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1198664 tn?1368647812

People who have stayed clean a long time I have some questions.

First and foremost I have not caved or anything like that or am not thinking about it I just have some questions that have crossed my mind. Those that have a year or more when you claim your time lets say its 2 years, are you saying that you have not touched ANYTHING in this time? For example lets say your doc was oxy. If you quit oxy and claim 5 years are you saying that in 5 years or 2 or whatever your time is that you have not had ANY opioids in that time or just not OXY'S and just not when not prescribed. Would you count dental work with a prescription followd to the t and not abused? Would you count that? Or how about chronic back pain people.  Lets say you really abused your patch or high levels of pain killers and you had 1 year and then totally wicked out your back. If you had to see a dr and had to take pain meds for a while would you still claim your time or would you start over?
How about one slip in a few years. Would you reset it then even though it was just one slip?
Just some thinking I was doing. Like I said I didn't slip its just a curiosity on how people count their time. IMO I believe even with a script you should reset your time. But that's just me.
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Avatar universal
Well for some reason I seem to always think differently than others , for example why hole life I was always abusing drugs , my older brother was against it but one year he was in a terrible ski accident and broke his fib and tib and had a metal rod put in his leg! The doctor put him on oxyies , after 2 years they cut him off , he started buying them ,, he lost all motivation lost his job and really became an addict ! Now he's on methadone ! If he was to get off his meth and start adding up the days , and then got prescribed back on oxyies again , I really feel like he would be going back to the start even though he taking it for medical reasons and prescribed ! He would clearly know what that scrip was going to do to his mind body and soul all over again !!! Guess I think different than most!
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Avatar universal
Hey dude congrats on 7 weeks  your off to a great start  your attitude is great this time I think you got it  your question has many answers  for most it is hard if not imposible to take narcotics as perscribed  for me it is so I dont take them but if in a hospital setting with someone else in control and if you really need them like I did with a bowel obstruction I took them under a doctors supervision for a few days  harmless I though  but I got to be honest  they where giving me 4mg of morphine but the addict wanted 10 and it did wake up the sleeping jiant in me thank God for N/A  got a place to share   I dident pick back up  but the though was there after being dormant for years  opiods have a strong lure for years in my case  just be careful and use pain management only if it is unbearable just remember you may have the giant sleeping in you also ...........Gnarly
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Avatar universal
I didn't read the entire thread.  I had 15 years clean not even booze from the 80's, a 2 year slip in 90's then 8 years clean, another slip in 09, then 18 months clean, polups removed in dec 2011 sent home jacked on morphine with a script of hydro,  now 9 months off opiates and struggle with alchahol while going to AA,  see the pattern here, from teenager to grandpa it still lurks waiting for you to lower your gaurd.  This leads to a different topic i want to start soon, so i'll drop it for now.  
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Avatar universal
Here goes 2 cups of coffee and a good nights sleep:

My doctor always had it in my charts that I'm a recovering Alcoholic. I was never addicted to opiates before.  When I wrote "Legal Script" in my first post that's short for a bonfire reason to be taking something for excruciating pain. But, I agree, legal script does sound stupid. Maybe "honestly good reason" sounds better?

Behavior can be one word to use, absolutely. But my NA book tells me in the "who is an addict" chapter:  "it's not the drugs, it's our reaction to them that makes us an addict". I tend to agree w/ that book. It's what's saving my life at the present moment. I took a Vike and had an ugly reaction to it for sure!

You'll hear old-timers, and some new ppl say "I don't need or even ever want to use". They ain't lying! That's how wonderful it can actually get in sobriety. I was cruising along, in retirement with a great benefits package, healthy, happy with things at home, doing my sports, going to AA almost every day, sponsoring people, chairing my home group every Tuesday, 4 years of taking AA and NA behind the walls of two Detroit prisons with my sponsor of 27 years; I was just as happy as a clam. I would never DREAM of wanting to use, and never thought I would use. After all that time the desire had left me completely. But that turned out to be dangerous thinking. As always, God's plan for me was none of my business. You can make plans but don't bet on the outcome.  I herniated a disk in April 2009;  9cm worth. I still have a pic I took from the MRI view of it that my doctor showed me. I was in desperation with the pain. My doctor gave me a script for 90 Vike 7.5/750. I took it home with plans to call my sponsor. That's why I have a sponsor.

