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family member addicted to pain kiillers

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I have a family member who is addicted to pain killers. They have been for years. Doctors do nothing but keep prescribing. It has altered the personality. I want to know how to get them help.!!!
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First Helper User Profile gnatsmom
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replied September 1st, 2009
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It's very difficult to get help for an adult if they don't want help or don't admit they have a problem. If the person addicted is willing and ready to get help they can sign themselves into a drug rehabilitation center. If they aren't ready for help then chances are it's not going to work and I don't believe you can force them into rehab. Sometimes you can get an addiction therapist to come to your home and speak to the unwilling addict. I've heard that works in some cases. It's sort of like doing an intervention.
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replied September 1st, 2009
My aunt had the same problem. She went to a rehab center up in washington and it was the only thing that helped her. She was taking like 30 vicidin a day, while I raised her baby at 17. It is really hard, and the addictted persons personality changes alot. I suggest trying to get them to agree to go into treatment.
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replied September 2nd, 2009
thanks for the replies...the person will not admit there is a problem. As a matter of fact, she gets extremely angry and defensive at the suggestion. I can't stand watching how she has changed. I am embarrassed for her, not to mention broken hearted because she has so many who love her, but the meds are more important. She is a hypochondriac who must be sicker and in more pain than anyone else to keep all attention on her. Not at all like her younger personality. With the hippa laws, I don't suppose there is a way to talk to her docs and see why they just keep giving her these prescriptions?
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replied September 2nd, 2009
You can by all means call the dr's office or write a letter.... As long as you aren't asking the doctor to disclose information they aren't breaking any laws and you may be alerting them to a problem they didn't know existed.
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replied July 10th, 2012
doctor's offices won't really help
I've called and spoke to the doctor's office where my mom goes. They are no help and don't seem to care about her addiction. They have told me they don't prescribe all the medicine she takes and can't talk to her about the one's they don't prescribe. The best they could do was send her to a psychiatrist, and she gets even more prescriptions from there! It's very frustrating.
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replied September 2nd, 2009
Are they in pain though? If the answer is that they are not in pain then the doctor needs to have a more genuine reason for writing the prescription for the pain killers in the first place. However, if the tablets are strong one, stopping them suddenly will cause a withdrawal effect which could be nasty. When pain killers are prescribed the patient is genuinely in pain and if the pain killers work then there is a certain degree of gratitude given to the tablet that the pain has gone. Once the cause of the pain is treated though there is also a mental dependence on the tablets - ie. If i stop taking these tablets the pain will come back.... it's a vicious circle and the root of dependency.
Talk to their GP and explain the situation. Ask them to justify in their own minds if the repeat prescription is valid, and to review their patient with a view to getting them off these drugs. In the mean time though, support your relative - don't judge them. Hope this helps
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replied September 2nd, 2009
How do you know they are addicted? There is a distict difference bewteen dependence upon opioids for chronic pain prescribed appropriately & addiction. Addiction is very unlikely in someone who suffers true chronic pain, like 1%. This urban myth of addiction as being the only reason someone might take opioids long-term often prevents people from getting the help they need or divides families. Here is a good place to start learning how to help your family memeber or friend in pain. http://www.ampainsoc.org/advocacy/opioids2 .htm
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replied September 2nd, 2009
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i know how that is my grandmother is bad about them if she doesnt have them she gets them from friends there isnt anyway to change this they have to be willing to change and if they arent then there isnt any way to help...
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replied September 2nd, 2009
First, look at the obvious source of the problem. The doctor is doing absolutely nothing except prescribing more. Call the doctor himself and tell him that you know your relative is addicted to it and does not need it, and if he does not stop, then you will report it to the state medical board. Write a certified or registered letter to make sure they actually got it. Do not help your relative any more for doctor trips, for money, for anything AT ALL. Once a person gets addicted, they do not care about others. They certainly won't return your favors.
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replied September 2nd, 2009
Here is a little more history on the relative. They say they suffer from chronic pain. There is some health problems I am sure of. But this is the type of person who always has a new disease. If someone else comes back from the doctor, she has their condition worse. My brother wanted to prove the point that our relative was a hypochondriac. He came back from his own doctor's appt. one day and said that he was diagnosed with some condition that he had fabricated. He made up a good medical sounding name and this relative swore she had just been diagnosed with that condition as well. We have caught her faking falls, but she swears they are real. She swears she has seizures but the only time she has them is when she is alone. She is rarely left alone, so it is ironic that this is the only time she has them. She has taken her husband's pain meds and he is left hurting after shoulder surgery. She tells stories of passing out while driving and strangers having to rush her to the hospital, yet she is still allowed to drive. Her own physician will not give her any more pain meds, instead he sent her to a pain specialist who does nothing but prescribe more meds. The first pain specialist she saw had to leave the state abruptly because of being investigated. Now she is seeing another. The situation is worsening and I don't know what to do. I would just like to know the truth, but don't know which questions to ask the doctor. So far this relative says she has been diagnosed with: fibrymialga, two kinds of arthritus, cervical stinosis, type 1 and 2 diabetes, hypoglycemia, heart problems, lupus, low blood pressure, 2 different sleep disorders, asthma, multiple allergies, candida, some disorder where her brain leaks fluid, displaced knee caps, a rare skin disease, some kind of bowel disease,and now she says her doctor says she will probably get colon cancer since her sister died from it and just 2 days ago she said her doctor said the type of diabetes she has will cause her to get altzheimers in the next year or two
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replied September 3rd, 2009
Uh-oh. I've had a friend exactly like this one. My friend said she had lupus, a brain tumor, diabetes, MS (Multiple Sclerosis, which my mother-in-law has and I've seen the real thing, so I knew my friend didn't have it), and so on and so on. She kept coming over to my house begging for five bucks so she can go to either the doctor or the hospital. Guess where I see her spending my money? Paying off her other friends for their prescription medications, and getting marijuana.

