Fibromyalgia causing drug addiction?

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Fibromyalgia causing drug addiction?

Postby Depp_lover1980 » Tue Apr 23, 2013 11:37 pm

Just something I have been contemplating a lot lately and the ways in which we are fobbed off and prescribed drugs to deal with our 'illness'.

My pain problems started years ago now with bad trapped nerves in my neck region, with the pain eventually spreading through my body.

Over time my painkiller usage (like many of us chronic sufferers) became daily, with dosages going higher due to tolerance. Over time I have come down from very high use but still rely on the pills and I personally admit that I have emotional attachment to the drugs. For example my mood will improve when I take them and it's not just because of less pain.

I have researched the addictive properties of opiates extensively and I now admit that my illness has, in a way, caused me to be addicted to these drugs. My pain relieve and amitriptyline in order to simply sleep.

I plan on withdrawing next year, but it scares me a lot because I'm not ready to give them up but I want a baby and know it's worth it, but it still terrifies me. I am a recovering alcoholic too, which doesn't help as I already have to resist that temptation.
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Re: Fibromyalgia causing drug addiction?

Postby Depp_lover1980 » Tue Apr 23, 2013 11:40 pm

I feel this applies particularly to fibro because I am not convinced fibro is what everyone has - I believe it is what they call it when they can't quite figure out what is wrong with you. I am going back to docs next week to be refered to a gyaenocologist as I get terrible womb pain and hormonal symptoms and think my issues may be related some how. After all hormones regulate our whole body INCLUDING pain.
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Re: Fibromyalgia causing drug addiction?

Postby whoami » Wed Apr 24, 2013 1:18 am

I understand your concerns and the possible addictions to prescription medications for pain.

I have been on pain killers for 23 years for this illness. I am on a very strong narcotic. I have been on the same prescribed meds at the same dose for eight years. I realize that when or if I ever stop taking these meds there will be some type of withdrawal procedure. Any type of medication has side effects as well as withdrawel symptoms. I have had numerous conversations with my Dr. my pharmacist as well as the drug manufacturer of the meds I take and am quite comfortable taking them.

It comes down to whether the drugs side effects outway the pain without them. If used properly and supervised most medication is a benefit.

For you, you possibly could be taking medication your body does not need. I question it because of you saying you are not ready to give them up yet. It was explained to me that your body uses the meds for the pain. If you are taking more than the body needs to control the pain level then you can become emotionally attatched to the drug for the feeling it is giving you. I have no emotional connection other than when we the pain is out of control

I applaud you for going off the meds to have a baby. I hope all goes well and you become a mother soon.

I do not agree with your thought that fibromyalgia is just a name given to symptoms a Dr can't diagnose. Those thoughts are offensive to those who have fibro. Yes, it has been misdiagnosed over the years and if Dr's. are prescribing meds to patients just to "humor" them because the Dr has no diagnosis is outrageous. Fibromyalgia is a very serious, debilitating illness that is real. I have felt it's wrath for 23 years.
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Re: Fibromyalgia causing drug addiction?

Postby sparky630 » Wed Apr 24, 2013 7:26 am

Really short note as no energy. My Doc said this in my case which will be different to others
I am not addicted I am reliant which is very different
. The other thing is........If I was diabetic I wud take medication so what is the difference with fibro which causes severe pain.
I don't want to be on all this medication, however I don't feel like I am scared at the thought of decresing it.
Well done for the alcohol that takes some doing. Do u feel like the drugs may be filling the gap where the alcohol was maybe? Or do u feel scared as u ve already faced one big challenge and medication feels like.another massive hurdle?

I understand wot u may mean about being fobbed off but I wud also like to point out that that fibro is a difficult illness to diagnose that is why a lot of people on here have struggled for yrs to get not only diagnosed but to get someone to believe them!
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Re: Fibromyalgia causing drug addiction?

Postby sjc » Wed Apr 24, 2013 7:46 am

Hi there,

I don't know if fibromyalgia causes drug addiction. But narcotic medication alone, including opiate painkillers, can be addicted for anyone. I have been taking solpadol - a very strong opiate/analgesic painkiller which I put into water each day...Even though they work ok and I medically need them, but I have sadly become dependent on them, and the withdrawal symptoms are terrible - if I come off the painkillers even for a day, my fibro, IBS, and depression goes tenfold....

