Alternatives to opioids for chronic pain?

Old 05-15-2013, 09:58 PM
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Location: Tennessee
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Question Alternatives to opioids for chronic pain?

I have been in recovery with Suboxone treatment for about 8 months and have been so surprisingly successful that I feel like a different person. My mother, on the other hand, is still addicted (specifically to oxycodone and Klonopin), but my example has led her to want to quit. In helping her, it is definitely an advantage that I have so much first hand experience, but there is one key difference: while my addiction grew out of recreational use, all of her drugs are prescribed to her.

I don't mean to start anything about the ethics (or lack thereof) of so many doctors in prescribing addictive substances, but while she does have pain issues, the dosage is excessive to say the least. She is prescribed oxycodone and muscle relaxers for arthritis and fibromayalgia, along with several other drugs for several other conditions. She is somewhat of a hypochondriac and very much a self-medicator, but I have no doubt that her pain issues are real. Because she's been this way since I have been alive, it's impossible to know how much of the pain is caused solely by opioid dependence.

I guess my question is this: is someone with mild to moderate chronic pain doomed to take narcotics for the rest of his/her life or just suffer through the pain?

I am driving my mother to a detox facility in the morning, and for the first time in over 20 years, she is genuinely determined to quit narcotics and live a better life. My biggest fear is that she will go through the misery of early recovery only to find that the pain is unbearable without painkillers, and that better life will never be possible.

If there is anyone with similar experience or just good advice, I will appreciate all helpful input. Thanks
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:24 PM
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Hi HDWPursley

None of us are Doctors and none of us know you or your mother so it's impossible for any of us to speak with any authority.

I suffer from chronic pain issues tho - I have for many years. By working with a dedicated pain management specialist, and being honest about my past problems, we've worked out a strategy thats best for me.

There are many other painkillers available outside opiates, and many other treatments such as physiotherapy that may be applicable.

I'd encourage your mother to look into all her pain management options - and now rather than later

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