Your brother's wrong... she's not hypochondriac. A hypochondriac would have this phobic fear about having illnesses or diseases. When they have ACTUAL symptoms of something tiny like a cold or a little bump on their shins, they'd go onto the internet (those would be cyber-hypochondriacs), find deadly diseases that COULD have these symptoms, go nuts and go to the doctor. Basically blow the whole thing out of proportion. A hypochondriac would actually get something real, but make a cold sound like an AIDS virus with all their paranoia... get me?

Your relative is NOT a hypochondriac. She actively fakes these 'injuries', and tells you that she was diagnosed with purely fictional diseases, like your brother did to prove a point. However, she actually has Münchausen syndrome. This is a syndrome, and in some cases a mental insanity, that has a person completely fabricate, lie, and make up diseases and illnesses left and right and in some cases poison themselves just so they could prove to their relatives that they were right about having something when they were faking...

Bottom line - hypochondriacs really believe they have the disease (blowing things out of proportion), whereas Munchausens lie about it to elicit sympathy, attention, money and everything else from everyone, more often from hospital employees. Unfortunately, she's a chronic liar because she likes the attention and she will never stop. One of those days, she'll actually hurt herself to "prove" that one of her lies were truth. She belongs in the psych ward, I'm sorry to say.
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replied September 6th, 2009
I wondered about Munchhausen's syndrome because she also is always trying to find sickness in one of her kids or grandkids. then she acts like she is the only one who can take care of them. Her daughter was using the same doctor as she was at one time and she would come back from dr appointments telling her daughter the doctor told her how to take care of her. she is always trying to get other family members to take meds. It is like she can't function unless she is diagnosing someone and she needs them to be dependent on her for meds and care. I talked to someone today and they say there is nothing we can do for her until she admits she has a problem. I don't think that will ever happen. I too think she needs serious counseling.
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replied September 8th, 2009
my spouse is a chronic pain patient and she is constantly "bargaining" for extra meds saying "this is the last time" and tomorrow will be different. She also exaggerates her falls and bumps. I respond... "what would I do if I fell? I don't have pain meds." This is painful to watch but I am afraid of her and what she might do if she doesn't get her way. I also am asking what if the pain is real? It's a moral dilemma every day. Need some help but don't know what to do.
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replied November 25th, 2009
Lynnelee - Only 1% of people who have true chronic pain get addicted to painkillers? You seriously have no clue. Please state your source of information instead of just embarrassing yourself on how uneducated you are in this field.
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replied December 13th, 2009
addiction likelihood in true chronic pain is 7 out of 24,000
You are right...I was way off on the %. 1% is way too high...(only 7 out of 24,000!)