I have even tried medication out there to help with me being impulsive, but with only brief effects.....

Take care. :-D .
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Re: Fibromyalgia causing drug addiction?

Postby kitten » Wed Apr 24, 2013 7:58 am

Have to go with Whoami on this one ,

I have had a lot of the symptoms of fibro for many years it would come and go , however over the last 6 years it has got worse I was diagnosed properly by a highly recommended rheumatologist , who at first thought I may have palindromic rheumatism /connective tissue as some of the symptoms are similar but not the hot & cold flushes and sometime speech difficulty etc ,

had various test done all came back negative , went I went back to see her to get the results ,with out hesitation she said it was Fibromyalgia my GP willl not give medcine for the sake of giving it ,
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Re: Fibromyalgia causing drug addiction?

Postby whoami » Wed Apr 24, 2013 2:18 pm

Like I said before, all meds are addictive in some way. Even a light headache tablet. Have you ever taken something like tylenol with codeine for pain, fever? It is an over the counter med. Anyway, when your flu bug ends, then you stop the meds about a day later you get a headache, the headache is usually the withdrawel from the med.

The medication I take is 100 times more powerful than morphine and 750 times more powerful than codeine. I am on a large dose. I get nothing from it but pain relief. No feeling of being in never never land etc. No ...I can't wait for more of the drug feeling. I still drive and function normally, as well as anyone with fibro can, LOL

Nobody would and don't know I am on this med from my behavior or looks. That is because my body is using it for what it is intended for. If my pain level did not need this then I would show signs of overdosing, sleepy, lethargic, trouble breathing etc Just like if I was in more pain then I would need more meds.

Please, YOU should NEVER stop using a drug without your Dr's imput. There are serious withdrawel symptoms with many drugs you would never expect. Even the antidepressent I take has to be decreased slowly when or if I discontinue them. This should not discourage you from taking meds. They are very useful in the treatment of fibro...if used properly! If you think your dose is too high for you then please see your Dr. You would if you thought you needed more pain medication.
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Re: Fibromyalgia causing drug addiction?

Postby LouLou » Wed Apr 24, 2013 2:53 pm

I agree with the other posters about meds having addictive qualities. I've been on co codamol for a few years now and Tramadol for the last 2 years 2 of each 4 times a day.

I'm planning on having a baby soon so I sought advice from my GP about these meds and pregnancy and he said I have to wean myself off slowly as I have been on them for so long and like sjc if I so much as miss a dosage or I'm late taking it the side effects are just awful.

I will admit that like you Depp Lover (great name by the way lol) I am seriously scared and worried about weaning off these painkillers as they do help me function and get through a day at work.

I'm currently going through my calender as my GP said I need to take 6-8 weeks to wean myself off so not exactly spontaneous baby planning lol.

Good Luck Depp Lover for when you do decide to cut down, just make sure you see your GP about it first as sometimes cutting back too quickly or drastically can have a worse affect on you.
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Re: Fibromyalgia causing drug addiction?

Postby Depp_lover1980 » Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:05 pm

Thank you for the well considered responses everyone, it is nice to know I am not alone with how I feel.

I would like to clarify that I am in no way saying fibro isn't real, far from it. My comment is more aimed at how I feel doctors have failed me and 2 others close to me with fibro. I am very much into science and I am not wholly convinced that everyone with the diagnosis has the same thing and it is just my personal believe that fibro is given when they don't want to spend any more of their NHS budget on finding out exactly what is wrong with you, so you are left to suffer for years with these horrendous symptoms.

I've read many stories of people given the diagnosis of fibro, but once they went to private medical treatment, they were found to have gyaeno, hormonal or more established neurological disorders which were treated and the patients improved. I also have a online contact, who is a physio and personal trainer that has found food allergies too, which once the foods were removed the symptoms improved.

I look forward to one day having the cash to try and get better help.
Last edited by Depp_lover1980 on Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Fibromyalgia causing drug addiction?

