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Opiate addiction and Lyrica (Page 1)

Hi Everyone,

My husband is an opiate addict. He was prescribed Oxycontin seven years ago for chronic pain. He immediately began abusing the Oxycontin by snorting it, was then prescribed Fentanyl patches, which he used to freeze and eat. Then he was prescribed Oxycodone, which he would also snort to get high. He admitted himself to a detox/rehab on February 16, came home March 1st, relapsed March 16 (the day his new oxycodone script became available.) I gave him two choices, he could either leave with his pills, or give me his pills and stay. He chose to give me his pills, and stay. He has been attending AA every day since coming home from rehab. He came out of rehab on 300 mgs. of Lyrica, which I understood was not to be prescribed for anyone with a history of substance abuse. Nonetheless, his doctor explained to me that if they didn't get his pain under control, he would return to opiates. I understood this. He told me the 300 mgs. of lyrica was helping, and that he could manage with that and Aleve. Last nite, I noticed he was nodding off and slurring a bit. When I asked him about it, he told me he had asked his doctor to prescribe another 100 mgs. of lyrica, and his doctor had prescribed another 300 mgs. taking him to 600 mgs. He then told me his doctor wanted to up his dose to 900 mgs., but that he thought he would stay at 600.

I know there is an abuse potential for Lyrica, and was told by our pharmacist that there would be no additional benefit for my husband to take any more than 450 mgs. of lyrica daily. My husband told me when he was at 300, that he didn't like the effect it had on him, and did not like the fact that one of his side effects was very frequent urination. I never saw that he had frequent urination. Now he's talking about increasing the dose of lyrica to 900 mgs. daily. Could someone please explain all of this to me. He's just two weeks out from his last relapse, and he's suppossed to talk to his doctor tomorrow, but tomorrow is also the date that his next opiate script is due from the doctor. He tells me he's going to be honest with his doctor, and not pick up the new script, but he has never followed through with any of this in the past. I'm wondering if he's abusing the Lyrica. How would I know?

Thanks for the help.
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First Helper trust4me
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replied April 23rd, 2010
Experienced User
I was addicted to Morphine because I have Fibromyalgia. He will have to do it by himself, nobody can force anybody to do anything. I smoke MJ every-once-in-a-while for pain and never got hooked on that. I found it way better for pain control. Hash oil is very good too. Watch Rick Simpson on youtube.
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replied February 8th, 2013
Lyrica and Opioid Abuse
I am not aware of this Lyrica problem, but I am a recovering opiate addict taking Methadone. Your husband is still in a bad place. I am glad that he's being honest with you (if he truly is, which it sounds to me like he is). Has he lost anything significant or reached a "bottom"? Until he does (and there could be more than one), there is so litros reason to get completely sober. You are in a very difficult place and I commend you for setting boundaries AND still sticking by him. My prayer is that he finds his health. For me, the only time I really got clean was when I began exercising regularly (including yoga) because I had no pain and what I was doing made me feel good about myself, my decision-making. These days, I am weaning off Methadone as directed for success at a measly 1 mg/week. It seems like forever but they assure me this will prevent terrible withdrawal BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, relapse. I pray that you two get through this. God bless you & yours.
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replied February 9th, 2013
addiction recovery chronic painter
I have severe chronic facial pain and have had problems controlling my pain medicine also in the past. However I finally found a Dr that is really working with me as a whole person not just my pain. He started me on lyrica and it has been a Miracle drug for me the best way being that it has helped me greatly control my medicine. See your husband has to have his medicine for pain that is why he can not be successful in rehab. there is a physical need and the logical part of his brain will probably not be able to override the chemical part of his brain or the need for pain control. But do not dispair God said all things in moderation. Your husband does not want to be out of control it just happened for what ever reason. What needs to happen is that his addiction needs to be treated in conjunction with his pain there are ways. Lyrical helped me actually it was a miracle from God that led me to it and my new doctor. Success for your husband may not be completely off pain meds it may be his life under control whatever that should mean. Look up on Internet about addicts taking lyrica for drug withdrawal and also those that were given it for chronic pain. There is some good insight out there. Realize that with a chronic pain person there is way more going on with them besides pain such as anxiety depression chemical imbalances other medical issues condemnation from others about taking pain Meds etc etc etc. Be very careful of any judgement if you have never stood in their shoes. You seem very understanding and compassionate he is lucky to have you. Hang in there!
