Pain Medication question:

November 5, 2006 at 1:44 am

I have been on opiate pain management for years. If you are a pain patient (as opposed to someone using recreationally) then your response to opiates will be very different– pain receptors have priority, and gobble up the opiate first. This is why actual pain patients have a LOW risk of addiction and related problems– it doesn’t feel like “mind-altering drugs” at all, and I’ve never had the least craving for the medicine, other than wanting some when the pain is bad. I don’t feel high at all, and in the beginning even asked my doctor what the big deal was– where was the supposedly incredible high that made it so addictive, because I didn’t understand what anyone meant!

That said, I believe most neuropathy patients aren’t helped by opiates, and many do get relief from neurontin/Lyrica. I get no relief whatsoever from those or many, many other medications, but opiates work a (relative) miracle. I do have to take higher doses as the years go by, but I’m working with a great pain management doctor/physiatrist, who assures me that IF I were ever to decide I wanted to be off the medication, it could be accomplished (without discomfort on my part) in two weeks tops. I’d love to be off it, IF there were a compelling reason to (AND I wouldn’t be left so pain-addled that my life would be a living hell.) In the meantime, I’m profoundly grateful that I finally found SOMETHING that works, and have doctors who aren’t frightened by the media’s smear campaign. In the meantime, I’ll do my best to educate people that there is a huge difference for pain patients (Dr. House isn’t an addict jonesing for his next fix, and it’s unreasonable that all his educated doctor friends think so, even if it makes for “better” television!) (PS, for House fans– ketamine also helped me, although it is not part of my current regimen. When I was on it, it helped reduce the amount of opiate I needed for good pain control– and also rarely made me feel anything but pain relief.)