Postby Depp_lover1980 » Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:08 pm

Loulou, I weaned off Tramadol 18 months ago slowly. In my first full withdrawal fortnight I was given 1mg doses (tiny but effective amount) of diazepam to help with the anxiety that came with it and it's a big help. Any withdrawals can bring about rage, so this is a possibility so talk to your doctor and also have a look at guided meditation on youtube.
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Re: Fibromyalgia causing drug addiction?

Postby LouLou » Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:12 pm

Hi Depp Lover

It's amazing the difference between private and NHS isn't it? When I first had symptoms of FM I was so frustrated that I wasn't getting anywhere with a diagnosis as my Gp was sending me for test after test after test(I didn't know at the time but he just wanted to rule out everything else before diagnosis me) Anyway when I saw hw long I would have to wait to see a Rheumy on the NHS I was so upset I enquired about going private and was shocked that if I had £400 to hand over I could see a Rheumy within 3 days.

I totally get where you are coming from though in regards to your post. Thanks for the advice regarding the tramadol. My Gp wanted me to wean myself slowly over 6 weeks and monitor things like change in my moods/feelings/side effects and to go straight back to him if I was having problems coming off them. He trusts me to be sensible and I know I will be about this as I don't want to feel worse and ultimately I know that I am doing it for a good reason (to have a baby)
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Re: Fibromyalgia causing drug addiction?

Postby Depp_lover1980 » Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:22 pm

Good idea - another tip would be to keep a diary of how you are feeling and use it to write your feelings down, keeping tabs on yourself. I think if you constantly keep in mind your desire to have this baby, remembering the greater goal then it should really spur you on through the uncomfortable times, which will defo happen as you withdraw. But attitude can really help you get through it.

One of the reasons I am so loathed to come off is that in the last year I have turned myself from bed-ridden to a strong weightlifter, doing a degree and working 2/3 shifts at a restaurant so my pain relief is essential right now. I'm scared that this life i've worked sooo hard to achieve will crumble if I feel 100% of my pain. It still hits me half the week regardless but i've trained my mind to work through it now. I had no option, I could either lay around forever or change it. It can be hard and lonely but worth it. x
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Re: Fibromyalgia causing drug addiction?

Postby LouLou » Thu Apr 25, 2013 3:11 pm

Depp_lover1980 wrote:One of the reasons I am so loathed to come off is that in the last year I have turned myself from bed-ridden to a strong weightlifter, doing a degree and working 2/3 shifts at a restaurant so my pain relief is essential right now. I'm scared that this life i've worked sooo hard to achieve will crumble if I feel 100% of my pain. It still hits me half the week regardless but i've trained my mind to work through it now. I had no option, I could either lay around forever or change it. It can be hard and lonely but worth it. x


Depp Lover you have such a great attitude and seem so determined. I remember when I was first diagnosed I was very willing to crawl into a big black hole and stay there forever. But I slowly realised that I was still young, I had to stay with the same body for years and years to come and I couldn't just give up. I now work 30 hours a week, I exercise 3-4 times a week (walks and stretches) and I still manage to socialise sometimes. I still struggle, I still have bad pain days where I have to just rest but like you I am determined to achieve my life goals. I really admire what you have been able to do with your life and I too have the same exact same concerns as you in regards to how much I'll be able to do once I cut down on my meds.

But as you said (which was the same thing as my OH - spooky lol) I just have to keep thinking of the greater goal and it will be worth it lol.

Thanks Depp Lover you have really helped. I'm going to keep notes in my diary when I've sorted the dates to start the big wean off lol so hopefully I don't have any problems.

It's great to chat with someone who is having the same thoughts as me at the moment.
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Re: Fibromyalgia causing drug addiction?

Postby Depp_lover1980 » Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:45 am

Thank you Loulou. It is amazing what the mind can do once you connect with it and apart from lay down forever and waste our lives, we must make a push forward. After all there are some exceptional disabled people in the world with missing limbs and sensory impairment - these people make me realise that even though my pain is awful, I still have my whole body and must make the most of it. Good look on your weaning off, feel free to contact me on this thread and I will check in on you. x
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