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replied March 19th, 2013
I don't know of any addict who hasn't been at this stage of addiction, whether it was with a wife, girlfriend, parent....you name it. He hasn't hit bottom yet with this, although it is good to see that he know's he has a problem, and has at least tried. The ONLY thing that got me off of opiates was "will", and Suboxone. Suboxone was truly the only med that kept the detox at bay, didn't get me "high", and allow me to work. Technically, it can be done in two-three weeks, but after years of opiate abuse, and several relapses, I gave myself a break and did it over two moths along with a entire lifestyle change that represented "healthy" living. There is no one single pill, or one single answer to recovery. I wish I could say differently. I do wish you BOTH the power, love, and will it will take to kick this, as I know how destructive this disease is on loved ones.
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replied April 2nd, 2013
Lyrica
I have been taking Lyrica and Suboxone, for 4 yrs. I once was also on patches, pain suckers, and OxyContin, for a cronic disease. I have good pain control with both. But I would have to say I would go through withdraw without both combined drugs. So, I'm still a little confused wether I'm an addict or not. I never had rehab or counseling, which I now wish I had. But the Lyrica at this high of a dose will cause your husband to go through withdraw, and also, It will cause horrible teeth decay and calcium absorbtion problems. So I would suggest he take a supplement of some sort. I agree with all the above comments on the fact that he hasn't hit rock bottom. It will take prayer and lifestyle completely. So incourage him but give him a level were you draw-the-line! Good luck and may God be with you.
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replied April 4th, 2013
Methadone saved me
I am a recovering opiate addict.. It started with a script from my dr. for chronic pain (seeing a familiar trend here?)and escalated to abuse. I've been on methadone since Jan 2012. It was my saviour. Methadone has gotten a pretty bad wrap because it is, itself, an opiate. But honestly it saved my life. It also manages pain. Maybe this could he an option for your husband?
I'm going to be honest with you because you deserve to know that when I was using there wasn't a person in the world I wouldn't lie to in order to get pills. I can't count the number of stories I made up to my doctor to fill my script early.. The excuses I gave my husband to explain why I was out of pills early (ie, the day after I filled my script). If I could put the thought, energy, motivation, imagination and sheer will power into making money that I put into getting pills I would be a millionaire. Honestly. If your husband is saying things that are questionable, unfortunately it likely means he is up to something. It has nothing to do with your, or how much he does or doesn't love you...it's the addiction. It changes the person. It causes invasive obsessive thoughts. Withdrawal is so painful. If you can stay by him and see him through this you are a good woman. God bless your heart. If you can't, please know that that man addicted to that drug isn't your husband anymore. As stated above, it changes your brain chemistry. Good luck, love. Please tell him there is life after opiates and it can be good, great as a matter of fact. And please tell him that methadone saved this woman's life. Methadone saved my children's mother.
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replied April 20th, 2013
Lyrica and suboxone are my treatment now
I have been on pain medications for what seems to be over 15 years now. I have a rare neurological condition that mimics a brain tumor- i've had 4 major brain surgeries in the past 4 years. The last one was about a month ago- they tried a new shunt system- (i'm the first person to be implanted with the device).
I was so addicted to my dilaudid, oxycontin and exalgo. I was taking 8mg of dilaudid and then i'd crush it and inject it. It's amazing I didn't OD and die. But I had such a high tolerance for my pain medications. My pain was extremely real- trying to get doctors to listen to me and do the correct testing would have helped me. But I was always just a "problem patient" a "drug seeker", someone with somatization disorder or had munchausens. I was infuriated. To prove to my doctors something was seriously wrong, I voluntarily went into a medical detox. Unfortunately- I got sick, and needed IV antibiotics, so I was transferred to a medical floor.... and had to detox in the hospital with NO help through this. God I was in hell. I wanted to die- the head pain from my disorder was insane. As soon as the medications wore off I knew that something was majorly wrong and I needed another brain surgery. They wouldn't listen. 2 weeks later I ended up having 2 major seizures (I had way too much pressure in my brain.... imagaine living with meningiitis with no pain medication.... thats what I was living through) Luckily when they took the breathing tube out of me, and unrestrained me... I could explain my past neurosurgeries. I was in surgery within a few days undergoing a whole new shunt system because the old one failed... and I had been living this way for months. NO one would believe me because of all the pain medications I had been on. It shouldn't have to resort to having seizures to get the medical care you need.