I talked to my Sponsor that night (much too long to write) and then filled the script the next AM. The 2 bottles of 45 each sat there all day. Then in the middle of the night I was in excruciating pain. My disc would swell up at night and stick deep into the nerve. Much deeper than the daytime. So I tried one. Taking that one Vicodin did absolutely NOTHING for the pain. That's how bad it was. My only relief was to stand up and walk on a treadmill in the middle of the night. It did take my mind off the pain for a minute. I laid on the couch with my legs draped up on a hassock to stretch the area to help relieve the pain during the day, or walk. Those on here who have been there KNOW. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve we have. It screams when it get's wounded. The next day I went to my home group and told them at my table that I took one, and it didn't work at all… bad move. My sponsor was more than enough "people to tell". People who have never had real bad sciatica, or perfectly good backs were the ones who judged the most it seemed… Can't blame them, they just can't comprehend what it's like to go thru what I was going thru. I should have expected it. But other's who had been there helped me. I focused on the few who judged of course. Up to what happened there, I seemed totally fine with having taken one. Little did I know...

When you get that kind of pain your "thinking" quickly goes to hell in a hand basket. You'll try anything. So…I don't feel the least bit guilty for taking it, and maybe I'll need to again some day, but not under the same set of circumstances. It didn't work for acute sciatica at all. What finally worked was an ESI injection that I had been waiting for. I got 2 more of those for other bulges I had also.

As for the judging? People will set their own rules. People will always be people, and that goes double for my sorry a-s. I can be a grumpy 66 year old sometimes. But I'm powerless over ppl. I realize that. All I can do is to turn to the God of my understanding and pray for them; that they get the happiness I'm looking for. But what goes around comes around… I look back on my life and I did plenty of judging myself. Who am I to judge…?

The end of the story: The next vicodin I took was 2 months later on a train ride from Detroit to Toronto for a funeral. My back had swelled up. That one worked like a charm.  Took my pain away. THAT was the one that started the ball rolling on Opiate addiction for me. Vike #1 tickled my pleasure center, but Vike #2 solidified the addiction. It "set the hook". Then it was off to the races. And I didn't really care about me anymore. Just like the old days, I wasn't worth it to myself. Vike #1 had taken care of that back in April of 2009. Always tell yourself that your worth it. YOU'RE the most important person to care about. Once you get past loving you, then you can care for everyone else and spread that love around.
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1235186 tn?1549257619
COMMUNITY LEADER
so there lies the issue. it would be the way the pills were being used, not so much for the actual pain but for a yes here is my old friend I have missed you kind of thought. there is where the danger lies.
so in that instant if you were honest with yourself yes you would have caved and no longer have clean time. it is the thought process that is the scary part.

yes that's it, it is the thought pattern. in as oh now I have a legit script yes I did hurt myself had surgery, broke my bone and now I can take these and it is ok. but then if that "ahhhhhhh" happens the line has been crossed and your thoughts have now engaged in patterns that could and will most likely lead to relapse. it all starts with the thought pattern and how that is dealt with.

as I said I put so much time and thought into being here. many times I know I cant relate because I am not the addict.

but the thought pattern is what is need is needed  to bring about real change in the addicts mind. the thought has to be taken captive and not acted upon. it also applies to many areas of life,

pj-thank you.
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1198664 tn?1368647812
In my first post I was thinking if I did have a medical issue come up and was given a script that I would secretly inside be enjoying taking the pills even though I medically NEEDED them somewhere inside I would be like ahhhhhhhhh.