Since my previous post link is not working anymore...here is another to the non-profit science site dedicated to fighting the stereotypes & myths that prevent true pain victims from getting relief while good physicans are targeted for doing ther job. (I am not talking about druggies or pain pill shops run by quack docs). Dependence upon pain meds is not addiction. http://www.ampainsoc.org/advocacy/opioids. htm

If you (God forbid) developed constant pain for which nothing helped you would develop "psuedo" addictive behaviors in your quest to stop the unceasing torment. Why? Because of all this misinformation that makes getting any treatment a struggle.

This subject is touchy...I understand why you cannot understand what those of us are going through & that you want to go in to denial that there is anything actually wrong with a loved one in this predicament. It is frustrating for both sides & there does not seem to be a good answer. Like I told one uninformed doctor who self-righteously asked me why I was on (Only Darvon, at the time) daily opoids I had to tell him this..."What are my options? A bullet?" Chronic pain is daily invasion & opoids just take a small amount away, making my life just this side of tolerable.

People's misconceptions make doctor's afraid to treat us correctly & further make us feel like pariahs. Try a little compassion, offer to actually help instead of just judging those in your life who are suffering.

A note for the other posters...Munchausen or Munchausen by proxy syndromes are rare & often misdiagnosed...if you feel there is someone hurting a child you need to step in & not be wasting time talking here about it.
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replied July 21st, 2012
Hello, I'm a 34 year old addict to ULTRAM 100MG... I had a car accident on 2009 and I got hurt from my lower right back... one of my discs got onpen about 1 cm.. its not much but it still hurts, went to my family doctor and he gave me Ultram, he started me at 50mg every 6 hrs, my pain didnt go away so a month passed by and he gave me the same pills but now was 100mg every 4 hrs or when it was needed..its been 3 years now and I'm addicted to them, about 3 months ago I decided to stop tacking them any longer, but to my surprise I can't stop tacking them, I use to take about 15 pills a day, now I take a bout 2 a day just to control the jumping from my body...since I've try to stop I get like epileptic seizures, my body starts jumping and twitching with out any control.. I've try to control it by myself when I stop taking my pills, but it won't work...I have to take at least 2 pills a day so my body wont be jumping or twitching, I do want to stop taking them because I don't want anybody to call me a druggie, I never thought that this would happened to me, I've met people before that had the same problem but they where worst then me... please I need some advice...I already took the first 2 steps, I recognize that I am addicted to painkillers and I've try to stop, can't do it completely but I've lower my addiction from 15 pills a day to 2 pills a day...I'll take any advice I would be really thankful...
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replied September 13th, 2012
im not really to sure what Ultram is but from how you feel from it when you dont have it, it sounds like it is an opiate, a good way to stop opiates is taking suboxen im not to sure if thats how you spell it, but if you were to go as an out patient for like a addiction doc thats what he would give you
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replied September 13th, 2012
well what is sounds like to me is that her doc is a fake well i dont mean fake but , their is a lot of pain management docs that i know that you could straight up walk in, buy a fake MRI saying that like you have back problems or something, and than pay whatever for them to give you a script, it is ridiculousness if you ask me because they took a vow to help people not turn them into addicts, but if she really doesnt have any real pain that she actually requires pain meds than thats what im guessing is going on.

so if you find out that this is the case you can try calling the doc and just like keep bothering him about paper work or something and he might decided to stop seeing her. she might hate you for it but in the long run im sure she'll thank you.
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