Theres a difference between tolerance, addiction, abuse and desperation. Unfortunately I was so desperate to kill the pain I resorted to abusing my medications so that I could get "maximum effect".... it wasn't my intention to get high... I just wanted to be functional- and it all turned into a nasty, nasty vicious thing. I have "burned bridges" with so many people, I didn't even know what I was doing when I was that desperate- it seems like I was a totally different person. I was stealing medications from anyone I could (ie- my mother in law, my dad... it didn't matter, all I could think about was the god awful pain, and wanting to advoid the nasty painful detox that came with running out short... I would turn to alcohol a day or two before I could get my script filled to "numb" myself from the detox)
I'm lucky that I have a great husband who has stood by me, fought for me, believed in my pain and has patience and intelligence to help me deal with these damn doctors who wont listen. Now, here's the interesting part- I used to be a critical care nurse.... because of this fact alone- doctors trust you even less.
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replied April 25th, 2013
He 1st has to get real about his disease of addiction. I am a recovering opiate addict. I have chronic back pain and nerve damage in both my legs. I had to get real enough about my disease to know that if I kept going to my "dealer" the doctor that had/will prescribe my DOC I would surely start taking them again and relapse. That was my 1st effort to stay clean. the fact is an addict has no choice but to stay abstinent of all mind altering, mood changing drugs. Addiction goes beyond the use of drugs (such as narcotics) its called obsession . and it's very common in all addicts. I pray he hits his bottom and embraces his program. NA/AA. I realized that I needed a mind change when it come to my pain. My addiction told me my pain was much worse then it actually was. It craved its fix. I feel better now then I've every in my life felt. I manage my pain by seeing it for what it is. but I truly needed to abstain from all "mind altering mood changing substance "
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replied April 25th, 2013
Lyrica abuse, drug abuse
I am currently on methadone for 5 years 24mg and weaning off at my own pace, it seems to be working just fine. I was prescried lyrica and it worked wonders, first week I had euphoria effects but then it wore off and just took my pain way. Anyone who thinks opiates will only take away chronic pain needs to evaluate your thinking. There are many non narcotic drugs that relives pain just as well. In order to rid your habit of drug use you have to force to change the way you think. Push yourself into thinking positive. Remind yourself every 5 min your goals, its actually not easy but DOES work. THE POWER OF THE MIND IS AMAZING........
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replied April 26th, 2013
You guys are annoying as hell. He is not in a "bad" place he is just struggling with a dependency unfortunately with a more addicting one. Like one person said on here only he can deal with it and on his own time. If you get on your husband about taking lyrica after he is trying to recover from opiate addiction it will only make him feel worse and more dependant. The best thing you can do is add positive influence to his life, not focusing on the "addiction". I am a recovering heroin addict and I was the only one who could truly help myself. It can be a long and painful road at times, but then again so are many conditions in life. I believe addiction is a result of malfunction in society. Weed is definitely a good coping method if things get too overbearable, working our helps too! Good luck to all. Focusing on the addiction will only remind him of the absence of his opiates.
