan to go and we can support you and make some recommendations for things that will help ease the process. Stick around. This is a great place for support!!
Helpful - 0
1855076 tn?1337115303
I also want to suggest you posting on the Pain Management forum here.  It's not as active but it's a great support.  Unfortunately, pain management is just that:  management.  It's not pain elimination. Most chronic pain patients still have to deal with some pain.  That said, it's possible you are also experiencing psuedo-addiction either alone or in addition to real addiction.  If you're pain is being addressed adequately, it can cause patients to self-medicate.  Hard for anyone to know that but you.

I'd suggest you seeing a really good pain management doctor about your pain.  Good doctors have other things to help address your pain along with the meds. Even if you've tried that route before, they come up with new things all the time:  injections, massage therapy, PT, etc.

This board is a fantastic resource and tapering is a good option, if you can do it.  You could also come clean to your doctor.  Some won't cut you off.
Helpful - 0
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