And THAT to me needing it or not I would feel like I had caved and should no longer claim clean time. But I love all the responses, makes you think!
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1269044 tn?1393189903
I wasn't trying to fight, sorry if it came off that way.
This really is a subject that is beyond tricky.
I'd say majority of the times if an addict hurts themselves minor or major they don't need anything more than Advil. But there is a small chance they might need more. But that situation needs to be thought out extremely carefully before acting.
I'll never touch them again unless I have a bone hanging out and who knows maybe not even then. Hopefully, Gods grace I'll never be brought to that road.
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Avatar universal
I only have 11 months, but want to share that I stand with atthebeach on this one. For people like me, pain is far easier to deal with than opiates. I am convinced I would be dead within a year of taking narcotics. This is very subjective, but opiates flip a switch in my brain that makes it impossible to take them as prescribed. I've never felt pain like methadone detox, not even close. If they gave me opiates while in the hospital, I'd likely be okay, but having them in my house would kill me. I found the stash when my wife was helping me taper. I don't care about the exact amount of clean time I have. There is only today, so I wouldn't have to start over counting. I guess the trick is "know thyself." And be careful. I would never tell someone else not to take their legit meds, but I know me well enough now. Great past.
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1235186 tn?1549257619
COMMUNITY LEADER
I know Tylenol 3/ with codeine. my point was he only used 3 or 4 as a 13 yr. old and didn't use it long term.  I understand everyone has a different tolerance to pain.
but yes I have seen many times on here when they bump their knee only one week into their "recovery" and get meds.
I am not looking to fight about this. I have been on this board for over three years, help addicts in my community, have a recovering son, daughter and husband who are addicts. I have loads of compassion for addicts.
I am just calling it as I see it many, many times, yes on these boards.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I don't think we are standing on a fine line. I think that at the center of our being, most of us know the difference between normal and addictive behavior. If you're in some horrible accident (like missmomma with the crushed tailbone) or need surgery, taking meds as recommended doesn't change your clean date. It should be a last resort (as it is for normal people) when other more conservative measures don't work. Now, if you have a "sore pinky toe" and are doctor shopping for 5 different bottles of opioids that's a different story. If something comes up, discuss it with your doctor, discuss it with your sponsor, etc. it's not the drugs that make us addicts, it's the BEHAVIOR.
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1269044 tn?1393189903
Tylenol 3 is a narcotic. Weak but a narcotic.
Addict or not it's ridiculous to be in extreme pain. I'm of the opinion as long as you have help from a doctor, spouse anyone trust worthy to hold the meds. Like others stated above there is a distinct difference between abusing and using to help.
Is it a very fine line an addict is standing on?  Yes very serious too. But I'll take my chances over lying there in pain.
Obviously I'm only referring to extreme pain. Not I
Bumped my knee on the coffee table.

But no matter what I say or anyone else says this is a very objective position. Each persons pain tolerance is different. No I'm not looking for an excuse to use.
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1235186 tn?1549257619
COMMUNITY LEADER
i don't want to offend anyone but I just want to be real about this. I just wanted to say that I think if someone wants to use they will look for a reason to get a "legal" script. I am not an addict so I don't have those obsessive thoughts.
I just know that I have had a few root canals and crowns done through the years, i just had one done a few weeks ago. did it hurt yep. I never asked for a script and they never offered one.
I would take a otc meds and be a bit uncomfortable for a few days. I have sprained, strained and hurt myself many times and I don't have the thought of getting narcotics. I use pain sprays, heating pads, ice, rest, otc meds.

I am sorry I really don't mean to hurt anyones feelings but if you want to find a reason to use a "legal" script I guess you could find them.
if you want to remain clean and not wake up the beast inside you then you will find alternate ways to manage minimal pain.

of course this doesn't apply to surgeries.

y son who is 13 fell during tricks on his skateboard in December he said my arm hurts no big deal. the elbow area  was swollen and he wasn't moving it that good. he didn't want to go to the ER. the next morning we went, he had broken the ulna pretty bad, definitely not a clean break. very close to needing surgery. he was a trooper, he only asked the 3 or 4 of the Tylenol 3's that was it. he managed without narcotics.