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replied May 24th, 2013
I agree with most things you said however its hard for you to understand the pain the family endures due to the addiction. I was very worried my husband would overdoes so I took the necessary steps to help that be avoided. we have children. So I called his doctor and had them add to his med records that hes an addict! Might not have been the right thing to do but I was very afraid I'd wake up to a cold body! Sad Glad you've gotten your issues under control
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replied May 24th, 2013
I'm in the same situation as you are. My husband is an addict mainly to pills. If he doesn't have his pills its alcohol and then it always leads to the streets for him. So I completely understand your feelings. My husband went behind my back to an orthopedic doctor and they started him on tramidol, hydrocodone, Lyrica, and conserta! Yes shocking I know. Now I didn't know all this until he started acting funny. My husband is bipolar and his Bipolar symptom's were out of control. He would go on shopping sprees and just be manic! I noticed our money was disappearing and that's due to all the dr visits and prescriptions he was paying for. It got so bad that he would stop breathing at night and I actually one night slapped him because he stopped breathing and wouldn't respond to my attempts to wake him up(I got NO sleep that night!). He started sleep walking all over the house and actually hit me on my back because he dreamt he was fighting He later apologized to me!!! I woke up one morning and there were eggs cracked and ozzing on the kitchen floor. I found his pill bottles and the doctors name and called them. I explained that he was a sever addict and how I could NOT believe all the meds they put him on. The doctor wanted to quit seeing him and stop all his meds and I had a fit about that! How can you start a patient on all these meds and just stop? I told her to put in his chart that he's an addict and stop giving him narcotics or they will face a law suit!! So they did what I asked and just continued the Lyrica and tremidol and conserta (which he never takes the conserta). So he's now been abusing the Lyrica and I have no idea how much he's on but I can defiantly tell when he's used it. He nods off anywhere, for example he feel off a bench backwards because he nodded off! He talks in his sleep, he jerks and twitches all the time sometimes violently. The other night at 3 in the morning I heard a loud bang looked beside me he was gone. I ran to his closet he was sleep walking feel in his closet and hit the metal shelving so hard it woke us all up and I've been married to him for 15yrs and he's never sleep walked. He laid on the ground shocked and moaning, I had to help him up and lay him in the bed. Lyrica is no joke. I also believe he's seeing things. Its sad Sad I wish I could offer some encouragement but I'm in the same boat! My husband is starting proper treatment for Bipolar disorder and migraines tomorrow so hopefully that levels him out.
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replied July 24th, 2013
opiate addiction
Sounds like mine story I'm from canada and they took oxycontin off the shelves if only our government was that smart. I'm sorry to hear the sad repetetive stories involving opiates, tramadol is an opiate also don't think that its not its insidious and very addicting. God speed to you all
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replied August 15th, 2013
Tramadol is not an opiate, it does however attach to the opiate receptors in the brain. It does not give euphoria and abuse of it will make you ill. Just sayin. Smile I know because I've tried also because I worked in pharmacy for 9 years and BFF is PharmD.
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replied August 18th, 2013
Sorry, hun. Whether or not you've worked in a pharmacy your whole life. I don't think you know the effects of tramadol on an opiate addicts brain. Maybe what you are saying is from the text book.
I'm a 5 year recovered opiate/heroin addict. I have taken tramadol. It is not an opiate, i agree with you. However, because it attaches to the opiate receptors in the brain, it creates the euphoric affect that an opiate would. Of course, it takes it a little more than a normal dose to cause this effect, but for most opiate addicts this euphoric effect will happen.
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replied August 20th, 2013
Congratulations on 5 years! That is a significant amount of time. Another concern with tramadol is seizures with abuse. And you're right it can produce euphoria, it's just me and a few other people that haven't had it. Medications do effect everyone differently. Smile take care
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replied July 24th, 2013
Sounds like mine story I'm from canada and they took oxycontin off the shelves if only our government was that smart. I'm sorry to hear the sad repetetive stories involving opiates, tramadol is an opiate also don't think that its not its insidious and very addicting. God speed to you all
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replied August 18th, 2013
To the original woman that posted this. I hope by now your husband is better. When my boyfriend relapsed I attended Al-anon meetings and it helped. In fact, I'm thinking of going back. Best wishes to everyone suffering.
