Opiod Dependence as Collateral Damage for TN Treatment

Like many people afflicted with chronic pain, I am prescribed prescription pain medications which provide less relief month after month. I would not make it through a day without them. Unlike many people who become addicted to opiodes after they recover from injury, I am still in the middle of my injury with the pain as bad today as it was four years ago when it started.

At one point my doctor wanted to wean me off when I am at a better place and transition me to methadone. It’s crazy. I am in blinding pain every day and have rarely left my house in the last year. I take 5-8 10/325 Percocet every day. My RX is for 180 pills a month. That is over 2,000 high strength Percocet a year and more than 7,500 in the last four years.

If this is my life, I don’t want to worry about the RX, keeping a doctor just for the RX or other options. This is just another of the miserable symptoms that come at me pow, pow, pow. Having TN, SUNCT, Acute Migraine Syndrome, Severe Depression, viral infections, anemia, total isolation and zero quality of life aren’t enough, now I have to be a junkie too.

Thoughts and comments appreciated, especially if you have been there.

Richard, yes,I sure have been there for almost 15 years,and I am so happy to say today makes 11 months NO PAIN PILLS, NO BENZO’S! I don’t have the other illnesses you have and I am sorry you have to deal with this on top of everything else.Mine is all tn1 and tn2, tmj ( that’s gone ) migraines,gn, gpn. My story went public last Nov. I could not handle all the burning, boring,the rest I guess after 25+ years I could handle the rest. I was in a very bad way,my heart goes out to you. I had no kind of life either. When my story ended up in our city paper,a dear man reached out to me and offered to send me the cream,Gallixa,I had absolutely NO HOPE IN A CREAM TO HELP THIS KIND OF PAIN! Low and behold it has been the best thing for ME in 25 years! Your answer is out there,keep searching.I am happy to answer any guestions you may have. Your in my thoughts,Dawn

When one uses narcotic pain medication for more than two weeks (an average) the body stops producing endorphins on its own. A couple of things happen when this occurs (and it is nothing you can do anything about) Your body missing the natural endorphins starts calling for more this creates dependence. Dependence is way different than addiction. The other thing that can happen is a condition called Opioid-induced hyperalgesia. Simply put you have a heightened response to pain. Pain that would not ordinarily cause you a lot of problems now does. Even the most mild pain becomes excruiciating.

The US is about the only place in the world where the medics respond by making the problem worse. We change doses, we change medications, we use time release meds etc etc while never addressing the core problem. Methadone is a very powerful pain medication that will get you off the narcos but it is NOT an answer. Its is truly addictive and doesn't solve the problem.

I had a jump accident years ago that put me in the same spot you are now. I was taking at various times all of them. I was in a wheel chair and totally disabled. I wish I could say there was an easy solution. There was not.

I finally entered a pain rehab program. My level of depression was so high at that time, I was on 24-7 suicide watch. This has happened to so many vets dealing with these issues, I can't count them. I will say the program worked. It was pure hell. The worst was the do-gooders who flaunted statistics that we had a 250% high suicide rate than others and that TREATMENT was the cause. It never occurred to them and still doesn't today that 100% of us likely be dead without treatment.

I learned new ways to deal with the pain (that's not to say I was without medication) I learned ways to tolerate pain. I worked out hours a day to restore the natural production of endorphins. Since those dark days pain rehab has dramatically improved. Some centers have as high as 80% success. The new pain management docs have a tremendous wealth of tools to interrupt pain cycles. I see a lot of them discussed here.

Like I say ONLY in the Us do we try to find our solutions in a pill bottle. It is no accident that we have the highest death rate in the WORLD from narcotics. Don't believe for a minute its "abuse" there are those for sure but the vast majority are common folks trying to deal with unbelievable problems

BTW I still use pain medication, I could not survive without it. But it is only for acute situations never more than a few days. I have developed some pretty nasty autoimmune diseases as well as neuralgia. It is not just the spinal injuries anymore. I will tell you everyone of the conditions you have mentioned have an invisible line somewhere where the the narcotics cease to help and start to hurt. I am not suggesting you have crossed the line, just that it is there. I'm not suggesting any answers either. I don't know you or your situation well enough to even offer an opinion. I only suggest you explore seriously other avenues as a possibility. Modern pain management is not "pills" anymore (most places) these are board certified physicians with many tools. (and no they don't just "cut you off") Please check it out

"The US is about the only place in the world where the medics respond by making the problem worse", not sure this is entirely true, unfortunately. In the image referenced below, adverse pharma reactions include correctly prescribed drugs. Assuming it is true, a bit of a shocker, to say the least. Red you might note that chiropractic manipulations don't warrant a mention.


Sadly it is true the USA while less than 5% of the worlds population consumes 80% of the worlds production of narcotic pain medication. It seems to me that instead of truly trying to help patients with chronic pain conditions we do one of two things; we either tell them they are crazy and send them to the Shrinks for voodoo mental health treatment (consisting these days of Psychotropic medications that effect the mind in rather bizarre ways) or we make them crazy with narcotics. There simply has got to be a better way. On that I have got to agree with Red.

less than 5% of the worlds population consumes 80% of the worlds production of narcotic pain medication. another shocking statistic, the usa is quickly going mad!

Thank you all for the relevant information. I will have another discussion of my doctors. I live in two states, in pain and waiting to be in pain. I have lost everything and now several of my meds are having a very bad affect on my overall health. Thanks for the advice and for taking the time.

My TN flares when my anemia gets really bad.

That's funny, the dentist who specializes in facial trauma I was referred to by my regular dentist, where I had a cat scan of my mouth and who told me I may have TN, put me on Gabapentin, generic for Neurontin, 300mg 3xday for a week and upped it this week, before referring me to a neurologist, told me not to take any pain meds, what does he know about pain, I'd like to know. I feel for you and I too am in pain, and heck with what they say, I always say, nobody knows your body better than yourself, so if that's what it takes for you to be able to function, so be it. As far as your acute migraine syndrome, I have been living with it for a big part of my life, and may be that is from TN, there aren't many dentists or doctors who, even these days, know much about TN and can actually diagnose us with it, so it is up to us to educate them and our communities. Take care and we are all here for you, obviously....

A point of caution here. Your docs know a lot more than you may think especially the neurologist who said NO PAIN MEDS. While the narcos may knock you on your hiney enough the pain doesn't bother you as much. It does not treat the issue or slow down the nerve firing that causes the problem except in some instances increasing that firing rate (making it worse)

Narcos also play very badly with Tegretol (carbamazepine) and other anti-convulsants. The combination can be a huge problems an have a list of interactions as long as your arm. The most common (which seem to be commonly reported here are dizziness; drowsiness; or dry mouth, swollen tongue,headache, slurred speech, vomiting, severe weakness, muscle cramps, loss of coordination, feeling unsteady, fainting, shallow breathing etc

The difficulty is many have multiple docs. You need one doc to manage all of your medications. Even an antibiotic can cause huge problems with the anticonvulsants.

While I also agree with your very knowledgeable and helpful comments, I just wanted to say that the doc who told me not to take pain meds is not a neurologist which by the way I am waiting for an authorization and go see.

We wonder why heroin is such a problem. Wouldn’t it be nice if drug companies had to invest x % of their sales on narcotics on research to eliminate pain vs masking it.