10 Signs You May Be Dependent On Your Pain Meds
The following 10 signs are not a total guarantee that you may have a painkiller dependency. Admitting to one or two of the signs below may mean you are absolutely fine and are managing your pain sensibly. However if, like the team behind this site, you are no longer happy with how your life is going and you admit to 5 or more of the signs below it may be time to review your pain management strategy.
We’d always suggest you return to your doctor first and explain everything, remember they are healthcare professionals who HAVE to take your feedback on board and if YOU feel like you may be dependent on your pain meds then ‘fess up and tell them. They have seen it ALL before, and it may be temporarily embarrassing but you will get help, there is no shame in dealing with a problem. We also provide a lot of information here so you can make informed choices about your choice of healthcare and we’d urge you to explore all the options currently available.
So here are ten signs that you may be dependent on opiate pain medication:
- 01) You take more than the stated dose
- 02) You have the date in your calendar you can re-fill your prescription but don’t remember when you started or know when you will finish the course.
- 03) You keep a stash of meds “for emergencies” in various places
- 04) You sneak taking your meds when out with friends, family and colleagues
- 05) Your significant other/family/friends are not aware of how much pain medication you take
- 06) You’ve dozed off at inappropriate moments
- 07) You’ve looked for ways to get a stronger ‘buzz’ off your meds
- 08) You’ve thought of stopping, but always ‘next month’ because you’re not really ‘addicted’
- 09) You have a fear that the doctor may stop your pain meds
- 10) You’ve Googled “opiate addiction” or searched for withdrawal symptoms
Dependency is not something anyone wants to readily admit to, especially when it is sanctioned by a healthcare professional who simply refills your prescription on demand. Life passes in a hazy bubble and you at least feel some relief from the pain. However dependency has a nasty way of creeping up on you, of making your behaviour change slowly and by small, incremental steps. You have to take firm and positive action to stop and if the thought of stopping has crossed your mind then you are in the right place.
Behavioural changes sneak up on us, simple things like starting a journey, realising you have forgotten to pack some meds and turning back to get them no matter what the consequences are of being late. Things like this could be symptoms of a deeper underlying problem, indicating you are in need of further help to determine if indeed you are dependent and need some help.
We are not here to diagnose, offer medical advice or judge you; we are here to show you there IS life without opiates, you CAN get off the medication dependency cycle and still keep your pain under control. There are studies that show pain medication may actually be contributing to your pain.
Ongoing pain medication dependency is a trap and you may feel you are in a prison with no way out. Well the first step is to recognise that you may have a problem and seek help. Withdrawal from opiates is not to be taken lightly. We are not here to judge, we want you to be the best version of you that you can be. It might be you realise that not only is you pain not really being managed but also your life was no longer sustainable taking the prescribed medication as you currently take it.
Many famous and successful people have fallen victim to the prescription medication that they were taking. They relied on the care and professionalism of their healthcare professionals only to be hooked, injured and killed by the very people entrusted to support their well being. Heath Ledger, Michael Jackson, Prince and many others have all fallen victim to reliance on pain medication. So you are not alone in this, and sometimes healthcare professionals simply take the course of least resistance, remember they are people too. The healthcare system in many countries is under strain and if just simply re-issuing a ‘script keeps a patient satisfied then the healthcare professional may just do that. We are not here to blame anyone, we are here to offer information to allow you to take control over your own healthcare choices.
Admitting you have a problem is the hardest step, once you have taken that step you just need the right support to get off opiates and find a suitable pain management regimen to help. We hope the guide will do just that and give you more food for thought and other options you may not have considered.
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Always consult your physician when considering a change to your current treatment.