please change your way of thinking.
much love,debbie
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Avatar universal
Dang phone, But he eventually started over.
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Avatar universal
I know a guy who pulled a tooth with pliers. Legal script, but he eventua
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1269044 tn?1393189903
I respect all opinions but if my leg breaks in half there ain't nothing that'll stop the pain like a narcotic. I wouldn't consider that a relapse unless I broke my leg on purpose!  :-P
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Avatar universal
I had 7 years clean once and then 10 years clean again from ALL drugs. Since I am clearly an addict I had to avoid meds from the dentist, drugs before/during and after surgery etc.  I did not drink, smoke, pills etc.  I considered those years CLEAN.  I stopped my clean time when I had a surgery.  Since I was taking pills before the surgery, during and then what they prescribed me afterwards I was NOT comfortable saying I was CLEAN any longer as I was CLEARLY not!   I too am part of NA and AA and feel otherwise. Clean is clean.  Sober is sober.   There are other alternatives to pain management and we all know this to be true.  But I would say this in defense.  During a surgery or hospital stay would be the one exception.   Whatever they give you during the surgery or while you are in the hospital would not ruin your clean/sober time.  It is different however if you leave with a script.  Especially if you have refills.  That my friend I don't see how anyone could say you are still clean.  I did not continue with many years of clean time due to getting a script.  I was not clean.  Plain and simple.   I also had a drinking problem and I avoided taking a shot of NyQuil when sick. It has an extremely high alcohol content and that would mean I drank alcohol right?  right!  Sorry, but we have to stop making excuses.  We are pro's at doing this!  We need to find other ways of pain management!  Plain and simple!   Great question though.  I'm pretty firm on this if you can tell.   LOL  Sorry if I offend anyone in my firmness.  Your post scares me as it is already giving you reasons to use.  And I stress....REASONS!  Doctor, dentist, surgery, accident etc.  What is the next reason to use or drink?  Find another way!
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1198664 tn?1368647812
The examples above make perfect sense to me!
I would agree 100% with everyone. I also think sometimes man I hope I don't have to be given anything for medical reasons because I don't want to poke the devil sleeping inside me. Especially not this early in recovery.
Again very good answers. I like listening to the long timers you are very inspiring.
7 weeks today and counting!
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495284 tn?1333894042
COMMUNITY LEADER
I dont like the word "slip" to begin with.  It just doesnt have that accountability ring to it,    The old saying 1 is too many and a 1000 isnt enough is so very true.
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Avatar universal
PS. I am terrified of getting hurt, having to have surgery, etc, because I don't want to be put in the position of having to take something. I know it may happen someday, but the further away the better. I don't want to wake the beast. It took so much of my life already.
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Avatar universal
I agree with Sarah on all counts, and others after her. As far as slipping one time, not medically related, I would definitely start again at day one. Otherwise my "clean " time wouldn't mean anything to me, because it wouldn't be true. I feel like that would be lying to myself, and that is the most damaging dishonesty for me. Good questions!
Allison
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Avatar universal
If i took even one pill i would call it a relapse and start from day 1 clean time. However, if i were in medical need with no alternative , and took at the prescribed dosage and stopped as soon as i no longer needed (note i said needed and not wanted!) them then i would still count as my clean time. For me it is more about the abuse/ dependance than the actual taking .....I would have to search my heart and conscience .... If i take when i don't need them then i've relasped. If the meds are honestly required with no alternatives left open to me then my clean time would stand.
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5039239 tn?1364024671
Clean time to me is not using at all, prescription as long as not abused and truly needed is not using. I let my doctor know of my using problem and am very cautious with prescriptions, in case he overlooks addictive prescriptions. Clean time starts over after a relapse, even 1 day using. Looking forward to my 2 year clean and sober celebration on September 22.
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1508698 tn?1360215710
Being clean for a matter of time means being clean from any time of drugs or alcohol.  What you call a slip I call a relapse.  Like dominosarah said if it is medically necessary than it is different.  But I have heard some people use the term medically necessary before as a excuse to use.  I think the medical part has to be monitored by your dr. extremely close.  A lot of us started out using for a medical problem and it ended up over powering us into addiction.  
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Avatar universal
From an AA or NA standpoint, getting a legal script and taking as prescribed won't cause you to lose your time. take my AA sponsor of many years for example. 82 years old, he's been sober for well over 32 years. He's had open heart surgery and a Hemorrhoidectomy (which is horrendously painful) during his tenure of staying clean and sober. Should he have given up his time? Hell no! In my opinion, There would be no sense in marking and celebrating your time if that was the case. You'd be as good as your medical luck holds out. I gave up my time at 27 1/2 years because I eventually abused my pain pills. Once I gave up my time i REALLY got into my pain meds and then I drank. That disaster lasted 2 years. If 12-step members lost their time when they really need pain meds or twilight pre-op...(add long drug list here) then it wouldn't really behoove them to have key-tag ceremonies at all. S--t happens. It's a personal thing. You make the decision to give up your time. Its all in your heart and your conscience if you feel you want to make the decision to give up your time. I did because I abused my meds. But after many years clean, losing all that time can really do a number on some people. It's hard to come back and stay clean with the same amount of enthusiasm. It takes lots of work and lots of meetings. I don't really give a s--t how much time I have anymore. Just happy to be alive and well and catching Walleye out on Lake St Clair guy...
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