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replied September 23rd, 2013
I Was prescribedopiates because i have been in multiple accidents and a lot of abuse most of my life and a few yrs ago I got ran over by a car.. wanted off opiates so I started researching online. Everything pointed to methadone. So I went to the clinic to get on that..started out at 20mg and made it up to 95. Well the place from my hometown had their methadone come from the pharmaceutical lab pre packaged. I havemoved , to another county and hadto transfer from one clinicto the next. The new clinic's methadone gets pumped out of a machine. Well i had been on 90 mg for quiet a while at my hometown. When i started the new clinic, i began falling asleep at the wheel, etc. So i had to decrease..i decreased two times.. went down to 80mg. Then after being on that for a few days, i began to withdraw after about 7 hrs after dosing. Welk, i decided to go t a suboxone dr. He first started me on 10Mg methadone 4X a day. I had no problems at all.. no withdrawing at all..then had to wait three days and go bavk and start my suboxone. He started me out on2mg 8X aday....for a few days....then on 8mg 2X a day.. methadone took ALL my pains away..suboxone doesnt. So now my dr has me on lyrica as well as Zanaflex. I do not lyrica because i do notice that i am beginning to swell and when i wake in the mornings, i begin to twitch badly.....but.ot doesnt take my pains away at all.....i didnt take any lyrica today because Ididnt like the side effects..now i feel like i am going through withrawls....i am going , to talk to my dr. On my next appt. And see about putting me back on my pain meds. If he doesnt believe me aboutmy back, neck and leg hurting, i would be glad to get proof of my records to show him how messed up i am....
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replied September 28th, 2013
A fantastic way i was able to make sure my husband was honest with his doctor was by going with him. Making sure he touched base with his doctor on all the issues we discussed and being present when my husband put it in writing that i could call at any time and know anything that went on at that doctors office when i wasnt there. I had to absolutely baby him and his life had to be an open book. It was very exhausting having to follow up on his every word. But we got through it and now i trust him more than ever! Also, it is illegal for a doctor to prescribe a certain class of medication to someone who is known to abuse prescriptions. I called one of my husbands doctors and threatened to call the medical board and shut that practice down if any doctor there ever prescribed my husband another narcotic. FYI- even some certain non narcotics are classified with narcotics and therefore cannot be prescribed to known addicts.
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replied September 28th, 2013
I have been through opiate addiction with my son, my sister and my best friend. It seems is all around my life. Is an exhausting fight with the ones you love.
I have researched so much the last 2 years since my sons last detox ( rapid detox in California. Expensive but worth every penny!!!).
My sister was a pain issue (back, disk and etc..)she went to the same detox as my son did, but we were very scared about pain management after her medical detox. We learned about Hyperalgesia with her detox doctors, and let me tell you , is real!!!After detox she could not believe how less pain she felt with no opiates.
My best friend I have not been so lucky with. I guess 2 out of three is pretty good ( not enough ) but I have not given up on her yet,it seems she is addicted to meeting and rehabs...
Anyway , though you could luck into hyperalgesia and that might help you someway...
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replied October 8th, 2013
Has anyone completed self withdrawal therapy for Lyrica ns Oxycontin? I have been on both for 4 years. I am taking 225-300 of lyrica 2x a day for arm/nerve pain and take 15mg of oxycontin 2-3 times a day. My arm is in constant pain it varies depending on activity and heat or cold. I want to see just how bad it is safely. I cannot find any websites that discuss self help.
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replied October 16th, 2013
Self weaning of Oxycontin & Lyrica
I've been on 600mg of Lyrica a day and 80mg of Oxycontin a day plus 10mg of OxyNorms for the last 6 months. I ran out of the OxyContins one night and couldn't afford to buy anymore for 2 days so went without and it was THE most awful feeling I've ever been through. Within 1 day, I was sweating, had headaches, shivering, sleepy, heart beating overtime, nauseous , nightmares. I never want to go thru that again. I have now had my back surgery 6 weeks ago and am slowly weaning myself off these evil tablets. I hate them with a passion, they take away all your motivation and joy in life, you feel like a depressed zombie all the time and don care about anything. I am now down to 450mg of Lyrica a day and 45mg of OxyContins, have stopped taking the OxyNorms altogether. My plan is to be drug free by Christmas, I have 2 kids and I want to enjoy my life again and be there for them but I know I have to do it slowly, I tried to reduce the dose too quickly and started feeling like I was withdrawing, you need to listen to your body and wean yourself off at a pace that suits you, everyone is different.
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