How Are Pain Pills Addictive?

Personally, I think they are one of the best medical breakthroughs ever. I mean pain SUCKS. I am still recovering from all kind of pain due to a kidney stone. You don’t know what it is like to have a blood clot in your bladder expanding it from a normal 40 to 50cc’s of urine to over 800 cc’s. If it wasn’t for the pain pills, I would have had to either had to kill myself or go to the emergency room for morphine.

Well my doctor was very nice about filling the presciption for refills of Hydrocodones but my pharmacist gave me a hard time saying I was going to get addicted to them and almost wasn’t going to fill the prescription. I was hacked off at her attitude to say the least. Let her try to deal with pain I have had for two months now without pain pills then I bet she would change her tune.

So I was wondering how does one become addicted to pain pills? I took them when I was in pain period. Maybe in my younger wild days I would popped them for the buzz but now I just take them for pain.

So how do you know when you are addicted to pain pills? Does one take them when they have no pain or do they think they have pain all the time so that is why they take them? See what I mean?

Also I think the FDA’s mandate for triplicate prescriptions for drugs like demoral and percodan is total bull. I mean afterall a DOCTOR is giving the prescription why does the FDA make it harder for the Doctor to help a patient with pain. I think we are just way over regulated when it comes to this.

You become addicted by taking them when there’s no pain. Painkillers WILL get you high, and some people keep taking them after they no longer need them.

An example. I once had to take codiene for bronchitis. I took it for a week. One tablespoon 3 times a day, and then 2 tablespoons at night. I came VERY close to becoming addicted in a week. I know I had withdrawal symptoms when I went off the medicine. Some people get addicted to that spacy feeling, and that’s why we have the controls in place.

Considering that my father’s dad is addicted to Valium, I’m more than willing to have a few controls on prescripting those kinds of drugs.

Why three prescriptions? Because three scripts are MUCH harder to forge than just one. And its harder to steal three different doctors prescription pads on which to write them.

Hi Falcon,

So they like the spacey feeling. Ok. It sounds like a mental addiction to me. So the doctor should know how long the pain should last and know when to cut’em the pills. Then again he might be wrong and the person could still be in pain with no relief.

I mean I am still hurting but not bad enough for pain pills. But if I do start hurting again(like I did before) you better believe I would want another one.

I guess what I am getting at is that which is better a few people abusing them or people in need of them not getting them. See what I mean.

You are missing a very key point, William.

Answer this simple question: How does a doctor measure pain?

A doctor doesn’t have a meter that he can check on severity of pain, like they can check cholesteroil levels or heart rate.

In addition, one person’t crippling, debilitating agony is another person’s slight headache. I am not even exaggerating here - Sensitivity to pain varies quite widely across all of us.

For example, I have a high tolerance to pain. I recently had to switch to glasses after many years of wearing contacts. I also did not do a good job of maintaining those contacts - My cornea is shot to hell. The doc said I should have been in agony for some time. I was not.

The only thing a doctor has to go on with pain is what a person tells them.

If a person tells the doctor it hurts, it is not surprising that the doctor believes them. And how is the doctor supposed to know the difference between someone who is genuinely still hurting and someone who just wants drugs?

Yer pal,

Six months, two weeks, three days, 20 hours, 32 minutes and 17 seconds.
8034 cigarettes not smoked, saving $1,004.28.
Extra life with Drain Bead: 3 weeks, 6 days, 21 hours, 30 minutes.

Religion + Asshole = FUNDIE*

Falcon-- I had some oral surgery done when I was 19, and the guy gave me a prescription for codeine but told me he’d much prefer I just take 4 Advil every four hours, and only turn to the harder stuff if the pain wasn’t squashed. He was that wary of the addictiveness.

Your mention of your father’s dad’s Valium addiction caught my eye, too. My mom was on that stuff for a long time, and her psychiatrist told her it wasn’t addictive! What a load of crap! She eventually stopped seeing the jerk, and kicked the Valium, by herself. I remember her going through withdrawal-- I didn’t know what was up at the time, I thought she was really, really sick. I only found out later what the real cause was.

Not addictive, my ass!

Wildest Bill, maybe some people reach a point where they think they just can’t function with out those pain pills. Maybe it’s a fear of the pain coming back. I’ve gotten migraines so bad sometimes, I actually get frightened if I feel one coming on. Just my WAG…

You are “psychologically addicted” to a medication if you take it compulsively because you like what it does. You are “physiologically addicted” when you take it compulsively because you don’t like what happens when you don’t take it (that is, withdrawal).

Opioids can cause some pretty hellacious withdrawal, as anyone who has tried to kick heroin will tell you. An addiction to Percoset is not as dramatic or severe as an addiction to heroin would be, but it’s the same mechanism.

Satan is right–pain is entirely subjective. What is the difference between hurting and thinking you hurt? I, and most doctors of recent vintage, will be inclined to believe the patient who tells me he or she is in pain rather than question motives. The bigger problem is tolerance to the effects of opioids–they only work for so long before you have to move up to a higher dose or the bigger gun.

I don’t mind the extra script precautions at all. It isn’t that much of a pain in the ass, and it makes you think before you prescribe.

On another note, was the pharmacist out of line in questioning Bill’s prescription? I don’t know–I’m asking. I think I might have called the doctor and spoken to him about it before I said anything to Bill.

Bill–glad you’re feeling better. Don’t worry about the pain pills, but if you end up selling your body for a fix and appearing as an extra in a Calvin Klein ad, don’t say nobody warned you. :slight_smile:

Dr. J

A little note on codeine:

“An’ my belly is craving, I got a shakin’ in my head
I feel like I’m dyin’ an’ I wish I were dead
If I live till tomorrow it’ll be a long time
For I’ll reel and I’ll fall and I’ll rise on codine
An’ it’s real, an’ it’s real, one more time.”

Opiates can be fun. Doing without opiates later isn’t.